After learning from Republic Senator Pavel Jervyn that the famed, retired Trandoshan bounty hunter Sarrin was responsible for the kidnapping of Baron Highquarter. The group traced the Trandoshan to the crime-ridden planet of Ord Mantell, where they confronted him at his weapons store, now closed and thoroughly booby-trapped. Taking the advice of Rontwroth, an Ithorian demolitions expert assigned by the Senator to the group to help them against Sarrin, the group attempted civil discourse rather than wholesale violence… which is to say, they buzzed in. Although Sarrin was suspicious even to the point of paranoia (one doesn’t live to be an old bounty hunter without developing a bit of that), he agreed to lead the group to his newest captive upon hearing that the group knew of a female black Trandoshan bounty hunter. Since Trandoshans don’t naturally have black scales, the group suspected someone was trying to impersonate Sarrin and borrow his reputation. Sarrin led the group to his newest bounty, who proved to be not Baron Highquarter, but Tryn (small galaxy). In order to gain the trust of the group, Tryn told them all (or seemed to). She was the accomplice of a pupil of the Dark Path who called himself the Seeker of Truth. He had discovered the ancient Sith holocron and was attempting to learn its secrets, passing what he knew on to his disciples. However, a feud erupted when a Jedi Master arrived and demanded to learn its secrets. The Seeker of Truth seemed to recognize the Jedi Master, whom he called Rexib, and refused. Rexib left after a short fight, but then later, the holocron was taken by our group, and thereafter stolen by Tryn herself. On her way back to return the holocron to the Seeker of Truth, her ship was unexpectedly thrown off course, and Rexib found her and took the holocron. She now said that he was staying on the besieged Republic world of Gessik. After quite a bit of haggling and arguing, the group finally managed to convince Sarrin to take them all to Gessik. Sarrin said he would keep Tryn unless the group paid triple her bounty, which the group didn’t mind.
When they arrived on Gessik, the group learned that the planet was populated by two groups: its original settlers, living in agricultural groups, and more recent colonists from the Republic, who lived in the Hive City. An influx of refugees from the escalating Clone Wars put population pressure on the Hive City, leading to tension between the two groups, as the original farmers never took kindly to the planet making itself part of the Republic. Sure enough, when the Separatists offered troops, the farmers agreed to side with them, and the Hive City was besieged. After a brief space battle, the Republic controlled space around the planet, but lacked the ships necessary for a blockade or sustained bombardment.
Piloted by Sarrin, the group managed a shaky landing in the city, where they learned from a local commander that Rexib was holed up in his penthouse. They also learned that the Jedi Master didn’t seem to take much interest in the war, although he was nominally the general, leaving the clone commander in charge; the only action Rexib had taken was to have a gravity drive installed in the city, even though hyperspace travel so close to the planet seemed impossible.
Led by Alrik, for whom confronting the Jedi Master was paramount, the group confronted Rexib at his penthouse. The Jedi Master Twi-lek was dressed in traditional Jedi robes and held his lightsaber, although deactivated, in his hand. As Rontwroth took up a sniping position across the street in the house of a very surprised local official, Rexib’s Padawan Taren Tlo unexpectedly went to his aid, turning the tables on Alrik and Navik, who nevertheless continued their line of argument.
“Master, I have returned to you at last,” said Taren.
“Good, my young apprentice. Take your place at my side,” said Rexib.
“You must return to Coruscant, Master Rexib. The Jedi Council must hear of what you have done, and they will judge you for it,” Alrik said.
“No!” shouted Rexib. “I will stay here until I can unlock the holocron’s secrets. Come, my Padawan. Together, we will learn more about the Force than any living being can remember.”
“If the holocron is such an important artifact for you, then surely the Council will agree, and they will learn the same truth you have, and they will help you,” reasoned Navik.
“I’ll never give it to them! They would only take it and use it to their own ends, or they would destroy it. They would never see its potential,” growled Rexib. “Now, begone! Or I will defend myself.”
Alrik stood his ground. “So be it. You must answer for what you have done, and I’m not leaving until you do.”
Rexib ignited his lightsaber, and a fierce fight ensued. Neither side seemed to gain the upper hand: even though Rexib’s Jedi powers and mastery over the lightsaber was greater than that of the others, their superior numbers allowed them to hold back his fierce assault.
Alrik tried to reason with Taren. “We were your friends, Taren. Don’t do this.”
Navik joined in. “You must listen to reason, Taren. We have been your friends all along, and we have never deceived you or tried to manipulate you. Look at what Rexib is doing! He’s clearly defying the will of the council. You don’t want to be a part of that.”
But Taren wouldn’t listen.
Then, Rexib reached out his left hand, and Alrik’s lightsaber jumped from his hand into Rexib’s. “Now, you will have no choice but to talk terms, young Padawan,” said the Jedi Master. He led the group to his private room, a barely-lit chamber so sparsely furnished it could have served any purpose. On a pedestal stood the Sith holocron, radiating evil. As the Jedi Master gazed at it, Taren Tlo unexpectedly snatched it up.
“Now, Master, I will learn the same things you know,” said Taren. “Together, we will…”
“No!” shrieked Rexib. “Give it back to me this instant!”
“But Master,” said Taren. “You said you would teach me…”
“Later!” said Rexib. “I must have it. If you don’t give it back to me…” And he reignited his lightsaber.
“You would attack your own Padawan?” said Taren, his faith shaken.
“You don’t understand. It must be mine. I can trust no-one with it!”
Taren passed the holocron to Rontwroth. “If you can’t even trust me with it, then you are not my Master.”
As a fresh melee swirled, the Ithorian sneaked into a hallway and placed a detonite charge on the holocron. Rexib, as though drawn by the holocron, rushed to it, but was too late to stop it exploding. It detonated in his face, burning him horribly, but he was still alive. Clutching the damaged device, Rexib rushed from the chambers. The group followed, and cornered him in a room. In desperation, the Jedi Master used his lightsaber to cut a hole in a window. Rontwroth rushed into the room ahead of the others. Summoning all of his strength, he let loose a terrible sonic attack from all four throats. Something went terribly wrong, though, and the attack came out as a gargled whiff, and the Ithorian fell to the ground, writhing in pain. Although the Jedi Master slipped through, the time it took him allowed the group to close in in teh street outside the penthouse.
Rexib fought with all his strength, but it proved to be not enough to overcome the renewed efforts of the group. Sensing that his defeat, even death, were close, Rexib charged at his former Padawan, rage and hate glowing in his eyes. “Take this, you traitor! If I can’t have the holocron, then you should at least suffer for turning on your Master! REXIB NOT LIKE!” And with a terrible two-handed blow, he struck Taren to the ground. The young Jedi died in an instant.
Navik and Alrik continued to fight, aided by a heroically struggling Rontwroth who fought on despite the agony in his throats, and managed to knock out the Jedi Master. After Rontwroth secured the defeated Jedi with manacles, Alrik selflessly sacrificed some of his own vital energy to save Rexib’s life.
As Rexib slowly regained consciousness, an alarm went through the Hive City. The Separatists had broken through the outer wall and were entering the city! What would happen next? Stay tuned!
((As always, clarifications, additions, and comments are welcomed from the players))