The Crystal Jewel Cantina
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From the outset, the players decided to be casual acquaintances recently arrived on Coruscant for a variety of reasons, which you may glean from their backgrounds or the prologue to the campaign. As new acquaintances, they were out on the town at a mid-levels cantina in Republic City. The cantina was called the Crystal Jewel and was located in the Southern Underground of Republic City. Here, wreathed in second-hand tabacc smoke our would be adventurers relax over drinks, and focus their discussion on ideas to find work between bouts of flirtation with the waitress.
First up is Tyson Smee, fringer. He’s down on his luck after losing jobs to a team of maintenance droids and come to the cantina tonight to hang out with some new acquaintances struggling to make their way on the galaxy’s capitol world.
Next up is Sebastian, known as Teh-Kiser to those closest to him, who is an adept of the Force. He is a male, near-human (effectively human in game stats), born on a world that he can’t identify on star charts. Now a young man, Sebastian has come to Coruscant as he comes of age and begins a rite of passage asked of him by his adopted Wookie culture. He also seeks knowledge of a way home and has come to understand that his strength and prowess with blades lends itself to the kinds of work that a bruiser ends up in.
Last is Joh-Kel Styken, Jedi padawan to Master Veren Kern of Alderaan, who has come to Coruscant on his quest to earn the rank of Jedi Knight.
As our adventures are engrossed in conversation, a cloaked figure leaves a booth and goes to the bar to get some drinks. The group notices a second hooded figure in the booth that the first left, and they catch a glimpse of his face. They all recognize him as being Senator Lohk, famous for his oratory on the Senate floor and his stances on reform.
Suddenly, a commotion is heard from outside, the bouncer can be heard sternly stating, “Hey we don’t serve your kind here!” The figure at the bar doesn’t seem to notice the commotion, but the adventurers do and they all look across the smokey room to the entrance archway. They see a protocol droid keeping to the shadows in the entryway, but it’s obviously a custom model because it is lining up lethal looking, built-in laser gauntlets on the Senator. The party springs into action.
Tyson immediately grabs the waitress and pulls her into the booth with him, supposedly to protect her. Just as fast to act, Joh-Kel sees the droid is going to fire on the Senator’s booth so he moves between the booth and the droid in a defensive stance and ignites his lightsaber. Just a moment later, the droid fires on the booth, blasts which Joh-Kel promptly tries to deflect with his humming blade. He bats aside one shot, but is not yet skilled enough to shift and catch the second blast. Fortunately, the second shot misses almost everything in the bar except the top shelf where an expensive liquor bottle bursts into flames from the blast.
At that point, another lightsaber is drawn by the cloaked figure at the bar revealing the wielder to also be a Jedi. As the blade is ignited, a male voice shouts, “Stay back sir. I’ll protect you.”
Finally Sebastian awaiting an opportune moment in the ebb and flow of the action, springs out of his chair and charges the droid, his Rykk blade in hand. As he brings the blade up over his head and down in a reckless but powerful swing the droid’s targeting feeds and processors seem to be overloaded from all the action and it is unable to counter. With an ear splitting screech of shearing metal, Sebastian neatly slices the droid in two, from head to toe, ending the threat.
The momentary excitement in the cantina subsides as the bartender, a Gungan, douses the flames behind the bar with wet towels. He yanks out his atlatl, and yells seemingly at the mysterious Jedi by the bar, “Whosa gonna pay for thisa mess? Yousa?” He is promptly ignored by the Jedi, Senator, and the party, and basically everyone in the room.
The Senator is up out of the booth by now and the mystery Jedi is speaking with him in hushed tones. The Jedi then turns to the party and thanks them for their assistance. He introduces himself as Quintis and nods at Senator Lohk saying that he should get the Senator somewhere safe in case this wasn’t the only assassin droid on the prowl tonight. He also tells the party that he probably won’t be able to get back to this scene before the trail grows cold, and recognizing the potential uses of another Jedi on the scene in Joh-Kel, he asks for the assistance of the young padawan and his heroic comrades. He hands over a comlink and asks the party to investigate the droid’s wreckage and interview witnesses. The Senator agrees with his Jedi protector and says that he can pay well if the party can learn anything informative about who might have sent the assassins. The party agrees and Jedi Quintis tells them that he’ll call them once the Senator is safe. He then hustles off with the Senator while speaking into his own comlink, still resting one hand on his lightsaber. The party also observes other elements of the Senator’s security slipping away with the Jedi and Senator, most of them ashamed that apparently an assassin droid got through their perimeter.
The party doesn’t bother to inspect the wrecked droid and misses some clues:
- It’s been marked up with a forged symbol of an environmentalist group from Thule
- Its components aren’t of any known Republic make and the tech seems a bit dated
- It was only made to appear like a protocol droid
- And the hardest DC…it was built in Hutt space
The party does set off to talk to witnesses. They learn the direction that the droid approached from and start moving that way as they talk to more people. While doing this, a member of the Senator’s security force who has apparently also lingered slips into the cantina unnoticed by the party and removes some key components from the destroyed droid that might serve as incriminating evidence against him. He was the gap in the Senator’s security perimeter outside the cantina. His name was Lassor, and he was a red skinned, yellow eyed alien species that few in the galaxy would recognize. After flashing his Senate security badge a few times and taking care of the things he came to handle, he hustles off in the direction the party went to attempt to control the situation better and not be found out.
As the party moves further from the cantina, they spot another droid resembling the first that turns and flees from them. They chase the droid rather than shooting at it because of the crowded thoroughfares and also because they hope the droid is leading them back to an employer or operator.
As the party does this, they notice they are being followed by a red-skinned, yellow eyed alien in black attire, similar to that of the security forces of the Senator they observed earlier. They can’t stop at the moment, so they continue to follow the droid as it moves into the Hirkenglade Prefecture and takes a lift to the upper levels. As they leave the lift, they see the droid slip into a service door of the Royal Aquarium. Knowing what building the droid went into and figuring it won’t get too far ahead, they decide to spring a little surprise on their pursuer.
The party waits in an alley until their pursuer comes past and then they leap out behind him with their weapons drawn calling out for him to stop in his tracks. Upon confrontation, the pursuer introduces himself as Officer Lassor, a member of the Senator’s security teams, again flashing his badge. He bluffs that he’s been trying to catch up to the party so he can caution them not to be as violent in securing this droid so they can recover the droid’s brain for examination. In truth, Lassor wants to get the entire droid, or the brain, before any other authorities do, destroy it, and claim to have examined it and found nothing that gives clues about would be assassins. He offers the party 75 credits to do this, and says he’s already checked out the droid brain left behind at the cantina. He even shows the party that Rykk blade bisected droid brain to further support his bluff.
The party agrees to Lassor’s proposals. They tell him the droid is in the aquarium and they ask if he wants to come along. He says he’ll stay outside and observe the building to see if the droid slips out while they are inside. Our heroes set off after the droid and go to the same service entrance. The aquarium has actually been closed for renovation over the previous two weeks. Inside, they find poorly lit corridors and exhibit tanks which are also without their typical text plates and holograms that would inform visitors about the creatures in the tanks. The corridors often lead to dead ends and sealed security-grade blast doors. They try to hotwire some doors, but some really the Force does not seem to be with them and they are stymied for a time, until the notice service ladders that lead up to hatches on the exhibit tanks. It’s unclear to the group how the droid has been getting around, but apparently it’s been sealing and securing the doors behind it and apparently has the access codes to do so.
At this point, the party decides to enter service hatches on the tanks and swim through the expansive tanks to other service hatches to try to get around (spoiler material: this particular navigation obstacle is basically straight out of Coruscant & the Core Worlds).
The party had little trouble swimming from hatch to hatch to move past security doors. They even managed to keep quiet, and succeeded despite their extreme trepidation about sea monsters lurking in the murky water. The party eventually ends up swimming through a tank with a dianoga in it, but they managed to do so without much ruckus or clamor at all and so the dianoga does not attack them. They also observe an Opee sea killer in another tank, but avoid that tank entirely.
The adventurers manage to catch up to the droid which is shutdown in a storage closet. It hid and powered down to avoid the possibility of sensor detection. The players managed to find it and quickly add a restraining bolt to it. With the droid under their control, they were now able to get it to open the security doors for them. They led it to Lassor and turned it over. He thanked them for their assistance and told them the Senator or Quintis would be contacting them with payment and he’d make sure his offer of an additional 75 was added to the final tally.
The party is shortly thereafter commed by Quintis who schedules a meeting for the next day at the Senator’s offices for payment and mentions the possibility for more work.
Returning to the Crystal Jewel to complete their night of revelry, the party meets Sergeant Grinder who offers to buy the party drinks. He introduces himself as a member of the Tonowi Rangers and says he’s spoken to the Senator in the last half-hour when he called to apologize for being late. His alibi for the events of the evening, when pressed by the party, checks out. He tells the party that he was to meet with the Senator and he appreciates their aid in protecting the Senator. Recognizing the savvy and skill of Joh-Kel, Sebastian, and Tyson he says there are always openings in his mercenary group and that they could use some help. One of the mercs, a man named Kell, was captured by space pirates in a recent operation, and they’re going after him. Always in need of those that could fight, he extends an offer to join up and be off of Coruscant within 12 hours, heading to a mercenary ship and then onwards to the rescue mission. The party politely declines.
With the offer from Sgt. Grinder declined, and the offer from the Senator lined up for the next adventure, this adventure wraps up with the characters returning to their meager apartments for the night, with the hopes for payment and more work on the ’morrow fresh on their minds.
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