Star Wars Infinities – The Gathering Storm (Part 9 of 9)

SW InfinitiesWell here we are at the end of this weekly series! It’s been a great experience for me. For a long time I had wanted to try my hand at doing a series of related posts on a unifying topic and I’m very thankful to Michael who said “Go for it!” when I told him of the idea of revisiting my old Star Wars RPG Infinities (i.e. What if? or alternate story) type campaign.

Through the process of writing these posts I’ve revisited, edited and remixed my notes on that campaign and have reacquainted myself with my plans for the game. In a way it’s reignited my desire to revisit the game. Perhaps it will happen…

I had originally planned to do eight sessions but as I revisited my notes I realized there was one more bit of information I wanted to share with our readers. The characters! My players back then made some very interesting characters and I wrote some introductions for each of them.

When the game began our group had just changed the location of our game, some players had move to the USA and amazingly I had only 4 players as the campaign began. That quickly changed and the group eventually grew to 5 early one and eventually to 6 by the end of the campaign, about 8 or 9 months later.

On this post I’m going to share the character concept the players gave me and the introduction I wrote after my discussion with the players following character creation. The following stories are not simply my creation they were crafted with player input, so I am very thankful we could tell these stories together. A BIG thanks my player then, Luis Manuel Alvarado, Luis Lao, José Bellavista and Karlo Yeager. Two of them are not currently playing with us regularly, but I always hold hope these good friends will sit at my table once more.

Each section will begin with the character concept as presented by the player, in italics, and the introduction I wrote for each of them. So here we go!

 

Zayne Otomo (Luis Alvarado)

Corellian, rebel without a clue, hangs with the wrong side of the law. Swoop bike racer. Moves around in the underworld but is a poser

owen-lars-swoop-bike (1)Zayne Otomo met Reedoree while participating in high risk, off track, swoop racing in Riflor. The geologically unstable twilight planet attracts swoop gangs and thrill seekers who run courses on the highly dangerous geothermal springs or in the abandoned cities of the Advozse. The spindly, funky, talkative Rodian seemed to know the local swoop gang leaders and unlike other Rodians Zayne has met, Reedoree is friendly and agreeable. He dropped several hints that he was returning from the Core Worlds after important business.

While in Riflor, Reedoree kept talking about the clandestine and highly lucrative swoop racing in Eriadu, a hub of hyperspace routes and capital of the Seswenna Sector. There swoop gangs raced across the vast urban sprawls, often through regular speeder traffic. Zayne joined Reedoree when he traveled to Eriadu to race. Reedoree made several wagers on Zayne winning and when he succeeded the Rodian was more than happy to share the spoils.

What Reedoree seemed not to know, or anticipate, was that local underworld figures had fixed the outcome of the races and Zayne’s unexpected winning had cost them greatly. Fearing for Zayne’s safety, and his own life, Reedoree convinced the young Corellian to accompany him in his next scheme. Assuring him they were going to the Outer Rim, to a distant and pristine world were Zayne would be able to ride his speeder bike in places no civilized being had ever visited.

Somehow Reedoree burrowed a heavy bulk freighter and its crew. Instead of filling the massive cargo holds, he had Captain Braco, an acquaintance he had hired to command the small crew, take the ship, empty as it was, into the Inner Rim. There to Zayne’s surprise the ship rendezvoused with its “cargo”, a small WR-542 Shooting Star transport and its four passengers. This ship and its crew apparently had something to do with Reedoree’s business in the Core Worlds. With the transport hidden in one of the main cargo holds, the secretive passengers remained in their cramped cabin most of the trip to the Outer Rim.

Zayne did briefly meet the transport’s pilot and talked to another passenger, a human with graying brown hair, past his prime, by the name of Aldon, and learned their passenger is a prince of Alderaan traveling incognito. Aldon, who claims to be a Senatorial Aide, realizing Zayne is a Corellian insisted his charge is only trying to protect his people.

From bits of conversation with Reedoree, Zayne manages confirm that, indeed, the mysterious passengers have to do with the Rodian’s business in the Core Worlds. He has arranged for the young prince to meet with a Jedi in an attempt to arrange some sort of bargain. Knowing fully well the Jedi may turn the prince down, he has arranged for others to also offer their services. Reedoree, in an attempt to maximize his profits from the trip has various other passengers, some young men and a woman who he seemed to promise tutoring under a Jedi, and a Bothan hunter to whom he never stops telling of the unprecedented hunting he will enjoy at the end of the journey.

The ship finally arrives at its destination a lush green moon in orbit around a bright red gas giant. Zayne is on the bridge as one of the crewmembers announces their location, “Yavin IV Captain Braco. We are being hailed.” Over the bridge’s comm. system everyone can hear “This is Jedi Master Tegel Dal Kenobi of the Leoco Actum, requesting permission to dock”.

Jassez “Jazz” Thrax (Karlo Yeager)

She is backwater bar singer, when she is in a gig her contract is a front to “move product”.

species_rodian_male_colorJazz was singing in Phelar, a major city in Eriadu out in the Outer Rim when she ran into Reedoree. She had met the Rodian in her line of work. Singing in dives and small backwater bars she mingled with the seedier side of the galactic society, and it suited her. This arrangement allowed her to smuggle goods from one location to another as part of her traveling. In more than one occasion Reedoree had served as contact or go between. Unlike other Rodians he was talkative, friendly, spindly, and often tried to conceal his musk with perfumes and oils. He always spoke of his grand schemes, that big break that would make him insanely rich!

He was also observant, and could tell that Jazz’s incredible luck and nearly miraculous escapes were something else. Her gift he called it, and he insisted she could do so much more, if only she could find the right teacher, if she could train as a Jedi. More than once she had dismissed him as a silly dreamer, destined to be a small time con artist for the rest of his life.

This time however he seemed to be on to something. His swagger, his self-confidence, was his tell. He had big plans and he was no good at being discrete. He walked into the bar she was singing and bought a round for everyone. When Jazz joined him at his table he was flush with confidence, speaking wildly about winning a large bet on illegal swoop races and some mysterious business in the Core Worlds.

Jazz took advantage of the distraction Reedoree was providing and made her drop, passing on to her client the precious gems she had smuggled into Eriadu. When Reedoree left she had believed he had actually found his big break, only to realize things had taken a turn for the worse when local thugs came looking for the Rodian.

Reedoree had some sort of hot shot swoop pilot with him who had won some races that had been fixed by the local crime lords. And they seemed convinced Jazz knew where to find him. They grabbed her crew, most of whom she did not trust anyway and suspected of stealing from her, but Jazz managed to escape. She did know where Reedoree was and warmed him, he in turn provided for her transportation off planet.

Reedoree had leased a heavy bulk freighter and its crew. Instead of filling the massive cargo holds, he had Captain Braco, an acquaintance he had hired to command the small crew, take the ship, empty as it was, into the Inner Rim. There to Jazz’s surprise the ship rendezvoused with its “cargo”, a small WR-542 Shooting Star transport and its four passengers. This ship and its crew apparently had something to do with Reedoree’s business in the Core Worlds. With the transport hidden in one of the main cargo holds, the secretive passengers remained in their cramped cabin most of the trip to the Outer Rim.

Over a bottle shared with Reedoree, Jazz confirms that the mysterious passengers have to do with the Rodian’s business in the Core Worlds. He has arranged for a young Alderaanian prince to meet with a Jedi in an attempt to arrange a defense treaty. Knowing fully well the Jedi may turn the prince down; he has arranged for Hutt arms dealers to also offer their services. Reedoree, in an attempt to maximize his profits from the trip has various other passengers, the hot shot swoop pilot, a Bothan hunter and some young men he has assured the Jedi will take as his apprentices. He is unsure if they really have what it takes to become a Jedi, but he insists Jazz has what it takes and that it is her who should become the Jedi’s apprentice.

Jazz is in the cabin she is sharing with the Jedi aspirants when the ship drops out of hyperspace. As she leaves her cabin and makes her way to a viewport she can see their destination, a lush green moon in orbit around a bright red gas giant and the approaching Jedi Starfighter, bearing the marks of the Leoco Actum, as it docks.

Koth Frey’Lya (Luis Lao)

Big game hunter, did not grow up with the Bothan’s, raised in Tatooine, Anchor Head, father was a spice and poison smuggler. Father missing in action in a smuggler run, being the elder he followed on his footsteps. Believes his father risked too much and began smuggling animals.  Now likes to hunt the big game.

BothanConceptThe humans in Eriadu did not treat him well. His clients had the good measure of at least being civil when he delivered the animals to their menagerie. Phelar, like the rest of the planet was heavily polluted, and the controlled environment of the large enclosed dome where the birds were released must have cost the owners a fortune. Growing up  on Anchorhead, in the desert world of Tatooine, he knew what want was, the hardships of growing up on that environment, and the opulence of the menagerie’s housing only reassured he had done the right thing by charging the owners such exorbitant prices.

Koth reequipped and paid off the transport that had brought him and his cargo. Eriadu was filthy and the humans there did not hide their disdain, he could not wait to leave. That is why Koth was so surprised to run into Reedoree and find him in such good humor. He knew the spindly, funky, talkative Rodian from Anchorhead where the Rodian had spent some years in his youth working for the Hutts.

Koth and Reedoree had become friends in their youth. Both almost opposites of what was expected of them. Where Rodians were renowned bounty hunters, aggressive, with a short fuse, Reedoree was anything but. Clumsy and meek, he quickly learned that what he could not achieve through force he could manage through guile and his quick wit. Reedoree went on to become a small time confidence man, but always involved in some harebrained scheme. Koth, raised away from traditional Bothan culture, became a big game hunter and scout.

Over drinks Reedoree shared with Koth his latest get rich quick scheme. He arranged a meeting between a Core World noble and a Jedi, very secretive, and was getting paid handsomely for his troubles. Of course Reedoree had other angles, extra passengers he sold on the idea that the Jedi would take then as pupils and some third party he was sure would help the noble should the Jedi turn him down. Reedoree laughed at his good fortune for he had also won some bets on illegal swoop races by bringing a new acquaintance, a human, to race to Eriadu.

A little dizzy from the tale, Koth was still intrigued by Reedoree’s offer to provide transport off planet in a couple of days. He claimed to have rented a heavy freighter to use as cover for the secret meeting. Still unsure if the plan would come together Koth accepted Reedoree’s invitation.

Late at night a knock on the door! Koth took all precautions only to find Reedoree excited and talking too fast. He had somehow found himself in trouble with the local crime lords, something to do with his acquaintance the swoop pilot winning fixed races. Reedoree urged Koth to leave with him immediately and while he agreed, the Bothan knew Reedoree was not exclusively concerned for his safety, but also wanted someone to protect him. Under the cover of night Koth, Reedoree and some of the Rodians associates, a human male and female, left the planet and met with the heavy freighter.

Under the command of Captain Braco, some human Reedoree hired to command the small crew, the heavy freighter set course for the Inner Rim. There the ship rendezvoused with a small WR-542 Shooting Star transport and its four passengers. With the transport hidden in one of the main cargo holds, the secretive passengers remained in their cramped cabin most of the trip to the Outer Rim.

On the way Reedoree assures Koth that in the destination they are going to he will hunt creatures unseen and unheard off in the civilized systems of the Republic. Koth also learns that the passengers are a delegation from Alderaan and that the third party Reedoree seems ready to bring in to the negotiations should the Jedi turn them down are Hutt arms dealers.  Despite his reservations Koth waits to see how things will play out.

The ship finally arrives at its destination a lush green moon in orbit around a bright red gas giant. Koth is on the bridge as one of the crewmembers announces their location, “Yavin IV Captain Braco. We are being hailed.” Over the bridge’s comm. system everyone can hear “This is Jedi Master Tegel Dal Kenobi of the Leoco Actum, requesting permission to dock”.

Kay Braco (José Bellavista)

Son of a displaced royal, a baron, who fell on hard times; sold all his holdings, with the monies that came to him he purchased the Void Manta. Retired from a local militia, where he attained the rank of Captain, due to his performance and his family, his siblings are scattered across the galaxy. He is estranged from his father who was disgraced by stealing from the military.

The Void Manta sat in the docking bay in dire need of repair and Captain Kay Braco found himself unable to reach his ship.  Eriadu authorities had locked him out of the docking bay when his cred stick did not hold enough credits to pay their fines.  He knew smuggling the Petitioners from Velmor to the Outer Rim would be risky, but never expected the trouble they ran to on the way. In Corellian Space, helping a crippled ship and under attack from droid fighters, the Void Manta would never have survived if it was not for the other ship, the Icar, arriving and taking over rescue operations. That freed the Manta and together with Jedi Qui-Gon Jinn they dispatched the Droid Fighters and managed to jump to hyperspace before reinforcements could arrive.

Still the Void Manta was heavily damaged in combat. Upon arriving in Eriadu Captain Braco informed his passengers this was as far as he could take them and parted ways with the Jedi escort. Pauing the crew for the latest run, Kay deposited credits for the ship’s repair with the Phelar Spaceport Administration. But to his surprise overzealous and corrupt Eriadu officials fined him for transporting unregistered passengers and added series of related fees and tariffs. As days passed and he was unable to pay the fees or bribe the right official, many members of his crew found work with other departing ships and Kay Braco grew impatient, concerned he might have to take extreme measures to recover his ship. That is why running into Reedoree had been so fortuitous.

Kai knew the spindly, funky, talkative Rodian. A con man he had met while running cargo around the galaxy, always with some harebrained scheme to get rich quick. This time Kai almost believed it. Reedoree told Kai how he had served as a middle man, arranging a secret meeting between a Core World noble and a Jedi. He had leased a heavy freighter to pick up the noble and transport him covertly to the meeting out in the Outer Rim. What Reedoree needed was a Captain for the freighter and its crew.

For a cut of the profits, enough to at least get his ship off Eriadu, Kai agreed to captain the ship. While the Rodian stayed behind to enjoy his winnings from betting on some swoop races, Kai traveled to the ship in orbit to get it ready. The Bantha’s Haul was an old, huge, heavy freighter. Little more than holds with engines and some cabins, Kai went about getting the small crew and the ship ready.

Reedoree had some side deals on this trip, a pair of young men who seemed to be under the impression that they would be apprenticed to a Jedi came onboard the next day. Ahead of schedule Reedoree arrived with a small shuttle and unexpected passengers. A Bothan, a human singer and the hot shot swoop pilot who had won Reedoree a small fortune. Apparently Reedoree had a run in with local underworld figures that had fixed the outcome of the races. The Bantha’s Haul had to leave in a hurry.

WR-542In the Inner Rim the ship rendezvoused with its “cargo”, a small WR-542 Shooting Star transport and its four passengers. With the transport hidden in one of the main cargo holds, the secretive passengers, a prince from Alderaan and his etourage,  remained in their cramped cabin most of the trip to the Outer Rim. On the way Reedoree confided on Kai that he did not expect the Jedi to accept the noble’s offer and had arranged for a third party to offer their help, Hutt arms dealers…

The ship finally arrives at its destination a lush green moon in orbit around a bright red gas giant. One of the crewmembers announces their location, “Yavin IV Captain Braco. We are being hailed.” Over the bridge’s comm. system everyone can hear “This is Jedi Master Tegel Dal Kenobi of the Leoco Actum, requesting permission to dock”.

*******

And there in Yavin IV began the adventure with the following scroll:

Episode I

THE GATHERING STORM

The Republic crumbles… The long peace mediated a thousand years ago by the Jedi cannot hold.  The selfish autonomy of systems has rendered the Senate a token authority, at best, powerless to stop the factions within the Galactic Republic from an escalating armament race against threats real and imagined.

Citizens seek hope but are met with only indifference from their leaders, interested more in protecting their own assets. Commerce and travel have become dangerous as renegades, pirates and malefactors prey the hyperspace routes, rumors abound of mysterious ships coursing through hyperspace and massing beyond the Outer Rim.

The once fabled Jedi are divided along internal lines, no longer focused. Their numbers have dwindled as few youths see any honor in this ancient tradition. The Council has not met in a generation, all that remains are the Jedi Orders haphazardly clutching to their protectorates.

Among the turmoil a young ambitious diplomat sets out in a mission to secure the means that will keep his planet safe…

This was just the beginning of the adventures in the midst of a gathering storm. Plans fell apart, the feared Sith returned and the players would dash across the galaxy trying to decipher to prevent the upcoming war!

 Very heartfelt thanks to the readers who’ve stuck with the series over the last nine weeks. Who knows I may yet play this campaign again, or even write about it some more in the future…

Let me know if you’d like me to read more about the game, or any particular topic you’d like to see a longer series of posts like this. Have a great weekend!

And one final time, Star Wars and all associated characters and images are copyright of Lucasfilm and I use them here only as a fan creating an RPG campaign.

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