Kraft og skjebne

Enter the shadowlands
Episode XXVIII

After victory escape was the plan.
Fleeing the chaos of the destroyed Imperial base the group and it’s Wookie allies attempted to get lost in the bushes so to speak.

Onda and Joe volunteered to make a combat decoy to pull the pursuing land-based foes far from the fleeing friendlies.
With them they took all the soldier wookies, including Sharkie.

When the roaring tiefighters hit the sky behind them hard, Vex led the non-combatants and his confidants; Krankawarrok & Kotan through the jungle!

Suddenly Vex noticed something brushing in the bushes! And sprang out to attract fire while Krankawarrok lept to the flanks! The fight was brutal and our friends where all heavily hit! Luckily Kotan had used the Force to give the ex-slaves cover with a giant tree while Vex attracted two dozen grenades and even more blaster fire! But alas Kotan got hit and struck unconscious right at the end..

Then came the Ties again.. The group had been separated from the slaves but met three young ones, and together they found escape from the skies, falling into a valley.. A two-tailed path, both leading to the shadowlands!
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Stealthing the approach the stunning six stood, and smelled a huge beast!
Vex wanted to discover it’s secret lair. But just as he was to leave the group, Kranky goes off in burst of speed and hairballs.
There is a great pursuit and Kranky hits the beast several times before loosing it just as the other fine five found snuck around , up and out!

Together they had survived the shadowlands, lost the Empire pursuers and came up right behind the abandoned republic base!

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(Late) Introduction Chapter 5: The Emporium, Kashyyk, a biological agent, some rebels and a whole lot of trouble...
Episode XXIX

Part 1: Is only the GM taking the opportunity to write a recap

After learning the secrets of Suljo Warde‘s teachings, and putting Warde on the path to redemption and leaving him in the care of the gatekeepers of the Dawn Temple, our heroes did some much needed debt maintenance for Heavy Gan and his benefactor Ta’lon. As our heroes finished the job and upon receiving payment aboard Cartol’s Emporium, an old enemy ambushed them. With ferocious determination our heroes slew the thugs and removed Nebula from the ship and was introduced to a new ally: Yodd Zett Haa (call him Joe), a Verpine slicer.

Joe provides intelligence, both literally and in the form of information. In short Joe has been tracking Nebula after Joe’s team had a run-in with Kiados. Joe had a vision of our heroes tracking and fighting Kiados, he decided to find them and join them in this venture. Kiados’ current location seems to be, or was recently, Kashyyk…

Having crash-landed the Void of Integrity in the tree tops, our heroes have ventured through the jungles of Kashyyk. They have freed slaves, stolen a whole lot of sensitive data on a clandestine bio-weapon project, killed an enemy commander, destroyed an AT-AT and seriously damaged an Imperial base (by inadvertently activating the self-destruct mechanism in the bio-weapon test-facility), our heroes then fled from the subsequent imperial pursuit, some even had a trip through the shadowlands, as a second decoy team… Eventually the heroes arrived exhausted and pretty beat up at an old Republic base from the last weeks of the Clone Wars.

Part 2: Recuperation, reconnaissance and renewed fervor

Having spent a few days setting up the base to take care of the weak and injured, the Force willed it so that the imperial search parties never checked the old Republic base thoroughly when they swept by in their TIEs and on their speederbikes. For now our heroes and their friends are safe.

Our heroes remained on the base, licking their wounds, exploring the base and planning the next move.

Spending several days going over the data Joe downloaded from the imperial base, they discover that the base was one of three central location for what is called the “Kohoun”-project, project number: I89V. Purpose: massive scale crowd/population control. The three locations are Redwing (probably a space station), Vector-3 (in all likelihood the base our heroes escaped) and Sojourn (a base near Vector-3). From the data they managed to glean that Vector-3 was a test-facility for vaccination, but also short-term exposure to different strains of the Kohoun-agent. From Vector-3 subjects are moved either to Sojourn for some unknown purpose, or to Redwing. At Redwing they infer that most subjects are put down as there exists no logs in the data Joe collected of anyone leaving. Redwing is also seemingly the place where the main biological development and research is conducted. Only variant strains are taken planet-side for testing.

Shortly after securing the old Republic base and while the freed slaves started to regain their strength, Sharky and some of his guys went off in search of reinforcements, weapons, vehicles and other roaming wookiees that could perhaps be recruited in an effort to put an end to the Kohoun-project, at least on Kashyyk.

During the exploration of the base, Onda and Kranky find parts that can be used to repair the Void of Integrity. Given time and help from the indigenous tribes and draft animals, it can be done. There is enough material to patch up the Void and make her space-worthy, although an essential part, a de-polarised Mc6-modulator for the sublight engines, must be scavenged from another ship or stolen from a mechanics bay. If they are to take out Redwing they need a ship. If they are to escape the planet, they need a ship.

Talking with the recuperating freed slaves, Vex learns more of recent events. Days before the battle above Kashyyk, that the heroes witnessed upon their arrival, some of the slaves tell of sounds of explosions and a battle in the jungle. One slave insists this was a lonely Jedi returning to avenge his fallen brothers and sisters, another claims the battle was between the imperials and a small team of elite commandos lead by an old Jedi general. The battle raged for a couple of days, mostly during the night. Vector-3 was briefly targeted by a series of attacks, but for some unknown reason the attackers moved on just as the slaves hoped they would be freed and the base personnel was preparing for retreat. A third slave is adamant that he heard the telltale sound of one or more lightsabers. A fourth slave claims that she overheard some scout troopers talking about an attack on one of the neighbouring bases shortly after, she is certain it was the same assailants.

The group attribute these events to Kiados, mainly due to two sightings corresponding with some security footage Joe got in his data library. Vex also learns that the area where the bases are located is ancient holy grounds, dating back to long before the wookiees themselves reached out among the stars, although the stars had already reached down and touched Kashyyk. In that area.

During a meditative healing session our heroes experienced a shared vision instigated by Kotan reaching out in the Force. It was of a veiled figure standing in a large cavern, in front of an obscured stone figure. The veiled figure reached out and as it picked something up the vision turned completely black, although they could then hear the sound of deep, ominous chanting coming from afar.

Sharky returned after a week with more wookiee soldiers and a group of rebel commandos, who crash landed during the space battle. Their mission is to take out these bases, both on ground and in space, to stop the spreading of what they refer to as the Mengalic-virus. While they’re aware that the attack failed, they are still alive and determined to complete their mission. They’ll help the heroes, if the heroes help them…

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Introducing The Crashed Rebel Commandos
Episode XXIX

Sharky Introduced us to the Rebel Commandos:

  • The human gunslinger, Maxon Anjek seemed to be in charge,.
  • His second in command was Oberon Sunrider, a falleen sniper with a substance abuse problem.
  • Shadowed by Phoenix Lester the grim bothan infiltrator.
  • Baljos, the nervous ithorian medic brings up their rear.

Sitting down with the Rebel Commandos and their holomap we formed a plan:

  • Joe and Onda would infiltrate the V-3 base where we caused so much havoc some days ago and get their hands on a de-polarized Mc6-modulator, they would then deliver it to waiting wookies in the jungle who would bring it to …
  • Vex and a group of wookies would travel to The Void of Integrity to repair the ship, we would need it operational to infiltrate Redwing Starbase, they would recive the missing component from the wookies that Joe and Onda met.
  • Meanwhile the Commandos would scout out Dalek base to the east of V-3, while Kotan and Krankawarrok scout the west. Both groups would meet up at rendezvous point Aurek, from there they would scout out the remaining two bases to find out which is Sojourn.
    shitmapofkashyyyk.png

That of course, was just the plan …

When Joe and Onda didn’t meet up at Aurek, the commandos, Kotan and Krank decided to scout out the small temporary base to the southeast of of Dalek.
They swiftly ascertained that what was supposed to look like a temporary base was hiding something else under, Kotan felt a deeper darkness hidden underground that, he was sure it was the place they saw in their visions, maybe a temple of some sort.
After almost a day of observing the Imperials rutines they returned to Aurek.
Where were the others?

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And then there was Bubba ...
Episode XXIX Cont.

Joe and Onda had no problems gaining access to the imperial base (V-3).
The place was familiar to them after the battle, and even though the Empire was hard at work rebuilding it, there were still gaps in security (and in the walls for that matter).

After a brief scouting of the area, and some quick slicing the two infiltrators found out that their best chance at getting a de-polarized Mc6-modulator would be to steal one from the ship parkedlanding pad nearby.

Exploiting a gap in the patrols they made their way to the landing pad and entered the ship, Onda sensed that there was a sentient onboard, Joe could hear someone tinkering in the engine room.

His name was Bubba, he was a Besalisk, it was his ship.

Through blatant lying and sheer force of conviction they made him agree to leave the base and fly near the ground towards the wreakage of the Void of Integrity.
It was pretty clear that they were not imperial scouts, but Bubba also clearly didn’t seem to mind.

As they aproached the treehouse/wreckage of the Integrity everything went to Rathar poop.

Bubba wanted answers to what they were getting him involved in, Onda and Joe told him they were going to take parts from his ship to fix theirs (in hindsight maybe asking him if he wanted to join the Rebellion or offering him credits would have been a better place to start …)
Bubba took offence, and evasive manouvers with his craft as he disengaged the internal gravity, landing Joe and Onda in the ceiling and walls as he sent them tumbling around the interior.
Onda solved the problem the way he usually does, and after moving the unconcious Besalisk tried to get control over the ship before they crashed.

Now there was the question of their new captive and the repairs of the(ir) Integrity.

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The Trials
Episode XXX

Teamwork

As Vex, Sharky and the wookies were repairing the Void of Integrity, Joe and Onda were catching up with Kotan, Krankawarrok and the Rebel Commandos

Oberon and Phoenix would get into positions near Sojourn base to provide sniping and covering fire if needed, they would also function as lookouts and liasons between the group and the pilots that would make a bombing run of the base before heading towards Redwing.

Maxxon and Baljos would join the rest going through the underground tunnels connecting Dalek to Sojourn. If everything went as planned the group would enter Sojourn from the underground, take out any opposition, the commandos would plant explosives and gain access codes to Redwing while the Force Sensetives would enter the coverd hole that they belived led to a buried temple.

Gaining access to Dalek base was the easy part.

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Skill

Underground Kotan led the commandoes and his friends into the generator room and demanded an update from the technician working there and his Stormtrooper guard, momentarily flustered they questioned his authority, but a wave of a hand and a simple reminder of his status as a highly ranked and valued freelancer solved that discussion.

Kotan dispatched the guard together with the Commandos to “investigate a mysterious sound” while he got all information from the poor technician. The generator was down and several systems were because of this offline, among them the nearby terminals and the hazardous containment system …

After the third subtle hint from Kotan, Onda undertood it and shot the preoccupied tech with a stun pulse.

After both the technician and the trooper were knocked unconcious (the trooper was also covered in bruises from Baljos and Maxxons overeager minstrations of karmic justice) Joe and Kotan repaired the generator, before using the nearby terminals to slice into Sojourn to get Redwing access codes.
In the proccess Joe also manged to copy parts of an imperial code generating program, info that would be invaluble to the rebellion.

Meanwhile further down the long passages, Onda, bored form watching mechanic and computer work went ahead to scout the entrance to Sojourn. He had felt four more troopers stationed further in the underground.

They never even got to draw their blasters.

Courage

When the tunnel opened up into natural caves Krankawarrok left the others to their generators and other pansy endeavours and scaled the walls to investigate the other path. Coming upon a secluded ledge far away from the imperial bored tunnels he breathed in the swirling ash while investigating the rocks and tried to concentrate.

Then the creature attacked.

Mandibles, horns, tusks , clawed hands and a size to rival a starship, for once Krankawarrok felt outmatched – he fled, scrambling down the cliffside in mighty leaps as he kicked off from wall to wall in displays of acrobatis that would flabbergast most professional parkours.

The beast kept up.

Soon he was back were he had started, the darkness had fooled him into going in a circle.
The creature struck out at him, almost bringing him to his knees, then it bellowed.
The sound made walls shake and the molars in Kranks mouth rattle.

Enough, he decided and let out an answering roar, ready to face his certain death as a true warrior.

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Focus

Striding silently up the stairs into the Sojourn base Kotan managed to spot two of the Storm Commandos, he grasped one with the force and sent him flying into the other.
Krank and Onda stepped up to them while they were still dazed and finished them off in offhanded displays of martial mastery.

As this was going on Joe sliced into a nearby terminal and opened the access to the base’s command center. Maxxon and Baljos headed inside to cause some mayhem and plant some explosives.

Joe caught up with his friends as they were harrased by snipers on the roof, Kotan was trusting in his armor to withstand the fire untill they could leave.
Krank had just jumped down the cavern to fetch the turbolift.
The rest of them would have to hold out while it ascended.

Supporting shots from Oberon and Phoenix were joined by the Void of Integrity. Sharky and his Wookie crew were manning the turrets and raining blaster shots on the scattered imperials.

Vex landed on the battlefield and quickly met up with his friends.
As they started their descent, over them Sojourn base was engulfed in flames as the old republic bombers dropped of their gifts for the imperials and set their noses towards space together with the commandoes and the Void of Integrity.

Insight

At the entrance to the temple hall four dead troopers were laid to the side, on inspection one was a neimoidian under the helmet, maybe spies?

The walls room were covered in old frescoes, while a recurring pattern of a of triangular shape with two circles littered the floor in an overlapping pattern.
Further in a massive statue of a Wookie stood his arms held forward, obviously holding something that wasn’t there anymore. Maybe Kiados had been here already …

Vex scouted ahead, but when the others crept into the hallway leading to the open domed chamber minutes later, they did not see him.

While some let their impatience lead them, Onda stopped and focused his mind, after a brief moment he managed to see through the illusion cloaking his captured friends, the storm commandoes with raised rifles.

And Sinnius, who let the illusion drop and invited them forward.

Conviction

Their meeting ended they headed back to the surface.
Before they left, Joe came across some residue from the artifact Kiados had stolen as he examined the plinth that had held the globe, he decide to hold on to it for later.

The Void of Integrity and the Rebel Commandoes landed in the decimated base in front of them and they boarded, eager to be away from Kashyyyk.

Maxxon told them that they hadn’t managed to take out Redwing base, but their attacks had forced the Imperials to move it, a small victory – but still a victory. He also asked how their mission under Sojourn had gone.

Kotan answered simply “We Failed.” and walked aboard the ship.

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Rebel, Ties.
Episode XXXI

Leaving Kashyyk aboard the Void of Integrity our crew are then asked to deliver the Rebel Commandos to their Home Base. Following an intricate series of jumps, they arrive at an empty spot in space.

After a while a giant hull reverts to normal space. A ship made of organic curves and none of the Imperial edges and angles. The Mon Calamari Cruiser Independence has arrived. Establishing contact with the cruiser and giving the clearance codes they are then provided with a docking bay. A rather empty bay, not nearly as many crew or fighters are present that a bay this size could hold. Quickly noted as “this lot has hit some hard times”

IndependenceMonCal.jpg

And then, they are granted access to hygienic necessities. One shower, braggingly noted, has even been used by the great Chewbacca once upon a time! Kranky does not know this Chewbacca. Is suitably unimpressed.

After passing through a security check and having to be vouched for by the Commandos they are allowed access to non-critical areas. After a short while they are then approached by a Rebel officer, a human named Loop. Lieutenant Loop. He proceeds to guide them to a briefing room in which their presence on Kashyyk and their doings are explained. A great deal of interest is shown by Loop for the Mengalic Agent and the research done on the planet in this biological weapon. A suitable compensation for the help given the Rebel presence on Kashyyk is negotiated. Not in credits, but in access to non-critical gear and supplies.

Heading to the ship armory they are met by a gruff quartermaster, grumpy for being short on materiel and all the worse for handing out to non-affiliated misfits. Kotan and Onda proceed to make good use of the tools and equipment provided to make better armour for Onda. Kranky spends his time attempting to help the quartermaster, who he discovers is named Plaok Nik. Kranky manages to ingratiate himself and his loyal crew slightly to Plaok who spreads word around that these guys might not be all bad.

Heading back to the docking bay they are intercepted by Lieutenant Loop, who brings the request of Commander Taob to meet with him on the bridge. Entering the rather humid bridge they are met by the Mon Calamari Commander who introduces himself and hopes his ship and crew have been pleasant. After heading inside a small room just off the bridge he starts speaking of other, more unpleasant things; Mengalic, Kashyyks occupation. Before extending an offer of further work for the Alliance. Which is tentatively accepted. Our crew are now marching on the edge of becoming a part of the war efforts.

Later, when the Independence reverts to normal space inside a nebula, the Void of Integrity undocks and heads out. The Indepedence jumps out once more and our crew are wondering where to go. The options are few but carry equal weight. Onda and Kotan in the end play a game of Asteroid-TIE-XWing to decide. Nal Hutta. To find Kiados.

Then a flight of three starfighters appear. an unknown configuration, but using the TIE cockpit ball. They proceed to open fire on the Void and score some hits. The crew man stations and make a run for the edge of the nebula, through an asteroid belt. Trying to pull all speed they increase the lead by exemplary piloting in the belt. Glancing hits are scored by both parties. By the end of the belt the lead has been extended so far they jump is made safely. The ship has taken moderate damage, both hull and systems

Heading for Nal Hutta, not the armpit of the galaxy, but anatomically lower. What will happen?

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Seedier things have happened
Introduction Episode XXXII

After having joined the Alliance at the invitation of Commander Taob, as independent operatives with an agreement of mutual support, but different priorities, our heroes left The Independence – flagship of the Alliance – and watched it enter hyperspace. Soon thereafter, amidst bickering about where to go and who to focus their attention on (rescuing Nela Kohn from Sinnius’ vile clutches or continuing their search for the mysterious and evil Kiados), they were attacked by imperial scout ships.

Fleeing from the imperials through an asteroid field within a nebula, they eventually ended up in Hutt space, more precisely: Nar Shaddaa.

After negotiating a landing fee for a landing pad, in what is called the Corellian Sector on the Smuggler’s Moon, our heroes set out to find more clues about Kiados and the planet in Onda’s vision.

Nar Shaddaa is a dangerous place, particularly considering their last visit to the moon. Our heroes have since been staying low, slowly gathering information concerning worlds fitting Onda’s vision and are following a trail into the bowels of Nar Shaddaa and back.

They have come across many legendary worlds more or less fitting their description. Whether there’s truth to these stories is of course another matter, but common to them all is their location in Bootana Hutta, an area in Hutt space.

Looking for more solid leads, our heroes have been focusing on more reputable locations and sources for further leads, than the deep, seedy underbelly of Nar Shaddaa, which has lead them to the Orange Lady

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The Old Man's Expedition
episode XXXII

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“When darkness descends, a man must find allies in the shadows”

A fortunate meeting turns into a new direction for the crew of the Integrity, as they meet Jessek at the Orange Lady. He is an old man with some peculiar personality traits and habits, and a cunning mind that contains information on the are of space called Bootana Hutta.

This piques our interest, but before we can get more information out of him and his job our discussion is interrupted by Gray Norr and his thugs, who roughly grabs Jessek and tries to drag him out of the cantina. As tempers and allies rise, Kotan simply asks “Are you sure that this is the wisest choice you can make?”

The merc looks over the four sentients standing before him, and decides that this is in fact not the wisest choice. He departs grudgingly, and promises that “this is not over!”

Jessek needs to collect some things, so Onda and Krankawarrok escort him to his “home” where he produces a sturdy box. Meanwhile the rest of the group readies the Void for take-off.

As Krank, Onda and their new employer-slash-partner head back to the ship they are ambushed by Gray Norr and more of his thugs, all of them are sporting heavy firearms.
The melee is quick and decisive, but it does not go unnoticed as screams of “Lightsaber?!” and “Jedi!” spread through the crowd that witness the scuffle. They make their way back to the ship before local authority catches up with them.

As they leave Nar Shadda, Jessek reveal the contents of the box:
a flimsy ancient map, the ornamental statue of a Hutt, and a Glass figurine made out of twisted glass-like material.

Jessek explains that his goal is to get to a planet called Pybus, which is located in the Bootana Hutta sector of Hutt space.
On this junglelike planet there is rumored to be a vault for the ancient Hutt Vortgas, he wants it’s treasures, and he believes the planet fits with the locations from Ondas visions.

The little statue is supposedly of the Hutt himself, while the curious glass creation is called Erla Tomvaas, and is one part of a larger set knowns as the Siren’s Soul, Jessek belives it to be the key to opening the vault

But first we make a visit to an old friend to get the right coordinates.

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We leave hyperspace and dock with The Pearl; a worn and damaged space station situated in the middle of nowhere.
Onboard we are greeted by Harke and his droid servants, the two old men seem to know each other and while they talk shop the crew of the Integrity buy some basic supplies for their journey.

Kotan helps Harke translate the ancient map, and as he understands more of our destination he warns us to reconsider our destination, many has sought this planet and nobody has returned from it.

In fact he remembers one group coming past not too long ago that seemed to be after the same goal as us, they had 3 minor ships and one larger flagship, the men that pressed him for information seemed to be taking orders through their comms.

We feel fairly sure now, that we are on Kiados trail.
We say our farwell and thanks to the lonley man in the middle of nowhere and plot our next jump, this time for Pybus – and danger.


And from a different narrative:
Having finally convinced Kotan of the advantages of saving Nelakon by finding Kiados Onda is looking forward to this next leg of the journey.

Entering Hut-space the party find a likely planet and start looking for signs of the planet Onda has seen in his visions. They encounter many a legend about such places, but finally manage to find a information broker den, the Orange Lady. In this den of low lever scum, the party starts looking for information each in their own way. Just when Onda homes in on a likely mind, three of the party are approached by an old man. This man tells of a planet that may be the planet we are looking for. Before we can make any kind of commitment to this person a group of thugs comes and try to take him away. Krankawarrok is ready with violence as always but Kotan defuses the situation much to Ondas and Krankawarroks disappointment. Finally feeling close to some answers the group agrees to go with the old man. He must pick up a key before we depart, but Onda and Krankawarrok manages to help him with this without any incidents.

Leaving the planet, the party sets out for a pit stop before going to their final destination. This is a derelict space station. Not much happens on the stop there; Kotan and Krankawarrok does some dealings with the local shop-owner and Joe and Onda tries out gambling. Onda is a master of this craft and manages to fool the rest of the players to give their money to Joe. His scheme somehow gets messed up and he manages to give his own money to Joe too.

Leaving the space station, the party enters the last jump before getting to their destination. They leave hyperspace and see a green planet. Onda gets ready to look for visions of Kiados….

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Journey
episode XXXIII

“It takes a wise man to see an obstacle as it truly is, and not as it appears”

As we left hyperspace we entered into what I can only describe as a graveyard of old ships.
Some of them were from the old republic, some even older. If this was the remnants of some old battle or a sign of the planets defences we did not know, but with Jesseks reassurances we set a course for the planet Pybus.

As a side note; I’ve reviewed my holorecords of the last year, and this is the 14th planet I land on while travelling with Onda and Krankawarrok. A remarkable number of these places have been mysterious and dangerous, hidden in remote and obscure parts of the galaxy. While the remainder have been civilized, or close to it in any case.
It seems like for now at least, that my life is one that is in transit.

Maybe this is why I have been feeling out of focus lately.
Our current mission is not one I fully support in my heart, I feel it is more pressing to free my mentor and friend Nela Kohn from the empires clutches than to chase after Kiados for the moment.

I’m also struggling with a vision I had on Kashyyyk, one involving my old mentor Victarion Kelren and my old owner Belor Goss.
I am still uncertain if it was a warning not to let the past cloud my judgment when dealing with Kiados, or a sign that something happened to my old master when he confronted Kiados the day Joe lost his squad. Either way I will be mindful of it and try to keep my thoughts clear and flexible, so I don’t get sidelined by unexpected events again like with Sinnius .
Because of this I have spent more time than usual in meditation, hoping to steel my resolve so that even if my dedication to this quest is not from all of my heart, at least my devotion to my friends and their safety shall be strong enough.

… but I digress.

After getting through the field of debris we entered Pybus atmosphere and set about trying to discern our destination. Matching the old charts to what our scanners were showing, we found a promising area. Unfortunately, because of the thick vegatation we had to set down a fair distance from our target.

Once again I found myself in an enviroment that I had no experience with.
So while Krankawarrok raced ahead as our scout and jumped from tree to tree, I mainly focused on not falling over too many times and to manage to keep up with my more martial comrades. Wherever the Force takes me and all that … I guess.

I’m not going to bore you with the details of our trek through the jungle, nor our uncomfortable night camping near a hive of Kouhun, or at least some similiar species of carnivorous insectoids.
If I was a biologist I would perhaps make some more detailed notes on these critters, but since I am not, I only find them disgusting and annoying, as I felt their bites and their poisons more than I would have liked that night.

In the end it was a challenge we overcame, but in the process we revealed our hidden talents to our guide. He became fearful and paranoid of our motives.
This led to a rather strained negotiation where I fear my tiredness might have gotten the best of me, as I quelled the old mans apprehension of us with some brusqueness I’ll admit.

It is fair to say that we were all a bit tired when we finally came upon the ruins and the mercenaries that were guarding the entrance.

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Havoc
episode XXXVI

“In each of us lie good and bad, light and dark, art and pain, choice and regret, cruelty and sacrifice. We’ve got to forgive ourselves that. Because there is a lot of grey to work with. No one can live in the light all the time.”

As I walked towards the mercenaries covered in mud and scratches, like some hopeless lost academic (which wasn’t that far from the truth I’ll admit), I felt some trepidation.
Our opponents seemed both well equipped and well trained, it was time to see if that held up.

With minor misdirections and manipulations with the force I made them believe I was lost and alone, they led me to their makeshift base at the entrance to the ruined palace.
I took the time while washing myself to observe their setup and gear as I mentally readied myself for the violence that would soon come.

I was not wrong, a commotion from the outside distracted the guards in my room and with a push of the force I sent them flying into the jungle. Looking out into the plaza I barely dodged a blaster shot as both Onda and Krankawarrok were lit up with blaster fire from both the mercenaries on the ground, and the snipers on the building that we missed.

Unsure of what to do, because unlike my friends I’m not a warrior by heart or background, I decided to deal with the snipers that were shooting at all of us, but especially Onda.
As I reached out with the force I tried to float the speeder in front of the snipers to give Onda some cover.
But in my rush to help – and being surrounded by blaster fire, I ended up channeling more power than I intended and hurled the entire thing into the building.

I stood there and watched as the ancient ruin was caved in and engulfed in flames, I could hear the sounds of the mercenaries screaming out in pain as they were burned, crushed and buried, and I felt horror.
This I realized, was the dark side, how simple and easier it was to destroy than to save, how a little slip in concentration could end with death and destruction.

And then I was shot down from the back as the soldiers I had thrown into the jungle had advanced back and opened fire.
If there is a lesson there, I refuse to learn it.

When I came to the battle was over and the clearing smelled like fire and blood.
I saw to my wounds and looked over my armor: it’s pitted and scratched surface telling it’s own story of this journey so far:

The fabric is now torn, the right shoulder pauldron has been ripped off, there is a crack on the inlayed armor plate in the back, my left vambrace took a hit meant for my head and is now in tatters …
This is the state of the protection I made with my mentor, and in some ways this is the state of the group I’m in – we are damaged, we are torn, we are scratched up.
But we are still holding together, and still protecting each other.

And no matter what I do, everywhere we go, we wreak havoc.

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