Star Wars: Dawn of Darkness

Episode XI

The Kolto Warlords

The Crawl

hrough blood and perseverance, our valiant heroes have dealt a crippling blow to the pirates menacing the peaceful world of Dantooine with the capture of their chief financier FROHM GIN’DAHL. With their valuable captive in tow, our heroes returned to Dantooine to great fanfare and celebration with the hope that better times may soon be ahead for Dantooine.

All was not as jubilant as it seemed however, as the TARISIAN told his heroes that great financial strain was crippling their settlement, and that he would be sending the heroes out once again to seek a fortune to bring prosperity to their settlement.

Our heroes, growing ever stronger with each passing adventure now prepare to venture into the Inner Rim to aid in the Kolto harvesting operation on the ocean world of MANAAN

Remembering Outlander

The player party, with the exception of Nyla answered the Tarisian’s question, no, they had never been to Manaan. Nyla explained that she and her master had been to Manaan once during the Clone Wars to pursue a dangerous pirate, but hadn’t spent a great deal of time there.

The Tarisian continued with his explanation on kolto, and how the cheaper alternate to bacta was a key to expanded profits and deeper business connections throughout the Mid-Rim. The Tarisian further explained that once they arrive on Manaan they should immediately seek out Krith Nosix, who was his agent on Manaan and the man in charge of the Kolto harvesting operation for the past three months. Yet the player party wasn’t as interested in Kolto and Manaan as they were in what exactly Outlander was, and why so many had already died to keep it secret. Even more mysterious, the Tarisian seemed to be avoiding the subject.

Akira asked the Tarisian directly what Outlander was, and how he knew the Neimodian Frohm Gin’Dahl they had just captured on Ordiasn. The Tarisian signed, but reluctantly turned to the subject of Outlander.

Outlander, as the Tarisian explained was an initiative that was undertaken by several prominent and high ranking members of the Confederacy of Independent Systems after the second year of the Clone Wars. The Tarisian confessed to the party that he himself was involved in the Confederacy, but declined to define his precise role. He explained that after two years of fighting a great many were dissatisfied with the direction of the war, and of the Confederacy’s leadership itself. Many were distrustful of Count Dooku and his past as a “Jedi Sorcerer”. The Tarisian explained that he had only known Frohm by his reputation and spoken to him only once before, when Frohm came to him and suggested that plans were underway to replace certain members of the Confederacy’s leadership and end the war much sooner than later.

The Tarisian told the party that more than anything he was afraid of Frohm’s offer, and decided he wanted nothing to do with a power struggle in the midst of a galaxy-wide war. He reluctantly decided to cut his losses, and cut all ties with the Confederacy and it’s allied worlds. Thus the Tarisian explained by the start of the third year of the Clone Wars he was once again an independent business man who answered to no one. He further explained that at first he wondered if he had made a mistake in leaving the Confederacy, but that soon after his departure Count Dooku was dead, and half a year later the Confederacy’s leadership were all dead as well, as was their hero and savior on the battlefield General Grievous.

The Tarisian told the party that he has assumed Frohm and his allies dead by the wars end, but that when the raids and ore theft here on Ecumenopolis began he was suspicious, but had no definitive proof until now.

The Tarisian beings his tale of how he knows Frohm Gin’Dahl to the player party while an unconscious Frohm recouperates.

The player party was stunned and silent upon hearing this news that the Tarisian had high level enemies from what was left of the Confederacy, and even more stunned he hadn’t shared his suspicions until now. Aiden asked the Tarisian if he ever knew more details about what was planned for Outlander, and more so what a mysterious modified battle-droid may have to do with it. The Tarisian reassured Aiden he left the Confederacy before he could learn anything more about Outlander, and that he knew nothing of any droid.

The Tarisian told the party that now he needed to rest, as he was still nursing his injuries from the pirate raid several days earlier, and that after being assured by the Tarisian that Frohm, Gurk and the captive Klatooinians, all of whom were still comatose would remain under heavy guard indefinitely, the party left the Tarisian for the evening.

The party agreed that they had best leave for Manaan the next morning, after taking care of their respective personal affairs first.

A Friendly Warning

After leaving the Tarisian’s office Kalko quickly found Miss M’Row, and took her out to dinner at the Tranquil Twilight, a very upscale cantina with a lovely view of the Dantooine wilderness. At dinner Kalko wined and dinned M’Row, regaling her with his stories of adventure and conquest in the criminal underworld. M’Row as always was impressed with Kalko’s tales, and asked for more of his stories. It was when Kalko described their upcoming mission to Manaan that M’Row took pause.

Miss M’Row explained that twice the Tarisian had had to change the management of his operation on Manaan, and that it’s been plagued with major problems since he bought into it. Kalko assured M’Row that he could handle whatever problems had been hampering the operation and that she needn’t worry.

M’Row simply asked Kalko to watch his back, and warned him that despite her loyalty to the Tarisian, he had more than one dangerous friend.

Kalko assures Miss M’Row that all will be well with his and the party’s dealings with the Tarisian.

Grounded on Dantooine

Akira found Dyneh in their suite at the Upper City Gem, and gave her the samples of the soil and water he had taken from Ordisan, recounting how fast and abundantly plant life seemed to grow under the water while not at all above the surface. Dyneh thanked him for the samples, and told him she’d look at them later, though Akira sensed something was bothering Dyneh. When asked, Dyneh explained that she was becoming worried more and more for Akira’s safety on these missions for the Tarisian, and she herself was beginning to feel couped up here on Dantooine. She then asked if she could come with Akira on his next mission, to both get off Dantooine and to get back to travelling as she enjoyed doing.

Akira sympathized with Dyneh, he knew she longed to be studying in far off exotic fields as a marine biologist, but he remembered that she’d been taken prisoner and held hostage not once but twice in the last two months. Ultimately Akira knew it wasn’t his place to tell Dyneh she had to stay away for her own safety, and he reluctantly agreed for her to come to Manaan with the party.

First however, Akira would ensure she was better protected.

Not a moment later Akira and Dyneh were en route to Weapons of Liberty, the weapons and armour retailer owned by IG-24-C whom Akira had met earlier that week at the Executive Committee meeting. IG was quite curtious to both customers, showing off a wide range of armour which Akira insisted was necessary to keep Akira safe.

Though IG and Akira approved of it, Dyneh nixed the idea that a Vacuum Pod, a large self contained droid assisted powered armour suit was necessary. Ultimately Dyneh convinced the two that a far less restrictive tracker utility vest would suffice. With their purchase complete, Dyneh and Akira retired for the night to spend one last night in their suite before their journey to Manaan.

Clarity of the Calm

Nyla, despite the lateness of the hour, the encroaching veil of night and the risk of armed Irith on the prowl had made the decision to travel to Purok, the Kiwa village to visit the Old Wise One that evening before leaving for Manaan. Nyla knew that her reoccurring dreams of approaching danger were warning of what was to come, and that she had to become much stronger in the Force if she were to survive the trials that lay ahead.

Nyla traveled into the night to the north-west, where she reached the Kiwa villaged unabated. As a friend to the Kiwa she was admitted into the walled village by the gate sentries, and once again Nyla made her way to the hut of the village medicine woman, the Old Wise One.

Surprisingly the Old Wise One was not asleep, but seemed to be expecting Nyla to arrive even at the late hour. After greeting her visitor, the Old Wise One asked Nyla why she had traveled so far just to see her. Nyla explained that she was becoming conflicted on how to deal with the actions of her friend Kalko, and that his actions were becoming ever more dark and sinister (such as cutting off Frohm’s thumbs during interrogation) and she was becoming concerned his actions would soon begin reflecting on her.

The Old Wise One spoke up to Nyla telepathically, telling her that Kalko’s actions were Kalko’s and Kalko’s alone, and by themselves did not and would not reflect on her. Furthermore, if Nyla was bothered and knew these actions to be wrong, she must confront Kalko about them as soon as she could, for something far worse was already affecting Nyla the Old Wise One could sense, doubt and conflict. She explained to Nyla that this doubt and conflict within her strained her focus and eroded her confidence, and her strength could only suffer for it. She further explained that to be truly one with the Force Nyla would have to restore her certainty, and eliminate these questions troubling her in order to regain her focus.

Nyla thanked the Wise Old One for her answers, and asked if she would be able to help her with her training techniques and regimens. The Old Wise One chuckled, reminding Nyla that she herself was no Jedi, and thus any training she could offer would likely be irrelivant to the path Nyla was seeking. Even still, she did mention one old technique she had learned from a Jedi long ago. The Wise Old One then pushed out from behind her a large, clear glass jug with a stopper sealed on top of it. She explained to Nyla that this exercise with the oxygen bottle required Nyla to use the Force to remove the bottle’s stoppper, and all the contents inside, leaving only a perfect vacuum afterwards. After which, Nyla would again use the Force to allow only pure oxygen with no other contaminants inside the bottle, then placing the stopper back in the bottle leaving it filled with only pure oxygen.

Nyla practices an age old Jedi mediation and training technique while the Wise Old One observes her progress.

Nyla composed herself, and began the exercise, levitating the bottle, removing it’s stopper, and going through the exercise as the Old Wise One directed. After an hour’s time, Nyla completed the exercise and presented the stopped bottle back to the Old Wise One for inspection. Regretfully, the Old Wise One explained Nyla failed to remove all the bottle’s contents initially, resulting in an impure mix. However, Nyla would still be stronger in her ability to control microscopic toxins she explained, and encouraged her to continue practicing whenever she could.

Nyla thanked the Old Wise One, and returned to her speeder bike and headed home for Ecumenopolis as the full moon hung high over the Dantooine night.

A Droid Unknown

Meanwhile, Aiden took the remains of the mysterious “Outlander Droid” to see Traz in the hopes that the Sullustan shipwright could shed some light of the mystery surrounding the unit. Traz was at the Renegade’s docking bay, and at first thought Aiden was there to see if the ship was fully stocked for the journey to Manaan, which Traz assured him it was.

Aiden had other ideas on his mind however, specifically the nature of the mysterious pirate droid that seemed to self destruct after being shot, the one the doomed Klatooinian had said was part of Outlander moments before he was killed. Traz explained that ships were his specialty rather than droids, but that he knew a Wookie local named Lofpirr who owned a nearby shop who might be able to help them. Aiden told Traz right away he didn’t want to trust anyone else with even the existence of this mysterious droid, however Traz assured him that Lofpirr was a good man, and he’d trusted him many times with discrete business situations. Aiden was reluctant, but agreed none the less as he wanted answers and he wanted them now.

After a short walk through the winding roads of Ecumenopolis Aiden and Traz arrived at [[Lofpirr’s Droid Retail & Repair Emporium]], Lofpirr’s place of business. The two found Lifpirr in the back recalibrating an RX-series Pilot Droid, and after exchanging pleasentries and a sizing up by Aiden, Aiden deemed Lofpirr trustworthy enough to view the droid remains. Pulling the droid remains out of a box Aiden carried and placing them on a work bench, Lofpirr quickly concluded the unit was a baseline B1-battle droid. After further examination however Lofpirr’s interest and curiosity grew. He asked Aiden if he knew why the droid would have or need a second power core, a question Aiden could not answer as he never saw the droid do anything more than run and explode. Lofpirr told both Aiden and Traz that though the droids metalic plating itself was unusual, it was the mysterious second power core that causing his puzzlement. He explained to both men that it was too large to be a simple back-up power core, and that it seemed to be configured to deliver a second supply of energy to the droid itself along with it’s original power core, but he couldn’t understand why that would be needed.

Aiden asked Lofpirr if he could have an answer before they left in the morning, Lofpirr however said no, saying he would need at least several days to analyze the unit more before giving Aiden a better explanation. Aiden, again reluctant to leave the droids remains with anyone other than himself agreed, and left the droids remains with Lofpirr as he and Traz made their way back to the Renegade to double check it’s preparations for the next days’s journey.

Along the way to the Renegade Aiden and Traz both overheard a rowdy song coming from the Gorging Gundark, a nearby cantina. After poking their respective heads inside, Aiden was shocked to hear that he was the subject of a new and popular song sung by the locals in celebration of the player party’s rescue of the stolen freighters only a day earlier. Though Traz chuckled at the song, Aiden found it irritating and insisted they leave without having to listen to it further.

Aiden and Traz then parted ways for the night, and Aiden returned to the Renegade where he was ready to retire for the night when he found to his surprise the rest of the party, Akira, Nyla and Kalko in the Renegade making modifications to their equipment and armour. When Aiden asked what they were doing Akira explained that Manaan, as he understood it from Nyla’s description was a water world, like so many others they had visited. He explained that it was high time they prepare their equipment to be potentially submerged in the water and be made fully water proof. Nyla added that though it did cost her several hundred credits in parts, she would have a better peace of mind knowing her lightsaber wouldn’t fail her when she needed it most just because it got wet.

Aiden agreed, and set about to water-proof his own suit of armour and weapons for the adventure at hand. Though he and the others worked well into the night, all slept well afterwards and were ready to awaken at dawn. After Nyla was given a goodbye hug from Umdat all were ready to leave, and the Renegade lifted off from the prairie starport and soared into the Dantooine sunrise with nothing but the ocean world of Manaan and their six day journey before their them.

Understanding Ordisan

On the second day of their hyperspace journey, Dyneh approached Akira with some amazing information. She explained to Akira that she had been passing the travel time by analyzing the soil samples from Ordisan which Akira had brought back with her microlab. Dyneh told Akira that the soil he brought back may be an example of some of the most fertile soil for vegetation she’d ever seen or read about.

This was due in part, as she explained to Akira and the others large amounts of solidified magma and unusual types of limestone. When mixed in the proper portions within the soil they seemed to create a compound that when mixed with hydrogen creates an explosive amount of fertility, where as nitrogen seemed to hinder it’s fertility all together.

This new information explained to Akira a great deal of the mysteries they’d seen on Ordisan, including the baron flat deserts above ground and the bountiful forests and life below the sea level. Akira asked if the hydrogen in the water could provide the hydrogen needed to create the explosive fertility, to which Dyneh said yes it could, if the pH balance was right. She further added that the 76% nitrogen in the Ordisan atmosphere may have been enough to provide the nitrogen to hinder all growth in the very same soil above ground.

Akira asked Dyneh if the hydrogen content in a liquid hydrogen fuel mix could have then explained the amazingly rapid growth of the coral on the submerged wreck of the pirate Hardcell Class warship that almost sealed Nyla and Aiden into the ship when it covered their door, Dyneh said it easily could.

The soil Dyneh explained could be very valuable to researchers for study, and that if refined properly could be revolutionary for undersea farming. Akira and Dyneh realized that if managed right, this soil could prove highly valuable to farmers all across the galaxy, though the rest of the player party was mostly bored by the science content of the discussion.

Before the Storm

The night before the Renegade’s arrival on Manaan Nyla was alseep in her bunk when she was awaken by a strong light glowing underneath her door. When she approached the door she felt a sense of fear on the other side, but also a sense of evil and corruption. Nyla opened her door in a hury and saw before her the two lights from her previous dreams, as well as the malevolent silver and crimson lights almost upon them in the hallway outside. The lights were brighter than they had ever been, nearly blinding Nyla with their combined strength. Nyla tried to force herself between them to separate the frightened white lights from the sinister silver and crimson ones, but before she could the lights vanished, leaving Nyla alone in the hallways of the Renegade. Nyla was more unsure than ever before about what these visions were foretelling her, only that whatever they were, Nyla was positive now that she was closer to them than ever before.

Down the hall from Nyla Akira and Dyneh slept comfortably until Akira was awaken by a glowing mist that flowed into his room from underneath the door. Within seconds of waking Akira realized that once again his former Jedi Master was in his presence, standing in the corner of his room. Seeing the Dyneh was still alseep and unaware of the presence, Akira rose to speak with the apparition. “What is it you wish now”? Akira asked, ever more confused and frustrated by his masters appearances and what they meant. “Events are almost upon you that cannot be stopped my boy, events that will test you and your friends, and events that could forever change the paths you walk upon even if you survive”. Akira was thrown by the message, one quite different from the same line he had previously repeated over and over again. “I will handle it master, I haven’t forgotten everything” Akira responded, pulling from behind his back a simple cloth, which when he unfolded revealed Akira’s long unused Padawan lightsaber. Akira’s master looked at the lightsaber and then back at Akira, saying simply “Then too late it is not my boy, but she cannot do it alone” before vanishing into the darkness of the ship with the retreating mist once again.

Kalko, down the hall from both Akira and Nyla awoke himself when he was nearly blinded by a light that shown through the crack beneath his door. Seconds later his door slid open, and the sinister apparition that had haunted his nightmares before now appeared at the threshold of his bunk. “How have you been old friend”? said the spirit in it’s typical guttural and alien voice, “I don’t know what you are, but your not real and I have nothing to say to you!!” shouted Kalko in return. “Yet you come closer to me ever still my friend, ever more so since what you did to that wretched Neimodian. I truly can’t wait until we can finally be one” the spirit said, before stepping back into the Renegade’s halls and disappearing behind the sliding door to Kalko’s bunk. Moments later Kalko began to breathe again, though still shaken by what had been the most vivid and lucid dream he’d had yet, one he was positive this time was real. He didn’t dare ponder on the apparition however, not wanting to know what the ever more real and reoccurring nightmares could mean.

Arrival on Ahto City

Upon arrival in orbit of Manaan the party beheld a beautiful blue ocean world, with only one land mass visible from space, the massive man made Ahto City, the planet’s only official city and landmass. Upon approach R4 reported to Akira and Aiden that he could detect no Imperial ships in the area of the planet and could read no Imperial communications from the planet below, thus assuring the party that the planet was at least for now free of Imperials, a fact the party took great solace in.

As the Renegade made it’s final approach to the city’s starport, Nyla took a moment to recount a mission to Manaan she and her master had undertaken during the Clone Wars. She told of a terrible Feeorin named Tyrill who had attempted to steal a large cache of kolto himself. Nyla’s warnings however could not have prepared the party for the sorry state of Ahto City’s spaceport and the city itself.

The entire spaceport was deserted for starters as the Renegade landed behind the massive protective seawalls where a wide variety of amphibious and reptilian pests scamperedback and forth for food. Upon exiting the ship the planet’s stifling humidity hit the party like a punch to their face, even causing difficulty for Aiden in his climate controlled helmet. Even worse, a powerful aroma of rotten fish hung in the still air, as not even a breeze from the sea broke the discomfort of the moment. “Boy the Tarisian sure can pick’em can’t he?” Akira asked sarcastically, later adding “This is the worst fraking planet we’ve been on yet”.

Akira’s sentiment, though shared by all was momentarily forgotten when an impressive figure emerged through a blast door in the spaceport. The figure, a human looking male but with what seemed to be massive modifications to his own body. From his bald and metal covered head three massive antenna pointed outward, as did three smaller antenna from a solid dome covering his right ear, with tubes from the droid-like power suit he wore connecting to his neck. Before the party could ask who he was the young man asked energetically “Aiden Akira Nyla Kalko and Dyneh I assume?” Aiden extended his hand to shake, rightly assuming the man to be Krith Nosix, the contact the Tarisian told them to expect on Manaan.

The Schemes of Ahto City

Krith welcomed the party to Manaan, telling them he was pleased to finally have some offworld aid in the Tarisian’s operations. He explained that the local sentients, the aquaticSelkath, though hard working and dedicated, simply did not have the training to work on modern technological projects like the Ocean Scoundrel, the massive repulsor kolto rig high above the kolto rich Derelict Canyon in the planet’s souther waters.

Akira asked if the lack of modern technological skills were responsible for the decrepit state of Ahto city, which Krith assured Akira it was. He further explained that the majority of the planet’s Selkath live below the surface and are generally bitter towards outsiders. This after the collapse of the galaxy-wide kolto market after the discovery of bacta generations earlier proved to be the end of Manaan’s former prominence in the galaxy, and began the once flourishing Ahto City’s decline into it’s current state. Krith added that because of this very few of the Selkath are left that still wish to interact with outsiders on Manaan, and even fewer help maintain the crumbling metropolis.

Even worse, Krith told the party of a group of Selkath isolationists based deep in the seweres of Ahto City who work to sabotage what little contact Manaan has left with the galaxy at large, a group who had just intimidated 20 of the Ocean Scoundrel’s Selkath workers to quit their jobs working for outsiders rather than face retribution from them and their allies.

Akira could not believe that this group of Selkath, living in sewers no less would actually sabotage efforts that could bring wealth and development to this backwards world. Krith further explained however that isolationists were far from the only problem the Tarisian’s operations were experiencing here on Manaan, adding that the Tarisian’s was not the only unlicensed mining operation set up on Manaan.

Krith told the party of King Larngo and King Duumba, two bumbling and less than competant Hutt’s according to Krith. Competence aside however, Krith’s investigating and surveilance had let him to believe that Larngo and Duumba’s goons had been behind the theft of much needed power converters for the Ocean Scoundrel’s reserve repulsorlifts. He told the party that without those repulsorlifts the Ocean Scoundrel had no chance of staying afloat in the air once it took on the weight of the kolto from the ocean below.

Even worse, a low level Vigo from the notorious Black Sun criminal syndicate, an Ithorian named Thodo Marr was responsible for the theft of filtration cells meant for the Ocean Scoundrel’s processing plant. Aiden asked if these co-ordinated thefts meant that Black Sun, the Hutts and the isolationists were working together, a question Krith couldn’t answer.

Krith did reveal however one commonality the Hutt’s and Black Sun on Manaan shared, both were desperate. Krith confided that he had been monitoring communications coming from both organizations headquarters, and had learned both King Larngo and King Duumba were loathed by their fellow Hutts in the Hunto Pawa cartel and were desperate to prove their competency in business after several disastrous ventures. Even worse, Thodo Marr was perhaps the Vigo with less power than any other in Black Sun due, and was even being eyed for replacement in the organization if he should fail to turn a profit on Manaan. With the delays on the Ocean Scoundrel, Krith told the party that he’d learned that Black Sun’s harvesting rig would be operational that very night at 2500 hours one hour before midnight, only seven hours from then.

This information sealed Akira’s theory that they, Black Sun and the Hutt’s of the Hunto Pawa cartel were indeed working together to sabotage the Tarisian for their own mutual interests.

A Best Laid Plan

The remainder of the party needed little convincing from Akira that the isolationists, the Hutts and Black Sun were in league to sabotage the Tarisian, and that if they didn’t make their move soon it would be too late.

Krith, utilizing a rist mounted holoprojector showed the party a stunning 3D display of King Larngo and King Duumba’s cantina/lair, the Deep Diver. With great ease in controling the projection, Krith showcased the main entrance, the three other entrances and the two secret entrances the Hutt’s were unaware he knew of. Akira was shocked to learn that the holoprojection was in fact a live feed, one that Krith was producing as he was able to slice into and monitor security sensors in real from from the Deep Diver, all using nothing more than the cybernetic implants in his brain. When Akira expressed shock at this and asked how it was possible, Krith happily obliged by using a second holoprojector to show Akira a 3D map of his brain, with it’s considerable additions and modifications which were so numerous they impressed Nyla, who was surprised to see that any person could survive such a massive operation. With prodding from Aiden however, the topic was turned back to the Hutt’s and Black Sun.

After much discussion in the empty hanger bay, the party and Krith came up with a plan. Krith would use his computing and slicing skills to design a virus which would be remotely uploaded into the Black Sun harvesting platform, a virus which would then disable the rig’s repulsorlifts sending it plummeting into the ocean below. More importantly, Krith would make the virus appear to be the work of the Hutt’s, thus triggering a conflict or at the least major distrust between the Hutt’s and Black Sun. First however, Krith would go to the Hutt’s and inform them that Black Sun’s rig would be operational that night, a truth which would surely make the Hutt’s suspicious of their Black Sun neighbours and potentially fuel their distrust when Black Sun confronts them with false blame and accusations after the loss of their own rig later that night.

All agreed this plan was the best course of action to save the Tarisian’s operation on Manaan while hindering those of the Hutt’s and Black Sun, and that they’d best begin the plan right away. Dyneh agreed to stay on board the Renegade in the starport with R4 and LE, while Aiden, Akira, Kalko and Nyla left for the Deep Diver with Krith. Before leaving the docking bay Aiden remembered the datapad which had become possibly infected with a malicious virus after downloading data from the computer of the downed pirate ship on Ordisan. Aiden asked if Krith could have a look at the device, which he gladly did, despite Akira’s warnings that the datapad could be dangerous to a Cyborg. A single tubule shot out from Krith’s wrist and into the datapad of Aiden’s, and after a series of twitches and noises from Krith’s head and reactions on his face, Krith told Aiden that the datapad was hopelessly corrupted by a virus, a quite effective one at that and that it would have rendered almost any other computer corrupted as well if he had connected the data pad to it. He explained that it seemed similar to coding high level authorities in the Confederacy were using at the end of the Clone Wars, only much more advanced.

After handing the datapad back to Aiden, Krith asked if he should sync his own cybernetic systems with the Renegade’s computer so he could summon it and even pilot it remotely, which Aiden promptly refused. “If I ever catch you fraking with my ships computer, I’ll kill you myself”, to which Krith jokingly replied “If you ever caught me, I’d deserve to die”.

The Showdown at the Deep Diver

The party and Krith hailed a beat drawn wagon, and rode it through the decaying and decrepit durasteel roads. Krith told the party they would be wise not to stay in any hotels while in Ahto City, due to the sorry state of public sanitation and several unpleasant creatures living in the pipes.

After almost an hours travel time the party reached the rustic two story durasteel cantina flanked by equally rustic buildings under the glow of neon lights from a hundred shady cantina’s and shops. Outside stood two heavily armoured Gamorrean which the party easily spotted as their wagon stopped further down the street. Krith retracted the antenna into his head and then wrapped a head scarf around his head to conceal the cybernetic enhancements, a move Akira credited with being quite smart. Krith gave the party each a signal to monitor with their comlinks while he was talking to the Hutt’s, and then set off for the Deep Diver to begin the first stage of their plan.

The party listened in as Krith disappeared after being allowed in by the Gamorrean guards. At first Krith was greeted sarcastically by someone, who told him the Kings would gladly hear what he had to say. They then listened to Krith formally greet King Larngo and King Duumba with all the pleasantries a Hutt usually demands. The Hutt’s seemed to know who Krith was and that he represented the “other” harvesting rig over the Derelict Canyon, and naturally spoke down to him with disdain.

As per the plan Krith warned the Hutt’s of Black Sun’s operation and it’s impending success, but the Hutt’s seemed uninterested in Krith’s warnings. Even with Akira coaching Krith over the comlink directly into Krith’s brain on what to say, the Hutt’s were unmoved by his warnings. Finally when Krith began to repeat a line Akira had given him about the dangers of letting Black Sun succeed at harvesting kolto first, the party heard a loud shot ring out, and at once all their comlinks went dead.

Right away the party feared the worse for Krith. Knowing that any and all plans revolved around having Krith with them, they snapped into action. Akira was able to spot several fault ridden electrical conduits above the Deep Diver cantina, which he shot out with his blaster hoping to plunge the cantina into darkness, which it did, along with three surrounding blocks. With the lights dimmed Nyla ran up to the Gamorean guards who were begining to panic, and told them to sleep using her power of affect mind, which sent the guards into a deep and safe slumber.

Akira and Nyla then charged into the Cantina through the front entrance, while Aiden rocketed up with Kalko to the second story balcony to gain entrance, even though only Akira had night vision visors to help him see in total dark.

Inside Akira saw the two fat Hutt’s waving their arms and their underlings and friends running around in a panic as if a calamity was upon them, an unusually strong reaction for a simple blackout. Right away Akira spotted two goons dragging away Krith, who was unconscious but still looked alive. Akira fired off his two blasters in hand, dropping both guards to the ground and panicking the crowd even more.

As Akira ran to rescue Krith amid the commotion, with Nyla guarding their exit at the front entrance while Aiden watched as best he could from the second level balcony, Kalko had an idea to take advantage of the moment. He bellowed in a deep, Hutt sounding voice in his very best Nar Shadda HutteseYOU HAVE DISAPOINTED ME AGAIN LARNGO AND DUUMBA, YOU MUST PAY FOR YOUR FOOLISHNESS!!”. Right away Nyla and Aiden turned in disbelief to Kalko, amazed that anyone would pretend to be a Hutt. Yet the con worked immediatly, with Larngo and Duumba shouting into the dark “No! No! You’re early, you said we’d have more time!!” like two frightened children. Akira now couldn’t believe his ears, as he too realized Kalko wasn’t trying to simply scare the cantina guards, but scare the Hutt’s themselves.

YOUR TIME HAS RUN OUT, YOU WILL NOW SUFFER THE CONSEQUENCES!!” Kalko added, realizing this impersonation bit of his clearly had the Larngo and Duumba thinking he was someone specific, and decided he could take the act even further. “YET I AM NOT WITHOUT MERCY, IF YOU PAY A PROPER TRIBUTE, I MAY FORGET ABOUT YOUR FOOLISHNESS FOR NOW!!” Kalko bellowed. Only seconds later Lanrgo shouted for two slave dancers to bring out “the box”, which the young Mon Calamari dancers did, struggling to pull out a massive spacer’s chest. After the dancers had backed away, Kalko thanked the Hutt’s for their tribute, and shouted “THIS WILL BE REMEMBERED, NOW I LEAVE” as he lept down to the ground level to take hold of the massive chest.

Just as Kalko began to haul the chest away in the darkness for the exit that Nyla guarded, Akira heard footsteps behind him which were slower than the stampeding panic of the courtesans and guards still running about the blackened room. Akira spun around with his blasters drawn to come face to face with a Nautolan in heavy battle armour, with two blasters of his own drawn and his own pair of night vision goggles. “Do you have any… ANY IDEA WHO YOU’RE STEALING FROM?!? YOU AND YOUR FRIENDS ARE DEAD!!” shouted the Nautolan. Seeing the situation was about to become worse, Akira kicked one of the Nautolan’s blasters away and rolled behind King Larngo’s repulsor throne.

Undeterred by loosing sight of Akira, the Nautolan shouted out in the direction of Kalko “If you are who you think you are, then what is your name??”, clearly hoping to expost Kalko for a fraud to end the charade. Kalko was unfazed, shouting back as he dragged the chest to the exit “IT IS NOT THE PRIVILLAGE OF A PEON TO KNOW MY NAME”, and then shouted to Larngo and Duumba “FOOLS, CONTROL YOUR SERVANTS OR I SHALL CONTROL THEM FOR YOU”, which caused the frightened Larngo and Duumba to shout to the Nautolan “Stand down fool!! Stand down!!”.

Akira could see Krith laying unconscious on the ground and knew he had to get to him soon, so he threw an adhesive grenade at the Nautolan from behind Larngo’s repulsor throne and ran for Krith. The grenade hit the Nautolan, sticking him to the floor, but not defeating him. The Nautolan grabbed a frag grenade from his belt and hurled it up to Aiden, which exploded in front of his helmet, knocking Aiden onto his back unconscious.

Nyla immediatly called upon the Force, and lept high into the air to the second story of the building, hoisting Aiden onto her shoulders and leaping out of the second story window he had entered from, all the while being shot at by the Nautolan below, taking so much damage she nearly fell herself. With Aiden stable Nyla hailed a beast pulled wagon which she boarded, followed shortly by Kalko who was still laughing at the ease of which he’d just conned two Hutt’s, they then sped off in a hurry for the starport where the Renegade was waiting. Back inside the cantina Akira had used the firefight as cover to escape out a back entrance with Krith, pausing to fire his blaster at the cantina wall in the shape of the Black Sun seal, and then ducked outside to hide in a nearby refuse bin as the adhesive wore off the Nautolan.

The Nautolan ran outside the Cantina to look for the ones who’d just robbed his employers, but saw nothing. The Nautolan gained control of his heavy breathing, and lit up a cigarra, which he drew from heavily, blowing out a relaxing puff of sweet smoke into the steamy night. Akira, who waited silently with Krith’s unconcious body in the refuse bin knew that whoever the Nautolan was, he was the determined type, and that they’d regrettably likely see him again after what they’d done.

After a galloping ride in the wagon back to the starport, the party boarded the Renegade where Nyla was able to help resuscitate Aiden. Kalko also helped calm Dyneh who herself was in a near panic when she saw that Akira wasn’t with them, by telling her that they would find him and bring him back but only if she stayed calm and helped them. Sure enough within the hour Akira felt safe enough to call for them on his comlink, and snuck out of the refuse bin with a now concious Krith to a nearby public square in a low end residential neighborhoud. The Renegade took off from the starport as silently as Aiden could pilot it, and made it’s way to the neighbourhood square, where it landed near a statue to the anger and shouts of local Selkath who were awakened from their sleep by the landing ship.

Akira and Krith ignored the shouts of anger and protest as they ran aboard the Renegade which then lifted off into the breaking dawn of daylight. “Where are we going now?” Akira asked? “The starport? Dantooine?” he added as a worried Dyneh embraced him.
“No” Aiden said, “We’re going to the Ocean Scoundrel, it’s the only place we’ll be safe from the Hutt’s for now”. Akira obeyed and took control of the Renegade, setting a course for Derelict Canyon.

The Renegade flies high into the Manaan sky en route to Derelict Canyon as the sun rises over Ahto City in the far fading distance behind them.

Kalko meanwhile managed to disable the security on the spacer’s chest he’d taken as tribute in his conning of the Hutt’s, and pried it open. He fell to his knees in silence, and then poured his hands into piles of credits inside. After several minutes Aiden asked how much money was in the chest, as it looked like thousands. “Millions Captain… Three million credits… WE HAVE THREE MILLION CREDITS!!!” Kalko shouted into the cargo bay, as all on board all but froze at the number. Imaginations soared with ideas of what they could do with that money, but a shadow of fear hung over them as well, the fear that the Hutt’s would find out what they’d done, that they’d framed Black Sun and would come for them.

Nyla leaned against the cargo bay door, and could be heard to ask under her breath “What have we done?”.

Comments

Aid??? More like start a massive gang war! Well at least WE got money out of it.

Episode XI
 

Wow, are we ever screwed! Lol! What were we thinking when we decided to steal from Huts. Kalko really doesn’t do things on a small scale, that’s for sure. Oh well, guess we have to plan out next move very carefully….....

Episode XI
 

Indeed Escaflowne, that did turn out about 180 degrees opposite of ANY POSSIBLE ENDING I HAD FORESEEN… and I loved every minute of it :)!! Honestly though, I simply could never write the kind of role playing gold that my party has provided me. It’s truly been an honor to GM THIS party in THIS campaign.

Below are some thoughts I had on this campaign, though I haven’t had the chance to write up a proper recap I assure all that one is indeed forthcoming.

Getting Things in Order

Since I had known for the last couple of sessions now that Episode XI was when we would be starting a story arch that would lead right into one or two others with no down time in between, I thought it was best to give the player party some time before things kick into high gear to interact with each other and build on their own stories one last time.

Akira’s over protectiveness of Dyneh was fun to work with. I can’t say he’s over reacting in wanting originally to have her in the strongest armour available 25/7 (Dantooine time), after all she has been kidnapped twice now in what works out to less than two months. It was fun to be able to role play the scientific discussion with Akira about the high fertility levels of the soil from Ordisan, I am hoping to bring a great deal more “SCIENCE” into this science-fiction adventure.

Having Nyla practice her Force exercise with the Wise Old One was another great pleasure I’d been looking forward to for a long time. The one I’m referring to, the “Oxygen Bottle” Force Regimen was originally an old exercise from the [[West End Games]] era of Star Wars roleplaying, and I’m always glad to use material from the old school in my adventures. Many thanks to Wizards of the Coast for updating the exercise for the d20 system.

I’m also glad to see that Kalko has eased into a relationship, I think it’s good for his character to be wining and dinning fine and elegant ladies rather than cutting off thumbs in interrogations… at least most of the time ;). I was also interested to see the course Aiden (Escaflowne) took in investigating the mysterious and distinctive Battle Droid they captured with the pirates. Two separate power core’s eh? We’ll have to see what becomes of that little story line won’t we…

Something is Coming Soon

The message I’ve wanted to drive home to Akira, Nyla and Kalko through their recurring visions and strange messages is that something BIG is soon going to be happening. I think that impression has been well received, though the escalation of events on Manaan below have made the warnings of Akira’s masters even more prophetic than they were before. Read on please to see what I mean.

Manaan

In addition to where the party is based currently (Dantooine), Manaan is the second planet from the legendary “Knights of the Old Republic” Xbox/PC PRG to be featured in my game. It was a lovely world in the game, and even with the changes of 4,000 years it still has a great deal of challenges to offer would be adventurers. Personally my favourite analysis of the planet was when Akira simply said “This planet is s*$@”. It truly is, the water is polluted, the city has sunken into disrepair, a foul smell hangs over everything, it truly is a decrepit backwater world at first glance.

Krith

Krith would be my second attempt in this game to inject more “science” into the science-fiction game. Cyborg’s and Cybernetic implants and upgrades were a great feature of the Saga Edition, and Krith is tricked out as bad as you get when it comes to implants and upgrades. I certainly have a place for him as a regular NPC in the campaign, but whether or not he’s around or even alive to be a regular or not will depend on what happens in the next session or two…

Scum and Villainy

Going back to the beginning of Star Wars Scum and Villainy have been a part of the universe, so I was glad to finally plunge the party into a plot involving two great criminal organizations. The Hutt Clans of the Original Trilogy, and Black Sun from the Expanded Universe. When I was writing this session I had thought I’d covered almost every possible scenario covering how the PC’s in the party would interact with these organizations based on what they were given to work with… by the Force was I wrong.

Stealing from Hutt’s and Blaming Black Sun

Yes. That title about accurately describes what happened. I never imagined this event, I mean, why on earth would I imagine such a maddening course? This is the kind of golden material GM’s dream of if you ask me, because now I get to write my next session in the context of a potential inter-galactic gangland war hanging over the PC’s heads. Again, I have to give props to Kalko for pulling the con off, but I equally have to give it up to the rest of the party for backing him up and getting out of the Hutt’s cantina in one piece (more or less).

Already the party has come up with some grand ideas of what to do with their 3 million stolen credits. Kalko wants his own Hutt hover throne/platform, and others have talked about putting together a small flotilla of warships, a militia, I mean there is a lot a player party can do with 3 million credits isn’t there… if they don’t loose it that is.

I guess we’ll just have to wait until September to see how this all goes down in an adventure I’m told is looking more and more like the movie “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels” every session. It’s safe to say that after a year of running this game, I’m wickedly delighted at where the story has gone and where it is going.

Episode XI
Dyluth

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.