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Good and Bad
How to explain recent events...?

We dealt with the crew of the Argent Lady, who have apparently been dropping off the Hugarian's supplies to the rebels - that's good. But we felt compelled to give those supplies to the rebel fleet (Even I get boarded sometimes!!!), which puts us in dangerous situation with the Hungarian - that's bad.

We got away from a bounty hunter ambush, and dealt with sabotage on the ship before it did us in - that's good. However, we then found out we were wanted in connection with the fighting and explosions in the dock - that's bad.

In our attempts to reach out to Rebels in around Gandle Ott, we were able to track them to a warehouse - that's good. However they appeared to have all been killed or captured - that's bad.

We did pick up some hardware and ordinance they had left behind, as well as a datapad - that's good. However, the datapad was encrypted, and we weren't able to get much from it - that's bad.

After some further digging, we're able to decrypt the datapad and get full access to a list of supply ledgers, drop points, etc. - that's good. But we then get a wave about a Super Star Destroyer arriving in Kal'Shebbol - that's bad.

We notice a pattern which keeps showing up in the datapad - missed by previous data wipes - it turns out to be beacon coordinates for Shintel, which we follow to a Rebel Mon-Cal Frigate hidden in the gas giant - that's good. However, when the majority of the group boards the frigate to investigate, we find mostly a lot of dead Rebels - that's bad. Then our communications are jammed, and we're asked to kindly die by a politely homicidal protocol droid named "000" - that's worse.

From there, it's pretty much just bad for a while. The group on the frigate nearly gets shot out the airlock and then chopped up by razor webbing shot by spider droids. The group left on the ship nearly gets stabbed or blown up in a fight with boarding battle-droids. I suppose we're still alive, so that's good.

The frigate group makes it to the bridge without further hindrance, but then discovers a nasty surprise left by "000", the frigate has been set to self-destruct. The ship group has to contend with a swarm of R2's and other droids crawling over the hull, and takes off to try and shake them off. Again, still alive - that's about it for the good.

The frigate group is unable to disable the self-destruct sequence, but a pissed-off wookie ripping out the detonator module seemed to suffice - I'm sure there's nothing else important in that part. Meanwhile, the ship group is continuing to lose systems rapidly, and is jerked out of hyperspace when power and life support are lost. Our mechanic goes for an unplanned jaunt in space, and our pilot suits up to recover him - only for the droids to clip his lifeline.

Finally getting back to the good, our hacker was able to eject an escape pod, and pick them up. Those on the frigate were able to disable more countermeasures, and unlock control of the frigate - specifically, the frigate which requires a MUCH larger crew to do anything useful with that control. At any rate, we're at least able to send out a U-wing to retrieve the escape pod, and eject some left-over dormant droids into the gas giant.

It's at this point that we figure out the lack of resistance on the frigate - apparently "000" had led ALL of the remaining droids to board our ship, rewired the systems once it was devoid of crew, and then jumped to lightspeed (the frigate lacking any larger hyperspace-capable vessels until then). That would seem to be a problem for another day, and perhaps another crew.

Investigation of the frigate's databanks helps explain the situation we find ourselves in. Apparently the Rebels found themselves with an extreme shortage of manpower to crew the hidden remnants of their fleet - so their raids focused on recovering droids for that purpose. They hit Saris a few months ago and found a similar situation to what we had here - lots of dead bodies with no explanation. They recovered various weapons, droids, and a rounded triangular rock called the 'Plaque of Destiny' - which was being studied by the Imperials.

Shortly after getting back, people on board the frigate started killing each other with little explanation. The captain became increasingly paranoid, and secreted-away the Plaque (not even including details in his logs). The droid called "000" had been recovered from a recent raid on an Imperial shipment from the Kethel Outback, and apparently took this opportunity to begin his coup.

We also learned that the Super Star Destroyer in Kal'Shebbol is part of a tour commanded by Darth Vex - it would seem he's investigating something in the system.

Armed with information, and a very large ship we can't currently do much with, part of the crew takes the U-Wing outside the gas giant in order to send some waves. One is to the Hungarian, showing him that the Rebel thieves have 'paid' - hopefully he's less interested in turning us into puree now. The next wave is to various imperial contacts - in an attempt to trade information on the mostly-defunct Rebel cell for pardons and 'peacekeeper' licenses.

At the same time, we also dig for information on the Plaque - it was apparently recovered from an alien probe with an unknown power source (an unusually-light rock), and is tied to a 'Darkstryder' project. The project in question seems to be run by Moff Kenter Sarn (of Kal'Shebbol), who was receiving shipments from the Hungarian (those odd crates with life-support-modules we had noticed in our last visit?)

So now we find ourselves pardoned & newly minted as Peacekeepers (ie: bounty hunters). We have an opportunity to be taken on as Imperial Agents, but this requires us to bring our contact information on this 'Darkstryder' project. It's unclear at this time if the project has anything to do with the Rebels' fate, with the various droid mutinies, or with this 'Plaque of Destiny'.

Looking over previous notes, I can find the following topics which may relate:

  • Moff Kenter Sarn has a force-shielded station out in the middle of nowhere. He shouldn't have the pull for such a thing, so perhaps who his backer is might shed some light on the situation.
  • The Moff has been buying up most of the nearby mining output (including Hfrediem ore) - and now fields a significant fleet (again, not something you would expect in this part of the galaxy)
  • We've previously encountered people who had been driven crazy and started attacking others - people mining Hfrediem ore without proper shielding, who then turned to piracy.
  • Once we had finished dealing with the crew of the Argent Lady, we had discovered that Captail Zol was a Droid Abolitionist. His first mate (the sullustian Babbalet) was a deranged but brilliant scientist - his 'droid-virus' contained some sort of alien code in a mathmatical language, with reference to Science Team MS-113 on Saris 3 (presumably the group studying the Plaque, and where "000" came from?)
Session: Nebulon - Wednesday, Apr 26 2017 from 8:00 PM to 11:00 PM
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Pointer-left Me_thumb
Posted by the GM
Tyranny of Dragons
Session 44 (6 April 2017) Xonthal's Tower
Using the hourglass key, they are transported to a room that is clearly not in the tower, however, if it is below the tower or on another plane entirely is unclear.

In this room are three dead cultists and a blood trail leading to a room that contains a fire and two earth elementals. Speaking with these Magnus learns that they are here to destroy intruders and that Magnus & Co are intruders. The party then decides to get their retaliation in first.

The fire elemental is dispatched speedily by Krega but the earth elementals are more problematic as they use their Earth Glide ability to conceal themselves in the walls, floors and ceilings and strike from unexpected directions. Eventually, Ella banishes one of them and Rider holds the other and the fight comes to an end.

They then pass through a series of rooms that are clearly the laboratory, study and library of a wizard including a room with a portal to the City of Brass. Crossing a passageway hanging unsupported in a starry void, they narrowly avoid being struck by shooting stars.

In a hourglass shaped chamber containing two huge hourglasses the come upon the dead body the cultist Iskander and the Blue Dragon mask. They secure the mask and Ella raises Iskander, who is suitably grateful while still remaining an evil, despicable but disillusioned dragon cultist. He explains that Severns plan to bring Tiamat to the world would be a disaster for everyone and while he is a selfish, greedy pig with no concern for anyone but himself, Iskander knows that he falls within the group "everyone" and what is bad for "everyone" is bad for him.

The party takes a well needed short rest and bonds with the magic items they have found, Rider claiming the blue dragon mask. It's a fake! Rider is particularly peeved and wants to do something drastic and possibly terminal to Iskander. However, close questioning under magical interrogation confirms that the mask being a fake is just as much a surprise to Iskander as it is to the party. Rider sheathes his rapier mumbling under his breath about how he never gets andy magic items, consarn it!

They finish exploring this area by interacting with an imprisoned efreet named Tariz the Fair. In return for a promise that he will never harm them they Banish him back to his home plane Tariz cannot believe the bargain he got as he was willing to do anything to escape.
Session: Session 44 - Thursday, Apr 06 2017 from 6:00 AM to 9:00 AM
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Tags: Battle , Journal , Recap , Summary
Pointer-left Me_thumb
Posted by the GM
Tyranny of Dragons
Session 43 (30 March 2017) Xonthal's Tower
Having divined the meaning of the shadows, the party resolves the puzzle with only a minor misstep at 3 shadows and a slight delay at 8 until Rider gets an epiphany.

Reaching the base of the tower they discover that it is constructed without doors or windows, only a balcony high above and a teleportation circle on the ground before it. Stepping onto the circle they are transported to another circle within the tower in a large empty audience chamber with internal balconies above.

The teleportation circle they are standing on has strange symbols arranged in a control panel: a chair, two chairs, an upside-down "L", a rectangle, a flame, a star, a square, an hourglass and a right triangle. Ella immediately writes down where she thinks each of the symbols will take them, she is completely wrong but that has never deterred her in the past.

Some experimentation leads them to discover:
  • the chair: takes them to the audience chamber
  • two chairs: takes them to the balconies above the audience chamber. The left symbol to the left balcony, the right to the right.
  • the upside-down "L": a level of small rooms, currently used as barracks, where they kill a few cultists
  • the star: an observetory where they fight four mages. Rider is agressively disinterested in the battle and only deigns to help when Krega is held by a wizard's spell; returning to his inspection of the telescope as soon as that wizard is dead but before the battle is actually over. One of the wizards is carrying a key in the exact shape of the hourglass symbol on the teleporters.
Session: Session 43 - Thursday, Mar 30 2017 from 5:00 AM to 8:00 AM
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Tags: Journal , Recap , Summary
Pointer-left Me_thumb
Posted by the GM
Tyranny of Dragons
Session 42 (24 March 2017) Xonthal's Tower
The party arrives at Xonthal's Tower (the village) to discover that Xonthal's Tower (the tower) is within a magical maze. Residents tell them that the tower has long been deserted but over the last year or so there have been strange lights observed.

They also tell them that the only way into the tower is through the hedge maze. Aerial scouting shows that the maze appears to be a normal (if large) hedge maze but that it cannot be flown over. Upon entering the maze it soon becomes apparent that it is anything but normal.

Flying above the maze reveals that it extends indefinitely in all directions and that they only external landmarks, the sun and the tower, move unpredictably. Sometimes the sun is behind the tower and ahead the the right but after walking a few paces the sun is now to the left and the tower is behind to the right even though the direction of travel is unchanged.

Through trial and error , they discover that the key to the maze is a magical sundial. The first time they encounter it it has a single shadow pointing to one of the eight paths which they follow. This brings them back to the sundial (or maybe a different sundial) but now with 2 shadows pointing to paths 90 degrees apart.

Following these paths leads them to a chuul pool, a cyclops meadow, a deranged dao (that is deranged from the party's point of view - being a homicidal maniac is normal behaviour for a dao) and a courtyard of animated armour. In each they discover that they must locate a gemstone in order to return back to the sundial (or again, possibly another sundial) or else they simply return to the last place they visited and must find the gems again. The gems annoyingly disappear between the area they are found in and the sundial whenever they are not being watched: literally in the blink of an eye if necessary.

Finally, a Commune spell tells them to "split the shadows" (gnomish gods are so helpful). Pondering this, we leave them by the sundial.
Session: Session 42 - Thursday, Mar 23 2017 from 5:00 AM to 8:00 AM
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Tags: Journal , Recap , Summary
Pointer-left Zyxinrao_firstblush_reduced_thumb

Zyxin Rao
Posted in Iron Gods
[Zyxin's Journal: Entry 1]Fell in with a group...
After my mother left, I spent a year waiting, working odd jobs around Torch, and wasting my time hoping she'd return. The money situation was laughable, but I guess it's hard for most folks, especially these days. I even tried a singing gig, but that fell through because honestly I suck at singing. "Dear Old Dad" would have been appalled, the bastard.

So I thought in my infinite wisdom, when it became apparent mother was not coming back, that I could go out and find her. Ha. Right.

Spent nearly two years wandering around, found a few trinkets lying in the dirt that others had discarded as worthless, but found no trace of Mother. Zero. Which is how I was feeling... like a zero.

I realized that to survive I'd have to find some people to travel with, so I did. Interesting group -- very mixed. I won't write down their details as this parchment could be stolen, don't want to give anyone any free information (Tech League, you reading this you cretins?). Suffice it to say they're a good mix of good people. I count myself lucky...

...more later on what we did, just wanted to jot down that my life has changed -- an new chapter in the life of Zyxin Rao.
Session: #6 - Best Served Cold - Tuesday, Apr 04 2017 from 7:45 PM to 11:15 PM
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Tags: Journal
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