oiling a foolishly hatched plot, our heroes have left the Smugglers Moon of Nar Shadda and Hutt Space altogether with their stocks replenished and their spirits high.
Having accepted a contract from the Mandalorian Protectors, Aiden now steers the Renegade to the Greater Javin sector in search of the fugitive Mandalorian DAR’MANDA ARPAT and her band of murderous followers.
Though many mysterious still surround this woman, and even less is known what hand if any their arch nemisis JEYEN has in this Mandalorian’s idealistic crusade. Our heroes can only prepare for the worst as the plunge through the reaches of space in search of this fugitive towards the remote iceworld of Hoth…
On Second Thought
Yet the further towards Hoth the party ventured, the more they thought about the urgency in the Tarisian’s agent’s offer. After only two days of travel through hyperspace these thoughts came to a boil as a great discussion erupted amongst the party as to what their highest priority should be. While all agreed that the Mandalorian Protectors had paid in advance for a job they wanted done sooner than later, Akira suggested that they might first look into the offer of this “Tarisian” and see if it could be more profitable in the long run.
Aiden was concerned that this would mean putting off the job he had taken for the Protectors, something likely to be greatly frowned upon by the Mandalorians. Yet Akira convinced him that no harm could be found in at communicating with the Tarisian to know what their options were. The Renegade then fell out of hyperspace, and a transmission was sent to Dantooine as per the merchant card they were given. After being processed by a Zeltron receptionist, the party found themselves speaking with a thin faced, strong jawed middle aged bearded human, who identified himself as the Tarisian. Having elected Kalko as the party’s spokesman, Kalko inquired what exactly the urgent offer was that the Tarisian’s agent spoke of Nar Shadda, one that he was desperate over.
The Tarisian explained that he owned and operated a large and successful ore mine on Dantooine, and lived in the settlement nearby with the mine workers and other settlers. However despite the mine’s success, further development has been halted by repeated pirate and former Separatist attacks on both the mine and the settlement itself. The Tarisian further explained that finding the source of and halting these attacks would be the first priority if the party would take up this job, but that there would be other priorities as well. Across the galaxy the Tarisian boasted of assets and interests, all of which faced threats and all of which would need to be secured in due time. In exchange the Tarisian promised free room and board, docking space, repairs and upgrades, and even extra personnel for missions when needed.
Seeing disagreement amongst his peers, Kalko told the Tarisian they would be back in contact with him later that day with an answer to his offer. Ending the transmission, Aiden and Akira resumed their heated argument on what to do next. Akira insisted that a steady income and repairs to the ship could leave them in a better position to take on Dar’Manda and her Mandalorian renegades, but Aidien was worried that too much time would pass and the situation with Dar’Manda’s force could grow worse. It briefly considered that they could ask the Tarisan for time, men and resources to neutralize Dar’Manda first, after which they would return to Dantooine to be in his emply, however as Dantooine and Hoth were at opposite ends of the galaxy and there was no guarentee this would be a fast job it was decided to be unwise to mention this to the Tarisian.
Akira and Aiden have a lively discussion in the galley of the Renegade regarding their priorities with future employment.
After much discussion it was decided they would offer the Tarisian a one month contract of guarenteed employment, after which they would have earned the right to search out and neutralize Dar’Manda’s forces as per their earlier agreement with the Protectors, after which they would seek six month long contracts of employment, new terms of which to be negotiated at the expiry of each six month term.
After re-openning communication with the Tarisian he accepted their offer, and the Renegade plotted new co-ordinates for the galactic north and Dantooine.
Fires Over Dantooine
After eight days of travel the Renegade arrived in the Dantooine system, and beheld the site of the green fertile world before them. It was only moments after Akira set up the Renegade’s landing approach that Beesix informed him that he detected several fires within the ground settlement they were given the ground co-ordinates for, and that eleven vessels were speeding their way into orbit at that very moment. The settlement was under attack. Realizing they had only moments to decide what to do next, either hurry to the rescue of the settlement or stop the fleeing pirates Aiden decided to stop the pirates, and ordered the crew to their guns.
With Aiden and Akira manning the Renegade’s ion canon from the bridge and Kalko and Nyla manning the respective turbo-blaster turrets Akira plunged the Renegade down towards Dantooine as the fleeing pirates raced to break atmosphere to jump to hyperspace. Akira proved the better pilot however, and brought the Renegade within firing range of the pirate fleet of three Citadel Class Cruisers and eight Cloakshape Fighters less than thirty seconds before the fleet made their jump.
The Renegade opened fire with a vengeance with Akira and Nyla disabling the engines of two of the three cruisers that were sent drifting lifelessly in dangerous low orbit as the Cloakshapes pushed forward with the only one remaining cruiser, not wanting to prolong their time over Dantooine by another second. The Renegade however took a massive hit from a missile barage from one of the drifting cruiser, filling it’s corridors with showering sparks, venting steam and trembling walls that sent the Renegade momentarily listing towards the planet below.
Still Aiden ordered them to press on, and Akira corrected their course in time for Kalko to get off one final spectacular volley of blaster fire, igniting the engine and fuel cells of the remaining cruiser instantly and sending it plummeting into the atmosphere below. With their three cruisers lost the Cloakshapes had no choice but to make the jump to hyperspace alone, leaving their loot behind.
Kalko celebrates the shooting down of the last of the three escaping pirate cruisers in orbit over Dantooine.
Within minutes the third cruiser had completely burnt up in the atmosphere, and the other two drifting cruisers were being abandoned via their escape pods. Helpless to stop the pirates from escaping to the planet below, Aiden kept the Renegade in orbit until several freighters took off from the settlement below, reaching orbit soon and locking tractor beams onto the remaining cruisers to keep them stable. A loud booming voice suddenly brought the Renegade’s radio back to life, with the voice proclaiming that that had been the best shooting he’d ever seen this side of the Tingle Arm, and that the first chance he got he, Traz Nunb, would buy the whole crew of the Renegade a round on him. Aiden thanked the unknown voice, before ordering the Renegade to land as per the direction of the second voice to come over the ships to come over the ships radio.
The second voice on the radio claimed to be the traffic control operator for the settlement of Ecumenopolis, and that they were needed on the surface immediately.
The Galactic Frontier
The sight of the rising smoke in the sky helped guide the Renegade down to Ecumenopolis, leaving the party to behold a sight unlike none other. As the sun set on the rolling green hills and rocky outcroppings, a small town of pre-fabricated housing and small buildings built on one the banks of a raging river was burning.
The Renegade was directed to land in a large clearing just to the west of the town, where a panicked Bith met them outside and asked that they grab whatever fire suppressing gear they had to help put out the spreading fire. The heroes joined in with the motley crew of aliens and humans righting the flames from the mud covered streets, until after an hour as the last traces of day faded into night the last of the fires were extinguished and Nyla had finished tending to the wounded.
It was only now that the party could properly survey the damage and their surroundings in general. The peoples of the town were a mix of aliens and humans, with a seemingly larger number of Wookies than one normally sees, along with several scurrying short creatures in red robes Kalko recognized as Jawas. As for the settlement, they could see great damage to the spaceport and surrounding structures, and the ruins of what likely used to be the spaceport control tower. Soon after a hurried and frazzled but otherwise very attractive green haired Zeltron found the party, and after telling them that she was Miss M’Row, the personal secretary to the Tarisian she explained that their presence had been requested at the Upper City Gem, the Tarisian’s grand hotel, cantina, brothel and casino.
Following Miss M’Row up hill through the commotion and chaos the party beheld the spectacle that was the Upper City Gem before their eyes. The three story structure was as opulent as any coreworld casino in any entertainment district with a strong durasteel facade draped with fashionable banners and flags from the outside. On the inside the party found the cantina surprisingly busy considering the chaos outside, with a great many scruffy and dirty looking individuals lining it’s many bars and playing at it’s many gaming tables. After a quick ride in the Gem’s turbolift the party was lead to a blast door guarded by two Gamoreans, who admitted the party with Miss M’Row to the room on the other side.
The room inside was a massive spacious penthouse, seemingly taking up the entire third and top floor of the Gem. Inside was filled with the most lavish rugs, finely carved sculptured and wonderfully hand painted works of art the party had ever seen, and in the center of it all was a great wide wooden polished desk, strangely with no one sitting in the chair behind it.
“You’ll find the view better from out here” came a strong voice from behind a thick curtain, leading the party to the cantina wide balcony overlooking the entire settlement below where they found a man looking out at the damage below. He was middle aged, dark but greying hair, a mustache and goatee, and the rugged face of a man who’d seen a battle or two in his time. The introduced himself as the Tarisian, and that what they saw below in the settlement he’d built was precisely why they were needed. Returning to his parlour inside the Tarisian explained that this was the fourth pirate raid this month, and by far the worst so far, making away with half of his warehouse’s ore supply. It was this ore the Tarisian explained, or more specifically Danto-Lommite Ore that the pirates and their allies have been after for some time now with growing ruthlessness. The ore had unique properties, so unique that after learning of it’s presence here in the northern hemisphere of Dantooine the Tarisian personally established the settlement, named Ecumenopolis for the purpose of supporting his new mining operations in the nearby mountains. The mines were based in the mountains the party was told, and repulsor barges would move the mined ore down river to Ecumenopolis, where waiting freighters and transports would deliver it to waiting clients across the Outer Rim.
Ecumenopolis and it’s nearly thirteen hundred had thrived for eight months according to the Tarisian, attracting a combination of settlers, refugee’s, and sentients of all species only looking to escape the horrors of the Clone Wars and the anti-alien persecution in the Core. However two months earlier the pirate raids began, at first being lead by re-activated Battle Droids from the Clone Wars, but more recently involving more and more diverse pirate forces, such as the nearly entire Klatoonian raiding force that plundered his ore supply this most recent raid. The Tarisian thanked them greatly for taking on the pirates and stopping all three escaping cruisers, but explained that the damage had been done. Their small spaceport in ruin, the docks heavily damaged, dozens of buildings set ablaze and more than fifty dead. When Aiden asked what sort of conventional defenses the settlement had, the Tarisian explained he had bought four state of the art starfighters and four ace pilots, but all four fighters were destroyed on the ground and two of the pilots were among the dead.
It was with a more proactive defense that the party was recruited the Tarisian further explained, having grown tired of waiting for the pirates next more and wanting to stop them before they strike again. However Dantooine would not be the limits of their work in his employ they were warned, but rather they would be expected to help defend the Tarisian’s interests all across the galaxy against any and all threats they face. The Tarisian claimed that he’d tasked his agent Jacen on Nar Shadda with seeking out ruthless but lawful killers, and that Imperial assassins like the party were precisely what he needed. Aiden of course explained they were framed and were innocent of the charges against them, to which the Tarisian still expressed confidence, seeing how they’d evaded Imperial capture for two months now.
Aiden further explained however that they had an outstanding job with the Mandalorians to complete, and that though they would give the Tarisian their immediate attention they would need to also finish the Mandalorian job sooner than later. After some negotiation and minor disagreements, the Tarisian came to an agreement with the party. For sixty-thousand credits the party would work for the Tarisian for one standard month, during with they would be provided with bed and board, fuel, re-stocking and repairs and given salvage rights to any vessel and or goods seized in the line of working for the Tarisian. After a month they would be given the materials needed to complete the Mandalorian mission as fast as possible, at which point they’d return to Dantooine and begin a six month term of employment with all the previous benefits for five-hundred thousand credits. With the deal in place the party shook hands and the Tarisian poured a glass of his finest Savareen brandy and officially welcomed them all to Dantooine.
The Tarisian officially welcomes his newest employees to their new home and assignment.
Meeting the Locals
After finishing their drinks an orange skinned Twi’lek in body armour burst into the Tarisian’s parlour, shouting in Hutteese. The Tarisian calmly nodded to her, and introduced the female to the party as Orn Syndulla, his head of security and chief of police in Ecumenopolis. The Tarisian explained that he had urgent business to attend to with Orn but that his butler droid would show them to their rooms here at the Upper City Gem. Soon later an M-3PO protocol droid was escorting the party to their suites, showing them the large spacious suites featuring every amenity they could hope for. It was while Akira and Aiden were enjoying the view from the second story balcony of one of their suites that they saw the commotion in the street below. A party of five Wookies came into the small square riding on Bols, and brought with them three badly beaten and wounded Klatoonian’s in chains.
The lead Wookie, a tall dark furred male descended from his mount and pulled the three Klatoonians violently to the ground as a massive crowd gathered around the Wookies and their prisoners, cheering the Wookies and throwing stones at the prisoners whom Akira and Aiden imagined were pirates who’s escape pod the Wookies had come across. The dark Wookie raised a massive double bladed sword into the air, roared like an animal and decapitated the first Klatoonian, and then the second, and raised his blade to kill the defenseless third as well when Akira cried from the balcony “STOP!!”.
The whole crowd turned to see Akira on the balcony, as well as the five Wookies and their leader who growled and roared angrily at Akira. Akira asked nearby Beesix to translate, and Akira attempted to explain that he had hoped to interview the last of the three pirates so that they could learn valuable information from their attackers. Beesix translated, but the Wookie became enraged, waving his sword now in Akira’s direction. Beesix explained that the Wookie was insulted that Akira had mocked his revenge ritual, to which a confused Akira insisted he had said no such thing, to which Beesix replied that he may have mistranslated. Akira tried to calm the Wookie once again, but his translation was once again jarbled and the Wookie only grew angrier. Now the Wookie walked towards the Upper City Gem, which didn’t concern Akira as he told Aiden they were safe as up on the second floor. Aiden just had enough time to tell Akira that one floor didn’t matter for a Wookie before the dark Wookie lept and swung himself up to the balcony and landed face to face with Akira.
Before the Wookie could raise his weapon Orn Syndulla appeared on the balcony behind him and shouted to him to stop in Hutteese. She explained Akira’s point to the dark Wookie, and the Wookie seemed to calm down, and even seemed agreeable on that point. Leaping back down to the ground below, the Wookie then took the prisoner by the neck, and hurled him at Akira who only just managed to dodge out of the way. The Klatoonian struck a wall violently and fell to the balcony covered in blood and convulsing. Nyla was able to stabilize him on the spot with a combination of her Force healing powers and basic first aid, but he had sustained major head trauma as it was. Orn called for medical aid and soon two Ortolan medics arrived, whom Orn explained were the Tarisian’s own personal medics and that they would take the Klatoonian to the Tarisian’s own clinic to protect him from any more reprisals.
Akira thanked Orn for her help, but demanded to know why the Wookies were so anxious to kill a prisoner when so much could have been learned from him. Orn, now speaking in basic for the first time, explained that the Wookies themselves are refugees. She told Akira and the rest of the party that six months ago the first Wookies arrived in transports claiming they’d been hunted by slavers from Kashyyyk to all over the Outer Rim and that they were in desperate need of a place to live. The Tarisian they were told allowed them to settle outside of Ecumenopolis in a small and thin forest. The Wookies quickly planted several Wroshyr trees they had brought with them from Kashyyyk, and with the help of growth accelerators they soon reached massive heights and supported a thriving Wookie village of nearly two hundred. There were no issues between the Wookies and the rest of the townspeople they were told until a month ago when one of the pirate raids attacked the Wookie village itself named Nng-Muarga Kashyyyk. A dozen Wookies were taken, among them women and children and it has since been feared they were sold into slavery. Several Wookies went off looking for the pirates but have yet to return Orn explained, but since then many townspeople have been blaming the Wookies for the raids, as if their presence was luring slavers and scoundrels out of the woodwork looking for a quick credit score. The excecutions they’d just witnessed they were told was revenge for the kidnappings of a month ago, and that though Orn was disapointed to see the loss of potential intelligence, the deed also seemed popular with the townspeople, and anything that promoted unity and co-operation in her town, even murdering pirate prisoners was okay with her.
Orn then left to attend to more business, but not before Aiden asked her out of curiosity what a solider like her was doing in a town like this. To which Orn replied her side lost the Clone Wars, and that she didn’t have anywhere else to go as she left the room. Kalko mentioned to the party that Ssruzzz back on Nar Shadda had mentioned a booming business in the Wookie slave trade, the party wondered why all of the sudden there would be such high demand for Wookie slaves when there had never really been any in the years before.
A Home at Last
As the shock of the days events wore off the sun began to set on Ecumenopolis, and the party agreed it was best to get an early nights rest ahead of what would surely be a busy day tommorow. To the west of the town the two remaining pirate cruisers had just been landed via the tractor beams of local cargo runner’s ships, and a great and surely profitable salvage claim awaited them all once the ships were inspected come daylight.
Aiden and Nyla decided however they would spend the night on the ship to make sure no locals tried to sneak onboard, while Akira, Kalko and Dyneh decided to spend the night in the luxurious rooms they’d been provided with.
Before settling in for the night Akira and Kalko decided that they desperately needed some sort of small truck of their own to move cargo and valuables around, especially if they were to go on a salvage mission the next day. The two wandered the town until they were directed to [[Krassk & Tal-got’s Speeeders and Swoops]], the best place to buy repulsorlifts in the entire hemisphere they were told. Inside the ship Akira and Kalko met two kind twin Trandoshans, Tal-got and Krassk, who sold them a used but handy speeder truck for only two thousand credits, plus a thirty day money back guarantee.
Kalko waves goodbye as Akira pilots their new “Mud Hog” out of Krassk & Tal-got’s shop.
On their way back to the Upper City Gem for the night Kalko and Akira noticed a group of short sentients wearing dirty red robes and speaking in a squeaking language that Kalko recognized as Jawas, a species of scavengers he’d seen from time to time in his journey’s across the galaxy. The Jawas as they were unloading the broken up parts of what looked like an escape pod from a speeder truck of their own and bring them by hand into a small shop beside Krassk & Tal-got’s. Wondering if this was the wreck of a pirate escape pod, Kalko ran up to the Jawas and asked in the Jawa Trade Language where they found that escape pod. The Jawa tribe leader told him they’d gone out into the prairie looking for wreckage from the space battle and came across the crashed pod and three ocupants, whom they bought the remains of the escape pod off of for a great price the leader claimed. Though annoyed that the Jawas were interested only in salvaging and let three pirates escape without calling for help, Kalko managed to get the rough co-ordinates of where the pod was recovered and agreed that in the morning he and Akira would forward that information to Aiden. The two then parked their speeder truck outside the Uppger City Gem and went to bed for the night.
Meanwhile Aiden and Nyla returned to the Renegade as the sun was setting to find dozens of makeshift tents had been set up for families who’s homes were damaged in the pirate attack in the fields near where the Renegade was parked. Several children including Umdat were running in circles around the Renegade and even jumping up and down on it’s extended wing. Though this annoyed Aiden there was no harm in it and he and Nyla simply called Umdat in to go to bed, when Umdat broke the news that Nyla’s remote droid had wandered off. Both Nyla and Aiden were shocked to hear this as the remote had previously done nothing but hover aimlessly, yet a review of the Renegade’s security tapes did indeed show the remote leaving Nyla’s quarters suddenly and venturing off in a north western direction. Though worried where it was going and why, Nyla and Aiden agreed to wait until morning to go off in search of it when the light of day would provide a helping hand.
Into the Valleys
The next day Aiden and Nyla awoke early, and with LE and Beesix’s help they were able to get a rough fix on what may have been the remote. They opted to retrieve the remote fastest by taking the Renegade and flying to it’s location, nearly seventy kilometers to the north-west of Ecumenopolis. After a quick flight they’d located the remote and landed the ship near it’s location in the middle of an expansive and lush river valley. Nyla and Akira managed to catch up the remote by foot after landing, after which the remote strangely stopped moving forward again, once again hovering still as it had before and ever since Nyla and Aiden had purchased it.
Nyla had just finished fastening the remote to a length of rope she was holding to keep him from running away again until she could fasten him with a restraining bolt when a loud blaster bolt shot just over Aiden’s head.
Turning around Aiden and Nyla saw four Klatoonian pirates with their blasters drawn standing atop a small hill twenty metres away, the leader of which ordered Nyla and Aiden to drop their weapons and turn over their ship or else they’d be shot on sight. Aiden however had little interest in wasting any time on these pirates, and simply ordered LE to aim the Renegade’s turbo-blasters at the pirates over the comlink and to open fire in ten seconds unless he said otherwise. The pirates, realizing they had no chance against the ship that took down their own cruiser the day before promptly surrendered, turning over all their weapons and equipment as well.
Aiden was delighted that the day had begun so well, already taking four pirates prisoner without a fight before the noon hour. Now in a good mood Aiden attempted to interrogate the prisoners, managing to retrieve one of two codes for their encrypted comlinks, and learning that their captain was a one eyed Dug named Gurk, who according to the Klattonians fired his blaster at his own crew as they attempted to abandon ship after loosing their engines in low orbit.
After securing the prisoners in binding cuffs and locking them in the Renegade’s makeshift brig, Aiden was about to take the ship back to Ecumenopolis when Beesix reported he’d detected a settlement nearby in the exact direction the remote had been heading. Nyla and Aiden decided it was best to investigate where the remote may have been going, and took off for the settlement. Minutes later they arrived at a large sized but seemingly primitive village walled with tick tree trunks by the edge of a river inhabited by what seemed to be extremely tall but otherwise baseline human sentients.
Aiden landed the ship near the village, and proceeded on foot with Nyla along the village’s walled edge until they came to two tall guards dressed in body paint and animal hides. The guards spoke basic to the two, and introduced themselves as Bordup and Murn, and that they were at the village of Poruk of the Kiwa tribe. They explained that they were surprised to see visitors from the spacers village coming to visit as the trading season was not for two more seasons, but that they were none the less welcome in their village. Bordup offered to give them a tour of the village, which they graciously accepted. Within the walls Aiden and Nyla found a bustling but peaceful settlement, of men tending to animals roasting on spits to women watching over playing children, all of whom greeted Aiden and Nyla with a hello when they passed. All the while Bordup told Aiden and Nyla about Poruk’s history, their peaceful relationship with the spacers village and their recent war with the barbaric Irith tribe, whom they defeated two winters ago in battle.
Bordup gives Aiden and Nyla a friendly tour of Poruk while Nyla keeps her remote on a short leash.
Nyla was begining to fear this was not where her remote was headed at all when suddenly she sensed a presence in the Force nearby, coming from a large thatch roofed circular hut on top a mound near the center of the village. Nyla asked their guide Bordup who lived in that hut, which Bordup replied was the home of their village medicine woman. An old and wise elder, possibly the wisest in their entire tribe whom he recalled was even an old woman at the time of his own grandfather. Nyla asked Bordup if she could speak to the medicine woman, which he told her she could, and that if she was lucky she may even be given a gift of rare and precious Vincha root, a great a valuable healing plant.
Nyla hadn’t told Aiden that she sensed a Force presence in the hut for fear it may be nothing at all or that her senses were deceiving her, but with only a slight hesitation she made her way up the mound and entered the hut of the Kiwa medicine woman.
Where the Fun Begins
At Ecumenopolis Akira had just begun to reluctantly open his eyes after his first night in a real bed in many many weeks, when Dyneh who’d alrady awaken told him she couldn’t see the Renegade parked in the fields west of the town. Akira assured her Aiden would have left a message on Akira’s comlink about where he’d taken the Renegade, but Dyneh found no such messages. Still Akira assured her it was nothing to worry about, and instead asked Dyneh if she’d thought about what she wanted to do with her time now that they had a home or sorts away from the hyperlanes in space.
Dyneh mentioned that she’d seen a schoolhouse when they first arrived in town, and said she was considering looking into if they needed a biology teacher. Akira thought this was a great idea, and promised to discuss it with the proper authorities the first chance he had. Soon after they were joined by Kalko and Orn Syndulla, who explained that they were needed at the two pirate cruisers where the inspecting was about to begin. Akira mentioned the idea of Dyneh teaching however and pressed the issue with Orn, who admited their original headmistress was killed four pirate raids ago and that they’d lacked a real teacher ever since.
For now however Orn told Kalko and Akira to follow her, telling them both that she hoped in the future half of their team wouldn’t take off with their ship without notice of where they were going or when they would be back. Regardless, Orn, Kalko and Akira boarded the speeder truck outside the Upper City Gem and headed for the parked pirate cruisers nearby as the sun rose to greet a new day over Dantooine.