Barsoomian Adventures

The Tenth Ray of Mars (Session Three)

Player Character roster for Jason E.R.’sBarsoomian Adventures: the Tenth Ray of Mars” (Tē-sis ē Bâr-süm) pulp planetary romance miniseries, using Savage Worlds, as of spring 2013:

  • Sgt. Joe ‘Knack’ Kanaki [Gene D.]-male Nisei Jasoomian (Japanese-American Terran human) tail gunner; two-fisted patriot who’s smarter than he looks
  • Beauregard ‘Bo’ Jennings [Beruk A.]-male African-American Jasoomian, U.S.O. trumpet player, expatriate (NYC), former professional boxer and member of the French Foreign Legion
  • Kar Dalan (Kâr Dé-lan)” [Brian W.]-male aysismad (red Martian), an independent panthan (sellsword/scout) currently serving the nation of Raxar (Rax-âr)
  • Olera Gala [Sara F.]-female Barsoomian masena (Thurian/Martian), one-eyed feline hunter and scout
  • Betsy ‘Blaze’ Harper [Rich C.G.]-female American Jasoomian, fiery redhead, former Olympic hopeful, and aspiring actress on USO tour for exposure and patriotic duty, along with Carla Rizena and Lucy McIntyre

[Historical Records] “1 January 1944:” The true impact of Vora’s news was settling in. Thuran Gan, Lucy and now we learned that Carla were all missing.

Kan Baniv stormed in, distraught and animated. He informed the Jasoomians that the jed Daris Nar had summoned them to court. Taking Van-tija, the group went to an almost empty throne room.

Off to the side on a raised platform was the infamous Irek Rad delivering the conclusion to what we can assume was a lengthy speech. “And here are the villains now, led by the notorious renegade and convicted criminal, U-Ban of Manataj.”

Daris Nar conceded the point, but reminded everyone that a panthan [pan-ŧan] abandoned his old life and the past did not carry forward. Daris Nar asked his dwar, Rip Rohrer, to give his version of events.

Irek Rad claimed that the Jasoomians instigated the conflict, killing his employees and breaking the traditions of Barsoom by attacking and killing a woman (Zallia); he also claimed to have photographic evidence (moving picture cameras were installed at Padzok).

Daris Nar announced that this required more review and commanded that the Jasoomians remain in the Academy in the meantime. Rip’s request to investigate the disappearance of Thuran Gan was met with a compromise: Kal Dan would be at the Jasoomian’s disposal to conduct any activities.

The Jasoomians returned to the Academy to review the televised evidence, search Thuran Gan’s room and talk to Kal Dan. The broadcast was recorded without sound, so it was very ambiguous and appeared to show that the Jasoomians attacked first. It also showed the death of Zallia by the hand of Rip.

Thuran Gan’s room confirmed everyone’s suspicions, the tenthy ray device was missing, along with key notes. Strangely, the pimalia [pē-mâ-lē-â] paste containers were still there, and used by the Jasoomians to disguise themselves.

Olera Gala picked up the scent of Lucy and Carla, discovering the open courtyard where the trail ended; internal security cameras showed Thuran Gan and armed men escorting the two girls onto a five-man flier and speeding away.

Kal Dan was sent on a wild loosey goose chase and Knack was asked to guard the Loosey Goosey while the Jasoomians headed to Padvok on the speedy First Born flier. Evading the city patrols quite easily, Rip piloted the craft to the southeast, while trusting Van-tija to navigate back to the volcano stronghold.

At Padzok, the Jasoomians viewed a battle in progress: dozens of feral white apes or athurth [â-ŧür-iŧ] were swarming four green warriors near the entrance to the secret chamber of Zallia.

Rip positioned the flier above the fray. Kar Dalan, Bo and Rip leapt/rappelled down with grapples to engage the fierce four-armed brutes. Olera guarded Van-tija as Blaze opened fire on the roiling mass of ape flesh.

Kar Dalan provided needed cover for the green men while Bo and Rip dispatched apes left and right with well-placed shots, spattering the area with fresh blood as the radium bullets exploded on impact.

A white ape managed to jump from a high balcony onto the flier, gripping the railing of the vessel. After failing to claw the creature, Olera resorted to a bloodcurdling roar, and much to everyone’s surprise (including the white ape), frightened the white ape into releasing his grip and tumbling to his death.

The ladies on the flier moved to a more secure location and descended. Everyone made for the small opening, which only allowed two people at a time. Eventually, everyone was safe inside, the only casualty being a green man warrior.

The leader of the green men introduced himself as Harkan Thul [Âr-kan Ŧül], a jed of Zarquad and explained that he and his retinue were sent here by his jeddak, Vorquas Vorith [Vōr-kws Vōr-iŧ] to investigate why a promised cache of weapons from Irek Rad were not delivered.

Blaze and Olera noted that Van-tija had slipped away. She was quickly found frantically searching Zallia’s notes, explaining that she was very curious as to where Zylor Bar was hiding. She showed them the map of a dead city called Kiptang [Kē-ţaŋ], which none of the Barsoomians had heard of.

Olera led the green men on a treasure-seeking quest while the team searched for and found the secret passage to the cache of weapons deep in the volcano’s cone. Inside were many firearms and two fliers: a 10-man or teezar [tē-zâr] and a gigantic cruiser or tanzar [tan-zâr] which is built for a crew of 100-200.

The Jasoomians used their earthly muscles to load everything (including the small flier) into the cruiser. Flying the colors of Raxar, Rip cautiously piloted the immense airship out of the volcano. They contacted Vora, who has been covering for the AWOL Jasoomians.

A knowledgeable historian, Vora transmitted the location of Kiptang, a small dead city north of Horz [Ōr-is]. The group sped towards Zarquad to drop off the green men and then onto Raxar.

The Raxar military ordered the cruiser to halt. Kal Dan broke in on a private radio frequency and told them to flee immediately. The group boarded the ten-man flier just as two battleships converged on the cruiser. The ancient flier was surprisingly swift and tore across the dead sea bottoms toward the dead city of Kiptang.

At Kiptang, the group spotted Thuran Gan’s flier moored near an immense temple complex. Before they could come up with a subtle strategy, they noticed another flier with the banners of Raxar and the Science Academy and the skulking figure of a red man entering the temple. It was Kan Baniv! Vora must have told him about Kiptang…

The group sneaked into the temple entrance which featured a colossal statue of Issus [Is-is], the goddess of Life and Death, once revered on Barsoom, but exposed as a wicked, ancient First Born woman by John Carter.

At the far end of the crumbling temple was Thuran Gan/Zylor Bar toting a weapon connected to the tenth ray machine. Flanking him, were the bound and gagged Lucy and Carla. Kan Baniv was cautiously edging his way toward the thern scientist, when Zylor Bar exclaimed, “I have no quarrel with you, Kan Baniv. And I have no need of the woman Carla. Take her and leave. That is my offer.”

Kan agreed and Zylor Bar released Carla, who ran to Kan. Their embrace was interrupted by Zylor Bar’s mad cackling, “It’s a pity you never wen to Padzok, Baniv. Most unfortunate.” He then fired the strange weapon at the two, dissolving them in a play of light.

Olera turned invisible and sneaked down the edge of the chamber. Kar Dalan headed toward the statue, trying to keep out of sight. The three Jasoomians leaped towards Zylor Bar, covering about half the distance when Bar opened up on them with the strange weapon. A cone of energy shot out and they disappeared into nothingness….

Luckily, the Earthling trio found themselves outside of the city of Kiptang and raced to the gates. Meanwhile, Van-tija ran toward the statue screaming, “No, I was to be Issus. You promised. That was the plan! I was to be Issus!”

Kar Dalan decided on a rash, but bold strategy. He aimed his radium pistol at the tenth ray machine and fired. The machine sparked and fizzled, forcing Zylor Bar to hover over it, panicked. “No, too soon, I haven’t set it right.”

A pulse wave emanated from the machine as Zylor Bar and Lucy disappeared. Kar Dalan and Olera shielded their eyes and found that the temple had changed. It was no longer ruined. And the face of Issus had transformed itself into Lucy.

The Jasoomians witnessed the same pulse wave and found themselves at the gates of a city under siege. Strange alien craft were bombarding the defenses of a contingent of soldiers armed with radium machine guns. Kar Dalan and Olera quickly realized they weren’t alone when four soldiers warned them that the morgors were coming.

Out of the dark passageways, skeletal figures emerged with large weapons strapped to their bodies. Their cadaverous skin was like parchment stretched over angular bones. The Jasoomians arrived to witness the quick battle as the white-skinned soldiers were melted away by some kind of morgor plasma rifle, but the soldiers (and Rip) managed to take out four of the skeletal warriors.

Cornered, the group did not take hostile action since it appeared that the morgors were only targeting the soldiers. One of the morgors twisted a dial on his belt and spoke in Barsoomian to Rip. “Unknown Jasoomian. What is your designation?” Rip replied. “We are here to help you.” This apparently satisfied and the morgors left the temple.

The group, confused and shocked, hovered near the entrance to the temple under bombardment. Then they noticed the smell of moisture in the air and clouds were floating across a blue sky. Something was very wrong…….

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