Star Wars: Dawn of Darkness

Episode V

Escape from Ando

The Crawl

ur intrepid heroes have found victory again as agents of the GALACTIC EMPIRE, saving not just Colonel Madine but Governor Oduur from certain doom deep beneath the sea in the abyss of Ando.

During the battle, some of our heroes sensed that a great and powerful outside source had a hand in their deadly encounter at sea, alerting them to the possibility that someone or something is attempting to steer their fates on Ando.

Meanwhile, reputed crime lord HORRAT has approached Kalko with a most intriguing business proposal, one which he may be unable to refuse on the day the FESTIVAL OF THE PORTAGE MOON begins.

Horrat’s Gift to Kalko

Horrat brought Kalko down into the bowels of the safe house where he revealed a warehouse sized treasure depository featuring sculptures, paintings, gems, coinage and goods from a thousand worlds. Horrat explained that Kalko reminded him of a younger version of himself, an ambitious version of himself. Horrat brought Kalko to a small durasteel box, which he opened revealing a large and thick book, bound with a solid gold front and back and filled with strange hieroglyphics on unusual electrified parchment.

Horrat explained further that this treasure came into his possession years earlier, but that when he tried to sell it to a buyer, twice the fiendish Jedi Knights tried to take it from him, and once an unknown assassin nearly killed him for it. Horrat revealed that his obsession with selling the book drove him to make a deal with the Republic in order to keep the Jedi away from him, this deal however meant he had to betray his fellow Quarren and the Quarren Isolation League itself at the dawn of the Clone Wars. Horrat claimed that the mysterious book, which he only knew as the “Book of Destiny’s” was Kalko’s to keep as a reward for saving his life. Horrat’s wished Kalko luck in selling it now that the Jedi were allegedly no more, but warned Kalko not to make any rash decisions simply for the sake of selling the book as he had years ago. Kalko wondered if this meant Horrat blamed the book itself for his betrayal in the Clone Wars.

A Second Message from Jeyen

Returning to the Renegade in docking bay 78 of the Quantill City Intergalactic Spaceport, Kalko arrived just in time to see the party watching a holographic message from none other than the mysterious Jeyen. Jeyen apologized once more for his delay, explaining that he had arrived in system but his charter had been diverted to the neighbouring world of Ando Prime. Jeyen further explained however that this diversion was because he believed he was being followed, and that great danger could be in store for him and the party unless they met soon so that their questions could be answered. Jeyen promised to meet them at Qui Square in the Historical District of Quantill City at 1600 hours, only 3 standard hours from now.

With that Jeyen’s communication ended. Dyneh then received a message from her senior officer along with a relay of vital data relating to Firaxan shark attack on the Seacrawler earlier in the day. Akira went to follow Dyneh to a private area of the ship for Dyneh to tell him what she had learned, but was met suddenly with a wall of blue fog inside the ship and a sense that no one else was around him except for an approaching presence from behind. Akira, confused and concerned drew his blaster and called out to Dyneh, Kalko, Aiden and Nyla, but none responded. Soon he heard the footsteps as the presence neared the corner Akira stood behind and Akira raised his blaster and shouted “Show yourself or die”!!.

Then Akira was met with an apparition of his late Jedi Master, a man Akira had not seen since before the Clone Wars when his Master was killed. Akira was speechless at this sight, and could barely mumble a greeting. Akira’s master for his part looked sad, and lost in despair, a look Akira had never seen on his masters always youthful face which now looked aged and weak. “I’m sorry my boy… I’m so sorry” the apparition said as the fog began to retreat, and his master stepped away with it. “Your sorry? Sorry for what” Akira asked. “I’m sorry that I didn’t prepare you for the path ahead” the apparition said as it faded to nothing, leaving Akira alone in stunned silence.

Soon Akira realized he was being shaken by a concerned Dyneh, asking if he was alright and what was wrong with him, wondering why he had just seemed to go into a trance for a moment. Akira explained it was only reaccruing vertigo, and it was nothing to worry about. Dyneh then explained to Akira that the sharks responsible for the attacks had died apparently of massive cerebral hemorrhaging brought on by their ramming of the seacrawler. Even stranger, Dyneh showed Akira a sample of a strange neuro-toxin found in the sharks remains after disection on her data-pad. A toxin that Akira knew all too well, as it was the toxin that was used in the narcotic that he and his Jedi Master had been tasked with eliminating from Coruscant’s lover levels years ago, and which eventually lead to his Master’s death and what was now his strained and unusual connection to the Force.

Aiden advised the party to begin making their way to Qui Square early and to prepare for a possible ambush by those supposedly following Jeyen, while Dyneh stayed behind to examine the findings of her colleagues with the Renegade’s computer as Beesix helped the newly purchased LE-747 learn the ins and outs of the Renegade. Nyla asked Umdat to remain behind as well, for his safety.

Rendezvous at Qui Square

As the party made their way across the city to Qui Square, they learned from a passing mass of Aqualesh that Governor Oduur would be personally hearing appeals of clemency from every imprisoned Aquelish’s family. Aiden wondered if this was merely a ploy by the Imperial Governor to win support over the hostile population of Ando. While on route the party also learned of an on-going part of the festivities surrounding the first day of the Festival of the Portage Moon, the Spacers Brawl, a no holds barred team on team tournament of outlanders, offworlders and spacers. Though they had no time to participate themselves, Kalko took note of a team called The Perlemian Sirens, an all female team of a Human, a Bothan, a Wookie and a Zabrak whom he heard a valuable tip regarding for their upcoming fight.

Aiden also made an observation on route, catching an Imperial Newsnet bulletin on a holo-display regarding a bandit and a large posse raiding mining settlements along the Corellian Trade Spine in the Outer Rim Territories. What Aiden noticed most from the grainy head shots of the bandits was that their leader was a Mandalorian, one Aiden immediately held contempt for for resorting to banditry while wondering if this Mandalorian had anything to do with the Mandalorian who lured him to Ando in the first place with a promise of a meeting of the few “True and Honorable” ones.

Soon after the party arrived in Qui Square, a massive near kilometer wide open area in the shadow of the ancient towering House of the High Lord. Kalko and Nyla proceeded down the adjacent Du Qui Lav Highway where they entered a posh high end hotel, finding their way to the roof where they had a clear view of anyone else entering Qui Square so that if this were a trap they’d be more likely to spot trouble before it was too late. Kalko did however manage to find the time to sneak down to the hotel’s gambling parlour to place a wager of 200 credits on the Perlemian Sirens, who were to fight at 1600 hours and were 9-1 underdogs to a team of Gotal’s and Klatoonian’s in the quarter finals of the Spacers Brawl.

Aiden and Akira meanwhile were growing more and more suspicious that something more sinister was afoot with Jeyen’s wanting to meet them in Qui Square as 1600 hours approached. Soon before the hour a Stormtrooper approached Aiden and Akira ordering them to move along somewhere else out of the square, an order quickly rescinded when Aiden produced his ident card telling the trooper of Aiden’s close ties with Colonel Madine. When Aiden asked why the trooper was trying to move people out of the square he was told that “Governor Oduur” just granted clemency to every imprisoned Aquelish on Ando, and that he was about to deliver a speech to the greatful crowds at 1600 hours.

This made Aiden more positive than ever that something sinister was afoot.

The Governor’s Speech

Only moments after Aiden spoke with the trooper sure enough crowds of rejoicing relatives and newly freed prisoners. It was all a ploy Aiden told Akira, a ploy by the Governor to win the favour of the otherwise hostile Aquelish, but never the less the massive square was within minutes full of tens of thousands of celebrating Aquelish. The crowd was so loud Aiden and Akira had difficulty communicating with Nyla and Kalko via comlink.

Soon after hords of additional Stormtrooper units descended on the square along with the arrival Imperial Gunships circling in the sky above, the Governor emerged from a balcony in the towering spire of House of the High Lord flanked by Colonel Madine and Aquelish delegates at 1600 hours sharp.

The Aquelish delegates each gave speeches in their native toungs to the crowd below, but it was Governor Oduur who drew the greatest roars and barks of joy when he spoke to the crowd himself in Aquelish, boasting of the security through strength the Aquelish had brought to Ando, and that they had set an example of how New Order can work with it’s member worlds to bring peace, prosperity and security to the whole of the Galactic Empire.

It was then as the crowd roared in appreciation to the Governor’s words, and as Kalko heard via comlink that the Perlemian Sirens had won an upset in their quarter-final match winning him 1800 credits, that Nyla sensed a presence in the Force for a moment, a presence moving away from the square. Nyla, Kalko, Aiden and Akira then noticed a simple R2 unit join the Governor and the others on the high balcony overlooking Qui Square, before a massive explosion blasted the balcony and most of the towering spire of the House of the High Lord to rubble. A silence fell over the crowd only for an instant, before screams of terror filled the square as the House of the High Lords itself began to waver, shaking down to it’s foundation, before finally toppling down onto the terrified masses below killing hundreds if not thousands in an instant.

The horrifying site was almost too much for the party to behold, even more horrifying was Aiden’s and Akira’s relization that the initial blast was from a Proton Torpedo warhead, the same kind of warhead stolen from the YT-2400 they had claimed as salvage only days before. Even more worrying was the thought that Jeyen may have been hurt or worse in the calamity, before that is a voice came over Aiden’s comlink, Jeyen’s voice. Aiden responded, asking what had happened and what was going on, only to hear Jeyen reply “I’m sorry”.

Aiden and Akira now knew the truth, that Jeyen was behind the theft of the proton torpedo, and the blast that killed the Governor and the Colonel moments earlier. Without wasting another moment, they made their way to the hotel to meet Kalko and Nyla through the crowds of fleeing citizens of Quantill City.

A Galaxy’s Most Wanted

After arriving at the posh hotel Aiden and Akira met up with Nyla and Kalko after Kalko had finished collecting his gambling winnings. Aiden and Akira informed the others of their belief that Jeyen had been behind the assassination, and Nyla told the others of her perception that a force using presence left the square moments before the blast. The party decided they’d had enough of Ando and began to head back to the Spaceport, moving with the flow of the massive still panicked crowd.

Barely a block away from the hotel however the party witnessed a horrifying sight. In a crowded intersection an Imperial Newsnet report on a massive twenty foot holographic feed came to life, announcing that four suspects were now wanted for the assassination of Governor Oduur, and that the suspects were Mandalorian Mercenary Aiden Dyre, his thieving pilot the Wroonian Akira Ben-Toshi, low level crime-lord and smuggler Kalko “The Colossal”, and lastly fugitive Jedi Knight Nyla Hawklight. With the public indictment of their guilt the party’s understanding of the events were complete, they had been brought to Ando by Jeyen only to be framed for the assasination by Jeyen.

With the risk of being caught at any moment a possibility in the crowded streets, Aiden removed his helmet as Akira found a land speeder that fit four parked outside a cafe. After slicing into it’s onboard computer Akira took control of the vehicle as the others got in, just as the crowd of Aquelish around them began to take notice that the wanted assassins were in their midst. Akira undertook a dangerous maneuver, attempting to use the landspeeder to jump high and long in the air as if it were an airspeeder, that way they would avoid the crowd and may even make it to the spaceport.

Before jumping Akira messaged Dyneh with the comlink, only to hear her panicking as she described Stormtroopers boarding the Renegade by force just as her comlink went dead. Aiden attempted to reach LE only to learn that the Renegade had in fact been boarded by Stormtroopers who were now detaining himself, Umdat and Dyneh. After learning Dyneh was in danger Akira began the leap-frog manouver in great earnest, bouncing the landspeeder high in the air and nearly scraping the ground four successful times at a great distance before the repulsorlifts died from strain, leaving the vehicle stalled in the middle of an angry crowd of onlookers.

Aiden and Akira had just pulled their blasters to fight their way through the hostile crowd who now recognized the party when Aiden felt a blaster on the back of his neck, and the familiar voice of Chief Constable Rhok Ubarbo who firmly said “Come with me Mandalorian and you won’t be hurt!” just as the downed speeder was swarmed by a crowd of armed Civic Guardsmen. Though Aiden cared little for surrendering, he saw little chance of fighting their way free of this situation, and reluctantly told the party to lower their arms. With a rush black bags were thrown over the party’s heads and they were wrenched from their vehicle violently and lead away with no idea where they were headed.

Allies of the Resistance

After what felt like a half hour of being led down narrow steps in small hallways the party’s hoods were removed, revealing an ancient underground torchlit room, filled with Civic Guardsmen, Aqualish brutes, and all manner of lowlives along side the Chief Constable looking down at the party who knelt on the ground with their hands bound behind their backs.

The chief struck the party one by one with a stun baton, demanding each time the recipient explain why they came to Ando, why they murdered the Governor, and why they thought they could get away with it. One by one they denied any involvement and insisted they too knew nothing of what was happening. Soon the Chief COnstable brought out a long grey bearded Aqualish draped in grey cleric like robes, whom Nyla sensed in the Force strongly, the old Aqualish closed his eyes and nodded, then faded back into the crowd of goons from which he first emerged, but not before stopping to briefly glance at Akira. The Chief Constable explained that the old Aqualish had just told him the party was telling the truth, though Nyla was indeed a Jedi as the Imerpial Newsnet claimed. The chief also explained that he knew all along the party was innocent, knowing full well that Imperial forces routinely round up suspects by the thousands for crimes of less severity in dragnet operations, and that the moment Imperial forces announced they had suspects already only minutes after the murders he knew the claims were dubious.

The chief then revealed that he was a leader in the Quantill City Resistance, a movement of former Seperatist allies and anti-imperials bent on resisting the new Empire whenever possible, and that he had been keeping an eye on the party since they first landed, but couldn’t move against them after they won Colonel Madine’s favour initially. The chief further explained that innocent or not, as enemies of the Empire they were now his allies, and would help them escape Ando. To do so he provided the party with a guide, none other than the R4 unit Beesix himself, whom emerged in the cavern as the chief’s informant.

Though shocked by the revelation that Beesix had been an informant this whole time sending information to the chief, the party agreed that they needed the Resistance now to help liberate the Renegade and escape Ando. The chief and the Resistance let the party go, with the chief advising Beesix to lead them through the underground catacombs underneath the Spaceport. After a warning of renegade battle droids who still had not deactivated after the Clone Wars in the catacombs, the chief bid the party farewell, warning them not to try to contact him unless the fate of his people was at stake.

Forgotten Fighters

After changing his outward colour scheme from military camouflage to bright blue and yello with a transparent top (through holographic projection Aiden theorized), Beesix lead the party out of the Resistance’s cavern and into the dark underground passages beneath Quantill City. After several hours of treking through the deep undgerground passages lit only by glowrods and Nyla’s lightsaber, the party came to a solid rock wall blocking the passageway Beesix was leading them on.

The party had only began to wonder if Beesix had gotten them lost when the rock wall was revealed to be a holographically disguised blast door, and the party was then accosted by an angry Gatekeeper Droid demanding to know why they were trespassing on territory of the Confederacy of Independent Systems. The party realized they had stumbled right upon the stronghold of the renegade Separatist Battle Droids the chief had warned them about.

After convincing the Gatekeeper Droid the party too were enemies of the Galactic Empire, they were allowed to enter, where they were escorted to a great underground cavern where a massive waterfall fed a great underground river. There in the cavern was a stronghold of broken Separatist weapons, equipment and stolen Imperial hardware. The party was then introduced to the B1 Battle Droid Commander SC0-RN13, or “Captain Scorn” as his troops knew him.

When Captain Scorn demanded to know why he shouldn’t slaughter the “Imperial Scum” right then and there, Akira explained how they were private citizens framed for the murder of the Governor Oduur and Colonel Madine, and were now fugitives from the Empire looking only to escape Ando. Though suspicious, Captain Scorn agreed to help the party escape, but only if he could raid the spaceport for supplies and parts for his fledgling droid army. The party agreed, and were assigned two B1 Battle Droids whom they were told were armed with self destruct mechanisms should the droid stronghold ever be in danger of being discovered. Aiden told Captain Scorn that only days earlier they fought two such droids with self destruct mechanisms who were under the command of a mysterious theif in black, whom he know knew was either in league with or was in fact Jeyen himself.

This angered Captain Scorn greatly, as he confirmed a week earlier two such B1 Battle Droids were ambushed on patrol and had feared lost. Now knowing where Jeyen had found the droids to help rob the YT-2400, the party left with their two new allies in tow and once again made their way to the spaceport.

Escape From Ando

As the party approached the surface Beesix was able to detect Imperial radio chatter indicating that indeed Dyneh, LE and Umdat were still on board the Renegade, but that they were under heavy guard and would soon be transfered to the Imperial Garrison for questioning. Knowing time was short, the party and their two Battle Droid allies found an entrance to a storage and maintenance shed from the catacombs below.

Once inside the shed, the Battle Droids began pillaging it for supplies while Akira reprogramed several closed down loader droids to attack the Stormtroopers guarding the Renegade in the adjacent docking bay ten minutes from then. In that time the party used the catacombs again, this time arriving right underneath a sewer grate just beneath their docking bay with the Stormtroopers and their impounded ship above. Once the reprogramed droids went on the attack, a third of the Stormtroopers went to fight back the assault, while the player party emerged from the sewer grate firing adhesive grenades at the remaining Stormtroopers, including Commander Crack himself.

As the party rushed on board Aiden stunned a surprised Stormtrooper in the docking bay before sealing the docking bay doors shut, as Akira and Nyla kicking down every door until they found the room where a terrified Nyla and Umdat were bound and gagged with LE beside them closed down. After beating one Stormtrooper uncurious for tying up his girlfriend before the other surrendered, Nyla asked Akira what was happening, to which Akira replied jokingly that he was about to be guilty of kidnapping her. Umdat too was frazzled, asking Nyla if the Imperials were going to kill them all, to which Nyla simply said no, and that they were leaving Ando for good, a statement that made Umdat jump for joy on the uncurious Stormtroopers.

Aiden made his way to the bridge as Akira headed to the engine room, and within minutes Akira had the ships power at full as Aiden lifted off against the warnings shouted from Imperial forces on the ground below. However before they lifted off Stormtroopers had cut a whole in the cargo hold and two Stormtroopers had made it onboard. Aiden managed to seal the cargo bay’s bulkhead however, leaving the Stormtroopers to be blown out of the whole they cut in the Renegade when the ship reached orbit.

Upon reaching orbit the Renegade found two horrors awaiting them. The Victory Class Star Destroyer the Governor arrived on launching wave after wave of V-Wing Starfighters, and the realization that the Imperials had deactivated the Renagade’s hyperdrive. As Akira struggled to re-activate the hyperdrive Nyla and Kalko took to the ships guns, each scoring a hit on fast approaching V-Wings just Akira and Beesix re-activated the hyperdrive. With the Renegades hyperdrive activated, Aiden engaged their engines launching the Renegade into hyperspace, leaving the Star Destroyer and Ando behind.

Comments

Wow! Another fantastic read Dyluth. I love the twists and turns that this campaign is taking, especially the part about Jeyen framing the party for the death of the colonel and the governor.

Cheers, -Arsheesh

Episode V
 

Thank you sir! Believe it or not, the framing of the player party was the very first idea I ever had for this campaign, which I believe went something along the lines of “Wouldn’t it be a great way to start off an entire campaign by framing the player party for something bad?”.

Though the idea of framing a player party for a capital crime is nothing new (I’ve been a PC in two campaigns where it’s happened), the idea for starting off the campaign with said framing was something I’d drawn from the Knights of the Old Republic comic line as well as a short lived ABC TV show who’s name I regrettably can’t recall at the moment. Essentially, framing the party at the get go served two purposes that were key to the campaign. 1) It gives me the GM cause to truly through the might of the Empire at the player party at every single turn, as well as scores of other scum and villainy looking to score an easy bounty and 2) It serves as a leveling of the playing field since one of the PC’s, Nyla Hawklight was already a fugitive for simply being a Jedi Padawan. As a result of the framing, Nyla is not the sole member of the party to be a wanted criminal any longer. In my past RPG’ing experience, having only a single PC be a wanted criminal could lead to splits in the party and even PC turning on PC.

Episode V
 

Brilliant. I like the way you think Dyluth. I may have to borrow this idea for a use in a future campaign if you don’t mind.

Episode V
 

I wish I could have seen the look on my face when I saw Nyla’s face on the billboard saying that she’s a Jedi. I know I was definitely shocked when I saw that. Wasn’t planning on that being revealed just yet, lol. :)

Episode V
Dyluth

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