Star Wars: Edge of Hope

Beyond the Rim: Episode I
The Tale of the Sa Nalaor

After receiving a message from the crime lord Xiarr, Captain Iala Noraan and the crew of the Rogue Zenith – comprised of the Mandalorian Bounty Hunter Kandar Contarus, the Bothan Marshal Askrut Rurra’bek, and the Chiss Explorer Sha’ryn’thaqiz – headed for the space station known as The Wheel on the borders of the Outer Rim. Upon arrival, the crew met with Reom, an executive of IsoTech, a tech company known to have a hand in black market technology and a thirst for profits. After a brief back and forth, the crew agreed to take on the job – hunting for the legendary Separatist ship known as the Sa Nalaor on the planet Cholganna and bringing its secretive technology to a salvaging facility on Raxus Prime – though not before negotiating for a higher payout.

Instructed by Reom to wait for the arrival of IT-3PO, a protocol droid that once belonged to Reom’s father and knew Rel Harsol, the Sa Nalaor’s captain, the crew investigated IsoTech and the information given to them by the slightly suspicious Twi’lek. Although they didn’t learn a great deal of new information, they were alerted to a criminal gang known as the Yiyar Clan’s interest in the Sa Nalaor and their repeated efforts to steal information from IsoTech. Much to the chagrin of Captain Noraan, they discovered the increased presence of Imperial Security Bureau agents aboard The Wheel.

As they were alerted of the imminent arrival of IT-3PO by Shira, Reom’s mysterious sister, the crew headed back to their ship to await delivery of the droid. The delivery ran late, and as they crew went to investigate, they caught the Yiyar clan and its leader, Yav Yiyar, abducting the droid and attempting to get it back to their ship, the Nightflyer. A violent chase ensued, resulting in some hefty property damage to The Wheel’s hangar level and some minor injuries to civilians. The crew caught up to the Yiyar Clan inside their hangar, and after a firefight which resulted in the death of several Yiyar Clan members, the crew of the Rogue Zenith was able to flee the scene with IT-3PO before Wheel Security arrived.

Safely aboard their ship, Captain Noraan quickly took off, narrowly avoiding collision with an incoming freighter. As The Wheel’s docking authority demanded a return to the station, the hotshot captain ignored the demands and jumped to hyperspace, heading for the primitive and dangerous world of Cholganna.

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Beyond the Rim: Episode II
Welcome to the Jungle

Following a daring jump through hyperspace, the Rogue Zenith arrived near the planet Cholganna only to be surrounded by a dust cloud and bombarded by asteroids. Thanks to Captain Noraan’s piloting ability and Sha’ryn’thaqiz’s aptitude with the ship’s sensors, the Zentih was able to survive the asteroid field without any major damage. Emerging from the dust cloud, Captain Noraan guided the ship into the jungle planet’s orbit. Utilizing the data provided by IsoTech, Sha’ryn’thaqiz was able to narrow the search for the Sa Nalaor to an area of roughly 60 kilometers, as well as discover what appeared to be an escape pod on the sensors.

Safely landing on Cholganna’s surface, the crew emerged and was faced with a vast jungle wilderness. Dropped into the unknown, Captain Noraan was shaken to her core, preferring the busy markets of a spaceport than a remote, backwater jungle. With Sha’ryn’thaqiz at the lead, the crew began the trek into the jungle, navigating their way towards the first search location. After a difficult journey, the crew arrived at a steep, overgrown crevasse. Unused to the terrain, Captain Noraan fell into the crevasse, sustaining some minor wounds while also discovering the escape pod they had detected on the sensors.

Upon investigation, they noted the pod was designated 34 Besh and that a swarm of green-bodied insects was present at the pod’s opening. Sha’ryn’thaqiz indicated that the insects were likely using the pod as a home and were dangerous in a swarm because of their stingers, though he was able to smoke out the insects using a makeshift smoke grenade. The crew also discovered the skeletal remains wearing CIS Navy spacesuits, as well as the carcass of what appeared to be a nexu. Within the pod, Kandar retrieved the flight logs and recording memory while Sha’ryn’thaqiz copied the data to his datapad.

Following the pod investigation, the crew headed for the primary search area that had been detected. As they passed beneath a large overhang of trees, Sha’ryn’thaqiz detected the presence of nearby creatures. The crew was then attacked by three arboreal octopus. Although larger and deadly, the octopus were quickly defeated by the crew, though not before doing their best to further shake Captain Noraan’s core. Having dealt with the octopus, the crew arrived at the primary crash site in a narrow, winding river valley around midday.

Identifying the wreckage as being the engine section of the Sa Nalaor, the crew quickly investigated before determining nothing of value was present. Thanks to Sha’ryn’thaqiz’s keen eyes and survival knowledge, they were able to follow the river north to the crash site of the main hull. Examining the wreckage, they determined that portions of the ship had been salvaged and that the remains of a large encampment were nearby. Sha’ryn’thaqiz noted that the encampment was probably abandoned twenty years ago and could have held between thirty and fifty people. He also identified a nearby burial site of twenty graves.

The crew entered the wreckage through one of the many holes in the hull and began the search. They first searched what was once the Sensor Array Control Room and found little save for a tarp that was meant to hide an attempt at removing the security scanner. Next, the crew crossed the damaged hallway of the ship to Bridge Security, where they found the turbolift shafts leading to the Command Tower. There they found a recording of the ship’s final moments stowed away in a secret compartment. The recording showed a young Captain Harsol and a white-haired Arkanian woman moments before the crash, though little else was revealed.

Moments after the recording was viewed, the crew was ambushed by a nexu enhanced with cybernetic augmentation. Although an unknown foe, the crew was able to fend off the cyber-nexu, sending it retreating into the darkness of the wreckage. Immediately following the cyber-nexu attack, IT-3PO appeared in Command Tower, explaining that it had followed the crew from the Zenith and that the nexu was the result of experiments by the Sa Nalaor’s cybernetics expert, Cratala. The droid also deduced that survivors of the wreck must be nearby and alerted the crew to its activation of an internal homing beacon installed by Captain Harsol. Although wary of the droid’s intentions, the crew agreed to establish camp in the valley near the wreckage.

Awoken the next morning by the sound of ship engines overhead, the crew was confronted by the Yiyar clan, who finally managed to catch up to them. Yav himself was present, along with four of his clan. The clan attempted to trap the crew in their makeshift camp, but they were prepared. Following a chaotic shootout, the crew was able to fend off the clan, causing Yav and the only survivor of his entourage to board the Nightflyer, and flee the planet.

It wasn’t long before Kandar and Sha’ryn’thaqiz spotted a group approaching from the lake. Revealed to be Captain Harsol and two survivors with an accompaniment of six battle droids by IT-3PO, the crew was questioned as to who they were and the whereabouts of Ropok. Despite Harsol’s apparent paranoia, Captain Noraan was able to charm her way through the introductions and explanation of their purpose on Cholganna. With some reluctance, the crew was lead back to the survivor’s camp by Harsol and his men.

Arriving at the camp, known by the survivors as the Retreat, the crew were lead to a large patchwork building where a crowd of thirty were gathered outside. Once inside, the crew was lead to a stage, where they were instructed to sit. Harsol took to the podium and began a speech, explaining the arrival of IT-3Po and the crew, as well as hope that they might be there to assist the survivors. Harsol then took to inquiring about the state of the Empire and the galaxy as a whole, though the answers proved less than hopeful for the survivors. Harsol then asked what brought the crew to Cholganna, and as Captain Noraan began to explain, numerous voices in the crowd began to speak up, asking for a deal in exchange for assiting the crew. Harsol immediately silenced the crowd and sent them home, leaving only himself and Cratala, an Arkanian cybernetics researcher and scientist, behind.

Once alone, Harsol and Cratala began to ask more detailed questions about the galaxy, with Cratala asking specifically about technology and medicine. After stating that she would show the crew her laboratory in the morning, Harsol led the crew to their room in the living quarters and departed with IT-3PO. While Kandar and Askrut remained behind, Captain Noraan and Sha’ryn’thaqiz took to exploring the camp, hearing whispers of Harsol’s paranoia and apparent dictatorship, Cratala caring more for her creations than the survivors, and the desire for some to leave Cholganna.

The next morning began with Cratala giving a tour of the Retreat, which included a nexu feeding, before leading the crew to her personal laboratory. Realizing that IsoTech would likely be highly interested in Cratala and her technology, the crew struck a deal with Cratala to bring her and her staff back to Reom, along with copies of her research, though Cratala insisted they clear it with Harsol. In the midst of a tense and progressively more difficult negotiation with Harsol, the Retreat was beset upon by the Empire, who had tracked the crew of the Zenith from the Wheel. Alarms began to blare and the survivors were struck with horror. Cratala immediately locked herself in an access enclosure near the nexu cage, while Harsol’s paranoia finally reached a boiling point as he blamed the crew for the Empire’s arrival. Askrut was able to snap him out of his paranoia and turn his anger on the Empire, though Cratala remained firmly locked in the enclosure.

Surrounded by the forces of the Empire, contact was made by Supervisor Liers Ossnan, an agent of the Imperial Security Bureau, who ordered the survivors to turn over the crew, painting them as thieves and thugs. After a few minutes of empty promises to the survivors of immunity and monetary rewards, the crew turned the tables and attacked the Imperial forces, causing Ossnan to retreat to his ship, obviously outnumbered. The crew was eventually able to defeat most of the scout troopers present, thanks to their low number, and force the Empire to retreat. Commandeering two of the speeder bikes, the crew raced back to the Zenith and Captain Noraan piloted the ship back to the Reteat.

Realizing that Cholganna was no longer safe, Harsol agreed to let Cratala and her staff go, provided the crew arranges for Reom and IsoTech return to rescue the rest. With the deal secured, Captain Noraan guided the Zenith out of Cholganna’s gravity well and made the jump to hyperspace, finally on their way to Raxus Prime.

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Beyond the Rim: Episode III
Toxic Motherlode

After a jump through hyperspace, the Rogue Zenith arrived at Raxus Prime. Following a tense transmission with Raxus Control, the Zenith’s proximity sensors sounded as four TIE fighters approached the ship. As Kandar rushed to the man the turbolasers, Captain Noraan utilized her deft piloting ability to outmaneuver the fighters, allowing Kandar to shoot down the crew’s pursuers. With the Imperial ships defeated, Captain Noraan guided the Zenith to Scrapheap Point, landing in an alcove near the shore of a toxic lake.

The crew was greeted by Norta, the Rodian manager of IsoTech’s facility, who arranged to meet with crew and IT-3PO in one of the conference rooms aboard the Crushed Courier, one of many junked starships converted into office space for IsoTech. Cratala and her staff, meanwhile, were moved to the IsoTech showroom. The crew was able to negotiate a deal with Norta for Cratala’s designs, and were paid 2,000 credits as a down payment, although Captain Noraan was suspicious as to Reom’s absence.

While Norta left to begin negotiations with Cratala and IT-3PO, the crew was left to explore the facility as they waited for Reom’s arrival. While Kandar and Askrut remained behind within the scrapped freighter, Captain Noraan and Sha’ryn’thaqiz took to scavenging in Scrapheap Point’s large junk pile, taking advantage of Norta’s promise to pay for locating certain items. After searching for a few hours, and stealthily avoiding detection by an Imperial probe droid, Captain Noraan was able to locate a multi-phase transformer and Sha’ryn’thaqiz was able to find an assortment of power-line splicers. Before returning to the main facility, Sha’ryn’thaqiz spotted a skiff of five Jawas that appeared suspicious.

As they returned to the facility, Norta gathered the crew and took them up to one of the alcoves to meet with a group of Jawa scavengers, though both Captain Noraan and Sha’ryn’thaqiz were suspsicious. Their suspicions were soon proven true as the “Jawas” revealed themselves to be the Yiyar clan, who had set a trap for both the crew and IsoTech. A massive firefight broke out throughout the facility, with the Yiyar clan assaulting numerous points around Scrapheap Point.

After defeating the Yiyar clan on the skiffs, the crew made their way back towards the Zenith, only to find five Rodians attempting to board. Following a fierce firefight that left the Rodians defeated, the crew pushed forward to the Bantha Can, where they engaged a group of Trandoshan. As the Trandoshan fell, a dozen of IsoTech’s technicians emerged from inside the ship to join the battle. Inside the ship, the crew pushed towards the apparently non-functioning turbolifts, which suddenly opened to reveal Reom and three armed mercenaries. With more forces having arrived, the battle was soon won and the Yiyar clan was finally defeated.

Meeting up with Reom, he explained that he was wounded when IsoTech’s office on The Wheel was attacked and he came to Scrapheap Point to hide out. The crew was able to negotiate a payout from Reom for Cratala and her research, as well as the items found during the scavenging of the junk pile, resulting in a total payment of 38,000 credits. In addition, Reom agreed to pay off some of Captain Noraan’s debt to Xiarr.

As the crew was preparing to leave, they were alerted to the presence of a TIE fighter patrol scanning the area. Realizing it wouldn’t be long before the full might of the Empire was raining down upon them, Reom informed the crew of IsoTech’s escape plan in the form of the still operational Blockade Bandit. Damaged in the battle, the crew agreed to help patch up the corvette in exchange for an extra 100,000 credits. Pressed for time, the crew rushed to various parts of the ship to begin the repairs.

With the assistance of IsoTech technicians and Cratala, Kandar and Sha’ryn’thaqiz were able to use their mechanics and computer skills to assist with the bulk of the repairs, while Askrut and Captain Noraan did their part before defending the Zenith from a stormtrooper assault. Completing what repairs they could manage in the short time they had, Captain Noraan agreed to pilot the Bandit to the rendezvous point while Kandar took control of the Zenith.

Rocketing from the junk yard with the assistance of a few carefully placed charges, Captain Noraan guided the corvette into the air, while Kandar followed close behind. Pursued by TIE fighters, Askrut and Sha’ryn’thaqiz assisted with manning each of the ship’s guns, firing upon the Imperial pursuers while the starships climbed higher into the air. As the ship’s reached the edge of the atmosphere, they were met with two Imperial system patrol craft, intent on intercepting their escape. Thanks to Captain Noraan’s piloting ability and Kandar’s familiarity with the Zenith, the crew escaped their pursuers and jumped to hyperspace.

It wasn’t long before they arrived at Iso-One, a massive, near-derelict bulk freighter that Reom announced as their new operations base for the sector and one day the heart of mobile operations. Thanking the crew for their assistance, Reom stuck to his end of the deal and paid the extra credits, as well as providing medical attention. With their business concluded, the crew boarded the Zenith once more and jumped to hyperspace, already looking for their next adventure.

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The Jewel of Yavin: Episode I
Odds and Opportunity

Several weeks after the events of Raxus Prime, the crew of the Rogue Zenith arrived on Bespin to meet with a contact in Cloud City. The simple meeting with the Pantoran Aris Shen soon devolved into a chase through the city’s Market Row, with thugs in the employ of Aris’ husband. As Kandar and Sha’ryn’thaqiz dealt with the thugs, Captain Noraan and Askrut helped Aris escape to the Tourist District. Leading the crew to an apartment nearby, Aris introduced them to her father, Arend Shen, a former financier and corrupt tax administrator for Cloud City.

The Pantoran explained that a famous jewel called “the Jewel of Yavin” was due to be auctioned by the Imperial bureaucrat Marus Grayson at a high-class gala in the Figg & Associates Art Museum and offered the crew the opportunity to earn a large payout by diverting the winning bid into Arend’s account and then stealing the gem after the auction. After some brief discussion and questioning of Arend, the crew accepted the job, especially after hearing one of the bidders was an associate of Xiarr. After Arend excused himself, the crew was left behind with Aris to formulate a plan, deciding to betray Arend after finding out his true motivations and Aris’ reasons for going against her husband. Aris informed the crew they had three days for preparations before the Cloud City Grand Prix, which would be their ticket into the gala itself later that night.

After establishing a plan, Captain Noraan and Askrut ventured to Figg & Associates to case the museum and determined the best entrance and escape routes. Utilizing Askrut’s experience with criminal investigation and Captain Noraan’s smuggling background, the two were able to determine the opportune points and the museum’s security, including camera locations and the patrol route of the security guards.

Realizing they will need to acquire schematics of Cloud City’s architecture, the crew headed to Port Town to seek out an Ugnaught construction guild who took over the facilities of Incom Coropration, who had members that backed the construction of the museum, knowledge acquired during Captain Noraan and Askrut’s visit to the museum. Arriving on Level 154, they met with the Ugnaughts who referred them to their chief foreman, Xoff Ix. To the displeasure of Captain Noraan, they were able to acquire a copy of the schematics after paying the foreman a meager sum of credits.

With half of their preparations complete, the crew decided that getting to know Marus Grayson’s private security would be a good idea. Using some long-range monitoring devices provided by Aris, they determined that Grayson was visited by one of two men every ten hours, likely the squad leaders of his security teams according to Kandar. They resolved to split up and tail both men.

Following the first squad leader, a Corellian called Burr Naxis, to the Trest casino on Level 44, Kandar and Askrut joined him in a game of sabacc. Posing as off-duty security professionals, the two were able to learn that Naxis is annoyed the museum forbids the carrying of disruptors on the premises, and that his men are limited to riot guns. Naxis also revealed that he find Grayson annoying and his fellow squad leader is even more annoyed.

Captain Noraan and Sha’ryn’thaqiz took to following the second squad leader, a Defel called Gantel Dro. They followed him to the Four-and-a-Half cantina, and were able to easily approach the Defel thanks to Captain Noraan’s roguish demeanor. Trading stories of their roguish adventures, Dro revealed that he is annoyed with Grayson for denying his request to have more men guard the garbage disposal and that the Bespin Wing Guard has provided little cooperation. He also revealed that the museum’s security systems do not cover all of the building and that all sorts of things could be hidden, including the lack of cameras in the storeroom, cleaner’s room, and tapcafé kitchen.

With information on Grayson’s security detail acquired, the crew then decided to deal with the computer and network concerns. Sha’ryn’thaqiz was able to build a suitable computer spike, while Kandar and Aris were able to acquire an access card to Cloud City’s network encryption from her father’s secretary, despite some hesitance to hand it over on her part. The third roadblock was handled by Captain Noraan and Askrut, who were able to determine the precise sleeping schedule of Lobot, Cloud City’s network administrator. Finally, as they planned to betray Arend, the crew was able to set up a second dummy account, using forged identities from an ID forger tracked down by Askrut, and further information supplied by Aris.

The day before the race, Aris brought information on the bidders, including her husband Vorse Tabarith, so that the crew could investigate further. Deciding to press her contacts, Captain Noraan looked into Kaltho the Hutt, an associate of Xiarr, and was able to determine that he is a member of a powerful kajidic from Nar Shaddaa and controls several major spaceports and private landing bays. She was also able to find out that the gem means little to the Hutt, but that he believes the markets of Nar Shaddaa will allow him to sell the gem for a much higher profit.

Askrut took on the investigation of Shreya Ordassa, a Togruta professor, and Pos Podura, a Twi’lek business executive. For Ordassa, he was able to discover that she is employed at the University of Sanbra, for which she is here to procure the gem, and that her pompous assistant droid has annoyed the museum staff by trying to gain access to the gem’s exhibit. His digging into Podura revealed that he is not an executive at ThoraTech as he claims, and he was able to acquire false credentials to the auction, but since the charade has gone on for as long as it has, Grayson would rather him bid. He was also fortunate to discover that Podura is in love with Shreya Ordassa, and he is here to win her affections with the Jewel of Yavin.

Sha’ryn’thaqiz, meanwhile, hacked into Cloud City’s computer systems to look into Mil Mikkir, a Chagrian aristocrat, and a woman named Elaiza. He was able to slice into files that revealed Mikkir, who has a management position in a major construction corporation in the Outer Rim, came to Cloud City to carouse with old friends, and is only in the auction to prevent Shreya Ordassa, his ex-girlfriend, from winning the gem. He was able to find less on Elaiza, simply that she appears to be a batty old human woman with too much to spend and her mysterious riches have earned her a degree of notoriety among Cloud City’s citizens.

Left with the final two bidders, Kandar looked first into Zekra Fol, a representative for the Outer Rim Exploratory Mining Corps, which is itself a recent venture backed by patrons from the Core Worlds to seek mineral wealth in the Outer Rim. Aside from that, he was able to locate a small office owned by OREMC in one of Cloud City’s better districts, which is where data-gathering efforts on new mining prospects are coordinated. The final bidder, Vorse Tabarith, was much easier to investigate, thanks to Aris. She was able to reveal much about her husband’s criminal syndicate, and that he is frequently drunk and his men grow increasingly disloyal, believing him to be “going soft.” She also explained that one of his bookkeepers, a Twi’lek named Faa’i Lethax, wants to join Kaltho the Hutt’s kajidic, and would likely be in debt to anyone who could make an introduction. Finally, after some hesitation, she admitted that her husband doesn’t really want the gem, and that she put him up to purchasing it for her. She further explained that she had planned to betray her husband and father on her own, but now trusted the crew enough to consider them friends and allies in the job.

The day of the Cloud City Grand Prix, Arend provided the crew with a loaned cloud car in a private berth in a remote part of the city, along with entry codes and documentation necessary to operate the craft. Having the most experience piloting atmospheric vehicles, Captain Noraan and Sha’ryn’thaqiz agreed to pilot the car, while Kandar did what he could to modify the car with better thrusters and firepower. Askrut looked into the competition, which turned out to be three teams. The first called themselves the Stormhawks, two humans sponsored by MandalMotors Corporation. The second was a team sponsored by the Hutts and lead by a notorious pilot and rumored ex-pirate nicknamed “The Carbine.” The third was representing Cloud City itself, with homegrown pilot Tarryn Razer and his droid gunner making up the team.

It wasn’t long before the race began, with Kandar, Askrut, Aris, and Arend watching the holovid broadcast from the observation decks. Throughout the race, Captain Noraan and Sha’ryn’thaqiz managed to stay close to the lead, finding heavy competition from the Stormhawks, and surprisingly, Tarryn Razer. In the stretch between buoys three and four, Captain Noraan and Sha’ryn’thaqiz managed to deftly maneuver their cloud car and avoid the oncoming flocks of tibannuck, while doing the same to avoid the much larger beldons between buoys four and five.

As they came to the stretch between buoys six and seven, they were confronted with dangerous gas pockets. While they were able to avoid colliding with any themselves, “The Carbine” was not so fortunate, and the resulting explosion knocked them off course, though Sha’ryn’thaqiz was able to get them back on course without losing too much ground. The next stretch proved much more dangerous, as they were now faced with flocks of dangerous predators called velkers. Utilizing Kandar’s upgrades to firepower, Captain Noraan was able to keep them mostly off the car, though they did take a few hits from the creatures. “The Carbine” was soon taken out of the race, as his car was hit by a velker’s disruptor field and disabled.

Sha’ryn’thaqiz pushed the car to its top speed during the final stretch, and with the help of the modified thrusters, was able to lead the crew to victory in the race, thus securing their access to the gala. Regrouping at the docking berth, the crew headed back to the apartment and began to prepare for the impending heist.

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