Shades of the Force

Enter Shidoshi Tanaka

April 19, 2009

After the impromptu raid (out of necessity for transportation out of the desert as much as desire to attack) against the mercenary-crewed operating base in the Ord Mantell badlands, the group returned to rest and recover at Greda the Hutt’s mansion in Worlport. The next morning, they were summoned as a group to meet with Greda the Hutt, who activated a highly-charged energy/particle field within the throne room, trapping the characters within a glowing half-sphere of energy. As hatches beneath the floor scuttled, still containing the extremely hungry and incredibly violent piranha beetles below, Greda demanded an explanation of why Liessa had seen fit to rob a local business, despite knowing it was paying protection to the Hutt and while accepting his shelter and support.

Those characters who understood the exchange were quite upset with Liessa, who wisely agreed to repay Greda the money he had lost making restitution, along with a penalty payment. Greda released the characters, who then made plans to leave Ord Mantell and pay a diplomatic visit to leadership representatives of the Rebel Alliance, whom had secretly made contact with Bruce and provided him with a rendezvous location. At the same time, G9 finished her plans for Mandusha III, and departed with command of the Marauder Corvette Scourge.

Upon departing Worlport, the Drakkar was attacked in space by a Helix-class ship of unknown ownership, which managed a first undetected volley before being picked up on sensors. Valen chose to turn and engage the ship, exchanging several passes with it, while other crewmembers fired upon it. Liessa managed one hit upon the Helix, but not a powerful enough one to do any damage. The hostile craft struck the Drakkar with its plasma burst cannons, striking and destroying the remaining manueverability thruster jets. Valen considered firing some of the Drakkar’s four remaining proton torps at the Helix, but then acceded to the desires of the rest of the team to disengage and escape into hyperspace.

While in hyperspace, Bruce received a visit from the Force ghost of Arthan Kanis, who instructed him to visit the Nagato system, and to seek out an old peer of his called Shidoshi Tanaka.

Arriving at the coordinates input by Bruce, the Drakkar found itself in deep space, outside the Utapau system. They rendezvoused with the Rebel Blockade Runner Starbolt, docking with the corvette and going aboard. The ship had successfully escaped the debacle on Hoth, and the characters met its primary passenger, President Mon Mothma, and her two Wookiee personal bodyguards. Bruce began the pleasant meeting with her, carrying Greda’s proposal for selling blaster gas to the Alliance, and the President offering to trade Mon Calamari and Verpine technology in exchange. During the conversation, however, both the door and part of the ceiling exploded inward, and dark-hided, muscular beings in simple cloaks burst and dropped in, brandishing vibroblades.

Bruce, Liessa, Valen, and Kaya battled with the Noghri Death Commandos, and Mon Mothma took several pot shots at them with a rapidly ‘borrowed’ pistol of Valen’s, but quickly took cover behind the conference table instead, as she is not nearly as talented a personal combatant. Bruce happened to be sitting close to the door, and thus confronted several of the Noghri at once, who were not expecting to find a Jedi. Several were cut down by his lightsaber strikes in the first moments, while others were Force-pushed away, bouncing off the bulkhead walls. Liessa flung a zenji needle into another’s head, while Valen and Kaya poured point blank blaster fire at their enemies, who swarmed close to attack with vicious blade strikes, attempting to reach the President.

During the battle, Liessa injected herself with a dose of Red Boost, but then immediately jumped onto the conference table, pointing her hands at Bruce and unleashing a scorching burst of Force lightning. Caught off guard, Bruce struggled to deflect and dissipate the electrical attack, finally countering by seizing Liessa in a Force grip and slamming her against the ceiling, then the table, sending her skidding. Kaya tagged Liessa with a stun grenade, striking many in the room’s close quarters with the burst but successfully knocking Liessa unconcious.

Mon Mothma’s bodyguards, recovering from the powerful explosion that would have killed just about anyone else, bulldozed into the room, ignoring the stab and slash wounds inflicted on them as they seized the President and, shielding her, pulled her to safety. The Noghri fought to the death, several with terrible injuries (including at least one missing eye, thanks to Kaya.) In the aftermath, Liessa was examined and found to have essentially no memory of what had transpired. The ship was searched, and the characters, with Valen’s help, eventually determined that the assassins had boarded the craft prior to its escape from Echo Base, brought along by Lord Vader and shielded from even visual detection through the use of the Force. They surmised that the Noghri were to remain hidden as long as possible, only striking when as many Rebel leaders as possible were together (especially if the location of the Rebel Fleet could also be discovered) but were forced to make their attack when Bruce and Kaya unexpectedly appeared, threatening to detect their presence with the Force.

Having reached a good agreement, especially under duress, the characters bid farewell to the President, and headed at Bruce’s request for the Nagato system, in the Shiritoku Spur, in Wild Space. After a long trip, they found a small, isolated, Earth-like world, with only a single broadcasting landing beacon. Touching down, they beheld a small fishing town by the ocean, with the dark-haired, apparently human inhabitants living in homes constructed within enormous, building-sized seashells. As soon as they left the Drakkar, they were greeted by a squadron of CIS Mk1 battle droids, who demanded a 100 Confederate credit landing fee. Unable to produce this, and the droids rejecting Imperial currency, the characters bartered a vibroblade as a payment, and the droids departed.

Exploring the village, the characters found that the residents spoke a language unknown to them, but seemed friendly, albeit withdrawn and hesitant to interact with them. Liessa and Bruce found a drinking establishment inside an enormous, upright shell (in any RPG, there is always a tavern) and Liessa managed to interact more successfully with the locals, sharing drinks and getting them to accept some Imperial currency. However, another, smaller group of battle droids soon appeared, demanding that the tavern’s occupants all disperse at once. The locals hurried to obey, while the PCs did not, and after repeated orders to leave at gunpoint, a fight broke out, where Liessa narrowly avoided a more serious wound, only getting clipped as she dove over (and ‘borrowed’ from) the bar, while Bruce defeated the droids in seconds, slicing some apart and destroying others with their own reflected blaster fire.

Outside, every member of the townsfolk disappeared into their homes, leaving the street empty as a battle droid patrol speeder arrived on the scene. Bruce stood in the middle of the street to meet it, and deflected the burst of autofire its hood cannon sprayed at him. Kaya pulled the gun off target with the Force, while the other characters flanked it, wanting to capture it as they had seen no apparent other speeder vehicles on the world. However, before they could get inside, the speeder, unable to aim its weapon at Bruce, settled for attempting to run him over at high speed. Bruce dropped onto his back, slicing the speeder as it narrowly passed over him, shattering the repulsor units and turning it into a smoking wreck. The characters fled on foot, before more trouble arrived.

As evening fell, the characters took a narrow, sometimes steep footpath up onto the mountainside rushing up from the village and ocean shore, climbing for hours, while night fell, a small band of shattered asteroids trailing after the planet’s single moon. At the treeline, they found a small temple or residence of some sort, with a smooth, stone courtyard, a square pool of water, ornate, lit braziers, and a structure of wood and stone, with open doors and latticed, pagoda-like roofs. Inside, they found a wide, high ceilinged room, with a woven mat upon the entire floor, old, martial melee weapons of various types on the walls, and paper lanterns hanging from the ceiling. At the far end of the room, a stone altar or table of some sort held two small vases, with framed photographs of a woman and a boy hanging on the wall above them. In front of these sat a wooden sword stand, holding a blade within a smooth, lacquered black sheath.

While observing these, the characters were greeted by Shidoshi Tanaka, a tall man of advanced but indeterminate age, with long, dark hair shot through with silver and a long beard woven into a careful, thin braid, wearing a white robe with voluminous sleeves and a pair of sandals. He seemed to be expecting the characters, and greeted each by name, albeit slightly surprised at the presence of Kaya. He seemed to know something about each of them, or even the burden they carried, in the case of Wrrl’s blade. He offered them rest and shelter, and the characters gratefully accepted. He told Bruce that he had known Master Kanis for a very long time, as well as Bruce’s teacher, Master Eelu. He postponed further discussion for a less dark hour, and gazed alone at the photographs on the wall as the characters went to explore the rooms he had indicated they should use freely, apparently considering some inwardly painful thought.

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