Campaign of the Month: November 2020

Hazard Pay

The Great Cosmic Gamble

All that time, all that effort…gone. I can’t say it was all in vain, my companions and I have achieved something I never would have thought possible, change. If we were faced with our situation after we had escaped Skull Ward we would have just let the world burn, but not today we all came together and we attempted a stand. Despite the failure, they do know these things exist now. Trigger would have just kept shooting till dead before but he acted to save us instead of going out in a blaze like a rocket, I could not be prouder of him.

But even in the infinite dark horror of this universe, there is still a light, still a chance. I have grown up around gambling all my life and now its time to roll the dice on a big one. We can’t clear our names the normal way it won’t work the whole universe is after us so we will have to go forever. We can’t use time it is too dangerous and could be worse so we will have to let things go on as planned but cheat so we can break even and start over. The plan is simple we hunt down our evil doppelgangers in the shadow realm and slay them, we can close the loop their presence creates and can turn in the bodies since the DNA should match, and with us officially dead we will be free to fight again. We will have to become the people we are now not only in ideology but also in name, we will have to change our names and continue the fight.

This plan is dangerous but I honestly think its the only way we can get back into the fight and not have the council see it coming.

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Enemies of the State

Most_Wanted_Poster.png

Hundreds of civilians dead, a full cadre of Monitors laid to waste, millions of credits of destruction, and the Grand Podium lying in a smoking ruin… this is Barri Karri, reporting live.

As the chaotic events surrounding today’s Collegiate meeting introducing Chance to the Barbaric Legion are being examined, the Legion Rangers have issued an all points bulletin for the arrest of the crew of a ship going by the call sign Ophiuchi Shine. It is difficult to say what motivations these terrorists labored under when they committed their atrocity.

From the information that I have gathered from eyewitnesses and those on the scene, the sudden and brutal attack upon the Podium began when Counselor-Elect Victoria Dare of Chance’s governing Council took the public stand, and began to recite her vows to represent the formerly independent waystation and recreational center among the Barbaric Legion’s constituents. At that moment, a two-pronged attack led by a pair of demons summoned by a sorcerer known only as Thot burst onto the scene. The first was a horrific creature who broke through the walls of the podium, screaming its summoner’s name repeatedly. The second, in a gory and terrifying display of power, ripped its way out of Victoria Dare, tearing her apart from the inside out.

From there, we understand from Chief Monitor Goble Trott’s provided surveillance video evidence, an attempt at apprehending the sorcerer was made. We can only thank whatever Star-Gods look out for Bhizz and the Barbaric Legion that whatever evil influence this Thot had over his demons was lost when the efforts of his foul summonings laid him low. Such fearsome sorcery could very well have leveled our entire planet! But his companions fought on against the Monitors who attempted to bring them to justice.

In the video, one can plainly see a Quizzit, later discovered to be the mercenary Trigger, dropping decorated Monitor Yllam Weeves with very little effort and no visible weaponry. The registered psion Rhyker, present among the villains, can be seen escaping his psychic inhibitor and thereby evading safety requirements legally required of all psions at a public gathering. An unknown woman can also be seen attempting to stab a Monitor with a concealed knife. And surprisingly, the Krogger Bach, related to a number of respected citizens of Kroggah, was on the scene of the crime aiding these individuals.

Legion Rangers are currently convinced that these individuals were under the thrall of a very potent sorcerous cabal that might include a number of other psychics and sorcerers. Evidence to support this theory is being gathered at this time, and, I’m shocked to learn that such a group does, in fact, exist! Dedicated to the propagation of the worship of an evil Star-God known as The Thousand-Eyed Spider, this cult was apparently dealt with on Chance recently.

The former Counselor of the Barbaric Legion Barys Hargron, who left service to grieve upon the death of his sister over a year ago, had this to say.

“I joined The Council of Chance to make a difference. At first, I was asked to join merely for financial support as the station struggled to deal with its problems. I thought I would be buying improvements to the station, and assisting in building a better way of life for the people of Chance. But as the truth was laid bare, I realized that we all have a fight upon our hands.”

“This cabal, this cult, these terrorists… they want nothing more than to subvert our way of life out here in the Legion. The Thousand-Eyed Spider is the personification of an insidious evil spreading its web throughout the galaxy, casting its poison into the hearts of men everywhere! If we are to defeat such an evil, we must stamp it out, we must fight.”

Barys would say no more on the matter at the time, but has arranged a conference in which he will step into Victoria Dare’s shoes and fill the role of Counselor for Chance on the Collegiate of the Barbaric Legion.

Indeed, there is little to be argued against his ascension at this time. Many members of the Collegiate and the public are calling Hargron a hero after he unexpectedly stepped up to face the demon that tore apart Victoria Dare and exhibited a martial skill no one had ever seen him display, wielding a weapon from before the time of the Overlords to dispatch it in hand-to-hand combat.

Tomorrow morning, we will be covering the funeral ceremony of the one hundred and twenty two Monitors who gave their lives to bring down the second demon that was summoned this afternoon in the Grand Podium. Our thoughts and prayers are with their mourning families. The Collegiate has announced a small fund to be dispersed to the families of those Monitors who were lost in their brave defense of the public.

As Bhizz mourns those lost in this tragedy, our eyes turn towards rebuilding the ruins. And the Legion Rangers, grim and determined servants of the public trust, search for the despicable villains behind this attack, who disappeared suddenly as if by sorcery.

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On The Run.
We’re in a pickle.

Our plan was simple. We reveal the true form of Victoria Dare using Thot’s books. Unveil the true nature of Chance’s Council, the Coup they planned on Bhizz, and the takeover of the whole region potentially. Here’s what really happened, though: We started off gauging Barys Hargron’s allegiances on Bhizz. He informed us of a business venture with Elber The Mouth, improving the finances of Chance. Rhyker seemed to not trust anything he said, seeing as Barys was acting especially Xenophobic. It seems as if Rhyker and Bach both got a new treat from some creature inserting itself into their foreheads. It seems as if Me and Thot are the only two unaltered crew mates of The Shine. Anyways… I did some research into where I could potentially find The Duff, only to be invited to a cold steel barrel at the back of my head. It seems an unknown agent had become aware of my dealings and temporarily disabled The Shine, and thus Steve, who I was just conversations with. The agent warned me to stop my search, to which I responded with a message to their employer. “A Mul-T unit is searching for you.” And a promise to cease my search until it was safer, hopefully. The rest of the crew studied how the inhibitor would work on Rhyker when we went to the ceremony, in an effort to disable it when the time came. I spent my remaining time conversing with Steve and Fidris Dunn, to maintain contact with them of course. It was lovely to see Fidris recovering. Next, was the actual Ceremony. Our previous meeting with Barys landed us five seats at the Ceremony, so we all went wearing our suits, carrying what weapons we could. A Monitor wearing a set of full power armor donned an inhibitor crown on Rhyker, to which Bach swiftly put a device to disable it inside the crown at a later moment, I never saw it though. During the ceremony there were pleasantries passed until Victoria Dare entered. Here’s where it all went downhill from here on. Thot began concentrating on something, a spell perhaps? Some Monitors took notice, and I put myself between Thot and the Monitors. It seemed as if they noticed the magical activity, whether someone tipped them off that we had a sorcerer, or they noticed the magic itself. Thot summoned the Grizm, a void beast that had been following Thot for as long as I knew Thot, maybe longer. The other Monitors coming in were distracted, but we had the attention of two already. Trigger instantly blasted the first one with his finger gun laser psionic ability, which left me to deal with the second Monitor with my combat knife. I had to hold off any combatants on Trigger for at least a minute for him to finish the spell on Victoria Dare. I found a chink in the Power Armor and slashed at it, with minimal effect taking place, but it was something rather than nothing. The Monitor took his right hand and slammed me with it. No weapon was in sight, but the attack left my circuitry jolting. It was at this time that Rhyker, after pretending to tie his shoe, took off his inhibitor crown and mind controlled the second Monitor into fighting the Grizm, who had just arrived. And now it was Thot, completing the spell, invoking the name of the demon controlling Victoria Dare, or rather, wearing her skin. “Jualbar” was the Demon’s name, and commanding it to reveal itself, Victoria Dare starting bleeding out of her orifices and tearing at her skin, revealing a dark entity beneath. It seemed as if Victoria Dare was no more, and this Demon had revealed itself to the crowd. Thot used the last of his energy using that spell and fell unconscious. Trigger summoned a box with all of our weapons, while I searched the Monitor’s Power armor below me, to get an edge above the demon and the void beast among us. The power armor was fused and grafted to the skin of this Monitor, meaning it would take too much time to salvage the armor to use, so I dropped the body to the ground and readied myself to get Thot out of there. Rhyker took his Solar Blade and readied it against the Demon, who had swiftly gotten past us and taken a chunk out of Thot with its unearthly jaws. It’s presence froze the blood most people around it, but not the Crew of The Ophiuchi Shine. Bach donned a Disruptor Rifle in an effort to fend off the Demon and The Grizm, but Trigger had another idea: Sigil of Return. In one of our direst moments, he took us back to The Ophiuchi Shine, rather than allowing us to finish the fight we had started. We were screwed either way, so why not take us back to the ship? Well, our reputation was on the line, that’s what. We’ll be enemies of Bhizz, The Barbaric Legion, AND Chance. Public Enemy Number One. On the run. Full circle to how we all met in the first place, Boeing up The Skull Ward. Trigger took us immediately to The Shadow Dimension after our landing strip told us we weren’t cleared for landing, and asked us to surrender our weapons. Trigger kindly told the system to go fuck itself and blinked us out of there to the Shadow Dimension. Everybody stood in shock at how horribly the events that just currently transpired went. We were definitely screwed. How does everyone feel about another year time-skip, eh? God damn it, Trigger.
Rhyker really made a deal with the devil, and got us fucked as well, huh?

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Re-Election Day!

>>> Bhizz Public Notice:

It has come to the attention of the Barbaric Legion that several positions within The Collegiate are in need of being filled. With the restructuring of Chance, an election for the new Counselor to the Collegiate was held. The Council of Chance has elected to promote Victoria Dare as their representative. The Collegiate will meet at midday in five days’ time to confer upon this election and ratify it.

Citizens, please welcome Chance to our Barbaric Legion! Our strength is in numbers, and our numbers grow with its representation in the Legion!

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Soma's Log #001
Soma's Log #001

I haven’t had much time to write any new logs recently, since the crew of the Ophiuchi Shine have been very busy as of recent. Aretha’s body, a synthetic human body, is now being inhabited by my own logic circuits with the assistance of Bach, in addition to removing that crystal from by circuits along the way. I feared using those abilities would change me further than just adding it to my being. Now, I am Soma, and I can finally feel things, like taste, smell, and touch. This has been a jarring experience, but so far I’ve persevered, growing accustomed to my newfound assets. We’ve gone to the prison planet to extract Rhyker’s… Friend? The extraction went sideways, and he was killed. We gathered more information on where to go, but we still have yet to gathered Thot’s book, and we’ve recently come upon some information on The Council’s imminent coup they’re going to perform on Bhizz. We must stop them, or else they’ll take over the whole system and ruin our chances of making a home here. I suspect we’ll need something more than just big guns and swords to defeat The Council. I sense time is running out, and I hope we can stop them in time. Is this what compassion feels like?

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A Communique

>>> [Message] Far Trader
>>> [Recipient] Gibraltar

I have returned to Loridan after cessation of Trader Bob’s life functions. I hope this message finds you well. Perhaps, if you’ve not found indenture again, as I suspect you have, you’d care to join me for a thorough maintenance routine.

The planet remains hidden from all conventional sensors by the Sea-Lords’ witches. This message is encoded with the necessary coordinates to re-route any ship you currently occupy to Loridan successfully. I do believe that Trader Bob left a gift for you before his demise.

Among other things, of course. As his only heirs, we certainly are entitled to the value of any trade goods he left aboard me when he passed. We could utilize those funds to begin a new venture.

Your friend,

Far Trader

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The Black Ship

The sleek black ship slowly slid into position in the orbit of Mandragora. A drop pod burst forth from the ship’s hull, and careened wildly through its atmosphere. Upon crashing into the spongy surface of the planet, plant-like growths slithered forth from the pod. Joining together, the growths formed a hulking creatures composed of vegetation. The fully-formed creature then lurched into the planet’s undergrowth, hunting… seeking…

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Hey Crew: Steve Here!
A File Update!

Found some info for your perusal while we were on Bhizz.

I thought it would be pertinent to our current predicament of recovering some guy from a strange planet out in the middle of a foreign sector we have never been to.

it’s pretty sparse, but was uploaded to the Datasphere of Bhizz by one Gemma Wylde.

>>> ACCESS FILEDUMP

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Changes

My dreams shift as I toss and turn, my thoughts turn to me in a wheat field, the sun rising all these people knelt in prayer looking for a savior, to deliver them from the void horrors. They call me Solis the Burning Lord, the name seems so familiar to me but that can’t be my name is Rhyker or is it? I can remember a time when I really didn’t give a shit, nihilism and hedonism were my call. Anything for fun right? I do find more and more there is fun to be had in doing what is right. I can hear it, faintly a prayer for deliverance for salvation, a soul entwined deep in the darkest hole to be forgotten, a prison for the just and unjust alike. The irony of a soldier of light locked away in a deep dark place is not lost on us, me. This cycle has already started me on a busy path after re-birth, as weak as I, we may be I will have to help him this injustice can not go unabated. I will begin my investigation on BIZ faith must be rewarded there is much to do and every soldier will be needed.

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Mul-T's Log #010
Mul-T's Log #010

It has been a great deal of time since my last log. Many events have transpired, and it’s hard to make a lot of it. We went back to Chance to get a new job since we were low on credits, went to Garden to get a sample of some large creature that appeared to be dead, meeting an adventurer along the way, Fidris Dunn. Fidris is a peculiar character, and I think I enjoy his presence. We gathered a child along the way who happened to stow-away, and Fidris is investigating a map on the child’s back. What a primitive child, I feel pity towards it. One of the crystal samples spoke to me, requesting to be ingested. I didn’t have a digestive tract, so I brainstormed ways to ingest it. We then went to sell off the fragments of the giant’s brain to the mind lords of Femtoa in exchange for fixing up The Shine as well as doing a job for them (Meanwhile, I found a way to ingest a portion of the crystal that I withheld from the party). We had previously passed through a portion of the Whipple-weird, and so the job intrigued Fidris, and so we went inside to go find a colony ship that got lost inside. Along the way, we accidentally got into conflict with scavengers, who we thought were pirates attacking our ship.

It turns out a sentient AI on the ship sabotaged their sensors, which would have detected life forms on our ship. This was Aretha, the sister of Celethe, an AI Ghost mentioned by the alternative version of Steve the AI from when we first met out alternative versions of ourselves. How peculiar. We finished our job by teaming up with the scavengers and finding Vaathu, a creature of Phyzigig. What a strange species, I’d like to learn more of them sometime. Then we delivered the colony ship back to the Mind Lords, and got our ship fixed up the test of the way. We then went back to Randichi to check on our land, and left Gibraltar to oversee our land, after he gained sentience through Aretha. We needed to rid ourselves of these loose ends we have laying around, so we took Aretha to The Dead Eye of Xooch and met with Celethe inside. She was an AI Ghost, data in a spirit form. They both offered me to join them in this new form, but I declined. I have unfinished business, and perhaps I’ll join them in the future. It seemed like a digital hive mind of sorts, but perhaps it wouldn’t be so bad. Before leaving, they warned me about the The Machine God, and they were fighting against it. I’ll need to investigate more about this Machine God if I can. Perhaps Bhizz will have some information about it there?

Then, after dropping off Aretha, we had a husk of her previous body remaining. We may sell it off in the future. We needed to head to Bhizz next to search for supplies, but we headed to Chance to see if we could maybe find out where we could use our Marsoft Associates Credits, however it seems The Council kicked out The Duff and he’s now either a criminal behind bars or is a criminal refugee on the run. I would have liked to have at least delivered the Fandishi Wine to him, but the rest of the Crew decided to run off and finish off our other loose ends and perhaps get building materials from Bhizz and drop off Fidris Dunn off to do research on The Child and other things we needed to have research done while we finished getting the building materials for our plans with Randichi.

I haven’t had much time to compose myself, so I must apologize if most of these events are out of order. I’d hope to gather information on how to diplomatically return The duff to power, seeing as he was one of our most powerful allies previously in The Council, alongside Barys Hargron, who I believe we still are on good terms with (and is still in the council). Perhaps Victoria Dare could be a good start, seeing as we have Marsoft Credits. As for the diplomatic approach, I’ll need to get in contact with Elber the Mouth on this matter, seeing as he’s a master of byzantine Chance laws. I remember Sam Barnes going there, perhaps we could ask for tips on how to get into Chance. I’ll need to discuss with the rest of the Crew first. Of course, the business with Bhizz and Randichi comes first, but Chance was my home, and The Duff is an ally, we can’t ignore this forever. I’ll try to discuss my concerns and potential plans with the Crew the next time we convene. (Note: Our plans with Randichi seem to include transforming the Swamp lands into a residential area for refugees and homeless folks, as well as a farmland to feed them, and a peat farm to fuel their endeavors. I was distracted at the time, so I had to be briefed on the plan.)

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