Sunday, May 31, 2009

A Break from Reality

I was going to say that Adrianna was the last character I played in person, until I moved to Georgia, but I just realized there was one character after that... Keneda Matsumoto. That was my Akashic Brotherhood character in a Mage game I played with some friends while I was living in Ottawa. I only got to play him for a short time, we played only a few sessions before the Storyteller quit. He was a fun character. I patterned him off the rather stereotypical "Japanese biker gang member". I can't remember how he discovered he was a mage... I think he got caught by a rival gang and when they tried to kick the crap out of him, he single-handedly turned the tables on him... then an old guy showed up to train him... pretty Hollywood, now that I think about it. heh.

After that, though, I took an involuntary break from tabletop gaming. All the rpgs I played in after that were online... some by IRC, some by Email, and some by Play-by-Post. I played and ran several PbP games, on dndadventure.com, rpol.net, drunkendwarfinn.com, and even a couple in the MSN groups.

That last medium is where I played Laarde Torosken.



When I joined the Star Wars: SARC game, I was the first one to speak up about wanting to play a Force Sensitive character (who could eventually learn to use the Force), so I got it. I decided to go a different route with it, and designed Laarde to be a troubled teen. My inspiration for his personality, and his picture, was Isamu Dyson, from Macross Plus. He's a hot-headed pilot that rarely pays attention to the rules. I made him a Wroonian, though, which is a tall, thin, blue-skinned/haired, near-human race, which made for troubles on the human world of Merridon, which had an Imperial Academy. He was very intelligent, and easily excelled in his classwork, but he rebelled a bit, mostly out of boredom, and hung out with a mostly harmless speederbike gang. They didn't cause much harm, just tormenting the cadets at the local Imperial Academy, and seeing who could tweak his speederbike the best. His best friend was the rather geeky mechanic of the gang, and he was romantically involved with the little sister of the leader of the gang. He eventually wanted to become a pilot or navigator for the newest Imperial starships, but was told by his professors just before he graduated (and thus would be able to move on into the Academy on his grades) that he would never reach his goal, because he wasn't human. So, he dropped out of school without graduating and tried to steal a shuttle to get off-world. He was caught by the local Search and Rescue Corps, and after his influential parents pulled some strings, his sentence was that he had to serve in SARC for a period of 2 years. So, he got his wish, to fly ships, but in a way he hadn't anticipated.

On one such mission, we were helping to clear some mynocks off of a ship, when Laarde got a flash of insight that a ship was in danger somewhere in the system... it was a small cargo ship being attacked by TIE fighters. He reported it, got back inside the ship, and just KNEW where to set the hyperspace coordinates. With a bluffed plea to his Captain to trust him, he activated the hyperdrive and took them right there, to the fight, exactly as he was seeing it. They dispatched the TIE fighters, who were clearly acting illegally (in our view), and offered assistance to the damaged ship. One passenger, an elderly woman, said she knew Laarde... that she was an aquantence of his uncle, but that's all he got out of her before they had to let the ship go.

Well, since this game was online, and we could pretty much post whenever we wanted, Russ let us "play in the sandbox" a bit. As long as we didn't do anything real major (or at least not before we consulted him), we could run our own little side adventures. When we got back from saving the ship, we had to make ourselves scarse while the Commander ran interference with the Empire for our actions in attacking their cadets. So, I had Laarde go back to see his speederbike-gang friends, who were fairly pissed off at him for seemingly abandoning them, so that he could get their help with breaking into the hospital to see his uncle.

See, Russ and I set up a little side story for Laarde. I'd decided that his Force Sensitivity was also shared by an uncle of his, who was being held in the local sanitarium, heavily medicated. His uncle was his favorite person, and was a pretty fun guy when he wasn't doped up. Well, Russ took that and made it that this uncle used to be a Jedi, and voluntarily started taking medication to dampen his Force Sensitivity, in order to hide himself for a time when he would be needed.

So, in order to convince his friends to help him, he had to help them first. They were planning a big "send-off" to the Imperial Academy graduates that afternoon, and afterwards, if Laarde helped, they would help him break into the hospital. So, Laarde helped them fix up the system they needed on their speederbikes, and then accompanied them on their sendoff... where they flew around above the gathered formations and spectators, strafing them all with blasts of paint. In the process, he saved his friend's life, since one over-zealous trooper fired at the leader of the bike gang, looking to shoot him down for good. Laarde appeared to take the hit, and the group sped off.

They arrived at the hospital, Laarde appearing as though he was shot in the back, and when he was taking to an exam room, who of his friends started a fight in the lobby that distracted everyone, allowing him and his mechanic friend to slip out of the room and upstairs to see his uncle. When he got there, he found his uncle fully lucid, and accompanied by a strange older man he introduced as Corwin Shelvay. He explained that they were both Jedi, and that they had to leave, quickly. They made it to the roof of the hospital, and were confronted there by a Dark Jedi, Imperial High Inquisitor Tremayne. His uncle used the Force to get Laarde and his friend to flee the scene, so that they wouldn't be captured or harmed, while he and Corwin fought Tremayne. Laarde used a bit of the Force himself to get his friend to turn the speederbike they were on around, and get him back to that roof. He arrived just in time to see Corwin being dragged on board, Tremayne leaping onto the ramp of the shuttle as it took off, and the shuttle strafing the roof with blaster fire. He ran to his uncle's side, but it was too late. He faded into nothingness, leaving behind only his robes and lightsaber, which Laarde took before they fled.

We went through one more short adventure after that, and were preparing for another one, when Russ decided to reprioritize his gaming. Unfortunately, we didn't make the cut. I went through the MSN group and copied all the threads, so that I would have a record of it. I used those posts to put together a few chapters on fanfiction.net, but I got distracted and never got back to it. Unfortunately, the files are gone now, since my harddrive crashed last year, but the fanfiction chapters are still up. If you're curious, take a look. I had to do a little bit of editing, to make it work better as a story, as opposed to a string of gaming posts, but it's still a bit rough, so bear with it. It'd be nice to go back and just completely re-write it so it flows better, but it'd be a fairly daunting task these days.

Oh well, Laarde was a pretty cool character. I tried resurrecting him for a different Star Wars game on drunkendwarfinn.com, but the first incarnation was better.

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