Star Wars: Genesis

Hidden Depths

One of your earliest memories at the academy is of an old Je’daii Master addressing you and the other initiates. Even as a child you knew that the man standing before you, though old in physique, was a powerful being. Every day he would start with a reciting of the Je’daii code. He explained that the Code is not necessarily a strict set of rules, but a general set of guidelines that could help a Je’daii in time of struggle to remain in balance and remember the duality of the Force’s nature.

Je’daii Code

There is no ignorance; there is knowledge.
There is no fear; there is power.
I am the heart of the Force.
I am the revealing fire of light.
I am the mystery of darkness.
In balance with chaos and harmony;
Immortal in the Force.

Then he would follow with the philosophy of the Je’daii…

A Je’daii must study the Force and learn to control and master the abilities which manifest in each of them. In order to survive the wilds of the world, a Je’daii must learn to live their lives in a type of Moving Meditation, being ever mindful of the Force and its rolling currents. A Je’daii must focus on maintaining a balance in the Force, a state at which Tython is itself hospitable. A Je’daii sees the Force as two aspects of a whole; the Ashla and the Bogan. They see this duality in the Force represented in the night sky of Tython in the form of two natural satellites; one bathed in light, another shrouded in darkness. The moons represent the duality in the Force and between the two, the Je’daii see a balance in constant need of maintenance.

Balance in the Force is necessary to the continued existence of the people of Tython. When the balance tips too far in one direction, Tython itself responds in violent storms which shatter the earth and tear the sky. Fires cleanse the forests and quakes bring cities to their foundations. To prevent this Je’daii must not only contain a balance within oneself, but maintain a balance in the world around them.

Much time has passed since those early days, and all of you have finished or are nearing the end of your Padawan training. Today, you stand in the large courtyard of Temple Naar, the Great Je’daii Academy, waiting to go on a journey to collect the resources you need to forge your first Force Imbued Weapon. Like the Je’daii before you, you will complete a tradition that has been taught and passed down through the generations. Your Force Imbued Weapon is an extension of yourself; it will reflect who you are on the inside and out. All of you are excited, and have been anticipating this rite of passage for a long time.

All of you basically know each other, as you have been together at the Academy since your early childhood.

Towards the edge of the courtyard, near the cliff of the mountain side is a shuttle. Hanging out near it you recognize an older student who graduated a few years ago. (Have Scott describe character.) After a few moments of walking around and checking the shuttle he heads over towards your group.

(party introductions)

Before long you hear laughter coming from an entry way to the Academy. Two figures emerge arm in arm, one you instantly recognize as Master Sara Rohmund, a teacher at the Academy. The other is a small, scrawny, and scruffy looking old man with long hair and outdoorsman clothing.

(lore check)

You have heard of a great Je’daii Master named Algorab Hyperburn. He has spent most of his life in the wilds of Tython, hunting giant predators and helping those in need. He is also the Academy’s #1 surveyor for the crystals needed for the Force Forging process.

The two walk up to your group, they hug each other, say their goodbyes. Master Rohmund wishes you a balanced journey and leaves. Master Hyperburn turns towards you with a big smile on his face. “Well my little mugwumps! Shall we go on this great journey? Shall we venture out into the unknown wilds, to find this precious resource that leads to the next step of your journey?” In a loud, excited gesture, he yells, “ONWARD!” and starts marching off to the shuttle.

Everyone boards the shuttle, Gage hops in the pilot’s seat, Hyperburn in the copilot. Once everyone is seated, the shuttle slowly lifts into the air. Being way up in the mountains, the winds can be pretty strong. A strong gust hits the side of the shuttle, (Piloting check; good or bad explain).

As the shuttle finally settles into its flight, Hyperburn swivels around in his chair to face all of you. “We will be stopping by Vur Tepe, The Great Je’daii Forge. There we will talk to the Master Forger, and figure out what you need to do.”

A short time later he pulls out a small handmade pipe, packs it full of some kind of herb, and slowly begins to smoke on it. He looks around the shuttle, casually gazing at you all. You see him close his eyes, a pulse emerges from him in the Force washing over all of you. It sends shivers down your spine and raises the hair on your neck. He opens his eyes, takes a drag on his pipe and says, “Hmmm.”

“You have learned much about the Force in your time at the Academy. Sometimes, we learn our best lessons from stories. So, I will tell you one: a story about losing one’s way.

Once, three Je’daii traveled deep into the unknown wilds of Tython, following a calling in the Force. The first Je’daii was a mighty warrior, fearless and impetuous in equal measure. The second had been the warrior’s master; he was disciplined and wise, but detached. The third was the warrior’s apprentice; she was passionate and loyal, but inexperienced. When they got to the source of the calling, they found a great temple, like none they had ever seen before. It felt old, more ancient than anything they had seen before, and it pulled them inside.

The Je’daii awoke in another place. It was a beautiful world, and idyllic, but also alien. The natural laws of the world didn’t seem to operate the same here. Each of them was open to the Force, and could sense that this place was extremely strong in both Ashla and Bogan. They also knew they could not leave its embrace.

They met others there. The first called herself the Daughter. She was beautiful, too, in a luminous way, and not unkind, but she was also very serious, and stern. She offered to guide them, but the friends became separated, and only the warrior was able to follow. The other two asked him to wait, but he was impatient, and they knew that he would go his own way, whatever they counseled.

A furious storm broke out, and the blooming plants they had journeyed past only hour earlier began to die. It was then that they met the Son. Where the Daughter was the bright and aloof, he was dark and brooding. He asked them if their friend was truly the One. They responded with suspicioun, for that Prophecy was known only to the Je’daii. But the Son only warned them to take shelter from the storm, and left them there.

Now on his own, the warrior found his way to a building, a monastery in the hills of that place. Its symbolism was hauntingly familiar, but he sought answers, and so with little pause he went inside. There, he met the third being, wizened by untold experience, who called himself the Father.

They talked, and the Father said he and his children were called “Force Wielders.” He said that he governed the balance between his family—and between the light and the dark—in that place. If he did not, their power could threaten the fabric of the universe. As the Son had hinted at earlier, the Father asked the warrior if he was the One.

It was a title the warrior did not believe in, and a mantle he did not seek. Still, the Father wanted to know the truth of this. So he sent his children to capture the warrior’s friends, and he brought them to the monastery. There, with the warrior’s old master threatened by the Daughter’s light, and his apprentice by the Son’s darkness, the Father told the warrior to choose which to save.

He would not choose. Drawing upon the Force that was all around them in that place, the warrior subdued both the Son and the Daughter and made them release his friends. However, the great power he displayed only reinforced the Father’s conviction that he was the One.

The Father took the warrior aside, explaining that he was dying and that it was the destiny of the One to take his place, and to maintain the balance. The warrior considered, but refused him. He had a life beyond that place, and a wife he loved passionately, though in secret, for their love was forbidden. The Father said he could not force the warrior to accept his destiny, but warned him that refusing it would bring suffering to the entire galaxy. The warrior would not be persuaded, and the seekers departed into the melancholy sky. Did the Father’s warning come to pass? Well, perhaps I will tell you more of their fate another time.”

As Master Hyperburn finishes his story, you realize you are coming up on your destination. A large metal structure sits at the mouth of an active volcano along the Tythos Ridge. A place of study, students come here to learn the ways of the Force through metallurgy and the construction of tools and weapons. You know this is one of the most important steps a Je’daii must take in their path.

The shuttle lands easily without an issue outside the temple. As you exit the shuttle, your breath is taken away by both the beauty of the Volcano and the extreme heat and wind gusts. Hyperburn quickly ushers you inside of the Temple. One of the earliest structures built by the je’daii, it has stood for a few thousand years, and produced some of the finest quality of weapons ever made.

Having come here at least a few times a year since you started your schooling, you are a used to the loud clangs, smokey air, and constant hum of force energy throughout the great hall. On the walls is a mural of the 4 brothers of legend crafting their first and last Force Forged weapons. Though you have seen these walls many times, a sense of pride, tradition, and understanding washes over you. Ashla and Bogan have guided you to this moment.

Suddenly a door slams open, breaking the moment. All of you turn towards the door to see a large, sweaty, soot covered man. You recognize him as Master Weapon smith T’al. Though he is a rough around the edges sort, he is one of the greatest Weaponsmiths ever to walk these halls.

T’al barrels out the door towards you, and in a loud voice and says, “It’s about time you got here! I have a class in an hour or so.”

Master Hyperburn sighs slightly, “T’al, take your earplugs out and stop yelling at us.” T’al looks down at Hyperburn and smiles, “You know how it is Al, just trying to save whats left of my hearing.” Hyperburn chuckles, “Well tell them what they need to know so we can get this show on the road, I will be waiting in the shuttle.”

Hyperburn walks out leaving you with T’al. He looks around at all of you, sizing you up with one stare. “Hyperburn will take you to a crystal cave that has recently been found. Your goal is to find 2 crystals. One for your weapon and one as payment for forging your weapon here. I will supply the ore and other materials needed for your weapon. Now, if you happen to come across any Crystal spiders, and can get me a pearl from them, I will dip into my special stock of resources for you as trade.”

(Xenology check – Crystal Spiders are passive creatures that live in the crystal caves.)

“If you don’t have any other questions you can be on your way, I expect to see you soon!” He turns around, walks back to the large metal doorway and disappears inside.

Everyone makes their way back to the shuttle, suddenly a large gust sweeps over you (Athletics check).

Once recovering you quickly move into the shuttle, sit down, and strap in. Master Hyperburn is already in the Copilot seat, smoking on his pipe and staring off into the distance. Gage hops in the pilot seat. Hyperburn looks over and says. “Careful getting us out of here.” (Pilot check – Hard)

You eventually make your way back into the air, and head towards the location of the crystal caves. Hyperburn spins in his chair to face you again. “So where were we?” He ponders for a moment as he packs his pipe.

“The tale of the warrior and the Force Wielders? No, it does not end with his departure. Yes, I know that would not make a good story. Remember, our lessons are not always comforting.

So, as the seekers attempted to leave, the Son tricked all of them, including the Father. He meant to break free of that realm and take control of the whole planet. He stole the warrior’s apprentice and poisoned her mind against him. In their desperation, the warrior and his master turned to the Daughter, who led them to a sacred place and showed them a powerful dagger, which she said they could use against the Son. With no other choices, warrior and his master took it and set out to free the apprentice.
It was a trap. The apprentice fought with the warrior, and their conflict only fed the Son’s powers. He captured the dagger and tried to kill the Father with it, so that he could escape. However, his plans were upset, too, for the Daughter intervened, sacrificing herself to save the wounded Father.

In a final attempt to escape, the Son showed the warrior a vision of his future. It was dark and filled with the pain of the terrible things he would do. The Son convinced the warrior that if he joined the Son’s cause, he would be spared the tragedy of his fate. The warrior was afraid, and fell under the Son’s control.

However, the Father was able to recover enough of his power to take action. He confronted the warrior with the hard truth that he alone could choose his own destiny, but banished the knowledge of the future from him. This broke the Son’s hold over the warrior, and the Father determined to make a final sacrifice.

The Son came upon them all, believing his power complete and his way free. The Father warned him of the danger to the planet’s balance, but the Son was heedless. Taking the dagger, the Father mortally wounded himself, in order to sever the Son’s connection to the Force. The warrior then killed the Son.

As he lay dying, the Father’s heart was heavy, for his family was all dead. But he gave the warrior cause for hope, telling him that he could still fulfill his destiny in another way, by continuing on his path. After that, he faded, and the three seekers finally departed.

Why do I pass this story on to you? For the same reason it was told to me. The Force is a balance between Ashla and Bogan. Even those of us who are strongest in the Force cannot know our entire destiny. We can learn to embrace its will, and carry on in the belief that we must maintain a balance or doom us all.”

Hyperburn sits back and lets you collect your thoughts for a moment. “Does anyone have any quest…”

Suddenly the shuttle is rocked violently! (athletics or coordination check) A loud boom crashes outside the shuttle. Lights and warning sounds start coming from the control panel. The shuttle is rocked again, one of the engines goes out and the shuttle starts to descend.

Hyperburn yells over all the noise, “A force storm has erupted on us, we aren’t too far from the cave. Make a landing in that canyon, it should keep us safe.

Skill Challenge – Need 2 out of 3 successes on each skill Pilot, mechanics, computers, other.

If successful ship lands safely, if failed, ship crashes. Once everyone recovers, Hyperburn will stay behind to fix or wait for new shuttle. He tells Gage to carry on and take everyone to the cave.

The Storm bears down on you, pelting you with rain. The force trembles all around you, out of balance as with most force storms on Tython. Gage leads you on a hike to the cave.

The storm eventually subsides, all the rain quickly dries up and is absorbed into the ground, since the canyon is dry and dusty.

(Perception check) Those that pass, hear a screeching up ahead in the distance, as you near it becomes louder and louder. You eventually come up on what looks like a camp. The noise appears to be coming from some kind of large bird in a cage. There are also 2 boars and a large skinned carcass hanging from a dead tree. The large bird is under duress, the carcass also seems to be a large bird. The camp most likely belongs to poachers, and what you see before you is illegal.

“You hear a screech as a group of Raptors jump down and surround you.

(Perception check- find brandings on the raptors/Underworld – these probably belong to the poachers.)

Carry on to the cave. Eventually you make it to the crystal cave. Gage warns of the hazards in the cave, as it can be unstable and full of creatures. You guys enter the cave and walk for a while.

Have each PC make an Average Vigilance check,

As you walk along the passageway, you hear an ominous crack in the cave’s ceiling. Without warning, part of the cavern’s roof collapses downwards, throwing jagged rock shards and choking clouds of dust into the passageway.

Any PC who failed the Vigilance check suffers one wound (ignoring soak) plus one additional wound per disadvantage generated. Disadvantage generated on a successful check results in 1 strain per disadvantage rather than one wound. A dispair on a failure means the PC suffers a critical injury. Triumph means that the PC can react quickly enough to save a fellow PC from injuries he would otherwise suffer (this applies even on a failure; in this case the PC pushes his friend out of the way but cannot save himself).

The cavern in front of you is shaped like a shallow bowl, where the floor collapsed downwards into a depression. The passage seems to continue on the far side of the room, but as you descend into the middle of the bowl, your eyes begin to water and hacking coughs rip through your lungs. (pg 14 Hidden depths)

The passage you’re following merges with an underground stream of cold, brisk water burbling along the floor of the cave. You turn a corner to find the passage dead-ends into a small underground lake. The water seems still, cold, and clear. However, if you hold your light over the surface, you think you can make out the dark shadow of another passage in the lake’s depths.

Swimming through the underwater lake requires an Average Athletics check with ■ due to the
extremely cold water temperature. (pg. 16 Hidden Depths)

As you follow the faint Illumination around a bend in the tunnel, you are momentarily halted in your tracks by the sight ahead of you. Glittering crystal spires jut out from the walls of the cave, shining with an inner light that seems to grow more brilliant as you approach. The cave is pristine, and as you step inside, you feel as if the outside world has fallen away, leaving you at peace, and one with the Force.

Walking deeper into the cave you come upon the docile Crystal Spider. It carapace glows and looks like tiny crystals, it stares at you with its many eyes.

Attack or leave be? Attack – another creature appears to defend, give conflict.

The pull of the Force has taken each of you to a different place within the cave. You now stand before a large cluster of crystals that seems to fill your vision. And yet, despite the size and grandeur of the deposit before you, you realize only a slight chip of crystal is needed. The inner glow of the crystal deposit seems focused at one point, which seems to sing out to you. With care and patience, you should be able to extract what you need without disturbing the growth of the other crystals.

After much meditation, and the tedious process of extracting the crystals, everyone gathers up their things and heads back to the shuttle. You guys are able to rest a bit and head back without any problems.

As you approach the ship from around the jutting rock formation that hides it from view, you find an unpleasant surprise waiting for you: a group of poachers, led by a large Togorian. As the Togorian turns towards the sound of your approach, you see the vambrace on the right side of his armor has been removed to expose a heavily- plated cybernetic arm.

The Togorian turns to face you. "You pathetic lot are all this ship dropped off? You killed my pets and stole from me. You will pay with your lives!” His cybernetic arm twists suddenly, and he draws an oversized vibrosword with a speed you can scarcely follow. You can feel his bloodlust and hate resonate through the Force—negotiation is not an option.

Fight poachers. Perception sees snipers up on the ridge. Every round one is taken out by Master Hyperburn. Eventually regroup and head towards the forge.

View
Exploring Dawn Temple
End of Adventure 2

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.

Epilogue

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."

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Off to Arbooine!
Adventure 3

Everyone returns back to HQ for a few days to file reports, clean up, and prepare for your journey to Arbooine. The trip will take a day or two with the Bus, as you head south towards the continent of Arbooine. There is a small village called Kelp, on the northern coast of Arbooine, and there you can gather information. Max tells you that you will need to make your way to the local Je’daii Outpost to check in and let them know you are in the area. He will radio ahead to let them know you will be stopping by.

You access the Holocron to try and gather more information. "Suljo Warde met Gel Marcolf while taking up residence in Dawn Temple, and he sensed that the young Murachan was strong in the Force. He hoped to induct him into the Je’daii Order and perhaps even take him on as a Padawan after his early training. As of my creation, however, Warde had not yet explained this to Marcolf. He was not yet mature enough. ”

The gatekeeper crosses his arms and gazes upward, as if remembering. “Suljo Warde had Marcolf with him when he headed to Arbooine to seek out an ancient temple there. It was rumored to be located near the town of Quolas. At the time, Quolas was torn by a violent feud between two families, those of Helshar and Tumris. The residents of Quolas are fundamentally good people, but prone to long-held grudges. Warde brought Marcolf with him in the hopes that the young man might learn something about conflict resolution and the real responsibilities of a Je’daii Ranger."

Info about Arbooine

The Ancient Forest covers most of Arbooine, and it’s near impenetrable forest canopy stands hundreds of meters tall. Arbooine contains many different kinds of wildlife specific to the area, including many deadly predators. This is why most people living on Arbooine, live in villages in the trees. The largest settlement on Arbooine is called Quolas, and its people follow different traditions compared to most of Tython. There is also a Je’daii outpost there you can check in at or get information.

Once ready you head out on the bus, the trip is long and boring, you make a few stops along the way. After about a day and a half, Gage informs you that you should be coming up on Arbooine soon.

As you break through the clouds, a dense, impenetrable canopy of green spreads out before you, broken here and there by mountains and massive lakes. The gatekeeper provides you with coordinates for the town of Quolas, but when you arrive, the thick foliage prevents you from visually confirming the settlement’s exact location, let alone landing there. Finally, you spot the small coastal village of Kelp and head there. The ship lands safely, everyone gets out and stretches their legs. You soon find the Stone Goat Stables, rent goats and head out to the Je’daii outpost.

Along the way you encounter the deadly Bearsloths. Eventually you arrive at the Je’daii Outpost to find most of the Rangers dead. Accessing the security cameras you see Sarenda and a Ranger you haven’t found yet.

He takes her towards a back room where the vault is. She asks him something, you see him shrug. She draws the strange crude blade and to your surprise thrusts it into the metal door of the vault with little ease. Then, as if simply cutting through butter, she cuts a giant circle in the door. She then withdraws the blade, puts her hand up against the metal and shoves it in. Suddenly coming from off camera you see another Ranger with his rifle up and aiming at her. He fires a shot, she easily reflects it back at him and he falls to the ground. She steps in, a few minutes later steps back out with some kind of book.

After more searching you come across the young ranger, crazed and out of control. Quickly subduing him, you rough him up a little till he becomes coherent. He tells you his name is Mack and he was completing his Journeyer training here on Arbooine.

Everyone helps to bury the dead Rangers, clean up and try to get a message out. Being late and everyone tired and wounded you decide to stay the night at the outpost….

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Je'daii Outpost - Arbooine
Interlude

During the evening at the Je’daii Outpost, you ask Mack about Qualos. He gives you some details about it.

“Qualos is one of the largest settlements on Arbooine. The residents of the city proper number a few thousand, speaking to Arbooine’s sparse population. The inhabitants of Quolas are mostly Murachan, with the exception of the town’s leader, Gel Marcolf, and a small Military garrison nearby.”

“Quolas is built within the gargantuan boughs of one of Arbooine’s most ancient elrit trees. Most structures are nestlike orbs that serve as lodgings and shops, but the inhabitants have also carved into portions of the tree, even tunnelling into the root system. The leaves of the vast elrit tree cast a facsimile of dusk over much of Quolas during the day, and their rustling fills the air at night.”

“The village of Qualos is known for the beauty and complexity of it’s carved and woven wood. The skill and craftsmanship required simply to reshape such an environment is evident enough, but artisans have additionally carved exquisite patterns and works of art into the wood of the interior and exterior alike. These images, varying from abstract patterns to sculptures of animal life and important ancestors, emerge directly from the bark of the tree and other surfaces.”

“Natural sunlight is the primary source of illumination in Quolas, refracted through large amber lenses set high in the tree. Strategically situated mirrors carry the light all the way to the base of the settlement and even down into the root system. When night falls, glow rods and torches provide illumination as needed, although most of the residents set their own schedules by the rising and setting of the sun. Artificial light is most needed along the exterior platforms and battlements, to allow the night watch to guard against bearsloths and other predators. For this purpose, torches are often used, as fire has the added benefit of frightening many of the animals.”

“There is only a single entrance to Quolas at ground level: a large metal gate set directly into the exterior of the massive tree. At least one guard is posted at all times. Quolas receives visitors only infrequently; raising or lowering the gate is something of an ordeal, requiring great effort to turn the crank that hoists it. The gate is kept closed at most times, though this is mostly a token gesture, as it could hardly keep out an large force intent on entering the city. If merchants, farmers, or travelers are coming and going, the gate might be left open for short periods during the day, but the guards are extremely unwilling to open the gate except by absolute necessity at night.”

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Military Garrison
Mr'uuva - Recon

Mr’uuva sets out at dusk, stealthily sneaking out by leaping down from battlement to battlement on the outside of the massive elrit tree. He eventually hits the ground without making a sound, and stalks out into the darkness looking for the military garrison.

With the directions from the innkeeper, it doesn’t take long to find it. Mr’v hides in the growth not too far away to get a good view. The garrison is made up of a large, box shaped metal structure with a giant blastdoor. Covering the structure and surrounding area is a razor mesh fence, mostly likely electrified to keep all the predators out. There are large standing lights covering the area, making everything visible. There is also a patrol of two troopers, casually walking the inside perimeter of the fence.

Mr’v hides in the bushes, observing the garrison. Before long, he hears the familiar sound of a Tython tracked troop transport coming towards the garrison. The two troopers that were patrolling quickly make their way to the gate to let the armored vehicle in. The transport stops a little ways in. The hatch opens and out pours the ten troopers and Lieutenant the group saw earlier in Qualos. The large blast door opens and eight more troopers exit. The Lieutenant begins barking orders and the troopers start moving about in a frenzy.

M’rv looks over into the structure to see if he can make out anything. He notices something large and armored, possibly a combat mechanoid of some sort. He sees the Lieutenant walking towards the entrance; she begins talking to someone inside. Mr’v moves around to get a better view, to his shock and surprise he sees Sarenda, red cloak, sword and all. The hatred consumes him, his predatory instincts ready to burst at the seams… He calms himself, looks down and realizes he was clutching his pendant. Shaking away the feeling, he centers himself in the force. The Lieutenant and Sarenda head back inside. Mr’v realizing he is outnumbered decides to go back and let everyone know the situation.

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Hall of Ancestors
Jahk - Research

Jahk sets off looking for a knowledge repository of some sort. He asks a few of the locals about a library, data terminal, anything that could help him learn some history. All the locals tell Jahk to check out the Hall of Ancestors, located on one of the high levels of the tree. It takes about an hour and half but eventually he makes it there. The entrance to the hall is a large ornately carved door, depicting some event in the history of Qualos. Jahk stares for a moment becoming entranced, for a moment the images begin to move. He shakes his head to clear his mind; he realizes he must be tired from the exhausting trip up here.

Upon entering the hall, Jahk is amazed to see this massive of a room carved out of the bowel of the tree. Jahk sees some shelves with books on them, but not the amount he was hoping to find. What does take up most of the room, are the woven wooden totems telling the history of Qualos and its people. Before long, Jahk is approached by an old but friendly Murachan. He introduces himself as Jorge Slyk, and is the Keeper of the Hall of Ancestors. Jahk explains that he is doing some research of Qualos and its history and was hoping to peruse the books. Jorge welcomes him to do so, but says most of the history can be found within the totems. Jahk tells Jorge he will take his chances with the books, and goes about researching.

After a couple hours, not much information turns up. A lot of the books are from outside of Arbooine and are common, just not in this area. Jahk sighs in frustration as Jorge knowingly walks over with a smile on his face. “I can show you the history if you give me a chance.” Jahk, apprehensive towards the small lizard folk, nods his head reluctantly. “As you know our world is strong in the Force, Ashla and Bogan flow through all living things. Because of this, there can be many interpretations on which a person uses it. Many become Je’daii and great warriors to protect our world, others have used it for evil, and my people have used it to preserve our history.”

Jorge walks over to one of the totems, its large interwoven shape stretches up to the ceiling. “This totem tells the history of Qualos beginning. The earliest Murachan were drawn to the already large elrit tree. It spoke to them, provided everything they would need to live.” Jahk looks at it, he can make out some designs and shapes but it doesn’t seem to tell him anything. “I am not sure what I am looking for?” Jorge chuckles a little, “You are looking with the wrong eyes. I sense a great power in you; use that to observe the totem.” Jahk looks to the totem again, closes his eyes and centers himself in the Force. Opening his eyes again he looks at the totem. To his surprise it begins to move and form shapes, he sees small tribal looking Murachan walking through the young forest. He can tell they are drawn towards something, a calling of some sort. Time lapses and he sees them coming up on a big tree, their home.

The vision ends and Jahk lets a breath out he didn’t realize he was holding in. Jorge smiles at Jahk, “Now that I have taught you the right way, you should be able to find all the info you are looking for.” Jahk begins his research. After a few hours, he gathers enough information to get an idea of what’s going on.

The Helshar and Tumris clans have been feuding for generations. Why it started no one exactly knows. Some say it was over property, others say it was about tradition, most think it was star crossed lovers that ended tragically. Whatever the case, about 100 years ago, both Clan leaders wanted the position of Baron of Qualos. The two clans feuding became worse and lives were lost. That’s when Warde and his apprentice Marcolf showed up to diffuse the situation. He convinced both clans to elect a neutral Baron, one who could be fair, just and see both sides of the situations. Warde set up a young Marcolf as Baron. Warde left at some point (most likely to finish the holocron), and never returned.

Under Marcolf’s reign, life in Qualos has gotten progressively worse. He rules with an Iron Fist, is cruel and has no respect for the people and its traditions. He has even recently started tearing down totems, and having statues of himself put up.

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Episode 2 Chapter 1
New Mission

All of you have arrived per your summons to Temple Relay, home of the Je’daii council. Everyone meets in the great hall; there is much reminiscing and catching up. Finally the doors to the council chamber open and you all file in. Before you sits the Je’daii council, made up of the wisest and most powerful of the Je’daii masters. A few you recognize are, Deek’s uncle, Lord Mata Relay and at the center and head of the council is Master Kerrick Zahn.

Master Zahn motions for everyone to quiet down so he can speak. “Greetings Rangers. I know it has been a few years since you have all been together as a team. You have lived the lives of a Ranger in one facet or another over the last 5 years. A few of you begrudgingly came (he smiles). But, you have been called here this day by the council for a very important mission. An old friend would like to speak with you first.”

Master Zahn motions to a side door, it opens and a very old man comes shuffling out. He slowly and weakly takes a seat. Looks up at you all and smiles. You are confused at first, but then realize the old man before you is Kai, though he looks to of aged about 40 years. Kai speaks, “Hello my friends. As you can tell I have been on a very long journey. (He chuckles) For some reason I have aged quite quickly in the last few years. The scientists believe is has something to do with my time in the crystal. However, that is of no concern for I have lived a life most never will.”

“When I first was freed from the crystal, I had no memory of my past or what had happened. I felt that a journey retracing my steps would help me to remember. Back in my time, a cult worshipping Bogan had arisen. They brought havoc and unbalance across the land. Together my brothers and I fought against them for many years. Finally, we found the head of the snake. He turned out to be one of our most trusted mentors, a father even. He tried to bring us into his fold, but the brothers were strong and defeated him.” Kai pauses for a moment, seems to be struggling but catches his breath.

“Years passed; the brothers split and had separate lives. Many started families and lived the life of a settled man. Fynrik (maurachan), summoned us all together one day. The Force had brought him a vision, one of great destruction and imbalance across Tython. We had to travel back to where we gathered our materials for our great weapons. We traveled back to the forbidden zone, across the Silent Desert to Qigong Kesh, the Temple of Reflection.

Our journey took a while, but we could see the imbalance in Tython happening around us. We finally arrived at the Temple, Fynrik began preparations on a ritual that would stop the forthcoming destruction. The focal point of the ritual would be my weapon. Its great power would help in defeating the problems to come. I was fine with this, I had a family now, and my days of fighting were over.” Kai pauses again, you can tell him just speaking is using up most of his energy.

“Finally the ritual began, I stood in the middle, the Force swirled around the blade and I. Ashla and Bogan coursed though both the blade and I until we became one. Suddenly there was a loud explosion, next thing I knew I stood among you all with no memory until now. I have no idea if the ritual worked or served its purpose. But miraculously here I sit 1000 years later.” He smiles at you all. You can tell Kai has said all he can.

Master Zahn speaks up at that moment, “Yes that is amazing Master Kai. Now your journey has left you exhausted, I suggest you go and relax in your room while we prepare the rangers for their mission.” Kai smiles at Master Zahn, he attempts to get up, and few initiates rush over to help him. They begin to walk out, Kai stops beside Jahk and quietly says “Come see me in the morning, I will have something for you.” He then leaves the room with the initiates.

Master Zahn looks to you all. “Now, the mission at hand. One of our undercover operatives has been gathering information on a new organized crime group.” He looks over at one of your fellow rangers. “Ranger M’ruuva, what can you tell us about this new criminal element?”

-They have been buying up ancient Force artifacts.
-They use Bandits and other gangs and their face.
-Some whispers have said they are a cult.

Master Zahn speaks up again, “Our most recent intel has sightings of possible activity near the Akablas Ruins.”

-The Temple is ancient and abandoned. The area around it is dangerous and very strong in the force.
-The Temple is to the south, in a vast unpopulated part of Tython.

“As you know flying transportation has recently been limited to the Military, so you will have to travel there by beast or other mode. Ranger Relay has been kind enough to bring some beasts from his homestead. If tradition is true they should be some of the finest in the land.” He smiles towards Deek.

“If you don’t have any questions, you will rest here for the night and head out in the morning.”

Everyone decides to sleep for the night and retires to their rooms.

It’s the same dream you have every night. You stand upon a cliff… no something much greater. You are looking down upon Tython. So high up that you can see the entire world. As always, half is covered in Darkness the other in Light, and they appear to be gaining and losing ground with each other. Tonight however, something is different. The energy in the Darkness seems different, more active. Lightning consistently arcs through it. Suddenly, the energy explodes and the darkness overcomes the light!

You awaken to a disturbance in the force, an imbalance jolts everyone awake. You hear a woman scream, a man yells, there is some sort of scuffle. You walk out into the hall to other quarters doors opened and people standing about.

-Man is laying on the floor, he appears to be stabbed. A woman is kneeling beside him.
-Master Kai’s door is open, there looks what might be blood on the door.

(Master Kai) Walking up to his door, you see a bloody handprint sliding down. Looking in you see furniture tossed around, personal items scattered about. You also see two people lying dead on the floor and Master kai laying with his back in the corner. He appears to be wounded and unconscious. Suddenly Je’daii healers come rushing in, they push you out of the way and start attending to the Master Kai.

-Kai is unresponsive.
-Looking at the two dead people on the floor they appear to be maintenance workers.
-Looks like they were killed by Kai’s blade.

You catch the trail of the perpetrator and follow him. Running out into the street, you are ambushed by bandits. You fight your way through till finally finding the body of the man who attack Master Kai. It seems he bled to death and didn’t make it to where he was going. He has a large leather bound book that belongs to Master Kai. Inside you see that it is his journal. Towards the back of the book the pages have been carved out, inside you find a crudely made holocron.

You return to the temple to see Master Kai. Upon entering his room you see that these are his last moments. He reassures you that he has lived a full life and it is his time. He pulls out a crystal and says, “This will help to answer questions you may have on your journey. You will have to fight a great unbalance in the days to come. I know you can do it, as my brothers and I did. May the Force be with you my friends.” He smiles one last time, the crystal begins to glow. Suddenly, Master Kai’s body disappears from the bed and the crystal lands where he laid.

Jahk places the crystal in the holocron. The holocron begins to glow and reshape. A small, glowing image of a very young Master Kai appears. “Greetings, I am Kai! What can I help you with?”

In the morning you prepare for your mission to check out the rumors near the Aklabas Ruins.

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