Light vs. Dark

Adventure 34 - Escape from Coruscant

As fugitives of the Republic, the party must escape Coruscant in order to begin a daring mission that could reverse the course of the war…

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Adventure 33 - Trials and Tribulations

The party returns to Coruscant, but a web of politics leads them to a fateful choice…

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Adventure 32 - Showdown at Ord Pardron

As our heroes return to Republic space to report in, the Sith unleash their next move in the war…

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Adventure 31 - The Spice Lord of Varl

Following leads provided by Mika, the party embarks on a daring mission to Varl to confront the spice lord behind the Tempest ring, once and for all…

In the weeks that follow the death of Jorda and the rise of Mika on Nar Shaddaa, the heroes spend some of their vast accumulations of wealth to upgrade and improve their gear while handling various odds and ends for Mika. Angela Krin has returned to her new command aboard the CSA ship, the Vigilance, but is still assigned to track down and break the spice trade. In the meantime, despite many systems outlawing Tempest spice, its use spreads unabated and the Sith armies continue to be supplied with a more refined form with less side effects, lending them an edge in battle.

Eventually, Mika recalls the team and requests them to deliver a pair of Corellian Sand Panthers to Lungru the Hutt on Joodrudda as a gift. As usual with Hutt politics, the gift is likely a posturing ploy between the Hutt clans. The team stops on Nar Shaddaa to pick up the panthers, delivered by the Nikto Orgamon, on behalf of Mika who is offworld at the moment. Orgamon also supplies the team with the payment advance for this mission. With the cargo secure, the party proceeds to Joodrudda.

Upon arriving at Joodrudda, Lungru’s forces direct the Grey Ghost to land on a pad about a half kilometer from Lundru’s palace. There, a dozen Cerean thugs in Lungru’s employ are waiting to receive the delivery. Kir Cesad, the lead Cerean, fails in an attempt to bait the heroes into a fight and with the cargo delivery complete the party boards the Grey Ghost and starts to head out of the system. During their departure, the heroes are hailed by Lungru the Hutt on the comm, who apologizes for the ill manners of his underlings. He also states he will not move against the heroes so long as they are working for Mika, but cautions them that Mika is not the Hutt that Jorda was, and Mika’s leash may be shorter and less comfortable.

Before jumping to hyperspace, a flight group of CSA IRD fighters approaches the Grey Ghost and requests to offer an escort to the Vigilance, where Krin wants to meet the party. Complying with the request, the ships fly to the edge of the system to rendezvous with the Vigilance, a CSA light cruiser typical of the variety employed by the CSA in anti-piracy operations. Krin invites the party aboard and provides a briefing which relates that CSA doctors have analyzed the Tempest spice and found a similarity to a rare virus native to the planet Varl, the original Hutt homeworld. Their analysis indicates that when the virus is introduced to common spice, it alters that spice, creating the variety known as Tempest. She has also tracked a freighter named the Barabi Run, which is known to smuggle spice. An undercover CSA agent was able to slice the nav computer and verify that the Barabi Run has been delivering its spice to Varl, via a trip with a hyperspace transit through the Rhilithan system.

Angela and the party hatch a plan to disable and board the Barabi Run, take command of the vessel, and then pose as the spice smugglers for the vessel’s next delivery to Varl in the hopes to infiltrate the Tempest spice operations. She offers to personally accompany the party undercover, but the full CSA forces don’t have authority to operate in the region and can’t be observed in action in this sector if this plan fails to disable the Barabi Run before it can escape. Reports of unauthorized CSA starship activity would result in ripples of consequences for CSA trade throughout the galaxy, and particularly with the Hutts. CSA vessels will remain on standby for Krin’s signal if they are needed. The party agrees to this plan and calls Mika to update him on their progress. They are again, only able to reach Orgamon, but he assures them the updates will be relayed to Mika.

With the plan in place, Angela joins the party on the Grey Ghost and the party proceeds to the Rhilithan system to lie in ambush for the spice smugglers. Kaisan and R4-4D undock the Aegis Hammer from the Grey Ghost to prepare for the ambush in the starfighter. When the Barabi Run arrives at the transit point, it is accompanied by a second freighter of the same configuration named the Unrepentant. It seems the smuggling operations has grown.

Undeterred, the party attacks with its two ships against the two heavily armed freighters. Although significant damage is exchanged, the heroes win the day and disable the Barabi Run and destroy the Unrepentant before they can dump their spice cargo and flee. With the remaining ship adrift in space, the party moves on to a boarding action of the Barabi Run and fights its way to the bridge, door by door. There, our heroes capture the command crew. Tarson Kestrel, the captain, would not surrender and had to be mentally dominated by Mind Tricks from the Jedi to do so instead of blindly fighting to the death in his own foolhardy manner.

With the Barabi Run under their control, Angela calls in the CSA ships to imprison the remaining smugglers and help repair damage from the battle. Unfortunately, under the delivery timetable they download from the Barabi Run’s computers the party is unable to repair the Barabi Run fast enough to make it to Varl reasonably on schedule. With that in mind, the party takes the clearance codes from the memory banks of the Barabi Run and transfers back to the Grey Ghost, along with some crates of common spice. Angela orders the smuggler prisoners to be held aboard the CSA vessels and then orders the CSA vessels to scuttle the Barabi Run. When finished, the CSA vessels are to proceed to the edge of the Varl system and await her signal for assistance. Kaisan docks the Aegis Hammer with the CSA vessels and then he and 4D again board the Grey Ghost with the rest of the team.

With spice and clearance codes in hand, our heroes proceed to Varl. There, they are confronted by Hutt Patrol vessels, but their clearance codes silently allow the passage and the patrols veer off after confirming the transmissions. They set the Grey Ghost down on the standard delivery landing pad at an outpost on the other side of a mountain from the main processing facility. There, 10 labor droids and an H-3P0 unit greet them to begin the offloading.

The party asks the H-3P0 unit many questions. They learn from the droid that it still works for Vago. Vago has been acting a bit odd lately and when Vago picked the droid up from Nar Shaddaa some time ago he seemed to be trying to keep a low profile. Also Vago picked up the Twi’lek Utrila sisters on Nal Hutta some time ago as well. The last it saw Vago was a few days prior when he dropped H-3P0 off at this landing pad to wait for the next shipment. H-3P0 doesn’t really know his way around the planet but indicates that the labor droids usually carry the crates through the nearby mountain tunnels to the processing plant on the other side. After learning what they can from H-3P0, the party dons their breath masks and lets the silent labor droids pick up the containers of spice and lead the way into the mountain tunnels, leaving Tyson and 4D to guard the ship.

In the mountain tunnels, the party runs into violent native fauna in the form of a photon spider, but handily overcome it. Less than three hours after landing, they emerge on the other side of the mountain and get their first looking at the sprawling factory, which seems unusually sleek and modern – two traits that are very out of place amidst the ruins of Varl. Many patrol droids are visible around the perimeter of the factory and a Ubrikkian space yacht can be seen in a docking bay on the near side. Also unusual is a river of toxic sludge coming off the mountain and seemingly flowing into some sort of intake vent. The party elects to infiltrate through said vent and starts down the rocky terrain to the factory. As they descend the mountain, they elude a patrol of Rodians from the Bomu clan.

After a series of encounters to infiltrate the factory, the heroes find themselves inside a processing center. There, they encounter two of the Utrila sister Twi’leks as well as Vago and many old Hutt War Droids. A battle ensues and in the fighting Kaisan spots a device on the back of Vago’s head he believes is being used to control the droids. Between this bit of information and the apparent reality that Vago is the spice lord, Kaisan unleashes the full power of the Force, flinging Vago against the side of a processing vat. Vago is killed instantly and slides down the side of the vat onto conveyor belts of spice. From there, his corpse is carried into the machinery, breaking it and grinding the automated production line to a halt. The droids continue their attacks, unabated.

While most of the party fended off oncoming waves of droids, the two Twi’lek sisters retreat to a command console in a room atop a tower above the factory floor. Kaisan and Angela pursued. The Twi’leks activated some switches and the control room itself was revealed to be a lift that began to ascend to higher levels of the factory. Kaisan, perhaps overwhelmed by the taunts of the Utrila sisters, the emotions of using the Force to slay the Hutt, or the danger he has unwittingly placed his paramour Angela in, briefly succumbs to his hatred and calls upon the dark side to enhance a telekinetic kill of one of the Twi’leks before turning to menace the second sister.

As soon as the party finished off the droids below, they climbed the factory tower and found a service ladder in the lift that they began to ascend to follow Kaisan and Angela. Meanwhile, back in the lift, Kaisan and Angela only have a moment to share together before the lift doors open and grenades come sailing at them. Sensing it his not his destiny to die here, Kaisan uses every power and trick at his disposal to survive the onslaught until he and Angela can clear the doors and damage the war droids attacking them. By then, the rest of the party begins to emerge one by one from the service ladder and join the fray.

Eventually, the droids stop attacking and the lights come up. Here they find Mika and the final Utrila sister, surrounded by numerous Nikto and Hutt War Droids at the nexus of the factory. The room is very reminiscent of a starship bridge. Mika has called a halt to the fighting to make a final bid to the party to join him in dominating the galaxy through the spice trade. The party refuses and the fight resumes. As Mika draws a Hutt-sized blaster pistol and begins manipulating controls on his throne, the factory begins to rumble with the sound of roaring engines. The factory is revealed to be a starship in its own right, bristling with armaments.

As the battle continues, Mika reveals the full extent of his mastery of the Force blocking a variety of attempts to subdue and disarm him by Joh-Kel and Kaisan. This culminates with Kaisan locked in a battle of Force rebukes with Mika that ends with Kaisan’s power being reflected back upon him and destroying his lightsaber. Mika is left little time to gloat, however, for as Joh-Kel closes in with waves of Force Light, Mika activates the ship’s self destruct. Although the spice lord of Varl has been defeated, and the production facility will soon follow, the party is trapped on the bridge. Fortunately, someone spots an irregularity in the bulkhead and investigates, finding a concealed escape pod. As the party piles into the pod, Joh-Kel is alert enough to call the crystal of Kaisan’s broken lightsaber to his hand and not leave it behind.

The party calls Tyson for pick up, who says he was already en route to rendezvous with them when he detected the launch of the capital sized starship from the factory’s position. A few quick moments later and everyone is back aboard the Grey Ghost and hauling jets for deep space when the factory ship explodes in their wake.

In the aftermath, data obtained from Mika’s bridge during the fight revealed the locations of hidden caches of spice around the galaxy. Angela delivered a full report to the CSA and relayed this information. The caches were found by other CSA agents and destroyed. Angela also notified her superiors that she would travel back to the Republic with the party to support relay the CSA’s findings and its role in these events and prevent any matters from being confused in a way to cast doubt on the CSA.

Finally, with all of the Hutts from Jorda’s immediate circle dead or incapacitated, including Vago, his clan holdings are subsequently used to settle outstanding debts with rivals (principally Velo and Flargh) and the remainder is then split among the Hutt Grand Council, which now has an open seat to be vied for among many lesser Hutt families. And with his rival’s clan deposed, Flarggh the Hutt is easily able to steer the Hutt Grand Council into an open Alliance with the Sith.

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Adventure 30 - Nar Shaddaa Nights

The party goes to Nar Shaddaa to meet with Jorda. At one of Jorda’s banquets, the mighty Hutt briefs the party regarding assassination attempts on his family and the Tempest Spice, believing the two items to be somehow linked together and implores the party to find the local spice brokers or the spice lord himself. While meeting with the party, Jorda explodes, assassinated, and the dinner guests believe the party is to blame!

In a caper, sure to amuse, the party escaped the scene in the banquet hall with minimal harm to the other party guests, and slunk their way out of Jorda’s palatial compound into the depths of Nar Shaddaa. As they began their own inquest into what had happened, they eventually contacted an information broker by the name of Meldark, based out of the Dark Melody cantina, to try to find leads on the spice brokers or their master. Meanwhile, Parella the Hutt had personally tracked the party down and announced his desire for battle, resplendent in full Hutt Battle Armor. In a slow motion action epic, Parella unloaded on the building front and the party dove, rolled, and ran for the back exit, making another fast escape while destroying Parella’s small hovering tracking droids. With his droids lost during the running battle in the streets, Parella retreated and the party continued investigating leads provided by Jorda before his untimely demise which led them to the Headache Bar deep in the bowels of the city.

At the Headache Bar, they find Mika who claims he was privy to his father’s plans for the party and was to be assigned to discreetly aid the party where he could. After Jorda’s death, Mika believes he is the next target, so he has gone into hiding in the sub-levels and hoped to catch up to the party, which he now has. He accuses Zonnos of patricide, and expresses doubt of the other Hutts in Jorda’s organization, such as Jorda’s confidant – Vago. Mika relates that although the party’s ship is impounded, he may have another way off planet and hopes to establish his own base of operations from a clan outpost where he can have a power base to counter Zonnos.

Mika leads the party even deeper into the smuggler’s moon lightless reaches to meet with an ally he had enlisted some time ago to track down those behind the spice trade. At the Murr Cantina, he re-introduces everyone to Angela Krin, whose sleuthing was the source of many of Jorda’s leads. She is also looking for a way offworld now as Zonnos continues to cast a wide net of blame on any Republic or CSA associates of Jorda. She called in some favors to secure a skiff they can use to get around faster.

Angela takes the party to the warehouse where she has stashed the skiff, but there they find an Evocii child hiding from a pack of Vrblthers. The starving and bloodthirsty creatures swarm the party and the beasts prove no match for our heroes. After the excitement passes, the young Evocii girl begs to be taken home. The party agrees and she leads them to an Evocii encampment beneath the city.

Though they bristle at Mika’s presence, the Evocii befriend the party and thank them for returning the young child. They offer healing, and the old mystic relays visions of the future to party members who ask about it. The Evocii relate their history and note they’ve almost been driven to extinction by the Hutts over the centuries. They now ask that the party find a way to free the Evocii from Nar Shaddaa and take them to a world far from the Hutts where they can start anew. The party agrees to try to do this, but relates that it may be some time until they can extricate themselves from their immediate dilemma and return to make good on the agreement.

Rested and recovered, the party returns to the warehouse where they left the skiff. On the way, they are contacted by on of Vago’s H-3P0 droids via commlink who says Vago has arranged for a transport offworld for everyone. The droid also says Vago is on the way there now and the transport leaves in one hour from dock Q2214 GRB.

The party suspects a trap, and it turns out to be exactly that. The H-3P0 unit has been pressed into service by Zonnos, who has arrested Vago as a conspirator in Jorda’s death. As the party battles against overwhelming odds, Angela and Mika are captured by use of electronets. As the odds continue to stack up against the group, an Evocii that followed the party shows them an escape hatch and they are able to flee the scene, minus Angela and Mika.

About a half hour later, Zonnos sends out a new holo broadcast over the planet showing Angela Krin and Vago the Hutt as prisoners, announcing they been tried and found guilty of complicit aid in the murder of Jorda. They will be executed within the next hour. Having had their fill of running, the party heals up and then decks out the cargo skiff with some extra durasteel plating and mounted blaster rifles. As the top of the hour draws near, our heroes rise up out of the squalor of the city astride their make shift hover chariot and abandon any pretense at concealing their identities. Lightsabers sparked and blasters blazing, they throttle past the turbolaser emplacements during the live broadcast of the impending executions and crash directly into the top of Jorda’s tower to confront Zonnos. The fierce battle ends in moments with Zonnos surrounded and his many Wookie and Nikto guards piled dead around him. Angela is rescued, but Vago disappeared in the commotion. Minutes later, they find Mika a captive in his own quarters, and free him from imprisonment.

Mika has now inherited the clan. In the days that follow Zonnos is imprisoned indefinitely, his mind totally shattered from excessive use of Tempest, with little hope of ever again finding sanity. Vago and the Twi’lek bodyguards of Jorda have gone missing. Mika rewards the heroes and Angela and asks they remain available to work for him, as they did for his father, to continue tracking down the source of this spice ring.

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Interlude - Shadows of Tython

A day after their meeting on Empress Teta the party aboard the Grey Ghost with Kaisan covering in his fighter, the Aegis Hammer, emerges from hyperspace over Tython. They quickly take out a few patrolling Cloakshape fighters and drop into the atmosphere on course for the ancient Jedi Temple there, long thought to be abandoned. They overcome gunnery emplacement towers and land in the main hangar. As they debark from their ships, along with Master Veren, the door from the hangar bay into the rest of the Temple opens and into the cavernous room steps Joh-Kel carrying an unconscious human woman, Tyson, and…Master Veren?

The true Veren is easily discerned by Joh-Kel in short order and the impostor drops his illusion, showing himself to be a Rattataki Jedi. A massive battle ensues between the party and waves of Shadow Jedi initiates. In a desperate bid to destroy the party for good, the Rattataki attempts to lead them deeper into the complex and catch them in a blast from a reactor build up, but the party sees through the attempt and escapes along with the true Master Veren and the woman Joh-Kel rescued from captivity in tow. They return to Coruscant and sort out the mess of the Shadow Jedi with the Council and then receive a summons from an old Hutt friend…

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Joh-Kel's Side Adventure

Shortly after being awakened in the Jedi Temple, Joh-Kel, Tyson, and Snapit are attacked by Shadow Jedi and overcome. Joh-Kel finds himself prisoner yet again, this time in a rather archaic, yet still effective Force cage. There is also a human woman prisoner in some kind of stasis chamber that Joh-Kel had never seen before. After weeks of torment by his captors, his old Master, Veren, arrives one day to break him free. Once out of the cage and with the full strength of the Force returned to him, he easily senses his lightsaber nearby and retrieves it as his Master frees the woman from the stasis chamber. The woman seems to be in a coma, so Joh-Kel caries her as they make their way back towards Veren’s ship. The complex’s alarms go off and soon it is rocked by damaging fire. They find Veren’s ship destroyed, so trusting in the Force they seek a route to a hangar bay that may contain another ship they can use. Eventually, they pass into a room full of Seyugi Dervishes and immediately launch into battle. Master Veren uses at least one dark side power in the battle, but there isn’t time to dwell on it as another door opens and they turn expecting to see a new foe. Instead, bedecked in his golden armor and trusty rifle in hand, Tyson is there to add much needed firepower to the fray. The dervishes are soon eliminated and the trio, the unconscious woman still in tow, continue a search for the hangar bay.

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Tyson's Side Adventure

Tyson is with Joh-Kel when they are attacked by Shadow Jedi in the heart of the Jedi Temple. He awakens in a stupor and has no idea how long it has been. He is in strange complex that is in some state of disrepair and an needle in his arm connected to a tube leads back to an empty drip bottle. Apparently he’d been drugged into his current state and held for who knows how long. As alarms sound throughout the complex, he gets moving and finds a security terminal in a nearby room. He is easily able to hack it and a security room opens where he finds his old gear and some other goodies. In another few minutes, he feels fully recovered and aware so he moves out to try to find his way out of this latest mess. He wasn’t sure where he was, but he was sure it had something to do with those crazy Jedi again. Arriving at another security door that is locked, he pops the access panel off with quick tool, pockets it, and then quickly makes a crossover of a few wires with his fingers. He hears a battle on the other side of the door so he readies his rifle just before triggering his jury rig to slide the door open…

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A Meeting on Empress Teta

Kirana, Kaisan, Sesta, Oon, and Veren meet in a cantina on Empress Teta where Veren reveals that he believes the Shadow Jedi have taken Joh-Kel captive. The Shadow Jedi were thought to be shut down by the Jedi Council over a millenia ago, but apparently their tradition survived. The duty of the Shadow Jedi had been to maintain the balance of the Force, sometimes through any means necessary. If they’ve taken Joh-Kel, they believe he is the source of an imbalance or a potential imbalance. He tells the party that thanks to his Jedi Archives search, with Kirana’s aid, he was able to discern the most likely site and coordinates of the Shadow Jedi base of operations – Tython. He warns them all that this mission to Tython could be extremely dangerous. The Shadow Jedi had a reputation for great power and skill combined with a ruthless devotion to the light side of the Force that made them nearly as dangerous as the Sith and thus the reason for their operations to be shut down so long ago. There is no hesitation and the party jumps at the chance.

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Kirana's Side Adventure

Kirana was a medicorps worker on Coruscant going about her daily routine aiding the Jedi Healers until a visit one day by Master Veren. He said that a patient named Joh-Kel Styken had been here a few months before, transferred from the battle lines at Cathar and he was looking for information. Kirana had no recollection of this Jedi. With her permission, Veren used a Force technique to sense Kirana’s mind where he said he could see signs of memory suppression imposed by a different Force technique. Using other techniques, he started to undue the damage and she began to remember. She attended the Healers as they worked on Joh-Kel, and within three days of his arrival he was awake. Master Snapit and Tyson spoke with him for awhile and they left the medical ward to go have a discussion in Snapit’s quarters. Tyson had left his hat in the room so Kirana grabbed it and rushed after them to return it to him. She caught up to the group in the grand corridor where suddenly they were all set upon by strange Jedi appearing out of thin air and attacking them. What was even stranger was that none of the other Jedi walking nearby seemed to know a battle was even happening. That’s the last she remembered. Veren takes in all this information and asks Kirana to help him with a search in the Jedi vaults. Her only job is to distract the holocron custodians while he sneaks in, does a search, and wipes evidence of his search. She agrees and they easily pull off their plan. Veren tells Kirana that he uncovered a location in his search where his apprentice, Joh-Kel may have been taken and invites her to accompany him on a mission to get his student that also offers the chance to take down the mysterious Jedi attackers, a group that he calls the Shadow Jedi. She agrees to go along and they leave Coruscant in Master Veren’s transport, bound for Empress Teta. Kirana does not witness Veren’s calls to the other party members.

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