Awakening Force

Wednesday January 20, 2016 at 12:45pm movies, star wars Comments (0) »
 © Star Wars: The Force Awakens
© Star Wars: The Force Awakens

I don't go to the theatre often.  Before last night, the last time I'd seen a movie in a theatre was the summer of 2012.  I actually have to be in the right mood to even want to watch a movie (though, the theatre experience does make it come much more easily).  I kind of have a hard time with passive entertainment like moves, books, tv shows, etc.  I can do it for a while, but I tend to want to do something creative more often.

But this was different.  This was Star Wars.

Like a lot of people, I always loved Star Wars - especially when I was a kid.  Also, like a lot of people, I thought the "Prequel" movies were, at best "meh" and, at worst, "awful".  Honestly, I'm pretty easily amused, and I can enjoy watching pretty much anything when it comes to Sci-Fi.  I can seriously nit-pick, too, however.

When this latest movie came out, I heard a lot of positive things - with many people saying that it felt much more like the original trilogy than the prequels.  And that was the reason that I was excited about it.  So, a month after release, Sheri and I finally went to see it.

First off, the movie was good.  We had a good time watching it, and talking about it thereafter.  If you like this sort of thing and you haven't seen it yet, you should.  Really.  Also, you should stop reading, because I'm about to spoil some things.

 

Things I liked (read: "Yay!"):

- In terms of narrative and screenplay, it did feel quite a bit like the original trilogy.  This was probably the most important thing to me, and I think it did a good job.  The directoral and visual style/feel was a bit more modern, however - but, though this did degrade the consistency in feel a little for me, I think it would have been a mistake to have shot it in an older style.  Also, there may not actually be any more difference between 6 and 7 than there was between 4 and 5.

- Inclusion of characters and actors from the original trilogy - and that those characters were totally consistent with their prior selves.  This was a simple but effective means of series cohesion.

- The new characters were well-developed and compatible with the setting.  Particularly love the "fallen" storm trooper.

- The action scenes were dynamic and exciting (my favorite was the escape from Jakku in the Falcon).

- Visuals were stunning but without an in-your-face, look-at-our-fancy-effects attitude.

Things I didn't like (read: "nit-picks"):

- The nominal goal of the story/protagonists: trying to recover a "map to Luke".  Really?  A "map" to a person?  Seemed a bit...trite.  Also, that the Resistance should be convinced that this one person is critical seems kind of dubious.

- R2's sudden awakening seemed to come out of nowhere, yet nothing was made of it suggesting that there might have been a cause beyond ex machina (e.g. even someone saying "what could have caused that to happen?") - and, of course, he has the rest of what they were looking for all the time. 

- The scope-creep of the ever-larger super weapon that must be destroyed.  Also, some of the other direct, plot-level duplications: the droid that has the missing piece, the nobody from the sand planet, the villain related to a protagonist, the "cantina scene" etc.  Don't get me wrong, all of this was well done, it just didn't win prizes for originality.  Also, I don't know what I would have preferred in its stead - it all was very "star wars".

- I would have ended the movie with Rey and Chewie flying off in the Falcon.  While I just complained (a little) about things being copied from the originals in terms of plot, that would have been a nice nod to the end of Empire.  The scene with Luke I found to be a little...meh...and it didn't really add much.  Though it might have dissappointed some people, I think they should have started with that on 8 so they could develop it.

- Also (biggest spoiler) Han Solo's death.  No no - the scene was dramatic and well done.  And really, it was the only way someone like Solo could die.  My reasons for disliking it are simply that I hated to see the character end.  If it was a character I hadn't known since childhood, I'm sure I'd have applauded it.  But I just...can't.  :(

 

There is probably another thing or two on each side of the ledger, but I think those were the big ones.  Though perhaps not perfect, it was a great time.  Definitely worth going to see.

 

~PS

Shards of Endor: At The Last Moment

Saturday May 26, 2012 at 3:00pm star wars, shards of endor, game session notes Comments (0) »

- the party made their way across the tiny, blasted landing pad toward the mountainside entrance of the facility - which was still without power.

- after Jaylyn forced the door open, the group could smell death and ozone pouring out from the long-sealed hangar bay.  They were examining the piles of scrap, the loose wires and cables that seemed to criss-cross the massive room, the dead storm troopers and the inert droids - many of which had had blasters welded onto them - when the power suddenly came back on.

- the party shortly found themselves face to face with a massive patched-together droid which declared them as intruders.  As they began to engage this threat, several of the partially destroyed droids came to life and began their own efforts to remove the interlopers.

- the large droid was powered directly by the station, however, which proved to be its Achilles' heel.  A couple of lucky shots to the power conduits deactivated it, causing it to collapse onto the the hangar floor.  The other droids must have been controlled by it in some way, because when it went down, they all suddenly deactivated as well.

- having restored power to the installation, Aleya and Pyrak joined the group.  After a brief adventure on the administration level (involving a rather large security cannon and some booby traps), the group managed to find a lift key to gain access to the control room level.

- the control room was not in any better condition than the hangar had been.  Bare wiring was exposed everywhere and many of the computer terminals seemed to have been damaged.  There was also a single damaged droid that nervously pointed a blaster pistol at them, telling them that they must not enter the control room.

- Jaylyn and Pike attempted to reason with the droid, who seemed senile and confused - only intent on keeping the "intruders" out of the area, but seeming to realize it lacked the capability to enforce this desire.  Meanwhile, Ash began attempting to bring the computer systems online.  After some discussion, the group learned that the orbital gun itself was damaged, and Jaylyn climbed up and out of an access hatch to repair it...   ...about the time that tie fighters began making passes at the station.

- by the time Jaylyn was finished and had returned, Ash had managed to get the control room basically online - though quite a few systems were questionable and it seems communications with many of the global positioning statellites were down.  Things might have been find had Magriv and Tooloo not burst into the room - followed almost immediately by a massive, 35-ft centipede.

- While Magriv, Tooloo and Jaylyn were fighting the centipede, Ash realized that the crippled star destroyer had drifted into the station's firing arc.  He also noticed, however, that it seemed to be quickly losing elevation in a partially-controlled descent - it was attempting to land and would soon drop out of range again.

- Ash knew he would need help to aim and fire the gun, so he grabbed Pike and the two began working furiously while the others kept the giant creature busy.  They were just getting started when Ash noticed a warning from another display - a proximity / target lock warming from an incoming battleship.

- the timing could not have been closer. Pike managed to key in the final commands and fire weapon mere seconds before the control room was rocked by the battleship's obliteration of the weapon overhead.  The blast coordinates were perfect, though, and the crippled star destroyer exploded just after it had entered Duro's atmosphere.  

- the group descended deeper into the facility and into the saftey of the mountain to wait out the aerial attack. When the coast was clear, Belussa returned to pick them up.  The situation in space was much less dire.  The CIO had finally been convinced to act (perhaps after the star destroyer was finished off) and, though the planet was certainly under Imperial control, they were effectively stranded there as the space around it was once again in Duro hands.  Resistance forces had already begun arriving for the final offensive.

- when all perparations had been made, the newly-assembled resistance fleet made the short jump to Coruscant, where the immediately encountered some kind of astal storm between them and their objective.

- the storm turned out to be some Imperial device, however - generated by an array of small "cloud ships".  As the rebels became aware of its nature and how it worked, they began altering their tactics to circumvent it to reach the Imperial fleet - which turned out to have been in less than perfect condition before the battle started.  Still, the cloud served its purpose by catching the resistance off-guard and allowed the Imperials to score some early victories.

- the part decided to begin engaging the cloud ships and, after destroying a few and relaying their tactics to other rebel ships, they decided to attempt to slip by the Imperial fleet in order to obtain identifiable photos of Coruscant.  They figured if they could get proof that the planet still existed and send it to one of the larger rebel ships to beam it out to the public, the Imperials' efforts here would be successfully undermined.

- as they approached the planet, the group discovered they were being shadowed by a small, stealth craft when it began firing orange blasts at them that seemed to short out their computer systems.

- the insuing duel lasted for some time before Ash realized that the ship was repairing itself as it took blaster damage.  It was then that Pike decided to use one of the missiles they'd been given to try to take it out all at once.  The ship proved to be difficult to lock onto, but the attack was ultimately successful and the ship exploded as it dove past them.

- the party was only starting to record their sensor information when they received word that the Imperial fleet was breaking up and jumping out of the system - some of the bigger ships, however, seemed to have jumped into hyperspace toward the Deep Core, which seemed very odd...

[end story arc]

Shards of Endor: By A Thread

Saturday May 12, 2012 at 3:00pm star wars, shards of endor, game session notes Comments (0) »

- Almost immediately after the cannon fired, the installation found itself under attack.  Fortunately, the armor of the facility insured the tie fighters' strafing did little damage, but the approaching AT-ATs were cause for more concern.  The party decided it was a good time to be somewhere else.

- Along with the duro command crew, the group decided to climb back down through the internal machinery of the weapon - the way they'd originally ascended to the control room.  Meanwhile, Imperial forces, unable to unjam the lifts, had begun climbing through from the bottom as well - leading to a series of very isolated personal encounters.

- Upon reaching the hanger bay at the base of the installation, they found the group of duro drivers they ahd encountered earlier holed up and attempting to fend off and Imperial scouting force.  The troopers were gaining ground, but it was the AT-ST that was really giving them problems.

- The party joined the fray long enough to secure some speeder bikes and take out the AT-ST (by way a speeder car to the leg and a few rounds of serious turret fire) and a few of the remaining storm troopers.

- The group then made their way into the industrial complex in the valley below, and ultimately into the starfighter factor they'd originally infiltrated.  Upon reaching the completion deck, they convinced the duros there to allow them to "borrow" a few of the fighters.

- The party regrouped with Belussa, Alea and Oorin.  Now that most of the in-system Imperial fleet was regrouping around the crippled star destroyer, Alea and Oorin decided they could chance a trip to the pastoral moon where most of the system's nobility resided - including the Duro President/CIO they'd been attempting to convince to take action against the Imperial forces.  The CIO was still reluctant to engage since the star destroyer was still partially operational, and they felt a personal visit might tip the scales.

- The group transported Alea and Oorin to the nobles' moon, and then decided to head to the other side of Duro to see if the other infiltration team might be able to complete their objective and finish off the star destroyer.  When they arrived over the mining sector, however, they discovered (via com from Magriv) that the entire facility was offline and without power.  Further, internal tensions between the duro miners and the imperial occupation came to a head when excavations disturbed a nest of previously-unknown insectoid creatures - the inner workings of the mines were all but a war-zone in a three-way conflict.  Magriv and Tooloo were attempting to keep the conflict away from the abandoned station area while Pyrak and Aleya were attempting to restore power to the installation.

- Belussa guided the Verity in close to the station base among the vertical, jagged peaks and the party descended on cables from the open loading ramp in order to enter the station and attempt to end the conflict in space above them...

Shards of Endor: Long Shot pt. II

Saturday April 21, 2012 at 3:00pm star wars, shards of endor, game session notes Comments (0) »

- As the group approached the hanger-bay entrance to the installation, they noticed an altercation between a squad of storm troopers and about a dozen or so Duro around a group of large delivery trucks.  The conflict was about to erupt into violence when Pike (still in disguise as a trooper himself) stepped in and suggested that the Empire would be best served by the squad leader allowing the Duro workers to do their jobs.

- The party then proceeded to the third installation sub-level where they found the Duro mechanic staffing quarters.  They took and interesting approach to making friends, but ultimately got some useful information about how to proceed upward to the control room without being questioned - this would involve climbing up through the maintenance access areas of the machinery itself.  They also discovered that they would need an activation key in order to arm the weapon for firing.  This key would certainly be in the possession of one of the Imperial officers in the installation.

- While their new Duro friends jammed the two primary access lifts, the party climbed up through the 4-story guts of the orbital gun and through a removable panel into the control level.

- The party took a quick survey of the rooms in their immediate area before proceeding to the control room itself.  Their intending storming of the control room began a little awkwardly, but they were able to take out the squad of troopers within it with little difficulty - though the alarm was sounded during the effort.

- The alarm brought an officer and another squad of troopers in from the opposite side of the control level.  After a brief by intense firefight, Pike recovered the access key from the officer.

- Jaylyn and Pike rallied the Duro technicians in the control room to take action against the Empire, and preparations for firing began in earnest.  When everything was ready, they looked to Pike for the command to fire.

- Pike gave the order over the still-blaring alarm system, but when the orbital gun itself engaged everything went silence for a few moments before the entire complex vibrated with a pair of shots aimed toward space.  

- On the satellite monitors, they could see the massive energy beams slice through the bow of the star destroyer in orbit.  The Duros were still cheering when Pike noticed a flight of tie fighters and a pair of AT-ATs rapidly closing with the installation.

Shards of Endor: Long Shot pt. I

Saturday April 14, 2012 at 4:00pm star wars, shards of endor, game session notes Comments (0) »

- Jaylyn and Pike continued their conversations with the resistance cell about sneaking down to the planet and attempting to commandeer one of the orbital defense guns just long enough to fire on the remaining star destroyer still in-system.  They collectively decided sending two teams would be best - one toward each of the guns - to increase the odds that at least one contingent would be successful.  Jaylyn and Pike decided they would head to the production sector and let the other group hit the mines.

- Ash returned to the ship to get some rest.  Upon waking a few hours later, Belussa told him that garrison was in search of a rogue trooper and that 4 newly-arrived visitors (the party) were wanted for questioning.  She expected an imperial detachment to arrive at the ship before midday.

- Ash and Belussa took C5 and some of the gear they thought the Imperials my confiscate and left the ship, hiding what they could in a nearby cave and then heading to the area Belussa said the others had gone to.

- Jaylyn and Pike were finally able to contact Ash and Belussa and meet up with them the next day.  One of the resistance members was driving them to a shuttle contact in a neighboring settlement where Jaylyn, Pike and Ash could get a ride to the planets' surface posing as mechanics and labor personel for manufacturing.

- There were a few close-calls with Imperial inspections, but the group did make it down to the planet.  They attracted some attention slipping into the manufacturing facilities, but managed to evade any sticky situations.

- After some investigation, the group discovered the location of the orbital defense installation and began making their way toward it.

Shards of Endor: Smoke and Mirrors

Saturday April 7, 2012 at 3:00pm star wars, shards of endor, game session notes Comments (0) »

- Jaylyn and Pike road in the speeder with their new "friends" until they reached the edge of the "outpost"

- The "outpost" turned out to be an old underground installation that, apparently, had fallen victim to massive arial bombardment, and now was mostly just a crater.

- As they approached the far edge where the small rebel group was hiding out, they noticed the power was not on as it should be.

- Meanwhile (or, actually, some time later), Ash continued infiltrating the Imperial garrison at the settlement.  Disguised as a storm trooper, he made his way around to the garage where the speeder bikes were kept.

- He had marginal success talking his way past several people in the garrison - ultimately choosing to just deck the clerical worker in the munitions locker. 

- After hacking his way through a couple of doorlocks, Ash rigged 9 satchel charges to a detonator and proceeded to attempt to leave the garrison.  Before he was able to make it to an exit, however, he was conscripted by a fellow trooper to go on an assignment.

- The assignment took Ash to Drao's Hole where a large gungan named Nabrek was becoming a problem for the proprieter.  A pair of Duros joined in the distubrance by firing upon the troopers.

- Ash helped the other storm troopers stun the assailants, but upon leaving the bar, peeled off into the back-alleys and detonated the charges.  The resultant explosion shook the settlement and lit up the night sky.

- Back at the resistance hideout, Jaylyn, Pike and their new friends were engaged in combat with something they believed to be the bounty hunter Uziel Hash they'd met previously.  He was employing a long-ranged stun rifle, booby traps, walking stun grenades and some form of hallucenogen that was making the fight tricky and uncertain.

- Eventually, Pike and two of the others charged in to the main open area where they believed their assailant while Jaylyn and one of the others made their way into an air vent that would lead them into the room from above.

- The group was at last able to overwhelm the attacker, but as they were finishing him off, Pike was becoming convinced that this was not the real Hash, only another decoy.

- Once the area was again secure and several of the stunned inhabitants revived, they group of them took a full day to rest.

- When they had recovered their strength, Jaylyn and Pike met with the rest of the group and its leaders.  They told the two that Coruscant had not been destroyed in fact, though they couldn't offer any tangible proof.  Instead, it had been effectively blockaded such that it seemed destroyed and the Empire was now using their forged "demonstation" as an intimidation tactic to get its hooks into the governments of many systems - sometimes by employing existing entities in the underworld.  Soon, they would be in deep enough that the fact that Coruscant had survived wouldn't matter.

- They continued by saying that the resistance had been gathering in different parts of the galaxy and that they meant to launch a coordinated attack against the Imperial Fleet at Coruscant, but that Duro was needed as a staging and gathering ground - and with the Imperial presence here, that wouldn't be possible.

- The resistance had been in talks with the Chief Industial Officer - effectively the Government-Corporation leader - about using the Duro's not-insignificant forces to free their world, but the CIO is a bit of a coward.  Still, the resistance believes he would launch the attack if the Star Destroyers could be first eliminated.  One, it seems, had left the system earlier that day for reasons unknown, but there was still one in orbit.

- The option put forth as feesible to get rid of this threat was to use one of the orbital defense guns on the Duro surface.  They were, of course, currently under Imperial control, but if one could be liberated and brought to bear on the remaining Star Destroyer, it would never see it coming...

Shards of Endor: Subterfuge

Saturday March 24, 2012 at 6:00pm star wars, shards of endor, game session notes Comments (0) »

- Jaylyn and Pike decided to check on Ash.  When they'd talked their way through the red tape to enter the garrison, Tanor himself showed them to the temporary medical bay where their friend was being treated.  The garrison, it seemed, was still under construction.  Tanor told them that Ash should be released in approximately 36 hours - sometime the morning after next.

- The next day, the two decided to scout out the street intersection they'd been given, only to discover that the streets in question did not intersect.  They were, in fact nearly parallel and among the straighter streets of the settlement.  

- Jaylyn and Pike eventually decided that the shifty Rodian must have been implying the place where the streets would meet if they were to be extended into the wilderness - a point approximately 3 miles northeast of town.  After returning to The Verity for some supplies, they made their way toward that location.

- The location, they discovered, was a large crater-like canyon.  By the time they reached the place, however, it was well after sunset - and was getting dark.

- Meanwhile, Ash had been revived and was preparing to leave the garrision earlier than expected.  Once he had been debriefed, he decided to head toward Drao's Hole where his companions had been intending to go.  

- He'd only taken a few steps in that direction, however, when he noticed something in his jacket pocket.  It was a small data pad.  When Ash switched it on, it read: "I know your secret, Mr. Grayven.  It is safe for now."  The message went on to say that Ash should meet this person at the end of a street in one hour.

- The acidic rain was falling pretty hard by the time Ash arrived at the prescribed location.  The shadowy figure standing at the edge of the area illuminated by the one street lamp was obviously waiting.  When he approached, the figure told him he was glad he came.  Ash recognized the voice as Tanor's.  Tanor told him that he needed a favor.  He needed someone to break into the Imperial garrison and dispose of some new speeder bikes that had just been shipped in.  Since Ash didn't want his secret to get out, and since he generally didn't have qualms about sabotaging Imperial property, he agreed.

- As Pike and Jaylyn entered the canyon they'd found, it seemed as though no one was around.  They were beginning to wonder if they'd been mistaken when the very dimmed headlights of a speeder began approaching.  A young woman opened one of the rear doors, stepped out and hurriedly motioned them to join her.

- About that same time, a grenade rocked the speeder car from the other side, and an unknown group of assailants opened fire from the ledge above.  Pike and Jaylyn made a run for it to the speeder, which was already turning around.  They managed to get inside before it took off, rocketting into a tunnel in the canyon wall.  It took only precursory conversation for Pike and Jaylyn to learn that the people they'd just joined were, at least in some way, part of the alliance.

- Back at the garrison, Ash had found a downed tree resting against the back wall of the installation beneath a guard tower.  He had returned to The Verity for his storm trooper armor which was currently covered by a brown cloak.  The external lights of the garrison apparently weren't functioning yet and the surroundings were dark, though the installation itself was well lit.  Once the guard in the tower turned away, Ash made his break for it - leaping up the tree and throwing himself over the wall into a small courtyard between the tower and two other buildings - which, as luck would have it - was currently empty.  That is, until Ash saw one of the doors opening...

Shards of Endor: Recognition

Saturday March 3, 2012 at 3:00pm star wars, shards of endor, game session notes Comments (0) »

- The party decided to follow their only lead to Drao's Hole, a bar located in one of the larger settlements on Ouro, a backwater moon of the system.

- Upon landing, they were greeted by a combined patrol of local and Imperial officers.  The Imperial officer in charge seemed to recognize Ash.  After they had been basically satisfied with the group's reason for visiting the planet ("to sell wares"), the patrol made to depart only to be attacked by a pair of giant lizard-like creatures.

- The group participated in the insuing chaos, which culminated with Belussa following Pike's instructions to turn the ships turret on the larger of the two creatures.  Unfortunately, Belussa's gunnery skills were not particularly great, and the boulder that exploded from the weapon's fire managed to mortally wound Ash.

- The Imperial officer, perhaps grateful(?) for the aid, called for a medic.  Against his wishes, Belussa attempted to stabalize Ash's condition - an effort that was partially successful.

- When the medic arrived, Ash was transported to the new Imperial garrison in the settlement for treatment.  This was potentially problematic since Ash was currently AWOL from the Imperial army.

- The officer, whose name was Tanor, told Pike and Jaylyn that they could come to visit him if they wished and that mentioning his name should be sufficient to gain entrance.

- With their companion out of commission, the two decided to go ahead to Drao's Hole themselves.  They spent some time talking with Drao and overhearing other conversations.  They eventually noticed an uneasy-looking Rodian sitting by himself and Pike decided to buy him a drink.  Pike subtley intimated that he was connected to the duro who'd been maintaining the signal they had traced and the Rodian seemed to respond to this with some urgency.  He told Pike they should talk, but not there.  Instead they would meet later - sunset the following day - at the intersection of two streets in town.

Shards of Endor: Spook

Friday February 3, 2012 at 7:00pm star wars, shards of endor, game session notes Comments (0) »

- The party arrived in the Duro system to find themselves in the path of an Imperial pursuit.  They avoided any altercations by cooperating with the Imperial authorities and remaining uninvolved.

- When the coast was clear, they headed into one of Duro's orbital cities where they were looking for information.  A local duro pub had little to offer them.  They had already noticed the system was fairly heavily occupied by Imperials and no one here seemed to know why.  They were also informed that transports were not allowed to leave the system without Imperial authorization.

- The group tuned into the com frequency indicated by the message they had deciphered to find only a simple tone on the channel.  After some attempts to make more of it, they decided the only thing they could do was try to trace it to its origins.

- The signal lead them into the bowels of a duro residential station.  When they finally reached its source, however, they found that someone had already done so.  In a small corridor was a dead duro, having apparently been shot twice in the chest.  Scattered around the area were the duro's possessions as well as a deck of sabac cards.

- Pike recognized what he was seeing and, upon finding and examining the 'Demise' card from the deck, was sure of it: this was the work of a bounty hunter called Uziel Hash, a man known for mystery and misdirection.  Pike advised the others to be careful.

- The only thing the group found that they identified as useful or a potential clue was a card from Drao's Hole, a pub located on Ouro, one of Duro's moons known primarily as a slum.  The card had the frequency scrawled on the back.

- On the way out, the party was waylaid by a group of identically-dressed individuals.  They seemed intent on capturing the group - or at least Pike.  Outgunned, the party decided to make a run for it, and they were able to avoid their pursuers until Imperial authorities arrived in the area.

Shards of Endor: Encoded

Saturday January 21, 2012 at 3:00pm star wars, shards of endor, game session notes Comments (0) »

- As the party watched the news broadcast, Pike noticed an unusual distortion layer over the clip of Coruscant being destroyed.  It looked like it might have been an encoded message, but in order to discover what it meant, they would have to get the Verity's computer up and running again.

- the riots were still escalating when there was a loud, low rumbling sound and the group saw three large transport ships land in Imperial Circle outside.  Off of the ships marched at least 200 armed troops, who began engaging the rioters and pushing them back.

- another individual approached the Plaza building with his own retinue of guards.  He asked to speak to Eteska, saying he and his forces were there on behalf of Lord Mathis, a local nobleman.  The man, called Golvan, intimated that Mathis would aid in the restoration of the city to a more permanent order in exchange for political power.  Eteska didn't seem excited by this idea, but agreed to talk.

- the party, meanwhile, returned to the spaceport garrison when the riots had calmed and began to work on repairing the Verity.  Belussa proved very helpful in this endeavor.

- the repairs were only interrupted by the arrival of a single storm trooper who threatened and then attacked them.  The trooper was ultimately subdued and the group discovered it was, in fact a young woman.  They kept her tied up in the cargo bay as they decided what they'd do with her.

- when the group got the computer systems back online, they were able to decode the distortion as a simple character sequence: Dour114.

- it took the group a lot of brainstorming, but they ultimately decided it probably referred to the core world of Duro and possibly a com frequency in use in that system.

- the party tied up some loose ends, talked with Eteska a bit more (some arrangement with Lord Mathis was seeming inevitable) and decided to let their pseudo-stormtrooper go.

Shards of Endor: Ghosts of Demons

Saturday January 14, 2012 at 3:00pm star wars, shards of endor, game session notes Comments (0) »

- party received a call from Byron who told them of a way to get to Imperial Plaza from the spaceport by way of some old sub-basements and utility corridors running beneath the city.

- on their way to the underground access, the party rescued a sulustan named Belussa who had been trapped in an old transport ship by some thugs.

- the party wound around under the city for a while, encountering something in the form of a disturbing old man.  they attempted to sneak past him, but noticed them passing.  The old man began to cackle and laugh as red light began poured out from his bandaged eye.  The group didn't stick around to see what happened next - opting instead to run for it.

- it was another couple of hours before they found what they believed to be the basement of the plaza building.  They were still cutting their way in when they were attacked by a monstrous, tentacled creature.  fortunately, the creature was fairly slow and they were able to hold it off long enough to get inside and out of reach.

- as the party headed up through the lower basements of the plaza, they encountered a group of sabateurs planting bombs in one of the lower utility rooms.  The resultant running combat played out with Pike distracting and disorienting the bombers while Ash kept their attention and Jaylyn and Belussa disarmed the bombs.

- after dealing with the explosive threat, the group made their way up into the building proper, where they found Eteska, Mox and a crowd of refugees taking shelter.  All of them were gathered around a series of screens where a staunch-looking imperial officer was delivering a report.  The broadcast cut next to a video clip showing the capital Coruscant being destroyed by a massive laser blast.

Shards of Endor: Broken Chains

Saturday November 19, 2011 at 3:00pm star wars, shards of endor, game session notes Comments (0) »

- after the governor left, Byron also departed - mentioning that he needed to do something

- Jaylyn got a call from Dakan - it was short, but he mentioned something about some starship parts in a hauler that had been ditched in the Junk Pile

- The party made an attempt to descend through gorge, but by the time they'd reached the entrance to the old mines which would lead them to the Junk Pile on the canyon floor, they were running out of daylight.

- The group returned to Imperial Plaza, to dinner with the Governor and the newly-arrived Admiral.  The admiral obviously thought himself "above" most of the company present, only speaking to the governor who seemed to not to wish to discuss matters.

- After dinner, the group adjourned to the rooms they'd been offered in the plaza and planned to go to bed.  They happened upon Byron in the hallway saying he'd seen some figures skulking through and that the power to the lights had been mysteriously cut.

- The group and Byron pursued the figures up a couple of floors to the penthouse level, but they were outpaced.  Byron and Jaylyn actually had to climb up the outside of the building on the highest floor to reach the governor's quarters before the assassins.

- The actual encounter was brief, but the governor was very thankful for their protection.  She even offered to help them with their ship.  The would-be attackers turned out to be employees of the plaza, hired separately around 6 months ago.

- The next day, the group was awakened to the star destroyer's thunderous takeoff.  The party learned that the admiral had left Iveston with the entire garrison and about 90% of the local forces as well.  They also learned that their ship had been moved - probably to the spaceport.

- The party made their way to the empty garrison and, with the help of a passkey the governor had given them, entered.  They found The Verity in one of the bays, powered down and its damaged engine partially disassembed for repair.

- The group took stock of the place for a while and then decided to head back to the plaza.  Upon leaving the spaceport, however, they discovered the streets were overrun with rioting mobs...

Shards of Endor: The Lap of Luxury

Friday November 4, 2011 at 6:00pm star wars, shards of endor, game session notes Comments (0) »

- the party awoke at the Grand Isle hotel the next morning, just in time to discover it was under some kind of attack

- the party attempted to waylay/escape-from groups of saboteurs as they made their way from the middle floors out of the hotel, which seemed to be losing stability.

- on their way, the encountered a woman called Dala (whom Jaylyn was trying to help to safety) and they ran into the card player they'd seen at Speeders the night before - his name was Byron.

- once outside, they found a great force of local police and imperial troups as well as the governor and her entourage making the rounds.

- the group was questioned a few times and strangely, the governor invited them (along with Dala and Byron) to a private luncheon at the Imperial Plaza (the capitol building in Iveston).

- The governor, a woman called Ephana Eteska, seemed particularly interested in the party as they had obviously arrived from off-planet - even offering them accomodations there in the plaza.  She seemed eager to hear of events happening elsewhere in the galaxy, but the party was a little wary of her and the rest of the present company and so said little.

- As the afternoon progressed, the group adjorned to a neighboring lounge area where conversations naturally broke into smaller groups.

- These leisurely activities continued until about 3:30 when the governor's aid, a cerean called Tylynn returned to tell her something.  The governor excused herself and, when Byron asked her for an explanation, she informed those remaining that Admiral Genneth's star destroyer was entering the atmosphere to make its landing...

Shards of Endor: Social Pressure

Saturday October 8, 2011 at 3:00pm star wars, shards of endor, game session notes Comments (0) »

- the party eventually regrouped at an abandoned mining installation where Dakan and his group had taken up residence.  Pike had a near miss with an Imperial contingent on the way.

- Dakan and his companions had claimed a survey tower and a utility building at its base.  The rest of the complex seemed to be uninhabited and in disrepair.

- the group learned that there were some vehicles approaching - but they weren't Imperial.  The three vehicles were civilian luxury models.  The group of well-dressed men who emerged from them were interested in Dakan - and decided to make him and "offer he couldn't refuse".  He didn't seem too interested, however.

- the next day, the group headed down into the valley to Iveston.  The city was fairly large and was situated on the valley plain above and around a canyon.

- the group spent some time looking around the city.  they saw an unusually strong Imperial presence and could feel some tension between them and the local authorities.  They saw the blasted storefront of a local cantina and a graffiti-covered statue of an Imperial officer - both being guarded as crime scenes.

- the party also decided to look for places they could get some help repairing their ship.  They learned that there were a few speeder shops in town, but those places wouldn't have much for the larger repairs needed.  They had been told, however, that there were a few entities in town that could probably help them: the spaceport would certainly have that capability, but it was Imperial-controlled.  The governor of the planet, a woman called Eteska, would also probably have the means, but that would be a pretty big favor.  An underworld lord called The Slug was a possible third, though accepting his aid would certainly have strings attached (his men where the ones who spoke to Dakan earlier).

- the group spent the evening at a club called Speeders, which was over-crowded since Solstar had been shot up.  They talked to the waitress a bit about recent events and the local social climate.

- on their way back to the hotel they'd planned to stay at, a street gang attempted to rob them, but that attempt went poorly from the start.  the group gunned two of the assailants down and the others were fleeing when Pike noticed some Imperial troops approaching quickly.  Jaylyn then pursuaded an extremely unnerved speeder driver to give them a quick ride out of the area.

- their escort dropped them at a hotel back on the other side of The Gorge nearer to the capital square than they'd intended, but at least they were out of Imperial sights for the time being.  On their way inside they ran into a Kel Dor in a local officer's uniform.  He engaged them in a short conversation.  He seemed a little suspicious of them, but he was polite.  After asking to see their ids weapon permits, he bid them good evening and admonished them not to cause any trouble while they were in town.

Shards of Endor: The Crash

Saturday September 24, 2011 at 3:00pm star wars, shards of endor, game session notes Comments (0) »

- the smaller rebel fleet surrounded the death star above Endor.  They were pretty heavily outgunned, but were making an all-or-nothing attack on the battle station.

- The Verity (the party's ship) was aiding in the defense of a frigate called The Obstinance when they received word that the station's reactor had been hit and it was about to explode.  The insuing shockwave chewed through their ship's shields and battered it a bit.

- the Imperial fleet which had been holding at the emperor's command began engaging the rebels in earnest.  Having accomplished their primary goal, the rebel commanders gave the command to scatter.

- As The Verity was entering hyperspace, Pike caught a reading on the sensors - something very large had entered space near where the death star had been.  As they entered hyperspace, The Verity was hit hard by something, all but destroying the port engine and weakening the hull nearby.

- Jaylyn fought to retain control of her ship while Pike sealed off the cargo bay and evacuated the air in an attempt to prevent an explosive decompression.  Ash, the gunner, wanted to do something to help but there wasn't much he could do in that situation.

- As an emergency procedure, Jaylyn dropped The Verity out of hyperspace early and found herself very near a large brown-green planet - and approaching it rapidly.

- The crash landing was rough on The Verity's occupants, but they all managed to survive.

- While they considered their situation, Pike noticed some figures approaching the wreck.  the party remained hidden as they prowled about outside the ship, eventually knocking on the dorsal hatch.

- the group outside seemed to be scavengers or the like.  They told the party they had landed on a planet called Gantorra VI and offered to give them a ride to the city of Iveston which was about 75k away - for a fee of course.  Jaylyn wanted to get started on what she could do to repair parts of the ship before they left, so they asked it it could wait till the next day.  The leader of the scavengers, Dakan, seemed mildly exasperated, but agreed.

- the next day, three of the four returned on their speeder bikes to give the party a ride back.  The first half of the journey was uneventful, but shortly after that mark, they were attacked by Imperial troops.

- during the insuing fight, one of the scavengers, a female rodian Dakan called 'Dozy' was injured when she was pinned under her wrecked speeder bike.  Jaylyn helped Dakan free her and he asked if she could get her to safety.

- Jaylyn was a little torn.  She had received a call moments earlier from R2C5, her astrodroid, who informed her that someone was trying to get into the ship.  Dakan told her not to worry about that, which seemed to Jaylyn easy for him to say.  Still, she managed to get Dozy onto a speeder bike she's procured and the two of them got clear of the fight, heading to a place Dozy was indicating.  After they'd been traveling for about 10 minutes, she got another call from C5 telling her whoever had been trying to get in had left without succeeding.

- The others caught up with them sometime later.  They had traveled to an abandoned mining installation on a mountainside near the valley where Iveston resided.

Shards of Endor: Prologue

Game:

Star Wars Saga Edition | canon/story/feel = Original Trilogy (only)

Characters:

[Tony] Pike - human scoundrel, former bounty hunter

[Adam] Ash - human soldier, former storm trooper

[Sheri] Jaylyn - human scout, pilot of transport The Verity

Prelude:

The Battle of Endor was not the resounding victory it might have first appeared.  After the second Death Star was unexpectedly destroyed, the holding Imperial Fleet began to engage in earnest.  Outgunned by a significant margin, the remaining Rebels were forced to flee.

The Emperor's death has created a power vacuum which many will try to fill.  The Imperial Fleet now weilds a great deal of near-independent power, but the bureaucracy is failing even as rumors of an imperial successor begin to circulate.  The Senate is attempting to reconvene, but they have little real power.  De facto rule has fallen to regional governors, some of whom plan to remain autonomous, and, of course, there are other powerful entities and organizations that may be vying for a slice of the galaxy.

In many ways, matters are now worse...