With the fleeting alliance of rag-tag rebels grip on Imperial Centre stronger with every passing hour, our heroes have won their greatest victory in the battle to decisively cripple the Galactic Empire yet with a brazen assault on Imperial Intelligence’s headquarters and the capture of it’s notorious director Armand Isard.
Yet despite their great victories the battle for the heart of the Old Republic rages on, with the dreaded Lord Vader fast approaching in his hastily assembled war fleet. Even more ominous for our heroes is the figure that Vader claims to carry with him, a man claiming to be the Emperor himself, having survived the assassination on Naboo where our heroes were all but certain they had seen him perish.
With Vader’s task force blazing through hyperspace towards the galactic capital our heroes now face their greatest challenge yet where either the fire of their rebellion will continue to spread or the shroud of the dark side will fall once more.
Allies at the Ready
With Director Isard secured by Dar’Manda Arpat and her loyal Mandalorians, Akira Ben-Toshi and Thrax went to speak to the head of the massive Clone Wars veterans group who were on Imperial Centre prior to the party’s coup to protest the lack of promised benefits and compensation. Aidan Dyre and Nyla Hawklight went to speak with the Corelian Senator Garm Bel Iblis about their chances in defending the planet against Vader’s task force.
With some discussion and promises of recognition of their valour and sacrifice, as well as Chancellor Vipoth’s promise to pay their previously promised benefits in full, Akira and Thrax obtain the pledges of support of the leadership of the Clone Ware veterans group and it’s one and a half million men and women to serve as a militia backstopping the planet’s regular ground based security forces.
While meeting with Senator Iblis in the Imperial Senate building, Aidan and Nyla learn that the man currently in charge of the Imperial Centre Defense Fleet and it’s planetary defences was man named General Skarneh who Aidan remembered as a ruthless and nearly fascist commander in the Clone Wars who had an unwavering loyalty to the then Chancellor Palpatine. Aidan told Nyla and the senator they could not count on the General to defend the planet against his former leader. The second in command for the time being however was a man named Admiral Xybol, an old naval officer with a reputation for fairness and for going by the book. The three agreed that installing Xybol as Commander of the Coruscant Defence Fleet was critical to winning the coming battle, and forged a plan to do just that.
Using Krith Nosix’s slicing skills, the party was able to locate the General in his command headquarters as well as construct false military identities for Aidan and Nyla, Major Tolon and Major Kalib respectively.
Using these identities Nyla and Aidan were able to infiltrate the planetary defence forces headquarters and with Nyla’s use of the Force to persuade others and Aidan’s intimidation factor, the pair were able to reach the General in person so that Nyla could silently and quickly put him in a Force induced fourty-eight hour coma. After making their escape from the command headquarters the pair learned that Admiral Xybol had in fact been named the new head of Imperial Center’s planetary defence forces.
The Shroud Approaches
The party was briefed by Senator Iblis on Admiral Xybol’s defensive plans for repel Vader’s task force, and take up positions in support of the Imperial Centre Defence Fleet with Aidan and Thrax commanding their own Star Destroyers in charge of entire lines of warships and Nyla and Akira taking to their starfighters in charge of their own squadrons.
Soon after, Vader’s task force arrived nearly perfectly evenly matched to the task force that the party lead, one-hundred some odd ships to one-hundred.
The battle raged immediately, with Vader’s star destroyer sending out transmissions featuring the “imposter” Emperor to the planet below asking that they surrender and turn on the rebel traitors.
The fleet fought on however with fierce determination and resolve. Aidan and Thrax’s ships traced the transmissions back to Vader’s command ship, and Nyla and Akira lead their squadron’s in a devastating assault on the ship which was destroyed, but not before a shuttle was launched with Vader’s personal starfighter following it close behind.
Akira engaged Vader’s fighter directly but was shot down in his starfighter, with his Padawan Elsae Sarvool and him both ejecting at high altitude at the last moment before they were destroyed along with their starfighter.
Aidan commanded his star destroyer to retrieve Akira and Elsae and to follow the shuttle to land fall, destroying it if they could. While the star destroyer fought as best it could, it was crippled by a swarm of Vader’s V-Wing fighters, forcing it’s crew to abandon ship.
While Akira directed Eldewn to her own safe escape pod, he and Aidan took their own and flew it in pursuit of Vader’s fighter and the shuttle which landed in the heart of a military base and starport that Akira and Aidan had thought was firmly under their control. Instead the base was hesitant to open fire on Lord Vader, and allowed him and the shuttle to land.
As Vader emerges from his starfighter Aidan rockets out of the still in flight escape pod, blasters opening fire on Vader far down on the ground below and is joined by Akira who leaps bravely and aided by the Force to directly confront of Vader.
With an entire military base full of personnel frozen in fear and unsure of which side to fight for, Aidan with his blasters and Akira with his lightsaber battled the Dark Lord of the Sith. The fight was ferocious and grueling, and although Vader took considerable damage, Akira and Aidan were more critically wounded. Upon hearing over their comlinks that the base commander had given the order to arrest them. Aidan and Akira knew they had to flee immediately.
Akira used the Force to leap thirty-meters straight up into the air and landed far away from the Imperial forces now attempting to capture him. He soon rejoined Elsae and the rest of the ground forces loyal to Chancellor Vipoth who were now forming a perimeter around the military base. Aidan used his rocket pack to attempt an aerial escape, but was soon swarmed by Stormtroopers in jet packs. Despite engaging his afterburners, Aidan was knocked unconscious in the ensuing fight.
Uncertain of their friend’s fate, Akira took command of the ground forces surrounding the military base now loyal to Vader. While in orbit Nyla & Thrax continued to engage with what remained of Vader’s task force, gaining the critical upper hand. On the planet below, their loyal forces began massing in Monument Plaza, preparing for an all out ground war for control of the planet’s surface.
In His Talons
Dazed, and striped of his armour and weapons, Aidan slowly came too. He found himself in a dank and poorly lit room guarded by four Imperial regular soldiers. A familiar, refined voice hidden in the shadows spoke to Aidan. Recognizing his tormentor as the former bounty hunter Negas, Aidan watched as the Nautolan emerged to taunt him with a mere smile and a puff of smoke blown directly in Aidan’s face. Confidently, Negas explained that at the behest of Lord Vader, he would be interrogating Aidan.