Friday, October 21, 2016

Mynock Squadron Recap # 13 [RPG]

[4.7.1 ABY]

The remainder of the trip to Nal Hutta proves uneventful. Zutton lands his vessel near Zorba the Hutt's Winter Palace and the members of Mynock Squadron's Gamma Flight, disguised as smugglers, are permitted entry. Inside, they are met with a scene of debauchery. Zorba is hosting a reception for Moff Rann and his crew, complete with potent intoxicants, live music, and enslaved dancers. The Mynocks decide to split up to gather information. Tazo-Rhi announces to everyone she meets that she is a smuggler, and then lurks conspicuously near a table of Rann's crew to overhear their conversation. She discerns they are grumbling about their current mission "protecting slimeballs" and "dirty aliens." Keth trails an intoxicated officer who is winding his way through the crowd, and when the officer drops a datapad, Keth swoops in and skilfully retrieves it before anyone notices. Kero, meanwhile, really gets into her role by challenging some of Rann's crew to a drinking game; she doesn't get much in the way of useful intelligence, but no one in attendance would ever think she were a New Republic spy!

Zorba the Hutt announces that in the morning, a swoop race will be held in honour of his guests. The winning racer and their crew will have the run of the Winter Palace's Pleasure Dome, a reward that gets everyone's attention. After the announcement, Tazo-Rhi finds herself in conversation with one of the dancers, a woman named M'Ghan. Perhaps sensing that Tazo-Rhi is not really who she says she is, M'Ghan confides that she has long been enslaved by Zorba and wishes to escape; she says there are tunnels under the Palace that lead to nearby swampland. Tazo-Rhi says she might be interested in smuggling M'Ghan to safety in return for the information. Elsewhere, in a darkened corner, Keth examines the datapad he recovered. He finds it full of useful information, including blueprints of the Imperial Wing of the Palace.

The Mynocks assemble in Zutton's room, and after searching for surveillance devices, discuss what to do next. Keth points out that the blueprints of the Imperial Wing point to a hidden room that could be a vault or archive. With the information that M'Ghan gave to Tazo-Rhi, the group work out that one of the exits of the underground tunnels is the trash chute in the kitchen of the Imperial Wing. The group decide on a plan to infiltrate the Imperial Wing, but a crucial first step is gaining access to the Pleasure Dome to fulfil Tazo-Rhi's commitment to M'Ghan. To do that, they'll first need to win the next day's swoop race.

[4.7.2 ABY]

Using a swoop provided by Zorba the Hutt, the Mynocks enter themselves as a team in the race. Keth will serve as pilot, Tazo-Rhi as mechanic, and Kero as spotter. The first loop sees Keth eek out a narrow lead over his closest competitor, a being named Jax. At a pit stop, Kero proclaims that she could do a better job and decides to pilot the swoop herself. Jax closes the lead early in the second loop, and then the two race neck-and-neck through the precarious track. Both racers push their swoops to maximum speed, and end up crossing the finish line at the same time! Zorba the Hutt, feeling generous, allows both teams access to the Pleasure Dome.

The success allows the Mynocks to put their plan into operation. As they head towards the Pleasure Dome, a massive Imperial Star Destroyer looms overhead and suddenly starts to open fire on the Palace! With debris raining down from the sky, the Mynocks rush into the Pleasure Dome, only to witness Imperials fighting Imperials! The Mynocks find M'Ghan and a young girl, her sister, cowering in a corner. M'Ghan leads everyone to a courtyard and into a secret tunnel, as TIEs buzz the palace. As they crawl through the tunnel, they can hear Moff Rann announce on a loudspeaker that all of his personnel should assemble in the courtyard at attention to welcome Grand Moff Artis Kain. The tunnel emerges in a swamp, and Zutton agrees to take M'Ghan and her sister to his ship.

Following M'Ghan's directions, the Mynocks then return to the tunnels and take another branch. The tunnels wind for hundreds of meters, and the pilots have to tread carefully to avoid some of the savage animals who live within. In time, they reach the mound of garbage that lays at the bottom of a shaft ascending elsewhere: the bottom of the Imperial's trash chute. A wounded nashtah with a broken collar growls at the pilots as they approach, but Tazo-Rhi orders it to stand down and it obeys. Ascension guns allows the group to ascend the narrow shaft and emerge in the kitchens. Using access codes earlier gained from the Imperial datapad, Kero is able to slice into the area's security systems to show looped activity in the corridors. With Keth taking the lead, the group carefully time the duration between patrols to navigate the corridors and gain entry to the hidden room. 

Inside, they see shelves of flimsies, data crystals, and even oddly-shaped objects that turn out to be ancient holocrons. Keth takes the holocrons while Tazo-Rhi shovels everything else into her satchel. Kero slices into the firewalled computer terminal and discovers the disposition of the Pentastar Alignment's fleet. She also discovers the reason for the earlier bombardment: a disagreement between Rann and Kain! Rann wanted to maintain an alliance with the Hutts, but has obviously had to give in to Kain's superior firepower. Having obtained everything they came for, the Mynocks carefully return to the kitchens, again bypassing patrols, and slide down the trash chute. The nashtah is still there, and, seeing Tazo-Rhi as its master, follows the group out of the tunnels.

When they reach Zutton, they find him at the mercy of a Mandalorian! The Mandalorian lets him go, however, saying he owed a debt to his ancestor. With everyone on board, the freighter lifts off and heads towards orbit. An uncoded, wide-spectrum broadcast comes through the comm: Moff Rann has been "stood down", and in his role is the newly-made Moff Bellis. The Mynocks are relieved to reach the safety of hyperspace and escape the reach of Grand Moff Kain, at least for now.

When they rendezvous with Waric, he tells them that the imprisoned space pirates tried to escape, and that he had no choice but to vent atmosphere and have them sucked out into space. Tazo-Rhi does not doubt him.

Having successfully obtained key information on the Pentastar Allignment, Gamma Flight heads back to base having had its first unqualified success.
Director's Commentary (October 21, 2016)

This was the conclusion of the guest adventure run by the player who normally operates Waric.  There was a lot happening in this session, so much so that, as a player, I mainly had to just focus on the task at hand and review my notes later to understand the full context.  I enjoyed playing Tazo-Rhi because her limitations as an undercover operative were so obvious.  Sometimes gamers try to make "perfect" characters that are good at everything, but it's a lot more fun to consciously play characters with obvious weaknesses and even emphasize those weaknesses to help with the story-telling.

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