Star Wars - Episode III.V - Rebellion Ascendant

The Story So Far
"We need a ship, a crew and a few big guns!"

The Story So Far

Campaign Start Date: 11 BBY

Overview of the First year

During this year, the party composition is:
Captain – Frakk Zarah (Human)
Pilot – Fred Syler (Human)
First Mate – Lockon Marius (Human)
Mechanic – Dominic (Human)
Medic – Edward (Human)
Security Officer – Malark (Human)

Other Notable Temporaty Members
Renji – Security Officer, replaced by Malark when Renji and Frakk Zarah had a few disputes over methodology
Mr. Crown – Information Broker, worked with Frakk Zarah and the rest during the great Stend VI government shuffle.

The campaign starts with a young captain named Fred Syler and his mechanic, Dominic, owning a beat-up Nella 320 Light Freighter and a large Credit debt to a Crime Lord in the Minos Cluster. Trying to make a living as an independent trader / part time smuggler, Fred finds himself landing on the planet Stend VI, Fred has a misunderstanding about his debt that evolves into him losing his ship (and his debt) and entering the employ of Frakk Zarah, one of the local Crime Lord’s lieutenants and the new captain of Fred and Dominic.

Given a ship (a Corellian XS-800 they name “Solar Wind”) Zarah begins carving a name for himself among the shady underworld of galactic smuggling. Over the next year Frakk Zarah establishes himself as one of the top three captains on Stend VI and a very notable individual in his particular sector. His success climaxes when – betrayed by his Herglic Crime Lord Boss – he decides to bring together all of the various splinter groups of swoop gangs and other assorted criminal elements to complete two goals: Overthrow the planetary government and establish a new criminal underworld that relies and answers mostly to him.

He pulls off that particular stunt and for a brief while Stend VI appears to be blossoming in a promising shadow port. This future is never realized, due to the intervention of the Victory-Class Star Destroyer Revenant arriving in-system to address any resistance in the area. The Imperial intervention results in a confrontation with an individual wearing black armor and carrying a lightsaber (An Inquisitor, though at the time the players did not know they exist) who manages to seize all assets of the players but dies in combat against the two force-users of the party.

The year comes to a closing with the players and all assorted NPC allies evacuating the planet for a safe port, to recuperate and plan their next move.

Overview of the Second Year

During this year, the party composition is:
“Commander” / Jedi-in-Training – Malark (Human)
First Mate – Lockon Marius (Human)
Pilot – Fred Syler (Human)
Mechanic – Dominic (Human)
Doctor / Jedi-In-Training – Edward (Human)
Passenger / Jedi-In-Trainin – Mer Noldo (Nautolan)

The party decides to go along separate ways, after the events that took place on Stend VI – at least for a little while. Frakk Zarah and a slicer known only as “Mr. Crown” leave with a ship to remain undercover and keep a low profile for a year or two, slowly building up resources. The rest, decide to begin working with shadow groups in an effort to establish an anti-imperial organization. During this year, they locate a group of people on ORD Torrenze that covertly work to restore a downed Corellian Corvette and begin to take up jobs to better organize that attempt.

During this time, they get in touch with representatives of Bail Organa – one of the three major anti-imperial political figures – and begin to undertake missions on his behalf. At the same time, they bridge the gap between the ORD Torrenze group and Bail’s Alderaanian Resistance, thus expanding the limited funds and assets available to anti-imperial movements.

The end of the year finds the group undertaking a mission in Cloud City on behalf of Organa, trying to uncover more information on a dubious project of the Empire codenamed “SARLACC”. The mission was a success in regards to its objectives but its climax was too thunderous to ignore. Featuring the violent disruption of the Annual Sabacc Tournament as well as a space combat in the Bespin system, the group made off after having faced off with two TIE squadrons. Once again, they decide to keep a low profile and also train to cover some of their less practiced areas.

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Downtime Overview
Our Assets.

Over the last few months…

… our heroes have stayed aboard the Nebulon-B Frigate “Resurgence”, where they recuperate and regroup, after the latest events. The Resurgence is a Nebulon-B Frigate obtained through the funds of Alderaan’s Humanitarian funds, labeled a medical frigate on an indefinite mission to provide relief and medical supplies to the Outer Rim territories. Due to the nature of this mission, the Resurgence – while a medical frigate – is allowed have a complement of two fighter squadrons on-board, along with the necessary pilots to fly them. Using this legal loophole and a deal on surplus Clone Wars vehicles, the Resurgence is now protected by two squadrons of Delta-7 Aethersprites.

On this Frigate, new technologies aimed to aid in the fight against the Empire are researched and developed. Using the draft engineering schematics that were created by Dominic and Saude two years ago, a functional Hyper-Transceiver prototype was built, allowing for communication between the Resurgence and Alderaan with just a minute’s delay between messages.

Additionally, the Resurgence serves as a mobile HQ for the Alderaanian Resistance, carrying specialists for all sorts of operations, covert or otherwise. Using these specialists, our heroes have decided to follow some rigorous and extensive training programs, that will enable them to perform a multitude of roles adequately. This training is expected to last up to two years.

As the training programs were initiated, the group begun spreading out to wherever their trainers took them, in order to learn essential skills. In the first six months, feats that would otherwise be thought impossible were achieved, such as Mer learning how to fly and eventually asking Dominic for advice, because he wanted a ship for himself and his travelling needs.

This particular need, shared by Malark as well, sparked the group into a contact gathering session that bore fruit in the name of Reelo Banta, an information broker on the planet Kheedar whose specialty is illegal ship sale spots and repair/modification facilities. As of Downtime Session #1, the group went on to find Reelo. Giving some thought to the matter, they opted to recruit an additional crew member – Sam, a forger resident on the Resurgence, who supplied everyone with high quality forged ID’s and papers for their current ship, a heavily modified JS 77b shuttle.

Armed with their new ID’s they made their way to Kheedar – a planet recently bombed by the Imperials as a response to its local ruler’s defiance of Imperial Rule. Using their cover ID’s they bypassed the planetary blockade, posing as Imperial Bounty Hunters and landed on the planet’s surface.

To be continued, in Downtime Session Two

Appendix – Resurgence Personnel (Total: 854, Officers: 154 Crew: 700 )

Notable Officers
Captain: Adrian Verana
First Officer: Dennin Otter
Security Officer: Myron Pierce
Medical Officer: Dr. Edlegar Formes
Tactical Advisor: Gilder Varth (Former Imperial Admiral)
Tactical 2nd Officer: Hal Enders
Quartermaster: Jirel Boson
Flight Commander: Sandria Roventis
Chief Mechanic: Harker Collins
Chief Astrogator: Mansel Ford
Helm: Remys Bolton

Specialist Positions

Head of Intelligence: Specialist Kerin Vodle
Head of Operations: Sergeant Larfin Baer
Head of Acquisitions: Specialist Ahgwer Glerman
Head of Relations: Advisor Ylenic It’kla

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Downtime Session Two
So... are you guys here to kill me, or not?

Having landed on Kheedar…

…our group finds itself trying to determine the whereabouts of Reelo Banta, the contact with the information where they can buy two ships. An A-24 Sleuth for Mer Noldo and a YT-1760 for Malark. After a few run-ins with the “local flavor” (drunk planetary soldiers in a cantina) they learn of Reelo’s haunts and visit them.
Establishing contact with Reelo’s people, they arrange for a meeting to take place the next day. In the mean time, they notice they are being tailed and force their shadows to give up pursuit.

The next day, the group meets with Reelo who agrees to help them secure the ships they need, if they in turn help him get off the planet. The group arranges to board him on their JS-77b and then blast off from Kheedar towards a system Reelo knows about – Socorro.

Arriving at Socorro, the group is awed by the sheer possibility of a fully functional, fully equipped smugglers’ haven. Mer is especially interested in the spiritual aspects of the Ibhaan’l people and particularily their shamen. While Mer and Edward roam around Vakeyya – Socorro’s largest settlement – and enrich their cultural experiences, Sam and Dominic arrange for slicing and forgery jobs and Malark enjoys a quiet drink at the local tavern – Corellian Whiskey. Old Corellian Whiskey.

At the closing of the day, Dominic tries to challenge Karl Ancher at serving him a drink he hasn’t heard of before but Ancher is more travelled than Dominic so he happens to know every suggestion and also has the materials at hand to mix them. He is, however, impressed by the fact that a new face – Dominic – knows about Port Haven, branding Dominic and his companions as men who have proven their worth, since they have been shown to Port Haven. Following the conversation a bit further, Dominic shares the fact that he was Frakk Zarah’s mechanic impressing Ancher even further and ending up enjoying a round of drinks on the house.

Following this revelation, Malark tries to learn more about his parents. When asked to relay a message (“Devron is alive”), Ancher asks who is the message from to which Malark replies “Devron”. At this point Ancher reveals they are alive and were last seen on Socorro about a month ago.

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Downtime Session Three
Who wants to meet us? Oh... ANOTHER Crime Lord...

The group spends several days on Socorro…

…where they get connected and acquainted – each with a different aspect of the Socorran way of life.

Mer makes any arrangements needed with Dominic for his ship to be purchased, repaired and modified and on their second day on the planet he hires a guide (A 16-year old Asylir girl named Noya) and begins a trek of the planet. During his journey, he learns about each tribe’s rites and rituals and visits most of Socorro’s most notable features. Also, by impressing an Ibhaan’l nomad family with his manners and interest to learn more about them, he learns the full story of Iann Doaba – the Jedi who first wandered the deserts of Socorro in self exile as repentance for a crime he could not bear on his conscience. Mer got enough information to piece together that almost two thousand years ago, among Socorro’s first settlers there was a Jedi. And that ever since, no other Jedi has visited the planet openly.

Dominic visited the Boliscon Towers where he met a representative of Aquato Boliscon, a dock master named Edric, with whom he made arrangements to purchase an Incom A-24 Sleuth for Mer. The ship was available for the price of 80 thousand credits, though at a somewhat beat up shape. Through negotiation and discussion, the deal was struck at 50 thousand credits, but any modifications would have to be made by Boliscon Towers, meaning that all parts would be purchased from them. For Malark’s YT-1760, Edric said he is certain he can have one, but he needs 4-5 days. Straightening out the Sleuth deal, Dominic begun working straight away.

Sam stayed mostly in the tavern, plying his trade and making new friends. Three days later, his reputation as a mostly solid forger had spread, resulting in a total profit of 30 thousand credits for low-rating ID’s on the spot and three orders of Rating 4 ID’s for 36 thousand each, to be paid upon delivery in Socorro. All this activity drew the attention of Abdi-Badawzi who sent one of his “representatives” – named Bron – to invite Sam and any of his colleagues for lunch at his luxurious desert Palace. The ones to attend were Malark and Sam only, who generally were treated to a luxurious lunch and entertainment in Abdi-Badawzi’s palace and offered a chance to work for the Twi’lek Crime Lord should they wish so. Courteously, the two considered the offer and thanked the Crime Lord for his hospitality and left, heading back to Vakeyya.

Edward spent most of his time socializing with Socorran patrons and managed to make several acquaintances for captains, pilots, hired muscle and smugglers with a specialization on the transport of medicinal substances – from simple medicines to spice – and even courteously turned down a multi-thousand offer to work as a “Chemist” for a few days in a spice refinery.

Fred – with the frequent run-arounds of the rest – spent quite a lot of time on the ship and in the free time he had he socialized and made contact with other pilots and captains, a feat made easier by the group’s reputation as the former crew of Frakk Zarah.

Finally, Malark spent a few days in what it could only be described as his first vacation days after more than a decade. For the first two or three days, he mostly exchanged smuggler stories with other captains – primarily Corellians and specifically Corellian women. At all times, he was available and present in any major meeting that involved the hand-changing of Credits.

5 days later, the Ibhaan’l shamen of the Uhl’Doaba’l shrine had prepared the Osma Bags for Dominic, Edward and Mer. Each bag was filled with items tailored for each individuals, holding pieces from their past or omens for the future. For Mer, the bag contained a small vial of black sand from the desert of Socorro, assorted tribal charms, a small wooden case with three seeds of rare and believed extinct plants and a small piece of art – a square ceramic tile no more than one palm per side depicting Coruscant. In the drawing, the Jedi Temple’s four spires can be discerned.

Dominic’s Osma Bag contained a vial of sand and assorted tribal charms as well, a small antique-toolcase with basic engine tools and a small, palm-sized, broken part of armor made by some rare metal. Further examining the piece with the equipment available in the Boliscon Towers its chemical substance was identified as Mandalorian Iron.

Edward’s Osma Bag was by far the most unique. Besides the sand and tribal charms that the other bags contained, it included a set of medicinal implements – a scalpel, scissors, pincers etc – and a black velvet pouch. The pouch, when opened, contained a deep green Adegan Crystal. Gazing at it with a measure of wonder, Mer and Malark reached the conclusion that since no other Jedi had visited the planet (at least, openly), this must be the crystal from Iann Doaba’s lightsaber.

One final encounter 5 days before the group was ready to depart back to the Resurgence, was a group invitation by a Mr. Saadoon-Kauldi. The group discussed the issue with Karl Ancher – the bartender of the Black Dust Tavern and one of the most influentian Socorrans – who warned the group that invitations from Mr. Saadoon-Kauldi should never be taken lightly. Finally, the party decided to accept the invitation and set off to dock with his ship, the Merkel. Approaching the Merkel, the group identified it as a modified Action V bulk freighter and when they landed on the ship’s hangar (the first apparent major modification) they were witness to a bulk freighter outfitted as living quarters for a large number of people.

Led to the audience room, they met with Saadoon-Kauldi – an immense Kadri’Ra with a length around 35 meters – and had a chance to briefly converse. Saadoon-Kauldi was impressed by the group because Dominic knew his language, an event that tipped the scales to the group’s favor. Without many delays, Saadoon-Kauldi made the group feel as comfortable as possible when confronted with a being of his magnitude and after providing for his guests made his point perfectly clear: He knew Devron Rann (Malark) as a Jedi and wanted to let him and his crew know that should they ever need help from his vast organization and network of contacts against the Empire, he is at their disposal. All he asks in return is to be able to call upon them if he happens to need their specialized abilities – always taking care not to send them in any kind of operation that might offend their Beliefs.

Following their conversation, Saadoon-Kauldi offered his hospitality to anyone wishing to remain on the Merkel, an offer that only Mer accepted and spent the next 5 days with the Kadri’Ra, discussing about topics as much as 700 years old.

Regrouping back on Socorro, the group is ready to take off with their three ships and head to the Resurgence.

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Downtime Session Four
It can fly! It can fly! It can also jump!

During our fourth downtime session, our group of heroes decided to pool in their newfound contacts and finish a few loose ends.

Devron Rann (Malark) along with Dominic had a discussion with Sgt. Baer aboard the Resurgence, giving a complete report of what can be found on Socorro, its Society, its community and generally all the potential that can be had by making sure the fledgling Alderaanian Resistance is on good terms with them.

Additionally, they examined the possibility of using Boliscon Towers and the Caelli-Merced technicians to outfit the downed Freedom’s Messenger with any remaining parts and take off from ORD Torrenze. Securing funds from Alderaan, Dom and Devron travelled back to ORD Torrenze to close the deal. There, they met with people from Boliscon Towers where they explained their project. When Dominic showed the schematics of the Freedom’s Messenger to the people at Boliscon, they agreed to forward the schematics to Caelli-Merced and ask if they would be interested to work on such a unique project. The next day, a representative from Caelli-Merced Company showed up and made his offer: They will give the group a hyperdrive and all the necessary parts for a life support system to work so that the corvette can take off. In return the Corvette will have to reach Socorro and land in Cjaalysce’l Starport, where the Caelli-Merced facilities are located. There, the rest of the Corvette will be outfitted by Caelli-Merced technicians, allowing only Dominic and whoever is going to be the ship’s Chief Engineer to help them, so they’ll have a complete knowledge of how the vessel will operate. For the whole package, Caelli-Merced asks for the modest sum of one million credits, to be delivered with the Corvette upon arrival.

Upon securing this deal, Devron arranges with Saadoon-Kauldi to deliver the hyperdrive and life support to ORD Torrenze using his network. He and Sam will stay behind and accompany the parts, while the rest will head to ORD Torrenze to notify Ciro and prepare for the craft’s take off. On the way, they pick up Mer, who was training his piloting skills on the Resurgence, and relay a message to Edward, who was following some seminars on Alderaan, to meet them on ORD Torrenze. With everyone gathered, they brief Ciro’s men and begin preparations for take off.

Saadoon-Kauldi offers an Action V Bulk Freighter through his network of contacts that will deliver several tons of cargo to another planet near ORD Torrenze, but will also take a detour, enter ORD Torrenze’s atmosphere, jettison two drop pods with the Hyperdrive and Life Support systems for the others to collect and then leave the planet to continue its journey. Devron and Sam would have to ride inside the drop pods, strapped in makeshift reentry seats since they didn’t want to follow with Devron’s ship. Sam fell unconscious during the drop, while Devron was lightly wounded.

Everything went more or less according to plan and the necessary parts were fitted on the Freedom’s Messenger. Flint with the Nella the crew had comandeered at the end of Season One – renamed “Raptor” by Flint – provided escort and cover, while Fred, with the JS-77b “Dominator IV” provided the calculations for the jump that would take them directly to Socorro, though it would take them 60 days with the Freedom’s Messenger’s x2 Hyperdrive.

When everything was ready, Flint’s “Raptor” landed in the Freedom’s Messenger and they made the jump to Hyperspace. After they had left, Fred casually flew to the edge of the system and made their own jump to the Resurgence where he dropped Mer off and left to notify the people in Socorro about the progress of the entire plan.

A month later, Mer had completed his training for this chosen ship and left for Socorro to speak with Saadoon regarding any information he had uncovered through his associates for anything related to the Force. Saadoon explained how he set about learning about what happened in the immediate past of the rest of the Group and indicated to Mer that perhaps a series of ruins on the planet Gelgelar might prove interesting. Mer thought about it and decided to investigate – alone – while the rest of the group is still in Hyperspace travelling to Socorro and Fred takes care of other matters.

Parallel to the above, Mer had the chance to examine the crystal that was given to Edward, through his osma bag. By meditating upon it, it was identified as an ancient crystal, from the planet Ruusan and not from Ilum. This meant that the crystal was first used in a lightsaber some time over a thousand years ago, since Ruusan stopped being the primary source of lightsaber crystals around that time, due to a great catastrophe that took place on the surface of the planet during a war between the Sith and the Jedi. This more than anything made it certain to Mer that the crystal possessed by his apprentice is none other than the very crystal used in Iann Doaba’s lightsaber when he set foot on Socorro, over two thousand years ago.

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Downtime Session Five - Part I.
Hmmm... I feel no disturbance in the Force. At all...

Everyone is rather excited…

…with the events that transpired a few days ago! Freedom’s Messenger is in hyperspace and making its way towards Socorro.

Devron, Dominic and Edward are on board the Freedom’s Messenger in hyperspace. Devron decides to attempt the second cadence of the Lightsaber Kata shown to him and Mer by Ylenic It’kla. Inspired by the whole cadence, Dominic begins precision shooting practice, by trying to hit a single ball bearing on top of a wax cylinder without hitting the cylidner, in a blaster pistol’s short range. With more or less nothing better to keep them occupied, the three devise several ways and techniques to practice their combat skills.

Fred, in contact with Sam, plan the next month’s business plan for the Pride of Aldera, though Sam’s Droid ABU warns them of a low profit yield this month due to inadequacy of the Pride’s Captain to maintain proper and detailed business logs. Sam further visits Socorro a few times to arrange for new ID jobs.

Mer, after a brief word with Sadoon-Kauldi, decides to head to Gelgelar on his own, following Saadoon’s lead. Reaching the planet without incident, he is greeted by absolute lack of any communication signal. Scanning the northern hemisphere for any life signs, he pinpoints a total of 15 life forms falling in the broad “humanoid sentient race” category – on the entire hemisphere. Headed towards the largest concentration of the humanoids, he flies above the mostly deserted, destroyed and moss-covered buildings that used to be the Gelgelar Free Port.

Hovering around the Free Port’s remains Mer notices several rusting debris of a variety of crafts – Z-95 canopies, broken TIE Fighter wings, hull pieces large and small. Almost all of the buildings have been targeted by some sort of orbital artillery and all but two or three of the numerous landing ramps that surrounded the Free Port are destroyed. On one of the two ramps, rests a B-7 Light Freighter, powered down and giving off no emissions. This spurs Mer into action and orders his droid to raise shields in case of any perceived threat. Attempts to communicate on open channels are unanswered and finally Mer decides to land in an open patch among some buildings.

Walking around the ruined remains of the Free Port’s buildings, Mer notices that he is being watched by someone among the ruins, who upon discovery hurries to hide out of sight. Without any further investigation, Mer walks towards the building where his scanners picked up the largest concentration of life forms – the remains of what seems to have been a hotel of sorts. All windows, ruined walls or doors to the building seemed to have been deliberately blocked from the inside, as if someone had barricaded themselves in it. Mer approached, walking in the shadow of the ominous Temple of Kooroo on his left and knocks on what serves as a “door”. Getting no reply, he finally gives up after a few more attempts and decides to circle the building.

From the north side of the Free Port, he is greeted with the shattered hull of an Imperial Patrol Vessel, the rear half of which protrudes from the ground some distance away while the front half has skidded and rammed any buildings in its crash path, reducing them to rubble. Among the hulk of the front half, Mer spies more movement and approaching he decided to chase the culprit down to start getting some answers. It turns out the culprit was a Sullustan child, dressed in rags and obviously malnourished. The child ran towards the ruined hotel building, followed (or chased) by Mer. Entering the building, Mer caught the child and it begun to cry and shout. While the little Sullustan kept asking for help, Mer turned around to a disturbance and was greeted by a blaster’s muzzle aiming at him.

From trapdoor covered with furs and rags, an Ithorian had emerged some 15 feet away and was aiming at Mer. His face was scarred, lacking his left eye from some gruesome wound and his body was weak from undernourishment. With one shaky hand he held the trapdoor open, while with the other, equally shaky, hand he had a blaster pistol leveled at Mer. In what was a heated discussion, Mer sensed the Ithorian was desperate enough to shoot – even with danger to hit the child – and managed to slowly but successfully defuse the situation. The child ran below to join other people there, while Mer and the Ithorian, his blaster always aimed at the Nautolan, exchanged several words of what is going on.

The Ithorian gave Mer to understand that “something” he referred to only as “A Monster” had taken residence in the Temple of Kooroo, and that Monster was more or less terrorizing the few survivors left. Trying to scan the Ithorian’s surface thoughts with the Force, Mer only picked up feelings of utter Fear towards this being and images of proverbial Ithorian boogey-men shapeless, dark horrors with fiery eyes and an assortment of other evil looking traits.

Shrine of koorooDeciding this should be his next stop, Mer approached the Temple. The instant he set foot inside the Temple, he felt as though he was completely cut off from the rest of the Universe. As if the Temple somehow blocked everything that a Force User should feel on a normal scale from the inherent Force in everything around him. He was completely alone in there. Walking softly through the semi-circular corridor, he located the next arch leading to the central room. Peeking through the arch, he spied a circular domed room with a series of windows running the perimeter of the dome, casting bleak rays of sunlight in the room.

At the center of the room was a lonely figure, sitting in a meditative stance. Next to him was a wooden staff and in front of him a datapad and a thick, hand-made book with thick pages full of manuscript. The figure was dressed in a padded flight suit – black in color – and over it hang a deep blue ragged robe, with its hood drawn over his face, in his hands, he fidgeted with a black cylinder, which Mer recognized to be a lightsaber. The quarterstaff and robe signified him as a Follower of Kooroo. The man simply turned his head and talked to Mer. They engaged in a short conversation, during which Mer walked to stand in front of him and looked at him. His skin was very pale and under it, a few faint blue veins were apparent. Mer had all the tell-tale signs that this is a person currently gripped by the Dark Side.

To be Continued in Part Two

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Downtime Session Five - Part II.
You mean, there are TWO more like you?

Click here for Part I

During their conversation, the Follower of Kooroo declared to Mer that he should kneel before him and accept him as his Master, since he is on his planet as a guest after all. And that together, they would plan and bring the Empire down, once and for all. Mer refused and a duel ensued, in which the Follower of Kooroo proved that he was not much of a match for the solemn scholar Jedi. The first sign of Mer’s superiority in the use of a lightsaber was a precise hit that practically dismembered the Follower’s left arm a few inches after the elbow. Seeming unaffected by his immediate wound, the Follower howled in rage and called upon the Dark Side, willing Mer to die. Mer resisted, feeling his breathing cut off for a split second and replied with a vertical slash that could have cut the follower in half. However, instead of dealing the killing blow, Mer stopped his lightsaber’s blade a mere inch from his face and ordered the man: “Yield. Let us end this without resorting to violence. Or Death.

This caused the Follower to suffer a “Moment of Doubt”, as the Jedi was clearly in a superior position and yet refrained from killing him and claiming victory. Mer’s Force of Will was so strong, that the Follower fell to his knees, discarding the lightsaber he was holding and begun to cry and sob for a few seconds, before blissfully giving in to his wounds and falling unconscious. Acting with haste, Mer picked up the man and the man’s dismembered appendage and made sure they were safely stowed away in the confined space of the Argonaut. The Light Side had won that day and now it was time to finish his exploration an head back.

Making arrangements with the survivors – who were far more cooperative now that the “Monster” was defeated – he made sure that the four who wanted to leave would be easy to locate and contact in order to reclaim the Follower’s ship, if he had need of it. The rest – a Sullustan family of five and the Ithorian – decided to stay on Gelgelar, being their homeworld.

Heading back to the Resurgence, Mer and the Follower, now properly introduced as Freeja Saar, have a conversation about the Way of Peaceful Resolution, the manuscript in Freeja’s possession which is written by the Wise Man of Kooroo and which contains Freeja’s teachings before he was lured by the Dark Side. To Mer’s trained intellect, the “Way of Peaceful Resolution” is very compatible with some of the Jedi Order ideals, imposing a more strict adherence to pacifism and resorting to violence only as a measure of self defense and only in a manner that will not kill or maim, but will simply stop incoming blows – hence the use of the quarterstaff. From the sum of the manuscript, a devoted individual would be able to learn several important Jedi teachings, as if they had a mentor.

Arriving at the Resurgence, Mer still has 11 days left before the Freedom’s Messenger is expected to arrive in Socorro. He requests Sam to let Devron know he should return to the Resurgence immediately when they land in Socorro and he himself remain behind, aboard the Resurgence, to further discuss and learn about Freeja’s Way. Freeja spends the first few days in a bacta tank, undergoing extensive surgery to reattach his “disarmed” appendage.

Meanwhile, on Socorro, things go as planned. The modified Corvette “Freedom’s Messenger” exits Hyperspace and performs a landing in Cjaalysce’l – Caelli-Merced’s privately owned city and shipyard facilities. There, the crew is sent over to Vakeyya with speeders, leaving behind only Lofryyn – the Wookiee Chief Mechanic – and Dominic. These two, together with the tech-heads of Caelli-Merced begin the 10-day-long work of restoring the craft to optimal condition for the low-low price of ONE. MILLION. Credits as agreed 2 months ago.

Arriving in Vakeyya, Devron meets with Fred and Sam, is briefed on Mer’s request and leaves immediately for the Parmel Sector where the Resurgence currently remains, taking Edward with him to send him off to continue his mundane training. There, he is briefed by Mer on the whole story of Freeja Saar, including the fact that the Wise Man had two more apprentices that are currently “somewhere” in the Galaxy. The two Jedi decide they should investigate the locations of the other “Kooroo” temples, even if they are just a scam, and also locate the two more apprentices in case any of them has also fallen to the Dark Side and represents a threat to the rest.

All these, are events that will transpire in future chapters …

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Downtime Session Six
"I almost feel like a Commander!" ~ Devron

In the four months following Freedom Reborn’s take off…

… everyone took some time to work on their own personal schedules with some contact among them.

Mer Noldo

Mer took a trip to the planets Boztrok, Sufezz,Branteez and Vaynai investigating the other reported ruins that have something to do with the Fellowship of Kooroo. At those sites, he discovered nothing at all, so he went to Qalydon, and specifically Port Fyrin – the planetary capital – where the headquarters of the Religion were located.

There, he infiltrated the High Temple of Kooroo posing as a member of the Fellowship and using borrowed robes, a lot of “Jedi Mind Tricks” and “borrowed” swipe cards to wander around the temple undetected. Making his way to the inner sanctum, he found himself outside the chambers of the three Great Teachers of Kooroo – the actual leaders of the entire umbrella project. Again resorting to using the Force, he managed to convince one of the Great Teachers to leave him alone in his quarters and go about his business, leaving his swipe card behind. Using that, Mer opened a door from the Great Teacher’s chamber and found himself in a sort of altar room, with a hollow statue of a robed figure sitting in meditation dominating the center of the room.

All around the room, the various wall carvings were plastered and covered and Mer used his Lightsaber to intricately trace the original wall carvings to see what lay under the plaster. Once again resorting to the Force to guide his extremely minute handling so as not to destroy the original carvings, he failed to notice that one of the other doors leading to the altar room opened and was confronted with three security guards, watched by two of the Great Teachers behind them – all five of them quite surprised by the sight of a lightsaber-wielding Nautolan, wearing the robes of Kooroo.

In the brief confrontation that followed, Mer destroyed two of the three blaster pistols held by the Security guards, the third exploded in the face of its wielder and the Great Teachers ran away at the beginning of combat, only to be followed by the guards seconds later. Immediately the Temple went into lockdown with the security personnel guiding the attending followers to the Temple Gardens for a head count, while authorities were en route to the location. Once again, with the Force as his Ally (And a powerful Ally it was!), Mer made his way out of the Temple, to his speeder and then to his ship where he used his Imperial Bounty Hunter fake ID to leave the planet without a hassle and returned to the Resurgence. This whole trip, including the fruitless visits to the first temples, took him the better part of three months.

Dominic

In these three months, Dominic reprogrammed the IG-100 MagnaGuard that he had “liberated” when they faced Darga the Hutt, so that the Droid would recognize him as his Master. Designating the Droid as Protector, it begun tailing Dominic around and acting as his bodyguard. Due to a glitch in the programming (and due to my love for HK-47) the droid has the tendency to sometimes vocally prefix every statement he makes with a speech conditional that describes the type of statement that it was. For example “Query: Master, is this individual before you a hostile, neutral or an ally?”

Beyond the reactivation of the Protector, Dominic spent time into maintaining a basic presence in the information brokering scene and collecting information on Mandalorian traits and history hoping to discover more about his heritage. Other than that, he was mainly preoccupied with the proceedings of his training, doing some minor side-jobs whenever he had time and also visiting Edward on Alderaan for a 3-day long vacation.

Edward

In the three months Edward had the least eventful activity, as he focused on his studies on Alderaan. Maintaining a social, but not emotional contact with those around him, he devoted his time and effort to most effectively absorb the topics of his choice. Through his cover as a psychology student in the University of Aldera, he also provided a venue for relaxation for Fred and Dominic as they stayed over for a few days and they all attended some generic “University Festivities” such as parties and the nightlife – much needed for both, considering the events of the last year. Beyond that, he took no other active participation in any further projects, eager to complete his training as soon as possible.

Devron and Fred

Devron and Fred took up the task to organize the various crews they work with to new profits. Fred laid out business plans for the Pride of Aldera and smuggling routes for the Blessed Confession. In the three months that transpired, the Pride had a minor setback resulting in some losses of their original capital during the first month which were recovered in the next two trading trips, while the Confession made a profit.

Additionally, Devron visited his old outfit, the Churhee’s Riflemen, sparked both by Baer’s request and by intel that they had been double-crossed by the Empire on a recent operation and made the necessary negotiations to hire their services. The Riflemen’s business leader, Maydla Churhee, informed Devron that a legal outfit could not possibly be tied to any rebellion and hope to survive for long, but should a “shadow outfit” of unknown origin and with previously unregistered gear were to emerge, she would have a few guesses on how they came to be in existence – effectively outlining what she needs in terms of funds and equipment in order to commit her men to the Cause. Following up on these, Devron had his crew to arrange for a few gun-running trips in order to prepare an equipment stash for the “shadow group” aboard the Resurgence, an effort that took his crew two months using the Starshade. This, effectively secured the service of one Company (150 men) from Churhee’s Riflemen, fielding the Blas-Tech A280 obtained through Devron’s efforts, instead of their signature rifle.

Parallel to these, Flint’s team was sent by Devron to make a strike against Yerkis NeDago’s gun running operations in the Minos Cluster, which failed and caused 40% losses on his team (4 men, and 48,000 Credits of damage on his ship).

The Others

Near the end of the third month, Ylenic It’Kla returned to the Resurgence, along with Zack Arran, Julian Marn and Renji. They informed the group that they visited the ruins of a Jedi Academy on Almas where they tried to locate and recover a Jedi Holocron. They were successful in their task, but they also came to face Inquisitor Draco and some of his forces (Echoes of the Jedi was carried out in the background). Draco was defeated, but not confirmed as dead, and the four of them escaped with a heavily wounded Julian to return with the Holocron.

“I’m not convinced He’s dead” said Lock, eyeing the rear view monitor as their ship was leaving the planet behind.
“I’m not convinced, either, but he is defeated. Now we should leave, while the Assiduous still has not responded”. The calm voice of It’Kla did little to put the younger jedi at ease.
“Well, I suppose I’ll just carry a thermal detonator around for the next inquisitor that we are ‘not convinced’ about!” retorted Lock, kicking his worries aside and resting his head back against his chair as their ship now jumped to hyperspace.

After catching up with latest events, It’Kla states that he will take Renji and Zack with him and travel to Gelgelar, where he will try to unlock the Holocron’s secrets under the masking effects of the Temple of Kooroo. Julian would stay behind to start training with Mer and Devron. A few weeks later, Zack returned to the Resurgence to notify the others that It’Kla has managed to receive a vision from the force, of a planet known as Nizon and that it is the homeplanet of the Nazren race. This is the race of the slaves that the group helped escape destruction in the climax of the Cloud City incidents (Queen of Air and Darkness).

After discussion with Baer, it was decided to send the Freedom Reborn, along with the 150 riflemen and Flint’s team to act as scouts to Nizon. Devron accompanied them in what was codenamed as Operation FIRST STRIKE.

With the success of Operation FIRST STRIKE, Saadoon-Kauldi’s contact came into play to transport as many Nazren as possible in order to avoid imperial retaliation. Additionally, from the equipment retrieved from Nizon’s imperial outpost, it has been confirmed that the source of all the information pertaining the Sarlacc Project is in no other place than the Galactic Capital itself – Coruscant.

With this information, the fledgling Alderaanian resistance is now left to decide whether to mount an operation on Coruscant, or not…

_

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S03E01 - Unexpected Revelations
Wait -what? A Fleet?!

While the group is examining their chances…

… at travelling to Coruscant, a Bounty Hunter that has been tracking Mer Noldo from Boztrok manages to land her space transport along with 20 Klatooinian Mercenaries aboard the Resurgence.

Her plan was to pose as a smuggler, trying to locate Mer on his own and attempt to detain him to claim his bounty. While waiting, however, she identified Dominic as a wanted person, with the same bounty as Mer, but without the “Known Jedi Fugitive” tag under the wanted poster. Immediately she set out to apprehend him and managed to almost kill him, while her troops secured the hangar by taking out its technicians and rigging the security cameras. Her plot was thwarted, however, because Protector rushed to aid his Master and managed to down Zo’Tannath leaving her almost dead.

The rest of her men, seeing that the Bounty Hunter was defeated, made a run for it, launched their craft but were caught by the Resurgence’s tractor beam. Devron, who rushed to the site at the first sign of alert along with Mer, operated the turret of the ship Dom was working on and fired at the captured Mercenary Transport, taking out its Hyperdrive in one shot. Immediately after, the Mercenaries surrendered.

Following their capture, the Klatooinians did not put up any heroic acts, stating that they are in the employ of the Klatooinian Trade Guild – a cover front for the Hutt Crime Empire – and they were hired by Zo’Tannath to help her apprehending her target. Likewise, Zo’Tannath didn’t make any attempt at deception when she regained consciousness on board the Resurgence’s infirmary, stating that she caught sight of Mer through starport security footage when he travelled to Boztrok and tracked him down from there, through contacts, information brokers and other sources. Currently, Baer is considering the fate of Zo’Tannath and her associates and will most likely arrange a meeting with Trade Guild officials to negotiate a release agreement.

Following the events above, however, the Resurgence cover was blown. This forced Sergeant Baer to put in motion several contingencies possibly earlier than he had hoped for. Publicly, the craft was declared taken over by pirates and branded a hostile vessel, with most of its crew dead or captured. This, effectively meant it was no longer possible for the vessel to remain in known or civilized space so an immediate hyperspace jump took place. When the Resurgence emerged from hyperspace, Baer revealed the fruits of two years’ worth of mustering of forces – the Resistance Fleet.

After this problem was tackled, the directly interested individuals resumed planning their Coruscant Operation. The final plan was the following:

  • One team, comprised of the Jedi and their companions (The group), will be arriving on Coruscant through a very strong cover provided by Baer. They will lay low and will not draw undue attention to their person until they receive the green light to move.
  • A second team, comprised of Seth and Baer’s best specialists, will be arriving on Coruscant using the approach codes provided by Admiral Varth. Their objective will be to set up safehouses, gather information and locate contacts that the first team can use. They will not in any way involve themselves with active investigation towards the Sarlacc Project. Once their infrastructure is complete, they will signal the first team (Team A) to begin their investigation.
  • Any necessary equipment for Team A, will need to be smuggled on-planet using the Pride of Aldera’s secret compartments (4 metric tons) and Saadoon-Kauldi’s network of smugglers. Anything sent through Kauldi will have to be delivered in “dead-drop” locations, to be later secured by Seth and delivered to any safehouses that have been arranged.

With these plan in motion, everyone spent a brief week of frantic preparation towards this mission. During this week, Edward was instructed by Mer to create his own lightsaber, which he did successfully, using the crystal he found in his Osma Bag from Socorro.

Once everything was ready, the Consular-Class “Dexterity” took the group to their rendezvous point for their cover. There, they boarded Senator Organa’s personal vessel – the Tantive IV – and will be acting as his Senatorial Aides and Security as their cover.

To be continued, next week . . .

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S03E02 - The Arrival in Coruscant
I sense... that we'll be blown to pieces before we can land!

With most of the plan’s details…

…in motion and a comprehensive list of equipment to be delivered to Coruscant, some via the “Pride of Aldera” and some via smuggling routes provided by Socorro contacts, our starring characters are aboard Senator Bail Prestor Organa’s diplomatic vesselt, the Tantive IV.

In the two days available for their journey, the Senator explains to them that they will be disguised to an excruciating degree (flesh camouflage, fake papers, contact lenses – even for MerMer Noldo!) and take up position in the Senatorial staff. Dominic, Fredand Devron will act as the Senator’s guards, while Mer and Edwardwill act as his aides. As Dominic and Edward sat down to learn as much as their roles as possible in order to perform them correctly, Mer devoted a few hours to update his knowledge of the Senate, in order to better facilitate his duties and suggested to Devron that all three of them (The force users) should spend the trip – and almost all of their idle time while on-planet – in Emptiness, so that they would not be picked up by any of the Emperor’s agents. At this point, Mer realized that he had made a terrible error in training his apprentice, Edward, because he had not taught him how to empty his mind yet – the Force Power of Emptiness, which among others makes it impossible to be detected through the Force. Following this sudden realization, Mer was led to seek guidance from the Force, by meditating and sensing the Path they follow (Sense Path force power) – an occurrence which resulted in a rather grim vision about their fate.

Thankfully, it was nothing but a vision and the team landed and assumed their cover. In the two-three days that followed, Sam, who had arrived previously with Senth Squad, helped to set up safehouses and equipment routes. After everything was set up, the team met at the Operation Safe House allocated to them and they begun their information gathering through Coruscant’s extensive Planetary Computer Network.

The session ended with Sam and Dominic making a list of available network assets they can slice.

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