On the trip back to Coruscant Leeloo and Corraun isolate themselves trying to decompress from the events of the last few days. Eva and Kal after some time to talk about having to leave the poor people of Taris and how they are in her prayers.
Eva helps bandage up Corraun’s many wounds. He asks Eva what would she do if she learned earth shattering news that would make her rethink all she believed in, but he doesn’t share any specific details. Eva empathizes with him and knows a little something about it as she had learned about her actions at the senate building, which doesn’t make any sense to her. Jax continues talking and opens up to Eva about how disappointed he is in Leeloo’s reckless actions at the star port and during the blockade. He doesn’t know who she is anymore and he is done making excuses for her. Eva states that she’s never gotten along with Leeloo and she doesn’t understand their friendship, but for Corraun sake if he doesn’t talk to Leeloo and give her another chance he’ll regret it. Corraun agrees.
Kelborn interrupts Leeloo’s isolation berates her on her actions at the star port leaving them behind to go after Zayne and then leaving their teammates behind in space. Leeloo asks if he cares about any of them and he answers he doesn’t, they are only weapons in his arsenal against Redora and he doesn’t want them destroyed needlessly. The conversation turns with Leeloo getting defensive and clarifying that Kelborn still wants to kill her once it’s all over which means they aren’t friends. She lashes back at his admonishments to her, by saying she is focused now and he needs to remember his place. He is following her and needs to stop questioning everything she does. If he is going to follow her after Redora then he needs to learn how to actually follow and not threaten to tranq dart her. Kelborn leaves to go vent his anger.
Corraun talk to Leeloo about two important topics. The first that he is worried she is dangerously skirting the darkside by trying to strike down Zayne in vengeance and with so many negative emotions. She tells Corraun she was in control and isn’t a Jedi she doesn’t have to be afraid to be close to the darkside as a sister of the Force she is hardened by it. The Sisters surround themselves by the dangers of the darkside to become more resistant to it, it’s their way. Corraun then brings up how her recklessness is endangering others, including himself. Leeloo states that taking down Redora is going to take everything and it worth the costs of their lives, for the greater good. Corraun says he doesn’t know if he can work with some with that outlook. She says that Corraun is changed now that he has a padawan to look after, but to succeed against Redora he needs to be all in and if not then maybe this task isn’t for him.
The rest of the journey back to Coruscant is made in silence more or less. Corraun and Leeloo go to the temple, Kal and Kelborn go to heal. Before Corraun can get in to the Kolto tank he is stopped by Tala who asks for an update on Zayne. Jax replies only that he got away.
The next day Tala reports to Haazan about a note she took from Corraun’s room, that may change everything. Haazan reads it and tells her to return and to watch the other one and to put the note back un-doctored, despite Tala’s recommendations. She also reports that Zayne escaped Taris.
Once out of Kolto he finds a note in his room from Leeloo. It states that Kelborn and Jax’s words did not go unheard. She is willing to pay the price to track down Redora, but she won’t ask the others to pay that price. She is going after Redora alone, but knows that she can’t defeat her alone, so when she finds her, she will contact Corraun and Kelborn if he is still around.
After reading the note for the fourth time Corraun receives a summons from Senator Tyan Duna. While waiting to enter the officer Tyan is told his Chronicler still hasn’t arrived. Tyan is frustrated noting he is an hour late, but moves on and invites Corraun in. Tyan has heard he recently got back from Taris and wants to hear firsthand. Corraun fills him in and ask what is the plan to retake Taris. Tyan says there is no plan, they must secure and defend against losing the rest of the Out Rim.
Tyan is upset that the Republic was blindsided by the number of the Mando forces and doesn’t want to be caught off guard again, which is the other reason he asked for Corraun and Leeloo to him today. Corraun explains that Leeloo has gone off on her own. During this meeting Tyan offers to help out the Redora task force as he doesn’t want the Mando to have any more of an edge. He’d speak to the High Council to have more Jedi assigned, but relations between the Order and Senate is strained at the moment. Tyan’s first thought was to assign a platoon to Corraun, but realized that Jedi move best in smaller numbers. [His Secretary chirps in saying his special guest has arrived. Tyan continues without responding.] He’ll have a dozen probe droids assigned to check the possible coordinates. And has gotten the Hyperion on permanent loan to the task force.
Also now that the republic is officially at war with Mandolare and Redora is aligned with them, it’s important to have an appropriate ranked Republic officer on the task force as well. Tyan says to send the Captain in. A sturdy and handsome woman in dress uniform enter, Captain Nora Altair. Corraun recognizes the name or as she is better known, The Angel of Vetal.
Tyan drops hints of wanting to be kept in the loop as a priority over the Military and Jedi Order, so he can be the most help.
Corraun had already set up a meeting with the others to tell them about Leeloo, so he fills the Captain in on the way to Eva’s apartment. Kelborn arrives first and is alone with Eva. They verbally spare a little before Kal arrives shortly followed by Jax and Nora. He breaks the bad news about Leeloo and good news about Tyan Duna’s assigned resources. The next step is to choose where to send the droids and where to start searching with the Hyperion. Kelborn’s position on the team is questioned and everyone is surprised to learn that he has his own personal motivations for wanting Redora killed. He wouldn’t say why, but it is good enough for now.
Eva an Kal have some more time to talk. She informs he that he’s received a rank promotion to Chief Warrant Officer and she gives him another honorable out of having babysitting duty. He declines the exit stating this is important.
At the Jedi Temple Corraun goes to see Padawan Ran Dayble in the Great Jedi Library to check on his progress of referencing the possible coordinates with Knight reports. It’s slow working considering the Star temple is ancient which means going through 30,000 years of Jedi records. He has also been reaching out to governments of local systems to these coordinates for information.
Between the two avenues he has changed the priority of possible locations based on found info, raising some and lowering others. But he has hit a road block. Two of the possible coordinates is in a system outside of the republic (that’s not too unusual), but this system is very resistant to share information and even being a Jedi he can’t get anyone to take his holos. Which is unfortunately because it’s an ancient system with library’s that nearly equal the Orders, relative to their space.
As soon as Jax asks where and hears the location he knows that’s where they need to go. Ran offers to go, to help with searching their Libraries.
The Rogue Star has been repaired. It’s only a day’s journey to the Tapani Sector of The Colonies which is between the Core and Mid Rim. Tala wastes no time giving the 30-year-old Dayble a hard time. Captain Altair meet the Hyperion crew. Pok nearly falls over himself when he finds out The Angel of Vetal will be on the mission.
Late that evening Kelborn is surprised when Tala joins him in the galley over a late night snack. She asks how he feels about being abandoned by Leeloo. Kelborn rolls his eyes and gets defensive, but oddly enough she apologizes and didn’t mean it as an insult. She knows the feeling she was had three masters before Corraun. This opens up a dialog between the two for the first time that is not just an exchange of insults.
Tala continues to give Ran Dayable a hard time telling him things like a beating pool on how he is going to die. Kelborn joins in scaring the learned and shy Padawan.
Once out of hyperspace the team assembles to talk strategy, Eva and Ran gives a debriefing on Tapani. Both possible coordinates are in the Toorja System, but the Tapani Great Council is very independent and territorial of their space, permission will need to be granted to even conduct scans.
Also Kelborn will need to keep his Mando status a secret. Which may include: being out of armor some of the time, and wearing robes other time. Eva notes that the Tapani government have the authority to do whatever they want with him.
Ran shares some information about Tapani to whomever will listen. The Tapani sector was a sector located in the Colonies. It was named after Shey Tapani, who united the sector in 7,348 BBY though the sector itself had been colonized in 12,720 BBY. Seven provinces currently made up the Expanse: Barnaba Province, Cadriaan Province, Calipsa Province, Mecetti Province, Melantha Province, Pelagia Province, and Reena Province. Each province is ruled by a noble house. This sector also includes the Freeworlds Territory region which is not ruled by nobility.
Shey Tapani was a noble and the man who united the Expanse. In a twenty year civil war, Tapani, the lord of House Melantha, waged a war against the other Noble Houses, which were then independent kingdoms. He finally triumphed over the Rogue Houses at the Battle of Shindra’s Veil, where he completely eliminated two rival houses and caused another to collapse on itself. No longer opposed, Tapani crowned himself Emperor of the Tapani sector.
Once out of hyperspace and approaching Procopia they are hailed for landing clearance. Eva Cana is identified and the coms tower seems unimpressed. They are given permission to land at a major commercial spaceport on Desato Island. Last time she Eva was an invited guest by Hi-Lord Ordo Praxum house Pelagia they were able to land in the Tapani Royal Spaceport on Estalle Island.
Destato island is only 400 Kilometers away from Estalle Island and is best known for a major commercial starport and Shey Tapani University. An institute named after Emperor Shey Tapani. Originally located on Estalle Island, but over time grew and with real estate so costly on Estalle Island it was moved to Destato.
The heroes take a hydro-foil ferry to Estalle Island. Ran continues talking. Estalle Island is one of the larger islands in the southern hemisphere. Nearly the entire island is dedicated to the Council, the Senate, and various committees. The island is networked with canals, which serve as an inefficient but elegant method of getting around. During the Imperial Era it was entirely covered by the Urban sprawl of Estalle city. The city was the ancient seat of Shey Tapani’s Empire and continued to be the sector capital. The island is the social, political and economic center Tapani.
The real estate on Estalle is extremely exclusive and within the reach of only the most powerful people in the sector. To obtain an apartment or villa in the city individuals had to have political patronage as well as millions of credits. The architecture of the historical part of Estalle Island was in the ancient Tapani style with domed towers and temples. Many of buildings are thousands of years old and are almost exclusively built of finely carved stone blocks. Despite their age the vast majority of the buildings are structurally sound and well cared for. Many of the buildings had a continual construction history where layers had been successively added to the original structure. It is common for these buildings to have several sub-buildings, extensions and tiers with rooks. A prominent feature of the Tapani style of architecture is the use of domed structures and indeed it was not uncommon to see several domes of differing sizes on a single building. Newer building, such as those in the Commercial district, reflected the trends of Republic architectural style.
Estalle Island is intersected with canals which were originally constructed to drain the swamps in the islands interior. As the city grew they evolved into an elegant transportation method and when the traffic on the streets of the city was bad provided a faster method of transport for commuters. The commercial traffic allowed to use the canals was restricted to public transportation craft such as water taxis, tour boats and ship launches from the harbor. There were also a few floating restaurants.
Other craft that use the canal are the city police or maintenance craft, or privately owned vessels. The canal system is open to the sea and consequently it is possible to sail small water craft from the ocean into the heart of the city. Although the canals were relatively wide they were quite shallow and therefore prevented larger vessels from entering the city in this way and they would consequently have to dock at the harbor. Throughout most of the island the edges of the canals were made of ferroconcrete and are covered by a layer of moss. In the historical district, however, the edges of the canals were decorated with ornate frescos that were washed and maintained nightly by the city workers. Many of the rich and influential residents of Estalle Island considered it a mark of their status to fly an aircar or repulsorlift vehicle into the city to travel around, but most with two-legged horse drawn carriages or by Monorail.
The heroes note the people are dressed in renaissance era dress and most noble men and boys are armed with a sword. And when Corraun warns him that it’s a dueling society Kelborn takes an instant likely to the place. They see many statues of historic nobles, lots of cathedrals and museums, monuments to serve as reminders of Tapani’s great glories.
During the journey they over hear people talk about how tomorrow is the last day of the month Kelona and talking about plans of how to spend Tapani Day, which is coming up. The over hear several people on the streets gossiping.
- Lawrence Hall presented Hilda Adair a Ulikuo gemstone nearly the size of a thumb when he proposed.
- Galaxtic Republic is predicting a quick defeat of Mandolare.
- Fredrick Flose is debuting his new fashion collection next week.
- House Melantha still reeling from the assassination of Lord Giles Kellogg is calling for blood against House Mecetti. Rumor its retaliation by Hi-Lady Helene Bastra for the death of Lord Hugh Easton.
They reach the Pelagia Palace, which is very impressive, massive gardens separating the gate and the Palace proper. After some time, they are escorted into the palace and met by Lady Lenora Forta a noble woman in her fifties, who Eva and Jax had met before. They are taken to Master Shi-Leer’s room, and nearby rooms have been made available.
Meeting Master Shi-Leer, proves to be a poor picture of what some would have imagined for a Jedi Master famous for his prowess in battle. Padawan Tala is instantly rude to the aged master which nearly gives Corraun a heart attack. Corraun and Eva explain why they have come; access to the Tapeno Library and permission to scan two systems. Shi-Leer says the Library should not be a problem, but the scanning may prove more difficult. Hi-Lord Ordo Praxum is not immediately available and currently held up in meetings with the Grand Council, but Lord Gregor Turnell will speak to the new comers. And can be asked for permission.
Master Shi-Leer also shares news about his extended mission here on Tapani, putting a end to the Mecrosa order. His investigation over the last 10 months has revealed a much larger presence of them in Tapani then suspected, and hints that they had been operating in the shadows for at least a decade. They are well organized and funded, even after the stolen children.
Every time Shi-Leer has gotten close, they have slipped away. A few were faced, but fought to the death. One soldier of their ranks, which didn’t have force sensitivity was captured, but was afflicted with dark side alchemy and died horrible when he tried to talk. There ranks are bolstered beyond the girls and boys stolen. For months this hunt has slowed their activity to a standstill, but the last couple weeks there has been six expert assassinations. These high noble deaths have caused bickering between houses about resources to devote to the Mando war effort. With so much tension between Houses, the Great Council isn’t getting anything accomplished. Jax and company offer to help while they are here, since it may take Ran some time to perform his research.
Before meeting with Lord Turnell, Corraun asks Tala to be nice to Master Shi-Leer she agrees on the condition that she is not sidelined when they go after the Mecrosa Order. He agrees, but it nearly back fires as her overly nice demeanor is way over the top.
Shi-Leer calls Corraun to speak to him in private. He senses a great turmoil in his former Padawan. Corraun finally releases his emotions and concerns, already feeling better to have someone to confide in. Corraun freely admits that has caused him to doubt the Jedi Order. Shi-Leer is listens carefully and comforts Corraun. Shi-Leer believes Corraun would never lie about something like this, but finds it hard to believe. Even if its true and the masters killed their padawans due to a vision there is no reason they would lie about Zayne. Corraun asks if he has ever heard of a Covenant with in the order or if maybe that was a another word they would use for the council. Shi-Leer assures Corraun it is not and he has never heard of such a thing in the order. Jax asks if he should tell the High Council. Shi-Leer advises against it, with out proof and more questions answered it too impossible to believe. The talk ends with wise words from the old Master. The Order is an ideal and not just the summon of it’s followers. If these masters did actually kill their padawans in cold bloods and lied about it, then by the very fact that are keeping it shrouded in lies its not the order that has changed, just troubled individuals. This seem to help Corraun with his crisis of faith.
The meeting with Lord Turnell of House Pelagia doesn’t go well. Kal being a cyborg and Kelborn out of armor is introduced as Atin a bounty hunter with expertise on Mandalore are not received well. Turnell and some of the other houses are not pleased that the Senate declared war on Mandolre without consulting Tapani and its Emperor. Regarding permission to scan systems it’ll take three houses to agree, but he’ll recommend to Hi-Lord Praxum that House Pelagia not be one of them, but the Hi-Lord will have the final say. In the meanwhile, since a member of the Senate and Republic Military is here he’ll have Sir Leofric Carver show them the brave Tapani soldiers being gathered to die on the behalf of the Republic.
The team splits; Nora and Eva go to meet with Sir Carver while the others go to speak with Master Shi-Leer about the assassinations. The assassinations only have a few elements in common. Each have been a prominent lord of different houses, no witnesses or any evidence left behind. Methods of death have been poison, light foil and blades. The most recent death was two days ago. It has taken two days to get permission from the Hi-Lord of House Cadriaan to look into the murder. Shi-Leer was going to go in the morning, but will send Jax and company in his place, as the Cadriaan palace has too many stairs for his taste.
Meanwhile Eva and Nora met the young and handsome Sir Leofric Carver who takes an immediate interest in Captain Nora Altair. She is a puzzle to him as females on Tapani are not allowed to serve let alone battle on the front lines. Although intrigued of her cyber arm he is unbashful of it. Nora politely questions Leofric about the assassinations and politics on Estalle Island. At the battle grounds he is proud to show the forces being assembled. Nora is relieved to see they are armed in modern armor and blasters. She questions the use of archaic swords. Leofric passionate defends Tapani craftsmanship and prefers the skill one must use with a rapier opposed to modern vibro-blades. Nora suggests a friendly sparing match in the future.
Back at the Pelagia Palace the heroes met for a late supper and share information. Eva and Corraun speak about the last time the they were here and the Mecrosa Order’s resurgences and kidnapping of force-sensitive children. Corraun tells of what Leeloo saw when she was with Redora. Female children of Tapani mixed with Mando children being trained as Night Sisters. Eva laments how they failed to save those children before they were taken off of Tapani and the loss haunts her. Kelborn gets unusually passionate that it’s not too late for those children, they can still be saved. Corraun points out that the Tapani children were taken before Redora left Dathomir, but there must be some connection between her and Mecrosa if she came into possession of the stolen children, at least the female once.
The group pass around theories of what the Mecrosa Order is trying to gain with these assassinations, but call it a night.
At the Cadriaan place, they are met by Palace Captain Gabriel Prescott, who will escort them. He is not happy about having to work with outsiders. They learn the victim was Lord William Kemp, a man in his early 60’s and a Lord of House Cadriaan. He was a very well respected Lord of the House and served with distinction on the Trade Council. Method of death was a light foil to the heart while he slept. His wife lady Wenifer woke up and found his body cold, his death never woke her up.
Corraun spots a smudge on the seal of his bedroom window nearly 40-feet up. Kelborn recognizes it as boot tread. Prescott says it’s impossible for anyone to have gotten up that high without a grapple line which would have left marks. Tala demonstrates who it possible by leaping out of the window herself, nearly giving Prescott a heart attack. Down below they search below the window and Kal spots a small piece of gravel out of place under a third story window of the Lord’s bedroom. It was missed not only because it was small, but no one thought the killed could have used such a high window.
Back at the Pelagia Palace they have Captain Tabias Rohrig tests the substance revealing this gravel is by product residue found in parts of the Forge district (22.2% sulfate, 13.6% acidine, 41.7% phosphate & 23.5% Hydrocarbons). Captain Rohrig works with the Estalle Island Police and learns that compassion of by-product would be from piston power pumps which can spread out hundreds of meters and there are dozens of such piston farms in the Forge district. It’ll better then searching all of Forge city, but it’s a start. The police will provide some officers to help with the search and give the authority to open doors as the Republic and Jedi have no authority on Tapani.
End of session.
Important Introductions & Firsts:
Captain Nora Altair, Kal is promoted to Chief Warrant Officer, Lavahn and Kelborn find common ground. Sir Leofric Carver, Palace Captain Gabriel Prescott.