Knights of The Old Republic

Episode 105

Back at the Pelagia Palace on Estalle Island the heroes discuss how to best proceed. Captain Nora Altair proposes they don’t try to stop the Boy-Emperor from participation in the Tapani Day parade and use him as bait to give them another shot at stopping the Mercosa Assassins. Eva objects to the morality of using the boy as bait and notes the political pitfalls of not warning him. The group continues to discuss the pros and cons of this idea. Master Shi-Leer joins the discussion, but instead of giving his opinion he simple asks Corraun if he thinks he can truly protect the boy if used as bait. Corraun thinks long on the question and answers no, which surprises everyone. He can defeat the darkside assassins, but cannot guarantee the boys safety to a certainty that he is comfortable with. To the disappointment of Atin and Nora the final plan is to talk the boy-Emperor’s advisors into canceling his participation in the Tapani Day parade.

This only further infuriates Tala about her Knight-Master. Atin and Tala finds a place in the dungeons to spare and she takes her frustrations at Corraun out on Atin. The injured heroes are given use of the Kolto baths to heal up. The baths are different from the typical vertical Kolto tanks. They are carved out 7×3 foot rectangles in the stone floors and when activated and interact with air create a waxing film on the surface of the liquid. The baths are just as effective as tanks for less serve injures where the patient is conscious.

The next day Shi-Leer gets the heroes an audience with Lord Turnell and Sir Carver regarding the threat to the emperor. Initially Turnell was going to warn the emperor without the heroes, but Shi-Leer convinces him to take those present to the event to answer any questions. A few hours later they arrive at the Shey Palace on Estalle Island.
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As impressive as they outside of the palace is it pales in comparison to the spectacular cathedral frescos and statues of past emperor’s and their champions.

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Once invited into the audience chamber they catch a glimpse of the 9 y/o emperor. A lithe boy with fair hair and skin and pretty green eyes. He is excused by Arch-Advisor Maurice Royce. Corraun shares the events of the assault on the Mercosa Order’s hide out and stresses the darkside users are just a powerful as Jedi. Royce respects the Jedi as powerful warriors, but uses an analogy of Paytar beasts and how with enough blasters even they can be taken down. Captain Nora also urges Lord Royce to keep the emperor out of the parade. Royace explains it’s his honor and duty to protect the Emperor’s life he is also responsible for protecting his seat of power. He respects the Jedi’s recommendation and that too of the Republic officer. Unlike many of his contemporaries he is an advocate of the alliance between Tapani and the Republic. He was impressed by Senator Cana’s speech and voted for the alliance. But with that said, he cannot cancel the Emperor’s participation in the parade. It would be a sign of weakness and now more than ever with the great houses divided the Shey house must convey strength.

Lord Turnell’s advise also fails to sway the Arch-Advisor. Seeing that he can’t be convinced Corraun and company ask to help protect the Emperor. Royce says that is impossible the Emperor of Tapani cannot be seen on Tapani’s independence day protected by outsiders. Sir Leofric Carver offers up the idea that if Senator Cana was invited to ride on the Emperor’s skiff during the parade as an honored guest then her private security could also be present without losing any face. Royce agrees to this and quickly ends the meeting due to the arrival of Hi-Lady Helene Bastra.

Corraun and Kal are not pleased with this plan since it requires Eva to be put in harm’s way, but know she will not be talked out of it.

Leofric continues to flirt with Nora and she shows him respect and kindness. Shi-Leer in private tells Corraun although he could not persuade Royce to take the emperor out of the parade he is proud of him for admitting he could not protect the boy. It showed maturity and would not have been said by Corraun a year ago.

The final day of the parades and celebrations arrives. All security measures have been taken and triple checked. Several hours into the parade a multi-tiered assault is executed against the boy-emperor. First snipers picking off Skiff guards, followed by rockets launchers battering the Skiff’s particle shields and Mecrosa boarding party including the two darkside assassins from the other day. Nora and Leofric leap off the skiff and go after the rocket launcher foe. The snipers have the Emperor and Royce pinned down, the skiff cover is preventing any direct shots at them unless they move to the lower deck, but as the Skiff advances closer to the next intersection a kill shot will be possible. Until then the snipers focus on pinning down responding Estalle Island Police.

Kal and Kelborn attempt to hold off the Mercosa foot soldiers as Tala squares off against the same darkside assassin from the warehouse and Corraun blocks the path of the other masked assassin he had nearly slain two days ago. Although half masked Corraun recognizes he is the same foe as before, but notices his green left eye has a half circle of red around the iris. While fencing Corraun asks for the assassin’s name. He replies his name doesn’t matter anymore, and hasn’t for a long while. Corraun also asks who is his master. The darksider doesn’t provide a name, only that Corraun is fortunate he is not facing his master, for Corraun’s death would not be as quick or painless.

Eva attempts to fend off boarders and is stabbed in the process. Corraun leaves his back exposed to the assassin to defend Eva long enough for Kelborn to help her. The assassin leader observes this and with a narrowing of his eyes tells Corraun he now knows his weakness. Kal has to make a difficult decision, help Eva or stop the skiff from auto piloting forward and allowing the emperor to get into the cross hairs of the snipers. He makes the call trusting in Kelborn to have Eva’s back and he stops the skiff, but loses his left arm in the process.

With Eva back on her feet Kelborn moves to a position to defend the boy-emperor. Meanwhile a rocket rocks the skiff and the shields drop. Nora and Leofric take out the assassin with the rocket before his next shot goes off. With Corraun focusing on felling the foot soldiers near Eva, the green eyed assassin leader attacks the emperor, but Kelborn steps in front of the light foil and his hidden Beskar armor stops the attack. Corraun leaps to engage the leader, but a burly foot soldier manages to grab Corraun. With no hero left to defend the boy Arch-Advisor Royce places his body before the emperor and pays the ultimate price. At least his death is mercifully quick with the light foil piercing his heart. For the first time in all of the commotion the young emperor cries out in horror at the loss of his advisor and father figure.

Kal one armed picks up his rifle and shoots the soldier pining Corraun, but it’s only a graze. Corraun quickly calculates their poor odds. The assassin leader has his choice of targets, a defenseless Corraun, Eva and the boy, the only question his who does he kill first. From the roof top Nora opens fire on the Snipers and the Estalle Island police speeders in great numbers arrive and open fire. Nora is hit hard by sniper return fire. Leofric shields her body with his giving her the time she needed to the recover, but he suffers greatly for his heroics.

The darkside assassin leader tells Corraun this is not over and leaps off the Skiff and runs underneath it moving out of sight. The other darksider dueling with Tala does the same. Corraun gets out of the soldier’s arms a moment later and tells Lavhan to go after them and keep eyes on them, she gladly gives pursuit. The heroes with the bulk of the islands police forces mop up the remaining Mecrosa foot soldiers. Once the boy-emperor is safe Corraun leaps under the skiff concerned that Tala was not answering his shouts. Under the skiff he finds an open manhole and drops in. Kelborn shoots a tracer dart at Corraun to follow as soon as he can.

The sewers prove quickly to be a maze, Corraun worried about Tala reaches out with the force to locate his Padawan. He finds her giving off strong emotions of frustration. The assassins got away, they were just too fast and knew how to lose some one down there. Corraun says next time they’ve have to trap them. Tala still frustrated says or use a grenade to slow them done. Corraun puts his foot down against Tala having a grenade. As soon as Corraun isn’t looking Kelborn gives Tala a grenade and a tracer to use on her quarry.

Back at the Pelagia Palace Corraun and Kal return to the Kolto baths, they are joined by Nora who is not shy to completely disrobe in front of them. The next morning Kal and Nora are well enough to leave the baths, but Corraun needs more time. Leofric enters a Kolto bath having wanted to wait till Nora was finished as the proper gentleman thing to do. Leofric asks Corraun if Nora has a suitor back on Coruscant and for some advice on how to capture her heart. Jax gives his best advice, but admits he is no expert.

On the second day after the assassination attempt of the boy-emperor Corraun, Nora, Kal and Atin are seated around a table cleaning their weapons in silence. The emperor is held up in his fortified palace and safe for now. Master Shi-Leer continues to watch footage of the Parade attack, specifically the last few moments before the assassin leader fled. Jax asks what he is looking for, but Shi-Leer isn’t sure only that something about it feels wrong, but perhaps he is just tired and the old master excuses himself.

Looking at the footage again, they brain storm. Kal suggests that the Assassin perhaps would’ve had a little more time before fleeing even with the arrival of reinforcements to kill the boy and that perhaps the Arch-Advisor was the target. Atin objects at first, but then recalls how accurate the previous assassinations had been done and that Royce suffered a precise blow through the heart. Upon further reflection he recreates the scene in his mind and realizes for Royce to get stabbed in the heart when placing himself before the boy, then the assassin would have had to be aiming for the boy’s leg. Kal, Atin and Nora all agree this could be true, but why target the advisor? Corraun’s face goes several shades paler and says that Arch-Advisor Royce was a major supporter of the alliance between Tapani and the Republic, which they learned is now on shaky ground at the moment. Loss of the Tapani alliance would cost the republic nearly one million troops, it would be a huge blow to their war with the mandolarians.

Just then Leofric and Eva enter to share the news that a feast will be held in their honor tomorrow. The heroes quickly ask Leofric what will be done now that the arch-advisor is dead. He tells them that the Grand Council has selected a new one today, Lord Toka Martell of House Mecetti. Nora says that was fast and Leofric explains normally it would take a week or two of debating and voting, but it was quick this time since the only other proper candidates for the job were Lord Giles Kellogg, Lord William Kemp and Lord Thurston Ellis, if they were still alive. The heroes immediately suggest that the previous noble lord assassinations were to get a specific new Arch-Advisor and how that could be more damming then the death of a boy-emperor. Leofric is shocked at this, hoping they are wrong saying, but not all six of the assassinated lords were likely candidates. Eva and Kal suggest the others may have been a smoke screen to avoid any obvious parallels.

Nora asks Leofric about the new Arch-Advisor’s political views. He is very outspoken against the alliance with the republic.

End of session.

Important Introductions & Firsts:
Kolto Baths, Arch-Advisor Maurice Royce (deceased), Emperor Lucian Kappela-Shey.

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