After clearing the torture room, you make your way through the portcullis and down the winding staircase carved out of the stone. Dexter, being the last one down sees a lever on the wall. He pulls it and everyone hears a loud mechanical noise, same as earlier. You travel down the stairs for a while before making your way into a large underground cavern. The presence of Bogan is strong here, to a few it’s very overwhelming, but you decide to push on.
As soon as you enter you can smell death, which you realize is probably coming from the bodies about 20ft ahead. Major Barrett moves up and kneels beside one of the bodies. “Damn… It’s one of my men,” as you see the sadness on his face. The sadness quickly drains away to anger, “They will all pay for this.” Bogan pushing on your thoughts, most of you nod in agreement.
You move deeper in, only to be surprised by flying cave creatures. They attack you with their big, sucker mouths filled with teeth. Dexter tries to charm one, it works and one makes out with him. You eventually kill all the creatures. You delve deeper, heading towards the source of Bogan corruption.
You come up a tunnel carved in the stone wall, emotions run wild in your mind, and deep down you know it’s the corruption trying to overwhelm you. Everyone reflects back on their training, remembering what makes them Je’daii, remembering the balance… (Except Dexter, he falls to the floor in the fetal position, crying for his mother.)
Summoning your courage and balancing yourself in the force, you head into the tunnel. It opens up into another large cavern, filled with stalagmites pointing in all directions. There is a sickening, ambient purple glow filling the cavern, you quickly realize its coming from a large crack in the floor of the cave. You can feel the force energy pouring from it. Dexter gazes at it taking it all in, “I remember learning about these at the academy, and this is a Force Well, though there seems to be something wrong with it. It looks… no feels like its corrupted.” All of you realize this is the source of the taint, and most likely what wrecked the temple.
As you get closer, you see a path across the crack, and a large platform of some kind on the other side. Suddenly a loud roar echoes out of the crack and through the cavern. All of you hide just in time to see a large dragon swoop out of the crack and land on the other side. Everyone realizes that there are bodies and bones strewn about the area. Barrett sees Tython armor, but stays quiet.
Gage recognizes it as a cave dragon, but something is seriously wrong with this one. It looks horribly mutated, most likely caused by the Bogan corruption. Gage recommends not attacking one if you don’t have to. Everyone agrees to wait it out and eventually the dragon crawls back into the crack and disappears. You reach the other side to see stairs leading up to a large platform. You climb that stairs and reach the top; a large glowing teleportation rune appears. Everyone steps in and appears at the beginning again.
Barrett checks his carbine, looks at all of you and says, “Let’s kill these bastards!” Dexter says, “I don’t think the Mercs were involved with the cultists, at least all these underlings.” Barrett angrily says, “They could of left or stopped them at any time.”
Everyone slowly moves into the great hall. The mercenaries are ready for you as you enter. At the back stand Cpt. Jack, a few loyal cronies, and some of the henchmen. “Thought I heard rats scurrying about, kill them!”
Battle ensues, slugs go flying, blades start swinging, mercs start dropping. Halfway into the fight, Dexter yells, “Those who wish to surrender will have their lives spared. I know most of you want nothing to do with these evil cultists, you’re just trying to make your way in this crazy world.” The mercs throw down their guns and run out. All that’s left is the Merc Cpt, couple cronies, and cultists.
Angry at the evil and injustice they have done, you quickly dispatch them all with no mercy. You search the Cpt and find the item. It appears to be a missing piece of the Holocron. You also remember it opens the door to the room that Sarenda is in. Everyone rushes over and busts through the door!
Inside you see a dimly lit office/study, filled with bookshelves a desk, a crystal altar of some sort. You franticly search the room but do not find Sarenda. Simkin kicks over the large table in anger, underneath you find a grate in the floor. It appears the bars have been bent open and she escaped. A few of you jump down and try to follow her but loose her trail in the tunnels.
You question a few of the mercs, only thing they heard is Cpt. Jack and a few of his men were supposed to head to Arbooine to collect the rest of their pay. Gage tells you Arbooine is a large land mass in the tropic zone of Tython. Arbooine is home to the Ancient Forest, the oldest living forest on Tython. Arbooine is sparsely populated, and is mostly wilderness, but there are ancient structures there.
Major Barrett thanks you for your cooperation, he is upset about losing his men, but grateful that the savages who did it are dead. He asks that if you get any more information about the girl, or need his help, give him a call.
You contact the Je’daii Order, they give instructions to seal the Temple best you can and report back to your home office.
On the flight back home, you guys are fidgeting with the broken holocron. After much conversing, and lack of mechanical skill, you get the missing piece back into its place. Abruptly, the holocron hums and rises a few centimeters into the air as it separates along previously invisible gaps and realigns itself into a diamond shape. A blue, holographic image appears of a youthful, darkhaired human man in the robes of a Je’daii.
The hologram nods to you and smiles slightly but sincerely. “Greetings students, I am Suljo Warde—well, his memory, at least. I am the gatekeeper of this holocron, which Suljo Warde created to store his knowledge of the Force and the ways of the Je’daii.”
You guys begin to ask questions…
“What is a holocron?”
“For now, think of a holocron as a receptacle of Je’daii lore and lessons." The gatekeeper smiles. “Those teachings include the secrets of the technology it uses, but like much of the knowledge the holocron contains, I can only teach it to those who show that they are worthy.”
“What is a gatekeeper?”
“Well, I’m not a spirit or ghost. A gatekeeper is a Force- imprinted artificial sentience that inhabits a holocron and allows its users to access the information it contains. Like most gatekeepers. I am based on the personality and memories of the Je’daii who created me. Think of me as an echo of him—Suljo Warde"
“Who was Suljo Warde?”
“Suljo Warde was, or perhaps is a great Je’daii Ranger. He may still be alive, although it has been some time since I was created. He took up residence in the Dawn Temple in hopes of cleansing the taint. Was he successful?”
“Why were you created?”
“Many Je’daii create holocrons. Wisdom can be rare, and it must be preserved.” The gatekeeper takes on a wistful expression. "A holocron is a means of safeguarding wisdom against the uncertainty of the future, so Warde likely had good reason to believe his own future could be cut short at any time. ”
“What do you want us to do? / What’s in it for us?”
“Currently, this holocron is incomplete. If you recover the other three crystal matrix’s that contain Warde’s knowledge of the Force, I can fulfill my purpose and pass on his wisdom to you. ”
“What happened to Warde? What can you teach us?”
The flickering holographic image nods knowingly. “Suljo Warde was known for many accomplishments and feats. His greatest contribution to the Je’daii Order, however, was his refinement of the ability to predict the future. Although many Je’daii are capable of foreseeing future events, Warde’s ability was different. Rather than focusing on visions of events yet to come. Warde perceived the future decisions, actions, and intentions of other sentients. Not only could Warde see beyond lies and deceptions, he could predict another’s decisions long before that person even contemplated the matter.”
“The secrets of this technique, as well as the most sensitive knowledge Warde possessed, are not contained in this holocron, but in a set of three crystal matrix’s he created alongside it. This holocron is the only means by which to read those crystals.”
“Suljo Warde completed the construction of this holocron while in Arbooine. He entrusted one of the crystals to a young Force-sensitive Murachan named Gel Marcolf. He saw great potential in Marcolf, whom he hoped would become his Padawan. Warde kept the other crystals with him, and where they are now, I cannot say. If you hope to learn the technique behind his predictive abilities and unlock the full potential of this holocron, you must travel to Arbooine and retrace Master Warde’s steps."