Wednesday, 7 December 2011

The Dark Space: Black Waltz Campaign Diary

This is just a straight infodump of the notes I took during the Black Waltz campaign. Unfortunately it doesn't look like I kept it up to date for the last couple of sessions, so it peters out before the campaign ended.


08:00 The characters are all passengers on board a tramp freighter, the Alchemist, heading from Apelitar to Quancette.
  • Gottlob Asche (Andrew) - A human with aspirations of nobility.
  • Adder (John) - An escaped Library "Doppelsoldner" combat robot that has gained sentience.
  • Merru Rah (Mel) - A fugitive Valon warrior, on the run for theft with menaces.
  • Xar-Kar-Shek (Roh) - A Vin Monk of Shek, whose ultimate goal is to end the Universe.

The Alchemistʼs captain, Lance Batraskan, summons them to the lounge. He is not present, but communicates via screen from the bridge. The ship is being pursued by an Imperial yacht. To avoid trouble, Lance offers a choice - he can hand them over to the Empire, or drop them off on the nearest planet, which happens to be the Crypt.

Merru gets Lance to agree to come back for them in a week or so, if he is able.

12:00 The PCs are marooned on the Crypt.

12:00 - 13:00 The PCs investigate one of the giant crystal spires, and uncover a ship buried underneath it.

13:00 - 14:30 After exploring the ship and talking to its AI, the PCs discover that the ship, apparently named the Black Waltz, moves according to their will. It moves into orbit using an unknown dimensional jump technique.

14:30 - 16:30 The PCs continue to explore and examine the ship, discovering the dance floor and the power exchange.

16:30 - 17:00 A decision is made to warp to Quancette. Surprised at the instant travel time. They pass customs and land on the planet (Gottlobʼs erratic piloting smooths out to a perfect landing).

17:00 - 19:00 Most of the crew rests while Gottlob trades for food using a beam pistol as surety. He also sends his card to a local contact, Yenoff Uller.

19:00 - 00:00 Sleep.


00:00 - 04:00 Sleep.

04:00 - 05:30 Breakfast, dayʼs prep.

05:30 Black Waltz returns to orbit to await the Alchemist.

06:00 The Library yacht Valiance arrives at Quancette, but ignores the unknown Black Waltz.

07:00 - 07:30 The Alchemist arrives at Quancette, and is intercepted by the Black Waltz. Gottlob reclaims most of his trade goods, minus a small fee kept by Lance for not turning them in. Gottlob offers use of the Black Waltz as a high-speed courier to Lance, should he need one.

07:30 - 08:30 Black Waltz lands again. Gottlob buys a hat and mantle to disguise the robot, whom he has dubbed Adder.

09:00 - 10:00 Gottlob, Adder and Merru visit Yenoff Uller. Yenoff reveals Merruʼs crime, but offers to buy her debt so they will owe him instead. He also provides Gottlob information on a lawyer that his father had dealings with.

In addition, Yenoff has a job in mind so Merru's ¢200 debt can be repaid. He wants a rival small offworld-supplied arms dealership shut down, and gives the group information to contact them. Wants his name kept out of it.

09:30 Alone aboard the ship, Xar figures out how to activate the bracelets to form a customised, powered vac-suit. He communicates via the suit to Adder.

10:30 - 11:00 Group returns to the ship so Gottlob can get the appropriate papers to identify himself as a relative of Leonid Vink to the lawyer. Xar demonstrates the suits. Merru activates hers, but Gottlob wants to get a designer to sketch something up for him first.

They also post a message to arrange a meeting with Ullerʼs rival arms dealers.

11:00 - 12:00 Gottlob, Merru and Adder visit the Gaudelain lawyer Darden Elwen. Darden is the trustee of a fund that is paying a C60 monthly stipend to a woman in the city – Lalani Fraden, and her child Ratis. Darden offers to redirect the stipend, but Gottlob wants it to continue as-is.

12:30 - 14:00 Merru accompanies Gottlob to a tailor, where he has a custom design made for his bracelet-suit. Adder returns to the ship.

13:00 - 13:15 Xar and Adder are the only ones aboard the ship when it is declared impounded at the spaceport. A Librarian and his escort demand the right to board and search it as an Imperial vessel. Xar takes off, and Adder tries to blast the Librarian with the main gun. He misses, causing minor damage to the port building. The dock cannons return fire, but cause no damage. The Black Walts flies into the sea and hides. The Valiance searches for a while, but eventually gives up.

13:15 An APB is issued for the Black Waltz and crew, on charges of violation of impound order, violation of port airspace without approved flight plan, discharge of weapons within port area, damage to port facilities.

14:30 - 15:00 Gottlob and Merru visit Lalani and Ratis. Gottlob finds out about his father’s dalliance, and that Ratis is his step-brother. He also hears of Markus Kravmarg, and how Lalani lost her position as courtesan due to the affair.

Two of Kravmarg’s men come to harass Lalani; Merru kills one, and Gottlob captures the other. They hire a cab and move to rendezvous with the Black Waltz at the coast outside the city.

16:00 The crew is reunited on board, and the ship returns to the bottom of the sea.

16:15 - 18:00 Adder takes the prisoner to a cell and interrogates him to find details of Markus Kravmarg’s compound.

Gottlob contacts Darden Elwen to find out how they stand legally. There is an APB out on the Black Waltz and her crew. A loophole manages to reduce the amount owing to Port Authority – as the BW is not an Imperial ship, the Library has no right to board and thus the Impound order was illegal. There still remains, however, the issue of damage to the port and recompense for disobeying Port Authority directives. The total amounts to ¢6000.

19:00 An email notification is received from the arms dealers, notifying of a meeting place in the city for first contact – a small café in a downtown suuk, at 21:00.

20:00 Merru scouts the location of the arms deal from above, using her flying suit. She takes up position on a rooftop opposite.

21:00 - 21:30 Xar remains on the ship to monitor comms and to fly in if needed. Gottlob and Adder head to the cafe in a crowded suuk to meet with the arms dealers - a Gaudelain front man and a female human minder. Gottlob recognises the human from the crew of the Alchemist, but she fails to recognise him or Adder. Gottlob negotiates for a large quantity of arms, which the Gaudelain says may take some time to acquire. They agree to meet offworld to sample wares, and the dealers depart.

21:30 - 22:30 Gottlob returns to the ship. Merru follows the arms dealers from the air, and Adder follows at a distance through the alleys. When they split up, Adder follows and captures the Gaudelain while Merru stalks and captures the human after a struggle. All return to the ship.

22:30 - 23:30 Adder interrogates Gaudelain, discovering financial details (personal and business- front accounts currently totalling ¢1200) and connection to Markus Kravmarg. Gottlob questions human, Lucita Alvarez, about Lance. Adder follows up with a mind reading interrogation, revealing her loyalty to the Alchemist and the Corian Privateers.

23:45 Gottlob hatches a plan to make Yenoff the contact for Lance rather than Markus. Sleep is had by all except Adder.


00:00 - 06:00 Adder transfers the Gaudelain prisoner's funds to the Port Authority. Debt now owing is ¢4800.

Threatens the street thug with torture and death, and he offers to work for Adder. Adder plans to start a garden on the upper engineering deck.

09:00 Arise for the day.

Gottlob, Merru and Xar return Lucita Alvarez to the Alchemist. Negotiate with Lance about changing allegiances from Markus to someone else. Sets up a meeting between Lance and a middle-man for Uller.

Adder talks to Ratis. The boy is intrigued but cautious.

Upon returning to the ship in the hatbour, Gottlob, Merru and Xar witness a gas attack at a restaurant. Merru talks to a suspicious Vin in an alley, but they part ways. On board the ship, Xar recognises the gesture Merru saw the Vin perform as a secret gesture of the Order of Shek.

Discuss means for taking out Markus, including parking the ship over or in his house. Adder interrogates their captured Gaudelain again, going as far as cutting off a node. They gain info about the mansion interior and Markus' secretary, Pandro Rhebàn. They also get info on Markus' warehouses, and the location of various weapon caches. They decide to hit a couple of warehouses to acquire weapons and distract Markus' security forces, hopefully drawing some away from the mansion.

Gottlob hires a truck, and puts together a civil worker uniform with Merru's help. Xar and Adder scout the warehouse compound before dusk. They talk their way in, then take out three guards. The warehouse is raided for weapons, and a small box of narcotics is also discovered. A outfits himself in many weapons.

While others load up, Merru heads out to hunt the remaining guards. As the two patrol guards head towards the looted warehouse, Adder steps out and shoots at them while Merru drops on them from the roof. They are defeated after a brief scuffle. The guard at the gate calls in for backup, but is pinned down by Adder and slaughtered by Merru. They finish loading up (guns, drugs, a table, preserved food) before setting the warehouse on fire (with all guard bodies in it) and driving away.

They rendezvous with Black Waltz by driving AG-truck out to sea. They notice that there are patrol ships over the harbour. After a quick unloading, they drive to the second warehouse complex by about 10 pm.

Merru scouts from the air, spotting a few pairs of patrolling guards. She lands on a roof and takes out the light in front of their target warehouse. A few minutes later, the rest drive up to the front gates and Gottlob talks their way in as electricians again. Truck is stopped in garage area and searched, revealing Xar and Adder and precipitating a fight.

All guards defeated (Adder administers coup de grace where necessary).

Weapon crates missing from warehouse. Random looting and burning. Looting cut short by sirens approaching. Leave with two extra stolen trucks, and evade police dragnet.

Drive to a remote valley out of town, where they summon Black Waltz. They discover that the unpleasantness affects them even when not on board.

Xar rigs the two wheeled trucks to explode. Gottlob gives his relatives the hire truck and sends them back to the city.


After midnight, Adder and Gottlob drive one truck, with Igor in the second, to Markus' mansion. However, he has called in Port Authority support, and they are forced to withdraw. Park overnight to wait.

Mid afternoon, Library yacht Valiance spots the Black Waltz and attacks, dropping out of orbit. Merru and Xar defeat it after a brief dogfight, destroying it utterly.

Heat at Markus' does not clear all day. At 22:00, Gottlob calls Pandro Rhebàn to propose selling Library robot (Adder). Will call them back at 23:00. They wait in car park, driving the trucks near Markus' place a bit before 23:00. They notice that the police patrols have died down, but the PA ship is still overhead.

At 23:00, Gottlob calls back and sets up a meeting with Markus, through Pandro. Agree to meet at an abandoned freight yard. Many potential plans are discussed, until a luxury car emerges from the estate. The two trucks attempt to pursue and block the car, but Adder and Igor fail to get their truck started amd return to wait near the mansion. Gottlob tails car to yard and blocks the gate after it drives in. The Black Waltz leaves the ocean undetected and flies towards the yard. As Gottlob gets out of the truck, he spots concealed Port Authority assault unit vans. He runs into the yard, suits up, and flies to top of building. Port Authority vans pull up, but exploding truck slows them down. Gottlob announces himself as the son of Leonid Vink just as Black Waltz strafes overhead and blows car up. Gottlob flies to meet it, and they fly to Markus' estate.

Meanwhile, Adder and Igor break through estate back wall and raid secret weapon stash. Adder grabs a missile launcher and starts blowing up random buildings. He breaks into the main building as Black Waltz arrives, and starts heading to office wing in search of Pandro. Black Waltz blows up both anti-ship guns and disables the Port Authority Cutter before landing in the garden. Adder debarks onto mansion roof, entering through explosion hole.

Adder encounters Markus and Pandro, with guards, in front foyer. Adder and Igor engage the guards while Markus and Pandro move towards garage under covering fire. Adder briefly captures Pandro in the garage as Gottlob turns up, but Pandro escapes when Adder returns to the foyer to secure Markus' briefcase. The guards are overpowered or flee, and Markus is captured. Meanwhile, Merru and Xar raid Markus' secret weapon stash and load up the Black Waltz.

As they load up the Black Waltz, a squad or Port Authority ships begins to converge on their position. They quickly load up and warp out. Due to some disagreement over the destination, they end up parked in deep space close to Gaudelia.


Spend a day in space. Adder interrogates and tortures Markus, with Gottlob present. He isn't very forthcoming, so Gottlob leaves and Adder tortures him some more. Adder also experiments on the bag man, cutting off his remaining nodes to see what will happen. The bag man becomes depressed, but not suicidally so. Adder puts him out an airlock anyway.

Did anyone else do anything of note? Not that I recall.

Led by Gottlob, a "consensus" is reached to travel to Coria and get involved with the Privateers - or at least offload the surplus weaponry and trade goods to buy necessary items and supplies. Adder acts as a telepathic intermediary between Gottlob and Lance Batraskan. Lance fills Gottlob in on some good contact names among the Privateers. BW warps in-system behind an outer planet, just before midnight.


Approach the Corian Belt, and are intercepted by the Wraith and another vessel. Boarded by Maxa Grendev, Rrendis Rah and... their Vin. After mentioning Lance's name, they are welcomed rather than held to ransom or robbed. Gottlob also does a superlative job of charming Maxa. Rrendis introduces himself to Merru, and upon learning her identity he challenges her to a duel to satisfy the honour of their clan.

Black Waltz is escorted to a major asteroid with a large station built into it. They also sight the Esmeralda, but aren't aware of its role as flagship. Upon docking, Maxa helps clear a space on the zocolo for the Valons' duel. Merru wins in short order, knocking Rrendis safely unconscious with an aerial drop-cut to the hip.

Gottlob decides to go to a bar, and Maxa acts as escort. Gottlob continues to chat up Maxa, who responds favourably. Adder and Xar head out to go shopping, but surprise Vitus and Royce. Vitus "sees" Adder psychically, and runs to Maxa. Maxa doesn't seem put off too much. Gottlob makes inquiries about a letter of marque, and Maxa offers to make arrangements.

The group goes shopping at Big Hilda's, trading most of their weapons for a tech/ chemistry lab, medical lab, hydroponics gear, food, grav sled and a psychomantium (allowing those inside to see into Sylphspace).

Spend most of the afternoon shipping things to and from the ship by grav sled. Adder and Xar (with the help of Tak and Igor) start installing new equipment. Maxa turns up again, and takes Gottlob out for the evening.


Xar and Adder spend most of the day installing tech bay, medical bay and hydroponic equipment on the ship (although no plants yet).


Within a couple of days, the group made contact with Imperial loyalists among the Privateers, who claimed the Privateers were secretly in league with the Kingdom of Noc DiVane. The Privateers requested the Black Waltz take out an Imperial ship that was sitting close to their border, but Gottlob instead decided to alert the Imperial ship to the impending pirate attack in order to score points with the Empire.

First though, they decided to test out Black Waltz's space-jump capabilities by warping to the Imperial homeworld, Niverase, which had been lost fifteen years ago to a spatial anomaly known as The Hole, which prevented regular ship travel through Sylphspace. They discovered Niverase had been devastated, and was under orbital blockade by an armada of alien vessels known as the Nameless. Teleporting into a lake near Gottlob's childhood mountain estate, they made contact with the locals and took a couple of their Librarians back with them.

Rendezvousing with the Imperial ship they were meant to destroy, they discovered that it was actually a Library vessel, acting as a communication waystation. The head Librarian, Lysandra Hydrergot (Andrew's character from the first Dark Space campaign) was actually part of a secret society dedicated to the preservation of humanity. She was intrigued by the Black Waltz' capabilities, and sent a group of Librarians aboard to travel back to Niverase.

The game ended here, as John managed to annoy everybody by constantly suggesting the Black Waltz should emerge from the lake, thus exposing Gottlob's estate to orbital bombardment.

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