You can watch the game session on YouTube at https://youtu.be/_FgzhJbZoNU.
Nuil tended to her and Drez’s wounds. Drez then retreated to watch over the prisoner (aka Billy wasn’t with us this session). Ryder asked Wesley to send Canary to scout for the approaching cultists. After a touching moment between Wesley and his creation, Canary zoomed off to survey the area. While the drone did its work, Wesley worked to reset the electrified trap in the floor (rolled a crit, so I increased the damage the floor would inflict).
Canary checked in and revealed to Wesley there were cultists coming in the front door while others were placing some kind of device on the back wall of the facility. He quickly warned his teammates and they prepared for battle and Canary’s feed went dark. The back wall exploded inwards and Ryder was caught on the edge of the blast (but only took a single point of damage).
Null-9 entered the facility from the back and alongside her were two shade spawn and a dwarven soldier carrying a small cannon.
The battle begins at the 14-minute mark in the video.
The shades swarmed the party while the cultists attacked on both sides of the facility. Any hope of “focusing fire” was quickly abandoned as the PCs tried to cope with the battle on three fronts.
Null-9 taunted Switch but he refused to take the bait. He knew she had gone down a dark path and he would not follow her down it.
Switch threw himself at Null-9 and the villains slowly drew him out of the facility into the jungle just outside. He knew it was a trap but he refused to allow Null-9 any quarter and bravely charged into the vulnerable position. Null-9 and the dwarf, Deldreg the Butcher, pounded Switch until they finally dropped him unconscious.
Meanwhile, Xix’s brother, Zaz, led a second group through the front door. Although there was some jostling about, eventually Cypher caught the cultists on the floor trap and electrocuted them for 10d6 points of damage (all of them but Zaz who had charged past the floor). There was not much left to the cultists after that. Wesley and Cypher continued to wear them down but one snuck off to help the shades against Ryder and Nuil.
In the center of the facility, the shades closed on Ryder and Nuil. Nuil’s magical resources had been mostly depleted and the pair were hard-pressed to handle the undead attackers. The cultist who fled from Cypher and Wesley arrived and went after Ryder and Nuil. The Starfinders were forced to retreat step by step into the control room on the south side of the facility.
Cypher and Wesley managed to drop Zaz and then Cypher snuck off to find a good firing position in the center room. He took up a sniper’s position behind a desk and continued to fire as opportunities presented themselves. Somehow Ryder ended up with him behind the desk
Just as the crew finished off the cultist and shades in the center hallway, Null-9 and Deldreg left Switch’s unconscious body in the jungle and reentered the facility to press the attack. Outside, Switch quickly recovered. The android soldier gathered his Resolve and regained consciousness (restoring 1 hit point). He stumbled back into the battle.
DM Note: Switch rode that 1 hit point through the end of the battle. I tried. Believe me, I tried. Fortune favored the bold and Switch stood strong until the end.
Ryder, Nuil, and Switch combined their strength to gain the advantage on Null-9 and Deldreg. The cult leaders fell and moments later, Cypher positioned himself just right and finished off the last cultist who continued to attack Wesley.
The Cult of the Devourer had finally been defeated.
While the others took a moment to catch their breath, Switch opened Null-9’s head and retrieved her memory module. Null-9 was lost to him but he wondered if Null-10 might have a better fate?
At the 2 hours, 49 minute, and 56-second mark, Michael and Stephen sang “Happy Birthday” to Bill’s daughter. I left it in the video. Enjoy!
Wesley took the parts the cultists had returned with and began repairs on the control facility. The debate on the fate of the Stellar Degenerator began again. Eltreth once again insisted the Starfinders destroy the superweapon and Ryder agreed. Cypher once again protested and insisted they reach it first. The pair could not agree (and the hologram continued to bolster Ryder’s point of view). Cypher reminded Ryder that a short while ago, the group wanted him to silence the hologram and now they were listening to it.
Ryder remarked, “And like you [Cypher] said, maybe he’s not so bad.”
Cypher retorted, “And like you said, maybe the guy is a jerk who should keep his mouth shut and keep his opinions to himself.”
Eltreth grimaced, “I do not like the ysoki. I wish we never created them.”
Nuil scolded him, “Hey now!”
The argument continued.
Finally, Cypher broke down and shared a secret he had been holding onto for a long time. He revealed when the group was on Absalom Station and he accessed the Starfinder database, he had confirmed something he suspected for a long time. Wesley’s parents had been part of the Starfinder expedition to the Scoured Stars system. That mission was a notorious failure. When the Starfinder fleet arrived at the Scoured Stars, an unknown entity surrounded the entire system in a huge field. Only a few ships were left outside the barrier to report what had happened. Most of the Starfinder Society was lost inside. No weapon or communication could penetrate it or ever has. Cypher suspected the Stellar Degenerator might be able to accomplish that task.
Wesley wondered if his parents might be alive on the other side. Cypher admitted he didn’t know but there was a chance.
Wesley was stunned. Dreams of seeing his parents again consumed him. Eltreth reminded Wesley of the danger of the Stellar Degenerator and Wesley protested.
The repairs on the control facility were completed. As the systems powered up, Wesley activated the controls and the star system-sized gate to the demiplane opened. The Stellar Degenerator began to drift out.
Moments later, other signatures began appearing on the system’s sensors. Undesignated ships in the hundreds began to appear. The crew recognized their make.
The Corpse Fleet had arrived.