Fellow role-players, here are Jason E.R.’s and my notes from his first “Star Wars: Dark Times” session, which Brian W. hosted in Newton, Mass., on Monday, 9 September 2013:
A long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away — the Galactic Republic has been replaced by a ruthless empire, and the Jedi, once guardians of peace, are now hunted fugitives. In the Unknown Regions, at the edge of explored space, a few Jedi and their allies hope to survive and continue the fight for justice….
- “Ekafti Acomar“ [Gene D.]-female human Jedi consular, older diplomat with many contacts but few remaining friends
- “Garolos Banku Nuruolos — Garos“ [Beruk A.]-male Chiss (blue-skinned humanoid) ex-Jedi, gambler and owner of the light freighter “Lucky Strike“
- “Oong Bak“ [Brian W.]-male Duros (gray-skinned humanoid) honorable and talented mechanic
- “Ari Sundar“ [Sara F.]-female Ssi-ruuk (raptor-like reptile) military medic, outcast from a species intruding upon the galaxy
- “Thayne Highlander“ [Bruce K.]-male human Jedi padawan close to knighthood, 19 years old; saw master killed by Order 66
- “Max Power“ (MX-PR) [Rich C.G.]-male protocol droid with secret combat subroutine, ordered to protect Jedi (overrode Order 66)
- “Tark Agros“ [Brian S.]-male Bakuran human pilot and noble, mildly delusional hotshot
>>”From the journals of Ekafti Acomar, 19 B.B.Y. (before the Battle of Yavin):” It is hard to believe that a standard year has already passed since Palpatine’s new order cast a shadow over the galaxy. We have spent months hiding along the Shirotoku Way, a remote hyperspace lane.
I should first properly introduce my shipmates. I, Jedi consular Ekafti Acomar, was assigned to a diplomatic mission in the Bakura Sector on the Outer Rim. When Order 66 was given, outlawing all Jedi, my Clone Trooper escort turned on me. Protocol droid MX-PR and I were lucky to gain the assistance of Tark Agros, a local aristocrat and pilot.
Meanwhile, as I understand it, gambler and ex-Jedi Garolos Banku Nuroulos won a light freighter in a sabacc game. The Lucky Strike came with Duros mechanic Oong Bak. Garos found “Max” and me by our encoded Jedi distress call.
A similar signal led us to Thayne Highlander, a recent padawan whose master was killed because of Order 66. They had been fighting an early incursion of the reptilian Ssi-ruuk, but medic Ari Sundar changed sides and helped Thayne to safety. Tark rescued them from Bakura.
After skulking from one minor spaceport to another for some time, we were surprised when Chiss Garos got a message from Bal Grainer, a Rodian bookie. He said that he had learned of a light saber selling for 100,000 credits on the black market.
That was more than we could afford, but the weapon had belonged to Shin-wu Sorotai, Thayne’s former mentor. Bal said that he would help us get to the light saber if Garos would check on Tolovo Nathu, his nurse, whom he suspected of mischief. We couldn’t argue scruples, so we agreed.
After a year of little contact with the outside universe, we were just as surprised when Toootu Anga, a Durosian dancer and Oong’s mother, contacted our mechanic to inform him of her betrothal to Kass Tani. I had worked with Tani, who had opposed Nemoidian separatists during the Clone Wars. The “Daar-Daar” ritual was to take place on Duros in several months.
We followed Bal’s directions toward the Kuari Princess, a Mon Calamari-built luxury liner that Tolovo had boarded. Unfortunately, Max began describing himself as being created by the Black Sun criminal syndicate, and his malfunction endangered all of us.
Power fluctuations in the Lucky Strike forced us to land on G’hro, a forested world hosting a Chandrilan mining and farming colony. Tark demonstrated his piloting skills, while Oong tried to figure out what was wrong. We went to Boku, a town coated in red ore dust.
There were atmospheric craft (Conjo Fighters) on the airstrip, but relatively few inhabitants. Oong stayed with the freighter, guarded by Ari. The rest of us headed to the local cantina, which had more droids than people, unlike Bakura, where intolerance of droids is high.
On the way, Thayne spotted a platoon of Imperial Stormtroopers. Apparently, Chandrila had joined the empire, most likely under coercion. We ducked into the bar and tensely waited for the armored soldiers to pass.
I had helped Oong negotiate for an antivirus packet, but we were unable to honor our deal because of a hasty retreat. At least the packet cleared our ship. We lost contact with the local flight control as we took off, and new T.I.E. fighters soon took up pursuit.
Oong reconnected the astrogation computer in time for us to jump toward Bakura. He also quarantined the droid recharge port and debugged MX-PR. It seemed that the virus in our droid and ship used both Jedi and Black Sun code. It was intended to force us to go to Nar Shadda, the Hutt homeworld, no doubt for nefarious ends.
We spent a restless night in hyperspace. Garos claimed that he stole blankets from me, and Thayne disclosed that he dreamt of a beach, a dark tower, and a girl asking for Shin-wu. In the Jedi’s dream, the girl identified herself as Endolana.
I recalled that name from Sar Agorn’s holocron. Endolana was the daughter of Jedi Master Ataru 25,000 years ago. Her kidnapping was the reason for the Jedi vow of celibacy. It is strange that, even as our order faces extinction, events from millennia past resurface.
We arrived at Bakura, only to find that the Kuari Princess had been diverted to Cattamascar, home of the Grand Pelgar Hotel and a Bakuran religious retreat. We went there and found a desert sphere with a tunnel leading directly through it. A strange hotel was using repulsorlifts to pass through the planet for sightseeing, but something was wrong.
Oong reported that the elevator resort was suffering from the same power fluctuations that we had seen. The Lucky Strike headed to the tunnel when we were overtaken by a smaller vehicle. It was being followed by an Imperial cruiser, so we also accelerated.
I tapped the power of the Force and shared Battle Mind with Tark to blast our way into a hangar. Three combat droids exited the smaller craft, and they drew what at first looked like red light sabers. I sent Oong and Ari to try to restart the falling hotel’s systems.
Thayne and I ignited our light sabers (blue and green, respectively?). Max jumped into the fight with a grenade launcher. He might have been fixed, but he was still acting like no protocol droid I’ve ever seen. Tark drew blaster pistols and ducked behind our ship.
I damaged one of the battle droids, and Thayne advanced on the other. Ari killed a Stormtrooper, the first of an eight-man squad approaching. Tark shot my opponents, and Garos grabbed the fallen droids’ weapons, which turned out to be stun batons rather than light sabers.
Max blasted the last droid, and Thayne managed to shrug off the effects of one of the batons. Garos ran to the droids’ ship and grabbed its computer core, which we later learned had avoided infection by the Black Sun/Hutt virus. It also contained a list of Jedi being hunted, including us.
Oong successfully restarted critical systems, so the 500 passengers were saved. He and Ari then evaded the five remaining Stormtroopers, who shot at me. I barely parried with my plasma blade. I do need more practice.
Tark killed two more Stormtroopers, and Thayne leapt to Garos’ aid. Ari and Oong offered to stay with the Lucky Strike. Rather than wait for more to arrive, we had to head deeper into the hotel to find Tolovo Nathu….
May the Force be with us — always….