Having ditched the stolen Imperial shuttle, recovered their ships from Bakura, and kept Caston Kale out of public sight, the crew of the Second Chance cruise through space contemplating their next move. Up to this point, Kale has been mostly quiet about what he knows, as he seems to be having a hard time believing he’s finally free again.
As a couple days pass, Kale seems to realize that he is truly free from the Imperial prison, and that he just might be able to stay that way. As he lets his defenses down a bit and enjoys a few frosty alcoholic beverages, he seems more inclined to discuss just what he knows…
A call from Bria Tharen gives the crew the guidance they need:
“Well done, I knew if anybody could pull that off, it would be you. So now you’re probably wondering what Kale knows. And I’m guessing he hasn’t volunteered the information. So I’ll volunteer it for him.
One of Kale’s ancestors was a key advisor to Giradda the Hutt, a notorious and especially gluttonous Hutt during the Old Republic era. Giradda’s name has mostly faded away to time, but one obscure legend remains – before he died, Giradda supposedly stashed away a treasure of immense value. Treasure hunters have searched high and low for this legendary treasure, with no success. It’s been given up on by now, thought to not truly exist. Well, it exists. And Caston there knows where it is. Or at least how to find it. The secret has been passed down through his family for generations, and now it’s time recover it before it’s truly lost forever. Good luck.”
As the crew then approaches Kale with this insight, he’s amused:
“Hah! I knew it! Someone finally figured it out. I thought for sure I would die in that jail and the treasure would never be found. Yeah, I know how to find it, but it won’t be easy. And I figure I do owe you something for breaking me out of that hell hole. But I will need something more out of this. You let me have a big enough chunk of the treasure that I can disappear into the galaxy and never be found again, and I’ll tell you everything I know about how to find it. We have a deal?” Of course, the crew agrees to his offer.
Kale explains that they’re going to need two things to track down the treasure: its hidden location and the key to open the vault. The location is hidden among clues within Giradda’s long abandoned palace located on Nal Hutta. The clues are said to be spread among 3 locations within the palace: its highest point, its lowest point, and Giradda’s favorite spot. The Second Chance heads to Nal Hutta to track down these clues.
Upon landing on Nal Hutta, learning the location of the abandoned palace is not difficult. The crew does have to fight off some hostile chemilizards during the trek through dense swamp as they make their way to the palace. During the battle, Utut demonstrates extraordinary jumping prowess by leaping over the violently thrashing tail of one of the chemilizards. After the fight, he informs the rest of the crew he was a jump rope champion back on Tatooine several years ago. The rest of the journey to the palace is uneventful.
As they enter the abandoned and run down palace, it doesn’t take long to realize they’re not alone. Not only have a variety of pests and rodents built nests here, but a group of squatters have taken up residence. They confront the party as intruders, but are obviously being defensive of their turf and not looking for a fight. The party leverages their new found fame to convince the squatters that they mean no harm and are only there looking for some lost clues. The squatters agree to allow the group free movement of the palace on one condition – a friendly game of Huttball!
Giradda had a Huttball arena built into his palace, and the squatters and party face off in a fierce competition of the sport that was widely popular during the Old Republic era. With weapons set to stun, dangerous shock traps, and high powered fans launching people into the air in random directions, the Huttball was thrown around several times as each team tries to cross the opponents’ goal line. In the end, the crew emerge victorious – not by scoring, but by rendering the entire squatter team unconscious during the battle that is part of the sport.
After recovering from the battle, the squatters praise the crew’s skill and thank them for engaging them in the sport. They point to the spectator booth high above the Huttball arena and mention that it was Giradda’s own personal viewpoint for observing the matches. The crew climbs up to investigate further, and discover the first clue – an etching written in Huttese and engraved with golden stone. The crew took a few holoimages and a tracing of the etching for further interpretation later.
With one clue down, there were two to go – the highest and lowest points. The squatters answered the crew’s question about these possibilities by pointing out the long non-functional elevator shaft. Upwards, the shaft leads to a spire atop the palace. Downwards leads to a dark and ominous underground chamber which the squatters have not ventured to explore, but report strange sounds coming from on occasion.
The group decides to try the spire first. After doing some mechanical diagnosis and repairs, Tiro manages to activate the elevator lift to a point that it rises from the lower level to the ground level, though it won’t go any higher than that due to warps railings above. Still, having the lift higher up means a shorter fall, which comes in handy when Mallinia loses he grip as she tries to scale the inside of the shaft and falls. A second attempt proves successful, and another etching is recorded as the second clue.
Lastly, the crew rides the now functional lift down into the bowels of the palace. Whereas the ground level of the palace had plenty of sunlight coming through broken windows and spacious skylights, the lower level is pitch black. Utut pulls out his handy fusion lantern to provide limited light as the group carefully makes their way down a twisting hallway.
The hallway ends in what appears to be a large room, the light source not revealing the far side of it. As the first member of the group steps into the room, a clicking noise echoes off the metallic walls, and the lights go on to reveal a large round arena with smaller rooms attached in each direction. From the far room comes the sound of large footsteps, as a huge robotic creature emerges into to the arena. Resembling a robotic rancor, the monstrosity has an enormous metallic jaw, a huge razor sharp claw attached to one arm, and a flamethrower attached to the end of the other arm!
The crew scatters around the room as the mechanical rancor moves forward to attack. They suspect the markings they’re looking for are in one of the smaller rooms surrounding the main room. Ducking in and out of cover and into the smaller rooms, they find nothing of note at first, until Mallinia finds an opening in the floor of the room directly opposite the entrance. She quickly descends and finds the marking, taking a snapshot and etching of it.
Meanwhile, the rest of the crew decides it’s better to try and defensively dodge the rancor rather than engage it. While the rancor cannot fit into the smaller side rooms, its flamethrower could easily flood those rooms with fire, burning anyone inside. Utut makes a valiant attempt to climb atop the rancor’s back to find a weakness, but slips and falls beneath the droid’s giant feet. As Mallinia rejoins the group, they pick up Utut and charge down the hallway away from the creature. With a final deafening clanking of its metal claw, the rancor unleashes a huge stream of fire down the hallway towards the fleeing group. While most of the group manages to duck behind corners or hide behind debris and avoid most of the blast, some of their clothing does catch on fire and they put it out before any severe damage can be done.
The group, now scorched and out of breath, ride back up the elevator lift where they are greeted by the awe struck squatters. The squatters offer some food and tend to their wounds in exchange for hearing the tale of the great robo rancor that has lived in the basement of their adopted home for many years.
With all three clues now in their possession, the crew thanks the squatter group for their help and head back to the Second Chance. It hasn’t been easy, but they are now one step closer to finding Giradda’s treasure.
XP Awarded: 20 XP