Sunday, August 1, 2010



A few months ago, I offered to GM (game master) a Star Wars RPG (role-playing game) for my friends in the Puyallup Wargamers group.  While I'm still in the throes of developing the campaign, I plan on hosting the first adventure by the end of this month.  In the meantime, here is the opening vignette for the initial adventure, set in what is known as the "Legacy Era," some 130 years after the Battle of Yavin (Star Wars: Episode IV, A New Hope):

Here on the Outer Rim, it is said that happiness is seeing the planet Bongolaan in the aft viewport…

At least that’s an image you hope to glimpse when the Aimless Drifter lifts-off from this rock tomorrow. In the meantime, you sip your drink, touch the boarding pass in your pocket like a talisman, and enjoy the Galactic New Year’s Eve party, sponsored by Bongolaan’s newly elected president-for-life, Zeveg Bharzi. Fortunately, the Dear Leader has yet to join the festivities within the palace’s ballroom. Instead, His Excellency is taking visiting dignitaries on an evening tour of Ratankiri, assuming the joyful rent-a-crowds of the planet’s capital will convince the delegates of his popularity.

As you make your way back to the bar for another drink, the band starts to play “Red Stars at Night,” a hit by the holo-vid group,The Sixthe, nearly 30 years ago. Shouldering your way past frenzied dancers, many already high on ryll, giggledust--or both, you realize your fellow off-worlders already beat you to your destination. Once clear of the gyrating mob, you readjust your formal attire, pat your sidearm for reassurance and join your companions-by-circumstance at the bar.

"Red stars at night. Wo oh. Oh oh oh…"

"Red stars at night. Wo oh. Oh oh oh…"

All of you spent the past several months with relief agencies attempting to repair damage caused by last year’s earthquake. However, this first assignment away from your respective homeworlds turned sour shortly after making planetfall. Instead of helping the citizens of Ratankiri rebuild their lives, Alliance credits were used to subsidize gabaki plantation owners and to bribe Bharzi’s supporters--thus ensuring his election. While funds were siphoned-off, relief supplies turned up on the black market throughout the Shannekam Subsector.

"Should have taken warning…"

The Galactic Alliance will investigate Bharzi’s “Credits for Cronies Program,” thanks in part, to your report. Unfortunately, probing Bongolaanian boondoggles will remain on the back micro-burner. Despite the approaching New Year, the Alliance’s war against Roan Fel’s Imperial Remnant continues unabated. The last holo-bite speculated Admiral Stazi's Core Fleet was en route to the Cirius System, hoping for a showdown against the Imperial Armada reported near the ravaged world of Camaas.

"Running, hiding, lost…"

"Couldn’t find, find a place to go…"

But news travels slowly from the Core Worlds to the Outer Rim. So far, there have been no reports of the battle’s outcome—or even if a battle was fought in the first place.

Oh, well. No new is good news, right?

You hoist your fresh drink, turn to your companions and offer a silent “cheers” to ring in the New Year. Everyone quietly raises their glasses in return. Everybody that is, except the human female at the end of the bar, chattering into her comlink, in a vain attempt to be heard over the din of the party.  A recent arrival, she’s an aide to one of the fringe-world VIPs, on a mission to negotiate a new trade deal. While sipping your drink, you recall some trivia about her homeworld Tarsus, an agricultural world beyond the Alliance’s border, known primarily for its beef products and temperature extremes. The cattle baroness is obviously too busy hawking her bantha burgers to join the celebration.

"Someone’s taking over…"

Before any of you sip your drinks, a roar of thunder overpowers the deafening music and reverberates throughout the ballroom. You and your companions gaze up at the shivering skylights, then glance at each other and give a collective shrug. The burger queen continues to prattle-on, despite three more thunderclaps in quick succession, each sounding closer than the last. From what you remember of Bongolaan’s geography, storms during the dry season at these latitudes are unusual, but not unheard of.

"Someone said we could be dead by morning…"

Oh, well. As long as the approaching tempest doesn’t spoil the party, right?

"Red stars at night. Wo oh. Oh oh oh…"

"Red stars at night. Wo oh. Oh oh oh…"

Note: “The Sixthe” and “Red Stars at Night,” were inspired by the band “The Fixx” and their song “Red Sky at Night.”

Bongolaan's name was partly derived from Mike Murphy's "Bongolesia," while Ratankiri was based on the name of the Cambodian city Ratanakiri.

Some notable drugs-of-choice in the "galaxy far, far away..."




No comments: