Shades of the Force

Ord Sigma
April 8, 2007

Time on Tantamir was cut short, by a sudden, silent, and long range attempt on Sala’s life. Somehow, at the last moment and without warning, Valo was able to intercede, pulling her down and taking the punishment for her: a high powered rifle bullet shot that damaged his armor and pierced his lung. Thekher, who was on hand to wish the group well on their departure, performed some sort of strange ritual, laying his clawed “hand” upon Valo’s face, causing Valo’s massive bleeding to stop, and his body to begin healing at a supernatural rate. However, he still spent the next week or two in a coma, his body recovering.

Once they were sure he was going to be alright, even if they could not explain why, the group flew to Ord Mantell, where they visited and prevailed upon Greda the Hutt, learning that he was one of the beings providing resupply services to the Imperial fleet blockading Ord Sigma. They proposed that he give them a copy of the code clearance data said supply ships used, and mighty Greda agreed, after ensuring there would be no way to trace the source of the data to him, and after the group made a suitable payment to him for his generosity.

Departing and flying to Ord Sigma, the group had a narrow shave when a routine inflight technical check overloaded the hyperdrive, mildly damaging it before the characters could bring it back to operating norms. In a quieter moment, Bruce and Jurik began a formal practice of lightsaber form, filling an empty space amongst the cargo crates with the lights and sounds of energy blades. Bruce acquitted himself well, showing substantial skill.

Upon arrival at Ord Sigma, the group found themselves staring down the Dulfivan Sector fleet: The Imperial Star Destroyer Thunderbolt, with its protective ships, a TIE carrier, a Lancer frigate, and the Strike Cruiser Malagance, which had been responsible for so much grief at Tantamir, during the group’s earlier escapades. Using their false code, they pretended to be a contracted supply vessel, getting fairly close to the blockade before attempting to break through. Flying at high speed past the Malagance, the Drakkar evaded a web of turbolaser fire, chased by TIE fighters as Bruce and Sala fired back with the Drakkar’s guns. The ship made it through the blockade, but not before taking damage to its sublight engines.

The Drakkar landed safely in the city of Mar Celes on Ord Sigma, protected by a GenCore planetary energy shield, strong enough to protect the entire area from orbital bombardment and projected from a 100-story tall dish tower in the center of the city. They met General Balar, a former Corellian senator, now a general in the Rebel Alliance, which was in possession of Mar Celes with armed soldiers. Relations were amicable, and the cargo of food was sold for a profit and distributed to the hungry civilians and soldiers.

The city of Mar Celes possesses an old and highly respected college, the University of Teremis, and the group visited its 3,000 year old library, seeking information on the history of their vessel, Valo’s pendant, and the strange cube found within the Drakkar’s secret cargo compartment. A friendly and attractive woman named Ulista assisted them as the librarian, but their research was cut short by the appearance of strange combat droids, of a model and construction none of the group had ever seen before, and projecting a distorted, Dark Side signature through the Force. There was a battle, and Bruce and Valen were injured, but the group was victorious, blasting the droids into scrap as they took cover behind reading desks and bookshelves. Upon examining the droids’ remains, the group found their circuits and design were like nothing they had seen, and each droid had at its core, a lump of rotting, still living flesh.

Jurik and Bruce made off with their discovered prize: a small holocron cube with details on a new Force power, and GEN-13 learned much new information on the origins of the Drakkar, its previous Jedi Master owner, and the system where he disappeared, named Lazarus. Sala learned about another system in the sector, Toprawa, where the plans for the Death Star had been stolen by an Alliance operation, and the Empire had subsequently punished the populace harshly, with an orbital bombardment, resulting in many suffering survivors. As they left the library, the Imperial ground assault began, to seize Mar Celes, punish and occupy it.

The group ran to the Drakkar, intent on fleeing, only to discover that (as they had asked) Rebel technicians had already taken out the damaged sublight engine and started installing a new one, and the Drakkar was not flyable. After a rushed debate, GEN-13 and Sala stayed with the ship to protect Valo and try to finish putting the new engine in themselves, while Bruce, Jurik and Valen sped to the city’s seacoast to investigate a hostile detected there, even as the main Imperial assault struck the other side of the city, tall buildings being obliterated in clouds of smoke and ash as Imperial walkers fired directly into them.

The three characters found another Imperial AT-AT walker was sneaking into the city, walking up out of the Celesian Sea. This walker was painted blood red, and bore the deaths-head symbol of General Grax’s unit, one of the officers responsible for Valen’s destroyed career. As the walker stepped over the seawall, salt water rushing off of it, the characters ran into a tall office building, taking the elevator to floor 12, then shattering a wide window.

As the massive walker strode past, they leaped from the building, landing atop its armored back. Jurrik slashed open a dorsal crew hatch, and Valen, Bruce, and Jurrik dropped inside, immediately confronted by stormtroopers within the walker’s narrow passageway. Confronted by two lightsaber-wielding enemies (one of which had a biting comment about Order 66 having missed someone) and a hand to hand struggle with Valen, the troopers were killed, and the band stormed the walker’s head, Valen shooting the pilot through the skull, Bruce slicing the commander in half, and Jurrik capturing the gunner, interrogating him briefly before dragging him back up to the walker’s roof and throwing him off onto the roof of a passing building.

Valen took the pilot chair, and Bruce the gunner chair, and now the AT- AT Alpha Two was under their control. Striding down the city’s main avenue, the captured walker headed for the battle. As they passed the GenCore tower, they saw a Lambda shuttle landing on one of its access pads, high above the city. They raised the walker’s head, firing a heavy salvo and shattering the landing pad, the shuttle and the debris falling and crashing to the ground.

Meanwhile, GEN-13 and Sala finished installing the sublight engine, as the sounds of heavy explosions and gunfire got closer and closer, with Valo still helpless in his cabin. Unfortunately, the engine’s hookups were all…. backwards, and they frantically worked to correct them, then taking off, Sala at the controls, flying to the GenCore tower and landing on another of its pads, managing to scrape a huge gouge in the Drakkar’s starboard side as they did so. Sala and GEN-13 entered the dimly lit passageway of the huge energy silo, discovering many dead Alliance soldiers.

As the Alpha Two walker passed the tower, Jurrik shot a line to it, leaping and swinging from the back of the captured walker and smashing through a window, entering the tower at a different place from Sala and GEN-13. Alpha Two strode through the streets like a mechanical Godzilla, confronting, surprising, and destroying another Imperial AT- AT and an AT-ST through Valen’s expert piloting and Bruce’s suprisingly effective work with the heavy blaster cannons. Reaching the front, they destroyed a second AT-AT, blasting its structural frame apart and blowing it to enormous durasteel pieces.

When GEN-13 and Sala realized that the power to the GenCore shield was dropping, and the Imperial fleet would soon be able to bombard, they headed for the top of the huge energy silo, with Jurik also heading up in a different turbolift. GEN-13 and Sala discovered a single enemy at the very top of the 100 story shaft, disabling the shield, and GEN-13 fired, only to see her shots deflected from a red saber blade. As the foe walked calmly towards the two, they were cornered, until Jurik arrived. Challenging the saber-wielding young man, they began a clash of lightsabers on a catwalk suspended above countless amps of energy.

Trouble hit the AT-AT Alpha Two, when Valen and Bruce detected someone on top of it. Bruce went to investigate, discovering an Imperial scout trooper clambering down onto the neck of the walker, wielding an anti-vehicle shoulder-fired missile. Bruce leaped down onto him, saber in hand, but missed his strike at the last moment, the two crashing into each other, and both the launcher and Bruce’s lightsaber tumbling off the walker to the street far below. They grappled, punching and striking each other, then falling from the walker’s neck, sliding down the front of the AT-AT’s head (much to the dismay of Valen when they literally slid over his armored viewport) still grappling each other. An enemy walker stomped closer, firing on Alpha Two and beginning to damage it, the cannon shots nearly incinerating Bruce. Slipping, he fell again, saving himself from death by grabbing one of the walker’s protruding heavy chin cannons, only to find the scout trooper had also fallen and grabbed the other cannon. Valen was unable to fire the guns for fear of instantly killing Bruce, as the enemy AT-AT closed, literally ramming Alpha Two in the side with its armored head.

Meanwhile, Jurik and his opponent fought viciously, damaging the floor and the safety railing of the catwalk, as their lightsabers clashed and strained against each other several times, dragging against the surroundings, before disengaging and riposting. GEN-13 and Sala began restoring power to the GenCore, hoping Jurik would not be struck down, as it would mean their deaths. Jurik prevailed, dextrously parrying a low slash and twisting his saber, cutting through the back of his enemy’s leg. He stumbled and fell against the slashed safety rail, falling into the energy core of the silo and disappearing in the glow. Sala, GEN-13 and Jurik ran back to the Drakkar, taking off and flying towards the front.

Bruce, clinging to the huge cannon with one hand, drew his blaster with the other, beating the scout trooper’s draw and shooting him through the chest. The dead trooper let go of his cannon, plummeting to the ground, where Valen promptly made the walker step on him. The enemy AT AT’s head was wedged against and under his walker, however, and Bruce was still trapped dangling on the outside cannon. The Drakkar flew up at the last moment, hovering beneath the walker’s head, as Bruce let go and fell onto its roof, crawling into its dorsal crew hatch to safety. As the Drakkar flew clear, Valen made his captured walker kneel (using a Force point to pull off the heroic- difficulty task) trapping the other walker’s head under his walker’s body and crushing it horribly between the durasteel of his walker’s legs and armored body. As the walkers began to explode, he abandoned the helm, dropping the walker’s aft crew ramp and sprinting out as it began to explode, running up the waiting Drakkar’s ramp and escaping.

Since the Rebels had held their ground long enough for the Alliance fleet to arrive, ambushing the Imperial blockade, the Empire took losses in orbit, the Mon Calamari Cruiser Alderaan and its task ships destroying the Lancer frigate and the TIE carrier. The Thunderbolt and the Malagance were forced to withdraw into lightspeed.

Celebrated as heroes by the Alliance troops of Mar Celes, the group took their leave, returning to Renovo’s shop on Bessilore and paying him to repair their damaged and degrading hyperdrive. Now, the group is together in the Drakkar, determining how in the f*ck they are all still alive, what course of action to pursue, and whether or not to use some of their cash to add a few enhancements to the Drakkar.


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Lazarus
June 2, 2007

After making their way up into the higher, broken mountainsides of Lazarus, the group’s path ultimately ended at a smooth, sealed, stone tomb entrance, built into a solid rock wall. The area around this entrance had several strange features, like stone pillars neatly sliced in half, rocks and chunks tossed about, and crushing, piercing marks on the stone ground.

After breaking it open, the group explored a tomb complex painted and carved with a theme of creation and genesis of life, displaying an alien race as master gods, creating stars, worlds, and life upon them. They encountered a series of coded and linked traps, and had several dangerous moments before determining and applying the correct formula for passing them, with the clues based on the artwork in the tomb.

This led to a deeper layer of the tomb, where they found a broad chamber with a high, domed ceiling, a large marble statue of one of these aliens in its center, and burial niches lining the round wall, occupied by long dead human and humanoid corpses. After striking a trigger, the corpses began to animate, attacking the group in a mindless rush, and resulting in a severe application of blaster fire and hand grenades by the surrounded characters. When the smoke cleared, keys were found on some of the corpses that opened the far wall, revealing the burial chamber.

Its stone sarcophagus contained the skeleton of a long deceased alien, a pendant like Valo’s around its neck, an ancient, metal long sword on its chest, and a coffer at its feet. Upon removing these items, the far wall of the burial chamber collapsed, and an immense, long-inactive war droid crashed through. The group ran, but Bruce fumbled and tripped, being picked up by the droid in its grasper arm as it pursued the others. During the confrontation, Valo managed to glue the droid to the floor with a glop grenade, while Bruce was crushed into incapacitation and hurled across the chamber, dropping his lightsaber. Valo picked it up and attacked the droid with it, running between its legs and slashing it, while Jurik broke rocks free from the domed ceiling with the Force, and sent them crashing down onto the droid. Having smashed it, the group fled the tomb, reviving Bruce enough to allow him to move on his own.

Removing to orbit around Lazarus on the Drakkar, Bruce took some rest and further medical treatment. After giving Tylus the chance for some real food and sleep, the second pendant was tried on the hidden cube, fitting into one of its side sockets. The coffer proved to contain roughly a hundred ancient gold coins, marked with strange script. After some discussion, the group chose to go to the fairly close by Eriadu system at Tylus’s request, hoping to find an old friend of his that could assist them with their discoveries.

Eriadu, known as ‘Coruscant of the Outer Rim’, is a heavily urbanized and industrialized world, thickly polluted and populated. It was the home and seat of governorship of the Tarkin family, including the recently deceased Grand Moff Tarkin. Multiple power groups were encountered here, including the Thalassian, Trandoshan, and Red Blade slaver’s guilds, which maintain extensive market halls here. Valo killed one Trandoshan in a particularly bloody manner (wrenched off jaw.) The group got Tylus to his friend, an aged, scarred, and experienced man named Donovis, who offered extensive connections and experience in xenoarchaelogy, and who offered to assist the group with their various undertakings, including helping them sell relics to the Imperial Museum of Galactic History on Coruscant, if they would show their good faith by “helping Taris succeed in its restorative bid.” He expressed that he and others would benefit “politically and economically” if this were to happen. At one point, he also gunned down some Red Blade technicians that he considered to have dishonored Sala.

Taris, another world in the same sector and close to Eriadu, used to be the Coruscant of the Outer Rim, before it was annihilated by bombardment during the Jedi Civil War thousands of years ago. After being abandoned for centuries, colonists and others are now attempting to rebuild and restart the world. Citizens on Eriadu, for the most part, despise Taris and have no interest whatsoever in having to compete with another world for their titles and monopolies.

Valo also met an apparent member of a group called the Freedom Flyers, or “Flyers” that witnessed his altercation with the Trandoshan and gave him an address if the group wished to meet with other Flyers.

This is where the group left off: On Eriadu, facing multiple power groups with different goals, and deciding what next plan of action to take, and whom to work with, oppose, or trust.

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Wookie Rescue
June 10, 2007

Jurik and Bruce, after some careful discussion of options, decided to use the scrap of information Valo had received, and find out more on the mysterious “Flyers” group. Taking the hover-rail line deep into an old-town, mostly abandoned heavy-industry zone on Eriadu, they walked the broken, dirty sidewalks under a steady, slightly acidic rain. Their path led them to an old, abandoned subway station, where they were found by a Flyers watchman, and taken on a rusty, battered subway train to a hidden camp of the Freedom Flyers, an underground (literally) abolitionist organization.

Having to leave their weapons at the entrance, Bruce’s lightsaber was discovered, though Jurik’s was not. They were taken to see the group’s leader, a well-spoken, older gentleman with a neatly styled mustache and a regal bearing, a vibro-rapier leaning within easy reach next to his desk, situated in an old train car, piled with stacks of paper and lit by clusters of candles. He was Thermon Valorum, and came to an amicable understanding with Bruce and Jurik, giving Bruce his lightsaber back after asking a few pointed questions. They spoke about his abolitionist group, his intentions and operations, and learned a little of his background, being the son of the last Chancellor of the Republic, schooled for the Senate, and in hiding after his father and family were destroyed by the newly crowned Emperor.

Jurik and Bruce made a deal with him, selling him information on the Trandoshan group, a member of which Valo had pipe-wrenched, and agreeing to pose as buyers, in an attempt to free and ‘steal’ the Trandoshan’s latest group of slaves. That evening, with a group of Flyers men in tow as their ‘staff’, Jurik and Bruce met with the Trandoshan group, bringing R2-D4 along to ‘facilitate credit transfer’ and to hide a fusion cutter inside. On the Trandoshan ship, Bruce was able to slip the cutter through a powered holding cage without frying himself, surreptiously giving the Wookiees within a tool with which to disable their control collars and cut the power fence.

Back outside, Jurik agreed to purchase the Wookiees, but the ruse to fake a credit transfer through R2-D4 did not work. Their suspicions and tempers provoked, the Trandoshans picked a fight, culminating in Jurik and Bruce entering their ship again, to find loose Wookiees battling their captors with their hands and a fire ax. Having freed them, Jurik and Bruce, with help from the Freedom Flyers, brought the Wookiees to the Drakkar, loading them all onboard and having GEN-13 give them food and drink. Using forged documents provided by the Flyers, they were able to convince Imperial Customs that they were merely shipping slaves, and left Eriadu for the moment, having made arrangements with Thermon to take the Wookiees to the nearby system of Taris in exchange for a payment of credits.

During the trip, the Wookiee that Bruce most directly assisted and saved the life of approached him, managed to convey that his name was Wrrl, and promptly informed him that he would be remaining with him. Bruce did not quite understand what was being conveyed, but Jurik explained to him that he’d apparently incurred a life-debt with this Wookiee. Bruce tried to explain that it was not necessary and that he had simply done what he felt was right, but Wrrl would have absolutely none of it, and immediately began opening panels on the Drakkar and making minor repairs. (GEN-13, you wanted to learn more about how to work on the Drakkar…. here’s a golden opportunity for a teacher AND something to use the AA-Verbobrain on.) Bruce wondered how the rest of the crew would feel about this development.

Jurik, meanwhile, drank booze and played cards with the Wookiees, and eventually challenged them to a drinking contest, which he then won through a little use of the Force. The Wookiees, absolutely astonished that this old Human out-drank them, developed a great respect for him.

Upon arriving at Taris, Jurik and Bruce found a formerly vast, urban- covered world, long since bombarded into rubble and ruins. However, they had a contact, and landed the Drakkar on top of a half-ruined and half-rebuild arcology tower, very similar to the sort of place Valen once lived, on Coruscant. They found themselves at an independent settlement named New Taris, consisting of war refugees, freed slaves, aliens, and people in hiding. Releasing the Wookiees into their care, Jurik and Bruce explored the settlement, making several friends and shopping for things in their rather large ‘scrap and junk flea market’, where tons upon tons of scrap metal, electronics, and goods scavenged from the wastelands were sorted, sold, or remade into new wares by the colonists. Wrrl took a blaster rifle from the Drakkar, and, using parts purchased from the market, was able to make a new bowcaster for himself.

Jurik and Bruce met with one of the leaders of New Taris, a female Mon Calamari named Onoba, who lived far down in the base of the arcology tower, in a comfortably furnished chamber with one entire wall replaced with a massive aquarium tank, in which swam a multitude of fish species from her homeworld, as well as a rather immense shark named ‘Baby.’ Onoba herself seemed to be an invalid, remaining in her chair, with several tubes connecting her to a small tank of liquid next to her seat, regular injections of bacta apparently needed to keep her alive.

She greeted them, made them comfortable, and gave them some information on what New Taris’s goals are, how they operate, and what sort of things New Taris needs in order to prosper and grow. She also told them about another nearby settlement, Saretti City, which is a claimed outpost of CzerkaCorp, which is conducting terrain clearing, terraforming, and setting up power, water, and air filtration infrastructure, some of which New Taris has to depend on in order to remain free of direct Imperial attention. At the same time, they can’t always pay what Czerka demands, and when that happens… less peaceful methods of payment are inflicted.

Onoba told Bruce and Jurik they were welcome to get involved in two ‘industries’ that New Taris has set up: exportation of scrap metal and junk, and, more covertly, several workshops that use salvage material to make blasters and other weapons, which are then smuggled to the Galactic Alliance on contract by independent shippers. They were also allowed to search the planet’s vast junkscapes themselves, on the understanding that they must pay a fee to take salvage.

Bruce and Jurik, considering these options and others, took the Drakkar up for a flight around the area, looking for any traces of Jedi temples or chapter houses, as Taris was destroyed long before the Galactic Empire, and was a major governmental and cultural hub in the Republic. They found what looked like a small one, ruined, and explored the site, finding Czerka demolition equipment busily tearing it and everything else down for recycling and processing. A conflict began, and Bruce, Jurik and Wrrl took on the Czerka heavy equipment men, culminating in a violent and ruthless hand to hand combat between Bruce and a Czerka demolitionist, who nearly forced Bruce face-first into huge, running, fast moving concrete-and-steel shredders on the front of a massive demolition vehicle. Bruce narrowly escaped with his life, blood streaming from his nose and mouth, after his opponent was run over and annihilated by the machinery. Jurik was able to climb atop the machine and stop its driver, shutting it down before it smashed Bruce as well.

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The Jedi chapter house on Taris
June 30, 2007

Jurik, Valo and Valen investigated the shattered, bombarded ruins of the ancient Jedi chapter house on Taris. Lowering themselves down a ruined elevator shaft, they found the lower levels somewhat intact, but flooded with water. Through some careful swimming, use of air pockets and old Jedi-issue aqua breathers, and not to mention a sharpened piece of pipe, they were able to explore the area. A few interesting items were uncovered, including a damaged, Holocron-like object and several very old but operational blasters, including one of Mandalorian make.

Upon leaving the ruins, the group encountered a Czerka security patrol, responding to the earlier disturbance created by Bruce and Jurik. A shootout ensued, resulting in the theft of a Czerka speeder and the escape of the characters to the Drakkar. During takeoff, Czerka’s air support arrived, strafing the Drakkar and engaging it in an air to air battle until the starfighter’s weapon systems were disabled by a cannon shot from the Drakkar, forcing it to flee.

The group returned to New Taris, trading and acquiring some new equipment, including a broken buzz droid that became important later. Accepting a request from Onoba to run a shipload of blasters to a designated drop point for pickup by a ‘paramilitary political group’, the Drakkar headed for the Alustine asteroid field in-sector.

During the flight, mynocks attached themselves to the Drakkar, and Valen went outside the ship to remove them (again with a sharpened pipe.) Using a dead mynock, Valen fixed and programmed his old buzz droid to ‘kill mynocks.’ Unfortunately, there were mistakes in the programming, and a test of the droid outside resulted in the buzz droid instead deciding to kill Valen, who almost had his space suit sawed open before he could get back through the airlock. He managed to save himself by catching the buzz droid on his magnetic boot, and then stomping it against the wall. The boot was ruined and the droid damaged, but the accident was averted.

Upon reaching the rendezvous point deep within the asteroid field, the Drakkar met up with a Corellian Corvette, the Pride of Yavin. It was arriving before it was expected to, and they had been expecting a Corvette named Far Star. Deciding to dock anyway, they landed within its small internal hangar bay, only to find that they had been drawn in by non-Rebel hostiles who planned on killing them and seizing their cargo and ship for themselves.

A major conflict began, which featured Valo wearing nothing but a towel and flip flops (he had been using his hot tub and came out to see what was going on.) Jurik began the hostilities with a grenade, injuring many of the enemies before being shot and wounded himself, while Valo simply barreled into the opponents with his fists and feet, at one point managing to kill three armed assailants in one combat round, at this point having lost his towel and one flip flop. Valen gave supporting fire with a freshly-scoped rifle, while Wrrl the Wookiee simply became enraged and plowed into the foes with Valo, killing someone via the technique of grasping them by their ankles and banging them repeatedly against the floor.

Trying to get rid of their combative opponents, the enemy opened the hangar fields and flushed it to hard vaccuum, encountering a problem when Jurik’s lightsaber and Valen’s laser cannon shot blew the hangar blast door open. The characters were nearly sucked into space, but managed to catch and get into the Drakkar. Wrrl was badly injured, and had to be rescued from the outside of the ship by Jurik in a space suit before he could be sucked entirely into space and killed. Jurik then hopped off the ship and headed for the interior of the capital ship, as the rest of the crew powered up their vessel (Valo taking a moment to put on pants.) A shot impact of some kind rocked the hostile ship, as the characters decided their next acts.

To be continued, in just one week…

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Taking of the Scourge
October 27, 2008

Great game on Sunday. Some of the highlights:

- Kaya botching some rolls while by herself in Mos Eisley (sorry Monica!) and ending up in an energized cage in the slave market. Hey, purple Twilek females are rare and expensive.

- Wrrl politely asking for “his” Twi’lek back from the Mytarenor Slaver’s Guild.

- Violent resolution when asking didn’t work. Alec the old soldier proves very adept with the blaster carbine, is described as “like Damien’s Quarren” when it comes to shooting enemies. Kaya uses the Force to drop a large sunshade tarp on almost all of the combatants; imagine a bunch of people trying to kill each other with sharp objects while a large tent falls down on them. She later fails repeatedly to telekinetically pull a vibro ax into the cage with her.

- Capturing the slaving group’s things, including a Ghtroc 720 freighter. The group also frees the Sempis also being held by said slavers, and quarters them on the Drakkar temporarily. Contact is made with Greda the Hutt, and an agreement made to sell the Ghtroc freighter to him.

- Group travels to Yag’dhul, finding a triple-mooned, small world with tidal forces so strong that the atmosphere and oceans themselves are sucked from one side of the planet to the other, with the native Givin living in huge, self-sealed arcology cities capable of riding out the vicious lunar gravity shifts. The Givin turn out to be highly analytical, intelligent creatures exceptionally talented at mathematics, to the point that their government is a “mathematocracy” making decisions based on advanced probability, and its citizens greeting each other casually by exchanging and solving math problems. They meet Alec’s Rebel contact, a Givin named Cosine (or “Coz”) at a cantina called the Prime Number, in the Givin arcology Dodecapolis.

- A plan is laid to capture the Marauder Corvette Scourge, in a large hangar bay. Cosine’s Givin friends and Rebel cell supporters are successfully smuggled onboard the Scourge inside cargo and provisions boxes, along with Wrrl, who is also packed inside a (large) box. Kaya moonlights as a pizza delivery girl, delivering food several times to the location and allowing them to become familiarized to her, with the intent of delivering sedative laced pizza to the hangar control room staff, allowing her to then override the controls and allow the Scourge to leave, without having to kill the Givin on staff who would likely stop her from messing with their computers. Bruce, Alec, and Cosine prepare to enter the hangar bay and get aboard the Scourge from one end, while Wrrl and the cargo-boxed Givin emerge in the cargo bay and proceed from the other end.

- While waiting inside his cargo box, Wrrl hears the sound of more cargo being loaded, and the voices of Stormtroopers talking to one another as they move said cargo. Extremely dismayed by this turn of events, Wrrl cannot warn the others, as he could not bring a comlink along for fear of being detected as the boxes were loaded. Wrrl opens his box and sneaks over to the stormtrooper in the cargo bay, killing him horrifically. Incidentally, the visual image of a Wookiee sneaking out of a cargo box and bashing an unawares stormtrooper is very funny. Wrrl then manages to get at the stormtrooper’s comlink, trying to warn the others.

- Kaya, disguised again as the pizza girl, manages to drug the Givin in the control room and get them out of the way. She begins to override the computer security. As she does so, Wrrl calls her with a frantic warning, but she does not understand his Shriwook.

- Bruce, Alec, and Cosine enter the hangar bay, but are greeted immediately on the other side of the blast door by their welcoming committee, in the form of Lord Sarn’s apprentice, Talos, who is looking to earn his “Darth” title by destroying Bruce and returning to his master. Springing his trap, he injures Cosine with a Force choke, forcing Alec to drag him to safety while Bruce engags Talos with lightsabers.

- The ensuing confrontation is extremely vicious, consuming almost every game point and character point the PCs and their NPC friends possess. Bruce performs admirably, staying on his feet and uninjured despite being Force-thrown across the hangar bay and smashing through an entire stack of cargo boxes. He also manages to (barely) succeed when Talos showers him with Force lightning, absorbing and reflecting it until the electrical back-and-forth arcs build up and explode. Wrrl runs through the Scourge, killing every stormtrooper in his way, discarding his previous plan as he must reach and help Bruce. Kaya manages to close all of the hangar’s blast doors, trapping everyone inside, inside and everyone outside, outside.

- Wrrl reaches the hangar bay floor after jumping off the parked capital ship (really more of a fall, but we’ll make it sound better.) Stormtroopers burst into the hangar control room, and Kaya pretends to be a drugged and unconcious victim, getting away with her con. The stormtroopers leave, one remains to try and undo what Kaya did to the computer, and Kaya shoots him in the neck.

- Talos Force jumps through the control room window, and Kaya runs like a bitch (no offense meant Monica, that was the smart thing to do.)

- Wrrl throws a grenade into the control room; when it fails to injure Talos, Steve indicates that this is OK as all he really wants is to break the hangar control computer so no one can undo what Kaya did. General agreement and approval from all. Something starts pounding on the entry blast doors.

- Bruce collapses the stairway he and Talos are on by slashing its support out with his lightsaber. Everyone falls to the hangar floor. Kaya runs to help Alec and Cosine get into the Scourge, throwing one of Wrrl’s explosive quarrel magazines up the ramp while Alec shoots it. This extremely improvised “grenade launcher” kills the stormtroopers on the ramp.

- Wrrl and Bruce engage Talos in a 2vs1 melee. Talos’s lightsaber is eventually knocked from his grasp; when he tries to TK it back to himself, Wrrl manages to grab it out of the air and then hold onto it against the telekinetic force with his elite Wookiee strength. Bruce attacks Talos, now sans lightsaber, who pops a Force point and sets off the most powerful telekinetic Force shield he can in an attempt to deflect Bruce’s blade. Bruce manages to burst through all of the Force energy, setting off a Force-push explosion that rocks the capital ship on its landing gear, throws the combatants around, and leaves a concave deformity in the durasteel wall of the hangar bay. Bruce beheads Talos. Wrrl gives Talos’s lightsaber to Bruce.

- Kaya, Cosine, and Alec reach the bridge of the Scourge, and begin powering it up. The rest of the Imperial unit (which Monica so conveniently locked out of the fight) blasts their way into the hangar with an AT-ST and a dozen stormtroopers with explosive charges. They immediately attack the battered Bruce and Wrrl, who are still out in the hangar bay.

- Wrrl manages to get close to the walker while Bruce deflects the combined (7D+1) incoming blaster fire of a full stormtrooper squad, managing also to send a few bolts back into their respective stormtroopers. Wrrl attacks the AT-ST’s leg drive cables with Bacca’s Blade, managing to do damage despite the 4D scale difference.

- Bruce, busy with the stormtroopers (who have formed a half circle around him and are trying like mad to shoot the shit out of him, becomes endangered by the walker, which is trying to turn around and shoot at him, despite its now damaged foot. Wrrl waits until the walker is standing on its damaged foot and has raised its undamaged foot, then physically grabs the undamaged foot and pulls. The GM demands a Heroic+ Strength roll, which Steve generates, as well as beating the walker pilot’s operation check. Wrrl pulls the AT-ST down, causing it to burst into flame and smoke. Wrrl also injures himself, as the walker’s leg lands on him.

- Bruce pulls Wrrl out of the walker wreckage. Undaunted, the now-with-battle-damage Wrrl helps Bruce defeat the rest of the stormtroopers, until the last one ‘tactically withdraws’ to get more help. Wrrl and Bruce board the Scourge, and it fires its turbolasers to blow the hangar doors open, flying away.

- The Yag’dhul system has a powerful gravitational field, requiring the Scourge to fly some distance at sublight speed before it can enter hyperspace. The Imperial system defenses send a flight of 12 TIE bombers to engage and destroy the stolen corvette before it can escape the system. Kaya mans (Twi’leks?) one of the rear facing capital turbolaser cannons, while Wrrl takes a rear facing tractor beam. Bruce discovers the raiders’ V-19 Torrent starfighter in the Scourge’s hangar bay, and immediately hops in without a flight suit, settling for just a helmet, and flies out of the hangar bay, rolling well enough to do a barrel roll.

- Kaya starts shooting the giant turbolaser at the TIE bombers. She has no idea what she is doing, and Bruce and Wrrl tell her to pretend it’s a big videogame. She actually (eventually) does manage to hit a TIE bomber, vaporizing it, which makes her purple Twi’lek day. Wrrl fires the tractor beam at the TIE bombers, before watching Kaya’s turbolaser and deciding that his tractor beam sucks in comparison. He then leaves it and runs to man the other rear facing turbolaser. Alec and Cosine pilot the Scourge with the help of the Givin skeleton crew (bonus points if anyone gets the pun there) and actually manage to evade some of the incoming proton torpedo salvos. Steve/Wrrl begins a tally of how many salvos of missiles the TIE bombers can fire, warning them not to run out of torpedoes before he runs out of turbolaser.

- Bruce, despite not really having any piloting training (but having excellent laser cannon gunnery) manages to do well against TIE bombers. He racks up several kills against them, until the TIE fighters show up to assist the bombers. He then wisely calculates the odds and flees back to the Scourge, not to mention the fact that his fighter has no hyperdrive and he does not want to be left behind. The Scourge takes a beating from a successful torpedo salvo, blowing out some of its onboard weapons systems, but not, fortunately, the ones Wrrl and Kaya are using.

- Bruce flies back into the Scourge’s hangar bay, not nearly as awesomely as when he flew out of it. He ‘lands’ by scraping along the hangar bay floor, tearing off his maneuverability thruster but managing to reach a full and complete stop. The Scourge manages to escape into lightspeed. The Drakkar, by the way, did not participate in the battle, as the other PCs flew it seperately back to Ord Mantell.

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Return of The Scourge
November 3, 2008

The group successfully brings the Scourge back to Ord Mantell. Along the way, Bruce teaches Kaya more about the Force, while Wrrl puts the V-19’s manuevering thruster back on. He ends up with several leftover, important looking bolts and nowhere to put them, but shrugs and leaves them in his toolbox.

Greda the Hutt trades two Gallofree medium transports, full of specially needed supplies, to the Rebellion in exchange for the Scourge. He is pleased, and promises Kaya a favor to be named by her, as she agreed. Kaya spends some more time schmoozing with the Hutt kingpin (who does not have to fight the Punisher.) and the group interacts several times with his majordomo, the Hapan woman Natalia.

The group visits Third Time’s The Charm, and has fun catching up on things with Valo and Collandra (Valo does his best to encourage them to drink protein shakes.) However, things do not go as well when Wrrl discovers an empty Red Boost hypo in his son Vrrlac’s, room. Vrrlac indicates that he has no idea how it got there, and Bruce determines that he is telling the truth. They find that Vrrlac has, however, been using it, apparently without even fully knowing it. A powerful field of Dark Side energy seems to be centered on, but not emanating from, Vrrlac, but it fades away when Bruce attempts to probe it. Vrrlac demonstrates sketchy Force abilities, and indicates that the ‘dark man’ showed him how to do them. He also seems to be showing slight signs of sickness or physical wear. Bruce and Wrrl tell him not to try these things any more without their supervision, and have a serious discussion with Kaya, Valo, Kallark, and Collandra about Vrrlac and how to help him. Valo promises that no one is going to hurt or threaten Vrrlac on his watch, unless they want to get dead. Kaya implies that Valo should marry Collandra, to which Valo blusters heavily.

It was decided to take the Sempis (still quartered on the Drakkar) back to Tantamir, first. The Drakkar departs Ord Mantell, with the V-19 clamped onto its belly. Liessa, G9, and Valen stay behind. The trip is uneventful. Upon arriving, however, the group finds a capital ship in orbit around Tantamir, an old Lichtor-class Dungeon ship, orignally a Mandalorian design.

http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Lictor-class_dungeon_ship

This ship, the Vanquisher, is the flagship and headquarters of the Mytarenor Slaver’s Guild. Hailing the Drakkar, they wanted to know their business in the system, and informed them that they have been granted exclusive rights to be here by the Galactic Empire. The exchange did not go well, and two Z-95 Headhunters were sent to fire on the Drakkar.

Bruce attempted to exit the Drakkar’s lower airlock port and climb into the starfighter, but lost his grip and was thrown into space when Wrrl began evasive manuevers, the starfighter now still clamped onto the Drakkar and crippling its manueverability. Kaya copiloted for Wrrl, doing her best to raise shields and fire the ion cannon remotely, as the laser cannon was blocked by the starfighter.

Bruce made the best of a bad situation, actually striking one of the Z-95s as it flew past him with his lightsaber, slashing off one of its laser cannons. The pilot was NOT expecting that. Wrrl was forced to have Kaya release the V-19, as the Vanquisher began firing on the Drakkar with its heavy guns. Acting quickly, Wrrl managed to lure the Vanquisher into targeting him with its tractor beam, evading being captured but firing a proton torpedo into the beam, sucking it back into the Vanquisher’s tractor beam emplacement and blowing the weapon apart.

Bruce used the Force to slowly draw himself through space and to his ditched starfighter, managing to get into it. Meanwhile, Wrrl flew the Drakkar past the Vanquisher, but circled back since Bruce was still in danger. Kaya got a lucky shot and crippled one of the enemy starfighters, killling all of its weapons. Wrrl fired a proton torpedo into the ass end of the Vanquisher, but it was burned up by the massive engine wash. Bruce shot past in his recovered starfighter, and the two ships fled into Tantamir’s atmosphere, where the Vanquisher could not follow.

Landing at Tantis, Bruce saw how much things had changed since he was last here, over a year ago. The Imperial garrison is long since burned and destroyed. The starport, which was already small, is a cracked, damaged series of landing pads and empty buildings. The massive ziggurat temple to Tantis, the sun god, still towers over the city. Landing, the group releases the Sempis in their care, then travels in their speeder through the almost empty streets, wanting to visit and consult with Thekher.

Driving to the massive ziggurat temple, they find its bells ringing, while a group of armed Rodians carries out its golden religious trappings and decorations as loot for themselves, while the Sempi clerics cannot stop them. Bruce and Kaya speak to the Rodians, while Wrrl watches from the speeder, aiming its blaster cannon at them. The Rodians demand that the group mind their own business and leave, which they do not. A Rodian attempts to take a Sempi cleric hostage, but Wrrl blows his blaster (and arm) entirely off with the blaster cannon. A short but nasty fight ensues, ending with a wounded Kaya and Bruce and some severely dead Rodian slaver soldiers. A group of Sempi arrive, armed with spears, bow and arrows, and a few homemade muzzleloading rifles, led by a scarred, battle-tried Sempi warrior named Bakla.

The group speaks to Thekher in the temple, finding that a major dispute exists between Thekher and Bakla, where Thekher wishes to follow the pacifistic teachings of Tantis, appeasing the Mytarenors to avoid being even more terribly persecuted and to avoid spilling blood, while Bakla and his growing numbers advocate violent, immediate action to defend their world regardless of the cost, and to discard peaceful resolution in the face of thousands of Sempi being taken into slavery or worse. No clear resolution is reached, though Bruce makes an impassioned statement. He does offer to attempt to obtain Alliance assistance for Tantamir, at least to keep the Slaver’s Guild away, as they seem to have been givin free rein to collect Sempi. Bakla immediately agrees to this, while Thekher is hesitant, but sees he has little choice.

Upon returning to their ships, the group finds a Mytaranor transport parked next to them. One being comes down the ramp, tossing out a white cloth for parley. Tall, heavily muscled, with mottled purple and black skin, dressed in a battered snowtrooper suit (minus helmet) and carrying a well-weathered woodsman’s ax (vibro model) the group found themselves talking to Talas Piran himself, Mr. Mytaranor, the Big Boss of the entire Guild. He reminds them that the Vanquisher is even now aiming carefully at the Drakkar, and the group wisely agrees to accept his request to talk. Bruce and Talas have a give and take, part threats, part discussion of what they have in “common” and part Talas being the tough motherfucker and ruthless businessman that he is. Talas offers to let them come and go on Tantamir as they please, as long as they don’t interfere with any of his operations, to which Bruce cannot agree. Talas understands, but warns them that the next time they meet, it will not be as businesslike. Wrrl, by the way, counts to 2. No one knows how high Wrrl was willing to count before losing his temper. Kaya gets to see her arch nemesis, but cannot yet act without massive consequences, such as the Drakkar exploding while she’s near it.

Talas leaves in his ship, and the group takes off shortly thereafter in theirs. They find that the Vanquisher is nowhere to be seen. Wrrl postulates that it has left for repairs, and possibly to add some rear facing guns for the next time he tries to stick a proton torpedo up its ass.

Pondering their choices, the group makes their decision. Bruce uses his codes to send a message to the Alliance, requesting to meet with them. The group then returns to Ord Mantell, picking up the others and checking on Wrrl’s family. Bruce receives a reply, and personally punches in the hyperspace coordinates, flying the ship on his own, as the others are not allowed to see the coordinates. He deletes them from the nav computer after they are used.

The Drakkar arrives at the coordinates, finding a frozen and apparently lifeless, snow-covered world. However, they are directed down to a hidden facility on the planet, and find themselves at Echo Base. Bruce, Kaya, and Wrrl meet with General Rieekan, Han Solo, Chewbacca, and Luke Skywalker. Bruce asks Luke for advice on what’s going on with Wrrl’s son, but Luke isn’t sure, his best suggestion being that someone else is somehow using or manipulating the Force remotely, through Vrrlac. General Rieekan promises to present the group’s data on Tantamir’s plight to Alliance Command, and will see what they decide.

The group confers in the Drakkar’s lounge, parked within Echo Base’s hangar bay as night falls outside, the temperature dropping obscenely, as they decide their next move. Right now, signs point to “travel to Coruscant, get down there somehow, and get into the Jedi Temple. Perhaps we can find some information on multiple subjects, like how to help Vrrlac, where we might find another Jedi that could help teach Bruce and Kaya, and where we might find information on the ancient Ithorian who possessed one of the strange Pendants, which Bruce still has two of. To recap what GEN-13 translated from the Ithorian holy text,

“Its rough translation and many illuminations say that, in the ancient past of Ithor, the world was attacked by an army of slave soldiers and war droids, led by those called the Followers of Zeron. The jungles of Ithor were badly damaged, and the Ithorians nearly defeated, until an Ithoriannamed Dolvat Avago, learning how to tap the power of the Baffor Trees, overcame the chief Follower of Zeron, capturing from him a crystal pendantthat seemed to provide great power. However, after the invasion had been stopped, Dolvat changed, becoming less a defender and leader of Ithor, and more of a powerful, ruthless warlord. When his excesses became too great, the Ithorians exiled him, but the tome does not say where he went.”

Perhaps there is something in the recesses of the Jedi Temple that would shed light on this? More importantly, how will the group gain entry? Your new friend Alec was a security officer at the Jedi Temple; surely he knows everything there was to know about it.

Coruscant is Valen’s homeworld, not to mention he may be the one with sufficient piloting skill to “shadow” the Drakkar through Coruscant’s security web without being caught. What can he suggest?

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Hoth and Lilith
November 10, 2008

Our band of PCs was asked to help with an emergency at Echo Base; their friend, Lt. Alec, had not come back or called in from his mission to place sensor masts in the frozen snowfields outside. Valen, Kaya, Wrrl, and G9 set out to investigate, riding on tauntauns. Valen demonstrated natural skill at tauntaun riding (his tauntaun is named Rodeo), while the others did not do quite so well, and mostly just tried to get their tauntauns to follow Valen’s. (Good tauntaun. Nice tauntaun.)

They managed to track down Alec via sensor handhelds, but it took some time. The others held up against the cold fairly well, but Kaya (especially being from a hot planet) began to suffer early stages of hypothermia. The purple Twilek made several entirely accurate remarks about the ambient temperature, and her opinion of it. They found Alec on top of a large, rocky outcropping, with a large wampa beast attempting to climb the rocks and reach him. It had already killed Alec’s tauntaun, and wounded Alec’s arm, injuring him and destroying his wrist comlink. He used his blaster carbine to keep it from climbing up to him, but was almost out of ammo.

Valen laid down in the snow, aimed his rifle, and shot the wampa in the back of the head. Unforunately, this only angered the (very strong) wampa, and it turned its attention to these new attackers. Wrrl fired an explosive quarrel from his bowcaster into the rocks, causing many of them to fall down onto the wampa, temporarily pinning it down in the snow.

Wrrl ran down the snowy slope and began climbing up the rocks with his Wookiee claws, to help Alec. At that time, the second wampa appeared, bursting out of the snow where it had lain in wait, attacking and wounding Kaya with a heavy claw blow, and knocking her down the snowy hill. The first wampa burst out of the fallen rock and attempted to charge Kaya, who had landed near it and now smelled of blood, but Wrrl jumped off the rocks, landed on the wampa’s back, grabbed its head and tusks, and snapped its neck with a mighty twist. Epic win.

Meanwhile, the second wampa now decided to eat G9 and Valen, who disagreed by shooting it repeatedly in the head, chest, and groin. It managed to knock down Valen and wound his leg, but the PCs eventually defeated it via the combat team manuever of shooting it with blaster rifles and stabbing it with a vibrosword multiple times. The group managed to make it back to base, now with multiple injured or cold-sick members, and spent a little time in the medical bay.

Wrrl mounted a hyperdrive on Bruce’s new starfighter, with a little assistance from R2-D2 and C-3PO. He only had a few “bonus parts” left over.

After conferring with Command and formulating a plan, the group got permission to take Lt. Alec with them, leaving Hoth and flying to Ord Mantell. Meeting with Greda the Hutt, they obtained permission to follow a large transport belonging to Greda, headed to Coruscant. Once there, they would “shadow” the transport, matching its speed and direction and remaining so close to it that they would not show up as a seperate ship on Coruscant’s detection sensors. Valen managed to perform the very difficult piloting required to do this, which was a good thing, given that the alternative was Golan III Defense Platforms, six Imperial Star Destroyers, one Super Star Destroyer, multiple support ships, and several hundred TIE fighters.

Making it down to the super-urban surface of Coruscant, the group landed and took refuge with Valen’s family company, Centauro Shipping, hiding the Drakkar in one of the company bays and visiting Valen’s mother, Lilith, in the family home at Tau Delta apartment supercomplex. The area seemed to have gotten more run down, despite being near a large industrial complex (Anvil Corridor.) Local criminal and gang activity seemed to be increased, and the group had at least one run in, but no blows were struck as the PCs prefered to intimidate and talk their way out of a fight (which is always easier when you have a very large Wookiee along.)

Lilith was joyful to see her son again, and the group rapidly learned that she cannot be easily conned, fooled, or otherwise lied to, qualities that have allowed her to remain in business after the loss of her husband. Her apartments are comfortable and well decorated with the mementos of galactic travel with a shipping company. She still retains her love of ruby jewelry, open top airspeeders, and technological comforts. The group did learn, however, that recently Centauro has faced difficulties, both from growing local criminal activity, and two aggressive offers from Czerka Corporation to purchase the company, which Lilith has declined. Valen also learned that his old friend, now a Star Destroyer captain, has deflected Imperial authorities from harassing or questioning his mother.

The group sets off to travel towards the Jedi Temple as night falls across Coruscant, relying on Alec’s knowledge of its layout and his escape from it on the night of its destruction, to help them get inside. What will happen next?

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The Battle for Tantamir
December 11, 2008

X-wing fighters emerged from hyperspace, outside the orbital band of the planet Tantamir. Great, thought Lieutenant Cole Janson, we’re just outside their close fighter patrol. These guys hate to vary their routines. He keyed on the squadron communication band. “Red Squadron, time to go to work. Lock S-foils in attack positions.” He powered up his deflector shield. “Here they come. Stick to the plan.”

The TIE fighter patrol screamed in, firing rapidly into the close-packed formation of X-wings. At the last second, the X-wings broke in all directions, revealing the four A-wings hiding close behind them, and difficult to see on sensors from the X-wings’ sublight energy wake. The TIEs tried to slow down, or break off, but there was no time. Cole squeezed the trigger and jammed the throttle forward, blowing apart a TIE heading directly towards him and flying straight through the vaporizing fireball. The other A-wings got the rest, as the TIE patrol broke its formation.

“Nice shooting, Green Leader,” commented one of the X-wing pilots. “Thanks, Red Six,” replied Cole. Ahead, the Imperial Star Destroyer Shogundiverted from its holding orbit, slowly coming to full engine power as its angular bulk shifted towards the engagement. Blips began to sprout all over Cole’s sensor screen, as the Star Destroyer began to disgorge more TIEs. That’s right, chase me, thought Cole, as he led the other three A-wings in a wide sweep, while the X-wing squadron reformed and banked in the opposite direction.

The first wave of Imperial fighters was more careful, approaching in perfect formation, now matching the Rebel fighters in numbers, as the Star Destroyer powered forward to get into turbolaser range. Full starfighter dogfighting broke out, with laser fire and bursts of plasma scattering across the vacuum. Cole threw his A-wing into a hard spin, his TIE assailant overshooting him, then bursting into flames when Cole’s laser cannon fire hit his ion engines. Hope Bruce got down alright. Cole swung into a turn, picking a TIE fighter off the tail of an X-wing.


“Emerging from hyperspace at .65, Captain.” “Thank you, corpsman,” replied Alec. He brushed a hand through his white hair, and the scars beneath. He keyed on the communicator. “All squadrons prepare for immediate deployment,” he ordered, then watched the starlines reform outside, as the Alliance Escort Carrier Hornet emerged from hyperspace. So far, so good. The Star Destroyer had gone for the distraction. “Gold Group, Blue Group, deploy, and may the Force be with us.” X-wing and Y-wing starfighters poured out of the Hornet, soaring towards the Star Destroyer’s port flank, while the Escort Carrier itself hung back, trying to draw the Shogun’s attention. “Shields at maximum and priority power,” Alec ordered, taking the direct controls of the Hornet as the first wave of Imperial turbolaser fire lanced towards them.


“Okay, you guys are pissing me off,” Cole growled. He hated TIE Interceptors, and especially the one on his ass. Diving hard, he flew directly at the Star Destroyer, dodging between the turbolaser blasts and skimming along its superstructure. The Interceptor matched him, until he suddenly turned on his landing repulsor unit at full power. G-forces pressed him into his seat as the A-wing suddenly bounced away from the surface of the Star Destroyer like a rubber ball. The TIE Interceptor shot past, the pilot still wondering where Cole had gone when his fighter crashed into a turbolaser battery.

He commed Alec as he rocketed away from the Star Destroyer, switching back to sublights at full. “Hornet, what’s the status? We’re starting to take casualties here.” One of Red Squadron’s X-wings exploded next to him, and he winced. Alec responded, “Blue Group is inbound with escort.” On his sensor board, Cole watched the flight of Y-wings approach, each one establishing a targetting lock on the Star Destroyer for its proton torpedoes, as their escorting X-wings sliced into the TIEs aggressively trying to down the fighter-bombers. “We’ve got to give Bruce more time,” Alec called. “Concentrate fire on the Shogun’s shield generators.”

Static crackled across the comm channel, and Cole swore as a piercing wave of noise filtered through his helmet. Star Destroyer’s trying to jam us. Glancing out his cockpit to starboard, he saw an explosion burst outward from the Hornet. “Fuck,” Cole muttered, as he picked out the source: the Star Destroyer’s squadron of TIE Bombers, hidden behind Tantamir’s moon, had made their presence known, dumping proton bursts into the Escort Carrier as its anti-starfighter laser cannons blazed away at them.

Gunning the sublights, Cole pressed back into his seat as he rocketed straight towards the TIE bombers, followed by the survivors of Green and Red Squadrons. He held the trigger down without letting go, riddling laser fire into the fat, dual-fuselage targets and blowing the lead craft apart, its ordnance going off with a spectacular burst. “Smoke these guys fast,” he called to his wingmen. The TIE bomber gunners spewed out their missiles as fast as they could, while the pilots tried to maintain formation under the withering fire.

One of the bombers managed a shot directly at the bridge of the Hornet; Red Six broke away, throwing power from shields and weapons into thrust, and flying directly into the path of the missile, intercepting it just before it struck home against the Rebel carrier. The X-wing vanished in a burning blast of plasma. Cole blew away the last two TIE bombers in return, eyes hard. Glancing over his shoulder, he was just in time to see a titanic shot of brilliant energy slash upward from the surface of Tantamir, Y-wings and TIE fighters scrambling to get clear of its path, as it slammed into the * Shogun*’s belly.

The Star Destroyer shuddered at the impact from the planetary turbolaser, its rows of onboard lights flickering and shorting out. Its goliath sublight drives flamed out, smoke and fire bursting from its aft quarter. Explosions began to tear the ship apart, as escape pods jettisoned wildly in all directions. Cole reached into the pocket of his flight suit, pulling out a cigar and flicking open his lighter, as he dove toward the planet to congratulate the ground team. *At least I know Bruce is alright. Only a lucky son of bitch could pull that shot off, untrained. *He hoped the assault team had taken fewer casualties than they had, as he smoked in silence, but for the thrum of his engines.

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Mandusha III
January 25, 2009

The Drakkar, with Valen at the helm, pursued the pirate ship Calypso as it attempted to escape into hyperspace. Catching up to it with a microjump, Valen pursued the pirates at all-out speed, as they fled at the same rate, despite damaged engines. Velma landed a lucky, long range hit on the pirates from the gun turret, and they responded fourfold in kind with their still-functioning laser and ion cannon batteries. The Drakkar took a beating, and the other crewmembers began to suggest that Valen break off, but the pursuit continued. Another volley of fire from the Calypso punched through the last functional shield on the Drakkar, and then fully ionized it, leaving it unable to change course, slow down, or fire its weapons. The Calypso continued fleeing at top speed, firing at their pursuer that was now hurtling after it on a dead-stick.

The Drakkar would have been blown up, killing all hands, had Bruce not arrived in his V-19 starfighter, catching up to the rest of the team. The Jedi flew as fast as possible into the chase, disregarding laser fire directed at him and, for the most part, slipping through unscathed, rocketing past the Drakkar and moving into the close-range kill zone of the Calypso’s guns, firing his laser cannons into their already-damaged and glowing-hot sublight engines. The hit was more than the pirate ship could continue to sustain, and it went terminal, overheating, melting down and exploding into a huge fireball. Valen was able to bring the Drakkar to a halt just in time to avoid crashing into the lethal wreckage and plasma.

Resuming their journey to the Mandusha system, the team found themselves looking at a mottled, red-orange gas giant, orbitted by a dozen moons, all but one of which were frozen or molten or otherwise wholly unhospitable, except for the third, Mandusha III. Scanning found massive life form readings, but no cities or communications, and only a very small amount of technology. Homing on this, the ships flew down through thick clouds, finding a waterlogged landscape crowded with swamps, lakes, and thick stands of trees, beaten by an incessant rain. The technology turned out to be a ruined, small industrial complex, and the pilots were able to land on its buckled, water-logged landing pad, which was already partially occupied by a smashed, derelict Republic troop transport.

Our explorers examined the transport, and found that, at some point in the past, it had been ravaged and severely mauled, apparently by brute force. There were no bodies or equipment inside, although Velma found a medical bag containing still-useable medpacs. Checking out a bunker-like building to one side of the landing pad, submerged in almost two feet of water, they found it to be an industrial power station. Velma was able to turn emergency power generation back on, but not before finding and repairing a worn power conduit that had gotten submerged and would have electrocuted everyone in the area.

The group also began to find scraps of messages, sent by apparent Czerka employees at the facility, complaining of freak fatal accidents, missing people, needed equipment, hostile flora, and finally some terrible event that apparently wiped out the remaining survivors. Emerging from the power bunker, they spotted a luminescent, greenish-yellow slime oozing over the top of the Drakkar, apparently eating organic scraps from its hull. When it noticed the characters, it began to fire globs of slime at them, apparently highly sticky, but did not manage to strike anyone before Valen tagged it with a frag grenade, blowing it into hundreds of pieces of slime.

Searching the ruins of the administrative building, they found more evidence of strife, with smashed windows, traces of blood, overturned furniture, and evidence of a fire. Valen made a few skilled observations over the state of the broken windows, inferring that some had blown out because of a fire, while others had apparently been smashed in from outside. Wrrl was attacked by a ceiling-clinging vine, which wrapped around his neck from above and attempted to strangle him, but luckily Bruce was able to sever it with his lightsaber before any damage was done.

Over the noise of rain hammering on (and through) the ruined roof, and the grumbles of thunder, Bruce heard something shift, like metal scraping or falling over. Looking outside, dozens of humanoid figures could be seen, crawling and climbing over the Drakkar and starfighter, or looking on. Some were wearing clone trooper armor. Bruce shouted at them, and all of them immediately spun and stared at him, grunting, salivating, and then running forward through the water and over the broken cement.

The group made a stand in the lobby area of the ruined administrative building. The apparently rotten, corpse-like figures shrieked and rushed the entrance (the doors had been ripped off long ago) as well as the broken window, while others ran around the building, seeking other entrances. Bruce held the doorway with his lightsaber, while Wrrl covered his flank with Bacca’s blade. Valen, Velma, and Kaya provided blaster support. The zombies flooded the room, flailing and biting, seeking flesh to rend. Every character managed to kill some of them, but there were dozens. The flanking ones burst through the walls and windows elsewhere, then swarmed into the rear of the characters. Velma was injured, but managed to play dead, beneath the corpse of a zombie she had just blown away. Bruce was hit by a powerful, telekinetic force and yanked entirely out of the building, then blasted with bolts of Force lightning from something in the shadows. Valen grabbed Kaya and jet-packed through the zombies and out the door (Force-pointing) rescuing her (and probably himself) from being ripped into pieces. Kaya fell off once outside the building, and Valen’s jet pack overloaded and exploded. He Boba-Fetted into the side of the Drakkar, and fell senseless on the ground.

Bruce picked himself up, facing down an apparent Ithorian, skin blackened, rotting, and constantly dribbling off, leaving a filthy, oily residue in the water around him. His eyeballs were missing, and a thin, watery stream of dark bile trickled out of the remnants of the sockets, sparking every so often with reddish energy. He had no clothing or equipment, and seemed to have a reddish glow coming from somewhere within him. He blasted Bruce again with Force lightning, hissing at him with rotten vocal chords that he should never have been so foolish as to come here, and Bruce struggled to dissipate it, throwing up a cloud of steam and sparks as the electricity arced into the surrounding water. Bruce then assaulted the creature with his lightsaber, and it blocked his first blows with a reddish, glowing field of energy springing into being around its rotten hand. Bruce then threw the Force into a mightier, two handed slash, and powered through the energy field, slicing off the Ithorian’s hand at the elbow. His opponent backpedalled, then cursed him, exhorting him to do it again and to use the Force to cause more pain and damage next time, then formed a reddish bolt of energy with his other hand, throwing it and striking Bruce, staggering him (and would have robbed him of a character point, if he had any left.) The creature then reached out, gripping a large section of the broken tarmac with the Force, ripping it free and casting it at Bruce, who managed to dive forward and out of the worst of it. A huge plume of gas, built up under the surface, belched out, and Bruce shut off his lightsaber for fear of blowing everyone up.

Meanwhile, Wrrl eliminated many of the remaining zombies, blowing them up with a combination of explosive bowcaster quarrels and a frag grenade, then moved to try and assist Bruce. Velma shot a zombie in the head as it pursued Wrrl, then ran for the Drakkar, as did Kaya. Valen picked himself up after he came back to his senses, then boarded the Drakkar and prepared to fire the autocannon at the Ithorian. Kaya managed to reach him in time, screaming for him to stop as he would almost certainly cause a major explosion and possibly kill everyone.

Bruce leaped at and grappled with the Ithorian, trying to strike him into unconciousness. The creature reached out and grasped the now red-hot Pendants hanging from Bruce’s neck, and the glow within his body intensified as he tapped their power for himself, calling upon the Dark Side and unleashing a last, now amplified burst of vicious energy. Bruce called upon his last energies (and Force point) driving his hand into the Ithorian’s rotten, ichor-spewing chest and grasping the Pendant that was plunged inside the dead flesh, channeling the light side of the Force into it.

The result was a titanic Force explosion, in both dark and light side energy, displacing all of the water around them and throwing it into the sky, disintegrating the duracrete and broken metal, collapsing part of the nearby buildings, rocking the Drakkar violently on its landing struts and throwing its occupants against the control boards, skidding the V-19 fighter across the pad and almost tipping it over, and throwing Wrrl backwards like a missile, which happened to be a highly hairy and lethal missile when he collided with the last remaining zombie. The sphere of energy finally imploded on itself and winked out, letting water and debris rain back down. The Ithorian had vanished utterly, every trace of his body, down to bled ichor and slime eradicated and consumed by the Force, leaving a Pendant lying on the smoking ground. The area seemed to actually be dead in the Force now. Bruce’s hand was mangled and terribly burned in the act of grasping the searing Pendant and channeling the Force into it, and Wrrl picked him up, administering first aid and a painkiller as he was quite senseless. The last drops of water and pieces of cement finally fell back to earth, and everything went quiet except for the rain still falling down.

What will the PCs do next? Guess we will find out…

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Rescuing Valo
March 30, 2009

The A5 Juggernaut is a burning mess in the desert. Tysroc, and all but a handful of survivors, are dead. Some of them, including Tysroc himself, were thrown into the huge steel wheels and crushed horribly in unnecessary fountains of blood. PCs grappling and battling on top of a speeding war machine is a pretty cool image. Plenty of close calls and dangerous attempts that required lots of character point spending. Everyone contributed:

Bruce got the Drakkar into hyperspace in a single round from a dead calculation start, avoiding the merciless barrage from the unknown capital ship. Then, he kept the enemy swoops from blasting the group’s car, and made it look awesome. He also clung to the underside of a Juggernaut and stabbed his lightsaber into its drive shaft, and then swung away on a rope when it exploded and managed to not die, especially since he was the one in front of it as it kept going while on fire. Bruce needs new pants.

Liessa was the one key character who actually knew where Valo had gone. Without her ability, it would have been too late and too hard to find them, and none of the rest would have been possible. Plus, she has local knowledge superior to any, for the next steps should the party take them.

Wrrl climbed over and on the Juggernaut, often near horribly dangerous machinery, battled Trandoshans with cyberfists and blades, and continued to exemplify the holy smite of Bacca. And he wore his hat while doing so.

Valen is the Rocketeer. Improved Bull Rushing a dude on a swoop bike with a jet pack is a good example. Not to mention throwing bombs, shooting enemies, and ultimately (accidentally) blowing up the Juggernaut, and then bravely going to try and get Valo out anyway, as it exploded.

G9 disrupted an entire hospital and forced a complete rescheduling of the surgery lists, and did so with nothing more than a smile, a few pointed statements, and a set of fetishwear. Plus she can snipe pilots right off their swoop bikes. Not to mention impressing Greda the Hutt with her newest business plan, and being put in charge of a significant piece of his resources. Oh, and ‘helping Bruce heal.’ She Aided Another with a ‘police uniform’ and a disturbing lack of human anatomical limits.

Kaya also impressed the Hutt, and the Squibbs with her knowledge of their cultures, plus she firmly demonstrated that she is not a weenie by being able to run faster than anyone else, jump and climb up a synthrope along a rolling, metal cliff face with angry dudes inside, then shooting enemies and running to save Valo no matter how many explosions there are.

And, of course, Valo successfully ripped out of 7D strength bindings. Protein shakes, bitch.

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