Star Wars: Dawn of Darkness

Episode XIII

The Crawl

he planet anaan teeters on the brink of all out war. Our heroes, believing they had escaped the notice of the dreaded Hutt’s have been identified as thieves by NEGAS, an infamous bounty hunter in the Hutt’s employ.

A carefully laid out plan to exchange the stolen credits for the parts needed to bring the Tarisian’s kolto harvesting rig to operation has fallen apart, as Negas attacked and destroyed the rival BLACK SUN kolto harvesting rig. Even worse, Aiden believes Negas will attempt to blame the heroes for the attrocity.

Our heroes now race towards to the Hutt’s harvesting rig with every hope of destroying it and Negas too before the failing situation on Manaan becomes any worse.

In the Crosshairs

The Renegade flew fast over the Manaan ocean surface, and soon the shape of the Hutt’s kolto harvesting rig appeared over the horizon. Nyla Hawklight felt unsure however as she stared down the approaching rig in the crosshairs of her twin blaster cannon’s targeting display. Nyla asked the rest of the party if what they were doing was right, as surely attacking the Hutt’s would only serve to make an already bad situation worse.

Akira Ben-Toshi responded first, telling Nyla that crippling King Larngo and King Duumba now was more crucial than ever, as their operative Negas had all but framed them for the destruction of the Black Sun kolto harvesting rig only hours earlier. Also Akira explained that by crippling the Hutt rig, the Ocean Scoundrel owned by The Tarisian would be the only viable kolto harvesting platform over Derelict Canyon, which in the short term could only benefit them and the Tarisian.

Nyla was unsure, but Aiden Dyre reassured her that they would send a warning to the Hutt’s rig before they attacked in only a matter of moments, warning them of their intentions and advising those onboard to abandon the rig before it’s sent to the bottom of the sea. Still cautious, Nyla agreed what they were doing was best, and lined up her sights on her twin blaster cannon’s display as they approached weapons range with the Hutt rig.


The Renegade flies fast twards the rising sun and the fast approaching Hutt Rig in the distance.

Skirmish at the Derelict Canyon

Akira had just finished a sensor scan of the Hutt’s kolto harvesting rig when the Renegade received it’s first message of warning. A voice speaking in Huttese warned the party that they were entering into restricted airspace and that they would be neutralized if they continued on their present course. Kalko the Colossal , not even hesitating after hearing the Hutt’s warning promptly jammed the Hutt rig’s targeting systems with his computer skills before unleashing a volley from his twin blaster cannon as soon as he came into range, striking the Hutt rig before it had raised it’s shields.

Only seconds later the Hutt’s raised their rigs shielding, and the Renegade unleashed a firestorm of blaster and ion cannon fire upon the rig. Though as the Renegade made it’s first pass at the Hutt rig it’s shielding had absorbed almost all of their attack, and the Renegade itself was suddenly wrenched from it’s high speed light when a tractor beam from the Hutt rig stopped it dead in it’s tracks.

Akira struggled violently with the tractor beam as the rig’s laser cannon’s and concussion missiles opened fire on the Renegade, dealing major damage to the party’s ship. With Aiden’s encouragement however Akira was able to break free of the tractor beam’s hold and dodge further damage from the rig’s weapon batteries.

Now free of the rig’s tractor beam, Akira executed with brilliant precision maneuvers such as Snap Roll after Snap Roll, I Have You Now and Skim the Surface, the later of which brought the Renegade in under the Hutt rig’s shielding giving Aiden, Nyla and Kalko clear shots at the rig’s laser cannon’s, shield generators and most importantly, their repulsorlift arrays.

Soon the party had neutralized large swaths of the rigs shielding, and with Akira dodging further tractor beam attempts the party soon destroyed the rigs command centre, communications array, most of it’s weaponry and more than half of it’s repulsorlift capabilities. Though the Renegade had taken major damage, the Hutt rig was now listing heavily and loosing altitude as it sake towards the ocean surface while fire and smoke spewed from every section of the rig. Aiden gave the order to Akira to break off the attack and return to the Ocean Scoundrel, knowing the Hutt rig was now damaged beyond repair, which Akira did, dodging one final tractor beam attempt by the rig before they left the rigs weapons range.

From a distance the player party watched and observe the Hutt rig fall close to the surface of the water, before a series of explosive charges were set off, detatching the upper levels of the rig from the massive kolto harvesting gear on the lower sections. Thus the smoldering upper portions of the Hutt rig were able to stay aloft in the air, while the massive kolto harvesting gear were left to plummet into the sea below.

The party headed for the Ocean Scoundrel, eagerly awaiting Negas’s next move.


The Renegade heads back for the Ocean Scoundrel, leaving the Hutt’s rig a flame and breaking apart in the distance.

One Angry Nautolan

Soon later the Renegade landed on the Ocean Scoundrel, where Branx Lot’Din greeted the party and the crew of the Scoundrel celebrated the news of the strike on the Hutt’s rig before getting to work at repairing the damage done to the Renegade during the battle.

The party all gathered in Branx’s office with Krith Nosix, Dyneh, Beesix and LE where they sent a transmission to The Tarisian, informing him of the developments on Manaan and what had just transpired. The Tarisian agreed that weakening the Hutt’s was good in the short term, but was worried about what the Hutt’s response would be. He ordered the party to remain on Manaan until things were finally stable. Afterwards, the Tarisian told Aiden that he’d at last procured a large targeting computer jamming array, a key piece of the defenses for Ecumenopolis which Aiden had drawn up after first arriving on Dantooine. Aiden was pleased to hear this, knowing that a large enough device could jam the targeting computers of even capital ships in orbit.

The Tarisian ordered the player party to pick up the large device on the planet Aunap, once the situation on Manaan was resolved. The party agreed, and promised the Tarisian they would keep him posted. Aiden and Kalko then asked Krith if he could monitor any news feed coming from Ahto City or elsewhere regarding news of their attack on the rig, which Krith told them he could not. This was, he explained, due to the massive riots and looting taking place throughout Ahto City. Akira asked if these were the same riots Negas had started as part of a failed ploy to trap the party, which Krith said likely were, riots which it seemed had gotten incredibly out of control.

It was then that Akira asked if he could speak to the party and Dyneh privately in the Renegade, where he revealed to Aiden, Nyla, Kalko, Dyneh and the droids something he had struggled with sharing since he had met them all. Yet in the light of Dyneh’s revelation that she may be pregnant, Akira couldn’t see how he could keep this secret any longer.

Yet Akira’s revelation was interupted, when Beesix told the party that the Ocean Scoundrel had detected a Light Hutt Fighter inbound, though one without it’s shields raised. The fighter requested permission to land, which it was granted, though the party and several of the rigs crew took up arms to greet the landing fighter. The fighter landed, and a visably agitated Negas emerged, warning the party that what they did had been very unwise. He proceeded to make an offer, where for ten million credits his masters would NOT wipe the party and their rig from the surface of this miserable planet. Aiden reminded Negas that they had the upper hand now, that without their own rig the Hutt’s had no ability to stake a claim to the kolto in the Derelict Canyon.

Negas made a second offer, one where the party would simply return the stolen three million credits and turn over the Ocean Scoundrel itself to his masters, and would be allowed to leave. Aiden rejected the offer flat out, and Negas returned to his fighter and flew back to Ahto City.

There is Another Jedi in the Party

With the situation with Negas on hold, Akira once again met privately with the player party, Dyneh and the droids, where he revealed his most personal secret, that he was once a Jedi himself, having been a Padawan many years ago. The party were astonished by this, though Nyla had suspected that Akira was harbouring refined Force powers for some time.

Akira explained to the party that during his time as a Padawan with the Jedi Order in the years before the Clone Wars he and his master had been assigned to an undercover mission, one which lead to something dark and terrible which lead to Akira’s leaving of the order, and his masters eventual death. Akira did not elaborate on the details of this undercover mission, insisting that it had nothing to do with who he was now and what lay before them all. Akira neglected to mention that the deadly narcotic Trex, which his mission had been based around had been found by Dyneh in the blood streams of the Firaxan shark that attacked the party in the Seacrawler on Ando months ago, the first time Akira had seen or heard of the drug in years.

Right away Nyla began talking to Akira about stories she’d heard of Jedi who had survived the Clone Wars and the subsequent purge, though Nyla admitted that she hadn’t met a single fellow Jedi until now. The two shared stories, agreeing that from what they heard, at least three of the most powerful Jedi Masters in all the Galaxy, Master Shaak Ti, Master Obi-Wan Kenobi and Master Yoda may still be alive. There were others too both were certain of, and Nyla was more confident than ever that the Jedi Order was still alive.

The hour grew late however, and the party was extremely exhausted from the long day they’d faced. The party agreed to turn in for the night, getting what ever rest they could get before Negas made his next move. Before she turned in for the night, Nyla took a long hard look at her training remote, hovering normally in a corner of her bunk. She wondered about why it set off on Dantooine on it’s own in the direction of The Wise Old One, and why it seemed to be attracted to Akira, and wondered if it was somehow a device that could detect Force sensitivity, even though it seemed to be nothing more than a simple training remote.

A New Player in the Game

Despite turning in to sleep so late, the party all woke up relatively early the next morning, with the whole group including Dyneh and Krith enjoying breakfast by eight houndred hours. Soon after finishing breakfast however the Ocean Scoundrel’s proximity alarm went off, as a large Hutt Sail Barge was detected inbound along with a Light Hutt Fighter, the same one Negas had piloted to deliver his warning. Neither ship responded to communication attempts, and Aiden ordered the party into the Renegade to take flight and engage attackers, even though the Renegade was less than half repaired from the skirmish the night before.

The party quickly boarded the Renegade and only moments later the ship was in flight as the Hutt barge and figher came appeared over the horizon. Aiden wasted no time in ordering the party to open fire on the Hutt barge, fearing that they now sought to destroy the Ocean Scoundrel as they had destroyed the Hutt’s rig. The Hutt’s weapons missed the Renegade while Aiden, Kalko and Nyla landed hit after hit on the craft, while strangely Negas’s fighter didn’t fire a single shot.

It appeared that the battle would be one sided until Krith spoke up to Aiden and the party, warning him that long range sensors had just detected two large vessels entering the system, and that both were demanding permission to land in Ahto City using Imperial codes. The party gasped, realizing that the Empire for whatever reasons were about to land on Manaan. They continued their firefight with the Hutt barge, striking more critical hits, with Nyla dealing a critical blow to the barge’s repulsorlifts as it circled the Ocean Scoundrel, failing to land a single strike on the rig with it’s own blasters.

With the Hutt barge smoking heavily and loosing altitude fast, it’s pilot made dramatic crash landing on one of the Scoundrel’s landing platforms as Negas’s fighter broke off it’s attack and flew towards Ahto City, curiously not firing a single shot. Aiden wondered if Negas realized the Empire was arriving and needed to attend to something fast. The Renegade landed itself and the party disembarked, as Krith informed all that landing craft had just been launched from two Venator-Class Star Destroyers and were headed their way.

The party looked at each other in shock and awe before the smoldering wreck of the Hutt’s sail barge, wondering if the Empire had finally caught up to them after all this time.

As the smoke began to settle from the wreckage of the Hutt’s sail barge, it’s Gamorrean crew and gaurds began jumping and climbing off, quickly surrendering their armour and weapons to the player party and the crew of the Ocean Scoundrel. Soon King Larngo slowly made his way to a viewport, where the visably agitated Hutt complained that they hadn’t intended to attack the Ocean Scoundrel at all, but that Negas had godded them into doing so, and that he and Duumba had intended to come as friends. It seemed to the player party that Negas was now outright manipulating Larngo and Duumba, but it made no difference as moments later four Imperial landing craft then landed on the Ocean Scoundrel, and dozens of Imperial Stormtroopers seized control of the Hutt’s sail barge, the prisoners, the Renegade and the player party as well.

Aiden had only a moment to warn LE and Beesix to hid the three million credits inside the Renegade before the ship was boarded.

A Governor’s Favour

Within minutes of arriving an Stormtrooper commander demanded from the player party to know who was in charge of the rig, and was soon directed to Branx by Aiden, whom he spoke to quickly for a matter of seconds. The Stormtrooper commander then informed Aiden that the rest of the party and Branx, as official agents of the rigs “former” owner were to be taken to Ahto City to speak with the sector Governor concerning the rig and it’s operations on Manaan.

Akira was able to convince the commander to allow the party and Branx to take the Renegade to Ahto City, which they did, flying with an escort of two Imperial landing craft along the way. En route the city the party and Branx discussed what was going on with the Imperials and this Governor they were about to see, eventually realizing that the best they could hope for now was to hope the Imperials allow them to leave Manaan on their own and not under arrest.

After landing in a massive but abandoned sporting stadium, where one of the massive Venator class Star Destroyers was landed and unloading supplies, tanks and troopers, the player party was lead to a luxury sky box in the stadiums stands, where they were introduced to a room full of Imperial generals, colonels, local bureaucrats, all clamoring for the attention of a slender woman in a purple Imperial uniform and the insignia of a sector Governor.

The commander who had escorted the player party informed the governor of their arrival, and the governor’s attention promptly turned to the player party and Branx. The governor introduced herself as Governor Jan Hontor, the Sector Governor for this region of the Inner Rim. The Akira introduced himself and the party, using alias’s in place of their actual names, as well as Branx. The governor explained that after learning of the horrible riots in Ahto City, and the destruction of a kolto harvesting rig by criminal forces, she had no choice but to intervene with all the might at her disposal for the good of the Imperial citizens beneath her. The governor asked which of the party could speak on behalf of the ownership of the rig, which Branx indicated was him. The governor asked Branx to join her alone in her meeting room for discussions concerning the Ocean Scoundrel, while the player party waited outside.

While waiting for Branx and the governor to finish taking about the Ocean Scoundrel, Aiden and Nyla took to speaking with two Stormtrooper guards outside. The Stormtroopers explained that they were happy to be seeing some action, having been deployed after the end of the Clone Wars and becoming absolutely sick of simply marching in parades back on the planet Aunap. The revelation jogged the player party’s memory, with Akira, Nyla and Kalko remembering that Aunap was a temperate planet of a mostly human pro-Imperial population, but Aiden remembering that Aunap was not only the sector capital, but also the home base for the entire 416th Legion. The player party realized that this Aunap was the same Aunap they were required to visit to pick up cargo for the Tarisian afterwards, and could only hope that the massive Imperial presence on the planet wouldn’t lead to their capture for their alleged crimes.

Soon later Branx emerged from the meeting room with the governor, and explained to the player party that he had just spoken to the Tarisian, and had reluctantly agreed to enter a “partnership” with the governor’s private corporation known as Hontor Galactic Industries, where in turn for paying for the operational costs of the Ocean Scoundrel, the Tarisian would get 30% of the revenue from the kolto sales with the rest going to Governor Hontor. It was then that the player party realized that the governor wasn’t interested in restoring order or security for the people of Manaan, she only wanted the kolto and the credits that would come with it.


The Governor officially takes charge over the Tarisian’s kolto harvesting rig and all other properties on Manaan.

The smiling Governor Hontor thanked the player party for their help in “dealing” with the competitive rig owned by the clueless King Duumba and Larngo, and assured the party that she’d spoken with the two Hutt’s and that they would not object to the Empire’s control of the Derelict Canyon.

The governor then explained to the party that before the two Hutt’s agreed to abandon their claim to kolto on Manaan, they’d complained of a former operative who’d destroyed the Black Sun harvesting rig before betraying both of them. The party was relieved to learn that at least the Imperials thought it was Negas who’d downed the Black Sun rig. The governor then explained that her forces were busy pacifying Ahto City, and couldn’t be bothered to chase down this renegade Hutt operative, and offered the player party fourty-five thousand credits if they could “neutralize” him before sunset that day.

The party agreed to the offer, hoping to stay in the governor’s good favour for the time being and hoping too to end the threat posed by Negas once and for all. So for a second time the player party found itself in the employ of the Empire, only this time hoping the Empire wouldn’t learn of their true identities as wanted fugitives.

Comments

I can only assume that Hontor knows they are criminals. You would think that if they came to a crime ridden planet they would run back ground checks on anyone they went into business with.

Episode XIII
 

Actually we look pretty good on paper. Since Episode VI: Shroud of the Hidden we have been operating under a series of false ids some of which are pretty good. Also we tend to make alterations in our appearance. Most recently in Episode XXIII: Prisoner of the Expanse where the whole party got a “make over”. I should really add several spray paint cans to Aidan’s equipment to account for the changing colour scheme of his armour.

Episode XIII
 

@Reiko Though I cannot divulge information to which the player party is not privy too, I can tell you that given the Governor’s reaction to the party, she didn’t seem to convey any knowledge of them being charged traitors to the Galactic Empire…

@Orobinson Indeed the recent makeovers have made… some difference in the efforts of the party to keep their wanted fugitive status hidden for the most part… yes… some difference… he he he:)

Episode XIII
Dyluth

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