Star Wars: Dawn of Darkness

Episode XII

Claws of the Drakott

The Crawl

aving captured the sinister Neimodian pirate lord behind the raids on their home, our heroes have returned to Dantooine and learned the fiend was a Separatist agent during the bloody Clone Wars. Even more mysterious is that their employer, the TARISIAN was a reluctant acquaintance of this fiend named Frohm Gin’Dahl, and that Frohm still has powerful friends plotting in secret their even more mysterious operation known only as Outlander.

As the Tarisian’s finances grew strained however he dispatched the party to the ocean world of Manaan to kickstart his faltering kolto harvesting operation, where the party met KRITH NOSIX and learned the Tarisian’s operation was being foiled by an unholy alliance between the HUTT’S and the BLACK SUN crime syndicate.

After an attempt to reason with the Hutt’s and win their favour soured fast, the player party lead by Kalko swindled 3,000,000 of the Hutt’s credits and escaped the clutches of a deadly Hutt mercenary while blaming their raid on Black Sun itself.

Having escaped the Hutt’s lair with their stolen loot the player party now seek shelter on the only friendly ground on Manaan they can think of, while the planet, the system and the galaxy teeters on the brink of an inter-stellar gang war.

Seeking Refuge

The mood on the Renegade was grim, despite the fact the party had made off with the three million credits from the heist at the Hutt stronghold, both Aiden and Krith were badly injured, Aiden more so by the Hutt’s deadly Nautolan henchman. Still their resolve was strong as the Renegade flew fast for the Ocean Scoundrel, the Tarisian’s kolto harvesting rig hovering above the Manaan sea and the one place on Manaan they knew they could truly be safe from the Hutt’s, at least for now.

Inside the Renegade’s medbay Nyla worked hard to heal Aiden’s extensive wounds while LE worked feverishly to repair Krith. Soon Aiden came to much to Nyla’s relief, and Krith soon followed suit, only twitching occasionally and omitting the odd spark. Krith explained this was due to the delicate nature of his power supply and cybernetic enhancements, all of which had been effected by the stunning blast. Aiden ordered LE to work on Krith until the twitching and sparks were resolved permanently, not wanting a short circuiting and malfunctioning cyborg to endanger an already endangered mission.

Meanwhile, Akira was hard at work on the Renegade’s bridge ensuring their final approach to the Ocean Scoundrel was a smooth one when the lifttube doors to the bridge suddenly opened, with Nyla’s training remote emerging. The small droid silently hovered up to a surprised and confused Akira, where it sat still simply looking in Akira’s direction. Akira called Nyla on his comlink, asking if she had sent her droid up to see him, when she assured him that she had not she came up to collect the droid, and apologized if it’s odd behavior had bothered him. Upon returning to her bunk Nyla once again fastened a tether to the droid and tied it to her desk, wondering yet again why it had run off on it’s own and if it would do it again.

Kalko meanwhile passed the time by counting and re-counting the stolen credits, all three million of which again and again and again.

To Aid a Scoundrel

Minutes later the Renegade set down on the Ocean Scoudnrel, the small space station sized platform hovering 100 meters above the ocean surface. With the exception of Krith, who stayed behind for further repairs from LE, the party including Dyneh immediatly went to meat with the Scoundrel’s foreman and administrator, the Gungan Branx Lot’Din. Branx was delighted to meet the party, and assumed they had brought the missing components needed to bring the Scoundrel to full operational status.

Aiden explained the situation as it was however, and that though the parts had not been procured, they had stolen three million credits from the Hutt’s and framed Black Sun for the crime. Branx was stunned at this news, and let the party know that though he was still cautiously optimistic, their actions had caused him great alarm. At that exact moment the Tarisian sent a hyperspace call, asking Branx for an update to the situation on Manaan. Branx introduced the Tarisian to the party in his office, and suggested that they explain the situation, with Akira did in full, much to the surprise and chagrin of Aiden who had hoped to keep some of what they had done secret form their employer for the time being.

Akira explains the situation as it stands on Manaan to the Tarisian, in all it’s grisly detail.

Even still, the Tarisian was not enraged, only concerned that the Hutt’s could still come after the party and then later him himself and his operations across the galaxy, and that Black Sun could easily do the same. He warned the party to be vigilant, and tie up any and all loose ends they could find.

Sharing and Laying the Blame

After Aiden let Akira know that they’d best keep some things they do on Manaan secret from the Tarisian until they finish the job, he hatched a plan with the party and Branx. Using R4 communication capabilities, they would transmit anonymous tips and doctored images of their raid on the Hutt stronghold placing the blame for the whole raid on someone already wanted for crimes in this sector. After browsing through mugshots for wanted criminals in the sector, Aiden and R4 settled on Tyrnia Masak, a gladatorial fighter and convicted murderer from Nar Shadda.

After several minutes had passed Aiden asked Kalko to scan the local newsnets to see if anyone had picked up the tips R4 had placed, which surprisingly they hadn’t, as Aiden had expected them to jump on the story immediately. Moments later however Branx received a transmission himself, from a gentleman he recognized from the party’s description of the Hutt’s Nautolan henchman. The party overheard Branx’s side of the conversation at first when Branx denied he knew the people the henchman was looking for, but after a moment he acknowledged they were in the room with him. Aiden scolded Branx for revealing them, but Branx revealed that the henchman had told him he’d simply traced the anonymous tips to the newsnets from this location.

Branx rotated his monitor around to face the party, and the party beheld the face of the Nautolan they had fought only hours ago. The Nautolan, in a pleasant and educated coreworld accent introduced himself as Negas, a humble solider. Aiden returned the curious greeting, but offered no names in return. Negas quite calmly explained that he was in as much a predicament as was the player party, that he too would surely suffer a ghastly fate for allowing so many credits to be stolen. When Aiden asked what Negas had to be afraid of as he was such a capable solider, Negas simply replied “the Corpse Droid”. The party looked at each other in confusion, as none of them had ever heard of that name before, short of a minor reference to legend Krith spoke of only the night before.

Surprised that they didn’t know whom he was speaking of, Negas launched into a long and grisley tale of a maurading monster, a droid that scavenges the living for blood, organs, and living tissue which he can graft onto his own body. Negas explained that this monster believes that by constantly experimenting with the parts of other creatures, he will eventually discover the most perfect combination of organs and extremities that will make him nigh invincible.

The party took a moment and muted the transmission to discuss whether Negas was being sincere that he too was in danger for failing his Hutt masters. The party came to agree that he could be telling the truth, and that for now it could be in their interest to exchange the three million credits for the power converters the Hutt’s had stolen from the Tarisian in the first place. Akira made the pitch to Negas, that not only would they exchange the stolen money for the stolen parts, but they would share half of the kolto they extracted from their own harvesting platform.

Negas was intrigued by this offer, and gladly accepted. Akira and Negas exchanged ideas for where to hold the meeting, settling on a neutral location in a public square in front of the Ahto City Civil Authority, the city’s police force and government. It was mid day already, and they agreed to meet in four hours time, exactly four hours before sunset.

Face to Face With the Enemy

Not long after the party ceased communication with Negas Krith came into Branx’s office, only not twitching violently and shoot sparks as he was earlier in the day. The party and Branx greeted Krith, and brought him up to speed on what had been discussed.

Krith insisted he had only ever known of the Corpse Droid as a legend, a nighttime story, yet he conceeded that Negas seemed to paint a convincing story. As for the meeting place, Negas produced a holographic layout of the square inbfront of the Civil Authority for the party to review. With five main roads leading into the square with a massive 20 meter fountain in it’s center, the party agreed where they would take their positions. Nyla, Aiden and Kalko would take position at the corners of three of the roads where they joined the square, and Akira would blend in with the large crowd just to the side of the public entrance to the Civil Authority, all while the Renegade was safely parked at a nearby brownlot guarded by the droids, Krith and Dyneh.

Soon later Negas arrived, only instead of spending time looking around the square for the party he headed straight for Akira, despite Akira’s best efforts to blend in with the crowd. With a sarcastic greeting Negas skillfully snatched Akira’s blaster from his holster, which Akira did catch and snatch back immediatly. Akira knew something was wrong, and soon realized that the entire public square, normally filled with tourists, merchants, and regular local Selkath’s was quickly filling up with poorly and rough looking Selkath, Selkath that he sensed danger from.

Nyla then witnessed from her vantage point one of those Selkath hurl an inciniary device at the Civil Authority building, exploding on contact and exciting the crowd into a near riot, one being ever more provoked by the dangerous looking Selkath. Along with Aiden and Kalko realizing that the situation was quickly deteriorating and that Negas had likely set to trap them in the riot started by his Selkath isolationist allies, the party made a run back to the Renegade. Akira, aided by his shadowsuit was able to evade Negas and rejoin the rest of the party en route to the Renegade.

Before they reached the Renegade however Akira received a panicked call on his comlink from Dyneh, saying that the ship was under attack from what looked like rioters and part of the hull had been set ablaze. By the time the party reached the Renegade the rioters had fled, and Krith was helping the droids extinguish the fire. Aiden and Akira surveyed the damage, and though for the most part it was only superficial that didn’t hinder the Renegade in any way, Aiden noticed that several thin strips of the ships hull had been peeled away. What’s more, this damage was not the result of the explosives that set the hull on fire, but instead had almost been been done deliberatly, and then nearly hidden by the fire. Aiden explained this to the party, that whomever had attacked the Renegade did so so steal strips from her hull, for whatever reason.

The Masters of thy Enemy

The party quickly returned to the Ocean Scoundrel and met again with Branx Lot’Din, where they explained the situation and pondered over their dwindling options to escape the Hutt’s and bring the Tarisian’s rig online. Suddenly, Krith shouted that the systems he was tied into just detected a well encrypted long range hyperspace transmission in the direction of Hutt Space. Aiden ordered Krith to block the transmision, which unfortunatly Krith could not due to the sophistication of the signal, the likes of which he had never seen before. Krith was able however to monitor the signal, and with the use of his personal holoprojector was able to display the communication for all to see.

Before the party, Dyneh, the droids, Krith and Branx was a blue flickering image of Negas, bowing on one knee with his head down before three large Hutt’s. The Hutt on the left looked eldest and somewhat bored, the Hutt on right looked angry, with the expression of a recoiled serpant ready to stroke frozen on his face, while the Hutt in the center smirked in a sort of mild amusement.

Negas with his head still lowered calmly assured his masters that the situation was well in hand, and that he would soon have taken care of all the remaining loose ends. The elderly bored Hutt spoke of being disappointed that Negas may truly remedy the situation, making it unnecessary to send the Corpse Droid. Negas seemed to shutter at this suggestion, and assured the elder Hutt that it was simply necessary. The amused Hutt clapped his hands together and told Negas to go forth and to tie up the remaining loose ends, with the angry Hutt adding that he had better not fail, as the Direktoranda of the Hunto Pawa did not give second chances. With that warning, the transmission ceased.

The party and all others watching realized that this meant two things, that the Corpse Droid was in fact real (and that Negas may actually be afraid of him) and that there was an even greater plan afoot on Manaan, and that whatever it was Negas would soon complete it. The player party debated what the next step in Negas’s plan would be when the unthinkable happened. Both Nyla and Akira sensed a terrible event, hundreds of voices screaming out in terror through the Force, and then suddenly silenced. Both were still noticable shaken when Krith shouted about the emergency transmissions he was suddenly detecting.

The kolto harvesting rig belonging to Black Sun according to those transmissions had just been destroyed, killing all hands on board including the Black Sun Vigo. According to those reports, a series of missiles launched from under the water had targeted the rig’s repulsorlifts, sending it plummeting hundreds of feet into the ocean where it sank. The party was shocked and left in disbelief by this, as this was clearly a blatant attack on Black Sun and one which could only have been orchestrated by the Hutt’s, Negas in particular.

Aiden however realized what must be happening, that the strips of the Renegade’s hull which were taken earlier that day were in fact meant to be planted at the scene of the Black Sun rig’s sinking, framing the player party for Negas’s crime.

Dwindling Options

With the situation now worse than ever, the player party was in fear of what would happen next. All understood that Black Sun would be relentless in pursuing them, and that they could even chase them back to Dantooine.

Aiden suggested that they make their move against Negas right then and there, by using the Renegade to strike at Hutt’s kolto harvesting rig, hopefully killing Negas in the process and weakening the Hutt’s position on Manaan. Akira and Kalko agreed, with Nyla being hesitant to possibly exasperate the situation.

Without any further debate the decision was made, and after ordering Branx to move the Ocean Ranger to another location at it’s highest possible speed, the party boarded the Renegade and took off for the Hutt’s rig with every intention of destroying Negas before he destroyed them.

Once on route to the Hutt rig Dyneh joined Akira and Aiden on the Renegade’s bridge while Kalko and Nyla prepared for the coming battle. Dyneh expressed to Akira her fears about the coming conflict, and that they might all be hurt. Akira tried to calm Dyneh as best he could, reminding her that he and Aiden were both acomplished pilots, and that with Nyla and Kalko they’d survived pirate AND Imperial skirmishes, and that this would be a breeze compared to those. It was a stretch of the truth, but Akira hoped it would calm Dyneh.

“I think I’m pregnant” Dyneh then replied, breaking the calm Akira had tried to build. “Well… okay then” replied a stunned Akira.



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