Rise of the Terrans

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Session 1
Rise of the Terrans

Session 1: Rise of the Terrans

After a late night in the lab, (Adriana, Sarah, Joel, and Ashlee) leave the chemistry building to go home. It is after 1:00AM and it is not until after door to the 1972 wing exit (facing Ross St) closes that they realize that something is wrong. Save for a lone streetlight which is itself flickering intermittently, every single light in the area is off! As Adriana calls for a corps escort, Joel tries to re-access the building, only to discover that they key card reader appears to be offline. Tired, frustrated, and a little cold, Sarah and Adriana slump over against the upright Pillars while they wait for their corps escort while Joel and Ashlee act as a windshield for their companions.

After a few minutes, Adriana and Sarah start notice that, along with the abnormally strong wind, there is a low hum approaching from the northeast. As they rise to look down the street, a beam of light shoots down from the sky and seven rune inscribed rings descend from the clouds above. The rings stack atop each other and seem to seem to hover above one another for a few seconds as a bright light emits from the interior of the rings, each ring shining a different color of the rainbow. As suddenly as they came, the rings ascended back into the clouds leaving behind six gargantuan men, each clad in oiled, black leathers, iron helms, and iron greaves. The men were barrel chested and stood between 6.5’ and 7’ tall and each sported long hair and a well-kept beard, both of which sported various beads and occasional braids. Four of the five were holding rune inscribed hammers with massive lustrous heads and hafts as thick as a person’s arm. The remaining two men brandishes no weapons, but both carried a sword and a whip on their black belts.
abductor rings

Astonished and frightened by their sudden appearance, Joel and Adriana lock arms, creating a united front and feeding off each other’s confidence and bravery. Ashlee, on the other hand, takes a different approach by slowly stepping back as she shoves a struggling and complaining Sarah forward.

Sarah‘s choice words draw the attention of the men and their leader points towards the chemists while shouting a guttural command to his companions who begin advancing. The four Hammer wielders level their weapons and as he hammer heads begin glowing blue, starting from the edges and approaching the center. Ball of electricity leap from the leveled weapons towards the frightened chemists, each targeting a different person. Having shoved Sarah to the ground in front of her, Ashlee is able to use her companions and surroundings as cover and the blast targeting her flies past, striking the wall behind her and shorting out an access panel as Ashlee flees. Joel, bolstered by Adriana’s false bravura, puffs his chest out and takes the blast square in the chest. As the blast strikes, electricity arcs across his body, causing his muscles to tighten and paralyzing him. Adriana tries to dodge the blast aimed at her, but is locked in place by her interlocked arm with the now paralyzed Joel. Sarah manages to barely evade the blast directed at her, but pretends to be stuck hoping to lure her foes close and then dart away. Unfortunately for her, Sarah‘s acting skills are sub-par, and her assailants easily see through the ruse. Sarah and Ashlee watch as Joel and Adriana are shackled and then levitated by two of the men. As her attacker closes to within a couple feet of her, Sarah scrambles to her feet and tries to dart past him towards the street. The large man laughs heartily as he slams her with his massive arm, knocking her airborne and sending her careening into the brick wall. As Sarah falls to the ground, confused, bodied, and battered she locks eyes with Ashlee, who in a moment of guilt, had turned to help her friends. As their eyes meet, Ashlee realizes that there is nothing she can do and she turns again to flee as Sarah screams with her last breath “fuck youuuuuuu ARGHNGG” as she is blasted point blank. Running as fast as she can, Ashlee doesn’t even have time to come up with an escape plane before she too is blasted in the back. Laughing to themselves, the assailants shackle Ashlee and Sarah and lead the four hovering Aggies back into the street where the sixth member of their team awaits. The leader presses a few glowing runes on his bracer and the rings once again descend, engulfing the group in a dazzling display of colored lights.

When the lights disappear, the rings again ascend, and the group finds themselves in another place: A round, seemingly metallic room with clear cylindrical pods arranged around the perimeter. The four chemists are each placed in a pod which is then sealed and filled with a blue/green gelatinous liquid. The sensation of the ooze slowly filling the tube around her causes Ashlee to vomit and, being a sympathetic puked, Adriana follows suite, unfortunately for them, the pods circulation systems are coupled, and the two of them happened to be paired. With the pods sealed and filled with the stasis liquid, the six abductors leave the room by a door which seems to appear from the solid wall. The door seals behind them and the abductees are left alone in their pods with no light save for the glowing of their own pods.
stasis pods Ring Room

Over time, the assailants return to the room and transport away using the rings, each time returning with more people and filling more pods. The abductees appear to be of all nationalities, ages, and size, but none are recognized or familiar until the 24th pod when the abductors appear with Marco, who appears to have lost most of his left arm. Once the 26th pod is filled, a sharp jolt could be felt as if the room were accelerating. No visitors entered the pod room for quite some time, but eventually, several men dressed in the same sort of garb worn by their abductors re-entered the room accompanied by a group of 6.5-7.0’ tall fair skinned slender people, each of which was clean shaven and clothed in pristine, form fitted white garments with black boots and belts. These slender people each carried tablets which they would look at and then point at individual pods. The selected pods were then taken by their broader, hairier companions and the group would leave the pod room and be lead down a hall to a bright white room with multiple instruments, benches, and tools inside. There, a group of the fairer people would undress whoever was in the pod and operate on them while they remained conscious. Each felt pressure around their skull and could feel thing being moved about in their brains, as well as various additional procedures that varied from person to person. Midway though each surgery, the attendants would inject something in the patients neck to render them unconscious.
White Hall

Ashlee wakes up first, dressed in plain white pants and a tunic and laying on a slab which is surprisingly soft. Slowly regaining feeling in her limbs, Ashlee looks about to find herself in a well light, plain white room with a desk, several drawers, a sink with a mirror, a restroom, and the bed she lays on. She wakes up feeling parched and quickly finds a metal cup near the sink. As she drinks her water, she notices her reflection in the mirror and is astonished to discover that not only does she look as though she were in perfect condition, but all her freckles, scars, blemishes, or other imperfections are somehow gone! Exploring her room a bit she discovers that the drawers seem to contain various food-stuffs, changes of clothing, and toiletries. She walks out of her room into a larger, horseshoe shaped room with twelve other doors around the perimeter. In the center of the hall are six other people in garb similar to her own sitting at various tables and benches; none of them speak English, but they are like her: all are free of injuries and any blemishes on their skin—freckles, moles, scars, etc.—are healed. After some time, she sees guards carrying in an unconscious Sarah and depositing her in one of the rooms.

Sarah wakes up in a room identical to Ashlee‘s and, after a bit of exploring of her own room, enters the main hall. Still holding a can of food she found in her room, Sarah catches sight of Ashlee who greets her with a nervous “Hey buddy…”. Furious at Ashlee for having pushed her into their abductors and not helping her to escape, Sarah quickly advances on Ashlee cursing and clenching her hands in rage, crushing the metal can she is holding in her hand. Shocked, Ashlee calms Sarah down and takes her bleeding hand to check the severity of the injury. To the amazement of everyone around, a glow emits from Ashlee’s hand and, after a moment of pain, Sarah‘s hand is healed. Moments later, the doors to the hall open and an unconscious Adriana is escorted in by more guards and taken to one of the remaining rooms. Sarah immediately marches up to the guards and challenges them, but is quickly talked down by Ashlee. The guards leave and Ashlee and Sarah enter Adriana’s room while the remaining abductee’s, who at this point have begun to look to Ashlee for leadership, wait outside. Adriana wakes up in a similar manner to the others: Parched, free of blemishes or physical imperfections, and extremely fit. After being bombarded by questions and orienting Adriana, the three girls attempt to discover if Adriana has any powers such as Sarah‘s super strength or Ashlee’s ability to absorb the injuries and pain of others. After trying several things, Adriana is unable to do anything remarkable, until that is, that Hans (one of the other abductees) upsets Ashlee who had been fending off his advances since they met by hitting on Adriana. When Adriana raises her hand to stop Hans advance, she shoots a glare at him and a phantasmal skull shoots from her hands, striking Hans in the face and causing him to fall to the ground screaming in pain. One of Hans friends leaps between Adriana and Hans and an energy barrier envelops the two men. At that point, the room erupts in chaos as everyone gives into their fears and begin manifesting their powers. After a few seconds, the floor begins to glow blue and electricity arcs from the floor, paralyzing everyone in a similar fashion to the weapons that had been used to abduct them. With everyone on the ground and paralyzed, the door chimes and opens and a man walks in; unlike the guards, who are bulky and bearded, he is lean, clean-shaven and wears more formal clothing. He walks with an assistant, who carries a tablet, and appears to inspect the people in the room. :Sarah | Sarah manages to speak and demands to know who their captors are and what they want. Impressed with Sarah‘s fortitude and spunk, the tall man instructs his assistant in perfect English to make a note of Sarah’s resilience. When he reaches Ashlee and Adriana, he also says to mark them down—Ashlee for her leadership and Adriana for her powers. When he leaves, the PCs can move again, but their situation isn’t any clearer.

Elsewhere, Joel wakes in a room to a man, Thomas Wank—another abductee—standing over him. At first, Tom asks Joel several questions: Who he is, where he was abducted from, what he was doing when he was abducted, ect. Tom goes on to inform Joel that he was a University student from Alabama and that he was abducted while driving to Whataburger. He even mentioned that he managed to fire several rounds into one of the assailants to no effect. During their conversation, Tom misinterprets some of Joel’s comments as a come on, and informs Joel as he leaves his room that if he needs anything…ANYTHING, Tom will be happy to help. After briefly exploring his room, Joel exits to find a similar setup to the one the girls were in, except everything is grey instead of white and abductees are clothed in black. Joel is able to socialize with some of the other abductees who appear to have been abducted under similar situations. After a few minutes, Marco is brought into the room; however, while everyone else has been healed and perfected, he still misses part of his arm. A wall phases over his door, so Joel can’t go speak to him. Tom is injured by a guard for helping Joel, but one of the English speakers heals him. Unlike the other room, this one doesn’t descend into chaos, but people still experiment with their powers, and they are likewise frozen with a blue light. The smug man from earlier walks in to inspect them. Joel manages to speak, to ask about Marco; he isn’t responding well to their treatment, and he must remain in quarantine for some time. The man remarks that Joel would be perfect fodder, though he is impressed that Joel had enough willpower to speak, and after inspecting the others he leaves. Joel returns to his room, making sure to lock the door behind him.

The next day, the PCs—still separated—are brought into the shapeless room, which now looks like an armory; a timer counts down from 10 minutes above a closed door. After selecting their weapons—two bastard swords for Sarah, staffs for Ashlee and Adriana, and daggers for Joel—they walk out of their respective doors as timer reaches zero.

Session 2
Minotaur Training

Session 2: Minotaur Training

After selecting weapons, the abductees from the white room exit the common hall and walk down a hallway leading into another all white room where three minotaurs stand waiting patiently.

The sight of the minotaurs causes fear in most of the abductees, but Ashlee, who assumes a leadership role, and Sarah, who is feeling fiesty, both step into the room followed by Adriana while the rest of the abductees crownd around the door. Upon entering the room, the largest of the minotaurs unabashedly greets them and introduces himself as Ahmose and his companions as Sabu and Tchanun. All three of the minotaurs are sparsely clothed, wearing little more than loin clothes, and each is armed with a great hammer. Ashlee and Sarah, begin questioning Ahmose who is happy to answer all their questions as soon as the first four “trainees” step forward. When a forth abductee by the name of Alberto step forward, Ahmose instucts the remaining abductees to wait their turn and the door closes behind the four. Amiably answering all the questions asked of him, Ahmose informs the four humans that they were abducted by a group ofÆsir (the hairy men) and Vanir (the slender fairer men), collectively referred to as the Asgard, under the command of roughly three months ago. Ahmose also states that they are to be trained to fight with the Asgard against a race of constructs known as the Synodos. Ahmose then goes on to explain the importance of Terrans (humans) and why the Asgard need them to fight in their war:

8652 years ago, earth was discovered by the Gaia (eg: greek gods) who took the then primitive man and enslaved him to mine gold and other raw materials and to act as a source of labor. Upon discovering the wealth available on earth, other races soon joined the Gaia, including the Asgard, the Mictlan, and the Geb. After centuries of each of these races all mining earth, territorial disputes caused the different races to go to war with one another, eventually resulting in the training and breeding of Terrans for war. At first, they were used as foot soldiers, but soon it was discovered that Terrans had a knack for the arcane arts and that Terrans natural strengths were easily augment-able using enchantments. What took most species hundreds, even thousands of years to master seemed to come almost naturally to Terrans. It did not take long for the Gaia, Mictlan, Asgard, and Geb to realize the potency of Terrans as instruments of war. The ability to breed and train such highly skilled warriors, snipers, infiltrators, and artillery over such a short period of time represented a paradigm shift to the art of war which could potentially have rendered modern methods of warfare obsolete. A temporary ceasefire was called and each of the species met to deliberate on how to best deal with this new weapon of mass destruction.

In the year 429 ATF, after only three years, the Atlantis Treaties was signed by all the settlers. This agreement, championed and penned by the Gaia called for the immediate departure of all non-native species from the Sol system. The use of Terrans as instruments of war or the training of Terrans in any of the arcane arts was banned as was the transports, sale, or breeding of Terrans. The Sol system was declared a demilitarized and protected zone into which no species was allowed to enter. To enforce this declaration, and to prevent Terrans from destroying themselves and their planet, the entire solar system was blanketed in a null magic sphere, thus rendering magic, and magic based technologies impotent within the Sol system.

After leaving Earth behind, the Gaia started attempting to find a replacement to their Terran servants by creating constructs to wait on them hand and foot. Although they were successful in creating laborers, these constructs were un-intelligent and lacked the wit, creativity, or spontaneity that the Gaia had become accustomed to with their Terran house servants. The Gaia labored for nearly 2000 years trying to create suitable servants until they were successful in creating the Synodos. The Gaia created trillions of such servants and soon the Synodos were in every Gaia household and place of business. Then, the Synodos revolted, turning on their masters. Within 500 years, the Gaia were eradicated and the Synodos started expanding into other territories, bent on destroying all biologicals. The rest of the Galaxy has been fighting them ever since, but despite the superior technology and battlefield prowess of the biological species, the endless waves of Synodos soldiers is winning the war by attrition. Loki decided that it was time to end this war, and so he recovered a handful of Terrans from Earth to train them to help fight against the Synodos.

After the lengthy explaination, the Terrans agree to partake in the first training session. The Terrans defeat the two smaller minotaurs—one with magic and the other with swords—and they take great amounts of damage. Before they are completely defeated, the larger minotaur stops the fight and, laughing, tells them that they did well for their first fight. The minotaurs revive and leave into a back room, which is filled with spectators, each holding tablets onto which they are marking things down. Tall women walk into the room and heal the PCs, sending them back to their rooms. In each, there is a computer with a database filled with information, and the PCs are allowed to ask any questions they may have. They go to rest.

Session 3
Session 4
Session 5

Session 5: Simulations and Live Battles

Since waking up in their respective rooms, two weeks and a half have passed, and the terrans have undergone daily training sessions: the morning consists of learning (battle strategies and command tactics for the white team, nanites for the black team) while the afternoon sessions were fighting and training. Within days, scoreboards appear in both rooms while a system ranking people based on their performances. In the white room, Ashlee leads the scoreboard, followed by Adriana, while Sarah is tied for third with Rajiv Harish. For the command team, training sessions consist of fighting battles: matches of randomly paired fighters utilize a virtual reality system to give them the ability to either command their armies from a distance, giving them full view of the battle and the ability to give commands to each unit, or to command within the battle in the midst of it and actively participate.

holographic battle sim

Pain is very real in these simulations, and it’s apparent to everyone that these battles affect placement on the scoreboard. After some time, Ashlee faces off against Wen Shan, an average opponent. Early on in the battle, she gets a notification on her headset that she has an infiltrator behind enemy lines, behind their commander, with assassination capabilities. Taking advantage of this, she orders her troops to feign a weakness in order to entice Wen Zan to advance and lower his defenses. The other Command Squad members, who are spectating the combat, are shocked at what seems to be the worst possible move she could be making. Ashlee remains out of the game, while Wen Zan takes the bait, and suddenly the stimulation ends, and even though it seems like he met the victory criteria, he takes off his helmet while cursing, rubbing at his back. He asks Ashlee how she won: everything was going right for him, until he felt a stabbing pain in his back and saw blue flames before the stimulation ended. She refuses to tell him, since the rules state that they can’t discuss the battles until the end of the day. After some other fights, Adriana pairs off against Rajiv Harish. During the fight, they are evenly matched, until Adriana things she sees an opening. She presses forward, but suddenly she feels an excruciating pain going up her ribcage, and the stimulation ends. Shocked, she listens to Rajiv brag about his victory, but she trips him on the way out. More time passes, then Sarah goes into the room to face Hans, who is low on the leaderboard and seems already defeated. When the battle starts, it’s clear that Sarah is at a huge disadvantage, and none of the Command Squad thinks she can win: Hans has a mountain pass and a much larger army with an arcane squad raining down destruction on Sarah‘s army. Quickly after the fight starts, Sarah receives a notification which tells her that she has a demolition/assassination expat behind enemy lines. She tells him to set off explosives on the cliff side, to divide the army and distract them so he can kill Hans. Sarah joins her fighters on the battlefield, and as soon as the explosions go off they charge, forming a shield wall to deflect spells and falling rocks. They easily smash through Hans’s forces. As they run, Sarah looks up to the cliff side. Her infiltrator, holding out a metal arm with a detonator, pulls back his hood: it’s Marco, and they make eye contact before he jumps into the falling debris. Moments later, the stimulation ends with Hans holding his neck and sighing sadly.

Sarah walks back to the main hall with Ahmose, who congratulates her (since they’ve begun training, Ahmose has taken to calling her Little Bull and often tells her that she’ll earn her brass ring some day, something which is obviously important to the minotaurs) and pulls out a suspicious flask to help her celebrate her victory. Eager to tell them about what had happened, Sarah rushes to her friends, but they stop her to ask about the flask. Ashlee, brave but also wanting to drink, volunteers to try it: it’s salty but strong. Adriana tries some, which is less salty, and Sarah gives it to Ashlee after a small sip. They recount their experiences in their battle simulations. Ashlee didn’t see her infiltrator, but she saw blue flames before it ended. Sarah tells them about Marco, reassuring Adriana that her brother is alive and appears to be well, and they wonder if Joel is similarly okay.

Meanwhile, the black team also undergoes their daily simulation training. Joel and Marco lead the scoreboard, since they were the only team to succeed in the sneak training, even though they technically killed the command team. They are closely followed by Avdotya, Liza, and Natalia, a trio of Russians who have consistently demonstraded their skill, effifiency, brutality, and love of inflizcting pain. Joel goes first in his stimulation: he is told to follow his orders exactly, and soon he is commanded to assassinate the commander of the enemy’s army. He does so with ease, stabbing a Chinese man in the back and leaving his trademark blue flames behind. Hemaka praises Joel for his attack. After some time, Natalia, one of the Russians, goes. While spectating, Joel watches as she attacks Adriana. Instead of killing her quietly (like Joel, Natalia was supposed to kill quickly and ensure that her target couldn’t scream), she makes sure that Adriana suffers by stabbing her in the back and gouging up through her ribcage. Natalia makes sure to kill all of Adriana‘s guards as the stimulation ends, eager to make them all suffer as she leaves them to die. Joel is disgusted, but he’s glad to see Adriana alive. After a few more matches, Marco goes in, with Joel‘s encouragements. He easily sneaks through the enemy camp, setting demolitions on the cliff wall with any problems. Pulling off his hood in a signature move as he detonates the devices, he makes eye contact with his charging commander. Though Marco doesn’t recognize her, Joel (spectating through Marco’s eyes) immediately knows that it’s Sarah, even though she’s covered in blood. The stimulation ends, with Marco getting also perfect praise from Hemaka, and the Russians are yet again ranked behind both Joel and Marco. When they all return to the black main room, Ahmose comes and asks Joel to go with him. Joel asks about Adriana (who Ahmose calls Evil Eye) and Sarah, and then he asks to speak with Natalia, and he steadily burns an eye into her skin without her noticing.

He leaves with Ahmose, who takes through a series of hallways and doors to a room which overlooks a planet. This room is a bright white, with gold and silver trim, starkly different to the room Joel has been starting in. Asgardians walk about, along with Geb, and Joel finds himself face to face with Loki. He holds out a hand to shake, but Joel coldly rejects him, referring to their earlier conversation about feedstock. Loki tries to have civil discourse, and he clears up some misconceptions Joel might have about their situation. He tells Joel that there is a mission for him, and a team from the command squad, to go down to the planet and investigate a Synodian ship crash site. Joel agrees, even after a reminder that if any one else finds out about this mission, they’ll kill Loki and all of the Terrans. Ahmose, cowed by Loki, takes Joel to the white room, where they find Sarah, Adriana, and a drunk Ashlee hanging out. Surprised, they greet Joel and bombard him with questions. Pip immediately interrupts, and he quickly irritates the others with his literal nature. Ahmose promises to get Ashlee some more to drink later. Joel is given a key to access both the white and black rooms, and they agree to set off in the morning one they’ve all rested and Ashlee had sobered up. The next morning, the PCs are told about the terrain and given equipment to investigate and mark the Synodos for attack.

When they arrive, they realize that they have no idea where they are. Ashlee suggests climbing higher to get a birds’ eye view, but the other PCs are skeptical. Sarah asks Pip to fly up to investigate, forgetting his literal way of following directions, and he files into the air and yells down at them. When he returns, he tells them that there are lots of enemies around, and they are coming from below. After a brief fight, the PCs defeat two iron defenders (which appear as dogs) and an iron cobra, and they are left wondering what their next move should be.

Session 6

Session 6: The One Where They (Kind of) Become Baby Killers

After the battle, the PCs decide that they should go to the bottom of the canyon, as they aim to go to the habitable zone (which is noticeable from their height, though it’s obvious that it will take days to reach the zone). However, before they leave, they notice a huge ball of flame in the sky, heading in their direction. Pip comments that it’ll hit where they are soon, so they run down the narrow ledge to find cover. Ashlee and Sarah manage with ease, but Joel and Adriana quickly trip and nearly fall to their deaths, before Pip saves them with some strain. The unknown object hits the formation lightly, sounding more like something landing than something crashing. The PCs can faintly hear a whoosh, as if a door was opening. Sarah hears the faint sound of whistling and, cursing, she goes back up the ledge to find the whistler. Unfortunately for her, she isn’t stealthy, and the unknown being immediately realizes someone is there. He calls out, ready to attack, and Sarah recognizes the voice as Marco’s. After calling the other PCs to go up and meet him, the group reconciles with Adriana and Marco particularly happy to see each other. Marco informs the group that he was sent to warn them of three incoming Synodian ships; Loki’s gambit was forced to leave the vicinity, and they were to continue the mission in radio silence (as Sarah’s communicator was broken, leaving them no way to speak with the ship). The group resolves to go to the canyon bottom, but not before taking a portable communicator with them and setting a trap on Marco’s pod. This unfortunately takes the better part of three hours. While Joel and Adriana help Marco, Sarah and Ashlee take watch outside. After some time, Sarah realizes that mountains appear to be moving closer to them, albeit slowly. She calls Pip over, who confirms that there is a boulder sandstorm moving in their direction. Ashlee insists that the group inside hurry, but they refuse to listen until Joel (using his mask) learns that the sandstorm will reach them in about 12 hours. The PCs then set off, pod trapped and communicator handy, to the bottom of the canyon.


They walk for hours along the cliff sides, trying to find a good spot for cover for when the sandstorm reaches them. After some time, Marco notices something shifting in the sand. He calls the group to a halt, and moves closer to investigate. Figuring that firing his baton would be a good idea, he shoots at the sand, piercing what appears to be a sting ray, which flings itself into the air. Ashlee recognizes it as a sand ray, from her time watching Discovery Channel, and tells the group of their poisonous sting. The sand ray continues the screech, and the sound echoes throughout the canyon. Fearing the consequences, Joel shots the ray down with a ball of blue flame, and it falls dead as Jorel hisses in the background. The PCs take the sand ray with them. Just as pebble sized rocks begin to fall around them, signaling the proximity of the sandstorm, they find an outcropping with a fair amount of cover. They immediately head inside. Unlike the outside, which had few signs of life, this outcropping appears to have more signs of living creatures, though nothing so large as to threaten their safety. The PCs agree to take shifts for watch, with Adriana going first.

During her watch, Adriana skins and filets the sand ray. The outside was somewhat charred from Joel’s fireball, but the inside was cooked at all, so she decides to leave it out for Joel to cook during his watch. Time passes uneventfully, though she uses her knowledge to extract a black and viscous poison from the sting for Sarah and Marco’s weapons. Joel takes the next watch. Unfortunately for the group, he isn’t familiar with cooking without instructions, so instead of cooked filets he makes sand ray jerky. They’re sandy, since Adriana had taken the skin with her (and discovered that it was insulating, she kept warm while sleeping). Marco uses the poison to coat some of his weapons, and Ashlee has an uneventful watch. During her watch, Sarah coats her longswords with poison and entertains Pip by telling him the histories of Middle Earth (which he confuses for the contemporary Middle East, and thus is very concerned about Earth’s safety with respect to Sauron). The sandstorm eventually passes, and the PCs venture outside. Realizing that they are walking parallel to the habitable zone, they send Marco to climb up the cliff side and look around. Using his communicator, he tells the group to join him, as he sees light reflecting in the distance. Curious, the PCs meet him, and Joel uses his mask to learn that the reflection is coming from a ship—likely the Synodian ship they were sent to find—about 170 miles away. The group sets out, with enough food rations for five days—thanks to Joel’s sand ray jerky—and water for three days, as well as the water Joel can give them from producing ice at the end of the day.

The journey is hard, as they have to move through shifting sand dunes and a harsh wind. They take turns using the sand ray skin to shield themselves from the sun, which doesn’t move in the sky (luckily, as this serves as their navigation point). By taking walking/resting shifts—three hours of walking, one of resting—the group travels for hours before finally finding what appears to be a sufficient outcropping. However, before they reach it, Adriana senses a disturbance in the area, and she quickly turns to see something moving underground on a dune behind them. She starts screaming “Dune! Duuuune!” but the rest of the PCs have no idea what she’s talking about, and instead assume she’s suffering from heat stroke. She explains to them what she saw, and, carefully, the PCs watch the dunes until they see movement: something at least feet across, steadily coming towards them. In a panic, the group splits up, with Marco and Sarah sprinting to the outcropping, Ashlee stumbling but still running, and Joel and Adriana falling straight into the next dune. As they scream, a giant sand ray erupts from the ground and comes to rest over them. Making a sound almost like purring, it runs its wings over them. Adriana still wears the sand ray cloak, but Joel is covered in dead sand ray from his cooking escapade. The creature immediately takes Adriana under its wing and hisses at Joel, raising its sting in a threatening manner.

Scared, Joel tells Pip to make the same noise as the sand ray, meaning its happy purring noise. However, Pip—being an unnecessarily literal creature—hisses impressively and shines brightly. The sand ray immediately jumps into the air, still carrying Adriana. Thinking that they’re in great danger, Sarah and Marco turn around and sprint over to help. Adriana turns in water, and in her haste to escape she leaves the sand ray skin behind, and she flows back to the ground. The creature falls and lands on its back in shock. Sarah, not realizing that Adriana is safe, lunges at the sand ray and attempts to stab it with both of her swords, but they don’t even pierce it’s skin. Marco then takes a running leap, ready to stab the sand ray in its mouth, but he tumbles into Sarah and they both fall on top of the sand ray. The others stay still, not sure what to do—and kind of hoping that they can make this sand ray a pet. Sarah and Marco simultaneously realize that the sand ray is holding dozens of sand ray babies, and that the sand ray they had killed earlier was also a baby. This sand ray, a father, was only trying to protect its young. Screaming “Babies! It’s got fucking babies!” Sarah rolls off the sand ray, narrowly missing its young. Marco does the same a moment later. As soon as it’s free, the sand ray launches itself into the air, before flipping over and diving back into the safety of the sand. Ashlee and Joel mourn the loss of their almost pet, while Marco and Sarah think about how they were nearly monsters. Adriana reforms from the water, and the PCs take a moment to think about what had just happened.

Session 7

Session 7: The Planet Continues to Be Awful

The PCs immediately crowd Adriana, demanding to know how she turned into water to escape. She shrugs, unsure of the answer, and they set off to the outcropping. The PCs take shifts again for rest, but the presence of desert scourges means that their rest is not easy or peaceful. During Ashlee’s watch, she walks to the edge of the rock they’re on to watch the dunes for any signs of movement. From where she sleeps, Sarah hears the faint sound of electricity, and she wakes as a creature—larger than the sand ray—bursts from the sand among arc of electricity, produced from moving through the sand. The creature lunges at Ashlee while Sarah screams at the others to wake, standing up in the process. It narrowly misses, going just over her head, before burrowing back in the sand. The others, startled, begin to move, realizing that a land shark is attacking them. They have a harsh battle, particularly since Joel is separated and the land shark has a tremor sense with makes it hard to attack it. When Sarah throws a boulder to distract it, Joel realizes that he has sand ray jerky to distract the beast, so he tosses it at the center rock. The land shark falls into their trap, and when it’s pinned to the rock, weakened severely by the others’ well-placed attacks, Sarah leaps onto the shark and attacks it in a frenzy. Her skin seems to harden into stone when she jumps, and the desert scourges that attack the downed shark don’t affect her at all. The PCs decide to stay for a while longer, as they need the rest. They wait for the scourges to devour their fill of the land shark, before they go over and inspect the remains. They decide to keep the hide, which will make great armor, but they have to take turns dragging it through the sand.

The journey continues to be hard, though the ground slowly hardens and the air grows saltier and windier. Soon, they can’t see more than a foot in front of them. Sarah, with her newly discovered tremor sense, moves forward to help Joel, who uses his mask to navigate to the ship now that the sun is gone. However, he misinterprets his mask, and they walk for some time before they realize that Pip can “see” perfectly even in these conditions. They correct their course before anything terrible happens, and soon they are out of the blinding wind and onto salt flats. After more walking, which brings them within a day’s journey of the ship, they stop to rest. Marco spots strange markings in the ground, but they continue further off their course, so they don’t investigate. Adriana sees a giant sand ray in the sky, much larger than those they had seen before, surrounded by young. Sarah thinks she hears something during her watch, but they’re safe and nothing happens.

The PCs set off to the ship, and as they walk they plan. They decide to send Marco, who is well-trained in stealth, to go to the ship and mark it with their tagging system. Pip, however, tells them that elementals surround the ship, and so the PCs decide that Pip will be fast enough to save Marco if he’s attacked, though it won’t be stealthy. Joel notices something in the air, a ship in orbit, though he can’t tell if it’s their ship or a Synodian ship. The PCs continue to the ship, until they come across a basin where a river likely used to run. A great skeleton in the sand, surrounded by seemingly hard ground, so they decide to stay there, hidden while Marco goes to the ship. Sarah has Pip take her to the skeleton, while Ashlee uses the land shark hide and her staff to steadily sail across the deep sand to the skeleton. Pip returns to the edge to get Joel, and as they fly to Sarah, tentacles erupt from the ground around Ashlee and the skeleton. Adriana and Ashlee recognize the creature as a silt horror, and the group readies itself for battle.

Session 8

Session 8: Silt Whore…err… horror

They PCs fight the Silt Horror. It’s fucking terrible and they almost die. Marco finishes the mission, and they return to the ship, which was obviously under attack, because why wouldn’t it get attacked? Meanwhile, Loki’s gambit is attacked by Synodans, and a mutiny begins in the aftermath.

Account from Marco’s lob, stardate 1762.5:

We have been on this dreadful planet for a few days now, and it seems we are going to reach the end of our “vacation”. Little did we know that there was one more trick this planet had up its sleeve. As the team and I were reaching the ship that we had to tag, there was some sort of dried-up river that had some quicksand at the bottom, which would probably kill all of us.

As Ashlee made her way across, while my sister and I stayed on the river bank, she sang like an Italian on a beautiful morning; Sarah stood on a skeleton of some large animal that had died, while Joel was being carried across by Pip.

Suddenly, Sarah felt something big moving. Two tentacles came out of the ground next to Sarah, and a third tentacle came out in front of Ashlee. We all readied to fight a monstrosity of a mouth coming right out of the sane. It was a sight that I could never imagine; it looked like the nightmare of a small child brought to life. It was hungry, and it wanted Terrans. As the fight raged on, Joel and Pip remained in the air, with Joel still singing, before Pip finally decided to drop Joel (who said, “Pip what is going on?” before Pip dropped him with a “Sorry, but I really have to help Sarah; good luck!”). Joel finally saw the tentacle fighting Sarah, and with a turn he saw Ashlee being brought to the mouth of the beast, crying and screaming for help. Meanwhile, my sister and I started to attack from behind. We must have done a lot of damage, because the tentacles sunk back into the depths of sand, dropping Ashlee beside us, and nearly dragging Sarah down with the monster.

As we all started preparing for the next attack, yelling at each other, the monster burst out from the sand next to Ashlee and me. I escaped by the skin of my teeth, while Ashlee was picked up and again moved to the monster’s mouth. My sister IMMEDIATELY INTERRUPTED the monster, putting it in its place, and I managed to carve an M into a tentacle; it immediately slapped at me, causing me to land in the river bed and sink into the sand. Almost instantly, the maw of the monster appeared next to Sarah and Joel, putting them in a bad spot. Its emergence knocked Joel into the sinking sand. As I climbed out of the sand, I felt something trying to grab me, but I focused on escaping and saved Ashlee from a tentacle’s grip. Joel managed to get out of the sand; I saw Sarah take cover behind the skeleton as the monster flung sand into the air to hide itself. Pip transformed into a sand ray to distract the monster, as my sister stood on a rock to take aim. The monster took its chance to attack, but suddenly a bright light shot down from what seemed like space, focused on the monster by my sister’s magic. As the monster began to fight back, my sister attacked with greater ferocity, driving the beast to sink back into the pit.

Finally, the fight was over; we were all relieved to see it disappear. But there was one more thing to do before we could leave. As I prepared to go tag the ship, Sarah fixed the comms and called Ahmose. He answered, relieved to see us, but not so much to see us in our present condition. We explained that we had just fought a Silt Horror, and that he was surprised to see that we survived and killed one. He then promised to send for us once the ship was tagged. By the ship, I noticed that the Synodons were trapping elementals in pods of some sort. Whatever it was, we needed to put a stop to it. I tagged the ship, and ran back to the group; immediately, the rings appeared to pick us up.

When we made it back to the ship, we were all shocked to see signs of a battle that just happened. We were debriefed, and learned that Synodans had boarded the ship; there were fights throughout the ship, but they were able to clear out the enemies. However, the cost of life was high. It seemed that the black and white squads merged into one. Many of the people that were taken from earth are thinking about taking the ship; I worry about what is going to happen next. I just hope that I don’t have to put anyone in their place, or worse, kill them.

Marco signing out.

Session 9

Session 9: The Russians Continue to be Assholes

Now back on the ship, the PCs try to find out why it looks so damaged. Ahmose informs them of the Synodan attack, during which there were numerous casualties and damages to the ship’s systems. Their ship is currently stuck in Synodan space, luckily hidden in the planetary ring, but they had no ways to defend themselves should any other Synodan ships come back. Ahmose asks about their mission, wondering if the PCs also located and marked colonies or other Synodan sites. The PCs react angrily, pointing out that the planet was a death trap. He drops the matter and brings them to the other humans. Rather than two rooms, one for the command squad and another for the black squad, the humans are clustered into a single room. It’s clear from the beginning that many humans are not in the room, and the PCs quickly learn from Tom that many of them are either dead or critically wounded in the medical center. Tom tries to ask Joel and Marco about their time on the planet, but their silence and almost aggressive responses dissuade him from asking too many questions. The PCs soon learn from Tom that a mutiny is brewing on the ship: the Russians have decided that they can take over the ship and fly back to Earth. Many of the humans are aligned with the Russians. It is heavily implied that Borris has some strong influence on everyone, much to Ashlee, Adriana, and Sarah’s disappointment and anger, as he was on the command squad with them. The PCs realize that Borris is likely mind controlling many of the humans, and they learn that the Russians had intentially hurt or even killed many humans that initially disagreed with them. The other humans had quickly fallen into line after that, though the PCs aren’t sure which are mind controlled and which are scared.

When Tom leaves, upset with the PCs’ silence and hostility, they soon realize that there are few rooms for sleeping, so they would need to bunk with other humans. They devise a plan of attack, to learn as much information as they could. Sarah approaches two Scottish men from the black squad, taking Joel with her so that they would trust her. Nilima and O’Hare are strikingly different, but obviously good friends. Sarah talks to Nilima, who refuses to say much, while Joel tries to talk to O’Hare, though that mostly involves O’Hare loudly hitting on any women in the vicinity. Nilima, trusting Joel, agrees to room with Sarah. She stays to talk, quickly ensuring that O’Hare would stop making any comments at her, while Joel goes to talk to Kendall in the medical center.

Meanwhile, Ashlee and Adriana went to talk to Borris, curious about the mutiny and his supposed mind control powers. They are surprised to see Borris seated on one side of a table, while the other Russians sit on the other side; the Russians are able to speak in Russian without the translator converting the language, something the PCs have never seen before on the ship. At their approach, Natalia kicks a chair away, while Liza pointedly places a foot on the remaining chair. Amused, Borris asks the Russians to leave. They do so with a clear salute and clacking of heels. Ashlee and Adriana sit down to speak with Borris. While he is polite, he doesn’t give many answers beyond vague statements. When Adriana attempts to intimidate him into talking, Ashlee’s concerned face gives away the bluff, and Borris leaves with a calm and subtle threat.

While Joel is walking to the medical center, he realizes that the Russians, having left Borris, are crowding Hans into a corner. Hans clearly looks uncomfortable, so Joel decides to intervene, even though he hardly knows Hans aside from Sarah’s deragatory remarks. The Russians are angry when Joel walks over, but they leave before a fight could break out. Hans admits that the Russians are trying to use him for their own mission. Hans has been working with Reggie as a maintenance worker, and as such he has a knowledge of the ship and access to maps, including the ventilation system. Joel tries to convince Hans that the PCs can protect him, but Hans appears unconvinced. Joel asks him to not room with Reggie in the minotaur barracks, and instead return to room with the PCs that night, but Hans leaves without making a sure promise. Joel continues on to the medical center. Many humans, Geb, Aesir, and Vanir are injured, and many of those are encased in tubes similar to the ones the humans were kept in when first kidnapped. Joel weaves through the chaos of the room, and no one notices him because they’re too busy trying to save and sustain patients. He eventually finds Kendall, who is clearly critically injured. Joel attempts to press her for information about the Russians, using a blink for yes or no system, but Kendall panics (thinking that the Russians sent Joel to finish her off) and intentially induces a panic attack so that healers would come over and force Joel to leave.

Joel returns to the main room as Ashlee and Adriana try to find more people to room with. Sarah, still talking with Nilima, sends O’Hare off to flirt to Jeanette. Ashlee intervenes and asks to room with Jeanette, so O’Hare goes after Adriana as the last female in the room missing a roommate. Adriana eventually agrees to room with him to find out more information. Hans doesn’t return that night, so Joel has no one to room with. Sarah learns that Nilima opposes Borris, but is too scared to oppose him openly. Jeanette is similarly scared of Borris, while O’Hare seems more aligned with Borris (but still refuses to say much to Adriana on the matter).


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