Into Oblivion

Assassination - Ahn'zt Mission
Book the Second - "The Warden and the Dwarf"

Running low on credits, the crew of the “Survival First…” turn to taking on missions from Hanz Yo’Akin.

Their first mission, assassinating a famous model, is undertaken by Kade, and very successfully.

In other news, Callus and Kumis didn’t blow the ship up during Kade’s absence.

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Taking Stock
Book the Second - the Warden and the Dwarf

The new ship is given a new name – the “Survival First, Then Actually Getting Along,” although all the individuals on board with the exception of Corde prefer “Survival First…”

Stocked with MREs and coffee, while the ship’s pantry can provide adequate nutrition, the variety leaves something greatly desired, and our heroes resolve to improve this situation, as well as the lack of any beds, the moment they get their hands on some money.

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Leaving Ortus
Book the Second- The Warden and the Dwarf

Kade, Kumis, and Callus decide to leave Ortus base, and the Wardens, as soon as possible, in order to preserve the secret of their new ship.

They make contact with Hanz Yo’akin, who manages to convince the Commander Sterr – through the offer of a free night at an Ahn’zt brothel – to assign them on a long-distance mission, thus avoiding any violence caused by a desertion attempt.

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Landfall on Tarentian
Book the First - "The Boy and the Smuggler"

The Mercurial Lady makes a dangerous insertion of the planet of Tarentian. During the insertion, Zaith is badly injured by a trap ward put in place by the Mandate, one that required considerable skill never before seen by any present.

With the Mandate alerted to their presence on planet, Aderyn finds her options limited. Furthermore, Zaith’s health is rapidly failing. Aderyn clashes with Elorion when the latter suggests searching for a population of casters who survived the Mandate destruction of Tarentian’s Ourak academies in order to get healing for Zaith.

Malcolm reveals his new-found casting ability, distracting Aderyn, and giving Elorion and Zaith time to escape the Mercurial Lady and go searching for the hidden caster in a cave system at the bottom of a deep canyon.

The duo find the casters, and discover that there is an entire academy in the caves, completely under the Mandate’s nose.

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Cruiser Assault
Book the Second - the Warden and the Dwarf

A Seronan task force, summoned by the Wardens, lays an ambush for the Mandate fleet. While the battle rages, a Warden strike team, consisting of Orin, Kumis, Callus, and Kade, board the Mandate flagship – a cruiser class vessel – with the intention of sabotaging its ward core.

The assault is bloody and the strike team, with Corde’s help, manages to breach the Mandate defenses and plant explosives on the ship’s ward core. Then, they battle waves of Mandate forces, trying to give Orin time to prepare a transport ward to evacuate the team. As the team is about to be overrun, Callus hurls one of the explosives – modified mortar shells – at the Mandate squad, triggering a chain reaction that vaporizes the stern half of the cruiser.

Callus and Kade find themselves sitting in a grassy field on a distant planet. Kumis, meanwhile, has an encounter with an entity who introduces herself as the goddess Aztar. She reveals that Orin had actually died during the escape from the Mandate Titan in orbit of Never-Look-Back but had been brought back by Aztar because his work was not yet done. Now, he had been allowed to return to the realm of death.

Aztar warns Kumis of Oblivion, a dark force that is the antithesis of Casting, and informs him that one of its agents is Marisei Za’Nell, whom he encountered during the Qzin assault on Wayfarer’s Rest.

Aztar tells Kumis to head to the Antian Empire to recover the “Keeper of the Spark,” a large, glossy black orb -currently sitting in a dusty shelf in the Antian Museum of Xenobiology – that is a major fount of power – power that Oblivion seeks to find.

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Another Mission
Book the Second - The Warden and the Dwarf

Orin and company don’t have much downtime before they are assigned another mission – a Mandate task force, through tracking packages delivered by a Warden supply ship, have destroyed two of the three Warden bases in the Quadrant.

A strike team composed of Orin, Kade,Kumis, and Callus is assigned to lay an ambush for the Mandate task force.

Kade and Callus hit the Ortus training simulations.

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Rathris IV Landing
Book the Second - "The Warden and the Dwarf"

Orin, Kumis, and Callus arrive at Ortus, a secret Warden base buried deep within the mountains of Rathris IV.

There, Callus and Kumis meet Kade, one of the Wardens.

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The Prison Ship
Book the Third - The Duke and the Knight

Sir Hem frees Tula from the prison barge heading to Lockdown.

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Next Steps
Book the Third - "The Duke and the Knight"

Theodat and Hem catch up in a hospital ward after the Prynn Tower bombing. Time is running out, and they have a team to assemble.

Theodat was reclining on the hospital bed, propped up by some pillows. His face possessed a sickly pallor, one that accentuated the scars that traced their way across the top right of his forehead, across his nose, upper-lip, and then lower cheek. He looked away from the datapad in his lap upon seeing Hem enter and gave him a weak smile. “Glad to see you in once piece.”

“I can say the same to you, cousin.” Hem replied. He searched the room for a chair, settling on one that was near what looked to be a cards table. Why that was in a hospital room for one person, he’d never know.

“Just finished briefing your family.” He hadn’t actually seen the family in years, so it was a surprise to see kids he hardly knew already in basic military command training.

“I think I saw your wife too, or was that just your niece?” the major said, realizing that he didn’t even know if the man was married. “Ah, I don’t know. How are you doing?”

“I’ve been better.” Theo attempted to laugh but after feeling a pulse of pain rippling through the painkiller induced daze he decided against it. “Lady Kailea, my wife, is beside herself with worry. I’ve had to spend the last 30 minutes talking her into leaving the planet. She doesn’t want to leave my bedside, you see.” He gestured to the holoscreen mounted on the wall. "News is saying it’s a terror attack.

Possibly the Confederacy.

Security footage identified the bomber – Our’ethan. Same one who was eyeing me in the bar."

“Y’know. Part of me hopes it was a terror attack. The casualty count is in the hundreds and rising. I don’t want to think that I was the cause of that.”

“The Traxsies like to play it dirty, so I wouldn’t be surprised if it was them.” Hem mused. Their renowed stealth attacks had killed scores of his best men, and he hated it, admitting that the Confederacy had their strengths.

“The fact that we’re even alive right now is proof that if there was some sort of agenda, it wasn’t aimed towards us, I hope.”

Theodat rubbed his eyes tiredly. “I don’t know.”

“Hem, we need to keep moving forward.” Theodat’s voice acquired a new level of urgency. “I’m in this bed for the next two weeks – maximum they can push the QuickHeal without causing too much damage.”

“I can’t spare those two weeks.” He offered his datapad to Hem. “Can you do something for me?”

Hem grabbed the datapad, setting it down on the table. “Of course, the mission needs to continue no matter what.”

He spoke with dedication, “Our enemies are probably thinking we’ll settle down and lick our wounds, but we have to go on the offensive, show them we’re not backing down.”

“Y’know. I’m glad to hear you say that….” Theodat replied. “Because, you’ll have to be going on the offensive to get our tech specialist”

Hem grunted. Way to bring down the whole motivational speech. “Fine, I’ll get all the specialists. Just point me to the right people, and I can get it done.”

Theodat nodded. “First up is our tech specialist”

“She’s got a long criminal record, diagnosed with all sorts of anti-social personality disorders, and doesn’t turn down good money, regardless of what the job is. She’s also one of the best in the field. And she may or may not be on a prison transport to Lockdown.”

Lockdown was one of the highest security prisons in the Empire. Theodat knew that if the person he wanted reached that prison, there’d be no getting her out.

Hem was familiar with Lockdown even more so than most civilians in the Empire. He knew that high ranking war prisoners that were awaiting ransom were holed up there.

“Fine, I can handle that. I’ve had former criminals in my regiment before.” He explained. “Although if she really is on a prison transport ship, I’ll have to get crafty.” If her crime wasn’t bad enough, he could “temporarily” pay for her bail.

“If you’re thinking of any weapons specialists, I’m already one step ahead of you. There’s a Drr’athan that I served with when I was just a colonel. He got dishonorably discharged for selling plasma ammunition to various criminal syndicates. I hear he’s in the capitol now, and he’ll know where to find cheap weapons.”

“What’d you expect from a dwarf, anyway?” He said, chuckling. Everyone knew Drr’athan were cheaper then debt collectors

“Good. That’s good.” Theodat coughed and grimaced. “My sources tell me the prison transport is going to make a stop off at an orbital station to pick up some more prisoners before heading towards ”/wikis/lockdown" class=“wiki-page-link”> Lockdown. You have a narrow window of opportunity. Find some way to spring her."

He grabbed his datapad and then showed the screen to Hem. On it was a picture of an Our’ethan with high cheekbones and straw yellow hair, messily cut. One eye was clearly bionic – all chrome and glass. “That’s her – Tula Ly’alle”

Hem shrugged. “Sounds doable. The trouble with freeing her is that she’s in stasis; it’ll take time to thaw her out.”

“I’ll find you a picture of the Drr’athan soon enough, although I can’t find him through the datapad network, I never really knew his name….” Hem trailed off. “We just called him Testy. It was the perfect name for a guy like him. None of us really knew what it meant, although it fit a bland guy like him.”

“Glad to hear it. Now….You’ll want to be on your way.” Theodat dropped a small sphere into Hem’s hands. “Don’t ask how I got this. It contains a very potent compound that can induce unconsciousness. If you ever need to do something drastic, drop it into an airvent and then inject yourself with this.” He handed Hem a syringe.

Hem grabbed the sphere and syringe, placing them into the front pocket of his city coat. No questions asked. “Now, where do you want me to take Tula once I get ahold of her?” he asked.

“My penthouse suite. On the Draskin Tower. I’ve had the palm-key programmed to let you in, so you shouldn’t have any problems.”

“Fair enough.” Hem nodded. Now it was time to put things in motion. “I’ll head off to the station as soon as I can.”

Theodat nodded. “Good luck.”

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Into the Maw of the Beast
Book the Second - "The Warden and the Dwarf"

Warden’s Log Orin Raith

Yesterday we entered the system of Koh’n Sint, a system that hosts the dangerous crime syndicate of the Ahn’zt Hae Senn. The four Ahn’zt Hae Senn trainees that we had carried with us in stasis from the Ahn’zt supply ship were dropped off.

There, I had yet another run in with the man known as Father, although I know him by his name, Hanz Yo’Akin. Considering the previous times we had encountered each other, I’m sure the Circle will remember my mission reports, this meeting was rather peaceful. No exploding stations, dismembered bodies, child prostitutes.

Hanz was willing to resupply our vessel – at a price. He wanted confirmation – transmitted by the AI we had seized from Adaira – that the Antian research lab we had boarded did indeed have live Qzin specimens on board. He also offered intel in the future provided my crew would be willing to do some missions that the Ahn’zt didn’t want to do themselves. I accepted – I think the Circle knows how well Ahn’zt Hae Senn intel is, frankly, I’m not even going to set aside the possibility that they have OUR sources infiltrated.

Also, Hanz let slip something about the Empire, y’know the one. I got the impression something is going on. I’d check it out, but……we’re technically fugitives.

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