• Title: Crucible of Defense
  • Time Frame:    Far Future 
  • Genre:    DragonStar, Fading Suns, Darwin's World, Star Wars, and more
  • Progress Level: DragonStar
  • Life:    We Are Not Alone! -- Mutants, Cybernetics, Androids, Robots, Psionics, Dragons, Soul Mechs, and Jedi 
  • Setting:    At the Crossroads of DragonStar and Fading Suns
  • Plot:    Just where the heck are we?
  • Goal:    To find out why innocent travellers are being abducted and experimented upon?
    • What are these experiments anyway?
    • Who is the Drunken Drow?
    • Why is G'Banrak so important?
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We are beginning a campaign with DragonStar as the focus, but we will be allowing characters from DragonStar, Fading Suns, Darwin's World, Star Wars, Gamma World, Alternity and any other Sci-Fi related adventure RPG.   We too have played Alternity, and We will be introducing many of the races, skills and technology from our previous Alternity campaigns.  We have been working on how to layout the entire cluster of galaxies and we too have come up with a Star*Drive, Fading Suns, Star Wars and Dragons Star galactic zones.

We will also be introducing all elements of SpellJammer and even Dark Sun World after a bit of conversion to d20 rules.  We have the D&D supplement on conversions and it is quite straight forward so lookout for SpellJammer and Dark Sun World conversions coming to a website near you.  If we can't find 'em, we'll convert 'em.

We can't disclose much at this time, but the campaign will take the heroic characters through a bit of an intro to the humanioid/dragon domain tech/magic world then toss them into a most interesting yet disturbing world of non-humanoid forms who come from far away galaxy.  They have been with us all along, but my heroes will venture to the first humanoid world mysteriously overcome by these entities.  The entities will range from something similar to Beholders, Shambling Mounds, Gibbering Mouthers, Ocre Jelly and the like (lookout Cthullu).... imagine millions of years of Green Slime evolution.  The characters will be praying to get out... along the way they will encounter survivors on this torn world they have come to rescue. Some survivors will be happy to see the heroes, others won't be so happy.

Using DragonStar and Fading Suns and other RPGs in one campaign opens up new and different levels of Magic. DragonStar goes on the D&D3 precept of having Arcane and Divine Magic and even Psionics.  Fading Suns treats these as skills for Psi and Theurgy - similar effects but different reasons. Darwin's world has mutations too. Lastly, Star Wars has the Force.  These power implementations will play an important role in the systems the heroes will visit.

Character Background Profiles

Name: Zoltan
Home Community
's life on the frontier is Spartan and dangerous, but it encourages self-sufficiency. Most homesteads include only one or two families.
Zoltan's home included swamps, moors, and other low, wet areas. Zoltan grew up with cold winters, but warm summers. Zoltan learned basic wilderness survival skills.
Zoltan learned farming and animal husbandry techniques. Zoltan spent time seeking animal skins or meat in the wilderness. 
Flood, famine, plague, or another calamity struck when Zoltan was a child. Zoltan aided in the defense of the community against raiders or a marauding monster. Attacks from organized raiders menace Zoltan's home community over a substantial period of time. 
Zoltan's family’s ancestors of note are unknown or forgotten. Information about them could be
revealed in a future adventure, however. Combat is a regular part of the lives of Zoltan's family. Most adult members are veterans of some combat, and martial weapons and training are commonplace. Sometimes Zoltan's family had to beg for food and shelter. They own no property and income barely covers basic needs. Zoltan's family holds to the letter of contracts and agreements. Zoltan's family has no specific political
stance. The male members control Zoltan's family. Zoltan's family’s ethical reputation matches their private ethics. Zoltan's family has a historical conflict with followers of a particular deity (player decides which) assumed to be disreputable. Zoltan's family is treated in general with contempt, but occasionally a family member has demonstrated positive qualities and earned respect. Zoltan's family are like most laborers and
servants. One or more local monsters view Zoltan as a threat, perhaps as a result of some minor encounter. Zoltan has 1d10 living relatives.  Zoltan's significant friend is dead or missing. Zoltan remember his grandparents, but they have passed away. A top-notch instructor taught Zoltan more advanced military, religious, or arcane techniques. Both of Zoltan's parents are deceased, and the player chooses how the parents passed away. Zoltan has a fraternal twin, identical twin, or two triplet siblings.
Player: JC

Name: Milo Fasthand

Around 450 halflings live in the shire where Milo Fasthand grew up. Milo Fasthand's feels comfortable with shipboard life and any island small enough that the dominant terrain feature is the sea that surrounds it. Milo Fasthand grew up with cold winters, but warm summers.

Both of Milo Fasthand's parents are alive and healthy. Milo Fasthand has 3 older siblings and 3 younger siblings. Three of Milo's grandparents are living (his mother's mother died of an illness a few years back). Milo Fasthand has 2d12 living relatives.

Milo Fasthand's family is poor. Although they have never had to beg for food and shelter, they own little property other than their gunsmith shop and their income barely covers basic needs. Milo Fasthand's family holds to the letter of contracts and agreements. Milo Fasthand's family supports the current political structure and rulers. The male members control Milo Fasthand's family. Milo Fasthand's family’s ethical reputation matches their private ethics. Milo Fasthand's family has worshiped a patron deity (Yondalla) for years, but may not observe religious commitments consistently. In general, Milo Fasthand's family is upstanding, but one or more members of family are known to be disreputable. Milo Fasthand's father is an expert gunsmith (and the best marksman in the shire).

Milo Fasthand's great-grandfather was an artisan of unmatched skill who left a legacy of excellence that is still used as a standard gauge of quality. Milo Fasthand's family frequently use and improve their shooting skills and could be prepared for combat with a few days of last-minute preparation.

Milo Fasthand learned basic wilderness survival skills. Milo Fasthand learned a craft -- gun-smithing. A top-notch instructor, Milo's father, taught Milo Fasthand more advanced small firearms techniques.

Major Events
Milo Fasthand took a two-way trip with his oldest brother on a new caravan route to a trade fair in the capital of his homeworld to learn about trade, caravans, firearms, and the world.

Milo Fasthand edged someone out in some affair of the heart, and they hold a grudge. Unfortunately, Milo is now leaving town and in his absence his rival may succeed in winning the favor of their common desire. Or will she wait for Milo to return?

Milo Fasthand doesn’t make friends easily, but Milo Fasthand is a good friend to those he has. Milo Fasthand has a few close friends.

Player: Mike

Name:  Syd Runwin

Syd grew up on a small, urbanized natural satellite around the planet Laithe. He lived with his uncle who he was also apprenticed under. Between the two of them, they ran a small Spell Book and Scroll shop that had been granted them by their family. Syd is very comfortable traveling, as he often did between the satellite and the home world. As he spent most of his time in one climate controlled area or another, he doesn’t care much for natural weather.

Syd’s parents are currently alive and well. He has a brother, as well as several bastard siblings by his father. In addition to these, he has a number of other familial connections throughout House Runwin.

The Runwin family is a powerful family on the planet of Laithe. For generations House Runwin has possessed considerable Sorceress power. With that power came powerful political positions and sway over large areas of the world. Unfortunately, it seems that House Runwin’s luck has run out. Recent generations have produced no Sorcerers and the remaining ones are beginning to die out. Syd was expected to be the next Sorcerer Supreme of House Runwin as he showed a very powerful spark. When he was born, however, his family realized that although he had a powerful ability in magic, he would never draw upon the Sorceress arts.

A little known fact about House Runwin (in fact, known only to the Elders of the House) is that the Sorceress ability the House has been ‘blessed’ with for the past several generations is not, in fact, happenstance. Many, many years ago, Syd’s ancestor, Cile Runwin struck a pact with a daemon most foul. In return for some price unknown to this day, the daemon provided Cile with extraordinary magical abilities. Apparently these abilities continued on in his bloodline, because since then, most Runwins have shown some signs of the Power.

Syd was shuttled to the satellite Kitiin V in shame shortly after his birth. The knowledge of what he was proved too much for his parents to bear. Instead Syd was raised by his uncle, Lanir, who was likewise an almost Sorcerer. From Lanir, Syd not only learned much of the mystical arts, but he also learned Electronics, and Programming, in order to work at the small Spell Book and Scroll shop his uncle owned.

Major Events:
When Syd turned 19, he entered a small tournament on the home world that involved a mage competition. When he reached the final round, his opponent, Tyros Reffa, proved to be much stronger than him, and when Syd caught a Lightning Bolt in the face, he nearly died.

More recently, Syd returned from a visit to his place of birth to attend the wedding of his brother. Upon entering his shop, he found it ransacked and his uncle missing. Several days later found Syd preparing to leave world in order to track his uncle down, armed with his magic and the few things he could scrounge up from the shop. "I wonder why uncle kept a laser pistol in his dresser?" Syd mused as he boarded his flight …

Syd doesn’t have too many friends, except perhaps his uncle. There are a few regulars in the store that Syd would occasionally meet outside for a drink, or perhaps a friendly spell duel, but they were all acquaintances at best.

Syd doesn’t possess knowledge of any enemies he currently has, nor does he know why anyone would want to hurt him. Even so, he has long suspected that Tyros Reffa meant to kill him in the tournament several years ago, and recent events have only reinforced his suspicions.

Player: David

Name: Xerxan

Home Community
Xerxan grew up a Half-Dragon raised in Drow settlements. His fellow Drow look upon him with disdain for his decision to leave the community and associate with the outside world. Most outsiders respect him as an obvious member of the Dragon ruling class, especially with his charm and poise.

Accustomed to caves set in lush mountains, Xerxan feels at home primarily in caves and dark environments, but feels a special affinity to mountains and rough terrain.

Educated at an early age in the magic arts, first by his father, then by a master teacher, his lifelong training in magic continues to this day.

As Xerxan reached Maturity, he left his predominately female village to search for adventure and a sense of place in the universe. He ended up a mercenary in the inter-galactic war of Dagawan 4. It was there that he met his first true friend and fellow magic user, Histan. Together in the same unit, they used their magical talent and natural fighting ability to stay alive, amass a fortune through plunder and sharpen each other's magical skills. After the war, Histan found his mate and decided to settle down and enjoy the amassed fortune. Xerxan's natural distrust and subtle hatred of women motivated him to leave the universe where Histan and his wife had settled.

Xerxan came from a wealthy family on the planet of Thwerx, but left most of his wealth behind when he left home. He currently has a good-sized fortune from his shady activities during the war. He is the oldest son of his Drow mother and has no conscious memory of his Dragon father with the possible exception of magic skills which could have only been passed on from his father. He searches constantly for his father in hopes of better understanding who his is. His half-brother and 5 half-sisters revere and fear him.


Name: Orendil

Whether it’s a tangled jungle or sparser pines, trees are the dominant feature of the landscape, that makes Orendil feel at home. Orendil welcomes the cold all year long, although where he comes from seasons are still discernible. The length of day and night changes greatly from season to season.

Orendil learned basic wilderness survival skills. Orendil has advanced studies in a formal church setting. Includes training as an acolyte or special functionary for religious practice. Orendil studied biology and geology.

Orendil had an earthshaking brush with greatness, such as meeting a king or being contacted directly by a god. Orendil found a unique aptitude or talent such as extremely keen vision or a knack for ventriloquism. Orendil's home community is faced with a new faith recently created, a schism tears an existing faith apart, or a prophecy is announced.

Sometimes Orendil's family had to beg for food and shelter. They own no property and income barely covers basic needs. The female members control Orendil's family. Orendil's family maintains a low level of readiness including a few weapons and an occasional discussion of how to defend against raiders or low-level monsters. Orendil's family is known for involvement in the community and acting to help others. Orendil's family’s ethical reputation matches their private ethics. Orendil's family has no specific political stance. Orendil's family is deeply committed to a patron deity (you choose which one). Orendil's family is known as stalwart companions. Orendil's family are like most laborers and servants. Orendil's family has no ancestors of note.

Both of Orendil's parents are alive and healthy. Orendil is an only child Orendil's father’s parents are deceased. Orendil has other relatives out there somewhere, but doesn’t know who or how many. Orendil doesn’t make friends easily, but Orendil is a good friend to those he has. Orendil has a few close friends. A particularly good instructor taught Orendil the basic skills (choose alive or dead, note NPC details) Orendil has no known enemies, yet.

I was born into a poor elven family in a forest settlement in the northern regions of (insert location). I grew up amongst the evergreens and snow, learning how to hunt and trap from my father. My mother's grandparents taught me to follow the ways of (insert appropriate nature deity for setting). Although religion held little interest for me, I did my duty, learning my prayers and my parables. My parents, though respected members of the community, never achieved nor cared particularly for material wealth. It was during a foraging trip that an event occurred which brought change into my life. It was an extremely cold day, and the snow was coming down in large and numerous flakes. I was ready to turn back towards the settlement, but I saw something about 100 meters away in the snow. What it was, I didn't know, but it appeared to be glowing with a bluish-white light. As I approached, the glow diminished, but I saw what appeared to be an animal in the snow. It was a doe, and upon inspection it was clearly sick or internally injured. Killing doe was not allowed at that time of year. Not knowing how I could help, touched the doe's coat and said a quick prayer that my grandmother had taught me. As I turned to walk away, I felt warmth behind me. Turning around, the doe was gone. I confided in my grandmother the story. She insisted that I had the "Gift of (insert deity)".

Player: Ryan

Name: Alahandra Windchacer

Highlands, cliff dwellings, and any other rugged terrain makes Alahandra Windchacer feel at home. Alahandra Windchacer grew up with cold winters, but warm summers.

Alahandra Windchacer learned basic wilderness survival skills. Alahandra Windchacer spent time seeking animal skins or meat in the wilderness. Alahandra Windchacer studied "defenses against the dark arts" and learned ways to fight monsters and battle the influence of black magic.

Evil men came and took her from her family when she was a child. She attempted to aid in the defense of the community against the raiders but was forcibly taken prisoner and was used in one of the  bio wizard weapons. The last she saw of her village was her parents murdered in front of her. She does not know if anyone made it out alive.

For some reason, Alahandra Windchacer's family's economic status was difficult to measure. Perhaps Alahandra Windchacer lived a solitary life on the frontier as a trapper or scout, living entirely off the land. The oldest members control Alahandra Windchacer's family. Alahandra Windchacer's family relies on magical protection. Alahandra Windchacer's family is known for involvement in the community and acting to help others. Alahandra Windchacer's family's ethical reputation matches their private ethics. Alahandra Windchacer's family has no specific political stance. Alahandra Windchacer's family is deeply committed to a patron deity (you choose which one). In general, Alahandra Windchacer's family is upstanding, but one or more members of family are known to be disreputable. Alahandra Windchacer's family is considered the "upper crust" of the home community. Alahandra Windchacer's family produced a wizard or sorcerer of some repute.

Both of Alahandra Windchacer's parents are deceased, murdered at the hands of the collectors. She has an identical twin who was strangely absent the day of the attack. Alahandra Windchacer remembers her grandparents, but they have passed away. Alahandra Windchacer has few living relatives that she knows of. Alahandra Windchacer's significant friend is dead or captured. Master Willowtree taught her the basic skills of fairy magic, and a little sneaking about on the side. One or more local villains have chosen to direct their hatred toward Alahandra Windchacer, perhaps because of some minor adventure Alahandra Windchacer completed.

Player: Mandy

Campaign Opening

The characters finds themselves aboard a large interstellar vessel traveling to many planets on the way to Degtra a new planet that needs cultivating.  The Dragon Empire has opened Degtra for colonization and exploration.  The characters feel that they may be able to make a name for themselves or at the very least become wealthy in helping to bring culture to Degtra.

Most of the characters come from poor worlds and are provided meager living quarters and board.

As the characters board the vessel, their weapons, armor and  most gear has been placed in a sub-hold aboard the ship.  This is a safety precaution on this type of transport vessel.  The vessel has thousands of passengers and therefore to insure everyone's safety, personal weapons are not allowed.  

  • Zoltan failed to smuggle anything on board
  • Milo decided to pick up a knife during a meal
  • Alahandra has her hold-out pistol
  • Syd kept his data-pad of spells and his head-band of intellect
  • Orendil smuggled nothing
  • Xerxan bluffed his way onboard with a hold-out laser pistol
After many weeks of traveling, the characters find themselves in one of the ships many saloons.  

Adventure 1

Somewhere along the Galactic Rim a new planet has just been opened for colonization. Named Degtra, entrepreneurs from across the galaxy are flocking towards it, looking to make their fortune.

As the passengers board their ships, they are searched for weapons or magical items secreted about their person. Many try to hide a gun but the guards are thorough and few manage to get aboard.

Even with the advances of today's age, Degtra is a fair distance away and the trip will be long. As such, the star ships that are to transverse the distance to the distant planet are almost small cities in the amenities they offer. Our story begins within a bar, as these stories so often do …

Syd sat alone within the bar at a small table. He sipped slowly at his drink as he reviewed the spells stored within his datapad. He had been surprised to find someone on this transport that had known him from his days at Eldritch Software. Apparently someone had managed to bring a magical item aboard ship, an item his old acquaintance wanted badly. He had offered Syd a substantial amount of money if it could be obtained.

Zoltan stood off to one side of the bar watching the door. He had seen a magical item that had been smuggled on board the ship and hoped to rid the universe of its presence. He sipped at his drink as he reflected on the number of magic items that he had destroyed since Forsaking magic.

Milo sat on a barstool watching the door as well. He had likewise heard of a magical item on board, and hoped to add it to the collection he owned. He was already prepared to pay a small amount and just hoped the owner was willing to sell.

Orendil sat at a table across from Syd, watching the door. He had learned of an enslaved Fairy trapped on this ship. He hoped to at least protect her, if not free her. Someone who could perpetuate such crimes on the free magical creatures of nature surely must have the blackest of hearts.

Xerxan walked down the hall, the magical container he had recently obtained clutched in his claw. Alahandra, trapped within, futilely yelled at him as they strode down the hall. Hopefully, he could get rid of the container and the annoying little Fairy trapped within while getting some creds at the same time.

Finally, Syd saw the man he had been waiting for entering the bar. The man wore a heavy cloak that hid many of his features but it was still obvious that he was not only of Dragon descent, but of Drow as well. Signaling him over Syd motioned for the stranger to take a seat.

Xerxan sneered as he sat down. He placed a small glass container on the table then drew the cloth covering it away. Underneath was a small lamp with strange metal implements making up the top and bottom. Inside the lamp itself was a small fairy, futilely glaring out at the two of them.

Negotiations were quick and brutal.

"How much is the asking price?" asked Syd.

"One-hundred-thousand creds," shot back Xerxan.

Syd spluttered out that he could not pay that price, nor was it likely anyone else in this bar could. Xerxan just stood up as Alahandra began shouting at him.

"I am worth WAY more than one-hundred-thousand credits!" she cried.

Sitting down at the bar, Xerxan propped Alahandra up on the bar and began to argue. Syd followed, not willing to give up yet, and again tried to establish a more reasonable price. Again Syd was rebuffed.

Milo approached Xerxan, inquiring about the container and the possibility of buying it. Realizing he couldn't manage to pay the price Xerxan quoted Milo walked away, but was soon called over by Zoltan.

Zoltan had noticed the large Half-Dragon, Half-Drow who was even now arguing with a small Fairy who was trapped within some kind of glass container. Obviously this was the magic item he hoped to destroy. When Milo finished conversing with Xerxan, Zoltan called him over, asking what he knew of Xerxan and the item he carried.

Orendil soon approached the small gathering and introduced himself to the small group. They each wanted the lamp, albeit each for his own reasons. However, realizing that none of them had enough money to buy it alone they each agreed to try and pool their money for the purchase.

Milo approached Xerxan again, offering sixty thousand creds this time. Xerxan simply laughed in the Halfling's face.

"Even if I would sell it for sixty-thousand, I wouldn't sell to a Halfling!"

Back at the small table Milo, Orendil, and Zoltan quickly decided that if Xerxan would not sell lamp then perhaps they should take it. Quickly they decided that Xerxan must have stolen the lamp in the first place and as he got up and began to leave they stood up and approached him.

Syd had spent this entire time at the bar himself, angry at the Half-Dragon for denying him the chance to replenish his sorely depleted funds. Suddenly Milo approached him and explained what Zoltan, Orendil, and him were doing. Milo had seen Syd trying to negotiate with Xerxan earlier and thought he might be interested.

"To be honest, we think the half-dragon may even have stolen it. We don't know how he thinks he can get that much money in this bar."

"I just figured the half-dragon was stupid," Syd replied.

Milo walked away, realizing Syd was not going to be much help, and instead began walking towards the bar's bouncer.

Meanwhile, Zoltan suddenly jumped forward and knocked the lamp from Xerxan's hands. Orendil quickly realized that Zoltan didn't care for the safety of Alahandra and it was shortly after that that Orendil, Zoltan, and Xerxan began to struggle back and forth over the lamp.

Instead of joining in Milo began distracting the bouncer, not only slowing him down, but also running propaganda about how the Half-Dragon had stolen the lamp.

Xerxan stepped back and cast Grease on the lamp causing it to begin slipping from hand to hand. Alahandra by now is screaming as the lamp takes shock after shock. So far she isn't harmed but it will only take one piece of glass breaking the wrong way …

Suddenly Alahandra casts Dispel Magic on the lamp but nothing seems to happen at first. Then suddenly the lamp releases a large Dispel Magic throughout the room. Syd feels the spell try to affect the Shield spell he had cast in the meantime but his spell managed to hold.

The Dispel Magic does rid the lamp of the Grease, however, and Zoltan manages to take hold. Realizing that freeing the Fairy before breaking the lamp would keep Orendil from fighting with him he tries to manipulate the knob on the top. Red lightning bolts begin to play throughout the lamp and Alahandra screams in pain.

Orendil realizes he has to risk hurting Alahandra to get her out and him and Zoltan begin working together. Xerxan takes a swipe at Zoltan with his claws but is shortly then after Dazed by Syd.

As the bouncer continues to advance Xerxan realizes he will not be able to recover the lamp. He begins to run but before he can get far Syd casts another spell, Hold Person this time. It fails to affect Xerxan though and he starts to head for the door.

Zoltan, sufficiently agitated by now, grabs hold of the lamp and runs to the bar where he quickly smashes it against the corner. Alahandra goes flying across the bar as the lamp is quickly reduced to useless matter. Zoltan feels a rush as he realizes he has helped another person remove the taint of magic from them.

And then guards are everywhere. The ships police have watched the brawl and have already captured Xerxan. Everyone else is pulled in as well, including Alahandra for the Dispel Magic, as well as a drunken Drow who at one point bumped into Xerxan.

The small group of suspects is led down into a dark part of the ship where they pass by several people similarly held as they are. They see several Orcs, and a few other races they recognize, along with a whole slew of ones they don't.

Milo calls out that he wants his phone call, causing the Drow guards to burst out into laughter. The held suspects are loaded on to a small ship where they are locked into small cells. Alahandra and Milo share a cell, being the smallest prisoners. Everyone else is loaded into their own individual cell. The suspects (who are quickly beginning to think they are no longer suspects) who look to be the strongest or most capable of escaping are but behind force barriers instead of bars.

Suddenly the prisoners felt the ship lift off. One Drow guard remained on board, striding up and down between the cramped cells, explaining the prisoners' plight. A Human pilot sat the controls as the party flew into space.

"You are heading for the prison planet Aphex. If you act up I jettison you. Understand?"

It was then that everyone realized the back of the cells were actually air locks!

Finishing his inspection of the cells, the Drow guard captain takes a seat towards the front of the prisoner transport.

Sensing a loosening of security, Syd bends down and begins discussing the possibilities of escape with Milo. Several of Syd's spells could prove useful for escape if he could simply get the help of an accomplice. Alahandra continuously interjects biting comments aimed at Syd or Milo.

No one else on the transport seems to have much to say. Zoltan complains bitterly, and his steel bars are replaced with an energy shield for his effort. Everyone else seems more shocked, or perhaps resigned to their fate.

The trip passes uneventfully. Syd and Milo create a few plans, but all of them have several flaws. And then it comes into sight. The Prison Planet Aphex.

A noise emerges from the cockpit, full of static and barely audible.

"… Turn back! .. prisoners .. overrun …. large breach … turn back! … "

The pilot quickly starts calling out for the guard, who enters the cockpit to see what is going on. The argument is clearly heard from the cells.

"Maybe we should turn back sir. That message sounded pretty serious."

"Nonsense! There is no way prisoners could escape. Obviously there is some problem with the communications system. Just land!"

Grimly, the prisoners look from one another. That kind of obstinacy definitely did not promise a happy landing …

And suddenly was entering the atmosphere, pushing down towards Aphex. The ship shuddered suddenly, rocking from one side to the left. Again the pilot voiced his concerns, and again was shot down by the Drow guard.

As the ship rocked from side to side more and more, the prisoners realized that their transport was being shot at! The pilot quickly confirmed this.

"They're shooting us! We have to get out of h-"

The pilot was cut short as a large hole suddenly appeared in the far wall. One prisoner vanished into a fine mist as the transport suddenly took a nosedive, heading straight for the ground.

Passengers scream and everyone is thrown about as more holes are punched through the transport. With a shuddering lurch everyone is thrown about as the transport smashes into the surface of planet Aphex.

The guard captain is blown from the cockpit, clearly unconscious. More blasts pelt the downed transport and several more prisoners are reduced to mush.

The cells begin to unlock automatically and the first prisoners out are Orcs, quickly run forward and begin to kick the guard. A few more take the guards weapons. As Orendil is released, he runs over and takes the command for the cells from the guard's belt. Checking on the pilot in the cockpit he realizes that he is pretty obviously dead.

As more blasts rock the downed ship, however, the prisoners begin to flee through the open door, in addition to the blast holes. Syd sees one Orc running away from the source of the blasts, only to be vaporized as a bolt of yellow light burnt through his back.

Quickly deciding that heading towards the source of the incoming fire is the best idea, he starts heading for a large building that seems to have some kind of turret. A large group of prisoners run toward the corned of the building, but Syd runs for the large double doors in the front.

Orendil, Zoltan, Xerxan, Alahandra, and Milo head toward the corner with everyone else.

Alone, Syd opens the large double doors. Inside is blackness …

Syd casts a light spell and slowly begins to move into the dark room.

Meanwhile, at the corner of the building, the prisoners suddenly hear the sound of booted feet! A small group of armed individuals wearing strange uniforms and armor comes running right from the direction everyone was heading. The small groups of prisoners scatter with Xerxan, Milo, Alahandra, and Orendil heading for the door that they can see Syd even now beginning to enter.

Zoltan meanwhile attempts to stop one of the apparent guards and asks what's going on. The guard looks Zoltan up and down for a moment before ignoring him and running to the downed space shuttle.

Zoltan follows, heading back into the mangled spacecraft as he sees the guards searching about.

"He's not here!" one guard shouts out.

"He must have already escaped."

Zoltan cautiously approaches the guards, and asks exactly who they were looking for. The guards again take notice of him, and this time decides he is worth their time to answer.

"Who are you and what are you doing out here? Can't you tell this place is dangerous?"

"I saw the ship crash and I was wondering if there were any survivors. If I had known some type of firefight would be going on here I wouldn't have come. Could one of you spare a firearm so I can defend myself?"

The guards look Zoltan up and down, appraising how much he is worth. Finally they refuse to give him any weapons and just tell him to get out of the area. Obviously he is just some crazy who lives in the vicinity.

Back at the doorway, a Syd is slowly leading everyone else into the prison using his magical light. Obviously the prison was the scene of recent violence as several pieces of furniture are ripped up or melted to slag. As the group enters a small hologram appears on one of the few still standing tables. The hologram is of a man and as the group moves closer it begins to talk.

"Greetings and welcome to the Aphex prison colony. I am your guide. What can I help you with today?"

His sole thought on reaching the roof and disabling the turret, Syd quickly asks for directions to the elevator.

"Sorry, there appears to be a problem with the network. I cannot access that information at this time."

Many other questions were asked, but the only one to get a different response was a query about the location of the Warden's office. The Warden's office proved to lie right beyond the melted heap of slag that had been a door on the right wall of the room the group was in.

By the time the hologram had revealed that information, Zoltan had run up from the ship to see what was going on. Falling naturally into something of a group (since there is safety in numbers after all) the now complete party begins advancing through the door directly in front of them.

As the party entered the next room they quickly made out the hissing crackle of static. Almost the entire northern wall was covered in monitors, each one filled with crackling static. Red lights provided a dim amount of light in the room, enough to see a man walking back and forth in front of the monitors, making adjustments as he walked.

The man wore a holster over his guard uniform and seemed to be muttering to himself as he paced back and forth in front of the monitors. Clearing their throats, the party made their presence known.

Jumping the man turned towards the party and asked who they were.

"We're repairmen for the turret." answered Syd.

"I don't think we called for any kind of repairs on the turret," the guard answered back.

"Well, someone did."

That seemed enough to satisfy the guard, who quickly introduced himself as Tucker. Apparently there had been a prison revolt, which happened to coincide with all the surveillance cameras going out at once. Syd offered to take a look at the monitors and see what was wrong, but quickly figured out that they were simply not getting any feed.

"All the cameras must be destroyed or disabled." Syd told Tucker.

"Maybe one or two, but surely not all of them. We have these cameras all around the prison."

Tucker was obviously somewhat shaken by whatever had been going on, so the party decided to let him continue to believe that. As the party continued to talk with Tucker a few other guards entered from behind the party.

For a few moments, everything was tense, but once Tucker explained that they were all repairmen for the turret, the other guards quickly relaxed.

Apparently, the prisoners had revolted some time earlier. Fighting had been brutal, and several guard stations had not reported in for hours. There were only a few guards in the area and they only controlled a few rooms. The main offices had been attacked in force and sealed off. No one knew what was going on in there. Likewise, the prisoner levels had been sealed off. The guards, excluding Tucker, were armed with taser pistols. While there was a cache of weapons somewhere in the prison, only the Warden knew where, and he had been one of the first casualties of the riots.

The party agreed to go up to the roof and repair the turret anyway, despite the fact that the upper floors were likely prisoner controlled. The guards, visibly impressed by this repair crew's bravery, offered them some guard vests and taser pistols. Syd accepted Tucker's semi-automatic pistol.

The repair crew was led to the elevator in the prison by a pair of guards. The entire area was spookily lit with dim red warning lights. Power had been out in several areas for hours and the guards were pretty sure the elevator wasn't working. Surely the repair crew could fix it though.

Reaching the elevator doors, the guards thanked the party again before leaving to resume their positions in the rooms they controlled. Turning to the elevator, the party tried calling it down. When nothing happened for several minutes, Zoltan pried open the elevator doors and looked up.

The elevator appeared to be stuck on the second floor and seemed to have no intention of coming down for the party. There was a service ladder but there was no way the larger members of the party could make it past. Alahandra suddenly flew into the elevator shaft.

"I can fit through. Hold on a moment."

Flying up Alahandra inspected the elevator and the way it was held in place. She realized all she had to do was remove two pins and the elevator would come crashing to the ground! Slowly, Alahandra wriggled the first pin free, followed shortly after by the second. The elevator gave a lurch as Alahandra plummeted down the shaft and out the still open doors, just escaping the rapidly falling elevator herself.

The elevator landed with a crash and debris flew everywhere. The elevator shaft looked like a small war zone, the floor covered with twisted wreckage. On the plus side, the service ladder was now clear of obstructions.

Agreeing to stay back and explain what had happened to the guards, Xerxan walked back towards the entrance of the small elevator room. Everyone else climbed up passing the doors for the second and third floor, instead heading up to the fourth, where the guards said they could gain access to the turret.

Jimmying the elevator door open, the party scrambled out of the elevator shaft and onto the medical wing of the fourth floor. As each person left the shaft, they were greeted with a horrible squishing sound. Slowly turning around, each was horrified by what they saw.

A large mass of bulbous, almost liquid flesh sat at the far corner of the room. Tentacles waved from many places along its surface, each tentacle tipped with some kind of sucking appendage. Several corpses lay about the room, obviously victims of the creature. The room itself was in shambles, operating tables overturned, surgical implements spilled about. Most horrible of all, however, was what was attached to the creature. Lying on the floor was a man in a white lab coat. It was hard to say where the creature ended and the man began, as they seemed to almost … blend into one another. As disgusting as the sight was, it was worse when the man opened his eyes and looked at that the group. As he glimpsed the small party, he began calling for help pitifully.

"Help! Help! But don't get too close! It will get you too!"

The party instantly shot a barrage of questions at the man and he explained as best he could.

"I am a doctor here. I was expera … er … operating on a prisoner when his trauma symbiote went haywire. It grabbed several guards and me. I am the only one still alive."

"Don't worry. We can kill the thing and get you out in a hurry," called Syd as he began running a list of the spells he had available in his mind.

"Wait! No! Somehow, it's reversed itself. Instead of protecting its host, it's using its host for energy. That means me! If you attack it, it will drain me to heal itself!"

"How should we get it off then?"

"Find a surgeon!"

"There is a prison riot going on. We probably won't be able to find anyone who can help."

"I know there is a riot going on! This thing killing guards probably started the bloody thing!"

Discussing among themselves, the party quickly came to the conclusion that a surgeon was not going to be found here. Any surgeons left alive were likely to be prisoners, and they certainly wouldn't be trustworthy. Either way, the captured doctor didn't look like he could last much longer anyway.

Instead it was decided that Syd would quickly attack the mutated trauma symbiote. Hopefully, the safeguards programmed into trauma symbiotes were still in place on this one and it would stop draining the doctor once he fell unconscious. Milo would try to approach and cut the doctor free as soon as the symbiote was dead.

Pushing up his sleeves, Syd began casting spells. He began with a haste, increasing his speed dramatically. He then shot forth several small orbs of electricity as well as a deafening blast of sound. The doctor screamed and fell silent as Milo began to tumble forward, dodging the creatures grasping tentacles. Syd continued to blast the beast with magical power as Alahandra and Orendil began shooting it, Alahandra with the laser pistol she had concealed, Orendil with the semi-auto that Syd had given him.

The mutated symbiote just seemed to soak up the damage, holes appearing in its huge bulk apparently not injuring it very much.

Milo nearly reached the doctor, but suddenly found himself attached to the monstrosity by one of its tentacles. Using his knife to scrape it off of him, he quickly moved back out of range as Syd, Orendil, and Alahandra continued to rain death onto the blob of flesh.

Finally, the creature began to succumb to its wounds, and with a sickening squelch, started to dissolve into a sticky goop. Milo moved forward again, but the doctor was unfortunately beyond his help. The doctor had apparently been drained to death by the symbiote before it died. The party mourned the doctor for a moment, but at least he was no longer in pain. Moving his corpse to where the other bodies lay, the party saw that the symbiote had been blocking three doors. Before the party could go through any door, a noise from the elevator shaft caused them to turn around. An elf wearing a strange looking orange jumped had climbed out of the elevator shaft and was staring at the destruction with wide eyes. He had come up to see what the noise was, and had found a scene from a nightmare.

The party explained some of what was happening and what they were doing, and the elf offered to tag along. He had been getting bored wandering about. The party agreed to let him come along and deciding to try the center door first, opened it and walked through.

Inside was a narrow hallway, both walls lined with medical supplies. At the far end lay another door. Ransacking the medical supplies, the party quickly found several boxes of medical patches, small sticky patches that released healing chemicals when applied against skin. Several large bottles of painkillers were found as well. Both dermal patches and painkillers were pocketed by Milo.

Opening the door slightly, the party peeked out and saw two figures standing next to the turret. Obviously either they had shot down the transport as well as vaporized most of the escaping prisoners, or else someone inside the turret still had done the dirty work. Either way, the party would make them pay.

Moving back in cautiously, the group asked Alahandra to scout out the area somewhat. She had already proved herself somewhat sneaky, and would likely be able to slip by unnoticed. Sniffing at the inconvenience, she turned invisible and silently flew out to get a look around.

No one else was on the roof except for the two figures standing next to the turret. The figure farthest away was a male centaur wearing a bright orange shirt over his human torso. In his hand was some kind of makeshift club, a table or chair leg.

The centaur's companion was a large, green, ugly monstrosity. The female troll had wicked claws as well as razor-sharpened teeth. Flying back, Alahandra explained the situation. While trolls and centaurs were both strong, they were out numbered plus the party was armed while they weren't. Victory was nearly assured.

The party checked the ammo for all of their guns before opening the door and charging out. Guns leveled towards the two creatures Milo shouted out

"Freeze and we won't shoot!"

But where there should have two, there was only one. Suddenly the female troll emerged from the other side of the turret, charging forward into the group swinging her mighty claws. The centaur moved forward beating at Zoltan with his club.

Several taser darts were fired, but they seemed to have no effect. Milo quickly dropped his taser and pulled out his steak knife. Orendil began firing at the troll nearly point blank with his auto pistol while Alahandra hovered above the troll, invisible firing down.

Syd cast a spell and his hand was surrounded by a sickly white glow as he advanced towards the troll and began trying to touch her. The elf ran forward and began attacking the troll with a makeshift club he had.

The troll's claws ripped into Syd, shredding his clothes and leaving bloody gouges across his chest. Orendil was struck as well, while Zoltan received a beating from the centaur's club.

Syd continued to attack the troll as Alahandra's invisibility ran out. The troll proved to be very quick, and the sickly green skin proved to be very tough. Many of Orendil and Alahandra's shots were simply dodged, or stopped by its tough hide.

The centaur was not faring so well, as Milo quickly began to hamstring the beast with his knife. Zoltan abandoned his gun for his fists and began attacking the centaur with his bare hands.

The troll ripped into Orendil and Syd again, blood beginning to spew from several of Syd's wounds.

The centaur collapsed in a bloody pool as Milo stabbed it a final time. The troll took yet another piece out of Syd and Syd fell to the ground, unconscious and mortally wounded.

Milo ran forward and applied one of his patches to Syd, ducking as the troll swung at him. Handing Syd the remaining patches he approached the troll with his knife, and began searching for a weak spot. Zoltan approached the troll from the opposite side and continued to use his bare fists as he attacked the troll again and again. Alahandra continued to take pot shots but the troll was too difficult to hit.

Syd crawled back to the wall where he began applying dermal patches to himself. The rest of the party attacked the troll again and again but it simply shrugged off most of their blows, and healed the few that landed.

Things weren't looking good …

Adventure 2

Atop the roof of an overrun prison, a battle rages.

A young man lays in a small pool of blood, applying small skin colored patches to his body. A smear of blood trails from him to the large green monstrosity, whose claws drip with a similar crimson. A small halfling stands to one side of the green brute, assaulting her with a knife. A larger man stands directly from the halfling, attacking the monster with his bare hands. An elf stands off to one side firing at the creature while a fairy hovers above firing down onto her.


Everything suddenly lurches into motion. Syd, badly wounded, continued to use dermal patches to heal himself. Zoltan, Alahandra, Milo, and Orendil have the troll surrounded and are attacking in full force. Despite their efforts though, it is obviously a losing battle.


Orendil’s luck has turned sour, and every shot he fires misses the troll by a wide berth. Alahandra likewise finds trouble hitting the heavily armored, fast moving target. As the troll’s claws begin to take even more of a toll Syd calls out for a retreat.


“Retreat! Don’t worry about me!”


Slowly, the party began making a strategic retreat towards the still open door leading back into the medical floor of the prison. As Zoltan finally entered the doorway leading into the medical wing he slammed it shut before the troll could reach the rest of the party, effectively leaving Syd alone on the roof.

Syd stood up from the crouch he had been holding and began casting his last spell for the day. The troll turned at the sound of his spell, and snarling began charging towards him. Suddenly, Syd’s form began to blur and wings sprouted from his back as his form altered to that of a large bird. Turning, Syd dove from the roof, and catching a wind current drifted down to the prison’s front door. Ending his spell, Syd resumed his normal shape and entered the prison again. Heading back towards the elevator, he passed a few startled guards.


“Troll on roof. No time to talk.”


Meanwhile, back on the fourth floor, everyone is applying dermal patches to the claw wounds that crisscross their body. Suddenly, the door on the opposite side of the medical storage the party is hiding in opens, and Xerxan walks in.


After explaining the current status of the party, Xerxan had climbed up the ladder and had arrived just in time to see the party running away. Eyeing the heavily bandaged party, Xerxan receives an answer to his unasked question.


“Big troll outside,” says Zoltan, jerking his thumb towards the door leading out.


Nodding, Xerxan cautiously approaches the door and opens it, stepping out. Opening his mouth wide, he releases a torrent of fire that scorches the troll badly. Hastily stepping back inside, Zoltan helps Xerxan erect a temporary bar against the outside door using the shelves lining the walls of the small room they are in.


By the time the outside door had been barricaded, as well as the second door leading into the medical facility itself, Syd had managed to arrive upstairs with everyone as well.


Looking about the heavily damaged medical wing, the small group realizes that there are two doors they have left completely unexplored. Entering the right-most one, Milo is surprised to see a sleeping female in a nurse’s outfit stretched out on one of the medical pallets.


Waking her, Milo began to talk to the nurse, asking her several questions. Obviously, however, the nurse was experiencing a form of shock because she seemed unable or unwilling to move from the area she was in, even when she was informed of the troll still outside. One fact that the nurse did provide, which somewhat soothed some of the group’s consciousness, was that there were no other medical personnel that she knew of.


Searching the nurse’s room, as well as the room behind the left door, which proved to be more storage, every member of the party found themselves with several healing patches in pockets or pouches.


Finally, the area secured, the party decided sleep was desperately needed. Sleeping arrangements were tense, as Alahandra didn’t want to sleep next to anyone, while Zoltan refused to lie down next to a magic user, and Xerxan didn’t want to lay with any lesser races on general principals. In the end, the group ended up sleeping in the far corners of the room, as far from each other as possible.


The next morning, the outer door and the barricade the party had constructed still stood. It was obvious the troll had attempted entry, but had been unable to break down the door.


The party discusses heading outside for the troll again, or heading down instead. With his spells renewed Syd is eager for vengeance against the troll, but without weapons (and truly the taser pistols are NOT weapons) the other members are leery of attacking.


Finally, Syd agrees that better weapons should be obtained before attacking the troll again, and the party prepares to climb back down the service ladder. Just as they reach the elevator doors, however, two orcs leap out from the elevator!


Both are large and ugly, as orcs go, and both brandish weapons. One has a taser pistol while the other has a stun baton. Armed as they are, however, the orcs are no match for the party.


Milo begins to slash horrible wounds into the orcs as a flurry of taser darts manages to stun both of them. Orendil attempts to push the orc with the stun baton back down into the elevator shaft but fails to overpower the orc. Alahandra begins to fire with her laser pistol as the orcs ineffectively attempt to attack back.


Just as one of the orcs begins to crawl away from the battle, Orendil recognizes both of the orcs as fellow prisoners on the transport, before it was shot down. Milo plunges his steak knife into his opponent’s chest as Orendil and Alahandra both call out.


“Don’t kill them!”


The second orc is spared, however, and proves to be very talkative.


“Who was the other orc?”


“My brother-in-law. He was always pretty stupid though.”


“And what were you doing up here? How did you get past the guards?”

 “The guards didn’t seem very smart either. They said a repair team had gone up top to deal with the turret and never came down. They wanted us to see what was going on. Guess you guys are doing fine.”

 Informing the orc about the nurse, and vice versa, the party left the somewhat wounded orc in the care of the nurse. Warning both of them about the troll outside, the party again approached the elevator shaft, and this time managed to climb all the way down to the first floor.

 Exiting the elevator shaft, the party walked out and turned left, heading towards the offices that the guards had been forced to abandon. At the door leading to the offices, the party met Arnie, one of the guards.

 “Ask for me by name when you try to get back in, or we won’t open the door.”

 Entering through the door, the party was met with a scene of utter destruction …


Inside the office, the desk was overturned and papers were strewn about. The entire room looked as if someone, or something, had simply flown into a rage and attempted to destroy everything they could.

Performing a quick search of the room, Milo managed to find a small datapad that seemed to be some prisoner lists. Searching through he noticed several things within the prisoner rosters. The most interesting information revealed, however, was the list of prisoners in maximum-security cells. A troll was one of the first entries that caught Milo's eye. Obviously, the party's friend on the rooftop had been one of the maximum-security prisoners.

Other than the troll though, the maximum-security cells contained: two driders, a minotaur, a halfling female, a sea hag, and, most frightening of all, a storm giant!

Realizing that they may be in more trouble than they had realized, the party grimly entered into the main hallway between the offices. Deciding to start at the end of the hallway, they walked past several offices and approached the last door in the building.

The party attempts to open the door, but quickly they see that it is obviously locked. Alahandra suddenly flies forward and begins toying with the lock. A few moments later the door suddenly opens and the party stares, open-mouthed at the little fairy. Maybe they were lucky they had taken her along after all …

Inside the small cramped room the door had revealed, the party found an obvious communication terminal. The same message they had heard from the back of the prison transport crackled over and over as it was broadcast out by the automated system.

The message brought up the question of what the party should do if help arrived before the small group could escape. The prison roster had shown that the prison had been expecting the party before the riot. The basics of the group, their race and gender mostly, were marked down as incoming. How hard would it be to match that profile to the group?

Syd and Milo sat down and began trying to rework the message. Finally, once access had been gained and the old message deleted, Syd recorded a new message, signaling an all clear. Setting the communication system to loop the message over and over, the party left, approaching the door directly adjacent.

Again this door was locked. Alahandra tried her skill with this door as well, but without a keycard she found herself unable to get in. Deciding to leave this door for now and explore the other offices, the party again entered the small corridor running between the offices.

Office after office revealed scenes of destruction. Unlike the first, bodies soon became apparent in many of the offices. Some were mauled horribly. One particular body had been stuffed into the file cabinet in its office. Another officer was torn in half, as if by something with large claws.

Every scene of carnage sickened the party a little bit more. Reluctantly, though, they forced themselves to look through every room, to make sure they left nothing useful behind. In one of the rooms, where it appeared the Deputy-Warder how worked, the party found the Deputy-Warden's keycard.

Heading back to the locked door, Alahandra managed to gain entrance using the newly acquired keycard. Inside the room sat wall to wall monitors, some covered in static, some flashing the message

"Network Lockdown Enacted."

Searching throughout the room, Milo quickly noticed noise coming from a small cabinet in the corner. Milo began trying to coax out whoever was in the cabinet, switching from language to language, as he drew no response. When he tried gnomish though, suddenly a voice replied. Slowly, Milo convinced the hiding gnome to reveal himself.

The small gnome proved to be a guard, who had hidden himself when the prisoners had stormed into the offices. After assuring the scared guard that they weren't prisoners, the party escorted him back and got Arnie to let him back into the part of the prison still controlled by guards.

Milo and Syd again sat down and began attempting to unlock the system so that they could gain access. When Milo bumped against one of the buttons on the wall though, instead of unlocking the network, they got the message that they had unlocked the high security cells! Suddenly, the entire system went down and could not be rebooted by Syd or Milo. Sheepishly Milo grinned as the party stood to leave the small room.

Suddenly, Orendil realized what had been bothering him so much about this small stretch of hallway. Airflow was coming from beneath the wall!

Examining a small section of wall directly across from the network room, the group discovered a door disguised to look exactly as the rest of the wall. Once the door had been discovered the access port for the keycard was obvious. Alahandra began trying to open the door using the Deputy-Warden's keycard when suddenly there was a snapping sound. The keycard had broken within the lock! Today was not the party's lucky day.

Grimacing, the party gave up on the hidden door and went back to the office corridor. Passing the already explored offices, the party went through the entry room and entered the Warden's office. The destruction here was as bad as everywhere else. In some cases it was worse, as it was obvious that several of the burns in the walls were obviously put there on purpose. Syd found a guard's uniform in the closet. A hole had been burned through where the heart would have been had there been someone in it, but a pack of spearmint gum stuck out of the breast pocket, unsigned.

Milo, meanwhile, found a datapad the Warden had been working on. In the riot, however, it had become heavily damaged. Salvaging some of the other parts in the room though, Milo managed to gain a marginal amount of operation. The datapad seems to contain some kind of half-finished report, but it makes little sense to Milo, or anyone else within the party.

Most important, though, is the small keycard found behind the Warden's desk. Deciding nothing else was to be found in the office, the party walked back to the secret door. They would get through that door, no matter what.

Alahandra attempted to open the door again, but she could not with a broken bit of keycard still in the lock. She almost was able to get it out, but her arms were not skinny enough. Syd moved Alahandra out of the way as he got an idea. Taking a small bit of metal from the floor, he attached a chewed piece of gum to the tip and slowly extracted the broken bit of keycard.

Once the lock was clear, Alahandra was quickly able to open up the door. Beyond lay exactly what the party had hoped. The weapons cache!

Behind the concealed door lay several racks full of taser pistols and rifles. Additional guard vests filled another rack. But the rack that really caught the party's eye was the one that held several blaster pistols. Rapidly, the party helped themselves to the blaster pistols, some taking two, in addition to many power cells for them.

Properly armed, now the party was ready to challenge the troll again.

Moving back to the door, the party buzzed Arnie and, after explaining that they had simply found the blaster pistols and that no, he could not have one, the party again approached the elevator.

Looking in though, the party saw a figure coming down. Backing up they drew weapons and awaited the approaching prisoner. As she stepped out of the elevator shaft, however, the party was struck by the sheer hideousness of the creature confronting them. They had found the sea hag. Xerxan visibly withered at the sight of her, and Alahandra simply fell to the ground, too weak to fly. Milo fired a warning shot, then shouted out

"Hold right there!"

The hag stopped and gave no sign of attacking the party, perhaps because of the large number of firearms currently leveled at her.

"We have no problem with you. If you walk out that door and take a left, you can leave the prison. Just promise not to harm any guards."

"You will just let me out?" hissed the hag.

"If you promise to not hurt the guards."

"Yeah, they just have taser pistols. Those are pretty useless," someone in the party quipped.

The hag seemed to consider a moment before fixing Milo with a particularly powerful stare. Milo felt his insides quiver at her stare, but held resolute.

"Very well halfling. I will not harm your guard."

And with that, the sea hag strolled out. Scooping up Alahandra, Syd deposited the immobile fairy into his pocket, since she still found herself unable to move. Moving into the elevator shaft, the party again noticed more figures climbing down. This time it was a pair, a female elf and a male half-orc.

The same situation occurred, with them being told to stop at gunpoint. They were offered freedom, if they would not harm the guards and they both happily agreed.

It seemed that in addition to the high security cells, any cells still closed had opened as more and more prisoners climbed down the elevator shaft's ladder. They all were presented the same option, and everyone accepted.

Finally, as the ladder was finally clear, the party entered and prepared to climb up.

As Syd set his foot on the first rung, Arnie ran by the outside door, screaming about monsters. At least he lived Syd thought.

Climbing back upstairs, the party found no sign of the nurse or the half-orc they had left her with earlier that day. Whatever had become of them, it had not been the troll, because the outer door still looked secure. Walking down the small corridor lined with medical supplies, Syd grinned slightly as he finally got an opportunity to use his spells. Analyzing what he had memorized for the day, already he began to plan out what he would cast.

The troll wouldn't know what was coming …

Adventure 3

Invisible, Milo stepped out back onto the roof, followed closely by Syd, whose form was blurred with the speed granted by Haste. Everyone else except Xerxan followed and quickly discovered that the roof was empty.

Surrounding the turret, Milo crept up and spun the hatch open, jumping out of the way as he did. A gruff dwarven voice issued out, followed closely by the dwarf himself. He stood there, glaring out at the party, waiting for them to respond.

Milo quickly realized that he was the only one able to understand the dwarf, so he crept close to Zoltan and whispered in his ear to move his lips to Milo's words. While Zoltan stood there trying to mimic the sounds coming from directly in front of him the dwarf slowly turned his attention towards him.

The negotiations were brief. The dwarf wanted to know who they all were, while Milo wanted to know the same thing. Apparently the dwarf was waiting for someone or something to come back to the prison. Finally though, Milo offered the dwarf a choice.

"If you leave peacefully and don't harm the guards, we won't have to kill you."

The dwarf snorted and opened fire, moving to slam the hatch of the turret closed.

Unfortunately for the dwarf, Syd was faster. As the dwarf's hand reached for the hatch to the turret, a small fiery ball flew from Syd's hand through the turret's hatch and over the dwarf's shoulder.

Fire exploded from within the turret, and when the flames cleared, only a smoking dwarven corpse remained in the hatchway. Milo moved forward to check on the destruction, and barely managed to avoid the blaster shot that suddenly burst from the turret! Someone was still inside, and alive!

Suddenly the hatch slammed closed, and the turret began to rotate around to point towards the party. Zoltan and Milo started racing along, trying to wrench the hatch open as it turned.

As the turret came in sight of Syd, he pulled up a magic Shield, then raced forward and slid underneath the turret's field of fire. Orendil mimicked Syd's movements as Alahandra mentally screamed as she was nearly crushed from Syd's dodging.

Milo finally managed to get the hatch open, and was nearly brained as Zoltan threw a Sleep Grenade right past his invisible ear. Zoltan and Milo entered into the now cramped turret to find a very awake and very alive halfling female. A gunfight burst out inside of the enclosed chamber, blaster shots bouncing back and forth between the two parties.

Finally, however, the female halfling lay dead and Milo and Zoltan were victorious. Milo began tinkering with the turret, attempting to understand the controls. Zoltan exited while Syd entered, assisting Milo in figuring out the turret's controls.

Once Syd and Milo figured out how the turret worked, Milo removed the Flux Capacitor from the circuitry, effectively disabling the machine. Exiting out of the turret, the party began to discuss what should be done next.

Suddenly Xerxan rushed out from the small medical wing, clutching at his side, blood dripping from between his fingers. Following behind him was a large drider, fangs still moist with Xerxan's blood. Syd, being closest, shot out a ray of absolute blackness towards the creature racing towards him.

The drider turned towards him, and the only thing keeping it away was the magical shield from earlier. Milo, Orendil, and Zoltan all opened fire as Xerxan collapsed to the ground as the drider's poison paralyzed his muscles.

Knowing his shield would not hold long, Syd backed away, but not before being cuffed by one of the drider's legs. Head ringing, Syd backed away as the area the drider occupied was suddenly filled with impenetrable darkness.

Milo and Zoltan rushed to the turret. As soon as the got there, Milo reconnected the Flux Capacitor while Zoltan jumped into the pilot's chair, activating the radar on the turret.

A Fireball exploded within the darkness as the radar finally came on and registered …

… nothing. The drider had disappeared something. Looking over the side of the roof, the party saw what must have been nearly the entire population of prisoners running from the prison. Of the drider the party saw nothing.

In time the drider's magical darkness faded, and again the party searched about for any signs of the beast. About to give up, suddenly Orendil noticed something at the corner of the building. Approaching, he realized it was some kind of webbing! The drider had somehow spun a web and climbed down to the ground from the roof.

The party had accomplished what they had come onto the roof for, as well as figuring out the path of the drider that had attacked them. Zoltan fired off a few shots from the turret before Milo again disconnected the Flux Capacitor, and everyone began preparing to leave somehow, someway. The only real question was Xerxan.

Propped up next to the turret where the party had put him, Xerxan still remained incapable of movement, just like Alahandra. Where Syd could easily carry Alahandra, however, Xerxan was another matter. No one in the party could manage to lift him, much less carry him down the elevator shaft service ladder.

Despite disagreements, everyone eventually agreed that Xerxan had to be left. No one really trusted him, both for his ancestry and for his role in everyone's unjust imprisonment. Further, there was simply nothing that could be done with him. Setting him into the turret to keep him out of the elements, the party climbed down the service ladder for hopefully the last time.

Taking the advice they had given all the prisoners, the party exited out of the prison, but instead of running away, the party skirted around the perimeter and entered the area the guard's had earlier told them was the hangar.

Right away, several boxes of supplies were noticed stacked in one corner, as was a
non-functional robot lab in another. Most important, however, were the two hover transports and the hover tank that were sitting there.

As Orendil made to enter one of the transports, he again noticed the webbing from before. The drider had retreated down here into this transport! Leaving that one alone, the party checked the other two vehicles. None of them had an abundance of fuel, and the tank was out of ammo. The supply boxes were searched but if any ammo or fuel had been stored there, it had been taken at some earlier time.

While Milo, Zoltan, and Syd began divvying up the supply crates, a minotaur sporting a large blaster rifle, and an orc entered into the hangar. At first relations were tense, but quickly the two groups found a common goal: escape from Prison Aphex.

The orc introduced himself as Razoul and discarded his prisoner jumper for a spare set of clothes found in the supply crates. The minotaur, who was named B'Bankrah was unable to find any clothes that fit, but was happy to help with the drider situation.

Moving over to the infested transport, the minotaur pulled open the hatch and simply stuck the barrel of his rifle in. The sound of ricocheting blaster shots echoed throughout the hangar until suddenly the minotaur stepped back from the now smoking hatch and jumped down, drider taken care of.

Syd helped Orendil cannibalize the fuel from the other two vehicles as the last of the supply crates was cracked open. Making sure everyone had equipment they wanted, the party set about getting into the hover tank.

As the sun slowly started to set at the Aphex Prison, a hover tank suddenly burst out of the hangar. It was riding in a northern direction and, oddly enough, had a minotaur with a large rifle riding on top of it. Anyone who noticed would probably think it an odd sight indeed.

Adventure 4

Orendil and the rest of the party rode along in relative silence for the better part of the day. As night began falling, the group entered into a forested region and decided to set up camp for the night. Syd prepared to start a fire while others gathered firewood and helped set up the tents that had been found in the hangar.

While out gathering firewood Orendil saw a fire in the distance. When he spread the information to the others, the fledgling fire that Syd had just started was quickly smothered. Paranoia and suspicion were running high as everyone ate their meals in silence and turned to their tent or bedroll for rest.

Zoltan, oddly enough, chose to sleep in the tank itself. A watch was set in case of pursuit or dangerous fauna. The night passed.

Then, while Orendil sat at his watch, a patch of darkness on top of the tank suddenly materialized into a person! Zoltan had heard the person Orendil had just spotted and was quickly scrambling for his gun as a figure climbed into the tank with him. Firing a warning shot, Zoltan woke everyone Orendil had failed to get to.

"Stop!" called out a high feminine voice from the shadowy figure.

Flashlights quickly revealed a striking golden haired female aasimar. She was a fellow prisoner by her orange jumper and explained that she just wanted a place to sleep. She had seen the tank earlier and thought it might be warmer than the cold ground.

Whether the group's paranoia had lessened somewhat by now, or her obvious attractiveness had swayed them in other ways, she was accepted and given a place to sleep as everyone again retired to their respective beds.

The next morning the Aasimar, G'banrak by name, found herself questioned by Milo. She had been running for several days now. Most of the prisoners fled south to a city only a day or so away. Figuring that would be the first place searched, she instead fled north towards Caar, a city far to the north. With the hover tank, however, they could likely get there within a few days.

Accepting her story, the party then had to figure out how everyone was going to fit within the hover tank. Alahandra was still riding in Syd's pocket but B'Bankrah was forced to ride on the roof, and the insides were cramped as it were. The problem was quickly resolved when Orendil volunteered to ride with B'Bankrah on the roof.

The camp was packed up and with Zoltan in the pilot's seat, the group set out for the city of Caar. Zoltan set into driving with abandon, jerking the wheel back and forth with wild abandon. Before real protest could start among the passengers a knock came from the entry hatch. It was B'Bankrah.

"Your little elf-friend fell off a few paces back."

Zoltan reversed and picked up Orendil before setting off a somewhat more sensible route. North the party rode and quickly approached Caar. Eventually Milo flipped on the radio and began searching through the stations. Zoltan paused him for a second on a hard rock station before Milo settled onto a news broadcast.

The prison break was all over the news, as was the fact that roadblocks were being set up around the cities closest to the prison. Even Caar. Prisoners weren't really expected to go that far one official was noted for saying, but a roadblock was set for safeties sake.

Obviously the hover tank couldn't be driven into town, especially with roadblocks set up. The decision of what to do with the tank was debated back and forth, before it was finally decided to ditch it with indications that it was heading in a different direction.

Heading off in a northeastern direction, the group rode until the tank's low fuel supplies forced them to land it. Hiding it in some thick foliage, the party began the long trek north.

After a few hours of thinning forest, a large highway quickly came into view. Again debate broke out among the group, this time about whether hitchhiking or walking would be a better choice.

Flying up via magic, Syd ascertained that the way was clear so that everyone could cross the highway. From there they began to walk, hoping that putting as much distance from the prison would help conceal them.

They walked for a ways, until a bus heading towards Caar rounded a bend in the road. Most of the party hid, but Syd was caught hovering in the open. At the sight of him the bus stopped as several tourists began to take pictures of him. Figuring his cover was already blown, Syd simply approached the bus and asked to book passage into Caar. Slowly, the rest of the party emerged, each one causing the bus passenger's eyes to open a little wider. Of particular interest was B'Bankrah who caused several gasps from the crowd. Zoltan and Syd quickly concocted a story between them about a failed hunting expedition, insults flying between them as they went. The bus driver just nodded dully as money was lent to those who could not afford passage.

Riding along the party listened to the radio and discussed what should be done about the coming roadblocks. They didn't have long to talk as the bus was soon stopped in the massive traffic jam that was entering into the city. Standing the party again gave a hastily concocted story about living outside the city, and saving time by simply walking there.

Exiting the bus en masse, the party walked north for a ways, before entering into the city of Caar through an unguarded route. As the party entered the city, it was decided that splitting up would be for the best. Several smaller groups would draw less attention than one large group.

Razoul quickly excused himself and left on his own.

B'Bankrah revealed that she planned on meeting some friends here. Together they planned on returning to Aphex to help a few other prisoners escape. Zoltan accompanied B'Bankrah to the Red Salamander, where she was supposed to meet her friends.

Syd and Alahandra (who was still riding in his pocket, being too weak to fly) teamed up with the G'banrak and set off to find a hotel to stay at.

Orendil and Milo likewise teamed up and mimicked Syd and company, soon taking rooms in a local hotel.

B'Bankrah and Zoltan quickly began asking about the Red Salamander and found to their surprise that there were two in town! One, the Red Salamander Inn, was located at the northern edge of town. The other, the Red Salamander Tavern, was at the southwestern corner. Deciding the Tavern was closer, Zoltan and B'Bankrah made their way north and entered the Red Salamander Tavern.

Unless the prisoners were meeting in a gay bar, the Red Salamander Inn was NOT the place where B'Bankrah was meeting her friends. Quickly leaving, they began to trudge south towards the Red Salamander Tavern. As they walked, the area began to get worse, soon degrading into dangerous looking slums. As Zoltan entered into the Tavern, he noticed that he was the only human in the room. B'Bankrah passed inside without a problem but Zoltan found himself stopped by a large ogre.

"No humans. Get out." The ogre didn't seem very smart, but he was very effective. Zoltan found himself alone and outside rapidly.

Meanwhile, Syd, Alahandra, and G'banrak had found rooms, as had Milo and Orendil. Milo and Orendil dropped what equipment they possessed before heading out to several stores throughout the city, spending what cash they could to buy supplies. Alahandra and G'banrak did the same, after they each had taken a shower.

Syd, on the other hand, went off to the hotel's pool for a relaxing swim. Swimming back and forth, he quickly felt his concerns ease as he swam about.

Milo and Orendil went hunting about stores looking for gear that would help the group survive on this world. Milo picked up a number of maps as well as some tools and some other nick-knacks. Alahandra bought a pair of magical protective bracers, made specifically for a fairy. And G'banrak bought a dress that was … eye-catching. It wasn't exactly hideous, nor was it scandalous, but something about the suit just seemed to scream look at me!

"People won't expect an escaped prisoner to wear something like this," she explained.

Not giving up so easily, Zoltan decided to try to enter through the back this time. As he moved around the side, however, he heard a strange voice.

"Hey man. Give me some money man."

"Get out of here! I don't have any money," shouted Zoltan.

"Do you think I'm that stupid man? No one could have all that gear, those weapons, without having money man."

Zoltan protested some more about his lack of money but the frog creature was insistent. The conversation seemed to be going downhill when Zoltan shot the creature in the foot with his blaster.

"When my boss at the Red Salamander hears what you did … !"

"What do you know about the Red Salamander?"

"How much money are you going to give me?"

"How much are you going to give me?" Zoltan snapped back.

"What are you talking about?"

"What are you talking about?" Zoltan came back with again.

Zoltan's unorthodox method of questioning quickly disoriented the frog. With the frog distracted Zoltan ran off.

Soon, Zoltan found himself wandering aimlessly through back alleys and slums. Suddenly, a familiar voice came from behind him.

"I thought you would be here man. Do you have any money now?"

That stupid frog had followed him! Again any chance of a peaceful resolution quickly broke down, and when the creature pulled out a phone and began to dial a number, Zoltan blew his phone away.

"When my boss hears about this he's going to be mad, man."

Again Zoltan left the frog standing there, a hole in foot and phone, now.

Syd meanwhile, had finally gotten out of the pool, and had ordered room service. Along with it he obtained the temporary services of a run around, and procured several items of his own. Alahandra and G'banrak returned, Alahandra quite a bit poorer and G'banrak in her … special outfit.

Orendil and Milo made their way to their own hotel, laden down with maps and other such equipment.

Zoltan bedded down on a bench in one of the city's parks.

Tomorrow morning in front of the City Hall, the group was to meet again. If only Zoltan had stuck around with everyone long enough to learn that …

Adventure 5

Zoltan awoke the next morning to a strange sound. Looking down, there was the strange bum who had accosted him twice the night before. Kicking him, Zoltan got up and asked for the bum's name.

"I am Thribbin, the rhood."

"Yeah, you sure are rude."

"No no no no, I am a rhood. It is my species."


Zoltan had already decided that he wanted a larger gun and deciding that he wouldn't be able to avoid the rhood, grabbed him in a headlock and began dragging him behind him.

Zoltan asked around and quickly located a nearby arms dealer. While Zoltan perused the available weapons, Thribbin made an attempt to use the phone at the store.

"Who are you calling?" Zoltan asked, a crazy glint in his eye.

"I'm calling my boss. He's gonna want to know I found you."

"No you're not."

With that Zoltan snatched the receiver from Thribbin's hand and slammed it down onto the base.

"He doesn't need to use the phone after all," he explained to the clerk.

She merely nodded.

Picking out a particularly large rifle, Zoltan approached the clerk and began questioning her about the price. He could definitely afford it, but would need ID in order to buy it. ID he sorely lacked seeing as he had entered this planet via prison transport. The store clerk indicated he go over to the City Hall to clear up his ID problem and then head back for the gun.

Grasping Thribbin in a headlock again, Zoltan dragged him back towards the park he had slept it, which was just across the street from the City Hall. Entering, he quickly found the clerk who handled ID matters, and entered into the line. After a small wait, he reached the head of line and applied for a new ID to be issued, using a fake name as to avoid detection.

Finally, the clerk asked for his arrival papers when he arrived on planet.

"Uh … I don't have any. I arrived on a small transport in the wilderness for some hunting. Never expected to be going into the city."

The clerk let out a long suffering sigh and then, "Very well. Give me your boarding papers for the ship your transport disembarked from."

"Ok here you go."

"These papers show your name as Zoltan, yet for your ID you have your name listed as … as .. Zanoobanish Zismalli?"

"Well yes. That's my real name. Zoltan is just a nickname my friends gave me. They paid for my flight so that is why my boarding papers have that name."

"I … see. I will just give you your ID under the name Zoltan."

His attempt to get a fake ID defeated, Zoltan grabbed his rhood and exited with his new ID.

Outside, walking towards him was Milo and Orendil! Stopping to talk to his newly found friends, Zoltan quickly related what had happened to him. Milo filled Zoltan in on the planned meeting in the park he had spent the night in.

While all of this was happening, Syd, Alahandra and G'banrak were walking towards the park as well. Suddenly, a group of three halflings stepped out from the crowd.

"Your money or your life!" muttered the leader of the halflings.

"How about instead you turn around and walk away and I let you live," replied Syd in a cold voice.

"What!?! Haven't you heard of the Red Salamander gang?"

"The … Red Salamander?" Syd asked, suddenly cautious.

The halflings began talking about their escape from the prison and Syd quickly nodded that they had too. The halfling quickly gave them some directions to the Red Salamander Tavern and then faded into the crowd. Perplexed by the encounter but with little time to wait, Syd and company continued on to the prearranged meeting with Milo and Orendil.

Zoltan told Milo and Orendil that he was going to buy a Blaster Rifle, and that he would be in the park in a few minutes. Zoltan entered the store and submitting his newly obtained ID, obtained his brand new Blaster Rifle, and happily left, his rhood in tow.

Heading back, long barrel sticking out over his shoulder, Zoltan joined the gathering of friends as they quickly gave somewhat modified accounts of their last day, due in part to the rhood listening in.

"Can't you do something with him?" Milo asked.

"Nah. He'll just find me again."

Suddenly, the group noticed a large number of police officers heading towards them. The party scattered in all directions, Syd zooming up with a Fly spell, while the others took off on foot. G'banrak stood still, but in that glaring suit she was wearing, no one took her for an escaped prisoner.

Everyone quickly lost the officers through one means or another, and Milo found himself alone in a bad portion of town. He began to resume a normal pace when suddenly, he found himself accosted by three halflings.

"Your money or your life!"

Milo had left his pistol hidden in his room, and didn't want to be associated with these three anyway, so he quickly set off running. One of the halflings shots clipped his shoulder, but he shrugged off the pain and kept running.

Finally getting into a safe position, Milo activated the walkie-talkies the party had obtained at the Prison, or bought since then. Calling out over the bandwidth they had all agreed on, he quickly ascertained that everyone had escaped safely. Agreeing to meet at a bar nearby his hotel, Milo put his walkie-talkie away and started heading back north.

G'banrak, lacking any communication gear, went back to the hotel she shared with Syd and Alahandra. Everyone else managed to make it to the bar without incident.

Zoltan arrived, Thribbin still in tow.

"Is there anyway you can get rid of him?" Milo asked Zoltan.

With the rhood there, nothing overly important could be discussed, yet Zoltan feared letting him go because of his boss. In elven, the party began discussing what they could possibly do with the rhood. Hopefully, he didn't speak elven and any plans would remain unknown.

Killing him was suggested, but no one much cared for the idea. Moral issues aside, no one was in any hurry for a trip back to prison, and more over, the rhood had taken a blaster shot to the foot without too much reaction. The possibility that the rhood couldn't BE killed was suggested more than once. Another idea mentioned was to let this rhood call his boss. If he was the one sending all these people after us, lets see what he wants.

While all this discussion was going on, Zoltan came to a decision. Releasing the rhood, Thribbin immediately stood up and went to the bar, asking after the phone.

The intensity of the conversation suddenly tripled as Zoltan likewise stood and snatched the phone from Thribbin's hand. Thribbin began protesting and the barkeep stopped wiping off a glass as he walked over.

Thribbin had obviously already dialed his boss's number because the phone was already ringing when Zoltan grabbed it. Hanging up, he dialed a random number and began to stall, calling out in elven to hurry up with a plan.

The group had nothing, and eventually Thribbin managed to get the phone back and to dial his boss again. Zoltan snatched the phone away at the last second and found himself talking to someone with a very deep voice.

Zoltan had plenty of questions and Thribbin kept trying to get the phone back. The mysterious man on the other side had few answers however. Finally, the mystery man simply said

"I will send a car for you."

And as he said that, a black limousine pulled up in front of the bar. Two ogres got out and Thribbin began gesturing for the group to get up and leave. The party briefly entertained ideas of fighting their way free, but changed their minds and decided to go along this time. Entering the car, the party was surprised to find B'Bankrah seated already.

Driving through town, the party got out when the limo slowed, and then stopped, outside of the Red Salamander Tavern. This time, as everyone entered, Zoltan had no trouble getting in.

The group was lead into the back, where they entered a small elevator and began a LONG ride down. The ride went by in almost absolute silence, as no one knew quite what to expect. The only thing they all knew was that someone had wanted to find them bad. And that whoever it was, he had found them.

Arriving at the bottom floor, the party cautiously began moving out with Thribbin and B'Bankrah following close behind them.

Behind a massive table, seated within a massive chair, sat a person who could only be the storm giant from the prison.

"Ah. You are finally here. A group of my followers were supposed to meet in this bar and come back to rescue me. But in the middle of the break, I found my cell opened. I am told I have you to thank for that."

The storm giant quickly explained some of the background of the prison. For a while now, the drow police force created by Mezzenbone had been kidnapping people to conduct scientific experiments on them at Prison Aphex and likely other penal colonies. In fact, it was just such an experiment that allowed for the original prison break at Aphex; a fact the party had already stumbled over. More sinister, perhaps, is that every prisoner wrongfully accused had reported seeing the same man moments before being arrested.

Always there was a drunken drow nearby, who was invariably arrested as well as the innocent party, and who never stayed long within the prison. It was Thurgeld's (the storm giant) belief that the drow was somehow connected to the atrocities being committed for the ISPD. And indeed, in retrospect, the party had been arrested in company with a drunken drow. Apparently the ISPD was focusing on colonists heading for Degtra. Colonists rarely had much in the way of possessions, and few people missed them. As an incentive, they had likewise made travel to Degtra completely free. Everything suddenly clicked into place, and the party found them all possessed of righteous anger. Zoltan found himself looking at his ticket to Degtra as someone would look at a snake they had found within their bed.

Since the group had never officially arrived on planet, Thurgeld wished to use the party as an investigative squad. They had more freedom than any other prisoner and their lack of ID made them all but untraceable. Ideally they could help him track down the drow and end the ISPDs evil plot. This suited the group well … at least most of them.

"I … I obtained ID today in order to buy this gun," Zoltan admitted.

"Well, that was a bad idea. We can work around it though."

The three halflings were in no way associated with Thurgeld, although he was aware of them. They had been giving the bar a bad name, not to mention attracting unwanted attention. If the party wanted to take care of them Thurgeld wouldn't mind.

Thurgeld told the party he would contact them if something came up and everyone left on friendly terms.

Back outside, the party discussed the new developments. If what Thurgeld had told them was true Zoltan obviously couldn't leave, and neither could anyone else who had been planning it. G'banrak had to be warned of the danger, but at the same time she could not be allowed to stay with the group. Her name on the record of prisoners was damning, and the fact was, the group couldn't afford to be associated with her.

Leaving, the group found another hotel near the local airport. Alahandra went back to G'banrak and explained some of what was going on, entrusting her with enough money to pay for the rooms for a few more days, and perhaps get her started.

Once that was taken care of, the fate of the three halflings became the main focus of the party.

Twice they had accosted members of the group, and they had even shot Milo. They were attracting attention to a hidden group of prisoners, and if they were caught, the party was likely to be found out as well. They could not be allowed to live.

A quick ambush was arranged, with Milo acting as bait. Walking about innocently Milo waited for the halflings to accost him, and it was not long before they did.

Setting off at a run towards the prearranged location, the halflings immediately gave chase.

Coming within site of the small cemetery that the ambush was set at, Milo dove behind one of the graves as the three halflings opened fire. Zoltan and Orendil stepped out from behind mausoleums, opening fire at the same time. Between the two of them, the number of halflings in the trap was reduced from three to one. Alahandra and Milo finished off the last one with a total lack of injuries on the group's side.

The three halflings were searched, what little they had pocketed, and their bodies left to be found a few days later. The party had gotten organized and armed. Their enemies better beware.

Adventure 6

Zoltan's Account

Perhaps I should summarize what happened to Zoltan, since I was playing Zoltan most of the night (and playing Zoltan exclusively, I might add, because Orendil spent most of the night TRAPPED IN A GLASS TUBE. (: ) Here's my Zoltan-centric account.

First, we fought our way into the personal quarters of the Githyanki Commander, dispatching a large room full of Githyanki along the way. During this fight, it became apparent that the Githyanki greatswords have some type of magical power (probably psionic, but I figured Zoltan wouldn't really know the difference.) After the battle, Zoltan threw his greatsword down in disgust, gathered the swords from the dead Githyanki, and systematically destroyed them.

Syd managed to charm the Commander, who then proceeded to give us the backstage tour of the Githyanki outpost. In the short battle with the Commander before the charm spell, Zoltan accidentally shot Milo in the back (oops!), which no doubt contributed to later tragic events.

We encountered a Githyanki magic-user of some sort, who attempted to de-charm the Commander. Zoltan, suspecting foul magic afoot, interfered with the magic-user and a fight ensued.

Finally, we encountered the same magic-user from last week (he had escaped). At this point the Commander broke free of the charm, and a tough battle took place. Zoltan managed to nail the Commander with a wicked critical (40+ damage), but before we could kill them, the Commander unleashed a nasty fireball which turned Milo into a Crispy Critter.

Searching the compound, we encountered a huge magical mirror/communication device, which Zoltan (now played by Mike) attempted to destroy. He did manage to destroy it, but not before the Githyanki on the other side of the mirror called in reinforcements to stop us.

At that point we escaped to the hangar, stole a Githyanki ship, and Zoltan piloted us back to the city.

The drunken drow elf is still at large.

Searching through the dead bodies of the three halflings, the party found little of interest. A few blaster pistols, some creds, and a cell phone.

“I wonder what the last number they dialed was?” Milo mused.

Pressing the redial button, the phone rang once. Twice.

“Williamton house. How can I help you?” queried the voice on the other side of the phone.

Milo tried to find out what he could but information was limited. Hanging up, he quickly set out for a nearby phone booth, the party following behind. Searching through a phone directory, Milo quickly learned where the Williamton house was, and the party again decided to do a little walking about the city.

Some time later, the party found themselves standing outside of an otherwise normal looking house. The party couldn’t tell if anyone was inside, and not wanting to do anything without some information, decided to head back to the hotel.

The days passed, and the group began to grow a little restless. Talk of returning back to the Williamton house was beginning to start when the call from Gygual came.

“My sources have picked up some leads on the location of the drow. North of Caar is a secret military base. My informants say that the drow is somewhere inside the base. If you are willing to go, I can charter you a private plane to bring you there.”

The discussion within the party was short. If they could find the drow in this base, they had no choice but go there. Agreeing to the chartered flight, the party prepared to move the next day.

The following day at the airport, the party quickly found the access gate for private flights with a few directions. Walking down the long walkway, they encountered a small guard station.

“Names please,” the very bored sounding guard said.

As the somewhat unofficial leader of the group Milo supplied his. It wasn’t on the list.

“Maybe Gygual put it under mine,” Syd reasoned.

It wasn’t under his either. Every party member tried their name, and they tried Gygual’s too. None of the names were on the guard’s list. Who had Gygual chartered the flight for?

“Oh hey guys,” a familiar voice said from behind the group.

“Sorry I’m late. Slept in.” Thribbin. That annoying little frogman. Gygual had chartered the flight under his name. You could almost hear the groan that was on everyone’s lips.

With Thribbin annoyingly chattering on, the party boarded the small plane. Orendil took the pilot’s seat, and soon the group was on their way.

Every now and then Thribbin would indicate a change in direction but the flight itself was pretty uneventful.

And then everyone saw it.

The secret military base.

The large floating hunk of rock, looking as if it had been torn from some unsuspecting world. The four large towers that stuck out at irregular intervals. The way that the base was continuously rotating in space, each tower spinning by in turn.

“No one mentioned a floating secret military base,” Orendil said.

Still somewhat stunned, the group landed their plane a short way away from the base in a small clearing nearby. By now, everyone had become accustomed to the practice of walking and so the group found themselves directly underneath the large structure in a short amount of time.

When the portions of the rock bearing the large towers would rotate overhead, the tower tips still remained around 100 feet above the ground. Getting up would not be easy.

“If I had known I could have prepared more Fly spells. But as is, I only have enough for one,” Syd explained.

And of course, Zoltan wouldn’t accept a Fly spell anyway.

Different ideas were discussed back and forth, but few were possible with what the group had brought. Gygual definitely needed better sources.

“I could summon a giant eagle to fly us up to the base,” Syd finally suggested.

Alahandra had already confirmed that the towers had no windows to speak of, just empty openings. The idea had some problems though. He could only summon one eagle, and it
wouldn’t last long enough to fly them all above the base. It could only carry two at a time, and Zoltan refused to touch it much less ride it. And of course how everyone would get from eagle to window was still an unknown factor.

But it was the plan most likely to succeed, and so the Orendil soon found himself seated on top of a giant eagle. A rope had been tied to its foot and Zoltan was quickly winding the rope around his hands for a better grip. As the tower the group was aiming for began to dip down into view, the eagle launched itself into the air.

Zoltan hung on for dear life as the eagle raced up to the tower. Syd had told it to fly as quickly as possible, as its time was limited after all. Flying alongside the tower hanging over the party’s head, Orendil stood and shakily prepared to launch himself into the top most window of the tower. Orendil got ready and …

… missed. His fingers scrambled against the edge of the window as he suddenly began to plummet back towards the ground. As he fell he flashed by Zoltan, hanging from a rope tied to the eagle’s leg. Zoltan stretched, straining to reach out, and barely managed to snag Orendil in mid-air. Orendil breathed heavily as the eagle rose slightly to allow Zoltan an attempt into the building. Zoltan swung Orendil inside before following himself, both of them breathing heavily as they watched the eagle turn and dive back down to the other figure below.

Milo and Syd were the next up, with Alahandra already waiting inside for everyone. The eagle again came level with the tower projecting out and Milo and Syd prepared to jump. Milo hunched down and leaped, easily sailing into the small opening he was aiming for. Syd gathered up his possessions and bending low did the same.

Except that he missed. Hitting the wall with a soft thud, Syd quickly found himself plummeting to the ground. Remembering how Orendil look falling from the sky, Syd idly wondered how he looked doing the same.

Milo reached out to grab Syd as he fell, but wasn’t able to catch him. Syd began to go over the formulae involved in breaking the Laws of Gravity. Pulling up at the last instant as his Fly spell took effect, Syd flew back up and landed in the tower, his heart nearly leaping from his chest.

The group was in agreement that they definitely should have come up with a better plan.

Inside the tower was simply an empty span of tower that narrowed down to a smaller hole several feet down. Alahandra and Syd merrily flew down to the opening, while Milo, Zoltan, and Orendil used a rope to rappel down.

Through the opening were living quarters, obviously of a somewhat high-ranking individual. Directly beneath where the hole entered from the ceiling was another hole continuing down in the floor. Currently abandoned, the party crawled out, and finding that gravity did not hold on the ceiling, climbed down the rope to the floor. Searching through the room Orendil found a greatsword of master craftsmanship. Little else seemed especially useful, so the party began to investigate the hole in the floor.

Obviously the workers in the base didn’t rappel up and down these holes in the ground, and since the group hadn’t yet felt any effects from the bases rotation, some kind of artificial gravity was strongly suspected. Alahandra cautiously flew into the hole and attempted to stand on the side of the wall. Looking up at the party was strange, but she stuck to the wall. Walking about the inside of the vertical corridor, Alahandra quickly ascertained that all four sides possessed artificial gravity.

The rest of the party soon crawled in, with Syd and Alahandra flying straight down the middle.

The strange corridor led down a ways before entering into another room. Again there was a matching home on the exact opposite side. This time, however, the room contained two githyanki, both staring intently into a small crystal in one corner of the room. Jumping down quickly, the group opened fire on the two githyanki, catching them by surprise and silencing them before they could give alarm. Milo and Syd investigated the crystal the githyankis had been looking through, and quickly determined that it was some kind of magical sensor that peered through the point at the top of the tower. Since there were no alarms going off, the party assumed that the two githyankis had not noticed them, but how they had avoided notice remained an unknown.

The room and its two former guards were searched. Both guards had been sporting great swords, a very strange choice of weapon in today’s age of guns and rifles. One guard also had a strange device in one of his pockets. Milo quickly grabbed it, always interested in new devices. Playing with it for a second, Milo figured out that the device extended hidden walkways, allowing easier access to the room from the corridor.

Nothing else remained of interest in the room, and so the party again started walking down the tower. Another story or so, and the party came to a branch. The corridor itself continued in the downward direction, but there was also a doorway in one side of the corridor. Activating his remote control, Milo caused a small walkway to jut from the door, allowing easy entry. Deciding to explore this branch the party walked down onto the small platform and them entered into the branch.

Now within a horizontal corridor the party quickly evaluated their surroundings. On the right hand side of the corridor was a door and on the left a small elevator. The corridor itself turned out of sight to the left up ahead. Deciding to leave the elevator alone for now, the party burst into the room on the right, guns drawn and aimed. Inside was a single unarmed githyanki, bending studiously over a few items scattered about the room.

Some quick interrogation at gunpoint later and the party had learned several things. This base was an outpost for the githyanki war machine, a research station to fuel their efforts. The githyanki they had captured in particular was a researcher who was investigating the nature of the items in this room for their use. Syd quickly rushed forward and gathered up all the items in the room, including a cloak, a large iron flask, and several scrolls.

Using some rope to tie the githyanki up, the party debated killing him for a short time. The idea of killing him in cold blood didn’t sit well with most of the party, however, and so the githyanki was left to his own devices.

Walking down the corridor and turning left, the group found themselves in front of a pair of double doors. The sound of a large gathering of githyanki was very obvious from the other side of the door. A few plans were debated, but the use of the large number of sleep grenades the party possessed proved the most popular.

Opening the doors, a flurry of sleep grenades flew into the room, releasing their contents into the room. Quickly everything was obscured by the rapidly thickening sleep smoke from the several grenades.

Busting the door open, Zoltan, Milo, and Orendil stood in the front. Only two githyanki remained standing and their greatswords proved ineffective compared to the party’s blasters. The slaughter of the remaining githyanki was quick and brutal. Syd and Alahandra stood back as the deed was done.

The githyanki had no idea who had entered into their base.

Adventure 7 

Exploring the Githyanki outpost

With the sleeping githyanki finished, the party quickly searched the fallen and prepared to move on. The room appeared to be something of a mess hall as uneaten food was scattered about the room. Closing the doors the party momentarily considered checking where the elevator led. Deciding to follow the shaft to its end, however, they passed the elevator by and went back to reclaim their prisoner. Everything worked perfectly except for one thing. The prisoner was gone.

Nothing was left, not even the rope (much to Zoltan displeasure.) With the prisoner gone and presumably loose somewhere within the base, it was only a matter of time until some kind of alarm was sounded. The party was working with a limited amount of time.

Moving back to the vertical shaft, the party jumped in and started heading down. The shaft fell for a ways with no other openings or activity to be seen. Estimating the distance traveled, Milo figured the party had exited from the outer tower and was actually inside the piece of rock that made up the center of the base.

Slowly the shaft began to brighten and it soon became apparent that the party was approaching another room. Slowly dipping their heads out, the party found themselves within a large room.

A large room filled with armed githyanki fighting. Different groups were spaced about the room, all of them sparring with greatswords. Cautiously the party moved back into the shaft and began discussing what to do. The groups of githyanki were all spread out too much for Syd to affect them with any of his spells or for anyone else to use the few remaining sleep grenades effectively.

The problem of dealing with a room full of armed githyanki warriors was taken from the party, however, when one of the githyanki noticed the party whispering among themselves. Slowly the githyanki among the room began to encircle the shaft. They had nearly managed to when the group realized they had been seen!

For a second the party breathed easy, since all the githyanki were holding greatswords, and after all, everyone was standing within a vertical shaft in the roof of the room. Then all of the githyanki shifted their grip on their swords and began firing bolts of energy from them!

Milo quickly activated the walkway in this room, providing an amount of cover from a few of the githyanki. Gunfire erupted from the party as the githyanki likewise opened fire. Milo tossed out a sleep grenade catching two of the githyanki, while Syds Magic Missiles eliminated another one. Zoltan and Orendil downed four more while Alahandra took out another. Several githyanki bolts caught party members, inflicting grievous wounds when they struck. Despite the power of their weapons though, the githyanki couldnt stand up to the combined assault of the party, and quickly fell.

Exiting fully from the shaft, the party took note of their location. The shaft continued on, lining up with a large hold in the floor. Likely that way led to one of the other towers that stood up from the bases rock center. Four doors were within the chamber, one at each cardinal point.

A quick argument over what door to go to later, the group prepared to enter into the western door. Opening the doorway and busting into the room, the group found themselves in a large, empty room. In fact, the only thing in the room was a large gilded throne on a dais at the opposite end. Once everyone was done wondering what kind of secret military base possessed a throne, they noticed another door to the right of the one they had entered from.

Moving over, the party did a quick check for traps before jumping in. The room was strangely shaped, divided by an odd curtain. A projection from the far wall seemed to be made of semi-frosted glass. Through it, the party could almost make out roughly man-sized cylinders. Even stranger, vague humanoid forms seemed to be inside some of them!

A table sat in the center of the half of the room the party had entered into. Two large chests were visible in the half of the room obscured by the curtain. Moving forward to examine the chests, Milo barely managed to avoid the curtain as it suddenly came to life and struck out at him! Even worse, an imposing githyanki in armor had been hiding on the other side of the curtain!

Milo and Zoltan opened fire, while Orendil ran forward to help Milo out. The curtain shot out again, but this time Orendil wasnt fast enough. Orendil disappeared with a slight slurping noise, and suddenly there was another vague humanoid figure in one of the cylinders! The intensity of the fight between Milo, Zoltan, and Alahandra redoubled as Orendil disappeared. Alahandra took cover behind the table.

Syd began chanting the words of Charm Person and forcing his way through the githyankis spell resistance, felt the spell layer itself onto his mind.

"Stop shooting! Were all friends here!" Syd shouted.

Zoltan fired off one more shot before lowering his weapon. Slowly, the githyanki did as well.

Very quickly the party learned several pieces of information. This base was an outpost for the githyanki army, a training facility for its legions of warriors and a research point to create new implements of destruction. The throne in the room was for the occasions when their Queen would visit them. He was the Commander of the base. The creatures trapped in the tubes were invaders that were ceremonially bestowed to the githyanki queen when she visited. There was no known way to open the tubes; the Queen did that herself. And there was no known drow aboard.

Zoltan and Syd quickly concocted a story between the both of them. Everyone had come to the base looking to hunt down a traitorous drow, who they think had snuck into the base to steal their research or possibly even sabotage it. The Commander seemed doubtful, but these were his friends after all

Slowly, the party coaxed the Commander out of the room, leaving Alahandra behind to watch Orendil, who remained trapped within one of the cylinders.

Looking to his left, Orendil noticed an illithid in the cylinder to his left, and a sea hag to his right. In fact, when he looked closer, he thought he could almost recognize the sea hag where had he seen her before?

Alahandra began rifling through the chests, looking for something that could possibly let Orendil out.

Zoltan, Syd, Milo, and the githyanki Commander exited the throne room and entered the large circular room, githyanki corpses scattered about.

"How did this happen!" screamed the githyanki Commander.

"Obviously the drow has penetrated deeper than we thought." Syd quickly replied.

Running over the Commander opened the door opposite the throne room and began calling out orders. The assembling githyanki soldiers tossed strange looks at Syd, Milo, and Zoltan, but when any asked, the Commander simply said they were friends. The soldiers began spreading out, searching the base for the drow who had come to steal or sabotage the research going on.

"So where do you think we should go?" the Commander asked.

"Where do you think we should go?" said Zoltan, hoping his Zoltan logic would trick the Commander into revealing vital information.

"If he is here to steal, there is the treasury," mused the Commander.

The groups eyes took on a greedy sheen as each person nearly fell over the other with agreement that the treasury was a good idea.

Moving to the north door, the Commander led the accompanying party members into a large room with several altars dedicated to the githyankis Queen. A githyanki knelt before one of the altars as the group entered.

The praying githyanki watched as the Commander led his new friends across the temple to a large steel door, almost like an ancient airlock, and proceeded to open it.

Inside was a beautiful sight. The chamber inside has no source of artificial gravity, and the contents within spun about as the base rotated. The hundreds of gems that made up the chamber floated and fell as the entire rooms gravitational direction changed again and again. The party could barely imagine how much money all of those gems represented.

Milo, unable to resist, palmed one of the gems while the Commander was distracted.

"No drow in here. Where next?" asked the Commander, sealing the treasure room shut.

As the group started to debate on where to go to next, the praying githyanki stood and approached the Commander. The strange githyanki began to talk in an odd language, unknown to any of the party members. This did not bode well for the party, and they quickly attempted to stop it.

"What is he saying Commander?" asked Syd.

"Why doesnt he use the Common tongue?" queried Milo.

"Who is he?" wondered Zoltan.

"He is wondering who you three are. I am simply explaining that you are my friends."

The new githyanki stepped back and prepared to cast a spell. Zoltan was quicker, stepping into the githyanki and interrupting his spell. Guns were pulled but before any shots could be fired, the githyanki vanished, presumably using the same trick the earlier one had used.

"Whats going on here!?!" roared the Commander.

The replies tumbled over one another so fast, no one was sure who said what.

"He is obviously working with the drow," someone said.

"We were just trying to protect you," responded another.

"There are traitors in your ranks," said the third.

Finally, after everyone calmed down a little, Syd asked

"Who was he?"

"One of the Gish on base."

That didnt explain much to the party, but fearing any further questions, instead decided to continue scanning the base.

"Where does that last door lead?" asked Milo, meaning the southern door back within the center room.

"Crew quarters and the hangar."

Since Syd had no spells left that could get the party down, the hangar was a definite point of interest among the party.

Passing through the southern door, the Commander waved two guards away and proceeded down a long hallway. Arriving at a somewhat larger door than the others, the Commander knocked upon it.

A githyanki stepped out, the medals on his uniform signifying a higher rank than the githyanki faced so far. The Commander shared several words in githyanki, with several glances thrown at the party. There was no trouble this time, though, as the githyanki finally bowed and hustled off with whatever orders the Commander had given him.

"He is to facilitate searching for this drow," explained the Commander.

Moving further down the hallway, the party entered into an enormous room where two ships sat docked. One of the mechanics working on the ships stepped over and had a few brief words with the Commander.

"Who are they?" asked the mechanic, gesturing towards the party.

"Friends. Have you seen anyone suspicious today?" replied the Commander.

"No one strange. Except your friends."

Looking around, the group memorized the location of this hangar, and started heading back to the center chamber.

"So where should we look for this drow now?" asked the Commander. Obviously he was beginning to become tired of the search for the mystery drow.

"What parts of the base havent we looked?" asked the group.

"All that is really left is the living quarters of the Warlocks and the Gish."

"Lets look in on one of the Warlocks. The Gish in that prayer room was a traitor, and one of the Warlocks could be one too."

"Alright. The closest Warlock is right up this shaft," explained the Commander, pointing up into the hole the group had entered from.

Grimacing slightly, the party began trudging up the shaft they had entered from, heading back towards the room of the githyanki warlock they had tied up.

Passing the two dead githyanki in the observation room with another explanation that it was obviously the drows fault, the party entered into the githyanki bedchamber.

There was the warlock, sitting on his bed. The warlock jumped to his feet, and time seemed to slow. Zoltan brought his gun to bear snapping off a shot. The warlock locked eyes with the Commander. The Commander blinked, and Syd suddenly felt his spell crumble away. The Commander pulled out his greatsword and swung at Milo, striking him in the back. Zoltans shot punched into the warlock, wounding him. Syd cast a spell, striking the warlock with sonic vibrations.

The warlock shouted something in the githyanki tongue before fading away as others had done before. Zoltan turned and shot at the Commander, but in the confusion hit Milo square in the back!

The Commander began to cast a spell, and Syd shouted out a warning as he recognized the spell.

A Fireball exploded within the room, everything disappearing as flames covered the room. When the fires faded, the Commander faded away. Syd and Zoltan were too stunned to put up much resistance. Little remained of Milos body except for a few charred remnants of his gear. Gathering up what little was left, Syd and Zoltan began racing down the vertical shaft. They had stayed over long within this blasted fortress. Gyguuls informants had been wrong. The drow wasnt here.

Heading towards the Commanders chamber, Syd and Zoltan for the first time began to worry about how they would escape.

During all of this, Alahandra had been attempting to get Orendil out of the cylinder in which he had been trapped. She tried several things, including out right attacking the glass. Little worked, until she attempted to dispel the magic of the glass chamber. Suddenly, the glass glowed a bright red and an opening appeared within.

Rushing inside she began likewise trying to remove Orendil. She had tried little though, before she realized the opening had begun to close up behind her! Darting back out, Alahandra barely managed to avoid being trapped within the small chamber with Orendil. Before she could try again, the Commander and the githyanki who had escaped earlier appeared! Quickly hiding behind the table, Alahandra listened in on the Commander and the warlock.

Suddenly the door to the room opened and Zoltan and Syd strode into the room. Zoltan opened fire on both the warlock and the Commander as Syd unleashed his magic. Even Alahandra emerged from hiding to add a few laser blasts to her side. The Commander and the warlock, both already wounded, quickly fell to the combined assault.

Syd searched the room quickly and found a few scrolls. Listening to Alahandra about what had happened Syd began suppressing the enchantment on the glass. Zoltan explained to Alahandra what had happened in a blunt manner as Syd burned open a hole in the outer glass.

"Milo is dead," was all Zoltan had to say.

As the large opening appeared in the outer glass, Zoltan turned and fired a shot at the top of the cylinder holding Orendil. With a loud crack the cylinder burst open and Orendil tumbled out.

Orendil scrambled up and managed to escape from the glass chamber before the opening could reseal itself.

Quickly explaining what had happened, the remaining party prepared to rush towards the hangar when Orendil noticed a small crack in the wall of the room. Examining the crack closer, Orendil realized it was a hidden door. Activating it, the party entered into a long hallway. Rushing down the hallway, the party took a right as the hallway angled to the east. Running farther, they stopped suddenly, and backtracked to an alcove they had noticed.

At the end of a small branch of hallway was an enormous mirror. Or at least, it appeared to be a mirror, except that it wasnt reflecting back any of the party members. Moving forward the party slowly began examining the mirror, wondering at its use.

When Zoltans hands ran over the mirrors surface though, it shimmered and a githyanki face replaced everything.

"Yes? What do you need c- Wait. Who are you and what are you doing on this channel?"

"Uh Just a false alarm. Were fine down here," Zoltan explained, following up with a blaster shot right to the mirror.

If an alarm hadnt been triggered yet (and all signs pointed to the fact that one had) it surely was going off now. Rushing back down the hallway, the party again turned with the hallway, heading back in the direction they had originally come.

Suddenly the hallway ended, and the party prepared to turn around and rush back. And then they heard the sound of running githyanki behind them. Rapidly searching for any kind of doorway, the party jumped through the secret door Alahandra found, closing it just as the githyanki started to round the corner.

Everyones stomach lurched suddenly as all gravity suddenly ceased to exist. The party was once again within the treasure room of the floating githyanki base, a treasure room Orendil and Alahandra had missed out on.

Zipping about the room, Alahandra quickly had filled an empty bag with some of the floating gems. Exiting back into the temple, the party rushed back into the center chamber. As the group opened the temple doors, a number of githyanki were running by, heading into the throne room. Four of them stood back and began to move towards the party.

Opening fire, the four githyanki were cut down and the party began running, heading straight for the hangar.

Bursting through the doorway, the guards momentarily looked as the party rushed past, then let them run by having seen them with the Commander earlier.

Running into the hangar, the group quickly attracted the attention of one of the mechanics.

"What do you need now?" asked one of the mechanics.

"Your fastest ship. A traitor is escaping and we need to catch him."

The mechanic simply pointed to one of the ships in dock and quickly the party boarded. Orendil moved up to the pilots cabin and sat down. And then realized he had no idea how to fly a githyanki ship.

Sticking his head out of the door, Zoltan said

"This stupid elf said he could fly the ship but he cant. Any of you guys know how to fly?"

The githyanki looked among themselves before one shrugged and stepped forward.

"Sure I can fly. Where you want to go?"

Giving the githyanki pilot directions, the party soon landed in the small clearing they had landed their plane in earlier. Waving the githyanki ship off, the party boarded, silencing Thrabon with a single look.

The flight back took place in silence.

Adventure 8

Returning to Carr to Resurrect Milo, Shopping and the Flight to Darr

It wasnt long after landing that Syd suggested returning Milo in a Soulmech body. The question of what to do about Milo had proved problematic. Without his body, Syd knew many ressurection magics would fail. But a soulmech was a possible solution.

No one was really happy with bringing Milo back as a soulmech, especially Zoltan. But no one wanted to let Milo remain dead, without at least offering him a chance to come back.

Thrabon quickly brought the party back to Gyguuls where the party quickly gave a run down of what had happened within the githyanki base. Gyguul had heard nothing new as to the location of the drow. But he did know of a wizard who could assist the party with returning Milo as a soulmech. If the party could provide a soulmech body, that is.

Instantly, the robot husk strapped to the abandoned hover tank came to mind. Getting the number of the wizard from Gyguul, the party sprang into action.

Over several days Zoltan and Orendil trekked back to the hover tank, obtained the robot husk, and trekked back.

Syd identified all of the magically and psionically enchanted gear the group had obtained within the githyanki base.

Alahandra sold several of the groups gems and unwanted enchanted items to provide money for Milos imminent ressurection.

The robotic husk was brought to a small robot manufacturer. Everything was arranged. Syd, Alahandra, and the wizard Gyguul knew flew back out to the githynaki base.

The three landed in a small clearing as far away as they could be, while still alowing the wizard to work his spell.

Suddenly, Orendil came in over Syds walkie-talkie.

"I found a priest who says he can ressurect Milo without a body. Itll be cheaper."

A short flight and a heavenly choir later, Milo was sitting up from a small altar, looking confused.

"I was dead?!?"

Milo was caught up to speed and some new gear was picked up for what Milo had lost.

Lacking anything especially pressing, and needing time to relax after the past few days, the party retreated into their hotel to relax. A message was left with Gyguul, asking him to contact the group if anything came up.

Several days later, and several repetitions of "we walked uphill with a robot on our back for you," the party finally received a call.

"Where has the drow moved to now, Gyguul?"

"My sources still say the drow is at the githyanki base. No, instead I thought you might want to know a dispatch of githyanki ships are heading towards Caar as we speak."

Everything within the hotel rooms was quickly picked up, and the partys debt paid. Chartering a plane through Gyguul, the group was on route to Daar, a large city to the north, long before the githyanki reached Caar.

In Daar, the party found a wealth of goods that had been unavailable in Caar, and again began to shop with gusto.

Of particular note was the number of guns that Zoltan bought for both Orendil and Milo, using his ID.

"We have a record of your recent purchases Mr. Zoltan," mentioned one store clerk.

"Are you accusing me of something pal?" Zoltan asked.

"Just reminding you that we keep track of your purchases. Heres your blaster carbine."

"If any of you need another gun, get your own ID!" Zoltan told everyone later.

Eventually though, the night approached and the party found a small hotel to shack up in. Renting two corner rooms next to one another, the party shacked up for the night.

In Syd and Alahandras room, loud footsteps were heard walking down the hallway. Whoever or whatever was outside was BIG. Suddenly there was a loud crash and a roar. What was going on?!?

In Orendil, Milo, and Zoltans room, everyone was bedding down when the door suddenly burst in. Standing in the door frame was a massive creature. Nearly nine feet tall, the creature towered over everyone in the room. Large horns sprouted from the creatures head and it was holding two very large rifles, one in each hand.

This wasnt going to be a restful night.

Adventure 9

The Uthuk and Returning to Carr 

With a growl, the enormous creature let loose a barrage of automatic fire from both guns, many shots hitting Zoltan. Scrambling towards where their guns had been stowed, everyone in the room returned fire, seriously wounding the creature.

By this time, Syd and Alahandra had both exited out of their room to see the source of the commotion. While Alahandra joined in the firefight, Syd cast a spell, slowing down the creature significantly.

Finally, the creature (which Syd recognized as an uthek) fell. The uthek was tied up while Zoltan applied a large number of healing patches over his wounds. Once everyone had been sufficiently healed, what to do about the uthek came up. Searching through his gear revealed little. Aside from his weapons (which Zoltan quickly allocated into his pile of weapons) all he had was a credit card, a cell phone, and a strange device.

In the end, curiosity overcame the need for retribution, and a small healing patch was applied to the uthek. Slowly its eyes opened, and began to take it the surroundings. One of the first things he noticed was the large number of gun barrels leveled at him.

"What are you doing here?!?" Zoltan asked.

"I am hunting GBanrak."

Certainly not the response anyone expected. Who would want the aasimar? And how exactly did the uthek find them when he was looking for the aasimar? In fact that was the next thing Zoltan asked.

"How did you find us?!?"

"Tracked you."

"How did you track us?"

"Device. Should lead to GBanrak."

"What did you want with GBanrak?"

"Was never told. Just paid to find her."

"Who paid you?"

"Youll never know."

And suddenly the room was suddenly engulfed in flames. Syd (who had been standing outside in order to wave off possible onlookers) quickly rushed to grab a fire extinguisher and began to spray down the room.

No one had been seriously burned. Even the uthek had survived with minimal burns, although he had lapsed back into unconscious. The room was another matter. The carpet had nearly burned away in spots and the walls all bore large scorch marks. The cost of this one battle was starting to mount.

Deciding that the amount of info that could be further extracted from the uthek didnt equal the threat that he might catch on fire again, what to do with him became the problem.

While Syd waved away a staff member of the hotel, assuring him that damages would all be paid, everyone else was debating whether the uthek should be thrown out the window, thrown off the roof, thrown from some other building, or snuck out tomorrow.

All the debate ended when Syd walked back in.

"I could just polymorph him into something small."

Zoltan, of course, was against it. Despite his protests, however, Syd soon found himself focusing on the image of a small frog as he chanted the words of his spell. And then before everyones eyes, the uthek began to shrink and change, until he was nothing but a tiny, little frog. A conscious tiny, little frog.

Hopping up, the frog formerly known as uthek quickly started to make its way out of the room. Catching it before it got far, Syd scooped the frog up and handed it to Zoltan.

"Do with it what you will. If he dies, the spell will end. I am going to bed."

And with that, Syd went to bed. Everyone else attempted to repair the room as much as possible while Zoltan went out to a small bar, where he summarily flushed the uthek-now-frog down the toilet.

The next day found the party investigating what loot the uthek had left them with. The device seemed to be some sort of tracking device. Quickly, the party determined that the uthek had told the truth, and that the device was tracking the armored vests that the party had taken from Aphex.

Ditching the vests in the hotels garbage chute, the party went down and paid their fees, including fees for the room they had destroyed. Walking out, the party moved to a large park in the center of Daar before taking out the utheks cell phone.

Utilizing the same tactic they had used the last time they had captured someones cell phone, the group dialed the most recent number on the phone.

"Do you have her?" asked the voice on the other side of the phone.

"Who was I supposed to find again?"

"The aasimar you fool! Do you have her?"

"No, not exactly. Why were you trying to find her again?

"That is not of your concern. We paid you good money to find her. We expect you to have her here by tomorrow."

"Where was I supposed to bring her again?"

"To Aphex Prison! We paid good money for your services, and we expect to get a return!"

"I am going to need more money. She has been harder to find than I thought."

"More money!?! We paid one hundred and thirty thousand credits to you already, with another one hundred and thirty for her capture! You already have a small fortune! How can you even ask for more!?!"

"Oh yeah, that money. Never mind then."

"If you dont find her, we will find you."

"Oh no, dont worry about it. Well get her."

Hanging up, Zoltan (who had become something of the party negotiator) quickly relayed the information he had discovered to the party.

The news did not bode well, for the party and for GBanrak. Getting out the walkie-talkies, the group tried to contact GBanrak over the frequency they had instructed her to use. There was no answer. Contacting Gyguul revealed little, except that the githyanki had left. Of GBanrak, he knew nothing.

That avenue covered, the second thing the party did was to begin wondering how much money was actually on the utheks credit card. It didnt take long to figure out. All of it was on the utheks credit card. Zoltan suggested turning GBanrak in to get some more money, but no one really took him seriously.

Quickly splitting the money among the group, the party split up to pick up a few pieces of equipment that they had been desiring. Milo, Orendil, and Zoltan cleaned out several convenience stores, buying every healing patch available. Syd and Alahandra bought several rings to help protect the group from elemental attacks. Armor was bought by everyone, both to replace the Aphex Prison vests that the group had been forced to get rid of and to provide better protection.

Syd discovered that the Intergalactic Wizards Society had a chapter in the city of Daar, but without a proper ID he could not download any spells into his datapad. Making a small list of the spells he wanted to seek out at the next opportunity, everyone met up again in the park after a day of shopping.

Two decisions were reached. First, the group must return to Caar to warn GBanrak, not to mention find out why she is so wanted in the first place. Two hundred and sixty thousand was a lot of money for just one aasimar. The natural paranoia of the party was beginning to show itself as everyone came to the conclusion that GBanrak was not what she seemed.

The second decision was to return to the githyanki base. Gyguul still insisted the drow was hiding within the base. Better equipped, and better prepared, the party felt it was time to re-enter the base.

Bad things were going down.

Adventure 10

Where is G'banrak?
Fake IDs and the Return  to the Githyanki Outpost

The flight back to Caar proved highly uneventful and the party soon found themselves back within the city of Caar. Contacting Gyguul over the walkie-talkies revealed nothing new. Gyguul’s informants certainly did not seem to get around.

Venturing across the city to G’Banrak’s hotel, a course of action was quickly established. Alahandra would head up to get G’Banrak while everyone else waited at a nearby bar. Alahandra would draw G’Banrak out of the hotel and bring her to the bar, so everyone could talk in a more private location.

Alahandra entered into the hotel and quickly managed to talk her way up to G’Banrak’s room. G’Banrak met Alahandra at the door, several packed bags behind her. The money the party had left her had nearly run out, and since she would no longer have a place to stay, she was going to leave for Degtra the next morning. She hadn’t completely forgotten the party’s warning, however. She had managed to obtain fake identification. They were very good fakes, in fact.

After arriving at the bar, the party quickly related the events involving the uthek bursting into their room, searching for G’Banrak. G’Banrak seemed surprised that Aphex still wanted her. She claimed there was nothing special about her as far as she knew. At Aphex she was the subject of various kinds of experiments, but so were many of the other prisoners. Either way, the party felt G’Banrak should likely stay with them for protection.

After all, someone had to help them get some fake IDs. The party easily convinced G’Banrak that she should cancel her flight, which she did. Further, current plan of returning to the githyanki base was explained to her, as well as the reason.

“You know, I do remember a drunken drow when I was captured,” G’Banrak mused.

“So what are you going to do when you find him?”

The party just stared back at her with blank faces. Obviously, the thought of success had not occurred to them.

“Well you can’t just kill him. Not if you want to find out what his involvement with all of this is.”

Most of the party nodded somewhat numbly, surprised at an actual insight coming from G’Banrak. Zoltan of course was against non-fatal solutions but, as usual, he was paid little attention.

“Do you need a gun G’Banrak?” queried Milo.

“No, I’m fine.”

“Do you have useful fighting abilities?” asked Orendil.

“No, not really.”

Everyone looked at each other, regretting the decision to bring her into the githyanki stronghold. It seemed entirely possible that G’Banrak would prove more of a liability in the base than anything else.

The decision already made, however, the party quickly changed the topic to G’Banrak’s fake ID (which had the name Rezsz next to her picture.) Some friends she had met in a club in the southern area of town had provided them for her, at minimal cost. She could happily introduce them to the party if they wanted. It doesn’t take a genius to guess what the party’s answer to that was.G'banrak

Following behind G’Banrak, the party soon found themselves at a small club. G’Banrak looked about and quickly spotted her friends. Walking over, she quickly introduced everyone to two humans, obviously brothers.

The brothers were initially suspicious, but with G’Banrak vouching for the party, quickly provided a rundown of available services.

The party unanimously decided for the decided to spring for the most expensive (and the most credible) fake IDs. A short interview, followed by a photo session later, the party paid several thousand creds with a promise of more when the IDs were delivered. Advised to wait a few days, the party returned to G’Banrak’s hotel where they gathered her belongings and then picked yet another hotel to rest in.

An idea had been troubling Zoltan ever since the party had first decided to return to the githyanki base. The first time there, Zoltan had nearly been forced to rely upon magical conveyance to get him into the base. He needed to avoid the taint that was magic this time. Searching about while everyone else waited soon found a solution. A small store in Caar sold jetpacks, and was across the street from a school that could teach him how to fly it.

A couple thousand creds and a crash course in jetpack flight later, Zoltan found himself no longer at the fickle whims of magic.

A few days after their first payment, the party returned to the same small club in order to receive their finished IDs. The products were impressive, complete with holograms and other assorted copy-proofing technology.

Syd’s new ID named him Thamil, a book dealer. Alahandra’s new name was Dru, while Orendil was now Alexei. Zoltan was given the name of Gorshk. And finally, Milo was given the name of Garret.

After obtaining new identification, the party quickly headed towards the airport. The same private flight they had used earlier was still there, waiting for them. Boarding, the party explained to G’Banrak some of what may lay ahead.

The flight itself was boring and uneventful. A few hours later found the party landing in another clearing roughly a mile away from the floating githyanki base.

Hiking to the base proved uneventful. In fact, everything seemed to be quiet. When the party had reached an area close to the center of the base, Syd began to cast a series of spells enabling everyone but Alahandra (who naturally could fly) and Zoltan (who had purchased a jetpack) flight.

Looking up, the githyanki base was still awe-inspiring. After quickly picking a tower, the party waited for its approach before flying straight up towards it.

As everyone else entered through the windows at the top of the tower, Zoltan rocketed ahead and shot down the vertical chute towards the lower floors. Blowing through the living quarters, he landed in the small control room where he quickly released a burst of autofire, killing one of the githyanki guards on watch.

Everyone else scrambled after him, flying down the shaft into the living quarters. A very surprised githyanki was still rolling from bed as Orendil and Milo simultaneously fired, dropping the githyanki to the ground.

Down below, Zoltan was spinning about, rifle still releasing a stream of autofire. The githyanki guard behind him was still unsheathing his sword as several blaster shots ripped through him.

A few party members flew down to make sure Zoltan was okay before doing a quick search throughout both rooms. If nothing else could be said for the party, they were efficient.

Finding little in either room, the group was soon left with nowhere to go but down. Flying further down the passage, the party found themselves in another room, with the passage continuing on underneath them.

A hallway stretched two ways from the opening in the ceiling, but the floor was strangely tilted, making distances seem odd. Milo and Zoltan went to the right and vanished from sight as the hallway took a sharp left turn.

Everyone else went to the left and likewise followed the hallway when it took a sharp right turn. The hallway itself simply curved around and very quickly, each group caught sight of one another. Because of the strange nature of the floor, however, neither group saw the squad of githyanki warriors until they were almost on top of them.

Zoltan was caught checking the ammo in his gun as combat erupted around him. Lydia faded from sight, her laser blasts striking the sensitive areas of the githyanki. Orendil drew his greatsword and rushed forward to meet those githyanki doing the same.

Syd took several return shots from the githyanki warriors, while the melee troops sliced into Milo. Orendil flew up and began striking at the githyanki troopers from the air, slashing at their heads. G’Banrak muttered a few words before several magic missiles flew from her hand.

And then with a high pitched whine, Zoltan powered up his blaster. Depressing the trigger, Zoltan created a line of death, blowing straight through three githyanki warriors with the first barrage of fire. More githyanki rushed in to take their fallen comrades places, but were slain just as quickly by Zoltan.

While Zoltan was effectively eliminating anything that moved, Milo retreated to apply a few healing patches to himself. It was his new position that suddenly allowed him to see the band of githyanki warriors sneaking up behind the party.

“Behind us!”

Likewise retreating because of wounds, Syd quickly flew towards Milo. Following Milo’s line of sight, Syd flung forth his hand and launched a small green pellet towards the compact group of githyanki warriors. Where it struck a rippling wave of vibrational force ripped through the githyanki, peeling skin and crushing bones.

At the other side of the room another githyanki fell as Zoltan’s gun slowly spun down and emitted a sharp click. He was out of ammo.

The githyanki behind the party rushed forward, swinging their weapons at both Milo and Zoltan. Syd thrust forward his hand and this time a cone of sound rippled forth, felling most of the githyanki, not to mention smashing into Zoltan.

The few githyanki remaining were badly injured and dropped quickly from the individual attentions of Orendil, Alahandra, and Milo.

Just before the last one was slain, G’Banrak cast yet another spell. A familiar expression came over the githyanki warrior as he succumbed to G’Banrak’s charm.

The party had found another tour guide.


Adventure 11

Revisiting the Githyanki Outpost.  Where is the Drunken Drow?

Wild Sorceress DrowThe charmed githyanki had no knowledge of any drow being on base. However, he happily offered to bring the party to where ever they wanted to go. The prison sounded like a promising area, especially if the drow had been on base without the former commander’s knowledge.

Moving back to the vertical corridor, the group quickly descended down to a familiar center chamber. Recognizing the entrance to the base’s temple, as well as the entrance to the base’s throne room, the group was quickly able to orient themselves. Moving through the eastern door, the group found themselves in the bases prison. Rows of cells along both walls contained people from a variety of racial backgrounds. Despite the number of races represented among the prisoners, however, there were no drow.

Syd detected magic, to ensure that none of the prisoners were under an illusion. None of them were. Obviously, if the drow was on board, he was not a prisoner of the githyanki.

After a brief conversation with some of the prisoners, the group realized most of them had been captured when the githyanki had been searching for the party in Caar. Knowing the githyanki had ventured to Caar hunting for the group, the party found themselves feeling partly responsible for everyone’s capture.

Milo began to investigate the machinery that operated the prison doors while Zoltan plotted out how to use the prisoners as a distraction for the party. Unable to figure out the psionic-based machinery, Milo called over the charmed githyanki, asking him for help.

Not being a prison guard himself, the charmed githyanki possessed only a rudimentary understanding of the machine. As Milo began explaining what he was try to do, however, the guard managed to release the prisoners with an errant thought.

At first the prisoners seemed unsure of what to do. Quickly the party began explaining what was going on. The party couldn’t help the prisoners escape, but they could direct them to the location of the hangar, where the prisoners might be able to steal a ship. All the party asked of the prisoners was for them to wait ten minutes before attempting escape. That would give the party time to get out of the way, so that they would not be found when the prisoners ran for it.

Some of the prisoners were less than grateful for the chance the party had given them. But most of them were happy to at least have a chance at escape, no matter how slim. To further help them out, the group gave the prisoners some of their extra weapons, so that the prisoners would not be fleeing unarmed.

Leaving the prisoners to their own devices, the group instructed the githyanki to move them to the guest quarters. Moving through the south door, the group passed by a pair of guards. The guards tensed as the party passed, but at a few words from the group’s guide, relaxed and let the party continue on.

Recognizing this hallway as the one leading to the hangar, the party realized they were directly in the path they had outlined for the escaping prisoners. Needing to get out of the hall quickly (lest they be caught in the chaos when the prisoners made a break for freedom) the group quickly moved into left suite of rooms. Choosing the northern most room at random, the group knocked on the door loudly.

A large githyanki answered the door, yawning and rubbing sleep from his eyes.

“Can’t you tell we’re sleeping in here?!? What do you want anyway?” his eyes narrowed as he spotted the mixed company of the party, but again, a few words from the group’s charmed friend calmed him down.

“Sorry. We’re looking for a friend of ours and we think he may be here. Do you know of any drow staying in here?”

“Oh. You mean Captain Tharimo? His room is right over there.”

With that the githyanki turned around and retreated back into his room, slamming his door in the party’s face. The githyanki had already been forgotten, however. The party had finally found a drow. This Captain Tharimo was very possibly the person responsible for turning the group into fugitives on the run. Ideas of bloody vengeance danced through the party’s collective minds as they advanced down the hall. This would hopefully be messy.

Deciding that the courtesy of knocking would be wasted on a drow, Zoltan kicked in the door that had been indicated by the githyanki. Darting inside, blaster swiveling about the room, Zoltan provided cover as Milo and Syd likewise entered expecting a fight.

No one was quite expecting the feminine gasp that came from the room. Instead of the nameless drow who had singled everyone out to be guinea pigs for the drow’s insidious medical experiments, a beautiful female drow was found in bed. A naked, beautiful, female drow.

Covering herself hastily, the unknown female was quick to demand, “Who are you!?!”

“Who are you!?! Where’s Captain Tharimo!?!” shouted back Zoltan.

“Captain Tharimo’s room is next door. But if you insist on questioning me, could you at least allow me to clothe myself?”

Perhaps they were distracted by the drow’s beauty, or her lack of clothes, or perhaps they were all still in shock. But either way, Zoltan, Milo, and Syd exited the drow’s room and shut the door behind them.

“She’s going to put on some clothes,” they sheepishly explained.

Some time passed. Then a little more time passed. Slowly the regular policies of paranoia and suspicion began to reassert themselves within everyone’s mind. Finally, Milo knocked on the door.

There was no answer. Opening the door, no one was surprised when the room revealed itself to be empty. Walking forward cautiously, Milo approached a small metal box that had not been there when he had last been in the room. Lifting up the lid revealed a small, floating bead of light sitting within the box.

Syd, who managed to see the bead over Milo’s shoulder, immediately recognized it for what it was.

“It’s a fireball! Get down!”

Everyone quickly began moving back down the corridor and diving for cover. Syd and Milo barely made it out of the room before the fireball exploded. The room itself was badly burned, but most of the group was able to escape the fireball’s blast. The charmed githyanki, unfortunately, had not been fast enough.

From the other end of the hall, the githyanki the group had talked to earlier burst from their room angrily shouting “What in hell is going on down there!?!”

“Nothing to see here. Everything is fine. You just go back to your room,” answered Zoltan.

Perhaps it was the large weapons the party was carrying or perhaps it was the large stretch of corridor that was now thoroughly charred, but obviously the githyanki felt they had a good reason to go back to bed as they rapidly moved back into their rooms and slammed their doors shut.

Moving back down the hallway cautiously, the group busted into the room that the vanished drow had indicated was Captain Tharimo’s. The room was empty of life but a quick search found two things of interest.

The first was a formal ISPD dress uniform. The other was a small journal. While Milo pocketed the insignia off of the uniform, Syd flipped to the last page of the journal. The entry related how Captain Tharimo had come to this githyanki base in the company of a Colonel Antiphiphia to pick up some prisoners.

It wasn’t hard for everyone to realize that Colonel Antiphiphia was the female drow in the other room. Letting her get away had definitely not been a good idea.

Lacking a guide, or any plan of action for that matter, it was easy to see that everyone was in trouble.

Earlier, the group had fled from the base and been forced to return. Doing so again didn’t sit well with anyone. Multiple ideas were thought up and discarded in the space of a few moments. Any moment now alarms would likely go off as the drow alerted the githyanki to the intruders.

Finally deciding to simply find a warlock, the group rushed out of the hallway and ran back into the center of the base. What the party would do after finding the warlock was uncertain, but hopefully they could gain some information about the base.

Flying to the vertical corridor, the party rapidly approached the warlock’s room at the top. Suddenly Alahandra stopped and quickly flew ahead, giving the party the signal to halt. And then they all heard what Alahandra had detected. Voices. Several of them, coming from the warlock’s room. One of the voices was female.

Thinking fast, Syd reached into his pocket and withdrew one of the stones he had enchanted earlier. Whispering the command word he had embedded into it, all sound suddenly ceased around him. Judging the angle, Syd prepared to toss the stone up into the room. Within the area of magical silence, the drow female would be unable to use most of her spells, and would be at the mercy of the group.

Suddenly, however, two drow faces appeared above the room’s edge above. One was that of an unknown male, presumably Captain Tharimo. The other face was none other than Colonel Antiphiphia. Tossing the stone, it flew up and directly past Antiphiphia’s head, enshrouding the warlock’s room in silence.

G’Banrak quickly took the opportunity to cast a spell, and vanished without a trace. Syd likewise was prepared to cast a spell, when suddenly his silenced stone was tossed down from above.

“D-“ Syd managed to get out. The stone quickly was caught by the gravity of the tunnel and struck one of the walls with a small click. Alahandra was already flying towards it to help dislodge it.

Meanwhile, Captain Tharimo had disappeared from the opening above the party. Zoltan activated his rocket and shot up through the warlock’s room and into the small windowed room above it. The metal walkway in the warlock’s room activated, blocking the group’s passage as multiple Captain Tharimos appeared in front of the party. Making a guess, both Milo and Orendil focused their fire on the same one, causing the images to fade as the real Captain Tharimo slumped to the ground, dead.

Alahandra managed to dislodge the silence stone and dropped it down the tunnel, allowing Syd to launch a blast of force at the metal wall blocking the group from the warlock’s room. The metal began to buckle, but it did not give so Orendil and Milo began to blast it with their weapons.

Up above Zoltan had managed to descend back towards the warlock’s room where he saw both the warlock Quazmo and Colonel Antiphiphia. Opening fire, Zoltan found Antiphiphia enshrouded in several layers of protective magic. Several blaster shots penetrated through but they appeared to do little damage. Quazmo disappeared from the room as Antiphiphia looked up and began casting. A small fiery bead appeared in the room and Antiphiphia disappeared shortly afterwards.

Recognizing the fireball from earlier, Zoltan rocketed back up to the small room at the top of the tower, taking cover from the blast.

Milo and Orendil continued to blast the door with Syd and Alahandra’s help. The door was still more or less intact, but it was large enough for Milo to see through one of the holes.

Looking inside, Milo noticed the small floating bead, which the party had quickly learned to be wary of. He also noticed G’Banrak as she suddenly materialized within the now empty warlock’s chamber, cursing over the results of her spell.

“Watch out! There’s a fireball in there!”

G’Banrak quickly flew up to Zoltan, as the small bead hovered there silently. Suddenly, with a wet splattering sound, the bead exploded covering the room in a very corrosive acid. Quickly the acid that covered the metal door began to hiss and steam, and the door soon melted into nothing.

Knowing the group couldn’t leave the base with Antiphiphia alive to hound them, Syd had just begun to turn around when he glimpsed Quazmo behind him.

Syd began to cast a feeblemind when suddenly the strands of magic twisted away from him and went out of control. Settling over Quazmo, the altered spell suddenly transmuted Quazmo into the form of an eye tyrant.

Luckily, Orendil’s reflexes were just as fast as Syd’s and the githyanki turned beholder was soon returned to his natural form after a quick barrage from Orendil’s blaster.

Zoltan and G’Banrak came flying down from above, grabbing Captain Tharimo’s corpse on their way. As Orendil bent down to sort through the dead drow’s belongings, Syd and G’Banrak exchanged a long, silent look at one another. Both of them recognized all of the tell tale signs.

Somehow they had entered into a wild magic zone.

Adventure 12

Steal the Gems and Escape from the Githyanki Outpost!

Colonel Antiphiphia had done it yet again. The group could not face leaving the githyanki base until they at least eliminated the danger that she posed. Worse yet, it only took one glance for Syd to ascertain that Captain Tharimo wasn’t the drunken drow that the party was hunting. So far, this had been a very unsuccessful mission.

Stopping momentarily to pick over the possessions of the late Captain Tharimo and the githyanki warlock Quazmo, the party turned about and once again headed towards the center of the githyanki base.

Without any clue as to the location of Colonel Antiphiphia, the group figured that anywhere in the base was as good as any other. Deciding to profit while looking for her, the group decided to head for the treasury.

Less than a minute later the group found themselves standing before the large ornate doors that lead into the githyanki base’s temple. Chanting the words of an unlocking spell, G’Banrak gestured towards the door.

Seconds later she began to shimmer and fade from sight, as did Syd, Milo, and Alahandra.

“Uh guys? What’s going on?” Orendil asked, looking about for the rest of his group.

“It’s the wild magic. It looks like most of us are invisible,” answered Syd.

“Just open the door,” muttered G’Banrak.

Opening the doors and moving in, Syd reflected that if anyone inside were hostile, Orendil and Zoltan would take all of the fire.

Moving into the room, the group finally took the time to actually look about. Several large columns were placed about the room, encircling a large altar in the center. Against the far wall stood an immense statue of the githyanki queen, her head nearly brushing the roof. For eyes, the statue possessed immense, hand-sized rubies, which Milo instantly took an interest in.

Suddenly a voice rang out from somewhere in the room.

“You do realize you won’t get away, correct?”

It was Antiphiphia. She was in the room, and she was invisible.

Syd, Milo, and Alahandra all had identical ideas, running over to the door leading to the treasury. Opening the door, they went into the small room beyond only to find that the second door was locked tight. Alahandra began struggling with the lock, finding the lock to the treasury to be masterfully crafted.

Zoltan rushed forward and began to rush about the room, hoping to catch Antiphiphia off guard in order to learn her location.

Orendil and G’Banrak both looked about, hoping to get a glimpse of her.

The door leading into the main room suddenly shut, seemingly by itself, sealing Syd, Milo, and Alahandra in the small room in between the treasury and the temple. Zoltan started to move towards the area around the door, sweeping his weapon back and forth in the hope of catching Antiphiphia.

Suddenly, Orendil spotted a small glowing bead sitting on the altar.

“Fireball! Get out of the room!”

Orendil, G’Banrak, and Zoltan all quickly rushed out of them room. They barely made it past the large outer doors when the fireball went off, engulfing the room in flame.

Hesitantly, Zoltan entered back into the room. He had just stepped in when suddenly he found himself falling up! Slamming into the ceiling with a loud crunch, Zoltan could only conclude that gravity was reversed. Activating his jetpack, Zoltan rocketed off the ceiling and informed Orendil and G’Banrak of the room’s conditions.

Orendil flew into the room and opened the door leading to the treasury. Warning Syd, Milo, and Alahandra about the room, he began to search about the room. Orendil doubted Antiphiphia was still in the room, but he recalled a hidden door leading into here from the Commander’s room.

Sensing a small airflow coming from the western wall, Orendil carefully began feeling along the wall and then … yes! There! The wall swung out and Orendil stepped into the Commander’s room.

G’Banrak and Zoltan followed him in. Zoltan cautiously approached the net that had trapped Orendil the last time at the base, while Orendil explained the workings of the net and the holding tubes.

Milo grew tired of waiting for Alahandra and, mindful of Orendil’s warning, flew out into the temple and up to the top of the githyanki queen’s statue. Grabbing his laser pistol he began slowly melting away the surrounding statue in an attempt to dislodge the two rubies.

Finding the net in the Commander’s room active, Zoltan was stumped on how to get through it. Milo had managed to evade it on their previous encounter, but Orendil had been ensnared. No one in the room liked those odds.

“I might have a spell that could help. Should I try?” asked G’Banrak.

“No don’t!” shouted Zoltan.

But it was too late. The sound of arcane chanting could already be heard. And then … silence.

“G’Banrak are you okay?”

There was no answer. Feeling about in front of him, Orendil soon found the form of G’Banrak. She seemed to not be moving at all. Lifting her up, Orendil hastily flew out of the room. Zoltan followed after him when suddenly he was lifted up and slammed into the ceiling again!

“Damn! Forgot about the gravity!”

Milo had managed to pry out both rubies, and had damaged the statue a good deal in the process. Very quickly, everyone was becoming tired of the time it was taking Alahandra to open the way to the treasury.

And then a loud click issued out in the silence, along with Alahandra’s exuberant shouting.

The treasury door was opened, and the party again found themselves in the room of gems spinning crazily about through the air. Not being rushed, the party set about to methodically fill every available space with gems including everyone's backpacks (four of which were Zoltan’s), pouches, pockets, and, in Alahandra’s case, her boots.

Pockets and bags bulging from the glut of gems, and the treasury looking a lot less cluttered, Syd checked his watch. The time left on his fly spells was rapidly wearing out and if the party waited much longer, most of them would be unable to get down.

“We’re not leaving yet. Remember the big communication mirror? I am shutting it down again,” explained Zoltan, as he crossed through the treasure room to the door beyond.

The party had 2 minutes and counting.

Moving through the treasury, the mostly invisible party walked down the hidden corridor towards the small alcove that contained the mirror. Stepping into the alcove, Zoltan leveled his gun and destroyed the newly repaired mirror.

And thats when everyone heard the pounding of running feet. Githyanki began pouring in from both sides of the hallway, surrounding the party. Worse yet, these were not the githyanki the party had been fighting. These were full-fledged githyanki knights, not only bearing high-powered blaster rifles, but also wearing powerful combat armor.

The knights looked up and down the hallway for the intruders that were supposedly in the base. Zoltan was inside of the small alcove, outside of their line of sight. Syd, Alahandra, G Banrak, and Milo were all still invisible due to the wild magic in the area. That left poor Orendil standing out in the open, in plain view of all the knights. The knights promptly opened fire.

Multiple blaster shots tore into Orendil, punching multiple holes in his armor. Barely standing, Orendil quickly retreated into the alcove and quickly began applying healing patches to his many wounds. Milo took aim and fired, managing to penetrate one of the knights armor as he appeared. Syd and Alahandra began firing at one of the githyanki knights as they both hovered above him, likewise fading into view.

GBanrak ran screaming into the alcove along with Orendil.

"Should I cast a spell? Should I cast a spell!?!"

"No!" came the answer from everyone.

Zoltan quickly spun around and stepped into the hallway, leveling his blaster and firing a barrage of shots into the midst of the oncoming knights.

The knights quickly realized that Zoltan was their most dangerous opponent, and began to focus their fire at him. Few of their shots were able to pierce his naturally tough skin, or his protective battle armor, however. Orendil tossed GBanrak a blaster pistol as he continued to apply healing patch after healing patch.

Alahandra attempted to turn invisible but instead her magical power flexed out of control! With a flash of light, she found her senses suddenly disjointed and scrambled and all she could do was hover in place. Syd continued to fire at the githyanki knight who had come up behind the party. Milo fired off a few more shots as GBanrak stepped out from the alcove and suddenly began casting!

"No!" shouted nearly everyone at once.

Suddenly a shimmering, glittering sphere materialized around one of the githyanki knights, effectively cutting him off from the combat. A prismatic sphere. Syd was amazed, and terrified at the same time. If spells were warping to such a degree whatever GBanrak had cast could have as easily killed everyone in the party.

"No more magic!"

Alahandra finally snapped out of her magically induced stupor, and with Milos help, managed to bring down one of the githyanki knights who had come at the party from the treasury. Sensing an opportunity, Syd flipped over the head of the remaining knight, scooping up the fallen knights blaster rifle as he did, and finished off the other knight at his end of the hall. With Zoltan drawing fire from the knights on the other side, both Alahandra and Milo ran to the alcove where they took cover.

Zoltan was starting to look bad by now. Most of the shots were unable to pierce his protective armor but enough were getting through to take their toll. But suddenly Orendil was in front of him, Soulfeeder in hand. Screaming out a battle cry, Orendil rushed forward and engaged one of the last knights in melee combat!

Orendil scored several vicious gashes on the last knight, felling him. Quiet settled over the battlefield. Then Syd noticed the time.

"We need to get out now!"

The group rushed from the room, leaving one knight stuck within the prismatic sphere. Entering into the vertical corridor, Zoltan activated his jetpack as the other members of the party lifted off, flying at max speed up the shaft.

Rocketing out of the window at the top of the tower, the party found themselves off to one side of the githyanki base. Heading straight down Syd realized the magic wasnt going to keep them up long enough.

Twenty feet above the ground, Syds fly spells began to unravel, the magic holding up the party falling away. Luckily, the safeguards kicked in at the last moment, and the last 20 feet were fallen at a slow, delicate rate. Settling onto the ground, everyone began to debate what to do.

No one especially wanted to leave and come back, but it was obvious that the group needed some more preparation before entering the base yet again. And of course Syd had underestimated the burden of flying several people, a situation he hoped to correct with a wand. Reluctantly the party prepared to hike back to the plane and set out for Caar. As little time as possible would be spent restocking.

The group hiked for nearly a mile when they saw them. Several githyanki surrounding their plane. Not just githyanki. Githyanki knights. Five knights had been a challenge. The nine knights standing about the plane would very likely prove too much, especially if the strange wild magic zone extended out this far.

Very quickly the party pulled back and discussed their options. The githyanki base was in the middle of nowhere. There was little chance the party could hike anywhere without taking several weeks. The only recourse was to make a small camp somewhere nearby and hope the knights had left the plane in the middle of the night.

Adventure 13

Sleeping in the Woods and Hiding the Gems 

The small camp the party set up was in a forested area. The night passed peacefully until Orendil’s watch came around. Orendil hadn’t sat long before he noticed the figures of several githyanki knights approaching directly towards the location of the party.

After Orendil roused everyone from their sleep, everyone quietly attempted to take cover among the trees around the campsite.

Everyone but Zoltan, that is.

As the githyanki knights approached, Zoltan stood in a small clearing among the trees. Despite his unprotected stance, the knights failed to spot any of the party until they were almost on top of the party.

And then Zoltan fired up his assault blaster. Multiple blasts shot out at the knights, wounding one moderately. Milo took several shots from his concealed position behind a tree while Alahandra faded into invisibility and assaulted the knights with impunity.

Orendil roared out his battle cry and charged one of the knights, his greatsword before him. Several knights were shaken from Orendil’s battle howl and failed to score any hits against the group.

Syd and G’Banrak stayed hidden as the firefight erupted around them.

Zoltan’s assault blaster continued its stream of fire, dropping one of the knights, as Milo and Alahandra continued to snipe at the remaining knights from concealment. Orendil engaged his opponent in hand to hand combat, leaving vicious wounds with his greatsword. Seeing that the knights’ attention was mostly focused on Zoltan, Syd and G’Banrak both left their positions and likewise opened fire on the githyanki knights.

Things were not looking good for the knights. Realizing that Zoltan was too protected for them to appreciably damage, many of the knights stepped back and began to employ their psionic abilities. The sound of shattering glass and the burnt smell of metal quickly filled the clearing, and assault after assault struck the minds of the party.

Luckily, the githyanki knights’ psionic assault proved as effective as their blaster shots had. It wasn’t long before the last knight fell, and the clearing again resumed the quiet of night. Unfortunately, if the knights had found the party here, they surely would again. The party had no recourse but to relocate their camp for the remaining portion of the night.

Moving northwest for roughly one mile, the party noticed that several parties of githyanki knights were looking for them. Avoiding the knights, the party soon found another clearing where they set up camp for what remained of the night.

The next morning found the party still hale and whole, undisturbed by any other githyanki patrols. Syd had been considering the current party’s capabilities, and had selected several spells to enhance their abilities for the day. Reaching out to touch Orendil, Syd muttered the arcane phrases that would enhance Orendil’s reactions and perceptive ability for the day.

Suddenly, Syd felt the magic twist wild in his fingers. What had been a protective magic turned into something darker, and Orendil visibly withered under Syd’s touch.

“Damn! We’re still in the wild magic zone!”

The rest of the party nervously backed away from Syd.

After packing up their gear, the party quickly began walking back towards the plane. Because of the movement of their camp during the night, their plane now lay almost due south from their position.

As the party hiked, they quickly realized that patrols of githyanki still walked the forest, searching for them. As if that wasn't enough, several planes were heard flying overhead, trying to catch the party in a clearing.

Moving cautiously from tree to tree, making sure no planes were overhead at crossing, the party slowly made their way back to where their plane was landed. At one point, an enormous plane, roughly of a model similar to the group’s but several times larger, flew over head. Vaguely, a giant could be glimpsed through one of the plane’s windows.

“That looks like Gyguul!” both Syd and Zoltan exclaimed at once.

There was an awkward silence as both of them glared at the other for copying off of him. Then the party reached their plane.

The githyanki knights still stood guard. Cursing, the party gathered a short distance away and began planning what to do. With the constant surveillance in the surrounding area, a battle with nine githyanki knights would quickly bring down reinforcements. Worse yet, the party wasn’t even sure they could take on nine githyanki knights and win, especially with Syd and G’Banrak afraid to cast because of the wild magic zone.

In jest, Milo suggested covering Orendil in mud and trying to pass him off as an ISPD officer dismissing the githyanki knights from duty. His idea soon caught on, however. In short order, Alahandra had managed to darken the visible parts of Orendil considerably. While the badge's picture and Orendil were not perfect matches, it could stand up to casual scrutiny.

Orendil was just beginning to walk forward when suddenly the group’s walkie-talkie went off. It was Gyguul!

“I’ve been captured. I am in the githyanki base. They say they want you to give yourself up.”

This was not good. This was not good at all.

“Why should we just give ourselves up?” Milo shot back.

And then the voice on the walkie-talkie changed. Instantly everyone recognized the tones of Colonel Antiphiphia.

“We know exactly where you are. If I wanted to, I could send several githyanki knights to the small clearing next to your plane that you are currently hiding in. It will be so much easier if you just come peacefully. I will have a pilot awaiting you underneath the base.”

The group was stupefied. The idea of complying turned everyone’s stomach, and the idea of losing to Colonel Antiphiphia even more so.

But unless she had been guessing very well, she had pinpointed their location. The party’s only recourse was to comply. But the party wasn’t going to return to the githyanki base weighed down with half of the base’s treasury. Quickly several party members had managed to hide away their bags of gems in nearby trees and shallow holes. Orendil went so far as to bury Soulfeeder, in case he somehow lost his gear inside the base.

When all of the preparations were done, everyone had buried their gems except Alahandra and Zoltan, both of whom resolutely refused to give them up. Trudging through the forest dejectedly, the party soon approached the githyanki base for yet another time.

Standing beneath the floating base stood a drow female, leaning back against a small transport.

“I am Lieutenant Silan and I am your transport up to the base. If you will enter my transport we can get underway.”

Reluctantly the party entered into the transport and it lifted off, carrying the group back into the githyanki base. Things definitely were looking down for the party.

Exiting the transport, Lieutenant Silan escorted the party down the long hallway and into the throne chamber of the base.

There was Gyguul, dwarfed between two titans. A fully armed contingent of githyanki knights ringed the chamber, and another rapidly filled up the room behind the party. A githyanki wearing the insignia of the base commander slowly looked over the party. And Lieutenant Silan suddenly began to shift and change, her features slowly shifting into that of Colonel Antiphiphia.

“It was you! You were the drunken drow!” screamed Zoltan.

“Good deduction Zoltan. It was me who singled you out for arrest. But I believe you have more pressing matters at the time.”

Adventure 14

Tell me again, "Why did we surrender?"

Session 14

Walking forward, the new githyanki commander introduced himself to the party and explained their situation.

“It takes guts to turn yourself in willingly, especially considering your crimes. As such, instead of forcibly removing all of your weapons and magical items from your possession I will simply ask you to relinquish them peacefully. It would be easy for us to find anything you try to hide from us, so I trust you not to be stupid.”

“What crimes are you trying to hold us for?” queried Milo.

“What crimes!” the commander shouted. “The breaking and entering of this fully sanctioned military base! The wholesale slaughter of this base’s personnel, including several young soldiers in training! The destruction of our property! What crimes aren’t we holding you for?”

The party exchanged a silent look among each other. The crimes were serious. You could almost see everyone weighing the size of the two titans guns against the almost absolute certainty of death at the hands of the githyanki.

The titans’ guns were bigger.

“So we will be getting a fair trial?” Milo asked.

“Of course you will. Two lawyers have already been dispatched by the Dragon Empire in order to ensure objectivity during the trial. We will hold you until they arrive, at which time you will be fairly tried.”

“Maybe we can make a deal?” Milo asked, looking to Colonel Antiphiphia.

As the party collectively glared at Milo, the Colonel replied.

“There is little I could do to help you. As you attacked the githyanki’s base, it is their jurisdiction.”

“Maybe we could do a service for you?” Milo wheedled.

Moving close, Antiphiphia leaned in to Milo and whispered to him “We can talk about this later.” Raising her voice so that everyone could hear, she said, “Will you surrender your weapons and magical items now?”

Perhaps not too unexpectedly Zoltan asked a very nonsensical question, “What kind of food do you have here?”

“You may have anything that you wish,” the commander replied.

Zoltan nodded his approval and tucked this piece of knowledge away for later use.

The group was somewhat at a lost. It was obvious that even in a fair trial, the githyanki would assuredly be able to ensure the party’s death. At the same time, however, the titan’s presence suggested that any resistance would just be a quicker route to the same destination.

Slowly, the party began to turn over their equipment. Weapon after weapon, the party watched all of their equipment placed into several bags, each with an accompanying nametag. In the hope that the githyanki truly trusted the party to be honest, Syd failed to mention his headband, just as Alahandra managed to evade all notice and kept all of her gear.

A short walk later found the party in the githyanki base’s prison. Apparently the prisoners the party had released had all been cut down by githyanki troops before they could make an escape. A momentary pang of guilt was experienced, but facing more imminent problems, it didn’t last long. The group had been set back to square one. For the most part, they were all in the same situation they had been when they had landed on planet Aphex.

“What the heck are you doing?!?” Zoltan shouted at Milo once everyone had been placed into their cells..

“We don’t want a fair trial! If we get a fair trial, we are going to get killed! Better to get Antiphiphia to let us off,” Milo explained.

Milo’s logic was sound, but no one was comfortable with the thought of an alliance with Colonel Antiphiphia, a person everyone had come to blame for all of his or her present problems.

With party tensions running high and little else to do, the group began speaking to some of the other prisoners. In the cell next to Syd was a strange man who introduced himself as Wang Lu Dong. He spoke with a weird amalgam of accents, the strangest of all being Dwarven despite his lack of knowledge of the language.

Zoltan shared a cell with a rather large gnoll, but it was quickly obvious that they didn’t share a common language. Zoltan stayed far from the gnoll and the gnoll did the same.

Milo shared his cell with an elf named Nick Delosier. A Wizard of not insignificant power himself Nick and Syd quickly began to discuss magical theory to past the time. Everyone else tried to ignore their otherwise nonsensical babbling.

G’Banrak shared a cell with a female high elf named Dru, who likewise professed an aptitude in the magical arts. She seemed somewhat withdrawn, however, and offered little conversation. Alahandra was quick to realize that the high elf Dru was the identity she had bought from the man in Caar.

In Orendil’s cell a half-orc sullenly sat in a corner, likewise offering little in the way of conversation.

And so time passed, with little being said until it was time for dinner. As dinner was being served Zoltan exclaimed, “I thought we could get whatever we wanted! I don’t remember my order being taken!”

With a put upon sigh, the guard asked Zoltan what he would like to have.

“Hmmm. I want a Cesar salad, paned duck, and some bread pudding with white chocolate sauce. That will be good for tonight.” With that Zoltan dismissed the server with a wave of his hand. The server, rolling his eyes, stalked off, but in the end Zoltan did get his meal.

The next day everyone was surprised when Colonel Antiphiphia strode into the prison. Moving to Milo’s cell, she wasted no time with niceties.

“You mentioned a use you may have?”

“You know how skilled we are. Surely there is something we could do for you in exchange for our freedom?”

“You are quite skilled, but why would the ISPD need ones such as you?”

“Surely we would be more useful working for you than we would going to trial.”

“Like there will really be a trial!” Zoltan shouted with a laugh.

With a small flicker of her eye, the Colonel smirked. “Your friend Zoltan is more perceptive than he seems, which is saying a lot. I can keep you all here as long as I want. But I will consider your offer. And I will take G’Banrak with me for now.”

“Wait! What about the reward! We did bring her to you!” Zoltan shouted again.

“What reward?”

“Don’t play stupid! The reward you promised the uthek!”

“I do not know of any uthek. Maybe you should tell me?”

“Oh guess I was talking about someone else then. Go ahead and take her.”

Colonel Antiphiphia frowned for a moment before calling in two githyanki guards. Entering G’Banrak’s cell, the guards grabbed her and dragged her out kicking and screaming.

G’Banrak glowered darkly at the party. “How can you let them do this?!”

An awkward silence followed the quartet’s exit. However, the silence was more than just guilt about G’Banrak.

“She didn’t send the uthek,” Milo commented to no one in particular.

Someone else was hunting G’Banrak.

G’Banrak had not been gone long before she was returned. Two guards carelessly tossed her back into her cell, where she crawled into a corner and began to cry.

An awkward silence hung about the room. Concerned for her friend, Alahandra began trying to comfort G’Banrak. With the help of Alahandra, G’Banrak slowly regained control of her emotions.

Haltingly, G’Banrak explained what had happened when she was taken.

“First, you have to know something about my home planet. My planet lies within the Dragon Empire, but is nigh but unreachable by convential means. Instead, my people have constructed a gate system to connect it to other planets. Only those native to my planet know how to operate the gates, but with the proper knowledge anyone could go anywhere within the Dragon Empire and in some cases, beyond. The ISPD would give anything for access to our gates, and for that reason they cannot possibly gain that knowledge. I know they would use it unjustly.

Colonel Antiphiphia tells me something has invaded my planet. An alien force that the ISPD has never encountered. From what she said I don’t think she plans on doing anything about them. I think she would rather watch the creatures and see what they do to my world!

But there’s hope. Antiphiphia wants me to go back to my planet with some of her technicians to my planet so that they can take more accurate readings of the menace. If you all would agree to come with me, maybe we could stop whatever these things are!”

Any chance to escape was a welcome one, although no one trusted Antiphiphia to keep her word. Eventually though, everyone had decided to help G’Banrak save her planet. Somehow though, they would have to stop the drow from learning the secrets of Thronia’s gates.

Time passed, most of it spent idly contemplating the coming venture.

And then, the githyanki Commander entered into the prison. He did a quick survey of the room before addressing the group. “The judge may be more lenient on you all if you would be willing to tell us what happened.”

“Yeah right,” Zoltan shouted. “You know that there aren’t any lawyers coming for us.”

“What do you mean?”

“Its obvious! Don’t be a fool!”

“Why do you think lawyers are coming?”

“Colonel Antiphiphia assured me that they were.”

“Antiphiphia cannot be trusted,” Orendil interjected. “She wants to see us dead. She plans on arranging an ‘accident’. Check it out.”

“Very well. I will investigate the matter. If you are lying, however, it will be to your detriment.”

The Commander turned about and left the room.

“What are you two doing?!?” shouted Milo. “We don’t want to be tried!”

“I was thinking maybe we could turn the Commander against Antiphiphia, and escape in the confusion,” Orendil offered. “We can’t trust Antiphiphia.”

“I don’t think we have much of a choice. Antiphiphia is at least willing to let us live. The Commander would have us all killed given half the chance!”

With little left to say, the group again fell into boredom. Time crawled by as the party sat within the jail cell. Debates burst forth sporadically before being shot down again.

Orendil was adamant that Antiphiphia could not be trusted and that it would be better to turn ourselves over to the Commander and escape from him later. Milo wanted to get out at all costs, even if it meant making a deal with Antiphiphia. Zoltan wanted to shoot things, or maybe he just wanted more food. Either way he wasn’t too happy. Syd, Alahandra, and Wang each had varied opinions on the group’s varied plans. None of them knew what was coming, except that it probably wouldn’t be good.

The Commander returned in a few days. Quick and too the point, he entered and admitted that his sources suggested that perhaps lawyers weren’t coming.

“If you help me out, perhaps I can help you out.”

“What do you want from us?” yelled Zoltan.

“We know you broke into this base. We know you killed several of our soldiers, who were still in training. You murdered this base’s previous Commander as well as two of its Warlocks. We know you stole a large amount of diamonds from us. If you turn the diamonds over, I will protect you from Antiphiphia.”

“We didn’t steal those diamonds! They were given to us by the previous Commander!”

“He gave them to you?” the Commander asked skeptically.

“Yeah! He hired us to help train the soldiers! The ones who failed the test died! He paid us with the diamonds!”

“I find that highly … unlikely. I know this base had a large amount of gems before you came here, and now it has much less. Where are the diamonds?”

“They’re in his bag!” Syd said. “All the diamonds we took are in Zoltan’s bags. Look and you will find them.”

Zoltan was outraged, and made that obvious while the Commander ordered two guards to search through Zoltan’s bags. Finding that they were indeed stuffed with diamonds, the bags were removed and the Commander left the room.

“What are you doing?”

“He obviously doesn’t know how many diamonds we took. If we give him some of them, maybe he won’t look for the rest. And since you were the only one who brought diamonds with you, you got to give yours up.”

Prison was definitely fraying the party’s nerves.

The next day Antiphiphia paid the party a visit.

“It’s not nice trying to turn the Commander against me. I should leave you here to be tried and executed. I assume G’Banrak has briefed you on my goals? And I assume you have all agreed to go? In a few days I will have everything prepared. I will tell the Commander I am moving you to a different prison for your trial. Instead I will move you to my ship in orbit. Do not cross me.”

Her speech delivered, Antiphiphia stormed out before any response could be uttered.

The Commander returned yet again the next day. Having recovered the base’s stolen diamonds, he was quick to ask the party for what they would have him do.

“Antiphiphia is going to move us in a few days. You should move us instead. I fear she’s going to execute us without trial,” Orendil explained.

“No! Leave us here. She won’t move us now that you know,” Milo yelled out.

“What would you have me do? I could move you by yourself if you want.”

Orendil, realizing his plan wouldn’t work without the rest of the group, declined. The Commander shrugged and left.

It was the day before Antiphiphia was set to move the party onboard to her ship. The prison doors opened and a young male human was brought in and thrown into a cell.

His name was Jhelai Lajos. He had been picked up in the area of the base and was being held by the githyanki for now. It was obvious, however, that this was another smoke screen created by Antiphiphia. He had been offered the same choice as the party, and once everyone had explained the situation to him, had reluctantly agreed.

The final day passed slowly and everyone slept fitfully the night before.

As the day dawned, no one could have guessed what was coming.


Adventure 15

Continued on DragonStar Summer 2002

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