With the Sith Lady Darth Sley dead and her students taken into custody, the Hunter’s regrouped in the central chamber of the Pontifex‘s fortress to assault the wing controlled by the Mandalorian splinter group, Death Watch. Jarn Organa and Noble Squad returned to the ship through the main gate, now devoid of its defenses, taking the captives with them, while Kith’ruin’du and Raxar Kun arrived to continue with the clean-up operation.
Dramatically, Kith’ruin’du kicked open the doors to what appeared to be a firing range, and the range instructor turned to the face them, ordering his men to open fire on the intruders. Battling against the training infantry, the group picked off the low priority targets one by one before moving onto the commander, while a single Sharpshooter continued to work at assassinating the Jedi, and a Heavy weapons specialist charged a heavy rifle, only shooting when he had a guaranteed hit, but doing devastating damage when he connected. The group was battered and bruised, but emerged alive, the Heavy artillery soldier refusing to yield in combat.
Into the next room, the group found what appeared to be a large spectator arena, with a mesh chain surrounding the circular room, revealing seats above it, although currently unoccupied. Walking in from the last room, five elite Mandalorian’s wielding blades marched out and declared that none could see the Vizsla, especially not scum such as the Hunters. But the group appealed to these Mandalorians, although part of Death Watch, to allow them to meet the Vizsla if they could prove themselves in one-on-one honorable combat. Although his men were anxious for blood, the leader stepped forward and agreed to face their champion, to which the group nominated Kith’ruin’du, as having the best offensive and defensive mix. The two squared off in the arena, impressively well matched, and the duel seemed to go on forever in a tightly choreographed display in which neither was able to gain much footing. And although the Mandalorian connected more often, Kith’ruin’du’s blows were more fierce, and eventually won the match.
Begrudgingly, the four survivors honored their captain and let you pass, stating that the Vizsla would finish you off alone. The leader of Death Watch, calling himself Vizsla the Purifier, has signed a contract to serve the Pontifex. To that end, he will lead his faction of Mandalorians into battle alongside the Pontifex, and burn a path of devastation across the galaxy. And not in the mood for talking, he immediately throws a grenade into the group, but quick thinking by Kith’ruin’du deflected most of the blast as he tossed up several targeting remotes collected from the targeting range. But the Vizsla was only using the explosion as a smoke screen to mask his charge into combat, smashing into his opponents in a reckless charge, and lighting up a deadly flamethrower to ignite his enemies. He stood the superior fighter against any one of the group, but combined, the group barely brought him down. With his last breath, the Vizsla revealed himself to be a former Mandalorian Assassin, and in a swift move as he fell, prepared to self-destruct, pulling all the Pins from the explosives built into his armor. The Hunters pulled back as quickly as possible, dragging the unconscious Kith’ruin’du and Troika Nobrose with them.
Healing up as best they could, and limping out, the group made to depart through the main hall, a dark room with a skylight some forty feet up, the room was lined with several dimmed, cloudy looking windows which were beneath notice. But as they crossed the room, the shadows sprung to life, striking out at them. The Pontifex, who was believed to be away on some distraction, had arrived home, and was most displeased. Lieutenant Martell tried to buy time, but the Pontifex grew impatient, and let himself become a focal point for the living shadows beneath him, channeling the Noctis directly, he seemed invincible, the groups weaponry incapable of penetrating the lashing shadows. Hoping to escape through a window, the group began to break them open, only to find that they weren’t exactly windows. They were chambers holding live food for the shadow, as it was connected, drawing strength off of them. Moving quickly, the group freed three of the nearly dead men, losing one to the all-consuming shadow. And as they did so, the shadow withdrew to surround the Pontifex
He suddenly seemed to snap out of his possession, and prepared to strike one of the Hunters with a shard of the Noctis, just as he had done to Captain Dannoos, a black spike emerged from his finger, striking at Raxar Kun, and as it homed in, the glass ceiling above shattered! The Augur burst into the room, the spike impaling her, but she simply seemed to absorb it. Declaring that ‘It’ had decried the Pontifex as unworthy, she had come to kill him at last. The two battled, seemingly ignoring the Hunters as they quickly made their escape, but casual glances revealed the Augur had the upper hand, while the Pontifex seemed to be rapidly losing strength.
A quick trip to loot the armory, the Hunters emerged into the main courtyard, finding a surprise of an Imperial shuttle surrounded by Stormtroopers, along with a walker. In their midst was an officer, whom Lieutenant Martell recognized as having served with him, so long ago. The officer made pleasantries, discussing the offer made by the Pontifex to join with him, an offer which his fleet was considering, having refused to join with the new government after the fall of Darth Krayt. The officer entered the shuttle, saying he would report in to his commanding officer. At this point, the shuttle began to lift off, and the officer revealed his true affiliation, this rogue fleet of Star Destroyers served Lieutenant Martell‘s brother, and he would be delighted to hear of Lieutenant Martell’s death at his men’s hands.
The Stormtroopers attacked, but the Hunters, even weakened as they were, burnt through them. In the sky above, Jarn Organa piloted the Noble Rose in pursuit of the shuttle, and with Noble Squad on turrets, successfully shot it down. He quickly landed outside the main gate, as the Hunter’s fought through the waves of Stormtroopers. Suddenly, the fortress door opened once more, this time, the Augur emerged. Apparently victorious, the already dangerous Augur was now surrounded by a shadow just as the Pontifex had been, a living darkness which lashed out, destroying the Imperial walker and cutting down troopers left and right. As she strolled through the field of carnage, the Hunters escaped aboard the Noble Rose, watching in horror as the shadow grew and extended up swiftly into space pursuing the ship, but it eventually reached its limit and withdrew into the diminishing figure of the Augur below you…
The party has left the planet Oncise having eliminated three great threats, the Sith Lady Darth Sley, the Death Watch commander Vizsla, and the dreaded Pontifex, but his death may have created something worse in his passing, as the Augur now seems to possess his strength combined with her own. From the ODIN base where he is currently a ‘guest’, the Seer demands the group return to him and prepare to assault the Augur, rambling almost in a frenzy that she has to die before she becomes too powerful, but the group had listened to him enough. With doubts to the Seer‘s motives and trustworthiness, despite both Raxar Kun and Revan sensing the truth behind his desire to reseal the Noctis, they decided to pursue a more powerful weapon. Knowledge. The location of the Temple of Serenity, the final key to the mystery of the Noctis, was in hand, and the Hunters have agreed to search it out, despite the Seer’s protests that the Augur is of more priority.