Star Wars: Confederacy Era

Episode VII: Crossroads
SW:CE E07

HYPERSPACE TO LIANNA

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After the battle and Aeris is safely aboard their next port of call is to get the Shroud to Zell. Once they contact him aboard The Moonshadow, Zell asks them to bring the Shroud to him at Lianna in the Tion Cluster where he is staying for a few days (Lianna is near the edge of The Badlands and happens to be Malius’ Homeworld), in an apartment in the city of Melford. Of course, the group still need to think of what to do with the young Princess. She knows that her mother and father are dead, and that she is the only remaining member of the Royal Onderon Family, but is also acutely aware that she cannot return there at the present time. It might prove prudent for her to remain aboard the Moonshadow…

The group are able to get from Onderon to Lianna via Hyperspace without any problems after dealing with HuMech forces, and Zell meets them from the Star Port in a large chauffeur-driven landspeeder before taking them to his hotel “The Melford Heights” where he gives them each the 4,000c for their troubles.

Zell says he has been able to discover the location of the final artifact; a set of ceremonial gauntlets that were once part of a larger set of armour. Apparently it was recently unearthed on the ancient Sith homeworld of Korriban and would like the group to procure it for him. He points out that this is the last item, and that he would remain on Lianna for a week giving them enough time to collect it.

DIGGING ON KORRIBAN

Zell has a source who spent some time recently unearthing some old Sith tombs on the planet, but due to the fear surrounding The Force and Force-Users in general, most people give the world a wide berth. Its population was decimated during the Force Cull and most of the cities like vacant. That being said a people – and other things – do still exist on the planet, and they should be careful. His informant says a private expedition funded by Zakha Enterprises is on the world but are almost entirely scientists and non-combatants; they have a small cadre of guards. Zell points out that the Artifact is not legally anyone’s, but he wants the group to procure it and has been authorized to pay them 10,000c each for the Gauntlet’s safe return. The group, unhappy with the amount they have been paid for a Shroud Tosaken Corporation was willing to pay millions of credits for, is able to barter until their pay is increased to 50,000c each.

Arriving on Korriban the group find the dig-site quite easily and infiltrate it with few problems (Pike knocks out a guard while the rest of the group enter the site).

Not far into the tomb the group face plenty of Sith Zombies and see Force Ghosts, and come across lots of dead people from the mining expedition who have seemingly gone mad, as well as Sith Zombies (some old, some new – the expedition team) – this comes to a head in a chamber where the help defend a female scientist who is being beset upon by Sith Zombies, and the group realize they need to feed blood to a throne to open a chamber and gain access to “The Red Engine”.

Dispatching the zombies in short order, R4 calculates the total amount of blood needed to activate the throne and takes a portion from each of the living team members and the scientist. Not enough to harm any of them, but combined enough to activate the throne.

Entering the next chamber they come across the device itself, and Ni’lani meditates at it, starting off and ancient activation code which releases waves of K’lor Slugs who act as the guardians to Tulak Hord’s true chamber. Among them is a large and powerful Broodqueen, but the group are able to work together to defeat it.
Unfortunately, even once they beat the Slugs all it does is activate the door mechanism, the group find they cannot enter the Tomb itself unless they are “pure” (basically it needs Sith DNA to open the door, and the only one with any chance of doing that is Hylo as he is ½ Sith). Once inside the Tomb there are many Sith Artifacts and Holocrons as well as the Gauntlets of prominent display. Also among the belongings are 3 rare lightsaber Crystals (Amethyst, Firkrann and Bondar), and three of the Holocrons teach new force abilities/

When trying to remove the gauntlets from their encasement, the group are confronted by Zavax (who they last met on Anx Minor) who warns that it is booby-trapped and will explain that he works for someone who wants to make sure the items (he seems to know about the Mask, Shroud and Gauntlets as well as the Ring) don’t get into Zell’s hands – or rather, the hands of Tosaken Corp. He explains he works for a group of Jedi who are in hiding that want the items contained, “lost” or destroyed, because bringing them together could mean “something terrible” – he explains that he doesn’t really understand, but that he owes the leader of the group a life debt and asks them to go with him to speak to the Jedi rather than turn the Gauntlets over to Zell.

The group reluctantly decide to go with Zavax but realize that the woman they saved from Sith zombies has vanished as some point and that when they get back to the surface her speeder and ship are gone.
The players will have plenty of reasons to distrust Zavax (the fact he nearly got them killed on Anx Minor for example) but they take him at his word and he says he will lead them to a secret Jedi Enclave, reiterating how big a chance he is taking on them because if the Confederacy knew where they were all their lives would be forfeit.

Zavax explains that he knows what happened on Onderon and that The Confederacy sent a large force there but that the HuMech forces had already escaped, and that High Councillor Heriscalsh Zellaris of The Confederacy had stated that The HuMech Empire has to pay for the sacking of Onderon, the death of the Onderon Royal Family and that of Magnate Daseaed Tai. (It is assumed the Princess is dead).

THE JEDI OF OSSUS

Although Savax’s ship (a Jumpstar HPF starfighter, see Here) is jump-capable, he docks it aboard The Moonshadow as a show of faith, and he leads the characters to a set of co-ordinates of a seemingly unimportant world in Auril Sector of The Badlands – a world once steeped heavily in Force Tradition and one that managed to survive The Shade and The Force Cull better than others: Ossus.
There he takes the Moonshadow as far as orbit and requests the group follow him down in his ship as the jungle canopies would make it difficult to land anything larger than a star-fighter. He takes them to what remains of the capital city of Knossa near the Eocho Mountains. The vast majority of the city is decimated/deserted, and Savax explains that things are left in that manner so as to make others think there is nothing there.
He leads them deep into the city and into an old mono-rail station. Taking them to an “out of order” lift he explains that the others are underground and takes them down in the lift.

The Jedi Enclave they arrive in couldn’t be more different from the surface: alive and vibrant, subterranean gardens illuminated by crystals on the walls with homes, shops and buildings carved directly into the rockface. Approx 100 Force Sensitives (from children to elders) live there, with most being native Ysanna, but with many other species in residence.

The group are taken to “Vosin”, an elderly male Ysanna and de-facto leader of the Force User Enclave where he explains to them that the four items cannot be combined as they are something to do with a vision that one of their seers, a young Human boy called Nathan had about a terrible tyranny of Force Users sweeping over the galaxy. He admits he has no idea what Tosaken Corp would have to do with such a prophecy but looks to Ni’lani and Pike when he says they “must have felt the disturbance in the Force when the mask was obtained”.
Nathan shows Ni’lani the vision he had, which shows each of the stars in the Galaxy going out one-by-one as it is consumed by an encroaching darkness, and she also sees the masked figure from her own vision again.

Vosin is more than happy to help Ni’lani and Pike (and even Hylo) with any training, but asks that the Gauntlets NOT be given over to their “masters” – he points out he has no interest in keeping it there because it would only draw attention to their secret retreat, but he doesn’t see the point of it being destroyed either; he suggests hiding it.

Savax suggests taking the gauntlets into HuMech space, pointing out that if Hugh can get access to The Network as well he can find out more about the attacks on Onderon and what is going on. The Galaxy is ill-prepared to survive another intergalactic conflict between The Confederacy and The Empire, and he may be able to stop that if quick enough.

They still need to ensure the Princess’ safety, especially if the Gauntlets don’t make it back to Tosaken Corporation, and even though she is probably already on Coruscant by that point, and with Malius acting as her guardian, she is probably not safe. Savax offers to go and retrieve them, which the group agrees to. In the meantime, they use the Holonet to locate the nearest Network Node and discover that a HuMech Listening Station exists above the planet Drongar in the Drongar System, on the borders of HuMech space….

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Episode VI: Onderon's Burning

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In the panic that surrounds the entrance of the heavily armed individuals and the woman who seems to lead them, the group spring into action as people scatter in all directions. Using The Force to cloak her movements, Ni’lani grabs Lady Aeris Kira from the podium from which she was speaking, pulling her to safety. Pike similarly uses The Force to move with superhuman speed and claims The Shroud. Arruna, Hylo, Hugh & Malius take defensive positions around the room.

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Hugh recognizes the woman as a HuMech but, separated from his colleagues, is unable to relay the fact. As the Onderon Royal Security Guards split there attention between removing civilians and trying to encircle the intruders, Magnate Daseaed Tai steps forward to confront the woman. Declaring who he is and what he represents does nothing to concern her, despite the fact that The Confederacy that he represents have major influence in the sector. In response to his introduction, she shoots him dead with twin shots from her blaster pistols.
As people scream and security forces raise their weapons, they too are shot dead by the armoured troops whose reactions seem considerably quicker.

With so many civilians in the room the group decide to lay low for the moment, and the woman takes the opportunity to address the crowd. With gunfire and explosions going on outside it is evident that this isn’t an isolated incident. Though she never says who she is, the woman says that she has a message to deliver and, while flanked by her guards she sets up a holo-emitter. The large glowing-blue flickering image expands out to the ceiling, showing a man dressed in armour with one mechanical eye and a bald head. Seemingly Human, he does a short address which, from the echo of his voice, seems to be simultaneously broadcast outside as well.

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Claiming to be “The Humech Empire”, he states that the entire Royal Onderon Family are now his prisoners and seems to address the entire Confederacy when he says that they will be released only when ‘his people’ who are held illegally on Coruscant are released. Then, as quickly as he begins the address it is switched off.
Of course, the players know that at least Lady Kira is not in their possession.
The woman states that the princess is to be handed over or people will die, but by that point Ni’lani has already managed to smuggle her out of the room. An unknown sniper shot from somewhere on the roof takes out one of the armoured guards and a fire-fight ensues. While Hugh and Malius get into cover and try to leave the room to get weapons, Arruna and Hylo engage the foes in combat.

Pike secures an exit for the rest of the group while Hylo engages two of the armoured individuals in melee combat. Taking a moment to call her ship to the roof via a remote communicator, Arruna throws two grenades at the largest group of “HuMech Soldiers”, one fragmentation and the other an EMP grenade.

Though the vast majority of the enemies are taken out, the woman and a couple of others still stand. As Pike, Hugh and Malius meet up with Ni’lani and Lady Kira, they discover more Onderon Guard and HuMech Soldiers fighting in the corridor, and aid the Guard in defeating them, keeping Kira hidden at the same time.

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As Hylo takes down the last of the guards in the room, he and Arruna turn their attentions on the woman, who poses more of a challenge. Even though she is pitted against a solider and a bounty hunter, she holds her own admirably, especially considering she had just survived an explosion. As Arruna keeps her pinned with blaster fire Hylo moves into melee range but is battered back with powerful unarmed moves, and he recognizes her fighting style as HuMech Special Forces. Adjusting his stance accordingly he attacks again, and as she alters her defence to match his attack, Arruna is able to take her time with an aim and get a killing shot to the head. She staggers, looks confused for a second then shudders as if suffering an electric shock, then the light drains from her eyes and she collapses to the floor.

Joining the others outside, Hylo and Arruna bring with them a collection of the soldiers weapons (blaster carbines). Arruna explains that her ship is on route but they need to get to the roof. As the group make their way up the building they encounter more invading soldiers but work as a group to get past them. As they manage to get to the roof of the university it is evident that the domes roofs and spires mean there is no space for the ship to land, but a building not far from their position would allow a safe LZ. Arunna fires a zip line across to the other building and the group begin to make their way across just as The Obyrru appears through the clouds to make its descent. From their vantage point the group can see the devestation: Onderon is under invasion. The streets of Iziz burn, buildings are being bombarded from orbit and the dead litter the streets. HuMech soldiers are arriving by drop-ship, attacking military and civilians alike. Knowing the only chance for the Princess – and perhaps the Onderon Royal Line – is in their hands, the group decide to take the young Lady Kira with them.

As the group reach the other building and board The Obyrru, Arruna takes manual command of the ship and begins her return flight to The Moonshadow. Avoiding incoming dropships where she can or destroying them where she has to, Arruna manages to get the group back safely to The Moonshadow, which is hidden in orbit around the moon Dxun in case they needed a quiet extraction.

Once aboard the Moonshadow, the group try to retreat from Onderon space as things are just too dangerous in the orbit of the planet. A HuMech Fleet consisting of over two-hundred ships are assaulting the planet, and despite a Royal Onderon Navy defense fleet trying to keep them at bay, the HuMechs have among their number a massive dreadnought capital ship which Hugh proclaims to be a Warstar, the most powerful ship in the HuMech ship arsenal. Heavily outclassing everything else in the sky, the mammoth vessel destroyed ship after ship so the group generally avoided it, but when they tried to jump into hyperspace they found they could not. Hugh mentioned that some Warstars were fitted with Hyperspace Jammers and it seemed likely that the Warstar was stopping any ships jumping in or out of the system. Luckily Hugh knew approximately where the jammer was houses on the ship and while Onderon Forces assaulted it head on, the group brought the entire firepower of the Moonshadow to bare on the area that Hugh pointed out and, luckily, were able to destroy the jammer. They did not wait around to see how the space battle ended.

Once safely away, Ni’lani comforts the young Princess who, unsure of the fate of her parents, is understandibly distressed. Pike contacts Tres Zell to say that the shroud is in their possession, but deliberately leaves out the part about Onderon being attacked….

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Episode V: Into The Drexls Den

Dropping out of Hyperspace the group find The Moonshadow disabled just outside of the orbit of Vorzyd IV. Its hyperspace and sublight engines have been scrambled and although the players don’t know it when they first arrive (due to having to deal with scavengers), the side of the ship obscured to them has a Chiss Clawcraft attached to it.

The group engage in combat with a group of eight Kryat Dragonfighters, with Arruna, Ni’lani and Pike exiting The Distant Star, while Hugh and Hylo remain aboard the Shyrack Transport and man the guns.

Just as the Dragonfighters are starting to lose the battle, a Nebula-Class Cruiser and a cloaked Starshark jump in from Hyperspace to reinforce the enemy ships. As Pike attempts a dangerous fly-by maneuver against the Cruiser, the Starshark reveals itself by launching a surprise attack against The Phantom Katarn, but only wings the smaller ship. As the others give him cover, Pike is able to perform a fly-by on the cruiser with a million-to-one shot that manages to hit a vital part of the engine causing a cascade reaction which destroys the larger ship. As if levelling the books however, fate abandons them seconds later when a weapons malfunction aboard The Distant Star causes a massive explosion which wipes out half the ship, tears The Forgotten Myth in half and almost kills Hugh, Hylo and Malius.

As the crew of the Distant Star rush to bolster the shields that surround the wreck of the Transport, Arruna, Ni’lani and Pike make short work of the Starshark as it tries to escape to Hyperspace.

As Arruna recovers the only intact Dragonfighter (that she disabled rather than destroyed during the fight), Pike does a sensor sweep of the Starshark remains and collects what small fragments aboard his ship to attempt to discover the identities of the ships’ crew. Among them is a jump suit that was contained in a storage locker, emblazoned with the emblem of House Navashhi, a rather minor Gesk Fleet Family.

Ni’lani searches the Force to discover there are life-signs aboard The Moonshadow, and does a perimiter check of the Gage-Class Cruiser. She discovers a ship clamped to the other side of the hull, a configuration she doesn’t recognize (it is a Chiss Clawcraft), but notes that the shields are disabled on The Moonshadow and that the ships could easily land in the Hangar Bay. She informs the rest of the group of this, and they fly their ships – and the heavily damaged Distant Star – aboard The Moonshadow. Before that however, Ni’lani flies in close to the unusual ship and uses her flight-suit to leave the safety of The Shard momentarily, long enough to plunge her lightfoil through the ships Sublight Engines, disabling them.

Once aboard they will find many dead Grey Sun mercenaries the first of whom seem to have been killed brutally using a bladed melee weapon of some kind, but as the group make their way toward the bridge the violence seems more varied: blaster fire and super-heated plasma burns evident. The worrying aspect is it seems that all the mercenaries seem to have been dispatched by a single attacker.
As they approach the bridge the group find it in lock-down, with Grey Sun mercs trying to gain entry to the bridge by re-opening a welded door. The group have no choice but to fight them because the mercs turn on them the moment they see them, assuming them to be looters.
A short battle ensues where the mercs are dispatched using a variety of non-lethal means, but eventually the group are victorious and Ni’lani uses her Lightfoil to weld open the rest of the door.

Once they gain entry to the bridge the group find a Vorzydiak (Shen) cowering behind a makeshift barricade and flanked by eight Grey Sun Mercenaries who are engaged in blaster-fire with a heavily-armoured Chiss Bounty Hunter (Jer’quams’reela Lor’raine).
Between them lies the bodies of many dead mercenaries.

Despite Shen spotting them and asking for aid, the group side with the Bounty Hunter and remove many of the mercs (and shen) from the fight with a single well placed Stun Grenade. The remaining standing mers are of little challenge to the Bounty Hunter, who dispatches them with headshots.

The group explain their predicament and Jer’quams’reela says she has no interest in anything except taking Shen in for a bounty, and agrees to give them a few moments with the Vorzydiak to get the location of the mask from him. This they do with little problems, as he is easily intimidated to taking them to his quarters (the rather overly-spacious captains quarters) where he has the mask on display (as well as a Holocron which Ni’lani takes for study and an ancient blaster pistol which Pike takes). After getting the location of the mask they turn Shen over to Jer’quams’reela.

As the Bounty Hunter leaves the group to it, they examine the mask before contacting Tres Zell. Just opening the case causes the mask to give off a large burst of Dark Force energy, which assaults the senses of the three Force Sensitive members of the crew. While Ni’lani and Pike are strong enough to resist the powerful emanations, Hylo is wracked with chest pains and nausea and barely manages to not vomit, also suffering a minor nose bleed. Ni’lani gets the feeling that something of great importance has just been set in motion. Though she quickly re-covers the mask, it gives off no further emanations, and feels dead to Force Sensitivity.

The Moonshadow itself is more or less intact, except for its Hyperdrive which is disabled (but can be fixed) and its sublight engines which are damaged beyond repair and require replacing. Shen is not really the “owner” of the ship, he acquired it illegally. The group contact Zell and explain they have the mask, he recommends them not returning to Vorzyd V due to the fact that Senator Kelsarbu Tja’ski has put a price on their heads. He recommends coming to them, but the group explain their predicament and he suggests purchasing a new sub-light drive for The Moonshadow, and that the group can sell him The Distant Star and the rest of the broken ships to cover the cost.

While Zell arranges the purchase of Sublight engines for the ship, Hugh and the droids set about repairing The Moonshadow’s Hyperdrives and also helps Jer’quams’reela fix her ship (which seems to have been damaged somehow!) before she leaves. During this time the group also discover the ship has a fully operational Lambda-Class Shuttle aboard, a ship which Hugh claims ownership over after the destruction of The Forgotten Myth.

Zell arrives on The Moonshadow a few hours later and accepts the Mask, giving them each the agreed payment of 2,000c and says that 2 more parts of the collection exist. Though still trying to find the fourth part, he believes he has located the third part of the collection: a precious cloak which can be found on the world of Onderon. Zell explains that the owner of the cloak is unlikely to want to part with it and as such they are to attempt to negotiate a deal on Tosaken Corporation‘s behalf or, if that doesn’t work – steal it or get it by any means. Due to the probability of improvisation and potential risk, he is offering each member of the group 5,000c this time. Onderon is in the Inner-Rim, very near to the Hapes Consortium but perhaps more importantly, deep in Confederacy-Controlled space. This makes all of the characters feel uncomfortable at best. Zell has asked them to contact him once they get to the Capital City of Iziz, giving them a HoloNet code he can be reached on, whereupon he will give them further details.
He explains that he has been given authority to provide the group with 1,000c each out of their 5,000c payment up front, as well as possibly covering expenses. When the group decide to take his offer he pays them, wishes them luck and leaves, taking the mask, The Distant Star and his salvage with him.
While the new sublight drives are being installed (which makes the ship legal as far as IFF and Transponder Codes go), Arruna takes the surviving mercenaries and “deposits” them on Vorzyd IV.
Upon registering the ships’ new details, an official owner/captain has to be named, which is an honour Pike takes upon himself.

Once the ship is repaired and fully functional the group make their way to Onderon. Being a three day journey in Hyperspace, the group have time to rest and recuperate. Upon the 2nd day of the journey Ni’lan receives a troubling Force Vision which she keeps to herself, but the crew do not see her until they arrive in the Japrael system around the planet Onderon.

Arrival at the planet of Onderon finds many starships in orbit, most civilian but with some Onderon Royal Military vessels and Confederacy Police ships as well. As the group need to go to the capital city of Iziz, it is not difficult to find their way, but The Moonshadow is too large to land on the planet, so the group need to take the smaller ships and decide to try out the Lambda Class Shuttle. However, on route to the planet they are contacted by Onderon Planetary Security who ask for the Transponder code and it occurs that The Moonshadow might have legal codes but they have no idea where the Lambda Shuttle came from. With R4’s help the group stall security while the droid creates a false code, identifying the ship as ‘Voidrunner’, and they are able to land safely.

Compared to where they have been before Iziz is large, spacious and beautiful: the skies are blue and there is plenty of flora to be found amid the city streets. ConFed Police are a common sight but not too intrusive and it seems odd to see people walking about not wearing armour or carrying weapons openly. Although a variety of species call the planet – and the capital – home, most are Humans (Onderan Humans). The group do not feel safe however despite the surroundings: Arruna is a mercenary and finds it all too stifling, Hugh is a HuMech and such would be captured and deported (if not destroyed) if found out, Hylo was thrown out of the ConFed military and although the ConFed here are police, it still makes him feel ill at ease. Ni’lani is a Force User and would almost definitely be executed if discovered here, and Pike finds it too open and bright compared to his beloved space.
Shortly after arriving the group are able to contact Zell via the HoloNet, and get information from him with regards to the owner of the cloak.
The owner is Lady Aeris Kira, part of The Royal House of Onderon (under King Tanomas Kira and Queen Edea Kira). Despite being only 16 years old, she is a kind soul who wishes to be a great ruler for her people one day.
Aeris is hosting a charity gala event in the main ballroom of Ov Taraba University in the Iziz Campus, to raise money to help fund nature reserves to house new generations of Tee-Muss which have been steadily shrinking in population over the last few hundred years.

The Cloak (which is known as The Shroud of Karnak) is going to the highest bidder, like all the items, and will be on display at the event prior to the auction.

Before the group can go there however, they need to look the part and so go and get dolled up in expensive finery: Pike is a sharp suit, Hylo and Hugh in practical yet expensive-looking “working-class-done-good” outfits, and Ni’lani and Arruna in elegant gowns. Though having to use the 1,000c each they got from Zell four days earlier, they make a mental note to get reimbursed under “expenses”.

Once they arrive at the university they need to hand over all weapons (except concealed ones such as the pistol Pike hides on his person, the light-foil Ni’lani hides in a thigh holster and Arruna’s grenades collection which she fashions into a disguised belt), and are led into a large spacious ball-room complete with stone pillar supports and a high domes glass ceiling.
A circle of 15 stone pillars are in the centre of the room, one of which houses the Shroud the group are after.

Many influential members of Iziz Society are there from Nobles, Diplomats and Dignitaries to even the Magnate of Iziz (Daseaed Tai). Around the room stand a collection of Onderon Royal Security Guard, watching the crowd closely.

While examining the shroud Ni’lani feels the eyes of another Force User on her and turn to discover it is the Princess, Aeris. The young woman comes over than they swap small-talk, both aware that the other is a Force-User among a den of anti-Force sympathizers. Joined quickly by Pike, the three chat idly for a moment before Aeris takes to the podium to start the bidding on the items.
Various eccentricities are bid upon and sold, until the Shroud takes the stand and Aeris starts the bidding at 1,000,000c. Somewhat startled, Ni’lani contacts Zell via Holo-communicator, who says 1 million credits is fine, so she tentatively puts a bid in. The price begins to rise with interested parties who all pull out as the Shroud reaches the 2 million mark, whereupon it is bid by Magnate Daseaed Tai and 2.5 million. Contacting Zell again, Ni’lani is instructed to carry on bidding, and so Pike decides to enter the fray as well.
As the price reaches three and a half million another voice can be heard in the crowd, but cannot be seen, and as it gets close to 4 million the high bidder presents himself: a Chadra-Fan who looks suspiciously similar to the late Kabe in expensive finery.
With a final communication from Zell, Ni’lani puts in a bid at a cool 4 million credits, which wins the bid, but mere seconds after conclusion the sounds of explosions can be heard throughout the city.
As the Onderon Royal Guards spring into action, Pike makes a Force-powered dash for the Shroud just as the shadow of a shuttle craft looms above the building. As it slams into the roof, falling masonry and glass fall to the floor as people scramble to take cover.

Pike grabs the case holding the Shroud, while the weaponless Hylo punches a passing guard and grabs his rifle. In the chaos Hugh, Arunna and Malius take cover while Ni’lani vanishes from sight using the Force and grabs Aerisoff the podium.

At the same time, before the shuttle has even come to a complete stop, a door swings open and twelve heavily armoured individuals in what appear to be power-armour air-drop in and land in the middle of the stone circle, as well as a Human woman who descends between them and uses jet thrusters to cushion the final part of her descent. Unarmoured and wearing only what appears to be a flight-suit, she pulls twin blaster-pistols…

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Episode IV: City of Lights

Once coming out of Vault 208, the group go back to The Distant Star and send an encoded message to Tres Zell via Hyperspace relay to inform him that they have the “artefact” – shortly after that they receive an encoded response saying he is at Vorzyd V, and would like them to take the artefact there, to Casino Royale in the Captial City of Efavan where they will receive their payment. Their Astromech droids X8-1 and X8-2 prep the ship for lift off.

Meanwhile on Vorzyd V, Arruna is in the capital city of Efavan stalking a mark for a bounty (Tanner Kolbrun, a swindler and cardshark) who owes a large gambling debt to the owner of “The Last Card”, (a Casino in the city of Efavan, Vorzyd V), but Tanner has hired mercenaries to get him off world. Arruna has been hired by Rathe Dabrini, (owner of The Last Card Casino) to bring him in, and although he wants Tanner alive, doesn’t care about the fate of those protecting him.
Arruna starts in an airspeeder chasing Tanner through ‘The Belt’ (one of the cities’ Airspeeder routes) as he tries to get to Felana Space Port and onto his starship (A Kryat Dragonfigher). Tanner is in one airspeeder along with 2 mercs (including a Mandalorian), and there is a second airspeeder carrying another 3 mercs, all trying to stop Arruna.
While the rear airspeeder tries to stop Arruna from reaching Tanner, it is a fruitless task as they are clearly outmatched by the Twi’lek Bounty Hunter who easily dispatches them. She then engages in combat with the lead airspeeder, and when the Mandalorian (Holdan Vhonte ) pulls out a mounted heavy repeater cannon, she takes action to bring the speeder down, by knocking the driver (Tanner) unconscious with a stun grenade and forcing his speeder into crash-land at the Star Port.
Though Tanner is unconscious during the impact, Vhonte is not, and the Mandalorian and Twi’lek square off for battle: one which is short ingloriously short by Arunna when she lobs a concussion grenade into the warriors’ face, flinging him into a nearby wall which breaks his neck, killing him.

With an unconscious Tanner in tow, Arunna returns to The Last Card to see Dabrini who gives her 1,000c for Tanner and explains that an old friend of hers – Relegan – is in the City and may well have some work for her. Dabrini explains that Relegan is currently staying in The Lady Luck Cantina at the Casino Royale.

Hugh, Hylo, Ni’lani and Pike land at Felana Space Port in The Distant Star. The Star Port is having repairs done after the previous gunfight (Droids doing all the work). A quick Knowledge: Galactic Lore check reveals the planet’s history of being a leisure world where the populous either follow their leisure pursuits or hold positions of power, leaving droids to do all the work. Moments after they arrive and disembark they get a message from Tres Vell asking them to meet him at the Balcony Lounge in the Royale Grande Hotel. The group take a droid-piloted Hovertaxi from Efavan Port to Casino Royale after doing some quick purchasing/selling/repairs, and they arrive at the Casino without incident. The “Casino” itself is a several kilometer’s long set of buildings housing hundreds of casinos, hotels, gambling dens, cantinas and any other establishments catering to entertainment. The group are easily find The Royale Grande, one of the largest and most exclusive hotels in the Casino Royale.

Arruna arrives at the Casino Royale and meets up with Relegan in the Lady Luck Cantina, who says he may have a well paid job for her: one of his business contacts – an Umbaran corporate agent for Tosaken Corporation – is on Vorzyd V and would like someone to accompany a group he is planning to hire to help recover an item. Once Arruna accepts, Relegan sends a holo-message to Vell, saying to expect her.

Hugh, Hylo, Ni’lani and Pike arrive at Royale Grande Hotel and find the security there to be very tight, and are asked to hand over their weapons (which they’ll get back after). They are then shown by security (droids again) to the Balcony Lounge which has a fantastic view over the many establishments of the Casino Royale. Tres is there and offers them a drink, he has a couple of heavies for company (he simply says he is stepping up security since the attack on Tondatha Station). one Kaleesh and one Feeorin.
After accepting the talisman, he seems surprised that anyone else was there, but thanks them and gives them each 1,500c and entrusts the artefact (still in its case) to the Feeorin bodyguard.

At this point Arruna arrives and Tres makes his introductions and introduces the others, only to discover some of them have already. Though the larger group have a tendency to work well together, Vell thinks they might benefit from Arruna’s talents to fill the void of their late crew mate, Kabe.
Tres says he has a lead (or rather had) on the second artefact in the set: an ancient mask. He says ‘had’ because the last person to know of its whereabouts was one Dr. Malius Starfire, a Human from the Tion noble house of Starfire. Malius was last seen in the Casino Royale, speaking to Esk Amedda, a swoop-racer found at the Red Rage Circuit in The Warrens. Tres wants to hire the group, for 2,000c each this time, to find Malius and then find the mask and return it to him.

It doesn’t take the group long to find the Red Rage Circuit, but Esk is in a race when they arrive. They watch the race until its conclusion and then get a chance to talk to him. Esk thinks very highly of himself and is a bit of braggart, but responds well to people calling his bluff (so long as they don’t make him look stupid) as he considers most of the people on Vorzyd V to be foppish and boring. When questioned about Malius his eyes light up with interest and says he is happy to tell the group where they can find the doctor, so long as one of them races him. Pike takes up the challenge under an alias of Averice McGee, and competes against Esk in a four-lap race. He crosses the first lap line in equal place with the Chagrian, beats him across the line in the second, draws equal in the third and wins the fourth lap, but only just. This is enough for Esk though, as he is so impressed he doesn’t only tell the group where Malius is, he shows them: Malius is being held at the Hrakia Embassy after he attempted to gain entry into the embassy’s systems and dig up information on a rival Noble (Hrakian) family house ( Tja’ski ).

The group decide to infiltrate the embassy by means of stealth, with Ni’lani using The Force to cloak herself from others’ presence while she scouts the interior of the building. Meanwhile the rest of the group enter via the roof and between Ni’lani and Pike they are able to gain access to a security room and from that point, the location of Malius and Senator Kelsarbu Tja’ski. They discover Malius is being held pending some sort of investigation regarding planetary secrets, but because the group need to get to him – and specifically the Mask – they hatch a plan to spring him from the embassy.

The group find and confront the Senator, who seems unguarded in his office. Pressing their point puts him on the defensive however, and he raised a Ray Shield around him and part of the room, but not before Ni’lani, Pike and Arruna are able to get inside the shield. With Hugh and Hylo trapped outside, poisonous gas begins to enter the room. Before the gas can harm Hylo, Pike, Ni’lani and Arruna ‘convince’ the senator to open the door to his office, allowing the smoke to escape. Shortly after Ni’lani pulls her Light-foil on him and, in fear of his life the Senator agrees to let them go and take Malius with them. Arruna knocks him out to ensure their safe escape.

Pike causes a distraction while the group head to the interrogation wing to spring the Doctor.

Upon rescuing him, Malius says he is willing to help them if they help him get off the planet; he has a Neebray Class Shuttle. He knows who owns the mask, a Vorzydiak merchant called Shen, who can be found on the planet Vorzyd IV (the neighbouring world).

The group and Malius head back to the Star Port and load his ship aboard The Distant Star, and the transport along with The Obyrru head to Vorzyd IV.

As it turns out it doesn’t take them long to find the merchant, they don’t even get as far as landing on the planet: Malius recognizes the merchant’s ship – an ancient Gage-Class Transport known as The Moonshadow – but it seems to be dead in the water, with pirate ships attacking from all sides….

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Episode III: The Dead World
SW:CE E03

After the events of Tondatha Station and the death of their crewmate Kabe, the group travel to the Dead World of Anx Minor but find a group of pirates in orbit around the world with the same idea..

The Distant Star appears out of hyperspace to discover pirates heading toward a disabled cargo hauler in orbit around the planet but the pirates – assuming the group are there to steal their haul and unaware they want to get to the planet – decide to attack. Using the ships’ droids to give them covering fire Hylo, Hugh, Ni’lani and Pike launch their star fighters in an attempt to break the pirate group up. During the firefight Pike recognizes the symbol of the Pirate group “ The Darkstar Pirates”, a notorious Badlands gang of brigands championed by exiled Gesk. Pike is able to warn the group that one or more stealthed ships may be present, and sure enough one does attack but the group are able to destroy the vast majority of the pirates and the rest flee.

Briefly checking over the cargo hauler they find nothing of value and the crew dead due to exposure to the vacuum of space.

After the confrontation with the Pirates, the players are glad to find they have no further conflicts landing on the planet. The world is eerily quiet, like one massive graveyard with nothing but the sound of the occasional dust-storm blowing through the abandoned streets or the low rumble of thunder from the dark storms on the horizon. As far as the eye can see there is no vegetation, only the cold durasteel of buildings and barren soil. No animals fly through the sky, no voices can be heard. There seems to be a constant storm on the horizon, black and looming.
Anx Minor was quite a well known world before The Contagion and a simple check on the Holo-Net pulls up information on the planet’s main Capital City: Gravelixis.
Upon setting down on the planet, Ni’lani senses a disturbance in The Force.

After some exploring, the group hear something in the distance and although they ready themselves for battle, they are instead greeted by a chirpy custom-build ConFed Diplomacy droid who is more than happy to take them to the nearest public access terminal and spends a lot of its time apologizing for the fact it cannot provide any refreshments.
Upon talking to the droid the group discover that two other visitors also arrived a couple of hours ago and asked the droid where to find ‘Vault 208’. The droid noted that although it was unable to see the visitors’ faces, it assumes from the sounds of their voices that one was male and the other female; they were speaking Galactic Basic.
The droid was able to aid them in finding their destination however, and points the group in the same direction – towards Vault 208.

Using the droids instructions and a little investigation on a public access terminal the group discover the route to Vault 208 is not a complex one, but it is a good distance away. After some discussion they decide to confiscate one of the abandoned landspeeders (wiping off the dust and repairing/modding parts as needed) and head to the vault.

Upon arriving at the Grevelixis Central Vaults, a large grandiose building with impressive gilded exterior in a baroque style, the group are almost immediately set upon by what at first seem to be security droids, but some in the group with the applicable knowledge recognized their programming has been altered. The droids do not back down and fight until they are destroyed.

Once inside the vault the group find much of it overturned or damaged, with many of the vaults opened and ransacked. Someone has been there recently by the marks in the dust, and Ni’lani senses another disturbance in the Force.

Heading into a large central chamber the group see some lights on way above them, and a huge drop beneath them. A service lift is to their left, and a set of metal rungs cling to the right-hand wall used for maintenance purposes.
According to map Zell gave them Vault 208 is two floors above them.
When they get up there they find an attractive but eerie looking Human woman trying to break into the vault accompanied by the Ubese they met on Gandolo IV, Savax. He is just finishing inputting something into a terminal as the group approach.

The woman’s name turns out to be Hexxer Kai and she makes no secret of the fact she is a Force User, specifically a Nightsider of Dathomir. Ni’lani recognizes the name of the Force Tradition which was heavily steeped in the Dark Side of the Force, last heard of around 20 ABY. She is alone in this realisation however, as none of the rest of the group are schooled in ancient Force Traditions.
According to Hexxer the “relic” they are after belongs to the Nightsisters and is called a Talisman of The Raven.
Ni’lani attempts to reason with Hexxer, pointing out that Force Users need to work together to avoid persecution, but Hexxer is too obsessed and instead, she attacks.

At the same time Savax mentions that the program he has set running is set to destroy the building and if they fight them they wont have time to deactivate it because the “deactivation console is down the other end of the atrium and ’guarded’”

With little options available to them, the group split up to stop them.

Ni’lani and Hylo engage the two combatants directly, while Hugh and Pike head for the deactivation console.

Hexxer zeroes on Ni’lani, attacking with a red-bladed lightsaber and forcing the Togruta to defend herself with her Rakatan Lightfoil. Hylo and Savax engage in a savage exchange of blaster fire though Hylo has military training on his side, Savax has the advantage of cover.

Meanwhile Pike and Hugh run for the other side of the atrium and find that Savax was right, the console is guarded: by two Aggressor Droids. Pike engages them in combat, keeping them off of Hugh long enough for him to begin a bypass of the console.

In a long and cinematic battle Ni’lani is able to defeat Hexxer, killing her in single combat, but Savax – though gravely wounded – is able to escape through a skylight onto the floor above and avoid Hylo. Pike defeats the two droids he was set up against, managing to avoid major injury despite the overwhelming firepower of the droids, and Hugh manages to disable the self-destruct protocols mere seconds before the building comes down around their heads.

Unsure exactly what is it they have acquired in the ‘Talisman of the Raven’, the group head back up to the surface in hopes of reaching Zell by Hyperspace Communicator.

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Episode II: New Deals
SW:CE E02

After rescuing Kabe and collecting the package from Gandolo Base, the group evade perusing Grey
Sun mercenaries and escape into Hyperspace.
With an uneventful journey to the Mirgoshir System, the group are able to go over some of their
spoils and share out the wealth.
As The Distant Star leaves Hyperspace in Mirgoshir, the group get to the planet of Agamar and
their destination – Tondatha Station – without any problems, but notice that a [Confederacy
Support Cruiser] is docked undergoing refueling and repairs.
Cautiously Hylo, Pike, Hugh, Ni’lani and Kabe travel aboard the station with their package for
Kabe’s contact; an Umbaran man who goes by the name of Tres Zell. When they meet with the contact he pays them and explains he is part of a huge mega-corporation called Tosaken Corp(easily the largest company in the entire of The Badlands). Zell opens the case and produces a crystal, explaining that it contains co-ordinates to a vault on the now Dead World of Anx Minor which houses an artefact his corporation is after; and is willing to pay a substantial reward to
acquire. Better yet, it is part of a set and the group are invited to find all the parts and make an exceptional amount of credits in the process.

The group agrees but is almost immediately interrupted by an explosion which destroys the door to
Zell’s apartment and sends the group fleeing for cover. Kabe is killed in the explosion and Zell
mortally wounded, but the remainder of the group are tasked with stopping an exceptionally well armed Cathar Bounty Hunter who seems more than slightly surprised to find Zell with company.
After a short and brutal fight the group kill the Bounty Hunter but are then required to defend
themselves again when security come to access the scene. During the confusion Ni’lani pockets the
crystal from Zell’s case which seems oddly unaffected by the explosion.

In the aftermath Zell is taken into the medical bay for treatment and the group are forced to remain on the station while security try to figure out how such a well-armed person got past them.
Concerned that they might be spotted by ConFed forces the group return to The Distant Star.
A few hours later they are contacted by Zell who asks them to visit him in the medical bay, where
they find out that he knew the Bounty Hunter; a Cathar who went by the name of Kharvis but
couldn’t understand why he would try to attack them, seeing as he is commonly hired by Tosaken
Corp. He asks if they have the crystal, and when they acknowledge he asks them to hold onto it
because they will need it to activate a map once they get to Anx Minor. He says he has had a word
with the Security Chief on the station (an old friend) and has arranged for their release.
He says due to his current assassination attempt he will contact them securely once he has arrived at a safer location.

Returning to The Distant Star the group find that they are no longer locked to the station, good to Zell’s word, and so leave Tondatha Station as quickly as possible and venture into space toward Anx Minor.
Unfortunately for the group when they drop out of Hyperspace around the planet they find a group
of Dark Star Pirates planning to pillage the area…..

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Episode I: Breakout
SW:CE E01

A long time ago

In the Gandolo System deep in The Badlands, The Distant Star maintains a stationary orbit around the moon Gandolo IVIV. Aboard the Shyrack-class transport four companions – Hylo Cohl, a Mirialan ex-Confederacy Soldier; Hugh Mann, a 2nd-Gen HuMech and tech expert, Ni’lani Nuwa, a Togruta refugee strong in The Force; and Pike Shas’Ti, a nomad Gesk of the Shas’ti Clan – await contact from the fifth member of their group: Kabe, a Chara-Fan con-artist who traveled down to Gandolo Base on the moon’s surface some eleven and a half hours ago.

Once a prosperous mining facility that dealt in copious quantities of Bronzium, Gandolo Base came to the attention of the Xarr Hutt Cartel: the largest, wealthiest and most notorious of the Hutt Cartels working out of The Badlands. Once Bronzium became more commonplace however, the moon soon fell out of favour and was all but abandoned by The Hutts who left their own forces in place as ‘law enforcement’ and in the years that followed it fell into disrepute. Now just another fringe town at the end of the galaxy, Gandolo Base is full of people who either owe The Hutts too much to leave, or know no other life.

When Kabe fails to check in fro his twelve-hour window, the group begin to grow concerned. Kabe was hired by a client in the Mirgoshir System to retrieve a package from Gandolo Base, and the four were due to get a tidy profit from helping his procure and return it. Concerned that their companion (and credits) may be in jeopardy, the group attempt to contact Kabe via his emergency implanted cybernetic communicator. The news is not good: It seems Kabe was caught trying to get to the package, and he’s been slung into the local lockup.

The group decide to break their companion out and get the package that will lead to their pay-day, but they know nothing of the defenses that might await them and decide to head down to the moon for some information gathering. Due to the fact the moon is in one of its four-hour trade convoy hauls (where massive trading barges haul Bronzium out of the star port), The Distant Star is unable to land so the group take their personal star fighters instead. The Seillan Trident, The Phantom Katarn, The Shard, and The Forgotten Myth set down at the star port, the group see that Kabe’s star fighter – The Lazy Mynock -is stationed there, unharmed.

Heading into Gandolo Base the group soon find one of the few enticing buildings for miles around: a cantina on the corner of two intersecting streets called The Beggar’s Hope. Though very few people can be seen out on the streets as they arrive, two are standing outside the cantina: a large Human man with a slip of a Nautolan girl, who vanishes into the backstreets when she sees them approach. The man is named Hax Vattal. and he acts as a bouncer for the cantina, yet he makes no attempts to bar their entry. It is noted that Hax bears the emblem of the Grey Sun Mercenaries upon his jacket, a group the four know are known to work for – among others – The Xarr Hutt Cartel.
Inside the cantina is more vibrant than outside, and the group soon start investigating not only Kabe’s predicament but also Gandolo Base in general.

After some asking around, the group fine three ways into the local prison to rescue their companion:

  • The Barman and owner – Kark (a friendly and overweight Gotal ) offers them a way in for 150 credits.
  • A very quiet man called Savax offers to get them inside, but says he will go his own way once he does so.
  • The Nautolan girl from outside, whose name turns out to be Nixeen says she knows a secret way in but will only tell the group if they promise to save her brother – Chask – who she says has been wrongly incarcerated.

After some consideration the group decide to take Nixeen up on her offer, but also take Savax along for extra firepower. Nixeen leads them through the streets and down into a set of disused waste pipes beneath the main complex of Gandolo Base. From there she leads them to a room that they says comes out underneath the library area of the prison. Savax is carrying a HoloMap of the building and confirms she is correct. In payment for their help he gives Hylo a copy of the map and the group head up a ladder into the room above while Nixeen vanished back into the tunnels.

The group do indeed surface in what looks like a library or some sort of data repository, but there is only one door in and out covered by a security camera. Hugh hacks into the system and replaces the footage with an empty data-loop, and Savax gives his thanks and leaves. The group exit the room to find two unconscious Grey Sun mercs who had presumably fallen to Savax. Unsure as to where to start looking the group are offered an opportunity when gunfire is heard at the other end of the complex, so they set out to look for Chask and Kabe.

It isn’t long before the group run into trouble in the form of Grey Sun mercenaries (who have been employed by The Xarr Cartel as ‘law enforcement’) and even an 818 ‘Guard Dog’ Droid. Defeating their opponents in a firefight (and Hugh making off with some of the less-damaged droid parts), the group discovers Chesk and not only do they free him but decide to open all the other cells in the block to cause a diversion which seems to work, because the amount of mercs they meet – alive – on route to saving Kabe seems lessened. When they do find the Chandra-Fan he tells them that he saw the package taken into an armoury, which is where the group head to next.

Finding the guards already dead at the armoury the group assume it was either inmates or – more likely – Savax, but decide not to linger long and set to breaking into the armoury. They grab the package (which seems to be some sort of case), as much gear as they can safely carry, and high-tail it out of the prison. With alarms going off they know it won’t be long before reinforcements arrive so Hylo, Hugh, Ni’lani, Pike, Kabe and Chask make a desperate run for the star port.

On route they meet Nixeen who is overjoyed to see her brother again, but lacking any time to stop and ensure they are both safe the group continue on their way to the star port. Getting there they find the Grey Suns are onto them and have to fight their way to their ships. Once aboard their star fighters they leave orbit towards The Distant Stat but Grey Sun Fighters are close behind them and a space battle ensues in the atmosphere of Gandolo Iv, with the group taking out enemy fighters all the way to docking with the lead ship, The Distant Star, which is already prepping the Hyperdrive engines thanks to their two Astromech Droids.

Once safely aboard The Distant Star enters Hyperspace leaving the Gandolo System and heading towards Tondatha Station to deliver the package and get their payment…

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