The Stand at Dawn
April 13, 2012 16:22
s our brave heroes set out towards the native Kiwa village, having successfully recaptured their home settlement of Ecumenopolis and the nearby Wookie village from the dreaded forces of OUTLANDER, the greatest challenge to our heroes might still just lie ahead.
It is still unknown why the enemies of our heroes have united together under the banner of OUTLANDER, the sinister and mysterious organization who’s terrible goals are still unknown, or why they seek to capture so many prisoners, to say nothing of their insistence that they will soon change the face of the Galaxy forever.
Knowing that time may not be on their side, our heroes now join forces with two unexpected allies in an effort to liberate their beloved adopted homeworld once and for all…
Last Stand Ahead
With the Wookie village of Nng-Muarga Kashyyyk secured from the sinister mercenary forces of Outlander and the twisted Force Witch commanding the Outlander forces defeated, Aidan Dyre, Akira Ben-Toshi and Nyla Hawklight, along with the Warden of the Sky Zeetra and her comrade Thrax, along with the twins Eldewn and Elsae Sarvool with the Wookie life pledges Baccitcuk and Quaggo rallied the victorious Wookie defenders along with Orn Syndulla and her militia of Ecumenopolis defenders and Cade Starbreaker’s swoop gang the Rabid Rancors, the rogue mercenary and Force-user Parias and Aidan’s Mandalorian friend and fellow Clone Wars veteran Shad Raal to venture out to the Kiwa village to the south-west of Ecumenopolis, the only area of Dantooine still under the control of the Outlander mercenaries.
Using a captured transport Aidan and the Wookies flanked by Cade Starbreaker’s Rabid Rancors set off on the nearly eighty kilometer journey to the Kiwa village, while Quaggo, Nyla and her Padawan Eldewyn set off in the Emerald Eye, while Akira, his Padawan Elsae, Parias, Baccitcuk and Aidan’s friend Shad along with several Wookie’s took the Renegade. Thrax and Zeetra boarded a captured Trandoshan slaver ship now manned by Wookies and headed off for the Kiwa village along with the others escorted by two squadrons of captured Z-95’s.
To the Hill
When the party’s forces arrived at the Kiwa village they found the entire region in the midst of a wide spread fast moving conflict on both land in the air. Dozens of allied Kiwa tribes were fighting a loosing battle against the larger Irith force of more than six thousand fighters, armed with modern weaponry and supported by hundreds of Dar’Manda Arpat’s renegade Mandalorians.
Aidan ordered their transport put down nearly a kilometre to the north-east of the Kiwa village, where a massive defeated horde of Kiwa fighters was hastily retreating off the base of a hill designated Big Mound Hill. Aidan had the Kiwa braves board the transport and flown back to the Kiwa village to be treated, while he and his Mandalorian and Wookie fighters charged up the hill against a near eight to one enemy advantage. The fighting was fierce, but with shrewd battlefield tactics and strategy Aidan was able to lead his forces of several hundred up nearly three-quarters of the hill before their advance was halted.
Meanwhile from the Renegade Akira spotted several large artillery pieces being readied to fire ontop of a rocky hill to the north-west of the Kiwa Village named Blue Swamp Rock. Akira was preparing the Renegade for a strafing run against the targets when the entire ship was wrenched from it’s forward momentum, and spun around one-hundred-and-eighty degrees, bringing it face to face with a strange creature hovering less than fifty meters from it in the air. A reptillian creature dressed in the same type of clothing the Force Witches had worn, but this was not a near-human looking creature. It looked almost Star Dragon like Akira thought with it’s flopped ears and snout. The creature, speaking through the Force told all aboard the Renegade that though the Witches they’d killed were weak, they were both her children, and thus revenge was needed. The Witch then hurled the Renegade with the Force into a river below, nearly breaking the craft in half. None were seriously injured, but the Renegade was unfit to fly, and Akira ordered the ship abandoned. The occupants of the craft hastily evacuated the crippled ship, at first trying to take the Mud Hog with them until Akira told them not to bother, leaving it in the shallow river. One Wookie managed to pilfer a locked strongbox from Kalko’s former bunk which he’d stolen on the planet Ando more than six months earlier.
The transport Thrax and Zeetra rode was also fell under attach by the Force Witch as they flew near the Blue Swamp Rock], with the Wookie pilots being teleported out of the cockpit and left to fall the ground below, sending the craft tumbling out of the sky. After soft landing near the remains of the Renegde, Zeetra took to leading the survivors of both crashed ships away back to the Kiwa Village to re-group, while Akira and Thrax engaded the Force Witch head on.
The two fought the Witch in a ferocious battle, with all parties taking heavy damage while besting eachother in Force mastery, sucessfully repelling each others attacks until finally the Witch was badly wounded after minutes of lightsaber strikes by both Force-users. With a wave of her hand the Force Witch disappeared into thin air, teleporting to safety Akira assumed, leaving Akira and Thrax free to retreat back to the Kiwa village to regroup.
Always My Enemy
While Nyla prepared to strafe the Big Mound Hill to help Aidan and his now stalled forces, Aidan was the midst of battle with a large powerful Irith warchief, fighting with a large repeating blaster with a massive native sword mounted atop. Just as Aidan was about to defeat the warchief in a protracted battle the chief was joined by none other than Negas, who had just recently helped rescue the player party from the wreckage of the Dungeon Ship in the Tapani Sector. When Aidan asked why he was now fighting with the Irith and Outlander, Negas simply replied that Outlander offered him more money, and that this was only business.
Negas and his platoon Vindhi soldiers then charged over the hill firing adhesive grenades at Aidan, Shad and all the others within range, bonding them to the ground as the Irith, Mandalorian forces now joined by Negas and the Vindhi now regained the upper hand in the battle for Big Mound Hill.
Nyla witnessed the turning tide against Aidan on the hill and while Eldewn piloted the Emerald Eye she stretched out to the Force, employing a mind trick on Negas to run away from the battle, which he promptly did. With Negas gone Eldewn and Nyla resumed their strafing run, until they were ambushed in mid-air by an incredibly powerful, fast and maneuverable starfighter appeared behind the Emerald Eye, opening fire with Concussion Missiles, heavily damaging the ship and forcing Nyla to order Eldewn to retreat.
With the Emerald Eye in retreat and his forces falling back off the hill, Aidan struggled to free himself from the adhesive grenades bonds when the starfighter that had just chased off the Emerald Eye hovered before him, just long enough for Aidan to see that it was none other than Dar’Manda in the pilots seat. The vessel opened fire, blasting Aidan head on, knocking him lifelessly to the ground.
From a distance Akira, Thrax and Nyla saw Aidan fall, and all feared the worst. Dar’Manda exited her craft just long enough to pick Aidan up in her arms, throw his helmet off and to the ground, load him into her starfighter and then take off once more, headed for orbit.
Nyla used the Force to pull the starfighter down to the ground, desperately hoping to save her friend, but Dar’Manda simply ejected from the cockpit using a freshly repaired jetpack, still with Aidan in tow. Again Nylaused the Force to bring her down, throwing her into a thicket of trees, only to loose sight of her and his friend as well.
Turning of the Tides
After loosing sight of Aidan and Dar’Manda, Nyla put the Emerald Eye down on the far eastern side of Big Mound Hill, and with all hope quickly vanishing new threat seemed to appear, an Imperial military shuttle suddenly appeared and landed nearby, and more than fifty Clone Troopers pouring out in very damaged and customized armour. One trooper leading near the front of the pack immediately sought Nyla out, and in an instant Nyla recognized the trooper… it was Darius, the trooper who risked his life to save hers when she was a Jedi Padawan facing the Jedi Purge. When Nyla told him that she thought he was dead he explained that he’d managed to survive, though just barely. In his attempts to make his way to Dantooine, heavily wounded by an Imperial Inquisitor on Laponth, he met the squadron he now fought with, the Howling 99. Like him, they were Clone Troopers who’d made the decision to disregard the order to turn on their Jedi commanders, and were now renegades fighting the tyrany that was the Galactic Empire.
The Howling 99’s commander introduced himself as Ghat to Nyla, and had said that he’d heard many great things about her from Darias, and that it would be an honour to once again fight with a Jedi. Nyla then gathered as many Wookie, Rabid Rancor and militia forces she could, and lead a charge against the rear of the Outlander forces holding the Big Mound Hill.
Meanwhile Akira, Thrax and Parias were leading a force of Kiwa and Wookies against Blue Swamp Rock and the heavy artillery shelling the Kiwa Village. The three however using great stealth skills snuck around the back of the hill on it’s north-western side, scaling hundreds of feet of sharp jagged rock and narrow paths to come up behind the Irith and Mandalorians manning the artillery. Launching a sneak attack the three were able to overpower the guards and forces from behind as the Kiwa and Wookies attacked head on. With two of the three guns still in fighting order, Akira, Parias and Thrax turned the guns on the Irith and Mandalorian forces on Big Mound Hill, as Kiwa Ro Bordup lead a fresh attack by Kiwa and Wookie forces up the Big Mound Hill with the help of The Wise Old One.
Within minutes the tide of battle had completely turned, and the Irith and Mandalorian forces were soon in a full retreat off of the Big Mound Hill through the few lines of escape between Nyla’s attack on the rear and Ro Bordup’s attack from the front. Soon after however Nyla discovered a crowd had gathered around none other than the Old Wise One herself, who had been mortally wounded by a Mandalorian Concussion Grenade. As Akira, Parias and Thrax soon joined her on the hillside, the Old Wise One told Nyla not to waste her effort on healing her, as she was long for this world. First she asked Thrax if he truly wished to still follow the path of the light, to which he said yes, even though he did not know the Old Wise One. The Old Wise One told him to then follow these new friends of his, as they would help him on his way.
The Old Wise One told Nyla and Akira that she was greatly proud of them both, for taking on the twins as their apprentices, and for striving to be good Jedi themselves. She told them that the time had come to go to the Factory in the south, the one she had earlier warned them never to approach. As her life force faded, she warned both that they must try harder than they ever had before to hold on to the path of the light, for the path ahead grew ever more dangerous. With that, the Old Wise One breathed her last breath, and then faded from sight.
The Kiwa braves around walled in anguish at the lost of their tribal medicine woman, and good friend. All who stood by the Old Wise One in her final moments were at a loss, a great light in the Force had just been lost.
Just then Nyla was surprised to see that her old training remote which she had purchases on Nar Shadda had followed her to the spot where the Old Wise One had been. The remote then spoke to her in plain Basic, asking her why she wept for the Old Wise One? It then told her strongly that the death of an old woman was no tragedy, that Nyla, Akira, the twins and all others owed it to her to forgive her for her shortcomings, to thank her for her time and her teachings, and above all else, to be grateful that she was now one with the Force.
Stunned, Nyla and Akira asked what the remote droid was, and it replied that it was in fact a hidden Jedi Holocron, and that though it had been uncertain whether Nyla and Akira were deserving of it’s teachings, it had realized that they needed his help more than ever now that the Old Wise One had died. It explained that in it’s life it had met the Old Wise One here on Dantooine more than a hundred years ago, and that it too had visited the Factory in the south as a test of his strength against the Dark Side. It told Nyla, Akira, Thrax and the twins that it would help them prepare for what they needed to face, but that it would be a challenge like no other that they had ever seen.
Afterwards Akira found the master shipwright of Ecumenopolis Traz Nunb examining the wreckage of the Renegade, trying to determine whether it could be salvaged. Akira asked him to have a look at the sophisticated starfighter that Dar’Manda had tried to escape in before Nyla pulled it down to the ground with the Force. After Akira disabled several traps inside that attempted to explode the fighter, Traz had a look over and told Akira that it was the single most advanced starfighter that he had ever seen. Akira asked Traz to as best he could get the starfighter up to combat readiness again, in between the monumental task of repairing the settlement’s damaged merchant fleet.
By His Hand
After realizing that his friend and comrade Zeetra was missing, along with hundreds of Kiwa natives, Thrax suggested that they interrogate some of the prisoners as to find out where their friends had been taken. With the pirate captain Gurk captured, as well as Aidan’s Clone Wars comrade turned follower of Dar’Manda Darr Lannik, the remaining party tried to decide who to interrogate first, still wondering why the Corpse Droid, Dar’Manda and Tyrnia Masak, three entities with no connection to each other other than being foes of Outlander suddenly joined forces. As Tyrnia had voluntarily given herself up after talking to Elsae, they elected to speak with her first.
Tyrnia explained that she had been recruited by a hooded man that almost never showed his face, a man who simply told her that he could introduce her to others who wished to make the party pay for past crimes against the galaxy. The man she described was human like, but very pale with ash white hair, a man Nyla recognized immediatly as Jeyen, the operative who for reasons unknown had framed them all for the assassination of Imperial Governor Governor Craz Oduur and Colonel Taft Madine.
When Akira asked where these mercenaries and ships were coming from, Tyrnia explained that the staging area for the assault on Dantooine had been an asteroid field in the Deep Core of the galaxy known as the Nal Cloonus Asteroid Field. Tyrnia told the party that in the asteroid field was a massive Factory Ship, one crewed by tens of thousands of men and droids working around the clock to build durasteel fittings to attach to giant asteroids. Akira asked if they were attaching bridges, weapons and shield generators to these asteroids, wondering if Outlander was hoping to build a fleet of starships out of asteroids. Yet Tyrnia said no, that they only seemed to be attaching hyperdrive and sublight engines to them.
After an instant Akira realized what the plan of Outlander was, the plan that would change the face of the galaxy forever as so many of their operatives threatened it would. “They’re planning to weaponize asteroids, to crash into planets” Akira told the party, which was stunned silent at the news.
Tyrnia added that in addition to the Factory Ship in the asteroid field there were hundreds of warships, and tens of thousands of soliders, droid and alien alike.
Nyla told the party that they needed to stop them and now, before it was too late. Akira agreed, but acknowledged that they did not have the means to do so. Simply stating “We’ll need to build an army”.
Aidan felt himself flying through creation, passing nebulas and constellations at breath-taking speed with ease, headed towards the center of creation itself, when suddenly he felt a wrenching hand pull him back through the stars, and in an instant he was awake again, in pain, coughing blood, but definitely awake and most certainly alive. He was lying down on a cold durasteel floor in a small red lit prison cell, surrounded by red mist as the strange Force Witch knelled before him, uttering an alien chant as the red mist strangely was sucked into her open palms.
“It is done” she said, adding “He was quite far from us, but not too far to be brought back”.
“Thank you Nicoderii” said a voice from behind Aidan, Dar’Manda. After the Force Witch Nicoderii left the room Aidan asked why she wanted him alive, and Dar’Manda explained that although as a true warrior he was entitled to a warriors death, she felt he was entitled to an even greater honour, one she could deliver to him through her new allies in Outlander, the return of the Mandalorians as a force of galactic might.
Aidan told her that the era of Mandalorians waging war with the galaxy at large and all of it’s powers were long gone, and that she was out of her mind to think that this Outlander organization would ever be the path for such a glorious return. With that Dar’Manda removed her blue and gold helmet, revealing a spiked hair grey skinned pointed ear woman, who simply said to Aidan that the salvation of their people through the fires of galactic war was at hand, and that she had no regrets about bringing Aidan along for the journey.
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