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A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…


>>RECAP of the last thread:

Farren Gaelle spoke to the holocron of Master Kreia, sharing with the ancient Jedi Master his worries and insecurities. She counseled for emotional stoicism, warning the reason for Anakin Skywalker’s fall didn’t matter as much as the result: the neigh-extermination of the Jedi and reorganization of the Republic into the Empire. Their cadre of survivors would have to be careful when fighting against agents of the Sith, or the Dark Lords themselves.

In addition, Farren took care of other things. He addressed the Clones about their mind control to the Herald of Jombaral, reassuring them that he wasn’t about to get rid of them. Playing a mediating party for Warrior-King Troxl and the M.S.D.F., land was appropriated for the Kakarit refugees. Even an ill-ventured attempt at investigating the Storyteller and Revenant ended with success, albeit at the attempt of a branding on his hand.

But perhaps the most significant thing to happen was Master Larid’s return from the Chiller, with all twelve of the younglings. At his request, Farren interviewed them, debriefing them of their misadventures on the subzero planet with the Tof. And on the following day, he had chosen his padawan learner: a miraluka girl by the name of Ceyla Vikol.

However, the emotional high was not quick to last. Master Larid held Farren at lightsaber point upon the revelation of the brand, revealing prior knowledge about the Storyteller. Cold fury turned into abject horror when Farren described the words screamed by the half-mad Revenant. At his request, Farren gave his master privacy as the ship’s computer carried out a DNA test between Larid and the Revenant.

Now, Farren searches for Nomiana Whrul, a Mandalorian woman he’d danced with the night prior to the Slaves’ Revolution…


Previous Thread: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/4669323/
Archive: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=Star%20Wars%20Interregnum
Character Pastebin (WIP): https://pastebin.com/u/TaskForceKaz
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TaskForceKaz

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>>Farren Gaelle
>Brawn: 2
>Finesse: 3
>Intellect: 2
>Cunning: 2
>Resolve: 3
>Panache: 2

>Astronavigation 1 (Intellect) – knowledge about the galactic routes and hyperspace jumps.
>Cool 1 (Panache) – a character’s ability to remain calm under danger. Rolled to resist Charm and Negotiation.
>Coordination 1 (Finesse) – a measure of a character’s nimbleness and flexibility.
>Deception 1 (Cunning) – judges the character’s ability to trick others into believing falsehoods.
>Force Entities 1 (Intellect) – how much a character knows of entities strong in the Force.
>Lore 2 (Intellect) – how much the character knows of the ancient galaxy and its history.
>Mechanics 1 (Intellect) – skill in working on all things from weapons to droids and ships.
>Melee 2 (Brawn) – proficiency with melee weapons such as knives and swords.
>Medicine 1 (Intellect) - used to treat wounds as minor as scrapes to life-threatening injuries.
>Perception 2 (Cunning) – used to notice clues, hidden dangers and people.
>Piloting [Space] 1 (Finesse) – the ability to pilot starships and other stellar vessels.
>Ranged [Light] 1 (Finesse) – a measure of skill in firearms such as blasters.
>Sith 1 (Intellect) – knowledge regarding the Sith and Dark Side of the Force.
>Stealth 1 (Agility) – a measure of how easily a character can hide or appear inconspicuous.
>Vigilance 2 (Resolve) – represents a character’s ability to take notice and react to events happening in their surroundings/peripheral vision.

>Jedi Shadow [Add +2 to checks made for Deception, Perception, Stealth and Vigilance]
>Makashi Expert [Roll 3d6 when using Form II/Makashi]
>Indistinguishable [You are but a face in the crowd, and add 1d6 to Stealth rolls]

>>Lightsaber Rating: 3
>>Weapons: “Makashi/Duelist” lightsaber, curved hilt with gold-yellow blade; “Niman/Dual-wielding” lightsaber, straight hilt with gold-yellow blade.
>>Lightsaber Forms:
>Form II, Makashi [Finesse]
>Form VI, Niman [Finesse+Cunning]

>>Force Rating: 2 (2d10+Resolve)
>>Force Affinity: Alter (+5 bonus to Alter-type powers)

>>Force Powers:
>Force Fire 2 (Alter) – a pyrokinetic ability that allows the practitioner to manipulate and conjure flames with the Force.
>Force Pull/Push 1 (Alter) – The iconic telekinesis of every Jedi, determines lifting limit and push power.
>Force Speed 1 (Alter) – The universe seems to slow around you, and you are react faster as a result of it.
>Force Weapon 3 (Alter) – You imbue a mundane weapon with the Force, increasing its durability and damage. At third rank, your lightsabers now do more damage. At fifth rank...?
>Mystic Weapon 1 (Alter). You can imbue a lightsaber with the Force and make it fight remotely at your side. At third rank, you may add an additional lightsaber.
>Sever Force 2 (Alter) – A rare technique that severs one’s connection with the Force. Leveling this increases duration and potency.

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>>Farren Gaelle’s Lightsabers – a pair of lightsabers constructed after Farren Gaelle’s elevation to a Jedi Knight.

>Lightsaber Stats:
>Skill: Lightsaber
>Range: Engaged

>>Makashi/Dueling ‘saber
- Hardpoints (6/6):
-- Curved Hilt (1) - Preferred by duelists and Makashi/Form II wielders, adds a +4 to lightsaber checks when using Makashi/Form II in combat against a single foe.
-- Dual-Phase Mod (2) - Allows you to change the length of your blade once per encounter, catching your opponent off-guard to ignore melee defense for one attack.
-- Kakerox Crystals (2) - A shard of the Godseye given to you by Grand Shamanka Bos. You may make a Resolve Check to draw upon the power within the crystal, adding +5 to the next Force Power check. This can be done twice per the wielder's Force Rating before the crystal needs to be recharged via exposure to a solar body for a full 24 hours. The blade created is dense and vibrant, intensifying in plain view of a star or sun.
-- Shadowsheathe (1) - A specialized sheathe or holster made to conceal weaponry using optical camouflage. Doubles the DC made to find the affected weapon on your person.

>>Niman/Dual-wielding ‘saber
- Hardpoints (6/6):
-- Dual-Phase (2) - Allows you to change the length of your blade once per encounter, catching your opponent off-guard to ignore melee defense for one attack.
-- Stabilizing Coils (1) - When using this lightsaber, negate the first Critical Failure that occurs naturally for that encounter/situation.
-- Kakerox Crystals (2) - A shard of the Godseye given to you by Grand Shamanka Bos. You may make a Resolve Check to draw upon the power within the crystal, adding +5 to the next Force Power check. This can be done twice per the wielder's Force Rating before the crystal needs to be recharged via exposure to a solar body for a full 24 hours. The blade created is dense and vibrant, intensifying in plain view of a star or sun.
-- Shadowsheathe (1) - A specialized sheathe or holster made to conceal weaponry using optical camouflage. Doubles the DC made to find the affected weapon on your person.

>>Nomi’s Mandalorian Blaster – a Mandalorian pistol given to you by Nomiana Whrul after an evening of dancing on Mylar-3 prior to the Slave Revolution. She gave it to you in the hopes that it would keep you alive in the Unknown Regions.

>Pistol Stats:
>Skill: Ranged (Light)
>Range: (Medium)

- Hardpoints (3/3):
-- Blaster Actuating Module - Increases power/penetration of blaster bolts at the cost of increased maintenance.
-- Hair Trigger - Allows the weapon to be fired twice in a single action at the cost of decreased accuracy.
-- Multi-Optic Sight - Reduces any penalties due to smoke, darkness and other vision-affecting environmental effects.

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>Farren’s Padawan Lightsaber – the last of a pair of lightsabers you constructed as a Padawan. It bears no special modifications, but has carried you through thick and thin for the better part of almost fifteen years. Among noteworthy opponents of this lightsaber include the Accuser of Pilgrims, the Herald of Jombaral, and the Mad Warrior-King Trax.
>Golden Lightsaber Crystal – one of two lightsaber crystals you had taken from the caves of Illum when you were a youngling. The lightsaber it had been embedded in had been destroyed by the Herald of Jombaral.
>Liar’s Blade – the spearhead carried into battle by the Liar Chieftain against the Herald of Jombaral thousands of years ago. Used to slay the Herald and free the souls it had absorbed into itself. Seemingly anathematic to Force-users, you watched it burn Grand Shamanka Bos from within herself.

==Jedi Holocrons==

>Holocron of the Betrayer – a Jedi Holocron containing the persona of Kreia, an enigmatic Jedi Master from the time of Revan and the Old Republic and survivor of the Jedi Purge at the hands of Darth Nihilus.
>Holocron of the Redeemed – a Jedi Holocron containing the persona of Meku Sakaroto, a Jedi who followed Revan into battle against the Mandalorian Crusaders and fell to the Dark Side at Malachor V.
>Holocron of the Seeker – a Jedi Holocron containing the persona of Zayne Carrick, a former Jedi Padawan who survived the Padawan Massacre at the hands of the Jedi Covenant.


>Arkinnea, a planet in the Expanse Region, where refugees of both Separatist and Republic bent flee.
>Bracca, a planet in the Mid Rim, where the only fortune to be made is from shipbreaking and scrapping.
>Dagobah, a planet in the Outer Rim, a desolate swamp void of any significant or advanced civilization.
>O’haon, a planet in the Tingel Arm, suspected to be the planet you saw in the Revenant’s vision.
>Uliea, a planet in the Outer Rim, alleged homeworld of Alleana and Farren Gaelle, largely unknown by the galaxy.

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===The Albatross===

>>Class: Lonrar E-9 Explorer

>Silhouette – [4]
>Speed – [4]
>Handling – [-1]
>Hull: [25/25]
>System: [14/14]

>Shield (Fore) – [1]
> Shield (Port) – N/A
>Shield (Starboard) – N/A
>Shield (Aft) – [1]
>Armor – [4]

>>Cargo Capacity: 300 Metric Tons

>>Customization Hardpoints [2/4]:
>Electronic Countermeasures – doubles the DC for enemy shits to hit you.
>Security Measures – doubles the DC for Computers/Skullduggery checks made for unauthorized access.

>Engineering Access – sub-deck access passages grant easy access to nearly any internal engineering system in the ship, allowing for quick response to problems. Lowers the DC made for Mechanics or Computer checks thanks to ease of reaching systems typically hidden behind bulkheads or sealed beneath deck plating.
>Namesake Bonus – increases engines/sublight speed by 1.

>1x Dorsal & 1x Ventral Turret- mounted Medium Laser Cannon(s).
>Fire Arc: ALL; Damage 6; Critical 3; Range [Close], Linked 1

>>Crew & Compliment:
>1 Pilot, 1 Co-Pilot, 1 Engineer, 1 Quartermaster.
>4 Passengers.

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Reflections of the Dark Disciple

>>Darth Vader’s Personal Quarters
>>Imperator-class Star Destroyer {Exactor}, in orbit above Otavon XII

“Ani…something wonderful has happened…”

Darth Vader seized violently into consciousness from out of a dead man’s nightmare. The harsh sound of his respirator and life support systems did the rest, accelerating his awakening beyond what adrenaline could accomplish. A name had been on the withered husk of his tongue, the name of a woman that the dead man had loved above all else in the galaxy.

A name he could not bear to say.

His fist tightened in an effort to find something vaguely approaching balance. The growing pains of his cybernetics were sharp enough to dispel the last dregs of exhaustion. Focusing on the noise that had brought him out of that incoherent nightmare, Vader discovered that someone was trying to call him. The dark lord gave himself just enough time to allow his breathing to even out before pressing the button on his chair.

“Lord Vader,” the image of Commander Appo said upon flickering into view. The clone had seen many battlefronts since the beginning of the war in service to the Republic. He would no doubt see many more in service to the Empire, but he looked apprehensive. “The Emperor is attempting to establish communications with the Exactor.”

Vader was genuinely surprised. He had not expected any contact from Darth Sidious for a far longer time. A week had only passed since the beginning of what his master had called “a reflection”. But the shock passed, replaced by irritation at the prospect of having to kneel, both out of difficulty from the cybernetics, and the sheer humility of debasing himself.

“Send the signal to my personal quarters. You will be provided with further instructions after contact.”

“Very good, sir.”

The room was plunged once more into darkness with the disappearance of the clone’s hologram. But it did not last for more than a handful of moments. By the time the static was filtered out of Emperor Palpatine’s hologram, his apprentice was already kneeling, prostrate before his master.

In the weeks that had followed his reconstruction, the Sith Lord had seethed and scowled at the imperfections of his cybernetics. They were ill-fitted and chaffed at his skin, or otherwise set his nerves on fire at the first wrong movement. Years of fighting would have to be relearned to accommodate the bulky, unwieldy shoulder-piece and larger hands. But in this moment, in the darkness of his private quarters, Vader welcomed the pain, now more than ever.

The agony, physical and emotional, brought him closer to the Dark Side. Channeled his hatred into the hunting the traitorous wretch who had left him to burn on a beach of blackened glass and a lake of fire. Kept him from whispering the name of who he had done everything for…

“What is thy bidding, my master?” Vader intoned lowly.

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“I trust that you’ve had enough time to reflect upon your mistakes,” Palpatine said with a deliberate calmness. He made no gesture to relieve Vader of his stance, indicating the depths of his displeasure. “And that you’ve better focused yourself on entrenching the security of our Empire.”

It was hard not to cringe. A week prior, Vader and the 501st had arrived to Otavon XII, dispatched by the Emperor to defend an AT-AT production facility. The native Ovoni had not taken kindly to imperial occupation of their homeworld. An insurgency had sprung up, drawing the garrison into weeks of guerilla warfare.

Ordinarily, this petty uprising would not have been indistinguishable from the myriad resistances against the Empire. Like a majority of insurrections, it might have been eventually squashed with reinforcements trickling in from the Core as imperial territory was consolidated. But not all had the natural resources to justify establishing a permanent factory, as opposed to shipping materials back into the Core.

Vader’s orders had been to remain at the outpost to oversee the construction of the new walkers. It was his duty to menace the workers, drawn from both the native populace and political dissidents, into line and top efficiently. And when the situation called for it, to defend the base from the sporadic attacks launched against the factory.

But it hadn’t been that simple. Vader had sensed that there was at least one presence strong in the Force. Palpatine had warned him to drop his obsession with the Jedi, but it had been…difficult, to say the least. And when a survivor from a missing squad had limped back to camp, mumbling about Jedi among the guerillas, that was all the dark disciple needed to abandon the factory and venture forth into the forest.

As it had been, there were two: a padawan, and a master revealed upon the former’s death. The apprentice fell easily, but not before luring him into an ambush. The rebels had prepared a sonic device, launching it at the dark lord before promptly fleeing. Not necessarily from the Sith, but from the monster that the sub-sonic emanations of the device had summoned.

The sugati, an anthropoid-like monstrosity easily the size of an AT-ET, had nearly killed Vader. His lightsaber had no effect upon the creature’s chitinous hide. He was only a handful of inches away from the monster’s gullet before he reached out with the Force and subdued it with a mind trick. The sugati had become submissive, even docile and receptive to Vader’s commands. And it had been more than willing to play the role of mount, leading him to the mountain where the last of the Ovoni’s Jedi was preparing to make his escape.

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The creature hurriedly left Vader and Jedi Master Hylon to their duel. Atop the mountain, and against the backdrop of a setting sun, their lightsabers had met. Green against red, the Ovoni Jedi had lasted far longer against Vader since his imprisonment in the suit. But the outcome was inevitable, perhaps since the dark disciple’s first step upon the planet, and the moment he had sensed his presence in the Force.

But Hylon had the last laugh. Just before he died, he had mentioned that in the Ovoni tongue, his name meant “trickster”, and that he had never intended to escape from Otavon XII. Vader had asked the question of why before killing him, but only received his answer upon his return to the factory. And among the rubble of the garrison and the corpses of the security forces, Vader had found another sonic device, but no sign of the sugati it had summoned.

The destruction of both the facility and the outpost had cost the imperial war machine months of labor and millions of credits. It would take months for both the base and the facility to be rebuilt, and several more before it could be brought back to full efficiency and security. Worst, it could have all been avoided had its most competent guard had not given himself into his obsession with chasing Jedi.

Palpatine had threatened to exile Vader at the beginning of the mission. But Vader only believed that statement when he saw his master planetside, flanked by two of his red guard. The look of utter disgust and disappointment was seared into his memory when the Emperor had all but marooned him and the 501st on Otavon XII, ordering him to "reflect" on his mistake.

Vader thought of all of this, and merely inclined his head. “Yes, my master.”

But he believed it no further than Palpatine did. The corner of his master’s mouth curled up in what might have been sardonic amusement. “To answer your earlier question, I have a new assignment for you. It involves Jedi, and those foolish to be sympathetic to their plight. You will take the 501st to Valkin, a world along the Inner Rim’s Trailing Sectors. An insurrection has cropped up that requires a swift and sharp remedy to fix.”

Vader blinked, utterly surprised. He had thought that his master would have offered a task as far away from Jedi as possible. If his marooning had been any indication, Jedi hunts would have been far away for the foreseeable future as punishment for his transgressions. The situation on this Valkin had to have been dire enough for Palpatine to recall him.

“They will be slaughtered to the last,” promised Vader, the flange of his voice tinged with restrained excitement. “I will not displease you this time, master.”

Darth Sidious smiled, and the disciple was immediately put on guard. “I would hope so, Lord Vader. To both the upcoming operation, as well as your…earlier commitment to the security of the Empire.”

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A test, then, thought Vader as the image of Palpatine de-rezzed. His eagerness soured, the Sith Lord slowly raised himself up, and returned to the sole chair in his quarters. There would be no more rest for him, or at least what passed for rest with the trappings of his armor. And he had little desire to request medication to inoculate himself and find comfort in a dreamless sleep. Down that path lay a dependence on narcotics, slavery to a pill that alleviated the burdens of his mind.

The Force shall free me.

Vader meditated on the code of the Sith, honing his pain and anger into a deadly, mental lance. His agony in the suit, the rage he felt against Kenobi, and the frustration of the prior week coalesced, visualized and caged, writhing like a beast waiting to be pointed at the enemy. The Jedi of Valkin would have no respite from him. He would not make the same mistake as he had done on Otavon XII.

Emerging from his dark thoughts, the disciple summoned Appo with another press of a button. It did not take too long before the Clone appeared, lingering outside the threshold of his quarters. He was very much the image of a good soldier, and one that the Kaminoans could say was one of their better subjects based off Jango Fett. A consummate professional, through and through, but years of training and indoctrination were unable to completely mask his unease at the sight of Vader.

“Set a course for the Valkin System,” the disciple instructed, “Order your men to prepare for anti-Jedi operations upon planetfall. This is a punitive mission against treasonous insurgency.”

“Very good, sir.” Snapping off a sharp salute, the commander went to carry out his orders. Perhaps walking too swiftly away from the Sith Lord’s quarters. He would learn in time to grow accustomed to his presence, but today was not that day.

Once again, Vader was left alone in the darkness of his room, with only thoughts to keep the Sith company. With sleep a distant, far-off thing, and refusing to let idleness play havoc on his mind, he threw himself into what little work he was able to meaningfully accomplish without his lightsaber.

Opening his terminal, he perused the list of messages and notifications. Most were mundane, the rote and file paperwork that concerned the day-to-day operations of the 501st. Those merely required his electronic signature, warranting only a brief perusal before moving onto more urgent communiqués.

There were no updates on the Jedi that had escaped Murkhana only a handful of weeks ago. Roan Shryne and Olee Starstone, for all intents and purposes, had disappeared. Their escape from the planet had been a near thing, utilizing a hyperspace ring left by an errant crime lord. One could say that it was an unfortunate footnote attached to the end of an otherwise successful report: they were the only Jedi out of an original six to have escaped. He had four new lightsabers to prove it, including that of Starstone’s late master.

Yet it still galled at Vader. Their escape had exposed a raw nerve and a sobering reality. He had much to do to make himself whole once more, or as close as he could to the height of Anakin Skywalker’s power. The latest humiliation on Otavon XII only drove the point further in, even as white-hot anger fueled his resolve and satiated the Dark Side of the Force.

He studied the ghostly images attached to their dossier: Shryne’s irritated scowl and Starstone’s engaging smile. Vader lingered on them for only a handful of moments before they de-rezzed, their faces and file replaced by another report. Their time would come soon enough.

There was little else that truly piqued his attention. Uprisings in the Mid Rim and the re-organization of Separatist Forces conjured only a mild, passing interest. Those were in the domain of mortal men, the rising stars of the rechristened Imperial Navy. The opportunity for prestige and advancement would only be deprived if they failed to carry out the Emperor’s orders. And for failure, the punishment was a deprivation of life.

And then there were reports from his master’s new Inquisitorius. And even there, nothing stood out beyond updates on the plundering of the Jedi Temple. None were addressed to him directly, referencing him only as a recipient in reports to Sidious. Vader took a dark pleasure in reading of the great pyre laid out on the steps of the temple, but otherwise grew ambivalent to the long, overly-detailed reports submitted by the interim head of the agency.

>>Because of actions taken during the first thread…

He was about to close his terminal and resume practicing his lightsaber when something caught his attention. It was a message, sent only a day after the Battle of Coruscant, and halfway buried beneath everything else, originating from a Jedi chapter house in the Mid Rim. But what caused the breath in Vader’s throat to stop was to whom it was addressed.

Hey, Skywalker!

We just got the good news! And I know that celebrating death isn’t something we’re supposed to do, but the galaxy’s a better place without Dooku. Which is an odd thing to type considering how he inspired me to take up Form II. But I guess that answers the long-standing debate we had of who’d win in a serious, no-holds-barred fight. So…congratulations on striking a fatal blow against the Separatists! All that’s left is to get Grievous, but I’m sure you’ll be on that tin-can’s ass in no time flat.

The end of the war means some well-deserved down-time for myself and Master Larid…and you, of course! I’ll see if I can’t swing by around Coruscant for the inevitable celebration the Republic’s gonna throw for you. It’ll definitely be the better circumstances we’d hoped for since our last meeting.

But don’t let me rain on your parade. We'll be seeing each other soon.

Ever your friend…

“Farren Gaelle…” spoke Anakin Skywalker in a ragged, hushed whisper.

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But the moment didn’t last. Darth Vader’s eyes narrowed sharply, the uncertain emotions quashed by a cold logic. What was the meaning of this? How had a message for Skywalker made its way into the Sith Lod’s private terminal? Vader checked, but found no indication of any evidence of forwarding. The message was unopened, even timestamped as being delivered to the personal datapad of Skywalker….

Beyond Vader, there were only three people in the galaxy who knew what Skywalker had become. One was dead, killed by his own hand. The other had mutilated him and left him to burn. The last was a shadow who understood and soothed his pains, and put him back together as a cybernetic monstrosity.

Logic pointed to the third as the most likely culprit. Was this some sort of test from Palpatine?
But the mystery of the message could be resolved later. Lightsaber practice was forgotten as Vader depressed the communications button on his chair. Even as the Executor was travelling through hyperspace, the comm buoys scattered across the galaxy enabled communication to-and-from real space. He only needed to wait for a handful of moments, barely even a minute, before the current head of the Inquisitorius answered the line and appeared on the screen.

Malorum was an unremarkable, painfully average human male in appearance. He couldn’t have been older than his mid-twenties. The agent’s scowl at the interruption of his work turned into horrified surprise. He abruptly straightened in his seat, adjusting his clothing as he inclined his head. “Lord Vader! To what do I owe the…pleasure-?”

“There is a Jedi Chapter House on the planet Nazira,” the Sith coldly intoned, cutting him off before he could grovel, “On the border of the Expansion and Mid Rim. Dispatch a team of agents to investigate it immediately. I expect a full report upon the completion of my current mission to Valkin.”

Even through the static of the image, there was no missing the perplexed expression on the inquisitor’s face. “Of…course. I…” He paused, consulting something to a terminal adjacent to his own. “…yes, visiting Nazira is a bit further down on the itinerary, but I’ll have it made an immediate priority. Do you believe that there are Jedi hiding there?”

The unspoken question was whether or not it would be safe for them to make planetfall. Vader sneered behind his helmet. “It would be highly unlikely for them to remain.”

Malorum frowned, steepling his fingers even as he nodded. “Very well. I’ll be departing within the next few hours.” A beat of silence. Then, he hesitantly ventured, “What’s so important about Nazira, my lord?”

When no answer came immediately, Malorum hurriedly bowed and terminated the call.

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Vader wasted no time. His terminal answered any and all queries that he had, no differently than when he searched for the six Jedi assigned to Murkhana. And even light-years away from Coruscant, what data the Inquisitorius plundered from Jedi holocrons and storage-banks was accessible to him. Even updated as more and more information was decrypted. And for the first time since Skywalker’s odd friendship with the man, Vader had full, unrestricted access to his friend’s story.

Farren Gaelle. Found abandoned on the steps of the Jedi Temple twenty-five years ago. Father unknown. Mother…deleted from the archives? Vader frowned as he tried to access backups, all to no end. The only mention of the woman was in reference to another Jedi, and a roster from a youngling clan – all deleted, and the report of deletion was accessible only by those on the Council. Anyone without that level of clearance simply found nothing at all.

Curious and worthy of deeper investigation. But he set that aside as he continued. An encounter with jealous younglings and rejects bound for the Agri Corps found him nearly beaten to an inch of his life. Gaelle held them off, grabbing a nearby object (a broom of all things) when his lightsaber was wrenched out of his hand. The impromptu weapon held out long enough for the Temple Guard to arrive.

Beyond the mention of his Youngling Clan, the Salamanders, there was little beyond the scandal, and the more recent assignment to the chapter house. But Anakin Skywalker had in his memories what the Temple lacked. Gaelle had been apprenticed to a Jedi Shadow, Master Larid. The secrecy had stifled their friendship, but they had kept in regular correspondence, meeting occasionally, then often during the Clone Wars.

“C’mon, Snips. He might be a padawan, same as you, but you could stand to learn a thing or two from him.”

Vader paused.

This was the first time that thoughts of Skywalker’s padawan had entered his mind. With those thoughts came uncertain emotions, a slurry of muddled feelings that caused the furnace of his heart to ache. But they eventually coalesced into anger, a tight fist, and a grinding of teeth. Tano had left Skywalker when he had needed her the most, threw three years of training in his face in order to go her own way. If she had stayed, then perhaps what had transpired between Kenobi and Padme…

“Farren, I know you’re in the Outer Rim, but Ahsoka…she’s been accused of terrorism. And the Council isn’t doing anything to defend her! If there’s anything you can do to help…”

But beyond Tano, there was the question of Gaelle. A friend of Skywalker, one of the few that unequivocally welcomed him into the Jedi Temple when others held only resentment or suspicion. A distant, but close enough of a confident to speak to about his criticisms of other Jedi. How many times had he come close to sharing the truth of his and Padme's relationship before deciding against it?

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“The temple’s a pretty big place, especially for new arrivals. So I’ll show you around! It’s expected for us to be temperate with the food, but you can have as much water as you want. Can’t imagine ever living on a desert planet…”

Ahsoka Tano. Apprentice to Anakin Skywalker.

Farren Gaelle. Friend of Anakin Skywalker.

Two among the last remaining chains that had to broken in order for Darth Vader to truly be free.

Tano had disappeared after her departure from the Order, dropping any and all contact. Gaelle had been assigned to the Nazira chapter house overseeing the Kadachi Clan of younglings. It would be foolish to assume that he or his master had stayed on the planet. They would have taken the younglings somewhere else, to continue their training in secrecy.

In the darkest, deepest parts of his furnace heart, Vader knew that they were alive. They had to be. Much like the hated Kenobi, there was to be a fateful meeting between the last two meaningful people in Anakin Skywalker’s life. He had trained Tano for three years, known Gaelle for thirteen; they wouldn’t be able to stand by and ignore what was happening.

The hunt for Gaelle was in Malorum’s hands, confident that the inquisitor would come begging to him for aid in his capture. But Vader decided to make Tano’s pursuit his own, private thing. The knowledge of Gaelle’s relationship was secret, and could be written up as merely chasing a lead. But Tano was too close, and it would best be kept to the dark disciple. Not even Sidious could know about it.

Resolved, Vader was about to close the terminal and return to other matters when something else caught his attention. It was a report, flagged for low priority, but nonetheless interesting. A professor of history at the University of Coruscant had claimed part of a cache of Old Republic treasures during the recent sack of Muunilinst. Most of the items within the capsule were treasure as befitting of the crime lord that left the cache, but included among them was a malfunctioning holoprojector.

The Inquisitoirus had deemed it to be of little import, flagging it only in the off-chance that something related to the Jedi might have cropped up. The crime lord in question had been friends with an exile from the order. But even then, that required millennia-old broken technology to be restored. Vader himself felt no differently, almost deleting the message before simply leaving it alone.

Satisfied, he activated the cabin comm. "What is our ETA to Valkin?"

"Four days, Lord Vader," Appo said.

Excellent. Rising from his seat, Vader stalked out of his room, making way to the empty cargo hold that the 501st had set aside for his practice. It would be a long time before he returned to the apex of his power, but the dark disciple found within himself a renewed purpose.

It wouldn't do for his eventual meeting with Kenobi, Gaelle and Tano for his lightsaber skills to be found wanting.

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Happy May the 4th!

Hope you guys and gals are safe and doing well. Thanks for sticking around and playing my quest. Since it's the big meme special day, I decided to get a few goodies.

I finally got some original art for Farren that isn't stock or otherwise cobbled together. Will Nunes does fantastic pieces for tabletop RPG characters, and he's the go-to for FFG's SWRPG community. Farren's still WIP, but it's a step in the right direction. I've also got art for Nomiana and Arotta on the way, but is there anyone else you'd like to see original art for? I've got Will tapped for at least five characters, including those three.

At any rate, I just wanted to get the interlude out prior to class. I'll post the start of the main story in a few hours.

I also tried to get Sam Witwer on Cameo to do a shoutout for today, thanking you guys for sticking around and wishing the Force be with you on May 4th. But in his words, "contractual obligations" with Disney prevent him from doing anything that resembles an endorsement for fan podcasts, writings or product. Did privately message me and say it was awesome I was doing an interactive Star Wars story. Never heard of that apparently.
Oh, I nearly forgot. I also have some art for the Storyteller and the Revenant.
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that s cool
and welcome back
We'll get him in this thread yet. Also, I saw that you thanked me on twitter for archiving the last thread. It's no problem, I'll take my payment in bottom-heavy chiss women.
First off, welcome back, Kaz, second:

>Electronic Countermeasures – doubles the DC for enemy shits to hit you.

Heck of a typo to miss.
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Beautiful, absolutely beautiful. Maybe getting some art of Master Larid would be fun? Anyways, gotta love your enthusiasm for a bunch anonymous fuckers on a small board. Can't wait for the rest of the thread.

Ceyla would be a good one to get done too.

Hey Kaz, when's /taskforcetg/ coming back, huh?
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Good to be back!

>>Bottom heavy Chiss women
My man.


What can I say? I love what I do, even if it takes me a while to get around to do it. Larid and Ceyla would make enough sense, though.

Soon(TM). I have a mechanics overhaul for both that and Bladebound that I need to finish. Angling to run BBR after this.
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>>Serano Spaceport, Amagi (Mylus-3)
>>Mylus System, Unknown Regions, Sector H-3

The light of the morning cedes to midday, spreading the warm, yellow light of Mylus across the savanna world of Amagi. A gentle breeze works its way from the plains and flatlands, offering the denizens of Serano Spaceport reprieve from the otherwise stifling steel jungle of the durasteel spires. The former slaves of the Tof are all hard at work, going about their business with a frenzied gusto and motivated to be just as useful as the soldiers on the Chiller.

Everyone must pull their own weight. Only difference now is that the people are doing it willingly. Most of them, anyway. There are those who grumble about having been re-assigned to their own occupations as slaves, compensated as they were for their labor and given more than adequate rest. But there’s no such thing as a perfect society, at least within the realms of sentient and higher forms of life.

Dressed in plainclothes and with your lightsabers hidden, you might have passed off as a day laborer. Even the noticeable pistol on your hips fails to act as a distinguishing mark, as the right to bear weapons is one the population has taken to gusto. Alas, anonymity is lost upon you. At least every five minutes, someone in the tide of traffic does a double-take, hurriedly pointing to their neighbors that a hero of the revolution walks among them.

You take a small comfort in knowing that they aren’t nearly as thankful as the Kakari. Because you’d die of embarrassment if someone other than the reptilians had gone and named children after you, or composed epic poetry dedicated to your deeds. And with a Padawan in tow, you can only hope that Ceyla’s mild-mannered enough to not make too much of a fuss about it. Or otherwise take a page out of Master Larid’s book.

“We’re looking for a Mandalorian?” asks the girl at your side, skipping to match some of your longer strides.

“Yep,” you answer, jostling against the crowd as it flows through the main thoroughfare. “Or at the very least, following her trail.”

She frowns, puzzled. “What’s a Mandalorian doing all the way out in the Unknown Regions?”

Shrugging, you admit, “I honestly don’t know. The subject never came up over drinks.”

“Hold on…” The frown is audible in her voice, not quite reproachful as much as in need of context. “You went drinking with a Mandalorian? When…?”

“The night prior to the siege of the spaceport.” Deciding to err to the better part of discretion, you decide to not share the more sordid details with an impressionable thirteen-year-old. “Come morning, I was supposed to get the gates open and disable the wall guns. Just happened that while I was playing the role of an off-world traveler, I ran into her at the tavern I was staying.”

One hell of a coincidence, you think to yourself. And Ceyla seems very inclined to agree. “How'd you find out she was Mandalorian anyway?”

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More adventures of Farren? Yesssss
>My man.
I'll shill for her harder than any shill this quest has ever seen previous, all you just set her up. K(yle)anan J(K)a(tarn)rrus had a tsundere Imp to butt heads with, we might find one of our own.
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Because I saw her Beskar armor in the corner of the bedroom we made an absolute mess out of.

But you don’t say that. Instead, you tap the small of your wrist. “Mandalorian sigil tattooed onto her wrist. Didn’t exactly go flaunting it, but those are the kinds of small details you’re expected to spot as a Shadow. So be sure to keep your eyes peeled-”

A beat, then you kick yourself in the head as you suddenly remember her species’ unique condition. “Oh, dammit. I’m sorry, Ceyla-”

Her response is to offer an exaggerated sigh, then a friendly smile. “Don’t worry about it, Master. I know what you meant to convey.”

“Right…” Sheepishly, you rub the back of your head. It doesn’t make you feel less of an insensitive clod. “Admittedly, I don’t know all that much about miraluka biology. I get that you use the Force to see, but what exactly can you perceive?”

Ceyla thinks on it, following you in silence before she extends a finger towards a building on the side. “I see both the wall and what lies behind it. There’s a woman haggling with a merchant over a bottle of water. And on the floor above them, there’s someone babysitting a trio of children.”

You whistle, low and impressed. “But you can’t see color, right?”

She shakes her head. “Just shades of white or black. But I can distinguish organics from inanimate objects. Even if they’re dead, doesn’t matter how recent.”

How delightfully morbid. But you decide to steer the conversation back towards the topic of tattoos. “So, let’s say that I’ve got some ink. Say…the symbol of the Jedi Order on the back of my hand.”

“That…would be something we’d have to discover,” she admits, “If there were any Jedi back on Coruscant who had tattoos, then I never met them.”

“What about Vuqu?” It slips your tongue before you can catch yourself. At the scandalized look Ceyla gives you, you hurriedly elaborate, “All the mirialans I’ve met have tattoos. It’s a custom for them, I think. Doesn’t she…?”

Her mouth thins into a very severe line. “She uses henna, Master Farren, or something close enough to it. The masters back on Coruscant were very insistent that permanent tattoos were reserved only after she became a padawan. I’m assuming that when you’re asking about tattoos or describing the Mandalorian’s, you mean the kinds used with metallic pigments.”

It seems that there’s still some bad blood between the girls. That’s another topic on top of miraluka vision you’d have to explore in the course of Ceyla’s apprenticeship.

Coughing, you nod. “Yes. But beyond the tattoo, the Mandalorian we’re looking for is a human woman, mid-twenties and just a few inches shorter than I am. Black hair, cropped just at her neck, yellowish skin tone…and the Mandalorian sigil on her wrist. Can’t forget that.”

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The tension in your padawan’s body visibly exits at the change of subject. And with a deceptively innocent smile, inquires: “What about her name? Did that come up as well over drinks?”

Snorting, you wave her off before she can make any other smart remarks. Between the interview and this current moment, it seems that Ceyla hides a sharp tongue behind her friendly demeanor. “Nomiana Whrul. And before you ask, I gave an alias. As far as she knows, I’m Ren the off-world traveler, not Farren Gaelle the Jedi.

“You should start cultivating an alias as well,” you add, “Possibly several. That was something I practiced extensively with Master Larid early on. Doesn’t need to be so nearly on the nose, but I’ve found that the best lies are the ones mixed with the truth.”

“It seems…a tad bit on the nose,” she demurs, but nods accordingly. “I’ll start thinking about one. I’ve already got Cey as a nickname.”

“We can workshop as many as you’d like later,” you promise. “The central market approaches!”

To think that only a month and a half ago, the Great Trade had brought a balance of extremes in the main square. Happy were the procurers and buyers of peddled flesh, smiling as they dealt in misery and despair. The slaves that you were once helpless to save from the auction block are no more. The only flesh to be seen on the podium are the rotting corpses of a handful of Tof, among other species strung up and gibbeted for all to see.

“THUS ALWAYS TO SLAVERS” reads the sign at their feet. But it’s a small comfort as you see that the citizens of the new stratocracy are far too comfortable with dead bodies in the open. Their desire for freedom and fierce opposition to slavery is certainly to be admired. The execution of the Viceroy’s wife and some of his children had been necessary for Keimann to cement himself as a resolute, authoritative figure.

Regrettable, but necessary. The youngest had been spared, as well as a daughter that allegedly does little more than the ferroan’s laundry…possibly more than that if the rumors are to be believed, which you don’t.

But you can only hope that the Supreme Archon is able to reign in the darker impulses of the newly-liberated slaves. And hold back the beast that you had helped unleash upon the Tof, innocent though they very much weren’t.

“Alright, look alive, Ceyla,” you say as you approach one of the stalls. Weapons of all sorts hang from the overhead racks as a young pantoran male cleans a blaster. “Information Gathering 101. Small talk goes a long way, and you won’t always have a friendly populace to sus out leads from…”

>>Roll 2d6+2 Charm (+2 Panache)
>Best out of three.
Rolled 5, 5 + 2 = 12 (2d6 + 2)

Here goes...
Rolled 5, 5 + 2 = 12 (2d6 + 2)

Rolled 1, 1 + 2 = 4 (2d6 + 2)

Hello there
Rolled 2, 2 + 2 = 6 (2d6 + 2)

Still get nervous when I roll in this quest. Those trip ones from thread 2 or so haunt me...
That's quite a mix of rolls
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...sir, please leave.
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Shouldn't have said anything.
So uncivilized.
This crit fail can go many ways, and I hope it doesn't go the way I think it will.
We're spilling our spaghetti all over Ceyla, the person we approach, and ourselves. Jedi will be forever mocked as awkward dumbasses on Amagi. Or at least we will be.
That's what I'm hoping for. We learned from our pistol practice that not every critfail will cost an arm and a limb.
I mean, we did get two 10's before the snake eyes got us, maybe something good will come out of it?

>>Interpreting the dice...
>>Moderate Success while generating Despair.

“Master, please, it wasn’t all that bad!” Ceyla’s attempt to console you falls on deaf, sullen ears. Clutching a glass of the strongest drink available, you down it straight, grimacing as it lights a fire down your throat. “I mean, now I know that asking about the lack of markings on a pantoran’s face is a really bad faux pass!

You idly ponder the mystery of the drink, staring into the bottom of your cup as if it had the answers to the universe. It’s not quite the level of plonk, but it makes up in alcohol content what it does in taste. Apparently, this latest assault on your taste buds and sobriety is colloquially referred to as “Slave’s Tea”. Yet you’re fairly damned sure that the brewer didn’t add any tea leaves.

“Or…or the fact that gamorrean women ran businesses,” continues the miraluka, “And that the, uh…the Aquala really don’t like it when you mistake them for their thuggish Quara cousins…and I didn’t know that the standard ‘yaa-yaaah’ greeting was gravely offensive for the Ugnaughts…”

Oh, apprentice…your attempts to try and soothe your master’s wounded pride are only amplifying his shame. If not for the fact that I know you aren’t doing it out of malice…actually, I’m not sure if that hurts more than if it did…

You aren’t about to get drunk. But damned if you’re about to simply walk away as if the last hour of questioning didn’t happen. Sure, your status as one of the great heroes of the revolution certainly smoothed and eased tempers. What might have degenerated into a brawl was quickly laughed off, joking that the Jedi haven’t gotten out all that much from their temple.

A statement that you very much resent. You spent more of your life outside of the temple than in it, dammit! At the very least, you only remembered how to greet an ugnaught the second after the greeting left your lips. That could’ve been chalked up to the stressors of late getting to you. Besides, the galaxy’s a terribly large place! There’s only so many customs and traditions one can keep track of at any given moment…

“C’mon, Master Farren…” she whines, tugging at your sleeve like a petulant child…which she technically is. “I promise I won’t tell Master Larid what happened. And I’m honestly grateful for what to avoid saying to certain alien species! Far more effective than anything I ever learned in the temple…”

At her urging, you stand up and drink the last of the “tea” before you rejoin the world of the sober. Not that you aren’t drunk. Slave’s Tea is strong, but not that strong, thank the Force. Only mildly numb, you set a few coins on the table before following your padawan back out into the market. The urge to pull your hood up and disappear is quashed by the fact that you’re in plainclothes, and not the robes of a Jedi.

You know what they say, Its good to learn from your failures but better to learn from others'
Found some beautiful art you guys might be interested in.
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THINK Storyteller, THINK!! I've already killed SEVERAL saber wielding opponents, many of them dark sided, along with having fucked up a Force Entity, WHAT DID YOU THINK WAS GOING TO HAPPEN?
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NOW LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO! I've had to mow down the REST of your Revenants, you know how?! BY SWITCHING WHICH SABER I HOLD IN WHAT HAND! Maybe don't send a bunch of kids from the SPACE SHORT BUS NEXT TIME!
There is no way Shaggy could have lost a battle against Grievous. This is inaccurate.
Legend of the phantosaur was a decade ago anon, the meme is dead, let it go.
I have fond memories of shaggy when I was little, Shaggy coming back as a meme was a fucking gift from god. Let me be.
RIP Sha'a Gi
I know the Purge would have gone differently if he had lived.

Kaz and (cont.)'s that are left forever hanging in the void, name a more iconic duo.
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“Silver linings,” you mutter, dragging a hand across your face. “…definitely need to brush up on my xeno-studies. Worst thing that happened was getting beaned by a fruit…”

“But we got the intelligence we needed,” countered Ceyla.

But at what cost? you silently bemoan.

Among the dozens of vendors, there had been a few that recall Nomiana patronizing their shop. To absolutely no-one’s surprise, these merchants were more often than not arms dealers. Some were former slaves, the bakers and cooks, whole-sellers and servants. They opined that she had the coin to pay for goods and services, and was overall among the more civilized customers to treat with.

By sheer circumstance, one of the clothing merchants had a sibling who worked as a cargo hauler on the docks. He’d been charged with ferrying goods from market to ship and vice versa; fuel and freshwater, dried rations and exotic fruits, mechanical parts and even slaves. A handful of days prior to the Revolution, he’d been charged with delivering a resupply of foodstuffs and munitions to Nomiana’s ship.

The information of said ship, however, cost a tad bit more than the price of Ceyla’s new wardrobe.

“I have absolutely no need for a feathered hat!” you exclaim, exasperated as the toydarian tries to shove his goods into your face. “Nor the period piece that’s accompanying it! At least throw in a cutlass if you’re gonna put that much lace on the damned thing…”

It takes the better part of a moment’s haggling, but you get your information as you ring up the purchase. Nomiana owns a gunship, a somewhat small vessel that straddled the line between a single-person fighter and a light cargo hauler. The sketch the merchant’s brother dashes out on a stray scrap of paper means nothing to you; it’s an unfamiliar design.

The cargo manifesto, however, provides both a name: the Tracinya. Which, according to an off-hand remark Whrul had made, translates into “Flame” out of Mando’a. Only somewhat longer than an ARC-170, less maneuverable too, but made up for it plenty of guns and presumably tougher armor. A true believer in the Way of the Mandalore would have approved.

“And you have no idea where she went?” you ask.

The dockhand shakes his head, flapping his wings with an irritated huff. “If I’d known, I’d have told you already! The last time I saw your woman was three days before the rebellion. The Tof had me rotated out of the dock where the Tracinya was berthed.”

“Do you think there’s anyone else who might’ve seen her on the day of the rebellion?”

He thinks, adopting a pensive expression, nose wrinkling in up in concentration. “Eh…honestly, and I tell you this because you are the Supreme Archon’s friend, you’d have more luck on the Chiller than down here. Most of the able dockhands accompanied the M.S.D.F. for Operation IceBreaker.”

...I need to complain more often.
So, did he add in the cutlass? Because, hey, not going to turn down a cutlass with the purchase.
if he needs to blend in with space pirates, it might come in handy

Imagine dueling a Dark Jedi or an Inquisitor or something, Farren's lightsabers fly out of his hands, he seems to be helpless, and suddenly CUTLASS.
Malorum is such a piss-poor duelist that if we ever have to fight him, we'd probably be able to take him with a cutlass.
Who is that guy anyway? Someone from the cartoons?
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Damn. But you give him a little extra for his troubles. “Thanks for the help. And…” You pause as his sibling, the clothing merchant, casts you a wary eye. “I didn’t mean to cause offense to your brother with the whole, uh…”

The toydarian dockhand laughs raucously. “All is forgiven. But next time, make sure I’m around when you imply that his clothing looks like it came from a Tof’s closet!”

>>Line Break

“Don’t feel too bad, master,” offers Ceyla once you make it a safe distance away from the market. “I mean…you got a cutlass out of it?”

“It’s not even mono- or vibro-edged,” you grumble, seating yourselves on a nearby bench to assess the day’s damages (read: purchases). “I mean, I don’t think it’ll snap if I try to skewer someone with it. The metalwork’s solid enough in that regard. Push comes to shove, I can mount it over the mess hall or pass it off to Suzel once I get a bladesmith to look at it. Force knows that he’d use it.”

“Suzel?” your padawan tilts her head in confusion.

Ah, that’s right. She wouldn’t know.

“He’s the co-pilot of the Albatross,” you elaborate, “He signed on to pay me back after I helped his parents in the slave revolution. Speaking of which…you’ll be meeting my crew soon enough once the day’s over. They all should be back at the ship come sundown.”

She muses on this, running her fingers through the fabric of her new tunic. The miraluka marvels at the sensation, running a sleeve across her cheek. The sight brings an involuntary smile to your lips. If not for the blindfold and lightsaber hidden in her leather boots, Ceyla might have been mistaken for an ordinary, thirteen-year-old girl.

Your padawan manages one more pass of her fingers before she regains control of herself. “So other than Suzel, who else are we gonna have accompanying us?”

“That’d be telling,” you gently chide her, “I wouldn’t want to ruin any first impressions.”

Somehow, in spite of her species’ unique trait, you can tell that she’d done the equivalent of rolling her eyes. The motions certainly matched up. But she doesn’t make an issue out of it, instead opining: “Thank you for the new clothes.”

“You’re welcome.” An old saying comes to mind, and you pass on Master Larid’s words to Ceyla: “They say that clothes make the man, or in this case, the woman. If that’s the case, then it wouldn’t be prudent for Jedi Shadows to be in the conspicuously dark apparel we commonly wear. Especially if we need to go into Empire territory.”

“But I will get my own Jedi Shadow uniform?”

“Yes, yes, have no fear, my very fashion-sensitive padawan. One day, you will get your own set of the iconic, black robes and look every part the mysterious Jedi Shadow to the rest of your friends...”

A character from the Last of the Jedi book series. He tried to jump across that pit in the Naboo power generator and force pull his lightsaber back to him at the same time. He failed at both and died, so he's not exactly the Inquisitorius' cream of the crop. Smarter than your average imp though.
>smarter than your average imp

So he won't drown if he looks up during a thunderstorm?
Unfortunately not, no. Malorum knows to stay inside during such dangerous weather. He's still a bumblefuck retard though, he thinks that despite never being trained as a Jedi and being only slightly force-sensitive, he could be Emperor one day.
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You expertly dodge the half-assed swipe of annoyance that Ceyla directs your way. And it is only now when a sudden epiphany hits you as your padawan sticks her tongue out and huffs her cheeks petulantly. Only now, after thirteen years of questionable hijinks with Master Larid, do you now come to understand…

Harmlessly messing with your apprentice is fun.

>>Tof Internment Camp #21-A

As far as your experience with prison camps go, you’d seen better…and worse. With how the Tof treated their slaves, you would’ve been disappointed, but understanding if their site of internment was little beyond a hole in the ground. But you find yourself idly surprised as the monorail deposits you and Ceyla to the penal camp just beyond the spaceport’s outer borders.

The miraluka sneezes, shivering only after a handful of steps. “Master…?”

“You alright?” you ask.

“Yeah, I’m fine it’s just…” She shudders, taking a moment to reorient herself. “There’s so much hatred. From both the prisoners and the guards…”

“Careful.” You gesture towards a nearby bench. “You can just wait here in the terminal. It’s your first day, and I don’t want you stressing yourself.”

Ceyla shakes her head vigorously. “No. That won’t be necessary. It just took me by surprise, is all. Just like auras of the Tof back on the Chiller, just…amplified a little bit.”

Privately, you have your doubts. But you decide to not make an issue out of it unless something untoward happens. “Alright, if you say so. That said, you’re not gonna argue if I decide that you gotta go.”

“Perfectly acceptable…” Then, she pauses. “…you believe Whrul was that chummy with the Tof?”

You shake your head as you flag down one of the wardens. “I can’t say for all of them. But I know at least one for sure.”

>>Line Break

Barkeep Ingmar, former proprietor of the Tipsy Toffer, has certainly seen better days. The noticeable girth of his species is diminished, and his formerly immaculate locks are a wild, greasy mess. In lieu of a bartender’s smock, he wears a prisoner’s jumpsuit very poorly, an ugly, orange thing with an identification number stitched onto the breast pocket.

Underneath the watchful eye of a small squad of guards, he’s sullenly lead into the waiting room. But his downcast features suddenly perk up at a first, casual glance…before his eyes widen as far as they can in visible recognition.

“Ren?!” demands the Tof, settling down into his seat. The manacles around his hands and legs are firmly locked in place to both the table and the floor. “That’s you, isn’t it, Ren? It’s been a month and a half, but I’ve never forgotten a customer’s face…”

You nod warily. “Long time no see, Ingmar. And for what it’s worth…the thought of telling you to get out of the capital did cross my mind prior to the revolution.”

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“Cross your mind, what do you…” He stares at you, dumbfounded, before his eyes narrow sharply. “You helped the slaves with their insurrection.”
It isn’t a question. There’s no sugar-coating the subject, but you aren’t about to go spilling how involved you were, or how critical the role you played was. Let alone the original reason for your and Torok’s journey to the Mylus System. “Yeah. I guess I did.”

Both the guards and Ceyla visibly tense as the veins in the Tof’s neck strain with effort. But the breath and anger leave him, chuckling bitterly as he leans back against his seat. “And to think I gave you a free drink on the house. Look where my hospitality’s gotten me…”

You could counter with questions regarding the dancing girls under his employ. You’ve had more time to think about it, and concluded that the absence of explosive collars were done more for the patrons’ comfort. Nothing quite put a dampener on arousal more than the threat of an explosion.

But Ingmar seems to sense your thoughts. He shrugs as far as his manacles let him. “Believe it or not, I treated my slaves better than most. Three meals a day, relative comfort and luxury, choice of customers and the opportunity to buy back their freedom…fear and repression doesn’t go hand-in-hand with the service industry, Ren.”

There are probably hundreds of waiters, chefs and busboys on Coruscant who might vehemently disagree with that statement. “So, what was the stick you had when the carrot didn’t work, and your girls refused to turn tricks? I just find it hard to believe that you’d let them say ‘no’ to insistent customers.”

The bartender half-grimaces. “A good businessman protects his investments and capital. A vehicle rental company wouldn’t hand over the keys to their finest swoop bike to a group of teenagers or uncontrollable hooligans. The risk of damage and loss of capital is too high, no matter how much they are offering to pay for just a single evening’s…joyride. But even I have my limits; what can a simple bartender do when one of his girls catches the eye of the viceroy’s son or brother?”

There’s more than one guard with an itchy finger close to the triggers of their weapons. And Ceyla herself looks severely uncomfortable, fists balled tight enough for her knuckles to go white. Your breath exits in a long, draw-out hiss through your nostrils as you stare at the bartender who’d welcomed you amicably. “…I don’t know whether or not to be impressed or disgusted.”

“Why not both?” grunts the Tof. “But let’s cut to the chase, Ren. I don’t think you brought me out of gaol just to discuss the ethics of peddling flesh. If you have enough influence with the new regime to get them…” -he casts a dirty look to the guards- “to do this, then it must be important. If not, then send me back to my cell. I have better things to do than suffer your ridicule, justified as it might be.”

>a cache of Old Republic treasures during the recent sack of Muunilinst. Most of the items within the capsule were treasure as befitting of the crime lord that left the cache, but included among them was a malfunctioning holoprojector.
Just realized this was the shit that leads the Empire to Celeste Morne and the Muur Talisman. Thought for a bit that Kaz was dangling a future plot thread, but had to think about how many Old Republic-era ex-Jedi had a crime lord friend. Maybe our new holocron can help us with getting there before the imps?
His cheek is rewarded with the butt of a rifle colliding into the back of his skull. Ingam crashes face-first into the table, spitting blood everywhere. But before he’s able come up for air, one of the guards presses a riot baton against the Tof’s throat.

“Know your place, scum!” snarls the warden, a white-eyed Arkanian. “You’re already on thin ice as it is. Do not give me even the slightest reason to alleviate your burden on the taxpayers’ credits!”

At the questioning look you direct towards him, the warden spits, “They’re all on two meals a day, one for the more unruly ones and flat-out none for those on death row. A Force-damned waste of good food and water, if you ask me, especially with the water shortage. And then you have the bastards who complain that they aren’t being served caviar or fine wine.”

“I’m quite content with every day I live, warden,” growls the Tof, “I’m on my best behavior because it’s a worthwhile endeavor to invest in. The chances of parole-”

“Are next to nothing,” a guard flatly intones.

“That’s still a nonzero chance. But I realize that I’ve made a mistake. Kindly let me up so I can apologize…”

The warden scoffs dismissively, waving for the guard to remove the stun baton. Ingarm comes up for air, gasping and massaging his throat. He rubs at the corner of his jaw, working the muscles before he speaks, “I…apologize, Ren. It’s admittedly been a rough month. It’s rare for me to find stress relief that doesn’t involve punching one of the more unruly of my neighbors…”

>>How will you approach Ingmar?
>“If you cooperate, I can do more than just take you out of your cell for a brief talk.” [Good cop]
>“Way I see it, I’m the only thing standing between you and a slow death by starvation.” [Bad cop]
>“Do you want to know what my friend and I did to the late Viceroy and his family?” [Worse cop]
>Custom option.

>Custom option.
The impression I get from this guy is that he's a slimeball but leaning more amoral than immoral with a strong practical streak.
Therefore I suggest we approach this not as a cop but as a businessman, we're laying out a deal, don't exaggerate what we can offer and don't give him much wiggle room. We have a trade to make and we're not willing to haggle too much
>>“If you cooperate, I can do more than just take you out of your cell for a brief talk.” [Good cop]

Always a good choice. besides, we owe him for that drink on the house.
>you cooperate, I can do more than just take you out of your cell for a brief talk.” [Good cop]

This plus
>“If you cooperate, I can do more than just take you out of your cell for a brief talk.” [Good cop]

He brews his own liquor using the local berries, right? And we just rescued a former CIS commodore who sounds like he has worked previously on a vineyard. Maybe see if we can set them up to work on exporting the stuff, or at least improving the product.
I’ll support whatever deal ends up coming from >>4792078
As far as character art goes, my vote is for Grand Shamanka Bos, the Accuser, & the Herald. It would be pretty kool to see Suzel holding HK-33's head or something like that too.

Nomiana's ship kinda reminds me of the one from Mace Griffin: Bounty Hunter.
Is it wrong for me to want him in our crew? He prob has skills our gang lacks
Im also leaning on businessman. Promising too much is both unrealistic and plays our influence a bit TOO far.

Wonder if we can offer him the same terms he just mentioned. 3 meals a day, shelter and clean toilets, choice of work, and the opportunity to buy back his freedom.
As funny as that would be, I don't think he's up for a job where he gets shot at on a regular basis and not just freeing him but giving him a job on our ship would probably stretch even our influence wirh the new regime to breaking.
And frankly, he just doesn't have anything we need.
I like this >>4792078
>His cheek is rewarded with the butt of a rifle colliding into the back of his skull. Ingam crashes face-first into the table, spitting blood everywhere. But before he’s able come up for air, one of the guards presses a riot baton against the Tof’s throat.
>“Know your place, scum!” snarls the warden, a white-eyed Arkanian. “You’re already on thin ice as it is. Do not give me even the slightest reason to alleviate your burden on the taxpayers’ credits!”
>At the questioning look you direct towards him, the warden spits, “They’re all on two meals a day, one for the more unruly ones and flat-out none for those on death row. A Force-damned waste of good food and water, if you ask me, especially with the water shortage. And then you have the bastards who complain that they aren’t being served caviar or fine wine.”
>“I’m quite content with every day I live, warden,” growls the Tof, “I’m on my best behavior because it’s a worthwhile endeavor to invest in. The chances of parole-”
>“Are next to nothing,” a guard flatly intones.
>“That’s still a nonzero chance. But I realize that I’ve made a mistake. Kindly let me up so I can apologize…”
>The warden scoffs dismissively, waving for the guard to remove the stun baton. Ingarm comes up for air, gasping and massaging his throat. He rubs at the corner of his jaw, working the muscles before he speaks, “I…apologize, Ren. It’s admittedly been a rough month. It’s rare for me to find stress relief that doesn’t involve punching one of the more unruly of my neighbors…”
This'll work
The only(?) crew spot we have open is for the position of quartermaster, which I don't think this guy would excel at.
Fucking hell, did not mean to greentext all of that.
Eeeeh, I mean he ran a bar, that's pretty logistical, right? I imagine running a business likely ain't much different from running a ship's supplies.
Naval quartermasters are different than army quartermasters. They're more like signalmen than supply officers.
why would we need a signalman?
supply officer is good though
Dedicated com officers are important, especially on scout ships like ours. As for a supply officer, we a) don't own a freighter and b) that crew slot doesn't exist for the Albatross.
i dont agree. we are not in a fleet. we are independent operators and could use someone with procuring skills
We're a shadow, which means we work best when the job we're doing has been researched meticulously, which includes planetary scans, localized scans, and careful navigation. We also want to make best use of our electronic countermeasures and scamblers, insufficently-encrypted communications will raise the risk of what little allies we have being discovered and killed. All of these things fall under the purview of a shipboard quartermaster. We aren't in an army either, the mass-procuration of materiel and provisions isn't important for us. Whatever we might need to find, we can do ourselves. The skills of a seasoned army quartermaster would be wasted on four very resourceful organics and one-and-a-sixth droids.

>>Mix of "Good Cop" and "Business".

Your mouth curls up into the faintest approximation of a grim smile. “No offense taken. You’re a businessman, Ingmar. An amoral bastard of one, certainly, but a businessman at heart. I can respect your drive for enterprise well enough, even if I despise your works.”

The Tof snorts, thumbing one nostril shut to void his sinuses of any lingering blood. “I’m quite glad to hear that. Word-of-mouth was how the Toffer acquired its reputable reputation. But what is you’re angling from me?”

“Information,” you answer bluntly, shifting in your seat. “I’m looking for information regarding a mutual acquaintance. One of your customers, actually.”

He blinks, boredom ceding way to mild interest. “Really now? But you should know that a good barkeep doesn’t make a habit of sharing patrons’ information with others. The realm of the bar is a sacred, confidential place.”

“But a businessman is willing to listen,” you counter. “And I’m more than willing to reimburse you if your information’s good.”

That gets his attention. He straightens in his seat, and there’s no feigning the focus in his eyes. “So let’s talk business, then. What is it that you can offer me, Ren?”

And here you go. The bait’s in the water, and the prey’s angling and probing for a bite. “A good word. I don’t make it a habit of tooting my own horn, but I have a bit of influence with the M.S.D.F.”

And Supreme Archon Keimann.

“Can you advocate for my freedom?” he demands, with just the barest hint of desperation. The guards tense as his chains rattle and writhe against his muscles. “Give me my freedom, and I’ll tell you anything you want to know.”

“No,” you honestly tell him. But before his temper boils over, you add, “That might be pushing the envelope too hard, and I don’t want to abuse their goodwill. But I want to cut a deal that profits both myself and you. I can take your case to the M.S.D.F. and renegotiate more favorable terms for your imprisonment.”

The warden looks as if he’d swallowed something particularly sour. “With all due respect, sir-”

You cut in before he can protest, “I’m not asking for the whole camp, warden. Just the one Tof. Who as far as I know, at least had hospitably and good manners for off-worlders and non-Tof alike. Makes him practically an exemplar of his species.”

Ingam’s smile is bloody. “Careful now, Ren. I’m all for dumping all over my kindred’s horrific business practices. Ghastly waste of resources and whatnot. But there’s only so much insult to my pride I can take.”

You raise your hands, even as the grin turns wide. “Peace, peace. Merely proving a point to the warden.”

“But how much of this ‘goodwill’ do you actually have?” he asks bluntly, suddenly serious. “And how can I trust you to intercede when we finish this conversation? As far as I know, there’s nothing stopping you from simply forgetting about me once our deal is concluded.”

You lean forward. “The same reason why I trust that you won’t lie about the information.”

“I haven’t even given you anything yet!”

“I know. But you and I are consummate professionals at what we do. You don’t want to be called a liar as much as I want to be known as a deal-breaker. Just as I trust that you’ll tell me what I want to know, I hope you’ll trust me to reciprocate and honor the deal.”

He chews on this for a moment, lips pursed in deep concentration. You’ve got him on the line. Time to reel him in. “Also, the fact that we’re having this meeting should be a sign of my current standing with the new regime. And what was it that you offered your dancing girls? Three meals a day, and the offer to buy back their freedom?”

When he comes out of his deliberations, you can see in his eyes that the deal’s gone through. Hook, line and sinker. “You forgot the part about ‘relative comfort and luxury’, Ren. That’s a dealbreaker.”

You feel your eyes nearly roll up into the back of your skull. “Oh, yes. How could have I forgotten…thank you for reminding me.”

Ingmar barks a harsh laugh. “You must’ve done something to really impress the slaves when the uprising started.”

“Only what I was able to do, and to the best of my ability. Do we have a deal, then?”

The barkeep nods, extending his manacled hand out as if to shake your hand. He considers it, but under the watch of the irate warden and the guards, thinks better and retracts his limbs. “Deal. Just promise me that whatever it is you’re going to do, you’ll do it quickly.”

At your prompting, Ceyla passes you a datapad. “I’ll write it up as we go along. When we’re finished, I’ll send it off to the authorities. You can push the button yourself, if you’d like.”

“Acceptable. So, who is it that you’re asking after?”

“Nomiana Whrul,” you answer. “The Mandalorian woman I met for drinks. She disappeared after the uprising. I’d like to know if you have any information-”

“Nomiana!” he interrupts, genuinely surprised. “You’re asking after her?”

“Is there a problem?”

Ingmar gives you an odd look. “No problem. Just...a surprise. Considering that you shared a few dances and accepted an invite to her room, I figure you’d know more than me...”

At that, Ceyla doubles over in a harsh coughing fit that takes a moment to overcome. Even as your ears turn red, you pointedly ignore your padawan's incredulous gaze boring into the side of your skull. "I was...too preoccupied both during and after the uprising to keep a tab on her. As for knowing anything, we didn't exactly talk much about ourselves."

I think I see a hole in the Ceyla padawan plan. How do we make one of only two Miraluka inconspicuous? Glue googly eyes on her?
What you don’t mention is the trial of the Viceroy’s Family, the subsequent confrontation and duel with the Revenant, and the SNAFU that was your Trial of Spirit. Of course, there had been earlier opportunities upon your return to go asking after Nomiana, but that’s all a moot point. You’re here now, better late than never.

He shares a conspiratorial smirk, and tips a wink not entirely unlike he gave at the close of the evening. “Oh, I don’t doubt that in the slightest, Ren.”

“Ingmar,” you warn him sternly, idly drumming your fingers against the datapad. By your side, Ceyla’s blush goes all the way to the roots of her hair. At least one of guards is snickering, and the warden’s hand twitches for a stun baton.

“Ah, sorry, sorry. But I think she was still in the Toffer when I left for the Great Trade and you were already...you mean you just left her without saying anything and didn’t look back?”

A vein throbs in the side of your head. “I’m not the one being questioned here.”

He sighs, blowing a long, weary stream of breath through his nose. “I’m only trying to establish my recollection of the day’s events prior to the uprising. Quite a lot happened. Almost seems like a lifetime ago when I was a free, enterprising businessman…

“But more seriously,” he continues, “I trust that if you’re asking after her, then it isn’t just for a second date. What exactly do you need from her anyway?”

Months ago, you might’ve answered with “Jedi business” and leave it at that. Instead, you answer in a voice drier than sand, “Security concerns.”

Ingmar senses that he isn’t going to get anything further out of you. He merely nods, saying, “Ask away, then. I’ll answer whatever questions you’ve got as best I can.”

>>What do you want to ask Ingmar?
>Write in.

>Did she ever mention any clans or groups she is or was a part of, either predominantly Mandalorian or otherwise?
>What line of work did she work in, or at least what you assume she worked in?
>When did you first meet her, and have you or anyone you met ever required her services?
>Has she ever brought other Mandalorians to the Tipsy Toffer, or anyone with similar interests or work experiences?
>Tangentially related, but have you ever heard rumors of a mercenary or bounty hunter type who wields a length of chain and a machete-like sword?
"Where is she headed?"

I really dont see the reason why we are looking for her. I thought we were sticking with blueberry.
>Did she ever mention any clans or groups she is or was a part of, either predominantly Mandalorian or otherwise?
>Did she ever mention the specifics of her business in the Unknown Regions?
>How many Mandalorians passed through his establishment? Were they ever in groups? Was she ever with one?

>I really dont see the reason why we are looking for her. I thought we were sticking with blueberry.
Look, if the Mandobros want to team up with the Cunnychads I'm all for that alliance to oust blueberry. The only people who like togrutas are closeted coomers who don't want to be called out for liking Twi Leks.
>I really dont see the reason why we are looking for her.
Some anons with a sunk-cost fallacy from boning a complete stranger.
>making choices out of spite
That's a surefire way to turn a quest to shit.
It's not spite, it's securing my investment. Do you call it spite whenever someone opposes your plan in a quest?
>why we are looking for her.
Wandering Mandos are a potential sign of more serious problems
Mandos are formidable warriors and we could use allies
We kind of owe her an apology
Tracking her down is good training for our Padawan
I'm just going to be incredibly petty and point out that I called that exact shit out back when we were voting for our Padawan. At least Miralukans look human besides needing a blindfold.
Because she's a Mandalorian and Mandalorians are cool. My personal preference for her over Arotta notwithstanding.

Also, she was clearly here on business and not knowing what business that was could end up biting us in the ass in the most convoluted way imaginable.
>Did she mention where she was heading next and if so, where?
>Has she ever brought other Mandalorians to the Tipsy Toffer, or anyone with similar interests or work experiences?
>Did she ever mention any clans or groups she is or was a part of, either predominantly Mandalorian or otherwise?
>Did she ever mention the specifics of her business in the Unknown Regions?

I'm not too motivated to look for her, but she could be connected to more mandalorians, and THAT is a little scary for a jedi to consider. If we could secure something of a truce to not interfere with each other while the empire is all over the place, that would be quite nice.
Opaque goggles/visor. Easy. Or just make some fake prosthetic eyes if need be, Miraluka still have the vestigial sockets, hence why they wear blindfolds.
>Opaque goggles/visor
Yeah dark sunglasses equivalent seems simplest. That said how rare/unknown are Miralukas? I know they're not all jedi so if people know they're a thing than it might not be that critical to hide her lack of eyes
>That said how rare/unknown are Miralukas?
Basically extinct by the Ruusan Reformation and in decline since.
I think the visor would work, I just hope whatever she picks is better looking than the ones from KOTOR and KOTOR II. Regarding sockets vs. no sockets, I think I read somewhere that Miraluka with human admixture had sockets where full-blooded ones didn't. Does that sound familiar to anyone, or did I dream that up? Might've been Chee's headcanon or something.
>That said how rare/unknown are Miralukas?
Pretty rare, and made rarer by the Empire. Still around during the Vong War though, so they weren't just outright exterminated.
What I'd heard was that Miraluka-human hybrids had EYES, they were just all blind from birth, whereas pure Miralukas just had vestigial eye sockets. The whole reason they all wear those blindfolds is to keep other people from freaking out at the sight of them, wouldn't be much reason if they looked like Slenderman under there.
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They might have degrees of socketness, so to speak. Visas Marr's eyesockets were real deep and gnarly looking after Katar, but pic related doesn't look that off-putting at all.
>but pic related doesn't look that off-putting at all.
That looks extremely offputting.
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Relative to this?
Thats better
You have a strange definition of "better."
From my knowledge, Miraluka Hybrids are like playing the genetic lottery. You can get ones with normal eyes and no force vision, ones with no eyes and force vision, big misses with no eyes and no force vision, or big wins with eyes and force vision.
That's less uncanny and gives a male Exile more options.

Ceyla isn't pure is she? They're all probably mixed by this point.
Moneyshotting into open wounds or scar tissue strikes me as a bad idea.
>Ceyla's purity
Miraluka are predisposed to being really close with other members of their race. Between that and them being a rare site outside of their homeworld, I'd think that hybrids are probably more uncommon.
Something to add to the questions to ask: Did she meet with anyone else
Main reason is coomers.

It can't hurt to have a Mandalorian contact in our network though. Might open up some pathways later down the line.
>Did you see her ship? Or get an identification code?

Or something like that, i'm hungover rn so if an anon can expand/improve my question i'm all for it
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>>What line of work did she work in, or at least assume she worked in?

“Bounty hunting, for the most part,” grunts Ingmar, “Among bodyguard work. You’d be surprised how often you’ve got privateers lurking in the neighboring systems en-route to the system. And only a handful of them were abolitionists!”

“With the most being?” you ask.

“Rival slavers. There’s a certain level of civility to be maintained the closer you get to Mylus, but out there in space…things get messy since the competition’s really fierce. So, the slavers’ll go and hire extra guns to keep both themselves and the merchandise safe in the event of a raid. ‘Two-Hands Nomi’ was a popular bodyguard to have. Deadly at a distance with her pair of six-shooters, and damn near invincible with that fancy armor of hers. Never seen anything like it.”

You'd be surprised if you did. “Do you know what kind of bounties she went after?”

“Almost entirely criminals. Which might be odd considering how laiseez faire the Tof legal code is, but the viceroy ran a pretty tight ship for efficacy’s sake, if nothing else. Merchant-captains that refused to pay their dues or withheld taxes, opportunistic blue-bloods plotting to try and wrest control, rival pirate syndicates, including strays or runaways from the Hutts and Black Stars…”

“It’s Black Sun,” you interrupt, frowning. The fact that those criminal organizations have off-shoots, limited as they are, in the Unknown Regions is concerning. Hopefully there hadn’t been any in the capital that saw you during the revolution. Or at least, any still alive that made it off-world. “Define ‘almost entirely.’”

The barkeep sighs. “One time, and only once, I saw Nomi take a contract to pick up an escaped slave and his family. Led her on a wild goose-chase beneath the starport, then out into the badlands. Damned bastard ended up driving himself and a transport’s worth of slaves into the nest of a Roque Ja rather than go back. Those things are already aggressive, but if you get within eye-sight of their young…”

He doesn’t need to finish. The image you have of the transport where you met Keimann, scarred from dozens of claw marks gouged deep into the hull, paint a grim enough image. Perhaps you might want to talk to Troxl and advise caution against being too gung-ho at trying to hunt the beasts of the savanna.

But you return to the topic at hand, which is to say Nomiana. “…how’d she take it? The, erm…failure to fulfil the bounty?”

“Not too bad,” he says lightly, “Although she took the week off and two bottles of my finest whiskey. Couldn’t tell if she was angry at not getting paid, or horrified at what the Roque Ja did to her marks.”

“No reason to be mutually exclusive,” you quip dryly.

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>>When did you first meet her, and have you or anyone you met ever required her services?

“I first met her about five years ago, when she came into the Toffer on a job. It’d been smaller then, a third of what it is now. She had that helmet of hers on, and was silent as a grave as she scoped the room. Turns out, one of my customers was wanted for killing a Tof’s prized slave. I get wanting revenge, but that crusty old butler must’ve meant a whole lot to justify the price on his killer’s head.”

There’s a smart remark about Tof actually having feelings, but you don’t say it. And you direct a curt look towards the guards who would have done so. “What happened next?”

Ingarm snorts. “The idiot grabbed the twi’lek girl giving him a lap dance, and put a gun up to her head. Threatened to paint the Toffer with her brains if I didn’t let him out the back and keep Nomi occupied.”

“Threatened to kill an investment, eh?” You smile faintly. “I can’t imagine you taking that lightly.”

“I took exceptional offense,” he confirms, “The girl in question wasn’t helpless either, flexible enough to rear her leg back and drive her high heels into his groin. She broke his hold and hit the deck, letting me charge forward and exact my pound of flesh. Came close to beating him into mush, but Nomi stopped me. It’d be more profitable if she took him in alive.

“We ended up splitting the bounty three ways.” A wistful smile breaks across the barkeep’s face. “And what a prize it was! I got to expand the Toffer to its current state, Nomi got herself a reputation, and the girl, Yute, paid off her debt to me and got her freedom. Booked passage with some of Nomi’s coworkers to take her ‘somewhere she’d never be a slave’ again. I wonder if she’s doing alright; they never shared anything with me.”

Your hand stills at the mention of coworkers. But you’ll get to that in the next moment. “Did you or any of your friends ever need her services?”

Ingarm shrugs. “Sometimes. Mostly to scare off drunkards, or find folks who didn’t pay their tab. Nothing too serious. In exchange, I gave her a semi-permanent flat on the second floor. Dunno where the others lodged, but she made it a point to stay at the Toffer whenever she was planetside.”

>>Did she ever mention any clans or groups she was/is part of, Mandalorian or otherwise?

“Mandalorian, Mandalorian…” the barkeep tastes the word as if he was sipping a cocktail. “I did hear that word dropped a few times, though I don’t know much about them. Most of what I know about them are second-hand stories from pirates and travelers. But they’d certainly match Nomi to a T, barring the fact that she readily takes off her helmet.

“Nomi was tight-lipped about her personal life or professional career prior to Mylus, even after five years of odd friendship. If she's part of anything beyond her last name of Whrul, I wouldn't know. Sorry, Ren."

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>>Has she ever brought other Mandalorians to the Tipsy Toffer, or anyone with similar interests or work experiences?

“Why, are you jealous?” But before you can offer a scathing retort, Ingarm holds up a hand. “A joke, Ren. I fear that if you grimace for too long, your face will get stuck. But to answer your question, yes, but never more than one at any given moment.”

“Why’s that?” you inquire.

“Couldn’t tell you. Maybe they had their private meetings elsewhere, but one of them would come in once in a while to speak with her.”

“Can you describe them? And how many of them were there?”

He nods, but hesitates. “Sure, but I can’t give you facial details or species. Nomi was the only one who took off her helmet in the Toffer. The other two didn’t. Still, they were good customers. Took their drinks intravenously through what they called a ‘triple-filtered emergency induction port.’

“So there’s Mukir, heavyset, older fellow with a voice modulated to hell and back with his helmet. Couldn’t tell you if he was human or not, but he was definitely in charge of their group. Everything went quiet whenever he came by the Toffer. The girls were scared of him, but I was more irritated with how he always killed the mood. Funny enough, Mukir was actually the one who took Yute off-world.

“Then you have a fellow called Urzu. Tall and lithe, sort of compact beneath the armor. Coin’s toss as to whether or not he’s human. He came more often than Mukir, and was soft-spoken to the point where he’d use hand signals more than words. The one time I saw him in action, he helped me put down a barfight that’d gotten out of control. Never saw cleaner bladework.”

Mukir and Urzu. You file those names away for later.

>>Did she mention where she was heading next, and if so, where?

“A few minutes before you came into the Toffer, Nomi said that the three of them were going on a sabbatical. Something to do with their religion, apparently, and she didn’t know when she’d be back. But I couldn’t tell you where it was. Mukir said that I’d have to be one of them to even entertain the thought of coming along.

“So, she was there for a final drink for the foreseeable future…” he pauses, then gives you an appraising glance. “And a hot date, it seems. I don't know what you said to impress her since I can count on one hand the number of guests in her room over the last five years.”

You cough perhaps just a tad bit too harshly. “You have nothing else? Descriptions of planets, itinerary…”

“If I did, you’d know them already.” He shrugs helplessly. “I knew them for five years, but they still kept me at arm’s length when it came to the pow-wow of their inner circle. When I last saw her, one of my girls was bringing her breakfast in bed and contraceptive tea. I was halfway out the door with my things for the Great Trade when I saw room service going up.”

>contraceptive tea

So much for the advancements of science
Hey, Tof are all about having really advanced gear that just looks like antiquated junk for their aesthetic. Why wouldn't they serve their medicines in tea?

It was just two humans getting it on bro. The hell did you think was gonna pop out, a rancor?
It would be advantageous to have a Mando trained as a Jedi
Ingmar said that he only saw the tea going up. Didn't mention anything about seeing her actually drink it. :^)
Dammit Kaz.
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Ceyla’s at her reddest yet, utterly scandalized. Hopefully between this and the cultural SNAFU at the market, you haven’t burned all your credibility as a Jedi Knight. “How…considerate of you,” you tell Ingmar.

The barkeep shrugs. “It’s a dangerous life she leads. Least I could do is give her a final luxury and safety net. Pregnant women do not make for effective combatants on the front lines, especially in this part of the galaxy.”

No, they really don’t. “And what about Mukir and Urzu?”

“I hadn’t seen them in weeks. I can only assume that they got off-planet during the clusterfuck of the uprising.”

There’s something about her sabbatical doesn’t sit right in your gut. Your mind drifts back to the night prior to the uprising, in the aftermath of the dance and prelude to her room.

“Neither of us can go home anymore, can we?”

“No…no, we can’t.”

The Jedi Wanderer cannot return to his temple because it is a smoking wreck. The haunts of his childhood are crawling with agents of the Dark Side, plundering and defiling the relics of his order. Much of his extended family lies dead across the galaxy, shot by their own soldiers or otherwise faceless corpses on a funeral pyre. His fate is to remain hidden to the galaxy at large, lurking in the Shadows for the opportune moment to strike at the Sith.

Why is it that the Mandalorain can’t return home? The timeline wouldn’t match up for exiles or remnants of the Death Watch. But that all assumes that their people’s ancestral homeworld is where she hails from. An independent cadre or forgotten colony in deep space? There are too many possibilities and very little evidence to support anything.

“Did you ever get the impression that Nomiana or her companions were…” you wave your hand vaguely. “Running away from anything?”

Ingmar thinks about it for a good, long moment. “…I mean, they were always jumpy, but I just chalked that up to them being hyper-vigilant. But if they were running from something, it wouldn’t make sense for Nomi to make a name for herself, or otherwise walk around without a helmet. And that’s not even taking into account staying close to Mylus for five years.”

“Nomiana” might not even be her real name, for all you know. But you don’t think she lied when she gave her name on the dancefloor. Still, something to consider for future ponderance.

>>Tangentially related, but have you ever heard rumors of a mercenary or bounty hunter type who wields a length of chain and a machete-like sword?

He inhales sharply, and even the guards visibly tense. “You’re asking about the Blazing Chain.”

“Blazing Chain?” All eyes turn to your apprentice as she blurted out the question. Ceyla initially shies away at the intensity of the gazes, but she finds her footing easily enough. “The man Luaine and I fought on the Chiller…he wielded a a chain, a sword and the Dark Side of the Force.”

Why? There is nothing special about Mandos today. All you need to do is raise kids with mando mindset and jedi training and you get the exact same thing.
Dude, in the 21st century we have pills for that job. As well as a variety of non-invasive "attachments". Contraceptive tea is like, medieval tier.
Aren't the Mando mindset and Jedi ethos mutually exclusive?
Okay? Why don't you just put your pill into some tea? It makes no difference how you take it.

I'm not a philosopher. I have no idea. Probably. But Jedi training isn't the same as Jedi indoctrination.
Switch that, with the bendability of Jedi Shadow training, Ruthlessness of Mando training, and a watered down version of the Jedi mindest, can create an absolute monstrosity of power. Only if we raise it right.
>just put your pill into tea

Pills do not work that way, anon, unless they're specifically noted to be water soluble.
>can create an absolute monstrosity of power
I don't see how but alright.
>he can figure out how to make pills but he can't figure out how to put the pill into a drink
What advanced science you have.
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>You’re asking about the Blazing Chain
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Ingarm regards Ceyla with nothing short of amazement. “Then you’re lucky to be alive. They aren’t known for showing mercy to their enemies.”

“I’m sorry,” you cut in with a frown. “The Blazing Chain?”

The Tof is at his most serious yet. His mouth is set in a thin, grim line as he elaborates, “A group of pirates that once preyed on our section of space, or what your coreward maps might call the ‘Unknown Regions.’ At their peak, they operated a dozen fleets, each filled with warships from corvettes all the way up to dreadnaught-sized behemoths.”

“You’re forgetting what makes them dangerous,” the warden says, a pained expression on his face. “Those damned bastards had hundreds of Force-sensitives in their ranks. One second, you’re just ship security, barricading the airlock and prepping for a boarding action. All it takes is a moment for your barricade to be blown back with a kinetic wave, and a chain tearing the weapon out of your hand.”

He tugs at his uniform’s collar, revealing an ugly patch of scars around the arkanian’s throat. There’s the familiar chaffing indicative a slaver’s explosive choker, but there’s something else among them. Old and faded, but definitely there: a series of angry, repeating bands as he’d been garroted by manacles. “That’s how they got the ship I was on nearly twenty years ago. Thousands of my kind on a colony ship, sold to the Tof or kept as slaves for their fleet.”

Ceyla’s hand flies to her mouth in a horrified expression, and a shiver runs up and down the length of your spine. “This is the first time I’d ever heard of such an organization! There was never anything in the Jedi Archives to suggest-”

“Don’t take this the wrong way, Jedi,” the warden cuts you off, “But the reach and knowledge of the Republic Jedi doesn’t exactly reach all the way here.”

Ingarm looks like he might say something, opening his mouth before shutting it in thought. Then, he offers, “If it makes you feel any better, they haven’t been active for the better part of…nine years, actually. There’s always been tension among the fleets, and it boiled over to a five-year civil war. They were too busy fighting among themselves to sell us slaves or raid the trade routes.”

You wipe sweat off your forehead that you didn’t know you had. “What caused their civil war?”

The warden spits venomously, “One of their adacaps, their word for a leader or admiral of a fleet, got it in his head to crown himself Great Khanu. Zonsoe of the Blackshackle Fleet called a summit and demanded the others to bend the knee. Adacap Tybalt of Arcblade Fleet refused, and Zonsoe conjured lightning to turn him into a pile of ash. Blackshakle went on to exterminate damned near the entirety of Arcblade. Of the tens of thousands, there were less than a hundred Arcblade survivors scattered across the sector.”

You stop that.
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>The Storyteller has history with Larid
>Their apprentices need to fight under specific conditions
>Farren's been warned to watch out for the Corsairs of the Sapphire Star
>Ceyla's now on the radar of an unknown Force pirate
How deep does this rabbit hole go? Did the Storyteller manipulate us into choosing Ceyla? Did he manipulate an entire space armada into a civil war in order to set up a single fight on a frozen wasteland? Did he set up us talking to Ingarm so we'll go after the Corsairs? Fuck, maybe he even set things up so Larid was manipulated into choosing Farren as an apprentice, who knows?
I don't think we can pretend we're not a jedi after Ceyla's outburst

I mean, there's no specific reason we have to conceal our Jedi status from Ingmar, and the entire rest of the planet already knows.
Dread pools in the pit of your stomach. And the ashen expression on your face is mirrored on Ceyla’s. To conjure lightning is a power reserved only for those wholly seeped in the Dark Side of the Force. The Revenant had it when she fought you in the Galleria, but you expect it of her due to the Sith in her head. But for this Great Khanu, an entity not belonging to either the Jedi or the Sith, to reach such power independently is an incredibly sobering thought.

You motion for your padawan to calm herself, even as it takes you a moment to regain your composure. “So what happened to this…Zonsoe?”

The warden’s smile is grim. “His hairbrained stunt threw the entire franchise against him. Blackshackle stood alone against the ten fleets, and as well as the mercenaries they assembled. Zonsoe’s enemies had numerical superiority by a long shot, but the Great Khanu had the edge in powerful ships and Force-adepts. An entire sector burned as they killed and bled each other.

“The reason it took five bloody years was that they were using their own tactics against each other: hit-and-run. Blackshackle started to feel the attrition sooner, so Zonsoe forced a decisive battle in the gravity well of a binary star. A crack team of mercenaries and Blazing Chain adepts infiltrated his flagship, the super dreadnought Temujin. Just as it seemed that the allied fleets were about to capitulate, the Temujin’s main reactors exploded. Took out a significant chunk of the survivors as well, but everyone was too happy to care since it killed Zosen as well.”

Digesting that, you turn to Ingmar. “And where were the Tof during all of this?”

He shrugs. “We remained neutral. The war was an opportunity to weaken the Blazing Chain. Regardless of who won, our forces would be fresh and ready for a fight if anyone came knocking.”

Fair enough. “And ever since then, the Chain hasn’t troubled you?”

“Not really, no,” answers the barkeep. “There’s the odd vessel that came in and traded slaves and supplies, but they were too bloodied to stir up the pot. They lost hundreds of ships, on top of an entire generation of warriors. We figured that they’d gone to ground. It’d take them decades for them to even come close to half of their combined strength.”

The arkanian offers a solemn nod, before turning his gaze to Ceyla. “Loathe as I am to agree with this creature, he’s right. If the chain adept wanted you dead, then you wouldn’t be here now. No offense,” he adds as you shoot him a heated glare.

Your padawan frowns. “He…wasn’t fighting to kill us. He said that we were worthy, and that ‘the chain will be greatly strengthened.’”

A pained expression crosses the warden’s face. “Ah. Well, in that regard…there’s no easy way for me to say this. But they boast that eighty percent of their members are some degree of Force-sensitive."

"What does this have to do with my padawan?" you demand.

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But you already know the answer.

“They want your girl to join them,” Ingmar says, almost low enough to be a growl. “I don’t gamble, but I’d bet the deed to the Toffer that the adept she fought was a scout of some kind. Testing the waters and getting a feel for the current environment…looking for potential candidates to replenish their ranks and get back up to their precious eighty percent.”

“That’s ridiculous,” Ceyla snaps, brow furrowed into a severe frown. “I’m already committed as a Jedi! Even if he asked nicely and didn’t strangle Vuqu, I’d still say no in a heartbeat.”

“But that’s the problem, child,” the warden says, exhaling heavily. “The Blazing Chain rarely extends invitations. And a problem with both their men and women is that they have a hard time taking ‘no’ for an answer. Just as they’ll raid poorly defended settlements for slaves to sell or use for labor, they’ll…use their prisoners as a means to keep their gene pool from going stagnant, especially since they include dozens of species in their ranks. And with your Force-sensitivity, you’re too valuable of a prize-”

A pindrop might have sounded like a world-ending explosion in the silence that followed. The arkanian doesn’t need to finish his sentence before the blood drains out of your apprentice’s face. Ingarm and the guards jump as the overhead lights and table begin to flicker and tremble. As it is, you curl your hand into a tight, white-knuckled fist to keep your mounting, boiling temper from spilling out of control.

It isn’t just Ceyla that the Blazing Chain would be after. They’d be after all of the Younglings, both the boys and girls, even yourself if they think they could take you. It seems that even in the Unknown Regions, there would be proactive hunters of Jedi.

But worst is the Dark Side of the Force, lurking at the threshold. It conjures an image, whispering in your mind a horrible vision of the pirates discovering the carbonite slab containing Kristen…

...and how to prevent such a future from happening. But only if you listen.

“…Master Farren?” Ceyla’s voice calls you out of your thoughts. Visibly green, it seems that she’s made the realization that the encounter on the Chiller could have gone very differently. “…I think…I’m gonna be sick…”

And to think it’s only her first day as a padawan.

>>What words of comfort do you have to offer Ceyla?
>“He let you go, which means that he’d rather persuade you than use force to get you to join.” [Reason]
>“Then as Shadows, you and I will have to destroy them before they can hurt anyone ever again.” [Duty]
>"Well, we do have potential safe-houses that're very far away from the Unknown Regions." [Assure]
>“You’ll get nothing short of the best training so you won’t have to worry about those scum.” [Solemn]
>Custom option. [Write-in]

>>“You’ll get nothing short of the best training so you won’t have to worry about those scum.” [Solemn]
>“Then as....*cough*....Warriors, you and I will have to destroy them before they can hurt anyone ever again.” [Duty]
I'm with
Definitely [Duty], but no need to go around shouting "I'm a professional spy and saboteur!" around open ears.
>" Then as Shadows, you and I will have to destroy them before they can hurt anyone ever again.” [Duty]




What kind of OST would be ideal for this?
Prequel OST leaning toward Original OST with a dash of KoTOR thrown in? A few samples added.
>“Then as Shadows, you and I will have to destroy them before they can hurt anyone ever again.” [Duty]

What I mean to ask is what song is playing in your head as you read this?
>You’ll get nothing short of the best training so you won’t have to worry about those scum.” [Solemn]
>>“Then as Shadows, you and I will have to destroy them before they can hurt anyone ever again.” [Duty]
>“Then as Jedi, you and I will have to destroy them before they can hurt anyone ever again.” [Duty]

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