Vortex

The History of "Vortex" and related speculative fiction

-1968: Gene D. born; Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? published; Planet of the Apes and 2001: A Space Odyssey premiered.

-1969: First Star Trek TV series canceled; Apollo 11 on the Moon.

-1977: Star Wars (Episode 4: A New Hope) opened in theaters.

-1978: Original Battlestar Galactica premiered on television.

-1980: Sundiver, the first book in David Brin’s “Uplift” series, published.

-1982 to 1983: Started playing Dungeons & Dragons and Star Frontiers and co-wrote “The Zarkonian Bomb,” an amateur movie script, with Carlo R., Bill B., Jon B., and Ray C. (“Vortex” Party 1).

-c. 1984: Began writing “The Adventures of Jason Delmar” space opera short stories.

-1986: Wrote original “Vortex” role-playing rules while visiting family in the Philippines. Playtested with Peter D. and David I.S. in Yonkers and Binghamton, N.Y., respectively (“Vortex” Party 2).

-1987 to 1989: Co-ran Shadowrun with Ken P.S. (“Vortex” Party 3).

-1991: Ran “Visor and the Seer” and collaborated in Steve M.R.’s “Voyagers II” using “Vortex” rules before converting to GURPS 3e (“Vortex” Party 3b).

-1992: Influential and prolific author Isaac Asimov died.

-1995: Space: Above and Beyond premiered.

-1996 to 1997: Game Mastered “Vortex: Collateral Damage Inc./Full Circle” using GURPS 3e Space in Virginia (“Vortex” Party 4).

-1997: The Fifth Element and Stargate SG1 premiered.

-1998: Farscape premiered on U.S. television.

-1999: Ran GURPS 3e Space: “Vortex_” via e-mail and for Jon W.P., Randy K.M., and Rob A.R. near Boston ("_Vortex" Party 4b).

-2002: Firefly premiered; D20 Traveller (“T20”) published.

-2005: The BBC revived Doctor Who.

-2008: Cubicle 7 published FATE 3e Starblazer Adventures (SBA).

-2010: Began running “Vortex” using SBA (“Vortex” Parties 5a and 5b, the crews of the Blackbird and the Appomattox).

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Vortex "game time"

-Circa -140 to -40 G.E. (Terran Galactic Era): The Archaic Era gives way to the Cyberpunk era [see Shadowrun: Idealistic metahuman groups [see Mutants & Masterminds: “the S.J.I.”] are supplanted by megacorporate mercenary organizations. “Near” humans (mutants, cyborgs, genetically modified) have limited civil rights.

-The development of bionics, virtual reality, and true neural interfaces results in the growth of cyberware and C-space. True Artificial Intelligences arise, and advances in genetic engineering lead to “Synths” (robotic and bioengineered humanoids).

-Ecocrises I to III: Environmental degradation results in global climate change, mass extinction, and famine. Population growth leads to poverty and fighting over resources but encourages colonization. Fossil fuels become scarcer, eventually leading to technological breakthroughs in “cold” fusion and “warm” superconductivity.

-Wars devastate large parts of the Middle East and South Asia; terrorists and disasters destroy cities in other parts of the world. Nation-states decline in relative power as megacorps and regional governments rise in influence; the United Nations collapses.

-c. -100 G.E.: Terran population reaches 15 billion, cities become megalopoli. Earth’s oceans and the Moon are colonized, “L-5” orbital habitats are built in response to population and industrial pressures, and humans explore Mars.

-The Ecocrises, regional conflicts, and covert megacorp activities are restrained with the creation of the United Earth Authority. Continent-states form on Earth; the Sol system’s population approaches 20 billion. Orbital cities grow; Mars is colonized.

-85 G.E.: First Interplanetary War: The Lunar Free State and some orbital habitats rebel against Terran colonial powers, becoming a quasi-independent corporate state. The Zarkonian Armada destroys Laransu, and Trinoids and Nethians found the Kharvamid Alliance.

-75 G.E.: Ecoterrorists disrupt research undersea and on Mars as terraforming begins. Humans colonize Venus and the outer Sol system, and the U.E.A. charters the Interplanetary Patrol.

-50 G.E.: Synths gain limited rights after several rounds of civil unrest.

-30 G.E.: Second Interplanetary War: Mars Confederation rebels against megacorps, gains limited independence and a seat on the United Earth Council. Asteroid Belt and Jovian system settled.

-20 G.E.: Jason Delmar is born near the North Eastern American Megalopolis (Party 1). Orbital elevators are built.

-10 G.E.: Covert and unofficial contact continues between galactic agents and the Sol system. The Zarkonian Armada resumes its expansion into the Orion Arm. The latest emergent interstellar civilizations are threatened: Aquarians/Polarians and Terrans.

-4 G.E.: Archaeologists discover ancient evidence of mystic and extraterrestrial influence in the ruins of the “Vanished Lands.” The United Ecumenical Movement is formed to consider the implications of the “Long Hiding.”

-1 G.E.: “Collateral Damage Inc.” begins missions, later renames itself “Full Circle” aboard the P.T.S. Venture and Spring Wasabi.

-0 G.E.: Open and official First Contact between galactic societies and the Sol system. Terrans (including Parties 5a and 5b, the crews of the Blackbird and Appomattox) acquire faster-than-light Transit drives….

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The Story so Far Team 1
Session: 5a.1 – Arrival on Terra
  • Real time: Monday, 30 August 2010
  • Game dates: “1 June 2194 A.D./C.E. or -1/0 Galactic Era”
  • Locations: Rio de Janeiro space elevator, Vimeco arcology
  • Summary: Shortly after open and official First Contact between humanity and galactic societies, xenologist Syzygy arrives at the Rio “beanstalk.” Black Box Security Co. assigns Chris McKee to guard the alien.
    Tharian Tela escapes space pirates and gets a piloting gig alongside celebutante Aughest-vor, who’s hiding from paparazzi. A terrorist attack on the beanstalk forces their shuttle to land at a megacorp arcology, where it’s accosted by mysterious armed men. After defeating them, the shuttle crew takes off….
  • Vehicles: suborbital shuttle craft
  • Non-Player Characters: beanstalk customs agents, 2 as-yet-unidentified assailants
  • Links: http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/DnD3VanishedLands/message/9197
    http://groups.google.com/group/holysteel/msg/503017347d9ddf93
Session: 5a.2 – Searching for a haven
  • Real time: Monday, 13 September 2010
  • Game dates: 2 to 4 June 2194 A.D./C.E. or -1/0 Galactic Era
  • Locations: Atlantis 3 (Caribbean), private island of the Verico family in the South Pacific, and New Miami
  • Summary: Aughest-vor pilots the shuttle to Atlantis 3, where Syzygy holds an impromptu press conference. Lt. Kevin Reese helps Chris evacuate civilian passengers and interrogate one would-be kidnapper from xenophobic group “Terra Prime.”
    Tela repairs the shuttle, which Aughest takes to Verico Island, owned by friends of his family. However, submarines from regional powers and megacorps soon converge, forcing the group to flee to New Miami….
  • Vehicles: orbital shuttle, armored transport in New Miami
  • N.P.C.s: Quentin (surviving prisoner), Tracy (flight controller at Atlantis 3, befriended by Kevin), Todd Walton (xenophobe legislator), Hikara Reynolds (xenophile debater), Angelica Hughes (reporter in New Venice, known by Aughest-vor), Susan Strong (ally of Walton; known by Aughest-vor)
  • Links: http://www.starwars.com/games/playnow/crawl_creator/index.jsp?cs=5rh277gzpk
    http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/DnD3VanishedLands/message/9213
    http://groups.google.com/group/holysteel/msg/7e4784cae42061bc
Session: 5a.3, New Miami gala
  • Real time: 27 September 2010
  • Game dates: “5 to 12 June 2194 A.D./C.E. or -1/0 G.E.”
  • Locations: Safehouse in New Miami
  • Summary: Syzygy conducts research with his organic lab, meets fellow scientists, and gets pet cat “Mr. Sniffles.” Tela explores the cordoned-off neighborhood, and Agent Prometheus contacts his Black Box handlers. Lt. Reese reports to Interplanetary Patrol, and Aughest-vor helps his new companions prepare for a formal ball where his cousin Raine and Terra Prime members gather….
  • Vehicles: hover limousine, Olvar cutter (in orbit?)
  • N.P.C.s: Scene 1: New safehouse
  • Hank Neilson-male North American human biologist
  • Kulbar-male Ru’ulok (see below), author of “A Guide to Xenomorphic Cultures”
  • Tch’lsk (“Chalisk”)-female Nethian (see below) sociologist
  • Paul Reinhardt-identified by Chris as the head of the mysterious Black Box Security Co., which is contracted to protect aliens
    >>Some aliens described by Tch’lsk to the party
  • Encegulans: slug-like slavers who took Tela from her homeworld
  • Gustrall: orange-furred, antlered, velociraptor-like warriors
  • Nethians: blue-shelled insectoid engineers, friendly rivals to Trinoids
  • Olvar: arboreal mammal-like pranksters and mystics
  • Ru’ulok: heavy-world reptilian pirates, members of Trade Guilds
  • Trinoids: trilateral amphibious terraformers, co-founders of the Kharvamid Alliance
  • Xenoids: synthetic beings created by aliens, similar to humanity’s robots, “Uplifted” animals, and genetically engineered creatures
    >>Scene 2: At the ball
  • Hikara Reynolds-female Terran human commentator and xenophile, follows Tela around
  • Raine Usk-cerhat Vercereng Ushu-male human from L-5 orbital cities, board member of Vimeco megacorp and cousin of Aughest-vor; competes for media attention
  • Angelica Hughes-female Terran human reporter (with hovering camera drones), covers Raine and Aughest-vor’s announcements
  • Col. Leandro Asquiel-male Latin American human U.E.A. officer, contact of Kevin
  • Rallip-male Delphine (“Synth: Uplifted” dolphin) navy officer in the U.E.A. Task Force, chats with fellow pilot Aughest-vor
  • Ben Chisolm-male Terran human protestor and supporter of xenophobe legislator Todd Walton; apprehended, questioned, and released by Chris and Kevin, who plan to follow up on “Terra Prime” movement
  • Krilvar-male Ru’ulok, talks with Aughest-vor about the potential for change in family/Vimeco leadership and relationship with interstellar Trade Guilds
  • Wan Bei Ling-female Chinese human, chaplain in the United Ecumenical Movement, dances with uniformed Kevin, telepathically scans him, and invites him to work with the U.E.M.; Aughest-vor knows her father
  • Sulima-female Olvar, has romantic rendezvous with Kevin and describes the Star League, which is the Kharvamid Alliance’s loose equivalent to the U.E.A.’s Interplanetary Patrol
  • Links: http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb42/GeneD5/Vortex/Vortex01.jpg
    http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/DnD3VanishedLands/message/9217
    http://groups.google.com/group/holysteel/msg/10a9cc0d1458e52e
    http://www.enworld.org/forum/blogs/edemaitre/3004-29-september-2010-vortex-space-opera-update-5a-3-miami-gala.html
    http://community.wizards.com/vanishedlands/blog/2010/09/29/29_september_2010:vortex_update_5a.3_-_miamigala
Session: 5a.4 – The debate
  • Real time: Columbus Day, 11 October 2010
  • Game dates: “13 June 2194 A.D./C.E. or -1/0 G.E.”
  • Locations: New Miami television studio, safehouse
  • Summary: Syzygy and Tela deal with alien and human visitors and their own curiosity. Chris and Kevin try to protect them from the news media and Terra Prime, and Aughest-vor helps set up a televised debate with xenophobic legislator Todd Walton. A missile attack on the studio kills several people, and the two aliens and their three human allies are forced to flee with Walton.
  • Vehicles: news chopper, two attacking aerodynes, police aircars, news van, two hovercycles
  • N.P.C.s: See also Session 5a.3
  • Eileen Ryan-female cyborg mech driver from Lunar Free State, agent for Transport Congolomerates
  • Dr. Karl Rugar-male human private physician to Aughest-vor, killed in attack on studio during Syzygy’s debate with Todd Walton
  • Two Ru’ulok on hovercycles, killed pursuing party in news van
  • Links: http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/DnD3VanishedLands/message/9233
Session: 5a.5 – To Lemuria Station
  • Real time: Monday, 18 October 2010
  • Game dates: “13 to 17 June 2194 A.D./C.E. or -1/0 G.E.”
  • Locations: New Miami, Tampa spaceport, L-5 orbital city’s “Violet Sector,” “Randy Pelican” nightclub
  • Summary: After another attack by Terra Prime terrorists, the party drops off Todd Walton at his mansion and gets a lead on an interstellar ship from the Olvar Star League lend-lease program. Aughest-vor pilots a rickety scow to his home at the Lemuria orbital city, where the group disguises itself as musicians and meets Kerbic Chevka.
  • Vehicles: news van, mecha, scow, shuttles
  • N.P.C.s: xenophobic legislator Todd Walton, mecha driver/Transport Conglomerates’ Eileen Ryan, Ru’ulok Krilvar, Black Box Security Co., Interplanetary Patrol’s Mr. Gray
  • Vamshee Singh-male Findian (Finnish/Indian) human, former chauffeur to the Ushu family, contacted by Aughest-vor for scow from Tampa to Lemuria
  • “Antero Vipunen”-fake classical rock music band used as a party alias; named after a giant from Finnish mythology
  • Chipwe-female delphine (genetically engineered/“Uplifted” dolphin) U.E.A. military attaché
  • “Oban” [Dave R-B./N.P.C.]-male Meorr (blue-furred leonine alien), met Tela with Chipwe
  • “Kerbic Chevka” [David I.S.]-male Olvar (mammal-like alien) special agent from the Kharvamid Alliance, sheltered party at Lemuria
  • Links: http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/DnD3VanishedLands/message/9239
    http://groups.google.com/group/holysteel/msg/b8f6f21beb56ae47
    http://www.enworld.org/forum/blogs/edemaitre/3046-20-october-2010-fate-3e-vortex-space-opera-update-5a-5-miami-lemuria.html
    http://community.wizards.com/vanishedlands/blog/2010/10/20/20_october_2010:fate_3e_vortex_space_opera,update_5a.5_-_miamitolemuria
Session: 5a.6 – Disco, funeral, and mall madness
  • Real time: 1 November 2010
  • Game dates: “18 to 21 June 2194 A.D./C.E. or -1/0 G.E.”
  • Locations: L-5 Lemuria Station, “Lazarus Long’s” discotheque, Kraken Plaza shopping mall, hospital
  • Summary: Still in hiding at Kerbic Chevka’s quarters, Syzygy continues his xenobiological research. Kevin and Tela get restless and party at “Lazarus Long’s,” while Aughest-vor and Chris investigate Terra Prime and crash a funeral. At Kraken Plaza, the group confronts mercenaries of businessmen Raine and Osric Nagachaudhri, but Aughest is incapacitated in the skirmish….
  • Vehicles: shuttle from L-5 to Lunar Free State
  • N.P.C.s: “Kerbic Chevka” [David I.S.], Todd Walton, Susan Strong (deceased), Eileen Ryan, Raine Ushu
  • Greta Nagachaudhri-female Svendian-Lemurian human auditor, befriended Kevin
  • “Ozgur Booyan” [Brian W.]-male Svendian-Lemurian human, philosophical playboy, met Tela at “Lazarus Long’s”
  • “Bob the Seeker” [Josh C.]-male Lemurian near-human party boy with hookah, doesn’t like Chim (“Synth/Uplifted” chimpanzee George; freaked out upon realizing that Tela is an alien
  • “Barnabas St. Barnabas” [Jason E.R.]-male Lemurian human skier, knows Aughest-vor, met Tela, helped rescue Chris
  • “Scott Wegman X” [Bruce K.]-male Lemurian human, laid-back dude who recommends Rudy, a dealer of “Red Menace” on Mars
  • “Lee Huang Lowensgard” [Brian]-female Lemurian human reporter, accosted Chris outside Susan Strong’s funeral
  • “Fr. O’Neill” [Bruce]-male Lemurian human priest, ignorant of Strong’s political affiliations (with xenophobes Todd Walton and Terra Prime)
  • “Harald” [Jason]-male Lemurian human, gave eulogy at Strong’s funeral
  • Osric Nagachaudhri-male Svendian-Lemurian human, cruel entrepreneur, husband of Greta, and ally of Raine against the team
  • Two male Ru’ulok, wearing disguises, associates of Raine and Osric (one killed in firefight at Kraken Plaza)
  • Links: http://groups.google.com/group/holysteel/msg/be11abe8b8a15289
    http://www.enworld.org/forum/blogs/edemaitre/3094-3-nov-2010-vortex-update-5a-6-disco-funeral-mall-madness.html
    http://community.wizards.com/vanishedlands/blog/2010/11/03/3_november_2010:vortex_update_5a.6_-disco,funeral,andmallmadness
    http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/DnD3VanishedLands/message/9254
Session: 5a.7 – The Moon and beyond
  • Real time: 15 November 2010
  • Game dates: “22 to 30 June 2194 A.D./C.E. or -1/0 G.E.”
  • Locations: Lemuria orbital city; Armstrong City, Lunar Free State
  • Summary: Kevin and Chris get Aughest-vor out of the hospital where he is being held by loyalists to Raine and Osric. Kerbic helps them, Syzygy, and Tela get to the “Tortuga’s Hoard” to leave Lemuria Station for the Lunar Free State, where they see the “Patrocles,” part of the “Achilles” battle group.
    In Armstrong City, Tela flies with “Synths,” Chris and Kevin report to superiors, and Syzygy deals with megacorp overtures for alien technology. Interplanetary Patrol helps the travelers get berths aboard the “Achilles,” which is headed to Mars for a refit.
  • Vehicles: military shuttles, flotilla, and
  • “Tortuga’s Hoard”-orbital shuttle bringing solar sailboats from Lemuria Station to Armstrong City, piloted by Kevin and Aughest-vor
  • United Earth Vessel “Patrocles”-destroyer, directs the “Tortuga’s Hoard” to flight path approaching the Lunar Free State
  • U.E.V. “Achilles”-flagship of battle group heading to Mars for a refit with Kharvamid Alliance faster-than-light drives
  • Ultra-tech tools: Antimatter Dynafile, Chronometric Saw, Cryptoawl, Cybernetic Lathe, Isodrill, Magnetic Mallet, Morphic Lever, Singularity File, Transcrowbar, Vibrospatial Chisel
  • N.P.C.s: cousin Raine, Mr. Gray, Todd Walton, Eileen Ryan, Kerbic Chevka, Osric Nagachaudhri
  • Dawn Cohen-female Lunar human actress, hired by Kevin to play a nurse to give laxatives to Vimeco guards holding Aughest-vor in his hospital room for Raine and Osric
  • “Cornelius J. Sinclair” [David A.H./unnamed]-male Terran human martial artist working for Walker Industries, posed as room service and warned about Transport Conglomerates
  • Anaria Leapril-female avian “Synth” (genetically engineered humanoid) talked with Tela at Armstrong City’s aerodrome
  • Taka Shimuza-male near-human with cybernetic wings, told Tela of low-gravity jai alai
  • Dr. Humberto Echevarria-male Terran human sent by Transport Conglomerates to examine Syzygy’s organic lab and ask for samples
  • LFS-based corporations: Kirby Broadcasting System, American Containers, Cyrogenic Logistics, Indemnified Pharmaceuticals, Vargas Brokers, Humphrey Horticulture, Nippon Climate Control, Recording Equity, Berlin Biotech
  • Col. Brent Marks-male Terran human, United Earth Authority (U.E.A.) space marine, greets party as it boards the “Achilles”
  • Capt. Omar Sajjad-male Terran human, commander of U.E.A. battle group
  • Cmdr. Beatriz Vera-female Terran human, first officer of the “Achilles”
  • Links: http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/DnD3VanishedLands/message/9257
    http://www.enworld.org/forum/blogs/edemaitre/3132-18-november-2010-fate-3e-vortex-team-1-update-5a-7-moon-beyond.html
    http://community.wizards.com/vanishedlands/blog/2010/11/19/19_nov.2010:vortex_team_1,update_5a.7_-_themoonandbeyond
    http://groups.google.com/group/holysteel/msg/826fe82b36017887
Session: 5a.8 – On the way to Mars
  • Real time: 29 November 2010
  • Game dates: “1 to 15 July 2194 A.D./C.E. or -1/0 G.E.”
  • Locations: Earth to Mars aboard the “Achilles” battle group
  • Summary: The civilians attend a formal dinner with officers from the “Achilles” battle group. Syzygy studies physiology with Dr. Vijay Udayan, Tela helps chief engineer Ian MacFarlane, and Chris practices gunnery and fends off unnerving inquiries from android Mr. Claudio and Sgt. Andrei Malikov.
    Aughest-vor beats Delphine pilot Col. Wynona Smoketrail, and Lt. Reese gets a private tour of the “Ajax” from Cmdr. Nayoko Itasamin after helping Chris contact his Black Box handlers. The group begins making plans for the Olvar cutter the “Morifaiwet,” or “Blackbird.”
  • Vehicles: military shuttles, flotilla, and
  • “Tortuga’s Hoard”-orbital shuttle bringing solar sailboats from Lemuria Station to Armstrong City, piloted by Kevin and Aughest-vor
  • United Earth Vessel “Patrocles”-destroyer, directed the “Tortuga’s Hoard” to flight path approaching the Lunar Free State
  • U.E.V. “Achilles”-flagship of battle group heading to Mars for a refit with Kharvamid Alliance faster-than-light drives
    http://jager375.deviantart.com/art/Achilles-Battle-Cruiser-60888889?offset=10
    http://sgtng.wikia.com/wiki/USS_Achilles
  • U.E.V. “Ajax”-Terran cruiser in the “Achilles” battle group
  • U.E.V. “Thetis”-Terran supply ship in the “Achilles” battle group
  • “Morifaiwet,” or “Blackbird” (the party also considers the name “Gen. Sherman”).
  • N.P.C.s:
  • Capt. Omar Sajjad-male Arabic Terran human, commander of the “Achilles” United Earth Authority battle group
  • Cmdr. Beatriz Vera-female South American Terran human, first officer of the “Achilles,” talked with Lt. Reese
  • Lt.Cmdr. Jake “Sunspot” Smith-male Martian human, commander of Europa battalion Marine expeditionary strike group, helps train Chris and Kevin
  • Col. Brent Marks-male Terran human, United Earth Authority space marine, greets party as it boards the “Achilles”
  • Dr. Vijay Udayan-male Indian Terran human, chief medical officer on the “Achilles,” compares scientific notes with Syzygy
  • Lt. Tamara Jones-female North American Terran human, junior medical officer aboard the “Achilles”
  • Lt. Deepfisher-male Saturnian Delphine astrogator of the “Achilles,” talked with Tela
  • Lt.Cmdr. Ian MacFarlane-male Scottish Terran human, chief engineer of the “Achilles,” befriended Tela
  • Chief Petty Officer Surya Davoori-female Indian Terran cyborg, assistant engineer on the “Achilles”
  • Mr. Claudio-A.I., intelligence political officer on the “Achilles,” interrogated Chris and Kevin
  • Sgt. Andrei Malikov-male Russian Lunar human, warrant officer, chief of internal security on the “Achilles”
  • Cmdr. Frederica Nyambu-female African Terran human, commander of the cruiser “Patrocles”
  • Major Abe Masood-male Arabic Terran near-human, commander of logistical support vessel “Thetis”
  • Cmdr. Nayoko Itasamin-female Japanese Terran human, commander of the destroyer “Ajax,” pursued by Kevin
  • Lt. Jaruki Montoya-female L-5 Chim, communications officer of the “Achilles”
  • Lt. Annie Wong-female Chinese Martian near-human, morale officer of the “Achilles”
  • Col. Wynona Smoketrail-female Venusian Delphine, commander of the 412th fighter wing aboard the “Achilles” [see also “BattleTech” notes and “Space: Above and Beyond”], raced Aughest-vor
  • Lt. Spork-female robot, fighter pilot in the Royal Flush squadron aboard the “Achilles,” talked with Aughest-vor
  • Links: http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/DnD3VanishedLands/message/9272
    http://www.enworld.org/forum/blogs/edemaitre/3157-30-november-2010-fate-3e-vortex-update-5a-8-team-1-way-mars.html
    http://community.wizards.com/vanishedlands/blog/2010/11/30/vortex_team_1,update_5a.8_-_on_the_way_tomars
    http://groups.google.com/group/holysteel/msg/fab634d487be4b1f
Session: 5a.9 – Mars madness: Train terror and New Shanghai!
  • Real time: Monday, 20 December 2010
  • Game dates: “16 July to 15 August 2194 A.D./C.E. or -1/0 G.E.”
  • Locations: the “Achilles” battle group, including the destroyer “Ajax”; Deimos-Pavonis space elevator, train from Sheffield Station near Valles Marineris to New Shanghai (near Eos Chasma), Triplanetary Hotel, Jennifer and Nick’s apartment
  • Summary: After a few weeks in space, the “Achilles” battle group arrives at the Mars Confederacy. Syzygy and Tela plan to go east to the terraforming station at Hadriaca Paterna. Chris and Kevin want to go south, to Black Box’s facility at the capital of Hellas Park and Interplanetary Patrol at Port Lowell, respectively. They decide against the U.E.A.‘s Fort Olympus Mons for now.
    They take a train together to New Shanghai, but bandits interrupt their ride. Two are killed, and the passengers file statements with the People’s Liberation Army. A grateful elderly passenger hosts dinner for Syzygy, Tela, and Chris, but Kevin goes to find the sister of his late wife Heather.
    Lt. Reese is surprised to find Nick Cheney, who was involved in his wife’s murder, at Jennifer’s apartment! After confronting her at the coroner’s office where she works, Kevin gets a disguise and a plasma blaster. When his companions arrive, Tela is caught in the crossfire! Syzygy, Tela, and Aughest-vor change rooms at the Triplanetary Hotel, while Chris goes to confront Kevin….
  • Vehicles: U.E.V. “Achilles” (carrier), “Ajax” (destroyer), Deimos-Pavonis “beanstalk,” train to New Shanghai, bandits’ dune buggy, People’s Liberation Army aerodynes, velocipedes (pedal-powered aircraft), hovercabs
  • N.P.C.s: “Mr. Sniffles,” Syzygy’s cat, and
  • On the “Achilles:” Capt. Omar Sajjad, Lt.Cmdr. Ian McFarlane (engineer, friend of Tela), Col. Wynona Smoketrail (Delphine pilot friend of Aughest-vor), Mr. Claudio (A.I. inquisitor, watching Chris); Cmdr. Nayoko Itasamin (friend of Kevin aboard the “Ajax”)
  • Rudy-male Martian human, dealer in “Red Menace” at Sheffield Station, referred to “Tela” [Sara F.] by “Barnabas St. Barnabas” [Jason E.R./N.P.C.] at Lemuria Station, skipped for now
  • unnamed bandit, Martian human, with riot shield – killed by Chris, Kevin, and other passengers during botched train robbery
  • Kouros-male Martian Synth: Minotaur (genetically engineered humanoid), killed by Chris and Kevin, who took his comm link and plasma blaster; possibly affiliated with the Synth United Front or anti-terraforming Rust Coalition
  • Lt. Ron Fu Chow-male Martian human officer in the People’s Liberation Army (local military), questioned team after robbery repelled
  • Fuyun Yi-female Martian human, elderly woman rescued by Syzygy when train’s hull was breached; fed team at her family home and talked of Gongen “domesteads” and rumors of crocolisks, six-legged Martian alligators
  • Jennifer-female Martian human, sister of Kevin’s late wife Heather, works at local morgue
  • Nick Cheney-male Martian human, former chief of police at Namor-Asperagen colony, involved in Heather’s murder and living with Jennifer; Kevin tried to kill him in his apartment with plasma blast
  • Tong-Martian human organized criminal gangs, which Kevin tried to frame for assassination attempt on Nick
  • Links: http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/DnD3VanishedLands/message/9289
    http://www.enworld.org/forum/blogs/edemaitre/3207-20-dec-2010-vortex-team-1-update-5a-9-mars-madness-train-terror.html
    http://groups.google.com/group/holysteel/msg/38ea5ee7e54a7847
    http://community.wizards.com/vanishedlands/blog/2010/12/22/vortex_team_1,update_5a.9_-_mars_madness_and_trainterror!
Session: 5a.10 – Across the Martian outback
  • Real time: Monday, 17 January 2011
  • Game dates: “16 to 20 August 2194 A.D./C.E. or -1/0 G.E.”
  • Locations: Triplanetary Hotel, New Shanghai; Tenryu Party headquarters, Hellas Park
    Summary: While Kevin lays low for a while in New Shanghai, his companions continue sightseeing on Mars. Aughest-vor pilots an ornithopter to the capital of Hellas Park. Syzygy meets a friendly scientist and member of TerAK, and Chris gets debriefed and reprogrammed at Black Box Security Co.’s offices.
    An aerodyne rental escorted by two Uruk Services aircraft is attacked by flying wings from the Barsoom Defense Force but manages to reach the Hadriaca Paterna terraforming station, where the party makes new friends.
    Vehicles: ornithopter, escort aircraft, rented aerodyne, train, suborbital supply ship
  • N.P.C.s:
  • Jennifer-female Martian human, sister of Kevin’s late wife Heather, works at local morgue in New Shanghai
  • Nick Cheney-male Martian human, former chief of police at Namor-Asperagen colony, involved in Heather’s murder and living with Jennifer; Kevin tried to kill him in his apartment with plasma blast
  • Tong-Martian human organized criminal gangs, which Kevin tried to frame for assassination attempt on Nick
  • flock of avian Synths (genetically engineered winged humanoids) avoided by Aughest-vor’s ’thopter aerobatics, hawk men salute his piloting
  • Shocho-mascot/avatar (artificial intelligence) of the Tenryu Party, which governs the Mars Confederacy and People’s Liberation Army
  • Radha Hussein-female Martian human at the Tharsis Terraforming Directorate (under the Wildlife Bureau) at Hellas Park; liaison to extrasolar scientists; member of TerAK (Terran-Allied Kharvamids), befriends Syzygy
  • Kieran Larbo-male Martian human at Black Box Security Co.’s offices in Hellas Park; debriefs and reprograms Chris/“Agent Prometheus”
  • Otto Veer-male Martian human at Black Box HQ; talked about eugenics with Syzygy; guarded by two clones
  • Uruk Services-two Martian aircraft asked to escort party’s rented aerodyne from Hellas Park to Hadriaca Paterna, one shot down
  • Barsoom Defense Force-nativist group, sent two raider craft after aerodyne and Uruk vessels; shot down by Chris
  • Taka Shimuza-male Martian human, gives party tour of the Hadriaca Paterna terraforming station and explains about Green Gongen/Rust Coalition rivalry
  • Slazim-male Trinoid xenobiologist, compared notes with Syzygy
  • Znk’g (Zenku’ogi)-male Nethian (insectoid alien) engineer, talked with Tela
  • Asdann Frevel-male Gustrall (raptor-like alien) security guard, went hunting with Chris for Martian dune striders
  • Tu Han-female Martian human, courted by Aughest-vor
  • Links: http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb42/GeneD5/Vortex/Vortex09.jpg
    http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/DnD3VanishedLands/message/9317
    http://groups.google.com/group/holysteel/msg/f43d95329a9e567b
    http://www.enworld.org/forum/blogs/edemaitre/3284-20-january-2011-vortex-update-5a-10-across-martian-outback.html
    http://community.wizards.com/vanishedlands/blog/2011/01/20/20_jan.2011:vortex_update_5a.10_-_across_themartianoutback
Session: 5a.11 – Martian marshals
  • Real time: 31 January 2011 [see Josh C./“Agent Prometheus’” notes]
  • Game dates: “21 to 24 August to 2194 A.D./C.E. or -1/0 G.E.”
  • Locations: New Shanghai and Port Lowell, Mars
    Summary: The team reunites with Kevin in New Shanghai, and Aughest-vor rents the “Tiger Hawk Sandstorm” GEV to go to Interplanetary Patrol’s base at Port Lowell. Lt. Reese reports to Mr. Gray and Mr. Ling, and in return for help getting to its starship in the Asteroid Belt, the group agrees to clear out an abandoned domestead.
    However, rather than mere Martian settlers, squatters, or drug smugglers, the travelers and I.P. officers find strange technologies (some identified by Syzygy) and several Ru’ulok, some of whom apparently recognize Tela. A few get away in a rocket, destroying the domestead.
    Vehicles: suborbital cargo shuttle from Hadriaca Paterna terraforming station to New Shanghai, “Tiger Hawk Sandstorm” ground-effect vehicle to Port Lowell, military drop ship
    N.P.C.s: Nick Cheney, Jennifer, and
  • Trinoid science directorate in the Kharvamid Alliance-contacted from New Shanghai by Syzygy
  • Mr. (Col.) Shan Gray-male Martian human, superior officer to Lt. Reese at Interplanetary Patrol (I.P.) facility at Port Lowell
  • Walter Ling-male Martian human, member of the Kizen (Tenryu Party secret police), met party at Mr. Gray’s office
  • Sgt. Ling Bao-female Martian human, I.P. drop ship pilot
  • ’Squatch-male Ursoid Synth (“Uplifted” bear), part of team raiding domestead
  • Cookie-male Martian human cyborg, mechanic, befriended Syzygy
  • four unnamed Martian human squatters-killed when Ru’ulok rocked lifted off
  • six unnamed Ru’ulok (heavy-world reptilian aliens)-members of the “Takers” faction; recognized Tela; some killed, but two got away
    Links: http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/DnD3VanishedLands/message/9331
    http://www.enworld.org/forum/blogs/edemaitre/3306-fate-3e-vortex-update-5a-11-martian-marshals.html
    http://groups.google.com/group/holysteel/msg/e4ea925771e3bc38
    http://community.wizards.com/vanishedlands/blog/2011/02/03/vortex_session_5a.11_-_martian_marshals
Session: 5a.12 – Who wants to be a starfarer?
  • Real time: 28 February 2011
  • Game dates: “25 to 31 August 2194 A.D./C.E. or 0 G.E.”
  • Locations: Port Lowell, Mars Confederation, to Ceres Station, Asteroid Belt
  • Summary: The adventurers take an Interplanetary Patrol vessel to the Asteroid Belt, where they find a massive shipyard. They study specifications for interstellar vessels and are interviewed by United Earth Authority and Kharvamid Alliance panels before being approved to take possession of their own craft. Gombo Shisel joins the crew.
  • Vehicles: the “Morifaiwet/Blackbird,” and
  • I.P.V. “Babieca”-Interplanetary Patrol transport from Mars to the Asteroid Belt
  • “Amberthrax”-Gustrall and Ru’ulok trade ultratanker, 4 kilometers long!
  • United Earth Vessel “Musashi”-U.E.A. carrier on station at Asteroid Belt, leader of battle group
  • T.C.S. “Cherasu”-Delphine (genetically engineered dolphin) ship with crew of United Ecumenical Movement chaplains
  • The “New York”-one of several asteroid “Arks” built by Olvar and Ma’ari advisors
  • N.I.O. “Silk Claw”-Nethian ley line “sailboat”
  • U.E.V. “Stella Sagitta”-TerAK (Terran-Allied Kharvamid) training ship
  • Clippers, skiffs, and tenders of “Belters” and other Sol system traders
  • Fighters of the Kharvamid Fleet, planetary defense forces, U.E.A./North American Aerospace Marine Corps (and Zarkonian Drones?
  • “Kendawa”-class prototype battlesuits from Clan Nakagawa
  • “Raptor”-class United Earth Authority/N.A.A.M.C. interplanetary fighters (“Space: Above and Beyond’s” Hammerheads)
    Non-Player Characters:
    >>United Earth Authority review committee:
  • “Capt. Wu Hanbei” [Brian W.]-female Belter “near-human” (low-G) pilot of the “Babieca” (hardass; doesn’t trust civilians)
  • “Lt. Bubbles Jones” [Sara F.]-female Terran Delphine (“Uplifted” dolphin) marine from the T.C.S. “Cherasu” (wants to know all threats to the Sol system)
  • “Dr. Zach Siddig” [Josh C.]-male Lunar human astrophysicist (eager to explore deep space)
  • “Lt. Rajesh Williams” [Bruce K.]-male Jovian “near-human” (cyborg) mecha driver of Kendawa-class battlesuit (doesn’t trust aliens)
  • “Carlos Mazantas” [Rich L.]-male Martian “near-human” (telepathic) journalist (uncomfortable with secrecy)
    >>Kharvamid Fleet/Star League panel:
  • “Stk’Krst/Stack-Kurst” [Brian W.]-male Nethian (insectoid alien) engineer from the N.I.O. “Silk Claw” (wary of incompetence)
  • “Sudoku” [Sara F.]-female Trinoid (trilateral amphibian) xenologist (curious about human factions)
  • “Old Chi of Clan Flanker” [Josh C.]-male Gustrall (orange-furred, ostrich-like alien) swashbuckling explorer from the “Amberthrax” ultratanker (ready for any hunt)
  • “Arvel Dilsir” [Bruce K.]-male Olvar (arboreal mammal-like mystic) telepath (uncertaion about hidden agendas)
  • “Gurthex” [Rich L.]-female Me’orr (lion-like alien) officer (wary of Terrans)
    >>Other Non-Player Characters in the Asteriod Belt:
  • Capt. Tia Horektef-female Terran human, captain of the I.P.V. “Icy Corona,” which shuttled the party from Mars to Ceres Station; wined and dined by Lt. Reese
  • Adm. Raul Xinshang-male Terran human, commander of the U.E.V. “Musashi” and its battle group
  • “Kyle Deraco” [James A.W./N.P.C.]-male Terran “near-human” (mutant) scientist and conspiracy theorist
  • Lt. Sheila Berenson-female Terran (L-5) human, captain of the “Stella Sagitta”
  • Links: http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/DnD3VanishedLands/message/9352
    http://groups.google.com/group/holysteel/msg/2a0c293e5debb4dc
    http://www.enworld.org/forum/blogs/edemaitre/3395-vortex-update-5a-12-who-wants-starfarer.html
    http://community.wizards.com/vanishedlands/blog/2011/03/10/vortex_update_5a.12:_who_wants_to_be_a_starfarer
    http://www.genesworlds.com/2011/03/10/vortex-update-5a-12-who-wants-to-be-a-starfarer/
Session: 5a.13 – Leaving space dock
  • Real time: Monday, 14 March 2011
  • Game dates: “30 August to 4 September 2194 A.D./C.E. or 0 Galactic Era”
  • Locations: Ceres Station, Asteroid Belt
  • Summary: After Aughest-vor and his companions are approved, they review the specifications of the Olvar scout cutter “Morifaiwet” before taking command and rechristening it the “Blackbird.” Among other things, they find biomechanical drones and a U.E.A. robot that they nickname “Mr. Bucket” and shakedown cruise orders.
  • Vehicles: see previous notes; I.P.V. “Babieca,” shuttles, Aughest’s solar-sail racer, the “Tiger Hawk Sandstorm” G.E.V., the U.E.V. “Musashi” battle group, “Morifaiwet/Blackbird”
  • N.P.C.s: see prior updates; Capt. Wu Hanbei, Adm. Raul Xinshang
  • Links: http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/DnD3VanishedLands/message/9369
    http://www.genesworlds.com/2011/03/22/vortex-update-5a-13-leaving-space-dock/
    http://groups.google.com/group/holysteel/msg/02fd4b4432e2df82
Session: 5a.14 – Tyche trading
  • Real time: Monday, 28 March 2011
  • Game dates: “5 to 7 September 2194 A.D./C.E. or 0 G.E.”
  • Locations: Tyche extrasolar body, orbital colony near Saturn’s moon Titan
  • Summary: The “Blackbird” investigates Tyche, which turns out to be a rogue brown dwarf just outside the Sol system. The crew negotiates a plasma-sharing arrangement between alien Cestolar and Jovian human miners. The explorers then go to Titan to look for a used military drop ship to complement the “Tiger Hawk Sandstorm.”
  • Vehicles: U.E.V. “Blackbird,” “Tiger Hawk Sandstorm” ground-effect vehicle, the Jovian ship “Shameless Strumpet,” Cestolar mining vessel, “Cheyenne” and “Tau Orca”-class used military drop ships
  • N.P.C.s:
  • Cestolar (badger-like former Olvar clients) – Capt. Dvar, Uduk, Khoz-suspicious of Terrans, recognize Tela as Tharian
  • Jovian human crew of the “Shameless Strumpet” – Capt. Shane Borkai, Tetzuki Scarlotti, and Malia Karveh-wearing ornately armored space suits, have an Oromax megacorp contract, know of Aughest-vor and Vimeco
  • Links: http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/DnD3VanishedLands/message/9393
    http://www.genesworlds.com/2011/03/30/vortex-update-5a-14-tyche-trading/
Session: 5a.15 – Titan and drop ship
  • Real time: Monday, 25 April 2011
  • Game dates: “8 to 14 September 2194 A.D./C.E. or 0 Galactic Era”
  • Locations: Titan colony (0.5 G, -180 C), Saturn:
  • Eclipse Station-orbital habitat, includes Lucky Garden Casino, Ringtown Diner
  • New Syria-surface colony, includes Arhus University (mostly virtual)
  • New Quebec-surface colony, seat of local government, Interplanetary Patrol office
  • Summary: The “Blackbird” docks at Eclipse Station, and Tela nearly provokes a food fight at the Ringtown Diner. Aughest-vor… and Lt. Kevin Reese go to the Lucky Garden Casino before meeting with Dimitri Parvis, who eventually sells the team a drop ship that it test drives on Titan. Syzygy meets a colleague in New Syria, while Chris is surgically reprogrammed. The crew gets missions to Alpha Centauri and Oasis Station but turns down one from pirate Capt. Stone.
  • Vehicles: The “Blackbird” and “Tiger Hawk Sandstorm,” shuttles between Eclipse Station and Titan, “Cheyenne”-class drop ship (renamed the “Dragonfly”), “Tau Orca”-class drop ship
  • N.P.C.s:
  • Robotic waitress, jukebox/cook-at Ringtown Diner, talked with Tela
  • Ralek-male armored Ru’ulok of the “Bloody Drover” (at Bay 19), target of a slice of Chris’ multicolored pizza thrown by Tela
  • Faisal Batar-male Chim ’mechanic, hit by slice of pizza
  • Tanya Montana and Galia-female “Synths” (synthetic humanoid/android/Artificial Intelligence), showgirls at the casino who befriend Aughest-vor and Kevin
  • Rev. Winston Jones-male Saturnian human preacher and gambler
  • Erta Garza-female Delphine astrogator for hire, between gigs at the Lucky Garden Casino
  • Dimitri Parvis-male Russian/Saturnian cyborg mecha pilot and Vimeco client, sells “Cheyenne”-class drop ship
  • Amir Mukhtadi-male Arabic/Saturnian human, Oromax contractor and rival to Parvis; offers a “Tau Orca”-class drop ship for sale at New Quebec
  • Hassan Mukhtadi-male Arabic/Saturnian human provisioner and brother of Amir, sells goldfish to Tela and weapons to Chris
  • Solipsy-Trinoid “Sharer” at Arhus University, met with Syzygy and allowed Kevin to use her scanning equipment in return for taking an intelligence mission to Oasis Station, 40 parsecs from Sol, for the Kharvamid Alliance
  • Jamila Sahdai-female Terran “near-human” botanist, medic, and Black Box agent; operated on Agent Prometheus with the aid of two naked people released from hibernation chambers at university
  • Lt. Yasmin Al-Ghuj-female human, partner of Capt. Cisneros
  • Capt. Garzan Cisneros-male human Interplanetary Patrol officer, commander of the U.E.V. “Kindjal”; asks Lt. Reese to help resupply Tiger Squadron near Alpha Centauri
  • Capt. Robert Stone-male cyborg gas miner, captain of the “Spring-Heeled Jack” with an “octoparrot”; offers to help remove Chris’ implant in return for extrasolar distribution of the Terran videogame “Defeat the Fleet” (party declined)
  • Links: http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/DnD3VanishedLands/message/9424
    http://www.genesworlds.com/2011/04/26/vortex-update-5a-15-titan-and-drop-ship/
Session: 5a.16 – Camp Alpha and xenomorphs
  • Real time: Monday, 9 May 2011
  • Game dates: “15 to 19 September 2194 A.D./C.E. or 0 G.E.”
  • Locations: From Eclipse Station, Titan, Saturn to Alpha Centauri (trinary system with defense buoys):
  • Alpha Centauri A-main sequence yellow G2 star, 1.1 Sol mass
  • Chiron-rockball
  • Toliman-methane/carbon dioxide atmosphere, violet jungles, site of Camp Alpha and “mantiles”
  • Cassida-outer world of Alpha Centauri A
  • Alpha Centauri B-smaller KO-class star, orbited by Newton and Alphane
  • Proxima Centauri-red dwarf M5, 20% Sol mass with flares, 3 gas giants: Eldritch, Shedar, Furon
  • Summary: The crew of the “Blackbird” experiences altered perceptions during its shakedown cruise using the experimental REM faster-than-light drive. Upon arriving at the Alpha Centauri trinary star system, the explorers check in with Tiger Squadron at Camp Alpha on Toliman. The space marines’ commander is missing, and some blame local “mantiles.” After a hunting expedition into Toliman’s jungle, the explorers prepare to search near space….
  • Vehicles: the “Blackbird,” “Dragonfly,” and “Tiger Hawk Sandstorm” and Raptor-class fighters (see Space: Above and Beyond Hammerheads)
  • “Zheng He”-slower-than-light generation colony ship; after First Contact, passengers hope for FTL refit en route to Alpha Centauri
  • U.E.V. “Bellerphon”-Terran military ship, intercepted “Zheng He” and brought Tiger Squadron to establish Camp Alpha
  • N.P.C.s: Dr. Bucket and
    >>U.E.A., North American Aerospace Marine Corps, Tiger Squadron:
  • Spaceman Peter Jones-male U.K./L-5 robot, pilot, mechanic
  • Sgt. Kurt Schriever-male Terran Chim, gunner; drinks with Chris
  • “Lt. Misawa Onizuka” [Sara F./N.P.C.]-female Delphine, astrogator; chats with Aughest-vor
  • “Capt. Robin Buckley” [Jason E.R./N.P.C.]-female Terran human, burser, communications; embittered former paramour of Kevin
  • Maj. Walt Vanderbilt-male Terran human, acting commander; talked with Lt. Reese and company
  • Lt.Col. Hollis Shelman-male Terran human, squadron commander, missing in action
  • Tolimanian “mantiles”-xenomorphs (hostile aliens), vaguely reptilian/insectoid pack predators that communicate via subsonics; examined by Syzygy and Gombo
  • Links: http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/DnD3VanishedLands/message/9425
    http://www.genesworlds.com/2011/05/17/vortex-update-5a-16-camp-alpha-and-xenomorphs/
Session: 5a.17 – First Contact at Proxima
  • Real time: Monday, 23 May 2011
  • Game dates: “20 to 22 September 2194 A.D./C.E. or 0 Terran Galactic Era”
  • Locations: Alpha Centauri system (see above)
  • Summary: The adventuring party scans for the missing Lt.Col. Hollis Shelman and makes First Contact with the “Dwellers of the Clouds” at Shedar. After tense maneuvering, they return the “broken one,” whose craft had been damaged when their ships came out of Transit (FTL) space and overloaded his systems with a scan. Back at Camp Alpha, Gombo decides to stay to help the marines and approaching colonists learn how to coexist with Toliman’s ecosystem, and Aughest-vor has a tryst with Capt. Robin Buckley. Lt. Kevin Reese agrees to overlook a missile that Lt.Col. Shelman fired in a panic.
  • Vehicles: The “Blackbird” and “Raptor”-class fighters
  • N.P.C.s: Tiger Squadron of the North American Aerospace Marine Corps (see above)
  • Dwellers of the Clouds-gas-giant inhabitants and miners
  • Links: http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/DnD3VanishedLands/message/9433
    http://www.genesworlds.com/2011/05/26/vortex-update-5a-17-first-contact-at-proxima/
Session: 5a.18 – Van Maanen’s Star – mining mystery and undersea intrigue
  • Real time: Monday, 6 June 2011
  • Game dates: “23 to 30 September 2194 A.D./C.E. or 0 Terran Galactic Era”
  • Locations: From Alpha Centauri to Oasis Station, Van Maanen’s Star (white dwarf) with two gas-giant planets – Absolom and Methuselah
  • Ruhema-innermost satellite of Absolom, site of slag piles, abandoned mining equipment, and subsurface energy-draining machinery; claimed by Aughest-vor for holding company “OPM-Pharsmor”
  • Elric-pale, cold moon of Absolom, with ruined spires and thin, windy atmosphere (apologies to Michael Moorcock)
  • Ezekiel-barren rock moon of Absolom
  • Whistler’s Mother-iceball outer moon of Methuselah
  • “Dorian Gray”-inner moon of Methuselah, home to descendants of stranded Aquarian miners divided between the crystalline city-state of Albahaven and the supposedly superstitious Corvell Unity
  • Summary: On the way to Oasis Station (40 parsecs from Earth), the crew of the “Blackbird” experiences fatigue and pauses to send messages home. The starship goes to Van Maanen’s Star and finds mysterious mining equipment and an icy moon with a divided undersea civilization….
  • Vehicles: The “Blackbird,” “Dragonfly,” and Aquarian mining craft and submarines
  • N.P.C.s: Dr. Bucket and
  • Solipsy-Trinoid “sharer” at Saturn’s moon Titan, contacted by Syzygy
  • Raine-hated cousin of Aughest-vor, board member at megacorp Vimeco, obtained contracts with the United Earth Authority
  • Tu Han-female Martian human, courted by Aughest
  • Mr. Gray-male Terran human, superior of Lt. Kevin Reese at Interplanetary Patrol; concerned about his health
  • Gen. Qualish-male Aquarian, authority in Albahaven
  • Queen Shulis-female Aquarian, ruler of the Corvell Unity
  • Links: http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/DnD3VanishedLands/message/9442
    http://www.genesworlds.com/2011/06/20/vortex-update-5a-18-mining-mystery-and-undersea-intrigue/
    http://www.onewest.net/~dollan/ARCvanmaanen.html
Session: 5a.19 – the Aquarian summit
  • Real time: Monday, 20 June 2011
  • Game dates: “1 to 3 October 2194 A.D./C.E. or 0 G.E.”
  • Locations: “Dorian Gray,” the inner moon of “Methuselah,” a gas giant orbiting Van Maanen’s Star; rival crystalline city-states of Albahaven and the Corvell Unity
  • Summary: The explorers travel from technocratic Albahaven to the religious Corvell Unity, where they are again greeted with suspicion. Syzygy is mistaken for a “demon” from the deeps," but Lt. Reese is able to persuade Queen Shulis and her advisors to come aboard. Aughest-vor stays behind and talks about his relationships.
    After picking up Gen. Qualish, the “Blackbird” hosts a summit in orbit. Tela finds a clockwork crab and scolds Col. Bijar, while Lt. Reese talks with Selora. Syzygy trades information about (and for) the Aquarians for polymer membrane technology from the Salvorain. The leaders announce to their people that they’re going to work together….
  • Vehicles: The “Blackbird”
  • N.P.C.s: Dr. Bucket, Gen. Qualish, Queen Shulis, and
  • Valkon-male Salvorain (descendant of Aquarian miners on Dorian Gray), priest in the Corvell Unity, distrusts Albahaven
  • Selora-female Salvorain, adviser to Queen Shulis, befriends Lt. Reese
  • Col. Bijar-male Salvorain from Albahaven’s Ministry of Observation, sent clockwork crab to spy on the “Blackbird” in the Corvell Unity and tried to tamper with ship’s systems but caught by Tela
  • Links: http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/DnD3VanishedLands/message/9448
    http://www.genesworlds.com/2011/06/22/vortex-update-5a-19-aquarian-summit/
Session: 5a.20 – It’s a trap!
  • Real time: Monday, 22 August 2011?
  • Game dates: “4 to 7 October 2194 A.D./C.E. or 0 T.G.E.”
  • Locations: from Van Maanen’s Star (3 parsecs from Sol) to LP 771-095 (trinary, 7 pc from Sol) and Beta Canum Venaticorum (binary-Chara/Asterion, 8 pc from Sol, with two gas giants, at least one rockball, and one “Goldilocks” world – “Henson” – with two moons), Oasis Station (40 pc from Sol)
  • Summary: On the way from Van Maanen’s Star to Oasis Station, the “Blackbird” receives a distress call near Cetus Eridani. While approaching the “Dezorici,” however, the scout ship passes through a force field that disables its FTL capabilities, and six “squltures” attack!
    Aughest-vor… makes evasive maneuvers, Tela works to repair the REM drive, and Lt. Reese scans the enemy. Chris lays down covering fire, Syzygy scans the area, and Dr. Bucket works on damage control. With its afterburner, the “Blackbird” evades its pursuers and posts warnings. After more strange behavior in Transit space, the “Blackbird” goes to Beta Canum Venaticorum. On planet “Henson,” the crew encounters lush alien life, including green-skinned humanoids…
  • Vehicles: the “Blackbird,” “Dragonfly,” and “Tiger Hawk Sandstorm”
  • the “Dezorici”-vessel of unknown origin allegedly disabled by a solar flare near Cetus Eridani, contains 20+ falsified life signs
  • “Squltures”-Kutalrin raiders, named by Aughest-vor and Kevin because of their squid-like tentacles, vulture-like necks and metallic beaks
  • N.P.C.s: Dr. Bucket, and
  • Kutalrin-robotic scavengers/raiders with hive-mind communications, possibly working with someone else in the Cetus Eridani system
  • “Boobulons”-three-breasted, green-skinned humanoids on planet “Henson,” some riding pterodactyl-like flying steeds
  • Links: http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/DnD3VanishedLands/message/9484
    http://www.genesworlds.com/2011/08/26/vortex-update-5a-20-its-a-trap/
Session: 5a.21 – Escape from Boobulon!
  • Real time: Monday, 12 September 2011
  • Game dates: “8 to 14 October 2194 A.D./C.E. or 0 T.G.E.”
  • Locations: Beta Canum Venaticorum (binary-Chara/Asterion, ~8 pc from Sol, with two gas giants, at least one rockball, and one “Goldilocks” world – “Henson/Hefner” – with two moons), then toward BD-04-123 and Oasis Station (about 40 pc from Sol)
  • Summary: The away team is greeted by inhabitants of planet “Henson/Hefner” and brought into a cliffside temple. Chris and Aughest-vor… accept the priestesses’ offer of “enlightenment,” and Syzygy and Lt. Kevin Reese send information to Dr. Bucket to analyze. The natives, who appear to have no high technology, are aware of interstellar travel, thanks to pilgrims and traders.
    Tela wanders deeper into the caves and finds a concealed Ru’ulok mining operation. She and the other visitors hastily withdraw and report their findings to the United Earth Authority and the Kharvamid Alliance. Syzygy deduces that the locals are descended from genetic samples taken from Terra about 1,000 (Earth) years ago. The “Blackbird” resumes its course.
  • Vehicles: the “Blackbird,” “Dragonfly,” “Tiger Hawk Sandstorm,” and Ru’ulok and other mining stations
  • N.P.C.s: Dr. Bucket and
  • Magabelka-female “Boobulon” (green-skinned, three-breasted humanoid) priestess to the earth mother; seduced Aughest-vor to “share enlightenment”
  • Lirmapia-female acolyte, shared bliss with Chris
  • Laknpor-female temple guard, talked with Kevin
  • two unnamed Ru’ulok-in silver space/containment suits, seen by Tela in concealed area beneath the temple
  • Reveek-male Ru’ulok; talked remotely with Aughest about mining operations on Hefner
  • Links: http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/DnD3VanishedLands/message/9494
    http://www.genesworlds.com/2011/09/19/vortex-update-5a-21-escape-from-boobulon/
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beta_Canum_Venaticorum
    http://ourstellarneighborhood.blogspot.com/search?q=beta+canum+venaticorum
Session: 5a.22 – Transit-space dungeon
  • Real time: Monday, 10 October 2011
  • Game dates: “15 to 21 October 2194 A.D./C.E. or 0 T.G.E.”
  • Locations: From Beta Canum Venaticorum (including planet “Henson/Hefner/Boobulon”) toward BD-04-123 and Oasis Station (about 40 pc from Sol)
  • Summary: While in faster-than-light travel, the adventuring party has a shared dream of being in a fantasy dungeon. They encounter rats, traps, Undead Goblins, and Orc guards, as well as Jovian journalist and psi Scoop Chang and Cog Gnome Gomer (actually robot Dr. Bucket). The group fights its way through a tower, where an Ogre shaman holds Lady Lyta Oiseau (actually the “Blackbird”). After meeting a dragon, the crew awakens back aboard its starship, with Scoop in Gombo’s cabin!
  • Vehicles: The “Blackbird”
  • Team 1:
  • “Syzygy” [Brian W.]-Trinoid xenologist/mystic with potions
  • “Tela” [Sara F.]-female Tharian engineer/burglar
  • “Chris McKee/Agent Prometheus” [Josh C.]-male Terran cyborg/crossbow sniper
  • “Aughest-vor…” [Jason E.R.]-male L-5 human pilot/swashbuckler
  • “Lt. Kevin Reese” [Bruce K.]-male Terran human patrolman/knight
  • “Scoop Chang” [Rich C.G.]-male Jovian “near-human” (psi) journalist/bard
  • N.P.C.s:
  • 12 large rats in submerged portion of tunnel; attacked Syzygy, Tela, and Chris before killed or driven off (Syzygy sampled water)
  • Mr. Sniffles-male tomcat companion of Syzygy; transformed to a larger form and fought rats
  • 4 Undead Goblins (fungal?)-attacked party in crypt beyond secret rotating door and Zarkonian-caused explosion (party got rags)
  • Gomer (actually astromech robot Dr. Bucket) – “Metalheadrumblestripquickseekerflyselfonesunfollowshelpspiderwrench…”-male Cog Gnome, told group about Lady Lyta; left behind at teleporting sigil (Riddle: “Follow your heart’s desire, but achieve nothing else, or pursue the group’s wishes, and lose but one.”)
  • 4 Orc guards, defeated at tower overlooking a valley village (party claimed crossbow quarrels, knives)
  • unnamed male Ogre shaman-tried to Dominate and smash intruders, ultimately slain by Chris (treasure included eye amulet, shillelagh)
  • Lady Lyta Oiseau, female Quelanthi (Seelie Fey/High Elf/Eladrin) princess (actually the experimental Olvar scout ship “Blackbird”), rescued by the team
  • unnamed Dragon-rose out of the forest, greeted by Lady Lyta before party awoke aboard its vessel, with Scoop in Gombo’s cabin!
  • Links: http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/DnD3VanishedLands/message/9546
    http://www.genesworlds.com/2011/10/17/vortex-update-5a-22-transit-space-dungeon/
Session: 5a.23 – the Menace on Venice
  • Real time: Monday, 24 October 2011
  • Game dates: “22 to 25 October 2194 A.D./C.E. or 0 T.G.E.”
  • Locations: BD+04-123 (a.k.a. HR 222, GL 333, Hip. 3765, 96 Piscium, or Wolf 25), an orange-red star in the Andromedae constellation, orbited by two Neptune-size gas giants, one iceball world, two rockballs (one hot, the other “Florence”), and one “Goldilocks” – Venice – on the way to Oasis Station
  • Summary: Newcomer Scoop Chang interviews the crew of the “Blackbird” about extraterrestrials. At 96 Piscium B, or “Venice,” the away team finds indigo vegetation and creatures resembling birds, fish, and dinosaurs, as well as an ancient network of canals.
    The landing party narrowly escapes a stampede of land whales and carnosaurs, and Aughest-vor scrambles to evade lampreys. Upon returning to the drop ship and orbiting scout vessel, they are contacted by a huge Ma’ari ark ship and warily agree to meet….
  • Vehicles: the “Blackbird,” “Dragonfly,” and “Cyan Horizon,” a Talari (ark ship) of the Ma’ari (see below)
  • N.P.C.s: Dr. Bucket and
  • EVE-hovering newsbot styled to look like an early 20th century flash camera; Tela added thrusters and manipulator arms
  • Venetian “land whales,” carnosaurs, and lampreys-see below
  • Lurandi-female Ma’ari (see below), captain of the “Cyan Horizon,” asked to board “Blackbird” but later met Tela, Aughest-vor, and Scoop on Florence and invited them to her vessel
  • Rilga-female Ma’ari trade envoy – diplomat and bursar
  • Asdann Fre’vel-female Gustrall, impatient hired guard
  • Kligba Onagan-male Olvar, pilgrim and passenger; contacted Syzygy and asked to meet
    >>Species met thus far:
  • Aquarians/Polarians [created with Carlo R.]: Amphibious humanoids with colonies in a few systems; threatened by Zarkonian Armada
  • Boobulons: Green-skinned, three-breasted humanoids on planet “Henson/Hefner” near Beta Canum Venaticorum; Syzygy believes they’re derived from Terran stock by the Encegulans
  • Cestolar: Literal-minded, badger-like former Olvar clients; prospectors encountered at Tyche
  • Dwellers of the Clouds: Gas-giant dwellers met near Alpha Centauri
  • Encegulans: Slug-like slavers from whom Tela escaped
  • Gustrall: Orange-furred, antlered, velociraptor-like warriors
  • Kutalrin: Robotic scavengers/raiders with hive mind, used “Squltures” and T-inhibitors to trap unwary vessels near Cetus Eridani
  • Ma’ari [created by Jenna R.P.]: Diminutive, pale humanoid wanderers; see this update
  • Meorr [created by Dave F.R-B.]: Lion-like berserkers
  • Nethians: Blue insectoid engineers, members of the Kharvamid Alliance
  • Olvar: Arboreal mammal-like pranksters and mystics; co-founders with the Trinoids of the Kharvamid Alliance
  • Precursors: Ancient starfaring species capable of massive engineering projects such as those near Van Maanen’s Star; current whereabouts unknown
  • Ru’ulok: Heavy-gravity reptilian traders
  • Salvorain: Descendants of Aquarian miners near Van Maanen’s Star
  • Tharians [created by Sara F.]: Gargoyle-like, pre-FTL aliens; see Tela
  • Tolimanian mantiles: Reptilian/insectoid xenomorphs (hostile life forms), pack hunters that communicate via subsonics, encountered near Alpha Centauri
  • Trinoids [developed by David I.S., Brian W.]: Three-armed, barrel-trunked xenobiologists; see Syzygy
  • Venetian land whales, carnosaurs, and lampreys: See this update
  • Xenoids: Synthetic beings created by aliens, similar to humanity’s “Synths” (robots/A.I.s, “Uplifted” animals, genetically engineered humanoids)
  • Zarkonians [created by Gene D., Carlo R., Bill B., Jon B., and Ray C.]: Tentacled crustaceans with an interstellar armada; homeworld unknown
  • Links: http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/DnD3VanishedLands/message/9571
    http://www.genesworlds.com/2011/10/27/vortex-update-5a-23-the-menace-on-venice/
Session: 5a.24 – Panic at the disco
  • Real time: Monday, 14 November 2011
  • Game dates: “26 to 31 October 2194 A.D./C.E. or 0 T.G.E.”
  • Locations: BD+04-123 (a.k.a. 96 Piscium), on the way to Oasis Station
  • Summary: The away team takes a tour of the Ma’ari Talari “Cyan Horizon.” Syzygy gets more samples and meets with Olvar agent Kligba Onagan, who warns of the approaching Zarkonian Armada and mentions a Precursor FTL gate at Oasis Station. Tela meets Kedar, the first Tharian she has seen since leaving home. Chris engages in a “Twisting” match with some Ma’ari martial artists and reluctantly has his cranial implants removed.
    Aughest-vor is wary of the diminuitive, pale aliens and trades astrogation notes with xenoid Hublo. Lt. Reese asks Capt. Lurandi for help, both for his ship and for all Terrans. Scoop interacts with psionic artists and records the proceedings with EVE. Tariq wagers on the Twisting match and joins the humans far from home as they consider enhancements to their ship….
  • Vehicles: the “Blackbird,” “Dragonfly,” and “Cyan Horizon”
  • N.P.C.s: Dr. Bucket, EVE, and
  • Lurandi-female Ma’ari (see below), captain of the “Cyan Horizon,” reluctantly agreed to help humans
  • Rilga-female Ma’ari trade envoy – diplomat, bursar, and guide
  • Asdann Fre’vel-female Gustrall, impatient hired guard, befriends Chris
  • Kligba Onagan-male Olvar, secretive pilgrim and passenger; informally met with Syzygy on behalf of the Kharvamid Alliance
  • “Felana” [Jenna R.P./N.P.C.]-female Ma’ari physician, curious about humans; removed Agent Prometheus’ cranial implants
  • Murilo-male Ma’ari, chief xenobiologist of the “Cyan Horizon”
  • Kasfel-male Ma’ari, proud holographic artist and self-defense expert
  • Hublo-Xenoid (alien artificial intelligence; Ma’ari design), archivist of the “Cyan Horizon”
  • “Tariq Asrad Saladin” [Beruk A.?]-male Terran “near-human” seeker of enlightenment and investigator
  • Links: http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/DnD3VanishedLands/message/9623
    http://www.genesworlds.com/2011/11/16/vortex-update-5a24panicatthedisco/
Session: 6a.25 – “The light-year without a Santa Claus”
  • Real time: Monday, 12 December 2011
  • Game dates: “1 to 7 November 2194 A.D./C.E. or 0 T.G.E.”
  • Locations: 96 Piscium/“Venice” to GL 884 (red star with two barely habitable planets – “Heat Miser” and “Cold Miser”) and Hip 103039 (near Altair and BD+15-4733), on the way to Oasis Station
  • Summary: The “Blackbird” departs from 96 Piscium and the Ma’ari on the “Cyan Horizon” after installing a cloaking system and taking on two passengers, Tariq and Kedar. Chris is questioned after his cyberware removal, and the Tharians dream of their homeworld while in faster-than-light travel. The Terrans want to warn the Sol system of the threat posed by the Zarkonian Armada.
    The scout ship drops out of Transit because of an ion storm and eventually arrives at GL 884, where the Olvar once had a large colony. A “pod” of 24 Cetaran prospecting ships arrives, provoking a heated debate within the crew on protocols for First Contact. Syzygy and Tela observe, while Aughest-vor and Scoop recommend parleying and Lt. Reese and Agent Prometheus argue for tactical readiness.
    Aughest and Tariq counsel for a balance, and Capt. Geyvvig proves not to be hostile. Dr. Bucket notes that the Cetarans’ mining technology could be useful at Tyche. The group leaves and eventually attempts to establish some standard operating procedures….
  • Vehicles: the “Blackbird,” “Dragonfly,” “Cyan Horizon,” and
  • “Pod” of 24 Cetaran mining vessels, which take up stacked positions in geostationary orbits above “Heat Miser” for extraction and refinement of rare minerals used for Transit technology
  • N.P.C.s: Dr. Bucket, EVE, Lurandi, Kedar, Tariq, Capt. Lurandi, “Felana,” and
  • Capt. Geyvvig-male Cetaran (amphibious, plesiosaur-like alien; created by Byron V.O.), leader of “pod” who proposes that Terrans join a non-aligned movement of less-populous interstellar species rather than the Kharvamid Alliance or galactic trade guilds
  • Links: http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/DnD4VanishedLands/message/9661
    http://www.genesworlds.com/2011/12/15/vortex-update-5a-25-the-light-year-without-a-santa-claus/
View
The Story so Far Team 2
Session : 6b.1 – Battlefield hazards
  • Real time : Labor Day, 6 September 2010
  • Game dates : “2 to 4 June 2194 A.D./C.E. or -1/0 G.E.”
  • Locations : North Eastern American Megalopolis, El Capitan Hotel in Lisbon, Karachi, ruins and undercity south of the Himalayas
  • Summary : After official First Contact between Terrans and galactic societies and the incident in Rio, courier Gabriel Adams meets robot ARTHERR in New Lisbon. Snake-oil salesman Dr. Richmond Garrett feigns being hit by ex-wrestler Jasmine’s hovercycle. Gabriel’s contacts offer a mission to search a battlefield north of Karachi.
    Upon examining the dangerous ruins, the runners find a downed Oligat scout droid, reactivated nanites, and an extraterrestrial probe. They manage to collect samples and escape the robots and a rival extraction team….
  • Vehicles : Jasmine’s hoverbike, chartered flights, armored personnel carrier
  • Non-Player Characters : Lisbon toughs, fixer “Ramon Sanchez” [Josh H./N.P.C.], Cmdr. Raj’s squad, “Harbinger of the Great Order of Submission”
Session : Ghanki Station, 5b.2 – Undersea peril
  • Real time : Monday, 20 September 2010
  • Game dates : 4 to 6 June 2194 A.D./C.E. or -1/0 Galactic Era
  • Locations : Karachi, Ghanki Station (a city beneath the Arabian Sea)
  • Summary : Fixer Ramon Sanchez asks the retrieval team to meet him at Ghanki Station rather than Lisbon. Gabriel looks into illicit auctions. Former government operative Hector Chavez drives to Karachi and monitors communications for pursuit by Cmdr. Raj.
    ARTHERR helps Richmond set up charitable shell company Mars Soup Aid Lenders Ltd., or “MarSoupAiL.” Jasmine hits Richmond with a coffee pot when he cites her low status as a Synth. The group meets egotistical philanthropist Nero Bartholomew and ultimately gives him the alien sample.
    Gabriel accepts Nero’s offer of the “Fortune’s Fool” and delivers inactive nanites to Ramon for auction. ARTHERR and Richmond give the Oligat computer core retrieved from the battlefield site to robots from Vimeco.
    At the “Stacked Deck” nightclub, Gabriel meets the seductive Survana Khadija, and Nero boasts about recent acquisitions. As weapons are sold, Ghanki’s power and life support are disrupted by an unknown electromagnetic pulse…
  • Vehicles : submarines; “Fortune’s Fool,” a scout ship/space yacht in orbit
  • N.P.C.s : Ramon Sanchez, Cmdr. Raj’s squad, Nero Bartholomew (ship owner), Survana Khadija (Raj), Naresh Dilwaar (arms merchant)
Session : 5b.3Trapped! underwater!
  • Real time : 4 October 2010
  • Game dates : “6 to 11 June 2194 A.D./C.E. or -1/0 G.E.”
  • Location : Ghanki Station, Arabian Sea
  • Summary : Gabriel follows Survana Khadija through back alleys toward a military sub before going back to his companions. Hector looks for tools at Nero’s lab. ARTHERR takes Jasmine, Richmond, and Nero through a cannibalistic mob and up an elevator shaft. The undersea city shows signs of structural strain.
    Hector sees Dr. Rajiv taken over by the alien sample from the battlefield. Richmond and Nero flee with Survana Jasmine helps ARTHERR retrieve a generator and set it to overload, deactivating the enemy probe again.
    Gabriel and ARTHERR lead the way to a command node to restore power as directed by Panjit Singh. Hector scans and Jasmine guards as they pass flooded compartments, a well-stocked warehouse, and a gang with harpoon guns. Richmond and Nero are questioned aboard Col. Raj’s sub.
  • Vehicles : Submarines, “Fortune’s Fool
  • N.P.C.s : See also 5b.2 – Survana (Gabriel), Nero (Richmond), undercity mobs (Jasmine). Col. Raj (Richmond)
  • Jarhita Fleming-female Lunar human researcher, panicked in laboratory after Dr. Rajiv slain by alien probe, tasered by ARTHERR
  • Panjit Singh-male Indian Terran human, captain of local authorities
  • Rakeem-male Ghanki Terran human, leader of harpoon gun gang
  • Links : http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb42/GeneD5/Vortex/Vortex02.jpg
Session : 5b.4 – Cannibals, flammables, and the mech-Cthu-flu!
  • Real time : Monday, 25 October 2010
  • Game dates : “12 to 14 June 2194 A.D./C.E. or -1/0 G.E.”
  • Locations : Ghanki Station
  • Summary : After restoring basic systems in the undersea city, Gabriel, ARTHERR, Jasmine, and Hector again fight panicked mobs, the alien “Harbinger of the Order of Submission,” and something Man Was Not Meant to Know. Con men Dr. Garrett and Nero are taken to Karachi, where they are questioned by Col. Raj.
  • Vehicles : submarines
  • N.P.C.s : “Ramon Sanchez,” Cmdr. Raj, Survana, Panjit Singh, Vimeco
  • Adm. Wei Sihong-United Earth Authority officer who eventually receives dangerous samples from ARTHERR
  • Links : http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/DnD3VanishedLands/message/9241
    http://groups.google.com/group/holysteel/msg/12e597ae6c390d31
    http://www.enworld.org/forum/blogs/edemaitre/3059-26-oct-2010-vortex-update-5b-4-cannibals-flammables-mech-cthu-flu.html
    http://community.wizards.com/vanishedlands/blog/2010/10/26/26_oct.2010:vortex_update_5a.4_-cannibals,flammables,andmech-cthu-flu!
  • Session: 5b.5 – Leaving Karachi
  • Real time: 8 November 2010
  • Game dates: “15 to 19 June 2194 A.D./C.E. or -1/0 G.E.”
  • Locations: Karachi; “Larry Wu’s” hotel [apologies to Larry Niven]
  • Summary: Jasmine and ARTHERR explore Karachi’s underworld in an attempt to find where warlord Cmdr. Raj is holding Dr. Garrett. Gabriel and Hector lie low, while Richmond talks interrogator Survana Khadija into loosening the restrictions on him at the luxury hotel. The con man also talks with Nero Bartholomew.
    ARTHERR paints himself black as “the Voice,” spokesrobot for Jasmine as “Trouble.” They befriend betters at a pit fight and get hired by the “Screaming Monkeys” to extort Hindu priest Abdul Kapur, who turns out to be working for rival gang the “Angry Elephants.” The robot and Tiger-woman rescue Richmond and Nero and bluff their way through the spaceport.
  • Vehicles: submarine, rickshaws, orbital transfer vehicle
  • N.P.C.s: Cmdr. Raj, Survana Khadija, Nero Bartholomew
  • Haroun Oglethorpe-male Terran human businessman encountered by ARTHERR and Jasmine exiting white slavery pens
  • Unnamed Venusian “Synth” (thick-skinned), maimed by monofilament whip in pit fight by the Indus River
  • Vijay, Hassan, and Carl-male South Asian human mercenaries, gambling associates of Haoun, befriended by ARTHERR (Hassan’s cousin provides false IDs to leave the spaceport.)
  • Logus-“Andie” (Artificial Intelligence in C-space only), author of “Psionics, More than Meets the Eye,” and pleasant receptionist for the “Screaming Monkeys” shakedown operation
  • “Abdul Kapur” [Dave S.C./N.P.C.]-male South Asian Terran human, apparent Hindu priest working for the downtrodden and the “Angry Elephants”; gets hotel plans from ARTHERR
  • Links: http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/DnD3VanishedLands/message/9252
    http://groups.google.com/group/holysteel/msg/745389f4815c8492
    http://www.enworld.org/forum/blogs/edemaitre/3112-10-november-2010-vortex-team-2-update-5b-5-leaving-karachi.html
    http://community.wizards.com/vanishedlands/blog/2010/11/10/vortex_team_2,update_5b.5_-_leavingkarachi
  • Session: 5b.6 – Shepard 2 shipyard and SRE
  • Real time: 22 November 2010
  • Game dates: “20 to 27 June 2194 A.D./C.E. or -1/0 G.E.”
  • Locations: Shepard 2 L-5 orbital city (Red 7, 8 – wealthy tiers; Violet 9 – less-reputable area), Kalam Spaceport on the Lunar Free State, SRE office and warehouse
  • Summary: Hector, ARTHERR, and Jasmine are surprised to find the “Fortune’s Fool” missing several components in space dock, while Gabriel and Richmond run errands and get lodgings at Shepard 2. Disguised as “Pauly,” “the Voice,” and “Trouble,” they trace the missing custom parts to an SRE warehouse and begin planning a heist….
  • Vehicles: transorbital shuttles, “Fortune’s Fool/Gen. Lee”
  • N.P.C.s: Nero Bartholomew, Cmdr. Raj, Systemes de Recuperation Executif Cie (SRE, or Executive Retrieval Systems Inc.)
  • Max-male Terran human, contact of Hector, told him of SRE and rival American Containers
  • male Terran human harbor master at Shepard 2 L-5 station, with maintenance robots
  • Zhou-lian Pao-female Lunar human, wealthy donor to Nero Bartholomew’s charitable shell companies
  • Radha Priyanka-female Lunar human, manager of some of Nero’s holdings; talks with ARTHERR and arranges for covert repair dock for the “Gen. Lee”
  • Kelron Darksky-male “near-human” (modified with panther DNA), handles recruitment and training of Nero’s staffers, as well as mechanics to work on the “Gen. Lee”; talked to Hector and Jasmine
  • unnamed artificial intelligence (“Synth”) receptionist at SRE office
  • Links: http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/DnD3VanishedLands/message/9264
    http://www.enworld.org/forum/blogs/edemaitre/3142-23-nov-2010-vortex-team-2-update-5b-6-shipyard-sre.html
    http://groups.google.com/group/holysteel/msg/fab634d487be4b1f
    http://community.wizards.com/vanishedlands/blog/2010/11/23/vortex_team_2,update_5b.6_-_shipyard_andsre
  • Session: 5b.7 – SRE heist
  • Real time: 6 December 2010
  • Game dates: “28 June to 14 July to 2194 A.D./C.E. or 0 G.E.”
  • Locations: Shepard 2 orbital city, Kalam Spaceport on the Lunar Free State, SRE and American Containers warehouses, covert “dry dock”
  • Summary: Gabriel obtains a false registry and counterfeit ship parts, while Hector hacks police channels and rents a truck. ARTHERR ships himself to the SRE warehouse, where he switches the codes for “Trouble’s” (Jasmine’s) audiovisual gear and the parts repossessed from the “Fortune’s Fool.”
    Richmond talks to Nero’s contacts and, disguised as a guard with Gabriel, goes to the SRE facility to divert attention. ARTHERR is taken aboard the “Parsifal,” while Hector drives off with the actual machinery. Later, Doug McDonnell gets the dummy engine and asks for help delivering medical supplies to Venus when the “Parsifal’s” reclaimed “engines” don’t work.
  • Vehicles: transorbital shuttles, “Fortune’s Fool/General Lee”
  • The “Parsifal”-vessel whose systems are to be returned from the “Fortune’s Fool”; scheduled for an urgent aid mission to Venus orbit
  • N.P.C.s: Nero Bartholomew, Cmdr. Raj, and
  • Max-male Terran human, contact of Hector, told him of SRE and rival American Containers
  • male Terran human harbor master at Shepard 2 L-5 station, with maintenance robots
  • Zhou-lian Pao-female Lunar human, wealthy donor to Nero Bartholomew’s charitable shell companies
  • Radha Priyanka-female Lunar human, manager of some of Nero’s holdings; talks with ARTHERR and arranges for covert repair dock for the “Gen. Lee”
  • Kelron Darksky-male “near-human” (modified with panther DNA), handles recruitment and training of Nero’s staffers, as well as mechanics to work on the “Gen. Lee”; talked to Hector and Jasmine
  • Direct Engagement and Attack Drones (DEAD)-heavy armored guard robots with limited flight, at SRE warehouse
  • Artificial Intelligence Directed Tracked Vehicle (AID Tracks)-mobile robotic scouts
  • “Cujos”-“Uplifted” guard dogs, work as a pack
  • Otto, Max, Bors, Faisal-male Lunar human guards at American Containers warehouse
  • Francine Tufnel-female near-human Belter, owner of the free trader “Sampan,” has a grievance against SRE/American Containers
    >>Systemes de Recuperation Executif Cie (SRE, or Executive Retrieval Systems Inc.) retrieval squad:
  • Marco Sparks-male Martian Ursoid (“Uplifted” bear), former space marine, Hitter
  • Glenn Alexandrov-male Lunar near-human (cyborg) Hacker
  • Fred Roberts-male North American Terran human, Mastermind
  • Jeanie Belveaux-female European/L-5 near-human, Grifter
  • Lisa Panko-female Southeast Asian Terran human, catburglar/Thief
    >>Crew of the aid ship “Parsifal:”
  • “Doug McDonnel” [Erik B.L./N.P.C.]-male North American “near-human,” Interplanetary Patrol veteran and captain
  • Whistler-male Lunar Delphine (“Uplifted” dolphin), astrogator
  • E3-F4/“Four”-robot engineer
  • Maztiplatica-male South American Terran “Synth” (genetically engineered humanoid) chief medical officer
  • Lian, Sameera, Ping, Meixiang-female Terran human aid workers aboard the “Parsifal”
  • Bohai, Chuntao, Kung, Rong-Terran human guards
  • Links: http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/DnD3VanishedLands/message/9279
    http://www.enworld.org/forum/blogs/edemaitre/3177-7-december-2010-fate-3e-vortex-team-2-update-5b-7-lunar-heist.html
    http://groups.google.com/group/holysteel/msg/c8ab966d082683f1
    http://community.wizards.com/vanishedlands/blog/2010/12/07/vortex_team_2,update_5b.7_-_lunarheist
  • Session: 5b.8 – on the way to Venus
  • Real time: 24 January 2011
  • Game dates: “15 July to 14 August 2194 A.D./C.E. or 0 G.E.”
  • Locations: Aphrodite orbital transfer station, Kardikea orbital city, spa, Hephaestus Stadium
  • Summary: The “General Lee” tows the “Parsifal” from the Lunar Free State to Venus. A data packet from Aphrodite Station warns of an impending U.E.A. quarantine. Upon docking at Kardikea, the two ships’ crews are received by members of the Finance Union, which is controlled by 12 families and in turn rules Venus’ colonies.
    Gabriel and Capt. McDonnell transfer a portion of the medicine, while Hector monitors communications and security. Jasmine and ARTHERR take pity on orphan Aseem and bring him to a hospital amid civil unrest. Richmond negotiates with Chairman Orion Stefanov, who wants exclusive access to the aid and agrees that the deaths of thousands of the poor to be gathered at Hephaestus Stadium would be “unfortunate”….
  • Vehicles: “Fortune’s Fool/General Lee” and
  • The “Parsifal”-vessel whose systems were taken for the “Fortune’s Fool”; an urgent aid mission to Venus
  • United Earth Vessel “Sphinx”-destroyer sent to enforce medical quarantine of Venus and its colonies
  • N.P.C.s: Nero Bartholomew (cook); Cmdr. Raj,
    >>Crew of the aid ship “Parsifal:”
  • “Doug McDonnel” [Erik B.L./N.P.C.]-male North American near-human, Interplanetary Patrol veteran and captain
  • Whistler-male Lunar Delphine (“Uplifted” dolphin), astrogator
  • E3-F4/“Four”-robot engineer
  • Maztiplatica-male South American Terran “Synth” (genetically engineered humanoid) chief medical officer
  • Lian, Sameera, Ping, Meixiang-female Terran human aid workers aboard the “Parsifal”
  • Bohai, Chuntao, Kung, Rong-Terran human guards
    >>Around Venus:
  • Barney Pradesh-male Synth (artificial intelligence) at the Aphrodite orbital transfer station, sent data packet to the “Gen. Lee” and “Parsifal” warning of civil unrest and an impending U.E.A. blockade
  • Vimala Rutowska-female Venusian human flight controller at Aphrodite Station
  • Orion Stefanov-male Venusian human, executive of Venusian Finance Union, negotiates with Richmond for exclusive access to medical supplies
  • Yakov Nikolevsky-male Venusian human, foreman in Kardikea’s factories and member of welcome delegation
  • Lady Lykhova-female Venusian human, unhappily betrothed to a member of the 12 families that control the Finance Union; talked with Richmond
  • “Aseem Sudeshna” [Paul J./N.P.C.]-male Venusian human child, affected by arthritis-like plague, brought by Jasmine to hospital
  • Georgios Vasilakis-male Venusian human, administrator of Morningstar Consortium medical facility; explains to ARTHERR that he doesn’t have the access that Xi Laboratories doctors do
  • Lt. Mizuno Procne-male Terran human, officer aboard the U.E.V. “Sphinx”
  • Capt. Amelia Saviola-female Terran human, commander of the “Sphinx” who notes that although her flotilla is too busy enforcing the quarantine to directly help, she will lend what aid to the medical mission that she can
  • Links: http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/DnD3VanishedLands/message/9323
    http://www.enworld.org/forum/blogs/edemaitre/3294-25-jan-2011-fate-3e-vortex-update-5b-8-venusian-virus.html
    http://groups.google.com/group/holysteel/msg/7f3310f2e15fe5e9
    http://community.wizards.com/vanishedlands/blog/2011/01/25/25_jan.2011:vortex_update_5b.8_-venusianvirus
  • Session: 5b.9 – Lucifer’s Hole
  • Real time: 7 February 2011
  • Game dates: “15 to 17 August 2194 A.D./C.E. or -1/0 G.E.”
  • Locations: Kardikea orbital city, mines on Venus
  • Summary: Gabriel pilots a drop ship from Kardikea Station to “Lucifer’s Hole.” Hector and Jasmine help coordinate aid, while ARTHERR and Richmond get a tour of the Oromax operation and are asked for better living conditions.
    Gabriel meets underworld contact Kirun, and Hector finds that droid DARIA is reporting back to the 12 families that control Venus’ colonies. Deep Dish asks Jasmine and company for help getting offworld, and Richmond hires him. ARTHERR interfaces with DARIA.
    After experiencing mechanical problems, the drop ship’s crew learns of a disaster at Hephaestus Stadium, where tens of thousands of lower-status workers have gathered for medicine. A massive hull breach has killed numerous people, so the “Gen. Lee” and other ships try to rescue victims from sealed-off compartments…
  • Vehicles: the “General Lee” and the “Parsifal,” armored drop ship, mine cars and elevators, U.E.V. “Sphinx” and blockade
  • N.P.C.s: Nero Bartholomew (cook), Capt. Doug McDonnell, Orion Stefanov, Yakov Nikolevsky,
  • Olenka Ryzhkov-female Venusian human, crude scarred pilot; welcomes Gabriel and team to Lucifer’s Hole; asks “surgeon general” Dr. Garrett for aid
  • Averki “Deep Dish” Dyashenko-male Venusian mutant (reptilian) miner; gets Jasmine to help him leave Venus with crew
  • DARIA (Deep Atmospheric Recollection Intelligent Automaton)-female Venusian Synth (robot) mechanic; surveillance monitor; gives broadcast codes to ARTHERR
  • Kirun-male Venusian human miner and smuggler, contact of Gabriel, asked him to bring teddy bear to daughter up on Kardikea
  • Links: http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/DnD3VanishedLands/message/9335
    http://groups.google.com/group/holysteel/msg/c687201115c9c228
    http://community.wizards.com/gened5/blog/2011/02/08/vortex_update_5b.9:venus_-_lucifershole
  • Session: 5b.10 – Space sleuths
  • Real time: 21 February 2011
  • Game dates: “18 to 21 to 2194 A.D./C.E. or -1/0 G.E.”
  • Locations: Lucifer’s Hole mining colony, Kardikea orbital city
  • Summary: As surgeon general, Dr. Garrett is summoned to the Venus colony’s Central Committee, which assigns his party to investigate the disaster at Hephaestus Stadium, manage the distribution of medicine, and act as liaison to the U.E.A. inquiry team. The “Gen. Lee’s” crew finds evidence of sabotage and is attacked by four robots.
  • Vehicles: “Gen. Lee,” aid ship “Parsifal,” destroyer U.E.V. “Sphinx”
  • N.P.C.s: see previous notes for Capt. Doug McDonnell, Chairman Orion Stefanov, Capt. Amelia Saviola, Kirun, and
  • Mikhail Ivanov-male Venusian human, communications operator
  • 4 Vimeco battle droids-reprogrammed to attacked party near hull breach, destroyed
  • Sergei Malenkov-male Venusian human, gave order for station security to withdraw before hull breach, later found dead
  • Links: http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/DnD3VanishedLands/message/9346
    http://www.enworld.org/forum/blogs/edemaitre/3356-23-feb-2011-vortex-team-2-update-5a-10-space-sleuths.html
    http://community.wizards.com/vanishedlands/blog/2011/02/23/23_feb.2011:vortex_team_2,update_5b.10-spacesleuths
    http://groups.google.com/group/holysteel/msg/d7b5c70def804286
    http://www.genesworlds.com/2011/02/23/vortex-team-2-update-5b-10-space-sleuths/
  • Session: 5b.11 – Venusian virus
  • Real time: 14 March 2011
  • Game dates: “22 to 24 August to 2194 A.D./C.E. or -1/0 G.E.”
  • Locations: Kardikea Station, Venus orbit
  • Summary: Dr. Garrett confines former ship owner and cook Nero to his cabin after becoming ill, and Capt. McDonnell reports that a member of his crew has died from the plague affecting Venus’ colonies. Hector and ARTHERR study the remains of the robots that attacked them, and Gabriel gets a lead on FTL engines. Jasmine, Gabriel, and Hector investigate the apartment of Kiril Shatalin and learn that his orders to withdraw security forces shortly before the disaster at Hepaestus Stadium came from the Venusian Finance Union’s Central Committee….
  • Vehicles: “Fortune’s Fool/Gen. Lee/Appomattox,” aid ship “Parsifal,” U.E.V. “Sphinx,”
  • N.P.C.s: “Capt. Doug McDonnell” and his crew; Nero Bartholomew and Averki “Deep Dish” Dyashenko; Capt. Amelia Saviola; and
  • Gorvek Beezo-male Ru’ulok trader with access to faster-than-light technology, referred to Gabriel by Kirun, in Earth orbit
  • Kiril Shatalin-male Venusian human, give order to Sergei Malenkov to withdraw local security before Hephaestus Stadium disaster
  • Links: http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/DnD3VanishedLands/message/9353
    http://groups.google.com/group/holysteel/msg/8c4f4449707d7018
    http://www.enworld.org/forum/blogs/edemaitre/3406-vortex-update-5b-11-venusian-virus.html
    http://community.wizards.com/vanishedlands/blog/2011/03/13/vortex_update_5b.11_-_venusian_virus
    http://www.genesworlds.com/2011/03/13/vortex-update-5b-11-venusian-virus/
  • Session: 5b.12 – Sickness and sneaking
  • Real time: Monday, 21 March 2011
  • Game dates: “25 to 26 August 2194 A.D./C.E. or 0 Galactic Era”
  • Locations: Venusian Finance Union Central Committee compound
  • Summary: ARTHERR helps identify food as a vector for the arthritis-like illness affecting Venus’ colonists, and newcomer Dr. Dieter Klein brings samples for analysis and identification.
    Gabriel, Jasmine, ARTHERR, and Dieter later infiltrate the Central Committee with diversionary aid from Hector. The team hopes to obtain evidence linking the chain of command to the disaster at Hephaestus Stadium. They manage to obtain a data storage unit from Chairman Orion Stefanov’s office before being chased by numerous guards….
  • Vehicles: The “Gen. Lee/Appomattox,” U.E.V. “Sphinx,” Jasmine’s hovercycle, borrowed garbage truck
  • N.P.C.s: Capt. Doug McDonnell, Capt. Amelia Saviola, Nero Bartholomew, Averki “Deep Dish” Dyashenko, Kiril Shatalin, Chairman Orion Stefanov, and
  • Yegar, Igar, Ugir-some of the guards encountered in a locker room in the V.F.U.’s Central Committee building
  • Links: http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/DnD3VanishedLands/message/9370
    http://groups.google.com/group/holysteel/msg/861c25b029330599
    http://www.genesworlds.com/2011/03/23/vortex-update-5b-12-sickness-and-sneaking/
  • Session: 5b.13 – Decryption, defense, and decoration
  • Real time: Monday, 4 April 2011
  • Game dates: “26 August to 21 September 2194 A.D./C.E. or 0 G.E.”
  • Locations: Kardikea Station, Venus orbit
  • Summary: The “Appomattox” remains at Kardikea Station as doctors continue to fight the spread of disease. Hector cracks the data storage unit retrieved from Chairman Orion Stefanov’s office, and he and ARTHERR find records of Venusian Finance Union meetings indicating their foreknowledge of the disaster at Hephaestus Stadium. They and Gabriel share this information with the U.E.A., Lady Lykhova, and their contacts.
    Dr. Garrett surrenders to local authorities, who arrest him in connection with the sabotage, uncensored transmissions, and Central Committee break-in. However, he presents evidence during his trial pointing to a single security officer and megacorp intrigue. Stefanov and the U.E.A. reluctantly clear the yacht to return to Earth, where its crew reviews potential enhancements. Jasmine takes Deep Dish sightseeing and hunting.
  • Vehicles: The “Gen. Lee/Appomattox,” “Parsifal,” U.E.V. “Sphinx,”
  • N.P.C.s: Nero Bartholomew, Averki “Deep Dish” Dyashenko, Capt. Doug McDonnell, Capt. Amelia Saviola, Chairman Orion Stefanov, Vimeco, Xi Labs, Morningstar Consortium
  • Adm. Wei Sihong-female Terran human, United Earth Authority officer who had received battlefield samples from ARTHERR
  • Links: http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/DnD3VanishedLands/message/9393
    http://www.genesworlds.com/2011/04/05/vortex-update-5b-13-decryption-defense-and-decoration/
  • Session: 5b.14 – Swindles for a stardrive
  • Real time: Monday, 11 April 2011
  • Game dates: “22 to 23 September 2194 A.D./C.E. or 0 G.E.”
  • Locations: Earth orbit
  • Summary: The crew of the “Appomattox” hosts a party for its contacts to learn more about leads on faster-than-light (FTL) drives. During a Texas Hold-’em poker game, the guests gamble competitively and reveal more about various potential missions.
  • Vehicles: The “Appomattox,” the “Enlightened Flower”
  • N.P.C.s:
  • Nero Bartholomew-male Terran human, cook and former owner of the “Fortune’s Fool” pleasure yacht
  • Lillian Morrisey-female Terran human, underworld contact of Gabriel who also knows Capt. Morgan and possibly the Ru’ulok
  • Max-male Terran cyborg, onetime handler of Hector Chavez; mentions a derelict ship at the edge of the Sol system
  • “Ramon Sanchez” [Josh H./Greg D.C.]-male Terran human, Lisbon-based “fixer” who gave the party its first mission, to an old battlefield north of Karachi; germaphobe; offers loans to Dieter and Brandon; hires Dr. Garrett to take mysterious cargo to Epsilon Eridani
  • Hugo, Hernando-male Terran humans, intimidating aides of Ramon
  • Averki “Deep Dish” Dyashenko-male Venusian reptilian Synth, crewman on the “Appamattox” and friend of Jasmine
  • Capt. Brandon Morgan-male Terran human; broke con man who describes the “Enlightened Flower,” which is getting an FTL drive in Feng Ruying’s private shipyard
  • Gorvek Beezo-male Ru’ulok (heavy-gravity reptilian alien) offering work through the galactic Trade Guilds
  • “Rabak Porset” [Rich L./N.P.C.]-male Ru’ulok, mentions alien ship to be salvaged, despite possible Gustrall guards
  • Links: http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/DnD3VanishedLands/message/9399
    http://www.genesworlds.com/2011/04/13/198swindles4astardrive/
  • Session: 5b.15 – Switching scams
  • Real time: Monday, 2 May 2011
  • Game dates: “23 to 25 September 2194 A.D./C.E. or 0 G.E.”
  • Locations: Blackrock Station, Earth orbit
  • Summary: After hosting a night of gambling, the team investigates Feng Ruying and decide against trying to steal a faster-than-light (FTL) drive from the “Enlightened Flower.” ARTHERR arranges for the distribution of FTL data to humanity, and Richmond takes delivery from Ramon of Vatican artifacts to be delivered to Epsilon Eridani. They also ask the Ru’ulok to leave a starship underdefended so they can steal an FTL drive….
  • Vehicles: the “Appomattox,” orbital transfer vehicles/shuttles,
  • “Enlightened Flower”-experimental ship of Feng Ruying blending Terran technology with an Olvar FTL drive
  • “Star Shark”-Ru’ulok far trade vessel http://traveller.wikia.com/wiki/Far_Trader
  • “Red Manta”-Ru’ulok ship in Earth orbit, also to be disabled
  • Derelict Terran ship, referred by Hector’s former handler Max
  • Alien vessel, stranded near the Sol system, possibly containing Gustrall guards; referred by Ru’ulok Gorvek and Rabak
  • N.P.C.s: Lillian Morrisey, Max, “Ramon Sanchez,” Nero Bartholomew, Averki “Deep Dish” Dyashenko, Capt. Brandon Morgan, Gorvek Beezo and Rabak Porset, and
  • Feng Ruying-male Terran human, Richard Branson-style magnate and owner of the experimental “Enlightened Flower”
  • Systemes de Recuperation Executif Cie (SRE, or Executive Retrieval Systems Inc.)-security firm hired by Feng; party previously stole other ship parts from its Kalam Spaceport warehouse in the Lunar Free State
  • Brad Ogden-male Terran human executive at Transport Conglomerates, rival to Feng Ruying
  • Xox Memes, Shadow Orphans, Autonomist Alliance, Prometheans-rogue “Synths,” artificial intelligences (A.I.) and anarchist/criminal information brokers
  • Gordon Wong-A.I. with Xox Meme contacted by ARTHERR (as “Masters of Earthly Lubricated Information Network,” or MERLIN) for distributing stolen Ru’ulok FTL
  • Droata-female Ru’ulok, captain of the “Empress Marava”-class far trader “Star Shark”
  • Dorno-male Ru’ulok, captain of the “Red Manta”
  • Links: http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/DnD3VanishedLands/message/9414
    http://www.genesworlds.com/2011/05/04/fate-3e-vortex-update-5b-15-switching-scams/
  • Session: 5b.16 – “Jolly Roger’s Chicken”
  • Real time: Monday, 30 May 2011
  • Game dates: “26 to 30 September 2194 A.D./C.E. or 0 G.E.”
  • Locations: near Blackrock Station, Earth orbit
  • Summary: Gabriel gets pirate disguises, and Hector obtains burglary and surveillance gear in preparation for stealing a stardrive from a Ru’ulok ship. ARTHERR trades FTL plans with Xox Memes for information about the Vatican artifacts the “Appomattox” will be transporting for Ramon Sanchez. Dr. Garrett directs the scam, involving rented orbital transfer vehicles, poisoned chicken, and a smuggler’s dock. After installing the FTL drive, the grifters begin exploring the derelict “Dawn’s Retreat.”
  • Vehicles: the “Appomattox,” “Star Shark,” and “Red Manta”
  • CDVs (chicken delivery vehicles)-orbital transfer vehicles rented by Dr. Garrett, repainted by ARTHERR, and dumped near orbital garbage by Capt. Adams
  • The “Dawn’s Retreat”-derelict Terran military ship at the edge of the Sol system, with odd dials and levers, empty cabins, and Esperanto signage, as well as mysterious telepathic entity
  • N.P.C.s: Ramon Sanchez, Nero Bartholomew, Averki “Deep Dish” Dyashenko, Gorvek Beezo and Rabak Porset, Gordon Wong, and
  • Droata-female Ru’ulok, captain of the “Star Shark,” with Calot (dog-like reptilian alien); poisoned
  • Tegar-Tharian, didn’t eat chicken but incapacitated by party
  • Dorno-male Ru’ulok, captain of the “Red Manta”
  • Links: http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/DnD3VanishedLands/message/9436
    http://www.genesworlds.com/2011/06/02/vortex-update-5b-16-jolly-rogers-chicken/
  • Session: 5b.17 – “Dawn’s Retreat”
  • Real time: Monday, 27 June 2011
  • Game dates: “1 to 3 October 2194 A.D./C.E. or 0 Terran Galactic Era”
  • Locations: Edge of the Sol system
  • Summary: The away team continues to explore the strange derelict near the Sol system and communicates with Dawn, who thinks she’s human but turns out to be the vessel’s intelligence. Hector and ARTHERR take samples of the displaced ship’s hull, inedible food, Esperanto logs, and weapons, while Jasmine talks with Dawn, who reveals that she comes from an empire fighting “the Alliance” and “Martians” in the year “5955.”
    She also recognizes to avoid the Harbinger of the Order of Submission (which the party had encountered in an old battlefield north of Karachi). Tests determine that the carbon nanofibers in the hull are capable of insulating and conducting energy, altering gravity, and regenerating! Dr. Garrett claims the captain’s bed and great coat.
    Gabriel questions the mission to smuggle Vatican artifacts that Richmond accepted, and Hector reports to Max. ARTHERR delivers the “Dawn’s Retreat” to the United Earth Authority, and Jasmine contacts fellow “Synths” on Mars. Dr. Garrett informs Ru’ulok pirates about the antique sentient ship, but their attempt to sieze it is defeated by the U.E.A.
  • Vehicles: the “Appomattox,” the “Dawn’s Retreat,” the U.E.V. “Ajax,” the “Star Shark”
  • N.P.C.s:
  • Dawnie-sentience first encountered in the reactor of the “Dawn’s Retreat,” believes herself to be human from Earth’s “world city”
  • “Ramon Sanchez” [Josh H./Greg/N.P.C.]-male Terran human/cyborg, “fixer” in Lisbon who gave the party its first missions, as well as Richmond’s contraband cargo from the Vatican Museums
  • Max-male Terran human, onetime handler of Hector
  • Gorvek Beezo-male Ru’ulok pirate, contacted by Richmond about the “Dawn’s Retreat”
  • Adm. Wei Sihong-human officer in the United Earth Authority space navy, contacted by ARTHERR about various dangerous samples and the “Dawn’s Retreat” (possibly to aid against the “Harbinger of the Order of Submission”); sends the U.E.V. “Ajax”
  • Darsil-male Synth (“Uplifted” tiger-man), onetime lover of Jasmine, affiliated with the Synth United Front on Mars
  • Capt. Droata-female Ru’ulok, escaped the “Star Shark” (whose FTL is now part of the “Appomattox”) after its attempt to take the “Dawn’s Retreat” from the “Ajax” failed
  • Links: http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/DnD3VanishedLands/message/9449
    http://www.genesworlds.com/2011/06/29/579vortexupdate5b17dawnsretreat/
  • Session: 5b.18- Miracles on Titan
  • Real time: Monday, 22 August 2011
  • Game dates: “3 to 7 October 2194 A.D./C.E. or 0 Terran Galactic Era”
  • Locations: Earth orbit; in orbit around Saturn’s moon Titan, Ringtown Diner, Lucky Garden Casino, Eclipse Station infirmary and chapel
  • Summary: The interplanetary con artists try to find out more about their cargo of art from the Vatican Museum, going to Titan. Dr. Garrett poses as a holy man to get an audience with the United Earth Authority, and Gabriel begins planning a casino heist.
  • Vehicles: the “Appomattox,”
  • N.P.C.s: Ramon Sanchez, Nero Bartholomew, Averki “Deep Dish” Dyashenko, Gordon Wong, and
  • Robotic waitress at the Ringtown Diner, flirted with ARTHERR
  • Cheebus-“miracle toast” created by Nero for Dr. Garrett, given to the U.E.M.
  • Shifu Nurdin Subaja-yellow-robed male Terran human chaplain with the United Ecumenical Movement, interrogated Richmond and ARTHERR about “miracle toast” after getting dunked by Jasmine’s milkshake
  • Sister Indrani Bhai-space-armored female Terran human, U.E.M. chaplain, talked with Jasmine
  • Tanya and Galia-female androids at the Lucky Garden Casino, befriended by Gabriel
  • Faisal-male Chim mechanic, flirted with Jasmine at the casino
  • Erta Garza-female Delphine astrogator, offered a job by Jasmine and Gabriel
  • Rev. Winston Jones-male Saturnian human, played poker with Gabriel; disgruntled about U.E.M. arrivals
  • Archbishop Javier Fuentes-male Terran human, high-ranking officer in the Vatican and U.E.M.; to meet with Richmond
  • Dr. Martha Curtis-female Saturnian human, assisted by Richmond (and ARTHERR) in brain surgery at Eclipse Station infirmary
  • Dr. Richmond Garret-male Saturnian human, actual physician whose identity was stolen by party member, but had to acknowledge “miraculous” surgery
  • Links: http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/DnD3VanishedLands/message/9483
    http://www.genesworlds.com/2011/08/22/vortex-update-5b-18-miracles-on-titan/
  • Session: 5b.19- On a mission from God?
  • Real time: Monday, 29 August 2011
  • Game dates: “8 to 10 October 2194 A.D./C.E. or 0 G.E.”
  • Locations: Titan; toward Epsilon Eridani and LP 656-38
  • Summary: At their impromptu faith-healing rally on Eclipse Station, Mr. Garrett, ARTHERR, and Tela encounter believers and protestors. Hector takes the “Appomattox” down to Titan, where the away team meets with United Ecumenical Movement (U.E.M.) authorities in an effort to learn more about its cargo of smuggled Vatican art. In return, it is asked to help deal with a gruesome murder…
  • Vehicle: the “Appomattox”
  • N.P.C.s: Ramon Sanchez, Nero Bartholomew, Averki “Deep Dish” Dysashenko, and
  • Tanya and Galia-gynoids at the Lucky Garden Casino whom Gabriel tries to persuade to help with a heist and to join the crew
  • Erta Garza-Delphine astrogator, invited by Jasmine to join crew
  • Marcus Schlager-male Spacer miner, unable to receive lung transplants; Richmond layed hands on
  • Camille Dubois-female Saturnian madam with several replaced organs, urged by Richmond to get boyfriend Howard to commit to holy matrimony
  • Halil Torralua-male Saturnian hypochondriac, “cured” by Mr. Garret’s placebo effect, disrobes in new bid for attention
  • Rev. Winston Jones-male Saturnian human, pastor of chapel in Eclipse Station, has no love for U.E.M. presence
  • Canine “Synth,” unnamed, agrees with zealot preacher
  • Capt. Garzan Cisneros and Lt. Yasmin Al-Ghuj-humans, local law-enforcement authorities, break up fracas at Eclipse Station chapel
  • Hugh Doyle-male Terran human, invites Jasmine to join the Brotherhood of Illumination protests after she saves him from electrocution (by ARTHERR), later found ritually murdered
  • Monks, unnamed-telepathic probers for the U.E.M. at domed New Quebec on Titan
  • Sister Indrani Bhai and Shifu Nurdin Subaja-human U.E.M. acolytes
  • Mother Superior Magdelena de la Cruz-psionic nun, questions Richmond and Jasmine and convinced of their good character
  • Archbishop Javier Fuentes-male Terran human, served with the U.E.A. during the Second Interplanetary War, Jesuit-trained, has various religious implements in his office, asked crew to volunteer
  • Links: http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/DnD3VanishedLands/message/9486
    http://www.genesworlds.com/2011/09/01/vortex-update-5b-19-on-a-mission-from-god/
  • Session: 5b.20 – Saturnian sleuths/home on the range
  • Real time: Monday, 19 September 2011
  • Game dates: “11 to 14 October 2194 A.D./C.E. or 0 T.G.E.”
  • Locations: Eclipse Station around Titan, Saturn
  • Summary: As requested by the United Ecumenical Movement, the crew of the “Appomattox” investigates the murder of fundamentalist preacher Hugh Doyle. It finds suspects among smugglers, Doyle’s wealthy supporters, the Synth Liberation Front, and rival religious folk, but no conclusive connections. Gabriel plans a casino heist, while Richmond wants to move on.
  • Vehicles: the “Appomattox”
  • N.P.C.s: Nero Bartholomew, Averki “Deep Dish” Dysashenko, Tanya/Galia/Erta, Archbishop Javier Fuentes, Hugh Doyle, and
  • Lillian Morrissey-female Terran human “fixer,” informs Gabriel about smugglers in the outer Sol system
  • Capt. Garzan Cisneros, Lt. Yasmin Al-Ghuj-Titanian humans, local constabulary; reluctantly share autopsy and crime scene notes
  • Dr. Richmond Garrett-male Terran human, once mistaken for snake-oil salesman; at local infirmary/morgue
  • Esteban Bakafret-male L-5 human, magnate who provided some of Doyle’s transportation
  • Adrian Valentin-male Jovian human, smuggler who made calls to Doyle before his death and bough a generator of the type used in the ritualistic murder
  • Louise Reinhagen-female Martian human, widow of Oromax megacorp executive killed in Hephaestus Stadium disaster near Venus; onetime patron of Doyle and made calls to him and Valentin
  • Amir Mukhtadi-male Titanian human, provisioner; talked with Gabriel
  • Rev. Winston Jones-male Titanian human, local preacher and gambler who closed chapel to Richmond; doesn’t like U.E.M. or Doyle
  • Faisal Batar-male Chim (“Uplifted” chimpanzee), stogie-smoking mechanic, told Richmond about Synth Liberation Front
  • Melita Veturia-female Canid (canine “Synth”), ordered shipments of weapons, machine parts for SLF on Mars; initially a suspect
  • Max-male Terran human, onetime handler of Hector who searches official records for similar crimes; warns him of investigators
  • Unnamed robots in Mukhtadi shop – interfaced with ARTHERR
  • Hassan Mukhtadi-male Titanian human, arms dealer, talked with Richmond at covert firing range on Eclipse Station’s exterior
  • Links: http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/DnD3VanishedLands/message/9500
    http://www.genesworlds.com/2011/09/22/vortex-update-5b-20-saturnian-sleuthshome-on-the-range/
  • Session: 5b.21 – Duct tales
  • Real time: Monday, 3 October 2011
  • Game dates: “15 to 18 October 2194 A.D./C.E. or 0 T.G.E.”
  • Locations: Eclipse Station, New Syria on Titan, Saturnian system
  • Summary: The away team’s murder investigation on Eclipse Station reveals the involvement of smuggler Adrian Valentin, wealthy widow Louise Reinhagen, and Kolidari, the Octopoid co-owner of the Lucky Garden Casino.
  • Vehicles: the “Appomattox”
  • N.P.C.s: Nero Bartholomew, Averki “Deep Dish” Dyashenko, Lillian Morrissey, Max, Darsil, Gordon Wong, Faisal Batar, Dr. Richmond Garrett, Archbishop Javier Fuentes, Esteban Bakafret, and
  • Hugh Doyle-male Terran human, itinerant fundamentalist preacher, was coordinating followers in outer Sol system via Bible cipher; found ritually murdered
  • Rev. Winston Jones-male Saturnian human, pastor of chapel in Eclipse Station, has no love for U.E.M. presence or Doyle’s followers
  • Tanya and Galia-gynoids at the Lucky Garden Casino whom Gabriel tries to persuade to help with a heist and to join the crew
  • Adrian Valentin-male Jovian human, smuggler who called Doyle increasingly before his death, moved generator of the type involved in the murder, and was blackmailing him and Reinhagen
  • Amir and Hassan Mukhtadi-male Titanian human provisioners, sold electromagnetic generator to Adrian Valentin
  • Louise Reinhagen-female Martian human, widow of Oromax megacorp executive killed in Hephaestus Stadium disaster near Venus; onetime patron and lover of Doyle
  • Ignatz Maroni-male Titanian human, leader of docking bay construction crews on Eclipse Station
  • “Rosario Tamuz” [N.P.C./Greg]-female Felinoid (“Uplifted” panther) laborer, recognized wrestler Jasmine and told her about Octopoid seen moving Valentin’s generator; drunkenly blamed “dark gods”
  • “Prini Vonchadry” [N.P.C./Beruk]-female Ursoid (“Uplifted” bear) construction worker, taciturn blogger
  • Melita Veturia-female Canid (canine “Synth”), ordered shipments of weapons, machine parts for SLF on Mars; initially a suspect
  • Erta Garza-female Delphine (“Uplifted” dolphin) astrogator, invited to join the “Appomattox” crew; introduced Jasmine to Kolidari
  • Kolidari-male Octopoid (“Uplifted” octopus), co-owner of the Lucky Garden Casino and likely killer of Doyle; invited Jasmine to come work for him
  • Links: http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/DnD3VanishedLands/message/9517
    http://www.genesworlds.com/2011/10/06/vortex-update-5b-21-duct-tales/
  • Session: 5b.22 – “Spyger,” or closing the case
  • Real time: Monday, 17 October 2011
  • Game dates: “19 to 21 October 2194 A.D./C.E. or 0 T.G.E.”
  • Locations: Eclipse Station, Titan, Saturnian system
  • Summary: After evading more riots between supporters of the late Hugh Doyle and restive “Synths,” the investigators confirm the conspiracy around his murder. Merry widow Louise Reinhagen admits that smuggler Adrian Valentin was blackmailing her and that shipping magnate Esteban Bakafret stood to gain from eliminating the preacher. The group hands Reinhagen over to the U.E.M. (Gabriel’s casino heist plan is outvoted in favor of the Vatican Museums cargo.)
  • Vehicles: the “Appomattox”; Richmond’s new hovercycle (in the form of a robotic horse, with a pony sidecar for ARTHERR)
  • N.P.C.s: Nero Bartholomew, Averki “Deep Dish” Dyashenko, Capt. Garzan Cisneros, Archbishop Javier Fuentes, the Mukhtadi brothers, and
  • Hugh Doyle-male Terran human, itinerant fundamentalist preacher, was coordinating followers in outer Sol system via Bible cipher; found ritually murdered
  • Kolidari-male Octopoid (“Uplifted” octopus), co-owner of the Lucky Garden Casino and likely killer of Doyle; invited Jasmine to come work for him (voder sounds like Sean Connery)
  • Faisal Batar, Erta Garza, Tanya, Galia, Rosario Tamuz, Prini Vonchadry-“Synths” (synthetic sapients), friends of Jasmine
  • Louise Reinhagen-female Martian human, wealthy widow of Jurgen, an Oromax megacorp executive killed in Hephaestus Stadium disaster near Venus; onetime patron and lover of Doyle
  • Adrian Valentin-male Jovian human, smuggler who blackmailed Doyle and Reinhagen; worked with Kolidari and Bakafret
  • Esteban Bakafret-male L-5 human, magnate who provided some of Doyle’s transportation; was threatened and ordered him killed
  • Links: http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/DnD3VanishedLands/message/9550
    http://www.genesworlds.com/2011/10/19/vortex-update-5b-22-spyger-or-closing-the-case/
  • Session: 5b.23 – Bob’s brain
  • Real time: Monday, 7 November 2011
  • Game dates: “22 to 31 October 2194 A.D./C.e. or 0 T.G.E.”
  • Locations: Lucky Garden Casino, Eclipse Station, Titan, Saturn; on the way to Epsilon Eridani (10.5 ly from Sol) and Luyten’s Star
  • Summary: Hector buys surplus military gear, ARTHERR scans the cargo of Vatican artifacts, and Gabriel talks gynoids Tanya and Galia into temporarily joining the crew, over Jasmine’s objections. On the way to Epsilon Eridani and Luyten’s Star, the “Appomattox” encounters the “Chengdu,” a slower-than-light generation ship. It has failed to find similar ships en route.
    Gabriel chats up bursar Ghia Shan, Hector helps optimize ship systems, and Jasmine finds other “Synths.” ARTHERR finds “Bob” and eventually helps the disembodied Delphine to disengage from the ship’s systems.
  • Vehicles: the “Appomattox/Heaven’s Gate” and
  • “Chengdu”-Terran slower-than-light generation colony ship, on its way to Epsilon Eridani
  • N.P.C.s: Nero Bartholomew, Averki “Deep Dish” Dyashenko, and Hugh Doyle, Louise Reinhagen, Archbishop Javier Fuentes, Adrian Valentin, Esteban Bakafret, Capt. Garzan Cisneros, the Mukhtadi brothers, Erta Garza, Kolidari, Tanya and Galia, and
  • Chuan Bao-male human, executive officer (“No. 1”) of the “Chengdu” wearing a yellow sash
  • Ghia Shan-female human, bursar of the “Chengdu” wearing a yellow sash; had dinner with Gabriel
  • Franz-robot mechanic, guided ARTHERR on tour of the “Chengdu”
  • Sigurd Anders-male human, engineer on the “Chengdu” wearing a red sash; worked with Hector and ARTHERR
  • Bob-male Delphine (“Uplifted” dolphin) seriously injured in a collision, now a brain hardwired to the “Chengdu’s” functions
  • Dr. Rufus Han-male “Uplifted” orangutan, acting captain of the “Chengdu”
    >>P.S.: Here are several types of “Synths” in the “Vortex” universe:
  • Artificial intelligences (AIs)/robots: sometimes disembodied; android/gynoid/nonhumanoid, cargo/construction, engineering/mechanic, general purpose, maintenance, military/police, mining, science/exploration (see “ARTHERR”), social/recreational (see Tanya and Galia)
  • “Uplifted” (genetically modified) animals (see the works of David Brin):
  • Avidians: birds, usually parrots
  • Canids: dogs/wolves
  • Chims: chimpanzee
  • Crocoloids: alligators and crocodiles (see “Deep Dish”)
  • Delphines: dolphins and orcas
  • Felinoids: great cats (see “Jasmine”)
  • Gorths: gorillas, orangutans, and other great apes
  • Minotaurs: bovines
  • Octopoids: octopi and squids
  • Ursoids: bears
  • Xenoids: extraterrestrial equivalents
  • Links: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/DnD3VanishedLands/message/9604
    http://www.genesworlds.com/2011/11/10/vortex-update-5b-23-bobs-brain/
  • Session: 5b.24 – Shipwreck and spiders
  • Real time: Monday, 28 November 2011?
  • Game dates: “1 to 7 November 2194 A.D./C.E. or 0 T.G.E.”
  • Locations: on the way to Epsilon Eridani – 10.5 ly from Sol; with two gas giants, asteroid belts, two rockballs, and one “Goldilocks” world with alkaline seas
  • Summary: After resupplying and leaving the generation ship “Chengdu,” the “Appomattox” explores Epsilon Eridani B, a “Goldilocks” planet. There, the landing party finds the wreckage of the “Razorfeather,” an Olvar craft on its way home from Gustrall space. After retrieving the marooned crew, the crew is hailed by the Nolath trade ship “Kazador,” which expects delivery of the mysterious Vatican relics….
  • Vehicles: the “Appomattox/Heaven’s Gate” and
  • “Razorfeather”-midsize Olvar craft, sabotaged on its way home from Gustrall space
  • “Kazador”-large Nolath trade vessel, containing spider-like aliens of various sizes
  • N.P.C.s: Nero Bartholomew, Averki “Deep Dish” Dyashenko, Tanya and Galia, and Ghis Shan,
  • Isabella-female Delphine (“Uplifted” orca) who asks Jasmine about Epsilon Eridani system
  • Yiushef of Geruno-male Cestolar envoy, attacked “intruder” Gabriel, claims “Razorfeather” was sabotaged
  • Maj. Mohing Lankel-male Olvar, acting leader of “Razorfeather” survivors
  • Lt. Doina Claren-female Olvar, one of the castaways on Epsilon Eridani B
  • Mr. Kares Mussur-male Olvar, caught by Hector trying to hack into the “Appomattox’s” systems
  • Stroja-Nolath captain of the trade ship “Kazador,” expects delivery of cargo from Vatican Museums
  • Links: http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/DnD3VanishedLands/message/9649
    http://www.genesworlds.com/2011/12/02/vortex-update-5b-shipwreck-and-spiders/
  • Session: 5b.25 – Deal or no deal
  • Real time: Monday, 19 November 2011
  • Game dates: “8 to 14 November 2194 A.D./C.E. or 0 T.G.E.”
  • Locations: Epsilon Eridani B, Luyten’s Star
  • Summary: After some debate, the crew of the “Appomattox” backs out of its deal to deliver Vatican relics to the arachnid Nolath. Capt. Adams claims a mistaken identity. Hector builds a remote-controlled missile with an EMP warhead and considers improving the Ru’ulok Transit drive, Jasmine is disappointed to return to the Sol system so soon, ARTHERR recommends finding the best home for the cargo for humanity, and Richmond entertains the survivors of the “Razorfeather” shipwreck on the way back to Earth….
  • Vehicles: the “Appomattox,” “Razorfeather,” and “Kazador”
  • N.P.C.s: Nero Bartholomew, Averki “Deep Dish” Dyashenko, Tanya and Galia, Yiushef of Geruno, Maj. Mohing Lankel, Lt. Doina Claren, Mr. Kares Mussur, Capt. Stroja
  • Links: http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/DnD3VanishedLands/message/9667
    http://www.genesworlds.com/2011/12/22/vortex-update-5b-25-deal-or-no-deal/
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A Trinoid, a Playboy and a Psycho Walk into a Bar
Session: 5a.27 — Oasis Station

After visiting the site of the Battle of Capricornus X2, the explorers aboard the “Blackbird” arrived at Oasis Station, a huge collection of orbital habitats. They searched the local information network for clues on where to start looking for more about the missing agent of the Kharvamid Alliance and a Precursor jump gate.

Aughest-vor, Syzygy, Chris McKee/Agent Prometheus, Tariq Asrad Saladin, Dr. Bucket, and Mr. Sniffles stayed aboard the “Blackbird/Morifaiwet” to draw public attention, as well as that of the Kharvamid agent or potential foes.

Syzygy expressed interest in Sector 1, also known as “the Shining Sisters,” to see the Nebula Opera. Chris recommended Sector 7, the “Righteous Stinger,” because of its relatively lawless reputation and the Flux Farm weapons emporium.

Lt. Kevin Reese, Tela, Scoop Chang, and Kedar took the drop ship “Dragonfly” to more quietly find out about the jump gate. Engineers Tela and Kedar were also curious about the Shining Sisters because of its population of Ma’ari, Nethians, and Daragi. Kevin wanted to go to Sector 12, “the Merging,” because of the Ruby Lantern Resort.

However, Syzygy wanted to check in with overall Oasis Station command in the Merging, so the “Dragonfly” went to Sector 10, “the Rusted Link,” because the Tharians wanted to see a technocracy ruled by and for artificial intelligences.

The “Morifaiwet” first went to Sector 11, “the Swift Course,” where Aughest-vor transferred funds from the Tyche mining operation into galactic credits for the entire party. The megacorporate scion reverted to his old ways, reserving a luxurious suite at the Regatta Hotel and inquiring with concierge Mr. Blix about solar sail races and the elite Lancer’s Club.

Tariq and Dr. Bucket kept watch while the rOlvar scout ship was cleaned and serviced, and Syzygy and Chris checked in with the Port Authority at the Merging, where they saw misshapen Metaderpods and heard/talked [?] about the Trinoid ship the “Nautiloid.”

Meanwhile, the squad aboard the “Dragonfly” met Xenoid guide VX-7, as well as a wide variety of synthetic beings. At the “Privateer’s Perch,” they encountered fierce Gustrall Nycla of Clan Firehoof [Brian W./N.P.C.], inquisitive Nethian mechanic Kzp’trn [Jason E.R./N.P.C.] looking for an “isoquantum fracture compensator,” and party animals — actually three Meorr and a Felinoid Terran Synth.

Lt. Reese told Nycla (who asked if the Tharians were “bait”) about his search, while Scoop traced a Terran mental signature to the Felinoid Yoshi Tanaka. Tela and Kedar got drunk with Meorr Gworr [Jason], Keferr [Josh], and Mundarr, who backed off a bit from Nycla, who was well-known in certain parts of Oasis Station.

While the Meorr were distracted Lt. Reese spoke with Yoshie, much to the confusion of her Meorr companions. She said she was a modified Terran. However alcohol dulled her senses. Arrangement’s were made for them to meet later.

Nycla agreed to help Lt. Reese and company, for a “Fair” price. She then volunteered a Cestolar to house the party during their stay on the station and make some inquiries on their behalf.

The upper level of the “Privateer’s Perch” features numerous A.I.s, Synths, and Xenoids watching a fight between “organics” Rugar, the “Claw of Might,” and Cestolar Rundel Tosk [ship, the “Lodge”?]. The crew of the “Dragonfly” quickly leaves.

Syzygy, Aughest and Chris go to the Merging, where Zyzge askes after a Tronoid ship at the port authority. They were overheard by Cestolar trader Ibor vos Talshun [Rich C.G./N.P.C.], whose ship is the “Metal Vessel.” who approached them and offered his services to locate the ship. Following their instinct for trouble, they fall in with Boobulons at the Ruby Lantern.

However, they soon find themselves compromised and trapped by Encegulan slavers. Syzygy talks with the Cetaran madam and calls Lt. Reese for backup. After which he threatened the madam, when she failed to comply Syzygy asked himself what Chris would do, then shot the madam. Sadly the madam collapsed leaving Syzygy somewhat confused as to what to do next.

During the confusion Aughest- ran into save Chris. Heroically blasting his way into the back room avoiding the genetic abomination. Where he was promptly captured. At about that time Lt. Kevin Reese arrived with the calvary.

The rest of the crew of theBlackbird arrived with the Meorr, driving through the wall of the house of ill repute. During the firefight, Kevin throws a grenade and asks Aughest-vor if this is how he planned to get attention. Scoop psionically armors up and blasts hostiles, while Tela glides up to the level where the humans are being held. The Meorr from the “Privateer’s Perch” happily wade into battle. Still naked, Agent Prometheus ruthlessly shoots one of the patrons in the chaos, and the “Tiger Hawk Sandstorm” makes a hasty retreat…

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Off to the Races
  • Session: 5a.29
  • Real time: Monday, 19 March 2011
  • Game dates: “22 to 25 November 2194 A.D./C.E. or 0 T.G.E.”
  • Locations
    • Oasis Station:
      • observation lounge
      • The Regatta Hotel in “the Swift Course,” the “Privateer’s Perch” at the “Rusted Link”

After performing more research on the Zerconians using the stations computers. Here are my findings The Zerconians. Up until about 100 years ago they bulldozed over rival civilizations then they began expansion again. However this time they are moving slower making alliances and taking more subtle tactics. I’m convinced something happened since the last time they expanded, I’m still looking into it.

END LOG

Begin Station Log
Hello All and welcome to the Swift Course Regatta. I’m Kgut and this is Mtos we’ll be your announcers for this race and here are out racers.

Aughest-vor is the most interesting racer a new race in the galaxy only recently making contact a hooman I believe it’s pronounced. He’ll be flying the Island of the Moon a craft from his home system. It looks a bit like some sort of winged beast it’s mostly sails and rigging.

By the Maker what is that? Well Mtos according to the record that’s Blurb. He’s flying an Olvar craft called the Eron. For those listing to the broadcast it’s a grey spiky vehicle with a red star. Hey Kgut wasn’t blurb the Olvar pilot? Think that thing inside the craft ate him? Well Mtos if that’s the case lets hope he likes spectators more than announcers. Once more for those listing at home the cockpit is filled by a many eye’d monster made of slime.

Look it’s Lok-t’sha he’s driving the Eron a spherical web covered vehicle. Mtos did you know Lok-t’sha built that ship himself? Yes I did Kgut, he actually has a dedicated following among the gear heads on the crowd.

Next up we have Prada Deville driving the Crusher. A pink model with tail fins.

T’chlk T’cha, an Aquarian he’s driving the heart of the ocean a fish shaped design, with sails shaped like wings.

We saved the best for last folks Kerenar the driver of the Punisher. Seven time winner of the Regatta.

The audio cuts to people cheering for a moment

It’s familiar stencil work on white. Mtos I heard Kerner will be selling VR goggle of his run after the race. That’s right Kgut with exclusive views from his cockpit get them after the race.

And they’re off.

Aughest-vor flips his craft over and waves at Kerenar. There goes Kerenar rolling his craft over and showing Aughest his tail pipe. Prada fires off her glitter guns, giving her a little boost. The crowd loves that you can hear them cheering. T’chlk’s ship waves it’s talk and lok-t’sha extends his arms to get more sun. Blurb get’s off to a jerking start.

They’re rounding the bend to the first obstacle it’s a piece of metal, it blocks the sun so the constants will have to coast. Aughest does well sliding into the outside, but he’s joined by Kerenar also taking the outside hoping to catch some scant rays where the shade is least. What’s this T’chlk has grappled to Kerenar hoping to go forward. It’s looks like Blurb has pulled ahead.

Coming into the net bit of the course it Blurb. Whats this obstacle Mtos? Well Kgut it’s a mine field with corrosive non intelligent life forms. Whoa sorry to whoever bet on Blurb he just crashed full force into one of the mines. That’s right Mort next time try betting on a horrible monster from beyond space and time that can drive. It looks like everyone else got out ok

Whats up next Mtox. I believe it’s the robot sharks Kgut? With the lazers no those have been banned since the incident. Ok here we go. it looks like Kerenar is out first still tethered to T’chlk. Oh there T’chlk goes straight into the shark, and the crowd goes wild,

It’s the final obstacle folks force fields and here comes Lok-t’sha and ooooo right into the force field and here comes Prada same thing. By the Makers it’s Blurb crashing right into Lok-t’sha. I hope both of them have insurance. I hope Blurb’s not hungry. Aughest and Kerenar are neck and neck, and it’s Kerenar by a nose.

End station log

Begin Christopher Mckee Log
After we all reassembled at the hotel room we resolved to make contact with Nylca so kenLt. Kevin Reese and I went to meet her. We briefly discussed the gate. She gave us a pass code and told us she could arrange a opening for us to se the gate. We made plans and parted company. When we were radioed by the rest of the team. There was an explosion in Plorb’s room. We meet the rest of the crew there

Initial forensics indicate that the explosion was not an accident. Someone was sending Plorb a message. At the time of this log his whereabouts are unknown, were going to begin a search shortly.

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Race to the gate
Vortex Update 5a30

Fellow role-players, here are my notes for Session 5a.30 of the “Vortex” space opera campaign. Team 1 met on Monday, 2 April 2012, and is using FATE 3e Starblazer Adventures/Mindjammer, Bulldogs, Diaspora , and Limitless Horizons .

In one future, humanity has begun to colonize the Sol system, but ecological degradation and internecine conflicts persist. Open and official First Contact with Galactic societies, themselves at war, threaten Terra’s very survival. Will heroes rise to the challenges?

Two aliens and their human allies encountered xenophobes and megacorporate intrigues on and around Earth. After visiting factionalized Mars and acquiring a starship, they continued their mission of diplomacy and exploration on their way to the interstellar crossroads of Oasis Station ….
Jumpgate evo c

>>FATE 3e “VortexTeam 1 (5a), crew of the Blackbird :

  • Syzygy [Brian W.]-Trinoid (trilateral amphibious alien) xenologist with an organic laboratory and a pet cat named Mr. Sniffles
  • Tela [Sara F.]-female Tharian (winged gargoyle-like alien) escapee with boyfriend Kedar from the Encegulans, engineer
  • Aughest vor [Jason E.R.]-male human from the Lemuria orbital city, onetime dilettante, solar-sail racer, pilot
  • Lieutenant Kevin Reese [Bruce K.]-male Terran cyborg human, burned-out officer and explorer in the Interplanetary Patrol
  • Scoop Chang [Rich C.G.]-male Jovian “near-human,” interstellar reporter kidnapped by the Olvar; psi interested in First Contacts
  • Chris McKee AKA Agent Prometheus [Josh C./absent]-male Terran cyborg human sniper working for eugenicists at Black Box Security Co.
  • Tariq Asrad Saladin [Beruk A./absent]-male Terran “near-human,” seeker of enlightenment and investigator met aboard the Ma’ari ship “Cyan Horizon”
  • Gombo Shisel [Rich L./absent]-male Mongolian/Martian human, former horse rancher and wilderness survival expert; left at Camp Alpha
  • Dr. Bucket [Non-Player Character]-United Earth Authority astromech robot assigned to the Blackbird

>>"_26 to 30 November 2194 A.D./C.E. or 0 Terran Galactic Era_ :" After a long journey, the crew of the Blackbird encountered Encegulan slavers and a hostile Zurmiz Krott probe. The explorers also found a missing Kharvamid Alliance agent and participated in a dangerous solar-sail regatta .

Syzygy contacts Marvog, a Cetaran (plesiosaur-like ) miner and aide to Plorb [Beruk/N.P.C.]. Marvog says that the Aquarian (amphibious humanoid ) emissary canceled a meeting in Sector 8 , also known as “the Lagoon,” after his and deceased racer T’chlk T’cha’s [Rich/N.P.C.] hotel suite was destroyed by an explosion.

Marvog says that Plorb may instead have gone to Meshi Chabo, a Laransan (long-lived telepathic humanoid) pilgrim and fellow refugee from the Zarkonian Armada. Lt. Kevin Reese tracks her down to Zone 5, or “the Dueling Suns.”

Meanwhile, engineer Tela and her boyfriend Kedar go around. The winged, tailed Tharians draw some attention because they’re unusual, but they manage to avoid the slug-like Encegulans. Civilians Aughest-vor… and Scoop Chang practice their marksmanship in the Blackbird ’s holographic computer room, much to the exasperation of sniper Chris McKee.

Tariq Asrad Saladin chats with new passenger Hannah Nydari [Sara/N.P.C.], an Olvar (mammal-like, arboreal alien) agent for the Kharvamid Alliance. The crew eventually regroups to go to the Dueling Suns.

Aughest-vor pilots the Olvar scout vessel from Sector 11, “the Swift Course.” Syzygy notes that Sector 5 is home to the Monastery of Infinite Forms and the Cyclist Cathedral but is ruled by an oligarchy composed of Ru’ulok (heavy-gravity reptiles), Ma’ari (diminutive pale wanderers ), and Encegulans.

Kevin asks Tariq and Chris to stay aboard the Blackbird to keep the ship — and Mr. Sniffles, Dr. Bucket, Kedar, and Hannah — safe. The Interplanetary Patrol officer has difficulty getting local authorities to recognize his badge, and he warns the investigator and sniper to be ready for a hasty retreat (using the Yoyodyne Oscillation Overthruster ) if needed.

With some help, Scoop uses his robot EVE to hack into Ru’ulok surveillance. The journalist finds a concentration of Laransans and Aquarians at the Cyclist Cathedral. He, Syzygy, Tela, Aughest, and Lt. Reese find their way to the soaring crystal spires of the alien religious conclave.

Once there, they hear Klushar Grovyk preaching that Cyclist adherents are entitled access to the “gift of their forefathers,” no doubt a reference to a Precursor jump gate recently discovered in a nearby star system. Selfrana Lenk, a Ma’ari sage, explains that Cyclists want to hasten the eternal cycle of death and rebirth.

Xenologist Syzygy says Grovyk is a Dwivarn, a member of a lizard-like species that denies it was once an ""Uplift":http://www.sjgames.com/uplift/ " client of the Ru’ulok. Curious Tela uses her tail to flirt with some of the congregation, while Aughest-vor (“friend to all”) tries to get a sense of the crowd’s mood.

Kevin, who has smuggled weapons into the orbital habitat , watches Ru’ulok guards. He manages to befriend one named Rogik by mentioning Kerenar’s victory in the recent regatta. Scoop senses telepathic probes and psionically shields the away team.
The Terrans spot Plorb and walk toward him. However, so do some of the Ru’ulok, raising fears of a would-be assassin. Meshi Chabo momentarily blocks their way until Lt. Reese explains that he’s there to help secure the ambassador.

Scoop uses his Eyebot to interfere with the Ru’ulok cameras and communications to cover their retreat. Kevin offers to bring Meshi and Plorb back to the Sol system, where they can petition the United Earth Authority for aid. They reluctantly accept.

Syzygy meets with fellow Trinoid scientist Selenium [Josh/N.P.C.] to share data. While they are biologically linked, Syzygy learns that Oasis Station security forces have had difficulty containing nanites from the defeated Zurmiz Krott. Syzygy is also alarmed to realize that Selenium has been cast out of the research institutes for his advocacy of aggressive " Uplift ," and he quickly excuses himself.

Tela assigns quarters to the newcomers, who must share cabins with the " Blackbird ‘s" regular crew. Plorb doesn’t mind the damp chamber of fellow amphibian Syzygy and his living lab. Tela and Kedar stay in engineering, and Dr. Bucket remains with the robotic spiders in a supply closet.

Chris and Tariq warily share quarters, and Aughest-vor takes care of Syzygy’s cat Mr. Sniffles. Kevin happily hosts the attractive Meshi. Scoop talks with guest Hannah about geology. Aughest sets a course for the jump gate, whose location Lt. Reese had obtained from Gustrall (orange-furred, flightless raptor) mercenary Nylca of clan Firehoof [Brian/N.P.C.].

The biomechanical ship emerges from faster-than-light Transit at the edge of Penumbra, a barely inhabitable star system. Three capital ships patrol local space amid disputing claims . Syzygy and Hannah easily identify the sweeping curves of an Olvar starship.

Tariq and Chris recognize the boxy design of a Ru’ulok cruiser. Syzygy and Scoop check the “Morifaiwet/Blackbird ’s” database to identify the third battleship, which resembles a conch, as that of the neutral Sulishi (furry snails).

Kevin transmits a code he got from Nylca and claims that he’s with “Team Icarus” to study the Precursor artifact. Wadishi San, the Sulishi in charge of the archaeologists studying the jump gate, accepts their request to come to his base on a rockball planet’s surface.

The landing party disembarks on a windswept landing pad and is escorted into the science station by Vungo, a Daragi (silicon-based giant) guard. Syzygy and Tela are fascinated by the tree-like alien, who takes them to a mess hall.

Vungo introduces the team to fellow sentry Slarp, an Encegulan. Tela tries to hide behind her companions, but she is impressed by the equipment that Nolath (arachnid) engineer Lek’to is using to study the device.

P’nz’kr (“Penzikor”) shows Syzygy unidentified carved objects. With the insectoid Nethian ’s help, the Trinoid finds that they may have been shaped by biological processes but are not organic themselves.

Troshar Jund, a Cestolar (literal-minded, badger-like) treasure hunter, talks with Aughest-vor and Chris, who is interested in ancient alien history and religions. Scoop tries to scan telepathically, but his mysterious fedora doesn’t help him for once. They relay their findings to Tariq, who knows about early contacts between humans and extraterrestrials.

In the course of their conversations, Kevin deduces that Vungo and Slarp are sympathetic to the Ru’ulok trade guilds. Fortunately, Aughest finds that P’nz’kr is more likely to side with the Kharvamid Alliance. Troshar, pilot of the Digger , tells Scoop that he is happy to be involved in the find of a lifetime. Lek’to tells Tela that she wants to get the gate operational as soon as possible.

The Terrans, Trinoid, and Tharian ask to see the jump gate itself. Vungo and Troshar lead them out to a dusty dig, where they see an archway covered in circular carvings. P’nz’kr demonstrates how to activate the relic by touching two points. A stable wormhole opens above them in geosynchronous orbit.

Lt. Reese understands the strategic importance of such a device, which could reduce travel times from months to days (of Terran time). Aughest-vor observes that the gate could enable a fleet of warships to project force across many parsecs.

However, the scientists warn that they haven’t yet determined how to set the destination coordinates. Syzygy recalls maps once created by humans in the South Pacific , which used curved branches to show currents, islands, and stars . “Team Icarus” returns to the “Blackbird” to plan its next moves and examine star charts.

Syzygy creates a blobby gadget to help P’nz’kr activate the jump gate and erase Earth’s address. Aughest-vor plots likely courses, as Dr. Bucket tries to correlate stars glimpsed through the wormhole with known constellations. Tela reroutes computational power to aid astrogation droid Dr. Bucket (and the isoquantum fracture compensator).

Kevin scans all of the artifacts and carvings . Scoop realizes that the Precursors used four points for their calculations: Penumbra, the gate itself, potential destinations, and some unknown factor. Chris and Tariq remind the crew that they must hurry before Wadishi San, Slarp, or the warships decide to restrict their access .

Dr. Bucket and the crew of the Blackbird have a breakthrough — the fourth point is the black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy, a reference that wouldn’t change with the passage of time. Aughest finds the coordinates for the Sol system , and Syzygy relays them to P’nz’kr and his device by the ancient arch.

Aughest-vor…. takes the cloaked vessel into the warp tunnel, where it encounters gravitic and space-time instabilities. Lt. Reese checks on passengers Hannah, Plorb, and Meshi, while Kedar helps monitor the Transit fields. Scoop and Tariq meditate, and Chris stays in the gunner’s turret.

Syzygy and Tela see strange extradimensional entity extruding into the ship. The Pangavi asks why they are passing through its domain. The Trinoid and Tharian say they are going to warn humanity about the Zarkonian threat. The “Ward of Despair” says that he is not a Precursor and permits the ship to continue without interference.

The “Blackbird” emerges into normal space between Epsilon Eridani and Wolf 359, only three parsecs from Sol! Scoop notes that this is only three days [of “game time”] away at cruising speed, a month less than it would normally take to get from Oasis Station. Aughest-vor… sets a course for home….

Josh and Beruk, we missed you at the latest “Vortex” game! Note that Team 1’s next session will be on Monday, 23 April 2012, at Brian’s place in Newton, Mass. Please remember to send him your food orders in advance.

In the meantime, I look forward to continuing Josh ’s FATE 3e Spelljammer scenario and eventually returning to my " Pathfinder: the Vanished Lands " telecom fantasy campaign . In addition, I hope that everyone will reply to Jason’s superhero miniseries proposal . Take it easy, -Gene

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FATE 3e "Vortex" Update 5a.31
Nobody touches Aughest-vor!

Fellow role-players, here are Josh’s and my notes for Session 5a.31 of the " Vortex " space opera campaign. Team 1 met on Monday, 23 April 2012, and has used FATE 3e Starblazer Adventures /Mindjammer, Bulldogs , and Limitless Horizons .

In one future, humanity has begun to colonize the Sol system, but ecological degradation and internecine conflicts persist. Open and official First Contact with Galactic societies, themselves at war, threaten Terra’s very survival. Will heroes rise to the challenges?

Two aliens and their human allies encountered xenophobes and megacorporate intrigues on and around Earth. After visiting factionalized Mars and acquiring a starship, they continued their mission of diplomacy and exploration on their way to the interstellar crossroads of Oasis Station….

>>FATE 3e " Vortex " Team 1 (5a), crew of the Blackbird :

-" Syzygy " [Brian W.]-Trinoid (trilateral amphibious alien) xenologist with an organic laboratory and a pet cat named “Mr. Sniffles”

-" Tela " [Sara F.]-female Tharian (winged gargoyle-like alien) escapee from the Encegulans; engineer with boyfriend Kedar

-" Chris McKee/Agent Prometheus " [Josh C.]-male Terran cyborg human sniper working for eugenicists at Black Box Security Co.

-" Aughest-vor …" [Jason E.R.]-male human from the Lemuria orbital city, onetime dilettante, solar-sail racer, pilot

-" Lt. Kevin Reese " [Bruce K.]-male Terran cyborg human, burned-out officer and explorer in the Interplanetary Patrol

-" Scoop Chang " [Rich C.G.]-male Jovian “near-human,” interstellar reporter kidnapped by the Olvar; psi interested in First Contacts

-" Tariq Asrad Saladin " [Beruk A./absent]-male Terran “near-human,” seeker of enlightenment and investigator met aboard the Ma’ari ship Cyan Horizon

-" Gombo Shisel " [Rich L./absent]-male Mongolian/Martian human, former horse rancher and wilderness survival expert; left at Camp Alpha

-" Dr. Bucket " [Non-Player Character]-United Earth Authority astromech robot assigned to the Blackbird

Odir2

>>" From the journal of Agent Prometheus, 1 to 8 December 2194 A.D./C.E. or 0 Terran Galactic Era :" After scouting deep space, we and our alien passengers successfully used a Precursor jump gate to travel from Oasis Station to Epsilon Eridani, cutting several weeks off of normal Transit (faster-than-light) travel time.

Syzygy told Hannah Nydari [Sara/N.P.C.] that he would take her to fellow representatives of the Kharvamid Alliance in the Sol system. The robed Olvar (mammal-like arboreal alien) planned to report on the murder of her fellow agents.

Dr. Bucket asked Tela for astronomy and other technical data to share with the United Earth Authority (U.E.A.). The Tharian engineer complied and told her boyfriend Kedar about the wonders of Earth’s biosphere.

I didn’t expect Black Box Security Co. to approve of the removal of my cyberware , so I prepared recordings in case I’m killed. Tariq Asrad Saladin tuned into a news burst from Terra and its colonies, finding increasing conflict along regional, racial, ideological, and megacorp lines. Ru’ulok (heavy-gravity, reptilian alien) plans for FTL drives had also been distributed.

Aughest-vor… communicated with the Shaka Zulu battle group in solar polar orbit and set a course for his home, Lemuria, in Earth orbit. The hotshot pilot traversed the Sol system in record time, surprising local authorities aboard the U.E.V. Ilokar . Aughest also found that the Jovian/Cestolar mining operation at Tyche , of which we own shares, has been very profitable.

Lt. Kevin Reese sent an initial report to Col. Shan Gray at Port Lowell in the Mars Confederacy!. Meshi Chabo, a Laransan (telepathic humanoid) pilgrim, was unable to cheer up the Interplanetary Patrol officer after he discreetly inquired about his sister-in-law Jennifer, who was living with Nick Cheney. Kevin believed that Cheney murdered his wife Heather at Namor-Asperagen.

Scoop Chang edited recordings of Aughest-vor’s exploits , carefully removing his own participation in skirmishes on the Cyan Horizon and in Oasis Station. The journalist was excited to share news of numerous First Contacts between humans and extraterrestrials.

The welcoming party at Lemuria’s space dock included camera robots, armored guards, and Aughest’s hated cousin Raine Ushu , an executive at Vimeco with a claim on Tyche. Syzygy and Tela looked for the first available shuttle to the planet’s surface, while Tariq and I hung back in the shadows. Scoop had Eyebot EVE play his “highlight reel” and record Aughest-vor’s triumphant return and verbal sparring with his kinsman.

Kevin then escorted Hannah, Meshi, and Plorb [Beruk/N.P.C.] to a lounge, where they eventually met representatives from the U.E.A. and the Kharvamid Alliance. Aquarian (amphibious humanoid) emissary Plorb again asked for aid relocating refugees from the Zarkonian Armada.

Capt. Wu Hanbei [Brian/N.P.C.], the tough commander of the U.E.V. Babieca , listened to Lt. Reese’s praise of our civilian shipmates and warning about the Zurmiz Krott /Harbinger of the Order of Submission (madness-inducing Zarkonian probe). Trinoid xenologist Sudoku compared notes with Syzygy, who was cautiously optimistic about humanity’s potential.

Tela gave Lt. Deepfisher, a Saturnian Delphine (" Uplifted " dolphin) astrogator, a quick tour of the Blackbird . Sgt. Ling Bao, an I.P. mecha driver , said that U.E.A. high command would likely want to follow up on our group’s reports, but 24 hours of shore leave was acceptable. Plorb, Hannah, and Meshi disembarked for further debriefing and to dine with their new human allies in the U.E.A. capital of Rio de Janeiro.

Even though Guanabara Bay was polluted, Syzygy enjoyed swimming under an open sky with Plorb and Sizzlezorm [David I.S./N.P.C.]. Three-armed Sizzlezorm again reassigned the poor biologist, this time to stay with us, his Terran companions, even as we continue scouting. Syzygy was just getting ready to say goodbye to Earth’s oceans and adopt out his pet cat Mr. Sniffles.

Tela enjoyed climbing and gliding with Kedar in the remnants of the Amazon jungle. Scoop insisted on coming with me as I prepared to report to Black Box, even though Kevin recommended that I wait for the organization to look for Agent Prometheus. I later got a call to meet in Rio, not far from where we had first met at the " beanstalk ."

Lt. Reese and Tariq went to Armstrong City in the Lunar Free State, where they met with Adm. Hunter. The U.E.A. officer (in a new uniform partly inspired by Aughest’s designs) offered Kevin command of a task force of 12 ships. The admiral also offered Tariq an intelligence position with Homeworld Security.

Now that humanity was just beginning to expand to the stars, the threat of the approaching Zarkonian Armada was of prime concern to Adm. Hunter. Lt. Reese and Tariq asked whether the Blackbird and its crew could be part of their task force and for time to consider their offers.

Meanwhile, Aughest-vor inquired about another solar-sail regatta , this time near Mercury. The onetime dilettante also pulled a “cousin Oliver,” outmaneuvering Raine and using some of our profits from Tyche to set up a new company of his own. Aughest then went with Tariq to meet reporter Monica Harper at a bar in Rio.

As it turned out, Tela and Kedar were also going to Restaurant Martello, a Carnivale-themed establishment in a former cathedral. Afraid of another public relations disaster, Kevin called Scoop and me for backup.

Aughest-vor was pleasantly surprised to find Ms. Harper in a slinky gown, but Tariq was wary as usual. The interviewer “accidentally” scratched Aughest with her long fingernails, and he soon succumbed to an apparent poison attack.

Feisty Tela protectively yelled, “Nobody touches Aughest-vor!” and slammed cyborg Monica with an ice bucket. Syzygy monitored communications, and Tariq tried to divert local security. I realized with horror that Harper was an assassin from Black Box or Terra Prime !

Scoop kept recording the fracas, and Kevin and I shot some waiters who were in cahoots with Harper. Tariq disarmed another with his collapsible staff. Tela fired her electromagnetic pulse gun. We took the Tiger Hawk Sandstorm to rush Aughest back to Syzygy for treatment while Lt. Reese filed police reports.

We eventually regrouped at the Blackbird in Earth orbit. Syzygy, Kevin, and Aughest told us about potential assignments for exploration, security, and trade, respectively. Tela, Kedar, and Scoop expressed interest in staying together as a crew , while Tariq was worried about fragmenting Terran politics, and I still had to deal with my obviously former handlers at Black Box. We’re not sure of our next moves, but the sky’s the limit ….

Thanks again, Josh, for your notes! I hope that everyone enjoyed our final " Vortex " session for now. Thanks also to Brian for hosting! With both space opera teams now on hiatus, I look forward to participating in various other games for the summer.

On Sunday nights, we’re in the middle Josh’s " Spelljammer : the Show Must Go On " space fantasy miniseries (using FATE 3e Legends of Anglerre and Google+/ Tabletop Forge ). The telecom group will eventually return to my long-running " Vanished Lands " fantasy campaign (which has used Pathfinder , Skype , and an online dice roller ).

On Mondays, Jason’s homebrew " Glassworks " superheroes (using Marvel Heroic Roleplaying ) are off to a strong start in Team 1’s time slot. Rich has offered to run the " Way of the Wicked " adventure path for Pathfinder , and Bruce is planning a " Conan " sword-and-sorcery scenario, also using Pathfinder. I look forward to trying them all out! -Gene

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"Vortex" Update 5c.1: New Gdansk
Coming aboard

Fellow role-players, here are my notes for Session 5c.1 of my " Vortex " space opera campaign, which we played via Skype and an online dice roller on Sunday, 1 July 2012. We’re using Fantastic Adventures in Tabletop Entertainment (FATE) 3rd Ed.: Starblazer Adventures / Mindjammer and Bulldogs.

In one future, humanity has begun to colonize the Sol system, but environmental degradation, population pressures, and internecine conflict persist. The rediscovery of mystical abilities and open and official First Contact with galactic societies, themselves at war, threaten Terra’s very survival. Can heroes rise to the challenges?

>>FATE 3e " Vortex " Team 3 (5c) telecom team Player Characters , crew of the Gryphon (as of summer 2012)

-" Hector Chavez " [Beruk A.]-male Latin American Terran human, former spy and communications expert/engineer of the Appomattox

-" Jasmine " [Sara F.]-female Martian Felinoid (Synth, “Uplifted” tiger), former professional pit fighter and onetime crewmember of the Appomattox, now apart from the grifters in “MarSoupAiL”

-" Chris McKee / Agent Prometheus " [Josh C.]-male Terran human cyborg, former sniper for the North American Aerospace Marine Corps. and eugenicists at Black Box Security Co.; onetime crewmember of the scout ship Blackbird

-" Jax " [Robin H.]-male human from the Asteroid Belt, vain space pirate and pilot of the Slipstream and Gryphon

-" Orion Starchaser " [Geoff C.]-male [humanoid alien] outcast, irrepressible mystic and adrenaline junkie

-" Dr. Srinu Pahul " [Byron V.O.]-male Indian Terran “near-human” (bioengineered) xenobiologist, shadowed by scandal and confident in survival skills

[Robert A.S.]-?
[Jim J.D’B.]-?

Orbital city by static vg

>>" 1 to 7 February 2195 A.D./C.E. or 1 Terran Galactic Era :" Sometime after the Appomattox repelled boarders near Atlanta and the explorers aboard the Blackbird returned to Earth from distant Oasis Station, a new band of travelers gathers at the orbital station of New Gdansk.

Hector Chavez and Jasmine arrive at the Lagrange-point torus habitat aboard another Starwind-class pleasure yacht in need of refitting and more crew. Hector calls his onetime “fixer” Max (short for Maxine) to find out about discreet shipyards and potential gigs. She sends the former spy the contact information for Desmond Hogarth.

Jasmine and her boyfriend, fellow “Synth” Darcy, hope to find a safe homeworld for their people. But first, they want to stretch their legs (and tails) and get something to eat at the orbital city.

Meanwhile, Orion Starchaser continues hitchhiking across the galaxy. The blue extraterrestrial catches a lift with a Ru’ulok (heavy-gravity reptilian alien) trade vessel and is curious about Terrans. Orion disembarks at New Gdansk and is distracted by a shiny vessel in space dock.

The yacht has also attracted the attention of Jax, a dashing space pirate whose single-person transport, the “Slipstream,” is berthed nearby. Jax’s interest is only heightened when Orion notices that the ship has Transit-capable (fasterthanlight ) engines. Humanity has only recently obtained this technology.

Hector and Jasmine emerge from the airlock and are surprised to meet self-important Jax and chatty Orion rather than a security squad. Hector is wary of their questions, but Jasmine is interested in talking with fellow nonhuman Orion.

Disgraced for some of his genetic research, Dr. Srinu Pahul takes a family shuttle into Earth orbit. He notices furry Jasmine and Orion talking and respectfully accosts the " Rakshasa ." The tiger-woman is flattered by the attention, and the group agrees to go with Dr. Pahul to a fancy restaurant.

Hector pointedly asks each of his new companions about their pasts and potential roles aboard the Gryphon . Srinu orders real steaks for everyone (and double for the " Uplifted " tigers). Jax and Orion ask for a tour of the ship, but Jasmine warns that Darcy is keeping watch, so they’ll have to wait.

Cautious Hector recounts some of his misadventures aboard the Appomattox, while Jasmine is happy to make new friends. Srinu says that he’d like to get away from Earth politics, and Jax is confident that he can pilot anything. Orion just wants new challenges.

After dinner, Hector and Jasmine introduce Srinu, Jax, and Orion to Darcy and take them aboard the Gryphon. Paranoid Hector doesn’t show them sensitive areas such as the armory, main engineering, or his quarters.

Jasmine and Darcy redecorate a large cabin with a jungle theme, while Jax demands the captain’s room. Dr. Pahul inspects the medical bay, and seeker Orion puts a disco ball in his cabin. They also discuss adding a swimming pool.

The refitting of the Gryphon is interrupted when proximity alarms go off. Hector scans and finds a robotic drone near the ship. Jax runs back to the Slipstream , and Srinu goes to his family’s shuttle.

Orion looks out a porthole and sees the unmanned probe. Jasmine offers to don a space suit and go outside, but Hector and Darcy recommend that she stay aboard. Possible enemies include law enforcement authorities, other smugglers, past marks, or racial supremacist or religious groups.

Hector wishes he had a proper electronics warfare suite, and Srinu begins maneuvering out of port. Jax is quicker, however, expertly maneuvering the “Slipstream” between the probe and the Gryphon. He bumps the drone, destroying it. Hector reminds his crew mates to be careful aboard the station.

The would-be adventurers go to meet Desmond Hogarth in a seedy section of New Gdansk. Hogarth is accompanied by an Ursoid Synth named “War Paw.” The man is somewhat surprised to encounter a full crew, but he agrees to acquire Hector’s requested parts, in return for one of two missions.

The first is a so-called milk run to the Mars Confederation. The second is to spring a “friend of the family” out of a Union of Solar Nations prison. In response to pressure from Hector, Hogarth says that the convict is Orion Stefanov, former chairman of the Venusian Finance Collective.

Orion Starchaser doesn’t detect any dishonesty with his telepathy, even though Hogarth is no doubt holding back information. Hector and Jasmine, shuddering at their memories of the disaster at Hephaestus Stadium , decline the prison break in favor of going to Mars.

Hogarth notes that he doesn’t want any Interplanetary Patrol scrutiny of the cargo, and Jax assures him that it shouldn’t be difficult to avoid the attention of Fort Olympus Mons.

Since Hogarth doesn’t know about the Gryphon ‘s T-drive, Hector doesn’t tell him that the journey from Earth to Mars would take about four days rather than the weeks or months it would take with conventional (pre-First Contact) Terran rockets.

The new crew returns to the ship to spend some of its advance. Hector and Darcy receive deliveries from War Paw, and Dr. Pahul brings some of his laboratory equipment aboard. Hector scans Hogarth’s cargo and finds only machine parts.

Jax requests a quick-launch enhancement to the Gryphon ‘s landing bay for the Slipstream , which he parks next to Jasmine’s hovercycle. Orion hopes to expand the holo-library.

Jax goes to the Drowning Swan bar and soon entertains a bevy of attractive women with his tales of derring-do in deep space. However, a wealthy woman who has been pursuing the pilot learns of his presence in New Gdansk through C-space (cyberspace).

Cassandra shamelessly flirts with Jax, who resists her advances because he doesn’t want to be tied down or go legit just yet. Amused, Srinu sends the couple drinks, and Jax gives his contact information to Cassandra in return.

Orion wanders through the corridors of the orbital city, cheerfully talking with strangers, most of whom don’t seem disturbed to see a blue alien. Orion finds some fellow hitchhikers, including human student Chan McKenzie, Olvar (arboreal, mammal-like alien) otaku Irdana, and a former soldier who is disturbed.

Chris McKee mutters that he has “seen things no one should,” including something called the so-called Harbingers of the Righteous Order of Submission . Orion invites him to join the crew and is about to consult his paper guidebook when Dr. Pahul walks by. He recognizes “Agent Prometheus” from past super-soldier experiments.

Detached from his Black Box Security handlers, Chris warns Dr. Pahul to stay away or risk violence. Orion diverts the sniper’s attention by introducing him to Ms. McKenzie, allowing Srinu to return to the ship. Orion later tells Hector and company that he has found a gunner for the Gryphon.

Jax talks with a bartender at the “Drowning Swan,” about Chris. Jose says has been serving the man for a few weeks and that he has a good reputation among the aliens, despite any apparent mental instability. Orion also warns Dr. Pahul that he and Chris will have to work out their differences on their way to Mars….

We’re off to a good start! I look forward to the Gryphon getting under way this coming Sunday, July 8. Let me know if any of you have questions about your characters, the ship, or the setting of " Vortex ." Note that Robert A.S. and Jim J.D’B. have also expressed interest in joining us.

In the meantime, I hope that all of you had a good Independence Day, and I’ll see some of you at The Amazing Spider-Man earlier on Sunday or Jason E.R. ’s Marvel Heroic Roleplaying Glassworks game next Monday. I’ll also try to post some notes for Rich C.G.’s School Daze one-shot soon. Take it easy, -Gene

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"Vortex" Update 5c.2
Shakedown to Mars

Fellow role-players , here are my notes for Session 5c.2 of my “Vortex” space opera campaign, which we played via Skype and an online dice roller on Sunday, 8 July 2012. We’re using Fantastic Adventures in Tabletop Entertainment (FATE) 3rd Ed.: Starblazer Adventures / Mindjammer and Bulldogs .

In one future, humanity has begun to colonize the Sol system, but environmental degradation, population pressures, and internecine conflict persist. The rediscovery of mystical abilities and open and official First Contact with galactic societies, themselves at war, threaten Terra’s very survival. Who will rise to the challenges?

>>FATE 3e " Vortex " Team 3 (5c) telecom Player Characters , crew of the Gryphon (as of summer 2012)

  • Hector Chavez [Beruk A.]-male Latin American Terran human, former spy and communications expert/engineer of the Appomattox
  • Jasmine [Sara F.]-female Martian Felinoid (Synth, “Uplifted” tiger), former professional pit fighter and onetime crewmember of the Appomattox with boyfriend Darcy, now apart from the grifters in “MarSoupAiL”
  • Chris McKee /Agent Prometheus [Josh C.]-male Terran human cyborg, former sniper for the North American Aerospace Marine Corps and eugenicists at Black Box Security Co.; onetime crewmember of the scout ship Blackbird
  • Jax [Robin H.]-male human from the Asteroid Belt, vain space pirate and pilot of the Slipstream and Gryphon
  • Orion Starchaser [Geoff C.]-male [blue humanoid alien] outcast, irrepressible mystic and adrenaline junkie
  • Dr. Srinu Pahul [Byron V.O.]-male Indian Terran “near-human” (bioengineered) xenobiologist, shadowed by scandal and confident in survival skills
  • [Robert A.S./ absent ]-male Terran “near-human” gambler and psi

Appomattox

>>" 8 to 14 February 2195 A.D./C.E. or 1 Terran Galactic Era :" After meeting at the shipyards of New Gdansk in Earth orbit, the new crew of the Gryphon prepares for its shakedown cruise. Hector Chavez secures the cargo of machine parts obtained from smuggler Desmond Hogarth.

The engineer also collects a wish list of enhancements to install on the yacht once the delivery to the Mars Confederation is completed. Mighty Jasmine and her boyfriend, fellow “Synth” (" Uplifted " tiger) Darcy, assist with the loading and cabin redecorations.

Orion Starchaser returns to the ship, excited as usual. The interstellar hitchhiker says that he has met a gunner, whom he managed to steer away from a confrontation with Dr. Srinu Pahul . Orion then leaves to get Chris McKee, leaving confused people in his wake.

Burned op Hector shows Jax some of his security precautions in the “Gryphon’s” cockpit and keeps tabs on the crew’s comm links. Jax wants to depart without Orion and the sketchy sniper, but Jasmine talks the hotshot pilot into waiting.

Cautious Hector asks Srinu what he knows about Chris. The doctor reassures him that despite their shared pasts with the eugenicists at Black Box Security Co., they should be able to work together without killing each other.

At the “Drowning Swan” bar, Orion happily tells Chris that he’s welcome aboard the Gryphon . They are joined by Irdana, a tourist whom Orion had met earlier. The nervous Olvar (arboreal, mammal-like alien ) asks the blue wanderer if she can buy passage with them.

Sensing that Irdana is in trouble, Orion and Chris readily agree. Hector and Jax aren’t thrilled, however, when Irdana explains that she witnessed a deal for heavy ordinance — Orion’s arm span plus her tail in size — and was then noticed by the illicit arms dealers.

Jax and Chris ask Irdana how she plans to pay, and she opens a rucksack of antique Terran toys. Jasmine and Orion happily play with the plastic figurines, but Srinu and Jax aren’t impressed. Chris is won over when he finds some old military action figures.

Rather than risk being probed by more remote-control robots, captured by smugglers, or waylaid by fans, the crew of the Gryphon" casts off. Jax easily maneuvers the ship, which is much larger than his personal vessel, the Slipstream , past traffic between Earth, the L-5 orbital stations , and the Lunar Free State.

Hector goes to engineering to check on the maneuver (sublight) and Transit (faster-than-light) drives. He notes that since the Gryphon is swifter than Hogarth knows, the group will have time to check out the drop zone rather than be ambushed.

Jasmine and Darcy show new crewmate Chris and passenger Irdana around, taking them through lounges and to their cabins. Originally from a world with large oceans and many islands, Orion takes advantage of the new saltwater swimming pool.

In his spare time, Srinu translates the Mahabharata , which describes possible ancient contact between humans and extraterrestrials. The doctor also asks each of his shipmates to come to the medical bay for a complete checkup.

Jax pointedly ignores most visitors to the bridge, executing several barrel rolls and other maneuvers that test the ship’s advanced inertial dampeners and artificial-gravity deck plates. The “best damn space pirate in the solar system” sets a course for a quick jump through Transit.

Jasmine goes to check on the foods that Srinu brought, while Darcy chats with Irdana. Srinu tells ruminant Orion that he’d like to introduce fish and a variety of Terran and alien plants to the pool to supplement their diet. Hector and Jax are reluctant to submit to medical examination.

At dinner one night, Chris asks his new companions about their plans beyond bringing the mechanical cargo to Mars. “Agent Prometheus” describes the Blackbird ’s fight on Oasis Station against the Zurmiz Krott, a biomechanical probe of the dreaded Zarkonian Armada. The inhuman invaders are approaching Earth, he says.

Hector and Jasmine observe that Chris’ description strongly resembles that of the " Harbinger of the Righteous Order of Submission! " they encountered with the rest of Mars Soup Aid Lenders Ltd. (“MarSoupAiL”) back in Ghanki Station under the Indian Ocean. Both the Zurmiz Krott and the Harbinger induced cannibalistic madness and were difficult to contain or defeat.

Chris proposes scouting the space threatened by the Zarkonians, but calm Orion notes that according to his sensei, the crustaceans have attacked numerous worlds over many centuries of Terran time. Chris promises to share “archaeological data”: http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/DnD3VanishedLands/message/9442 with Dr. Pahul about possible Precursor artifacts at Van Maanen’s Star .

Jax isn’t convinced of the urgency of the Zarkonian threat, but Jasmine vows to help protect humanity, despite its often poor treatment of her and other “Synths” (bioengineered humanoids). In the meantime, Chris warns, Mars is bad news, because of his experiences with various factions.

Jax takes the “Gryphon” out of the plane of the ecliptic, and Hector spins up the Transit drive. In a matter of hours rather than weeks, the yacht travels from Earth orbit to Mars ….

Thanks again for your patience as I dealt with audio problems; I’ll try to log onto Skype earlier this coming weekend to deal with them. Since we have a good-sized group , we should also remember Google+ and Tabletop Forge as backups. I look forward to the new crew of the “Gryphon” settling in, visiting the Mars colonies, and looking ahead to future missions!

We should eventually upload character records and images to the Obsidian Portal site for Vortex . See also the discussion on the Yahoo/eGroups message board regarding Jason’s " Glassworks " superhero scenario and upcoming games for the Boston-area, face-to-face groups. -Gene

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