Critically injured and nearly dead after their encounter with the Augur, the Hunters of the Noble Rose were forced to make an emergency extraction, getting Lieutenant Martell and Kith’ruin’du back onto the ship for emergency care. With the sandstorm diminished, the ship was able to home in on their location. As the wounded were loaded onboard, Jarn Organa and Raxar Kun emerged to join the squad in venturing deeper into the mysterious Temple of Passing.
Picking up where they had left off, the group journeyed forward into the next room of the temple, and circular indentation carved around a central pillar, they found several bizarre markings engraved upon the floor. Twelve in total, the hunters had to move quickly to deduce their meanings before the room filled with a swiftly emerging poison gas. Further examination revealed them to be engravings of constellations, and using the force, Raxar Kun was able to sense one of the engravings was radiant in the force, while the others were inert. This symbol possessed an intricate weight mechanism that depressed and twisted down, raising the floor and lowering the column to reveal yet another of the mysterious crystals, as they had found in the rooms before. Removing the crystal caused the gas to stop filling the room, and slowly dissipate.
Moving into the next room, the group was confronted by a nearly empty room, it’s only feature being a woman standing in the center, wearing traditional Jedi robes, which appeared to be a hologram of some sort. She seemed familiar, and the group eventually recognized her as being one of the statues which was put into place at the primary entrance. She smiled at them and introduced herself as the Jedi Master Celista, slayer of the Lord Soror, and builder of the temple in which they stood. She informed them that they were now walking upon a path which led only to death, and as such, she offered to grant them a swift and merciful death. The group understandably balked at this, and as several battle droids were deployed into the room, they prepared to fight. But feeling that this wasn’t the way, Raxar Kun‘s Jedi insight told him that the riddle of the room wasn’t about the fight, but about submitting. With the group in agreement, he accepted the hologram’s terms, and found the battle droids withdrawing. The room offered only death, but a true Jedi knows that there is no Death, only the Force, and submitting to that enabled them to pass, this time, with another crystal, and the Jedi Master’s Holocron in hand.
Only one room remained, apparently. A central room located lower, and between all the others. Therein, two more statues sat, one of a man in armor, holding a lightsaber and another of the strange orbs, this one engraved with a star. The other was something else entirely, a monstrous statue that resembled the creature that the group fought on the pirate base. Locating several slots in the eyes of these statues, similar to the others at the entrance, they placed the crystals they had recovered from the four rooms into them and uncovered a hidden passageway going even deeper beneath the sands.
In the next room, an oppressive darkness hung, the pall of death. The room was, literally, a crypt. And in the center, a sarcophagus, apparently holding the remains of the Dark Lord Soror, and his lightsaber. This was swiftly discovered as Rusong Lah quickly opened the box and immediately desecrated the remains by attempting to steal the skull. But, the remains began to crumble almost immediately, in a similar fashion to how Captain Dannoos died, and from the ashes arose a similar dark entity. Where on the pirate base it was formless and without features, here it seemed stronger, more solid, and it lunged for the Hunters. Although in the end they were bloodied, bruised, and nearly defeated, the Hunters still triumphed against this stronger Coalescense of the Noctis.
Amidst the tomb, one feature of the room stood out. A massive stained glass window. Within each of the following rooms, another such window was present, each showing a different scene. The group recorded images of these windows, along with the mysterious inscriptions beneath them, to solve later,
In the final room, the Hunters found the object which was apparently the goal of the Augur and the Seer, a strange holocron-like orb, cast in gold, emitting a dark light. Etched upon its surface was the symbol of a Star, the same one seen and repeated at several points throughout the temple. Raxar Kun felt the object radiating darkness, as if it were emitting hate. As Troika Nobrose moved to pick it up, he was suddenly stopped by the Seer, who moved between them and the object, insisting that IT demanded he be the on to take possession of this ‘Star of the Noctis’, as he called the artifact, saying it was both the key and the lock, with the power to free and the power to imprison.
After some debate, the Hunters agreed, and with a trembling hand, the Seer took the artifact, and seemingly unwilling to let it go, finally dropped it into a pouch on his belt. Calmed, he proposed an Alliance with the Hunters. His Master, constantly referred to as merely, It, had chosen three who would herald it into the universe, the Pontifex, the Augur, and the Seer. But by its will, only one would gain It’s power. The Pontifex desires to use it to rule. The Augur, to destroy. And he, the Seer, wanted merely to seal it back, and stop it’s voice within his head.
Raxar Kun sensed no duplicity in his words, and they agreed to an alliance with the intent of killing the Augur and the Pontifex, and preventing whatever It is from becoming free. With that in mind, the Seer revealed his plan to kill the Pontifex, or more precisely, to arrange for the Augur to do it for you. All the Hunters need to do is a little bit of sabotage…