Chapter One[edit | edit source]
Episode One[edit | edit source]
It's orientation week at the Kaladesh Institute for Aethernautics - defenders of Hyrule's astral skies - and our fresh faced cadets are put through the paces with an activity-packed first day. Tensions are high with a string of thefts and an increased security presence, but that won't dampen the spirits across campus.
Starting the day with a historical battle with Boatswain Tarto on the Simulation Deck, they then made their way up to their new bunks and met some of their fellow cadets (some in a more violent fashion). Following the remainder of their orientation tasks and some red herring investigation, our cadets were ultimately tasked with delivering a parcel to the Institute's leader, Mirt the Merciless. Unbeknownst however, the package was really a trap set to attack Mirt in his hungover state. Luckily the crew were able to defeat the Neogi hatchlings and save the day!
Episode Two[edit | edit source]
As training swings into action, it's important to start the day with a hearty breakfast. Our cadets met with Gray's academy sponsor Winston Rybeck, who it turned out ran the Institute's galley. With Gunpowder Chow in hand, they sat with a meek little guy they used as a springboard during their orientation assault course: Miken Haverstance. After assuaging his anxieties they all made their way to the simulation decks for their training exercise.
Their mission was simple: fly their ship out to a derelict, recover its logbook, and return in one piece. With some well coordinated fire control and expert asteroid dodging from Riker, they were able successfully make their way to the wreck and find the book. Things are of course never that simple however, and their ship was soon the target of a Githyanki pirate vessel.
Eventually our noble heroes were able to fend off the pirates and escape out of range. Upon returning to the rendezvous point, they found the other cadets' ship threateningly damaged and volatile but managed to evacuate everyone to their own vessel. It seemed to be for naught however as both teams were violently dragged from the illusory simulation to find their respective chambers sabotaged, and their instructors Tarto and Abizjn struck down in the resulting explosion. The players won the competition at least…
Episode Three[edit | edit source]
The passing weeks have been filled with rigorous training and increased specialisation, and the rumours of suspicious activity continue to circulate around the institute.
Our heroes were summoned for their first mission aboard a real wayfinding vessel, out into the real Astral Sea. The mission was simple: a simple retrieval mission. A mission so simple that it couldn't be stressed how simple it was. All it took was to fly a captured Tyrant ship out to the Beholder controlled world of Catha, find a crashed meteorite, and return in one piece. Simple.
The team was joined by three of their fellow cadets - Miken Haverstance, H'burt Pasch, and fan favourite Flabergastrus - as well as Petty Officer Rybeck. After triggering and deactivating a dormant trap, they were able to install their wayfinding helm and get their journey to Catha under way.
Several days pass before their flight was interrupted by mechanical chittering from the outer hull. Our heroes discovered robotic spider drones picking apart the defuse and debris, rebuilding themselves to commandeer the ship. The crew only had a short moment to catch their breath following the battle as H'burt emerged panting for help; fire had engulfed the cargo bay! In what could only be an act of magical sabotage, summoned magmite elementals attacked the crew, having already killed Rybeck. With no option to push forward with the mission the cadets faced a tense journey back home.
Episode Four[edit | edit source]
With Gray, Miken and Flabergastrus taken back planetside, the four remaining cadets were joined by Tarto and Abizjn to complete the original mission. With a substantially quieter journey, they made their way to the desolate disk world of Catha. The trail for the meteorite took our party down the dark beaches to a deep cavern. Two Spectators stood over their prize, debating who got the honour of guarding it and asked the intruding cadets to mediate on the matter. Starstrider mediated with bullets and the Spectators were slain.
The journey home to Kaladesh was mostly relaxed - jovial even - as they ran light exercises and played cards. The festivities were eventually interrupted however as they approached an asteroid field; a perfect spot for an ambush. Surely enough, as Malcolm and Catty kept watch from the cargo deck a shark-mounted Githyanki captain materialised, demanding they hand over Miken. Refusing to believe he wasn't aboard, she attacked the two cadets, almost flatlining Cattywampus twice. Tarto came to the rescue, blowing a hole through her chest.
Their return marked their reunion with Gray and Flabergastrus - Miken having confessed his involvement at the first sign of interrogation and been moved to the brig. Duties returned to normal for several days until a strike team interrupted their tasks. Mal, Catty and H'burt defended the Flighty Foundling before following the sounds of gunfire and battle deeper into the facility, eventually finding themselves in the brig face to face with more infiltrators dragging a badly beaten Miken. The invaders were held back and defeated, but not before Miken was unceremoniously decrainiated.
Despite the losses, the day was saved and graduation eventually came around. Moving speeches were given and magical gifts bestowed. The term was wrapped up with Chet's raging keg party: Gray brought out the rare starberry vintage, Cattywampus and Veena reconciled, Riker and Flabergastrus agreed to just be friends, and Malcolm begrudgingly busted some moves as something ominous and unseen lurked in space above the planet, laying in wait for their moment to come.
Chapter Two[edit | edit source]
Episode Five[edit | edit source]
It's been a month since The Institute's operations were grounded by the Consul of Power. No fun space adventures, no boring training exercises, no dangerous threats to life. Instead our crew partook in some R&R, gambling away savings and divulging personal secrets at the Déliciux Dubois vineyards. Malcolm did some personal snooping into the attack on The Institute, linking the intruders to somebody known as "Vocath" - a prominent merchant of the city long ago and an ex advisor of the Consul of Wisdom.
Eventually their service would be called upon, accompanying Captain Talinna Sartell in representing The Institute at a fancy diplomatic party for foreign Caelin dignitaries aboard the pleasure yacht Ghirapur. Boredom soon set in and shenanigans soon began, particularly against the leader of the city's Kaladins Ser Jeorg Gjordi. This caught the attention of Blarg'ghus, an aide to the Deputy of Commerce, who took great interest in the group for their own purposes.
Their third reprimand was interrupted as tremors shook the docked airship and crystalline tendrils burst forth from the surface of the planet. The vines soon took hold of the buildings of the city, and entities sprang from their pods, dragging themselves aboard the Ghirapur. Our crew held the creatures off as Riker took control of the vessel, with Ser Gjordi eventually being dragged off the ship with his coveted aetherblade.
Once the ship was secured Admiral Katilia Tarto of the Consulate Navy demanded the "illegally commandeered " ship be turned over to proper authorities, and was preparing to kick them off the ship before a well timed pick up from a returning Captain Sartell arrived. As the crew made their way off-world, they caught sight of the vines erupting all across the planet; their world strangled by an unknown force.
Episode Six[edit | edit source]
Destruction wrecks the land below as our heroes soar above the clouds of Hyrule. Captained by Talinna Sartell and crewed by a ragtag collective of Institute personnel and rescued civilians the Timberbane made its escape from the surface, giving the battered group a chance to catch their breath. After a discussion on immediate plans to get to the Rock of Bral, a cry of warning was heard from Malt-Malt at the stern. An unidentified vessel was in hot pursuit, and would soon be within firing range. Gray set to work on the engines for a hasty exit as a warning shot flew clear of the bow. The decision was made to hear out the interlopers rather than risk the already damaged ship.
Alongside the Star Moth Dark Star, the Timberbane was boarded by 3 armoured elves exuding unfathomable levels of arrogance, seeking to humbly accept the crew's surrender in the name of the High Tarian Empire. In typical Starstrider fashion their response was blasting. With the help of Veena, the elves were taken down (along with a monkey crewmate) and they were able to board the Dark Star. Capturing the enemy wayfinder got them little actionable information, however looting the ship earned them desperately needed supplies and the enemy's wayfinding helm. Searching the cargo deck uncovered hundreds of crystalline pods, which Gray and Cattywampus snuck two of aboard the Timberbane. As they prepared to depart, Gray rigged the star moth to blow and Malcolm sought out the monkeys. Horrified to discover them to be fully cognisant Hadozee that could talk, he invited them to join them until they made it to Bral.
Finally escaping from Hyrulian skies, Riker guided the Timberbane on its journey into the swirling hues of Wildspace. The exhausted crew rested as they were finally clear of danger, taking the time to complete odd jobs around the ship. After days of travel they arrived at the Reika Belt: the asteroid belt they encountered on their journey to Catha. Once more preparing for lurking pirates, horror came as an Illithid Nautiloid emerged instead.
Episode Seven[edit | edit source]
Discovering the Nautiloid to be a derelict, the crew of the Timberbane decided to investigate; seeking to salvage what remained of the wreck. Invited aboard by what seemed to be a ragged human survivor, our heroes quickly hopped over to deal with the poorly disguised trap. Dropping the spell to reveal their true psurlon form he was swiftly defeated whilst dangled over the empty void of space.
Delving deep into the ship, the crew found all manner of gross Giger-esque design choices and derelict ruins, a cargo hold of corpses and brain-filled barrels, and cooped up monsters with hungry appetites. Advancing up to the command deck, they easily found the rest of the trap they were clearly supposed to have been led up to, deftly dealing with the remaining psurlons. The rest of the ship was looted for whatever meagre provisions remained, and some light treasures dotted around.
Chapter Three[edit | edit source]
Episode Eight[edit | edit source]
The Timberbane continues its arduous journey through the Reika Belt towards the Rock of Bral, an unregulated settlement once a haven for scum and villainy, now the closest 'safe' port for the crew fleeing their devastated home. With plans to remain in dock for several days for repair and refitting, our heroes sought respite as they made their way through the various markets of the city, picking up some fresh outfits, curious magical trinkets, and delicious Space Venison Kebabs from a Star Bucks stall. Along the way they encountered a cockney orphan pickpocket who they were able to apprehend and buy information out of, pointing them in the direction of the portside tavern - The Happy Beholder.
It was here they met Commodore Krux, a down-on-their-luck drunkard, and no friend to the imperial Tarians. Buying drinks in return for their tale, Krux offered to join the crew in the Timberbane's insurrection against the astral elves. The arrival of the Hadozees Jerod and Pricely brought warnings of Tarian agents hunting the crew, setting them off in defence of the ship.
After the ensuing battle - and the potentially-avoidable death of Captain Sartell - the rest of the crew were called and reassembled for a swift departure. Veena elected to remain behind in case other Hyrulian survivors managed to escape; Chet elected to remain behind to do keg stands at the Happy Beholder. The rest of the crew - Krux included - left to make their way to Doomspace, a small nexus where a coalition against the Tarians is supposedly being formed.
Episode Nine[edit | edit source]
Lancer bolts fly as the Timberbane's departure from Bral doesn't go unnoticed. Pursued by the Tarian-aligned Viceroy Hastain, the crew were forced to engage as their jellyfish ship grappled onto the Timberbane and they teleported aboard. Following the smooshing of their head, the Timberbane's wayfinding helm was disabled as the remaining enemies fled.
Once back up and running, Krux pointed them in the direction of an old friend who could provide a map to Doomspace: the Vistari seer Topolah. Making their way to her asteroid home, the crew went about repairing battle damage and began work on a new lancer before arriving. Finding a caravan, a tent, and a kooky blind Vistari woman, our heroes were taken on a tour of Topolah's magical junk- and bird-filled home. Cattywampus received a tarot reading with ominous undertones, and the others received navigational data and equipment for their quest. In return, Topolah beseeched the crew to deal with a large space shark seen prowling around her home. They weren't given much choice however as the scavver made the first move anyway, swallowing Cattywampus whole as they rowed back to the Timberbane. After successfully defeating the beast, Topolah joined them upon the deck offering additional aid; another potential ally to join their cause.
Sailing into nebulous clouds in search of Topolah's old flame, the ship came upon the remnants of a battle. Several ships - including two Tarian Star Moths - drifted in shattered disarray, leaving nothing but food for scavvers. A wisp that supposedly travelled with the fleet appeared and told of the battle that occurred, promising to take them to the rendezvous point. Following its lead the Timberbane delved deep into the midst of a powerful astral storm, rocking and battering the ship. Ahead - silhouetted by lightning: The Last Breath; galley of the damned and flagship of Carmilla Pellegrino's vampirate fleet.
Episode Ten[edit | edit source]
Hollow dead eyes stare blankly as the Timberbane manoeuvres to fire, however it seems the undead vessel arrives in no fighting shape. As the damaged galley approached, the accursed captain stood proud upon the bowsprit, announcing herself an antagoniser of the Tarians and calling for parley. The Timberbane's crew turn their suspicious eye upon the offer, agreeing on the condition talks happen on friendly territory and invited Carmilla Pellegrino aboard the corvette. As the vampirate's history with both the Tarian Empire and with Topolah's heart came to light, terms for an alliance of sorts were drawn up with Pellegrino promising a powerful weapon to aid in their fight. Despite Cattywampus' impressive backflipping skills the crew failed to demonstrate their renown, and begrudgingly agreed to swear - at least temporarily - their fealty to 'Admiral' Pellegrino and her fleet.
Her command of the crew would come sooner than expected though. An attack by a ghost-possessed Breg announced the treacherous mutiny of the Last Breath, and a pursuit into the spooky astral storm brought them face to face with Pellegrino's vicious vampirates, zombies ogres, and her backstabbing first mate. Despite her terrifying ghostly image making Malcolm AND Riker age 40 years older they were able to thwart her possession attempts and disrupt her spectral form, all while avoiding the unstable barrels of alchemist's fire that threatened to blow up the ship.
With the ship secure and Pellegrino firmly in charge once again, the crew discovered the promised weapon to fight back against the Tarians: a prisoner. Returning to the Timberbane, beloved fan-favourite character Minxl Fargus was able to restore Malcolm and Riker's youth, and revived the elven woman; none other than the High Tarian Princess Tedalli.
Chapter Four[edit | edit source]
Episode Eleven[edit | edit source]
A diplomatic accord is struck with the astral princess: a throne for a planet. The truth of Hyrule's condemnation came to light as Tedalli explained her twin's imperial coup and betrayal on their father's deathbed. After making an uneasy agreement, Gray provided a tour of the ship as Krux expressed his disgust at working with the enemy.
His frustrations assuaged, the crew prepped for their first journey into the swirling silvery clouds of the Quinbarah - the deep astral expanse between nexuses. With some downtime ahead of them the crew let themselves relax with some casual flirting, unsuccessful gambling ventures, and much needed repairs to the ship. Topolah also shakily embroidered the Captain's Mantle with the Timberbane's new emblem, the Sir Justin poster from Shrek 2. The downtime would come to an end as they came upon a metal derelict ship of unknowable design. Exploring its ruined interior brought little answers, but some fun items were recovered before the away team was set upon by the infesting astral gurblins.
Gurblins (and summoned daemons) dealt with, the crew continued their journey towards Doomspace, making their way through the colossal crystal shards that once shelled the system's black star. They were able to make their way to the moon of Aruun to find Kurx's old comrade Warwyck Blastinoff, rescuing him from his unsuccessful attempts at allying with the moon's native population.
Episode Twelve[edit | edit source]
The Timberbane's latest addition delivers crushing news, but perhaps the secret to a unified resistance still remains within Doomspace. Warwyck's efforts to form the coalition fell upon the deaf ears of the system's warring factions, seeing the Tarians as a far off unrelated threat. He did however learn that many of the system’s factions are indebted to the merchant Vocath (a name that rang a bell with the crew, but the player who took notes episode 5 was absent lel) Agreeing to pursue the lead brought the Timberbane to his eponymous moon, where they were able to dock alongside the eclectic mix of pirates and warbands visiting the palace. After some deliberation they approached the nearest guard with Warwyck and the princess in tow, hoping to secure an audience with Vocath.
Coming face to face with the ostentatious despot told the crew all they needed to know about him, with his gaudy frescoes and silk curtains, velvet cushions lining every surface, and servants attending to his every whim. In an attempt to appeal to his sybaritic tastes, Gray produced a fine Starberry vintage from her family’s vineyard - something he seemed oddly familiar with (weird) - whilst regaling the tale of their homeland’s plight. Not overly swayed by any emotional appeal, Riker cut straight to business: slapping him across the face before passionately kissing him in the mouth. Shocked but impressed by his boldness, Vocath offered the opportunity to demonstrate their strength to the gathered factions; teleporting them into his not-thunderdome murder arena.
Fighting their way through a gauntlet of six-limbed giants, space sharks, a horny Bowser, and a 40 metre Murderpede, they sent the audience (bar one thoroughly unimpressed Thri-Kreen) into a wild frenzy. Gray even managed to get a smirk of approval out of the Princess. The barbaric fun would come to an end however as the dome above was shattered, replaced with the scene of a descending dragon and its rider. Identifying themself as the Tarian Prince Teleth, our crew were threatened with total annihilation should they refuse to turn over Tedalli.
Episode Thirteen[edit | edit source]
With the Prince’s interruption bringing a halt to the festivities, the Timberbane’s crew must act quickly if there’s to be a coalition left for them to form. As the solar dragon descended into the arena, Cattywampus sprang into action up the wall, nabbing a coin purse off Vocath, and taking the Princess hostage. The unamused aggressor once more stated his terms, reminding our heroes the entire palace was surrounded by his squadron of Star Moths. Vocath’s cowardly pleas were mostly scoffed at by the Monk, however Tedalli - knowing her twin’s malignity - declared she would return with him should her new allies be spared. Before departing though, Cattywampus’s toe acquired some new bling as she dropped her signet for him, Messaging that it was the key to saving their home.
Following the Tarian departure the crew regrouped aboard the Timberbane, planning their next steps in persuading the captains to take up arms. Riker tempted the pirate galley with talk of plunder (and a small down-payment bribe of 300g) before connecting with the plight of the displaced Ssurrans who too had lost their home. Gray ended up brawling with the war-worshiping Aartuks’ captain, impressing them with her brash show of strength and promise of bloodshed. The freedom-loving Eaglekocra discussed with Starstrider the balance of duty to crew and responsibility to the astral plane at large, securing a promise to at least approach his people with Malcolm’s plea for aid.
Cattywampus’s efforts with the Thri-Kreen crew were not as successful however. Starting on a poor foot with some jovial teasing from the bugs, things only became worse with the arrival of Glub: the unimpressed spectator AND Catty's abandoned son. Cursing out his father for his historic abandonment/cult forming/narcotic abuse issues left a bad impression on the crew. Cattywampus's attempts to explain his changed ways failed to land as Glub pointed out the deathstick tucked into his belt, recovered from the derelict ship in the Quinbarah. In an attempt I'm sure seemed great in his head, he demonstrated his lack of dependance by putting the stick in his mouth and chewing. Glub and the Thri-Kreen crew departed the dock, as a debilitated Cattywampus lay writhing on the ground with his terrible trip.
As the newly recruited factions amassed and joined with Carmilla’s arriving fleet, the preparations for the final march towards the Tarian capital were underway. The only thing on Cattywampus’s mind however was the hope to one day prove his worth to his son.