Celerity Lost

Celerity Lost
The Adventure So Far - Season 1

The crew of the Phoenix was summoned to the office of Hiram Trent, Assistant Chairman of the Interstellar Travel Committee of the Cassidan Parliament to discuss the malfunction of the Celerity Conduit. Upon arrival, they have a run in with the Captain Avery Travenshod of the Tempest and his crew of miscreants. After a brief exchange, the Tempest crew leaves, a haze of anger in their wake.

Trent offers the crew of the Phoenix a job seeking out a signal coming from within the Belt. With the price agreed upon, the crew departs, returning to their ship. As they lift off, several other ships, including the Tempest blast off for the Belt. Through skillful piloting and navigation, the Phoenix reaches the Belt first, plunging into the knotted mass of asteroids.

Surviving an ambush by pirates, the Phoenix arrives at the Hobbled Kragnar, a space station run by the pirate king, Dane Foureyes. The Belt is dangerous – mercenaries and pirates eagerly attack each other for a cut of whatever resources can be mined, stolen, or traded, but aboard the Hobbled Kragnar there is an enforced peace.

While aboard the Hobbled Kragnar, the crew meets some interesting characters. Canis has a tense debate with a lupanian technomancer who is preaching the glories of technology, a stance Canis fiercely opposes. Captain Qiui Elshin finds her nemesis, Travenshod, aboard and makes a wager for a totem he stole from her. Both Petra Prettyfingers and Asena Sylven enter the Hogsmasher tournament, with wagers from their allies. Zimir Stokadine meets Isabela Fortuna and trades knowledge of ancient artifacts for information on his father’s whereabouts. Qintin encounters an old army buddy and drinks with him.

Petra is knocked out of the Hogsmasher in a near defeat against a fellow haldrin soldier. She meets him afterward and exchanges honors. Asena makes it to the final round and faces Trug, a Kragnar bruiser from the Tempest. It’s a close fight, but Asena wins the day, utterly eviscerating the Kragnar.

Shortly after, the station receives a distress call from deeper in the Belt. The mercenary ships blast off and the race is on. The Phoenix manages to find the source first – a hidden research station. Orbiting the research station is a massive alien vessel.

The research station is a mess of corpses and viscera. They are attacked by a small contingent of the alien creatures, but they defeat them and find one of the researchers, Quinn Parnuveau, alive.

Quinn tells them that the station was conducting experiments on the Celerity Conduit when something went wrong. There was a massive power surge and the alien vessel was pulled through some sort of inter-dimensional rift. Then they attacked.

They are interrupted by a man who looks like Zimir’s father, but who communicates with the aliens. He tells them the aliens are called Pfbritu, and the ones who attacked them were aberrant. He requests the crew’s aid in determining a way back to the Pfbritu dimension.

While in the central lab, they discover that the research station was working under orders from Hiram Trent and that he was attempting to exert control over the Celerity Conduit. Before they could process this new information, the Tempest arrived at the station, killing Pfbritu. The man who looked like Claeden Stokadine asked for their help in stopping the Tempest.

The crew agreed to assist the Pfbritu in fending off the attacks of the Tempest. They prepare an ambush and engage the enemy, handily defeating the mercenary crew. Canis killed Travenshod’s lieutenant, a lupanian technomancer, but the captain escaped with his life, retreating back to his ship and departing.

At that point, alarms began sounding in the base as Quinn Parnuveau activated the research station’s self-destruct. Taking her and Claeden with them, the Phoenix crew escapes the station. In the resulting explosion, the Pfbritu ship is damaged and Claeden loses consciousness. The doctor examines him and determines he is a Pfbritu clone of the original Claeden.

Such a revelation has little bearing on what comes next: vengeance. The Phoenix races back to Cassida, hunting Hiram Trent. They find that he is not at his office, but while there, they meet Sarai Newtone, an investigative journalist working on a corruption story about Trent.

They determine that he is holed up waiting for a press conference he has called. They uncover further evidence of his wrongdoing and prepare to expose him at the media event.
At the Palace of Whispers, with the Grand Duke and his family in attendance, Trent begins his speech. The crew enacts their plan, exposing Trent, but he came to the press conference prepared. A contingent of Draxan mercenaries reveal themselves, attacking the crew and attempting to assassinate the Grand Duke.

Springing into action, the crew defends the Grand Duke. The Draxan mercenaries and Hiram Trent are killed in the fight, and the crew are recognized as heroes. They spend a week on Cassida helping scientists parse through the research data from the station.
When they finally reach a solution, the Phoenix takes off and approaches the Celerity Conduit. The Pfbritu ship also approaches, having repaired itself. Zimir learns that his father may still be alive in the Pfbritu dimension, and he decides to accompany the Claedan clone back to the Pfbritu ship.

Before he departs, the crew says goodbye, and Asena gives him a pair of damaged teleportation bands that, if repaired, could bring him back to this dimension. Zimir departs and the Phoenix transmits the new code sequence to the Celerity Conduit, undoing the damage previously wrought by the rogue researchers.

The Pfbritu ship jumps through, using the initiation sequence to re-enter their own dimension. As the Celerity Conduit comes back on line, the Phoenix crosses the threshold and leaps out into the stars, seeking new adventures.

End of Season 1

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Celerity Lost - Season 2
The Adventure So Far - Part 1

With the departure of Zimir and the reactivation of the Celerity Conduit, the Phoenix departs the Cassidan system. The remaining crew spend a few weeks recovering from the ordeal and traveling the galaxy, gathering knowledge and resources. They eventually end up at the SEU outpost on Gallora Seven. Commandant Ibram, the haldrin who recruited Captain Qiui into the SEU, tasks them with investigating an unknown signal coming from the Thesparan Divide.

The Thesparan Divide is a dangerous portion of space, full of electrical storms and cosmic phenomena. For thousands of years, the Atraxxan waystations that crossed the divide provided the only safe connection between the Galloran systems and the Nanxian Territories, but forty years ago, the SEU discovered a new Celerity Conduit route that bypassed the dangerous portion of space. The Atraxxan stations had fallen into disrepair.

The Phoenix proceeds to the Atraxxel-mi station, weathering the intense storms of the divide. The station is dead, but a signal comes from within. The crew boards the station, discovering the brutalized remains of an Imperial Special Service (ISS) squad. Littered among their corpses are pieces of strange armor. Qintin, a former ISS soldier, recognizes the squad as the Sabercats, an elite unit in the already impressive imperial special forces. They went missing seven years ago. He also recognizes the armor as belonging to the Regule.

As they proceed deeper into the station, they are attacked by wraith-like Regule. Their weapons are barely effective, but they stand firm against the assault. More wraiths, this time human and duva, appear, but they assist the Phoenix crew. Once the Regule are defeated, the lead human introduces himself as Commander Gavin Blake of the ISS. He and his men have been trapped in a seven year war with the Regule spirits aboard the Atraxxel-mi waystation.

The Regule intend to use the gathering storm and the station’s power reserves to perform a ritual that will return their spirits to their bodies. The crew decides to interrupt the ritual from the power station, and Captain Qiui chooses to redirect the current in an attempt to resurrect the ISS soldiers instead. Only three of the squad return to their wounded bodies, preserved by the cold vacuum of space. The Regule, enraged at their defeat, launch an assault. The remaining ISS wraiths engage them, giving the crew time to escape with the three survivors before the waystation explodes. Commander Blake and the two others receive medical attention and rest. The crew has the difficult task of informing the ISS of the emperor’s assassination and the subsequent dissolution of the Empire. The ISS soldiers are shocked and dismayed.

While returning to Gallora Seven, the Phoenix is pulled out of the Celerity Conduit in an uncharted system. They find a derelict ship piloted by Pelinorious Scint, who tells them about an unregistered colony that is currently under attack by a Tergian warship. He asks for their aid.

The Phoenix races off toward the colony and uses its stealth and speed to race in and drop a squad on the ground before the Tergians can react. They engage in a ground fight with the Tergian warriors, large reptilians with black-green scales, fighting their way into the colony and the temple at its heart. During the fight, Qintin climbs to the top of the temple and uses his sniper skills to save a woman and her child from being found by a roving Tergian warrior.

They confront the Tergian captain, Sssssingrisss, and defeat him, forcing him to make terms. The crew accepts nothing less than his word that the Tergian warship will retreat and never bother the colony again. He agrees, and the Tergians depart. Canis discovers a scepter, the scepter of Agrivar, which once belonged to a Terran despot and has some connection to the Mother Goddess. While it was already offered as payment by Scint, Canis steals it and flees the scene. Qiui and the colony elder, Krab, come to an arrangement that includes access to the obromite mines. She promises to find a more profitable buyer for their obromite, and takes 400 units to sell.

The Phoenix returns to Gallora Seven where armed guards await. They place the ship and crew in lockdown, much to the crew’s chagrin. Canis, who chose to remain on the ship when they landed, is tasked by Qiui to send an encoded file hidden on her computer. He does so, though he ends up destroying the computer in the process.

The crew are taken into custody and individually interrogated by Merik Ven’toor, an Intinvor (investigator with the SEU Bureau of Internal Investigation). He grills them about their past missions, specifically seeking any connection between them and the Plithen Hierarchy. When he interrogates Qiui, he reveals that they discovered an encrypted file in the Phoenix computers, and it contains dangerous secrets. Qiui doesn’t recognize the file (it’s not her file, as she feared) admits as much. Ven’toor believes that she is not involved, but is concerned that someone is using the Phoenix to smuggle secrets for the Plithen Hierarcy.

Meanwhile, Canis meets with an old lover, Bietar, who helps him break into the SEU Information Vault. They recover evidence that an SEU agent was operating on the same Plithen planet they landed on for a routine information exchange. That agent disappeared shortly thereafter. The SEU has sent several operatives into the Plithen Hierarchy and they’ve all gone missing. There is also an oblique reference to Vector, a rumored special tasks group within the SEU itself.

Ven’toor clears the Phoenix crew and proposes an alliance against Vector and whatever nefarious plots the Plithen Hierarchy is planning. Qiui agrees, but the crew decides to leave Gallora Seven, as their experiences have soured the place for them. Before they depart, Asena sneaks into Ven’toor’s personal ship and steals it.

They next head to Nestorius, a planet on the outer edge of civilization, where they can look for work. On the way, they discover a mass of derelict ships, the center of which is a several hundred year old research vessel. Onboard, they awaken an artificial intelligence who begins to call itself Phoenix. They form an alliance, and Phoenix joins the crew.

Upon arriving on Nestorius, the crew is contacted by Elya Vethomen, a duva ally and exile from the Vethomen house. She has information on the smuggling activities of her aunt, Brin’sepha Vethomen, Chief Eyes of the Duva Plenipotentiate and Asena’s former employer. With her help, Qiui, Canis, and Petra raid a warehouse full of artifacts from Luparnas, killing the duva smugglers within. Incensed by the insult to his world and people, Canis insists they visit Luparnas and put a stop to the smuggling operation.

Meanwhile, Asena takes a job as a bodyguard for Denarius Princeps, a local merchant, and defends him against the duplicity of three members of the Kolivar mercenary group. They were hired by a rival merchant to kill Princeps, but Asena killed two of them, and severely wounded the human technomancer, Fink who survived the encounter, though traumatized. Princeps rewarded Asena for her steady hand and steely nerves.

Qintin meets a human woman named Tyra Brekovic at a shooting range. They have a shooting competition, which she narrowly wins, and he repairs her weapon as part of the deal. She reveals that she’s a Reaver, another mercenary group operating in the galaxy, and she offers him a job. He meets her and her compatriots and they raid a druglord’s estate, rescuing several children of influential Nestorian officials. During the withdrawal, Qintin assassinates the druglord with a well-placed sniper shot.

With business on Nestorius concluded for the moment, the Phoenix heads toward Luparnas.

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Celerity Lost - Season 2
Luparnas

The heroes arrive on Luparnas and are greeted by Tresh Vanul, a member of Canis’ tribe and high priestess to the Mother Goddess. She asks them to enter the old forest at the base of the mountain and find the offworlders who are defiling it. They must be stopped.
Qiui and Qintin, the two duva on the crew, fear that they will be incapacitated by the planet, a known side effect of visiting the world for their species, but when they disembark, they find no ill effects. As long as they walk with the chosen of the Mother Goddess, they will be protected.

As they walk through town, Canis notes a group of lupanians preaching against the Mother Goddess. He is outraged by the appearance of the Brotherhood of Ascension on Luparnas, but the priestess ignores them.

Meanwhile, Asena is drawn to an old woman who seems to recognize her scent, calling her Nahvesh. Asena learns that Nahvesh was the woman’s son who left Luparnas many years ago. The wheels begin to turn in her mind, but she does not pursue the connection at that time.

While leaving the village and heading for the forest, Brother Tahvesh appears, beaten and bruised. He was swayed by Canis’ words last they spoke and has turned his back on the Brotherhood, barely escaping. Canis desires to return and slay the false preachers at once, but Qiui insists on dealing with those in the forest first.

They enter the forest after traveling down the mountain and are ambushed by other members of the Brotherhood. The ambushers are handily defeated, but the crew discover themselves to be surrounded by a shale-gray skinned duva.

Qiui steps forward and asks after them, and through conversation, the crew comes to realize they are ancient. Once, the duva and lupanians shared Luparnas, but the duva transgressed against the Mother Goddess and were cast out. These few duva stood against their kin and were spared from the exile. They have lived in this forest since that day. The crew tries to get more information from them, but they speak in riddles and obfuscations.
At their village, the crew finds Zimir returned from the Pfbritu dimension. He came to Luparnas in pursuit of the Jackal, an ancient being of power who kidnapped his father from the other dimension. He tracked them to this forest, and he rejoins the crew of the Phoenix to enter the ancient city.

The crew approaches and discovers several members of the Brotherhood, and a fight ensues. They defeat the gathered lupanians, rescuing some captured beings who were forced into servitude, and press on, deeper into the city. They come to a central temple where several more members of the Brotherhood in addition to two massive wolves are waiting. The crew breaks into groups, moving into flanking positions. They see a human male laid out on a stone altar, and the battle begins.

Canis engages one of the wolves, recognizing it as a member of his former pack, and attempts to parlay with it. They come to no accord, and Canis chooses to flee the battle rather than fighting against his pack. He warns the others to run as well, but they are not swayed, focused on rescuing Zimir’s father. While Petra and Zimir drive forward from the front of the temple, Asena and Qiui descend from the roof toward the altar, under the watchful rifle of Qintin.

It’s a bloody battle, and several of the crew almost fall, but they manage to extract the unconscious, though yet living Claedan Stokadine. They begin a fighting retreat, racing back toward the duva village. As they flee, Canis hears the voice of Dirus, his father and leader of the pack, whispering to him, calling him to his side. Dirus has long served the Mother Goddess, but he will be subservient no more. He intends to rise up and strike her down. He attempts to enlist Canis’ aid.

At the same time, Qiui hears the voice of the Mother Goddess, telling her of the coming war and the part she may play.

They return to the duva village and rest, finding that Claedan will not wake. They decide to take him to the sanctuary of the Mother Goddess. Meanwhile, Qintin and Asena head back to the village at the top of the mountain.

At the sanctuary, Canis has a crisis of faith, calling out to the Mother Goddess. Her responses are less than adequate, and doubt fills his heart. Zimir speaks with the high priestess, who performs a ritual, and tells him the spirit of his father is absent from the body. Dirus stole the spirit and took it with him, fleeing the planet, seeking items for a ritual.
While in the village, Asena returned to the old woman and speaks with her of Nahvesh, presenting her with three gifts. The woman speaks of her son and the human researchers he departed with. She then bestows three gifts on Asena.

After reuniting, the crew helps Canis purge the false preachers of the Brotherhood of Ascension from the village. In the midst of which, a group of Ravagers attack the planet. Canis’ faith is further shaken because the Mother Goddess makes no obvious show of power to protect her people. He begins to wonder if she has any true power after all.
The raiders are defeated, and Qiui and Asena manage to pursue the raider ship long enough for Phoenix to upload a tracking virus into their computer.

Frustrated by the delay and single-mindedly focused on his father’s rescue, Zimir uses the repaired teleportation bands presented him by Asena before his departure to teleport to the Hobbled Kragnar in the Cassidan system.

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Celerity Lost - Season 2
Return to the Hobbled Kragnar

The rest of the crew races back to the ship to catch up with him.

The Phoenix departs Luparnas and races toward the Cassidan system. In the days between, Zimir researches, meeting with an old contact on the station, Isabela Fortuna. She informs him that several of her precious collection of ancient artifacts dating back to the Terran Empire were stolen from a secure vault. Zimir discovers evidence that Dirus and some of his followers were on the station recently. Out of leads, Zimir reaches out to other contacts for information.

The Phoenix arrives on the station a few days later, and they meet with Dane Foureyes. He doesn’t have much information for them beyond reports that the Ravagers have begun a series of raids in various sectors around the galaxy. He asks the Phoenix to hunt down and destroy the Ravagers in the Cassidan system, as they are disrupting his business.
Asena challenges and fights a quarterstaff-wielding man in the central arena, defeating him in glorious combat. They exchange words, and Asena is invited to train with him in the future. She also encounters Merik Ven’Toor, the SEU investigator whose ship she stole. He treats it with good humor and passed on some information indicating they should investigate the planet Ankhara, which is the site of many ruins belonging to an ancient civilization.

Qintin spends time tinkering and is found by his old army buddy, Kreeger, a destitute drunk in debt to a group of mercenaries. Qintin agrees to pay the debt for him. After he does so, he warns Kreeger that this is the last time he’ll intervene, and the man needs to get his life in order.

Petra discovers she is being followed by members of the Ravagers, who she has had run-ins with before. She corners one and intimidates him into giving up his leader on the station, a lieutenant in the organization. She finds him and browbeats him into telling her that the leader of the Ravagers has been watching her, because he knows that she has been looking for him. While Petra distracts, Asena steals the man’s datpad. Petra encourages the shaking lieutenant to get out, quickly, before she ends him.
Canis meets an old lupanian woman who speaks a sort of prophecy to him about the darkness rising and that Dirus will destroy the universe if not stopped. He ponders for a short time before tracking the woman down, snapping her neck, and whispering, “I choose Father.”

Qiui comes face to face with Amiran, the woman who practically raised her and trained her to fight. She hasn’t seen Amiran in years, since she realized she was being manipulated and ran away. Amiran acts very much like the aunt she pretends to be, but Qiui is cold towards her. Unperturbed, Amiran gives Qiui a datdrive with info on a duvan royal vault that contains a key which will unlock another vault only accessible to members of the royal family. It happens to be on Ankhara. Amiran implores Qiui to find the key and work with her to restore the duva to their rightful home: Luparnas.

They find Zimir and agree that Ankhara is the next stop. The Phoenix leaves the Hobbled Kragnar and heads for the Celerity Conduit. As they travel to Ankhara, Zimir visits Canis, asking him about Dirus. Canis offers him the soul of his father in exchange for loyalty sworn to Dirus. Zimir accepts.

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Celerity Lost - Season 2
Confrontation on Ankhara

The Phoenix arrives on Ankhara, soaring over the ancient planet. On the surface beneath, there are miles upon miles of amber glass, almost like the sea was crystalized and frozen to time. At the edge of that sea of glass lies a ruined city. Beyond the city, a forest. As they approach, Mustafa keens, and Asena recalls that she discovered him in a lab with information leading back to Ankhara.

As the Phoenix reaches the city, the crew sees an energy distortion coming from a courtyard near the center of the city. Before they can change trajectory, the ship’s controls are wrested from them and the Phoenix descends, taking a hard landing. The ship’s power cuts out before Phoenix can make any comment.

The crew all hear a murmur in the back of their minds, beckoning them forward. The voice is strong and commanding, and most of the crew falls prey to the suggestion. They begin filtering out of the ship. Canis is unaffected, but he goes willingly.

Qiui resists the summons and manages to stop Asena from leaving the bridge under the voice’s command. Together, they exit the ship, finding the rest of the crew heading toward a central dais wreathed in smoke. They see members of the Brotherhood arrayed around it, with the Jackal standing on the dais, focused on some ritual.

The Jackal turns and addresses Canis, welcoming him to his side, and then turns to Zimir and offers him his father’s soul in exchange for loyalty. Both step forward and join the Jackal, breaking his spell on the others. The rest of the crew is thrown into tumult as Qiui takes a shot, but the Jackal interposes himself and deflects the laser bolt, taking a moment to taunt Qiui for her newfound status as the Mother Goddess’ chosen.

Turning away, the Jackal calls for Zimir and Canis to assist him in his ritual while the Brotherhood deals with the rest of the crew. A fight ensues, during which two strangers appear and join the fight: Devien Shadowweaver and Sebastian.

Sensing an impending arrival, the Jackal cuts short his ritual and tells Zimir and Canis to gather the relics arrayed before them. They begin gathering the pieces stolen from Isabela Fortuna. In the midst of the battle, the air splits apart and three figures appear: the Wolf, the Raven, and the Leopard.

The Jackal taunts them, and the Wolf tells him he cannot win and that they will pursue him. He laughs and promises to bury a dagger in her heart the next time they meet. Then he grabs his new acolytes and carries them through a portal. The Raven and Leopard move to secure the ruin while the Wolf turns to speak with those who remain.

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