Due to various circumstance, session 7 was a short session, so I decided to wait until the next session to do the write-up… then the next two sessions were canceled. I made the Nov. 27th session into an extended session to make up time (start 2 hours early, end 1 hour late).
The crew of the Desperate Measures arrived on Taris ready to find the Imperials responsible for weaponizing Rakghoul plague. Once there, they had no leads on who to contact, so they sought out an information broker in one of the skeevier cantinas: The Rank & File in Crimson Sun Plaza in the Shan District. There, they found a Gran, Bok Kel who was more than happy to provide the information they wanted, for a price. The crew of the Desperate Measures found the price too high, though, so they roughed him up until he lowered his price to a more acceptable level. He directed them to Bela Gorley, a man who supplied Imperials with restricted artifacts from Ancient Taris.
Bela Gorley lived in the Lhosan Arcology in the Onasi District. They took their speeders and went to visit Mr. Gorley, walking in to find a group of black-clad assassins in the process of ending his life. They killed the assassins, but were too late to save Bela. All was not lost, however, as they found a call log that showed his last communications with with someone named Sharone Het. A bit of research uncovered that Sharone Het ran a shop in the Commerce Emporium spanning the Shan and Onasi Districts.
Scoping out Sharone’s shop, the saw it was a small electronics parts store. Daesha performed interior recon by posing as a customer, and once it was determined the front door was the only way in, the rest of the group came in, distracted him and stunned him. They then closed the shop and started their interrogation by having Doc Cousteau shoot him up with painkillers until he was as high as a thranta. (GM aside: *sigh* He would have been cooperative had they just asked :p) Eventually they discovered that Bela referred the mercs to a university researcher named Mayven Turloc and also kept her competitor, Jorunn Dox in the loop. A quick check with the Leontyne Saresh University revealed that it was between semesters, so Turloc was out on one of her undercity digs. They decided to pay Jorunn Dox as visit.
Jorunn lived in a run-down arcology in the Olaris District, Lost Colony. When they arrived, they found him in the public directory and paid him a visit. Unfortunately, he was dead already, his throat slit. He was not a smart man, however, and had an unsecured personal terminal. On that terminal, they found extensive maps of Mayven’s dig sites and plans for a heist. Jorunn Dox was the type of man to steal other researchers’ work and sell them for personal profit.
Stocking up on supplies procured with money they got out of Bela Gorley’s accounts (he didn’t need the money anymore), they ventured into the undercity, following Jorunn’s maps. The route was lit with worklamps, though it was not without dangers. After several hours of spelunking (had we not cancelled so many games, I would have some of these laid out with Dwarven Forge and RPed the environmental hazards, alas), they discovered a modern, fortified door set in the decrepit, ancient wall. A body was outside of the doors, still possessing a keycard. Fortunately, the keycard opened the door and allowed them to bypass the installed autoturrets.
Once inside, they found an abandoned, pre-fab Imperial facility. However, they were not alone within the facility. Something stalked them, first clawing at a door that just closed behind them, then moving to the ventilation system overhead. Finally, it cut the power in the facility. An enormous rakghoul dropped down from the ceiling and lunged at Lisska. It rent her armor, but she broke its arm and held it while the rest of the crew opened up with their blasters, killing it. (A big WOW moment here: Lisska had a MAJOR crit, and then two of the characters shooting it also critted. The took out a nemesis-level opponent in one round with awesome rolls!)
The rakghoul still wore tattered remnants of clothing and also had a keycard labeled Tarisian Central Bank. After finishing their sweep of the abandoned facility, they went back to the Commerce Emporium and withdrew the lockbox. Inside, they found extensive notes from Mayven Turloc, 500 credits, and records of correspondence between her and Dorn Maka, the hapless dead fellow they found outside the lab. In a nutshell, Mayven was hired by the Imperials to find the ancient facilities where Rakghoul Virus was first weaponized back during the Great Galactic War. She did so and her reward was to be a test subject: Patient Zero. Once the virus was working, the Imperials moved the Black Argent facility to a secured location with a familiar name: Imperial Star Destroyer Stormhammer.
The crew of Desperate Measures returned to Mirial. The base was a flurry of activity and they could not help but notice many starfighters now there. Major Vri’bek welcomed them back and briefed them: a star destroyer was en route to the Mirial rebel base. Fortunately, a small flotilla of rebel ships was also enroute to provide support. Captain Ackbar commanding the Nebulon-B Frigate Independence and three corvettes, along with two flights of Y-Wings, five flights of X-Wings, and Desperate Measures would take on ISD Stormhammer. Ackbar’s plan was for the X-Wings and Desperate Measures to provide cover for the Y-Wings and take out as many TIEs as they could while the capital ships would take on ISD Stormhammer and any TIEs that lingered behind to provide support from within the Star Destroyer’s weapons range.
Six hours after returning from Taris, Desperate Measures took to the sky once more. As soon as ISD Stormhammer dropped out of hyperspace it launched fourteen flights of TIE Fighters, four of which stayed close to the mothership. The frigate and the corvettes advanced on Stormhammer while the fighters engaged the Imperials. The bombers were caught without protection for a while in the massive furball, but the superiority of the Rebel pilots more than made up for the Imperial’s superior numbers.
Marcus saw an opening once most of the TIE fighters engaged with the Rebel fighters were destroyed and led his flight on a daring attack on the star destroyer’s conning tower. After using most of his proton torpedoes, he managed a lucky strike on the port shield generator and Stormhammer was vulnerable. One flight of X-Wings starting pounding the destroyer’s engines while the frigate and bombers opened up with full salvo’s on its unprotected flank. Stormhammer attempted to turn, but was too slow to keep the fighters from exploiting its weakness. In a last ditch run, Marcus fired his last proton torpedoes at the bridge, scoring a direct hit and crippling the ship! Stormhammer tried to flee, but Ackbar was relentless and the Rebel destroyed the star destroyer. The mon calamari captain gave the grim order to destroy all the escape pods; the chance of the Rakghoul virus surviving was too great.
They returned to Mirial to a well-earned celebration. Doc Cousteau was offered a commission as a Captain in the Rebel Alliance, befitting his status as a doctor, Marcus was offered a position as a Squadron Commander, and the rest were commissioned as Lieutenants. After the medal ceremony for all the rebel pilots, the celebration lasted well into the night. They later received word that Captain Ackbar recieved a promotion to Admiral as a result of his leadership at the Battle of Mirial.
As a result of the extended playtime, we were able to wrap up the campaign! I also rewrote part of the adventure so that there was actually a chance to do just that; I wanted to wrap the campaign up this year (my original plan was to wrap it up before Hallowe’en). My original plan was for a campaign in 6 Episodes: Invasion of Telos, Mission to Ithor, Mission to Manaan, The Plague Investigation, Raid on Krupx Munitions, and Assault on ISD Stormhammer. The final mission was always going to be a massive space battle against a Star Destroyer, with the PCs flying Desperate Measures (and since one of the PCs was a squadron leader, I was going to give that PC a flight of X-Wings or Y-Wings to command).
My only real complaint is that I had to abstract a good portion of the final battle. FFG’s system isn’t really set up for a message space battle ala Return of the Jedi. Sure, I could have rolled for every weapon able to fire on each of the capital ships (there were 5), but I would have spent the majority of the battle playing by myself (as you can see, there were also a lot of rebel ships. Still, it was a suitably epic conclusion.
Because of how the holidays fall, we’re playing again next week, then back to every other week. The next game is a playtest of the Paranoia adventure I’m running at Gary Con, “Bugs in the System.”