Greetings, Monster Meat!
Sorry it took so long to post this. I saved as draft and then went on vacation without publishing it. Super long post today, so here we go!
In our extra-special Halloween episode, the party found themselves with an invitation to enter the Iron Hold as a part of Raskurro’s merry band of cannibals. The party arrived with six members of The Fighting Nexu mercenary company posing as slaves in the hopes of claiming the significant reward promised by their employers. They were greeted by Gassan, Raskurro’s right-hand and the individual that met Theed outside of Raskurro’s ship.
Having met the slaving outfit at the specified location, staff of the Iron Hold arrived precisely on time in a small convoy of two prisoner transportation landspeeders. They loaded the first speeder with all of the slaves provided by Raskurro and company. They were then directed onto the other speeder, outfitted with an extremely well-appointed interior that even included refreshments and a large cushion for Hutt comfort. All guests including the party were required to stash their weapons in a lockbox, but Theed managed to convince the guards to allow him to maintain possession of his vibrorapier, charming them with stories of its sentimental value as a family heirloom.
Before long, the speeders arrived at the gate of the Iron Hold. Guests and slaves alike were unloaded from their speeders as the great gates opened and a man who identified himself as the Warden appeared within a cluster of guards. The Warden delivered a speech to greet his guests, while the slaves were being escorted to their temporary pens and the lockbox containing the party’s gear was stashed in safe room. The Warden promised a preview of the fights to come, and along with his guards led the party and the remainder of the guests to the Shockboxing arena, though on this night it would be used for a more vicious affair. In the center of the arena stood a Wookiee with a vibroaxe in each hand. In the cages attached to the arena were five slaves, sent to fight for their freedom against the reigning champion as punishment for their insubordination. The bell sounded and the cages were opened, but the prisoners were unable to coordinate their attack and one by one fell to the rage and violence of the Wookiee.
During the fight, all party members but Gareth (who was fascinated by the spectacle before him) noticed an extremely well dressed Twi’lek woman approach Dasha, who froze in her presence. She said something that made Dasha lower her head, and then brushed some makeup from one of Dasha’s lekku (headtails) revealing a scar and a tattoo. She said something with a sharp look on her face, and walked away.
Following the brief and bloody fight, the Warden had the guests escorted to their quarters which, though luxurious and spacious, were in reality a retrofitted cell block that locked only from the outside. This was not done with any ill-intent, but rather just making the best use of the resources at hand. Two guards were posted outside the cell block door and the party was permitted time alone to rest. Pouring some drinks and discussing Dasha’s encounter, it was revealed that she was in fact a slave prior to connecting with the party on Nar Shaddaa. She escaped without completing her servitude and had been on the run since. The woman that approached her at the fight is, in fact, her owner.
During the conversation, Theed saw a shadow move rapidly across the door of the party’s private quarters. Going into the hall to investigate, he saw nothing. Before he could re-enter the room, he was hit on the head by something unseen. Explaining to the rest of the party that he was attacked, they headed back to their quarters for safety.
Some time later the prison alarm system sounded and the primary power turned off. With emergency lights flickering inconsistently and the sound of blaster fire through the walls, the group decided to check on Raskurro and crew in their own private quarters, across the cell block hall. Receiving no answer to their knocks, the group entered the quarters only to find both Raskurro and his guards dead with holes burned through their chests. Gassan was nowhere to be found.
As they exited the quarters, a skittering sound emanated from within the ceiling above their heads and periodically continued, following the party as they moved. Unable to determine the source of the sound or find anyone else alive, the party opted to leave the cell block. As they approached the blast door, they were able to see a partially-mutated guard in the control room. Knocking on the blast door yielded no results, so R0-81T and Gareth set to work unlocking the blast door from the inside. As they started, a ceiling panel burst open and mutated creatures later identifed as Rakghouls poured into the cell block and attacked Theed and Dasha. The group did eventually manage to destroy all six creatures, but not before Dasha took a significant claw attack. Eventually getting the door unlocked and pushing it open slightly, Gareth grabbed a blaster rifle from a dead guard and started firing into the mass of monster flesh. The fight terminated with Dasha cutting down two ghouls with a kitchen knife, while R0-81T punched the head of a Rakghoul clean off, only to have it strike another mutant on the ceiling causing it to fall onto a pile of debris.
Finding themselves momentarily safe, the crew of The Encounter decided to exit their cell block while they had the chance, and head to the armoury so that they could pick up their gear. Unable to remain undetected by the Rakghoul hordes in the main yard, the party was chased into the armoury and managed to slam the door behind them just in the nick of time. A quick hack opened the lockbox, and their weapons were recovered. However, the group now found themselves trapped in an armoury with rakghouls swarming the other side of the only door.
After some deliberation, the party decided it was time to hit the air ducts. If vicious bloodthirsty mutants could traverse them, then why couldn’t sentient outlaws as well? They climbed up into the ducts and made their way single-file over the yard, stopping periodically to view the chaos of blood, claws, and blaster fire below. Eventually however, they reached a four foot gap ripped into the duct and were forced to attempt to traverse it without plummeting to the ground below. Gareth was the first to try to cross, but managed to slip on the slick metal and fall through the gap, landing on a dead rakghoul on the catwalk below and knocking the wind from his lungs. Theed lowered a rope to help Gareth climb up, and R0-81T climbed over its teammates and across the gap to the other side of the duct.
Seeing the raw, sentient equivalent of a fishing lure on the end of a line, a group of rakghouls charged towards Gareth. R0-81t managed to take down some from a distance, but one ran across the underside of the air duct and made it to the gap just as Gareth was retrieved. The rakghoul lashed out and managed to get its claws into Theed before R0-81T could blast it. Feeling an immediate burning in the claw wound but otherwise unharmed, Theed shook himself off and the party continued through the duct to the other side of the vent, over the guard barracks.
Jumping down under threat of blaster fire, the party explained to the residents of the barracks that they were on their way to the Warden’s office so that they could determine the location of their primary objective – Gareth’s cousin. During this negotiation, Dasha noticed one of the guards sweating and flushed; common symptoms of poisoning. Opting to not take any chances with one of their own mutating into a rakghoul, the remainder of the guards threw their colleague over the catwalk and onto the floor below. Using this opportunity, the party convinced the guards to provide the location of the Warden’s office and draw a crude map of the facility. The guards, however, refused to accompany the party and instead chose to remain in the relative safety of their own barracks.
The party left the barracks and made their way across the catwalk to the Warden’s office. Peering into the window they noticed the office was trashed, but otherwise unoccupied. They entered the room and made their way to the computer terminal in hopes of finding the location of their objective. They noticed large claw marks in the door, and Dasha pulled out her thermal scanners to check the room over. Through the door of the Warden’s private washroom, she saw the unmistakable thermal signature of a humanoid creature roughly seven feet tall.
Theed attempted to open the door and look inside, but it was being held shut from the other side. He attempted to engage in conversation with the creature on the other side of the door, who responded in a deep gravelly voice and inquired about the location of “Master”. Theed managed to coax the creature out, revealing an enormous rakghoul-Human hybrid wearing the tattered clothes of the Warden and carrying an electrostaff.
Meanwhile, R0-81T broke into the Warden’s computer and managed to find signs of activity from the Iron Hold security droids, fighting back against the Rakghoul tide but finding themselves overwhelmed. Additionally, R0-81T was able to find information on Gareth’s cousin, who was admitted to the infirmary following an injury during a shock-boxing match.
After some attempts at negotiation, Theed lost control of an already tenuous conversation with an aggressive and confused creature after the Warden-thing caught R0-81T hacking the Iron Hold network on the Warden’s personal computer. It charged at Theed, striking out with the electrostaff and knocking him back.
All hell broke loose as the party fought the Warden-thing within the confined space of the office. Blasters were fired and swords unsheathed, but the creature didn’t seem to be hindered whatsoever by the party’s barrage. It was making quick work of some of the party members, when a lucky blaster shot destroyed the electrostaff and opened the creature up to attacks.
Taking this bit of damage enraged the creature even more, who lashed out with the Force against R0-81t and Dasha, sending them flying into the office wall with an extremely powerful telekinetic blast. R0-81T found itself knocked prone under the desk, and used this opportunity to dig in and take aim at the creature. Meanwhile, Theed and Dasha pressed the attack with sword and knife while Gareth continued to blast away with his prized Nova Blaster.
Truly a situation of death by 1000 paper cuts, the creature slowly began to show damage. Pressing the attack, it launched another telekinetic barrage, even more powerful than the last. Three of the party members were picked up in the air and flung backwards, with enough force to cause significant injury and shatter the Tibanna Gas magazine within Gareth’s Nova Blaster. Unable to continue firing, he drew his sword as well and closed with the creature.
With critical wounds tallying up on both the party and the creature, Theed knew that he didn’t have much time left in the fight. He launched himself into the air with his vibrorapier extended, screaming “Witness Me” as he swung at the creature. With an accurate strike, Theed managed to slice clear through the creatures shoulder and lop off its arm, before the creature countered with another telekinetic blast that flung Theed into a wall, knocking him unconscious as a silver marker from the Warden’s desk burst over Theed’s face. To Valhalla.
With the creature on the ropes, Gareth moved in and blinded it with a strike across the eyes from his vibrosword, forcing the creature to its knees. Still stirring, the party (minus Theed) managed to finish it off.
It was at this point that we took a break, the party exhausted from their fight. The campaign will continue with the party bravely facing the catastophe within the Iron Hold.