Dead Suns, Session 21

To watch the game session on YouTube, visit https://youtu.be/M22opPvWpig.

​Kymber joined the group and is playing Zaleria (female human solarian who grew up with the Free Captains).

Note: We spent a little bit making a cooler token for Nuil’s nano-swarms. It took a couple iterations but the group picked a cool pic.

Stephen did a great Cypher impression. Switch, Drez, and Nuil went to walk the perimeter.

Wesley and Ryder searched the tent and found 7,080 credits. They also located a very simple tier 1 datapad which Cypher quickly hacked into. The datapad reveals the marrowblight’s name was Xerantha Mortrant and she was recruiting Eoxian dissidents for the Corpse Fleet. She was working with someone named Captain Zeera Vesh, a name Ryder recognized from his time as a slave. He grudgingly reveals his past to the rest of the crew and his concerns about facing Captain Vesh. He recalled she was a vampire with some unique abilities and weaknesses. Her weaknesses included an aversion to a bowl of cooked rice.

Cypher remarked, “That is a messed up childhood.”

Wesley searched Xerantha’s body and found the thunderstrike streetsweeper sonic longarm she had dropped at the end of the battle.

The PCs were too far from Orphys to tap into the InfoNet but Cypher used a comm dish Xerantha had mounted on her tent to boost his signal. While Cypher hooked up his gear, Drez returned from his patrol. With the boosted signal, Cypher finally taps into the InfoNet and begins scouring it for information about Captain Vesh. After an hour, he finds a secure mobile data node which has worked very hard to keep itself invisible on the net. Cypher nails it down and breaks through its defenses. Inside he finds a series of orders directing Corpse Fleet activities in Orphys. Finally, he finds a message from Vesh herself giving orders to gather her forces at Skullcap Gorge. She plans to launch one final assault against the PCs to end those “blasted Starfinders!” The location is 7 clicks from their current location. The crew debates their course of action for a bit and decides their window to take advantage of this information is small so they go on the offensive.

As the crew starts moving towards the Skullcap Gorge they notice a humanoid figure moving through the hills nearby following them (Zaleria). Ryder slides behind a boulder and waits for Zaleria to pass. He steps out his laser pistol drawn and said, “Why are you following us?”

Zaleria Token
Zaleria responded, “Well, I was sent here to help you but you didn’t seem to need the help.”

Ryder asked curiously, “Send here by whom? Clearly, anyone who knows us knows we don’t need help.”

Zaleria rebutted, “Well, tell that to the Free Captains.”

With that, Zaleria explains she was sent by Captain Allera Okwana who felt obligated to send them aid according to the Free Captain Code. It’s an honor thing. Cypher was suspicious but Wesley was enthralled with the idea that Allera had sent someone to help “him.” He was disappointed to hear Allera hadn’t mentioned him by name. The rest of the group introduced themselves and Ryder gave a quick overview of their quest. Wesley thought the group was sharing too much (or his feelings were just hurt, hard to tell). Ryder got the impression Zaleria was being sincere with the crew and when he sized her up, he realized she was a solarian which means she was probably good in a fight.

Despite mixed (and hurt) feelings, the crew proceeded with Zaleria at their side.

Note: I got suckered into the group having a second ship which is how Zaleria made it to Eox. That needs to be worked out, lol.

As the crew approached Skullcap Gorge, they noticed the hills which formed the gorge we actually enormous piles of corpses left her long, long ago. Despite the macabre nature of the hills, they searched for a path to allow them to approach the gorge stealthily. The rest of the crew negotiated the hill and Cypher used a combination of his jump jets with his new haste module to make his way to the top.

Untitledfdsgdsgdsgds
After some quick planning, the crew launches a surprise attack. The battle begins at approximately 1:25 in the video on YouTube. The crew defeated Vesh and her minions (Ryder got to land the killing blow on Vesh!) and the group began to rummage through the Corpse Fleet’s bodies for loot as we ended the session.

Zeera Vesh
Note: Removed the Fleet feat from Zaleria and gave her Order of the Empty Orbit. This feat enables her to use her supernova ability and only target her enemies. This should turn the “avoid the ticking time bomb” approach to “fighting bravely side by side with the solarian.”​

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Dead Suns, Session 20

To watch the game session on YouTube, visit https://youtu.be/e_oRpMhcles.

​Nuil, Drez, and Switch take the crew’s surplus gear to be sold.

Cypher, Ryder, and Wesley continue the investigation and heads to the flat to meet Gretal who reported her roommate. They are wary of the dangers in the Splice and they keep a constant vigil for threats. They notice a pair of undead humanoids who look like spacers who died in tragic decompression accidents. They seem to be very intent on the PCs as they move towards them.

Nihili
The PCs try to reason with the undead aggressors but the villains insist the “Master” sent them to eliminate the Starfinders. The undead are physically powerful and possess powerful auras which manipulate gravity around them and cause their victims to feel like their lungs are decompressing. Battle ensues! The two creatures put a hurting on the trio and Ryder almost paid the ultimate price but in the end, the PCs prevailed. On the creature’s bodies, the PCs find evidence the creatures had been sent by the Corpse. In the words of Cypher, “These guys are really starting to get on my nerves.”

Nuil wandered back to the trio after selling the crew’s surplus goods and she treats Ryder’s wounds (restoring 6 hit points of damage). The group wonders who the “Master” was but no one can recall anything in particular.

The crew made a quick stop at Gentlesage’s Necrografts & Sundries and bought some mk 2 healing serums (Ryder).

When the crew reached the address from Waneda’s second report they found the sliding door to the flat partially busted in. They cautiously crept inside and called out for Gretal. They found her on the ground and beaten to within an inch of her unlife. Ryder introduced himself and heard a voice from the shadows say, “Ryder, that’s not the name I knew you by, A230385.” Ryder recognized the voice of Larex, the ghoul who was Ryder’s hander when he was a slave of the Corpse Fleet. Horrible memories flooded Ryder’s memory but he managed to fight to maintain control of himself. Larex taunted, “Well, what do you have to say for yourself, A230385?” Ryder responded, “Bastard!” “Is that any way to talk to your master,” said Larex. Ryder quick drew and fired his pistol just as TIM-X attacked the approaching ghoul. Larex managed to block TIM-X’s attack and ducked into an adjoining room to dodge Ryder’s attack.

Ghoul Soldier
The ghouls were well trained but the crew of the Raza had slowly become a force to be reckoned with over time. The battle begins in the video at roughly the 1:38:00 mark. Shots were fired. Grenades were thrown. Hammers down! The crew prevailed and Ryder had his revenge against Larex (turning him into green goo in the process).

Switch dragged the ghoul soldier’s bodies into the flat from the street to avoid any unwanted attention. Gretal was immensely grateful to the Starfinders and gave them free and full access to search the entire flat for any valuable clues. They found her roommates journal (How archaic!?!) which confirmed Gretal’s suspicions. Harvinne had left to meet with a creature called the marrowblight to join the Corpse Fleet. Included in the journey were coordinates for a meeting outside the city of Orphys later that day.

The crew ventured out into the hellish landscape of Eox and managed to negotiate their way to the coordinates with little difficulty. They passed through Skullcap Gorge, terrain covered in hills formed from the corpses of Eoxians who died millenia ago and were preserved in the toxic atmosphere of the dead planet. When they reached the coordinates, Wesley released Canary to survey the area. They found a tent (crafted from living flesh) and a campsite built from scavenged gear and equipment. They also found a garden crafted from bones and flesh to mimic the appearance of a rose garden. Wesley runs a scan for sources of life and picked up a very large creature moving towards the camp. Nuil can’t tell what it is from the readies fed to the group from the drone. Nuil climbed the highest tree for cover (which proved to be a hazard during the battle). Meanwhile, Wesley scanned for any underground structures but found none.

fdsgsdgdfg

Cypher quoted, “We’re gonna need a bigger boat!”

Xerantha Mortrant
An ellicoth soared over the nearby hills and charged towards the Starfinders. Xerantha Mortant was hidden inside the flesh tent but joined the battle when Wesley ran into the tent for cover. The battle begins in the video at roughly the 2:46:00 mark. and runs through the end of the game session.

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Dead Suns, Session 19

​To watch the game session on YouTube, visit https://youtu.be/an6vJwsjCfQ.

We reminisce about an earlier time in Cypher’s life when he ran with an organization called The Guild and a previous ward of his named Li Shao-Sho. Not one to talk much about his past, Cypher recalls the last time he saw the young woman during a botched job. The pair decided to part ways and Cypher hasn’t seen Li in years.

As the crew arrives at Absalom Station, they find themselves in Docking Bay 47 (minor retcon on location from the last session). Michael couldn’t join us for this session so Wesley remained with the Raza and worked on implementing the upgrades the group had previously decided on. This became a very important point in the story at the end of the session. The group recapped their holoskin disguises for their visit. Ryder had already established himself as Captain Zsa Zsa Gabore. Nuil became a neon purple/lavender skittermander named YAYAYAYAYAYAYA or Stitch, still to be decided. Cypher became a dwarf named Mickey. Drez became a grizzled, older Vesk named Draz. Switch (poor Matt hadn’t gotten online yet) became a shirren exotic dancer and Wesley became a female eoxian.

As the crew met the dock security, Captain Gabore/Ryder introduced herself and tried to talk her way past the guards as a representative for her husband. Cypher/Mickey quickly caught on to what Ryder was doing and realized the group would need a digital trail to reinforce their disguises. He remotely sliced into the guard’s datapad (after rolling a crit on the check!) and created an all-points memo from Director-General Lin Camulan indicating Captain Gabore is on Absalom Station as an ambassador and should be afforded all possible accommodations.

I tempted the crew with the opportunities that Absalom Station offers but they didn’t bite the hook. Almost everyone wanted to go straight to the Lorespire Complex to avoid any trouble (and in the words of Bill, it was time to fight some stuff and roll some dice). So the group grabbed a Space Uber (or Suber) and after a couple hours in traffic found themselves at the headquarters of the Starfinder Society. The crew met with Chiskick and began catching him up on their activities.

NOTE: The next time we engage in starship combat, BRING THE PAIN! The group is ready for the challenge.

Chiskisk is dismayed to hear the group has encountered evidence the Corpse Fleet is involved in this matter. He is equally concerned to learn there is a bounty on the crew. 15,000 for each of them and 30,000 credits for Switch. his bounty also references crimes on the planet Aballon and involvement with a group known as the Android Abolitionist Front. Chiskick provides the crew with a contact on Eox, Waneda Trux, who works at the Ministry of Eternal Vigilance which is responsible for reporting all Corpse Fleet activity to the Pact Council. She is stationed in the city of Orphys in a district called the Splice. The crew asks Chiskisk to pass credentials for Captain Gabore and her crew to Waneda Trux.

The crew went to the archives and cross referenced information on the Cult of the Devourer and the Corpse Fleet. What information was available indicated they possessed opposed worldviews and the more likely scenario is they were opposing each other. So the group decided to learn more about Nyara. Nyara was a spiritual masochist who would use pain to invoke visions which she believed came from the Devourer. The Starfinder Society put little stock in her visions but it seems there may have been something to her words. Finally, they look up the Stellar Degenerator and find a few, obscure references to an ancient starkiller weapon of mass destruction. As far as they can tell, the weapon was only used once although they cannot find who deployed it. They find no information about the creators and specifically target the Maltur to see if Nuil’s creators had anything to do with the weapon. The only hit is the report Chiskisk added to the archive referencing the runes found on the Drift Rock by the PCs.

Chiskisk gives 2,500 credits to each PC. Ryder opts to substitute part of his pay for UPBs. I tried to tempt the group to do some shopping but once again, no luck. They’re getting wise to my tricks!

Cypher received a warning from Clara-247.

Message for Cypher from Clara-247 02

Someone was able to hack through his encryption and a group of bounty hunters knew the PCs were on Absalom Station. Cypher quickly let the group know they needed to move fast and get off Absalom Station. The crew debates what to do and decides the best plan of action. They were sure they could not return to Docking Bay 47 so they decided to contact Wesley and have him pilot the Raza to another location, Docking Bay 86 (after considering a number of other plans).

Their plan worked. The crew quickly departed from Absalom Station and prepped for the Drift jump to Eox. Their navigation calculations were off and while they successfully reached Eox, it took them 8 days to make the trip.

Eoxian Aerospace Control proved droll but accommodating and the crew found themselves landing in the city of Orphys and then wandering on foot towards the Splice district. The Splice is an industrial sector known for the mass manufacturing of necrografts, flesh, and necro-weaponry. The crew found their way to the Ministry of Eternal Vigilance and met with Waneda Trux. She was not thrilled to be helping “breathers” but she saw no reason not to cooperate with agents of the Starfinder Society. Before their arrival (because she had 8 days to prep), she had scoured all of the recent reports and identified 2 reports which she thought might have some credence to them.​

Handout #1

Handout #2

​The crew reviews the reports and decides to investigate the report by Voxel Darksend at the Fleshworn Fabrications. At the factory, the PCs meet with Voxel and begin questioning him about his report. Voxel isn’t much help but he does give the PCs access to the facility’s closed caption video system and the location from which the vat was stolen. The PCs review the video and find strange anomalies as something entered the facility. They recall a number of reasons for the distortions but need more clues to determine what happened there. At the location of the missing vat, they find some biological evidence and Nuil identified it as the bony spurs of the arms of a marrowblight. A marrowblight could have also created the distortions on the video. Fairly confident the crew decides to start hunting the creature.

END OF SESSION​

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Dead Suns, Session 18

Watch the entire session on YouTube at https://youtu.be/VrJIeaxBgX8.

​The crew debated where to head to next while Cypher scoured the modules for more information but realized the slicer who came before him had done too thorough a job. The group agreed the best option would be to head to Absalom Station but they are worried about the bounty. Ryder demonstrates his holoskin and everyone agrees disguises would be a good idea. Ryder checked for nearby starports on the Raza’s nav systems and locates the Zorbis Orbital Platform which is not far and just outside Free Captain territory.​

18.1

​As Cypher began to work on the computations for a Drift jump, the Raza’s sensors picked up approaching vessels. Nuil jumped on the sensors and quickly identified two Death’s Head Necrogliders. This is not the first time the crew had faced these types of starships. Their first encounter was when they were attacked by Clara-247 while heading to the Drift Rock. However, the ships are typically used by the Corpse Fleet. While the fighters outnumbered the Raza, the crew’s ship had the advantage in weaponry, defenses, and the PC’s skills. The Raza quickly dismantled the two fighters and blew them into oblivion.​

Zorbis

​The crew zooms off Zorbis. Not wanting to bring attention to themselves, Ryder used the name Zsa Zsa for the ship and called himself Gabore. Cyber quickly forged a fake identity and injected it into the Drift network. On Zorbis, the crew found a bodyshop and made some purchases but took them back to the Raza for Nuil to install for them. In fact, the crew went on quite the spending spree and bought a lot of gear. Nuil installed the crew’s new bio-upgrades and then they Drift jumped back to Absalom Station. They found themselves back where they started their journey, landing at Docking Bay 94.​

END OF SESSION

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Dead Suns, Session 17

Watch the entire session on YouTube at https://youtu.be/hOHqdfU_4GA.

​Cypher and Nuil retrieved a map of the Star Eater’s Spine from the computer terminal controlling the facility’s lights, environmental controls, and security systems.​

The Star Eater's Spine

​Cypher decided to scan for lifeforms so he and Nuil reconfigured the computer system to use the base’s sensors.

​Meanwhile, the rest of the crew searched the bodies and the room. Wesley examined the laser grid and discerned they were mining grade lasers originally which were rigged for the trap. Ryder identified a Corpse Fleet uniform on one of the corpses. He recalled a bit of info about the Corpse Fleet and shared it with the crew. In fact, he finds a Corpse Fleet Insignia as well.

The Corpse Fleet is an exiled offshoot of the Eoxian Navy that’s made up of powerful admirals and captains who roam the universe in starships forged from bone and steel. Officially, the government of Eox condemns this rogue organization.

The Corpse Fleet formed when powerful and disgruntled members of the Eoxian Navy could not stomach their world’s adoption of the Absalom Pact. These naval officers deeply believed in the same sort of Eoxian superiority that once led the planet to destroy civilizations that refused to acknowledge Eox’s power—including the worlds known as the Twins, the shattered remnants of which now form the Diaspora.

Although Eox’s government and ambassadors to the Pact Worlds make a grandiose show of denouncing the Corpse Fleet, rumors claim that some of the powerful Eoxian rulers known as bone sages still clandestinely communicate with the exiles, and perhaps even secretly aid them with their work to promote Eoxian supremacy. The general population on Eox seems largely ambivalent—perhaps suspiciously so—toward the exiled fleet.​

Corpse Fleet Insignia

​By then they had completed the lifeform scan and excluding themselves the only lifeform detected was in the facility’s mainframe room. Thinking there may be Eoxians about, Ryder asked if Cypher could scan for the undead. Cypher attempted to reconfigure the system but jacked it up. Fortunately, Nuil was able to fix his mistakes and they began scanning for undead.

Further examination of the corpses reveals a second is also a member of the Corpse Fleet who was killed when the trap was first activated. The other two corpses actually belong to two cultists who appear to have been sacrificed and they died much earlier than the others, perhaps days. Wesley noticed the ripe smell in the air.

The second scan completed and did not pick up any undead. Before they set out, Cypher reconfigured the system again so he could keep tabs on the single lifeform they had picked up.

After a short debate, the crew decided to “split the party” so they could pincer the lifeform from both sides. Yeah, they totally did that!

In the hallway which circled the inner chamber, they spotted a peculiar object. Lying in the corner was a skull inlaid with strange cybernetics. Wesley examined the skull and determined the cybernetics were actually necrografts.

“The Business of Necrografts”
Besides being infamous for its almost entirely undead population, Eox is also well known among the Pact Worlds for its pioneering of necrografts. Neither cybernetic nor biotech, necrografts are augmentations crafted from undead tissue. Necrografts can be implanted into an individual’s body to enhance it in some way, whether to restore lost functionality due to illness or injury, augment natural systems, or provide a magical boost to the user’s abilities. The selling and installation of necrografts account for a large percentage of the economy of Orphys, and the seeking of necrografts is one of the primary reasons a living creature might visit the undead planet. The business of necrografts is booming on Eox and in Orphys in particular, where enormous factories churn out this technology practically day and night.

Along the north side of the Spine… Ryder and Nuil find a kitchen and dining room. Most of the foodstuff looks like it is in good condition.

Along the south side of the Spine… Cypher and Wesley find an awful mess and are overcome by the smell. Both of them became “sickened” for 10 minutes. Despite their condition, they pressed on to investigate the mainframe. In the kitchen on the south side, they also found the remains of a butchered corpse ready to cook. We won’t mention that Ryder ‘almost’ ate some of the meat he found in the north kitchen. Damn it, I mentioned it!

The crew stealthed around the mainframe and spotted a reddish lizard with an exoskeleton and black smoke seeping from its eyes. Nuil realized they were facing a veolisk but accidentally made a noise before she could alert the rest of the crew. The beast moved slowly to the north. Roll for initiative!

The crew took shots at the lizard from both sides. As soon as she could, Nuil warned the crew to avert their gaze but failed to avoid its eyes. She was overcome with “confusion” and began smashing her own head against the wall. During the battle, Wesley also succumbed to the veolisk’s gaze and began smashing himself in the face with his pistol. The fight was being drawn out when Drez and Switch appeared from the rear and launched a final attack to take down the creature.​

17.2

​Finally, the crew had access to the mainframe and the slicers began working their magic. These modules were more difficult to hack than most of the systems they had encountered before but they managed to get the job done with losing any of the data.

Activities Data Module
This module states the mission of this sect of the Cult of the Devourer in no uncertain terms.

The denizens of the Star-Eater’s Spine were devoted to poring through the prophecies in a sacred but cryptic tome called The Entropy of Existence and Glorious Rise of the Void. The data contains the cult’s analysis of some of these divinations, including one prophecy flagged as high-priority. This high priority prophecy is not stored in this data module, but a link points to its location in another secure data module labelled “Sacred Lore”.

The cultists focused on this one prophecy in particular because they thought it the most likely candidate for them to bring to fruition. From the data, it appears the cultists interpreted the prophecy as referring to some sort of weapon—one powerful enough to serve as a “key” to untold destruction—but they have deciphered little else. In addition to the cultists’ obsessive work to understand more of this prophecy’s latent instructions, this module details the terrible, ritualistic tortures the cult enacted to try to pull further clues from those lines.

Sacred Lore Data Module
It contains reams of information about the cult’s profane belief in the Devourer, the assured entropy of the universe, and the cultists’ unholy roles in bringing about the end of existence for the glory of their dark religion. In addition to general religious dogma and near-mad ramblings, the data module also details the Star-Eater’s Spine cult’s fascination with an ancient elven soothsayer named Nyara, outlining her history. The data even includes a computer-generated hologram of Nyara recounting some of her most enigmatic prognostications, as recorded in her most infamous book, The Entropy of Existence and Glorious Rise of the Void, which the cultists of the Star-Eater’s Spine treat as gospel. One of these predictions is flagged as high-priority; if that prediction is accessed, the hologram of Nyara recites, “In the maw of the Twelve lies the Key. Forsooth, shall all be undone. When the knee meets the gorge, so far. The widening gyre implodes—magnificently.” An annotation on the file points to the cult’s study of this prophecy stored in the mainframe’s Activities data module.

Intelligence Data Module
The Intelligence data module contains records of all of the communications between the Star-Eater’s Spine and the Devourer cult on Castrovel. Although it appears that the cultists tried to erase this data before they deserted the base, by successfully hacking this module, you also recover most of the communication logs for the base’s comm unit. These captioned recordings document the Castrovelian cult leader Tahomen’s boastful crowing about his cult’s activities at the Temple of the Twelve, including a premature (and ultimately untrue) claim of the cult’s humiliating defeat of the PCs. The last communication log, however, takes on a triumphantly gleeful tone. In it, Tahomen reports that information in the temple’s inner sanctum has revealed the location of the “key” emphasized in Nyara’s prophecy. In the final line of the recording, Tahomen jubilantly states, “Our future awaits, far beyond the confines of the Star-Eater’s Spine! You must fly, my sisters and brothers! Fly to (garbled static), where the Key awaits…” The recording then ends.

The name of the location the cultists fled to was deliberately deleted and then meticulously scrubbed from the system. The electronic signature of the hacker who performed these tasks is unlike any of the digital footprints left in either this mainframe or the computer terminal in area B2. However, there are clear signs that this data was deleted just a few days ago—sometime after the cultists abandoned the Star-Eater’s Spine.

Meanwhile, Ryder scouted ahead to see what else he could find. Mwuhahahaha!

17.3

​Ryder wandered into the room at the northeast corner of the facility and stumbled into a trio of active patrol class security robots. The three robots attacked as Ryder yelled for help and the rest of the crew rushed to his aid. Both sides used the long series of rooms along the north half of the facility to keep under cover while exchanging fire. The robots were not up to the challenge (and the GM forgot to use their strongest ability) but I did manage to give Ryder and Switch a good “shock,” hehe. Get it? Shock, as in electricity damage? Don’t worry, you’ll laugh later.

With the robots dispatched the crew found a plethora of awesome armor and armor upgrades left behind. Wesley had to fix them up but all in all, most of them enjoyed a good upgrade.

They began searching the southern half of the facility and found a datapad with an interesting video on it. It depicted a gnome cultist being instructed on one of the mantras of the cult which repeated emphatically, “Nyara knows! Nayara knows!”

They spotted a jury-rigged trap left behind in one of the dressers and disarmed it. Wesley claimed the trap and began dreaming of what he could do with it.

Meanwhile, the crew found another trio of robots in the southeastern room… But these robots had been damaged and were not operational. The crew began looting the room while Wesley scrapped the robots for parts.

A great deal of loot was found. In a way, the last module in the Dead Suns series starved the group a bit for equipment. It made sense. These armories allowed me to catch them up in some of the areas they had fallen behind and I dropped a few wish list items into the mix as well.

The crew felt they had all the information they could find and decided to leave asteroid K9204. They weren’t sure where to go next but they decided it was a good time to contact Chiskisk with what they had learned.

END OF SESSION​

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Dead Suns, Session 16

Watch the entire session on YouTube at https://youtu.be/6fturwSknCI.

Retreating to the Raza, the crew mulled over what to produce with the 10 units of cold iron they had collected. In the end, they decided Wesley should craft a set of cold iron tin foil hats (+2 to saves vs mind-affecting abilities used by fey, fiends, and undead) and some weapon treatments (2 clips of projectile ammo and 1 melee weapon treatment). He handcrafted each tin foil hat for each person and added his Starcrusher logo as well. Seeing the Disney-style mouse ears Wesley had crafted for Cypher, the operative opted not to wear one. Switch opted to have the cold iron worked into the biomechanical flesh around his head. With improved weaponry in hand the crew return to their exploration of the asteroid’s surface.

Before heading back out to further explore, they decided to run some scans from the ship. They hoped to find more cold iron on the asteroid but that search proved fruitless. However, they did locate several deposits of silver ore which could prove quite lucrative. Wesley quickly grabbed his blanket and emblazoned it with the Starcrusher logo. He ran outside and planted the flag. Drez let him down gently, informing him asteroid couldn’t be claimed that way anymore. He quickly detailed the forms Wesley would need to fill out. Wesley returned to the ship dejected but still, he had a plan in mind.

A message arrived for Cypher from Clara-247 (see below).​

Message for Cypher from Clara-247

The message does not bode well although Nuil is skeptical of the bounty hunter’s motives. Ryder is a little less so. Either way, the group decides they should keep their eyes open with a new contract on their heads. They decide when they get back to civilization (or a drift beacon) Cypher will check to see if he can learn more about the bounty.

In a brief moment of drama, Wesley brings memories of his lost parents to the forefront and Cypher is reminded he still has not told his young ward what he had learned in the Starfinder Headquarters on Absalom Station.

The crew inventoried their weapons in preparation for the hunt of the Skreesire. Ryder took a clip of cold iron projectile for his tactical automatic pistol. Nuil and Cypher split the 5 cold iron frag grenades between them. The last cold iron treatment was applied to Drez’s tactical pike.​

16.1

​The crew leaves the ship and returns to exploration. After a bit of debate, they decide to check out the green pool (just as Billy came online and was able to bolster the group).

As they traversed the asteroid they were ambushed by three skreeling, offspring of the skreesire. The creatures landed a few lucky hits and their resistances protected them somewhat but the crew were too much for the skreesire’s children.

While the group recovered, Nuil climbed into the alcove from which the skreeling had emerged (A2). There she found more of the silvery ash and two large humanoid corpses. Nuil identified the humanoids as sarcesian, like Yex. Each of them was armed with Advanced Diasporan Sniper Rifle. They were killed by the skreeling.

Nuil began to wonder what so many people had been doing on this asteroid.

They also find a third medium humanoid corpse hidden in the drift of ash. After some examination, Nuil is able to identify the corpse as a damayan lashunta. A patch on the body identifies it as an employee of a company called Imura Excavations. Drez remembers the company as a small team of miners from the Hardscrabble Collective from Castrovel. They had disappeared decades ago and were last reported to be heading to the Diaspora on a hot tip about a heavy source of silver ore. They were never heard from again. Carefully laid behind the corpse are 4 bars of silver ore (worth 4,800 credits). Perhaps there was more to that hot tip than anyone realized.

Nuil changed her mind and decided she wanted to keep looking for bodies. This was proving quite lucrative. Wesley leaps into the next pile of ash and comes up empty handed. This was not Wesley’s day to shine (especially covered in ash).

The group approached the green pool but I crit the stealth check for the skreesire hidden south of the pool. The result was a total of 43.

“Ominously propped” became a thing. 🙂

Drez “poked” around with his pike and strikes something metal. But before he can investigate further the skreesire reveals itself and attacks!​ Surprise round.

​The skreesire invaded the mind of Drez and took control of him. The vesk was consumed by the overwhelming urge to attack his former allies. Switch realized Drez was under the skreesire’s control so he charged the beast and slashed it with his carbon steel curve blade. He immediately realized the creature is resistant to his attack. Wesley yelled, “Damn son, save some for us!”

Skreesire

Drez turned on Switch and slashed into his ally with his tactical pike. The rest of the crew was confused by the attack (and Drez failed his Will save to throw off the skreesire’s control).

Wesley tossed a grenade at the skreesire but failed to account for Switch’s proximity to the monster. Both the monster and the soldier threw themselves clear of the grenade blast (half damage). Under Wesley’s command, TIM-X hosed down Drez. The mechanic hoped it might snap Drez out of whatever was controlling him but it had no effect.

Cypher quickly drew his azimuth laser pistol and opened fire on the monster. CRIT! He blasted the skreesire for 26 points of damage (after resistance) and set the beast on fire. Cypher remarked, “Now THAT’s how it’s done!” Then he promptly retreated to a safe distance on the other side of the crew from the skreesire.

Nuil cast Inject Nanobots on one of her cold iron frag grenades.

Ryder saw the group’s opportunity and rallied them with some encouraging words and fired his pistol as well (but missed). As always, the group greatly benefited from his buffs.

Suddenly, the group spotted two swarms (swarms as in quantity, not the swarm rules) attacking from behind. Nuil recognized them as juvenile skreeling. Four of them surrounded Wesley and TIM-X and began biting at the pair.

​The other swarm surrounded Cypher but his armor protected him from all but 1 point of piercing damage.

On the other side of the battlefield, Switch continued his tactic to free Drez (by killing the skreesire) and swung at it wildly. One of his attack struck true and the skreesire’s blood flew wide.

There was a bit of banter about whether Switch could cleave or not. We decided he could not according to the rules which is fortunate for Drez.

Drez struck Switch again with his tactical pike and seeing his friend come to harm, he managed to throw off the skreesire’s mental control.

The skreesire began to wonder if it has possessed the wrong soldier and it reached out to Switch’s mind. Unfortunately, the beast could understand the android’s mind and could not take control of them. Switch was not happy someone tried to take control of him.

Wesley stepped forward (drawing several attacks of opportunity from the juvenile skreeling) and drew the liquidator disintegrator pistol he had scavenged from Tahomen on Castrovel. A cone of dark energy emitted from the pistol and the thin air of the asteroid was filled with the sound of screaming voices. When the energy faded it left a faint howling on the wind. Startled, Wesley dropped the pistol and ordered TIM-X to open fire on the juvenile skreeling. The combat drone began to blast the critters, turning them into space goo.

Cypher activated his hologram clone ability and rolled a 1 on a 1d4. Only a single clone was created. NARUTO BATTLE MUSIC! Shadow Clone Jutsu! Cypher and his clone charged into battle and the juvenile skreeling attacked but they were tricked by the hologram and attacked it. The clone was hit and popped but it had served its purpose. Cypher readied for his next opportunity to strike!

Learning from Wesley’s toss of the grenade, Nuil tossed her grenade perfectly into the corner to protect her allies from damage. The skreesire could not dodge the blast and the nanobots swarmed into his wounds. The creature made its saving throw and took half damage from the spell but overall, it was a devastating attack.

Ryder recognized the skreesire was flatfooted and unloaded with his pistol (full round attack). One of the shots flew wide and the other bounced off the skreesire’s side. Not to be deterred, he rallied the crew again for another round. “Get ’em!”

The juvenile skreeling which had been hounding Cypher rushed forward and attacked Nuil and Drez. Both took damage.

Switch hopped and slashed through the head of the skreesire and killed it. Then he quickly maneuvered around the edge of the crew and slashed through one of the juvenile skreeling.

The remaining juvenile skreeling did not pose much of a threat and the crew quickly dispatched them.

Immediately after the battle, Drez and Switch got in each other’s faces. Their exchange of blows had not been forgotten. Mucho machismo! Nuil dismissed the both of them and then set about searching the area for anything of value. She has the loot bug!

The corpse by the pool was wearing torn black robes and on it they found an amulet. Nuil identified it as the Symbol of the Devourer, confirming the cult had been here at some point. They also found a satchel full of coins from Old Golarion worth 1,200 credits. Buried in the satchel was also a unique pistol which Wesley identified as a Red Star Plasma Pistol.

Returning to the metal object Drez had located in the ash drift they discover it is a hatch. Before opening the port, they decide to examine the green pool and find it is a potent acid. Nuil takes a sample for study (or perhaps as an improvised weapon).

Ryder then led the group to the mound of corpses they had spotted from a distance and after a disgusting search of the pile, they find a pair of magical Gloves of Storing, an onyx and ruby ankle bracelet worth 1,150 credits, and 3 credsticks with 800 credits on them.

Ryder “greeded” the plasma pistol. Wesley took one of the gloves and Ryder took the other.

After some time, Wesley finally reclaimed his nerve and retrieved the disintegrator pistol from where he dropped it.

Finally, the group returned to the hatch and searched for any security measures but found none. They opened the hatch and saw a tube which led down to a larger room. Drez dropped down and found himself in a circular chamber with another door leading to a long hallway. He realized he was standing in an airlock. The rest of the group followed and they closed the hatch. They spot a datapad on the wall. Cypher, Wesley, and Nuil quickly hack it and identify the pad had last been used a few days ago to unlock the inner door but whoever did so, did not restore the atmosphere.

Wesley took a moment to add an obnoxiously long banner to the datapad which will force future visitors to sit through the long banner before they could use it. 🙂

16.2

They opened the inner door and went down the long tunnel. There was no light in the tunnel and at the end, they found a wide, sliding door. Wesley pressed his ear up against the door and set off a trap. Drez and Wesley are attacked by mind-affecting spores (both failed their Will saving throws) and suffer a -4 to Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma (checks, skills, etc) for 1 hour. While this barely affected Drez, Wesley was devastated by his stunted intellect.

Cypher disabled the trap and opened the door. Beyond it they found a long chamber with strange stone structures, murals along the back wall, and a computer terminal in the center of the wider part of the chamber.

Drez, Ryder, Switch and Wesley moved across the room while Cypher and Nuil examined the computers. Suddenly, a laser grid sprung to life and scorched Wesley and Ryder. It quickly began to move westward down the chamber, driving the former group towards the mural. Cypher and Nuil leapt into action and began slicing the system while the laser grid advanced. The four PCs in peril moved to the far side of the room and began shooting at the emitters generating the laser grid. Fortunately, Cypher and Nuil skillfully hacked the system and managed to disable the trap.

While Nuil tended to Wesley’s wounds, Cypher took a moment to work through the computer terminal and realized he could control the structure’s environmentals, unlock doors, and control the two traps they had encountered.

END OF SESSION​

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Dead Suns, Session 15

​Watch the entire session on YouTube at https://youtu.be/rArZwuDs6sA.

The crew decided not to waste any time travelling to Absalom Station and sent their report to Chiskisk via an encrypted message through the Drift network. Switch punched in the coordinates they had collected from Tahomen’s comm unit and jumped through the Drift to the Diaspora. All was quiet when they arrived so they began scanning for signs of life or habitation. Drez had spent a great deal of time in the Diaspora but realized they were not close enough to any of his acquaintances to request assistance in their search. After several hours, a blip showed up on their sensors which they quickly identified as an old Nebulor Outfitters Starhopper. Cypher opens comms and hails the vessel.

He is greeted by a cheerful voice who introduces herself as Captain Alera Okwana of the Free Captains. The two groups banter a bit (although the PCs are humorously undermined by Cypher who keeps the PCs’ comms open while they debate how to deal with the Free Captains).

The battle ensues and it quickly becomes apparent the Free Captain pirates are outmatched. Cypher outmaneuvers Karrina (the pilot of the Rusty Rivet) but the PCs do have some trouble using the new weapon systems they installed. The Light Particle Beam shuts down (critical fumble on the attack roll) and Wesley has to rush to repair it. Once they had shaken off the rust, several well-placed shots nearly crippled the Rusty Rivet and Captain Alera begged to surrender.​

15.1

​The PCs boarded the Rusty Rivet and negotiated the terms of the pirate’s surrender. In the end, the pirates gave each PC 1,200 credits and the location of an asteroid where the Cult of the Devourer is known to operate. Wesley also added a backdoor to the Rusty Rivet’s computer systems in case the PCs encounter the pirates again.

15.2

The Raza raced off to the location provided by the pirates, Asteroid K9204.​

​The asteroid was large and composed of a grey mineral with wicked protrusions covering its surface. The PCs found the only place they could land on the rock and began exploring. They found a ravine not far from the landing site and while exploring it found a mound of shiny metal. Nuil identified the metal as cold iron and the PCs quickly gathered all of it. Wesley and TIM-X returned to the Raza with the special ore and the mechanic began daydreaming about what he could make with the cold iron.

Meanwhile, the rest of the crew continued to explore and in a drift of dust, they found the corpse of a cultist which had been there for several months. It looked like the cultist had been attacked by a large beast but before the group could learn more a hidden sniper opened fire on them. The crew spring into action and quickly determined the sniper must be on a large spire next to the ravine. They quickly began to scale the spire (low gravity plus jump jets made that easier than you would think) and found a sarcesian sniper at the top. The sarcesian was mostly mumbling incoherently while doing his best to try to kill Drez. The PCs quickly whittled him down and killed him before he could do any serious harm.

15.3

Searching his belongings, they found his journal.

“The entries describe the stubborn sarcesian’s disagreements and personality clashes with others of his kind on his nearby home, and they detail his decision to leave and spend a month cooling down on this asteroid. The journal entries become increasingly jumbled going forward. References to a “flesh beast” recur multiple times until Yex begins referring to this same creature as “master.” Maudlin praise of the creature as a higher power suddenly gives way to gibberish written in no known language. The journal’s final entry simply reads, “Yex keep scratchies away so master finally makes Yex into skree YES.”

The PCs suspected he had been under the influence of a Skreesire and prepared themselves to face the beast.

End of session.​

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