DragonStar--Mezzenbone's Curse

The Force WIthin The Temple
Travel and Temple Troubles
Return Home….Almost

After surviving their ordeal at Hellspike Prison, the heroes are returning from an errand outside the Regdar system, and have sustained serious damage. Navigational computer malfunctions resulted in the ships flying through an abandoned debris/minefield, where they damaged several key systems. With few options, our heroes make an emergency landing in a desolate region of the arid content on Regdar 7, south of the equator. The players on board the Eileen landed in a clearing just outside the town of Pike Bay, while the Seeker managed to dock at an abandoned harbor 2 km due east of the Eileen. Never being to this place before, the heroes need to find a place with the following components:

  • Navigation Computer chips
  • Laser gun turret parts
  • Power cables & cables connecting starcaster to nav. computer
  • 3 laser torches, to replace those damaged in the crash
  • 4 sets of maneuvering thruster components

As the crew of the Eileen secure their ship, they realize two things: they landed at night, and a swarm of 12 guards led by a local marshall are approaching them and setting up a perimeter outside their ship. The Marshall, Ferzik Coltrane, calls the players out, demanding their credentials or face consequences. Zog exits the ship, presenting his credentials and explaining their situation. Coltrane’s people notify her that the Seeker is also similarly surrounded. Zog assures Coltrane that the Seeker is one of the good guys.

After verifying Zog’s credentials, Coltrane, already in a no-nonsense mood, explains the local situation. Turns out that Pike Bay is on lockdown since rumors surfaced of something evil emanating from somewhere in the west: some kind of evil force or essence ready to break out of something. Since then, the local Marshall ordered lockdown: nobody comes in our out without clearance, no ships/boats land or take off without permission. Curfew is at 9 P.M. until further notice. The players violated the lockdown law by landing without clearance. So the Marshall has sent guards to impound their ships. The players must either pay two fines:

  • 10,000 credits/gp PER SHIP for violating lockdown law
  • 10,000 credits/gp PER SHIP for impound fee

The heroes either must pay these fees or spend 45 days in jail, then appear before a judge and pay the fees. Coltrane explains that she can excuse our heroes because her office’s comm. system went down, and starts to work out some kind of compromise when she gets a call from Mayor J.B. Gotrox, ordering her to arrest our heroes. Frustrated, she brokers a deal: give our heroes 5 days to deal with the evil threat and come back, proving they did it. If so, they’re be free to go. Otherwise they pay the fine or go to jail as previously indicated above. After the heroes agree to the deal, Zog & Orion assure Coltrane that after their boss talks w/the Mayor, his political life will be somewhat unpleasant for the forseeable future. Coltrane also relays the terms of the deal to Hermione Granger, who also agrees to the deal.

As for spare parts, Coltrane recommends the city of Orlane, some 550+ miles due west. So the heroes decide to deal with the problem in Uruk Diñeros first, then get their parts in Orlane. Coltrane and her soldiers (all female warriors) retreat for the night. Lorian, Zog, Orion, Kal Eb, and Cyril spend the night on the Eileen, while Hermione spends the night on the Seeker and joins them in the morning.

The trip to Uruk Diñeros goes fine. By midday, the heroes reach the town gate, where the guard warns them to be careful in town, and points them to the Deer Run Inn where they can have lunch and learn more about the looming evil presence.

At the Deer Run Inn, the innkeeper, Bereeka, sets them up w/a good lunch, then tells them the story of the temple Abu Sengrad. She tells them nearly a century ago, the town was once a haven for wealthy folks, wizards, mages, artists, sorcerers, and the like. They learned that an evil force was headed their way, possibly a young Black Dragon. Said dragon was sent by Grede Khanrico, a good sorcerer gone very bad. Khanrico was a young upstart sorcerer, strong in all forms of magic. His mentor, Gandolf Artoro, brought him on the Council of Elders & Wizards located on the 7 Heavens of Lawful Good plane. Khanrico impressed Artoro so much that Artoro began grooming the young sorcerer to one day succeed him as the council’s chairman. However, Khanrico began selling his sorcerer services to the highest bidder, charging high fees for doing questionable magical deeds.

Artoro confronted Khanrico over his misdeeds, and the two had a huge falling out, with Artoro expelling Khanrico from the council and Khanrico vowing to continue his diabolical ways. Khanrico, hungry for wealth and power, saw Uruk Diñeros as ripe for the picking. However, he underestimated the town’s resourceful residents. Together they planned a way to lure the evil force into a trap to either contain or destroy it. What happened after that is still unclear, as most of the town’s archives are lost.

At this, Bereeka warns our heroes about the temple, but after Orion, Hermione, Zog, and Lorian, and eventually Kal Eb egg her on, she reveals the best way into the temple: through a tunnel in/under an old supply shed in the northwest corner. She assures our heroes they can leave their hovervan outside her tavern. They thank her and, after gathering supplies, enter Abu Sengrad to confront The Force WIthin The Temple.

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Return to HellSpike Prison

For the Heroes aboard the Eileen, it’s a nightmare unlike any they’ve seen before. For Hermione Granger and the crew of the Seeker, it’s a nightmare they hoped to never see again.

Unpleasant Reception

Just as Zog parks the Eileen into orbit, Sanjit and Orien scan the prison from above. Hermione follows suit on the Seeker. Between both scans, our Heroes find out:

  • HellSpike Prison comprises 4 buildings, connected together by pathways and tunnels.
  • An energy field shields the prison complex from external communication. It also makes teleporting difficult if not impossible.
  • The prison population is currently about 600, most of whom are inmates/bad guards.
  • The prison is enclosed in an octagon wall 20ft. high. At each corner is a laser cannon. There are also 4 missiles range of 800 miles for taking out orbital targets.
  • The prison, located on a peninsula, is surrounded by mountainous terrain except for a corridor from the southeast.
  • Near the western coast is a landing field on which a large object is being built.

While the Heroes debate the best approach to the prison, two missiles launch to greet the Heroes’ ships. Both ships manage to evade the missiles, which explode harmlessly in high orbit as the Seeker and Eileen descend to the planet to make their strafing runs toward the prison. The Heroes decide—-after most of the debate from Sanjit, Orien, Zog, and Hermione—-that the best plan is to approach the prison from the west, then land/dock their ships to the west near the landing field and move east on foot. Seems like an easy enough, direct plan.

As the Heroes make their strafing run, they re-learn the hard way that whatever can go wrong will go wrong. Closing in on the prison, Zog & Orien perform a zig-zag maneuver that nearly makes them permanent residents in several redwood trees. Meanwhile, Hermione botches a maneuver and winds up skimming the top of a mountain, so badly that she damages the Seeker’s starboard caterpillar drive intake door. Still, with some clever flying, both ships manage to take out 5 of the 8 laser cannon turrets guarding the prison before landing west of the prison. Zog sets the Eileen down on the landing field, while Hermione docks the Seeker (now without her starboard waterjet engine) on the coast.

Happy Landings

The Heroes meet on the landing field and immediately encounter several armed orcs, pirates, fighters, and armed techies. Zog, Orien, Sanjit, Loren, and Cylarus dispatch them while Kaleb guards the Eileen. The villains seem target Zog, Orien, and Sanjit more than the others, bombarding them with explosive spells and weapons fire. This, of course, turns out to be a mistake as the Heroes live up to their butt-kicking reputation in spades. During the battle, a handful of prison guards sneak on to the field in an attempt to surprise the Heroes currently locked in combat. They realize too late that this strategy has failed thanks to a barrage of magic missiles and weapons fire, compliments of Hermione.

After the battle, the Heroes search the landing field, the makeshift hangar, and the object being built. In their search, they discover:

  • project plans to convert an existing barge into a second, smaller Stormbringer Juggernaut ship
  • documents tying the prison guard to the Stormbringer Giant clan, some members of Mezzenbone’s advisor staff, and the Black Hole Syndicate.
  • agreements to compensate those who help the Stormbringer Giants with their plans.
  • the ship being built is capable of mounting 10 ion cannons, 3 of which are already in place
  • the ship’s cargo hold contains pieces of a large robot construct, capable of housing Kraxxox Stormbringer’s spirit gem, one of the items stolen from the secret warehouse on SeaTac.

Storming Building 1

Armed with this new information and an attack plan, the Heroes head due east to the Prison, attacking Building 1. A band of armed Barghests greets them with claw attacks and weapons fire. The building, partially damaged and burned out, is surrounded by a small moat of burning oil and lava. The Heroes take up position and move forward as a group toward the Barghest onslaught. Meanwhile, Cylarus spots a side entrance and sneaks around toward it, intending to surprise the Barghests from behind. Sanjit demonstrates his superior martial arts prowess with a series of dodges, power strikes, and stunning blows against multiple Barghests, fatally injuring all but one. They retaliate with claw attacks and weapons fire, much to the irritation of Loren, Orien, and Hermione. At this point, a warning alarm sounds, indicating intruders in the facility. Lorien and Kaleb spot and take out the offending surveillance devices. Meanwhile, Orien takes out one of the heavily-armed Barghests and injures another. Hermione unleashes a cone of cold for maximum effect, instantly turning 5 of the Barghests(including the leader) into icicles. Zog, Cylarus, and Lorien help themselves to the remaining Barghests, killing all but one. The Heroes take their bound prisoner into an abandoned store room for a nice chat, complete with Zog’s axe.

With Sanjit and Cylarus on lookout and the rest of the Heroes surrounding them, Zog & Hermione ‘interview’ the captive Barghest, named Blunt. He acts defiant at first, immediately recognizing Hermione. He confirms that the warden and Stormbringer Giants plan to use the prison as a base for their operations. He also leers at Hermione and indicates that she’s saved the warden a lot of trouble. Now he won’t have to pay the bounty he’s placed on her head since she’s brought herself to him. Zog growls at him and prods him for more information. He replies only that the warden has exquisite plans for Hermione and her crew. Two amputated fingers later, Blunt begins to regret his earlier threats. He cringes as Hermione admires her newest souvenirs, compliments of Zog’s axe.

Mechanical Mess

Just as the Heroes finish chatting w/Blunt, Sanjit and Cylarus spot more visitors heading their way: 5 Military Robots and 2 Clerics. As the Heroes take up position to face this new threat, Hermione realizes that the warden has upgraded the prison more than she expected, and for the first time begins to wonder if she’ll survive this adventure.

After dispensing with Blunt (leaving him tied up in a storage locker), the Heroes blast, fireball, freeze, and chain-lightning their way past the clerics and military robots on to Building 2 and more of the same, only this time more armed inmates join the party.

Treasure and Terror in Building 2

The Heroes investigate building 2, which only appears to be empty. Here they find answers to key questions:

  • Where are the Stormbringer Giants getting weapons from?
  • What do they plan to do with whatever they’re building?
  • Who from the empire, if anyone, is involved?

While Sanjit and Lorien stand watch, Orien, Hermione, and Kaleb search several store rooms and find spare maintenance parts, misc. supplies, a cache of hand weapons, and pieces of what appears to be an Ion Cannon. The crate containing the Ion Cannon has the mark of an organization the Heroes know all too well: the Black Hole Syndicate. Cylarus finds several abandoned cells and makeshift offices. In one such office he finds data scrolls with:

  • project plans, and
  • messages between the prison warden, the Stormbringer Giants, and Bondee, a junior aide to MaynZerr, one of Emperor Mezzenbone’s top advisors.

The messages confirm the Heroes’ worst worries:

  • The warden intends to work w/the Stormbringer Giants to use Hellspike Prison as a base of operations.
  • They intend to wreak havoc across the Empire, and then
  • turn the ship over to Bondee in exchange for a huge undisclosed reward.

Meanwhile, Zog investigates a burned-out, blown-out makeshift workout room and finds several bodies, rubble, and 4 large shipping crates. Three crates have the mark of the Stormbringer Giant clan and contain gold and silver coins, credits, title deeds, and first-class passes on cruises to luxury resorts. The fourth crate, emblazoned with the Black Hole Syndicate mark, contains weapons, ammunition, and blueprints for weapons and fighting vehicles. Zog reports back his findings, and asks if anyone’s interested in a cruise.

Just as the Heroes respond to Zog’s invitation, an alarm goes off as a warm reception teleports into building 2 to greet them: fireballs and blasts from 9 Barghests, 4 Mechanical Robots, and 4 Imps. Over the PA intercom, Arozza Stormbringer and the Warden’s voices boom out, “You know, this is really getting to be annoying. First Hermione trashes this lovely prison last time around. Then you meddling idiots stick your noses in our business on Cairvos Island. Now you’re turning up here stirring up all sorts of trouble for us. Well ok, since you’re trashing our place, we’ll trash yours. Let the fun begin.”

Through several rounds of fireballs, negative energy blasts, stunning blows, magic missiles, chains of lightning, and cones of cold, the Heroes prevail…just in time to greet another party outside building 2: Two Vrocks, 4 Mechanical Robots, and 30 armed inmates, including several Clerics and Barbarians. At this point, the strain of the recent battles begins to take its toll on the Heroes; they feel tired, they’re injured, and they’re running low on spells and their weapons are low on ammo (except for Zog, whose battery-powered blaster cannon is his new best friend). Stressed and fatigued, the Heroes press on, defeating their newest enemy party. A half-dozen armed inmates realize they’re losing and give up the battle. Hermione, Sanjit, and Zog interrogate them and find out that:

  • The warden and Stormbringer Giants are in Building 4, where they plan to make a stand.
  • Troops are being deployed near the landing field and dock.
  • Many new inmates were jailed on bogus charges.

The inmates agree to encourage other prisoners not to fight. In return the Heroes promise to have all inmates’ cases reveiewed after they retake the prison. Wounded and low on spells, Hermione again wonders if she’ll survive this journey through Hellspike Prison.

Unwelcome Visitors

As the Heroes clean up what’s left of building 2, Lorien & Orien get automated intruder alerts from the Eileen. Hearing this, Hermione contacts the Seeker and finds her crew in the middle of a firefight, with Zooky and Jozan leading the fight. The chief navigator indicates a half-dozen intruders have boarded the ship, injuring 5 and killing 2 of the Seeker crew. With evening approaching, the Heroes improvise a plan to retake both their ships, starting with the Eileen.

After an intense firefight on the Eileen’s cargo deck, the Heroes retake the ship and capture 5 intruders. The thugs are a mix of servants loyal to the Stormbringer Giants and armed inmates loyal to Warden Bailey. Zog has them all standing on chairs w/nooses around their necks. They disclose their plan to take both ships to aid in their plans to wreak havoc across the empire, and dispose of anyone who resists them. While interrogating them, Zog recognizes one of the Barbarians (named Krask) from several years ago: turns out Krask held up Zog’s former place of employment (weapons/sport shop) and injured several people, including Zog’s friend Carey. Krask recognizes Zog and taunts him, “So how’s that straw-necked pinhead Carey doing? Has he recovered from my blaster shot yet??” Zog responds by kicking Krask’s chair out from under him. Shocked, Krask gasps and struggles to free himself. As he dies, Zog leans into him and answers,“Carey is doing fine. He sends his regards.”

While Zog, Lorien and Kaleb interrogate the prisoners (3 of which survived), Cylarus and Orien investigate the rest of the ship and repair the damage. They conclude that the intruders made it to the upper deck but never past the forward section. The intruders damaged power conduits, support systems, and part of the security system. They also damaged some of the outer hull near the starboard loading ramp. With the damage repaired and prisoners detained, Zog, Sanjit and Hermione make their way over to the Seeker. They find 6 pirates guarding the outside of the ship, which they dispose of quickly with magic missile spells and blasters. Quickly, they board the ship and hook up w/the chief navigator on the main cargo deck. Together they finish retaking key parts of the ship: the Starcaster, medical bay, and support systems. By now the rest of the Heroes from the Eileen join the battle with their prisoners in tow. Cylarus and Orien join Zooky and Jozan in retaking the Starcaster while Hermione, Lorien, and Sanjit retake the med. bay and support systems. At the end, the Heroes round up all prisoners on the Seeker’s main cargo deck and interrogate/detain them. Instead of killing prisoners, Zog snaps the fingers of the lead pirate before Hermione has them all locked up. At this point, the Heroes spend the night on their ships before returning to the prison to finish the job.

The next day, refreshed and recharged, the Heroes venture to the 4th and final prison building. Zog and Cylarus quickly recon the building and find windows/doorways on both floors guarded, and a pair of bay doors on the roof. Spotting the guards at the two main entrances, the team splits and ambushes both doors, taking the barbarian and inmate guards by surprise with missile, stun, and cold spells. The team wonders why the guards offered such little resistance. When they storm both doorways, they find out why:

  • Once they enter the building, alarm go off announcing their arrival.
  • A small army of a dozen military robots greets them with flamethrowers, blaster shot, and stun grenades.
  • A voice, Warden Bailey, also greets them. “So you’ve decided to come back for more punishment, eh? I’m actually surprised you made it past those robots and Vrocks in building 2, even moreso that those bumbling dwarves let you pass through building. No matter. This is truly where you’ll make your final stand. Your ships will make brilliant additions to our little fleet. My guards will enjoy every moment with them.”

Incensed, the Heroes plan out their final assault with some more recon and are startled at what they find: 3 Stormbringer Giants, 20 Military Robots, 5 Vrocks, and another 10 barbarian inmates plus 5 sorcerers. Zog & Cylarus go to town with their blaster and assault rifles, taking out the first wave of barbarians. Sanjit indulges in the target-rich environment with stunning blows, martial arts attacks, and artful dodges. He takes out a handful of inmates while Lorien, Kaleb, and Orien go to work on the Stormbringer Giants. The enemies retaliate with weapons fire, stun, cold, and blindness spells. The Stormbringer Giants decide to toss in a few lightning/storm spells, wreaking further havoc on our Heroes. Hermione replies in kind with alternating cone of cold/fireball/chain lightning spells, first at the Vrocks then at the Giants. Needless to say, the Giants are displeased to taste their own medicine…but take it anyway (no choice, really). Through all the commotion, Warden Bailey scoots up to the top level for his escape.

Battered and wounded, the Heroes triumph over their reception committee just in time to detect Warden Bailey’s personal shuttle powering up. Using scanners and detection spells, they detect another 15+ Military Robots on the top floor guarding the Warden as he attempts to escape. So the Heroes decide to pop in on Bailey…literally. The shuttle is large enough for all of them to teleport inside, so Orien, Lorien, and Kaleb do mass teleports, weapons drawn.

Surprise! As he turns around to face the Heroes, Warden Bailey gets off a lucky shot on Hermione, taking her down but not out (he must’ve seen those spells she cast on the Giants). No problem; the rest of the Heroes pick up the slack, instantly filling Warden Bailey w/weapons discharge. The dying warden slumps back on the console, triggering the launch sequence…and the prison’s self-destruct systems. With quick thinking, luck, and technical skill, the Heroes disable the self-destruct, abort the launch sequence, and shut down all remaining Military Robots. HellSpike Prison is now officially retaken.

Over the next few days, storage facility crew (including Carey), join the Heroes and a clean-up crew sent by Richard Vastens to clean up the mess and repair damage. The cleanup crew includes legal experts to review all ‘bogus’ cases against inmates. The Heroes set up a fund to benefit the families of those affected by the Stormbringer Giants’ revenge plans, and take a share of the rewards for their efforts. Meanwhile, Zog’s old friend Carey, now being forced into retirement, lands a new job as the Heroes’ business accountant. Their plan: to build a chain of businesses to put Zog’s former employer (sporting/weapons shop) out of business. That is, after Carey enjoys a 3-week vacation at a luxury resort on Fargul. The Heroes, meanwhile, head back to Regdar 5 to repair damages…and count their latest treasure.

The End…Until Next Time, That Is

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Reunion: Old Enemies, Newer Dangers

After defeating the Stozari Stormbringer and the Juggernaut Giants, the Heroes Kaleb, Cylarus, Orien, Zog, Lorien, and Sanjit are helping the former Juggernaut’s slave laborers convert the island of Cairvos to a livable colony where dwarves, elves, and half-orcs can coexist peacefully. It is now 4 months since The Heroes defeated Juggernauts Giants. Their sunken ship has been salvaged, with The Heroes each walking away with a healthy share of the proceeds. The story begins one evening when Cairvos’s new residents throw a party to honor The Heroes. Their newly-inherited ship, the Eileen, is now fully repaired and back up to top form.

During said party, they dance, eat, drink, and win many of the games they play. One Elven clan leader, Morgan, tries to court Lorien into marrying his daughter Elka, who is anything but ladylike: she’s deadly with a crossbow, drinks like a fish, and curses like a barbarian. Lorien eventually agrees to consider this, and agrees to visit Morgan’s house back in the coastal city of SeaTac. Meanwhile, half-orc barbarian Zog, previously laid-off from a weapons/sport shop, now has enough to buy said shop over 500 times. His former employer repeatedly attempts to contact him with the same non-offer: “Not promising anything, but there’s a good prospect of finding a spot for you now that the re-org is done.” Of course Zog ignores these messages. However, he gets a comm-relay signal from the ship that he can’t ignore: his former shop colleague Carey, now a records officer for a secret Dragon Empire “supply warehouse”, calls Zog for help. The facility he works at is under attack. Zog checks the message and it’s distorted: “Under attack…betra—…magic ite—..weap—-stolen…imposter guar—…breach…Hells—-Pris—”

Zog contacts the team w/the message info. Sanjit, the team leader, orders everyone to prepare to leave asap. The island residents bid their farewells, and invite The Heroes to return anytime. Shortly before sunrise, the Eileen takes off to answer Carey’s call for help. En route, The Heroes analyze the message and discover that:

  • it came from the secret warehouse located 50km due east of SeaTac in the desert.
  • imposter guards stole several items and headed to HellSpike Prison

The Heroes reach the warehouse near the end of a horrendous battle: the partial-underground facility is now a blasted-out, burned out mound of metal, damaged corridors and rooms. Two explorer-class ships take off with one remaining. The Eileen lands on a field 50 meters away. Kaleb & Sanjit contact the remaining ship. A pair of Orcs in phony guard uniforms warns them to back off. The ship then hits Eileen with a laser cannon. Zog exits the ship and rushes across the field toward the enemy ship…only to be greeted by 2 fighters rushing toward him. At that instant, intruder alarms sound: a sorcerer and Barbarian Orc have boarded The Heroes’ ship in the cargo hold, and are making their way to the bridge. While Cylarus greets the intruders, Lorien & Sanjit teleport to the enemy ship’s bridge. Suddenly, 2 more intruders teleport on to the Eileen’s bridge and attack Kaleb & Orien. The fun begins.

Cylarus immediately uses blaster weapons and chain lightning to disable the intruders. They respond w/blaster fire and magic missiles, injuring Cylarus but not taking him down. Outside on the landing field, Zog bashes, shoots, and clobbers his way past the 2 human and half-orc fighters charging toward him. As he nears the hatchway of the enemy ship, a Barbarian orc emerges with a war axe in one hand, a blaster in the other, and a big smile on his face. He taunts Zog, “Welcome to your destruction.”

Meanwhile, on the Sarava Domain world of Fargul, Hermione Granger and the crew of the Seeker are finishing up delivering supplies to an island colony. Just as crewmen Jozan & Zooky unload the last of the supplies, Hermione picks up a DNN (Dragon News Network) broadcast that a riot has broken out at HellSpike Prison, a miserable place in the Esmer (Green Dragon) domain. Barely surviving her last adventure there (and nearly losing her ship and crew), Hermione is not keen to return, but realizes innocent lives may be at stake. Figuring she’ll need help, Hermione alerts her friends on the Eileen of the riot and that she’s on her way there to deal with the situation. Her message goes unanswered, since at that moment, unknown to her, The Heroes are hip-deep in battle. So she repeats the message, then sets course for HellSpike Prison. Unfortunately, due to piloting errors and technical difficulties, the Seeker takes off from the ocean…then crashes down on a rogue wave and takes minor damage. An aggravated repair team patches up the damage while Hermione reviews the piloting procedures. With the chief navigator’s help, she tries to launch the Seeker again and succeeds.

Back at the storage warehouse, Loren & Sanjit surprise the enemy bridge crew with sleep and magic missile spells, and even manage to control one of the crew enough to disable their ship’s weapons. Lorien unleases several energy bolts and damages the weapons console, rendering the ship’s weapons useless. They search the ship’s records for any stowaways and clues.

Back on the Eileen’s bridge, it takes several rounds of spells and weapons fire, but Orien & Kaleb take out the intruders and search them. Turns out they were wearing modified prison guard uniforms with fake and stolen IDs. Securing the bridge, they head to the cargo hold to help Cylarus, who by now is dealing with two more intruders who teleported from the enemy ship: both human rogue fighters. The Heroes subdue and capture them.

At this point, Zog reaches the Barbarian guard and they go at it, bashing each other w/axes, fists, and blasters. Through superior reflexes and better aim, Zog prevails over his opponent. Seeing no immediate threat, he heads toward the warehouse facility and finds his friend Carey, who is now senior facility officer. Together with some remaining guards, they search what’s left of the facility for any other pirates/intruders and dispense with them. Zog & Carey also verify what the pirates took:

  • 12 laser pistols w/2 power packs each
  • 6 prison guard uniforms
  • 4 data scrolls with the spells: sleep, fireball, cone of cold, Summon Nature’s Ally II, magic missile, chain lightning, finger of death (2)
  • 8 cases of gems, 600 credits each

Kaleb & Orien head to the warehouse to join up with Zog while Cylarus guards the prisoners. Along with Zog, they discover a dead guard who was carrying:

  • 3 bank-cards, each with 50,000 credits
  • Numerous fake IDs, as well as copies of the facility access codes
  • Transport passes to a private tropical island on Fargul
  • Contact names of the Hellspike Prison warden and Stormbringer Giant family

They conclude that they’ve found the facility’s ‘mole’ and enemy contact.

Back in the Esmer Domain, after several Starcast jumps, the Seeker reaches the outer edge of the HellSpike Prison system…and lands in the middle of a firefight between 3 prison guard ships and 3 pirate ships of unknown origin. One of the prison guard ships explodes. Immediately one of the pirate ships veers off toward the Seeker. Hermione steers the ship to short combat range…and the pirate ship obliges by hitting the Seeker on her port side, damaging several support systems, breaching the ship’s hull, and disabling the forward port plasma cannon. As Hermione, Jozan, and Zooky race to repair the damage, a handful of orc and goblin intruders teleports aboard and starts firing away w/spells and blasters. Jozan and several fighters are injured, and the Seeker loses partial power. Hermione rushes belowdeck to fend off the intruders w/chain lightning and cone of cold spells. Most of the intruders are disabled or killed. Those still standing continue to fight. Zooky arrives on the scene and blasts away at the remaining fighters.

Outside the Seeker, the two remaining prison guard ships collide w/each other and explode. The two remaining ships turn to help their fellow pirates finish off the Seeker. At that moment, the Seeker unleashes her wrath: an ion cannon blast to the nearest pirate ship, instantly turning the modified explorer class ship into a floating, burned-out, twisted wreck.

Back at the warehouse facility, The Heroes finish securing the enemy ship, clean up what’s left of the battle, and interrogate the prisoners. They confirm what The Heroes already suspected: the Stormbringer Giants were plotting retaliation. The prisoners initially are defiant and try to offer The Heroes a piece of the action. Of course they refuse. Responding to their defiance, Zog holds his war axe over one of the prisoners’ fingers, ready to cut. The prisoner foolishly calls Zog’s bluff by adding that his employer is offering a bonus for anyone that brings him the head of someone called Granger…Hermione Granger. Two amputated fingers later, the prisoner realizes the folly of his strategy. The Heroes turn the prisoners over to Zog’s friend Carey, then head to the HellSpike Prison system.

After 3+ jumps, the Eileen suddenly appears right near the Seeker as the remaining pirate ships close in on her. Both pirate ships fire on the heroes’ ships, both hitting. The Seeker and Eileen respond in kind, rendering both pirate ships into twisted, burning hulks. After cleaning up their damage, the Seeker and Eileen make their way into orbit above HellSpike Prison. As they reach orbit, the prison planet broadcasts the following message:
“Citizens of the Dragon Empire. This is Warden Bailey of HellSpike Prison along with members of the prestigious Stormbringer Giant family. We have taken control of the prison, along with the help of several inmates, and are now preparing the next phase of our plan. We’ll let you know our demands in our own time. Meanwhile, do not approach this world. Anyone doing so will be destroyed immediately when detected. Have a nice day.” TO BE CONTINUED

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Recent Adventures

In the first few months, the adventurers have befriended a sorceress, recovered several stolen red dragon eggs, fought off giants and vampires, rescued a hostage/informant, and ticked off the Black Hole Syndicate and a new crime gang, the Red Dozen. The adventurers are also learning about the Empire that now governs their world, as well as new technology and new worlds. Oh, and to complicate things even more…the adventurers have a young charge: a baby red dragon.

The rescued hostage is of vital interest to the Empire. He is also part of The Insurrection, a movement that is gaining strength against the evil dragons’ rule, especially under Mezzenbourne, the current emperor.

After the players rescue the hostage, Toombs reveals himself to be Richard Vastens, nephew of Morgan Vastens of the Sarava Domain (Silver Dragons). Toombs also discloses to the players Insurrection’s true agenda: TO RESTORE BALANCE TO THE EMPIRE. Recent intelligence indicates that Mezzenbone is far too corrupt, even for red dragons. He is squandering the Dragon Empire’s wealth to the point that there may not be a Dragon Empire after 50 years.

The Insurrection wants to help raise the players’ baby red dragon with dragon AND human values of moderation. Their plan: break Mezzenbone’s power base, overthrow him, and replace him with a ‘more balanced’ red dragon before the Empire collapses under the weight of Mezzenbone’s corruption.

The fun continues…

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