Second Chance - SWEMPIRENJ

Completing the Trials

The final stages of the trials, where each individual learns more about themselves…

GM: Bill
XP Awarded: 15 XP (Base)

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Trial of Thy Self

Following the wind, tears, into the mouth.
Caves for each person.
Personal trials, touching on the past.

GM: Bill
XP Awarded: 20 XP (Base)

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Children of Rokrul Village

Alarms flash and sirens blare throughout the ship as the explosion resulted in a dangerous hull breach.
As the ship is sucked out of hyperspace by the damage and the power throughout the ship flickers, the crew awakens and rushes to action. While Ney rushes to the cockpit to assess damage and regain control of the ship, Tiro and Mallinia put on rebreather masks and look to repair the hole in the ship with a makeshift patch fashioned from a metal table. As they approach the hole that is venting the ship’s artificial atmosphere into the coldness of space, Gar fastens ropes around their waists as a safeguard against them being sucked out of the ship.

Through the cockpit window, Ney sees a nearby planet and notices the ship is drifting closer to it, attracted by its gravity. His attempts to access the ship computers fail, as the power continues to go on and off throughout the ship. With Mallinia holding the patch in place, Tiro welds it over the hole just as the lights go completely out. Mallinia grabs a fusion lantern from Utut’s room, and accompanies Tiro to engineering in order to see if anything can be done about the dead power.

Tiro plugs the fusion lantern into the power outlet, hoping to use its power to jump start the power core and restore power to the ship, but the system is too badly damaged and the fusion lantern explodes, knocking him unconscious. As the ship enters the planet’s atmosphere and starts to heat up, Mallinia grabs Tiro and rushes with Gar into the cockpit to join Ney and strap in.

Relying on what’s still mechanically functional of the ship’s steering ability, the group manages to pull out of dangerous flat spin and lifts the ship’s nose up at the last moment before impact with the ground. Skidding several hundred yards across the planet’s surface, the crew suffers a few bumps and bruises, but come to a half in a strange forest mostly intact.

After being revived by Gar, Tiro takes a look around the ship to assess its damage. The makeshift patch did not hold up during the crash landing and will need to be repaired, while the power core of the ship is beyond repair and must be completely replaced with a new one in order to restore the ship’s systems. While Ney gathers supplies and equipment for a trek through the forest and Gar ensures there are no dangerous conditions around the crash site, Mallinia scouts around for any signs of civilization and notices some smoke in the distance.

Cautiously heading towards the smoke, the crew soon encounters a group of blue skinned humanoid creatures who hold their hands up in what appears to be a peaceful gesture. The group returns the gesture, and Gar identifies the species as Nelvaanians, natives of the planet Nelvaan. Upon asking if anybody speaks Basic, the natives encourage the group to follow them, which they do.

Arriving at the nearby village of Rokrul, the crew is presented to the elder shaman named Orvos, who speaks Common. The shaman explains that they saw the ship falling from the sky, and welcomes the group to stay in the village for the time being. He invites them to attend a ceremony that night where a “child” of the village will be initiated into the full ranks of the tribe. Asking about the possibility of finding a replacement power core, the shaman says they do not have anything like that here, but mentions a factory that might have such a device. When pressed further about the factory, Orvos says they cannot speak of the evil place with children of the village.

Orvos also says to Mallinia that they have had her “kind” visit them before, implying he knows something of Force users. Asked for more details, he explains that two known as Ghost Hand and Obi Wan visited their village long ago and saved them from the harmful effects of the factory. Orvos will say no more about the factory to “children” of the village.

At the ceremony, the entire village gathers to watch the initiate perform an interpretive dance around a large bonfire and select from among several factions within the tribe. The initiate chooses the hunters, and is welcomed as a member of their group as symbolic shapes form from the fire’s smoke. As the villagers celebrate, Gar asks that the crew gather for a separate meeting of their own.

Together in a private hut, Gar addresses his crew mates. First, he speaks to Mallinia and admits that they have done a poor job of educating her about life outside Dathomir. Gar explains that Mallinia’s powers are not only rare, they could be dangerous. Coming from a Nightsister tribe full of Force sensitives, Mallinia had not fully realized that her abilities were uncommon. Gar explained that the reason Elaiza was killed and the Emperor was interested in her were because of these powers.

Addressing the crew as a whole, Gar expressed his regret and sorrow at the deaths of several innocents who got tangled up in their happenings, including the Wookiees of Kashyyyk and Ney’s brother, Embro. Gar admits that he feels some guilt about this, and has sworn to do what it takes to oppose the Empire. He further expresses his belief that the Empire has been doing such awful things and harming innocent people long before the crew got involved with them, and that they’ll continue to do so until someone stops them. He intends to be a part of those who try to stop them.

As the impromptu meeting ends and the crew begins to return to the festivities, Ney pulls Gar aside for a moment. Ney says that he doesn’t blame Gar for his brother’s death and that he shouldn’t feel guilty about it. Gar thanks Ney for the words, and they both raise a toast to the memory of Embro.

After watching the ceremony and socializing with the villagers, the shaman asks the crew if they would be interested in performing the ritual to become “adults” of the village. The crew agrees that they would like to, and Orvos introduces them to the different factions within the tribe that they must choose to become a part of. He explains that the next day, they will each pick a group and begin working with them and contributing to the community. Only once they have proven their worth and commitment to the village will they be allowed to perform the three trials that make up the initiation.

The following day, each member chooses their group – Tiro joins the builders, Ney joins the hunters, Gar joins the healers, and Mallinia joins the shaman. They are taught to perform important tasks within each group and spend time learning and contributing for several days. Ney also manages to pick up some words in their native language as he works with them.

Mallinia has a particularly interesting time as part of the shaman group. While meditating, she experiences visions. The first vision shows two Force users visiting the village in the past – one with a beard, the other with a cybernetic hand. The second vision shows a person clad in black metallic armor from head to toe, and when the face of this person is revealed, Mallinia sees herself. While this vision confuses her a bit, Orvos explains that it is not necessarily an accurate prediction of the future.

At the end of a few days, Orvos announces that the group has done enough to integrate themselves into the tribe and are ready for the trials. The first trial is the test of the hunt – the group must kill a nearby horax the tribe has been tracking. The horax is a large and ferocious creature, and they’ve been known to attack the village at times, so taking down this one is important to the safety of the villagers.

The trackers lead the group towards the horax. Before engaging, they do some preparation. Ney takes grenades from his person arsenal and creates some explosive bait, setting the detonation on timer and loading them inside fresh squirrels he gathered during his hunt. Tiro used the skills he learned working with the builders to construct a primitive – yet deadly – spring loaded spike trap from sharpened sticks.

Ney manages to get the creature’s attention with his first piece bait, which the creature hungrily swallows. When the second explosive squirrel detonates prematurely, the horax notices Ney standing nearby and begins to charge him. Ney turns and runs back towards where the rest of the group is waiting.

When the horax gets close enough, Mallinia Force leaps from her perch in the trees and lands on the creature’s back, stabbing it with dual vibroknives. The creature bucks in pain and thrashes trying to toss Mallinia off, but she manages to stay on. As the horax continues to swat at Mallinia to try and get her off, it moves forward into the area where Tiro’s trap is set. What’s left of the trap triggers perfectly, and the sharpened spikes spring viciously into the chest of the horax.

With Mallinia stabbing it from its back and the spikes piecing it from the front, the horax makes a desperate attempt to escape. However, that attempt is its final action. As it pulls away from the trap, it tears itself open on the deeply embedded spikes, spilling blood and innards across the ground. Mallinia leaps from the beast’s back as it crashes down in a lifeless heap.

Successful in their trial of the hunt, the crew returns to the village triumphant. The villagers greet them with rousing cheers, and Orvos congratulates them on a task well done. He informs them that their next test will be later that night.

At the ceremony, each member of the crew performs a symbolic representation of the faction they wish to join among the adult villagers. In term, each member of the group perform rituals of their own design, demonstrating what they have learned since arriving in the village as well as what they know about themselves. In the end, the group is welcomed to their respective factions and the tribe celebrates as they’ve completed the second trial.

As the festivities wind down, Orvos reminds them that they have one task remaining before they are to be considered fully initiated adults – the trial of thy self, quite possibly the most difficult of the challenges. The crew retires for the night and prepares for the final trial the following day.

GM: Bill
XP Awarded: 20 XP (Base)
5 XP GM Bonus: Gar

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Back To Banu's

While waiting for their ship to be repaired on Tatooine after a narrow escape from a squadron of TIE Fighters, the crew decides to head into town to do some shopping. A routine trip into a local store turns into a shootout with some local thugs when the crew notices suspicious activity and sounds in the back room. When the smoke clears, the thugs are dead and the shopkeeper who was being harassed by them is grateful and offers several discounts on items.

Back aboard the ship, an incoming transmission from Banu indicates that he became separated from Embro on his way to a safe house. The transmission is interrupted by Iza, who is broadcasting from a familiar room at Banu’s villa. While he tries to convince the crew to give themselves up, he summons Embro into the view. Embro appears badly beaten and tortured, and acts subservient to Iza. Ney is enraged by the site and threatens Iza, who then cuts the call short.

While the crew acknowledges this is clearly a trap, they also agree that they have to go to the villa and attempt to rescue Ney’s brother. Gar suggests contacting the Rebels and seeing if they could possibly provide backup. As the hyperspace jump is calculated and the ship rushes to the villa, Gar gives Bria Tharen a call.

With Bria on the comm, Gar explains the situation, and also gives a recap on some recent events. Gar summarizes their journey into the Jedi asylum, the murder of Elaiza at the hands of a Sith assassin, and the escape from that planet. He also mentions that someone from their crew is Force sensitive – a fact that may have contributed to the attention the Empire is giving them, but also something that could be enticing to the Rebels. Lastly, Gar explains that one of the crew’s brother’s is being held captive by an Imperial officer, and requests some backup for the rescue mission. Despite having limited resources stretched thin, Bria agrees to provide some military support. Gar thanks her, and arranges to have their ship dock with another Rebel ship to pick up the troops.

Arriving at the villa, the crew sets down the ship its usual landing spot. As Ney recklessly rushes down the ramp leading to the main complex, one of the Rebel troops accompanying him is shot down by a heavy gunner waiting for them with his sights locked on their arrival spot.

Mallinia flanks around the other side of the villa while Ney, Gar, and Tiro head down the long walkway connecting the landing pad to the main villa buildings. As some other Imperials rush out of the nearby buildings, the group deals with them. Although a few of the Rebel troops die during the battle, it doesn’t take long for the group to dispatch the Imperials.

As he was rushing towards one of the enemies, Tiro noticed sounds from the nearby building that caused him to give it a second look. While some unusually loud music seemed to be coming from inside, a distinctive humming sound and a glance at the doors indicated the building was magnetically sealed and would be nearly impossible to force their way in. As the battle ends and the crew regroups, Tiro mentions this. Gar nods, and says that he knew about that security and that Banu trusted him with some more information about his security system. He explains that the controls to disable the security are on the second floor inside the main building.

The group heads into the main building cautiously, but find it completely clear of Imperials. Gar leads them to the room with the controls. Tiro suggests that he remains here and unlocks the doors while the rest of the crew moves into position in case someone tries to escape. When the doors are unlocked and nobody rushes out, Tiro rejoins them as Mallinia heads in first.

The room is dark except for a large video monitor displaying Imperial propaganda accompanied by a loud soundtrack. In the middle of the room is a single person tied to the chair. Ney rushes to the bound person, while a quick look around by the others reveal no immediate threat. Ney destroys the device projecting the Imperial footage, quieting the noise and ending the video. He borrows a device from Mallinia, cuts his brother loose, and helps carry him towards the exit and back towards the ship.

As the group races out of the building, they see an AT-ST Imperial walker in the distance firing upon their ship. With few options against a heavily armored vehicle, the group rushes up the walkway to their ship as quickly as possible. When the walker turns to fire on them, another Rebel troop falls, but the rest of the group manage to board the ship, start it up, and take off.

Aboard the ship, the crew scans for any signs of tracking devices, sabotage, or unwanted visitors. Satisfied that their ship was not altered while they were gone, they plot a series of quick hyperspace jumps in order to avoid being followed as they head towards the Nar Shaddaa safe house.

In the ship’s medical bay, Gar examines Embro more closely and discovers that some foreign device has been implanted deep inside his body. He cannot tell exactly what the device is, and does not have the facilities on the ship to perform surgery to investigate further. Ney suggests returning to the underground research bunker on Kashyyyk to perform the surgery, while Tiro offers his home planet as a possible safe refuge for the procedure.

Late that night, Gar is awakened suddenly by the feel of cold sharp steel against his neck. Embro is holding a knife to his neck, a worried look on his face while he mutters about how he doesn’t want to hurt anyone, but the Imperials will kill him and his brother if he doesn’t carry out their orders. Gar attempts to talk Embro out of murdering him, insisting that the crew will help him and that he will be safe from the Empire. As Embro presses the knife further into Gar’s neck, a beeping begins to sound. Startled by the noise, Embro exclaims that it is too late now, and rushes out of Gar’s room and into the ship’s escape pod. Just as the door to the escape pod closes, an explosion erupts from it, ripping a large hole in the ship’s hull and pulling it out of hyperspace somewhere between Torina and Nar Shaddaa…

GM: Bill
XP Awarded: 15 XP (Base)

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The Final Request

The Sith assassin faces the group and says that the Emperor would like to speak with Mallinia. As Mallinia declines the invitation, the Jedi asylum staff member Novar and Nightsister Talia both step in front of the crew and offer to protect them. Novar thanks the group for helping him see daylight again, and reaches out with the Force to grab Elaiza’s lightsaber from the assassin’s belt. Novar ignites the blade and rushes towards the assassin. Talia turns to Mallinia and says she will do anything to protect her princess before unleashing a barrage of Force directed rocks towards the assassin.

The assassin easily deals with the thread, fighting off Novar with her own lightsaber while Force choking Talia with her other hand. A shot by Utut at the assassin misses, but Tiro manages to rig his ion blaster to explode and tosses it at the Sith. While the explosion does not cause any harm, it distracts her enough to release Talia from her grip. The crew grabs her and rushes towards their ship.

As they reach the boarding ramp, they look back and see that the Sith has gotten the upper hand against Novar. With a swipe of her lightsaber, she disarms the Jedi sending Elaiza’s lightsaber flying through the air. With a second swipe, the violet blade separates Novar’s head from his body, his head spinning in the opposite direction from his weapon. The assassin turns to face the crew and rushes towards them as they close the ramp.

Utut jumps into the pilot seat and quickly starts the engines. He manages to get the ship airborne just as the assassin is about to stick her lightsaber through its hull. As the ship lifts off, several TIE Fighters appear from nearby and converge on the ship. Before they even know what hit them, the ship is shaking and shuttering from a barrage of laser fire from the enemy ships.

While Tiro rushes to repair the damage and Mallinia makes her way into one of the gunnery stations, Utut shows off some of his rarely displayed piloting skills by using evasive maneuvers and using the planet’s terrain to provide additional cover. With the shields shifted to the back side of the ship to provide extra protection with the TIE Fighters in pursuit, Utut twists and spins through the snowy atmosphere hoping to keep the ship together long enough to calculate the hyperspace jump.

With some makeshift repairs made by Tiro buying them some extra time, Mallinia and Tiro manage to blast some of the TIEs out of the sky while the fancy flying of Utut resulted in a few of the other ships crashing and burning. Despite a glitch in the astrogation computer delaying the calculation, the ship steers upwards towards space, blows up the remaining TIE Fighters, and jumps to lightspeed before any additional ships can be sent after them.

With the ship badly damaged, the crew plots a course to Tatooine where Utut can use his Jawa contacts to help obtain the parts and equipment needed for repairs. While traveling back to the desert planet, Mallinia discovers a message that had been left for her by Elaiza:

“If you’re listening to this, then my vision was accurate… I didn’t make it off Rhen Var alive… Hopefully you did what you had to do and made sure the patients would no longer present a threat to the galaxy. I know it couldn’t have been easy for you, but you have to understand the amount of danger those unstable Force users represent. If there was another choice….

In any case, I’m one with the Force now. It was only a matter of time. I want to thank you for your help along the way, and I only wish I could be around to see you reach your full potential in the Force.

You’re probably wondering what ever happened to the Jewel of Yavin. While I was able to use a piece of it to repair my lightsaber, I spent many nights trying to understand its power and unlock its full potential. Yet it remains a mystery to me. I had wanted to turn it over to the Rebellion, but I never felt like it was safe – for me or for them – to make contact. And so it remains locked away in my apartment on my home planet. Maybe you can find its true power and use it against the Empire.

Good luck, and may the Force be with you…"

GM: Steve
XP Awarded: 10 XP (Base)

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Secret Sanitarium

Aboard the ship, Elaiza explains that she has felt her old apprentice reach out to her through the Force. Her former Padawan had been sent to a secret treatment center for Jedi with mental instability, and she figured he had long since died in the facility. Now that she knows he is alive, Elaiza worries that he – and any other remaining survivors -could be a threat to the galaxy should they escape the asylum. She asks that Mallinia and the crew accompany her to the facility so the threat can be assessed and dealt with as needed.

She hands them a datacard that explains the facility they’re going into while she meditates on the proper approach:

“Of all the skeletons in its closet, one of the deepest and darkest secrets of the former Galactic Republic was a holding facility simply called Area 472. Housed in the depths of a long forgotten Jedi Temple, under the watchful eye of a team of Jedi, this extensive medical facility was dedicated to housing thousands of inmates and mental patients – all capable of using the Force.

The facility was an unfortunate necessity due to the basic nature of the Jedi training. Nearly every potential Jedi candidate began Force training very early in their childhood. By age thirteen, the majority of unsuitable candidates had been screened out and released from duty to the Force. Some might just not have had the drive or dedication to become part of the Jedi order. Others simply did not have a level of maturity sufficient to deal with the very serious life commitment to the Force. However, in some cases, certain individuals had deeper, more serious mental problems.

In most humanoid races, certain emotional and behavioral patterns do not fully develop until much later in life, until adolescence or early adulthood. Sometimes serious personality and mood disorders will occur, conditions that cannot be spotted in childhood. There are some safeguards in place, but background study and genetic sampling cannot fully predict who will or will not become mentally unsuitable. If ignored, quite simply, this could be a disaster waiting to happen.

Given the abundance of Padawans in training throughout the existence of the Jedi order, even if only a statistically tiny portion of those had mental problems, there would still be up to a significant number of unstable Force users in the galaxy. The majority of these beings would have been very minimally skilled in the Force, and did not pose much threat to themselves and others. Traditional treatment for mental health would be prescribed, and they would be released back into the world. However, due to the difficult nature of the diagnosing mental disorders, it was possible – however unlikely – for a Padawan to reach the advanced stages of training before being identified as unstable.

Within these psychoses lie the traits that lead to the Dark Side – megalomania, delusions, depression, paranoia and other compulsive behaviors. These individuals were, unfortunately highly dangerous – both to themselves and to the galaxy at large. To execute these Force users simply because of their mental health problems was an unacceptable option. Also, these individuals had to be watched and monitored – perhaps even cured if possible, so simply hiding them away on a remote rim planet was also unacceptable. Thus – the need for Area 472."

Meanwhile, Banu calls the crew and asks if he and Embro are in danger now that the Empire is after the crew again. The group confirms that they are, and instruct Banu to pack up and head to Nar Shadda with Ney’s brother. There they can contact the Rebels at the safe house disguised as a cantina and kept safe. While Banu is hesitant to abandon his luxurious retirement villa, he realizes he has no choice at this point. He agrees to pack up, get rid of any incriminating evidence, and travel to Nar Shadda with Embro.

Elaiza guides the crew to an abandoned Jedi temple on the frozen planet of Rhen Var. Faced with spectral guardians protecting a Jedi’s tomb that marks the temple’s entrance, the group defeats them by destroying their coffins. The group locates the elevator leading hundreds of feet below the surface to the heavily secured sanitarium. Tiro manages to repair the elevator and program it to return to the lower level after six hours.

Initially greeted with hostility and mistrust, the group manages to calm down the mentally unstable Jedi and have several conversations. Among the group is Elaiza’s former pupil, a long Jedi staff member who has survived this long, and several other patients of various degrees of insanity and violent tendencies. With the help of the staff member, the group reviews their medical evaluation records and speaks with several of the patients.

Elaiza’s student, a Nautolan named Azmo Fong, has put together a list of those he believes stable enough to be set free from the facility. A human female named Keilara Jaal expresses an opposing opinion, believing that none of the patients – including herself – should leave the asylum. The staff member, Novar Corso, would like to leave with the crew, and despite having seemingly allied with Azmo, believes all the patients should be killed via a self destruct mechanism built into the facility’s systems. Elaiza agrees with Azmo and explains these patients are too unstable to unleash upon the galaxy.

While exploring the depths, the group comes across an unusual tunnel that Utut had seen in a vision. Elaiza explains that is something akin to the Jedi trials, and that it was previously used to help determine whether a patient has regained their sanity. With some encouragement from Elaiza and Utut, Mallinia agrees to enter the tunnel. Inside, she is faced with several of her fears – modern medicine, space travel, and her mother. While she emerges from the tunnel in a daze and weakened from the stressful experience, she’s surely learned something about herself by venturing inside.

With the patients growing impatient that they are not being set free and the elevator due to return soon, the crew makes their choice – they will set off the self destruct, wear gas masks to get through the poison gas, and head up the elevator before the structure explodes in on itself. They agree to take the staff member Novar with them, as he has proven several times to be telling the truth regarding his situation as an unfortunate Jedi trapped as part of the staff.

Without letting Mallinia and Ney know initially, Tiro and Utut work together to rig the self destruct system to not actually kill the patients. Tiro uses his computer and mechanical skills to dilute the poison gas and disable the building’s destruction. While Novar is getting the gas masks out of the locker, Utut fills Ney and Mallinia in on their change of plans and letting the patients live. With Novar providing the confirmation codes, they set the modified self destruct sequence in motion. Several of the Jedi sense the gas and rush towards the elevator to stop the group from escaping.

After an intense battle that involves flying furniture, Force lightning, glop grenades, Force disarms, and a patient switching sides mid-battle to assist the crew, the group manages to disable the patients and rush onto the elevator just as it arrives. The group heads back to their ship with Elaiza, Novar, and the Nightsister Talia.

As Elaiza backs away from the group and waves farewell, her eyes suddenly open wide, a look of shock on her face. Her jaw drops open as a soundless yell escapes her throat. That’s when you notice the point of a violet lightsaber blade protruding from her chest. She collapses to the ground in a lifeless heap, revealing the assassin that had snuck up behind her.

A female human stands there dressed in a tight-fitting completely black jumpsuit. Long red hair flows to her shoulders as she looks down at Elaiza with bright green eyes. She extinguishes her lightsaber, bends down over the corpse, and reaches inside the loose robes. She pulls out the lightsaber of the former Jedi and hooks it onto her belt. That’s when she looks up and faces the group for the first time.
“She may have been old, but she was crafty. She had eluded me for some time. Thank you for leading me right to her. Now there is one less Jedi in the galaxy.” A small smile crosses her lips as her gaze focuses directly on Mallinia. “And now, Mallinia, the Emperor would like to speak with you. Come with me please.”

GM: Steve
XP Awarded: 20 XP (Base)
5 XP MVP Bonus: Utut
5 XP GM Bonus: Tiro

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Gar's Journal - Entry Three

Iza Tuh. The first time we met during medical school, we had an instant bond, an immediate chemistry. Surely it had something to do with us both being Duros, but it was more than that. We shared a passion for learning, a drive to be the best, and a desire to make the galaxy a better place through medicine. For the years during schooling, we became like brothers. We studied together, took classes together, went to social events together, and we even dated twin sisters at one point. (He insisted he had the prettier one even though they were identical.) The class work and exams were difficult and stressful, but Iza and I stuck together and managed to excel among our classmates.

When he falsely implicated me in the cheating scandal mere weeks before graduation, I was devastated. I felt like everything was a lie, that his drive to be the best had slowly transformed into a jealousy of my better grades and the relationships I had formed with several of the faculty. When I was expelled from school, I hated him. He took away what I’d been working for my whole life – to become a respected doctor who was able to help people while continuing to explore and unlock the wonders of medical science.

It didn’t take long to discover that despite my lack of a formal medical license, I would have no trouble finding work. When dealing with people who are operating outside the law, they couldn’t care less about a piece of paper saying I’m allowed to practice medicine. They just care how quickly I can pull that metal slug out of their leg, get them sewn up, and get them back on the job. I met and helped some real lowlifes, but I also was able to help some truly good people who had been dealt a raw deal in life and needed a break.

After seeing many of the less fortunate people out there, and having a fair share of success as an outlaw doctor, I slowly came to realize how lucky I was. I was able to go places, see things, and meet amazing people that I never would have had the chance to had I graduated from med school and settled in to the mundane life of a normal doctor. I decided to forgive Iza, to let go of the bitterness, and to focus more on the future than the past. When a particular job on Coruscant led to joining the crew of the Second Chance, my life became more exciting than ever. Iza had become an afterthought, an unimportant footnote of a past I had put behind me.

Then I got that call from the Wookiee pleading with me to help save Iza’s life. The memories came flooding back. The pain, the betrayal, the bitterness. I even lashed out at my crewmates, saying I could have had a much more luxurious life if it hadn’t been for Iza. (Which is true, but I would never trade that life for this one now.) Why would the person who betrayed me expect me to help him? Who was this Wookiee? Was Iza’s life really at stake? I wanted to ignore it. I wanted to pretend the call never happened and leave that part of my life behind, but something in the Wookiee’s eyes, in her voice, wouldn’t allow me to let it go. I convinced the crew this was something I had to do, and we headed to Kashyyyk.

With Iza encased in carbonite to slow down the progress of the disease he was infected with, the Wookiee told me the story. Iza framed me to save me from the Empire, she said. He had overheard some administrators talking about how the Imperials would come to the school and snatch up the top students and force them to work for the Empire. Having heard of some of the awful things the Empire had done, Iza decided to save me the only way he thought he could – by getting me expelled with the fabricated cheating allegations. He sacrificed himself to the Empire to save me, and now his work for the Empire – creating biological weapons – had put his life at risk.

I let the Wookiee’s words sink in. I thought about it long and hard, and I decided it was the only explanation that made sense. After all we had been through and shared, there was no logical explanation for his betrayal. This explanation made sense. It had to be true. I knew it was true. With conviction that I absolutely had to save Iza now, I convinced my crew that we had to do this job and find the cure for Iza and the horrible disease he created for the Empire.

And we did. We traveled to Ithor, we slayed zombies, we fought off Imperials, and we saved Iza Tuh. With his research notes and the rare ingredients, I concocted the cure, revived him from carbonite, and administered the drug. When his vital signs still showed signs that the disease was spreading, I cut him open and performed surgery. I almost lost him, but managed to stop the internal bleeding and he pulled through.

When he regained consciousness, Iza thanked me and told me that he knew I would come for him. He told me the same story the Wookiee told me – that he had gotten me expelled to save me from the Empire, that he had been snatched up by the Imperials and forced to work on horrific projects like this one that turned living beings into zombies. Iza looked me in the eye and told me he did it to save me. I felt like I had been reunited with a long lost brother. I was happy to know that he didn’t truly betray me, and humbled by his sacrifice to save me from the Empire. He stayed on Kashyyyk to recover and help spread the cure to any remaining infected beings roaming the forest, and I departed to find the next adventure with my crew.

A few days later, the Imperial Holonet news item appeared. We were being blamed for creating the disease that spread throughout Kashyyyk, and our previous ruse of faking our own deaths was exposed. Not only that, but the Wookiees who we had befriended were murdered by Imperials who were supposedly eradicating the planet of the disease. And, to take things from bad to worse, the article itself was written by Iza Tuh. It had been a lie. It was all a lie. He had told me the first betrayal wasn’t what it seemed, and I believed it. But this time there was no mistaking it. He spelled it out in plain basic for the whole galaxy to see. He had exposed us, and accused us of crimes we didn’t commit.

So I sit here in my quarters on the Second Chance, typing this all out, trying to make sense of it, hoping that some how, some way, by writing it all down, it will be therapeutic. It’s not working. There is only one thing on my mind now: Revenge. This time, it wasn’t just me that Iza betrayed, it was my entire crew. He massacred the innocent Wookiees. He’s put anybody and everybody we’ve ever had contact with in danger. No, this time I will not find a way to forgive and forget and move on with my life.

Before I joined this crew, I had never shot a gun. Since everyone else had one, and we seemed to get into a fair amount of situations where blaster fire erupted, I got myself one. I’d never gotten very good at it, focusing more on patching people up than blowing holes in people. I think it’s time that I learn to use this thing. I’m going to ask Utut and Gastro for some tips on aiming. Tiro ought to be able to take his hydrospanner to my gun and make it a little more deadly. I never thought I’d see the day when I was looking forward to learning how to kill rather than heal, but here I am.

We just finished a job helping our former crewmate K’ladarien capture, torture, and assassinate an Imperial Governor who had killed his friend. When he left our crew, it was because he had a lead on tracking down the Imperial. At the time, I thought it must have been a very dark place for him to be, with that deep desire for revenge. I couldn’t understand how someone could be so consumed with hate, so obsessed with vengeance. Now I understand.

Iza Tuh. The last time we meet, I will look him in the eyes and put a blaster bolt right between them. I will not rest until he is dead, even if that means taking on the entire Empire.

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Carnage in Cloud City

The crew races to Cloud City, anxious to discover what happened to their associate Aris Shen. They are greeted by Lobot and Lando, who explain that they’ve asked the crew to conduct the investigation because there are several suspects who were close to Aris and they are not sure they can trust anybody who was in the city at the time of the murder. They introduce the group to Captain Tolund, who briefs them on the situation so far.

After assisting with the autopsy and realizing the left hand was removed from the body and the angle of the bullet wound in the back of her was angled upwards, the group heads to the crime scene. A close inspection reveals no signs of forced entry and two glasses containing remnants of alcohol, indicating it was likely someone Aris knew and let into the apartment herself.

An examination of the work emails of Aris and a thorough interrogation of the suspects seem to eliminate more suspects than pointing to likely ones until an inconsistency between two witnesses point towards her personal assistant. Slicing into the secretary’s email to collect some evidence and an effective interrogation eventually gets the assistant to confess. She was paid by a bounty hunter to betray and murder Aris and to take her hand as proof of the deed. Lando and Lobot are notified of the confession, the secretary is arrested, and the crew is rewarded for their role in solving the crime.

Lando informs the group that he regrettably must end their business relationship, as he does not want their trouble with the Empire leading to trouble for Cloud City. He gives them some additional credits as a token of thanks for the successful business transactions they’d conducted together.

Before they can leave the planet, a voice from the shadows calls to Mallinia. As Mallinia moves closer to investigate, she recognizes Eleiza, who they had met earlier during the Jewel of Yavin caper. Eleiza explains that she has felt a disturbance in the Force, and needs help…

GM: Steve
XP Awarded: 15 XP (Base)
5 XP MVP Bonus: Ney

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More Bad News

As the crew wraps up the conversation with Bria, Utut’s comm begins to beep loudly with an incoming high priority message. Utut checks the codes on the transmission and tells the crew that it’s coming directly from Lando’s personal line. The group gathers quickly to listen to the message. Utut presses a button and Lando appears in holographic form:

“Hello, friends. I’m afraid I have some terrible news. Aris has been murdered. I need you to come to Cloud City immediately and help me get to the bottom of this. Everyone here must be considered a suspect, so we need someone who certainly could not have done this to conduct the investigation. Lobot and I will fill you in on the details when you get here. Please hurry.”

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Retribution and Resolution

The crew arrives on the mining planet to meet with K’ladarien ad assist in his plan for revenge. While traveling, Ney made some arrangements with contacts in a thieves guild to deliver some stealthy enhancing armor attachment to him here on Bandomeer. As the rest of the crew does some shopping, Ney heads to the designated back alley to meet his contact and pick up armor. After establishing contact, the fellow thief slips out of the shadows with the goods. The contact says Ney hasn’t paid his guild dues lately, and that the dues are overdue. Ney explains he doesn’t have the extra money after scraping together the cash for this expensive item, but agrees to pay them soon. The thief warns Ney of the dangers of crossing the guild, and they complete the transaction.

The group gathers back up and heads to K’ladarien’s safe house. After checking to make sure they weren’t followed, K’ladarien invites them in. He explains the situation:

K’ladarien takes his seat at the head of the table and begins to talk:

“Thanks for coming, I knew I count on my former crew! So here’s the deal: The Imperial governor will be here in two days. He will meet with my boss at his office, and after that, they’ll go on a tour of the mine. My boss wants to show the Imperial firsthand the improvements he’s made to the mine and how efficiency and morale has improved. Of course, the foreman and miners have been informed they’ll get a nice little bonus if they do a good job convincing the Imperial. I’ll be on duty guarding my boss and accompanying the group, since he wants to seem important with his own personal bodyguard.”

He sits forward in his chair and pounds his fist on the table:

“I want this scum bag dead. He killed my friend, whose only mistake was joining the Empire and then wanting to get out when he saw the atrocities they committed. My friend and his family did not deserve to die, and this bastard must suffer for what he’s done.”

He reaches into one of the pouches on his bandolier and pulls out a small bag. He puts it to his nose and inhales deeply. Calmer now, he continues:

“Suffer, yes yes, he must suffer. What I’d REALLY like to do is capture him alive so I can question in and find out if somebody else was behind the assassination besides him. If there was, then they must suffer too. If I can grab him and drag him away while you guys lay down the cover fire and cause confusion, we could try that. If you think that’s too risky, I’ll be satisfied if he simply winds up dead. Either way, this piece of trash can NOT leave this planet alive. It’s him or me…. So, what do you think? What’s the plan?”

The group discusses a few possible plans, including taking out the Imperial while he’s in the mining office, ambushing him on his way to the mine, and trying to trap him inside the mine and dealing with him there. After some debate, they agree that an ambush on the way to the mine is likely the best plan.

The group proceeds to scout out the area the day before the Imperial’s arrival. While the terrain between the town and mine is mostly rocky and flat without much cover, closer to the mine is a variety of equipment and supplies that could provide for some places to hide. With roles and positions decided, they head back to K’ladarien’s to spend the night.

The next morning, K’ladarien provides the exact timing of the Imperial’s visit and heads to work. He will remain at the Chevin’s side, seemingly protecting his boss and the Imperial from the unexpected attack. When the opportunity presents itself, he will show his true intentions among the chaos and drag the Imperial away from the battle and towards captivity.

The group heads out early in gets into position – Gastro hides inside an out house near the mine entrance. Utut hides inside the wheel well of a large tractor. Mallinia takes cover behind a stack of crates. Tiro hides beside a truck used to transport the mined material. Ney scouts out the Chevin’s office, stalking through the shadows surrounding the building and reporting back to the rest of the group via comlink. He sees the Imperial arrive and estimates around a half dozen Stormtroopers escorting him.

As the Imperial, his Stormtrooper escort, the Chevin mining tycoon, and K’ladarien make their way towards the mine, the crew waits for just the right moment to pounce. As the targets approach the right spot, Tiro slithers into the driver’s seat of the vehicle he was hiding behind and shifts it into gear, pointing the truck at their targets. He hangs on for the ride as the vehicle starts to move.

Unfortunately, K’ladarien did not expect that type of distraction and is slow to react to the vehicle heading right towards him. The truck runs over his leg, breaking it in several pieces and sending him to the ground in pain. The Chevin is also clipped by the truck and is knocked to the ground before the vehicle comes to a halt. While the truck did cut off the Imperial from the town and some of his Stormtroopers guards, it also complicated the plan somewhat by rendering K’ladarien useless.

Realizing the runaway truck as part of an attack, the Stormtroopers react and attack Tiro. While he takes cover inside the truck, he still takes some damage from the Stormtroopers. Additional Stormtroopers take out the truck’s tires, ensuring it cannot run anybody else over or assist with an escape. His route back to town blocked, the Imperial governor heads towards the mine entrance hoping to get inside for safety.

The rest of the crew reveal themselves from their hiding spots and join the fray. A few well-placed attacks severely wound the Imperial Governor, but he continues to limp towards the mine entrance. Gastro pops out of the outhouse and takes out several Stormtroopers. Mallinia unleashes a flurry of slashes with her newly acquired vibroknives.

The Governor recovers by applying a stimpack to himself and receiving some medical attention from the Stormtrooper Sergeant, and with renewed health he almost reaches the mine entrance and safety. However he does not quite make it, as a well-placed shot to the chest fells him. Before the rest of the Stormtroopers are taken out, their Sergeant manages to place a distress call and ask for reinforcements. The Sergeant throws one final desperate grenade at the group, but is then taken down too.

With the Imperial governor unconscious, K’ladarien crippled, and the Chevin tycoon in a panic, the group commandeers a passing transport truck. They drop its driver and the Chevin off at the mining office, and proceed to travel towards K’ladarien’s safe house. From a safe distance, they ditch the vehicle and assist the wounded into the house.

K’ladarien asks that the group take the Imperial into his prepared torture room and secure him. Utut and Mallinia carry the Governor into the back room and strap him to the upright torture rack. While K’ladarien helps himself to some alcohol and spice to help deal with the pain of his broken leg (which is made no better by a failed attempt by Tiro to ease the pain), he offers the crew a chance to start with the torture. He explains that there are several devices to choose from, and that he wants to learn whether or not someone else in the Empire had anything to do with the assassination of his friend.

While Ney and Utut don’t seem particularly offended by the situation, they’re not going to actively participate in the torture. Gastro, however, shows no hesitation and chooses a large knife from among the tools. He threatens the Imperial with the knife. The Imperial is adequately scared, and insists that he was the only one responsible for the murder.

Gastro, not satisfied with the answer, cuts off two of the Governor’s fingers and asks the question again. The Imperial, now screaming in pain, remains consistent with his answer. K’ladarien acknowledges that he is satisfied that the Imperial is telling the truth, explaining that his own extensive investigation has not implicated anybody else. Gastro moves to finish the job by cutting the Imperial’s throat, but K’ladarien catches him by the arm and insists that he wants to have the pleasure of torturing him further and having the killing blow. K’ladarien thanks the crew for their assistance, and provides a payment in credits, though he keeps half of the payment to pay for medical expenses due to the broken leg.

As the crew heads back to their ship, they notice an Imperial troop transport landing nearby. Assuming these are reinforcements responding to the attack, Ney calls K’ladarien on his comlink and warns him that he may be running out of time. The crew then quickly boards their ship and departs before the Imperials have a chance to ground any ships trying to leave.

Once on their ship and jumping to their next destination, the Second Chance is violently ripped out of hyperspace and surrounded by several ships. A rough voice comes over the comm channel:

“Why hello there, Second Chance. You may have changed ships, but now that the Imperials let everyone know you’re still alive, it wasn’t too hard to track you down. I’ll make this real simple for you – hand over the witch and we’ll let the rest of you go. If you refuse, we’ll blow that ship of yours into space dust. You have 60 seconds to shut down your engines and prepare for coupling to transfer her.”

While the crew tries to frantically decide on a course of action, Mallinia speaks up and says she will go with them willingly. The crew argues with her at first, but she assures them that she knows what she is doing, and hints that she knows the bounty hunters are taking her back to Dathomir to see her mother. The ships dock, Mallinia leaves her weapons behind and goes peacefully with the bounty hunters, and they disappear into hyperspace as the rest of the crew watches, feeling somewhat helpless.

Deciding Mallinia’s mention of location was more than a subtle hint, the crew heads to Dathomir. Soon after arriving, as they are gathering their bearings and deciding their next move, Utut gets a strange feeling – It was almost like a loud scream from Mallinia, followed by a burst of energy, but then silence. He’s not sure what it means or where it came from, but the message is clear: Mallinia needs help or they have seen her for the last time.

With that insight, the crew gathers their gear and heads through the jungle towards the Nightsister village where they were once held prisoner. With his familiarity of the planet and village and his survival skills, Utut is able to find the village without too much trouble. They see smoke in the distance as they near the village. Gastro sneaks in for a closer look and sees total destruction – bodies are scattered across the ground, shacks have been leveled, debris litters the ground, and small fires have broken out in a few spots.

Having some familiarity with explosives, Ney moves to the center of the blast site to investigate the source. At ground zero of the explosion is Mallinia, unconscious but breathing. Utut moves to provide some medical attention, and upon touching her, sees of a vision of what happened leading up to this moment:

_As Mallinia enters her village she sees her mother waiting for her.

Mallinia: Why are you still chasing me? You know it is not good for me to stay here. You know what happened last time you tried this.

Clan Mother Malisa: We must complete your training. You are destined to take over and lead your sisters.

Mallinia: No mother. That is where you are wrong. You need to find another. Last time you tried this the village was nearly destroyed. The way the energy flows here is wrong. Channeling it the way you want me to fuels my hatred and fear. I cannot control myself when I use the energy this way. You are trying to make me become someone I know I am not. Helping people is where I belong. Not stuck here feeding off the weak.

Clan Mother Malisa: This discussion is over. You will continue your training and your friends will be killed. The order is already given and the sisters should be moving in now.

Mallinia: No!_

They revive Mallinia, but she is still disoriented and weak from the exertion. She does insist it’s very important they all leave right now before other Nightsisters arrive to investigate the blast. The crew heads back towards their ship. With some efficient and quick movement through the jungle, they manage to get far enough away from the village before the other Nightsisters can pick up their trail and follow them.

Before they get to their ship, however, some movement in the brush interrupt their hike. Out of the dense vegetation comes a large creature resembling a dewback. A top the creature rides a woman with red hair dressed armor fashioned from a variety of animal skins. She wears a necklace of rancor teeth and holds a blaster pistol aimed at you.

“Well well, what do we have here? Some more off world scum looking to tarnish Dathomir’s natural beauty? Let me get a better look at you.” She eases her mount a bit closer to the group, gun still aimed in a threatening manner. A look of confusion comes over her face as she sees Tiro and Utut. “Hrmmm.. You look… familiar somehow… Do I know you?”

Tiro recognizes her as Regan, a friend of their former crewmate Minis and someone they competed against in the Rancor Games. He answers her question directly, admitting that they do know one another from that encounter.

“Ah yes, you’re the ones from the Rancor Games! You killed my crew, Minis, and left me for dead! Well, I’m not dead. In fact, I’ve gotten in touch with my primitive side and made some new friends!” She lets out a whistle and several large lizard type creatures come out from the bushes and surround the group. “And now, you will join Minis and the rest of them, your last breath taken on Dathomir!”

Ney unleashes a bola that tangles Regan and knocks her off her mount. Mallinia, who had left her weapons behind when she was taken by the bounty hunters, runs over to Regan unarmed. In a brutal display of strength and perhaps still enhanced by the Force powers she used to destroy the Nightsister village, Mallinia rips off Regan’s arm with her bare hands. Regan begs for mercy, asking that she be allowed to return to her life here in the jungle with her pets. Seemingly triggered by the pleas for mercy, Gastro moves to finish her off. Not wanting to murder someone begging for their life, Tiro quickly slithers up to Gastro and attaches a restraining bolt to stop him in his tracks. Mallinia hands the severed arm back to Regan and she’s allowed to disappear back into the jungle with her pets.

Back on their ship, the crew receives a call from Bria Tharen, their Rebel contact. She invites them to the Cluster Cantina on Nar Shadda to discuss their situation. Upon arriving at the cantina, the group find themselves in a nondescript, typical cantina just like hundreds of others in the galaxy. Mallinia and Utut approach the bartender and order Tatooine Sunrise with a side of Blue Milk – the code phrase given to them by Bria. The bartender gives them a knowing nod and serves up the drinks. A few minutes later, the group is led into a back room by a protocol droid.

The back rooms are not at all like the front of the bar. The halls are well lit, the floors are clean, and secure-looking doors lead to several rooms off the main hallway. The droid punches a security code into a door panel and they enter a large conference room. Bria Tharen is waiting for them and greets them.

Bria explains that this bar is a hidden safe house for the Rebellion. She tells them that the despite the Empire being after the crew, they do not have a bounty out for them because the Empire wants to deal with them personally. She explains that everyone they have ever worked for or who has assisted them is now in danger, and she offers to help get those people to safety. If the crew needs to protect someone, they can bring them to the Cluster Cantina, and the Rebels will find somewhere safe for them to go. The bartender and owner, a man named Jefftin Rhewel, will be their contact person here and able to help them with whatever they need.

As the meeting ends, an urgent call comes in from Lando. He explains that Aris has been murdered and asks that the crew head there immediately to assist with the investigation.

GM: Steve
XP Awarded: 15 XP (Base)
5 XP MVP Bonus: Gastro
5 XP RP Bonus: Mallinia

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