Star Wars: Holocron Raiders

Escape from Cephias IV

Amara Cormin, Neeka Butana, and NX-Gray2 have found the artifact they were searching for on Cephias IV, but find themselves in disagreement with the local authorities as to whether or not they have the paperwork necessary to remove artifacts from the planet.

As a result, the local law enforcement has been mobilized to prevent them from returning to their ship, the Unstable Friendship. Through a bit of creative slicing and grand theft landspeeder, the group is able to distract most of the officers between them and their ship. A gunfight with the group guarding their ship allows them to blast their way out of the spaceport.

Two Cloud Cars attempt to stop their ship before it can leave the atmosphere, but despite doing some damage, the Unstable Friendship is able to escape.

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Hunting the Gambler's Debt

Following their Escape from Cephias IV, the crew of the Unstable Friendship disposes of their find and repairs their ship. While doing so they meet Traggisk, a Trandoshan in search of transport who agrees to serve as the group’s muscle in return for passage and a share of whatever jobs they engage in.

Unfortunately rumors of artifacts are scarce when Traggisk is contacted by the representative of Doruba the Hutt, a crime lord that he used to work for who wants Traggisk to do a job for him. A certain smuggler, Kainite Cath, has failed the Hutt for the last time, and he wants to teach her a lesson while sending a message to his other employees. He wants her ship, The Gambler’s Debt to be destroyed. He doesn’t care how it happens, and he doesn’t care what happens to Kainite, as long as the ship is rendered non-operational in a permanent manner.

NX-Gray2 is able to trace the ship to it’s last known location in the Serethin system. The ship is gone by the time they get there, but NX knows a person who might be able to point them in the right direction. The group contacts Merisee Zaniah by offering her an artifact that NX considers to be worthless, but which she finds interesting. She doesn’t know where Kainite went, but knows of someone who might, a Aqualish thug named Zev who fancies himself and up and coming crime lord in the local underworld. She suspects he can be found at the Drowned Bantha, a local cantina.

The group finds Zev and Neeka Butana is able to flatter him into revealing where Kainite headed after doing business with him. She also learns that Zev feels Kainite cheated him in the deal. She picks Zev’s pockets on the way out. Meanwhile NX-Gray2 nearly starts a brawl with another Aqualish in the bar by deliberately spilling his drink. A quick retreat by the droid prevents mayhem from erupting, but causes enough distraction to allow Neeka to pick another pocket on the way out the door.

Following up on Zev’s lead, the group heads to the Zarnath system, where a scan of the surrounding space reveals The Gambler’s Debt on an outbound course from the planet. The crew of the Unstable Friendship quickly plots an intercept course and battle ensues. After taking massive damage, Kainite is convinced to surrender under threats from Traggisk. She is made prisoner and her ship is quickly looted before being blown up.

In the meanwhile, a pair of Z-95 Headhunters from Zarnath’s planetary defense force have arrived to investigate the battle, the crew attempts to bluff the fighters by claiming they are pursuing a legitimate bounty. The fighters make a strafing run on the Unstable Friendship but stop after one pass when their control reports that there is in fact an outstanding bounty in effect. The fighters then demand that the ship stand down and present credentials.

Lacking credentials, the ship instead makes a successful run for it and makes the jump to hyperspace.

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Artifact Hunt part 1

NX-Gray2 is contacted by Merisee Zaniah with a tip on some artifacts he might be interested in acquiring. She has a client that is interested in whatever he might find. The location of the site is in the Numarkun system.

Doing some research, the group finds that while the government is fairly liberal in granting dig permits, a local crime boss considers himself a connoisseur of antiquities, and is known to sometimes interfere with digs, especially ones that aren’t authorized by the government.

Fortunately, since their last job, the crew of the Unstable Friendship now includes Bib Idrall, a smooth talking Twi’lek merchant who manages to secure the proper permits from the Numarkun authorities.

After renting a speeder truck and a speeder bike, the group heads out to the site based on the information that Merisee gave them. Finding the site is not difficult and in fact, the entrance has been uncovered by recent erosion.

The group enters the site and a scan by Amara Cormin shows two strong power sources and many lesser ones. Some of the lesser ones prove to be doors that Neeka Butana is able to open, but others prove to be powered down security droids. The group only discovers this after running into a group of four of them which power up and attack after being unable to identify the group as authorized personnel.

The battle is relatively short, with Traggisk and Amara Cormin doing most of the damage to take the droids down.

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Artifact Hunt part 2

Following the fight with the security droids, Amara Cormin and Bib Idrall take the remains back to the speeders while the remaining members of the group explore further.

They continue on to the first major power source, which proves to be a large console in a pyramid shaped room. NX-Gray2 is able to get the console working while Neeka Butana searches various panels and compartments in the room, locating two artifacts whose use is not immediately apparent, but which are aesthetically interesting, and therefore might be of some value to collectors.

NX-Gray2 learns that the facility is somewhere between 500 and 1000 years old and was a corporate research facility. Tampering by the characters appears to have reactivated at least one of the experiments with a message stating that “project XA6” is active, and that containment is not secure.

Further examination provides a partial schematic of the facility, but there is some data corruption so further exploration will be necessary.

That exploration is temporarily halted by a broken turbolift. A 100 foot vertical shaft separates the upper facility from the lower one, and the turbolift connecting the two no longer works. In fact, the turbolift car is stuck in the shaft about 10 feet from the top. Traggisk attempts to move the car with brute force, but is unable to. Neeka Butana then tries to reactivate the controls through her datapad, but this results in the car plummeting a short distance before she is able to re-trigger the brakes.

After NX-Gray2 scrounges some wiring by cannibalizing the console in the other room, Neeka is able to trigger the brakes from outside the car, with the only casualty being her datapad that is yanked from her hands as the car plummets to the bottom of the shaft. The three then use the maintenance ladder to climb down. Unfortunately, NX-Gray2 is not built for climbing long ladders and almost plummets down the shaft, being caught in a tangle of wire instead.

Finally at the bottom, the group is able to take another scan, better pinpointing the various energy signatures, identifying most of them as doors or droids. Avoiding most of the droids, they arrive outside the second main power source, which they suspect is the main research lab. Unfortunately, they also know that five droids are inside the area.

NX-Gray2 volunteers to try to speak to the droids and enters alone. Able to understand them due to his earlier examination of the computer console in the upper level, he realizes they are asking for his authorization. He tells them that the company has been sold during their downtime and that he represents the new owners. The droids give him temporary clearance as they attempt to confirm his information.

NX quickly accesses the one functional lab, discovering that project XA6 was something to do with nanotechnology, and removing two data cores from the lab computers. He then took the cores back to his companions where they discussed what to do next.

Unfortunately, the droids had finished running their confirmation routines and had determined that NX was not authorized for access, so they interrupted the group, demanding the return of the stolen cores, and enforcing the demand by the lead droid opening fire on Traggisk with a repeating blaster, nearly taking him out of the fight before it even got started.

Exercising discretion, the group turns and runs before the security droids can mow them down in a hail of blaster fire. NX is able to drop a frag grenade, partially collapsing a wall behind them to give them a little bit of time, after which Neeka blasts a door panel, giving them even more.

With the droids delayed, the group is almost able to make it back up the turbolift shaft before they appear at the bottom. A hail of fire wounds Neeka, but miraculously misses NX, who was bringing up the rear.

The group heads for the exit, determined to get out of the area as quickly as possible.

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Artifact Hunt Epilogue

Traggisk,Neeka Butana, and NX-Gray2 flee the underground facility as quickly as possible. Coming out from the entrance they are greeted not by their companions that remained with the vehicles, but by Merisee Zaniah, a well-to-do looking Devaronian, and a handful of Nikto, Klatooinian, and Weequay thugs.

The Devaronian demands that the party hand over the data cores that they found in the ruins, and after a short standoff they do so. The Devaronian then leaves with his guards and a sheepish looking Merisee.

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The Wookiee War Mask

Having come up mostly empty following the expedition to the Numarkun system, Bib Idrall leaves the ship to start looking for work full time. After a couple weeks he makes contact with Liakporin, a Wookiee looking to hire a team to make an “acquisition” of a wookiee war mask currently being held in a private collection.

The team agrees to take the job, and leaving Bib behind to look for future jobs, heads to Ord Kilnog in the Mid Rim where Vee Dayish lives and stores his collection.

NX-Gray2 and Neeka Butana do some research and find the location of Dayish’s city penthouse where the mask is believed to be held. Neeka and Amara Cormin case the place and eventually everyone puts together a plan of action that involves Traggisk intimidating a spice addicted guard into giving them access to the building.

Everything goes smoothly in getting access to the lower level of the penthouse, the only hiccup coming when the “private” security they were expecting turns out to be two Imperial Army soldiers. They soon discover that Vee Dayish has recently been appointed Lieutenant Governor of the system.

The mask is not on the lower level of the penthouse, and when they begin to search the upper level they run into four stormtroopers. They are able to overcome the surprised troopers, find the mask and escape the penthouse by hotwiring a speeder, but there is now an Imperial alert out for them.

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The Wreck of the Nashoba's Gold

After turning over the Wookiee war mask to Liakporin, the group makes it way back to the Outer Rim before they can be tracked down by the Imperial authorities near Numarkun.

The next couple months are spent doing small jobs, tracking down rumors of interesting sites, and selling off the valuable finds they recovered on previous jobs. Unfortunately, some of the best leads that NX-Gray2 comes up with point towards sites on Cephias IV, where the group is persona-non-gratis following their first adventure together there. Despite several attempts, Bib Idrall and NX-Gray2 are unable to secure permits.

Eventually, Bib is contacted by Jentha Sanelle, a bureaucrat in the Cephias IV government. She offers the group a deal. If they will do a job for her then she will see to it that their record on Cephias IV is cleared. The job involves recovering data from a crashed Corellian Corvette on the second moon of Karalcass in the Karalcass system.

Sanelle tells them that time is of the essence because an ISB agent is also looking for the same data, but hasn’t yet narrowed down the location of the wreck past the system that it is in. If the party hurries they should be able to beat the ISB to the wreck.

The party agrees to the job and makes its way to the Karalcass system where they quickly locate the wreck and land nearby despite the rough terrain. The ship broke in two in the crash, but they are pretty sure the data is in the front section. They make their way through the wreckage, fighting off an attack by some sort of arachno-frog creature in the process. Eventually they locate the computer room, but are unable to download and wipe the data. Instead, they physically remove the section containing the data cores, and haul it out of the wreckage.

Getting back out of the ship, they see that they are not alone. An Imperial Lambda-class shuttle is landed on a hill a bit beyond their own ship, and a squad of Stormtroopers is headed their way. They hurry towards the ship, Neeka Butana sneaking ahead and making it on board without the Stormtroopers spotting her. She fires up the engines as Amara Cormin and Traggisk haul the computer through the muck.

The Stormtroopers order them to halt, and then open fire when they don’t. Neeka manages to move the ship closer to where the rest of the party can scramble aboard before Amara takes over and they blast off. Amara and Neeka then deal handily with a pair of intercepting TIE fighters before jumping out of the system to safety.

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It Takes A Thief...

Returning to Cephias IV with the datacore allowed the group to get the charges against them dropped to misdemeanors. Once the appropriate fines were paid, and paperwork filed, they were then free to apply for archaeological licenses which were duly approved.

After a month or two of following NX-Gray2’s lead in exploring sites on Cephias IV, the group is once again contacted by Jentha Sanelle who wishes them to recover a stolen artifact. Specifically, a plascrete tablet taken by a pirate band led by Deell Reth.

Sanelle leaves it up to the group how to acquire the artifact, as long as the pirates don’t become aware as to who hired them to do it. They also arrange to get the group in and out of the outlaw settlement on Ulaknall VI where the artifact is believed to be kept.

Upon arrival, Bib Idrall and Neeka Butana quickly locate Reth’s compound, but word gets out that someone is asking around about it.

Neeka attempts to sneak into the compound through the second floor, but is unable to do so due to the presence of two guards in the room with the artifact. She is able to pinpoint the location of the artifact and determine the layout of the second floor.

Despite their being on guard, Traggisk bullies his way into the pirate band as a new recruit. Once he is established, the remaining group manage to bluff their way into the lower floor of the two story compound, but Neeka gets caught trying to sneak into the second floor.

Traggisk takes the initiative and grabs Neeka, tossing her out of the compound then announcing that there may be more intruders upstairs. He runs up to the second floor before anyone can intervene. He then heads to the room with the artifact where he attempts to bluff his way past the guards. When that fails he simply grabs the artifact and runs straight into the window. The plasteel glass doesn’t break, but the frame around it does, and he falls to the ground outside the compound.

The group makes a dash for the shuttle waiting for them. Traggisk and Neeka pull ahead of Bib and NX, and are able to board the shuttle and make sure the pilot is ready to take off. Just as the other two arrive, so do a half dozen pirates. Bib tries to deceive them into believing they have the wrong guys. He fails, but confuses them just long enough to dash on board the shuttle before they can get off some shots.

Unfortunately, as the shuttle rises the pirates blast it and manage to hit something important. Unable to clear the atmosphere until it’s repaired, NX manages to do so without too much trouble, and the shuttle escapes before the arrival of any pirate ships.

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