Star Wars - Geeks and Gamers Guild

Holocron, Chapter 9
A Hunt For Spicers

“I knew this was too good to be true.”

Cotan’s words echoed around the Cloud City warehouse where he and his companions were expecting to pick up a shipment for a simple smuggling run. The run would have paid for some much-needed repairs to the Fang, new equipment and armor, and even a little left over for each of them.

Instead, they found their contact shot dead, and a host of nasty barabel thugs pointing weapons in their direction. But the barabels apparently weren’t expecting them either, and both sides paused for a heartbeat, staring at the other in surprise. Then, as if per an unseen signal, both sides raised blasters and the firefight commenced.

Mathus took pot shots at the thugs as he ran for the cover of the warehouse office, Tarwarrick on his heels laying down suppression fire. Blaster bolts rained around them, not from the barabels they had seen, but from above. Peeking out from behind a stack of crates, Tarwarrick spotted another barabel with a blaster rifle perched atop the warehouse cargo crane. From there, he had a nearly unobstructed view of the entire building. Cotan and Jalik saw him as well, and began firing at the sniper, trying to keep him pinned down.

Zindra began sneaking through the maze of crates and shipping containers, hoping to flank their enemies and catch them in a crossfire. Rounding a shipping container she came face to face with a barabel who apparently had the same idea. Firing from the hip, the rodian scout blasted the thug in the chest; he crumpled to the floor in a smoking heap. At the sound, three more barabel rounded the corner. Without hesitating, Zindra pulled a frag grenade from her belt and rolled it towards the thugs, then turned and ran the way she came.

Mathus heard the sound of a frag grenade explode on the other side of the warehouse as he examined the crane control panel. Beside him, Tarwarrick laid down fire that so far had kept the barabel from overrunning the small office. Flicking a switch, Mathus used a control stick to begin lowering the crane. The sniper shouldered his rifle and dropped prone, hanging on for dear life as Mathus swung the crane to and fro, trying to dislodge him. Finally a blaster bolt from Jalik’s pistol dropped the sniper to the warehouse floor with a sickening crunch.

Cotan came running around the corner towards Mathus and Tarwarrick, almost taking a blaster bolt from the wookie’s rifle. The crazy twi’lek was leading a grav sled fully loaded with Alderaanian ale; their cargo for the smuggling run. Tarwarrick hooted at him angrily, gesturing to his rifle. “What, you didn’t think we were just gonna leave it, did you?”, smirked Cotan.

Jalik had been following the sound of blaster fire moving towards him and figured the barabel were pursuing Zindra. He was able to cover her as she made her way towards him, again flinging a frag grenade behind her as she dove for cover. The pursuing barabel saw the grenade in time to dodge its effects, but Jalik pegged a shot that struck one of them in the chest, dropping him. Zindra took off again in the direction of their companions. As Jalik turned to follow he took a blaster bolt in the back from the barabel that staggered him even through his armor.

Back in the warehouse office, Mathus had gained access to the surveillance system and discovered two more barabel were creeping down the back hallway that led from the office to their shuttle on the landing dock. They would be at the office door in moments! He quickly pulled a frag grenade, set the timer, and chucked it through the doorway into the hall. He waited expectantly for the blast that didn’t come; apparently this was one of the dud grenades they’d picked up during their adventures on Coruscant. He cursed Kaa’to Leechos, Black Sun and Zelcomm Industries all in one breath as he dropped to the floor for cover and shouted a warning to his two teammates.

Tarwarrick slipped out the door, hoping to circle the office and catch the barabel in a crossfire. Cotan crouched in the doorway, trying to cover the warehouse from the direction they came. Mathus, out of frag grenades, pulled a stun grenade and again rolled it into the hallway. A satisfying whump! was followed by a barabel curse. “Got at least one of them”, he thought, as blaster bolts came lancing into the office, shooting up the desk across the room. “But not both.”

Tarwarrick heard the stun grenade explode and wondered if he’d be picking pieces of the foolhardy mechanic off the deck again. He crept forward and saw another of the barabel crouched behind cover. In a flash the wookie was on him, scooping him up in a bearhug that squeezed the breath out of him, then dropping him and clubbing him across the head with a giant wookie arm. Tarwarrick roared as he grabbed the barabel’s wrists and set his foot firmly on the stunned creature’s chest. A quick yank yielded twin snapping sounds as the barabel’s arms were pulled from their sockets. Tarwarrick released him and the thug sunk to the floor with a moan, clearly unconscious.

Mathus slipped his last stun grenade from his belt, kissed it for luck and rolled it into the hallway. The blast nearly deafened him and was strong enough to crack the glass windows of the office. Carefully peering out, he was rewarded with the sight of the second barabel slumped over the first, clearly unconscious. He shouted back, “It’s all clear; let’s move!” as he ran into the hallway to disarm the thugs.

Zindra and Jalik came into view, hobbling across the warehouse floor towards the office. The rodian was supporting Jalik; clearly he’d taken a wound during the firefight. Cotan and Tarwarrick lay down covering fire against the two barabel still in pursuit. The wookie shot one, knocking him backwards, and Cotan’s well aimed blaster bolt caught him in the face, dropping him. The last barabel took one last look at them before turning and running.

The party laid Jalik atop the cargo sled and quickly moved it down the hall and into their shuttle. Cotan ran a hasty pre-flight and had them in the air in seconds. But they were immediately swarmed by armed cloud cars carrying the markings of the local constabulary. They were forced to land and were quickly boarded. The constables found the cargo (which they hadn’t time to hide) and opened one of the sealed containers. Inside, instead of the ale they thought they were smuggling, the constables found bricks of Kessel spice, a highly addictive and highly illegal narcotic.

Clearly they’d been set up again.

The party sat huddled miserably in an interrogation room when a rough looking human entered, wearing the uniform of a Sector Marshal. He introduced himself as Marek Quay. After dutifully rattling off the charges against them, he explained that he’d been on the trail of a large spice ring, a shipment of which they had been carrying. The party’s protests of being jumped while picking up a legitimate shipment for transport were waved away by the marshal; while he apparently believed they were not a part of the spice ring, he clearly wasn’t going to just let them walk.

Quay explained that he wanted the party to work with him to expose the smuggling ring. In exchange, all current and prior charges would be dropped against them in this sector, and they’d have access to the constable’s medical facilities to patch themselves up after the warehouse gunfight. Depending on their results, there could even be a small reward in it for them. With no real choice, the party agreed. They were given a credit chit with 5000 cred for expenses, and a transponder they could use to call in the cavalry once they’d found something Quay could use against the ring.

Their first mission was to investigate the apartment of a known associate of the ring, a human named Kavin Rel. He was apparently the contact they found dead in the warehouse. They needed to find out what he knew about the smugglers.

The party took a speeder taxi to a crappy part of the city and headed to Rel’s apartment. Mathus was unable to hack the upgraded lock on the door, so Cotan bribed the superintendent with 200 credits to let them in. Mathus began hacking the man’s computers and data pads while the rest of the party searched the apartment.

Mathus found a com transmission from Rel to a Toydarian named Weeko on the planet Vancor, with coordinates for the delivery of the spice shipment. There was a second com, threatening Rel if he dealt with Weeko. Rel had been able to trace this com to a person known as Stim, apparently a member of something known as the Brotherhood Mortalis. Stim also told Rel that if the shipment was late, there would be problems. The shipment was due on Vancor in seven days.

The companions headed back to their ship and contacted Quay. After telling him what they found, he asked them to check out a bar called the Skifter that members of the Brotherhood Mortalis were known to frequent. The party headed over.

The Skifter was a rough bar, apparently frequented by bounty hunters and mercenaries. There was a small seating area in front with a bar running along the right side. Scanning the crowd, Mathus noticed a familiar face. A scruffy looking human named Pit Dual sat at a table watching the holos over the bar. He had run a few jobs for Teemo; Mathus had met him several times at the Hutt’s compound on Tattooine.

The party went over and Mathus made introductions. Dual seemed surprised to see the mechanic on Cloud City, but not overly suspicious. Mathus brought up the topic of the Brotherhood, and Dual motioned over a large, scary-looking human missing half an ear and with a scar running down his cheek whom he introduced as Stim. Dual told them that Stim often brokered contracts for jobs for Miraga the Hutt.

The group spoke with Stim, letting him know they had the cargo originally offered by Kavin Rel, and they were willing to sell to the Brotherhood. They made arrangements to meet at a cargo depot nearby.

Wary of a trap, the party armored up as best they could before heading out. They were met at the depot by three big humans in armor, toting blaster rifles. Jalik noticed that the armor pieces were connected to a small backpack via a series of clear tubes. Each of the humans tapped a control pad on their wrist, and a substance flowed through the tubes. The soldiers seemed to swell in their armor, becoming bigger, more muscular, and much more scary. Tarwarrick hooted in distress as the figures charged, blasters firing!

The party scrambled for cover. Cotan took two blaster bolts in the chest and immediately went down. Mathus jabbed a stimpak into the unconscious twi’lek as he shot one of the armored men in the face. Tarwarrick charged the man, his axe poised above his head. The armored man took the full brunt of the axe blow and still remained standing.

Zindra and Jon opened fire on the other two men. Cotan managed to pull his blaster from the ground and shoot his attacker, dropping him in a heap. Another of the armored figures stepped over and curb stomped the twi’lek, knocking him unconscious again, before being staggered by fire from Zindra’s blaster rifle.

The third merc charged Tarwarrick, hitting him with a devastating shot. Zindra and Mathus both blasted him, the mechanic pausing to stim Cotan again. Tarwarrick traded blows with the second merc, until Jalik shouted for him to get out of the way. The gun for hire opened up his blaster rifle on full auto mode, gunning the two remaining mercs down in a cascade of blaster fire.

The group signaled Marek, and the marshal was on the scene in minutes. He examined the mercenaries carefully. Their gear was custom, and untraceable. He was unable to identify the chemicals from the backpacks. He did find a data message from Stim to the mercs, telling them to pick up the cargo and erase the witnesses. Further examination of the mercs revealed that each had a tattoo that Jalik recognized as common with Imperial Special Forces soldiers.

Marek gave the group an extensive pep talk and sent them to make the drop to Weeko on Vancor, then follow the shipment to see who the Hutt was selling it to. The party returned to the Krayt Fang and headed for Vancor.

After a short journey the party arrived in the Uziel system and the planet Vancor. They encountered a lot of ship traffic as they were directed to a landing zone on the southern continent. Apparently there was a large hunting festival going on, and the hutts were using it as a cover for the spice transaction.

Upon landing, the party contacted the Toydarian, Weeko. He explained about the gundark hunt; a large prize was being offered by Miraga the Hutt for the hunter who killed or captured the biggest, best gundark. The hunt took place in a large preserve over the course of three days. There were parties and events scheduled throughout for the hunters and their retinues.

The party was paid and transferred the cargo to Weeko, who directed it be loaded onto Miraga’s star yacht. The party decided that the best way to complete their mission and get free of Marek Quay was to enter Zindra in the gundark hunt. Mathus and Bender would be biographers, and the rest of the party would pose as her assistants and crew. They secured three invitations to a pre-hunt festival onboard the hutt’s yacht, and Zindra, Cotan and Mathus got dressed up and headed over with Bender in tow.

The party was centered in the yacht’s greatroom. The hutt herself was sprawled out on a large dais at the head of the room, overlooking the revelry. A phalanx of gammoreans encircled the base of the dais, watchful for any threats. Servants will food and drink trays circulated freely about the room, weaving among the odd mix of bounty hunters, landed gentry, sportsmen and criminals that made up the hunt’s participants.

Mathus and Bender excused themselves to try and locate an astrogation console, while Zindra and Cotan mingled among the guests. The rodian and twi’lek overheard desperate groups who had risked all they had for a chance at the prizes the hutt was offering, and other groups who were concerned not as much at the dangers the gundarks posed as their fellow hunters. Apparently, “accidents” during the hunt were frequent occurrences.

Mathus was able to access the ship’s schematics, and noted locations of astrogation consoles in the cargo hold and the Master Stateroom (which was different than the Captain’s Quarters). He and the R5 droid headed for the stateroom, figuring it offered a better chance of being unoccupied. He easily hacked the hatch to Miraga’s quarters, and with Bender’s help was able to access the astrogation terminal and com ports. Apparently one of the yacht’s skiffs was to be used in the hunt, and would transfer the spice to a contact within the preserve. Mathus got the coordinates and time for the drop, and also noticed that the buyer’s contact used an Imperial com frequency. Disconnecting, the pair headed back to meet Zindra and Cotan.

Zindra was surveying the crowd when she noticed an unmistakable figure. Dressed as a servant, the large human with the busted ear and scarred face was definitely Stim. The rodian began casually shifting through the crowd, trying to keep the merc in sight. He seemed to sense he was being observed; he ditched his serving tray and ducked through a service hatch. Alerting Cotan, the pair silently followed him down to a storage area. There, they saw two other mercs huddled over a third, who was sweating and shaking severely. One of them looked up as Stim entered and said, “He needs juice, man. None of us are going to make it much longer if we don’t get some!”. The man on the floor convulsed several times and lay still, apparently dead. Zindra and Cotan made a hasty retreat.

The group reunited and decided to investigate the main hold. There they found much of the yacht’s staff bustling around in preparation for the hunt. Off to the side was a large skiff being provisioned, surrounded by many well-armed guards.

The group returned to the Fang and contacted the marshal, telling them everything they had learned. The marshal emphasized that they needed to get a record of the spice transaction in order to seal the case and earn their freedom. Resigned, they retired to prepare for the hunt in the morning.

The festive atmosphere of the previous night’s revelry carried over to the following morning. Hunting teams were lined up at the entrance to the preserve as gawkers and celebrants, many who were clearly still partying from the previous night, circulated between them. The companions sat in the hunting skiff provided for them; Cotan at the controls with Mathus beside him, Tarwarrick and Bender in the central seats, and Zindra and Jalik perched on the raised gunner platforms at the skiff’s rear. All were nervously looking around at the competition, trying to discern if any of them had bad intentions once the hunt began.

A horn sounded loudly three times, and the revelers and staff were cleared from the entry. After several minutes, another horn sounded long and loud, the gates to the preserve were flung open, and the gundark hunt began!

Holocron, Chapter 5
Star Wars Holiday Special II

“So tell me again why we’re going back to Tattooine?”

Skara turned to give Mathus an irritated look as the mechanic flopped into the copilot’s seat in the Krayt Fang’s cockpit.

“I’ve explained this already. Tarwarrick wants us to meet him on Kashyyyk for Life Day, and he’s arranged for a Krayt Dragon egg which, as I understand it, is a treasured delicacy at these celebrations. We’re going to fly in, unload some of the cargo we brought from Coruscant, pick up the egg, and be on our merry in no time.” The bounty hunter scratched the back of her head nervously as she looked over the instruments. “That’s the plan.”

“Umm-hmm”, replied Mathus, sounding none too convinced.

“That’s the plan”, Skara reiterated more firmly. “We’re about to come out of hyperspace; shouldn’t you be back in engineering?”

“Bender’s got it. I’ve been fine-tuning his astrogation routines; this’ll be good practice for him.”

Skara’s permanent scowl got slightly deeper. The R5 droid was already decent at astrogation; Skara wasn’t sure how she felt about the mechanic tinkering with it. Mathus could be a mad genius with machines, but he was prone to bad luck like no one she’d ever seen.

She focused on the board. “Coming out of hyperspace…”

The starlines outside of the canopy changed back into familiar points of light as the ship resumed normal space. The mottled sphere of tan and rust that was Tattooine hung off in the distance. Skara was checking the board when impacts rocked the ship. Two mismatched fighters flew past the freighter’s canopy, then began to come around for another pass.

“Raiders! Get back to engineering!” Skara balanced the shields as she looked at the scope. Three bandits total; two in front and one more coming up from behind. Just great.

Mathus exited the cockpit at a run, bouncing off the bulkhead padding as he entered the ship’s central ring. “Cheim! We need you in the turrets!” He ran back to engineering to find Bender plugged into the central engineering console. The droid beeped and warbled at him.

“No I don’t know who they are. And what do you mean ‘this time’?” The mechanic looked over the readouts and was satisfied by what he saw. “Looks like you’ve got this, pal. Just keep the shields up. I’m going to help Cheim in the turrets.”

Normally Skara and Tarwarrick would man the ships weapons, but with the wookie home with his family and their pilot Pash off on business of his own, they were short a few crew members. Mathus met Cheim at the turret ladder. The gand muttered something to Mathus, but was almost unintelligible behind his breathing apparatus. “What?”, the mechanic asked. Cheim pointed up, then down rapidly while cocking his head. “Oh! I don’t care. Which one do you like?”

The gand answered by sliding down the ladder into the belly turret, leaving Mathus to climb up to the topside gun.

The mechanic warmed up the guns as Skara slid right, then snap rolled left to try and shake their assailants. The sound of blaster fire bouncing off their shields was amplified in the gun turrets. Mathus looked over the targeting computer, then swung his gun around to the rear of the ship as one of the raiders was lining up for a pass. Quad laser fire from below the ship showed Cheim was thinking the same. The pair bracketed the incoming fighter until Cheim blew off one of his wings. The ship spiraled out of control for several seconds before exploding.

Skara’s voice came over the com. “Two more up ahead!”

Mathus slung the turret around as the ships began firing. Both of them stayed topside even as Skara rolled to ship to try and give both turrets a firing line. Mathus concentrated on one the ships and managed to score a minor hit on it. The other had a free run and made the most of it. Laser fire raked the ship and internal klaxons began to sound as the shields were overloaded.

Skara continued to roll the ship, bringing the wounded fighter into Cheim’s field of vision. The gand keyed a quad blast that left the fighter nothing but a cloud of superheated gasses. The final fighter knew when it was outmatched and sped away. Skara turned the ship around and pointed it at Tattooine.

“He says it’s gonna be a couple of hours to get the ship patched up.” Mathus had just been speaking to the Toydarian mechanic at the Anchorhead spaceport. “He can’t let me help; union rules or something. The Hutts are pretty strict about this stuff.”

They had brought the damaged ship in with no difficulties. While the spaceport mechanic looked over the damage with Mathus, Skara had sold their cargo and contacted the dealer of the Krayt Dragon egg. She’d arranged to pick it up after the ship repairs were done; leaving it onboard while unknown mechanics were crawling around the ship seemed like a bad idea.

They left Bender to supervise the repairs and headed for the local cantina. Entering, they found the locals in the midst of a Life Day celebration. The place was decorated with red tapestries and crystal ornaments, and even a holographic Tree of Life. There was typical Life Day fare; hot chocolate, orga root, wookie cookies and iced cream. Several wookies were in attendance, hoisting two-liter crocks of elba beer and singing at the top of their considerable lungs as they celebrated their planet’s most sacred holiday. Mathus was intrigued and went over to investigate.

The rest of the crew struck up a conversation with another couple of adventurers: Zindra, a rodian scout and Cotan, a Twi’lek scoundrel. After several minutes of conversation, they began to notice a group of thuggish looking individuals; humans, barabels and aqualish, filtering into the bar trying to look inconspicuous. Skara heard Cotan mutter “uh oh” under his breath as the leader, a grimy-looking human, approached their table.

“Well, if it isn’t Cotan. I’m surprised to find you at the spaceport, considering all the money you owe the Hutts. One might get the impression you were looking to go off-planet, and that would be a terrible misunderstanding. For you.

“And Zindra! Still hanging around with this tentacle-headed loser? I thought you at least were smarter than that.” The rodian simply stared at the man, her impassive eyes unblinking.

They all turned in surprise when Mathus, inspired by the spirit of Life Day, began participating enthusiastically in the wookie singing, warbling along at the top of his lungs while chewing on the mildly psychtropic orga root. Cotan took the opportunity to sucker-punch the lead thug, and the melee was on!

The ruffians concentrated on keeping Skara, Cheim, and their new friends pinned in the corner alcove where they sat. That plan fell apart when two of the wookies, directed by Mathus, stormed into the crowd and grabbed several of the thugs and began shaking them mightily or slamming them into one another. Cheim dove for the floor as he pulled a hypo of neuroparalitic from his belt and slammed it into the first unfamiliar ankle he saw. A barabel howled and toppled over as he lost all feeling in his legs.

The lead thug drew a blaster and snapped off a shot at Cotan as the twi’lek dove for cover. The barkeep began shouting “no blasters!” ineffectually as Cotan and Skara opened fire. The remaining cantina patrons scurried for the exists as the brawl devolved into an all-out firefight.

Finally, after several of the thugs were downed, the rest retreated to the rear of the bar and finally fled off into the mazelike alleys of Anchorhead. The crew was amazed to find they had no serious injuries for once. They made a hasty retreat from the cantina before law enforcement arrived, inviting Zindra and Cotan to join them. After splitting up and strolling nonchalantly for an hour to be sure the coast was clear, they rendezvoused outside the shop of the Krayt dragon egg dealer.

The first sign that something was wrong was the broken lock on the shopkeep’s door. Rushing in, they found the place in shambles and the proprietor, Drom, unconscious on the floor. After a quick stimpack injection from Cheim, the man informed them that he heard the disturbance coming from the cantina down the block and was going to lock up the shop when several men burst in and roughed him up. No one was surprised to find that the Krayt dragon egg was missing.

The crew spread out and asked any locals if they had seen anything suspicious at the time of the robbery. Apparently several high-end shops had been hit. Witnesses reported seeing several banthas pulling what appeared to be a large sleigh carrying an enormous sack heading out into the Jundland Wastes. Many of the shop owners were offering a reward for the return of their merchandise. The crew quickly rented a speeder and took off in pursuit of the thieves.

The tracks were easy to follow at first, but began to melt away in the shifting sands of the desert. Just as they had almost disappeared, Zindra spied a sandcrawler off in the distance along the route they were travelling. Cotan gunned the speeder’s engine and they raced towards the distant vehicle.

They pulled up alongside the stationary sandcrawler as several jawas turned to meet them. Zindra spoke to one of the creatures, asking about the bantha sleigh, but the jawa replied only that they should “Go away; Bumble isn’t happy”. Zindra tried to get more information from the creatures with little success.

As the conversation went on, the rest of the crew examined their surroundings. Skara noticed someone in a high window in the sandcrawler trying to get their attention. Zindra’s conversation with the jawa ended as the creatures turned and entered the sandcrawler, a large blast door slamming shut behind them.

Skara pointed out the window to the party. She then climbed the sandcrawler’s exterior, hoping to find a way in topside. Meanwhile, Mathus examined the outer door controls to the sandcrawler and began to hack into the system. Skara dropped back down to the ground after finding no way in above just as the outer door to the sandcrawler swung open. Mathus grinned proudly.

The bottom floor of the crawler was a mess of droids in various states of disrepair. A jawa milling around was quickly and quietly subdued. The party quickly rifled through the parts but found nothing of value, then headed up the stairs to the second level. There they ran into two more jawas, who began chattering angrily at them. Skara stunned one of the creatures and the other one flipped out. It took off running, pausing only long enough to activate an assassin droid.

Mathus began trying to take control of the droid when it shot his datapad out of his hand. The party retreated, throwing a frag grenade at the droid as they ran. The droid did not seem inclined to pursue. They continued through the sandcrawler as quietly as they could until they rounded a corner and came face to no-face with a large party of armed jawas. Cotan quickly lobbed in a stun grenade that knocked all of the creatures prone. Mathus ran in and began disarming the jawas until several of them awoke and shot him. As the mechanic toppled out of the way, Skara and Zindra opened fire, their blaster rifles set to full auto. Mathus rallied long enough to arm another stun grenade, then heroically hurled himself into the jawa’s midst, trying to catch all of them in the grenade’s blast. Unfortunately he tripped over one of the fallen bodies and fell face first on the grenade, stunning no one but himself.

The rest of the crew continued to fire upon the jawas until they had all fallen or fled. They released the prisoner, a very short human who introduced himself as Hermey. As introductions were completed, the crew heard a thudding sound, growing louder as it approached. From around the corner, Bumble the wampa came into view and charged the party. As the crew fled, they tried to lead Bumble back to where they left the assassin droid, hoping the two would fight it out and they could escape in the confusion. Hermey said that he could even control the assassin droid.

The crew retraced their steps to the assassin droid, the wampa in furious pursuit. They found the assassin droid where they left it, and Hermey was quickly able to take control and send it into combat against the wampa. The wampa shook of the initial assault and kept coming, prompting the rest of party to also open fire. Cheim did his best to keep the party upright during the battle, until finally Zindra was able to drop the wampa for good.

Mathus called Bender to bring the Fang to their current location, so Cheim could access the ship’s medical bay and patch up the crew. While they waited, Hermey told them the sled had stopped at the sandcrawler, but had continued on towards the Northern Pillar. Once the party was patched up, Bender gave Hermey a lift back to Anchorhead in the Fang as the crew continued on in their speeder towards the Northern Pillar.

As they approached the Pillar, Cotan stopped the speeder. Skara got out and raised her macrobinoculars. “Yeah, I see it. It’s a big sled, just like the folks in town said. They’re hauling it to the top of the peak; it looks like they plan on heaving it over. We’d better get over there qui…” She was cut off as the zoomed in figure of a Tusken Raider rose before her an whacked her across the head with a gaderffii. Several more approached the group; Cotan gunned the speeder’s engine and attempted to run them down unsuccessfully.

The crew quickly spread out and opened fire on the sandpeople. Blasters versus gaderffii was not a fair fight; in no time they were back in the speeder, racing up the peak towards the sleigh. As Cotan maneuvered in close, Skara was able to throw a grappling hook to the sled and secure a tow cable to the speeder. Cotan began to pull the sleigh away from the precipice until the last remaining raider cut the cable. Zindra and Skara unloaded on the creature, then the crew rushed to try and keep the sleigh from falling over the edge. Their combined efforts stopped the sled from sliding any further, but they could not move it back from the edge.

As they struggled, Mathus called upon the spirit of Life Day, and they say his muscles grew three sizes that day. Inch by inch, the sleigh began to move away from the cliff. As it did so, the large stack of stolen goods piled upon it shifted and, in comically slow motion, the Krayt Dragon egg bounced down from the top of the heap, off the sleigh, and out of sight. With the sled now safe, they peered over the edge to see the remains of the egg splattered at the bottom of the cliff.

The party discussed their options. They’d retrieved all the stolen goods except for the one thing they’d really needed. Where could they possibly find another Krayt dragon egg?
Skara pulled out her macrobinoculars and scanned the wastes. A flash of sunlight off something reflective caught her eye. With nothing else to do, the party headed over to investigate.

As they approached, they saw what appeared to be a ship buried in the sand. The flash of light Skara noticed was a reflection from a small portion of exposed windscreen. As they got closer, they also noticed the sleeping form of a Krayt dragon nearby, guarding a nest with three eggs.

The party exited the speeder and investigated the ship as quietly as they could. It appeared to be an intact Hawk 290, but there was no way of knowing if it was functional without getting inside the cockpit. Since the ship was mostly buried, Skara and Mathus tried to open the manual hatch at the top of the ship. The hatch squealed loudly when they began to turn the access wheel, so they withdrew and considered their options.

They decided to have Bender bring the Fang out to their location. Zindra, Cotan and Cheim would distract the dragon while Mathus and Skara snatched an egg and got the buried ship out and away. A couple rounds from the Fang’s belly turret got the dragon’s attention. It flew off after the freighter while Mathus furiously rigged the downed ship and got it running. Skara snatched one of the krayt dragon eggs from the nest, then was able to limp the injured ship back to Mos Eisley. After losing the dragon, the Fang’s crew loaded up the stolen goods from the sleigh before joining them.

After returning the stolen goods and receiving numerous rewards and gifts for doing so, the party found itself with about 8000 credits, plus another 5000 negotiated to take a local, Gavin Darklighter, to Kaskyyk. Discussing their promised discount with the shopkeeper Drom, the party negotiated a hyperspace motivator for the Hawk for 6500 credits, and Mathus estimated it would take another 3500 to get it fully functional. After considering selling it for scrap, the party decided to keep the ship, and left it in Drom’s care for repairs as they headed off on their next adventure.

Holocron, Chapter 4

Kaa’to Leechos was having a bad day.

The nikto bounty hunter and smuggler had worked out a sweet deal. Get funding for a Kessel spice run from the Pyke crime family, then turn around and trade the majority of the shipment to Black Sun in exchange for weapons that he could then sell on the Outer Rim at a ridiculous markup. Keep a little of the spice on the side to grease some wheels as needed; small quantities of the drug were as good as cash in the circles he ran in.

Only suddenly everything was going wrong. The Pykes were onto him, and had put out a bounty for his capture. So far, only a group of ridiculous amateurs had made a play, and then in the most obvious manner possible. One flash of the thermal detonator he kept with him at all times and they’d run like a kicked jawa. Still, he needed to wrap this thing up and get off planet very quickly before someone more qualified came calling.

Then when he’d gone to Zelcom Tower to drop off the shipment and arrange payment, the whole place goes on lockdown as someone shot up the Zelcom offices. He’d wasted no time getting out of there after arranging to meet his backers at his hideout in The Works. Let Zelcom deal with the disturbance; if he wasn’t being paid, it wasn’t his problem.

So now, as he sat in his lair at the kelerium refinery, he saw a ship landing on the loading dock. Why weren’t his contacts using the back entrance as they’d arranged? The answer came soon enough, as the same crew he’d run off at the Umbra Club hopped out of the speeder and made for the office entrance. Well then, this time he’d have to issue something stronger than a warning. He flicked off the monitor as he grabbed his blaster rifle and headed for the catwalks.

“Hi, I’m Charel Sunfell, with the Department of Industrial Inspections. We’re here for your semi-annual spot review.” Mathus flashed the important looking badge Chopper had whipped up from a piece of scrap plating.

The Mustafarian looked at Mathus with unblinking insectoid eyes. The whirs and clicks of his (her?) language were instantly translated by the vocorder worn around her (his?) neck.

“Semi- annual? All previous inspections were done on an annual basis. Our union dues are paid in full, and our last inspection was barely seven months ago.”

“Yeah, change of policy negotiated at the last union conclave. Some serious graft must have changed hands, I’m sure. Anyway, inspections are now semi-annual. You know, for safety.” Mathus tried to strike a balance between an authority figure and an ‘I’m just doing my job’ regular joe.

“This is highly irregular. Perhaps I should inform my supervisor?”

Mathus frowned. “Look, we’ve got a pretty tight schedule, and I don’t want to wait an hour or whatever for the supervisor to get down here. We have the authority to call in the constables and shut this plant down while conducting our inspection. Now, big operation like this, probably take you a day to get back up to full capacity, right?. No one wants that. We can be in and out of here in less than an hour, while you get to keep the operation running. Everybody wins. OK?”

The Mustafarian paused, considering the crew of two humans, a wookie and a gand. Finally he relented. “You may proceed. Please conduct your inspection with all haste.”

Mathus heaved an inward sigh of relief. “Right, will do. We’ll pop back in here once we’re done to issue your report.” Motioning the others to follow, he moved to the plant entrance.

Leechos peered through the sight of his blaster rifle at the plant’s office. Yes, definitely the same crew from the Umbra. He lined up the reticle on the office door, preparing to take them down as they entered the refinery. Once they stepped in, it would be all over.

A warning chime sounded behind him. Someone was coming in the back entrance; probably his Black Sun contacts. Cursing his rotten luck, he set the rifle down and deactivated the traps that protected the entrance. Several minutes later, two well-dressed humans entered. Leechos recognized one of them as Zhin Natas, a mid-level operative for Black Sun.

Natas smiled. “Leechos! Are we catching you at a bad time? It looks like you have some company.” He nodded towards office, where the crew appeared to have talked their way past the Mustafarians. “Friends of yours?”

Leechos grimaced. “They’re nobody. They’ll be less than nobody before I leave here, I guarantee you that. “

“You live such an exciting life; I envy you. Regardless, I have your payment.” Natas reached into his jacket and slowly pulled out a small aluminum security case, which he held out to Leechos.

As soon as the nikto touched the case, a paralyzing shock traveled up his arm. “You’re getting sloppy, Leechos, falling for an old trick like that. Letting the Pykes find out about our little deal and track you here. VERY sloppy. Black Sun doesn’t like sloppy.” Natas was reaching into his coat again for what was certainly a blaster.

Leechos appeared to stagger back, then slammed his good hand down on a console. He immediately dove to the floor with his hands over his ears as the stun charge booby trap went off. Still, he caught enough of the blast to be disoriented. Through blurred vision, he saw the two Black Sun operatives reeling. He quickly drew his holdout blaster and gunned them down with his off hand. He was trying to head for the hangar when he finally succumbed to the stun charge’s effects.

The party moved stealthily among the supply crates, threading their way across the refinery floor towards the back office. So far there was no sign of the bounty hunter, but everyone was on full alert. Eventually they arrived at the office door. Taking time to look it over, Skara discovered the door was booby trapped with explosives. Mathus attempted to bypass the door’s high level security, but was unsuccessful. After several fruitless minutes of discussion, Tarwarrick snatched up the closest refinery worker droid and, with a snarled warning, heaved it at the door.

The resulting explosion effectively deafened the party. Through the smoke they saw a hole in the wall where the door used to be, and the Mustafarian workers in the front office scrambling to respond. Each of the workers now carried a snub nosed blaster rifle slung over their shoulder; their immediacy in firing on the party showed they were not unfamiliar with the weapons.

The party took cover where it could behind crates and vats of chemicals and began returning fire. The Mustafarians scrambled for cover, but didn’t seem particularly anxious to advance. The reason soon became apparent as a squad of security droids rumbled out of the darkness. Their precise blaster fire effectively pinned the party down.

“We can’t stay here!”, Skara yelled over the din. “We need to get somewhere defensible! Follow me!” With that, she took two running steps and dove through the ruined doorway, her blaster rifle firing the entire time to keep their adversary’s heads down.

The Mustafarians followed quickly, raining blaster fire on the doorway and hitting Skara. From cover, Mathus and Tarwarrick opened fire, hitting several of the Mustafarians and driving them back. Suddenly Mathus was hit from a security droid up on the catwalk. The Gand took the opportunity to imitate Skara and dove through the doorway firing all the while.

Another security droid hit Tarwarrick. Mathus and the wookie rushed for the doorway; the wookie ran through easily while Mathus hit the doorway and had to crawl through. A stun grenade bounced in, landing right beside him, but didn’t go off. Hearing the enemy approaching, Mathus quickly armed a frag grenade and hastily flung it at the doorway. The grenade clattered off the bulkhead and landed back in the room before exploding.

Skara, seeing the hapless mechanic fumble the grenade, had taken cover behind a work table. After the blast, she peered through the acrid smoke to see a bleeding and unconscious Mathus laying on the floor and the security droids again advancing on the door. Yelling “Cover me!”, she quickly dashed out and dragged Mathus to safety as Tarwarrick and the Gand fired through the doorway. Once Mathus was safe, Skara added her rifle to the battle and the remaining droids were finished off.

The Gand healed Tarwarrick and did what he could for Mathus while Skara explored the room. She found a hidden stairway leading up, presumably to the bounty hunter’s den. Three steps up she realized she forgot to check for traps as an explosion blew her violently back to the ground floor. The Gand, having done what he could for Mathus, moved on to the latest hapless victim of explosion.

Mathus, still shaky from the grenade blast, cautiously made his way to the top of the stairs but was unable to bypass the door’s security protocol. Tarwarrick, following behind with a protesting Skara slung over his shoulder, set the bounty hunter down and simply kicked the door in. The party followed him into the room.

Inside, they found two dead humans and the nikto bounty hunter, Leechos, apparently stunned and groggy. Tarwarrick wasted no time taking advantage and charged the bounty hunter. Skara pulled a blaster pistol and set it to stun, with the Gand and Mathus following her lead.

Leechos shook off the fog enough to shoot the charging wookie, then threw himself through the office window and leapt off the catwalk. The jetpack he wore left a faint smoke trail as he sailed off into the darkness of the refinery’s catwalks. The party followed quickly enough to see him land at the command tower that oversaw the refinery floor.

Skara began to make her way along the catwalks while Mathus and Tarwarrick laid down covering fire. The nikto moved and fired a blast, hitting the wookie. Mathus stabilized his friend and returned fire as the Gand crawled out of the office and began shooting. Leechos saw Skara approaching and moved to retreat, but Skara was able to hit the jetpack as he flew away.

The party heard the jetpack sputter and quit, then a clang of metal on metal and a sploosh as something fell into one of the refinery vats. Mathus quickly made his way over in time to see the remains of the jetpack sinking below the surface of the molten kelerium, but no sign of the nikto. Skara and Tarwarrick followed, and the wookie noticed a blood train leading from the refinery vat. The followed the trail, which led them back towards the bounty hunter’s lair.

Mathus and the Gand charged up the ruined stairs, blasters drawn, but saw no sign of Leechos. Down below, Skara and Tarwarrick heard a low rumbling that began rising in pitch. Following the sound, they found a hidden door leading to a warehouse space being used as a hangar. A battered Z-95 Headhunter was currently warming up; in the cockpit sat Leechos.

Skara unlimbered her heavy blaster rifle and snapped off several shots at the craft. They bounced harmlessly off its shielding; it would take a more powerful weapon than they currently possessed to stop the ship from taking off. Mathus and the Gand arrived at the sound of Skara’s blaster, and Mathus quickly comlinked Bender. They had left the droid onboard the Krayt Fang with a pre-flight sequence programmed in case they needed to leave in a hurry. Mathus yelled for the droid to come pick them up and to track any vessels leaving their location. The party headed for the landing pad as Leechos’ ship sailed out into the darkness.

Several minutes later the Fang touched down and the party piled aboard. Bender confirmed he had a lock on Leechos, and the Fang roared skyward in pursuit. Skara took over piloting duties while Mathus and Bender headed for engineering. Tarwarrick gave the Gand a quick lesson in the quad guns, and each manned a turret.

The Fang quickly gained on the Headhunter. Leechos, sensing their approach, angled his ship towards a nearby asteroid belt. Skara called for the crew to grab on to something, then followed. The ships weaved in and out of the asteroids, the Headhunter’s superior maneuverability against the Fang’s power and toughness. Both sides scored hits as the ships danced back and forth, and despite his best efforts, Mathus was unable to get the Fang’s shields to regenerate.

With no shields and several hits scored on their hull, the Fang faced off for a final run at the Headhunter. The bounty hunter’s craft was obviously wounded as well; it wobbled along it’s line as one of the engines seemed to be misfiring. As the two crafts closed, Skara quickly rolled to port, taking the Fang out of Leechos’ fire while giving Tarwarrick in the belly turret a perfect shot. The wookie hit the undamaged engine of the Headhunter, and the ship spiraled out of control into a nearby asteroid.

Skara brought the ship around and held cover as Tarwarrick and Mathus donned EV suits and approached the craft. Inside, Leechos appeared unconscious and bleeding, but still alive. Life support on his craft still appeared to be functional. Mathus disabled all ship systems except life support, and the party towed Leechos back to Coruscant and the waiting Pyke family justice.

Holocron, Chapter 3

(Opening Crawl)

Shadows of a Black Sun

It is a dark time for the galaxy. The city of Coruscant, once the glittering pearl of the Republic, now languishes under the shadow of the Galactic Empire. A bustling black market flourishes in the underworld, controlled by the notorious crime syndicate BLACK SUN.

Hired to infiltrate a Black Sun outpost and retrieve vital data on a bounty hunter who betrayed the PYKE crime family, a small group of enterprising individuals works rapidly to access the heavily encrypted Black Sun network as things take a turn for the worse…

“They’re coming!”

Pash was scrambling for the controls of the robohack even before the swoop bike’s blaster bolt took off half of the driver droid’s cranial turret. Pash recoiled as two long, hairy arms reached over the seat on either side of the droid. With a quick jerk, Tarwarrick the wookie heaved the remains of the droid over the side, making room for Pash to assume control of the careening airspeeder.

“Hold it steady!” Skara and Mathus were in the back seat of the hack, trying to brace themselves to take shots at their pursuers. The four swoop bikes weaved in and out of the heavy speeder traffic, making it impossible to fire accurately without hitting bystanders. The swoops seemed to have no such compunction, and fired at will.

“Pash! Try to- AHHH!”

Mathus’ yell was cut short as Pash suddenly jerked the speeder out of the designated traffic lane and into the narrow canyon between two of Coruscant’s many skyscrapers. The swoop bikes were forced brake hard and circle around before continuing the chase. Pash used that time to consider his options. The swoops were faster than the airspeeder and at least as maneuverable. He wouldn’t be able to lose them for long flying between buildings. What he needed was a place to hide.

“Hang on!”, the smuggler shouted as he put the speeder into a flat spin, rapidly shedding altitude. The wookie’s mournful wails rose above the sound of rushing air and the speeder’s straining engine. As they sank lower into Coruscant’s depths, the buildings began to get much closer together and more poorly maintained. Pash pulled out of the spin, got his bearings, and roared down a narrow alley. Behind them, Skara could see the swoop bikes dropping down to continue the pursuit.

Up ahead, the pilot noticed a large ventilation shaft missing it’s ray-shielded grating. Slamming the reverse thrusters, he was able to neatly corner the speeder into the shaft. Inside, it appeared big enough to continue flying, as long as he was mindful of the various projections and debris within the shaft. There was no sign of pursuit; Skara guessed the swoop bikes would be setting up a perimeter to spot the robohack once it emerged from its hiding spot.

The comlink on Mathus’ belt chimed loudly. It had been given to them by Ota in case their contact on Coruscant needed to reach them. “You sure are stirring up a lot of commotion for a simple slicing job”, a familiar voice told Mathus. “You’d best ditch that hack; Black Sun’s got an all-points out on it already. Every scrub in the sector is looking for it. Follow the shaft you’re in west as far as you can. I’ll have a ride waiting for you when you get there.” The comlink winked off.

“You heard the man”, Skara said as she began gathering up her gear. Pash grounded the speeder and the party continued on foot. After a time, Tarwarrick hooted a question. “Yeah, I feel it too”, Skara said.

“Those vibrations? What, maybe maintenance work? Some sort of subsonic generator?”, Pash guessed.

In response, Skara unlimbered her blaster rifle and assumed a ready position. The others hurried to follow suit. The vibrations got stronger, followed by the floor of the shaft before them erupting. Through the dust, the large, imposing figure of a duracrete slug loomed into view, moving to attack.

As he pulled his blaster pistol, Mathus reflected on the surreal events of the past week…


Pash and Mathus awoke in bacta tanks three days earlier. Apparently, their victory against Teemo the Hutt was stolen away from them at the last moment. Their former partners dead, they were found by the pilots of the Lucky Guess and brought to Duke Dimmock’s hive compound on Geonosis to recover. There they were greeted by the Bothan, Ota, who had set them on the path of vengeance against Teemo.

Ota was not alone. With him stood a wookie and a well-armed human female. Ota introduced the wookie as Lowhhrick’s brother, Tarwarrick, and the human as the bounty hunter Skara. Ota briefed the group on what’s been happening in the wake of Teemo’s demise. The price on the party’s head had been dropped. As yet, there was no word from the Hutts regarding Teemo’s end. The party only hoped that the crime lords were too busy splitting up Teemo’s territory to seek retribution for his death.

Ota offered the group a job, one which will come with a welcome change of scenery. The party is to travel to Coruscant and infiltrate a Black Sun computer facility. They are to download a specific piece of data and deliver it to a contact in the city. Mathus had some reservations about getting mixed up with Black Sun after having just (hopefully) gotten free of the Hutts. He decided to go along since the group had no other prospects. Ota gave them an advance to buy the equipment they will need for the job.

On approach to Coruscant, the Krayt Fang was attacked by pirates flying three Z95 Headhunters. The outdated fighters proved to be no match for the well-armed freighter. The party landed at a pre-arranged docking bay and set out for the Black Sun facility.


The duracrete slug rose up to attack. However, the concentrated blaster fire from the party easily overwhelmed the beast, leaving it a stinking, smoldering husk. The party quickly moved on.

They soon arrived at the westernmost end of the ventilation shaft. Up ahead, an airspeeder was waiting. After checking it over, Mathus saw that nav coordinates had been pre-programmed in; to where, he had no idea. The party piled in and were whisked off to an industrial sector. They landed at what appeared to be a mechanic’s shop; several airspeeders in various states of disrepair were scattered around the lot surrounding a small shop building. The party exited the speeder and went inside.

Inside the dimly lit shop, a hairy, four armed creature awaited them. “Welcome to Choppers!”, he announced heartily. “Mathus, my boy, you sure do know how to stir up some trouble!” The creature stepped forward and wrapped Mathus in a brief four-armed hug. “Good to see you! I believe you have something for me?”

Mathus handed over the datacard, and Chopper slipped it into computer on the far wall. “It’ll take a few minutes to run the decryption algorithm. Luckily this is low level stuff, or we’d need a cryodex to decrypt it, and good luck finding one of those!”

“Chopper, what are you doing here?”

The besalisk looked over his shoulder and chuckled. “What, you think my whole life is running speeders and parts to Hutt outposts on the outer rim? In my line of work, it pays to diversify. This here is a perfectly legal speeder repair shop; I got a bunch of ‘em scattered over the planet. I also deal in all kinds of high end machinery; droids, bio-mechanics, data assessors, you name it. And from time to time, some important people may want equipment that’s difficult to trace, or to get rid of something without a fuss. So I help out.

“But where are my manners? Introduce me to your friends and tell me about your night’s adventure…” Mathus relayed their story, with the others filling in details as needed. After a short time, the computer beeped and they gathered around to see the contents of the datacard.

The information they’d extracted contained the identity of a nikto bounty hunter who betrayed the Pyke crime family. He had disappeared with a load of spice he was running for the Pykes, and was later found to have sold it to Black Sun. Records of the transaction were included in the data. The nikto’s name is Kaa’to Leechos, and the Pyke family is asking that the party pursue and capture the bounty hunter, alive if possible. For this, they will be duly rewarded.

Chopper sat back. “Leechos, eh? I’ve heard the name. He has a formidable reputation. Tough. Nasty. Best to be careful if you’ll be tangling with him.”

Other data on the card listed several possible contacts for the bounty hunter. The Umbra Club was a seedy deathstick parlor run by a creature named Speng, who had contacts with Leechos. The Spider was a sabaac club where information as well as credits were wagered. And Zelcom Tower was an upscale office/ residential building. Most of the upper office floors were home to Zelcom Industries, a shipping company run by a man named Corrum Sideum. The operation was believed to be a front for weapons smuggling. After talking it over, the party decided to visit the owner of the Umbra Club first. After a short rest, they borrowed a speeder from Chopper and headed down to the dingy depths of the city.

The Umbra Club was run down, with an elevated bar area on one side of the large room and several curtained alcoves on the other. Tables and chairs were scattered in the central sunken floor surrounding an empty dance platform. The few people in the club ignored the party as they entered. The smell of cheap liquor and deathstick hung in the air like a desperate promise.

Pash led the party to the bar and ordered drinks. Sliding the man an extra twenty creds, he inquired about Speng and a certain nikto he may know. The bartender confirmed Speng met recently with a nikto. Pash asked to meet Speng, and the bartender hesitated until Pash slid him another twenty.

“He’s here, but busy now.” The bartender nodded towards one of the curtained alcoves. “You can wait if you like, but it may be a while.”

After waiting a bit, Pash and Tarwarrick announced themselves at the alcoves doorway and the party entered. Speng dismissed the girl he was with and settled in with his back against the far wall. Pash and Mathus struck up a friendly conversation punctuated with credit notes while Skara and Tarwarrick stood imposingly in the background, keeping eyes on both the greasy human and the rest of the club.

After some prodding, Speng admited to meeting with Leechos, and discussing a spice purchase. Apparently Leechos held back some of the spice he was supposed to have given to Black Sun to sell for himself. Speng said he doesn’t know where Leechos is or when he’ll return to the Umbra.

After getting what they could from the proprietor, the party prepared to exit the bar to investigate The Spider. On their way out they bumped into a large, tough looking nikto who entered and took a seat at the bar. Glancing back at Speng, Pash got confirmation that this was indeed Leechos. The party followed him to the bar and attempted to get him outside on the pretext of having a bounty job for him. Leechos was immediately suspicious of the group and refused. Tarwarrick rumbled low in his throat while Skara casually displayed the blaster she was pointing at Leechos. The bounty hunter chuckled and showed them the armed thermal detonator he’d been holding since they approached him.

“Now unless you pukes want to be nothing but a stain on the walls of this fine establishment, I suggest you leave here before my drink arrives!”

The party left dejected, but perked up once Pash admited he slipped a tracker on the bounty hunter when they bumped him at the door. The party waited for Leechos to leave, then followed him towards Zelcom Tower.

The party raced there, trying to arrive before Leechos. On arrival, they found the ground level and surrounding streets all but deserted. Tarwarrick noticed some activity on an upper landing pad. After a quick discussion, the plan was to drop Skara off at the landing pad to scout while the rest of the party accessed the building’s security center through a maintenance vehicle hanger on the ground level.

The airspeeder quickly dropped Skara on the nineteenth floor landing pad and retreated. Skara sliced open a door and entered the darkened office level. Taking note of the security cameras, she moved down the hallway until finding Sideum’s office. Figuring any info likely to be obtained would be there, she sliced the office lock and entered…

…just in time to see the security cameras in the office pan towards her. Thinking “How paranoid are you to have security cameras IN your office?”, Skara dashed for the elevator shaft and punched the ground floor. She planned to meet up with the others and get out, then hopefully pick up the bounty hunter’s trail. That plan ended as the elevator ground to a halt.

Hoping the others had reached the security station, Skara keyed her comlink. Explaining her situation, she climbed out the hatch at the top of the elevator car and pried open the closest set of external doors, and found herself on the seventeenth floor.

Aware of her situation, Mathus begans keying in security alerts all over the building to distract the security forces from the Zelcom offices. Skara took a stairwell back to nineteen and moved towards Sideum’s office after assurances from Mathus that the cameras were deactivated.

Skara searched the office to find information. On Sideums computer she found a record of Leechos trading spice for weapons from Zelcom. Apparently the bounty hunter was there to make payment, then would take delivery of the weapons at a kelerium processing plant later that night. Appended to the transaction was a memo stating that a certain batch of thermal detonators received by Leechos was known to have problems with not detonating reliably, with a note to not mention it to the bounty hunter unless he specifically asked about it. Skara also scrounged some gear from Sideum’s desk drawer.

Leaving the office heading for the elevator Mathus secured for her, she ran into a Zelcom security force apparently not fooled by Mathus’ phony alarms. She dove back into the office and chucked a frag grenade into the hallway before slamming the door shut. The grenade’s detonation threatened to blow the door out of its frame. Skara began piling up office furniture to further barricade the door.

Aware of what was going on above, Pash and Tarwarrick took the speeder and raced up to rescue Skara. Mathus stayed to monitor security and help where he could.

The guards cut a hole in the door and began removing pieces of the makeshift barricade. Skara rose from behind Sideum’s desk and threw another frag grenade through the hole. The explosion caught several of the guards, but also blew away the rest of the door and most of the barricade. Return fire from the guards shredded her cover to pieces. As she rose to throw her last stun grenade, Skara was hit by one of the guards wielding a riot gun. The two-handed blaster severed Skara’s leg at the knee as her grenade’s detonation blinded the remaining guards.

Skara deperately levered herself upright and shot out the office window. Seeing her partners outside in their airspeeder, she threw herself out the window, where she was quickly grabbed by Tarwarrick. Pash relayed the situation to Mathus and headed off at full speed back to Choppers. Mathus locked down the security board before hotwiring a speeder from the maintenance bay and following.

Once back at Choppers, the party sold him the stolen speeder for 500 credits. Looking over Skara, Chopper offered to have her missing leg replaced with a prosthetic for 2000 credits. “It can be done in a matter of hours”, the besalisk told them. “I know this doctor, a Gand. Really good at this stuff. You’ll like him.”

Holocron, Chapter 2

The Twi’leks are overjoyed at having the rival mining camp neutralized. They throw a celebration in the party’s honor lasting several days. The party returns to the spaceport with B’ura B’an and as much reward as the camp could scrounge up for them.

Upon arrival, they are able to trade away some of the weapons and equipment recovered at Drombb’s camp and replenish supplies. Not surprisingly, they concentrate on stimpacks and grenades.

Back at the Twi’lek HQ, they are introduced to a Bothan named Ota, who shows them the bounty notice for 50,000 credits Teemo has placed on their heads. He offers a plan that will let them strike back at Teemo, and will also pay them a reward for ending the Hutt.

The plan involves traveling to Geonosis and attending a function hosted by Duke Piddock. The soirée is a front for various business deals the Duke is involved in. Attendees typically represent business associates of the Duke who would prefer to remain in the shadows. The group’s cover is that they are independent transporters looking for investors in Ryloth ryll mines and seeking to establish trading connections for the Twi’leks. When meeting the Duke, we will be representing Ota to purchase weapons. The real purpose is to find out why Duke Piddock is no longer dealing with the Hutts, and then use that information to convince another Geonosian businessman, Dimmock, to cease his dealings with the Hutts. If we are successful, Ota promises us the opportunity to strike directly at Teemo and have the bounty lifted. He will also reward the adventurers for ending the Hutt.

The party discusses with Ota the information found on Drombb’s computer concerning the Geonosian tech Sivor and his untimely end in the battle pits caused by someone named Thweek. Ota agrees that this is the kind of information that will turn the Geonosians against the Hutts.

The adventurers journey to Geonosis and travel to the hive where the event is being held. Each is allowed to carry only a blaster pistol, and the event is overseen by large creatures with even larger guns. Pash will play the part of the chief negotiator, with Lowhhrick as his bodyguard. Oskara will act as security, and Mathus will inspect the weapons to be purchased.

The group enters the party prior to the arrival of Duke Piddock. They circulate and engage the other guests in conversation. One in particular, a Gand with a translator droid, catches their interest. The gand wears a wrist device that seems to be some sort of communicator/ information link, and beeps occasionally. Oskara in particular is very suspicious of the creature.

The group approaches Piddock, and Pash is able to get the Duke interested in a trade agreement for food shipments and investing in the ryll mining operations on Ryloth. They also purchase three large assault rifles; two for Ota and one that Oskara decides to keep. They mention that they have other private matters to discuss, and the Duke agrees to meet them later.

The group them solicits information from a Toydarian broker at the party. They learn that the Duke had serious reservations on dealing with Teemo, and broke off their arrangement. This is possibly due to Teemo employing Thweek, a Kubaz spy, since Geonosians hate Kubaz.

After mingling with the other party guests, the group meets again with the Duke. They discuss his dealings with Teemo, and he confirms what they’ve learned.

After the party, the group speaks again with Ota. They concoct a plan to present their information to Piddock and turn him against Teemo. They will then solicit his help in striking at Teemo directly.

Dimmock agrees to the plan. He will allow the group to stow away on one of his freighters, the Lucky Guess, heading back to Mos Shuuta. Then the party will sneak into Teemo’s palace and deal with the Hutt once and for all. Dimmock says the pilots of the freighter will work with us once we’re onboard, but we’ll need to get past port security on our own to give him deniability should the plan go awry.

The group heads to gantry where Lucky Guess is docked. Several security guards block their way, but change their mind once the gunplay starts. During the firefight, the Gand from Piddock’s party emerges and begins firing at the party. He is quickly taken down by Oskara and Lowhhrick. The party drags the Gand’s corpse onto the Lucky Guess and the ship departs for Tattooine.

The group searches the Gand and determines he is a bounty hunter trying to collect the price on their head. They salvage what they can of his equipment, then space him.

Upon reaching Tattooine, they cannot land at Teemo’s private landing pad as it’s occupied by a busted up Dunelizard fighter. The party recognizes it as one of the ships they fought over Ryloth. The Lucky Guess lands at one of the public landing bays, and the party stows away in storage containers for the trip across town to Teemo’s palace.

Once there, they emerge from the shipping containers in the cargo receiving room. From there, they access the main communications hub and disable all outgoing and internal communications. They also shut the external blast doors and lock them down, stranding several of Teemo’s guards outside the palace.

The party meets the medical droid 41-VEX, and set him free to help the party. They move into the main hallway and engage the guards. The Trandoshan Trex emerges from Teemo’s throne room and opens fire on the party. Pash and Oskara return fire while Lowhhrick and Mathus disable the guards. Finally Pash is able to shoot Trex, and the Trandoshan finally goes down for good. Mathus chucks a stun grenade into the throne room, and the party rushes in.

Alerted by the commotion, Teemo’s thugs are ready for battle. They shake off the effects of the stun grenade and open fire immediately. Teemo shoots Oskara as two Gammoreans rush to engage. The party dives for cover and blasts away at the thugs. Thweek appears across the room and catches the party in a crossfire. As the party concentrates fire on the Kubaz spy, Teemo takes Oskara down. 41-VEX rushes in to tend to the Twi’lek as Pash and Lowhhrick provide cover. Back on her feet, Oskara drops Thweek with concentrated fire from her new blaster rifle.

Teemo attempts to end the fight, but the party is having none of it. Once the Hutt is dead, a silent, robed figure appears from behind Teemo’s throne. Realizing this is the avatar of the Game Master about to pull some hoodoo crap and have them all drop dead, the party unloads on him with all their weapons until he is nothing but a smoldering stain on Teemo’s carpet. They then tap a keg of Teemo’s finest ale and commence to celebrating…

Holocron, Chapter 1

The story so far…

A group of adventurers in the employ of Teemo the Hutt in the Tattooine city of Mos Shuuta had decided to leave the Hutt’s service and strike out on their own. However, before the group could put their plan into action, word got back to the Hutt, and he sent thugs after them to ‘persuade’ them to return, or to demonstrate what happens to those who decide to skip out on his hospitality…

The adventurers are Oskara, a Twi’lek bounty hunter; Lowhhrick, a Wookie mercenary, and Mathus, a human technician. Together, they manage to elude or defeat the thugs sent after them by Teemo and along the way pick up a feisty R5 droid looking for a change of ownership. They also flee from a squad of Imperial stormtroopers who’ve mysteriously landed in Mos Shuuta and appear to be looking for them.

The group attempts to steal a YT-1300 light freighter, the Krayt Fang, owned by a Trandoshan bounty hunter in Teemo’s service named Trex. After a shipboard battle that left Trex defeated but very much alive, the group blasts out of Mos Shuuta heading for hyperspace. However, they find an Imperial cruiser orbiting the planet, which launches four TIE fighters in pursuit. The group desperately fends off the starfighters and manages to make the jump to hyperspace.

Once there, the group has no time to relax. Warning klaxons begin blaring throughout the ship, accompanied by a horrible squealing and screeching noise coming through the intercom. In the cockpit, Oskara notices several warning messages on the ships display; a low fuel indicator, a flashing red icon in the shape of a crescent moon or fang, another flashing red icon in the form of a cage, and a pop up window in Trandoshan script. There is also a horrible stench permeating the living areas of the freighter.

Mathus accesses the ships computer, first silencing the klaxons and screeching. He then converts all shipboard messages from Trandoshan to Basic. Once complete, he begins digging into the system to access astrogation logs and settings as well as any personal or professional information Trex may have entered.

Back in the cockpit, Oskara sees that the pop up window has to do with a cargo of Wookie pelts onboard that Trex apparently meant to offload in Mos Shuuta. This is probably the source of the foul stench onboard. Lowhhrick will have nothing to do with the pelts, so Mathus and the R5 droid he’s named Bender locate the pelts in the main hold and wrestle them into the cargo loading chamber and jettison them.

Lowhhrick busies himself cleaning up the compartment and galley, which Trex has left in utter disarray. He also searches Trex’s quarters and finds a glow rod and two heavy blaster
reloads as well as 1,000 credits.

Back in the cockpit, Oskara presses the cage icon on the console and receives a message about prisoners in the Number 3 hold who need to be fed and taken to the refresher. Mathus and Lowhhrick investigate and find two creatures in cages; an elderly Twi’lek and a young human who they recognize from Teemo’s palace as Pash, a pilot and smuggler. Pash recognizes them as well and agrees to join them in their venture.

Oskara joins the group in Hold 3 to question the Twi’lek. He introduces himself as B’ura B’an, and explains he was part of a Ryll mining group on the Twi’lek planet of Ryloth. His group has been having problems with outsiders trying to muscle in on their mine. He was attacked and imprisoned by Trex. The party explains their situation, and B’ura B’an wonders if the Hutts are looking to cut themselves in on the mining operations on Ryloth. He asks that the party take him to the city of Nabot on Ryloth.

Oskara explains the low fuel situation, and Mathus determines that Ryloth is about the only safe port they could make it to anyway. He also notices that the ship’s auto respond and ID systems have already been disabled by the sneaky Captain Trex, so it is unlikely that the stolen ship will be reported once they land.

Lowhhrick and Mathus see to their guest while Oskara and Pash return to the cockpit. Oskara presses the still flashing fang icon on the console, and is informed that the ship is transmitting a homing signal every five seconds from a tracking device on the outer hull. Mathus is able to reduce the ping to once an hour, but it’s likely the Hutt’s forces now know they’re heading for Ryloth.

With nothing else to do, the crew tries to relax and recuperate for the remainder of the journey.

The Krayt Fang exists hyperspace with Pash piloting, Oskara co-piloting and manning the static defenses, Lowhhrick and B’ura B’an in the gunnery turrets and Mathus and Bender in engineering. Unsurprisingly, they are met by two small fighters intent on violence. However, with a seasoned pilot at the helm and a full crew, the party is able to destroy both ships while sustaining a minimum of damage.

The Krayt Fang lands in Nabot and is quickly ushered to a safe landing bay beneath the planet’s surface by associates of B’ura B’an. The party is led to the headquarters of B’ura B’an’s group. There they are met by a female Twi’lek named Nyn Kablo, who thanks you for rescuing B’ura B’an. She agrees to repair and refuel your ship, and asks if you are interested in a business proposition. The party is to escort B’ura B’an to the Ryll mining camp while repairs to the Fang are made. The party agrees. Oskara makes inquiries about her missing sister, and Nyn promises to look into the matter.

They set out early the next morning for the mining camp in a speeder driven by Pash. They are ambushed en route by several bounty hunters including the Trandoshan Trex. The speeder crashes, and the party scrambles out and takes cover. They attempt to flank the hunters, who are firing down on them from an elevated bluff. Lowhhrick and Mathus attempt to find an alternate entrance into the cave system. They drive the hunters deeper into the cave system, where one of them is eaten by a Lylek after stumbling upon it’s den. The remaining bounty hunters and Trex flee.

The party makes it to the Twi’lek mining camp, where the residents are overjoyed to have B’ura B’an back. The settlement is being harassed by a neighboring camp, run by the human Angu Drombb, trying to muscle in on the ryll mine. They ask the party to help drive the intruders off, but the party is already injured and not well outfitted, so they hesitate to get involved.

Later that evening, a work truck from the Drombb camp comes careening into the settlement and crashes into a building. Four drunk workers stumble out and attempt to take the party’s speeder. The party defeats them, then agrees to go investigate the camp.

The following morning they take the repaired Drombb vehicle and drive it into the neighboring camp. Unaccosted, they park the vehicle in an empty garage and ponder their next move. The camp appears to be composed of several work sheds and garages, an two story administration building and a cantina, where the majority of the workers seem to congregate. Currently only a couple of workers are visible in the streets.

Pash attempts to casually reconnoiter the remaining buildings while Lowhhrick, being much more conspicuous, waits with the vehicle in the garage, ready with back-up as needed. Oskara and Mathus decide to investigate the admin building. They sneak into Drombb’s office and hack his computer. In it, they find two messages from Drombb to someone named Thweek:

“Yes it’s a risky business. I’m amazed Trex managed to get away with that droid technician Sivor without causing the whole thing to fall down on our heads. You never know with kriffing bugs, with their clades and castes and such. Annoy the one on top and you lose every other link in the chain. Start from scratch. I thought this whole deal was going to fall through when we lost the support of Duke Piddock, but Dimmock – he might be the bug for us."
“Decapitated! Ha! Well, make sure he never gets to hear about that! I mean, don’t get me wrong, the bugs are kriffing hypocrites on the issue if you ask me. They’re more than happy to see dozens of drones squandered in their own games, but if he knew what happened with Sivor, it’d be all over for the deal. Hah, putting a techgeek in the ring against you! What a way to go.”

The denizens of the work camp have taken refuge in the cantina. The party covers the front and back exits, then throws a flash grenade through a window. Once it goes off, they charge the cantina, using their grenades to great effect. After a furious battle, the victorious heroes search the bodies and the cantina, then return to B’ura B’an to report.


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