The episode opens to a scene of dusty flat plains with a large town planted in the middle. Text for the viewer reads Tallaan. Tallaan is in the Tapani Sector. Tallaan is a Freeworld system. It’s considered backwater by Tapani proper. It’s not governed by any of the Tapani Houses. Its main riches are like most Freeworld Territories planets, Ore. Tallaan is also the best place in the Freeworld to buy star ships. Some say it’s because of the high piracy in the area.
We see a dust covered female Twi Lek wearing a poncho and with individually wrapped head tails walk into a large Cantina called “The Poddering Hole”. The clientele leaves a lot to be desired. Most look to be out of work roughnecks from the many local Ore mines. The new comer gets a glance from a quarter of the patrons, the rest are focused on their ales or the corner holos of the live Tapani Day Parade.
Once inside the female removes her helmet and goggles revealing an 18-year-old green Twi’lek. She places her things on the bar and orders a Cadriaan Blaster. A pudgy light skinned bartender places a shot glass on the bar and pours a cyan-blue liquid into the glass and says, “Zanna I’m surprised to see you again. That collapsed Magnetite mine is a death trap.” Zanna has just come back from a dangerous delve into a collapsed mine to retrieve a very expensive Terrain driller controller chip.
A Tapani lower noble Dhar Cunningham along with a Herglic named Alucard and a dirt covered human male named Neg attempts to try to take the chip. Zanna refuses and starts a cantina shoot out. Zanna’s twin pistols prove to me more than a match for the trio. After killing Neg, Dhar offers a noble’s wages to the man who takes her down. Seven down on their luck miners step up with wrenches and old blasters. During the battle Zanna gets glimpses of some type of attack at the Tapani parade. This level of opposition is still no match for the young gunslinger some of the wounded miners make a run for the door, but Zanna shoots them in the back. Dhar calls a truce which is a relief to the large Herglic. The two leave the dropped credits behind and exit the bar. Dhar states this isn’t over. With the shooting stopped everyone’s eyes are on the holo of the parade, Zanna see her old friend Senator Eva Cana stabbed by boarders of a parade skiff. Zanna tells the bartender to get the chip to her client and have her credits wired to her account.
It takes two days for Zanna to secure a transport and get through the heightened security of Procopia, but she arrives at the Pelagia Palace and is greeted by Shi-Leer. Zanna and Shi-Leer meet the heroes shortly after their discovery of the Mecrosa Orders’ true target of Lord Royce during the parade and the geopolitical ramifications of the new arch-advisor Toka Martell’s anti alliance views with the republic. Eva is pleased to see Zanna again. That night they do some catching up and Eva reveals her memory loss. Eva confides to Zanna that she feels awkward at times being around friends that have memories of her that she does not.
Corraun to is pleased with Zanna’s appearance and vouches for her to Kal. Zanna quickly identifies Atin’s blaster as Mandalorian. Later that night Corraun confronts Tala about her recklessness and attitude. She takes from the conversation that he’ll be like her previous knights and will return her to the temple the next chance he gets.
The next day Atin convinces Zanna to go shopping with him for grenades and fine party attire. Zanna lets slip that Corraun has a bounty on his head. Back at the palace just before the Heroes Banquet Eva sees Zanna in a stunning dress, when she reveals that Atin bought it for her, Eva warns her that Atin can’t be trusted. Zanna changes into a dress provided by Eva. Atin is upset when he learns of this.
The Heroes Banquet which is held at the Pelagian Palace on Estalle Island. It’s not as grand of an affair one might think, as its not being mentioned to the commoners. They’re not too proud of being saved by off-worlders. At the banquet Atin is seated next to fellow hero from the Emperor’s skiff Sir Godric Eccelston, who Atin nearly threw overboard after being insulted by the pompous man. Sir Eccelston is in no better form tonight and Atin must white knuckle and bare his insults less make a scene before Hi-Lord Praxum.
Kal meets a friendly House Pelagia Lord by the name of Nigel Terrell. Lord Terrell is a member of the Falley Club and Kal should speak at their next gathering. The Falley Club is an exclusive club with no house affiliation. It’s known for intellectuals, academics and military careerists.
Zanna sits with Master Shi-Leer and Padawan Ran Dayable who talks her ear off. Between courses Zanna has her first chance to meet Corraun’s padawan Tala. Lavahn flippantly comments on how Zanna is far from force sensitive. Zanna takes a swing at Tala and Corraun is forced to break up a fight in front of three Hi-Lords. After the last course Zanna plants herself at the punch bowl and attempts to get drunk. Capt Nora talks to her about the skirmish with Tala. Zanna asks if she is getting serious with Sir Carver who visibly adores her. Nora says she is a career soldier and would never be tied down.
Hi-Lady Helene Bastra of House Mecetti, accompanied by Count Bulgulf Bonte of Mecetti provides their gratitude to the heroes for saving the Emperor. Corraun and Eva exchange some vailed niceties with the two regarding politics and now uncertain alliance with the Republic. Shi-Leer excuses himself to speak with Hi-Lord Praxum regarding the true goal of the recent attempt on the Emperor and the assassinations.
Zanna now thoroughly drunk is convinced by Eva to escort her back to her room before another scene occurs. Nora stays behind to speak with Tala alone. Nora tells the young girl that she should apologize to Zanna. Tala explains she has no hard feelings to the Twi’lek, but did nothing wrong to apologize for.
Next morning the heroes learn that last night there was another assassination. This time it’s a house Pelagia Lord, Lord Nigel Terrell. The heroes along with Master Shi-Leer and Padawan Dayable join the investigation. Terrell was found dead in his study killed by a light foil through the heart. A close examine reveals he was killed from the front, but not from the back. With no damage to the chair he was found in it’s obvious his body was moved. Corraun senses out with the force and discovers a secret passage in his study. Stairs lead to a small secret room. Capt. Rohrig says these rooms aren’t entirely uncommon among the old families, only a few know they exist though.
Down there is a tiny desk built into a wall, with a locked glass case of very old journals, hand written books and scrolls. The case would protect it from the passage of time. On the desk is a writing tool set that Dayable recognizes as what would be used to copy a book, librarians use these tools especially when a book of importance is old and a copy is made to preserve the knowledge with in. Kal finds some scraps of copied sections that had an error or ink smudge. There were set aside to burn. With only scraps Dayable can’t make out much more than a single part of a word here or there, but finds a binding set aside for the book. It’s titled Secretum Secretorum. As soon as Captain Rohrig hears that. He demands everyone leave until the Hi-Lord or Lord Turnell is told.
The Lords are very hesitant to talk about it any further. Turnell refuses to. It takes a plea from Shi-Leer to get Hi-Lord Praxum to reveal the truth. The Secretum Secretorum, which in old basic translation means The Secret of Secrets. Praxum says, ”During the hyperspace war 1,000 years ago Tapani was drawn into the conflict and worked with Jedi to battle Sith in the Tapani Sector. A darklord of the Sith plagued our systems for nearly a year. Death and Terror became our people’s daily faire. The Jedi provided assistance where they could, but the Hyperspace War was vast and what I was told we were mostly on our own, awaiting more Jedi help. The Sith Lord was elusive and manipulative. The Lords of nine houses banded together to stop this threat. [He hesitates….] I will not speak specifics, but the Lords took terrible and shameful measures to stop the Sith Lord. Each house recorded elements of their sacrifices and wicked acts they had made to stop this evil Sith Lord. Not wanting to have made public the houses agreed to keep these accounts secret. All houses would suffer shame and thus was mutually assured destruction.”
These books had been passed down for over a hundred generations along with other items to Privy Councilors for safe keeping. This leads the heroes to deduce half of the previous assassinations had been senior Privy Council members that would’ve had access to their houses Secretum Secretorum. Shi-Leer now better understands the blood symbol and alter Knight Jax found. There was an old type of blood magic in the ancient times of Tapani, more than 10,000 years ago. Where priests would use blood and sacrifice to tap into the darkside of the force. Shi-Leer explains that there is no connection to the force from blood, but Sith Alchemy could use it, but most likely in Ancient Tapani, it was the act of pain and fear and violence that allowed force sensitives to tap into visions using the darkside. They must have been using old Sith alchemy to receive visions of where these books are located.
The motive of the Mecrosa Order seeking these books is curious. If it was just one or two houses used to release ancient Tapani dirty laundry it could be used as blackmail, but not one house over another less all houses suffer same shame. Shi-Leer thinks it’s the final resting place of the Sith Lord they are seeking. Hi-Lord Praxum says each of these books hold clues of where the Sith Lord was entombed, but a not single book has all the information. The good news is that Lord Nigel was working on a copy of Pelagia’s Secretum Secretorum but last night he was only copying a few pages. The original is currently in a vault of the Tapeno Library.
The heroes decide to set a trap at the Tapeno Library assuming they forced Lord Niguel to talk or their next ritual visions will lead them there. Library Curator Lord Egbert Dane is told a trap is being set for a dangerous criminal. He objects, but is forced to compile by House Pelagia. The heroes have the Secretum Secretorum encased in a plas-steel case and situated in the main library and lay in wait.
As hours go by Tala breaks away from her position to speak with Zanna. The argue briefly about who can do their job better and which is more difficult to master light sabers or blasters. Tala picks Zanna’s brain about Corraun and grenades.
Just after 3 am Kal who is plugged into the library security detects a minor glitch and suspects they’re in the building. Sure enough the heroes from cover spot the two red cloaked Mecrosa assassins stepping out of shadows and taking the bait. Kal notices some climate control temperature changed in sections of this large hall he adjusts his thermo optics and spots eight hidden Mecrosa Order foot soldiers and initiates security lock down trapping everyone in the room.
The lead Mecrosa assassin does not act surprised. He shouts out ”Did you really think I couldn’t sense you?” Corraun stands up and replies, ”It doesn’t matter, you’re trapped now.”
End of session.
Important Introductions & Firsts:
Planet Tallaan, Alucard, Dhar Cunningham, Neg (deceased), Hi-Lady Helene Bastra of House Mecetti, Lord Nigel Terrell of House Pelagia, name drop The Falley Club, Godric Eccelston of House Calipsa, Secretum Secretorum, Lord Afian Carrol of House Pelagia, Tapeno & Library Curator Lord Egbert Dane.