Star Wars - Enemies of the Outer Rim
While there may be threats within the Outer Rim which are far more deadly, few would be as manipulative and deceitful as the dangerous Dro Artos, also known as Swindle. Little to nothing is known about his past, all evidence ends in dead ends and unending loops. He was suspected to be a high ranking member of Black Sun, likely a Vigo, before at some point encountering the Cult of Illviii. He is known to be a master manipulator, proficient in computer hacking and melee combat. He prefers not to actively engage in battle, typically manipulating events so that mutual enemies destroy one another. Swindle is extremely powerful, ambitious, and manipulative. His intentions are unknown, but his word and his promise are never to be taken at face value.
Swindle was made promises and paid handsomely to infiltrate the Mandalorian commando’s ranks. Seeing the Mandalorians as a useful source of chaos, the Cult of Illviii desired a change in leadership, to that end, Swindle was sent to eliminate Mandalore the Infinite. With access to advanced weaponry and powerful explosives, Swindle became a well known member of the Mandalorian commando’s as a quartermaster capable of building or finding anything they might need. Most of the Mandalorian’s like Swindle, who was always ready to throw away credits in a friendly game of sabaac, always had contraband such as alcohol on hand to share, and never let breaches of protocol leak up to command. His popularity amongst the troops and his nearly legendary status as a procurer of hard to get weapons brought him to the attention of Mandalore the Infinite, who began meeting with Swindle extensively before finally assigning him to Mud Squad as special Quartermaster. This relationship would prove fatal, as the night before Mud Squad launched to Dathomir, Swindle murdered Mandalore the Infinite, beheading him, hiding the body, and sending the hero’s head as he was ordered to provoke a war between the Mandalorian’s and the Jedi.
Swindle would keep his cover within Mud Squad for much of their campaigns, but began to feel worried as evidence began hitting too close to home. He contact the Cult of Illviii to arrange extraction from the Mandalorians and receive his reward, but began to doubt their intent. Swindle was indeed betrayed, as the Mandalorian’s intercepted an encoded message that, if decrypted, would single out Swindle as the assassin. In order to avoid execution as a traitor, Swindle manipulated the message as best he could to direct the new Mandalore into an attack against an unknown force on the planet Iego. There, Mud Squad defeated the head of Black Sun, Nah’Savos, only to discover they had one and all been set-up for failure since the beginning. Swindle revealed himself as the traitor who had assassinated Mandalore the Infinite, and that events from the beginning had been a calculated risk to ensure his ascension to the Underlord of Black Sun. He offered to let the squad live, in exchange for leaving him alone, otherwise he would detonate a series of explosives he had placed in their armor and equipment, a precaution he had taken when first assigned to Mud Squad.
Swindle would spend a great deal of time consolidating his power in Black Sun, eventually emerging back into public view as Dro Artos, head of the Mohc Corporation, a cybernetics facility he planned to use to hide his massive illegal income. The mercenaries of Mud Squad, now working with the Empire of the Hand, made a move to kill Swindle within his office building. This attempt succeeded after an intense battle with Swindle, who battled within a prototype assault suit he called the Hextor Personal Assault Armor. At the end of the battle, Swindle was beheaded by the jedi Raxar Kun, a cruel irony for the death he had visited up Mandalore the Infinite.
However, while this death was confirmed, the Empire of the Hand began to trace rumors that Swindle was operating once again on the planet Ruuria. They dispatched one operative, Kith’ruin’du to confirm the rumors, a mission which ended when Kith’ruin’du discovered Swindle operating out of the Sith Prison camp, using the alias Shank, where he was apparently awaiting something, and had taken no direct actions that could be discovered. The Empire of the Hand was able to confirm his death once again after inciting a prison riot during which Kith’ruin’du assassinated him.
Most disturbing has been the Swindle’s third emergence, this time under the guise of Sabers, head of the Dark Hunters, a group of bounty hunters operating within the upper ranks of Black Sun. At the Black Sun Asteroid Belt, when Swindle finally revealed his identity during his attempt to kill Raxar Kun, it was also revealed that he has maintained true control of Black Sun since his rise to power, despite his first death. He has been tracking down any and all fragments of technology related to the Cult of Illviii, and most recently obtained from the Bounty Hunters of the Noble Rose a Datapad captured from the Sith with their research on the remains of the Cult of Illviii droids.
On the planet Boz Pity, Swindle was overseeing the construction of the first in a production line of Droids built using the Cult of Illviii‘s technology. He unleashed a copy of the Droid Grez upon the Hunters of the Noble Rose, having been injured in combat, but was cornered while attempting to escape by Kith’ruin’du. Unable to board his ship, Swindle battled the Hunters, but was unable to overcome his growing injuries, he was finally killed by Lieutenant Martell. In the end, Swindle swore that his death wasn’t the end of the Dark Hunters, and set off a series of explosives which destroyed his escape shuttle and disintegrated his body.
His prophecy may have been prevented, however, with the discovery of his Clone Bank on Misnor, the planet in which Coins had hidden himself in preparation for an attack against the Hunters of the Noble Rose. Utterly insane and with no loyality to his previous master after his death, Coins destroyed many of the Clone vats without reservations in his attempts to destroy the Hunters, and the rest were destroyed when the madman detonated several tons of Permacrete detonators he had stored beneath the facility. The Hunters reported that only three vats were empty, and since Swindle had been killed three times confirmed, ODIN is grateful that he can at last be considered dead, once and for all.
Swindle has re-emerged once again on the planet Sedri, and considering the destruction of his cloning facility, it can be assumed that this is in fact, the true Swindle, the original template for the other clones. Operating under the code name Sever, he had been tracking both the Noble Rose, and the Bound Anvil, waiting for the two to meet up in combat before making his move, an attempt to secure his ‘brother’ Sabers final prototype, the Octavis Personal Assault Armor. Allowing the Hunters of the Noble Rose to essentially deliver the armor to him in a twist of letting them enable his vengeance. Sever alerted the Sith of the presence of Mon Calamari refugees on Sedri, and sat back and watched the chaos, posing as a Jedi, he helped the Mon Calamari fight off the Sith until the Noble Rose arrived. Sever took sadistic pleasure in letting the wounded and tired Hunters watch as he destroyed the Mon Calamari with a permacrete detonator, then proceeded to tear through the Hunters, literally in the case of Lieutenant Martell, who at first lost an arm to his attacks, and would eventually die in an attempt to escape.
Swindle is now in possession of the Octavis Personal Assault Armor, as well as the remaining Hunters of the Noble Rose, who he had captured with the intent on torturing and maliciously tormenting for revenge. He was finally killed when it was revealed that Lieutenant Martell was alive, and along with Noble Squad, the Hunters destroyed the Octavis Personal Assault Armor before cornering Sever in the docking facility, where they finally put an end to him.
Unknown to the Hunters of the Noble Rose, Sever had been a final clone, and the true Swindle, or Dro Artos, was making an escape to a secondary hangar hidden below his base. He had disguised himself as one of their very own squad members, and simply broken off from the group as they ran through the dark tunnels of his base. He had hoped Sever would kill the Hunters, but failing that, he saw this as the perfect time to make his escape and disappear, ODIN would never bother him again. His plans of anonymity were cut short when he was ambushed by Revan in the tunnel, and executed on the spot, thus finally ending the dark puppet reign of Swindle.