Star Wars: Dawn of Darkness

Episode I

The Allies of Ando

he Clone Wars have ended, the separatist Confederacy has been defeated, a Galactic Empire has risen from the remains of the ancient Galactic Republic, and the year that has passed since has seen the dawn of the DARK TIMES.

The once glorious Jedi Knights, guardians of peace and justice for over a thousand generations have been declared traitors to the Empire and have been hunted to near extinction, while the rest of the Galaxy attempts to live out their lives in the aftermath of three terrible years of war and under the shadow of the new Empire.

Civilzation, the Galaxy and the Force itself now stand in upheaval. Yet across the reaches of space, four heroes, each in perusing their own small existences are about to find their paths crossing, and a journey beginning that could one day soon decide the fate of the very galaxy itself.

In the depths of Nar Shadda, “The Smugglers Moon”, the up and coming Rodian crime lord Noble Kalko the Colossal has a chance meeting with a fellow Rodian “Importer/Exporter”, and a speaker of a rare language of which Kalko knows few others who can speak it. Kalko is offered a Hutt’s randsom in compensation for merely considering a great smuggling venture dealing with “the most precious cargo”. Intrigued by the nameless Rodian’s offer, Kalko agrees to the offer and to venture to the Mid Rim world of Ando in two weeks time, where the nameless Rodian claims a man named Jeyen will find him and handle his payment.

Meanwhile, after enjoying a much needed rest after completing a job in the Mid Rim, Mandalorian Solider Aiden Dyre receives a recorded holographic message from an R2 courier unit, a message from a mysterious robbed fellow Mandalorian asking Aiden to join him on Ando in two weeks time for a gathering of the few “true and honorable” Mandalorians. Intrigued at the prospect of a gathering of these “true and honorable” Mandalorians, Aiden, along with his Wroonian Scoundrel pilot, friend and comrade Akira Ben-Toshi set forth in their transport “The Renegade” for the planet Ando and the contact the robbed Mandalorian claimed would find them, a man named Jeyen. Elsewhere, in the peaceful and tranquil Lake Country of Naboo, a masterless Jedi Padawan turned fugitive on the run Nyla Hawklight searches desperately, scouring the Holonet for any trace of another Jedi seeking out others. Suddenly she receives a message from a robed and hooded figure, claiming to be a fellow Jedi in search of others. Adding that he had already found five other Jedi, he offers to meet her with the other Jedi on the planet Ando in two weeks from then, and that his great friend and ally Jeyen would find her once she arrives. Determined to meet a fellow Jedi for the first time in an entire year, Nyla set out for Ando in the Mid Rim.

First to arrive on Ando are Aiden and Akira, whom set down in the capital Quantill City, landing in the bustling spaceport among the coral buildings and fast flowing rivers throughout the city in the late evening. After stepping off their ship and into the balmy thirty six-degree heat (fourty two with the humidity) they negotiated (nearly violently) a lower docking and refueling fee for the Renegade with a grey bearded Aquelish portmaster who agreed to their demands. Aiden and Akira then decide that to save on their few remaining credits and will stay in the Renegade for the duration of their stay on Ando. The two then venture out into the Spaceport District of Quantill City, learning of a large approaching festival, the Festival of the Portage Moon! A festival of 30 days and nights of dancing, drinking and eating. The kick off night of which is merely two knights away, a night where all food in the city must be served free!

Next to arrive in Quantill City only hours later was Kalko. After departing his chartered Romodi Interstellar transport at the Quantill City Intergalactic Spaceport, Kalko was met by a swarm of hagglers, droids and Aquelish alike hoping to get a job as his personal guide for his stay on Ando. Kalko chose an assertive R4 unit named R4-B6-3 in green camouflage stripes who spoke basic as his guide, and set off into Quantill City hoping to find Jeyen and his payment he was promised on Nar Shadda. Instead R4-B6-3 revealed that he had a waiting message for Kalko if and when he showed up (R4-B6-3 hadn’t figured out that the portly Rodian he was next to was the same portly Rodian he had been given a message for, droids can fail perception checks too).

After Kalko tells R4-B6-3 he is the Rodian he was looking for, R4-B6-3 tells Kalko that Jeyen was not expecting him this early, and advised him to meet with a Mandolorian named “Dyre”. R4-B6-3 (or “Beesix”) suggested they try to find Dyre and that he had a rough idea of where to find them. However after searching the docking bay where they learned Dyre had landed recently they discovered he and a friend had left for the city. Kalko decided to venture into Quantill City himself, but asked that Beesix show him to a cantina first, a cantina for real locals and not a spaceport cantina filled with outlanders, spacers and offworlders. Beesix then lead Kalko to the infamous “Drunken Mineral-Fish” in the notorious Docks district.

Last to arrive later that night was fugitive Jedi Nyla Hawklight, who after departing from her Galaxy Tours transport was met with a swarm of anxious hagglers as Kalko was earlier. Nyla, selecting a shy but enthusiastic Aquelish named Umdat (a four eyed Ulaq) as her guide for the city. Umdat quickly revealed out of nervousness that a mysterious man named Jeyen had informed him and most other prospective guides of the impending arrival of four very important dignitaries, and that a great deal of credits had been offered to the guides if they took excellent care of these dignitaries. Umdat also revealed that she was two days early never the less, and that Nyla should find somewhere to stay in the mean time. Umdat also revealed a very sensitive nature, something that seemed to be frowned upon my most other Aquelish, as well as a belief that he did not fit in on this world.

While attempting to leave the spaceport Nyla and Umdat were stopped at an Imperial checkpoint, one where Nyla was briefly questioned but allowed to leave, only to be frightened into believing she had been discovered when an Imperial Stormtrooper stopped her to make a joke about the heat. Free of the checkpoint & the Stormtroopers, Nyla and Umdat ventured out in the direction Umdat claimed he saw another so called “dignitary” heading in, towards the nefarious Docks District. At that same time Aiden & Akira had wandered into the Docks District themselves in search of a good tattoo artist. Akira had hoped to collect a tattoo of the name of every spaceport he visited beginning with Quantill City. However the lowly Selkath Ehtoth of “Ehtoth’s Tattoo, Piercing & Cybernetics Emporium” spelt Quantill City “Qwantill City”, causing an angry Akira to pay only half price for the job. Hoping to drink his frustration with the poor tattoo away, Akira and Aiden ventured deeper into the Docks District towards the loud revelry of a nearby Cantina, the Drunken Mineral-Fish. On route they spotted a human female also heading into the bar with a child Aquelish accompanying her, who only a moment earlier seemed anxious to duck out of the way into an alley to avoid a squad of Stormtroopers patrolling the walkways.

Entering the bar Aiden & Akira lost sight of the woman, but found a cantina crowded with drunken Aquelish in the throws of fist fighting, brawling and throwing each other out of closed windows and off of the second story balcony above, all to the loud rhythmic pounding of a six piece drum band behind a light force screen (for their protection from flying projectiles). Akira, deciding to take a seat in a booth while Aiden went to the bar for a drink paid little notice to the Rodian Kalko already at the bar, who had become quite popular with the Aquelish locals for the free rounds he was purchasing. From the locals and the Nautalan bartender Kalko learned of a great deal of anger and bitterness towards the new ruling Galactic Empire, due not just to the end of the Clone Wars a year earlier but also the fear that Empire will allow Ando’s natural resources to be exploited, not the least of which is the Dura-steel shelled “Mineral-Fish”, a one of a kind highly prized species found only on Ando.

While Aiden waits for his drink, a strangely non-intoxicated Aquelish approaches and throws a punch at him, which Aiden dodges with his quick reflexes. The Aquelish then draws a blaster and fires at Aiden, which also misses, before Akira from his booth is able to incapacitate him with a stun attack from his blaster. The entire cantina goes silent from the shock of what just happened, as angry Aquelish take their sights to the Mandalorian and Wroonian. Suddenly four Stormtroopers charge into the Cantina and with blasters drawn demand the entire crowd stand down. With the attention of the angry drunken crowd now turned to the Stormtroopers, Akira used his strained connection to the Force to fake an apparent chance accident occurs that sees a blaster cartridge slip from the Stormtrooper commander’s sidearm. Seeing the weakness in an unloaded weapon, the entire cantina crowd attacks the uninvited Stormtroopers.

As the crowd of drunken and rowdy Aquelish rush the Stormtroopers at the entrance of the cantina, Kalko takes the opportunity to hop over the bar and help himself to the Nautalan’s credit lock box, keeping half of the twenty-eight hundred credits for himself as the bar tender furiously defends himself at the other end of the bar with a vibrosword from Aquelish stealing free drinks. In the midst of the melee, little Umdat spots Kalko stealing the credits and shouts to Nyla that he is another of the dignitaries Jeyen was interested in. Hearing the name Jeyen mentioned form behind the booth table he was now using as a shield from bottles knives and blaster shots, Akira leaps over the table/shield and heads for behind the bar, where Nyla and Umdat are climbing over as well to meet Kalko. Nyla introduces herself and Umdat to Kalko as friends of Jeyen as Akira arrives and insists that since it seems Jeyen wanted them all to meet, they should now go about finding Jeyen by first leaving the riot in progress. Heading for an exit at the back of the cantina, Nyla, Umdat, Kalko, R4-B63 & Akira find Aiden, whom had patiently and calmly walked around the length of the bar to meet them, paying no mind or attention to the deadly riot that surrounded him.

Once outside and bracing the door behind them closed with a refuse bin, Akira demanded to know from Beesix and Umdat that if Jeyen wanted so badly to find them if they had any means to communicate or find Jeyen. The droid and the child stared blankly at each other. Seeing nothing coming form the questioning, Aiden suggested that they return to the Renegade at the spaceport. En route the party passes hundreds of Aquelish from all quarters of the city hurrying to see the commotion in the Drunken Mineral-Fish, as well as the odd Stormtrooper and local enforcers hurrying to quell the riot as well.

Upon arriving at the spaceport however the party discovers a large crowd of labourers, droids and spacers crowded around the entrance to their docking bay. Pushing his way through the crowd Aiden comes to the front, to find the Stormtroopers manning the checkpoint dead from blaster shots, and their force-field gate destroyed and still smoldering. At that exact same moment a detachment of Stormtroopers arrive at the scene, and with their commander pushing his way through the crowd he comes to stand next to Aiden before the deceased troopers. Turning to face the crowd of onlookers behind him, the commander demands “Will someone tell me what in blazes happened?!”

Questions Asked

1. Who is mysterious Jeyen?

2. How is Jeyen connected with the Jedi that contacted Nyla, the Mandalorian that contacted Aiden or the Rodian that contacted Kalko?

3. What are Jeyen’s intentions?

4. What is the upcoming Festival of the Portage Moon really about? Is it a coincidence that the player party’s meeting coincided with the festival?

5. Why is little Umdat so convinced that he does not fit in with the other Aquelish of Ando or in Quantill City?

6. Who was the Aquelish who fired a blaster at Aiden unprovoked? Why did he want to hurt Aiden who’d done nothing to him?

7. Who killed the Stormtroopers manning the checkpoint outside the Renegades docking bay?

Comments

Hi all, I just got finished reading Episode I. This sounds like such a fun campaign! Dyluth, I gotta ask, did you write the story line behind this adventure? If so I am really impressed. It’s chalk full of mystery and excitement. I wish I had time to read further, but alas, I have school work to attend to. Great job on this adventure right up though, really top notch.

Cheers,

-Arsheesh

Episode I
 

Glad to hear you like the campaign, I appreciate the feedback. The story is an original by myself yes, it’s something I started working on about two and a half years ago with an outline for the beginning, middle and end of the metaplot and I’ve been adding to it ever since.

I have to say though that my players have been the biggest reason for the story being as good as it is, more than once they’ve taken the game in a direction I never could have imagined and it’s been the better for it.

Episode I
 

I am very glad that I put working on my Gaming Music project on the backburner for a while so that I could read this. Now I understand the urgency in Dusk’s words when he told me not to wait to read this but to go read it now. I also love the mystery and I especially love your idea of putting questions up at the end. It reinforces what was just read and gets the reader thinking about those questions. I know I’m also like the millionth person to say this, but I love the art!

Episode I
 

Thank you very much DarkMagus, I appreciated Dusks’s kind words on the forum thread and I’m glad to hear you agree with him. If you want to see more of the art unfortunatly I didn’t start using illustrations of in-game actions and adventures until Episode VII, luckily since then I’ve been able to include at least a few in each session.

I’ll certainly have to return your kindness and check out the Gaming Music project in more thorough detail when I can!

Episode I
Dyluth

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