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Episode 1 - Betrayal on Nam Tardos

Captain Van Drall and his crew: 1st mate Nick Landcaster and Wulf Warstar arranged to meet with Desca Dhal at the backwater planet of Nam Tardos in the outer rim. They had come into possession of a number of unusual artifacts which Desca was to help identify and sell. Nam Tardos is a harsh place; constantly raining and foggy, with an atmosphere heavy with ammonia. He arrived at the spaceport, and a local Ithorian mechanic was contracted to service his brand new ship, Gravity's Rainbow, and install a few upgrades, which he said should take about a week. When Van Drall went to check on it a few days later, the ship, the mechanic, and the cargo were long gone, leaving them stranded. The station had no records of an Ithorian working there. Piecing two and two together, the group decided it must be legendary rogue and famous Ithorian shipjacker, Barracuda Billo.

Star Wars
Episode 1 – Betrayal on Nam Tardos

PEACE! The war-torn galaxy begins to rebuild under the direction of the newly formed GALACTIC EMPIRE. Numerous threats still plague the new government; galactic hero DARTH VADER hunts the remnants of the Jedi order, the broken CIS, a new terrorist organization named the Alliance to Restore the Republic and a growing droid rebellion. Weary citizens face economic depression, food shortages and local corruption.

Amidst the chaos of rebuilding lies opportunity, and the CRIMINAL FRINGE prospers. A small group of such unscrupulous individuals find themselves stranded on the backwater world of NAM TARDOS, eager to get off the wretched planet...

Stranded, the PCs spend their few remaining credits on booze and lodging. Wulf receives a message on his comlink from a Twi’Lek woman named Duria Kresh, asking him to meet her at a local cantina, the Palace of Wisdom. The two dated briefly a few years ago, and successfully conned a Republic officer out of his money. Shortly thereafter, Duria left a ‘Dear John’ letter, and he never saw her again. Wulf chose not to relay these details to the rest of the team, and they all proceeded to the bar to see what she’s offering.

Scene 1 - The Palace of Wisdom

This cantina is much like any other backwater drinking hole: stinky, smoky and loud, with the unmistakable aroma of failure. Bored Twi’Lek dancers swirl on poles, spacers argue over sabaac hands, and dead-eyed workers drown their sorrows in the bottle. Ignored by the patrons, a band dutifully bangs out lifeless music. A beautiful brown Twi’Lek woman spots you from across the room and gestures for you to join her table in a dark corner.

Wulf is warmly greeted by Duria, and the rest of the group sits down and places drink order, with the exception of Mr. Nick, who flirts with the entertainment, and Desca, who spends her time surfing the Holonet on her datapad. Duria orders two glasses of an expensive Corellian Reserve whiskey for her and Wulf, and after a few pleasantries, they get down to business. A local drugged-out loser of a smuggler by the name of Cellos Quallo is leaving the next day with a shipment of plumbing supplies on his freighter, The Mad Strumpet. He also has a secret cargo of military-grade surveillance equipment. In return for stealing the ship and delivering the cargo to the war-torn planet of Acherin, her employer will change the transponder codes into their name and provide the necessary documentation to get through Acherin’s military quarantine. Once they arrive at Acherin’s spaceport, they are to transport the goods overland to the town of Emerald Cross, and deliver them to a local resistance leader named Adson Kone.

Desca lifts her gaze from her datapad and presses Duria for more detail around the job with a never-ending stream of near-autistic questions “Who do you work for? Who is Quallo working for?” but Duria refuses to bite, narrowing her eyes at the lovely Falleen woman. “A good information broker doesn't give up her sources.” She does point out; however, that Quallo can be found, most days, “passed-out on glitterstim with a whore at Jorunna’s brothel, on the edge of town.” The group pounces on this piece of information, and begins to hash out a plan. Just before they leave, Wulf gets a message on his comlink – a hotel room number. He catches Duria’s eye, and she winks at him and gets up.

Scene 2 – Jorunna’s Brothel

Jorunna’s place is of an old architectural style, and the building seems to have been around forever. Unlike most of the buildings in Nam Tardos Spaceport, a new plastisteel roof has been installed to protect it from the incessant ammonia rains. A warm light emanates from the windows, and two prostitutes stand on the porch, attracting passers-by. An elderly Gamorrean with glasses smokes a pipe on a rocking chair by the door, keeping a wary eye on those who approach.

The party approaches in the early evening, and the two women on the porch immediately recognize Mr. Nick, who has been frequenting the place of late. While they flirt with Mr. Nick, the Gamorrean stops the rest of the party from entering by propping his leg in front of the door. “Clips in the bag” he grumbles, staring down the party. Reluctantly, they all empty their clips into the bad. Wulf manages to conceal a grenade beneath his worn duster, and Desca hides a holdout pistol.

Mr. Nick, who knows his way around, leads the group inside, where he is warmly greeted by Jorunna herself, a refined Toydarian woman. She welcomes Mr. Nick warmly, and greets his friends, offering them all champagne – free of charge, of course – and asks if they would like to see her girls. Desca, instead of replying ‘no’, can’t help herself, and replies “Only if you have the rarest species in the galaxy here.” Jorunna’s wings flap eagerly, and she opens a door to a room. Out walks a short, stocky alien, in frumpy clothes, who takes the stunned and confused Desca by the hand and shuts the door.

Van Drall, paranoid that Duria set them up, takes a spot by the door and nervously watches the front of the house through the curtains.
Mr. Nick asks to speak to Jorunna privately in the next room, and the two leave Wulf alone. Wulf initially looks for the room number that Duria forwarded to him, but after not finding any number that matches, he realizes she sent him her number to meet up later. Grinning, he decides to sneak about the place and see if he can determine where Quallo is. After a nearly fruitless search, he finds a cutting-edge-fashion spacer’s jacket with a few death-sticks in the inside pocket.

Meanwhile, Jorunna sits on Mr. Nick’s lap, as he begins to ask her where Quallo is. Jorunna’s not about to give up her clientele, and even refuses to acknowledge she knows the man. After going back and forth a bit, Mr. Nick suggests she might do a favor for the madam in exchange for Quallo. Jorunna’s playful southern belle attitude drops and she takes on a more intimidating posture. “There is something I could use some help with…” as she flies over to an antique side table. Pulling a blaster from the drawer with a silk handkerchief, she hands the gun to Mr. Nick. “Jar TIndel is a man who I have little love for. This gun is evidence in a recent murder – see to it that its planted in his residence. I expect to hear of his arrest this evening. If you succeed, I’ll tell you want you want to know.”

Armed with an opportunity, Mr. Nick meets up with Wulf (who confirms that Quallo is in fact there) and Van Drall, still watching the street. He hands over the death sticks to his Captain, who has an idea they may just come into play later. Just as Mr. Nick explains the bargain, Desca half-walks, half-stumbles from a side room. Her clothes are disheveled, her hair in tangles, and she has a look of terror and wonder on her face. Also, she’s carrying a small bicycle. “That will be 150cr, please” Jorunna states. Unfortunately, no one in the group has that kind of money, so they strike up another deal. If they can lift an object worth three times the debt Desca now owes when they plant the evidence, she’ll call it a wash.

Van Drall then comes up with a plan. After a bit of searching the Holonet, Van Drall and Desca find a few details about their target. Jar Tindel is the CFO of Coxic Pharmaceuticals, and lives in a company subdivision on a hill about two miles outside of town. They locate records of high-end speeder rentals, which he takes to a local racetrack for joyriding. Van Drall and Mr. Nick will disguise themselves as repair technicians, and make their way into the race track. From there, they will call Jar Tindel and try to lure him to the speedway with the promise of test-driving a new prototype racer. While they do that, Dresca and Wulf will break into his home, plant the gun, and escape. Once that’s complete, they will place an anonymous call to the police letting them know where the gun is. Plans complete, they move into place.

Scene 3 – The Racetrack

Van Drall and Mr. Nick step off a speeder-bus and walk through the ammonia-rain and fog towards the racetrack. The place is closed, but they can see the light of a Blackstar Security station across the large parking lot. They case the track for a while, watching the guard movements, but are unable to properly time them. Nevertheless, they move away from the station and follow the 25 ft, razor-wire-topped fence around to the back where they find a padlocked gate. As neither has the equipment or skills to get through the gate, they decide to go back and bluff their way past the guards. Just as the in-disguise pair turn a corner, they nearly run into a human security guard. He’s so flummoxed by the near-collision that he’s easily fast-talked by the pair into letting them fix the telecommunications equipment. He leads them back into the security checkpoint, where his bored co-worker is checking out porn and grumbling about his job. 

Mr. Nick goes into a back room to ‘fix’ the telecommunications equipment while Van Drall distracts the guards. He opens a communication channel and contacts Jar Tindel, who’s having dinner with some rowdy friends. initially, he thinks the call is a prank, but Mr. Nick convinces him that the speeder is scheduled to be sold early the next day, and due to the fact that he is a loyal customer, they want him to test drive it tonight to see if he wants to purchase it. Finally Jar Tindel decides that test-driving the experimental speeder would be a fine way to cap an evening, and he says he will be right over. 

With the first part of the job complete, Van Drall sends a message to Desca and Wulf that the target has taken the bait. When Mr. Nick returns, the bored Rodian offers him a drink from his flask. Its a nasty, strong concoction which goes straight to the Mon Calamari’s head. The Rodian laughs in approval when he sees its effects. Van Drall quickly has the human guard befriended as the two look at porn and talk about a brand-new, high end racing speeder that supposedly has been delivered today to the track. Shortly thereafter, a luxury black speeder roars up outside. Thinking quickly, Mr. Nick invites the charmed Rodain to accompany him to the bathroom, promising to ‘have some fun,’ which the Rodain eagerly accepts. “Best work-shift ever!” he exclaims, getting up from his chair. Jar Tindel and his friends drunkenly stagger into the security HQ, and the human guard takes them into the track to check out the racing speeder. Warily, Van Drall decides to sneak out to the luxury speeder, its doors left wide open. He removes the death sticks from his pocket and plants them in the speeder.

In front of the bathroom door, Mr. Nick asks his new paramour to wait outside and begin getting undressed while he gets ready in the bathroom. Once inside, he looks for an escape, and finds a tiny window high up on the wall. Contorting, he manages to squeeze through the opening, but cuts his leg as he tumbles to the ground outside. Van Drall spies his partner tumbling through the window, and the rapidly make their escape into the fog and darkness, hoping they bought their compatriots enough time.

Scene 4 - The House on the Hill

Stepping off of the speeder bus, Desca and Wulf survey the neighborhood. This area is filled with concrete apartments with plastic roofs - low end in quality but relatively new. As you go up the hill, you find the homes of the executives, with neatly manicured yards and paved streets. Before they go into the neighborhood, Wulf asks Desca to see what information she can get on the area. Rapidly tapping away on her datapad, she finds an old Blackstar Security document that outlines the routes the private security company takes in the neighborhood, as well as some detail on value and composition of many of the homes. Now that they know what to expect, the two slog their way up the muddy hill as the sun sets. A short while later, a black luxury speeder flies by; one occupant throws a bottle at them and another yells “GET A JOB!”

The two finally reach Jar TIndel’s house. Desca begins to walk through the small gate in the outer wall to the yard, but Wulf grabs her to stop her momentum. He spies a security camera cleverly hidden in a tree pointing at the front door. They maneuver behind it, outside its viewing range, and find the power cable running down the tree, disguised as a vine. Desca cracks her knuckles and begins to disable it while Wulf keeps a lookout. A few minutes later, she seems to have done so, as an audible pop indicates the cable has probably shorted. They move to the front door, which resists opening, and try a window. There’s a security system here as well, and once the window is opened, the green light begins to blink red. Both realize they are now short on time, and Wulf stands guard while Desca moves in.

She quickly finds the bedroom and plants the gun under the mattress of the executive’s bed. Unfortunately, Tindel has a rather minimalist style, and she spends precious minutes trying to find something to steal to satisfy their agreement with Jorunna.

Meanwhile, Wulf notices the lights of a security speeder coming up the street. Thinking fast, the big mercenary decides to try and lead them away from the building to give Desca time to work. He sprints out past the gate and into the street, but stumbles a few block and falls prone in a quiet intersection. Unfortunately, the security guards do not see him in the fog and move into the yard to investigate. Warstar pulls himself up and makes his way back to the house.

Desca is getting desperate, and notices a recently-used wineglass on the table. Not seeing any wine containers anywhere, she decides there must be a wine cellar. She is soon proved to be correct, but, despite repeatedly trying, she can’t break the lock to get in. As she furrows her brow in frustration, she looks up next to her to find a very expensive painting of a famous fountain on Corellia. She carefully removes the painting, rolls it up and packs it away, then heads back out.

In the yard, Wulf sees the two Blackstar security guards investigating the shorted camera system, their backs turned to him. Slowly he draws out his truncheon, and stealthily makes his way towards them. He thinks “Oh fuck” as he steps on a branch. The two guards spin around at the sound and draw their pistols, but Wulf is simply too fast. The first guard goes down easily, and the big man gets a glancing blow on the second. Reeling from the hit, the guard sprints to his speeder truck and starts it up in a panic. Wulf charges the speeder truck and leaps into the air to land on its roof, but slides off in front of the speeder, landing in the street just in front. Before the guard can slam on the gas and run him over, he leaps onto the hood and plows his meaty fist through the windshield, grabbing the surprised man by the throat. He flails to break free, but the large mercenary is simply too strong and he passes out thinking about the promotion he will never get.

Desca emerges through the window notices the garage nearby; after fiddling with the lock she manages to get it open, and sees a beautiful black swoop bike with a set of gold-gilded bantha horns mounted to the front. The bike simply purrs as she starts it up, and shortly thereafter surprises her companion as he extracts his arm from the broken glass. The two of them put the unconscious bodies in the security speeder and drive it into a drainage tunnel in a nearby ditch. 

As they drive out of the neighborhood, the two burglars get a message from their compatriots indicating its time to place the anonymous call to the authorities. Desca does not want to use their comlinks, as that can be traced back, but realizes the swoop has a high-end hands free security and navigation system. Tinking quickly, she pulls over and contacts them, claiming to be a woman assaulted by Tindel as he went on a drunken rampage. The baffled customer service agent on the end hears about some security guards being beaten up and some drugs before the line goes dead. Desca disabled it and tossed it to the side of the road, so they cannot track the bike. Fortunately, she knows someone locally who can help them dispose of the swoop.

A short while later the two roar into the yard of a local fence, Maz Tobar. Maz exits his house and accosts Desca angrily, as they've awoken his baby, admonishing the reckless thieves: “My wife is going to fucking murder me!” They get the bike into his garage and negotiate the price; he promises to wire Desca 7000 cr next week. Satisfied, they leave Maz as his wife pummels him for waking the baby, and make for the local speederbus stop. They get on to find Mr. Nick and Van Drall headed back to Jorunna’s brothel. 
So far, success!

Scene 5 - Return to Jorunna’s

The party arrives at the brothel around midnight, handing off their clips to the Gamorrean and entering to speak with Jorunna. Jorunna notes that the local wire has been jumping with activity, and Tindel is in custody. With the painting, the party has acquired more than enough value to settle their debt, so she grants them all a store credit. Van Drall offers his up to the Rodain security guard who was literally caught with his pants down. He’s probably fired from his job, the captain figures, and will need some solace here.

Desca begins monitoring the information, while Wulf goes upstairs to confront the smuggler. He finds the door locked, then announces “My name is grim love, I'm here to take a  look at your milk dud!” He receives the meek reply from inside “One minute please”, but breaks down the door anyways. A terrified Twi’Lek girl screams as the huge man enters, only to find that Quallo has fled out an open window. Hidden grenade ready, he peers out into the night, but cannot locate him. Wulf climbs out to the ground but cannot track him in the murk. He takes a wild guess as to where he went, and heads off into the woods. The other three run out the door, pausing only to grab their ammunition, and circle the building to help locating their escaped quarry.

Shortly thereafter, the group meets up, and Quallo is spotted getting on his bike. A grenade makes a glancing hit while the remainder open fire, and Desca nicks the steering foils  but but the bike is largely undamaged and Quallo speeds off into the night. Mr. Nick steadies his blaster carbine and gets off one last desperate shot, which nails the speeder, sending Quallo off into some bushes. They pelt the area he’s in with blaster fire, scoring a few minor hits while Wulf charges is. He finds Quallo lies prone on the ground, but turns to face the big mercenary and grins with his bowcaster aimed at him and fires! Wulf reacts instinctively  bringing his truncheon up in defense, and it explodes as it takes the blast from the bowcaster and shatters into a cloud of smoke and plastic. Grinning, Quallo aims his bowcaster at the now defenseless Wulf, but it cut down by blaster fire as the remainder of the party comes to their companion’s rescue.

They roll the body just as the distant wail of police sirens can be heard. Van Drall, Desca and Mr. Nick head back to their hotel for a late night meal, a few drinks, and some rest, while Wulf goes to meet Duria for the night. While enjoying her company, he lets her know that the G9 Rigger should be christened The Black Pariah, and registered in Van Drall’s name.

Scene 6 - The Mad Strumpet

The next morning, a grinning and refreshed Wulf meets up with the rest of his sleepy, hungover crew, who make their way to the starport hangars. They arrive to find a few security personnel overseeing workers loading cargo into various ship, including the Black Pariah. Two caged tuan-tuans roar in anger as they are being loaded into one ship; their handlers poking them with stun batons and laughing. One stuffy official approaches the group asking who they are and their business, and Van Drall identifies himself as the captain of the Black Pariah, transporting plumbing supplies to Acherin. After a few nervous minutes as they check the altered credentials Duria provided, they are given the all clear to board.

The ship is a piece of crap. This particular ship is in a state of extreme disrepair due to the negligence of its owner. While most G9 Riggers have 3 blaster cannons located on the struts projecting out of the ship, this one has an empty hole where the turret would be.Many panels in the ceiling are missing, exposing electrical, plumbing and life-support infrastructure, while other panels are stained from leaky valves above. The living space is covered in a thick green shag carpet with many unidentifiable stains. An acidic smoky smell permeates the interiors. The crew quarters have been gutted, and a single synthetic fabric hammock hangs in its place. 

When their cargo is fully loaded, the crew loads the surveillance equipment into the hidden panels and flies away into the sky. Upon exiting the thick clouds of the planet and entering space, alarms go off indicating four hostile ships approaching on an attack vector!