Star Wars (D6) - The Esurient Void: Prologue

A Wake of Buzzards, Episode 2: My Enemy, My Ally

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Yeah, I’ve heard something about that business with the Imperials down on Raxus.

Here’s what a little mynock whispered in my ear:

The protags of this yarn – a Jawa name a Rikkits, his Zabrak pal Triss Bukk and a new arrival to this fine old spaceport of ours, a human callin himself Garren – were thick into their nightly cups and saucers here in the Kraken’s only five-star strip joint and booze hall, the Lambent Gundark (open 24/7 seven daycycles a week!), when a pair of soldierly types approached ’em with a proposition.

These two tough guys – calling themselves Hexan Voss and Kantan Rejic – turned out to be a couple of Imperial commandos working outta that warship, the Fury’s Hammer, that’s settled into slithering around out yonder near the Angkor Vesh salvage operation. These two fine upstanders were looking for a little help rectifying a predicament a few of their fellows had gone and gotten themselves tangled up in.

Seems the Imperials had tried to breach the Nikato cordon around Raxus in order to complete some kind of covert mission down on the surface. Being Imperial, they went in assuming they were going to breeze right through the cute little Machinist’s orbital defenses.

Whoops on them.

Surprise, surprise, didn’t go so well. The Imp’s dropship got sliced and diced by Nikato drones and plummeted to the surface of the toxic hell-hole below.

Within an hour or so, the Imp’s received a signal from the surface indicating survivors. But, being the big softies they are known to be, the uppity-ups aboard the Fury immediately wrote these survivors off and started working on mounting a second incursion team to complete the aborted mission.

Our heroes’ visitors at the Lambent were determined to head off the reservation and get their buddies back. But due to the fact that one of ‘em was going to be busy piloting the second team of commandos to their target and the other fella was a little worse for wear due to an injury received during some earlier fracas, they’d decided maybe a little help was in order.

Thanks to the fact that our heroes had intervened on behalf of a Sith Lord and her lover [see earlier entry titled “The Abduction of Darsalan Sh’dar”] in bringing about the untimely demise of nasty cuss named Kaitan Voray, the Imps thought the heroes might well be amenable to helping them out, if not on grounds of plain ole compassion, then perhaps because of an inkling of sympathy toward the Empire itself.

(The Imps were dead wrong on that point: our erstwhiles hadn’t even a clue who they were really helping out when they took Voray down and reunited those two “star-crossed” young lovers. Whoops.)

At any rate, the credits offered spoke loudly enough and the party took the job.

After some prep and kitting out had been accomplished, a harrowing journey to the planet’s surface was executed, involving a heavily armored freighter used to punch a hole through the Nikato perimeter, ferrying the Imp’s dropship (along with our heroes) in its hollowed out cargo hold. The freighter held together just long enough under the pounding it was taking from Machinist drones to get the dropshop through the cordon, where it deployed successfully, leaving the freighter and its droid pilot to lead the drones away, a spectacular fireball of disintegrating durasteel. (Alas, the universe has lost yet another heroic astromech droid.)

After a hair raising high-altitude jetpack drop from the Imp dropship (which continued on its way to accomplish whatever beneficent work it had to accomplish), the party arrived at the first special ops mission’s crashsite. They found the wreckage and pulsing rescue beacon in a crater punched through the massive hull of a scuttled freight hauler.

Didn’t take long to figure out that whatever survivors there may have been, they weren’t there any longer. A trail of gore lead off into the jagged hellscape of wreckage that constitutes the bulk of Raxus Prime’s surface.

The trail lead the rescuers into a labyrinth of wreckage. After what seemed an eternity, a sound coming from around the next bend brought the party up short. Sneaking up to take a peak, Rikkits found a young human boy stuck in the shattered remains of an air duct. He’d gotten himself stuck while attempting to hide from the heroes.

The boy was successfully extricated and, after some slapping about by the increasingly impatient Imp commando, calmed down enough to tell the party his name was “Teg” and that he had spent the last month marooned after a failed freelance salvage run to nab a navcom. He was the last survivor. (Ah, the fatal fecklessness of youth.) He also told them that he knew where the missing survivors were from the doomed Imperial mission. Right where his companions ended up: in the “pantry” of the nastiest group of flesh-eating scavengers you’d ever not want to meet in a million years.

After securing a promise that he could hitch a ride home on the Imp dropship when it returned to pick them up, Teg offered to lead the way to the scavengers’ camp.

What they found was both gruesome and intimidating. About a dozen scavs had built themselves a cozy little butcher-camp in a dead-end cul-de-sac of wreckage, complete with a swoop bike, a cargo skiff and jury-rigged junk-walker. Littered among the shacks and detritus were nightmarish totems of bones and dried skin. An aqualish butcher kept watch over a tarp-covered cage in which the remaining Imps awaited dishing up.

The party wasted little time (and, in the end, very little effort) mounting an assault on the scavs and their boos man, the biggest nastiest-looking Rodian mutant that ever got blown up along with his bodyguard by his own junk-walker (take a bow Garren!). It was all over in about 60 seconds. With narry a scratch sustained, the heroes surveyed their art: 11 scavs, a cargo skiff and a swoop bike, all in smoking ruins.

Long story short, the survivor’s were saved and the party returned with even more off-the-record plaudits under their belts.

Stay tuned. The fun never stops on the Kraken. Can I getcha another worrt steak?

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A Wake of Buzzards, Episode I: The Abduction of Darsalan Sh'dar

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Kaitan Voray? The Mandalorian? Sure, I know what happened to him. He messed with the wrong buncha bottom feeders and got burned for it, that’s what.

Here’s what I know: Mister Voray, fine upstanding scum that he was, had recently captured a young member of Chiss royalty, on the run from an arranged marriage. The girl’s family was just a little chuffed about her going and ruining their wedding plans (read “chance for to getting their little blue grubs on the hefty dowry”) for her by running off with a young human spacer.

Said young human, a charmer name of Lampray, managed to track the oh so subtle bounty hunter Voray to our lovely spaceport, where said Voray’d sought repairs for his vessel.

Having befriended a few of my regular patrons – Jawa called Rikkits (or something less pronounceable), Zabrak tuffy name of Triss (and her nasty little scale-ball name of Daan) and a fine upstanding business-droid calling itself “Quill” – Lampray felt it was within acceptable bounds of etiquette to ask of his new friends that they help him distribute a few well-placed blaster bolts (should need of that arise), as he’d made plans to get back his woman.

Not sure how (cough, wink) they were able to do it, but Lampray and his cohorts managed to secure the Hanger number where Voray’s vessel was getting fixed up.

They proceeded to gain entry to said hanger through marginally less-than-farious means during the confusion caused by a riot among dastardly inebriates at my fine friend Lollop Caldaria’s cantina “The Spacer’s Restbit”.

(Though my own establishment The Lambent Gundark – open 24-7 every daycycle of the galactic standard year!!! – will most assuredly benefit from the lack of competition, it is still with a tear in my eye that I must record the closure of The Restbit for an undetermined period of time while extensive reconstruction is completed.)

The party of erstwhiles found Voray’s ship and a henchman, nasty cuss called Tarpan Huls, but no Voray, no Chiss royal.

After applying some of those blaster bolts I mentioned earlier, the party managed to determine that Voray had apparently holed himself up in a derelict fuel platform out around Raxus’ first moon. There he copped a squat upon his well-armored haunches to watch over his quarry and await the return of his faithful lapdog with their ship.

Rikkits jury-rigged a quick fix on Voray’s ship and the party headed off.

After managing to locate the old fueling platform, thanks to the incredibly cooperative Master Huls the justice-seekers proceeded to make landing upon it.

Creeping stealthily into the depths of the platform’s hanger they approached a pool of light. What transpired then I cannot say in great detail. I can say that Voray came out of the encounter a little less alive than he was going in, and, surprisingly, the killing shot would seem to have been made by that stinky little Jawa Rikkits.

Anyway, that’s all I got. No more Voray. And the star-crossed lovers have disappeared with Voray’s ship “into the black”.

So, you want another drink?

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A wake of buzzards...

It’s been 10 years since the Czerka Corporation’s Orbital Reclamation Platform ORTH-R1 “The Kraken” started operation in orbit over the junk planet Raxus Prime, and business has never been better. Conflicts between the Republic and the Sith Empire are generating a steady stream of crippled and subsequently decommissioned warships through the station.

Heady times for a contract junkman like Volker Brom and his corps of dedicated Skinners (salvage engineers specializing in stripping salvageable parts from the exterior of over-sized spacecraft).

Now, the Angkor Vesh, a massive luxury liner and infamous “ghost ship”, has just arrived in the Kraken’s scrap zone. Bound for stripping and scuttling on one of Raxus Prime’s scrap-continents, the Vesh, or the “Heap” as it has been affectionately rechristened, now rests in the hands of the Skinners.

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