DragonStar--Mezzenbone's Curse

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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