D&D in Space

From the notes of Lucy, UW Observer

 

I boarded the Archon on 08.05.4016. Our trip from Agora Station to Danube 5 took three weeks in total, delayed by several engine malfunctions. I discovered that the crew was somewhat unorthodox for a UW escort vessel. The captain was the least authoritative leader I’d ever met, content to busy herself with the practices of helming the ship and socializing with the crew. The X.O. Drottr was the more obvious authority figure, more interested in tactics and procedure. The rest of the crew presented many intriguing mysteries. The Kaldreth navigator, Frithrik, seemed oddly outside of the chain of command. Sledge, the Corsa chief of security, wore a terrifying exterior but was really quite thoughtful. Allen was of a familiar demeanor for a Galatean but curious design.

We arrived on Danube 5 without much incident.

We met the leaders of the local refugee community. Clippers and his brother Barge Wargeenoodle, the village elders. Lassie Stinklater, head of security. And three Corsa of the Wayward clan, Damage, Stud and Target. These three Corsa defended the camp from pirate raids.

The camp was in disarray, but the Jaxeans were happy to show us what they had. Amusement centers, community theater, arts and leisure. Clippers provided a sense of normalcy to a terrified community under constant threat of pirate attack. While Damage, Stud, and Target provided some much needed security.

The crew set out to investigate the town and talk to the elders, learning about the community.

Soon after our arrival a group of pirates attacked. At this point, defenses were assembled, and Captain Sunspear came up with a bizarre and inadvisable plan. She and Frithrik would dress as pirates and attempt to integrate with their ranks. Drottr advised against such a reckless tactic but Sunspear was incorrigible.

The attack was easily rebuffed and somehow, Sunspear managed to integrate with their ranks.

At Drottr’s insistence, the crew captured a pirate. Jack was his name. He was integrated and gave up that he was paid to harass the refugees and that he lived in an abandoned terraforming tower. Jack asked that no matter what happened to him, could someone check on his wife Cynthia, who lives on Trafalgar station.

Drottr was respectful and did not harm the prisoner. Afterwards, Jack was left in the custody of the Jaxeans.

The crew helped repair the town after pirate shelling, spending time with Damage and Lassie, bonding with the community.

I finished my review of the Jaxean camps and made my way to the Ardin city of Sea Spire, the capitol of the Ardin settlement. The crew, Clippers, and Damage accompanied us. There we met an archbishop of Palor, Feren Sinblind, the mayor of Sea Spire, Harper Blue, and chief peacekeeper, Goshen Quickeye. While Drottr, Allen, and Sledge went to The Great Spire, a local attraction, I investigated Harper, whose finances were anomalous. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that he turned himself over to Drottr to testify against Sinblind. It seems Sinblind had been paying the pirates to attack the settlement, in an attempt to sway my judgment.

Ardin Security attempted to waylay the mayor, but Sledge made exceptionally quick work of Goshen Quickeye, and the rest of the peacekeeper force was no match.

We met up with Sunspear, who had stolen a shuttle from the pirates and escaped. She told of a rousing adventure, meeting the pirate chief, Hunter, being forced to walk the plank (an upside-down balcony in the frigid snowy air) and scaling an upsidedown terraforming tower.

Having concluded my investigation, we went into orbit. While in orbit, eating dinner with the crew, Sunspear made a slip of the tongue and accidentally referred to Damage as Blackfin. And, as it turns out, Blackfin was the Corsa’s real name. Blackfin, the notorious war criminal of the Machran war.

After some tense discussion, it was agreed that Blackfin would return to the UW to stand trial for his crimes. Clippers was quite upset with this decision, having only known Blackfin as a friend and defender of the Jaxeans. It seems Blackfin was attempting to repent, in his own way.

In the end, the crew of the Archon showed strength, guile, ingenuity, and immense nobility. All in all, it was a frightfully entertaining excursion, though I cannot recommend this particular crew as escort for those wishing a smooth ride.  

 

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SPECIAL NEWS BULLETIN

The United Worlds has accepted its newest world into the fold. The planet previously known as Danube 5 has been formally admitted into the United Worlds as New Bigsby. Its United Worlds Representative will be Clippers Wargeenoodle of the Refugee camp. This news has absolutely stunned the intergalactic community, with the Ardin Diplomatic Center in an uproar. But the decision is final and New Bigsby is under the guiding hand of a former refugee.

This announcement comes on the heels of a major scandal from the capitol city of Sea Spire. The Mayor of Sea Spire turned himself into authorities and is now testifying against the cities religious leader, Feren Sinblind. As of today, Sinblind, his wife Softouch and the city’s head peacekeeper, Goshen Quickeye, are all missing and wanted by authorities for crimes ranging from corruption and bribery to attempted murder and war-profiteering.

In other news, General Blackfin of the Machran army made his first appearance in court yesterday. He said in his opening statement:

              “What is done cannot be undone. But I stand here to answer for my sins and offer any explanation I can for my heinous deeds. I will explain every motivation, every context, for every horrendous step along my path to ruin. My hope is that other monsters like me will see this testimony and know what misery is to follow when chasing unreasonable power. I do not deny the charges levied against me. I will accept the truth of those I wronged. I will accept any punishment.”

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An excerpt from the book, “Stars in the Fog” by Chet AY188309987

              I floated in my ship before the lost artifact. It was a massive space station, floating in space, light years from any celestial bodies. It was as close as I thought I would ever get, as a mysterious ship attacked me. I sent out an SOS and powered down, just as my ship suffered a catastrophic hull breach.

              But to my surprise I was awoken aboard the Archon, a private vessel in the command of an enterprising young captain named Yolanda Starsword*. I told her of my research into the Bright Ones: The aliens who first created the Galateans. And I told her that the mysterious space station they now orbited had been eluding me for the better part of four centuries. Her ship had taken serious damage fighting off my attackers, so she docked at the station, left behind some crew to repair the ship, and then she, her engineer, and another officer joined me in a quick expedition of the ship. Or… at least I thought it would be quick.

              A few things that should be noted. Yolanda’s engineer was a Galatean like me, although newer, and of odd design (he claimed Trox though I don’t believe him). His name was Falon. The other officer was a Kaldreth, a rare sight indeed. Their name was Tick-Tock Wollybog.

              Aboard the station we encountered two creatures, surrounded by warm yellow bioluminescent fog, mouthless and smooth skinned, much like a Kaldreth actually. They approached us and made shapes in the fog. Spheres with bumps and indents. These shapes were their language, and they did not make any sounds. We took some time to try and communicate, to little avail. But we learned that Tick-Tock, the Kaldreth could create with prestidigitation a small orb much like theirs and they could shape her illusion like the fog. It was delightful to watch. It began to sink in that these were the Bright Ones at long last.

              Then, my day grew quite strange and quite long.

              After exactly 15 minutes, we suddenly stood at the airlock once again. Falon, the Galatean, and I had a full recollection of the last 15 minutes, but not Tick-Tock nor the captain. We met the Bright Ones again and again tried to communicate. I explained that we had jumped back in time for the first of many, many times, and the captain decided we should explore the station. We found one locked door with a great many spectral purple fingers on the other side, and decided to go the other way. In another room we met more Bright Ones and were assailed by a large construct of some sort. Possibly Galatean, but massive in size and fury. It quite nearly killed us.

              Then we were back at the airlock again as 15 minutes had passed.

              I will not bore you with the details here, but suffice it to say that we repeated this loop many many times and discovered the following: This station was housing a prisoner, identified as “The Great Old One” and the machines attacking it were attempting to free said prisoner. The Bright Ones had invented a strange emergency security measure. They used a short range time-hiccup device in case nothing could be done to stop the Old One escaping. Then they floated through space in the hopes that one day someone would find them and repair the prison for them.

              Another thing that happened. Tick-Tock, the Kaldreth aided me in an experiment where the two Dreth evacuated the Kal host and let the host spend time with the Bright Ones. I had intended this only as a means of calming the panicked Kaldreth but it had an unexpected consequence. The host, Wollybog, was remembering. And she was learning the Bright One language. At this point, we had been repeating the loop for ten straight hours.

              But with a proper translator at our side we managed to talk to the Bright Ones who were manning the time repeater and they gave us a password to get in the contained part of the ship, to repair it.

              Then in the Purple Finger door we went and soon discovered that the floating fingers were more deadly than they appeared. Our first attempt lead to my death as well as Falons, but our second attempt was more tactical and we managed to find a console very close to the spinning purple orb that was The Great Old One and reconstructed the prison.

              Doing so freed us from the 15 minute loop.

              Yolanda Starsword decided that they best escort the station to Galatea and I concurred.

 

 

*For security reasons, the crew’s names have all been changed.

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Eye Witness accounts of the Albarin Station Event

Clambrosia Sticktock: At 0450, the station experienced extreme turbulence. A gravitational event had pulled the station briefly lower in orbit around Albarin 4. Emergency gravitation aligners kicked in before any serious damage was done, but several minor injuries were reported.

I quickly contacted the new ship that had appeared on my radar. This ship identified itself as the Archon, a ship that had docked with us recently. It described its cargo as another space station. The cargo they were carrying was [Redacted].

I contacted my superiors.

Lisbreen Shrugmore: At 0645, my sister and I were joined by Trox diplomat, Smorch Ar-Ar Partn and Martial Grek at the gate. We greeted the captain of the Archon and stressed the importance of well documented flight plans. She seemed distracted. She briefly described the station she had jumped in next door to mine as [Redacted].

Flink Sternjob Clester: Sometime during the day I don’t remember when I ran into the robot fella, Allen, and he told me he needed a new FTL drive. So I put in an order for one and told him to sit on his synthetic backside for fourteen days for it to arrive.

Glorminthume Stiffbottom: I observed the Corsa first at the Flame Tongue, where he drank with his Trox compatriot. He was a marvelous specimen so I conscripted several of my brothers and sisters to help me examine him further. We followed him about the station, eventually running into what appeared to be other members of his crew, an Ardin and a Kaldreth, purchasing a Kevlon Coal Boar. They were quite intoxicated and explained that it was a gift for their ships science officer.

Smorch Ar-Ar Partn: At 0900 the day after the Archon arrived, I received a call from Captain Sunspear. She was panicked, speaking of some sort of Galatean conspiracy and a need to get off the station as fast as possible. I offered her asylum but she refused.

Glorminthume Stiffbottom: It was at 0900 the following day that we found the Corsa again. This time he was taking a bath in the hotsprings at the Birdhouse bar. We took remote moisture readings. Eventually he rose, donned a suit of armor, and jumped off a balcony. We observed in the mall courtyard below that several Galatean marshals were in the process of arresting the Corsa’s compatriots. The Corsa seemed unhappy with this course of action and proceeded to do great violence to the chief Marshal Grek. In a moment, several more Marshals emerged and several more of the Corsa’s compatriots arrived. A fight ensued. The Marshals acted quite cowardly, taking cover behind civilians, using them as body shields. The crew acted quite brazenly, ignoring the body shields and simply attacking the marshals. Some of the body shields escaped, some were downed in the fight. The fight moved its way across the concourse, all the way to the ship docks, where it concluded. The crew entered the ship and my siblings and I celebrated a fabulous observation of Corsa war instincts.

Hesseltink Grom Shorb: I guess it was around 0900 that I witnessed the fight begin. I was standing next a human, I did not know him from stone. He was grabbed by a Galatean, heavily armed, while the Galatean fired at a Trox. The Trox approached with a concussive mace and proceeded to beat on the Galatean with ferocity and vigor. In the process he hit the human, in the skull. The human collapsed.

Clambrosia Sticktock: At 0930 I noticed that the Archon was attempting to decouple from the station. The Marshals had put a lockdown order so the maglocks weren’t releasing. Then, I saw the weapons fire up and before I could do anything, the Archon opened fire on the station, destroying the mag-locks, freeing itself. Moments later, I received a baffling communication from the Archon’s captain, requesting permission to depart. For what it’s worth, I said “no.”

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Singer's Report

We waited on the prison for a moment. Long enough to reflect on this new universe we were now a part of. It was hard to get a look at the game as it now stood, so long after being removed from the board. However, when the ship returned and The Decider told us to jump somewhere off the grid, we began to see that it was the same game as before - the same pieces, the same rules.

We jumped to a system on our old flight plans. It seems the new rulers of the galaxy don’t use these old, abandoned roads. It’s odd to think that everything we built is gone. The Galateans and the Kaldreth remain, but even they have grown into something hard to recognize.

The Decider, Sun-Spear, came aboard our ship, asking if she could take one of our Time-Space Compressors and install it on their ship. She also offered to shepherd any Bright Ones who wished to go into the universe and begin a new mission of diplomacy. I offered myself, knowing it was a role I was meant to play. With me came the young and the very old. Those not able to do their duty as prison guards.

So I boarded their ship called The Ancient Ruler and we set off.

Soon after leaving, the ship was beset by some pirates. It was very exciting. The crew fought off the attackers and they captured the leader. They asked us to help steal the pirate’s fish, which we did. The young ones took great satisfaction in the task.

Soon, we arrived in orbit of another planet. We call this planet New Home. Here on New Home, a fascinating decision was made. The second-in-command aboard The Ancient Ruler was a cave creature named Sentinel. During an altercation with local authorities, he had apparently severed the life of a sentience aboard the station he was staying on. Their violence was sanctioned, as a somewhat suspect friend of the crew had arranged to have them absorbed into their galactic war apparatus. However, this meant that the cave creature, Sentinel, would have to be punished for his crime.

Sentinel was given a choice: spend some time in prison (the exact amount was not made clear to me – though some said it could have been a year or longer, which may be the most horrific punishment I’ve ever heard of) or have one of his arms severed from his body, never to be replaced.

Sentinel spent some time conferring with a compatriot on New Home and then decided that the punishment he preferred was the loss of his appendage.

Decider Sun-Spear then set a course for the System of the Furry Friends, where I am to meet with diplomats and represent my people on the galactic stage.

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Official statement of Ronan Firstlight to the security board, concerning the Bright Ones first contact.

Due to the violent and still yet unresolved incident surrounding the events that led to the introduction of the Bright Ones to the U.W. I will describe only what I must, and will once again preserve my 8th declaration rights to withhold information regarding the location of the Prison ship. First, in regards to the Trox, Sentinel Drottr. He was delivered to Molean for punishment, following the civilian casualty. There, he was punished for his crime in Kashinian custom. They removed his arm. They also gave him an official commendation for helping fight on their behalf after an “unnatural disaster.” His state as a valuable ally of the United Worlds and man of unquestionable character should be, from this day forth, beyond reproach.

As for the Bright Ones, I have deemed it a security risk for anyone outside of myself and the crew of the Archon to know the location of the Bright Ones’ prison ship. I do this for the safety of the galaxy, knowing that if the prison ship were to fall into the wrong hands, it would mean the end of the free Galateans. And this decision comes at great costs. Just the other day, assassins attempted to board and kill the crew of the Archon.

Lastly, I would like to mention two new crew members of the Archon, both of whom have been given top-level security clearance, regarding the Bright Ones. Weaking, a Corsa doctor and old friend of mine. And Light, a Galatean found powered down on the Archon, who seems to have been in sleep mode for a hundred years. He appears to bare no alliance to anyone, and for the moment is content to kill for money. I will be sure to monitor him closely.

I hope this satisfies the council for I have more important work to do than explain myself to you lot.

-Ronan Firstlight

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An Exceprt From the Official Report of Captain Chuck Sterling E.S.C., U.W.I.L., T.F.R. Flight AR165A.

 

I was hitting my course from Krum to Emisnar when I was confronted by the Archon (an old Hessmar class battle bird, Twigwin built for Ardin deep space raids. A real beauty, built in a time when atmo entry was a real viable choice. All sleek angles and gentle curves. I digress). This ship, claiming no special law enforcement title, demanded to board my ship, at the threat of violence. I complied, seeing no other option. The Captain of the Archon, Sunspear, insisted she was retrieving an intergalactic criminal, though I had no way to corroborate this fact.

Before Sunspear could board, the suspected criminal, Sinblind, overtook the ships security officers and took the entire ship hostage. I informed the passengers of the sudden change of flight plans.

Sinblind insisted that we take the ship to Albarin station, which we did. The Archon accompanied us, either for protection, or insurance, I was not sure.

Eventually, Captain Sunspear wound up in my cockpit, and I caught her up on the happenings aboard my ship.

Sunspear was happy to continue slinking around like a space cat, but she was caught by Sinblind.

I should note that Sinblind received several communications while holding my ship hostage. The communications were being routed through a proxy so I couldn’t say where they came from, but one communication contained coordinates for Alabarin station.

Eventually, we arrived at the station, and the crew of the Archon daringly assaulted Sinblind and his posse, neutralizing him and killing his men. No civilians were injured in the scuffle.

I decided I wanted to get a look at Albarin station, just to see if we could recoup there, but I found the entire population of the station dead on the floor.

It was distressing.

At this point, I was forced to relinquish control of my ship due to the quarantine of the station. Randy Savage, my copilot, was put in charge until it could be detrmined that I was not a danger to the crew and passengers.

The crew of the Archon boarded the station and did fearsome combat with several Bodak (horrible space monsters). They found some hiding civilians and then possibly activated an illegal duplicating device. I’m not totally sure how the device works or what it all means but it would explain the preponderance of bodies, and the occasional repeat of the same corpse I was noticing on the ground.

After this, the crew returned, victorious. Their engineer had discovered that our FTL had been sabotaged, so Sunspear agreed to take me, my crew, and all my passengers to the nearest friendly planet, the Trox world of Krum, where we had started the trip.

Alas, we did not depart, as a UW war fleet jumped into Albarin space and decided they would take over.

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Kira Burningheart Seemed Like a Diplomat Gone Terrorist Until She Did This
By Micky Van Kleef

 

ALTHEPIA, ALTORIN, SHENDEN- The Dawn War rages between the Altari and Kitorin on the surface of Altorin.  The Kitorin, a race of slavers and pirates have launched an all-out offensive against the peaceful Altari with former UW diplomat Kira Burningheart at the helm of their offensive.  Kira, knowing the tactics and technology of the Altari has been able to inflict massive damage on the Altari fleet with her Kitorin Burning Vanguard. 

Altari casualties continued to mount despite the best efforts by the Fighting Five-One to defend the civilian populations.   Enter Captain Kanda Sunspear, commander of the mercenary ship the Archon.  Captain Sunspear and her team were tasked by General Elmenia, commander of the Fighting Five-One with capturing the rogue diplomat.   I was lucky enough to be allowed to follow Captain Sunspear into the fray.

The battle was intense door to door combat, but Captain Sunspear’s highly trained team of commandos was easily able to clear through a horde of Kitorin.  Her team was as varied as it was deadly.  Sledge, a hulking Corsa, smashed enemies with his fists and flew around the battlefield on jet powered boots.  Sentinel Drottr Krunjin Premborzl, the one armed Trax warrior saved me several times with his shield.  The two Galateans Light and ALLEN engaged enemies with pinpoint precision.  Frithrik Molleepog, who’s nature still confounds me used its powerful illusions to turn the tide of the battle.  These soldiers came together under Captain Sunspear’s smooth and brilliant leadership.

As the battle raged, it was discovered that a well in the middle of the battlefield was an illusion created to conceal the presence of a group of Altari children.  Frithrik Molleepog spoke with the children and learned that they had been hidden away by Kira Burningheart herself.  Shortly after, Kira engaged Captain Sunspear’s crew.  Frithrik Molleepog, using its impressive illusion abilities managed to convince Kira that it had killed one of the children and would kill the others if she did not surrender.  Kira, overwhelmed with her fear for the children’s safety gave up her fight and surrendered.  None of the children harmed and were all safely extracted by Captain Sunspear’s crew.

After the battle had died down I was able to have a brief conversation with Kira Burningheart.  She was driven by the belief that the Altari had been oppressing the Kitorin and that she was fighting for their freedom.  In an uncharacteristic act of altruism, she hid the Altari children from harm.  Ultimately saving their lives.

The battle is over, the Burning Vanguard are seemingly defeated, and Kira Burningheart is in custody.  All appears well at the moment, leading me to wonder what adventures Captain Sunspear and her crew will find themselves in next.

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The Dangers of Emergency Core Prepping
Chapter 7 of "A Guide to Safe FTL Use"

I've only once seen someone straight up pull out the core with no prep, and just hit it. 

It was on a ship on the planet Altorin, during the Dawn War. A group of mercenaries had just captured a prisoner. At the launch bay, an Altari general demanded the mercenaries turn over said prisoner. To this, the captain said, "Every person who has ever gotten in my way has in some way or another wound up mangled or dead," which was mostly true, at the time, and which scared the general off, but not his troops. So there was a fire fight to get in the ship, during which, Allen, the ship's engineer took to prepping the engines. Instead of the normal 8 hours it takes, he decided he would try to prep the engines in 1 minute.

Go ahead, re-read that sentence. It is not a typo.

The first step is a manual release of the core containment. To do this you need tremendous control of the muscles in your arm, and the ability to calculate the exact pressure the core needs to stability at every millisecond of its ejection from the stasis field. Allen had muscle control do to the cybernetics, and he could do the math, which was good because had he been a hair slower, a hair faster, or a nanometer off in his calculations, he would have detonated the ship, and quite possibly the continent. 

Once this part was over, he aligned the crystals manually, which was less impressive, but also very difficult and exceedingly unsafe. 

Then, the ship took off and the crew proceeded to dodge fire from the Altari and the Kitorin for half an hour before commencing a blind jump into a planets atmosphere. They crash landed, and survived, which was indeed surprising for all aboard. 

Except the fish. The fish died in the landing. 

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The SPOOOOKY planet of CLOOOOONES

Crazy tomfoolery happened. Clones! Knitted shorts! An evil fridge! A cape!

Who is real, who is shadow? Will Frithrik ever forgive the captain for opening shadow Mollipog up and finding her secret robot brain…

FIND OUT NEXT TIME WHEN I HAVE THE ENERGY TO WRITE A REAL ADVENTURE LOG!!!

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