Saturday, December 13, 2014

A Pirate's Life

Part 2 of Plans Go Awry

Last time, our heroes were beset by an insectoid looking spaceship. After a brief altercation, it fled and the Templars arrived at Pictoris Station.

Now to continue with our story.

As they approached the station, Rugen hailed for permission to dock. Silence. He tried again and again to no avail. Finally, he headed toward an empty bay and docked himself.

As they passed through the airlock into the station they were greeted by an eerie silence, as if no one was there. Yet they had seen several ships docked. What had happened to all the people, and especially the Station officials?

They strode through the station's corridors until they found something on the ground. A body! Investigating, they noticed that it seemed desiccated, as if it had been drained of its bodily fluids. In addition, there were strange marks on its body. Claw marks? They could not tell for certain.

The duo continued through the station, at high alert. Once again, an eerie silence permeated the place. That is, until they heard the sound of running footsteps. They looked down a corridor and saw a fleeing figure.that disappeared around a bend.

They followed the retreating figure a little way until they came to a barricade erected across the corridor.

"Halt mate! Don't ye come any closer," a voice called out from behind the barricade.

"Who's there? What's going on?" queried Rugen.

"Never ye mind, matey. Jest be on yer way." A man had thrust his head over the barricade. He began gesturing with a laser pistol.

"Is there danger? Can we be of assistance?" asked Rugen. He heard some voices behind the barricade. A figure appeared, aimed his pistol, and shot!

With nary a thought, Rugen drew his stun sword and blocked the shot. It ricocheted and struck their assailant. With a mighty leap, Rugen cleared the barricade. He found three figures. By their dress, they appeared to be Tellusian pirates. It wasn't his mission, but Rugen was not going to allow these menacing figures any more free reign. He slashed with his weapon while Tee jumped onto the barricade and began shooting at the pirates. Soon, the three figures had been rendered unconscious, but our heroes had also been wounded.

Suddenly, two more figures came around a corner. More pirates! Armed with laser cutlasses, they rushed into the attack, swinging their deadly blades. Rugen frantically parried, but some of their blows got through. Wincing in pain, Rugen continued to defend himself. Tee opened fire, taking out the smaller of the two figures. The other rushed him, knocking his blaster from his hands. Tee grappled the figure. Rugen struck with his blade and the pirate collapsed. 

Tee turned and thanked Rugen. Rugen shook his head in acknowledgement. Then with a thud, he collapsed to the ground.

What's next for our heroes? Find out in our next episode!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

A Bug in the System

Part 1 of Plans Go Awry!

In the last episode, Rugen and Tee had been tasked with retrieving stolen secrets from a criminal named Jacinto Barik. Taking a standard scout-class ship, they set out for Pictoris Station.

Our heroes leave hyperwarp and set a course for the orbital station around the rocky planet of Pictoris 3. Pictoris Station is a rough-and-tumble frontier post, populated by miners who make a living off the cold planet as well as shopkeepers and other, less savory persons who make a living off the miners. Even without sensors, Rugen could see the station as a glint of light framed by the dark planet. He opened a subspace frequency and requested permission to dock but he received no response. He tried again without luck.

"Strange," Rugen commented, "I thought we would be hailed by them."

"Perhaps interference," mused Tee as he fiddled with the subspace controls.

"I don't think so," remarked Rugen. There would be some indication on our monitors. Tee had to agree.

Moments later. another glint of light appeared. It seemed to be approaching.

"I guess it's a welcoming committee," joked Rugen. His android comrade did not get the joke.

Rugen tried hailing the approaching light, presumably another ship, but this too was silent. Yet it steadily drew closer. Soon it was close enough to view on long range sensors.

"What??" queried Rugen, for he has never seen such a ship. It looked like a big, black beetle. Rugen wondered if it was friendly. His question was soon answered when it opened fire! Laser beams blasted the hull and shook the scout.

Rugen's heads-up-display when the alien ship first attacked
 Rugen immediately launched his ship into combat maneuvers. He found himself in position to fire upon the enemy vessel but his shots were off target.

Rugen gets a shot.
 A swirling dogfight ensued. For a while, neither ship could get into a good firing position. Then, the alien pulled a tight turn and found itself honing in on the scout's flank. Lasers lanced toward the ship, scouring the hull. Warning lights buzzed, warning of a possible hull breach.

"Tee, see if you can do something!" commanded Rugen.

The scout takes more damage.
 Tee's scientific knowledge paid off and he was able to repair some of the damage. Meanwhile, Rugen jerked the ship into some radical maneuvering. The tables were reversed! Rugen pulled the trigger on his guns!

The alien in his sights.
Laser fire struck the alien's front. There was a small explosion, then the alien turned and fled from the battle.

"Sensors indicate that its weapons are out," announced Tee.

"Let's see if we can catch him, and find out what's going on!" Rugen replied. Alas, the alien ship  pulled away from the scout, and soon was gone.

"I guess we'll have to ask at Pictoris," concluded Rugen as he turned his ship's bow toward the gleaming station.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Plans Go Awry

Introduction to the next adventure in the Tales of the Templars

Rugen had just returned to Federation space and was looking forward to some much needed recuperation when he received a summons from the local Preceptor of the Templars. He sighed in frustration but rushed to the Preceptor's office and reported for duty.

"I am sorry to do this to you after your harrowing experience on Xarxes, but I have no one handy who can do the job and time is of the essence."

"I am happy to be of service/" Rugen replied. A little white lie; he would need to confess - later.

"Good," the Preceptor gave a wry smile. He must have seen through Rugen's pretense.

He continued. "A petty criminal named Jacinto Barik has acquired some rather sensitive Templar secrets. Naturally, we would like them returned."

"I presume that these secrets were acquired illicitly?"


"Why not ask the Star Patrol to arrest him?" Rugen asked.

"Ah, there are two difficulties with that plan. First, the Star Patrol is not always discreet. But most importantly, Barik is not in Federation space."

"I see. And where is he?"

"The Pictoris Station, located in Conclave space near the border with the Federation and the Dominion. And time is of the essence. If his buyer arrives before we do, then the secrets will be out. We need someone, you, to go to Pictoris and retrieve the secrets, before it is too late."

Before he knew it, Rugen and Tee were piloting a scout vessel en route to Pictoris station.

Stay tuned for Part 1 of our adventure - Plans Go Awry!

Saturday, November 29, 2014


The Thrilling Conclusion to the Arena of Xarxes

In our last episode, Rugen and Tee, with assistance from a Federation spy posing as a guard, escape from the arena.

Our trio of heroes rushed through the crowded streets of the city, anxiously looking behind for signs of pursuit. Fortunately, they saw no one chasing them, yet.

"Where are we heading?" Rugen asked, confused because they were heading away from the starport.

Their friend replied, "I have a ship on the outskirts of town, where the authorities won't think to look."

Shortly thereafter, they approached a dilapidated junk yard. "In there," the spy pointed. Just then, they noticed a pair of police patrolling the street among the crowds moving to and fro.

"Let's cross casually. They may not notice us," stated their rescuer. Rugen nervously nodded agreement. They hid their weapons and as nonchalantly as possible they crossed the road. As they approached the entrance to the junkyard, they heard a man call to them to stop. It was one of the patrolmen.

"Inside!" yelled the spy as he opened the gate. Rugen and Tee rushed in while their friend pulled out his blaster and began shooting at the police. Winged by a shot, the officer went down, calling for assistance. The trio began running for the scout ship hidden in the yard. The second officer pursued, and began shooting at the fleeing Federation operatives. Bolts of energy whizzed by them but they safely made it to the ship, ran up the open gangplank, and closed the hatch behind them. The spy jumped into the pilot's seat and began flight preparations. Rugen manned the mini-laser turret and returned fire on the Xarxes officer, who fled for safety. The engines roared to life and with a jolt the ship catapulted into the sky!

Soon they were in orbit with no hint of pursuit.

"It won't be long until they are after us." stated the spy as he began making calculations for hyperwarp.

"Let me," stated Tee as he settled into the navigators spot. Tee then began making calculations to take them back to Federation space.

Their respite was not long. Within minutes, an Imperial fighter flew into view, rapidly gaining on them. Rugen yelled a warning, then opened fire. His shots were true, and the fighter spun off into space. Another fighter rushed by its stricken comrade. Laser bolts lanced from its cannons, tracers whizzing by our trio's scout.

"Almost got it," stated Tee.

The spy began evasive maneuvers. The enemy fighter could not get a lock on the scout. Rugen returned fire, but lacked his earlier success. Then, without warning, the scout bucked and the stars seemed to spin. Hyperwarp! They were free from the Arena of Xarxes and headed to Federation space!


Saturday, November 22, 2014

A Chance to Escape!

Part 3 of the Arena of Xarxes

For weeks, Rugen and Tee were forced to fight, taking wounds and suffering the incessant mocking of the Inquisitor. Once again they were heading to the arena.

As Rugen and Tee entered the gates to the arena, they were met by a familiar face, the Inquisitor. He gave them his mocking smile and spoke. "This may very well be your last chance. Will you give me the plans?"

"Save your breath, Imperial stooge. You will never break us."

The Inquisitor's smile faded at the jibe. "You will regret your decision. Today will be the day." He then strode off.

Their guard then spoke. "He is correct about one thing. Today IS the day."

Rugen looked at him. It was the same guard who encouraged them to have courage many weeks ago.

"You will know when it is time to act," the guard continued, looking around warily as he prompted them to head in to the killing field.

Moments later, Rugen and Tee stood in the middle of the arena, clubs in hand. The doors opposite them opened and out rushed a gargantuan, insectoid creature with large, slavering mandibles - an ankheg!

Rugen's eyes widened, but then he screamed defiance and charged. Tee followed his comrade. They circled the monster, trying to avoid its mandibles while finding an opening to strike. Alas, when they hit, their clubs did no damage to the hard exoskeleton. Fortunately, they were faster than the creature and managed to avoid its jaws. Then, it reared back and spewed a stream of acid from its mouth. The potent liquid struck Rugen in the leg. He went down. The ankheg rushed forward, eager to finish off his prey, but Rugen rolled to the side, scrambled to his feet, and got out of range.

Puffing with exertion, Rugen called over to Tee: "What can we do?" Tee could only shrug. But then a voice called out. "Here!" They looked, and from the crowd two thrown objects spun through the air and landed near the heroes. Rugen smiled - one was his stun sword and the other was Tee's blaster.

Rugen dove for the weapons, tossed the blaster to Tee, then reached for the stun sword. The ankheg rushed forward, its slavering mandibles slashing at Rugen's wounded leg. Rugen rolled and struck upward, his sword set to full power. The laser-like blade thrust deep into the creature's jaw. It screamed in pain and recoiled, green blood spewing over Rugen. Tee opened up with the blaster, scoring more hits on the insectoid.

The crowd roared with delight, believing that the new weapons were merely part of the entertainment. One of the guards looked at the Inquisitor. He scowled, but then shook his head. "Let's see if the ankheg can finish them off. If not, open fire."

Meanwhile, Rugen and Tee circled warily while the thing periodically rushed them. They managed to get hits in while avoiding more wounds. The ankheg seemed to be weakening, but it maneuvered Rugen into a corner. With a blood-chilling screech, it charged. Tee opened fire - his accurate shots severed the beast's front leg. It fell and slipped forward, its mandibles reaching for the cornered Templar. Then, with an agile spring, Rugen leaped over the creature's head, landed on its back, and struck with his blade, severing the ankheg's head from its body.

"Fire!" yelled the Inquisitor, and a hail of laser bolts pierced the air around the duo. Then they heard their friend call out: "Over here!" He was guarding one of the exits. Rugen and Tee rushed toward him, laser shots streaking by. One shot clipped Tee and he fell for a moment. He scrambled back to his feet and they made it to the exit, with their friend providing cover. Cheers from the crowd echoed in their ears as they ran down the corridor, and directly into a menacing figure.

"So you thought you could escape," the Inquisitor mocked, "You will see how wrong you are. You will wish you had died in the arena."

"He's mine," ordered Rugen, and he stepped forward, his stun sword at the ready. The Inquisitor likewise readied himself. They began a series of lightning strikes and parries, their swords sending off sparks in the gloom of the corridor. Rugen's wounds leaked blood and he seemed to weaken. When he slipped, the Inquisitor struck. Rugen was ready. He parried and then counterattacked; his blade slicing into the Inquisitor's arm. The Inquisitor howled and struck back. Rugen felt the force blade stab into his leg. He fell. The Inquisitor rushed forward, but Rugen lunged from his knees. His blade sunk deep into the Inquisitor's stomach. Blood spurted out and the Inquisitor collapsed. Rugen fell on top of him.

"Let's hurry! I have a ship waiting." yelled their friend. Tee and the guard picked up Rugen and they rushed into the streets of Xarxes. Soon, the were lost in the crowd.

Stay tuned for the final episode!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Death in the Arena

Part 2 of the Arena of Xarxes

Wounded in his first fight in the arena, Rugen was escorted under armed guard to the medic. Before the doctor could attend to his wounds, the Inquisitor arrived.

"Do not fret, Templar," the Inquisitor commanded, "we will patch up those wounds. We have far more in store for you."

Rugen replied with a sarcastic "Thanks."

The Imperial snorted in derision. "You may not thank me after your treatment. On my orders, the doctor will not be using standard medical technology. He will be using paroxymed."

Rugen's eyes widened slightly. Most people would not have noticed, but an Imperial Inquisitor is not most people.

"Ah, so you have heard of it," the Inquisitor continued. "It is very effective in healing any wounds, so you will be back in the gladiator pit in no time. Of course, its healing process is very painful, akin to the proverbial rubbing salt into a wound, although much more, er, uncomfortable."

The doctor arrived and began treatment. Rugen was roughly strapped to the treatment table. As the Inquisitor walked from the room, he chuckled while Rugen's screams echoed off the walls.

Once Rugen's wounds were healed, he and Tee were brought to the arena once again.

This time, the opposing doors opened and out rushed four large, powerfully built men practically naked from the waist up. They wielded an assortment of wicked looking two-handed axes.

"Brutians," stated Tee. "They love nothing better than to kill."

Soon, the Brutians were upon them, hacking away with their axes. Our heroes dodged, ducked, and parried, trying to stay away from the nasty blades. Rugen parried one attack, but this left him open to another one of the enemy. He swung; Rugen managed to get his club in the way, but the power of the blow pushed aside his club. The axe buried itself in his arm. Rugen screamed, then riposted madly. His blow caught the Brutian on the side of the head and the enemy collapsed in the heap. The other opponent facing him slashed at Rugen's legs. Rugen managed to skip away, but the blade grazed his thigh, opening another deep wound.

Meanwhile, Tee was facing his own assault but his android reflexes prevented any blows from landing. One of the Brutians took a wild slash. Unbalanced, he spun around slightly. Tee wasted no time in landing a shot to his head. Another Brutian was down. 

Before Tee knew what was happening, the remaining Brutian facing him leaped upon his back. Normally, an android would have no difficulty grappling with a humanoid, but the Brutians are incredibly powerful. The Brutian kept Tee's arms in his grip while he beat relentlessly upon Tee's skull. In moment's, Tee sank to his knees then collapsed face first into the sand. The Brutian stood and raised his ax over his head, ready to strike a killing blow on Tee.

Suddenly, the Brutian felt a weight hit his back. He stumbled forward and fell into the dirt. Regaining his feet, he turned and saw a bleeding Rugen standing in front of Tee. All the other Brutians lay dead upon the sand. Screaming in rage, the Brutian rushed the Templar. Despite his wounds, Rugen easily parried the blows. Stepping inside the ax's blade, Rugen jammed his club into the Brutian's guts. While the barbarian doubled over and struggled to regain his breath, Rugen spun, raised his club, and brought it down upon the Brutian's head. The last opponent crashed to the earth.

Rugen rushed to Tee's side, anxious to determine if he still functioned. As he checked for vitals, he heard a voice behind.

"Tsk, tsk. Such a waste."

Rugen turned to see the Inquisitor standing over him.

"Oh, don't worry Templar. We will fix your friend . . . this time. Of course, who knows what might happen in later fights? But then, this could all be avoided . . ."

"What are you talking about?" Rugen growled.

"The plans, Templar. Give them to me and you both will be safe."

"Never!" Rugen yelled as he leaped forward and rushed the Inquisitor. Suddenly, a flash of pain raced through his nervous system and he collapsed.

"Uh, uh, Templar. You should know better than that," the Inquisitor stated as he held up a hand-sized electronic device. The Inquisitor glanced at the device, smiled, and simply said, "the controls to that collar of yours."

Stay tuned for part 3!

Saturday, October 18, 2014


Part 1 of the Arena of Xarxes

In our last episode, our heroes' ship was destroyed by an Imperial cruiser. They jettisoned successfully but were caught up in a tractor beam.

They were taken inside the airlock, where they were met by a squad of Imperial troopers with blasters leveled. Having no choice, our heroes surrendered. They were taken into custody and interrogated extensively, but they would not divulge the fate of the research. After many fruitless sessions, the interrogator had to report to the captain.

"So they still will not talk?"

"No Captain," the Inquisitor replied. "The Templar's discipline is too strong and the other is an android. None of our usual methods will work on an artificial being."

"Have your engineers tried to hack into his cerebral processors?"

"Yes, sir. However, the information has been encoded and protected. We cannot access it without frying its entire system."

"So? One less Federation robot the better."

"But it would also fry the information, Captain."

"Pity. It appears that there is nothing left to do. Dispose of them."

"Wait, sir. I may have a better idea," replied the Inquisitor with an evil smirk upon his face.

Days later, our heroes were transported to the Imperial planet Xarxes. It was arid, squalid, and brutal. The Xarxians' favorite past time was gladiator games, and Rugen and Tee became the latest participants in this brutal sport. Stripped of their uniforms, fitted with obedience collars, dressed in the traditional breech-cloth of Xarxian gladiators, and armed with rudimentary clubs, they were escorted to the arena by blaster-toting guards. At the entrance to the arena, they were met with an Imperial Interrogator.

"Welcome to your new life, Federation stooges. You will now entertain us, and risk death every day. Of course, there is a way out. Turn over the research plans and I will change your assignment. Oh, you will still be slaves, but I can find you a much less dangerous post."

"Save your breath, Inquisitor, we will not betray the Federation." Rugen retorted.

The Inquisitor snorted, then ordered them to be escorted into the arena.

Rugen and Tee walked into a large, dusty, oval field surrounded by stands. The stands were filled with cheering patrons. Workers were cleaning up the remains of the last bout, shoveling body parts onto a grav sled. Speakers blared and the workers hurried from the field. Then, a door across the field from our heroes opened. Out rushed a swarm of short, bluish creatures with sharp teeth and long claws.

The enemy
Our heroes advanced upon the creatures, swinging their clubs. Rugen connected, swatting the little gremlins aside. They were weak, so one blow would incapacitate them. Unfortunately, they seemed to many to count! The beastly beings swarmed around the legs of our heroes, slashing and clawing. A group of them managed to trip Tee. He fell flat on this back. One of the gremlins leaped at his face, ready to claw his eyes out. Rugen knocked aside his attackers, spun, and smashed the gremlin attacking Tee. The android was able to scramble to his feet, kicking aside the creatures.

Rugen and Tee stood back to back, fending off the gremlins each time they surged forward. One managed to leap upon Rugen's arm and take a deep bite. Rugen screamed in pain but managed to shake off the beast. Another was able to dig its claws into Rugen's abdomen, tearing away at the flesh before Rugen brained it.

Nevertheless, the clubs of our heroes whittled down the horde's numbers, until only one remained, Finding itself alone, it ran away in fear for its life, but one of the guards blasted it into oblivion with his laser rifle. Rugen, his blood pooling at his feet, and Tee remained standing.

Rifle-armed guards escorted the duo of the field. As they exited, the Inquisitor was there. He ordered the guards to escort Rugen to the medics. "After all, we do not want him to die before his time."

One of the guards was assigned escort duty. Once they got out of earshot of the Inquisitor, the guard whispered, "Have courage. Help is on the way."

Stay tuned for part 2 of the Arena of Xarxes.

Saturday, July 12, 2014


The Conclusion of the Caverns of Tantalus

Our heroes are trying to recover some critical research before it falls into Imperial hands. They entered the Caverns of Tantalus and in the last episode reached the laboratories. They are facing a deranged security bot. More from Rugen's video log:

We turned and saw the security bot level its blaster at us.

"Wai . . ." I began to cry out but I was too late. An energy bolt discharged from the blaster!

Tee and I were encased in a sparkling energy field, but we felt no pain or adverse affect.

"An electrostatic defense field," the bot explained. "It will provide additional defensive benefits."

Relieved and thankful, we left and headed immediately to the laboratory's central control room, where we would find the research.

We made it to the room without incident and rushed inside. On the floor lay a burning security bot. Beyond it was a man, he looked like a scientist, and a looming hulk. The figure turned upon hearing our entry. It was an Imperial soldier in a full battle suit. He leveled his weapons at us and began to blast away. Tee ducked for cover and began to return fire. I leaped up and forward, clearing the beams of lethal energy and landing next to the Imperial. Flicking my sword to full power, I thrust its blade into the armor. Sparks showered the room. The soldier swung his arm at me, knocking me aside. He pointed his blaster at me and fired. I rolled to one side, but still felt the heat of the beam scourge my skin. I gritted from the pain, spun, and landed another blow.

The Imperial retracted his blaster and engaged his own stun sword. I stood ready to meet his attack, when I felt something hit my side. I turned for a fraction of a second to see the scientist with a light laser in his hands. He must have shot me, but the security bot's electrostatic defense deflected the beam. Tee took aim and stunned the scientist with one shot.

I turned back to the Imperial soldier. He began hacking at me but I parried his blows. Back and forth we went, until I finally spied an opening. I thrust; it penetrated the armor. I could hear the soldier grunt, then he collapsed.

We woke the scientist. "Where is it?" I demanded.

He laughed at me. "Do you really think you can make me talk?" he scoffed. "Even if you do find it, you are doomed. I alerted my comrades. There is an Imperial cruiser waiting for you."

We tied him up and rapidly searched the room until we found the research files and downloaded them onto a disk. We then destroyed the computers and fled.

Soon, we were racing through the atmosphere and into space. Sure enough, there was an Imperial cruiser waiting for us. Our runabout was faster, however, and we began to outpace them. Unfortunately, they were heavily armed and blaster fire began to light up the sky around us. 

"Make it quick!" I yelled to Tee as he worked on the navigation calculation to take us into hyperwarp. Then I engaged the remote turret and began firing at the cruiser. Perhaps a lucky shot could distract them. As luck would have it, an explosion shot from their hull. One of their gun emplacements had been crippled!

Unfortunately, too many turrets remained. They opened fire. An explosion ripped through our shuttle. Our roundabout began to spin uncontrollably. A hull breach! Tee had to stop his navigation calculations to deal with the breach. More enemy fire and more explosions! Our engines had been hit.

"We need to abandon ship." Tee stated.

"We need to destroy the research first!" I said.

"Wait. give it to me." I gave Tee the disk and he downloaded it into his memory banks

"Do not worry. They will not be able to hack into it."

I nodded and used my sword to melt down the disk. I then donned an escape suit and the two of us jettisoned from the disintegrating ship. In a moment, the cruiser loomed above us. A tractor beam caught us in its grip and pulled us into the enemy ship.

What's next for our heroes? Find out in the next episode of


(and it won't take 5 months either).

Saturday, June 28, 2014

The Kobold Caverns

A Rowan Adventure

Our heroes, the Templar Rowan, the druidess Lyla, the assassin Snake, and the priest Jacor, learned that kobolds claimed an ancient dwarven mine and were launching raids on the neighboring villages. They were assigned the task of infiltrating the mine and ending the kobold menace.

Here is Rowan's report:

We made our way safely to the entrance to the mine and entered. As we meandered through the caverns we were beset by a horde of kobolds. We managed to beat them off with no difficulty. As we entered the next, rough-hewn cavern we heard a rumbling sound. Suddenly rocks began falling upon us. My comrades managed to dodge clear but a large rock struck me upon the head. I was knocked to the ground and received a mild concussion.

We continued through the caverns, more kobolds. We also encountered swarms of rat but Lyla charmed them and sent them away. Then we entered a barren room. From a corner we heard clanking sounds. An ancient dwarven construct rose up and attacked. We battled it but it knocked me to the ground. As it directed its attention to me the Snake sneaked around behind it. With a precision strike, he thrust his blade into one of the servos, crippling the machine.

Proceeding forward we entered the cavern of the Kobold King. He was several times larger than the usual kobold and towered above us. He wielded a large spiked club. He struck me with it and I was knocked unconscious. He then turned upon Snake and Lyla. Jacor took the opportunity to heal me and I stood up groggily. I returned to the fray and together we took him down.

At this time, we were wounded and in need of rest. We established, set the watch, and rested up. After a day, we were attacked by more kobolds but killed them.

We reached a mine shaft and lowered ourselves down, reaching the lower level of the mine. We encountered a pair of rock men and with difficulty defeated them. We meandered through more passages; fortunately we encountered no more foes. Finally, we entered a huge cavern. In the center was a pile of treasure, and upon it sat a fire serpent, a large dragon-like creature.

We immediately went upon  the attack. It struck me, then struck Lyla and Snake. It then reared back and belched fire upon us. The flames licked upon us and seared our skin. Jacor healed when he could, keeping us in the fight. We managed to get in some telling blows. I then rushed in and with a mightly lunge struck deep into the wyrm's vitals. He thrashed around, giving Lyla the opportunity to send a hail of rock-hard thorns into the beast's heart. With a roar, it collapsed and breathed its last.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Silver Psalter

After a very long hiatus, we finally finished the quest for the Sliver Psalter.

 In the last report, the party had been attacked by goblins during the night and then finally reached the ruins of the Monastery of St. Magnus.

Here is Brother Rowan's report:

Once we reached the monastery we poked through the ruins but found nothing of significance. We then decided to proceed into the monastery's catacombs.We wound through the twisting corridors until we heard a clanking, metallic noise above us. Looking up, we could see a metal with with sharpened iron spikes falling toward us. Lyla the druid and Jacor the priest managed to dive clear but Snake the reformed assassin and I were wounded when the spikes impaled our limbs. Fortunately Jacor was able to heal us and we could proceed. We then ran into a party of goblins but we dispatched them without much difficulty. We found that they were guarding a room with human captives chained to the wall. After we released them they told us that the captives were being used in human sacrifices. They also warned us of a giant spider in a nearby room. We avoided that path and went in another direction.

A little way further into the catacombs, we ran into three slavering worgs. After a mighty battle, we dispatched the dread beasts. Then we walked into a lair with more worgs forcing us to fight another pitched battle. After a little rest and recuperation, we were able to proceed.

Eventually, we found our way into a room used by the goblins. Tables and chair were strewn around. Only one goblin was in the room, but he was a major threat. Sitting upon what looked like a wooden throne was a massive, brutish goblin. When he saw us, he bellowed in rage and attacked with two spiked flails. I was able to block an attack with my shield, leaving the brute open to attack. My comrades did not hesitate. Under our assaults, the goblin lord fell. It was in this room that we found the blessed sword that is now in my possession.

The goblin lord was protecting the entrance to the crypts one level below. We climbed down the stairs into this lower level. In our first encounter on this level, we found ourselves engulfed in smoke. The odor of sulfur filled the air. Then the smoke parted and a demonic creature attacked. He grabbed me by the throat, nearly strangling me, until he threw me to the floor. The rest of the party responded. Jacor called upon the judgment of the Lord to smite the entity while Lyla used the power of nature to scourge its material form. Snake was able to sneak around and backstab it. With their attacks distracting the demon, I was able to rise and strike it as well. Together, we were able to vanquish the fell creature.

Throughout this level, we encountered a number of demonic or undead beings, including skeletons, imps, and hellish hounds, until we finally found our way into a crypt filled with tombs. In this crypt was a man on robes surrounded by animated corpses. Horrifyingly, this necromancer was raising the deceased as zombies!

We rushed to the attack, but the zombies blocked our path to the necromancer. Snake and I tried to cut through them while Jacor and Lyla used their powers to strike the necromancer. We began to take wounds so Jacor had to switch to healing. Whenever we would destroy one of the zombies, another would take its place. The powers of the priest and druid won out, however, and the necromancer fell. From then on, it was not difficult to mop up the remaining zombies. Searching the necromancer, we found the Silver Psalter, which we have duly returned to the Temple. 

Game note - the general "plot" was inspired by an adventure written for the Dead Simple RPG. Go the Dead Simple page for some great stuff.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

The Laboratories

Part 3 of the Caverns of Tantalus

In the last episode, Rugen and Tee survived a pit trap and an attack from a giant spider. They found the entrance to the laboratories on the lower level.

We made our way down the metal staircase that took us into the laboratories that had been meticulously excavated from the caverns. Instead of rock, the walls and floors were made of metal. As we carefully wound through the hallways, we heard the clank of footsteps on the metallic flooring. I peered around the corner. Two armed men in gleaming red power suits stood in the hall, blasters drawn. Fortunately, they faced away from me.

"Imperial legionnaires," I whispered.

That was my mistake. The artificial walkways acted as an echo chamber and the sound of my whisper carried to the troopers. They turned and fired but I ducked behind the corner. I could hear them rushing towards us. I looked at Tee; he nodded; in a blink of an eye, our plan was set.

We jumped into the hallway, surprising our foe. I leaped forward and slashed my foe. My stun blade shorted his suit and he collapsed. The other trooper turned toward me, but Tee blasted him. He stumbled backward, wounded but saved by his suit. He tried to activate his comm device, but I was too quick. My blade hacked through his helm and he went down as well.

We tried to find our way through the maze of corridors but soon became lost. We entered a room that held a lot of technical equipment. As we peered around, we heard a voice.

"Halt!" it commanded.

We turned to look. Facing us with a drawn blaster was a Federation security bot.

"What is your business here?" it demanded.

"We are Templars serving as agents on behalf of the Federation. We are acting on official business."

"What is the password?"

My mouth dropped. Password? I looked at Tee, my expression of surprise clearly indicating that I did not recall receiving a security password during our mission briefing. Tee just shrugged his shoulders.

"If you cannot provide a password, you are clearly intruders. Prepare for elimination." The bot raised its blaster at us.

"Elimination? Wait!!!" I yelled, raising my hands.

"Password reset, authorization code Alpha 3281 Uniform Tango." Tee commanded.

"Password reset initiated," replied the bot. "State Federation security ID code."

Tee then rattled off his ID code and proceeded through the lengthy security protocol. We were then rewarded with a friendly "Password has been reset. Welcome to Inventory."

We then had a brief conversation with the bot. It had not seen any Imperial troopers but it was able to provide us directions to the main laboratory. With a courteous but unnecessary thank you we headed to the door. 

"Remind me to have a little talk with Mission Planning." I commented to Tee.

Just then we heard a stern "Halt!" I turned to see the bot pointing its blaster on us again!

Will Rugen and Tee survive the fickle moods of a deranged security bot? Tune in to find out in the next episode of . . .


Sunday, February 2, 2014

A Creepy Crawly in the Caverns

Part 2 of the Caverns of Tantalus

Last time, our heroes fell into a pit trap but Rugen managed to grab the edge, and Tee, before plunging into the yawing, bottomless, chasm. Let's return to the action.

I began to slide into the abyss. Suddenly, I felt two strong hands grasp my arms. I looked up. Tee had made it to the ledge and was pulling me up. Saved!

Once we were again standing in the cavern, Tee easily jumped across the pit. He then threw me a rope. I swung over and rappelled up to the other side. From there, we continued to make our way through the cavern, using the oil trail as our guide.

Finally, we came to a door cleverly disguised in the rocky wall. Nevertheless, there was a small control panel. Tee accessed it and began to try various passwords to open the door. As he was doing this, a tremor shook the caverns and rocks began falling on our heads. We took cover as best as we could by kneeling up against the wall. Fortunately, the tremor subsided, but it left us distracted and unaware.

That's when I felt it. A large mass fell upon my back and I felt a stabbing pain in my shoulder. Howling with surprise, I spun my body, flinging the mass to the ground. It was a large spider-like creature.

I felt a searing in my flesh. I recited a quick prayer, and the pain subsided. The monstrosity circled, looking for an opening. It pounced again, but our reactions were faster. Tee blasted it with his laser while I struck it with my stun blade. The impacts knocked the creature to the ground, wounded and dazed. We did not hesitate but attacked again. I leaped upon the spider-thing while Tee shot again. Both our attacks struck home and the monster was finished.

Tee was then able to return to the control panel and shortly thereafter the door opened. We gazed down a flight of stairs into the gloom of the research station's laboratories.

Tune in next time for Part 3!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

The Caverns of Tantalus

A New Space Templars Adventure

In neutral space between the Federation and the Empire, disaster has befallen a Federation scientific expedition. On the planet Tantalus, the scientists had been studying the indigenous life forms when a series of severe meteor showers forced their evacuation. Unfortunately, some prized research was left behind. It is of such a sensitive nature that it cannot fall into the hands of Imperial agents. Sending the Federation military to the planet could spark a major confrontation with the Empire so the Temple has volunteered to send two of their agents. The task has fallen to Brother Rugen and his trusty robotic sidekick Tee.

[Note: The adventure outline can be found here.]

Here is a summary of Rugen's video record:

Tee and I landed upon Tantalus very close to the caverns that housed the scientific station. We cloaked our vessel and proceeded on foot to the entrance. We encountered no danger along the way.

When we entered the caverns, Tee immediately spotted a trail of brownish liquid upon the ground. He bent to investigate it, touching his finger to the viscous fluid. His eyes performed a spectrographic scan and with his lips he "tasted" the liquid, performing additional scans.

"Bad news," he reported, "M351 oil."

"Imperial," I replied anxiously. They had obviously arrived before us and had some machinery in the caverns.

"It looks like they knew where they were going. We can follow it."

[Note: I rolled a boon for the first encounter. The oil trail may not look like good news, but I decided to create a trail that will help them find their way through the caverns.]

We proceeded into the caverns, following the trail of oil. At one point, the oil trail abruptly ended and then began again several feet further into the cavern. Foolishly, we continued to walk forward while we discussed the implications of this turn of events. Suddenly, the floor opened and we found ourselves falling into a deep pit. Frantically I reached out and just managed to grab the rim of the pit. Tee fell past me so with my other hand I grabbed his arm. He swung, hitting the side of the pit with a sickening thunk. I looked down and saw a rock, dislodged by our fall, dropping into the pit. I watched it until it disappeared into the blackness. I kept waiting, but never heard it hit the bottom.

My attention was diverted, however, as fingers began to slide from the rim of the pit.

"Tee, I can't hold very long! You need to get up."

"The servo in my knee is malfunctioning. I cannot move my leg at this moment."

"Use your other leg! Just hurry!"

Tee starting swinging in an effort to grasp the ledge himself. As he did so, my fingers continued to slide.

"Almost got it!"


At that moment, my I lost my grip. I began to slide into the abyss.

Tune in next time for Part 2!