On the far side of Zalxuc City from a certain bacta tank warehouse Verjylla, accompanied by The Wookiee and Bas, were meeting with Lieutenant Blaine Averre and his four-being Alliance SpecOps team to organize their journey to the port so that they could join the Borrowed Time when it left Thyferra. It was late at night, and Averre’s team had been laying low for a few days, so they simply planned to drive an acquired landspeeder to the port. No sooner had they settled on the route, however, than a small but respectable fireball and accompanying mushroom cloud blossomed on the other side of the city with a window-shattering roar. Near or at a certain bacta tank warehouse, in fact. With the sigh typical of long-suffering Bothans surrounded by maniacs, Verjylla opened a channel on her personal comlink. Sure enough, Nak was already yelling over it.
Cole had been unceremoniously dunked in a stolen bacta tank and was currently bobbing around sans left leg. Bee’f was curled up in a ball, inconsolable after the loss of his Caleb Special force pike/flame projector. Cole’s security droid was acting a little weird; talking, for one thing. Caleb was driving the cargo hover truck, an act which almost never ended well, and Nak herself was in the back with their stolen cargo and a couple of Ashern Vratix. Yes, they had also blown up the warehouse, but it was okay! There had been an Inquisitor inside. Nak was pretty certain they’d definitely killed him, this time.
Verjylla quite calmly responded that she wasn’t surprised, and sent a quick message to Pendragon aboard the Last Ditch to get the ‘peg leg’ style prosthetic she’d ordered ready for Cole; ever since she’d lost her own left leg saving the drunk from the Mandalorian Inquisitor, she’d assumed this was inevitable. She then informed Nak that they’d rendezvoused with Averre and would be heading to meet the hover truck on the way to the spaceport. There was the slight issue that nobody aside from Bas was capable of operating a landspeeder under duress, and the one they had wasn’t made for Sluissi; Averre had lost his driver along with his slicer to the Beast days before. This left Bas at the steering controls, and The Wookie having to push the pedals for him.
As Caleb tried to ‘drive casual’, Nak pulled up the rear door of the hovertruck so that she could peer out the back. Seeing the Trandoshan’s efforts a pair of Ashern Vratix grabbed the door with their claws and held it a few inches off the deck, allowing Nak to fully focus on battle preparations. A team-wide transmission came in from Captain Pontay, informing the Borrowed Time crew that corporate security was acting like a kicked gundark nest, and advised them to hurry it up; in the distance they could see the Sleight of Hand blasting off and racing for space. Sure enough, a small swarm of police speeders came hurtling towards the hover truck, lights blazing . . . and soared right past it, heading towards the burning crater that was the warehouse. Everyone in the truck breathed a sigh of relief.
They had only made it several more blocks, however, when Nak spotted two Imperial – not corporate – speeder bikes dropping in behind the hover truck and closing fast. She noted that they were wearing shoulder pauldrons, as some types and ranks of stormtrooper do, but she had never seen any in dark maroon before. Well, that was a detail for later; in the moment Nak pulled out a pair of frag grenades, armed them, and gently rolled them off the back of the truck. Thanks to a recently purchased Master Grenadier talent both troopers were hurled from their bikes, riddled with shrapnel, and Caleb picked up speed as explosions once again broke the night-time silence.
It wasn’t too long before a quartet of more speeder bikes and a sealed landspeeder with a turret on the back zipped out of a side street behind the truck and began pursuit, the bikes striking the back of the truck with repeating blaster fire. Nak tried to roll grenades again, but was unable to land a second hit; she did, however, force two of the bikes to swerve away down a side street. Caleb, struggling to control the hover truck with some of its repulsorlifts knocked out, tried to race ahead but only managed to knock over a few streetlights; advantage was spent to use the bouncing wreckage to slow the Imperials down, but they remained in range.
As the speeder bikes raked the hover truck with more blaster fire and the Imperial landspeeder fired a blast from its ion gun (which thankfully missed) the landspeeder carrying Verjylla and the others barreled into the situation, heading the opposite way. AL, Cole’s security droid, took the chance to excercise his growing initiative and sentience to hop on with his jet pack as they passed, figuring it would be easier to hit the Imperials with his vibroswords if someone drove him closer first. Averre’s team took a few shots at the speeder bikes as they went past, but were unable to land a hit. The bikes began to pull alongside the hover truck, with both troopers reaching for something on their belts.
Suddenly, Nak took a flying leap out of the truck’s side door, intent on boarding one of the bikes and ditching its original driver. Unfortunately the Trandoshan had misjudged the speed and distance: instead of landing on the bike she was only able to strike its chassis with a claw as she went hurtling past before slamming into the ground and bouncing end over end in a whirlwind of hissed curses. A Triumph, however, ‘bounced’ the speeder bike up and into the cargo area of the hover truck. The Ashern Vratix were ready and waiting, claws sharpened. There was a bit of screaming, and that was that.
As the Imperial and Rebel landspeeders started a game of chicken, AL triggered his jetpack and blasted ahead to land on the hood of the enemy vehicle. Punching one vibrosword through the transparisteel window, the former police droid slammed the hilt of his other sword into it, shattering the window and revealing the two suddenly terrified stormtroopers within. He informed them, matter-of-factly, that firing vehicle-grade weapons in a residential area was highly illegal. Old programming still held in places, it seemed. It was about that time that The Wookiee, having leaped from Verjylla’s landspeeder, slid along the hood feet first with her vibroaxe. The Chadra-Fan commando slid right between AL’s legs and into the front seat. There was a bit more screaming, and that too was that.
Back with the hover truck Caleb swerved the ponderous vehicle in an attempt to crush the remaining speeder bike, but the Imperial merely slammed on his brakes and blew out another of the truck’s repulsorlifts. Nak, picking herself off of the ground, raised her blaster rifle and took a shot which, while it didn’t hit the trooper, had enough advantage to convince him that discretion was the better part of valor. As he darted away to safety Caleb attempted to regain control of the hover truck; with a roll that had Caleb staunchly refusing to ever be the driver again, he failed. Fortunately he had enough advantage to make sure that the hover truck was equipped with very effective crash foam.
Bas, Verjylla, and Averre’s team pulled alongside the truck, which had scraped its way along several buildings before coming to a stop. Bas handed over the controls to a reluctant SpecOps agent before slithering over to the truck. One excessively lucky mechanics check later the truck was at least mobile again; Caleb used his armor’s strength enhancement to shatter the now-hardened crash foam and began to continue the drive to the spaceport. A frustrated and snarling Nak, who was unwittingly frightening people who were looking out their windows to see what all the noise was about, was picked up by AL and The Wookiee in their commandeered landspeeder.
Along the way Verjylla began recording an interview with Averre, dubbing the human the Red Lion of the Alliance for his red hair and hamming up what had just happened. The Lieutenant was reluctant to appear in the Rebel Yell, but the Bothan was convincing and he gradually understood the need for as many propaganda coups as the Alliance could get. They were just wrapping up the recording when the stolen bacta tanks, including Cole’s, were loaded aboard and everyone took their stations aboard ship. It looked like the Borrowed Time had managed to steal another successful escape from the Empire . . .
If their more proactive stance in this log’s events didn’t give it away, this session marked the return of Verjylla and The Wookiee as full player characters since their conversion to NPCs after the events of Part 13! Of course, it had been some time since their players had been in the loop, and it had been a while since the last session for everyone, so a bit of a refresher was required. Knowing that, I decided to refresh my own memory by, well, re-reading the previous Adventure Log articles!
This is some pretty meta advice, an Adventure Log suggesting you write Adventure Logs, but there are a lot of potential benefits to writing up session summaries or a campaign journal or whatever else you might want to call it. Even if you’re good at scribbling down notes when you’re planning your games or during them, something I’m not really the best at myself, they might not always tell you the full story. Even the best memories will eventually fade, and little details like who did what, NPC names, and the like will be lost. So one of the immediate benefits of writing an adventure log is to create a record of the game’s events and story for the GM, and potentially the players (hey gang!), to review later on, whether for catching up after an absence or hiatus or a reminder of who exactly that one NPC with the thing in the place was.
A second benefit is obviously being able to share the game with others. As a GM you have this entire story sitting in your head, and there are maybe parts of it that the players never get to see, and even what does get out of your head and on to the table only gets enjoyed by a relatively small (or not so small, looking at you Borrowed Time) group of people. That’s a modest audience for any storyteller, so if your chosen medium for writing your log is online, you can easily share it with others on a forum, a website (wink wink), or blog! There’s also the distinct possibility that you’ll be helping other GMs out by giving them great ideas! I won’t go into details because some of the players might wander through here, but more than one facet of Perils of the Warp was inspired by reading what was basically someone else’s adventure log. GMs use movies, books, etc., as inspiration all the time, so why not fun stories from other campaigns?
Here’s a really cool thought, though: who says it has to be the GM writing the log? What about a player? What about a player writing the log in character? This takes the onus off of the GM, sure, but that’s not the only benefit. If you the player are writing the log in character, it’s a good little exercise to help you develop that character, and get yourself thinking about what that character thought about the recent events. If more than one player is doing so it can be interesting to see what their characters’ different perspectives lend to the log: what do some notice that others don’t, what do they prioritize, how do they feel about their fellow party members’ actions? The last time I was a 4th Edition D&D player I wrote a log every few sessions as my bard, for roughly 20 levels. It was challenging in places (every time I missed a session I’d have to get my information second hand, which was interesting in its own way, and I often knew things that poor Abe had no clue about so I had to leave them out), but it was a lot of fun, and re-reading them is still enjoyable.
Until next time, go play some games and have a good time! I’ll see you all then as the crew go back to piratical habits, try to add to their fleet, and get caught in traps within traps in the next installment of Star Wars Age of Rebellion: Living on Borrowed Time!
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