Star Wars - Enemies of the Outer Rim

The Vault

The Hunter’s of the Noble Rose have successfully crushed the deviant creatures which had assaulted The Vault, preventing them from reaching the command center, or more dangerously, the cells themselves. Now, the group headed up to the command center to meet with Thrawn and receive their next orders.

There, Thrawn bemoaned the hand that Revan had dealt them. With Revan’s forces spread thin, the powerful jedi himself nowhere to be found, and the Seer kept as a guest in The Vault below, Thrawn believed it inevitable for a strike to occur against the underdefended facility, and had worked to plan accordingly, but even he had not anticipated the ferocity of the assault.

Now, he need the Hunters to head down and retrieve the Seer, and get him off planet before the Augur launched a second assault, while ODIN continued to search for the location of the final Star of the Noctis, and corner and defeat the Augur.

As the hunters prepared to leave the command center, a sudden crash tore across the room, as several large reptillian creatures dropped from the ventilation systems, intent on killing Thrawn. They manuevered to attack the ODIN commander, but the Hunters successfully fended the creatures off, saving Thrawn’s life.

Leaving the upper levels behind, the Hunters of the Noble Rose descended into the depths of The Vault… where something was terribly wrong. The turbolift became jammed at the entrance, and suddenly powered down. Entering the security station, the group found only darkness. As they lit the room, the floor had been gouged open, filled with hundreds of tiny holes, all surrounding one massive hole in the center of the room. The prison had been breached, the attacks on both the base and on Thrawn mere distractions while the Augur entered the base from below. Acidic worms began to flood the room from below, and one massive borer emerged from the great hole, its breath a burning haze of acid and poison.

Rusong Lah rode the creature, keeping its attention on him as it smashed him against the ceiling repeatedly, and eventually the Hunters took down the tunnel worm, entering into the prison proper. Inside, the prison doors were flung open, but no one stirred. Blood smeared the walls, and pieces of what may have been the occupants of the cells lay scattered across the floor. Ahead, the Augur walked purposely, but as she sensed the group, she berated the futility of their attempts to stop the inevitable, and rose a hand, the shadows swirling around her breaking off and entering into the blood stained wall.

Immediately, the blood boiled and writhed as it coalescesed into the now familiar form of the Noctis. It covered the walls of the prison, and sealed the Hunters off from the Augur, lashing out violently at the party when they hurt it. The Hunters were forced to rush and kill it before it could kill them. But at last, they were victorious, and the darkness slumped off the prison walls, dissolving into little more than dust.

In the cell of the Seer, the Augur approached her trembling prey. She mocked his cowardice, telling the Hunters of the betrayal so plainly written upon his face. She attacked, but the Seer suddenly fought back, the two matching one another evenly, despite the fact that the Augur had killed the Pontifex and merged his power with her own.

Split on which threat should be eliminated, the obvious threat of the Augur, or the believed inevitible betrayal of the Seer, Kith’ruin’du attempted to coordinate events to ensure both died before they could claim the power of the Noctis, but in the end, all their efforts achieved was allowing the Augur to destroy the Seer.

The Seer collapsed, and a great darkness rose up from him, a large shard of the Noctis emerging from its former host, and it swiftly moved to enter the Augur, now empowered by the strength of both the Pontifex, and the Seer. She stepped forward, using the force to rip a satchel from the belt of the Seer and remove the Star of the Noctis which the Hunters had given him within the Temple of Passing… as well as a second artifact, a second of the stars.

In a flash of intuition, Lieutenant Martell saw some figure giving the Seer the second star as well, the star which should have been obtained within the Temple of Eternity, where the Hunters had found only a trap instead. Regardless, before them stood the Augur, fully empowered with the fragments of the Noctis and now in possession of all three keys to the mysterious prison holding the Noctis. With a gesture, she threw the group aside and strode out of the base, rushing out to fulfill her destiny, and free the Noctis.

Upon recovery, the group emerged from The Vault, and let Thrawn know what had happened. With the fastest ship in the fleet, the group headed out aboard the Noble Rose, the five warriors alongside the season veterns of Noble Squad, and the full compliment of soldiers that had been serving in The Vault, nearly 30 fully armed soldiers ready to prevent the release of what could be the most dangerous entity known to Dark Side… deep within the moon of Corcin… the Noctis hungers…

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A Light Amidst The Dark
But the Dark is Growing

Within the Temple of Serenity on the planet Turask, the Hunters of the Noble Rose continue to undergo the Jedi trials set before them by the Holocron of the Jedi Master Celista. Having passed three of the trials, they only faced two more, the Trial of Spirit, and the Trial of Flesh, before the Holocron would reveal the truth of the Noctis to them.

In the Trial of Spirit, the group faced reflections of themselves, dark visions that mirrored their movements and actions. Striking at one would cause it to retaliate in kind. But through some tricky movement and equipment tricks, they could be thrown off, forced into bad positions, or made to fore go actions. Or, instead, the party could simple tackle them and force them into the water, or throw themselves down into the water, drowning both themselves and the doppelgangers. Overcoming their dark selves, they passed the trial… kind of…

Finally, the Trial of Flesh was to be a sacrifice of self, and took the form of a large orb. Placing a hand upon it, the Hunters felt an intense pain, but understanding the nature of the test to be one of enduring physical pain in order to succeed, they persevered (and more then persevered as Lieutenant Martell and Rusong Lah were knocked unconscious by the test) and passed the final trial.

The Holocron of Celista emerged from the set-in pillar to which it had been placed, and the image of Celista congratulated the Hunters for passing the trials. If they were to do battle against the Noctis, they would need to learn the truth of it’s existence, and so the holocron urged them downward into the temple depths, to reveal the full history of the Noctis

In the depths of Wild space, the Dark Lord Lord Soror craved power, and crafted the three Stars of Noctis as a device for obtaining that power. The three stars were foci needed to fully stabilize the path to an unlimited source of Dark Side energy, or so it seemed. Lord Soror built his fortress on his home world of Corcin, and he used that planet’s moon as the location where he would bring his abomination to life. Building an elaborate altar, he used the Stars of Noctis and created a massive rift in the Force, a crack in the life energies of the universe that let the Noctis in. It emerged as little more than a simple shadow, but even as such, its power was immense, and Lord Lord Soror eagerly embraced it. He was the first host of the Noctis, and it used him to gather power, feeding off his dark emotions and of those around him, his servants and his victims.

When he was finally confronted by two the Jedi, Celista and Nalu, Lord Soror lost the battle, and the Noctis sought a new host. Unbeknownst to the Jedi at the time, it latched itself onto the Padawan Nalu, influencing her dark emotions as it continued to feed and grow stronger. As Celista was ascended to the rank of Master and granted a seat on the Jedi Council. But her Padawan Nalu was not allowed to take the trials afterwards, despite what she felt was her obvious skill. She watching Celista garner fame and glory from the victory they had shared, and it drove her further and further into darkness, until finally, she shattered, and the Noctis took complete control.

Celista was forced to fight her former apprentice, and by now seeing the same darkness that had affected Lord Soror, she came prepared. On the Moon of Corcin, the Noctis sought to widen the rift in the Force, but Celista arrived and engaged Nalu in combat. In the end, Celista was triumphant, defeating Nalu. For a moment, a chance presented itself to destroy the Noctis once and for all, but Celista found her herself too weak to fulfill that chance… But as the Noctis prepared to attack Celista for a new host, she regained her composure, and sealed the Noctis back within the rift from which it came.

Seeing the horrible corruption the Noctis had caused, and fearing what would happen if the Jedi became involved and attempted to free the Noctis in order to destroy it, Celista hid the knowledge from them. She resigned her position on the Council, and left the Jedi Order, claiming the stress of killing her Padawan Nalu had left her unfit for service. But secretly, in the depths of Wild Space, she began to study the notes and holocron left by Lord Soror, and she discovered the Stars of Noctis, a means by which the Noctis could be freed again. Unable to destroy them, Celista continued her research, and devised a way to strength the seal on the Rift. She constructed three temples in a particular fashion that would, in alignment, with the stars placed in a particular point, maintain the seal indefinitely.

These three temples, looking to all outsiders as tombs built to honor her Padawan, pity her enemy Lord Soror, and prepare for her own eventual death, were focal points of Force energy designed to keep the Noctis contained within the rift on the Moon of Corcin, with the Stars of Noctis at their center. They were also serve as testing grounds should the Noctis ever break free again, for it was only with the Stars contained within the temples that it could be resealed.

And now, the trials completed, Celista was prepared to grant the Hunters access to the third of the Stars of Noctis. Under the temple, they found her tomb, the final resting place of Celista empty save for the ornate battle armor that appeared to be for entirely ceremonial uses, but there was an interesting crown-like artifact which served as a powerful force artifact. Deeper down, the group discovered the altar upon which the Star rested…

Rusong Lah immediately leaped up onto the altar, and grasped the orb, only to discover it was not what they had expected. It was not one of the holocron like Stars of Noctis at all, but a dark orb which, upon being touched, seemed to melt and suddenly expand, a massive twisted visage of darkness, a Vergence of the Noctis rising up out of the altar. The temple grew suddenly colder and darker, and the thing let loose an entirely too inhuman wail, its oozing form lashing out with dark shadowy tentacles and moving forward to engulf the Hunters within it.

Devouring Lieutenant Martell, the Hunter found himself empowered, becoming stronger, but the cost was that the Noctis wrapped itself further and further around him, spreading like a vile black skin across his body. Finally breaking free, he continued to attack the Noctis, but when it was finally defeated, he was unable to control himself, and continued to attack his own allies. Kith’ruin’du quickly ended the nonsense with a well timed strike to Lieutenant Martell’s head, and the corruption coating him turned to dust just as the Vergence of the Noctis itself did.

The group limped out of the temple. Someone had already entered that temple, left the traps and trials untouched, stolen the Star, and replaced it with a trap of his own, the essence of the Noctis waiting to strike. And as they reached the forest edge, Jarn Organa emerged leading Noble Squad in a rush. The soldiers were nearly out of breath, and Jarn seemed at the edge of panic. While the group had been exploring the temple, ODIN’s primary lock down facility, a base on the planet Opteras, had come under attack!

The Augur had somehow tracked the Seer to that base, and was attacking in force to see him dead. Now, the Noble Rose must rush to the aid, before the Augur kills everyone in the base, including the Seer

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The Everfree Forest
Clever Girl...

Despite the Seer‘s protests that the group would be wasting it’s time, the Hunters of the Noble Rose have decided to follow the directions leading to the last of the three temples built by the Jedi Master Celista, the so called Temple of Serenity. Located on the planet listed in the archives of the now deceased Pontifex as Turask, the temple was deep within a massive rain forest, which the Noble Rose could not penetrate. As such, the Hunters had to hike through the Jungle, cutting a path through the undergrowth.

Battling vicious native beasts, the group fought several large jungle cats, only to have those same cats become prey for even larger spider-like creatures that had been attracted by the sounds of fighting. Troika Nobrose Stared down one of the Arachnids and tamed it to fight for the group, enabling the party to win their way to a small clearing. Therein, a lone, strange looking alien warrior did battle with four powerful Gundarks. The Hunters assisted him, killing off the Gundarks and saving the warrior, who held some sort of mysterious awe for the Hunters, and especially for the Lightsaber held by Raxar Kun. Amidst his unknown language, two words were obvious, and repeated several times, ‘Jedi’ and ‘Republic’.

Following the warrior guide as he lead them through the Jungle, the Hunters arrived at the tribe’s village, hundreds of the aliens armored in bone and chitin, living armor and weaponry. At the center of the village was a massive altar, upon which sat an ancient deactivated protocol droid amidst piles of old technology. With a little technical know-how, Kith’ruin’du reactivated the Protocol droid, and the group learned that it had apparently been there over 1000 years, dating back to the time of the Old Republic. The Droid had been left to this tribe, along with scores of other equipment used in the construction of the Temple of Serenity, and the natives still held those soldiers and the Jedi who accompanied them as gods. The groups armor, as well as Raxar Kun’s lightsaber, placed them on the same pedestal as these mythical figures. And after a night of celebration and feasting, the natives of Turask guided the Hunters to the Temple the next morning.

Standing guard to the temple was a massive, immobile defense Droid, clearly designed to prevent entry to the Temple, but the natives had adapted war paints from Old Republic supplies, drawing rank insignias and identifying markers upon themselves, and the Hunters, allowing access to the Temple’s depths, but they would not enter themselves, only guiding the Hunter’s to the door, no further.

Inside, the temple opened up into a large antechamber, statues of Jedi surrounding the room, lined with five large, ornate doors. In the center was a single pedestal upon which the hilt of a lightsaber was partially submerged. Despite his best efforts, Rusong Lah could not free the blade, only succeeding in severely injuring himself. Activating the Holocron of the Jedi Celista, she confirmed that it was indeed her blade upon the pedestal, and that to obtain it, one need only reach out and take it. Raxar Kun finally deduced that it was a Force puzzle, requiring a small nudge with the force to free the lightsaber. The pedestal opened, releasing the hilt of the blade, and creating an opening into which the Holocron seemed to fit perfectly.

Placing the Holocron down, the temple came to life, and Celista took control, explaining to the Hunters that this temple, the Temple of Serenity was designed to test those who would face the Noctis by testing them in the virtues of the Jedi. The five rooms of the temple each contained one of the five trials a Padawan must face before achieving Knighthood, the Trials of Skill, Courage, Flesh, Insight, and Spirit.

In the Trial of Skill, the Hunters found themselves in a room similar to one within the Temple of Passing, where an elaborate illusion made the room appear to be floating in space, walls replaced with blackness and stars and constellations filling the endless expanses. There, they struggled to determine just what to do. Recognizing one constellation, they would suddenly find themselves moved through space into the constellation. Through their manipulations of the this room, they were able to seize control and move the map at will, but were unable to discover the room’s true purpose and reward.

In the Trial of Courage, the Holocron of Celista told them to succeed they needed to remove their weapons before entering and face their fears. The group complied, and entered the darkened room. Once inside, they heard a familiar laugh, as Swindle suddenly appeared, mocking the group’s ignorance, that the entire temple was an elaborate trap he had prepared. Coins appeared as well, ready to kill the group, as did the dread droid Lekad, and most horrifically, the one-time Sith Lord Paxis, who had discovered the secrets to immortality. And in a moment of raw horror, Lieutenant Martell faced the most terrifying thing of all, the monstrously cute Fluttershy. Recognizing them as illusions of some type, and understanding the nature of the trial, Rusong Lah, Raxar Kun, and Lieutenant Martell embraced their fears, hugging the Droid, vowing to stand against Paxis, and loving the Pony. Troika Nobrose battled against Swindle, refusing to give ground and falling in combat, but awakened as if it were a dream, passing the test as well by refusing to retreat. However, Kith’ruin’du fled the room, self-preservation coming first, but causing him to fail the trial…

Lastly, the Hunters entered the Trial of Insight, in which they only needed to meditate and allow the Temple to grant them a vision, a vision of their fate, and the fate of everything, should they fail. The group nearly all shared their visions, connecting the common themes, death, an unknown voice, inconceivable whispers, a gargantuan shadow spreading out across the universe, as well as more personal visions. Lieutenant Martell saw his brother, encased in metal, and fleets of ships falling from the sky against the shadow. Raxar Kun saw a vision of Revan defeating the shadow, but falling in the process and blaming him. Troika Nobrose saw the death of Mandalore the Infinite at the hands of [[:swindle}] once again, and the shattering of the Mandalorians. Rusong Lah saw the gates to hell, glimpsing his god the Ganner, but found himself unable to fight the Darkness as his companions were slaughtered, and found himself torn apart dishonorably by the darkness. What Kith’ruin’du saw, none can say, as the Chiss kept quiet about his vision, either deeply disturbed or deeply secretive, or both…

The Hunters have adequately completed three trials, and now, Only two trials remain, the trials of Flesh and Spirit. Should the group prove themselves in these final two trials, the secrets of the Temple of Serenity will be open to them. The truth of the Noctis, the truth of the Jedi Celista, and the second Star of the Noctis will be in their possession as they make preparations for the confrontation with the Augur and for the horrors that will eventually come from the ominous Black Moon glimpsed within the trials…

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The Shattered Halls
Hail to the Vizsla, Baby!

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.

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Assault on Midnight Castle
It's Not Actually Called Midnight Castle

In orbit over Gilane, the Hunters of the Noble Rose activate the Holocron they found of the Jedi Master Celista, to learn as much as they can about the Noctis. The Holocron told the story of Lord Soror, a dark-side Force user who wanted more power, and crafted the three Stars of Noctis in the hopes of harnessing a dark and powerful evil, a personification of the Dark Side itself.

But while the Dark Lord successfully summoned this power, and manipulated for a time, it eventually took control of him, and it was in such a state that Jedi Master Celista and her Padawan Nalu encountered him, a pitiful shell being devoured from within. They defeated Lord Soror. And while the Hunters detected that there was more to the story left untold, the Holocron skipped ahead, detailing the construction of the Three temples to hide the Stars of Noctis, which she could not destroy. Someday, she foresaw the Noctis breaking free from where she had sealed it, and while she had found a way to destroy it, she claimed to be too weak to do it, and left the temples not just to protect, but to guide those who would stand against the Noctis in the end.

At this point, the Holocron of Celista stopped her story, saying that should the group prove itself worthy, and not under the influence of the Noctis, she would reveal more. On the subjects of her own death, the fate of her Padawan, and the locations of the final remaining temple, she remained mute, but warned the group that no servant of the Noctis could be trusted under any circumstances.

The Hunters reported to ODIN, telling Revan everything. Upon hearing of the groups deal with the Seer, reinforced by the ominous warning of the Holocron, Revan decided that he needed to personally meet the force user. As the group arrived to meet and gather the Seer‘s data for a strike against the Pontifex, Revan arrived as well, and after some rather forceful persuasion, took the Seer into ODIN’s protective custody. For now, he said, the group would continue with the Seer‘s plan to disable the Pontifex’s base. If the Augur did come, as the Seer believed, so be it. Otherwise, ODIN would strike the base itself, and kill the Pontifex, as these three were far too dangerous to leave alone in Wild Space, with or without some greater darkness guiding their efforts.

According to the Seer, While the Augur is highly insane, she has little ambition or apparent power base beyond herself. The Pontifex, however, seems to have his sights set upon Galactic Conquest. In his base of operations, he is currently hosting ambassadors to various groups to which he is forging ties, all to create an army. And with the Seer‘s information, the group can kill two birds with one stone. The Seer has a plan to finally take advantage of the hatred between the Pontifex and the Augur. The two are in direct competition for the favor of their Master, and as It senses the time of its release approaching, it will begin to allow its servants to destroy one another, as only one can receive It’s favor upon release.

The Seer has claimed that for a set amount of time, the Pontifex will be off planet, allowing the Hunters to move in, disable his base security systems, kill the ambassadors within the base, and escape to let the Augur murder the Pontifex for his perceived weakness.

On the planet Oncise, the Pontifex had built a massive, obvious fortress designed to withstand any frontal siege. However, finding the rear entrance guarded only by several probe droids, Lieutenant Martell and Troika Nobrose, along with Jarn Organa and a portion of Noble Squad, attacked. They destroyed the probes and entered the base relatively unscratched… but not unheard, as the droids had sent several alerts to the central computer.
Venturing into the ventilation shafts, the Hunters survived several dangers present in all ventilation shafts, including rotating fan blades, wall-mounted defense turrets, and black mold (apparently the Pontifex doesn’t take the time for proper roof maintenance, he really needs to have his vents checked, but it’s apparently not a priority for him… he’ll be sorry later when the roof collapses and it costs someone their life.)

Finding the central computer terminals right were the Seer said, they dropped down, weapons drawn, and convinced the technicians to step away from their terminals, but not before they set off another alert, causing Lieutenant Martell, in an uncharacteristic rage, to have the three executed. Troika Nobrose, along with Lisa Talken, successfully bypassed the systems security and used the Seer’s codes to shut down the base shields and external defenses, completing their first main objective. In addition, a quick scan of the computer systems for any relevant information revealed the location of the third temple complex, the Temple of Serenity.

But the Hunters had not been exactly stealthy, they had avoided shouting that they were in the base at the top of their lungs, but they had not gone unnoticed. Entering the main chamber of the base, several warriors, geared in Mandalorian armor, waited in preparation to face the Hunters. When the group defeated these warriors, the Commander refused to yield, stating that he would fight to defend the Vizsla. Examining the bodies, the Hunters found several icons and tokens which Troika Nobrose recognized as the symbols once used by the splinter group known as Death Watch.

From this room, the central door, leading to the front entrance according to the map, was locked. To the north, the Hunters heard the sounds of fighting and blaster fire, but to the south, they heard silence, punctuated by an occasional scream or cry. After some debate, they headed south, hoping to aid whoever was in pain before it was too late for them.

In the first room were groups of students, meditating in groups of four to keep simple orbs aloft in the air. But a quick check revealed how deadly this exercise was, they were using the force to suspend thermal detonators, one mistake would drop the detonator and kill the students. As they seemed in deep concentration, the Hunter’s proceeded cautiously, and passed the room without killing any of the students, trying to find the source of the screams.

The source was revealed in the next room, a dungeon-like room ringed by prisoners, some alive, some already dead, chained and facing a monstrous statue of the now familiar looking Noctis. The statue was built with an altar placed in front of it, and a shallow ring carved around the statue was filled with blood. This was an altar of sacrifice, and it seemed the prisoners were slated to die. The statue was ominous, just looking at it gave the Hunters an uncomfortable feeling. The Hunters freed the living prisoners, and Noble Squad escorted them back to the computer room, where Noble Leader began to administer emergency medical support, and the Hunters, appalled by this barbaric display, went forward to put an end to leader of these horrific practices.

There, sitting alone at the end of this long hallway was a lone woman, dressed in dark robes, a devious looking gauntlet on her hand, and three thermal detonators rotating around her head. Without any preamble, the party attacked. The woman rose, obviously of far greater strength then the students in the previous room, she hurled a detonator into the way of Lieutenant Martell’s leg rocket, deflecting some of its power and unleashed the power of the dark side upon the Hunters.

She was Darth Sley, once a proud warrior serving Darth Krayt, now little more then a beggar, but the Pontifex had persuaded her that he would be the next Emperor, and if she served, trained new warriors to his cause, she would serve at his right hand. So now, Darth Sley unleashed her force abilities to strike her foes with lightning, fire, frost and shadow, recklessly lashing out with the elemental energies. And despite her persistant and dangerous attacks, the Hunters eventually overcame her, and Darth Sley was consumed by the very elemental powers she had wielded.

The students surrendered without a fight, Jarn Organa using the force to propel their detonators back to destroy the Statue of the Noctis, and the prisoners were freed, the first ambassador was dead. But on the opposite side of the base, the Vizsla awaits, a dangerous splinter faction of Mandalorians at this command. He remains the only obstacle left in this mission, and then the Hunters need only escape the facility… and after first killing a Sith Lord and next killing a rogue Mandalorian, that will be the easy part… right?

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To Grasp the Stars
The Depths of the Temple

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,

Story of the Noctis Panel 1
Story of the Noctis Panel 2
Story of the Noctis Panel 3

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…

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Desert With No Name
You've Been Through It

With initial reports of the newly discovered world in Wild Space, ODIN has assigned it the name Gilane on their star charts. And now, the Hunters of the Noble Rose head down into the planet’s atmosphere, tracking the exhaust signature’s of the Veragassi Asteroid Belt Pirate’s ships to and from the approximate location of the dig site. However, a sandstorm prevented the Noble Rose from homing in on the main location, forcing it to land at the edge of the search area. From there, the Hunters had to head into the desert on foot to do a manual search of the estimated location.

Trudging miles through the desert was relatively uneventful at first, but the monotony was broken when a massive Wraid burst forth from the sand. Not too bright, it continued to attempt to eat Rusong Lah, but all it ended up getting was a mouthful of Blast Bug as the group eliminated the creature and collected it’s skull, which, in a display of boundless generosity, they will donate to some needy charity organization. Not much other wildlife approached them, and eventually they found themselves above the perimeter of a makeshift camp, which appeared to belong to the Pirates. Once more employing the Techno-Vong Gambit, Rusong Lah convinced these pirates that the group was a skilled team of defense contractors capable of building stronger security systems for the pirates. And as the pirate’s crew boss discussed terms, he mentioned the temple they were overseeing, and the inner chambers which they could not breach, leading Rusong Lah to extend his services in opening them.

The Pirate’s gave the group directions to the temple mouth, but there the group found not a busy archaeological dig, but yet another massacre site, as corpses littered the desert floor. These bodies were mutilated, scarred, and all in terrible condition, some of them had died of blood loss, rather then simply being killed by whatever assailant had attacked them. Following a tunnel leading downward, the group emerged inside a long hallway within the temple, large pillars rising up about thirty feet, the dim tunnel lit by massive floodlights the pirates had apparently placed. But there were apparently more corpses, and several Pirate soldiers who were spooked by the savagery of the attacks, the bodies hacked apart thoughtlessly. While the Hunters managed to stay the pirates hands from attacking, several strikes came out of nowhere, as cloaked assassins struck, cutting down several of the pirates and attacking the party, they claimed to have been hired by someone called, The Augur, and were there to prevent anyone from following her. As they fell, this was the only information they could get out of the assassins, and they entered the temple in spectacular fashion, as Rusong Lah used one of the assassin’s heads as a makeshift battering ram to bash open the (unlocked) door.

Inside the main room of the temple, the Hunters were faced by two large statues, each representing a woman dressed in Jedi robes, each holding lightsabers to their side, and a raised hand holding a strange orb, one engraved with the image of a sun, the other with a moon. Digging through the rubble, the group uncovered six orbs of similar size, with various engravings on them. Through some trial and error, the image of a star, when placed into an opening in the statues eye, opened a door on the corresponding side of the room. Brilliantly, the party decided to split up, each exploring a wing. Rusong Lah and Troika Nobrose would head down the Path of the Moon, while Kith’ruin’du and Lieutenant Martell headed up the Path of the Sun.

On the Path of the Moon, the hallway ended abruptly in a massive open space, as if literally they had entered the middle of nothing, stars orbiting around them, a pillar of light out amidst the stars which appeared as some kind of pedestal. As the two Hunters entered the room, the Stars began to spin rapidly, and blasts of light struck them, blinding and disorienting, but some fast work with a Jetpack and Troika Nobrose reached the pedestal and removed the 20 fluid oz size crystal, deactivating the room’s traps.

Meanwhile, the Path of the Sun was much simpler, the room had been ravaged. The floor appeared to be glass, but was heavily shattered in places, completely broken apart in others. Blasters mounted into the walls were exposed by severe damage, and the two Hunters going this direction found a crystal as well, this one shattered physically into three pieces. Moving onward, they swiftly found the cause. In the next room, a female figure stood, the Augur, covered in armor and wielding a scythe, she was in the midst of destroying the traps that had been placed in this room when she sensed the two intruders. Accusing them of being more of ‘his’ puppets, she immediately force pulled them into the room and attacked.

As Kith’ruin’du and Lieutenant Martell fought against the Augur, the other two Hunters began to explore further along their path. As Rusong Lah stepped forward, a hand grabbed him and pulled him backwards. A cloaked figure who appeared to literally emerge from the shadows pulled back the Vong and warned him of the traps. Called the Seer, he talked of the voice in his head, a hateful voice he feared, and desired to be rid of, but which he was forced to obey. The group struck an agreement with the Seer, and he showed them how to meet back up with their friends in time to save them from the Augur. Should they survive the encounter and manage to kill or force the Augur to retreat, he would meet them deeper in the temple, and they could work together to prevent his master from becoming free.

The two agreed, and rushed over end the battle against the Augur. With the arrival of these reinforcements, combined with her growing injuries, she eventually retreated, apparently having an argument with herself. Whatever side of the argument that went unheard won, judging by the cursing and clear desire to kill everyone in that room, threats which went unfulfilled as she disappeared, the shadows of the rooms behind the group swallowing her up.

The Hunters, reunited, compared notes and mended their wounds, Lieutenant Martell having nearly died from the battle. They had each recovered a crystal-like structure, which for everyone but the Vong (Who feels nothing), pulse with a soothing, peaceful aura. From the layout of the temple you’ve seen so far, there are two more room, one attached to each of the paths you’d been following, and another room connecting the two central rooms in the paths. And still no artifact, although it would seem the presence of the Augur and Seer within the temple would hint that there is something here deep beneath the deserts of Gilane….

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Spawn of Darkness
Enter the Pontifex

With the generator sabotaged and the computer date in hand, the Hunters of the Noble Rose have only one task remaining for their mission, the death of the Captain. But something is amiss. The security room in front of the Captain’s ‘bridge’ is in shambles, its guards dead, physically embedded in the wall, their necks snapped but with no sign of an external bruise.

Carefully entering the central room of the asteroid facility, the Hunters found themselves in an old starship command bridge, complete with catwalk overlooking the lowered crew pits on either side. There stood Captain Dannoos, a massive Yuzzem wielding a Vibro Cutlass, playing the part of a Captain to all of his ability.

The command crew in the bridge were all slumped over in their seats, clearly dead. And despite the ten foot tall hairy Yuzzem, the focus of everyone’s attention was the smaller figure of a human. Wearing ill-fitted armor, the man spoke with a deep authority as he was apparently engaged in an argument with the Captain.

The pirates, in their raiding, had uncovered some kind of ruins which apparently contained an artifact of some importance to the man, and now Captain Dannoos was demanding double payment to hand over the location, an offer which the mysterious man was refusing, countering instead with his intent to murder the Captain, but then he sensed the Hunters enter the bridge. Sensing the intent to dispose of the Captain, the man said he would allow the Hunters to complete their task, and began to leave. But Rusong Lah cotinued to challenge this stranger, but his focus shifted in and out, as if he were unable to fully perceive the Yuuzhan Vong. When his gaze turned on Lieutenant Martell, however, the feeling of being examined through the force was actually painful, as if he were prying open the Lieutenant’s brain with a thousand knives.

Slightly confused by the presence and non-presence of the Yuuzhan Vong, and annoyed at the group for not letting him pass immediately, the man lashed out at the Pirate Captain, a strange whip-like shadow emerged from the man’s hand and struck the Captain, but left no visible wound. He told the Captain to accept what he called the Noctis into him, calling it a great gift. The man then jumped down from the bridge catwalk and strode through the group, a passing attack by Rusong Lah causing a retaliatory strike by that same strange shadow. The others were held by the force, unable to act against him as he walked out, and the Bridge door locked behind him.

The Captain had begun crying in pain, and taking the initiative, Lieutenant Martell began to strike at the distracted Yuzzem, intent to take him down before something bad happened. Worried that a completely different bad thing my happen, Rusong Lah began beheading the dead crew members at their stations, and preparing to use their corpses as shields. The Captain screamed, at first itching at his own skin, but then becoming more and more desperate, he began tearing at his skin, ripping out hair and flesh.

And then both bad things happened. The Yuzzem died, collapsing to the bridge floor, but something else rose up from his corpse, a semi-solid shadow in the vaguest of humanoid forms. As it solidified, the Yuzzem’s corpse withered and broke into dust, and the bizarre entity’s cry was heard in the heads of everyone in the asteroid (save the Yuuzhan Vong)… “Flesh… Insufficient… Must… Feed… Must… CONSUME!” and the creature attacked. It’s very presence a wound in the Force, the things existence physically hurt anyone with a connection to the Force, be it small or large. Worse, it attempted to attach itself to everything in the room, tendrils of shadow bursting from its body and striking both the Hunters, and the corpses of the Bridge Crew, which once attached, rose up as a piece of the creature, including the headless things which suddenly found themselves alive riding atop a Yuuzhan Vong’s armor.

These things attacked the group with an unnatural strength, attempting to bludgeon them with little more then crude tactics. Meanwhile, the strange Shadow creature lashed out with dagger like claws, causing superficial wounds that caused a pain far greater then one would expect to all except the Vong, who found his immunity to the Force a great boon against this Thing. Jedi Raxar Kun was a prime target for it, as It seemed attracted to his Force energy, it eagerly struck him done before moving on to Troika Nobrose, and only retaliated against Rusong Lah when it was struck first, as if it couldn’t otherwise sense him.

Finally, with a blast of precision fire, Lieutenant Martell downed another threat, and the Shadow screamed, it’s voice dying out in the minds of those few still alive in the station, and it’s form disintegrating into dust, much as the Yuzzem’s body had, the crew members connected to it collapsed, harmless corpses once more.

The man who had created the shadow monstrosity was gone. Back at the Noble Rose, Jarn Organa had strained to protect Noble Squad against the painful and fatal effects of the Thing’s presence. The Hunters departed the asteroid, detonating the generator to destroy the base. There were already no other survivors, the presence of the Shadow had burned them away.

Contacting ODIN to report success, the group told their contact about the bizarre shadow, and mentioned the name given by the mysterious warrior, the Noctis. Turning white, the technician immediately transferred them to Revan, who warned the group of how dire the threat this thing may represent.

ODIN had encountered the name Noctis once before, and recorded it as a potential threat to maintain a watch for. On an unknown planet in Wild Space, they had found a ruined temple set within a pristine lake, and said to hold the remains of a Jedi named Nalu. The temple had been devastated, not from time or wear, but from recent, very malicious attacks and vandalism, and anything of value had been removed. But what remained included information regarding an old prophecy, foretelling the arrival of something called the Noctis.

With this new information, ODIN has immediately sent a second team to return to that previous site to search for more clues. Meanwhile, the Hunters of the Noble Rose were assigned to follow the coordinates discovered in the Pirate’s central computer, to track down whatever ruins they had discovered, recover any artifacts they can find, and learn whatever they can about the identity of the Noctis, whatever it may Be.

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Heading Deeper
He's not Stupid, He's My Cousin

The generator room behind them, the Hunters of the Noble Rose move forward in the Veragassi Asteroid Belt Pirate Base. One objective completed, two more to go, to hack the central base computer for ODIN, and to cut off the pirate organization’s head, Captain Dannoos. Following the main breaker out of the Generator room, the group heads deeper into the facility through the maintenance tunnels.

The path of the main breaker ended at a relatively simple storage room, which the party ransacked for supplies, finding a large supply of reserve Bacta, as well as two computer spikes which may prove useful in hacking the main computer. Leaving the supply room behind, they emerged into a large, clean, well-lit Security room staffed by several on-duty guards and two mean looking Security Droids. Rather then fight their way through (as usual), the group decided to maintain its rather subtle approach to this operation, and played every bluff and lie they could.

Attempting to find the barracks to wash off after the Dianoga encounter, Rusong Lah and Lieutenant Martell approached the security chief and were largely ignored, given base directions, and sent on their way. But Kith’ruin’du attempted to be far more, and then less subtle. His bluff attempts to get into the central computer room were successful, but an impressive security array requiring hand and retinal scans foiled his attempt at being clever, and he resorted to violence, attempting, but failing, to grab the security chief in a big hug. Only quick thinking form Rusong Lah avoided combat, as he was able to convince the Chief, eager to put distance between himself and the potentially mentally-handicapped Chiss, to let them escort their disturbed friend away.

From the security station, the group entered into a makeshift tech lab, where several computer technicians sat around, running diagnostics on their test systems and tinkering with various weaponry and devices. Now was Rusong Lah, the Techno-Vong‘s time to shine, as he eagerly presented his card and convinced the IT Head of his authentic credentials and suave business sensibility. Clearly wooed by the charismatic Vong, she agreed to lead them to the central CPU and grant them access. And although the security chief wasn’t really sure he believed it, a quick confirmation from the IT head, combined with the Vong’s convincing story of his idiot savant cousin (Kith’ruin’du), and they suddenly had access.

Entering the computer room, said savant quickly got to work, gaining basic access. But, he was unable to bypass the three security levels indirectly, and had to enter the computer’s various pass codes. Level 1 was easy, a simple numerical pattern done in an archaic coding, but Level 2 was more difficult, requiring a trained mind which none of the group possessed, so they simply burnt a Computer Spike and hacked it. However, the third Level was easier, requiring the admin password for the system, which the group was happy to learn was indeed, ‘password’.

With full access to the pirate’s information, the Hunter’s proceeded to upload the information to ODIN. Hyperspace lanes, expanded maps of Wild Space, and any other information which ODIN could use to further explore the unknown territories, and establish patrols to prevent further Pirate activity such as this. But the prize piece of information came in the form of a highly classified report for the captain’s eyes only, which outlined the current ‘dig project’ on a previously unknown world. This dig, according to the pirate’s vague and not-so-scholarly notes, was yielding many fascinating and expensive artifacts from some kind of buried temple complex.

Data now acquired, only one task remained, to find and eliminate the pirate captain. Uploading a map of the asteroid from the CPU, Kith’ruin’du marched the group to the concourse to enter the bridge. But immediately standing in the concourse were three pirates in heavier armor then those encountered before in the Hangar Bay. They had been hunting someone causing disturbances, and seeing the Hunters immediately assumed it was them. They opened fire at the group without hesitation.

Surprise round shots were fired, but before the Pyro Welder leading the group could blink off a second shot, he burst into his constituent particles after a withering assault by Kith’ruin’du. But not to be dismayed, one of the heavy troopers ran out of the concourse, returning with a vicious Bounty Hunter who had been working under the pirate’s employ. With this warrior on their side, the pirates were able to hold their own more readily, but they were still outnumbered and outclassed. Unlocking the door to the bridge, the party stepped into the security station, ready to fight.

But what greeted them was a scene from a massacre. The lights were flickering, some power disruption caused by the massive amounts of damage the security station had suffered. The room was ripped apart with swift, precise strikes that seemed designed to inflict maximum damage. At the front of the room near the door, the two lifeless guards were nearly embedded into the wall, and upon closer examination, there bodies were bruised, broken, and bloodied, but they had died of a broken throat… a broken throat upon which there was no bruises… And despite the evidence all pointing to a Jedi or Sith, the room was torn apart, no evidence of Lightsaber burns on either the room or the bodies.

What if the guards in the concourse hadn’t been hunting the party, but rather, a new player who had tore his way onto the Bridge. All that remains of their mission is to kill the pirate captain, but the question now is, had someone else beat them to it?

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Back to Basics
Once You've Swam in Poo Water, it's Not Like the Day Can Get Any Worse

As the Core worlds fought the devastating battle of Coruscant that decided the fate of the system, Darth Krayt dead and the Sith Empire collapsed, ODIN waited and watched, keeping an eye on the political atmosphere of the Core before continuing it’s defensive stance against the mystery’s of the Unknown. But now, things appear to be calming, the Galaxy is once again in some semblance of peace, and the operatives of ODIN could once again head out to cull those who would live off the misery of others.

Sitting in the midst of Wild Space, the Veragassi Asteroid Belt is a nasty piece of real estate directly along one of the few lanes of ‘safe’ traffic known through Wild Space. Inside, a group of pirates has made their home out of one of the massive chunks of rock, and it’s from here that they’ve been staging raids, attacking ships, and pulling in any unwitting travelers who came too close. While not a great threat, in comparison to deranged Droids or Manipulative sociopaths, they are a threat to stability in Wild Space, yet another problem to clear off the list.

And now, the Pirates of the Veragassi Asteroid Belt have yet another victim. Their tractor beams captured an old Corellian Freighter skimming a little too close to the asteroids off the trade lane. It barely put up a fight, and was easily directed into the hangar. The pirates laughed at the old, battered ship, a big Blue freighter. They would overwhelm the passengers and take the ship, and whatever valuables were aboard. The scum gathered outside, preparing for an easy fight.

The ship’s passenger’s were slightly more prepared then the pirate’s anticipated, however. The ship was the Noble Rose, the passengers were the ODIN Special Ops team known as the Hunters of the Noble Rose, and the Brute who demanded they open the ship’s ramp and come out peacefully instead found himself blown backwards by a deadly rocket fired from the cybernetic leg of Lieutenant Martell, a dramatic entrance that sparked the fire-fight. And while the snipers the pirates had placed on the entrance above caused some damage, the minions were easily cleared out as the Hunters mopped up the fairly one-sided encounter. The pirates were ragtag and ill-equipped at best, and were ill-prepared for the force brought against them. Rusong Lah and Raxar Kun jumped up onto the gantry way in an impressive feat of athletics and took out the snipers. The room cleared, the group prepped itself for its assault on the base.

ODIN had set three objectives before them, sabotage the asteroid’s primary generator to ensure the base’s complete destruction, hack the pirate’s central computer system for whatever maps, hyperspace routes, and other vital information they may have regarding Wild Space, and kill the Pirate Leader, a makeshift Warlord calling himself Captain Dannoos. Exploring the hangar, the Hunters discovered a system of maintenance shafts leading deeper beneath the facility. Leaving Jarn Organa to defend the Noble Rose, the rest of the group ventured down into the maintenance shaft, opting for stealth over the front door approach… for now.

The tunnels beneath the facility crisscrossed with no obvious markings or direction, but relying on Kith’ruin’du‘s technological awareness, Lieutenant Martell’s keen perception, and Rusong Lah’s tracking knowledge, they were able to determine a path straight to the generator… at least, almost straight. A more direct path may have been available, but instead, they found a side access tunnel into the generator room on the other side of a vile, fetid pool.

The room was a sewage collection of some sort, with a sluice grate on the far wall leading up to some brightened room, the waste had collected in a central location and mixed with blood and oil from some kind of drainage from the room above. Approaching the pool, the group was attacked by a vicious tentacle of some kind, one which Raxar Kun instantly identified as a Dianoga, one which seemed much larger then the average size of the species. Rusong Lah‘s plan to dive into the bloody poo water was assisted by several tentacles that struck onto him and pulled him under. Raxar Kun and Lieutenant Martell dived in after, while Kith’ruin’du decided that not swimming in poo was the better part of valor, and continued forward to explore the Generator room.

Although the Dianoga nearly devoured the three swimmers, they were eventually successful in killing the creature and not drowning. Swimming back to the surface, they were surprised to see Kith’ruin’du running back into the room, screaming something about Battle Droids, but there was no pursuit. Venturing into the room, they found the two guard drops standing in the entrance way to the generator, but ray shielding prevented blaster fire from entering into the room. Engaging at an extended range, the group wore the droids down into scrap, and successfully sabotaged the generator to explode in sixteen days, or when they sent a predetermined signal from the safety of the Noble Rose. As the group rested up, Jarn Organa alerted them that the ship had come under attack by three well armed pirates in welding gear and heavy battle suits, but with the ship’s defenses under the control of Noble Squad, he had successfully stopped them. With their first objective completed, they now gathered their strength, and prepared to venture deeper into the facility, to find the CPU, and kill Captain Dannoos.

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