Knights of The Old Republic

Episode 110

Zanna, Kelborn & Tala return to Procopia via a passenger shuttle, Kelborn is back into his Tapani native’s clothes. They took the shuttle after ditching the three stolen pirate star fighters. They meet with Lord Gregor Turnell to hand over the two books. The Secretum Secretorum from House Barong and House Melissus. Before payment he asks if any nobles were harmed. He seems pleased with Kelborn’s work and would consider hiring him again in the future. Kelborn puts down Knight Jax’s progress and notes he could do better.

Corraun with Eva and Kal present confronts Kelborn and Tala for having been gone for three days. Kelborn quickly defends Tala and makes up a story about site seeing. Any time it looks like Tala may come clean Kelborn deflects and starts an argument with Corraun. Corraun tells them that Tala and he have been called back to the Temple on Coruscant immediately, he has been stalling awaiting her return. He doesn’t know exactly why, but doesn’t sound good. Before leaving Tala hands Kelborn back his grenades and says she’ll be back for it. Kelborn gives her a small hug.

Back on Coruscant Tala is waiting outside of the high council chamber for Knight Jax. Inside Knight Jax is meeting with Master Aura Felsha & Master Doe-nar. The summary of the meeting is that the recent troubles and failures on Tapani have not gone unnoticed. Jax defends himself by saying they had destroyed a Mecorsa Order cell. She replies back that the boy-emperor was used as bait and was nearly killed. Not letting him defend she continues. Also used as bait was a rare text of the Pelagia House that was stolen and not recovered. Word has now gotten back to the Galactic Senate that the Tapani may be with drawling promised support for the Republic against Mandolare. Doe-nar says that Master Shi-Leer has taken responsibility for all the risks taken, but Felsha jumps in and says, they know Master Shi-Leer has always had a soft spot for Knight Jax and likely taking the blame for him.

It was a senate request from Senator Tyan Duna for Jax to be assigned to this task force and the request was honored as good will, but now with political strife on Tapani some of it traced back to Knight Jax, The High Council can no longer honor this request. Knight Jax will is assigned back to the temple as a teacher of military theory.

Post meeting Jax tells Tala all of this. She is pissed. And tells him he should ignore the order. These darksiders must be stopped. He tells her he can’t, he would be teaching her the wrong lesson. She says she’ll go back on her own. He tells her she can’t without a Knight and not to throw everything away on this. She is furious. He gives her time to cool down and says, but it may not be too late for you. You may not be assigned to this task force, but if you can find a Knight willing to volunteer. “I can’t reassign you, but I can give you a furlough of training with another Knight to learn new skills”. She thanks him, but still feels he is wrong not to ignore the council’s stupid command, he is a warrior and should be in the field.

Later on Coruscant upper most level. A grassy park with the Jedi Temple seen in the distance. Revan and Alex Squint are speaking before a small gathering of Jedi Knights. These Knights interest level vary as differently has their appearances do. Padawan Tala slips behind a tree catching only the tail end of this assembly.

Alex Squint says, “Do not heed the words of the Jedi Council. The Republic will fall if we do not act now. Already the Mandalorians have taken three systems along the Rim. They will only grow more powerful with time. Come stand with me. We will use our might to help the Republic in its time of need. Join Revan and I. Together, we will battle this menace.”

A Female Cerean Knight speaks, “But Alex the High Council has already weighed the pros and cons regarding this war and have found it to against the best interest of the Order.”

Revan speaks, “I would strongly debate that this course set forth by the High Council is best for the Jedi Order. But what cannot be debated is that decision is not best for the Galactic Republic. I have seen firsthand how dangerous and cunning the Mandolarians are. And how absolute they can be in their destruction and violence. They are a plague of aggression and hate that will wash over the galaxy if left unchecked. I for one do not want to awake one day safe in the Jedi Temple (points over his shoulder) and find only vistas of the ruins of a 25,000-year-old Republic. How could I live with myself knowing I could have done something, but didn’t…Do you?”

The majority of this intimate crowd calls back, “No” and “I’ll join”. Revan and Alex step forward and meet with the Knights forming several smaller groups. Some of the silent Knights leave. Tala is looking around, seems to spot what she is looking for and stands in front of a mature and battle scared male Cathar. She asks are you Jedi Knight Horath?

Tala attempts to recruit Horath. At first he tells her the only way he would is to ask permission of the High Council. She says never mind, but Horath was just testing her to see how committed she is to this cause. He asks her why she chose him. She knew he was on Cathar during the genocide and would likely want a chance to stop the Mandos and Night Sister. He agrees and after a brief conversation with Knight Jax they leave Coruscant.

Tala insists on piloting, telling Horath to take it easy, he has temporarily loan of the best Padawan and Pilot in the galaxy. After two days, their ship a Y4-G78B drops out of hyperspace. After a few minutes Horath enters the cockpit as Tala is in the process of landing. The view port reveals a dustbowl setting with high winds. As a dust cloud passes he sees they are landing in a dinky space port. Horath quickly notices this isn’t Tapani and learns it’s Kanter IV in the Mid Rim. He asks why are they here. Tala says, “oh didn’t I mention I needed to a make a short stop before Tapani. I need to pick up a {says something in a langue he doesn’t understand}”.

The star port seems empty of people. They see a half dozen or so ships of all makes. Once passed the gate they find themselves in a good size dust storm obstructing their view. Tala checks a little GPS device and marches on. The dust settles down and they see three structures ahead, parked in front of the nearest one is a Mando Shaadlar ship! Tala goes forward like nothing is wrong.

As they get to the door of the first building they see two Neo-Crusader Helms propped on poles flanking the entrance. Like some ceremony décor that Cathar warriors would have. Tala walks in. As soon as the door opens they’re ears are accosted by a loud ruckus. Shouting, a Blaster shot and music. This building looks to have until recently been a Surveyor’s Outpost, but has now been turned into a makeshift Cantina. Dozens of rough looking men are drinking their fill, including one man who appears to be drinking from a Mando Helmet. A Mando flag is hung on the wall, but is being used for knife throwing practice. In the middle is a man wearing a Neo-Crusader Mando helm and a chest armor piece over his dirty overalls. 5 paces away is a man wielding a Mando Blaster and shoots him in the chest. The man is knocked back against a table, but quickly gets up saying, “I didn’t feel a thing, now shoot me in the head.” While Horath is surprised and taking it all in Tala says, “make yourself comfy, I’ll be right back.” And she disappears into the crowd. He sees her talk to a few of the men and eventually get pointed into a back room. Tala enters and sees a Mando corpse leaning over a desk, his right hand severed. Sitting across and in front of a data terminal illuminating her face is Leeloo Stannis.

Horath speaks to the locals and learns this a small surveyor outpost and refuel station in the Mid Rim run by mostly ex-pirates and smugglers. It was captured by a squad of Mandos to gather intel about Mid Rim systems and Republic Military movements. They killed all but the essential workers and using the threat of killing the few families here to force them to go about gathering information. Then out of nowhere a small woman appeared and slaughtered the Mando freeing them. Horath believes this to be a exaggeration and looks for Tala.

In the back room Leeloo explains she was hoping that since this out post was for information gathering that it might go both ways. She questioned the Mando in charge, but got nothing useful. Tala tells Leeloo that Corraun was recalled back to the temple and won’t got against their orders. Although Corraun is a great warrior Leeloo was right that Corraun wouldn’t do whatever it takes to get Redora. The team needs Leeloo back. Rocky introductions are made between Leeloo and Horath and Leeloo agrees to return with them to Tapani.

Back on Coruscant a female Zeltron Jedi Knight Saida Bys is brought before the small Council of Masters Felsha & Doe-nar. She is assigned to the Redora task force. Her goal is to keep the Hyperion device safe, locate the lost Star Temple, learn it’s secrets and destroy the Night Sister leader. Knight Bys is told she is replacing another Knight and that this task force needs a diplomatic touch since the world scanning will require meeting with several non-republic sovereignties. It cannot look to the Senate that the Order is sabotaging potential allies to the war.

On Procopia Saida meets with Master Shi-Leer who questions her in his own unique way. She appears to do well, although perhaps she is a bit naïve. Shi-Leer warns her that Corraun’s absence will be felt and she’ll have to earn the respect of her new team. Shortly before that Tala presents her two new companions to the rest of the task force on Tapani. There are mixed reactions at the loss of Jax and the return of Leeloo. A fight is nearly broken out by the time Knight Saida is introduced by Master Shi-Leer. There are several scoffs when it’s announced the council has put her in charge. Once things calm down to a simmer Shi-Leer tells them they have a meeting with Lord Turnell soon with good news.

In private Kelborn and Tala talk. He wants to know what she was thinking bring a Cathar. She says he’s a Knight it’ll be fine he can control his emotions. But just encase she asks Kelborn not to kill him, she needs him to stay on the mission. She’ll owe Kelborn a favor.

At the meeting, they learn that a total of four Secretum Secretorum book are now in their possession. Tala and Kelborn share a knowing glance regarding two of them. Lord Afian Carrol using the four books has deciphered the location of the secret crypt of Saalo Morn. It is located in the Mecetti Province, specifically on their throne world Obulette. Lord Turnell says that Houses Melantha and Pelagia are not allowed on the throne world without special permission so Tapani house guards cannot go. The specific location was pieced together like puzzle pieces from millennia old books. The area of the crypt is described as in the mouth of the twin fangs. There is an ancient tale on Mecetti going back 5,000 years of two castles atop peaks separated by a canyon. The lords would war for the greater pieces of the valley between them. Even though the land was too rocky and uneven to be used as farming their descendants warred over it for hundreds of years. Eventually bringing both sides into a ruin. Supposedly the ruin remains of the castles are mostly gone now, and due to the rocky and uneven landscape it hasn’t been repopulated since before the great hyperspace war.

The heroes will have to go to the valley area and search around for the hidden crypt. It’s described as being inside “the wound of the mountain”. Jedi Padawan Ran Dayble also warns there is mention of traps, but we don’t have the books that mention specifics of the traps or how to disarm them. Kelborn brings up a good point that after 1,000 years it’s unlikely the traps would still be functioning. Eva and Nora must stay as she they have appointments with Tapani lords. Zanna offers offer to stay as bodyguard to Eva so that Kal can go.

After the meeting Zanna seeks Leeloo out to talk. Zanna explains how for a long time she wanted to kill her for destroying her life with Lady Asha Kawa. But eventually realized it was Lady Asha that abandoned her while being hunted by Savik’s creatures. Then when she went to find Leeloo for help that she felt was owed to her, she met Corraun, Kip and Eva. Zanna now thanks Leeloo for being able to spent time with her “family” and it’s changed her life. Leeloo is grateful for her forgiveness and asks what she’ll do next. Zanna says that she knows she isn’t a good person like Corraun or Eva and once Eva is safe she’ll have to go back to the new life she has started.

Eva talks to Knight Bys and apologizes to her for being rude as first. She explains that she was upset that Corraun got in trouble and doesn’t know how to help him. Bys uses her racial pheromones to easy Eva’s mind and start a friendship. Leeloo and Kelborn discuss how best to tell Knight Horath that he is a Mandolarian. They decide it’s best to wait till it’s absolutely necessary.

Saida Bys, Horath, Tala, Leeloo, Kal and Kelborn board the Rogue Star. Bys meets the rest of the Republic crew Fenn Iris and Lakke Deming and Security Pok Mayten. The trip only takes 10 hours. They doc at the orbital space station to take a shuttle to the planet. At customs Kelborn is pulled aside. Bys attempts to help with a mind trick, but it doesn’t work. Kelborn talks his way out and just before customs finds Knight Bys’ lightsaber Kelborn drops a grenade down a garbage shoot giving enough a distraction for her to walk away.

They rent a shuttle and head to the coordinates of Olinbar. Flying around Olinbar they do spot a deep canyon with peaks on both sides that possess the ancient ruins of a castle. The peaks are nearly perfectly level. You could imagine the lord’s windows facing each other separate by only a 1000 meters. The canyon walls and floor are mostly covered by trees and moss-covered rocks. There is a waterfall on the higher elevation of the canyon. They have to land a good distance away and walk into the mouth of the canyon’s two fangs.

Kelborn is the last to exit the air-speeder and his wearing his full Mando armor. Horath nearly attacks him on sight. Kal and Leeloo try to explain he isn’t an active Mando in the war, he doesn’t agree with the Neo-crusaders. But any progress is lost when it’s revealed Kelborn was on Cathar during the genocide. Horath agrees to not kill Kelborn until her enters Republic space. One on one Tala talks to Horath and tells him that seeing the actions on Cathar is what made Kelborn leave and become a bounty hunter.

As they enter into the canyon the Force Sensitive heroes can detect the presence of the darkside permeating over the land. The terrain is difficult with the moss covered uneven ground proving to be a hindrance. Walking into the canyon there is also a slight graded slope up. Which makes it a little bit a surprise there isn’t a river at this end from the water fall run off.

Deeper in the old grey trees cast ominous shadows. In the corner of the heroes eyes at times they could’ve sworn that they saw the shadow of the leaves look like demons devouring prey. When they turn to look the wind blows and the rustling of the leaves erase the imagery from the ground, but not their minds.

About 45 minutes in Leeloo who is in the lead stops. She says they’ve been followed for some time by creatures, but now they have surrounded them and likely ready to attack. She reaches out with the force to touch their minds, but only finds twisted rage and hate. The heroes form a circle of defense as they only see glimpses of milky white eyes and movement. Then in unison seven grotesque creatures spring from the bushes. They look like bears with narrow hindquarters, patchy fur and green open sores. Their eyes are a dead milky-white.
Tainted_Yao.png
The terrain is slippery which makes battling these foes more difficult. Kal is swarmed and pinned. He manages to throw the heavy beast off, but more just pounce on him. Knight Saida is knocked down and Leeloo goes to her aid. Kelborn is pounced upon and pinned, but uses his jet pack to get lose. These beasts are fearless and ferocious. When it looks like all will be lost Horath drops his light saber and leaps into the middle of the tainted creatures and roars like an apex predator challenging them. They circle around him ready to pounce and tear him apart. The other’s take this distraction as a chance to regroup and move on the offensive. The gamble pays off and the terrible creatures are all destroyed.

Leeloo examines the corpses and believes they were once peaceful Yaols, but have been tainted and changed by the darkside. Knight Saida is shaken after the battle and seems to lose control of her pheromones causing nearly everyone to become attracted to her, or even more attracted to her.

After patching up their wounds they move forward. They hear rushing water ahead and reach a bit of a clearing and see the river from the water fall running into a natural hole in the valley. The total depth is nearly impossible to tell, but very deep. 20 meters down they spot a natural cave opening that could be described as a gaping wound in the mountain. With ropes, they decent down.

Inside they see worked stone walls and a dark opening beckons. Inside, the ground slopes sharply downward into blackness. They see a rectangle shaped room ahead. [The force Sensitives feel the following:] “This close to the entrance you can feel a sort of chill in the air, as though a cold breath were passing over your skin. It is definitely coming from deeper into the mountain, but further down the passage you also get a sense of strength, a power neither light nor dark, waiting patiently to return to active use”.

This 8×12 meter room is covered with carvings into the stone walls of a impressive humanoid figure wearing robes and a horned helm pulling starships down from the sky. The walls continue with the presumed Sith Lord committing many different atrocities. It seems obvious this was carved as a warning. Otherwise the room is empty and without another doors. Kelborn undistributed by the craving finds a hidden button and presses it.

A hidden door slides open as they hear the sounds of metal chains moving from above, then a section of flag stones breaks away from the ceiling and a giant disc at the tunnel entrance falls with a metallic and finite thud. Horath nearly crushed by the falling disc was forced to leap aside back into the tunnel. This dust covered disc shaped object is blocking the exit and perfectly flush to the walls. Tala slashes at the disc with her light saber, but with no effect, not even a scratch. Leeloo guess aloud it’s made of Beskar. Kelborn inspects it and confirms it. It’s flawlessly made and in an impressive amount.

With no way cut through it so they are forced to continue in deeper to find another way out. Just then _“The darkness grows thicker around you, and a noise like cracking bones rises out of the open doorway. There is a brief sensation of someone staring at you intently”. The Force Sensitives feel something additional. “The feeling of being scrutinized is particularly intense for you. There is a kind of pressure on your mind for a moment…then an impression of dark satisfaction, as though someone horrible has been waiting here for you for a very long time”.

Knight Bys catches a glimpse of light from a glow rod from the other room, but it vanishes quickly. The heroes steel themselves and enter. The viewer can see as they cross the threshold even their glow rods are absorbed totally by total darkness.

End of session.

Important Introductions & Firsts

Knight Horath, Knight Saida Bys, Kanter IV & Tainted Yaols.

Comments

I have tear and a smile reading this. Horath and Kelborn… how awesome is that.

Episode 110
Odaindain

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