I’ve had these on my back burner for a while. These following three sessions were run in the weeks after the first one, but I just had not gotten around to finishing the write-ups for them. I’m just not getting that accomplished, and will have them posted in the next couple of days, as a way to ring in the new year of posting on this blog as well as a way to gear myself up for the campaign starting again in a week or so. And so, without further ado, the write-up for session two:
The last session left the group in the midst of the rapidly constructed forward outpost of the Grand Army of the Republic on the ground of Saleucami. A second shuttle brought a Clone Commander along with another detachment to troops, and took the PCs up to their next post aboard the Republic ship, Singularity, a top of the line, fresh off the assembly line, Venator-class Destroyer (book stats with the Advanced template).
Once they got aboard, they were told the nature of their new mission: they were to make a microjump just out of system and aid another embattled destroyer with several enemy starships, who were using their tractor beams to grab asteroids from a nearby belt and hurl them down at the surface as impromptu weapons in order to make landing difficult/harm other forces already on the ground, or just try and catch a ship on its way down. Two of the enemy ships were heavily battle damaged already, and the third one, the flag-ship of the group had apparently just joined the battle. Asteroids were all over, most of them small enough to not do any real damage, but several large enough to do some serious damage if they were to impact the surface of the planet.
Biro and Hurrgh slid into the controls of two of the crafts heavy turbolaser cannon batteries while Tiss scampered down to engineering. Carthis slid behind the helm while Raz took her customary place on the bridge to give and relay orders.
The battle was fairly intense, but short lived, with the heavy turbolasers cutting one of the damaged enemy ships to shreds. The other one fell to the turbolaser fire of the other Venator, who then began turning their cannons on the asteroids while the Singularity moved to engage the enemy flagship. Eventually, the flag ship turned and made the jump to hyperspace. Seconds later, comm traffic came through and the acting admiral of the Republic forces ordered the Singularity to follow them, telling them the jump vector was taking them towards the Hoth system. Afraid that they may have a secret base there, the Singularity was ordered to jump into the system, do a quick scan and report back. Several other ships too badly damaged to continue the fight above the planet were jumping in to help clear the asteroids.
Carthis punches the coordinates into the navicomputer and jumped the ship into hyperspace. Tiss watched as a large spark shot out of the hyperdrive. The ship jerked violently and then the stars turned into lines, shoving the ship into hyperspace.
Carthiss tried to pull the ship back into realspace and found that he couldn’t. Meanwhile, Tiss and the engineers tried in vain to get the hyperdrive to shut down, even going so far as to yank the hyperdrive out of its installation. Nothing worked though. For some reason, the ship remained in hyperspace for several weeks.
The ship finally reverted back to real space in the middle of a battleground, but one unlike they were in before. There was a large, intense firefight going on above the surface of a planet. The ships were antiquated in design, and using absolutely archaic weapons, firing magnetically propelled slugs instead of turbolasers or blaster cannons. The Singularity was hailed by two contacts. Carthis opened up the lines of communication. The first hail wound up being from a group identifying themselves as the Eternal Empire. They demanded the Singularity turn around or risk attack from their forces, which considering the state of the ship’s hyperdrive, they weren’t in any position to do. The second hail came from a group calling themselves the Planetary Defense Force of Xerxes, begging them for help, claiming that they were fighting off an invasion. And indeed, as they watched out the forward viewports, it appeared that the PDF was on the losing end of this conflict. Heavily armored cruisers with strange, claw like fronts would collide with the the larger ships of the PDF, and then destroy themselves, apparently causing their reactors to go critical in a kamikaze attempt to take as much of the larger ship with them.
However, they weren’t able to watch for long. Mere seconds after their warning was ignored, several of these claw ships turned towards the Singularity. The captain ordered the guns to open fire on them, and they quickly found these ships were so antiquated by their designs, that the ships cannons shredded them with ease. Not a single one of the enemy claw ships got close enough to threaten harm towards the ship.
The commander called the PCs and asked them to take a shuttle down to the planet’s surface and find out just what was happening. If they were ever going to be able to take the time and find out what had happened to their hyperdrive or even where they were, they needed to get whatever situation was going on down there under control. He ordered the Singularity to get as close to the planet as possible and then sent them down in a small shuttle.
After agreeing to land the shuttle away from any large population center to avoid being easy prey for any sort of anti-aircraft fire. After setting down, they pulled the command speeder out of the ships bay and headed towards the nearest population center. Along the way, they encountered a small firefight. Several small squads of troops were pinned down by a larger force who wore the same emblem that they had seen on the starships of the Eternal Empire. They spilled out of the speeder in order to come to the aid of the indigent forces, hoping that they would be able to answer some questions.
The battle that followed was short, but intense. The enemy commander used his tactical mind to keep his troops constantly moving, keeping them in positions to deny the enemy free access to his position or to keep his troops out of harm’s way. However, even that couldn’t match the power disparity between the party’s blaster technology and his own troops’ reliance on slugthrowers. Hurrgh moved up to enter combat with two members of the enemy squad who were melee fighters, one who was, like the wookiee, unarmed and the other wielding a vibro-ax. The rest of the group moved into support positions, Biro using his jetpack to quickly move around the battlefield. Carthis began at range, moving in to finish several of the enemy troops in melee combat. Tiss and Roz brought their new droids to bear in combat, Tiss throwing fire down towards the enemy commander while Roz used her natural oratory skills to confuse the enemy and make them question themselves for wanting to attack her, letting her droid and then Biro, take the enemy down for her. Hurrgh got pounded on pretty good, knocked to the ground early on and forced to lay there lest he be hurt even worse. However, the enemy was eventually routed, though the group found it worrisome that they fought to the very last man instead of scattering once their commander and most of their number had already fallen.
After the fight, they were approached by the surviving members of the indigent forces. The commander introduced himself as Dain. The party began speaking to him, getting a feel for the situation and trying to get information about where they were. Dain confirmed that they were indeed on the planet Xerxes, and that they were currently fighting off an invasion from the Eternal Empire. The entire system was ostensibly under their rule, but most of the planets, including Xerxes had been left to their own devices, with a governor from the Empire in charge of the major decisions of the planet. However, the people of Xerxes had finally had enough of their governor, who had a long history of brutalizing the people of Xerxes and rose up against him and deposed him, declaring themselves independent. This of course, drew more than a little bit of ire from the Empire, who responded by sending an occupation fleet. They managed to scramble their PDF, but not before the Empire had managed to land their forces on the ground. The cities fell quickly and the indigent forces found themselves in a fighting retreat early on. The battle above the planet had been going poorly for them as well, and they had just been about to call them back and accept their losses when the Singularity had showed up and helped to turn the tide of the battle.
The PCs then began asking a few questions about repairing their hyperdrive, to which they got nothing but blank stares. Apparently, the system they had entered had not yet mastered faster than light travel. That also explained why most of the troops were shying away from Hurrgh and Tiss, the obvious aliens of the group. They also seemed unfamiliar with droids, and several were looking at the two of them with a combination of fear and interest. Dain hadn’t heard of anything, but he reasoned, he was a soldier, not a scientist. It was possible that there were people researching these things and keeping records of it as he lived and breathed. Odds were good that if there was any sort of information on this research, it would be kept in the capital city, which of course, was under enemy occupation.
However, Dain reasoned that a small force could get inside the city walls more easily than a large army. The enemy supreme commander had to still be there. If he could be located and defeated, it might take the fight out of the Empire’s forces. He asked the PCs for their help in this promising them any sort of aid he could provide them. Not seeing themselves presented any other option, they agreed.
Dain told them of a small fortress that had fallen recently. A small number of their forces were being kept prisoner. With them, as well as the supplies and vehicles from the fortress, they could put together a large enough diversionary force to assault the front of the city and give the PCs the advantage they needed to slip in unnoticed.
They set off towards the fortress…