s our heroes retreat to the Outer Rim world of TARIS to recuperate from their epic battle with an ancient SITH LORD, they also breathe a collective sigh of relief as the spirit’s destruction has saved Dyneh Lonin’s and Akira Ben-Toshi’s unborn child, and ensured that the grave world of KORRIBAN will remain a secret and lost world for the present time.
The rest may yet be short lived, as a great many clouds loom over our parties future. The army of rogue Mandlorians lead by the infamous DAR’MANDA ARPAT ravage the Corellian Trade Spine unopposed, as even Aidan Dyre’s good friend and comrade Shad Raal has warned him that the Mandolorian Protectors’s who hired him to deal with the rogue threat’s patience is running out.
Even more disturbing still is the disappearance of Parias, the mysterious agent who warned the party so very recently that the dreaded Corpse Droid of legend may have tracked their location back to their home base of Dantooine…
A Vision on Tarisian Shores
The Renegade had put down on the planet Taris only hours earlier in the sleepy seaside port city of Pome, on the shores of the Great Orbital Sea and the Skyline Mountain Range. The party, Aidan Dyre, Akira Ben-Toshi, Kalko the Colossal and Nyla Hawklight, along with the Padawan learners and twin sisters Eldewn and Elsae Sarvool , Akira’s partner and mother of his unborn child Dyneh Lonin and the Wookie life-debtors Quaggo and Baccitcuk as well as the Mandalorian sniper Shad Raal had settled in at a seaside inn for an extended rest and recouperation, when Akira was awoken in the middle of the night by a specter he had encountered many times before in the last several months, the Force ghost of his late Jedi Master.
Akira joined his late master for a walk along the shore, who warned his former pupil that their time together was short, as that too great a distance now stood between them, and that soon he would be unable to visit Akira any longer. He congratulated Akira on his decision to help train the twin sisters Elsae and Eldewn, telling him that even he was unsure if Akira would be willing to undertake such a task. He explained to Akira that when he first appeared to Akira months ago on the planet Ando that he had forseen the arrival of the twins into his and Nyla’s life. He could see that Nyla would try to teach the girls in the ways of the Force herself, a task difficult for even the most seasoned and disciplined Jedi. Akira’s master explained that this was the meaning of his cryptic warning to Akira, “She can’t do it by herself my boy”, that he knew Nyla would at least try this.
Akira asked his master if he really had any other choice but to help raise the twins, to which his master replied that there was always a choice. Akira was certain never the less that he was right to help in the girls training, which his master did not say was incorrect. He warned however that to be successful he would have to be a better teacher to Elsae than he was to Akira. He noted as well though that Akira had been less than an ideal student, something Akira did not say was incorrect.
As his specter began to fade into the night, Akira’s master warned him that his future was shrowded from even his own sight, and that he feared a dangerous force was still controlling the course of his and his friends actions. A force that Akira privately feared was still the mysterious Jeyen. Akira’s master then wished him well, telling him to trust his instincts above all else, and that though Akira may never be the Jedi his master wanted him to be, he could still be the Jedi the galaxy needs more than ever. With that he asked that the Force be with Akira, and he faded from sight.
Akira sat in the sand of the shorline gazing up at the Tarisian moons, deciding that it was high time he proposed to Dyneh.
A Renegade Proposal
On a bright and early morning of the final day of the party’s three week stay on the Tarisian city of Pome, Aidan had a discussion with his group, including his friend Shad about just how best to approach the problem with the Mandalorian renegade Dar’Manda Arpat, whom he had been contracted months ago on Nar Shadda by Al’verde after being paid in advance. Aidan described to Shad the Ellison’s Fury, the Imperial Dreadnaught the party posessed, and how if Shad could help him recruit a mercenary force of no more than eight thousand to crew the ship, and several thousand more to act as raiders, he could easily take on Arpat and her renegade Mandalorian army.
Though Shad was impressed that Aidan had managed to procure such a large Imperial warship, he told him he had no chance of recruiting that many mercenaries to crew such a vessel. Akira agreed, convincing Aidan that recruiting such a force also risked tipping the Empire off that they were in possession of the stolen warship, where as for now the mysterious Governor Wilhuff Tarkin may believe it to have been destroyed over Bodir.
Aidan then suggested that a smaller force of fifty to seventy-five Mandalorian mercenaries might still be able to do the trick, and asked Shad if he would be able to look into recruiting such a force. Shad agreed it was possible, at least at a cost of five to ten million credits. Aidan agreed, and Shad, after summoning his own ship, the Taung’s Revenge, returned to Mandalorian Space to begin the recruiting.
Soon after the rest of the party boarded the Reneagade and departed for Dantooine, with every expectation that the pursuit of the renegade Mandalorian Dar’Manda Arpat would be their next adventure.
A Shrouded Past
As the party’s eight day journey back to Dantooine began, Nyla thought it was time to begin talking to Eldewn about the dangers of the Dark Side, and more importantly of the importance of following the path of the light side Force. She learned from her Padawan for the first time that she and Elsae were orphans, that their parents had been killed on the planet Romin during the Clone Wars by a corrupt crime lord, and it was the Jedi Ofar Tan-Doov who had saved them from living underground in the slums of their homeworld. She also explained that it was Elsae who had killed the crime lord in retribution for their parents death, and that it had been a gruesome death indeed.
Nyla, concerned that the sisters had used the Force to kill brought this information to Akira, who agreed it was wise to act now to show the twins the dangers of acting on the Dark Side, even if it felt justified. Akira and Nyla both gathered to speak to the twins, and Akira lectured both on why it was wrong to do what they did, how drawing on the Dark Side of the Force is a dangerous gamble at best, and eventually all gamblers loose. As a result would have to meditate in complete silence for four straight hours. Both girls retreated to their bunk to do so, with Eldewn visibly annoyed. Nyla was confused by Akira’s punishment, feeling it an odd response, one that didn’t go far in helping the twins understand why it was wrong to draw on the Dark Side, but in the interest of presenting a united front to their students she held her tongue.
After four hours Akira summoned the two girls and asked if they now understood why they were wrong and if they were sorry about using the Dark Side to kill. Elsae, speaking in a rare instance said bluntly that no, they were not sorry as the crime lord had killed before and would likely kill again. Akira was taken aback by this response, and elected not to continue the argument.
Instead, Nyla and Akira tought the twins the second of the Jedi Master Vo’Ren’s Cadences, where the twins while standing facing forward, blindfolded, strike in a single arcing stroke with their lightsabers at seventy-two ball berrings placed atop a single unlit candle around them in a circle. The cadence was successful, and both twins increased their combat prowress with their Jedi weapons, though Eldewn’s lightsaber form was overly tight and restrictive, and Elsae’s was too open and loose. However their not seeing the error of their ways in using the Dark Side still concerned both Nyla and Akira, and in addition to more defensive training in lightsaber technique, both would be taught more about the dangers of the Dark Side.
Finished Old Business
After arriving back on Dantooine, the party was greeted by the The Tarisian, who informed them that their ten percent share of the half a billion credit heist at Aargau had been safely transferred into newly created accounts for their use at the Greater Divis Bank of Business Credit, a bank that the Tarisian had a controlling stake in and operated a branch here on Ecumenopolis.
The party was delighted to have fifty-million credits to split between them, and though Akira was the first to say that being framed for assassination and going underground had let him to be richer than he ever imagined, he was hardly the first to think it.
Aidan took the celebretory moment to tell the Tarisian he planned to take a leave of absence from Dantooine to pursue the renegade Mandalorian Dar’Manda Arpat. The Tarisian understood this, and had known of the job Aidan was contracted for months ago. However he had a more pressing concern to share with the group, the Rodian mercenary Parias.
The Tariaisn explained that Parias had promised to be in contact with him as soon as he had arrived in the Tapani Sector in pursuit of the Corpse Droid, which would have been more than three weeks earlier. He had not heard a word since then. The party understood the Tarisian’s concern, as one of the few facts they knew of the Corpse Droid was that he was in the service of the Hunto Pawa, the Hutt cartel the party had stolen from and later heavily sabotaged on the planet Manaan.
If the Corpse Droid had somehow caught his pursuer in Parias in the Tapani Sector, he could easily soon turn his sights on the player party on Dantooine. As the Tapani Sector was only a two day journey from Dantooine, Aidan agreed to postpone his mission to neutralize Dar’Manda Arpat.
The Few Who Recall
Akira, having spent a great deal of time contemplating the events that lead him to where he was today over the course of his life found himself thinking about several internal and highly confidential memos he had aquired that related to the events that lead to his exposure to the deadly and dangerous narcotic Trex and his fall from the Jedi Order.
Pulling out her personal datapad, he pulled up the three memos that best detailed what exactly had happened more than six years ago in the underworld of Coruscant.
Republic Office of Criminal Investigations
Narcotic and Spice Control Division
Internal memo for official use only
To: Kyrn, Jahbeth, Lt.
CC: Miebar, Ton, Insp.
CC: Nand, Xris, Det.
From: Tobt, Owen, Lt.
In regards to the on-going investigation into the homicide in the Yoshiwara District of the Underworld on 11:10:14 in co-operation with the Coruscant Security Force, I regret to report that our laboratories have failed to identify or define the still unknown properties found in the narcotic spice dubbed Dexitrexomanitholimene, or Trex as it now referred to as.
The unknown components of Trex have defied any and all understanding of their purpose and or function, let alone how they were manufactured. Attempts to recreate the spice through reverse engineering have proven futile at this point, indicating an extremely sophisticated means of production has been employed in it’s conception and creation.
Our own laboratory studies, in conjunction with the analysis provided by the University of Coruscant has concluded that like other stimulants and spices, Trex increases the release of monoamines, specifically the catecholamines norepinephrine and dopamine, from the synaptic terminals. However, Trexl also elevates hypothalamic histaminelevels, leading our investigators to conclude that at it’s core Trex is a “wakefulness promoting agent” rather than a classic amphetamine-like stimulant. Despite Trex’s histaminergic action, it still partially shares the actions of amphetamine-class stimulants due to its effects on norepinephrine and dopamine.
In addition, the re-opening of fifteen mysterious spice and previously believed Teardust related homicides in the Yoshiwara District of the Coruscant Undercity in the last standard year has now revealed no less than twelve possible instances of the abuse of this drug leading directly to complete mental breakdowns resulting in homicidal events. Despite the high profile nature of these homicides, tracking the distribution and use of Trex has proven extremely complicated.
The known spice cartels at this time have no direct involvement in it’s importing or manufacturing, and known street level dealers and organizations do not appear to have provided or distributed the spice in any way shape or form.
The conclusion that I have reached is that the distribution and manufacturing network involved in Trex is extremely small in scale, possibly only numbering a handful of individuals with no involvement in previous or known spice distribution.
In addition, for further consultation and assistance, this case and it’s details will be forwarded to the Jedi Order as per the request of the Judicial Department.
To: Windu, Mace, Mstr.
From: Kembai, Myse, Mstr.
Master Windu, after consulting with historians Knights Beru Tara and Tripher Wutt and the considerable aid of Master Librarian Jocasta Nu under the orders of the Jedi Council in relation to the case forwarded by Lutenaint Owen Tobt of the ROCI, I have concluded that the previously unknown properties of the narcotic spice known as Trex can only be the result of Sith Alchemy.
This disturbing conclusion was not come to lightly, and was only agreed upon after the discovery of a very similar case which occurred during the Light and Darkness War in the year 980 BrS. An unknown practitioner of Dark Side magic utilized a chemical compound to enslave the population of a mining settlement on a moon in the galactic north along the Hydian Way. The compound, namely the elements that could not be defined by the ROCI or the RSF were in fact elements forged through Dark Side manipulations to weaken the ability of it’s user to resist the manipulation of others through the Force. The end result from what we can gather was that a single individual mentally enslaved tens of thousands of unfortunates, a feat normally impossible even for the most sinister of Sith Lords of that era.
Individuals who took the spice but did not receive commands through the Force experienced symptoms of the same nature as described by the ROCI as occurring in the Yoshiwara District, including the complete mental breakdown resulting in homicidal tendencies.
Although further documentation of this spice and it’s use could not be found, likely due to the loss of said documents in the near millennia that has followed, it is my stern belief that a Dark Side user has re-discovered this formula and is using it for their own experiments. To what ends these experiments hold I cannot say at this time, I will focus all of my energies into unmasking the source of this dark scourge and bringing the perpetrators to justice.
May the Force be with you.
Master Myse Kembai
To: Junder, Kyle, Mstr.
From: Windu, Mace, Mstr.
Master Junder, it is with a heavy heart that I must tell you at this time that your investigation into the events of 12:04:10 which lead to the death of your friend and colleague Master Myse Kembai, the disappearance of his Padawan learner Akira Dolan and the deaths of countless agents and police officers is at an end.
Your expertise is badly needed in the Chommell Sector to help support the investigation of recent terrorist activities of disgruntled spice miners on the moons of Naboo.
The fact that since the events in the Yoshiwara District six standard months ago there have been no occurrences of the narcotic spice Trex, the council concludes that the Ryn clan matriarch responsible for the forging of this narcotic has been incapacitated if not killed. We shall continue to search for clues of it’s reoccurance however in the event that this is not the case.
The matter concerning the disappearance of Padawan Dolan is more troubling. As all efforts to locate the young student have failed, we can only conclude regretfully that he has either perished and become one with the Force, or he simply may not wish to be found. In any event we too will continue the search for clues of his whereabouts.
All active investigations into these incidents however must come to a halt for the time being, as our efforts are needed by the Republic elsewhere. I have no doubt that one day the truth of what happened on that terrible day will be learned, until then we must trust in the Force to guide us through these even more troubling times.
May the Force be with you.
Master Mace Windu
Though the Jedi memo written by his departed master still hurt to read, it was the first memo that intrigued him, the one written by ROCI Lieutenant Owen Tobt. Akira had always wondered if Tobt still thought of the mystery of the case, and if it ever still bothered him that the case was never properly solved.
Akira sought out Krith, and using his help was able to send a coded message which was all but untraceable to the offices of the ROCI, directed at the Lieutenant, asking if he was still interested in finding out who was responsible for the Trex outbreak almost seven years ago. Less than ten minutes the Lieutenant replied, demanding to know who was writing to him and why. Akira replied in a new message that he was merely a concerned friend, and someone who was also in search of justice. The Lieutenant replied again only moments later, insisting that he had no idea what Akira was talking about.
Akira was now worried that he had frightened off the Lieutenant Tobt, or simply overwhelmed him too quickly with bad memories of a case that went bad. In any event, Akira hoped that he could somehow use Tobt as an ally in finding Jeyen, and how his use of Trex on the planet Ando could possibly connect him to the sordid affair.
Pushing the matter to the back of his mind for now, Akira sought out the settlement’s jeweler Brenah Suhr. The Gran merchant showed Akira an incredible ring like none other in the galaxy, a crystal coral pearl ring. Brenah explained that the unique ring was mined from the depths of the planet Dac, and that the ring was still growing inside of it’s fittings within the ring, meaning it was still alive. Akira agreed that the magnificent ring was just what he needed to pledge his love to Dyneh, and purchased the treasure for a mere three hundred-thousand credits.
An Army in the Making
As the day turned to evening, Shad Raal contacted Aidan from Concord Dawn in Mandalorian Space, and told him that through his own contacts he was able to recruit seventy-five Mandalorian mercenaries, and although twenty-five were willing to fight the renegades for the glory of battle, the other fifty demanded payment upfront. For two months work, the total cost would be two and a half million credits, not including food and board. Aidan agreed, and Shad told him he could have the men assembled on the planet Taris waiting for their next orders in ten days time.
Aidan then found Kalko, whom had earlier discussed with Aidan the idea of buying more starships to add to their growing flotilla. Together they found Traz Nunb, whom they asked about buying an effective, easy to man but low cost warship. Traz warned both men to be cautious, warning them that such warships could easily draw the attention of Imperial authorities, but agreed to look into the idea.
Within an hour Traz came back to the two with an option to buy two used Corellian Gunships for four and a half million credits. Both Aidan and Kalko knew that this was an excellent deal, and agreed to purchase the two warships. Aidan then made a deal with the members of the Danto-Xpress to begin ferrying three hundred Imperial droids off of the Dreadnaught Ellison’s Fury (which was secretly parked on a nearby moon) to the settlement, where they would later be used to help man the gunships. Traz told them that the ships would be ready to deliver in two weeks time, Aidan asked that they too be brought to the planet Taris when ready.
Later that evening Kalko went to visit Miss M’Row, who told him that the entire settlement was talking about how he and Aidan had each purchased a new starship. Kalko was quite annoyed that word had spread so fast throughout the entire settlement.
Departure for the Expanse
By nightfall the party was ready to depart for the Tapani Sector. Nyla had just purchased two hundred and fifty credit pair of combat gloves, and Aidan had taught little Umdat the basics of knife fighting. Nyla said goodbye to little Umdat, promising to return again soon and wishing him luck with school. Akira said goodbye to Dyneh, telling her that it was too dangerous this time to bring her along on the adventure.
As Kalko began to board his own vessel, the Emerald Eye, he had a strange sensation that he would never see the settlement of Ecumenopolis again. Immediately he told the rest of the party of his strange feeling, and it was decided that Umdat, Miss M’Row and Dyneh would join them on their journey to the Tapani Sector after all, lest something terrible happen to them on Dantooine while the party was away.
Sector of the Expanse
As the party approached the Tapani Sector after their two day journey, Akira, who knew the most about the region briefed the party on what they could expect. He told them that it was a sector of immense and unbelievable wealth, and that it was home to dozens of rich noble families who ruled the sector through their feudal traditions. He also explained that competition for power int he sector was fierce, and that civil war between the families was quite common. He said that there was no other place in the entire galaxy where power was concentrated in the hands of ancient families.
The Renegade and the Emerald Eye soon arrived at the planet Procopia, the capital of the united sector and neutral world which by law was free from all other sector rivalries and violence. After a sophisticated scan for contraband from an orbital space platform, both ships were cleared to land on Estalle Island, the largest landmass on the sector capital.
The island itself was one of the most beautiful sights the party had ever seen, a lavish combination of core world sophisticated architecture mixed with ancient Tapani carved stone and polished domed roofs covered nearly every inch of the island. Instead of massive roadways, wide tranquil canals ferried traffic across the island, from estate to estate in the most luxurious sail barges the party had ever seen.
The party also quickly found out that a massive combination of parade and regatta was in progress through one of the wider canals through the city. After making several inquiries, and getting kicked by a small child at least once due to a hostility to non-humans, Akira was able to learn that today was the day of the Raelli Ball, the highlight of Capital Season. The information Akira gained came easier due to his understanding of High Galactic, a language he quickly noticed was often spoken on Procopia. The ball itself would later be held at the opulent Malgrin Palace later that night, but for now the party decided to search for Parias and what became of him.
For fifteen-hundred credits they rented a private boat and sailed it to a large private security provider based on Estalle Island. There the party met a massive Herglic who ran the security firm, and after slipping him a thousand credits, he informed them that the vessel Parias had chartered off of Dantooine did indeed arrive here on Estalle Island, but that it had left later that same day for the planet Kuat.
The party was disappointed to hear that Parias may have left the planet and that the trail may have gone cold. As the party was pondering what to do next, Aidan thought he saw the a face watching them from around a corner, but a quick look around the corner revealed nothing. After boarding their private gondola, Akira and Nyla attempted to use the Force power of Farseeing to see if Parias was at least nearby. They sensed that he was indeed close, but both saw a vision of the man in a dark and wet metallic room, chained to the wall like a prisoner. The party now feared the worse, and it was agreed that they would attend the Raelli Ball ball that very night.
The Wookies were sent back to the ships, as a great many Imperial naval and army officers walking proudly about in dress uniform gave the party the hint that this was a very Imperial friendly planet.
After procuring several rich and expensive outfits from local retailers, and after getting into stolen Imperial uniforms from the Ellison’s Fury, the party set out for the ball that evening. Arriving with the other nobles in their private boats, the party was left in awe of the sheer size and scale of the Malgrin Palace. The length of the entire palace was nearly ten kilometers, and the tallest of it’s many domes reached nearly five hundred meters in height. Towering stone statues of prominent Tapani nobles graced the walls of the mighty structure, and it was clear to all those entering the palace gates that this was the most lavish of palaces in galactic civilization.
After passing through the security detail using fake identification that Krith had prepared for the heist at Aaunap, the party entered the lavish hall to find a sea of nobility and wealth like none they had ever seen. Of the many rumors being gossiped about that evening was that a high ranking Imperial VIP had arrived in the system that evening, and would address the gathering.
Soon later that evening, as the party struggled to blend in casually while not loosing sight of one another, a massive floating barge hovered over one of the largest of the halls within the palace. Atop it stood an two old men one who identified himself as Lord Bodé Leobund XI of House Mecetti, and the other as Lord Raj Jasset III of House Melantha. Leobund thanked Jasset as always for hosting such a wonderful evening at the height of Capital Season, but neither wanted to take up not another moment of the revelers time so that they could ask the nights guest of honour to speak.
Lord Bodé Leobund XI of House Mecetti and Lord Raj Jasset of House Melantha together look down on their people with COMPNOR Select Committee member and founder Ishin-Il-Raz.