In session 27 normal service resumes, and in a short session our PCs spent a considerable amount of time on book keeping and ship management. They now have possession of a small fleet of mostly stolen ships:

  • The Beast of Burden, their main class 4 yacht
  • The No Satisfaction, a class 1 shuttle they use rather a lot
  • The Gun Metal Logic, a class 2 attack ship that they have stashed at the Rockhome mining community in Kua until they can launder its information
  • The Grace of the Icons, a class 3 converted freighter/troopship that they stole from Samina’s corsairs
  • The Judgment of the Dancer, a class 3 Order of the Pariah troopship that they liberated from its mad captain

They did also have possession of an unregistered Firstcome space station, but Adam accidentally teleported an Efrit in possession of an elite Order of the Pariah soldier into that space station, so it appears they will have to do some work to recapture it.

At the beginning of this session the PCs are on Hormous station in the Melik system, basking in the glory of having rescued the entire system from a falling moon that would have radically changed its gravitational layout and probably killed millions. Being of some renown, they have been invited to parties and given accommodation in the station’s richest and most outrageously appointed suites. However, their focus is on moving along to Dabaran, to launder their ship registrations, before someone finds out that they are not so much saviors as collectors of stolen and hijacked starships. The cast for today’s session:

  • Adam, gunner and acting captain
  • Oliver Greenstar, colonist
  • Reiko Ando, deckhand and swordwoman
  • Siladan Hatshepsut, archaeologist and data djinn
  • Banu Delecta, doctor
  • Saqr, pilot and mystic

The first half of the session was spent at the octopus races,  meeting a highly-placed figure in the Syndicate’s local operations so that they could find a hacker to crack the data core from the Judgment of the Dancer, to sell to the syndicate. With this somewhat tricky arrangement done, the data core hacked and the losing octopusses eaten, they were ready to move on to Dabaran.

The Plasma Storms of Rigel

Traveling to Dabaran requires the PCs to pass through Rigel, an empty system dominated by a white super giant star with no redeeming features except its plasma storms. Before they set out the PCs took on passengers, a family of shipwrights returning to Dabaran, and collected also a few rumours of pirates in the Rigel system which were generally dismissed by more sensible captains as hearsay. Ships go missing in Rigel not because of pirates, but because occasionally when they emerge from the portal the system is experiencing a plasma storm, and then only the best pilots can escape from the storm – some, inevitably, go missing. Wiser captains travel to Dabaran on the counter-clockwise path through the Dabaran circuit, and for most journeys Melik is the end of the line. But the PCs, having no choice, would have to risk the storms of Rigel.


And so it was that a few days after their dealings in Melik were complete they headed to the portal stations. As always they calculated the portal jump themselves, and entered with Saqr piloting the Beast of Burden, Reiko on the Grace of the Icons, and Oliver Greenstar flying the Judgment of the Dancer. Two ships passed through safely, but after they arrived the Judgement of the Dancer did not pass through. They waited some hours but the ship did not arrive. Obviously, a jump error had happened, and in perhaps some cosmic retribution for its theft, the Judgment of the Dancer had become lost in the Dark Between the Stars.

None of them had experience of a misjump, though they had all heard horror stories about what could happen. Had they lost their doughty (though somewhat morally flexible) colonist? Had their ship been seized by djinn or other creatures of darkness before they had even a chance to fly it properly? They waited a day but all that emerged from the portal was a passenger ship called the Plainsong. Even Saqr’s mystical finding power, which should work anywhere in the Horizon, could not find Oliver – he and his ship had disappeared from this space. In desperation they left the Plainsong to settle into its waiting cycle for entry to the portal, and returned to Melik. Here, after a day, the Melik portal disgorged the Judgement of the Dancer, broadcasting its distress signal and drifting aimlessly.

They rushed to board, but found nothing amiss – the crew was still deep in stasis, and no damage done to the ship. However, when they opened the stasis pods they found Oliver catatonic and incapable of speech or response. They took him to the chapel and with prayer and medical care were able to restore him to his senses. No one on the ship remembered anything, and no harm seemed to have been done. Shaken but not daunted, they recalculated the jump coordinates and re-entered the portal to Rigel.

This time they emerged together and unscathed – but straight into a plasma storm. A raging sea of super hot gasses was rolling outward from the brilliant white surface of the star and threatening to engulf their fleet. By the time the crew was awake from their stasis pods and aware of the danger they were in no position to take the time to recalculate coordinates for the next jump – all they could do was flee outward from the star. They raced away, with the roiling white clouds of the plasma storm seething in their wake.


After half a day’s travel, with a half an AU between them and the portal, they emerged from the tempestuous edge of the storm and into clear space. Electrical systems that had been faulty under the storm’s erratic magnetic fields were recovered, and they found themselves drifting safely while the inner system burned up. They were just beginning to relax from this terrible series of events when an emergency beacon activated, and they received a distress call on loop:

This is the Plainsong. We are under attack by pirates. Please assist us. Emergency! This is the Plainsong, under attack by pirates.

With sighs of exhausted resignation, they turned their ships in the direction of the beacon, and sailed to the aid of the beleaguered passenger ship.

They arrived at its location quickly, to find it outnumbered and outgunned. Three class 1 attack ships circled it while a class 2 ship moved in to board the Plainsong. As they approached, the leader of the pirates hailed them from the larger pirate ship:

This is the Donald J Trump Jr 3rd. This ship is our prey and if you interfere you will be destroyed. Desist, or we will destroy you.

The three smaller ships peeled off from harassing the passenger ship to head towards the PCs’ fleet, and battle was joined.

The pirate ships fired strange energy weapons that the PCs had never seen before, and their ships were of a design that they had never seen, nor did they register in any databases of ship types, shipbuilders or known pirate organizations. Even their list of nomad federation hybrid ships showed no likeness. These ships were a mystery to them. They were not, however, especially powerful, and the Judgment of the Dancer’s antimatter torpedoes, combined with the Beast of Burden’s accelerator cannon, made short work of the smaller ships. Finally they crushed the hull of the Donald J Trump Jr 3rd and destroyed one of the smaller attack ships. The remaining two attack ships fled, leaving their stricken flagship to its fate.

No doubt people still lived in the tattered wreckage of the ship, and there was no way the PCs would learn the truth of this ship’s motivations – or steal its strange energy weapons – unless they could take some of those people alive. They put on their exo suits, and prepared to board their vanquished enemy.