Light vs. Dark
Lost Things on Cathar
The morning after the completion of the first adventure, our heroes busied themselves about various tasks. This went on until early afternoon when Quintis came by in an airspeeder and picked up the three player characters to take them to meet the Senator and get their reward. By this time, the Senator and Quintis had done background checks on the heroes and Quintis gave them a certain measure of low-level security clearance.
At the Senator’s office, Lohk was quite amicable and he chatted with the party for awhile asking them about where they were from and other such small talk. The office itself was spartan gray with a few abstract paintings and vases tucked into unobtrusive places. A broad-windowed view of Republic City dominated the well behind the Senator’s desk. After some small talk and the transfer of funds as payment for the previous day’s heroics, the Senator and Quintis updated the party on the investigation about the attack. Overnight, they’d ordered the arrest of Officer Lassor because of discrepancies in his behavior during the assassination attempt. Lassor offered an explanation, but his alibi was not supported by others and they also found a homing beacon for the droids upon him. Lassor was being held for further investigation and would probably be brought up on a number of criminal charges.
With the past discussed, it was time to present the new mission. The Senator asked for another guest to be shown into his office, and a few moments later, an Ithorian in Jedi robes entered. He was introduced as Fondomar Tomal (new player character) and he was going to join the party for this mission. Fondomar was a typical Ithorian, albeit Force sensitive, falling into the more stereotypical Jedi background for the rise of the empire era. His Force talents were discovered at a young age and he was sent to the Jedi Temple where he’d been training ever since. After introductions, he sat down for the mission briefing by Quintis and the Senator.
The Senator had been assigned the task of negotiating a settlement between two native groups on Cathar, the city-dwellers and the traditional nomadic tribes, regarding the placement of a new and larger spaceport on the planet. The city is of course in favor of this, and the nomads are against it because of more disruption to their way of life, negative environmental impacts of a spaceport, and the greater number of dirty sky ships it would bring. The Senator has urgent matters to attend to regarding an upcoming trade summit on Alderaan so he’s asking the party to go instead, drawing heavily upon Joh-Kel’s self professed background in diplomacy. Joh-Kel had boasted that he was trained by the highly regarded diplomat of years gone by, Master Veren. The Senator also considers the main issue to be a simple matter of specific placement of the spaceport in order to reach a settlement, so he thinks the mission will be easy enough without his direct presence.
Therefore, Joh-Kel, as a Jedi, would be given command of the mission with Fondomar, the other Jedi being an official representative and connection to the Jedi Temple itself. Sebastian and Tyson would go along for security and technical support if they should become necessary. The matter of payment is worked out, and the party accepts the mission. They are provided a diplomatic packet to deliver to Cathar related to the upcoming Alderaanian trade summit, and code cylinders that serve as booked tickets for registered transport that would be leaving from Westport the next morning.
The party goes about prepping for their mission which all comes down to supplying themselves. At this time, they hadn’t used much of their starting supplies and they hadn’t earned a lot of money, so they didn’t need much. The next morning, the four heroes departed on the Starlight Express registered transport for Cathar. The journey took three uneventful days, during which the party spent a bit more time together discussing their backgrounds with each other. As usual, the party was paranoid about all manner of possible interruptions to their flight, particularly given the climate established for the game regarding space piracy, but for naught.
The party arrives at Cathar and the capital city of Shabez where they proceed to the Republic Embassy. Cathar is a member of the Republic but divided into two factions – the city-dwellers that were modernized and tech-savvy, and the primitive nomadic wanderers of the savanna. The cities themselves were a sort of tree city, with platforms and structures built around trees and in some cases integrated into them. The areas of dense trees were also a bit jungle-like but they intermingled with the savanna areas with the great grasslands dominating the geography. The nomads lived a more traditional life and wandered the savannas, following herds for food.
At the embassy, the party meets the local Republic representative, Foshun, a male Cathar. They partake in a formal dinner where matters of the mission are discussed and Foshun provides information on the nomads. He notes that the party will probably be asked to prove themselves in some way, and he advises the party that to win over the nomads, they’ll have to embrace their customs and traditions.
The next day, the party flies out to the most recent location of the nomad’s village on giant Ibbots (flying creatures that are normally on Alderaan, but Alderaan is too techy in my opinion so I moved them here for my campaign). Ride checks! Again, the party was paranoid they’d get in a fight while riding, and fall to their doom. The flight was, however, uneventful.
At the village they meet Chief Ossman and his elders. The Chief does indeed ask the party to prove itself. He directs them to the old temple where they must recover an relic of holy significance. The item was placed there as a challenge for these newcomers and is a typical challenge for young Cathar nomads reaching adulthood. (I’d placed the relic beyond a number of challenges that I’d converted from the Tales of the Jedi Sourcebook, at temple ruins, half-buried in the savanna. These were different ruins than the ancient Sith-magician ruins that would be found in the mountains later.)
The details of the challenge pretty much follow the Kabus Daleb adventure in TotJ sourcebook and the party easily succeeded, but I took the poison water hook as my next theme and expanded on it, as suggested by the TotJ book as well. I’ll skip the Kabus Daleb details to avoid any copyright issues with that book and move on to how I expanded on the hook. The summary is that the party ended up facing all of the challenges before finding the relic and bringing it back to the tribe as proof of their worth.
Upon return to the nomads temporary village, the elders were satisfied as to the worthiness of the party and held a feast in honor of them. At the feast, they stalled talks of spaceports until the next day, but did elect to discuss the poisoned water. The tribe told of how the water had turned bad over the last few years in this region and that they didn’t think they could return to this region if the water continued to get worse. The players decided that handling the problem of the tainted water, which was slowly becoming worse, might lend them even more weight in negotiations and get them totally into unquestioned good graces with the nomads. They offered to try to trace the water to the source of its contamination and try to correct the problem.
The tribe agreed to the player’s proposal and to that end advised the party to seek out Killik, a lone Cathar well versed in the ways of the wild who lived in a hut near the mountains to the west. If anyone could help them track the water to the source or would know anything about the water it would be him. The next morning, the party set out on Ibbots flying west and seeking the mysterious Killik.
The characters reached 2nd level at this point.
Little more than an hour into their flight, Tyson spotted a tiny hut amidst the waving grasses of the savanna and our four intrepid adventures came in for their landings. Fondomar and Joh-Kel moved towards the hut as Tyson and Sebastian secured and scouted the perimeter of a small camp area next to the hut. It was quickly discerned that this Killik fellow was not about as his meager abode showed no signs of activity for several days. The party searched throughout the camp, and despite not being experienced trackers, they spotted what they believed to be a track from a Cathar, just a few days old, on a nearby trail that seemed to lead into the mountains. The party hustled back to their ibbots and set off following the trail from the air, which was a fairly distinct darker and worn ribbon of grass winding across the flats and up into the hills and mountains.
Within a half an hour, Fondomar spotted a glint of finished metal on a flat area in the shadow of a looming mountain they had been approaching. Ever cautious, the party immediately went to ground and proceeded on foot, taking about an hour to sneak up through rocks and boulders to the relatively level stone shelf at the base of the mountain where they saw n simple space transport had landed. It looked like it was affiliated with the Mining Guild from its markings and it matched up to a design commonly used by prospectors from what Tyson could recall with his knowledge of the organization and technology in general. In the shadow of the ship, a female Zabrak and a male Cathar chatted amicably over tea. The Cathar spoke of seeking out a source of contamination for the local water supply and attempting to rectify it, whereas the Zabrak spoke of details of a past mining operation in this mountain. The Zabrak also said that none of the Guild’s records indicated an encounter with any kind of significant water supply in the mountain, but some records that she wasn’t privy to were classified.
Our party, having listened in to the conversation felt fairly safe at approaching the pair openly so they stood forth at the edge of the stone shelf and hailed the pair at the starship. All sides were quick to drop hands to their various weapons, but the tension flitted away as the Cathar raised his hands in a gesture of peace and spoke, “Ah, a Jedi. No, wait. Make that two Jedi. I bid thee welcome Masters Jedi. I am Killik, protector of the savanna. I would know your names and what brings you to these quiet parts of the galaxy.” With tension broken, introductions were made and Oon welcomed everyone to her ship as Killik provided her with more of his own tea to prepare so their would be enough for everyone.
Killik was a middle-aged Cathar, a cat of the wilderness and open areas. He didn’t take much stock in living in cities or with the tribes. He was a loner, completely, and he wouldn’t speak much of his past. He is an NPC and I didn’t have much in the way of long term plans for him. He was created for this adventure and if he got through it or not was just fine.
The Zabrak was Oon Kath (a player character). About all that she shared with the party was that she was working for the Explorer’s Corps on a contract from the Mining Guild and had been given this ship for the duration of the task. Her mission was to do some prospecting at an abandoned mining site in a mountain on Cathar, presumably this mountain. The Guild was interested in a very old case file regarding this mountain, which amounted to little more than a date and a log entry, and wanted to determine and re-document why they’d abandoned the operation over 500 years ago. Had the ore run out? Were there mechanical issues with the technology of the time and the rock? Had any equipment been left behind that could be salvaged? Because Oon knew she was coming here, she brought plenty of climbing gear with her that she could share.
After the discussion, the parties agree they are working towards what is likely common ends so they agree to team up.
Oon had records that indicated a mine head a short ways up the mountain, over on the west face. She had scouted it from the air with her ship, but the old landing platforms looked like rusted out scrap. Everyone then talked about whether or not it could be reached easily with ibbots, and after describing them and their abilities, Oon thought ibbots would work fine. The party went and got their ibbots from where they’d tethered them off back down the trail in some scrub areas, and quickly returned. Oon and Killik climbed on as ibbot passengers and all six members of the group set off for the abandoned mine head.
The party found the mine head and was able to land the ibbots. The facility was very old and should no signs of any kind of recent habitation or activity. Whatever happened, all the evidence indicated that the Mining Guild must have had time to pack up a great deal of their equipment before leaving because the place was gutted. Very little machinery, rusted beyond use, and no computers remain. It’s mostly more than a few abandoned structures that are half falling apart, and an entrance to a mine. A light mono-rail track is still in place, but no sign of any kind of rail cars is found.
Everyone breaks out their glowrods and sets off into the mine, heavily burdened with what they hope is ample climbing gear should it become necessary. At perhaps a kilometer into the mountain, after passing some branching tunnels that seem to all come to dead ends, they reach a major intersection where the rail system branches out, as well as a vertical shaft where the rails just end. Oon consults an old map the Guild had given her and notes that the shaft descends 100 meters to another network of mine tunnels. She suggests that whatever brought the mining to an end might be found in the furthest and/or deepest reaches of the complex. Tyson agrees, from his experiences with the guild, and so the party breaks out their gear.
Climb checks! With all the climbing gear they have, everyone is easily able to climb down the shaft. At this point, there was an opportunity to spot that someone had been climbing in here at some point, perhaps recently, from the presence of discarded climbing pitons. No one made the Spot check DC though. No one thought much of failing the check because they figured it might be monsters they’d failed to notice and when no monsters came, they were relieved.
The party continues winding its way ever downward in the mines, through two more vertical shafts along the way. It has become difficult to discern how deep they’ve gone, but Oon’s map indicates they’ve traveled a total of 5 km, but most of that has been laterally, in a direction parallel to the line of mountain peaks above. Her map also indicates an end to the tunnels near the bottom of the most recently descended vertical shaft, however, a large tunnel stretches away from the shaft. The tunnel itself is not as well worked as the other tunnels have been. If anything, it looks as if it were hewn out by hand, rather than machines.
Following this tunnel, the party eventually reach an opening into what seemed to be a massive underground cavern. All around them, rough crystalline structures were embedded in the rock providing a faint illumination from within. Judging the size of the underground cavern was difficult. In the distance they all thought they could make out what looked like buildings or structures. Slowly the scale registered and it became clear they were looking at some sort of ancient underground city. Proceeding on, the rumble of a waterfall could eventually be heard. It was at about this time that the Force sensitive members of the party, Joh-Kel, Sebastian, and Fondomar, began to feel uneasy.
As they began to pick out details about the underground city, they realized that it had no architecture any of them had ever seen before, not even old Cathar styles according to Killik. The structures were all stone and seemed mostly intact. Just at the edge of the city, the party found some bones from creatures that had died there—some kind of underground animal according to Killik. As they continued still further, trying to move closer to the sound of rushing water, they came across some rotting carcasses of animals that had died much more recently. Examining them it seemed the creatures were killed by some kind of slashing attack, but it was difficult to tell if it was from any kind of weapon, or just a clawed creature.
The city itself was laid out in a cavern that was shaped roughly like a half circle at ground level, with the flat side being a massive stone wall edifice into which additional structures had been carved, including a central tower of some sort. The cavern roof arched upwards like a dome from the circle’s edge. Pouring from the wall at one point is a waterfall of poisoned water that flows away through an underground river in the cavern, to one of the “dome” walls, where presumably it continues underground and eventually away from the mountains into the nearby savanna. Thus, the group seems to be a step closer to the source of the poisoned water, but the exact cause is still a mystery. Perhaps there are more structures within the rock wall itself, carved further back, where a point of contamination is happening. The only thing clear so far is that the Mining Guild probably did not directly cause the pollution. The party elects to focus on the waterfall at this time, and quickly moves through the city on foot.
Reaching the base of the waterfall, the party finds a series of stone pillars towering up around the pool at the base, but there is no evidence of an influence of pollution here and no other obvious points of interest, other than the waterfall has probably been here for a long time, else why would the strange pillars be built there? They surmise that something must have happened more recently, perhaps a mild tectonic shift, to suddenly cause the water to become “poisoned”. At this time, they elect to start working towards the tower at the center of the city to see if they can find any records.
The city itself is eerie. The majority of structures seem to have been very simple dwellings, but only the basic layout of any building provides even that hint, for very little material other than the stone itself has survived in the semi-damp environment. The party finally reaches the base of the tower that’s against the back wall of the cavern, but see no obvious entrance to the tower itself and instead find a series of pantheon-style gathering halls or temples.
Along the large stone wall itself in a flat area between smaller buildings and the tower is a relief carving depicting geometric shapes and design which Sebastian interprets as art, but Tyson remarks at the scientific undertones of it all.
Joh-Kel says he has a bad feeling about all of this.
Oon, ever the explorer, suggests sticking with their “center” theme and they elect to enter a structure that seems to be at the middle of the base of the tower. With uneasiness at an all time high, everyone readies their weapons, just in case. Fondomar take up positions outside the “temple” to guard the party.
Within the structure, which is enclosed by stone walls and a stone roof after one passes the entry door which is just behind some pillars on the facade, the party shines their lights around and sees a large amount of smashed statuary of unrecognizable forms in the room. At the far end of the room are three archways that lead to corridors that seem to move into the tower itself. All of the Force users have felt a bit cold as they’ve approached this place, but it is only now becoming evident to their senses that it’s not the result of changes in temperature. Reaching out with the Force, Joh-Kel senses the dark side permeating from somewhere further on, perhaps within the tower or even further back. He tells his companions of what he senses and he begins to formulate a theory that some kind of dark side influence could be contaminating the water source.
The party continues to search the room they are in and find only a statue of a humanoid alien race none of them can recall ever seeing before (knowledge checks failed). The statue looks kind of like a Rakatan from KotOR video games, but not quite the same. The carved humanoid is holding some sort of strange device in its hand. Joh-Kel wraps up the statue and puts it in a satchel he has with him. In the meantime, Oon has started to move to the far end of the chamber to complete the sweep of the room. At some point, she must pass some kind of sensor, either Force-driven or from some kind of hidden technology, for a circle of runes glows to life on the floor and a swirl of mist coalesces in the air before the party. The mist resolves into the form a gray-tufted Cathar in silver and black robes, that speaks in an old dialect of Basic, “Who seeks entry to the hold of the Great Tritos Nal?”
Note, Tritos Nal is another borrowed name. Check it out on Wiki if you want the actual scoop on the real guy. Here, I’d used just the name, and not the character, for an ancient Cathar who got seriously involved in Sith Magic, as it was called in his time. This fellow had operated out of this tower and city, and had secured his holdings against intruders. This system is a simple challenge/authentication system built upon modified holocron technology. Incorrect answers spring additional security measures, which turn out to be rather grim.
Joh-Kel steps forward, lightsaber at the ready, and the rest of the party moves to covering positions behind them with various blasters at the ready. Fondomar and Sebastian are still outside, beyond the pillars even, without much idea of what is going on inside. No one has yet alerted them. Joh-Kel gives his name and tries to ask a question of some kind, but was cut off by a second question as soon as he gave his name.
“What is the first tenet?” intones the imposing figure. The party scours their knowledge of Jedi Lore and the Force and comes up with nothing that sounds even close to any kind of “first tenet” so they all shrug at each other. In my notes at this point, I’m looking for a rather specific answer that they weren’t going to come up with, simply because they hadn’t explored a different part of the city first (there were a few small spires located at the end of radial “streets” coming out from the center of the city, which I believe the party assumed were just lookout towers of some sort). Joh-Kel attempted to quote some part of the Jedi code at which the hologram yelled, “Infidels!” and the door back to the outside slammed shut.
Initiative is rolled.
Tyson wins initiative and looks to the massive stone slab that has come down to trap over half the party inside the structure. He readies his rifle for any kind of attack. After that, a sound of something scraping on stone can be heard coming up each of the three corridors, but attackers aren’t evident yet.
Next up, on the outside, Fondomar and Sebastian rush to the closed door and look for a mechanism to open it.
Back on the inside, Oon shines her glowrod down one of the three corridors where a horrifying sight greets her. An upright shambling Cathar skeleton with glowing red eyes is coming up the corridor towards the room the party is in. (These creatures are modified/weakened Guardian Spirits from the Dark Side Sourcebook.) She fires at it but misses, and yells out, “Skeletons!”
Joh-Kel, meanwhile, whirls about after the hologram disappears, and he ignites the bright blue blade of the lightsaber his Master gave him years ago. He takes up a position near one of the doors and readies for an attacker to emerge.
Finally, Killik moves to the exit door which slammed closed, except he is inside. He also looks for a mechanism to open the door, but has his pistol ready.
As events unfold, Tyson begins hammering at the skeleton of a Cathar emerging from one of the three corridors with his blaster rifle, while outside Sebastian and Fondomar start to hack at the door with their lightsaber and rykk blade, respectively.
Oon and Joh-Kel also try to take up the attack against skeletons (a total of three have reached the room at this point), when Killik calls out that he can’t find a way through the door.
In the next round, those inside dispatch a couple of the skeletons, but realize that more are coming from right behind the first three, so the total inside is up to four skeletons. Outside, Sebastian and Fondomar can barely hear the muffled sounds of battle inside the building as they hack at the door, but they can also hear strange scraping and shuffling sounds as if something is approaching them.
Inside, the battle rages on as Joh-Kel recognizes that the group can’t outlast an unknown number of skeletons. He and Killik switch places and Joh-Kel begins to hammer on the door from the inside, with his lightsaber.
Outside, the battle is joined as additional Cathar skeletons have emerged from somewhere to rush the temple the party is at and Sebastian and Fondomar turn to greet them, blades singing.
Several rounds of furious battle ensue, with the party inside barely holding off a slowly growing horde of skeletal Cathar. All of the skeletal Cathar have primitive weapons like swords or spears. None of them have shields. Outside, the steps start to become littered with skeletons when finally Joh-Kel busts through the door with his lightsaber and the party battles its way to the safety of the nearest thoroughfare, where it can flee the growing mass of skeletons with all due haste. In all, 28 vile skeletal guardian spirits lay destroyed in the wake of the party’s concerted defense and battling retreat.
The battle was not without hurts to the party, as more than one character was wounded (VP/WP system remember), but fortunately they could still manage to easily outdistance the skeletons which seemed slower. Sadly, noble Killik, native of Cathar, perished under the mercilessly cold slices of skeletal blades. He did manage to buy the party time to escape however.
Once at the edge of the cavern, and the tunnel they’d arrived by, the party paused to see if they were still being pursued, which they weren’t. They tended their wounds and offered silent thoughts in the memory of Killik, who they all had liked before discussing their options. Ultimately, it was decided that this problem was too big for them so they decided they’d take Oon’s starship back to the capital of Shabez and update representative Foshun on the situation. Hopefully he’d know what to do.
After a few hours of hiking and climbing back out, and riding ibbots back down the mountain, the party quickly flew to the city of Shabez with Oon’s ship and met with Foshun where they told him of all of the developments out at the mountain. Foshun thought it over and considered the matter very serious and that it would need immediate attention. His idea was to use demolition charges inside the underground cavern to bring it down. The chamber seems too deep in the mountain for starship bombardment to be effective, plus there’d be residual damage from such a bombardment on the surface in nearby regions. Hopefully some well placed charges would bring down the cavern and stem the flow of water, or at least filter it of contaminants, and also put to rest this nearly impossible to believe tale of the dead walking. The loss of a site of potential archaeological discovery was a small price to pay to prevent whatever these monstrosities were from ever having a chance to spread into the nearby savannas to threaten the tribes there.
Foshun also didn’t want a panic so he tapped a single demolitions expert to accompany the party back to the mountain, along with a very small team to load their ship. Foshun would pay the party to escort the demolitionist and perform this service for the good of Cathar. Further, if the party met too much resistance on their return trip, they were to retreat, report back, and then Foshun would bring in a larger military involvement.
The party was so outfitted and assigned a demolitionist, and without waiting to rest for the evening returned to the mountain via starship and then ibbot, where they debarked, this time loaded down with demo charges.
Everything went to plan in the chamber upon their return trip, and no sign of the creatures they’d battled before could be found, although they avoided the central tower of the city. The demo expert believed a few charges placed well at the perimeter could bring down the entire place, so while under protective guard of the party, he set about doing so and he worked through the night.
By morning, indicated by chronometers rather than dawn, the party was ready to move to a safe distance and destroy the chamber. The demo specialist was particularly certain the results of his work would be spectacular and would leave a small pocket of space they could go to in order to see if the results of the blast had been effective. Without further ado, he blew the charges. Some rumbles echoed through the tunnels, and within five minutes, the party elected to return to the scene of the blast to study the results of the demolition effort.
As the party headed back, the demo man got so confident and excited that his work would turn out to be perfect that he decided he couldn’t wait and he ran ahead. The others tried to follow him, but couldn’t close the distance in the final minute or so it took to reach the chamber.
As the party of Joh-Kel Styken, Oon Kath, Sebastian, Tyson Smee, and Fondomar Tomal rounded the final bend in the tunnel leading to the chamber of the ancient city, an incomprehensible sight greeted them.
The cavern was still there, not collapsed at all, but it was still different. Huge fireballs hung suspended and frozen in mid-blast from the various charge points around the chamber, their light slightly blurred out. The city itself also stood, but seemed blurry, and the crystals lining the cavern walls still glowed, but not with the same clarity and radiance as before. Finally, impossibly, just several meters ahead, the demo specialist was frozen in mid-stride of his run, unmoving, as if held up by some unseen force or frozen in time.
Well and truly confounded by the sight greeting them, the party stood stunned for a bit, soaking in the scene, until it seemed perhaps time had swallowed them as well.
Finally Joh-Kel picked up a loose rock and tossed it towards the cavern, next to the demolition specialist and the rock stopped while in mid-air as well, frozen in place. The Force users then all tried to use the Force to move the rock, but found they were able to sense it, but oddly, and they weren’t able to manipulate it in anyway. Next to his shoulder, some of the cavern’s signature crystal formations jutted from the tunnel, so Joh-Kel lopped off a piece, stowed it, and the party bolted back to the surface, flying back to the capital once again.
There, they explained everything to Foshun who visibly paled at hearing the news (which is remarkable for a furry Cathar :wink: Foshun formally requested the aid of the Republic and particularly the Jedi, and Joh-Kel and Fondomar agreed such a course of action would be wise. They called in to the temple, and their trusted contact, Jedi Quintis. They told Quintis they needed a secure channel, and after some adjustments on both ends to encrypt the communiqué, the team reported in. Quintis was highly intrigued by everything he was hearing, and was of course filing the information away for potential use in his own dark designs. He thanked the players for the info of course, and immediately classified the information. He said he’d route it properly to superiors in the Jedi temple and that it would be looked into by the Republic’s best Jedi-Scientists.
Quintis then asked for an update on negotiations, and the party reported they had made in roads with both camps and would probably be able to broker a settlement. Quintis then ordered Joh-Kel and Fondomar, and thus the rest of the party, to complete negotiations and then return to Coruscant as soon as possible.
So the party told Foshun the Republic would be looking into the matter with high level resources and they set off for the remote nomadic village once again, where negotiations would be held. Foshun joined them as the representative for the city.
The water flow in the area was seeing no influence of contamination, but the rate of flow had been greatly reduced, as if only the runoff from the foothills was reaching the plain, rather than from the entire mountain (gee, maybe because the upper parts of the drainage system are frozen in time!). The natives were satisfied with the results, however, and an agreement was quickly hammered out about the particulars of the starport. I think the particulars were that Joh-Kel offered to slightly reduce the size of the ground based portion of the starport, and add additional orbital facilities as traveler’s waypoints, thereby reducing actual on-world traffic to the point where people quickly passing through wouldn’t need to come down to the planet at all.
Once all sides signed a treaty, a great feast was held in memory of Killik that evening, and where the heroes were honored with gifts of ceremonial spears and cloaks. The spear was just a spear, but hey…it’s got reach! The cloaks were imbued with the Force and they all had +1 to saves vs. Force effects. I figured something like this item would be helpful to the party at a point where the game took a turn towards being heavily influenced by enemy Force users.
The next day, Oon jetted off to report in to her superiors. It was agreed she would report that nothing of value was in the mine and the reason for abandonment seemed to be that the veins had run out of valued ore. She opted for this in order to give the Republic a chance to get into the mountain and safely learn of its mysteries without endangering anyone else from the mining guild or explorer’s corps. We would not see Oon again for some time, so this was an easy way to pass her back out of the plot for now.
The party returned to Coruscant, reported in, and got paid. Joh-Kel gave the sample crystal and the strange statue to Quintis. As matters wrapped up, the party had only informed Quintis and the Senator who both assured the party that an investigation was underway and would be going to Cathar. The party was put on standby to join the Alderaanian Trade Summit that was looming rather quickly. Fondomar returned to the Jedi Temple to continue his training. His player also had to leave the game at this point, but not because he wasn’t having fun.
That left us with Tyson Smee, Sebastian, and Joh-Kel Styken to continue adventuring. I immediately knew I would need an NPC or two to bolster the party, and that’s just what we would get over time.