Star Wars Fringe Heroes

The Elrood Conspiracy Part 2

The PCs have captured the traitor Nos Kath and begin interrogating him. After some intimidation, he finally shares what he knows. He was hired by human woman to sabotage the rescue attempt. He doesn’t know her name but could pick her out of a lineup. He spent all of his stolen money but was promised more. He never got the other payment since the woman was not satisfied with the results. She said if he wanted the rest of his money he would have to come to Elrood and help her finish the job, whatever that was. He was on his way to meet her when he ran into the PCs.

The PCs determine that their next course of action is to have Nos meet her and then capture the mastermind. They quickly make disguises and infiltrate the meeting point, a bar named the Pit, before Nos arrives. The Pit is mostly a bar but trading in lowered section in the middle happens daily. The crowded area makes for an ideal spot to meet without anyone noticing. Each PC grabs a table around the Pit to prevent Nos or his contact from escaping. RMC guards have orders to shoot Nos if he tries to leave without the PCs once he enters.

Once Nos is in the Pit, he is approached by a figure in a dark cloak. He says something and the figure moves quickly towards the door. Vek-Tor senses Nos has betrayed them and approaches the figure. Once the figure sees Vek-Tor, the figure throws back her cloak to reveal a human woman and lets loose a whistle. Several Trandoshans spread around the room quickly pull blasters and begin shooting at Vek-Tor. The PCs return fire while Vek-Tor attempts to prevent the woman from leaving. He finds his connection to the force temporarily negated by the woman.

While Pinstripe and Mawrrookwa pin down the Trandoshans, Keela, Nimble, and Kel-Ra help Vek-Tor catch the woman. The woman keeps negating Vek-Tor’s force powers but doing so gives the others time to box her into an alley. Surrounded, she eventually drops unconscious as Vek-Tor is finally able to use the force to knock her out. With the Trandoshans killed, they gathered around the mysterious woman to unmask the conspiracy.

Vek-Tor engaged in a test of wills with the dark jedi and eventually won her over. The woman turns out to be Nora Lo and admits to being a spy for Loshak. He is searching for the planet Halbarra which is the major source of revenue for RMC. While Loshak wasn’t behind the kidnapping of Lura Zal, he did pay Nos Kath to betray his mission. She also reveals that she convinced Tey Haako to give up RMC trade secrets that allowed Loshak controlled Imperial Mining Limited (IML) to win several contracts away from RMC. The PCs then report back to Davron Zal and collect their reward.

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The Elrood Conspiracy Part 1

The PCs successfully reunite Lura Zal with her father Davron Zal at his large estate in Elrood. Davron throws a feast to celebrate his daughter’s return and lavish praises on the PCs. He also secretly confides to them (out of earshot of his family) that he believes a conspiracy has arisen against him and Radell Mining Corporation (RMC). He asks the PCs to investigate this since he believes members of his work force and perhaps inner circle are traitors. Davron says he can trust the PCs since they are outsiders and have already proven capable. He also offers a substantial reward for their help.

The PCs agree to the challenge and start investigating. Nooki is assigned to help as their local contact and has healed up nicely from his crash landing. The PCs first look into the background of Nos Kath, the only known traitor. Not much is known about Nos other than he was a mercenary. Nooki suspects someone paid him to betray their expedition but does not know who that is.

The PCs then ask who knew about the kidnapping and the expedition to retrieve Lura. Nooki replies only the highest levels knew about it. The only ones who had to know were the board members and perhaps someone in accounting who cleared the money for the kidnappers. The PCs then start to search the employee database of RMC to find out who could have known.

Eventually the PCs settle on Tey Haako. Tey is a Neimoidian in charge of mining contracts. He has access to financial data and seems to be living beyond his means. The PCs confront Tey and he denies any wrong doing. He claims incompetence in all matters financial. His says his job is more of a salesman to the Empire trying to get Imperial mining contracts for RMC. His secretary, Nora Lo does all the financial documents. Unconvinced, the PCs confiscate his data pad and order guards to hold him under house arrest.

Keela tries to look through the data pad but finds part of it encrypted. Nooki suggests they stop by the Elrood Bazaar for tools to break the encryption. The PCs agree that now would be a good time to shop and spend some of their hard earned money. Nooki arranges a private airspeeder to chauffeur them through the Bazaar.

While shopping Nooki suddenly cries out and starts shouting, “It’s him! He’s here!” The PCs look but whoever it was is big and runs back into the crowd. Nooki quickly explains that he saw the traitor Nos Kath right here on Elrood. The PCs quickly give chase. Nos frantically tries to escape crashing through shop and shopper alike to get away. He eventually wanders into traffic, causing several wrecks and almost getting everyone killed including himself. Eventually the PCs corner him in a parking garage and force him to surrender.

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The Great Bag Man in the Sky

As the PCs readied themselves to leave Korad, they noticed a blast in the sky. Looking up they saw a ship crashing. The PCs quickly gathered into their ship to help any survivors and lay claim to any salvage. The PCs search the ship and discover two human survivors, one male and one female. The female is unconscious and CP-33 proves unable to awaken her. The male, though badly injured, is still able to talk.

He says his name is Nooki and his companion’s name is Vera. They were sent here to Korad to negotiate the safe release of a kidnapped girl. Unfortunately one of his shipmates, a Dashade named Nos Kath, betrayed them suddenly and left via an escape pod before a bomb in the ship went off. He asks the PCs to continue his mission and rescue the kidnapped girl.

The PCs search the ship’s hold to find a crate full of Imperial credits. Nooki tells them that half is missing and probably stolen by Nos Kath. The escape pod wasn’t big enough for both crates so he had to abandon one. The PCs tell Nooki they will negotiate the girls release with the remaining funds. Secretly the PCs plan to kill the kidnappers while rescuing the girl and then keep the credits for themselves. When the PCs leave with the crate, Nooki, and Vera they see Ugors surrounding the ship as they leave.

The fight with the kidnappers was brief but intense. All the kidnappers were Trandoshans and all but one died. Mawrrookwa was against taking him captive, but Vek-Tor convinced him and the others to spare his life. They found the kidnapped human girl, partially buried and sedated. They revived her and were relieved that she spent most of her ordeal sedated remembering little. She tells them her name is Lura Zal and she’s 8 years old. The PCs promise to return her to her family on Elrood.

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Korad Scavenger Hunt

The PCs decide to repair the Space Factory’s main hyperdrive. To do so, they decide to try looking for parts on the trash planet of Korad. Sensors showed encrypted comlink traffic on the surface. The PCs begin a low flyover in order to find a hyperdrive large enough to propel their space station through hyperspace.

The PCs pick up a signal that advertises junk yard services from a company called Renew. They follow the signal to find a large building that’s mostly intact. The upper floors were hollowed out long ago, but the ground floor appeared stable. The PCs don their breathing masks and enter the building to find a droid receptionist still functional. The droid welcomes them to the corporate offices of Renew and asks how to help in their search for parts on Korad.

The droid directs to use their kiosk to find the parts they need and the prices Renew charges for their salvage. Keela looks at the Kiosk to find it’s screen broke. She instead attaches her datapad to the kiosk to act as its display. Searching the database, she finds a hyperdrive suitable for their needs. She then attempts to hack the system to list the part as paid by the PCs. Unfortunately, a security protocol is activated and security droids appear from doors opening around them. In addition, a lift lowers to reveal a war droid training its guns on the PCs.

The war droid begins to lay down a barrage of blaster fire. The security droids use stun batons against PCs when they spread out. Vek-Tor uses the Force to fling security droids at the war droid, while the others concentrate their fire on the war droid. The remnants of the security droids piled up at the feet of the war droid who eventually succumbs to the PCs blaster fire.

The PCs then move to the coordinates provided by the offices of Renew. They land and begin to search the junk piles and finally spot a large hyperdrive being used as a dais. It appears some altar has been affixed on top of it. Keela inspects the base and announces their search is over.

Before they can begin to move the piece of equipment, a procession of curious beings in space suits begins to approach from the corridors of trash. As the procession gets closer, the PCs notice the creatures are amorphous pseudo-pod people filling a roughly bipedal shape. Nimble identifies the creatures as Ugors. The processions continue until the PCs find themselves surrounded by a curious, trash loving village of Ugors.

The Ugors seem surprised and glad that the PCs have chosen to give offerings to the great trash heap in the sky at their temple. The PCs diplomatically tell them they would like to take their temple as their own. The Ugors are greatly dismayed by the prospect of losing their temple. To calm the fears of the crowd surrounding them, they offer to purchase or replace their temple.

One Ugor mentions their first choice for a temple was a derelict ship orbiting Korad called the Black Hole Trash Heap. Black Holes are considered sacred to Ugors. When the PCs ask why they did not use the ship as their temple, the Ugors inform them of the heavy droid security on the ship preventing them. The PCs offer to clear the droid marines and land the ship on the planet in return for the hyperdrive being used as the Ugor’s current temple. The Ugors agree.

The PCs take off in their ship and being inspecting the various debris surrounding Korad. Eventually they find a trash scow with a symbol of a black hole painted on it. They scan to find power still running through the ship. Their sensors show life support systems and inertial dampeners still working. They attach their ship to the scow and begin to board it.

The scow seems deserted at first. As they move toward the ship’s cockpit, they are ambushed by security droids and blaster turrets. The turrets fire down the corridor from top of the stairs at them. Security droids emerge from rooms behind the PCs. The droids used hidden holes in the rooms’ walls to get behind the PCs and fire at them from the bottom of the stairs.

Pinstripe and Mawrrookwa crouch in doorways to fire at the turrets. Nimble provides covering fire down the stairs while Kel-Ra and Keela close and lock the doors the droids were using as cover. Vek-Tor flings droids against each other until the turrets are destroyed. The PCs then finish off the droids on one side of the corridor before destroying the other side.

With the ship cleared, the PCs restore the ship’s engines and land it on Korad. They then lead the Ugors to their new temple. Finally, the load up their new capital ship hyperdrive on to their own ship.

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The Space Factory

The PCs attempt to locate the final droid factory they believe is located near the system of Tifnyl. The system is mostly famous for being chosen to host an Imperial listening post. The PCs evade the construction and enter the large gas cloud known as the Drift.

Extensive searching by the PCs initially proved futile. As luck would have it, their largely useless sensors eventually picked up a small probe droid following them. When the droid broke off pursuit, they followed the droid to a section of space without dust. They moved to investigate it. Once free of the dust, their sensors immediately picked up a large ship on the other side of an asteroid in the middle of the open space. They could also detect several smaller ships launching to intercept them.

The enemy pilots were inexperienced and quickly dispatched. A few raced back to their mother ship. When the PC’s ship crested the asteroid and saw the large ship, the were surprised to see a small space station. The station looked seriously damaged and only a small section had any energy readings. The enemy fighters docked at the station where energy was still flowing. The PCs followed and docked in the same hangar.

The PCs open their cargo doors to find the entire station in zero gravity. They crouched behind crates in their ship as pirate spacers opened fire. Vek-Tor advanced in zero gravity dodging blaster fire. He used the force to propel the spacers out of cover and the other PCs blasted them in the air. The spacers then asked for a parley and the PCS quickly demanded their surrender. Because of their losses, they agreed.

The PCs took stock of the situation and learned the leader of the station’s pirates was a man named Alstair. The station also provided a home to a small gathering of families. Women and children were living in the cramped quarters of this section of the station. Despite its size, only a portion of it was livable. The pirates also had a good size booty of stolen goods. There were several crates of luxury goods and foods stolen from various ships.

Nimble practiced diplomacy amongst the prisoners and the families of prisoners. The other set about making repairs to the station. Mawr, and Keela donned space suits and began restoring power to the station, repairing the station’s engines, and bringing the station’s backup hyperdrive back online. The fixed engines were incredibly weak and allowed only the barest of propulsion. Just as the station was repaired enough to transport to the PC’s secret repair facility, a probe alerted them to the presence of the Empire.

Several Lamda shuttles were searching the Drift near the station. Their search patterns were easy to predict however. Mawr stayed on the station to pilot it in a way to avoid the shuttles’ search. The other PCs took off in their ship to provide cover in case they were found. They managed to get almost to the edge of the Drift when they were discovered. Only a handful of shuttles were able to intercept them before they exited. The PCs fought a running battle against the shuttles while Mawr pushed the station out of the Drift and made the jump to hyperspace. The station travelled slowly with the backup hyperdrive, but eventually made it to safety.

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Morthane Must Die

After rescuing Rarrakk, the PCs contemplated their next move. Vek-Tor convinced the others to search for another of Rageus’ lost temples. He discovered through communing with Malthos that two other temples capable of manufacturing droids were still undiscovered. One produced droid starships near the Tifnyl system. The other produced droid infantry soldiers and was located on the planet of Coyn. The PCs decided to investigate the temple on Coyn once Vek-Tor reminded them that Morthane was last seen there.

The PCs began their research and planning to find the temple and to defeat Morthane once and for all once they found him. Vek-Tor prepared a medical mixture to defeat Morthane’s ability to possess an individual like Madame Lipsuk. The others gleaned clues from the history books to determine the location the Coyn temple.

They set out to where their research suggested and began combing the forests. Eventually, they stumbled into an ambush of droids. The PCs found themselves surrounded by Purge Troopers while Sniper Droidekas blasted them from a nearby cliff. Vek-Tor used the Force to throw the droids against each other and into disarray. The droids never recovered and were quickly dispatched by the PCs.

They continued their search and eventually found a ziggurat looking similar to the temple on Derilyn. Upon exploring the temple, the PCs found rooms in similar places. However, all had been looted already. The lift to the top floor opened to the outside and it was there that the PCs encountered a waiting Morthane.

Morthane, in his possessed Bothan body, sat atop the ziggurat in a throne overlooking the quiet Coyn countryside. As the PCs stepped from the lift, Morthane activated a button on the throne that, brought four dog like statues to life. Vek-Tor launched into the air with his jet pack and landed on the throne above. The other struggled to damage the powerful robotic statues. As Vek-Tor landed, he used the Force to knock the droids prone and prepared to face Morthane.

Morthane used force lightning and pushed Vek-Tor off the small platform. Vek-Tor reignited his jetpack and began to choke Morthane with the Force. Flying two headed reptiles emerged to defend Morthane. They forced Vek-Tor to land, but he managed to keep his choke hold on Morthane. Staggered, Morthane activated another button on his throne and the ziggurat began to shake. The platform where the throne was attached began to lower.

Meanwhile the temple began to divide itself into four separate structures and separated itself. Each of the four dog like droids returned to their previous position and turned back into statues. The throne platform became a lift that descended into the depths of Coyn with Vek-Tor and Morthane. A blast door sealed them in and prevented the other PCs from joining them. The constant moving buildings forced the others to activate their jet packs.

Each above ground PC tried to fly away from the vicious beasts and return fire. Pinstripe was mauled and nearly died after almost crashing. Mawr landed on a different temple block and tried to draw the beast away. His intense fire convinced the flying beast to attack him instead of Pinstripe. The other beast attacked Nimble. She returned fire with her missile launcher.

Vek-Tor found himself alone with his nemesis, Morthane, during the forever seeming ride to the bottom. The throne placed a force field around Morthane who still struggled against the force choke Vek-Tor maintained. The throne attempted to heal Morthane like a medical droid. Despite the force field, Vek-Tor used the Force to hurl Morthane against the throne and damaging the throne’s capability to heal Morthane.

Finally, the lift stopped and Vek-Tor looked around to see a dilapidated control room. Hoses hung from the ceiling and sparks flew from exposed circuits in the floor. A bank of computers lined one wall and seated at one was Madame Lipsuk. She worriedly looked at Vek-Tor and the compromised Morthane. “I don’t want to be possessed!” she cried and began running up a nearby ramp and out of Vek-Tor’s view.

Back above ground, Keela and Kel-Ra occupied areas far apart so that at least three of them could attack a beast without being attacked themselves. By concentrating their fire, they took down the first one while Nimble dodged the poison tail of the other.

The last beast had a difficult time choosing who to attack. When it attacked Nimble, Mawr would lay down a devastating blaster barrage. When it attacked Mawr, Nimble would fire missiles at it. The beast slowly began to lose altitude and struggled to keep up the fight. Finally Mawr finished it off with a double tap to each of its heads.

Vek-Tor released Morthane from his force choke and followed Madame Lipsuk to the base of the ramp. He drew a syringe of sith poison antidote from his utility belt. As he reached the base of the ramp, he could see Lipsuk again as she was just about to turn the corner. Before she could leave his sight again, Vek-Tor quickly sent the syringe flying towards Lipsuk. The syringe injected into her the antidote. Vek-Tor quickly turned back to Morthane.

In order to inject Lipsuk, Vek-Tor had to release Morthane from his Force choke. Morthane drew his sith blade and advanced towards Vek-Tor with a vengeance. Vek-Tor dodged the blade’s thrust and sidestepped. Suddenly more figures seemed to be standing in the room. Turning, Vek-Tor saw the ghosts of Malthos and Darth Rageus shouting at him and giving conflicting advice. The distraction almost allowed Morthane to slip his sith blade into Vek-Tor’s back.

Vek-Tor ignored the ghostly apparitions and turned to finish Morthane. He reached out with the Force once more to hurl Morthane towards the throne. The sith alchemist cried out one last time before his neck was snapped. He sighed and a ghostly cloud emerged from the Bothan body. The cloud moved to the unconscious body of Madame Lipsuk. It hovered for a short time before dissolving.

Vek-Tor moved to Madame Lipsuk to check if it was indeed her or if Morthane had beaten the antidote. Vek-Tor sensed for the spirit of Morthane and was relieved to not find him. He had finally defeated the dark jedi. Vek-Tor stood up knowing he had completed his Trial of Courage. As far as Vek-Tor knew, he was the last jedi knight in the galaxy. It was time for this knight to take a stand against oppression.

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Wookie Jailbreak

Mawr’s search for his missing son, Rarrakk has led him to believe he is imprisoned on the mining planet of Berea. Most of the miners on Berea are prisoners held against their will. Mawr is convinced that Rarrakk is a captive slave on the planet and has been making plans to free him.

Complicating these efforts are the new interdicting ship Barricade. It is scheduled to begin patrolling the hyperspace lanes between Derilyn and Berea within a few short weeks. Recently, the PCs infiltrated the Barricade while it was in dry dock in the city of Palpatine on Derilyn. They were able to secretly install a remote kill switch that would disable the interdicting gravity well. It is likely that the Imperial engineers would be able to quickly fix it, so the sabotage would only let them escape once from Barricade.

Mawr decided to speed up his plans and recruited the other PCs for the attempted jailbreak. His plan involved infiltrating the planet of Berea’s support team with Nimble and Keela. Nimble would pose as a medic and gather information from the workers and miners in attempts to find Rarrakk. Keela would pose as a technician and search the base’s computer records for weaknesses to exploit that would do the most damage and cause the most confusion.

Kel-Ra and Pinstripe would pose as bounty hunters who would bring Mawr and Vek-Tor to Berea in attempts to collect a reward. They were aided by the fact that the Imperial supervisor of Berea’s mining facility was offering higher bounties for Mawr and his jedi associate.

Once Keela and Nimble were in place on the planet, the others purchased passage on an Imperial transport from Derilyn to Berea with Mawr and Vek-Tor in binders and in the ship’s brig. When the shipped landed on the mining facility’s landing pad, the two “bounty hunters” and their two “prisoners” walked across the open facility in breath masks and all weather cloaks. As they passed Keela and Nimble, they exchanged knowing nods to signal all was ready. Keela began to disable the transport ship temporarily in preparation for their escape.

Mawr and Vek-Tor were placed in the base’s jail. The cells had three walls and a force field. While waiting, Mawr noticed writing on one of the walls. He looked closer and read the words, “All who wish to enter must NOC.” After discussing with each other, they concluded NOC meant the NOC list. Perhaps the one they found on Kidron.

Kel-Ra and Pinstripe waited for the base’s commandant outside the jail at the break room. The two conferred with Keela. Keela had been busy while waiting for the rest. She had searched the records and could not find Rarrakk. In addition, Nimble had told her that none of the miners had heard of him. Keela finally found data in the station’s protected records that the Commandant had a secret bounty on Rarrakk’s head. The secret bounty was known only to a few bounty hunters and not widely known.

Meanwhile Nimble attempted to convince the guards to allow her to see the prisoners. They refused saying the commandant insisted that no one go in or out until he got to see them first. Nimble continued to attempt to allow them in, while Kel-Ra stealthily snuck past the guards. Kel-Ra informed Mawr of the absence of his son. Mawr informed Kel-Ra of the words and their suspicion of the NOC list connection. In addition to the writing, a data port appeared next to the writing. Kel-Ra then noticed a similar wording and dataport next to the cells on the outside. Kel-Ra resolved to bring the NOC list to the cell.

Suddenly, an Quarren Imperial officer flanked by two guards strode towards the jail. His rank was commander he introduced himself as Commandant Loshak. Noticing Nimble conversing with the guards, he started to dress her down for interfering. Concerned about Kel-Ra, Nimble stalled the commandant long enough for Kel-Ra to sneak out without the Quarren noticing him. Frustrated, Loshak told Nimble that if he ever saw her again, he would shoot her.

He then strode into the jail asked Mawr where the NOC list from Kidron was. Mawr refused defiantly to tell him in Shyriiwook. Loshak threatened Mawr immediately without waiting for a translation, “Where is the datapad?!” Pinstripe interrupted the interrogation by shouting into the jail that they had the prisoners datapads stored on the transport ship. Loshak demanded them immediately, but Pinstripe insisted on payment first.

Begrudgingly, Loshak agreed to deliver payment to the transport where Pinstripe and Kel-Ra would then hand over any and all datapads captured. Loshak, his guards, Pinstripe and Kel-Ra then walked to the transport ship locker. Once a briefcase of Imperial credits was handed over, the two PCs handed over Mawr’s datapad.

Thanks to another distraction by Nimble feigning dropping her luggage, the jail guards were once again distracted while Keela snuck past and into the jail, NOC list in tow. Inserting a data connection into the dataport and into the NOC list caused a piece of the wall to open up. Keela stepped in and the door closed behind her. She found a corridor that led to another secret door that opened up into Mawr and Vek-Tor’s jail cell.

They discovered the passage went below the mining facility. Keela observed that this part of the base was off the energy grid but still had power. She surmised a secret and hidden power source was powering this part of the base.

The sealed door, was overridden by Keela and revealed a hallway with moving laser traps going down and back. They could see another dataport on the opposite end of the hall next to another sealed door. Confidant in his ability with the Force, Vek-Tor surged down the hall with the NOC list.The lasers missed the jedi and he connected the datapad to the dataport. Instantly, the lasers deactivated and the door opened.

Inside was a small mint with carts of coins made out of precious metals. Each coin had the face of a Coynite with the name underneath of Rageus. In addition, blaster rifles lined the walls on racks. In the midst of searching the mint, Keela discovered the mint used a lost method of minting that made hard metals temporarily malleable in a way that used remarkably low amounts of energy. She hurriedly downloaded the schematics to the techniques to her personal datapad for later study.

After retrieving Mawr’s datapad, Loshak determinedly strode back towards the jail. He passed Nimble on her way to the transport and, instead of shooting her, congratulated her on her wise choice of packing up and leaving. Unknown to Loshak and his guards, the three PCs fell in behind them and followed them to the jail.

When they all returned to the jail, they were surprised to see the cell empty.Loshak furiously connected the datapad to the dataport and waited for something, anything to happen. When it didn’t, he dropped the datapad in frustration and dropped the cell force field. He and his guards entered in to the cell and began looking for clues.

Sensing an opening, Pinstripe began to stealthily place explosives around the jail. When he was finished, he turned the force field back on, trapping Loshak and his guards in the jail. Loshak cried out at the betrayal and began to order troops to the jail, when Pinstripe pointed out the explosives and pointed the remote detonator in his hand. Cautiously, Loshak called off the guards.

Pinstripe then began asking questions of Loshak about Rarrakk. Loshak explained that he had been searching for the NOC list for some time. He traced it to the original four who founded Kidron. When he learned of its existence he sent Stormtroopers to retrieve it. They failed thanks to Mawr, the jedi and the other PCs. He was able to determine that Mawr contacted a former mining slave Wookie, Kentacca, that had escaped to Kidron. Loshak offered to free the Wookie’s relative if he would tell him what Mawr wanted. This was how Loshak learned of Rarrakk and decided to use Mawr’s son as bait if he couldn’t find Mawr. Unfortunately, Loshak couldn’t locate him either. Instead he began to spread rumors that he did to agents of Boss Kaggle to get Mawr to come here, presumably with the NOC list.

In the mint, Keela decided they needed a distraction to begin their escape. She activated a preplanned subroutine that would release the slave minors and enable their espace to the landing pad. She had also disabled the transport that the others had come in on, so no one could take off with it without her and the others.

The subroutine immediately opened all jail cells and dropped all force fields, including the one trapping Loshak. Loshak yelled to his guards to attack Pinstripe. Scared, the guards immediately ran out of the jail to avoid getting blown up. Loshak hurriedly followed after them. Once outside the assumed blast radius they stopped to attack the PCs at the break room. Pinstripe, Nimble, and Kel-Ra opened fire on the guards while Loshak ran out of the room yelling orders into his comlink.

Keela, Vek-Tor and Mawr returned to the jail to see the others shooting from the hallway. After quick pleasantries, Mawr stopped to put on his armor and gather his belongings on a nearby interrogation table. He looked at the improperly placed explosives and shook his head concluding that Pinstripe knew nothing about explosives. He returned the blocks to his bag and replaced his found blaster rifle with his upgraded one.

Vek-Tor gathered his things and charged into the fray using the Force to throw guards against each other. Keela explained to the others were the secret passage went. When Pinstripe heard about the mint, he stopped fighting and ran into the passage to bring out the coins. Mawr took his place in the doorway and began to return fire.

Seeing as there was little room for Keela to help, she moved to a nearby communication station. She sliced the system to give her the highest privileges and saw how well her handy work was going. The slaves had escaped and were overrunning the guards on their way to the transports waiting on the surface. The command center was coordinating their response so Keela intercepted their orders and inserted her own to add to the confusion.

She then noticed a ship was urgently trying to contact the flight control and insisiting on landing. She noticed it was quite well armed for a transport but not an Imperial ship. Intrigued, she received the ships hailing without the video. The ship’s captain claimed to be a bounty hunter bringing back prisoners including the Wookie Loshak wanted. Excited, Keela gave him clearance to land. She noted there was a disturbance and that he should take steps to defend himself while waiting for Loshak (the bounty hunter insisted Loshak meet him personally).

When Keela told Mawr of the ship with the Wookie bounty, Mawr flew into a rage. His shots became increasingly deadly until all the guards were dead. When Pinstripe returned with carts full of coins, Mawr and the others left for the bounty hunter’s ship.

They dodged sentries, slaves and droids to get to the newly landed ship. The bounty hunter had an Annihilator droid guarding him. Pinstripe attempted to bluff the guards with coin carts as his reward money. Then the guard spotted Mawr, and he ordered the droid to attack the PCs.

Undaunted, Pinstripe fired at the bounty hunter using the carts as cover. The others concentrated on the droid from behind crates of minerals. Mawr stooped to gather the explosives Pinstripe had used earlier. The ion grenades and detonite were mixed in together so he had to toss the whole block. The blast would be large and would get Pinstripe unless he got out of the way. He tossed it anyway and waited for his friend to make his move.

Pinstripe did just that and used the carts to pin the bounty hunter against his own ship. He and the others fired at the immobile target and killed him.Then Pinstripe moved up the ramp into the ship while the others almost got blasted to death by the huge droid. One Wookie laugh and click of Mawr’s remote later and a large hole appeared in the droid’s hull. The group concentrated the fire on the hole and the droid was soon destroyed.

Mawr raced into the ship to find his son. The others decided to split up with Keela, Vek-Tor and Kel-Ra going back to their transport. Keela enabled the ship and Kel-Ra pushed the former slave out of the pilot’s chair and took off. Nimble moved to the bounty hunter’s old ship and took off. Mawr found his son and one other prisoner in the ship’s hold. He freed the two and hugged his Rarrakk.

When the two ships got into orbit, they flew into a running space battle. Barricade and a flight of TIE fighters were engaging the escaped slaves. Shuttles were boarding a few. None had made the jump to hyperspace thanks to Barricade’s gravity well. Keela smiled wryly and sent the signal to the capital ship to disable the gravity well. Immediately ships began to surge away. Keela calculated their jump and Kel-Ra followed them.

The others felt the need for some Imperial payback and began to engage TIE fighters and shuttles. After a few attack runs, their shields failed and they were forced to jump to hyperspace too.

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Jedi Trials

[Ed. Note: This post is part two of two of a mini series to show what Vek-Tor and Nimble were doing during Return Engagement and Interdict This!. This is based on a small session conducted with the players this time.]

As Vek-Tor arrived at the meeting point, he already saw the jedi’s ghost moving away towards the mountains. Vek-Tor sensed with the Force and detected Nimble following. Intrigued, Vek-Tor decided to follow the ghost while masking Nimble’s presence from Malthos. The ghost led Vek-Tor to a cave. The air was unnaturally colder inside and Vek-Tor could feel the area was strong in the Force. Bravely, he stepped in.

Nimble followed Vek-Tor to the cave entrance. When she looked inside, she saw the passage lead to a fork. She didn’t get there in time to see which way Vek-Tor went, so she randomly picked the left passage. It eventually opened up into a large cavern. The cave Nimble emerged was on a ledge and she could see a figure standing on the cave floor some 10 meters below her.

Vek-Tor was surrounded in darkness. He calmed his nerves through meditation. Suddenly a bright light shone above him. He opened his eyes to see an AT-ST with a spot light atop it shining down on him. A figure on top of the AT-ST controlled the spotlight and kept it on him as he moved. Vek-Tor squinted to make out the barbed figure of Morthane. Responding instinctively, Vek-Tor used his telekinetic Force powers to propel the AT-ST into the cave roof and crushed Morthane. And then the cave was dark again. No sound stirred and Vek-Tor was sure the AT-ST and Morthane were not real. They were merely a vision to test him. What more tests did this cave offer?

Nimble was about to call to Vek-Tor below when he suddenly looked at her glow rod. Perplexed, she hesitated. Before she could say anything, Vek-Tor used the Force and lifted a large stalagmite off the ground and threw it at the ceiling. The collision knocked her off her feet and she dropped her glow rod. It careened on the ledge and fell to the cave floor below her. It slowly rolled towards Vek-Tor. Confused, Nimble hid behind a column. Vek-Tor wasn’t acting like himself and Nimble didn’t know what to do about it.

Vek-Tor stumbled forward and tripped. He reached out to brace himself and felt a cold metal wall. Looking up he saw a Firespray-31 starship. The starship he always wanted and dreamed about. It was resting on a bed of gems, precious metals, and Imperial credits. Every item he ever wanted to possess was here now for his taking. Excitement filled Vek-Tor but quickly faded. This was another test. These possessions are not real. They never are. He pushed back at the apparition using the Force and it disappeared.

Nimble watched Vek-Tor stumble around and brace himself on a stone column. He stared intently at something, but Nimble wasn’t sure what it was. He then defiantly stomped on the glow rod at his feet. The cave plunged into darkness. Nimble sighed and retrieved another glow rod. She hoped Vek-Tor would ignore it.

An overhead light shown down on Vek-Tor and his military aides. He stood in front of a large map of the Elrood Sector. The aids were arguing over the armies next move. “Who should we attack next, General Vek-Tor?” one of the aids said. “The lightly defended bread basket planet where civilian casualties will be high. Or the heavily defended military factory where our troop casualties will be high?” Vek-Tor pondered the question and looked at the entire map. There had to be a third option, a better way. Then he saw it. “Move our capital ships to that mining planet. We’ll blockade their raw materials and prevent the factories from producing military hardware without any bloodshed.”

Nimble watched Vek-Tor stare at his feet for what seemed a small eternity. Finally, he shook himself and looked up at her. “Nimble? Is that you?” Nimble sighed of relief. Whatever was messing with Vek-Tor’s head was now gone.

The two began to leave the cave when Malthos’ ghost appeared at the cave entrance. “Follow me,” he said simply. They walked down an obscured cavern for a long while. Eventually they stopped at what Vek-Tor believed was directly under the Derilyn temple. Three large crystals formed a small monolith in the shape of an open pyramid. Vek-Tor could feel the Force emanating from the crystals and shooting up towards the temple.

“Quckly,” Malthos said. Destroy it before Darth Rageus can stop us. Vek-Tor’s skeptisism returned. He gave a half-hearted attempt with his wrist rockets. A dark figure in robes with the features of a Coyn emerged from the pyramid.

“Who are you and why are here in my temple,” the dark figure said.

“I’m Vek-Tor and this is Nimble. Who are you?”

“I am Darth Rageus. I see you’ve met my former apprentice, Malthos. What lies has that traitor been telling you.”

“Traitor?” Vek-Tor hissed. “Is this true, Malthos?”

“Of course its true,” Darth Rageus furiously exclaimed. “The man literally stabbed me in the back with a lightsaber.”

“There was a little more to it than that if I remember correctly,” Malthos replied calmly. “Rageus convinced me that my people of the Elrood Sector were being oppressed. He and I fought against the Republic and the Jedi Order. The war brought more suffering to this sector than the Republic ever did. Killing you, Rageus, was the only way that suffering would end.”

“The ends justified the means.” Rageus replied forcefully.

“The ends never justify the means.” Vek-Tor interjected. “Give me one good reason why I shouldn’t destroy this contraption and end your possession right now.”

“No one is being possessed that doesn’t want to be.” Rageus retorted. “I have given him power and in return he will fulfill my dream of rebelling against Coruscant.”

“Things have changed since you were alive,” Vek-Tor said calmly. Must stay calm and focused he thought. “Would you still rebel against a fellow Sith?”

“I know very well about this so called New Order. It stinks very much of the old order. Power resides in Coruscant and is doled out to other planets at the whim of Coruscant. It doesn’t matter if it comes from officious bureaucrats of the Senate or a self-styled Emperor. And just because he’s Sith doesn’t mean I like him.” Vek-Tor could tell Rageus was just warming up. Indeed, he continued his diatribe.

“There’s something you should know about the duality of Jedi and Sith. They do not represent good and evil as you have been taught. They represent Selfless and Selfish. You can be good and selfish as well as evil and selfless. The selfless jedi that I fought sought to perpetuate the systemic evils of the status quo. That selflessness was worth rebelling against. That was worth fighting and yes dying for. Would you have made the same choice? Will you make it now?”

“What do you mean? I would never rebel against the Republic, but I would against the Empire. I would go so far as to say I do rebel against the Empire.” Vek-Tor asked intrigued.

“Careful here, it’s a trap.” Malthos cautioned.

“Quiet fool,” Rageus snapped. “You made your case. Now let me make mine. We are not so different you and I. I had to convince my current apprentice to fight against the Empire. His fear told him to hide. Your anger tells you to fight.”

“I’m not angry,” Vek-Tor insisted.

“Indeed,” Rageus dismissed. “Let me tell you about my goals. I seek to free this sector from the evils of foreign rule. I fought for this crusade when I was alive, and I fight for it now in death. You wish to fight as well. Then let me help you. Together we will throw off this yoke of oppression. The sectors should rule themselves. If there are disputes between two sectors, then let neutral sectors act as third party mediators. But let no one sector oppress another sector whether core or outer rim.”

“Quite the utopia,” Malthos said sarcastically. “Ask him who should rule?”

“Good question, Malthos. Well, Rageus. What about it?” Vek-Tor asks. For the first time Rageus responded cautiously.

“I don’t care about the form of government as long as there is a strong executive to guard against invasion. Coruscant will not let any planet go without a fight.”

“What about you Malthos? What your goals?” Vek-Tor asked.

“I joined Rageus because I was idealistic enough to believe that my people would be better served ruling themselves. I still believe that, but I would not see my people swap the oppressive rule of one Sith Lord for another. You have to choose between us Vek-Tor. This is the final test of your spirit.”

Intuitively, Vek-Tor knew what his choices were. Each of these spirits saw him as their pawn. They wished him to choose to become what they couldn’t become in the past. His destiny was to lead a rebellion against the Empire, but just like in his spiritual test, there was a third way. He couldn’t see it now, but he would find the third way. In the meantime …

“I’ve decided,” Vek-Tor said softly. He quickly raised his and hands and commanded the cavern roof to collapse on the crystals. The Force energies faded and Darth Rageus’ face alighted with anger.

“You have made your choice now, but there will be others. I will see you anon young Vek-Tor,” Rageus said from clenched teeth. The dark apparition vanished.

“I am most excited about your choice, Vek-Tor. We will make a great team and we will bring these people freedom,” Malthos beamed before vanishing too.

Cynically Vek-Tor replied, “Freedom’s just a word for nothing left to lose. We’re not there yet.”

A low rumble shook the cave. “Looks like you shook something loose,” Nimble said worriedly. “Was that what a cave in sounds like?”

The two made their way to the cave entrance. The found a blocked passage on their way.

“Yes that was a cave in,” Vek-Tor stated flatly. “We’ll have to dig our way out. Let’s just hope our friends don’t attack the temple without us.”

Two days of digging later and a breathless seeming ordeal was over. Their friends had left and took their ship with them. Vek-Tor and Nimble absconded with an Imperial speeder they found nearby and returned to Derilyssa.

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Ghost of Jedi Past

[Ed. Note. This passage is part one of two of exposition to show what Vek-Tor and Nimble were doing during previous adventures. The events below take place concurrently with Return Engagement. I’ve used a bit of artistic license since the PCs didn’t actually role play this out.]

Vek-Tor was sleeping uncomfortably on his ship located in the mountains of the planet Derilyn. The day before, he had encountered the Emperor’s Hand (apparently an agent answering to the Emperor only) and defeated her in combat. They both were investigating the ruins of a Sith Temple and the secrets it held. The fact that the Emperor was interested in this temple worried Vek-Tor and he rest uneasily.

Vek-Tor’s room on the ship offered little comfort. The small cot was uncomfortable, the sink leaked, and the others insisted on keeping the temperature at a far too cool of a temperature to save energy (more likely for their comfort). During a fitful period of tossing, turning and adjusting his breathing mask, a soft voice called out to Vek-Tor. Instinctively, Vek-Tor reached out with the Force and felt the presence of another force user. A now alert Vek-Tor jumped to his feet and began searching for the voice. Silently a ghostly figured appeared in front of him.

“Greeting, Vek-Tor”, the ghost said. “I’ve been watching you for some time now. It’s time for us to talk about how we can help each other.” The ghost was an older human male. He seemed short for a human with a balding head and a close cropped beard. He wore the robes of a jedi.

“Who are you?” Vek-Tor replied warily. “And why should I trust you?” Vek-Tor shifted closer to his door in preparation for calling for help. The ghost raised his hands to seem non-violent.

“My name is Malthos. I was born on this planet many years ago. I joined the jedi to leave this planet so I wouldn’t die here. Ironically, I returned to do just that in a battle between the jedi and the sith.”

But which side were you on, Vek-Tor thought. Skeptical but intrigued Vek-Tor decided to hear the ghost out. “You said something about helping me?” Vek-Tor could see Malthos smile like a fisherman seeing his line being tugged by a fish.

“I come to give you knowledge of the temple you are exploring. The first thing you should know is that there is a powerful jedi controlling the temple’s defenses,” Malthos explained. “He is guided by the spirit of an ancient Sith Lord, Darth Rageus, that I battled long ago. Before you can defeat the jedi, you must sever their spiritual connection. I can show you how.”

“What’s in it for you?” Vek-Tor had grown cynical since the rise of the Empire. This sounded too good to be true.

“I battled Rageus to the death and lo e’en after. I have continued to strive against him until today. I want you to defeat Rageus and his personal puppet for my own selfish reasons. And because those two would bring a reign of darkness and violence to the Elrood Sector when it needs it the least.”

“Perhaps you haven’t noticed the current reign of darkness and violence currently occupying this sector?” Vek-Tor replied sarcastically. “I doubt a lone jedi and a pet ghost offer any threat to the Emperor.

“There are many secrets of this sector that have been lost to time. Things that I and Rageus remember. I assure you, the knowledge we have will pose a threat to the Empire’s rule of the Elrood Sector. The only question is, who will replace the Empire if successful? Would you swap the rule of one Sith Lord for another?” Malthos leaned close and whispered his next words. “Or would you want to truly liberate these people and lift the boot of oppression from their collective necks like I wish to do. I offer you a hard journey with danger, but also the promise of freedom at journey’s end.”

“What do you want me to do?” Vek-Tor asked cautiously.

Another cryptic smile crossed the ghostly face. “As I said, you must sever the connection between Rageus and his apprentice. Rageus created a force technique to connect his ghost to a living host. The host must be willing, but Rageus offers the host his powers at the small cost of some of the host’s free will. It’s not quite possession, but it’s close.”

A befuddled Vek-Tor asks, “How do I sever this connection?”

“A ghost needs his secrets,” Malthos replied cagily. “Meet me at the camp of the sith you killed and I will direct you further. You must come alone. Only a jedi may tread the paths I will guide you.” With that, the ghost faded into the shadows.

Vek-Tor sat back on his cot to contemplate the encounter. He replayed the conversation back in his head and sat shivering in the damn cold. Outside it was still hours before dawn. It would be even colder in these accursed mountains. Vek-Tor draped himself in his all weather cloak for the slight warmth it gave. The spot the ghost had chosen was not far from the ship.

Vek-Tor could meet the ghost there and hear him further. If he didn’t like what he heard, he could turn back there. Still, why not exlain further now and why must he go alone? Vek-Tor reached out with the force to detect any Force users. He could see the temple’s factories working and droids milling about. No life forms or Force users to be felt. The temple was definitely being controlled by some hidden master.

Vek-Tor debated awakening his companions to tell them about the visit, but decided against it. They would need their rest for the fight or fights tomorrow. Best to meet the ghost and then wake them if the new information warranted it. Still, it seems like a trap, thought Vek-Tor.

Vek-Tor quietly left his room and searched for the only thing still moving on the ship. “CP”, he called to the droid when he found CP-33 in the engine room.

“Don’t shoot!” the droid cried out. “I’m worth more intact!”

“Quiet CP!” Vek-Tor hissed. “I’m going out for a bit. I’ll be back before dawn if anyone asks. If not, forget we had this conversation.”

“Oh I see. You get to go out on a date, while I’m stuck babysitting the little ones. Typical!”

“Little ones? The labor droids? Why do you have to baby sit them?”

“Isn’t it obvious sir?” the exasperated protocol droid explained. “They are incredibly stupid and programmed to find work when there is none. If I don’t keep finding work for them, they’ll do something inconvenient. Like disassembling and reassembling the hyperdrive.”

“Why hasn’t Keela reprogrammed them yet?” Vek-Tor asked. “Never mind, I don’t care. Just do as I say.” Vek-Tor turned to leave.

“Not as you do?” retorted CP-33 as the jedi left. The droid shook his head and went back to measuring dust layers to determine where the labor droids should clean.

“Hey CP?” a soft low voice said behind him. CP-33 jumped again but did not cry out. He had learned that his masters tended to be herd animals. Find one, and the others are soon to follow.

“Yes mistress Nimble?” CP-33 asked the low voice. Most can’t tell the difference between male and female Duros. Fortunately CP was designed to do just that (among about 65535 more things).

“Where’s Vek-Tor going?” Nimble asked. “He seemed quite driven and didn’t notice me. He is usually quite perceptive.”

“He didn’t say mistress.” CP-33 said while returning to his tasks. “Only that he would be back before dawn.”

“Oh,” Nimble said and turned to return to bed.

“And that I shouldn’t tell anyone unless asked.”

“Huh? Why would he do that?” Intrigued, Nimble collected her blaster and survival pack and determined to follow the jedi. Tailing a jedi without them knowing it was hard, but not impossible. The trick was to preoccupy their mind with something else. It looks like that was already the case with Vek-Tor.

The mysterious jedi liked to keep things to himself and had real trust issues. Why he couldn’t trust his friends on the ship, Nimble didn’t know. Too much knowledge sure made people secretive. Regardless, Vek-Tor would need help. He got into way too much trouble to be left on his own. Like every typical male in the galaxy, he was constitutionally incapable of asking for help.

Stepping out of this ship and into the night, Nimble could see Vek-Tor’s glow rod in the distance. Nimble waited for him to crest a hill before lighting her own glow rod and followed him.

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Interdict This!

The PCs begin to plunder the temple and decide to use the mining droids to load their ship with precious metals. They also decide to leave behind mines for what they assume will be Imperial search teams to come later.

Mawr’s recently heard rumors that his missing son has been sent to the mines of nearby Berea. Mawr and the PCs attempt to learn more from Berea using local resources before leaving the system. They also purchase new transponders to prevent the Empire from impounding their ship.

While in town, they learn of a new piece of technology the Empire has developed. An Accalamator capital ship has been retrofitted to become a new prototype that stop ships in hyperspace and prevent them from re-entering hyperspace. The Empire plans to use their prototype to stop pirates from attacking their ore convoys from Berea to Derilyn.

Realizing this new interdicting ship, named Barricade, was an impediment to any planned jailbreak for Mawr’s son. They determined to sabotage the ship in dry dock while it was at the city of Palpatine on Derilyn.

To get into the city of Palpatine, they disguised themselves as bounty hunters claiming a bounty on Mawr. After getting past the check points at the city entrance, they switched disguises to maintenance workers. By posing as maintenance workers, Kel-Ra was able to bluff their way into the ship’s dock. They hid their weapons amongst their tools and brought enough lead to confuse any scanners in an attempt to board the ship.

The Barricade is equipped with two gravity well generators. The PCs downloaded the ship’s map to determine where best to do their damage. At the base of each gravity well generator, they placed a small receiver and kill switch. Their goal was to send out a signal that would disable the gravity well if they ever met the ship.

Their sabotage complete, the PCs looked to exit without arousing suspicion. Unfortunately on their way out, several crew were looking for trouble and picked a fight with the supposed maintenance workers while they were leaving. To the crew’s surprise, these maintenance workers drew hidden weapons and began shooting at the crew.

A brief firefight broke out and Keela was hit immediately by the crew’s blaster cannons. She fell unconscious on the walkway from the ship to the dock. The others managed to find cover and return fire. A running battle around crates of cargo ensued between Pinstripe, Mawr, and Kel-Ra. Meanwhile maintenance droids began to pack up the body of Keela like a piece of cargo. One droid, apparently smarter than the rest of the labor droids, noticed that Keela was bleeding and applied a medpac before going back for more crates. Keela, although conscious, remained hidden from the combatants.

The other PCs weaved in and out of crates to avoid the concentrated fire of their enemies. One by one, each member of the crew was picked off. Finally, the last crew member was dispatched and the PCs ran to their speeder truck while the alarms blared. In the confusion, Kel-Ra bluffed the rushing stormtroopers into believing they were fleeing from the fight that was still ongoing. They managed to leave the city of Palpatine before the city exits were shut down.

They got back to their ship in time to see a blockade tightening around Derilyn. The space around the planet was growing ever more crowded with ships. Running the blockade is going to prove difficult.

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