“Star Wars: Dark Times” Session 8 — Enemy Mines

Fellow role-players, here are my notes for Session 8 of Jason’s space opera miniseries, which Brian W. hosted in Newton, Mass., on Monday, 23 December 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A long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away — the Galactic Republic has been replaced by a ruthless empire, and the Jedi, once guardians of peace, are now hunted fugitives.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” scenario, 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):” After fighting Imperial Stormtroopers, Krevaaki zealots, young but dangerous Ssi-ruuk, clones, and Mandalorian mercenaries, my companions and I found ourselves on Nar Shaddaa, the Smuggler’s Moon.

To rescue Tootu Anga, a Duros dancer and mother of Oong Bak, we had posed as the “Seven Deadly Shadows,” assassins intercepted by crime boss Soona the Hutt. We exchanged Soona’s feathered headdress for Tootu, but Tharg Thargsson had charged at kidnapper Bal Grainer and revealed the Rodian fixer to be a hologram.

Three IG-86 sentinel droids had us in their sights as Garolos Banku Nuruolos readied his blaster. I told Oong, Tootu, and Tark Agros to leave. Tharg tried to persuade fellow Gamorrean guards Flarg and Snarku to switch sides.

The three sentinels opened fire, killing Snarku and shaking Tharg. Thayne Highlander ignited his light saber and ran to a larger droid, but it had an energy shield. Ari Sundar reached through the field with her claws to grapple the droid.

Once — and future? — Jedi Garos blasted one IG-86 before switching to his two red light sabers (confiscated from Sith clone Bela-Trepada, but that’s another story). Mechanic Oong tried to rewire the blast doors, but to no avail.

I used Battle Mind to help recent padawan Thayne fight, while Flarg joined Tharg in destroying one droid. Garos destroyed another, and Thayne managed to deflect some blaster fire but was still injured.

As scout Ari held onto the larger droid, Tharg finished it off. Thayne used his light saber to cut through a blast door, and we held our breath as the corridors of Bal Grainer’s palace filled with knockout gas. Garos hoped to pursue his Rodian associate rather than leave another enemy to haunt us, but we were outnumbered and had successfully rescued Tootu Anga.

At least Tharg sent the headdress back to Soona, and we had attempted to fulfill our side of our bargain with the Black Sun criminals. We were all relieved to depart on the B6Z1, the fast ship of Tootu’s betrothed Kass Tani.

Kass dropped us off at Bakura, pilot Tark’s homeworld, where we had left the Lucky Strike. On the way, Thayne had another vision of the Jedi of 25,000 years ago. Aliza, the daughter of Jedi master Djem So, was no longer mute. She told Thayne that she had been saved by a Jedi with tattoos.

Aliza also said that we should follow the Sanctuary Route, from Cattamascar to Chiss space, to save other children and bring forth the prophesied “chosen one,” who would bring balance to the Force. I meditated on Thayne’s words and sensed a great disturbance in the Force from the heart of the galaxy. The Dark Side was spreading from Coruscant.

According to my holocron, the Aurabesh-tattooed Jedi described by Aliza matched a Jedi Knight named Ebo Chun-Wai, who disappeared with Master Pir Jelani in the Unknown Regions 6,000 years ago. I agreed with Thayne that we needed to visit Garos’ home space to find missing clone Ramoca Alara and help the Jedi.

However, we first had to get back to our own ship. Bakuran security officers Capt. Blaine Harris and Anya Foravis had impounded the Lucky Strike in connection with Juris Keel, an android infiltrator we had uncovered.

I used Mind Trick to keep our ship from being searched, and we learned that Keel had been working with insectoid Verpine and had traces of hfredium from mines on G’hro. After some debate, we agreed to help Capt. Harris investigate in return for a refurbished HWK-290 freighter.

The Hawk would enable us to get to G’hro (and Cattamascar) more quickly, while the Lucky Strike would serve as a decoy for Imperial and Black Sun pursuers. Harris provided cover identities and promised potential armaments.

We returned to Cattamascar, where we found the Grand Pelgar Hotel repaired after we had saved it from plunging uncontrollably through the planet’s center. The Zenazi monastery was a scene of carnage. Kurtzen monks had driven off the Krevaaki, but many had died in battle.

Hierophant Inif Cundertol was nowhere to be found, but Ari tended to scholar Moross Sapan’s wounds. He said that Cundertol had fled with a girl during the Krevaaki attack. According to Sapan, the hierophant took her to the Sanctuary Route for her own safety.

In addition, Sapan identified the light saber of Shin-Wu Sorotai, Thayne’s late master, as a force saber from the Force Hounds of the ancient Rakatan Empire, which predated the Old Republic. We dropped the sage off at a medical facility related to the Grand Pelgar on Cattamascar’s surface.

We continued on to G’hro, where scoundrel Garos posed as a trader captain. We saw Conjo fighter craft, red hfredium ore for ship hulls, and the Boku settlement surrounded by forest. Flight controller Carga Elix gave us limited visitation rights.

We were accosted by two fighter pilots, a Bakuran human and an Illwizzt (a red elephant-like species), Brco. They turned out to be associates of Capt. Harris sent to help us, supposedly against piracy. From our past dealings with Bakura’s cabals, we knew that we’d likely find something more complex and sinister.

Brco explained that both he and the Imperial forces were being kept out of the mines, but the local security could be outmaneuvered if Conjo fighters entered four shafts simultaneously. Our best pilots would have to coordinate, while the rest of us conducted reconnaissance.

Brco took Tharg in the lead craft, followed by Garos and Oong. Thayne and I went third, with our best, Tark, and Ari last. We flew into the mountain, narrowly evading sensors and lasers.

Inside the central chamber, we saw a control center rather than mining operations. I recognized it as the place from which Juris Keel had watched Thayne and Shin-wu fight their last battle together before Order 66 was given, outlawing the Jedi.

Ari spotted red-scaled Ssi-ruuk warriors. Our reptilian friend had defected from her people, who were drawing life energy from victims to power ships and droids. Garos, Thayne, and I all sensed three Force-using entities, but they felt unnatural.

We got out of the fighters, and Thayne and Oong checked the security monitors. They saw more Ssi-ruuk troops, Verpine, and a Juris Keel-model android, as well as three large cyborgs powered by enslaved Kurtzen monks. We ran to our ships, but they held us with tractor beams.

Tharg and Brco’s Conjo fighter was disabled, and I assisted Thayne by using our guns. Tark flew around, as Ari destroyed two of the battle droids. Garos and Oong had left but returned to help us fend off the slavers.

Tharg blasted at the footsoldiers, while Brco made hasty repairs to his fighter. Garos and Oong shot at the third cyborg, and we made a narrow escape. Brco transmitted our findings to Capt. Harris, who would make sure that the Bakuran authorities dealt with this growing threat.

While traveling along the Shirotoku Way, Thayne had another vision. Clone Ramoca could be the “chosen one, not born of the father,” so we had to save her to save the galaxy.

According to the holocron, the only other heirloom light saber similar to Shin-wu’s was that of Thayne Cerulian, which had passed to Sifo-Dyas and then to Count Dooku and Gen. Grievous. As Master Yoda might say, mysterious are the ways of the Force.

With Garos’ help, Tark set a course for the Sanctuary Route. I’m glad my friends agreed to help us rescue Ramoca. May the Force be with us — always!

Thanks again, Jason, for a fun game, and I look forward to our return to your “Glassworks” superhero setting in spring of 2014! In the meantime, I hope everyone enjoys my “Vanished Lands” fantasy campaign.

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“Star Wars: Dark Times” Session 7 — “Banshee Weirdness”

Fellow role-players, here are my notes for Session 7 of Jason’s space opera miniseries, which Brian W. hosted in Newton, Mass., on Monday, 9 December 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 JasonE.R.’sStar Wars: Dark Times,” usingSavageWorlds, 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):” Strange times make for strange allies. On Bakura, we had rescued the leader of the Brotherhood, a mercenary organization composed of clone troopers of the old Republic and Mandalorians. Newcomer Tharg Thargsson had defeated Bela-Trepada, a “sister” clone of me turned to the Dark Side of the Force by the Galactic Empire.

We had no time to celebrate our victory, however, because Bal Grainer sent us a ransom demand for dancer Tootu Anga, the mother of mechanic Oong Bak. Grainer, the Rodian fixer associate of Garolos Banku Nuruolos, wanted 300,000 credits delivered to Nar Shaddaa, the Hutt homeworld’s largest moon.

Kass Tani, Tootu Anga’s betrothed, arrived from Duros via the fast ship “B6Z1.” Most blue-gray Durosians don’t name their vessels as other species do. I remembered Tani from our diplomatic service before Palpatine’s new order, and he was surprised to see me alive after Order 66, which had outlawed the Jedi.

Tani, who had invoked Biz Taar, brought a container of ancient soil from Duros. Oong prepared the oils and tubes for the Daar-Daar ritual, which needed to take place even in the absence of Tootu Anga. Oong also presented Tani with one of his tools as a token of welcoming him into his family.

The ritual took almost as long as Kass Tani’s trip to the Bakura system. Tani later told us that Bal Grainer had an estate in the Durosian sector on Nar Shaddaa and that, not surprisingly, he had a weakness for exotic women.

While our pilot Tark Agros was reluctant to leave the Lucky Strike, he was confident that he could pilot the swift B6Z1 through any threat posed by the Black Sun criminal syndicate.

Shortly thereafter, we arrived at Nar Shaddaa, the so-called Smuggler’s Moon. We went to the “Somewhere, Not Here” spacers’ bar. Tharg talked with two fellow Gamorreans, Baku and Shlarg, and learned about Soona the Hutt, a rival to Bal Grainer.

Smuggler's Moon
Courtyard in Hutt haven

Ostensibly looking for a paying gig, Oong chatted with other Durosians to get his bearings and learn if anyone had seen his mother. We learned that Nar Shaddaa was unscathed by the virus that had affected the rest of the galaxy’s computer networks, no doubt because it was the source. Scout Ari Sundar and Jedi Thayne Highlander posed as our guards.

Tark talked with two other human pilots, a Falleen and Cutter Torsin. He had met the latter previously at the Grand Pelgar hotel. Torsin said he was working for insectoid Verpines, protecting a shipment of droid parts from G’hro to Chandrila.

A friendly brawl broke out among Tharg, Baku, and Shlarg. Garos placed bets while the rest of us left. Thayne, Tark, and Garos later went to the “Banshee Weirdness,” a private club and neutral ground for various Hutt factions. They found out that the membership fee was many thousands of credits.

After talking with hit woman Shamarra Zanab, we pursued two leads to obtain an audience with Soona the Hutt. Tharg offered his services as a disgruntled Gamorrean guard, while Garos and I pointed out that Bal Grainer’s need for money could be exploited as a weakness.

Soona had other ideas. She revealed that she had captured the “Seven Deadly Shadows,” assassins working for Grainer. If we posed as them and killed the Rodian gangster, we would get the resources we needed. While I had no intention of committing murder for hire, we agreed to Soona’s proposition since it would get us closer to rescuing Tootu Anga.

That night, Thayne had another vision. Endolana, the daughter of Jedi Master Ataru 25,000 years ago, was sick. I knew from the holocron that each of the Jedi masters whose daughters had disappeared resigned, leading to our order’s vow of celibacy.

According to Marala, daughter of Acomar and likely origin of myself and several clones, some of the girl’s essence was affected when the light saber of Shin-Wu Sorotai (Thayne’s late master) was examined.

I still hoped to find Ramoca, a lost clone, who was allegedly being held by the “Prophet of the Living Force.” Unfortunately, we’ve had to deal with Bakuran conspiracies and Bal Grainer’s ransom demands first.

We went to the Durosian quarter on Nar Shaddaa with Soona’s feathered headdress as supposed proof that we had assassinated her on Grainer’s behalf. IG-86 sentinel droids stood guard, and Grainer was surprised to find that we were the “Seven Deadly Shadows.”

In return for Soona’s headdress, we demanded Tootu Anga. The exchange went as planned, but impatient Tharg charged at the Rodian. Alas, his axe passed through Grainer’s hologram, but the droids were all too real….

Thanks again, Jason, for your generous holiday gifts, and I look forward to wrapping up this scenario (for now) tonight! May the Force be with us — always….

“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….

“Star Wars: Dark Times” Session 5 — Tram to trouble

Fellow role-players, here are Jason’s and my notes for Session 5 of his space opera scenario, which Brian W. hosted on Monday, 11 November 2013, in Newton, Mass.:

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” miniseries, 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):” The crew and passengers of the Lucky Strike had attended a garden party on Bakura, where I hoped to continue the diplomatic work I had begun for the old Republic. However, we were brutally reminded of how the galaxy has become an even more dangerous place.

Droid MX-PR, “Max,” sacrificed himself protecting recent padawan Thayne Highlander and me from Bela-Trepada, a powerful Sith and twisted copy of me. B-1E4, another protocol droid, had left Princess Tethys of Chandrila, another clone.

Meanwhile, medic Ari Sundar and pilot Tark Agros confronted Tolovo Nathu, yet another clone of mine whom we had been tracking on behalf of Bal Grainer, a Rodian bookie and associate of ex-Jedi Garolos Banku Nuruolos.

We staggered back to our hosts, since the party had been disrupted by vehicles flying overhead. Oong Bak attended to Thayne’s and my injuries, while Tark asked Bakuran head of state Grina Arden for other medical assistance. Princess Tethys seemed as oblivious as ever.

Ari and Tark sensed movement in the trumpet flower garden, where they saw droids hunting on behalf of an unnamed master. The droids sensed Tethys, as well as traces of Tolovo (who had gotten away), Bela, and me, so there was no mistaking whom they were looking for.

Garos shared with us an Imperial transmission that had beenintercepted weeks ago. Imperial scouts had learned that the Chiss Ascendancy (Garos’ home space) included twice as many worlds than it claimed, and they requested military support.

In combination with the list that we had obtained of surviving Jedi — and Jedi clones — being hunted, it was clear that the Chiss were competing with Palpatine’s new order to gain control over or eliminate me and my peers.

We added the Chiss to our growing list of enemies, including the empire, the Sith, Bakuran cloners and arms dealers, Krevaaki zealots, and Ssi-ruuk invaders. We also believed that the Hutts and Black Sun criminal syndicate were responsible for a virus that had shut down most computer networks.

But first, we had to deal with more immediate concerns. Tark talked with weapons designer Juris Keel, who agreed to take Garos, Thayne, and me to Salis D’aar, the Bakuran capital. On the way, however, a Mind Read determined that Keel wasn’t thinking about getting us to a hospital.

Instead, I had a vision of the Bakuran human sitting in a room full of Separatist droids watching video of Thayne and his late master Shin-wu Sorotai fighting. Garos and Thayne subdued and restrained Keel, who was working with the insectoid Verpine, as well as supposedly against the “droid menace.”

We took Keel’s speeder back to the rest of our crew at the Lucky Strike ’s landing pad. Oong, Ari, and Tark had repelled an attack droid and confiscated its stun blades, which Garos discovered could be tuned to be short force blades.

Garos also found a Gamorrean enforcer for Bel Grainer waiting for us at the pad. Through a mix of bargaining and traded insults, we persuaded burly Tharg Thargsson not to attack us in return for information about Tolovo.

While Oong easily repaired our ship, he was unable to do the same for Max. Sharp-eyed Ari spotted a restraining bolt on Keel. The Duros removed it, incapacitating the android, which was nearly indistinguishable from a human. How many of the people on Bakura were droids or clones, and whom did they serve?

Tark asked his racing buddy Roviden Belden to help us get into the “Lesser Grace” spaceport, an exclusive retreat for Bakura’s elite. We hoped to rest there and devise a plan to fight the Sith and shut down the cloning operations.

We were interrupted when a group of Mandalorians found us. Foxdi Zess and two armored troopers had Tolovo with them, but she was badly wounded. Foxdi explained that my clone had sought out the mercenary Brotherhood, which was composed of clones of soldiers from the Mandalorian Death Watch (enemies of the Jedi) as well as the Grand Army of the Republic.

Tolovo offered a Kaminoan vaccine against a Separatist virus that would extend the clones’ lifespans. Unfortunately for her, the Brotherhood had been taken over by Griz Starfire. Thayne was surprised to hear the name of the clone trooper (Clone Commander Starfire) who had turned on Shin-wu.

Garos realized that it was Griz who had offered to sell Shin-wu’s light saber to Bal Grainer. Even though we called off our deal with the Rodian, we were able to persuade Tharg to continue working with us. Bal Grainer also noted that Chandrila hadn’t been a monarchy for 25,000 years, calling into question Princess Tethys’ story.

We agreed to help Zess sneak into Gesco City to rescue deposed leader Calo Zythor. A failed colony, this far northern base of the Brotherhood was protected by ray shielding, so we ultimately decided on a maglev subtram to get through. Thayne was anxious to recover his master’s weapon.

The Bakuran authorities set a reward for the missing Juris Keel, so I asked Tharg call Capt. Blaine Harris to tell him that Keel could be found near Gesco City. I hoped to set the military police against the Brotherhood and slip in during the confusion.

We left two Mandalorians to guard Princess Tethys and a weak Tolovo at the Lucky Strike. Mechanic Oong and pilot Tark took the front car of the automated train. I meditated and sensed that Bela-Trapada (who was on the Chiss list) was at Gesco City. More bad news.

Thayne used telekinesis to send a guard probe away, but Tark noticed something ahead on the scanner just as we reached the shielded base. A Mandalorian clone riding a Basilisk war droid blocked our path. Bakuran Tark shot out the train’s controls, as the rest of us headed to the windows.

The Basilisk’s shockwave cannon destroyed the front of the subtram as we jumped out. Duros Oong and Gamorrean Tharg swung down the same rope, and Chiss Garos jumped to a maglev ring. Tark and “our” Mandalorians flew around with their jetpacks, but one perished. I activated Force Cloak and slid down dispensed liquid cable.

Thayne swung to the roof of a falling train car, and Ssi-ruu Ari slipped until she grabbed the ring. Foxdi shot at the Basilisk. I sought shelter among the rocks. Tark descended to cover, and Ari and Garos clung to the collapsing ring support.

I used Hear My Thoughts to tell Garos where to find a line, and he kissed Ari for luck as they swung down. Foxdi was hurled into a nearby cliff, and Tharg caught her. Tark and Ari hit the droid-riding sentry, but Garos’ shots didn’t penetrate its armor.

Ever cautious, Oong hid behind a different rock from me. I usedBattle Mind to help Thayne, who blasted the clone, dropping him 100 feet. Tharg frenzied and finished him off with his vibro axe. Ari took the trooper’s pistol and attended to Foxdi’s wounds.

Tharg was going to throw the Mandalorian over his shoulder, but Ari was a more careful bearer. We walked through the empty subtram station, and Foxdi directed us toward the Brotherhood’s headquarters. We saw an Imperial shuttle and prepared for another battle.

On a balcony overlooking a broad plaza, we saw a group of people in Mandalorian armor, no doubt members of the clone Brotherhood. They were facing off with a robed Sith and her guards. My clone Bela-Trapada was negotiating with usurper Griz Starfire over the light saber of fallen Jedi master Shin-wu Sorotai.

We knew we were outnumbered, and we needed to get past the two factions to release Calo Zythor. I recommended a diversion. Garos ran ahead and threw a grenade, blowing up four Mandalorians. He and I ran toward the holding cells.

Tharg started jogging, and Tark shot two more guards. Oong ran for cover beneath the catwalks, and Ari and Foxdi ran forward, dodging Mandalorian fire.

Impetuous Thayne shot at Griz. I’ll have to remind him that revenge is not the Jedi way. Even though she nearly killed me, I have to admit a bit of disappointment when Bela and her force pike-wielding entourage left the scene with Shin-wu’s light saber.

Griz drew a darksaber (once owned by Pre Viszla, the head of Death Watch or Kyr’tsad) and jumped down to face us. Ari shot at him with a heavy blaster, but Griz still hurt Thayne and Tharg. Garos wounded Griz, and Tharg grabbed Oong and killed a Mandalorian on the way.

Oong shook off his injury, and I managed to hit Griz with my light saber. Tark shot another Mandalorian clone, and Thayne defeated Griz. Now all we had to do was find Calo and get out without getting caught in more crossfire….

“Star Wars: Dark Times” Session 4 — Cabals of Bakura

Fellow role-players, here are Jason’s and my notes for Session 4 of his space opera miniseries, which Rich C.G. hosted on Monday, 28 October 2013, in Waltham, Mass.

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 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
  • 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):” After exploring two disabled Imperial cruisers near Cattamascar, the light freighter Lucky Strike followed the Shirotoku Way to Bakura. We had taken on a few passengers, including Zeltron scavenger Adaha Tila, protocol droid B-1E4, and Princess Tethys of Chandrila — an unauthorized clone of me.

MX-PR and I had visited Bakura during previous diplomatic missions, and the protocol droid recalled that the planet had about 68 million inhabitants, making it one of the more civilized systems in the sector. Bakura was colonized by core worlders from Hemei IV more than a century ago (in galactic standard time) and was known for its repulsorlift and biomedical technology.

I reminded “Max” to watch out for intolerance, since the colonists had put down a droid uprising about 70 years ago. As during the Clone Wars, when Gen. Grievous killed several planetary leaders, I still hoped to keep Bakura free from Palpatine’s new order.

Tark Agros took us into Salis D’aar, the quartz capital. It was a reluctant homecoming for our pilot, who was related to Bakura’s ruling clan. We left Oong Bak to continue repairs on the ship and Garolos Banku Nuruolos to communicate with Rodian bookie Bal Grainer.

At the landing pad, a customs agent insisted on putting restraining bolts on Max and B-1E4. Recent padawan Thayne Highlander and I were ready to use the Jedi Mind Trick to talk our way past, but a cloaked figure in a hologram did it for us. I talked with the agent later, and he didn’t recall much, but he did give us a contact number.

We bid Adaha farewell. Ari Sundar needed medical attention, so the Ssi-ruu and Thayne went to the residential and commercial “B” ring of the circular city to ask about shady clinics. Dilettante Tark went to talk to his racing buddies Roviden Belden and Rennt Govia, other members of Bakura’s long-lived aristocracy.

Tark learned that Sen. Orn Belden, representing the Bakur RepulsorCorp (BRC), was planning an exclusive party around a local holiday. It would be on Braad, a continent mostly inhabited by the primitive Kurtzen. Braad was also the source of the holo to the customs agent, but our trace of the signal was blocked by military police.

We regrouped at a clinic that Tark’s friends had suggested, hoping to avoid official scrutiny of Ari, whose reptilian people were new to the Unexplored Territories. Garos and I also hoped to find a link to the clones of me and Ssi-ruuk we had encountered.

We noticed that the receptionist was an android designed to closely resemble a human, which was a surprise on droid-hating Bakura. Tark was forced to clean out his bank accounts to pay for Ari’s surgery and medical supplies.

I asked Max to keep watch on Ari and gather information as he went with her into the operating theater. Thayne, Tark, and I walked around the building and found no doors or windows. Tark used his jetpack to confirm that there was a landing pad and door on the roof, as well as a security scanner.

Rather than risk Ari while she was under laser scalpels, we planned to return at dusk. Max confirmed that the entire facility was run by droids, although I sensed a single human presence deep within. Ari, Max, and I headed back to the Lucky Strike to drop off the supplies and pick up weapons, while Thayne and Tark were supposed to watch and wait.

Their stakeout was interrupted as an unmarked airspeeder landed, disgorging special operations troops. Thayne and Tark rashly decided to take advantage of the raid to infiltrate further. The duo flew and climbed to the roof, then took an elevator. They incapacitated two sentries and hid in bacta tanks as Capt. Harris ordered the building searched.

Ari, Max, and I disembarked from a hover train, and I politely asked an officer what was going on. He claimed it was a gas leak, but a Mind Read indicated that the police had found whatever or whoever they were looking for, and an air strike had been called. We went around the corner and warned our friends to get out fast.

Thayne found an exterior wall and cut a hole with his light saber. The building exploded. Tark broke the young Jedi’s fall, thanks to his jet pack, but we were forced to lie low at the Belden estate for the night. At least Ari’s scar from Ssi-ruuk younglings was removed, and we had found where different factions were covertly fighting.

That night, Thayne had another dream of a tower and Endolana, the kidnapped daughter of Jedi masters from 25,000 years ago. He saw Marala, a young woman who looked like another of my clones, lying washed ashore. Endolana shouted from the tower for Thayne to leave her alone.

The next morning, we caught a lift with Tark’s friends to Telaan Valley in Braad. Buildings had been built into the valley’s walls, and lovely terraced gardens masked the sinister conspiracies we planned to uncover. We carried concealed sidearms but nothing more, and we were not frisked.

I talked with President Grina Arden, the Bakuran head of state, who was surprised to see me alive after Order 66. She explained that Bakura sought to keep its independence by trading with the empire and other parties. I wondered if she knew of the warrior clones sought by the empire and Ssi-ruuk.

Princess Tethys was happy to be in a high-class setting. She may be my clone, but she’s happily oblivious. B-1E4 went missing, so I sent Max to find the suspiciously acting droid.

Ari caught scent of Tolovo Nathu, Bel Grainer’s runaway nurse and another of my clones. Thayne tried to make conversation with officers Capt. Blaine Harris, Anya Foravis, and Dana Galveson, who complained about having to attend such formal events.

Tark talked with Juris Keel, a weapons designer, and Jarik Tai, a recruiter for the mercenary Brotherhood, both of whom he had met at the Terminus restaurant in the Grand Pelgar hotel. They said that business was good.

My hopes for keeping Bakura out of imperial entanglements were fading, and Ari spotted Tolovo moving some equipment with long-necked Kaminoans, members of the same species that produced the republic’s clone troopers.

Ari radioed the rest of us via comm link, but she stepped on a trumpet flower, alerting Tolovo that she was being watched. Meanwhile, Max saw a cloaked figure removing a data storage unit from B-1E4. They were flanked by two men with Force pikes. As Jedi knights, Thayne and I knew we had to confront them.

Tolovo drew a pistol on Ari. Tark pretended to be tipsy and hopped in a speeder. He ran down Tolovo and her hover cart, but the Kaminoans got to their cloaked ship. Ari and Tolovo carefully righted the vials, which Tolovo claimed were full of medicine urgently needed by the Brotherhood.

Thayne and I joined Max in the Cloud Berry Garden, where we used Sense Force and Sense Life to track down the three robed figures. Bela Trepada, yet another young clone of me — does it ever end? — ignited two red light sabers, reminding me of Asajj Ventress.

Komari Vosa
Bela Trepada, yet another clone of Ekafti

I asked the young woman to stand down, but she was mute, well-trained, and aggressive. Fortunately, I was able to dodge or deflect her first few blows. Max was not so lucky. Thayne and I eventually defeated the two Force pike wielders and rushed to Max’s aid.

Bela wounded me, and Max picked up a pike and shoved me back, saying I should run. However, I couldn’t leave him and Thayne to face my doppelganger, so I stayed. Despite my Battle Mind, the would-be Sith destroyed the valiant droid and stabbed me in the abdomen, knocking me unconscious.

Thayne grabbed me and parts of Max as Bela disappeared into the vegetation. Ari and Tark agreed to let Tolovo go, on the condition that she get back in touch with us to answer some questions.

Ari attended to Thayne’s and my injuries, while Tark took us back to Garos and Oong on the Lucky Strike….