Dead Suns, Session 14

If you would rather watch the game being played, you can check it out on YouTube at https://youtu.be/s7MLQqXuprI.

Bill gained “Inspiration” for pointing out Junkrat and Roadhog from Overwatch, the cultists I added to the module. Don’t worry folks! I rip off all sorts of things for inspiration in our games.

Auto-updating of the token and the character sheets were buggy. I am hoping the official character sheets don’t have that problem.

The group recovered (10 minute rest) and Wesley repaired TIM-X.

The group noticed a (normal) slow moving storm coming in as they climbed the mountain out of the lost city, Loskialua. Wind began to whip around the group as they found a precipice filled with ruins. They see a communications dish attached to the sole standing building. The group spots the cultists standing guard around it and stealths forward but Switch walks through a laser tripwire and the air explodes around him. Roll for initiative!

Switch advances and opens fire hitting one of the cultists (red) with his shirren eye rifle.

Cypher activates his jump jets for the first time. He enjoys the mobility and the sound distracts the red cultist but he never practiced this particular maneuver and shoots wild.

Nuil climbs on top of the structure and through a hole she sees Tahomen transmitting information on a comm console. She decides blasting him is the best course of action and fires!  She hits and now she has Tahomen’s attention, “Hello, little one.” Part of Nuil’s nano-swarm swirls through the hole and surrounds Tahomen while the rest begins moving around the building towards the other threats.

14.1

Drez runs forward with his pike drawn (double move) and puts himself in a prime position for the fight.

The red cultists retaliates and CRITS Drez with her defiant longsword. “The Devourer take your soul, vesk!”

Ryder moves forward to the base of the stairs and clever feints the red cultist. He then shoots her in the back and kills her.

The blue cultist runs forward crying out to her fallen ally. She slashes at Drez but he deftly parries her attack.

Wesley and TIM-X move forward and prep for their next chance to act.

Meanwhile, Nictus (a lamerta cultist who was hiding in the shadows) sneaks up to flank the group and blasts Wesley with his sleek-looking holdout blaster. “Hehehe, I’ve been waiting for this for a long time, Wesley!” Nictus’ drone, Shiver, emerges from hiding and fires a sonic “toilet” blaster.

The green cultist swings her defiant longsword at Drez but his defenses are too great.

Tahomen rushes out of the structure, see Drez, and uses his mystic arts to inflict psychic pain on the Vesk. With a single word, “pain,” he dredged up one of Drez’ most painful memories.

Billy does his best Switch impression, changes targets, and attacks Nictus. He rips through the lamerta with his curved carbon steel blade, almost killing him.

Quote of the night, “I can yell it now if it makes you happy.”

Cypher jump jets onto the roof of the building and manages to actually shoot his target. He hits the blue cultist square in the chest causing her grievous harm.

Nuil inches just close enough to toss a shock grenade. I accidentally short changed her and only applied the damage to Tahomen but all three cultists were in the blast radius. I’ll make it up to you! 😀

Drez smashes the blue cultist with his pike and drops her. He then swings around to hit the green cultist but she blocks the attack.

Ryder clever feints Nictis and then shoots him, dropping the lamerta cultist to 1 hit point. The One Hit Point Wonders strike again!

Wesley sees the perfect spot to toss a grenade and hits it. Once again, I forgot the correct blast radius of the grenade because Switch would have been in range of the blast as well. Nevertheless, the blast drops Nictis.

The green cultist feebly attacks Drez and misses. She then moves over to close the distance between herself and Ryder.

Tahomen moves back and spots Cypher and Nuil. He summons a forcedisk and launches it at them. The disk slams into Nuil, bounces and hits Cypher, bounces and misses Wesley.

Switch double moves into melee and provokes an attack of opportunity. However, she was not ready for him and misses.

Cypher jump jets and pops Tahomen. He performs a perfect superhero landing.

Nuil climbs down and uses an old port window to fire on Tahomen from cover. She blasts him and continues to whittle him down.

Drez jump jets and lands on Tahomen. He slams the cult leader (bull rush) and shoves him off the cliffside. Tahomen slams into the ground and has the wind knocked out of him. The cultist is in pain but is impressed.

Ryder raced past the green cultist and then blasted her with a ghetto crit!

Wesley and TIM-X fire on the green cultist and mow her down, “And it’s Starcrusher!”

Coughing blood, Tahomen releases a nanostream of caustic acid and tries to cover Drez but the vesk is too quick and dodges the attack.

Billy reminds me he is bleeding so we catch up on the damage he was taking.

Switch climbs one of the ruined walls and shoots Tahomen with his shirren eye rifle. The cult leader reels and stumbles.

Wesley catches up on his missed move action and trips a second tripwire hidden on the north side of the ruins. He throws himself to the side and spares himself some of the damage. “Found it!” “Good job, Wesley!”

Cypher jump jets up to the ruined parapets but he is still trying to master this new combat technique and missed Tahomen.

Nuil runs up to Drez and does some quick first aid, closing his bleeding wounds.

Drez drops on Tahomen again but the cultist was ready and he blocks the attack.

Ryder peeks around the top of the ruins and pings Tahomen again, widdling away at his life.

Wesley fires valiantly from the flank but misses and TIM-X rushes forward to help Wesley block the path out of the north side of the ruins.

Tahomen takes a guarded step away from Drez but Drez “steps up” in response. The cultist begins to cast hurl forcedisk and Drez swings on him but misses. The attack causes Tahomen to throw the disk wild.

Switch aims carefully and attempts to finish off Tahomen with his sniper rifle, and… rolls a 1.

Cypher blasts Tahomen again but the cultist manages to hang on!

Nuil fires her dart run at the cultist and it imbedds it in his throat. He gasps but keeps fighting!

Drez grabs Tahomen by the back of the head, yells, “Eat horn!” He then bead butts the cultist and crushes the villain’s skull.

The BBEG’s corpse has not even gone cold when Nuil quickly warns the group about the comm device and a message sent by Tahomen. Cypher rushes in, recognizes the comm unit, and hacks into it (cutting past the firewall). The hacker realizes Tahomen had purged his correspondence but Cypher is able to retrieve the data. In the transmission, Tahomen reveals at the temple he learned of a weapon called a Stellar Degenerator which “could achieve the goals of the Cult of the Devourer and wipe life from this miserable universe.” He identified a twelve star constellation which marks the location of the Stellar Degenerator but to find the constellation one must first find something called The Gate of the Twelve Suns. There was some information about where to start looking for the gate but that data was corrupted beyond retrieval. However, Cypher finds rough coordinates to where Tahomen had sent the transmission to. Nuil crunches the numbers and realizes the location is in the Diaspora, the asteroid belt which circles the Pact Worlds System.

The Diaspora is immense and various parts of it are used for mining, vacation spots, hives of scum and villainy, and the most infamous portion is the territory of the Free Captain, SPACE PIRATES! ARRRRRRRRRR!

Nuil studies the nano-slime Tahomen used to attack Drez and identifies it the caustic conversion spell.

Loot!

D-Suit I w/ mk 1 Thermal Capacitor

Liquidator Disintegrator Pistol 1d10 acid 15′ range 20 charges 2 use Bulk Light

Psychic Booster

Biotech Eagle Eyes

Psychic Wave Cannon

A ship appears on the horizon and Detective Nipci comes across the comm units. He tells them they have been trying to reach the crew when suddenly a city popped up on the defense satellites. When the explosion was set off by Avissa, it must have disrupted whatever was cloaking the city.

Soon after the site becomes a hive of activity as the Qabarat University mobilizes to study the newly discovered city of Loskialua.

The crew catches a ride back to Qabarat and finds a present waiting for them. The Starfinder Society has requisitioned upgrades for the Raza and the crew sets to the task of pimping their ride.

END OF SESSION

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Dead Suns, Session 13

Finally, the PCs had reached the Temple of the Twelve. They snuck around to the northern side of the temple and found an entrance guarded by a mummified Oatian elf who introduced himself as Panelliar. Panelliar told them he was the ancient guardian of this temple and admitted the cultists had bypassed them using Tahomen’s magic. Panelliar was under Tahomen’s control and the elf openly revealed if the PCs came any further, he had no choice but to destroy them. However, he did reveal that Tahomen had taken some of his people and gone up the mountain with what Panelliar described as a “portable altar.” The group inventoried their options and realized they had no means to free Panelliar from Tahomen’s control but they could not abandon their mission. With much regret, they attacked Panelliar. As the battle ensued, Panelliar revealed he was an ancient Solarian who began to pulse with solar energy. His attacks were powerful but he was rusty and the PCs managed to avoid his attack. Thank the dice gods! Before he could go supernova, the PCs managed to defeat him.

Inside the temple, the group noted the ancient glyphs and markings on the floor but spotted the cultists milling about the western side of the inner temple. The PCs attacked and the lead cultist, who named herself as Avissa, pulled out a massive Gatling gun and began to try to mow down the PCs. He PCs charged all the way into battle and realized too late it was a trap. Avissa has been busy setting explosives through the area and with her dying breath she detonated them. The entire western portion of the temple collapsed on top of them and they barely survived.

13.1

In the southern portion of the temple, they found Professor Solstrani who was more than ecstatic to learn she had been rescued. She told them Tahomen had knocked her unconscious and was gone when she awoke. The group moved into the inner temple which they realized had originally been a temple devoted to Desna and climbed the central stairs.

From there, they spotted several of the cultists coming back down from the mountaintop. The PCs decided to set an ambush for them and rushed back down to set it up.

Where the mountain pass reached the temple grounds the PCs laid in waiting. The cultists who accomplished by two of Tahomen’s lieutenants named Roadhog and Junkrat (although the PCs never learned their names). The first was a large man who threw a large hook trying to ensnare the PCs and the second bombarded them with explosives. The PCs threw some well-placed sticky bombs and Nuil sent her swarm to harry the cultists. Meanwhile, Wesley dressed TIM-X up with the body of Panelliar which disturbed the cultists to no end when they saw him rush them.

The battle was brutal but in the end, the PCs prevailed. They quickly gathered themselves and decided to head for the mountaintop to end Tahomen for the trouble he had caused them.

13.2

END OF SESSION

I enjoyed using Roadhog and Junkrat but none of the players recognized them. Fortunately, they did recognize them for the threat they were and managed to take them down. Great session!

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Dead Suns Unlimited, Session 12

They continued to press forward and two days later they found the “Plague Bearer” described in Halkueem Zan’s journals. An enormous statue reclined across the open space in the middle of a ruined village from long ago. When they approached the statue, they were fired upon by the same sniper who had driven the yaruk to stampede. Cypher believed the sniper was in the head of the statue and focused his efforts there while the rest of the group rushed across the open space and searched for an entrance.

B. The Stargazer

GM’s Note: I did not like the original layout of the interior of the Stargazer, so I created this.

12.1

Two more cultists waited inside the middle chamber inside the statue with a pair of automated assault drones which fired on the PCs when they entered. Cypher and Switch worked on disabling the drones while the rest dropped the cultists. Meanwhile, the sniper waited in the third chamber for a chance to take out one of the PCs. When Ryder poked his head out, she nearly took his head off (with a crit) and scarred his beautiful face. The PCs rushed the third chamber and ended the sniper before she could do more harm.

With the cultist threat contained, the group studied the statue and learned it was called the Stargazer and serving as an observatory for the Oatian elves who lived near the Temple of the Twelve. Much to Nuil’s delight, they also uncovered evidence of the Maltur as one of them was depicted on the inner wall beside twelve elves who were ancient astronomers. At some point, the two cultures had met which explained how the runes could have been found in the temple.

As night fell, Nuil climbed the arm of the statue and realized she could see the Temple of the Twelve in the distance. It remained no more than a day’s journey ahead of them and she could barely make out shining lights moving in the interior of the temple.

12.2

The next day, the PCs completed the journey to the Temple of the Twelve and found an ancient village surrounding it. They wasted no time in the village and quickly climbed a narrow mountain pass up to the temple. At the top of the pass, they spotted the corpse of a cultist who had met an untimely end. Investigating the scene, they found a trap which had blasted the cultist with darts. While the examined the body, they were suddenly attacked by an adolescent mountain eel. The eel smashed Switch and tried very hard to throw the android off the side of the cliff. Switch scrambled to keep from falling and the group quickly killed the eel.

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Dead Suns Unlimited, Sessions 6-11, Part 2

The PCs went through a set of elf gates which transported them to Turhalu Point on Ukulam. They were met by Professor Khair al-Huaf who provided them with extra supplies for the expedition and his men transported the PCs 10 miles into Ukulam’s mainland. Castrovellian law prevented them from taking the PCs any further.

Nuil skillfully used her magic (Life Bubble) to protect the group from the heat of Ukulam’s jungles. While this did nullify some of the challenge of this portion of the adventure, it was a very smart use of resources.

A day into the expedition, the PCs spotted a large herd of yaruk. Nuil used her magic to communicate with one of the bulls and learned Eyrub’s group (or “not food” as the bull called them) had passed by a couple days before. As they prepared to depart, a sniper hidden in the distance fired on the bull and grievously harmed it. The bull roared and the herd began to stampede. The group fled for its life and fought their way through a skill challenge to reach a chasm with an ancient stone bridge which provided them refuge from the herd. The PCs could not locate the sniper and continued on.

6.3.png

A few days later, the group located the enormous obelisk which Halkueem Zan had written about during his expedition. As they approached, they were harassed by several kaukariki but the PCs coerced them to leave with offerings of their rations. When they approached the obelisk, the PCs were attacked by a large plant creature and the kaukariki circled back to flank the PCs. Those damned ungrateful critters! The PCs dispatched the threats and investigated the obelisk. They learned it was an ancient outpost for a place called the Temple of the Twelve and was built by ancient Oatian elves who once lived on Castrovel (long before the Lashunta and Formians).

6.4

Nuil, accompanied by Canary, climbed to the top of the obelisk and surveyed the surrounding area. She noted the increasingly hilly and mountainous terrain ahead and with alarm realized there was large moldstorm coming down from the mountains to the south. She quickly calculated they group had a couple days but she did not think they could outrun it. She returned to the group and they quickly set off again.

Later in the day, the PCs spotted a ksarik stalking them through the jungle. Wesley was struck by one of the creature’s darts and became infected with its spore. The rest of the group drove the creature away. Wesley was immediately weakened by the malady and they built him a travois so he could rest while they continued on.

In the distance, they heard cries for help and found a lashunta woman named Ralkawi who had also been attacked by the ksarik and was dying from the same affliction as Wesley. She revealed she was a member of Eyrub’s group, although she called him Tahomen, and they were all cultists of the Devourer. Tahomen had experienced visions of a weapon called the Stellar Degenerator and when he saw the holovids of the PCs on the Drift Rock, he recognized the runes from his vision. Investigating he also found references to Halkueem Zan and came to Castrovel to follow the same lead as the PCs. The PCs did not want to help the dying cultist and opted to allow her to end her own life if she so choose. And she did as they walked away.

Knowing what fate waited for Wesley, they decided to no longer race the moldstorm and constructed a shelter where they could tend to Wesley’s affliction. A day passed as they tended to Wesley as the storm passed and when it did, he had finally beaten it with Nuil’s help.

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Dead Suns Unlimited, Sessions 6-11, Part 1

The roar which echoed across the hangar came from a vicious creature called a garaggakal. The creature is native to the Drift and had made its home on the Drift Rock. It did not take kindly to its lair being invaded by humanoids but it did appreciate the opportunity for a quick meal. The creature attacked and the PCs spread out to limit its reach against them. Switch charged the monster and slowly began to push it back when suddenly, they were attacked by a sniper from behind. Clara-247, the pilot of the ship which had attacked them, had survived the crash on the Drift Rock. She could not find a way onto the Acreon or the Hippocampus so she waited for the PCs to investigate the Drift Rock. When they attacked the fearsome garaggakal, she finally saw her chance to fulfil her bounty. Two of the PCs turned to face Clara-247 while the rest dispatched the beast. Then the group collapsed upon the sniper and disarmed her.

 

Under interrogation, she openly admitted she was a bounty hunter who had been hired to eliminate the PCs. The ship she had flown had been provided to her. However, she would not divulge the identity of the Mr. Johnson who had hired her or who she was ultimately working for. She considered herself a professional and vowed, even under the threat of death, she would not violate that trust.

 

The PCs investigated the Sunrise Maiden and found the starship was in excellent condition. While they cleaned it up, Wesley opted to investigate the device which was generating the illusion which hid the entrance to the hangar bay. He salvaged the device and loaded it onto the Sunrise Maiden for further study. Their mission complete, the PCs launched the Sunrise Maiden and set a heading to return to Absalom Station.

 

Once docked, they found more than they had bargained for. It seemed Gevalarsk Nor had decided to broadcast the vid feed from their mission to the entirety of Absalom Station. Their activities on the Acreon and the Drift Rock had been turned into a “reality show” (minus some edited footage of some cargo the PCs had retrieved for Nor) and they had become minor celebrities.

 

The PCs met with Gevalarsk Nor briefly and learned he had received his cargo without any issues. He rewarded the PCs and gave them the bonus he had promised for the extra work.

 

They then met with Chiskisk to discuss the events on the Acreon and Drift Rock. Chiskisk accessed the Starfinder database and found matches to the runes they had found on the Drift Rock but they were required to visit the central repository in person to retrieve the data (as it was hundreds of years old). There, they found the runes match some identified by an explorer named Halkueem Zan who claimed he had found them in a lost city on the continent of Ukulam on the planet Castrovel. The PCs decided that would be their next stop. Chiskick suggested they travel to Qabarat and meet with an old friend of his named Whaloss who might be able to help them.

 

While Chiskisk was not looking, Cypher accessed protected data about the infamous Scoured Suns Incident. He had long suspected that Wesley’s parents had disappeared as part of that expedition and he was able to confirm it with what he found in the central repository. He decided to keep the information to himself for the time being.

 

The group left for Castrovel on the Sunrise Maiden. They arrived in Qabarat with no difficulty, talked the dockmaster into charging them a smaller docking fee, and then conned Whaloss into paying them the difference when they found him. Whaloss took the PCs to the Qabarat University where he planned to introduce them a Professor Muhali, the head of the department of Xenoarchaeology and Xenoanthropology. Unfortunately, they found her busy dealing with a controversy created by one of her professors, Ailabiens 21:2. He had written a paper and given a lecture which indicated the millennium-long war on Castrovel between the lashunta and the formians would have ended much sooner if not for the genocidal tendencies of the lashunta. Needless to say, this did not sit well with the lashunta population.

 

Professor Muhali promised to help the PCs if they could convince Ailabiens 21:2 to issue an apology. The PCs met with Ailabiens 21:2 and immediately recognized his pride and arrogance to be his weakness. They appealed to his intellect and convinced him to give the apology if Professor Muhali agreed to a few of his terms as well (reinstating him, giving him tenure, access to university archives). Order restored, Ailabiens 21:2 began compiling the research data the group was seeking on Halkueem Zan’s expedition into Ukulam. While the professor worked, the group explored Qabarat (Cypher visited a holonet café, Nuil left the city to study the local flora, the rest cased the local scene at a popular bar). When they returned to the university, Ailabiens 21:2 provided them his findings but admitted his work was not complete because some of Zan’s original journals had been checked out of the archives by Professor Solstrani.

6.2

The PCs approached Professor Muhali and requested permission to meet with Professor Solstrani. Muhali agreed and took them to meet with her but they found her office in disarray. The PCs investigated the scene while Muhali went to call security. They found Solstrani had been communicating with someone named Eyrub Paqual who was also interested in Halkueem Zan. Paqual tried on numerous occasions to lure Solstrani away from the university but she grew suspicious and declined. That is when two goons showed up and kidnapped Solstrani. Muhali returned with Detective Nipci from the Qabarat Police Department and they helped continue the investigation. The group also found a map which Solstrani had hidden which revealed she believed Halkueem Zan’s lost city to have been real, a place called Loskialua. Combined with Ailabiens 21:2’s research, the group believed they could find the lost city and possibly rescue Solstrani in the process.

 

Cypher also hacked the emails sent to Solstrani which reveals Eyrub Paqual was not the true identity of the individual contacting her but he could not learn more. He did learn where the messages had been transmitted from, a bar in the Five Arches and the group went there. Looking for Eyrub they were directed to speak with a smuggler named Twonas En. After some roughing up Twonas admitted he had helped Eyrub and his minions secure documentation to allow them to go to Ukulam. The PCs immediately went to Professor Muhali and requested permission to do the same which she granted. She also provided them with funds to help with the expedition. Above all, she wanted them to rescue Professor Solstrani but anything else of archaeological interest was also important to her as well. She sent Whaloss to accompany them to represent the interests of the university.

 

End of session.

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Dead Suns Continues!

Our campaign has not gone on hiatus but I have been lax about updating my blog. We started using Realm Works to manage our campaign and that is one awesome piece of software. It is so easy to manage the ongoing story there I had forgotten to update it here as well, hehe. No worries, I plan to fix that shortly!

In the meantime, we have started recording our sessions with OBS. This recording is from our last session and there is a jump between the last blog entry and the action in this session. This was our first time attempting this so the sound quality needs work and there was no real production work before I uploaded it. The video is very raw.

Enjoy and keep an eye out for blog entries bringing everyone back up to speed on the adventures of our intrepid heroes.

Dead Suns Unlimited, Session 5

I dunno what the hell’s in there, but it’s weird and pissed off, whatever it is.
– Clark (The Thing, 1982)

The crew decided they needed to deal with the illnesses plaguing them before they took on the challenges of the Drift rock. The akata had infected Star Crusher and Switch with the Void Death affliction. The decision was a risky one. Even with medical care, if the infected failed their saving throws they would quickly slide down the death spiral of the affliction track. However, they trusted in Nuil’s medical skills and the crew hunkered down for the time it would take their allies to recover. Nuil masterfully treated their ailments (providing bonuses to their saving throws) and the dice gods showed them favor. By the third day of rest, the crew was 100% and ready to explore the Drift Rock.

GM Note: I made a small mistake while handling Ryder’s exposure to medium levels of radiation during the last session. He needed to fail an additional saving throw to acquire the radiation sickness affliction. With this in mind, I opted to declare he succeeded on the second saving throw and had not contracted the affliction. 🙂

While his allies recovered, Cypher explored the data he had recovered from the Acreon’s main computer. He found the Acreon crew list.

Captain Dallas (male human)
Executive Officer Kane (male human)
Engineer Parker (male ysoki)
Navigator Lambert (female lashunta)
Warrant Officer Drez (male vesk)

Star Crusher decided to use Canary, the yellow-colored Witness drone he had modified, to do as much exploration as he could before the crew endangered themselves. Before he sent the drone out the airlock, he did some quick modifications to its code which would instruct the drone to turn around and return to the Acreon if it lost contact.

Up close the Drift Rock was strangely free of the usual wear and tear seen on normal asteroids. On the far side of the rock, they also found a large section had been sheered off, an unnaturally clean cut. Along the flat plane, there were two square openings which looked like tunnels leading into the asteroid. They began to speculate perhaps the asteroid was part of a larger structure or someone had built a structure within it. Canary located the hidden entrance noted by Captain Dallas and ventured inside. A short distance into the asteroid, the crew lost contact with the drone and it returned a few minutes later. Star Crusher’s extra protocols proved quite beneficial.

With nothing else to gain, the crew space walked down the cables connecting the Acreon to the Drift Rock.

They opted to enter the asteroid through the same route as the lost crew of the Acreon. The hidden entrance revealed a tunnel leading deep into the rock and after several hundred feet, they found the first survivor from the Hardscrabble Collective. Warrant Officer Drez floated in a nexus where the tunnel split into two tunnels leading in different directions. Nuil crept up to examine the unconscious vesk and was startled when Drez suddenly woke up. The vesk warrior was ready for a fight but cooler heads prevailed. The crew explained they had been sent to investigate what happened on the Acreon and to rescue any survivors. Drez questioned whether they had been sent by Astral Excavations and was content to hear they had been employed by Gevalarsk Nor, a neutral third party.

Drez had superficial injuries and a quick exam by Nuil indicated he was not infected by Void Death. They explained Void Death to the vesk but he did not fully comprehend what he was being told. Drez recounted how Captain Dallas had also been injured but had not transformed into an undead creature although his other crewmates had succumbed to madness before they disappeared. Running low on oxygen and supplies, Drez decided to continue on with the crew.

Dresnos

Interlude: Warrant Officer Dresnos “Drez” Honorscale

The Honorscale clan were mighty warriors but they fell to their enemies in the arena of politics and every member of the clan quickly found themselves ostracized by the Veskarium. When the Swarm attacked the Known Worlds, the Veskarium signed a tenuous ceasefire agreement with the Pact Worlds. An outcast, Drez saw no reason to remain with the Veskarium and he caught the first shuttle heading to Absalom Station. Among the aliens of the Pact Worlds, he found himself even more alone and it was a long time before he found his home with the Hardscrabble Collective. The Collective valued skills and work ethic over all else and the vesk warrior quickly proved he had both. When Astral Excavations offered an especially lucrative contract for survey work in dangerous territory, Captain Dallas insisted he have the best crew for the job and Drez was recruited to join the crew of the Acreon.

The work was hard and the hours were long. It took Captain Dallas’ crew nine months to finish their assignment. The database of survey data was immensely valuable and Captain Dallas estimated it was probably worth millions, if not billions, of credits to Astral Excavations.

While travelling through the Drift, they came across the Drift Rock. Initial scans picked up valuable metals and minerals and several noqal deposits on the surface of the asteroid. Dallas sent a small team to the asteroid who recovered the noqal nodes which they did not realize were actually akata cocoons. Further scans revealed a hidden cave entrance on the asteroid.

Sensing the life force of the Acreon crew, the akata hatched and attacked. Captain Dallas ordered the atmosphere to be evacuated but this had no effect on the creatures. Fearing for the safety of his crew, he programmed the ship to continue to journey to Absalom Station, gathered what supplies they could, and abandoned the Acreon for the hidden cave on Drift Rock. The akata viciously attacked the crew as they fled but Drez managed to drive back the creatures allowing his crewmates to escape. No one escaped unscathed.

Much to Drez’s dismay, Captain Dallas wounds were grievous and he died within hours of reaching the Drift Rock. Days passed and Drez’s crewmates began to suffer some unknown illness. Madness overtook them one by one and they began to disappear into the dark tunnels leading from the cave deep into the Drift Rock. Drez tried to keep the crew together but his efforts proved futile and he soon found himself alone. Peeking outside the cave, he could see Absalom Station and the Armada in the far distance but no one seemed to come for them. Days upon days passed and he began to fear no one would come to their rescue.

***

The crew moved through the tunnels which opened into a circular chamber (D2). In the middle of the room floated a corpse which Drez knew to the be Captain Dallas. Nuil examined the body but could not determine if the captain had been infected with Void Death. Some of the crew wanted to destroy the corpse but Drez would not allow them to do so. They opted to bind the corpse like the dead goblin they had found on the Acreon.

5.1

In the next cavern (D3), they finally came face to face with the fate of anyone who succumbed to Void Death. A grey and blue-skinned zombie with a long, purplish tongue leered at them from the darkness. The lone Void Zombie did not stand a chance against the crew. They quickly surrounded it and destroyed it. Drez was beside himself but seeing his crewmate face to face, he could not deny the effects of Void Death. Not knowing if Captain Dallas would suffer the same fate, the vesk backtracked and smashed the head of his captain’s corpse.

Void Zombie

Beyond D3, the crew found the strange, metallic walls of the inner structure of the Drift Rock. Much to their surprise, they discovered tech in the walls which restored normal gravity while they were in the hallway.

At first, they thought the next chamber (D4) was empty until they were attacked by an ethereal ghost (Drift Dead) which resembled a spacefarer but not one of the crewmembers of the Acreon. Ryder was caught off-guard on the front lines of the fight and an aura of confusion surrounding the Drift Dead overtook him. He took his baton and tried to break his own arm with it. Switch also became confused and began to babble incoherently. The ghost screamed for them to leave and attacked Drez, draining his strength with its attacks. Nuil became confused as well and began smashing her own face with her azimuth pistol. Switch managed to break free of the confusion and the crew quickly destroyed the Drift Dead.

Driftdead

GM’s Note: The Drift Dead was ethereal (50% miss chance on attacks) but the dice favored the players. They were not so lucky with their saving throws versus confusion. In the end, they did more damage to themselves than the Drift Dead did.

The crew decided to search the tunnels leading north out of D4 and after thousands of feet, they found they sheer exterior cut they found earlier on the outside of the Drift Rock.

Backtracking, they moved into a much larger chamber (D5) to the south of D3 and D4 and were attacked by the remaining two crewmembers of the Acreon which had also been transformed into Void Zombies. By now, Drez had gone numb to the horror of his crewmates and led the charge against them. Better to destroy them than let their souls linger and be transformed into more akata.

With the threat contained, the crew noticed a door leading south out of the cavern. The door was electronically sealed but Cypher and Nuil quickly hacked through the door’s controls. Through the door, they found more of the structure which continued to elude them and ventured east into D8 where they spotted a faint glow of light. There they found an ancient looking bank of computers.

Cypher attempted to access the computers but accidentally electrocuted himself. The malfunctioning computers electrocuted himself doing enough damage to take him from full hit points and stamina to zero hit points. Nuil leapt into action, treated his wounds, and stabilized him. He was administered a healing serum and took some time to catch his breath (aka spend resolve and restore his stamina).

Star Crusher examined the computers and disabled the short circuit which had caused Cypher harm. Despite this, they still had difficulty accessing the terminals. The core code used a language none of them was familiar with at first. Examining it closely, Nuil realized she was looking at the ancient language of the Maltur, the race which had genetically created the lamerta. Applying her cultural knowledge, the crew managed to access the system and learned the Drift Rock was part of a much larger structure and they were at one of many terminals which could control the larger structure. They downloaded the remaining data for further examination later and continued to explore.

Passing through two more sets of doors, they found themselves standing in a dark hangar bay staring at a Sanjaval Vagabond medium explorer starship.

5.2

Switch yelled, “I call dibs!” The sound echoed through the hangar and an incredible roar responded.

We ended the session on a cliffhanger. When next we play the crew will face whatever terror is hiding in the hangar bay. They also have a few other spots to explore in the Drift Rock (if they want to) and then we will proceed to the second module of the Dead Suns campaign.

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