Star Wars: Ashes of the Old Republic

Act I, Ep. IV
What Goes Up Must Come Down

In which the party returns to the Queen of Ranroon.

The Queen of Ranroon is in Bad Shape

The captives are split into two groups and moved into two of the three working shuttles on the Arachnis. Shuttle One holds Crimson Jack, his pirates, Captain Solov, and two groups of Stormtroopers. Shuttle Two carries the heroes. Even though they are guarded by Navy troopers, they manage to sneak a few weapons on board. The heroes are a bit worn down and despondent from being duped and captured so easily by Captain Solov. Varen Berelis, ever the politician, boosts the crew’s morale, talking them up, and getting them focused for the mission ahead, recovering the Hyperdrive Motivator from the Queen of Ranroon. Also, unbeknownst to the Imperials, the hero’s “Ace in the Hole,” D4-VNC1 (Vince), remains hidden in the cockpit of their shuttle.

The Queen is in a slow tumble, making it very difficult to land, but ultimately both shuttles make it on board. Shuttle Two lands in the Queen’s port shuttle bay, with Shuttle One landing in the starboard shuttle bay. Upon exiting the shuttle, it’s immediately obvious that the Queen of Ranroon is dying a quick death. Emergency lighting illuminates the shuttle bays and connecting corridors and the team will quickly learn that the ship’s gravity controls are shot, with varying, and often changing, gravity fields throughout the ship. The crew knows they don’t have much time to recover the hyperdrive motivator. Captain Solov wrangles everyone together and gets them moving towards the engineering deck. Varen, smooth talker that he is, convinces Solov that he would be more helpful up in the bridge where he will have access to all the ships controls and will be able to open blast doors, disable locks, etc., thereby aiding the team’s recovery of the hyperdrive motivator.

Varen and his escort reach the bridge and Varen quickly finds that the ship’s computer is in worse shape than he had hoped. Varen’s true goal in going to the bridge was to send a distress signal from the Queen in the hopes of garnering some help from anyone who might intercept the signal. Through sheer boredom, inattentiveness, and down right incompetence from the Navy Trooper “escort,” Varen secrets away a blaster pistol he found among the debris in the bridge, and through some clever computer work, sends the distress signal, finds one last escape pod on the pool deck, and manages to override the blast doors in the ship. Unfortunately, his victory is short lived and the ship’s fail safes kick in, returning the blast doors to their previous positions.

The team eventually makes it’s way to the engineering deck and find the hyperdrive motivator. Along the way, Corgan Dil’Alys falls behind the group and gets trapped behind a blast door on the pool deck. Not wanting to waist an opportunity, he surveys the deck, finding an oxygen mask and several stimpacks. Luck being on his side, as he looks for a way off the deck, the blast doors miraculously open, briefly. Corgan slips through just before the doors close back. He meets the rest of the group down in engineering and stops them just before they potentially damage the hyperdrive motivator by ripping it out of it’s casing. Despite his mad mechanic skills, the motivator doesn’t cooperate with Corgan either, ultimately requiring Vuko Dardo’s assistance as he reaches around behind the motivator and disengages the catch holding it in place.

Meanwhile, left alone in the cockpit of Shuttle Two, Vince has hacked the computer and taken complete control of the shuttle. Having communicated her plans with Corgan via comlink, she activates the shuttle’s gun batteries and prepares for the return of the team from the engineering deck. Varen, his master plan thwarted by the Queen’s computer, decides one less Navy Trooper would be a good thing. He catches his escort unaware with a well placed blaster shot and quickly dispenses him with a second. With the hyperdrive motivator secured on a repulsor sled, the recovery team makes their way back to the shuttle bay.

“0100010001101001011001010010000001110011011101010110001101101011011001010111001
00111001100100001”
Which of course everyone knows means, “Die Suckers!”

En route to the shuttle bay, Corgan surreptitiously communicates a plan to the rest of the group – let the Imperials enter the bay first, and then watch the fireworks from a safe distance. Unfortunately, despite several ruses of varying degrees of effectiveness, the group only manages to convince about half of their escort to move ahead and “clear the way.” Even this ruse fails in the end, as Captain Solov links up with the party and directs that the hyperdrive motivator be taken to his shuttle under the watchful eyes of Imperial Stormtroopers.

Meanwhile, Varen manages to return to the shuttle bay undetected and awaits the group’s return. The heroes are escorted back to their shuttle by the Navy troopers, but fortunately half of the squad moves ahead of the party. As the advancing troopers enter the shuttle bay, Corgan gives a signal and the group flattens themselves against the corridor walls as Vince yells “Die Suckers!” and unleashes the shuttle’s blasters on the flat-footed and desperately confused Imperial escort.

Unfortunately, the little droid is unable to depress her guns far enough to actually hit the troopers, but her sudden fusillade is enough to force them into cover… cover which happens to be conveniently close to our surprisingly nearly fully-armed heroes! As the group dashes to the relative safety of the shuttle’s hatch one by one, they managed to blast three of the Navy troopers while only taking minor wounds themselves.

However, as the Queen of Ranroon continues her slow (or, as it happens, not so slow) death spiral into the planet’s gravity well, the hangar bay is becoming an increasingly difficult place to escape. Vince is forced to prepare the launch sequence with only Bin’she Keeba on board, while the rest of the group fights an increasingly desperate gun battle with the increasingly desperate Navy troopers. Worse yet, as the shuttle hovers in the bay in preparation for takeoff the Queen of Ranroon’s inertial compensators begin to fail, causing the shuttle to sway back and forth like a drunken Bantha. While Corgan Dil’Alys and Varen Berelis are able to jump to the safety of the shuttle’s crew cabin, Vuko Dardo and Nü el’Kah are left to contend with the remaining Imperials.

Suddenly, seeing their doom in the growing horizon of the planet outside the shuttle bay, the Imperials charge the shuttle, hoping to board and at least survive, if not triumph over our heroes. Laying down a withering hail of blaster fire, they badly wound Nü el’Kah. Taking over piloting from Vince, Bin’she Keeba tries the most desperate of last-ditch ploys: the famous and infamous Barn-Swallow. Expertly reversing thrusters just as the shuttle’s ramp meets the deck at the feet of Nü el’Kah and Vuko Dardo, Bin’she Keeba manages to scoop them both into the shuttle’s cabin mere seconds before the Imperials could reach the craft.

With desperate blaster shots bouncing harmlessly off the shuttle’s thick skin, the heroes escape the Queen of Ranroon moments before it succumbs at last to the stress of reentry, disintegrating into scrap metal and fire.

View
Act I, Ep. III
Loose Lips Sink Ships

In which the party forgets that the walls have ears.

Be Careful What You Say…

Feeling pretty good about themselves, having been smart enough to not kill all of the Imperial Navy Troopers, the crew wakes up and interrogates the remaining survivor of the two groups that ambushed them. They learn that many of the ships internal automated defenses are still intact and operational. They also learn that there are three working shuttles on the Arachnis and they are all located in the same shuttle bay in the upper portion of the ship.

The captive, pressed for more information, and even offered a chance to turn against the Empire in exchange for his life and safe passage off the planet, states that he is loyal to the Empire and to Captain Solov. He admits it was Captain Solov’s voice we heard over the intercom just moments before. After much heated discussion among the crew, it’s decided to let the prisoner live. The crew devise a plan, tie the prisoner up and bring him along, forcing him to help them avoid patrols and bypass any automated defenses, as they make for the shuttle hangar bay.

…Someone, Somewhere, Is Always Listening!

A short time later the crew safely arrives outside the hanger bay, having managed to avoid all patrols and automated defenses. D4-VNC1 (Vince) hacks the hangar bay door controls, opening the bay doors, and gets attacked by a virus in the system. Using the ever popular, and very effect, defense of screaming “Out! Out! Out!,” Vince manages to fight off the cyber attack. The bay is very quiet and the crew can see a shuttle directly in front of them. They cautiously move into the bay towards the shuttle. Vince and Corgan Dil’Alys access the shuttle’s ramp controls, managing to get the rear access ramp to open up. AMBUSH!!!

Standing inside the shuttle are four Imperial Stormtroopers. Thoroughly surprised, our heroes turn to find four more Stormtroopers at the hangar bay door. An intense battle ensues and contrary to popular belief, the Stormtroopers are quite accurate with their blaster rifles. Corgan, Vuko Dardo, and Nü el’Kah hunker down behind some shipping crates, trading blaster fire with the Stormtroopers, but they still take near fatal damage. Vince, ever the enterprising droid, bamboozles the Stormtroopers on the shuttle, slips by them, and locks herself into the cockpit. As the battle wages on outside, Vince raises the rear ramp of the shuttle from the cockpit, trapping the Stormtroopers inside, and giving her companions a small bit of reprieve from the heavy blaster fire they were taking from all sides.

With Vince inside the shuttle and everybody else outside fighting Stormtroopers, Captain Solov’s voice booms over the intercom, “You’re not getting off this ship. Surrender now and we’ll talk!” The crew decides to fight on. Inside the shuttle Vince is pushing the Jump To Light Speed button as fast as she can, to no avail. Out in the hangar bay Vuko manages to shot the hangar bay door controls. The crew, thinking the battle is about to end, is sorely disappointed when the door only closes halfway. The Stormtroopers out in the corridor slide in under the half closed door and the battle continues. Back inside the shuttle, Vince has accessed the shuttle’s computer and is frantically trying to get the engines started. She realizes the ship has been disabled somehow and will not start. Cowering behind the shipping crates, Vuko, Nü el’Kah, and Corgan’s comlinks all suddenly come to life with Vince’s voice as she screams, “No Juice! No Juice!”

Sometimes…Discretion is the Better Part of Valor

The crew suddenly realizes their situation is dire and reluctantly decides to surrender. As Vuko, Nü el’Kah, and Corgan have their weapons taken and are rounded up by the Stormtroopers (Vince, forgotten about by the Stormtroopers, has remained hidden inside the shuttle’s cockpit), Captain Solov shows up. He has captured and brought along Crimson Jack, Sim, and the rest of the Pirate gang. As Solov and his captives cross the hangar bay to where the Stormtroopers have the crew held Vuko leans over to Nü el’Kah and Corgan and whispers, “Bastard heard our entire plan down in the corridor.” They give Vuko a look that screams, “YA THINK!!!” Captain Solov asks, “What are you doing here? What had you hoped to accomplish? The Queen of Ranroon is rapidly losing orbit and will fall into the sea within hours. Even if you managed to steal one of my shuttles, it would be too late.”

Crimson Jack, sensing an opening, tells Captain Solov that it doesn’t matter. He says there are parts on the Queen that he and his men, if given a shuttle to fly up to the Queen, can salvage from the damaged ship and use to fix the semi-operational freighter they have. With Solov’s help, once his freighter is repaired with the parts from the Queen, he will take Solov and as many of his men as the ship will carry off Drexel II and out of the Drexel system. Captain Solov agrees.

Our heroes, seeing their opportunity to get off the planet slip through their fingers, and indignant at Jack’s backstabbing, bully their way into the deal with Solov. They explain to the Captain that while Crimson Jack might have the manpower to go up and get the parts off the Queen, we were actually on the ship and will be able to lead them to the parts quickly, before the Queen can fall out of orbit, possibly destroying the precious repair parts when it crashes on the planet. Captain Solov doesn’t look convinced, so the crew plays one last card of desperation stating that Crimson Jack and his merry gang are merely pirates and mercenaries, what could they possibly know about fixing a hyper drive motivator. We have two mechanics in our crew, and if allowed to come along will have the freighter repaired and ready to take us all off planet in no time at all. The Captain, stuck between a rock and hard place, reluctantly agrees.

View
Act I, Ep. II
Belly of the Beast

In which our brave adventurers spend some time aboard Crimson Jack’s flagship, The Fallen Mynock, learning the recent history of Drexel II and planning their escape.

A Little Knowledge Goes a Long Way

Our crew of adventurers learn some rather interesting information from Crimson Jack. For starters, they find that they are in the Drexel system, on one of the only habitable planets of the system, the water planet, Drexel II. Jack tells the group that the wrecked star destroyer is the Arachnis, possibly the only surviving Imperial ship from the Drexel Ambush during the Clone Wars.

The crew, ever vigilant and perceptive, notice that the strange sea creatures pulling Jack’s ship seem somewhat “tame.” Jack explains that the creatures are sea dianogas and have been “tweaked” by a “wizard.” This wizard turns out to be a doctor and to the utter shock of the adventurers, she’s a Kaminoan. Varen Berelis talks with the Kaminoan, See’lok, and learns that See’lok, having been on Drexel II for about ten years, doesn’t know that her race committed mass suicide nine years ago during the Clone Wars. Varen quickly changes tact and inquires about the sea dianogas. See’lok describes how she genetically engineered them to be more tame and somewhat trainable beasts of burden, but they are still fearsome.

While Varen has been with See’lok, the rest of the crew have been talking to Crimson Jack, trying to figure out a way to get onto the Arcanis undetected so they can potentially disable the gravity well generators and at the least steal the shuttle the Imperials sometimes use. Varen rejoins the group and shares what he has learned about the sea dianogas. Hearing about the sea beasts, Nü el’Kah suddenly gets a “gleam” in his eye and says, “I think I’ve got a plan.”

A Plan is Formed, Hatched, and Executed

Taking advantage of his Gand physiology, and particularly his life-sustaining respirator (which functions just as well under water), Nü el’Kah devises an ingenious plan – why try to sail up to the Arachnis when he can swim under it? After a few false starts, he learns to ride the dianogas and is able to covertly scout the submerged section of the Arachnis. With a little time and more than a little luck he finds an unobstructed (although unpowered) airlock, and returns to alert the crew.

The plan he proposes is dangerous and will require some luck to succeed: using the dianogas, the crew will sneak up to the Arachnis, then dive down to the airlock. With a little brute strength, they should be able to force open the airlock, and with a little luck they should be able to pass through, close the outer doors, and open the inner doors before they all drown. While several members of the crew smell a lot of “if” coming off of this plan, it does afford the element of surprise.

Unable to think of a better option, the crew (accompanied by Jack’s Yuzzem enforcer and a small band of pirates) rides a pair of dianogas to the sunken Interdictor with the goal of forcing their way into its underbelly. Arriving without alerting the Imperials to their presence, Nü el’Kah and Dewurra are able to swim down and open the outer airlock door using Dewurra’s overwhelming Wookie strength. Unfortunately on the way back to the surface Nü el’Kah gets separated from Dewurra, and in the dark water his respirator hose becomes entangled in protruding wreckage. Meanwhile, with varying degrees of success the rest of the crew is able to dive down and swim into the airlock.

After several desperate attempts to untangle himself, Nü el’Kah is able to make his way back to the airlock, where he is pulled through the outer blast doors by Dewurra at the last second before the crew closes them. With the entire crew assembled in the airlock, they are able to manually cycle the doors and gain access to the belly of the Interdictor.

Caught Between a Rock and a Hard Place

The crew find themselves in a dark, dank corridor. The smell of mold and mildew permeates the air. It’s obvious right away that this part of the ship is without power and has been abandoned by the Imperial forces. No one has been down here for a long time, possibly since the ship originally crashed onto the planet. The crew gather up to discuss their plan of attack. Their options are few. The current situation presents two possible choices, go back out the way they came, or follow the corridor “up” into the heart of the Interdictor. It stands to reason that the shuttle they are looking for must be in one of the upper shuttle bays of the star destroyer, one of the bays above the water line, and ship plans found in D4-VNC1 (Vince)’s memory banks confirm this likelihood.

Unfortunately, there is some dispute as to which path the group should take through the Interdictor. This increasingly heated discussion draws the attention of two patrolling groups of Imperial Navy Troopers. Apparently this part of the ship was not as abandoned as they thought. An intense battle with the troopers ensues, as the group fights from the center of a T-intersection to take down troopers in opposing corridors. Although a few of our heroes suffer minor wounds, these are quickly healed by Nü el’Kah and the crew routes the Imperial Troops, killing all but two of them. One, persuaded to flee the battle by the slick talking politician Berelis, disappears into the inky blackness of the corridor behind him. The second trooper, through some quick thinking of the crew during the heat of battle, lies stunned among his dead comrades. The crew intend to interrogate him to find out where the shuttle is located.

The crew warily moves down the corridor towards the downed trooper, watchful for another attack. As they approach the trooper, a deep, dark voice comes over the ship-wide intercom system, “What are you doing on my ship?”

View
Act I, Ep. I
No Rest for the Weary

Having delivered a repossessed starship at the behest of Tessil the Hutt, a motley crew of Fringers races back to Ryloth aboard the Queen of Ranroon, a luxury cruiser that has seen better days.

Tessil will likely be displeased at the expense of such accommodations, but a supernova has affected the hyperlanes, and the Queen was the only ship brave or foolish enough to risk the Death Wind Corridor. Better to cost the Hutt a few credits than let him believe you’ve made off with his starship.

Credits once spent are gone forever, so the crew has made good use of the Queen’s diversions, and the journey passes uneventfully until…

Trouble At Sea

As most of the group are passing time gambling or mingling on the main deck (Corgan Dil’Alys being the lone hold out and resting in his room in Steerage), the cruiser suddenly and violently drops from hyperspace. Several chaotic moments pass as the group attempt to determine what caused the starship to stop. The unstable gravity and movements of the ship make it obvious that something is wrong. To ensure that they aren’t looted of Tessil’s money, Varen Berelis, Dewurra, and D4-VNC1 (Vince) open the locked box they are carrying to Tessil and stow it’s contents in D4-VNC1 (Vince)‘s secret compartment. Corgan Dil’Alys haphazardly makes his way up a disabled turbo-lift to join the group on the main deck. D4-VNC1 (Vince) is eventually able to hack into the ship’s comm system and determine that a Gravity Well pulled the ship out of hyperspace.

Vuko Dardo climbs to the turbo-lift shaft to the bridge. On the way there, he is able to look out from the observation deck and see that the Queen is careening towards an uncharted blue planet. At this point, the group decides that it is time to abandon ship. They are all able to board escape pods and avoid the unpleasantness of an atmospheric entry aboard the cruise liner.

Out of the Frying Pan

After a bumpy ride to the planet’s surface the crew finds themselves scattered about the surface of an ocean. Off to the East, Vuko spots a wrecked Interdictor-class cruiser sticking up out of the surface of the ocean. The group and other survivors from the Queen of Ranroon manage to assemble on an emergency raft. To the west, someone notices a ship coming towards them, apparently manned with locals. At about the same time, another ship is spotted coming towards the group from the east, the direction of the Star Destroyer. This second ship is full of Stormtroopers, equipped with old and out-date armor and weapons.

Wanting to stay as far away from Imperial entanglements as possible, the the group decides to make for the locals. The Imperial ship takes note, picks up other survivors still floating in the ocean, and turns back towards the Star Destroyer. Our heroes, thinking they’ve made the right decision are picked up by the local ship, but no sooner do they get on deck then they are quickly grouped together and held at gunpoint as the Captain of the ship comes on deck.

Into the fire?

Trailed by a massive beast call Sim, the Captain of the local vessel, Crimson Jack, appears to be a pirate. However savage he may appear, he is prepared to make a deal, and Varen convinces him to talk instead of loot. Jack tells the group that the Imperials are responsible for the crash of the Queen. Apparently their cruiser crashed on the planet years before, and in cold-blooded desperation the Imperial crew has resorted to periodically activating the interdictor field and preying on any ship unlucky enough to be caught. However, there is hope. The captain reveals that the Queen of Ranroon did not, in fact, burn up in the atmosphere – instead it is locked in a slowly decaying orbit, and it is salvageable. Using parts from the Queen and a more-or-less intact freighter, it may be possible to cobble together a working hyperdrive for one ship to escape the system.

Unfortunately the captain’s plan has a small flaw – only the Imperials can get to the ships. And they aren’t likely to be amendable to persuasion…

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.