Sander's DnD Dragonstar Page.
Portia Stargrazer: Sander
Jonathan Idaho: Jordy
Tsalo B'Coutra: Bob
Tranzor Windwalker: Chris
Datapad Jonathan Idaho
(with Thanks to Jordy)
I was contracted by the Savorta Exploration League to crew an exploration vessel that used to be a freighter but was refitted for exploration. The ship is called “Averstanza” and a half elf / half golden dragon named Mercutio Servata is its captain. It has about 1800 crew members. I am code Blue, which means I can enter all areas except the Red. When I entered the ship it was sitting on the planet Agallador which is the throne world of the golden dragon empirical domain. We are heading for the Rimworld Barriers and we are expected to be gone for a few months. The beautiful female elf, first officer Allandrea told us about the most important officers on the ship, which include the following:
Captain Mercutio Servata
First Officer Allandrea who is the captain's right hand and the one we have contact with for our missions
Father Aldermain Clearbrow (human) who is the ship's Chief Medical Officer and like myself a cleric of the Father
Rafe Stillmar, the human Head of Security
Gruush, a half-orc that ranks second in Security and seems to be handling the more “physical demanding” tasks of this detail
Seadril White-eyes, the ships Arcane Specialist, whom I was told was a female human (here on this ship magic seems to go with all races just like on most of the emperial worlds I have seen so far!)
Urgan Hannison: the dwarfen Quartermaster that is in charge of the ship's equipment
Vance Halliwel, the ships Instructor for pilots
… Cema who is a soulmech Technical Officer
Hunter … the Assistant Medical Officer.
Hullee, the halfling Assistant Technical Specialist
The Averstanza has 3 decks: The bridge is above, followed by the launch deck and the crew deck. The bridge will normally be off-limits for us.
After I put my things away in my room, I went to investigate the ship by myself. A kind young man, Junius or Julius by name, gave me the tip to download the map of the ship to my datapad. Before I went back to do this however, I settled my curiosity and first tried to search out the Medical Bay. In there I found Hunter, who congratulated me with my new function. Apparently, he lost his legs in a similar function, but thinks no worse of it. He told me a few small things about the medical bay and that Father Clearbrow could often be found at the bar in the “village”. Hunter told me he himself doesn't often go there, but he seems a fine enough man, so I will try to visit him later to have another talk with him. At the bar I found Father Clearbrow, a very nice person indeed. He told me the previous expedition team “disappeared”, but he assured me this kind of thing didn't happen very often. After all this I was taken to the “Hatching Ritual” on the bridge with the other newcomers. Captain Mercutio used an old ritual there with the apparent goal to comfort everyone and in order to get us all introduced to one another in a pleasant way. He himself told us a short story about himself, and how he had invested a lot in this ship to make a reputation for himself. Then we all had to say something about ourselves. It was a pleasant enough occasion, surprisingly informal, by my standards. There was even a robot that was constantly making jokes, mostly about dwarfs and elfs, also two halflings whom I thought to be arguing about their relationship and more people socializing during this ritual. After this, I was introduced to 3 other people by the First Officer, they were going to be my closest colleagues. There names are:
Tsalo B'Coutra (Bob), a strangely tattooed, misshapen person who apparently has Mindflayer-like powers (he later told us his people had been at war with the Illithids for a long time until they were ‘crushed' by the empire).
Portia Stargatherer (Sander), a cheerful halfling pilot, who immediately seemed to step on Tsalo's bad toe. I quickly realized it will be a while before Tsalo will except her as a true sister.
Tranzor Windwalker (Chris), a mostly quiet, apparently none all too bright warrior that is apparently here for our defense.
The weeks after this we had some training in simulation rooms. While Portia and Tranzor were mostly trained in flying and ship controls, I mostly worked with Tsalo, getting familiar with the ship equipment (the airlocks for instance). At night most of us went to the bar (Tranzor also often played games) and I tried to go to the Unification Square as often as I can. There, I sometimes eat with the other two clerics of the Father aboard this ship. I was told all good aspects of the Unification Church have their clerics on the ship while the Captain tries not to recruit evil persons. I couldn't agree with this more! Also, I have offered the clerics to do some sermons as well, which I do now, even more often than ever before (and I must say, it is quite to my liking). In this time we also got our pay, 250 credits, which we will get every two weeks.
When we got to use our exploration ship the first time, something strange happened. At first we started with a nasty unpleasantry as our halfling pilot tried to impress us and gave us a bit of a shake. After that, when we looked at the mother ship it was covered by some black force field. Since Portia couldn't open the hangar, and there was no response on the comlink, we flew to the bridge windows to find out there was no movement. After some more attempts, Tranzor and Portia got the hangar open and we moved in. I entered the ship with Tranzor, to find people laying randomly everywhere, apparently dead. We then got our weapons (which under normal circumstances we may only carry when we go for an exploration mission) and went to the bridge. We found Gruush's body and used him for the retina scan and thumb scan to get to the bridge. When we got there, everyone was lying on the ground here as well. There was also some strange triangle stuck to the floor with signs of necromancy and death on it. Tranzor began shooting at it (a bit rash perhaps) and suddenly a hologram appeared. It had the form of a human and thanked us for waiting until the scanning was completed, which would be 41 hours, and that the crew was unharmed. We began shooting at it again and Tranzor was hit by some sort of negative power (later in sickbay we found out it would only last some time). Finally the triangle was broken and everybody aboard stood up again, a bit dazed, but apparently fine. I told the captain it would be better if there would be a ship flying next to us permanently to do the same we did if necessary and he agreed. In the debriefing with the First Officer, we told her exactly what happened. As a reward, we were invited later for a shooting test on the bridge. Here, an asteroid took two shots before it was destroyed which raised a few eyebrows. After that, there was a strange energy pulse detected from a planet nearby, which was supposed to be uninhabited. The Captain told us we would go there for our first mission and we had half an hour to prepare. We met the assistant quartermaster who could tell me nothing about the equipment the previous exploration team normally used. I must remember to ask his boss about this some time. We weren't allowed to take very valuable equipment with us, and even more, everything that broke down would go off our salary! Even though I didn't like this kind of arrangement, I decided to borrow the following things:
Survival kit (60 cr)
Filter mask (65 cr)
Stabilizer (10 cr)
Derm patch (10 cr)
Vance Halliwel flew with us to the planet, named Komanis, and directed us to walk to the mountains to the west where the signal came from. On our way we found another exploration vessel that was cut into halves with its crew of legionnaires lying in its vicinity with freshly inflicted wounds which seemed to have been delivered by long swords. Most things were destroyed but I found and took a repair kit. At least I won't have to borrow that! The halfling behaved very strange (maybe even comically) after that. While we were just walking in plain sight, Portia found it necessary to skip from tree to tree. It could be that she isn't used to be walking on the surface of a planet, or there is just something wrong with her!
When we walked on we were suddenly surprised by two charging Formian Workers. It seemed they could not be hurt by the laser weapons of my friends, but I did manage to kill them with my trusted shotgun. I lent Tranzor my mace in case we meet more of them. I was hurt a bit but I used the powers of the Father to heal myself.
- 22 oktober (Gaudium AD&D)
This system reports an unlawful entry by a filthy noisy irritating gnome named Remco van der Velden who should keep his disproportional big, ugly head out of other people's business or find out what it feels like when his lousy, inconsequent acting character gets his armour slowly peeled off with an especially blunt can opener, ripping off a significant part of his filthy gipsy skin in the process. System out.
We walked on in the direction of the energy signal with the halfling once more running in front of us like a happy pet, checking out every tree and rock (maybe leaving its scent?). After some time we came to a difficult rocky path where we were ambushed again by about 5 more Formian Workers. I managed to shoot most of them and Tranzor used my mace to help as well. The battle was difficult however, mostly because of the unstable ground which left me falling down over and over as I was fighting those abominations off. When they were finally defeated I was glad to use the powers of the Father to revive the fallen halfling (she had hidden so far away from us that it took us long before we could free her while a Formian Worker was playing a cruel cat and mouse game with her. The Formian Workers on this planet seem to be much smarter than the normal ones that are summoned on occasion to serve clerics and wizards. Tsalo knew he couldn't use his weapon against them and let his hands grow long, weapon like claws. Later he told me he could only do that once a day. As everyone but me had taken a few blows in the fight and I had already been granted much power by the Father to bring Portia back to consciousness, we decided we should rest. Portia however, said we had a maximum of time at our disposal for this mission, so we shouldn't stay here long, but nobody else had heard anything about this. I tried to contact the ship that brought us here, but I only got static. The same went for Tranzor. We decided to move for a huge space ship engine we saw before us, further up the road in the direction we had to go, hoping we could find a safe place there to recuperate. Tranzor went up ahead, but found an enormous group of Formian Workers at the end of the stone valley who came after him and were also at battle with blue skinned humanoids that used a melodious language and fought with magic and bows. We tried to defend ourselves but Tranzor went down before we managed to approach him. Tsalo came up with a magical trick to distract one of the workers in his vicinity and went to Tranzor to carry him to the blue skinned people who seemed to realize we were fighting the same enemies. The Formian worker that attacked Portia first came after me however, as did the one that was first tricked by Tsalo, and with the ones I was already facing, the fight quickly went downhill for me. In the end I had slain them all but the last two but felt I would soon succumb to my wounds. When I also saw Tsalo falling down with Tranzor's body to be attacked whilst lying on the ground, I prayed to the Father to accept me in his blessed Realm and after another blow, darkness surrounded me. I felt sorry for the children I had tried to protect, but I knew the Father understood I did all I could.
- sessie 6 december(?) 2003
The Father be praised. The blue people managed to bring me back to His material plane. One of them, named Maxum, spoke common and told us his race are called the Asherrum and that Lazia was their leader. She was hostile at first because other Starfarers had killed her son Mithiad 13 days ago, when they were mining energy stones. Also, she told us that most of her race was killed in a battle with the enemy from space and that their capital Romi was destroyed as well before they actually managed to drive off the Dragon Empire. A god, named Rieha, manifested itself in the height of the battle to aid them. (Back at the ship I used my paycheck to buy the database on the Unification Bible to read more about what happens when a new world enters the galaxy and the effects for the gods on the planet. )
We earned the trust of the Asherrum by helping repair the broken plasma cannon on the crashed ship the blue ones used as a fort. With it, Maxum, who seemed to have great skills with technology, was able to slay a huge army of formian workers that charged the ship. Portia made another rash action by using a speeder to fly to the formian workers, for what purpose I do not know. And so, as an Asherrum seer predicted, our path was marked with corpses. However, we could leave the Asherrum to continue their lives and took speeders back to our ship which was surprisingly just under attack by a green dragon. We did, however manage to get on board and lured the wyrm to the cannons of the Asherrum ship to be blasted to bits. Back at the ship a trade was established with the Asherrum for more energy stones but I was saddened to hear their planet was claimed by a chromatic dragon empire. The first officer however, convinced me they would probably be left alone for there was little of significance left on the planet. Still I was sorry to hear the Asherrum wouldn't come with us to build up a new and safer existence. We got a dreamcatcher as a present from the Asherrum, which I think either Tsalo or Tranzor is keeping in his room. All that there is left to do is dream for the return to safety for the lives of these proud blue people.
I bought new clips for my trusted shotgun (I found some larger clips that could shoot 30 instead of the usual 15 and am currently thinking hard what to do with the rest of my money to be better prepared for the next mission, as I should expect little equipment from those bureaucratic fools at the armoury. Maybe I should ask at the Temple if at least they are supplied with enough funds.
Father Clearbrow told me the stones we found are called Apocalypse stones, an appropriate name for the greed that they made manifest in so many, resulting in the slaughter of the planet (and a trade with our ship for which I doubt the Asherrum got enough, as they were worth enough to wage total war, something I regret Tranzor didn't see). It appears a ship by the name ‘The Kelligo' was responsible and certain people were saying we were on to ‘the lead'. Apparently there is a lot of hush hush for even Father Clearbrow said he wasn't told all and also wasn't allowed to spill the most of it. He did however, suggest I used the Infonet. On the side, when I met Father Clearbrow, he was just leaving the bar and was apparently a bit tipsy. I should keep an eye on this for the Father does not approve of his shepherds to give their children such an example. Clearbrow invited me to have dinner with him, which I gladly accepted. At night I went to the Evar Cantina, where I was invited for some sort of a comedy routine. When I entered there, Portia and Tranzor were already a bit heavy on the drinks, so I decided to watch it a bit from the side with Tsalo, so that I would not spoil their happy mood. The jokes however didn't agree all that much and after only a small time I saw Portia and Tranzor step into a fight with some dwarfs and elfs. And this while they should serve as role models to the others, being junior officers! I tried to calm down the situation but it was of no use. The fight was finally finished by Rafe and Grash who took everyone to the detention centre. Tsalo, who had dodged the fight completely was more interested with clearing his own name than with the state of the crew members. Maybe this makes this non-social, irresponsible man the most worth of all!
And they would promote him the leader of the Savarta team!
However smart and charismatic he might be, he obviously has no people skills whatsoever and doesn't seem to grasp that leadership is more about knowing your people than anything else. Come to think of it, I even doubt this man knows anyone other then just the Savarta team and the ranking officers…The bureaucratic fools really don't know what they are doing. I pray to the Father I can give them the guidance they need… Why they even decided to put us into their tight bureaucratic vest remains a mystery to me as well, for all went perfect as it could be on the first mission. They really don't seem to have any grasp of what happens in the field, which could very well explain why the previous team(s) had to be replaced…
The halfling as well will never cease to amaze me. Even in the brick she went on being cocky about her fighting skills. From the fighter you would expect such a thing perhaps, but this little crazed thing that has more mouth than muscle? Well, at least I was glad Tranzor and Portia were disciplined, although I do not think they really took the message. But well, what would you expect when the captain himself allows the quartermaster (a higher officer) to compliment on a fight that they just tried to reprimand, still in this captain's presence. I know even thinking it borders to blasphemy, but it gets clearer with the minute now why a cleric of the Good Father would grope for the bottle if he were to advise such a captain on a ship like this!
At night I was invited to a poker game in the quarters of Vance Halliwel at 21.00h. It was cosy enough (Vance is a gifted talker, especially when it comes to discussing his fellows), with Portia winning the first few games, but lost when I began focussing on it (and her plaing…). Later we were invited to the tournament Vance was organizing. It will be a good way to get to know the other crew members better.
When I saw the two worshippers of the Father in Church that were also involved in the bar fight, I used the stern sermon I prepared for the occasion. I hope they at least have learnt their lesson. I will keep an eye on it.
The next mission Edwina (Allandrea?) gave us, was easy enough. She wanted us to find more about the Kelligo. She also told us the Apocalypse stones were probably created by the raw magical storms that destroyed most of the planet and that it is quite possible the Kelligo collected them to be used on a weapon of some sorts.
The item that was on the ship a while ago and put the crew into deep sleep was possibly from some sort of an ancient civilization. Even Father Clearbrow was apparently unable to discover more about the facets of death I already identified. We were told again the information was not allowed to leave the room and that we should use a secure line. I found the following information which I shared with Edwina and the team, using the infonet: The flight manifest of the Kelligo told me the ship would next visit the Tessidus production facility at the Restless Belt. When the Kelligo was first put into service some seventy years ago it was one of the most advanced ships, but as it grew more outdated its weapons were dismantled and it was sold in an auction. The current owner of the ship is the human captain Gleeson.
The Restless Belt is a large asteroid field which was discovered by a gnome pilot 700 years ago. When mithral was discovered, many entrepreneurs tried to take advantage of it, but found the place a very dangerous one. Finally, Tessidus the Wise, a green dragon bought the exclusive rights, which didn't cost him much because of the so-called Astorma disaster. Tessidus created an automatic refinery, where the mined minerals would be collected from a safe distance by human pilots so that safety and profitability soared. When the mithral was gone, he closed the factory, making the Kelligo the first ship in a long time, reported to visit it.
Tessidus the Wise is a middle ranking wyrm of House Azmar, which is currently with duke Lemradon. They will probably both be at Nashrak, their throne world. A last thing worth mentioning is that it seems all of the history of the Kelligo's captain has been removed.
Later on, I was finally informed about the previous exploration team, Team Alfa. They were probably ambushed and had a reputation of not being able to cooperate well because of their violent, greedy and untrustworthy nature. Father Clearbrow wasn't able to tell me much more however, for he confided to me he was drafted to this ship only a few months ago, like most others.
At the next poker night, Vance announced Uli and Leto, the two halflings were planning for a wedding. They were going to be married by the cleric of the Trickster, but when I proposed to ask Father Clearbrow for the service they agreed. Strangely enough, that night I noticed Uli seemed somewhat less happy than Leto and was even giving looks to a blushing, uncomfortable Ingram. Portia meanwhile, tried to make matters even worse for a while when she began flirting with Leto. Vance told me of a rumour that Uli was pregnant of Ingram's child instead of Leto's. I decided to make an appointment with Uli to talk to her. Maybe I will be able to convince her of the value of marriage.
I received my pay for this period. It was 300 credits this time. I do not remember ever having that much on me.
We have arrived at the Restless Belt and are being briefed on what we are to expect. Apparently we won't have to expect much from the automatons as they have codes to prevent them from harming sentients. We are told Leto and Ingram are to join us on the mission. This time I wasn't able to hide my scepticism for the decisions of the hands that feed me, Father forgive me. Leto and Ingram even fought in the cantina yesterday and I can only think of this decision as being made to forget their differences by working together. Apparently captain Mercutio and Alleandra think this mission will be nothing more than a picknick or a visit at the local fair. As there isn't much I can do about it apparently, I will just try to stay close to them to intervene if possible. We were to leave in an hour already! I will try to convince them to give me the time of arrival and what we are to expect sooner before the next mission, for as it goes I won't be able to request the Father's favours in prayer in time.
Together we decided on what to ‘loan'. We could use 550 credits per person. Ingram Jolk (a human by the way) told us he was a mechanic. Except the things I took in my backpack, Portia took a medikit and some healing potions with her and Ingram or Leto took a low-light tape with him. I went to the Unification square to pray to the Father and was pleased that all the others donated money as well. While I donated 100 credits myself, Portia donated 50 credits to the Trickster, Tranzor 10 to the Warrior, Ingram 25 to the Warrior, Leto 25 to the Trickster and even Tsalo donated 50 to the Judge, although he asked me not to pray for me but for the entire crew. Maybe he is getting wiser after all. I hope I will be able to help him to get rid of the blasphemous ideas that his culture so foolishly forced upon him, before his soul is lost.
We landed quite roughly next to the Kelligo that was smoking, hit with plasma burns and seemed to have crashed. Later, I heard there had been some tampering with our landing gear, after which Tranzor told me he suspected the shopkeeper of the Magic Shop because he had found him (near the ship?) in a place he wasn't allowed to be.
When we entered the Kelligo we were suddenly attacked by a shadelike, undead monster. When I realized this, I tried to use the powers of the Father to destroy it, but apparently my faith was not strong enough, Father forgive me, and the abomination too powerful. The beast hit me twice, trying to make an attack at my actual sanity itself as it seemed, with Portia fleeing at first but returning when Tsalo scolded her. Finally we were able to blast the creature. There was more combat when some raving crewmen jumped on us and I had to heal Tranzor twice. On the wall the message ‘have no fear' was written (in blood?) and the madmen talked about golden fire coming down at them. One of the attackers was a drow and I took a credit chip with 200 credits and a light autopistol with some ammunition of him as the being we first encountered seemed less resistant to laser beams. The money will find a better place as I will donate it to the Church. We found the captain had locked himself in the cockpit, and he left a video message in which he said the crew had gone crazy.
We entered the facility where from the first moment all kind of robots and cables started attacking us.
So much for the insurance that the automatons wouldn't hurt us thanks to fixed codes and instructions… Later I heard that they could have degenerated over time, but it is really neglecting that the senior officers didn't warn us of this possibility before, so we could be ready.
When we entered a decompression room, suddenly, the door behind us was closed. When I noticed the air was being sucked out, I quickly tried to blast our way out with Tranzor. We managed to escape, but not thanks to Tsalo. I do not know whether he needs air, but he apparently thought ill of our actions and was too busy videotaping everything. At times like that, I really think he fits in nicely with those officers, being content and happy while sitting back unknowingly while everybody around them takes the risks. Also, he thought it necessary to insist on his rank to venture into the mines, while we could have gone to the control room instead where we probably could have used camera's to be sure of what to expect. Naturally, we were ambushed in these mines, barely surviving.
In the end, we found the main computer, which seemed to had become sentient. Luckily, we managed to overcome it quickly. While I then took Leto to the hospital area (as expected, he was rash enough again to run right into the machines, right while we warned him against it), Tsalo and Tranzor were smart enough to venture further together and activate a time-bomb (one that Portia and I probably could have deactivated easily), so we had to run.
When we did, we encountered two ogres from another all-black ship who we were able to kill. After that, we took flight back to the Everstanza. When we told them our story, I was once again surprised by the foolishness of the captain and his first officer: they did not only decide that Leto would from now on be a permanent part of our team so that I can keep on playing a permanent healing battery for this rash young fool, but while they made us full lieutenants, they seemed to recognize something in Tsalo's actions that made them decide he was to be made a full captain. Besides the lack of leadership capabilities I noted before, I can only fear what having a blasphemous dualist heretic as a role-model will do for the crewmen, Father help us! Finally, while they were kind enough to give us a few days off as a reward, we were made obligated to spend it as they requested, at the holodeck. So much for free days off… I hope they at least give Leto and Ingram some true free days for meditation and recreational time.
I went to the temple and did my prayers after we gave back our borrowed stuff to the quartermaster and donated my share of the money found to the church (I will make no profit from the dead drow's money, for a being of such evil must really be cursed beyond death). When I went to the bar, I met the others and couldn't keep but spitting out my liquor when I heard Uli was now interested in me . Luckily, she and Leto entered now and told us this wasn't true; they were going to get married that night already. Apparently, Uli was also mad at Vance Halliwel, as she knew as well he was responsible for these vicious rumours. Tsalo and I were asked to be best men and to supply the guests with drinks. I asked Tsalo that night to occupy Leto a bit so I could finally ask Uli what she really wanted. I was glad to hear that everything was truly going the way she wanted and moved on to ask Father Clearbrow a beautiful ritual garment for loan and to ask Tsalo and Tranzor to talk with Ingram to make sure he wouldn't disrupt the wedding.
The wedding turned out to be a nice celebration with the ship's captain leading the service. Unfortunately however, this also meant I only had time for a short nap before we had to go to the holodeck at 10.00, for our time “off”.
We were asked to create “characters” to play, this both for practice and “enjoyment” (as far as one can enjoy such a children's game of escapism, clearly designed for people incapable of finding their ways in social interactions in the real worlds). I decided to play an “Ith-kon sorcerer” for three reasons; 1) I wanted to know more about the workings of arcane magic, 2) by playing a character from the Outer Rimward region where Tsalo came from I wanted to show him how another creature from a race defiled like his by the Illithid and their blasphemous heretics, could still come to the One and True Unification Church and 3) to explore how one can live without the guidance of the Father, following the standpoint of a follower of the Magus.
When the ‘game' started, we were suddenly looking from out of the viewpoints as these ‘characters', just seconds away from landing on some planet. The ship we were on was Freighter 237 if I recall right, and we were about to land on the planet Delgam in the Kalis system, on its only starport in the city of Drelandrom, Velinov Spaceport. The dwarf captain apparently didn't know we were not really there but just playing the game. The names we all had chosen were Sisalet, John the Wanderer, Greld and Shatinna. Via my datapad I was able to find the following places of interest on this world; Velinov Spaceport, the Outlands Motel, the First Unification Church, McFlolans, the Wrecked Explorer and the Legion Base