“Star Wars: Dark Times” Session 6 — Mandalorians, Sith, and ransom

Fellow role-players, here are Jason’s and my notes for Session 6 of his space opera miniseries, which Brian W. hosted at his home in Newton, Mass., on Monday, 25 November 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A long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away — the Galactic Republic has been replaced by a ruthless empire, and the Jedi, once guardians of peace, are now hunted fugitives.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….

Player Character roster for Jason E.R.’s Star Wars: Dark Times,” using Savage Worlds, autumn 2013:

  • Ekafti Acomar [Gene D.]-female Rhinnalian 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-ruu (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
  • Tark Agros [Brian S.]-male Bakuran human pilot and noble, mildly delusional hotshot
  • Tharg Thargsson [Rich C.G.]-male Gamorrean scoundrel and bounty hunter with connections to the Black Sun syndicate
  • Max Power (MX-PR) [Rich C.G.]-male protocol droid with secret combat subroutine, ordered to protect Jedi (overrode Order 66); killed by Sith Bela Trepada on Bakura

From the journals of Ekafti Acomar, 19 B.B.Y. (before the Battle of Yavin):” My friends and I had fought our way into Gesco City, the polar base of operations for the mercenary Brotherhood. After dispatching usurper Griz Starfire, we continued our search for Calo Zythor, the imprisoned leader of the remnants of Mandalorian and Clone Trooper units.

Garolos Banku Nuruolos provided cover as we advanced into a cell block. Oong Bak was among the injured, and Ari Sundar carried Foxdi Zess, a Mandalorian trooper serving fugitive Tolovo Nathu, a clever clone of me.

Although Starfire was dead, Thayne Highlander still sought the lightsaber of his late master, Shin-wu Sorotai, which was now held by Bela-Trepada, another clone of me and a Sith.

We relied on the local knowledge of Tark Agros while dealing with the cabals of Bakura. Despite his connections to the Black Sun crime syndicate, Tharg Thargsson had proved himself in battle alongside us, partly making up for the loss of droid MX-PR.

We came upon B-1E4, the protocol droid serving Princess Tethys of Chandrila, yet another “sister” of mine. We had seen B-1E4 reporting to Trepada, and our fears were confirmed when we saw the traitorous droid about to push a button as Calo hung from restraints suspended in a magnetic containment field.

B-1E4 told us to wait for a moment while her true mistress, Trepada, was up to something. This was no time for negotiation — I told my companions to fire at B-1E4. Tark, Garos, and Tharg drew blasters.

Quick-thinking Oong realized that he still had Max Powerrestraining bolt manufactured by the H’Lokk Consortium. The Duros mechanic ran forward and slapped it onto B-1E4, deactivating her. We released the grateful Calo, and Chiss Garos recommended that Tharg carry the droid for later study.

Foxdi and Calo said there were three ways out of the Brotherhood complex: back the way we had come, from a maglev subtram; through the control room of the reactor cooling tower; and to the summit of the mountain, where a Firespray -class ship named the “Jai’galaar” (“Shriek Hawk”) waited.

Mandalorian vessel
The “Jai’galaar” (“Shriek Hawk”)

As sounds of battle between Brotherhood factions and Bakuran military police (in search of android Juris Keel) echoed through the facility, we started to head to the summit. I was glad that we had left clones Tethys and Tolovo back with the Lucky Strike in Salis D’aar.

We hadn’t gotten very far when lights flickered and alarms indicated a reactor overload. We could have simply left, but all exits were farther than the control room, and we couldn’t leave Bakura with more casualties and power outages.

We sent Foxdi and Calo to prepare the Jai’galaar and lowered ourselves on ropes past destroyed stairways. Thayne, Garos, and I sensed a presence, no doubt Bela-Trepada. I used Battle Mind to help Oong shut down the self-destruct sequence.

We saw Trepada descending with two red light sabers. I activated Force Cloak. Thayne and Tark shot at the Sith but missed. We ran back out to a courtyard, where an Imperial shuttle was parked. It had four guards wielding force pikes, but they were preferable to Trepada, who had destroyed Max and almost killed me.

Pilot Tark dropped one of the imperials, and lapsed Jedi Garos switched from blasters to a Mandalorian darksaber and a light dagger. Ssi-ruuk Ari and Gamorrean Tharg protected Oong. Tark slayed a second sentry, Garos slashed the third, and Thayne made quick work of the last one.

As we ascended, we saw Foxdi and Calo at the summit, surrounded by three mountain cratsch (beasts native to the northern continent of Prytis). The Firespray -class attack craft loomed, with Trepada at the controls. I jumped out of the shuttle, along with Thayne, Garos, and Tharg.

Tark, Oong, and Ari stayed on the shuttle to distract the Sith on the Mandalorian vessel. They made evasive maneuvers while we faced the large arctic creatures. I again activated Force Cloak and used Hear My Thoughts to call to Bela.

As Tark tried to dodge the Firespray’s guns, Ari found escape pods for herself and Oong. Tark had a jet pack. Garos used Surge to run and jump onto Bela’s ship. The brave scoundrel held onto a turret.

Fortunately for those of us still on the snowy ground, the three cratsch were tough but not very agile. Mighty Thark felled one with his vibroaxe and intimidated another into running away. Recent padawan Thayne slew the third.

Trepada shot at me with the Firespray’s cannons before Garos cut a hole in the turret and threw in a grenade. Tark rammed the imperial shuttle into the Mandalorian gunship, destroying both (and the remains of B-1E4).

Fortunately, Oong, Ari, and Tark were able to escape. Unfortunately, so did Bela-Trepada, who ignited her sabers. Tharg the merciless jogged up to my clone and cut her down in one blow. We were all surprised but glad that fight ended so quickly.

We crammed into the Jai’galaar and flew to Gesco City. We debated fixing up the Firespray vs. trading it and/or the Lucky Strike for a better ship.

Ari and Oong attended to the wounded, and Garos and Tharg traded weapons. Calo paid Tharg 100,000 credits for his newly-acquired darksaber said he owed him a favor.

We were interrupted by a holographic message from Bal Grainer, an associate of Garos and Tharg. Even though we had tracked down his onetime nurse Tolovo Nathu, the Rodian bookie still wanted recompense. Grainer said he had kidnapped Oong’s mother, the dancer Tootu Anga.

The nasty Rodian threatened to send the “Seven Deadly Shadows” after us and demanded that we bring 350,000 credits to Nar Shaddaa, the “Smuggler’s Moon”, the largest moon of the Hutt homeworld Nal Hutta, which was about four standard days away.

Oong explained to us that the “Daar-Daar” ritual with Tootu’s betrothed, Kass Tani, now needed to be conducted within six days on the soil of his homeworld of Duros. The Biz-Taar was also part of this ritual that was as important as rescuing his mother.

Exhausted after our raid on the Brotherhood’s headquarters, we slept fitfully back at the freighter Lucky Strike. As has happened all too often lately, Thayne had another vision.

The young Jedi again saw a tower near a beach of white sand and a black sea. Endolana, the daughter of a Jedi master who had lived 25,000 years ago, waved at him. Thayne ascended and saw an unconscious woman named Marala who looked like me and the clones.

Endolana thanked Thayne for saving her and said that so much of “Marala has disappeared.” We later understood this to mean that the other children of Jedi — from when our order had families vulnerable to kidnappers — represented Tolovo and Tethys. One was still missing.

When we awakened, Thayne shared his latest dream, and we questioned Tolovo. Millennia ago, King Acomar of Chandrila gave up his title to become grand master of the Jedi council.

According to hidden Holocron archives, Acomar invented the legendary Form Zero, in which a light saber wasn’t even drawn. His daughter was Marala, one of the children whose disappearance caused the Jedi to take vows of celibacy.

Tolovo also said that B-1E4 was the source of both the computer virus that had disrupted the galaxy’s networks and the opposition to the serum she was transporting to extend clones’ lifespans. I was surprised to learn of Tolovo’s fondness for both the Kaminoans and the Brotherhood.

Ssi-ruuk Ari smelled an unidentified human scent on Shin-Wu’s light saber, which Thayne had retrieved from Bela-Trepada. Tark arranged for genetic analysis, which confirmed that the lightsaber was indeed ancient.

Tolovo Nathu explained that four clones had been created on Kamino. She was bred to be the smartest and ended up with the Brotherhood, and Bela-Trepada was given to the Empire for Sith training. Princess Tethys seems to have memories of 25,000 years ago, and a lost clone Ramoca Alara. I was apparently the “least altered”, but was not one of the four created on Kamino.

I suppose I should be upset at learning my true origins, but neither they nor my experiences, real or synthetic, alter who I am and my dedication to the Jedi path. I still hope to protect the innocent, serve justice, and work for freedom in the galaxy.

Tethys noted that the caterpillar/centipide and butterfly were the marks of Acomar’s house. She recognized Shin-wu’s light saber as Endolana’s tower, clarifying some dream symbolism for us. Tethys said it stood in opposition to Khatyen’s tower, which referred to Trepada or another enemy.

According to Tolovo, the last clone, Ramoca Alara, was captured by the “Prophet of the Living Force,” not to be mistaken for the Krevaaki zealots we had encountered at Cattamascar.

Oong asked me to contact Bal Grainer to verify that his mother was still alive. With Tharg and Garos’ help, we talked to Tootu, who told Oong that the Daar-Daar ritual was of utmost importance. Fortunately, Kass Tani was on his way to Bakura, so we wouldn’t have spend time traveling.

As we waited for the Duros groom, we began planning to find and rescue Tootu and Ramoca. May the Force be with us….