Kraft og skjebne

Meanwhile, elswhere (and elswhen)
episode XXXVI

Dace ran across the galley into the cockpit, his dreadlocks whipping behind him, “Tara! It’s making sounds again, I think I got it to work!” His companion shot out of her seat by the console so fast she tipped over her cup of insta-pho-replica-soup, the liquid spilling across the worn floor of the old ship. “What?! Ouch! drek it Dace, my soup!”
As they both hussled through the ship, ducking low hanging cables and sparks from exposed circuits, Dace was babbling: “I did like you told me – put away the deathstick – stared at it – I think must have looked at that stupid thing for ages, and then that old dude popped up and started talking, this time it was about some ridiculous sword technique that involved waving your hand around and pointing or pushing or something, I didn’t quite catch it” Tara, showed him on through engineering, he was slowing down as he talked, so she interrupted him bruesqely “more farking ancient mombo jumbo and galactic gazetteering, that old man must have been all over the galaxy, you dragged me away from my favorite soup to listen to this dude talk about ‘Centering Oneself’ again?!” she punctuated her sentence by making overly expressive qoutation marks and rolling her eyes.

They both stumbled into Dace’s quaters, Tara wrinkled her nose at the combined smell of body odour, old deathsticks and engine oil as she looked disapprovingly at the pile of clothes, engine parts and random knickknacks strewn across the floor. “That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you,” Dace continued, almost out of breath from the talking and running around. “I must have said something right or fiddled with the right circuit or something, because the bearded guy suddenly started talking about something completely different. -Tara, he mentioned Zanzat!”
Tara stopped her pacing and stood completly still, her face ran through several expressions of rage and grief before settling on an intense focus. “Show me. Now”

Dace swallowed and pointed at his bunk, lying in a pile of used bedding and dicarded clothes was the box. It was made of metal and some sort of glass, it had weird angles and inscriptions. It was currently glowing a calm green glow that came and went, Dace thought it sometimes pulsed in beat with his heart, but that was probably just a coincidence.

He picked it up gingerly and after some shuffling with his feet to sweep a open space in the detirus set it down on the floor and patted the floor to imply that Tara should join him. The human mechanic and the seloninan pilot sat on the floor staring at the glowing box…

“Nothing’s happening Dace.” Tara’s voice sounded annoyed, but for some reason Dace felt like he could hear some fear under her attempt at nonchalance, he looked back at the box. “Give it time, there is a trick to it and I think I have it now.” The young man drew a slow breath and stilled himself as best he could, it seemed like the box only responded to calm sentients, which was probably why they’ve had so much trouble getting it to work in the first place, What did that say about them and their lifestyle? Maybe something to consider … After all, it had been many cycles since -
Dace pushed away the stray thought and watched the green pulsing glow, trying to match himself to it somehow, to his left Tara fidgetted.

The glowing box slowly rose into the air, parts of it started moving and realigning as it unfolded and twisted lazily. Dace had seen some of it’s insides, but he still didn’t know what made it work – there were circuits and wires in ther, but they didn’t make sense, there were also things in there he swore were inscriptions or bits of stones and whatnot. They’ve heard of and seen similar boxes in museums and on their travels, but this one was different – like whoever made it had different ideas and tools than the other ones, or maybe hadn’t fully agreed with the original bueprints and improvised along the way.
The box hung there almost expectantly, Dace swallowed audibly and said with as much authority and calm as he could muster: “Please continue, Master”

Again the bearded man with the long hair and the scars appeared before them displayed in a see-through manner before them, as always he was wearing his worn robes and armor, his voice was pleasant and smooth, a trained orator.

" … so Sun’saith would travel out looking for the artifacts he refferred to as ‘The eyes’ while he guided us in his usual oblique way to continue on our path to find Nela Kohn and to try gain an alliance with the Gensu’dai. we-"

“Wait! who is this Nellacohn?! who are the Gensiday?! what the frak are you on about old man!?” Tara was moving her neck back and forth in a deeply animal way that Dace had learned meant that she was unsure, probably something in her racial memory from their hunter/warrior instincts. The old man kept talking, not seeming to hear her.

“… my preparation for our trip was hurried, but I did have the time to spend some time with Aach and together we discussed ..”

“I’m sorry to interrupt master” Dace gently interjected. " but who are these people you speak of, the Genso Daaii?"

The old man stopped his explanation and vinced as Dace messed up the pronounciation, he lifted a hand and with slender fingers tapped the rhytm as he repeaed the word slowly to Dace “Gen. Su. Da-i. Apprentice. They were … a form of warrior cult you might say, dedicated to several aspects around warfare and justice, like the art of armor craftsmanship and saber techniques.
-Their leader, Nela Kohn was the one who taught me the skills and techniques for crafting protection and how to blend the skill of the warrior with ones armor to create a perfect defense, the Metal Shroud as she would refer to it …”

“this is useless,” Tara sighted. “We don’t need info on how to prance around looking like First Order goons, we need info on Zanzath and where the invincible dangerous murdering bastard came from!”

“Give me some time, I think I’m starting to figure it out, " Dace said as he tried calming down his friend, the glowing box was flickering and starting to close. He stared at it and tried to forget about everything the silver warrior had done to them. “Master, I fear you have lost me, maybe it would be better to go back to the start? you mentioned something about Sun. Sayt. leaving to look for something, where was this and how did you get there?” Dace tried his best to get the pronounciation right this time.

The apparition of the old man flickered and an exasperated look crossed his features as he berated Dace. "You must focus apprentice, one of the first lesson is to pay attention to the universe and that involves listening when people talk … " He chuckled suddenly, before continuing "but I guess I’ve done the same as well when I was a padawan, and things are not as peacful as they were then … "

“Ok, apprentice let me go back to the events after leaving the jungles of ”/wikis/pybus" class=“wiki-page-link”> Pybus , and the vault where we faced the deluded warriors that claimed to be Jedi Knights. As you recall, we were in the captivity of the empire and had just struck a deal with their leader:

After our third meeting with Sinnius and our deal to share information with him in our joint venture to foil Kiados nefarious plans, we were promptly escorted to Nar Shaddaa.
Arriving at one of it’s numerous spaceports we quickly acquired lodging and managed to make contact with an individual that could help us sell off some of the riches we had liberated from the vaults on Pybus; Tianos Grek.

Grek it would turn out was connected to Ta’lon and his crime empire, so we took the opportunity to get some rumors from him and to pay off some of our debt to Ta’lon.
This left us with a lot of credits, but no clear destination.
After several seeking and investigations, mostly using Onda’s connection with the force to look for Jessek or Vex, we had some answers, but mostly just piles of uncertainties.

Then Onda andJoe stole a ship.

Sigh

Escaping from Nar shadda, we again turned to Ondas powers, this time we sought out The Last Echo. Our parley with Sinnius had revealed that the ship was mobile again and head been seen on Spintir after Kiados attack. I had my own suspicions and hopes to who could be piloting it now, but I wasn’t sure.

In Mandalorian space we came upon the drifting Cr90 Corvette and docked with them.
After some suprise and a happy reunion with Aach, we met with Sun’saith in the newly converted dojo and shared what we knew.
He in turn brought us up to date on events while we had been away, apparently Aach had restored The Last Echo with the help of the Isini cult.
Upon hearing of the artifacts Kiados had collected so far he finally revealed to us that there were 4 artifacts Kiados was seeking.
That meant that unless we could find Jessek and the Sirens soul, she had all of them but the last.

So Sun’saith would travel out looking for the artifacts he refferred to as ‘The Eyes’ while he guided us in his usual oblique way to continue on our path to find Nela Kohn and to try gain an alliance with the Gensu’dai. I hoped that what Sinnus had told me about her joining the empire was wrong, but I had to see for myself.

My preparation for our trip …"

“yesyesyes, we heard all that! this is getting us nowhere.”
Tara stood up and brushed some dust from her pilot suit “I am going back to my soup – you stay with this old-man-in-a-glowing-box for all I care, let me know if he says something useful!” Tara stalked out of Dace’s room, he could hear her grumbling and kicking random objects as she made her way to the cockpit.

The hologram of the man with the beard was quiet, he seemes to be staring a Dace.
Suddenly Dace realized that he had never told the old man to pause his rambling.
But that meant …

“Is there something else you want to know?” the bearded mans voice was almost smug.

“Uh, what?” Dace’s suprise, made him do a double take at the apparition. The one that answered to ‘Master’ was standing with his hands behind his back and with a raised eyebrow at him. “Wait, you can hear her? So you were deliberatly ignoring her? And you can ask questions?!”

“You and your friend have been accessing my old journals, but is it really my lifes history you want to know? I can tell you other things, I can TEACH you other things, Dace.”

Dace scrambled backwards until he hit the bulkhead next to his door, he briefly considered running through it and never coming back, the hologram knew his … “Y-y-you know my …”

“Yes, Dace, I know your name, I know Tara’s name, I know that we’re on a ship – although the model is unknown to me, I know that the events I have described to you happened a long time ago.” The apparition gestured with his left hand as he listed up the items on his list. “This Holocron you have in your possession is more than just a recorder of old lore, Dace, it contains an imprint of my soul and my personality, a ghost in a machine if you will.”

Dace’s head was spinning, the smells and clutter of his room suddenly seemed oppressive and he felt himself wishing for a time where things were simpler, easier, before Tara’s brother hired him for this ship, before he died….
“What’s going on? who are you? what do you want?!”

The hologram of the old man straightened up and folded his hands in front of him.

“My name is Kotan Blen, I am the last of the Gensu’dai, and I want to teach you to harness the force.”

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The treasure chamber
Episode XXXV: A fight to remember

Securing the scrolls in his bags, Onda looked around for more items that spoke to him. Pulling on the force, his attention was drawn to the item in “old man”’s hands. It gave of a resonance. Just about to check it further, Kotan said: “Lets leave this place before more of those troops arrive.”

Leaving the chamber they found two identical looking soldiers baring their path, both wielding lightsabers. Maybe I’ll finally have a decent fight, Onda thought. Kotan did his usual talking, except this time it didn’t work. The soldiers attacked. One quickly squared of with Krank and Kotan tried some new moves on the other one. Failing kinda badly Kotan pulled the soldier a bit to hard towards himself and was rewarded with a flight back into the chamber. Seeing that Krank finally could have his ass kicked, Onda opted for taking out the one Kotan fought.

The fight was beautiful. The Soldier could fight! Finally a challenge Onda thought. Carving up the soldier while sustaining no injuries himself, Onda had one stroke of bad luck: as he finished of the soldier he accidentally triggered the stun effect of his lightsaber and got it full in the face.

A marvelous fight! though Onda, while slipping into darkness…..

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The Duel
episode XXXV
“Brave men may be forgotten, brave deeds never do”

The hallways of the ruined palace echoed with the warriors boots as he dragged the defeated forms of the wookie and mirialan across the stones towards the exit.
He paused in the large antechambre and dropped the crumpled forms by his feet as he straightened up, the hairs on his neck stood up and he opened himself to the force,
He was dressed in brown and grey cloaks, his face was obscured by a featureless matte grey mask.

“Come and be defeated, like your friends”

From the mezzanine encompassing the room the siluette of a man in torn robes detached from the darkness and answered him, “Is there any way I can convince you to surrender?”

The masked man barely moved his head towards where the voice came from, he unbuckled the small staff from his hip and turned slowly, yellow light from his double bladed weapon lit up the chamber as he arrogantly hissed “my training is superior, you will fall like the others!”
He drew on the force and gestured at the man with the long dark hair and beard above him, who calmly held out his right palm in a warding gesture. The two men faced each other as a green glow lit up from his left.

“Very well then” Kotan leapt towards his opponent.
As he fell he made a grasping gesture with his right hand towards at the masked warrior, who was forcibly pulled from his stance and into the air towards him. His lightsaber broke through his opponents confused guard and scored a cut across the torso and left arm as he flew past him.
Both warriors landed on their feet, the masked man instantly starting to run at Kotan, his lightsaber forming dizzying circles. As he closed in he stabbed out against the sage’s torso, but Kotan moved gently out of his reach and into his blind spot forcing him to waste his energy spinning around to avoid exposing himself.

Kotans left handed Niman style made it hard for his opponent to forsee his attacks and moves, but it was clear to both of them that the masked man had spent more time perfecting his saber techniques, his form was strong and disciplined while Kotans was erratic and unrefined. The double bladed weapon also gave him an advantage both in reach and in intensity of attacks against Kotans shoto. The Scholar offset this as best he could with weaving the force into his moves as a he countered and parried the strong sweeps of the yellow lightsaber.

“I trained with the jedi before everything changed, you are not them, and your style is not superior at all.” Kotan punctuated his sentence by reaching out his right palm at the masked warriors legs, a current of the force made his opponent stumble causing his defense to waver briefly enough for the sage to score another shallow hit against the left leg.

Stumbling back, the man who had claimed to be a jedi made a cupping gesture with his off hand, the air around him became thick with the force before he gripped his double bladed saber and began a series of disciplined strikes. Kotan parried most of the strikes, but the sheer momentum of the kata slowly begun to overwhelm him and the hidden armor plates in his robes cracked under several shallow cuts as he was driven back.

The two men moved across the broken palace floor as staccato dancers, the walls reflecting the yellow and green glow from their weapons.
Kotan was breathing heavily as he struggled to keep up with his more physical opponent, but the masked man made no sounds a he fought, a stoic coldness emenating from his entire form as he continued his attack.
The sounds of their feet and the hum and clash of their lightsabers reverberated throught the hallways of the old hutt palace.

Wait, I see it now Kotan though, These moves are familiar, he is utilising a formal and structured version of Shii-Cho. But it has no improvisation, his training has been too rigid, his style is predictable.

Kotan let his eyes unfocus and recalled his training at youth and the lessons from the holocron of Tera Sinube. Instead of reacting to the masked mans swings he entered the same kata, but reversed it. The two fighters entered a state of synchronization as they stepped and danced around each other, Kotan sidestepped attacks that should have been hits and parried perfectly several blows without looking.
For a moment they were giving a wonderful performance fight to the empty room and the unconcious force sensitives on the floor, then Kotan ended it.

As the masked warrior shifted his weight to advance Kotan stepped into his style.
First he made a wide swipe from collar to ear, ruining the featureless mask and distracting his opponent. Then with a offhand block he locked the opponents saber arm with his right hand. He turned and backed into the body of the off-balanced warrior.
The green shoto turned off and on quickly as he switched it to a reverse grip and plunged it past his own ribs into the heart of his enemy.

The two men stood there, immobile for a second as the golden lightsaber clattered to the floor. The sound echoed in the green lit room.

Kotan turned around to his enemy as he felt him starting to fall over.
A gauntleted hand locked around Kotans throat and the two of them slid towards the floor, Kotans vision was tunneled and narrowing rapidly as the dying man who had claimed the mantle of jedi knigh sought to strangle him.
He has no eyes, was the last thing Kotan though before unconsciousness claimed him.
The green glow disappeared and the room was plunged into darkness .

Earlier that day

The two masked warriors had appeared as the group was leaving the vault and demanded the Sirens Soul.
Kotan and Ondas fight against one of them had spilled into the vault before Onda managed to cut down their opponent, but the explosion from the destroyed lightsaber had knocked him out.
MeanwhileKrankawarroks opponent had managed to evade him, so he and Kotan went searching for the last warrior hoping to stop him before he found Jessek and the artifact.
After they had split up Krankawarrok had gotten defeated, and the warrior had grabbed both the unconcious wookie and mirialan before heading to the exit.
It was here Kotan had intercepted him.

When they all eventually woke up, it was not where they had anticipated

In the custody of the empire Kotan finally made a deal with Sinnius.

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Introduction episode XXXV

After defeating Kiados mercenaries outside the ancient ruins the group takes a knee.
Krankawarrok and Joe climb down a hole that leads to underground caves and tunnels in search of the mercenary that ran away.

Meanwhile Onda, Kotan, Vrex and Jessek rest before finding a side entrance to the ruins, they start on their trek into the heart of the ruins.

Underground Krank and Joe stumble over a group of guards and swiftly incapcitate all of them. Krank drags one into a room and strts to question him. Joe spends his time between the screams slicing into the ancient systems and come across something quite practical, he presses the big red security button.

Back above ground the rest of the group step in some traps but eventually make their way to a mezzanine overlooking the entrance to a vault. In front of it is a large force of mercenaries, the ones in front ar busy planting explosives around a large door.
Suddenly ancient security systems come to life a bathe the room below in fire and plasma, the explosives are triggered, alle the mercs die horrible deaths.

The group reunite at the entrance to the vault.

Now they need to find what Kiados sent her minions for, before she herself shows up, after the commotion they have caused they don’t have much time.

The clock is ticking and the dark side draws near.

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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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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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The Old Man's Expedition
episode XXXII

nar_shadda.jpg
“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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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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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”

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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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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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