"The Dark Times" Star Wars Saga Edition Campaign

Any Way You Slice It...

Arden Jeht's tracking device that she secretly placed on the Kubaz Slicer, starts acting up while the group is outside the Imperial Garrison on Nar Shaddaa. At first she thought it was interference, however she soon realizes that it is relaying code in Binary. The Kubaz apparently is in need of rescue and with the code he claims that he is being taken to the legendary Imperial Prison World of Agon Nine. 

The crew needs to attack swiftly if they are going to catch the Imperial Theta Class Shuttle before it makes its way into Hyperspace. Bixel Anderon fires up the engines and tails the Shuttle across the Smuggler's Moon and into low Orbit. When the Shuttle is the furthest it can possibly be from reinforcements, the crew attacks. They make short work of the Shuttle, ionizing it and then shooting down its TIE Fighter escort. 

Boarding the Imperial Vessel turns into a nightmarish gun-battle. Grandfather charges into the room with his Blaster Cannon, but gets shot up pretty badly in the process. The crew eliminates all the Stormtroopers and then works to free all the prisoners aboard, which include three Wookies in addition to the Kubaz Slicer.

With no time to spare the crew exits to Hyperspace after blowing up the drifting shuttle. The Imperial reinforcements did not make it in time to stop the prisoner-escape. In route to Lantillies, the crew begin to interrogate the Slicer. Within moments the tone becomes very threatening and soon Bixel Anderon hauls the Kubaz into the air-lock. Left without options he talks and promises to tell the crew everything he knows.

The Kubaz has been working for the Adasca Bio-Mechanical Corporation which is based out of the world Thyferra. This corporation is the employer of Naadira Calos and since her arrest, they have stepped up their efforts to see her released. The Slicer was hired months ago to reap financial ruin on the Besadii Clan, though recently the work became more frequent and well-paying. After conning Jantel, which was easy because she is addicted to Death Sticks, he was on his way to meet his Adasca Corporation contact at the Coded Imperial Club. He was suddenly arrested by an Imperial Security Bureau agent, for all his warrants. He had been to the Club previously on a number of occasions and did not expect to be in danger there. The Kubaz admits to dealing damage to a number of institutions belonging directly or indirectly to the Besadii Hutt Cartel. He claims none of it was personal and wants to be released.  

Grandfather and Teri the Ugnaught get to work, fixing the ship and removing the obvious recent blaster damage. The old Baragwin is still badly injured from the gun battle with the stormtroopers but he refuses to stay down.

The crew talks to the Wookies, though it is obvious by their physique and scars that they are freedom fighters. The Wookies explain that they are part of a resistance movement located on Kashyyyk; which is now an Imperial Occupied World. Their people have lost their seat in the Senate, have been found to be conspirators with the heretical Jedi traitors and finally declared to none sentient species. The predation upon their world is horrific. This news is a little hard for Salmeth Chejel to believe, but his naive perception of the nature Galactic Empire is soon to be tested.

The crew agrees to run the Imperial Blockade and return the Wookies to their homeworld. The agreed upon sum was 35,000 credits. The jump from Lantillies to Kashyyyk is a short one. The system is no longer a war zone and is now quite tame, warranting only a single Imperial Frigate. The crew drifts into system with their systems powered down and when they are in an advantageous position they power up the ship and head down to the surface. The resistance fighters point out a continental mass to land at, and the crew is soon greeted by a dozen Wookie Commandos that appear from the forest to challenge them. The Wookie reunion is touching and Bixel Anderon decides to leave the world without accepting payment, which might just be as well, because it is doubtful that these Rebels could afford the fee. 

Arden Jeht talks to the nameless Twi'lek Slave that Grandfather purchased on Nar Shaddaa. She tries to express that the crew means her no harm and will not treat her poorly. The young Arden quickly discovers that this woman was raised in captivity and bred to be a servant. Her "programming" is much different and it will take a great deal of time to break down her "defensive barriers" and "sub-routines". There truly is no place to bring the woman, which would provide her safety. The crew cannot even afford their own costs. 

When the crew returns home they immediately notice that an Imperial Star Destroyer is orbiting the Smuggler's Moon. It is strategically placed near the TIE Fighter Orbital Manufacturing Facility and the Imperial Garrison below.

After another close brush with TIE fighters the crew heads back to Nar Shaddaa. Sister S'swonn is in recovery in her room. The Bothan Doctor Cooley treated her sickness and has pronounced her free of any contagion. She is resting in her quarters, though the Doctor warns Darius Bel that the Nexu Xim likely has ticks. Doctor Cooley says that he is not a Veterinarian and besides Xim probably views him as food.  

Apparently the Bothan was involved in an altercation at the local Bar and he killed two Swoop Gangers with a Sub-repeater for attempting to rob him for drugs. The local Hutt Cartel Security found the entire incident hilarious, and of course elected to do nothing. 

Jantel is woken from her coma and she is obviously in much better health than before the overdose. The crew tries to explain to her that the Kubaz blackmailed her and that she had no sister. The Devarronian is resistant and she believes that she has a sister, but eventually the crew is able to convince it was all a ruse, just to get the Slicer into Blaster Alley. Jantel is rude to her "saviors" and generally thankless for all their efforts.

Sias Oppal instructs the crew to bring Jantel in to the Casino. She will be placed under arrest. The crew also gives over the Kubaz Slicer, who the Hutts will doubtlessly treat with severe prejudice. Sias Oppal informs the crew their recent exploits contributed to the arrival of Imperial reinforcements. Another Legion is being assigned to Nar Shaddaa. He has a bad feeling about the news of Naadira Calos's secret employer the Adasca Corporation, though he doesn't have enough to act upon yet. 

Bixel Anderon asks if any assignment will take the crew past Coruscant. Sias Oppal suggests the crew look into the Corusca Gems that are supposedly housed in the Museums near the Imperial Palace. Doubtlessly this will be a very highly dangerous assignment, without any promise of return. The crew will consider the best course of action and get back to him. 
 

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To build a better Nar Shaddaa....


Sias Oppal
is free from his confinement and he is returned to his position as Chief of Lieutenants. The crew discovers however that all has not been well in their brief absence. The Blaster Alley Motor Pool & Garage has been infiltrated and a Slicer has caused all kinds of chaos in the main computer system. Anasha Kanaj is at her wits end, the damage to the business financially will likely ruin it.

Arden Jeht quickly discovers and recovers the security footage, revealing that Jantal let somebody inside the building after Anasha Kanaj went home. She would have to have access to the Administrative Password, but gaining such a thing would certainly be no great feat to somebody as crafty as the Devarronian Swoop Ganger. 

Darius Bel finds that Sister S'swonn has gone missing and that once again he is on the duty roster as a Medical Technician. Talking with the Ugnaughts that are friendly to the Twi'lek Priestess, Darius learns that she went to the Refugee Sector but that she was very sick. 

Aruk "the Great" personally stops by the Blaster Alley Motor Pool & Garage to show his appreciation to the crew and leave them with a token of his esteem and favor. A rare bottle of Jhantorian wine, very expensive. Aruk proclaims that Bixel Anderon is the only one of his Lieutenants that has his head screwed on straight recently. He declares before leaving that he will no longer permit himself to be surrounded by incompetence.

Bixel Anderon finds Jantal in her favorite hideaway above the old garage, below the main hangar. She overdosed on Death Sticks and strong alcohol, but barely clings to life somehow. Bix carries the woman to the Medical Bay, sprinting through the busy Motor Pool, knocking people out of his way. Arden Jeht finds Jantal's communicator, an archaic text-device. 

Darius Bel is able to locate Sister S'swonn in the maze of make-shift camps in the Refugee Sector. He takes her back to the Motor Pool and the crew hurriedly assembles the Bacta Tank that they acquired along their mission to Rhen Var. The Bothan Doctor Koolie is summoned by Sias Oppal and he and the crew's 2-1B Medical Droid see to the care of both Sister S'swonn and Jantal. The conversion of part of the facility has not gone unnoticed, Anasha Kanaj is furious that "her business" has been converted into a Hospital for a virulent contagion. After blaming all the shops current problems on Arden Jeht and scolding an unrepentant Bixel Anderon, she soon leaves.

Bixel Anderon befriends Teri the Ugnaught, a long time vehicle mechanic at the Motor Pool.  He gives him expensive Jhantorian wine that Aruk "the Great" left as a gift. Teri also gets to play with the new A208 Blaster Rifles that Sias Oppal sent over in appreciation for his release. It seems like it is the beginning on a beautiful relationship, or perhaps Bix is angling to have an emergency food supply on hand for when times get lean. 

Darius goes to Aruk's Cantina with the purpose of seeing Chapel in the Dungeons. The Rodian Swoop Gang Leader has been beaten severely but he still draws breath. Darius tries to get any information out of him, based on the fact that he was once her lover. Chapel agrees to help and begs for release from incarceration. Darius agrees to arrange for him to be let out under the condition that he helps the crew to find the Kubaz Slicer. Chapel receives a few Death Sticks to ease his withdrawal and suffering and he leaves to find out any information he can.

Golwoch approaches Bixel when the crew arrives back from their boss's cantina. The Quarren thug is willing to help Jantal, he has been around locally and knows a few people. Reluctantly Bixel shares all that he knows with Golwoch, after asking him to divulge his methods with which he plans to use. The Quarren is honest and says he will likely bust a few heads and find Jantal's drug dealer. Bix agrees to trust him with the matter because the crew is having difficulty in finding answers.

The crew goes to meet with Sias Oppal. The text-device found near Jantal implicates an unknown source for the betrayal of the Motor Pool. Jantal was being blackmailed with threats and images of a Devarronian child, in some instances being badly beaten. She is told to gain the Administative Passcodes and meet with a Kubaz Slicer to give him entry to the Main Office Computer Terminal Room. After she successfully completes her mission, she apparently felt horrible enough to try to kill herself with hard drugs and strong alcohol. Sias is visibly distressed and pledges that he supports the crew and that he would definitely like to meet the people that are hurting this child.

Salmeth Chejel gets a weird feeling when he is holding the old text-device and looking through the pictures of the child. He feels like he is in that room that is shown, but no one is present at all. He begins to doubt the truthfulness of the blackmail.

Golwoch returns with a local Changrian death-merchant. He throws the blue horn alien face first on the pavement and demands that he talks. The crew listens as he relates to selling his merchandise to Jantal and that he knew that she had been crying. He swears he told her not to use so much, but that she reassured him; that she was just stocking up before a long trip. He also says he knows about the Kubaz, because it had been following her around for quite awhile. Bixel makes a deal to get him some medical attention, if he tells where the Kubaz is located.

The crew sets out for a nearby warehouse building that has been re-purposed to be a watering hole and fine eatery. The address is an unpronounceable coded serial number and it is privately owned which is something of an oddity on Nar Shaddaa. They find the building has tight security which includes a patrol of Imperial Stormtroopers on the roof. After ringing the buzzer on the large security door, they are rudely greeted by a Security Droid. It scans them before allowing them access. The crew climbs up three flights of stairs and is greeted by a human security officer who bears obvious cybernetic enhancements. He checks their weapons and almost forbids them access after having found a small stun gun hidden away on Arden Jeht.

The inside of the club is filled with dancing Twi'lek slaves and almost entirely human patronage. Here the humans are waited on by aliens of various sorts and all sorts of illicit libations are consumed. Several Imperial Officers are present and are being given special attentions. This sort of thing is usually strictly forbidden for such enlisted men, but perhaps such restrictions are loosened in Hutt Space. Darius spots a Kubaz in the back of the place near the stairs talking with two Imperial Officers.

The dancers leave the stages and several slave-women are brought out to be auctioned to the crowd. The place apparently serves other more reprehensible appetites. The first girl, a Twi'lek is offered for a low price and due to Arden Jeht's urging; Grandfather purchases her, curiously for a fraction of what such a slave might actually be worth. Arden Jeht hopes to free the girl later, however the Kubaz gets up to leave with one of the Officers; a man wearing the colors of the Imperial Security Bureau. 

Salmeth bumps into the Kubaz on their way out; which warrants some rough handling and threats from the ISB officer. During the distraction Arden Jeht slips a tiny tracker on the Kubaz. The Slicer and the ISB Officer leave but the party follows.

Half the group heads back to base to get the ship (and Teri the Ugnaught) while the rest follow an Imperial Shuttle to the Imperial Sector on Nar Shaddaa. The Shuttle lands at the Imperial Garrison and the crew lands nearby in shopping complex dedicated to Imperial Corporations. They plot their next move, but they know that breaking into such a place may be too difficult for them. Thousands of Stormtroopers are posted here, it is the nexus of Imperial influence on Nar Shaddaa. 
  

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The Ruins of Rhen Var

Grandfather and Arden Jett loan Pushka the Greater 10,000 credits, with the understanding that they will be paid back within 36 standard days. Pushka thanks them and hurries off to pay the Duresian Shipwrights Guild the admission fee for his nephew. 

After acquiring the survival gear necessary for their journey to Rhen Var, the crew makes for the Tion Cluster once again. Sias Oppal's life hinges on their finding a large Corusca Gem for Aruk the Great. 

The Ootman Pabol Hyperspace Lane is the most direct from Hutt Space to their destination, but the crew finds out that the way has been sabotaged by Indrexu Spiral Pirates. Large asteroids have been towed into the common path, which forces starships out of Hyperspace and into a possible collision. The ship's sensors blare a loud and sudden warning. Bixel Anderon pulls his nimble vessel up but still he bounces the bottom of the craft off of a particularly large space-rock. The vessel's bottom Laser Cannon turret bore most of the force but the seals seem to have held and the weapon remains functional. 

Before them is a large Gozanti Cruiser which is sending out distress signals. Six Cloakshape Starfighters have descended upon the vessel and they are picking its limited defenses to pieces. Nearby a HWK-290 Transport that has been modified to fill a small Fighter Carrier role waits. Over an open Communications Channel their leader Captain Gavian Du Pol declares that they are enemy of the Hutt Cartels due to their ruthless practice of slavery. He has a Socorran accent and seems very friendly and full of mirth despite his unrepentant criminality. 

Bixel Anderon hurls the vessel directly into the heart of the fight and three Cloakshapes peel off of the Cruiser to meet the new threat. Salmith Chejel, Darius Bel and Grandfather heavily damage all three Fighters, though they leave them capable of fleeing the battle. Captain Du Pol asks for quarter for his damaged vessels and soon calls off the attack, with the Pirates fleeing in all directions. 

Aboard the Gozanti Cruiser, the crew helps make repairs and rights the listing vessel. Arden Jett and Salmith take the ship and work to clear the asteroids from the path of the Hyperspace Lane. One of the Gozanti's crew members was injured, but the 2-1B Medical Droid comes on board with the crew and saves her life.

The Captain Artecal Visaj is a Corellian through and through, he seems like a man of honor and he wears the Corellian Blood Stripe down the side of his pants. He looks almost exactly like Darius save for that he is ten years older. Captain Visaj thanks the crew for their help and explains that he can not afford to pay a full crew compliment. Many of his trade routes have dried up and the Ootman Pabol is the only thing that pays off for him anymore. He offers them a 10 ton container of Bacta and promises to keep their secret of having ever helped him.

Finally having reached Rhen Var the crew descends to the surface and prepares to meet with Commander Milon Landem at the Imperial Listening Post and Snowtrooper Barracks. They have reliable information that he is a fairly corrupt individual and regularly allows expeditions on "his world". Darius is disgusted by the lack of discipline on display at the facility and he quickly figures out that Rhen Var is a punishment post for recruits and out of favor Officers. The crew puts on air of being in the employ of a Galactic Historian. In the staryard a civilian scout ship lays at rest, it seems to have suffered some damage.

The Commander agrees to let them survey some of the historical sites on the planet and asks for their help in discovering the fate of a research team that went missing. Doctor Willic Orbo and his team went missing a few months ago and the Commander wants to know what happened. He feels compelled to discover their fate so that he may contact the appropriate relations and so forth. Many have died on Rhen Var, due to the brutal cold and savage storms. His office is decorated with many prizes and skulls, he has three stuffed Wookiees who are posed with weapons in aggressive postures. The Commander's COMPNOR assistant schedules them for a week stay at the estimated cost of 10,000 credits, he will also expect that all research material be shared with the Imperial Listening Post before departure. They are permitted to download the archive of research material that has been collected throughout the years and are given recent planetary topographical surveys.

The crew  first searches an ancient Harbor that was recently the site of a great battle between the Grand Army of the Republic and Confederacy of Independent Systems. Rusted scrap of droids and vehicles is strewn around the area exposed to the weather for years. A violent snow storm suddenly comes on and the crew shelters their starship inside a massive natural sea-cave. Thunder rumbles above them and they had no choice but to remain on-planet and shelter themselves until it has passed.     

Exploring the cave further in their Arrow-23 speeder the crew discovers a small community of natives to planet. The meeting is a little tense at first after a misunderstanding, but cooler heads prevail and one of them offers to trade for food. The crew receives information about Doctor Orbo, learning that he used to be seen here and that he might have went to the place called "The Retreat". They explain that the Retreat changes a person and that those who go there are sometimes changed to their very core. They become evil. After they are asked about the Sith and Jedi they grow very closed and tell the crew to leave immediately. Arden leaves the Speeders consumables behind and the group returns to their ship.

As they work to replace the Speeders consumables Salmith feels the very odd sensation having dreamed this moment previously. He has been to this very place before, surrounded by grey and hearing familiar voices. That night he sleeps waiting for the storm to pass. 

Salmith sees himself holding the Corusca Gem, he is not outside in the cold or snow, he seems to be in a small closet made of stamped Durasteel that forms some kind of manufactured pattern. He is deeply satisfied for having found the gem but he cannot say why. When he awakens he tries to replicate the pattern of the Durasteel, but his rendition is pathetic. 

The storm passed and the crew explored the Temple, a ruined site located high up in the mountains where the air is very thin. The structure is oddly placed because it would have been very difficult to build at this elevation. Inside the Temple Arden takes note of ancient hieroglyphs and explores the rooms. Inside the basement of the abandoned place she is struck by an odd sensation of remembrance to her early childhood. She is in her father's study and he is ignoring her because he is so absorbed in the strange book he is reading. She can remember his eyes and she was scared of them then.

The crew makes it way to The Retreat and discovers it amidst the mountains. It is secluded and difficult to get to on foot, they park the starship as close as they can and get out of the vehicle. During the hike over the crusted snow they realize that if a storm comes through that they will be exposed. Hurrying as best they can they see a strange cave, shaped like a Hutt's crooked mouth at the top of a steep slope of snow.

As they approached they encounter a half dozen Battle Droids that emerge from the snow at the cave's mouth. One is of the dreaded IG-100 Bodyguard Series and the rest are B-2 Series Super Battle Droids. A brief but intense fire-fight ensues. Grandfather and Salmith sustain light injuries as the crew guns down their mechanical foes. Grandfather burns a gaping hole in the IG-100 with his Baragwin Blaster Cannon. 

The crew enters the cave having scavenged for droid parts. The first room is a make-shift hangar that is currently unoccupied. Diagnostic equipment is powered down and there is evidence of recent repair work that took place here. Small pools of fuel and tools are on the floor. A tunnel leads further into the make-shift facility. The place has the gore-tainted smell of a meat locker. Investigating further they discover several rooms and datapads that are covered with frost. 

The floor of the main chamber is covered in smeared blood. It is of both alien and human origin and trails until it abruptly stops in a sharp line. Arden restores power to the damaged generator and they search the facility. From the datapads they learn of the researchers holo-diaries. 

The datapads seem to support the idea that the Doctor was onto something or had made some kind of discovery. Increasingly however he became incredibly secretive and started to believe his students were working against him and that they had stolen something of value. The situation in the bunker grew to be very divisive and before long it escalated. Their diaries speak of some kind of gross change in the doctor's behavior and attitude. They write that he is no longer recognizable as the dignified man they knew on Coruscant. After one of their number was hurt (or killed?) by Scavengers, the Doctor began to act irrationally. He worked on reactivating the droids they had found earlier in the planetary surveys. He was obsessed and he rarely ate, and when he did it seemed that meat was the only thing that satisfied him. After a while he didn't even bother cooking it. If the Researchers gained something here, it is no longer present.  

Salmith discovers a freezer tucked away in a corner alcove. It contains the bodies of four researchers, they were mutilated and stored in clearplast bags possibly for future consumption. Upon leaving they examine the diagnostic computer in the hangar and discover that the ship has suffered hyperdrive damage and that the repairs were not sufficient. 

The crew returns to the Listening Post. Salmith and Arden sneak aboard the long parked Scout Ship believing it to be the Doctor's research vessel. Salmith discovers a hidden compartment and opens it by some unknown instinctive means. Inside there is a small durasteel closet compartment with a small shelf. A large Corusca Gem, sits beside some broken pottery and a datapad. Salmith takes the gem and he and Arden catastrophically fail at leaving the ship unseen. The two of them trip over one another and draw the attention of two Snowtroopers who approach them and soon question if they interested in purchasing the ship. 

Darius and Bixel go inside the Listening Post and loiter around waiting for a meeting with the Commander who is not present. They gain entry to the archives once again and eventually find themselves near the Brig. They had heard strange sounds here on their previous visit. They ask the Guard for entry and to their surprise their request is granted. The Snow-trooper shows them the pathetic form of who they alone know to be Doctor Willic Orbo. The guard says that he will only eat raw meat and that he bellows in strange languages at different times of the day and night.. His prisoner truly unnerves him and he has never seen anything like it. Darius and Bixel leave the facility with due haste upon learning that Salmith was successful in finding their prize.

The Imperial Listening Post is on high alert as the group starts their engines and attempt to flee the planet. A large turret emplacement tracks them through the air but Salmith is careful to stay beyond its arc in a bout of fancy flying. The turret slams them with a single blast before they are able to escape up into atmosphere, the Imperial Commander is howling over the Communications channel for them to surrender and land. Perhaps he sensed that they stole away with something important or perhaps he was just upset that they never paid him properly.

Taking a round about course the crew returns home to Nar Shaddaa only to discover that the Meeting of Lieutenants is currently taking place. Bixel Anderon and his second Darius Bel are shuttled off to join the discussion which is already under way.  Salmith, Arden and Grandfather go to visit with Sias Oppal in his jail cell, who is very surprised to see them. 

Given the gem Sias Oppal releases himself and seeks out his master to repurchase his freedom and regain his previous favor. Aruk the Great is ecstatic to see his first Corusca Gem of appropriate size, although it is hazy and obviously flawed. He returns Sias to his office of Chief of Lieutenants and the Devarronian names Salmith as his second for the meeting. The two take Sias's speeder and make their way to the meeting with all haste.

The Ngant Zarvel Factory
The site where Bixel Anderon and Salmith Chejel had their accident that left them in debt to Aruk the Great, seemingly a lifetime ago.

Screams of Rolos can be heard coming from below. He is chained in unbreakable Neutronium and is being eaten alive by a diminutive breed of alien insectoids, commonly known as Butcher Ants. The grated floor of the meeting place reveals the horror of the Chevin being slowly and meticulously consumed from the inside out by an imported colonial hive of the blood-thirsty creatures. A being of his size and vigor  might last several days this way before death by this method. The patient creatures were in no rush.  

When they reach the bleak distribution center of the old Ngant Zarvel factory. They see the human Fast Tony Corellian, the Weequay O'Garn – Son of O'Gar, the Cyborrean Mandible Kexx, the Jilruan Lysos Ajodan the Heartless, the Gamorrean Rott Okk, the Dashade Logriss, along with two dozen other spies, information brokers, guards masters, guilds officers, flesh merchants, spice craftsmen, swoop gang leaders, gun runners, mercenaries, slave masters, lawyers, bankers, investors, gamblers, priests  and emissaries from trusted allies such as the court of Zavaal the Pious.

The current issue up for debate is the acquisition of additional large Corusca Gems. Not nearly enough have been gathered thus far and few are even close to appropriate size. There is some argument over where they might be found and who possesses them. Several have suggested that the vault-worlds of the Criminal Syndicates of the Black Sun and the Tenloss Corporation need to be hit with overwhelming force. Estimates for casualties may number in the thousands or more likely tens of thousands.

Additionally such a bold strategy will surely arose unwanted attention from the Galactic Empire, which while permissive of Aruk's enterprises; are not without their own insatiable greed.

Another possibility is the vaults of "The Wheel", an infamous space-station casino and playground for the wealthy located within a special Exclusion Zone of Imperial Law. Corusca Gems and other rare oddities are often featured as prizes for the contests and gambling that takes place there. The Wheel Administrator, a human named; Simon Greyshade is known to have contacts amongst the wealthiest individuals in the Galaxy. If anyone can get their hands on something so rare and valuable it is him.

Then of course there are Museums on Coruscant and within the Core Worlds which display oddities of the Galaxy. These however are immensely well-defended and many of the items are merely holograms or replicas, to discourage thievery. The real articles being safely stored elsewhere, often in the labyrinthine banks of the Corporate Sector or perhaps the Imperial Citadel.

Now that Bixel Anderon is present and accounted for the votes may be cast for the next Chief of Lieutenants, however the final decision of course remains with Aruk the Great and the Besadii Hutt Elder Council. O'Garn Son of O'Gar currently has the most supporters, though some have abstained and may form a last minute coalition. Logriss stares at Bixel Anderon, his expression: a naked threat.

Mandible Kexx says that the traitor Sias Oppal has corrupted certain individuals now within the room. He claims that Fast Tony Corellian's and Bixel Anderon's votes should be disqualified on the basis of their untrustworthy Core-Worlds origin. He says they are both cowards who hide within the laws and customs of the enemy.

Bixel Anderon reveals that they have a discovered a gem of appropriate size. This information comes as something of a shock to the gathered lieutenants and there is a moment of tension and threats around the room.

The appearance of Sias Oppal derails the vote that the emissary of Zavaal was trying to conclude. Bixel Anderon votes for Fast Tony Corellian, placing him in a tie with O'Garn Son of O'Gar. Sias announces that it is by the will of their Master that he resumes his position as Chief of Lieutenants. It is time to complete the will of the Master and there can be no more delays. Those who will not take part are to be arrested and will likely suffer from a similar fate as poor Rolos below. Treachery will now be met with most depraved cruelties imaginable.




 

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Trouble on the Home-front

With a Squadron of TIE Fighters bearing down on him Bixel Anderon aims the ship Rimwards and ignites his Afterburners. The TIE Fighter Pilots push their machines to the limit to try and make-up the gap. The Gladiator-Class Star Destroyer isn't in the correct position to influence the escape from the system, having elected to try and block a Coreward jump.

Meanwhile onboard Rolos awoke and decided he wouldn't like to be returned to the Hutts. He attacked Sister S'swon in the Medical Bay and nearly kills the young Nexu Xim when it tries to defend her. Dashing to her rescue Darius Bel, climbs down from the turret and engages the mighty Chevin in fist a cuffs, not wanting to open fire onboard his own vessel. Salmith Chejel joins the fray after leaving the cockpit and young Arden Jeht takes over as Co-Pilot for him.

The fight is difficult. Rolos is monstrous in size and strength, he nearly kills Sister S'swon and Xim while he battles Salmith and Darius. Blood is everywhere and Darius fractures bones in his fist punching Rolos right between his eyes and breaking part of the Chevin's skull plate. 

After a particularly devastating blow from a power-armored fist, the Chevin elects to surrender. Darius Bel is exhausted having been slammed into the floor and carried into the workshop by his throat. Salmith  did open fire with his heavy blaster pistol, aiming for the legs but inexplicably the blast had no effect at all.  Darius knocks the giant out and Sister S'swon hurriedly sees to Xim who was badly injured in the fighting.  Bixel reaches the safe distance away from the planet Jhantoria and they leave that world behind them. The TIE Fighters having no hyper-drives are forced to break off their intense but fruitless pursuit and return to the Star Destroyer. 

The crew jumps to Jaminere, capitol of the Allied Tion Sector. A busy, polluted trade-world with a high volume of traffic. They make a brief stop at one of the busy planet's Space Stations and take on some additional food. The 24 miners and guardsman aboard have a had rough flight and are in poor shape. Most haven't eaten in days. Rolos refuses to talk, he has resigned himself to his fate. One of the Weequay Guardsman cast suspicion on the Chevin for revealing the location of the mine to the Iotranian Mercenaries. Rolos was one of the few individuals that knew the clandestined operations details. 

On Nar Shaddaa they are greeted by Aruk the Great and Sias Oppal. They return the Hutt's workers and Durallium ore, which was thought to have been stolen. Their master is exuberant with their successes. The traitorous Chevin Rolos is taken away to rot in a cell, Aruk will have to think long and hard about how to best display his outrage.  

The thirty tons of pure Durallium is an excellent recovery, as the mine was already completely exhausted of its pure ore. Aruk the Great is delighted that it was not stolen after all. It is shipped off immediately to the treasure-world of Kor Besadii. The Hutt mentions that he is proud of them for understanding that this of course was supposed to be included in the original arrangement. The rest of his cargo, having been delivered in tact he pays no mention to at all. As for the slaves and workers, Aruk will see to it that they are provided for. Many of them were in the Guardsman Guild, however this blemish on their record will likely make future employment doubtful. The others that were skilled workers and laborers, paying off their debts and sentences by committing to work in the mine. These likely will be moved to some other locale were they can serve their terms. Regardless most those saved from the Iotran express their various degrees of gratitude.

The computer which Arden took from the Durallium mine, is an expensive piece of machinery fitted with a Holo-Net Receiver. The last transmission originated from space within the Jhantorian system, though aside from a coded numerical series it gives no other details as to the precise location or nature of the originating transmitter. The actual transmission was not saved to the computer's memory (or perhaps it was erased), but the computer does contain information linking it to the 387th Free Irregulars a defunct group of Mercenaries which fought for the Confederates during the Clone Wars. The data stored within seems to indicate that these Mercenaries are the owners of the Y-164 Slave-Transport and that they have fallen on hard times in recent years. The most recent job which they took on involved ambushing an illegal Mining operation and stealing exactly 38 tons of the pure Durallium ore. Their employer paid fairly well for the operation: 125,000 credits. The Mercenaries were provided with special equipment necessary to complete the mission. No record of the employers identity can be found on the device. These types of computers are no longer common, but during the Clone Wars they were disseminated by the Separatists for the purpose of communicating with their auxiliary military forces. The Iotran intended to take slaves, in order to make an extra profit after the jobs completion. It appears that they purchased the extra consumables and medical supplies necessary to keep sentients for a long voyage. They seem to be no strangers to the practice at all.

Fast Tony Corellian invites his nephew Darius over to his luxury apartment in New Vertica City. He tells him that he is worried that he will be selected to replace Sias Oppal. He is one of the senior-most Lieutenants and undoubtedly he makes the Cartel rich like no other. The only thing saving him from the undesired promotion is his humanity. In the current political climate the Hutts have to prove in many ways that they are not pawns of the Galactic Empire, lest their Empire collapse all around them. The trouble is that Fast Tony doesn't have much faith in the other branches of the Hutt's organization. None of his Commanders among the Weequay (O'Garn, Son of O'Gar), Klatoonians (Sokhan Ree Yeet), Cyborreans (Mandible Kexx) or Jilruans (Lysos Ajodan the Heartless) have any spark of creativity. Aruk is surrounded by violent thugs and Sias Oppal served in his position greatly to keep them all honest and focused on the success of the Cartel.

He also tells that there is talk of Rott Okk coming out of retirement and returning to the arena. The old Gamorrean gladiator is now in training on Nal Hutta. There is some talk about the Desijilic Clan and the Besadii Clan needing to settle a dispute and naturally it will involve the blood of their subordinates. Now that the "Butcher" is back, the word is that the Desijilic have recently behaved in a more subdued and polite manner.

Anasha Kanaj suggested to Arden Jeht that the Hutt Cartel Security Forces could make use of her talents. She wonders out loud that the "girl" would not be better off; safe in some server-room, rather than traipsing all over the Galaxy with whores, murderers and slavers. Anasha implied that she has contacts that are looking for anyone with some talent with computers, droids and electronics. She says that she really doesn't see any reason for a little girl to remain around a dangerous place like Blaster Alley Motor Pool & Garage. With Bixel Anderon present, Arden Jeht refused politely and when Anasha pushed; Bixel ended the topic. Since he is not her direct subordinate, she decided to table the matter for the present.

Naadira Calos has been asked to stay on Nal Hutta as a "guest" of Aruk the Great. The Zeltronian Business-Woman overstayed here welcome and bribed her way into her own imprisonment. Her Yaka Body-Guards were "escorted out of the Bootana Hutta Sector" (which might be another way of saying they were exposed to vacuum) and her ship was impounded. 
Bixel Anderon's name came up during recommendations for the one who would interrogate the woman, given his understanding of Zeltronians, the Core Worlds and his background with Law Enforcement and the Sector Rangers. Should he have refused it is likely that she would have just fallen into far less careful hands. 

Naadira was kidnapped by Aruk's goons shortly after she was allowed entry to Aruk's Cantina. There is no way she could have sent a transmission as she was closely guarded and monitored by Hutt Cartel Security the entire time. Her possessions were all confiscated and her ship seized. The Yaka crew were taken away, most likely killed in some cowardly and senseless manner. Bixel questions her and he senses her loyalty to her "secret" employer is based in willingness and love, it is not coerced or purchased. 

The experience with Naadira reminds Bixel of his early marital bliss with Luna Anderon. She asks him if he is the sort to come rescue her in his ship, like a fairy tale princess. It is harsh to relive his past, Bixel is confused and almost immediately turns to drinking very heavily and hard drugs. She accepted that she would have to undergo torture, most likely at the hands of the Weequay Lieutenant O'Garn.

Darius Bel is selected to be among those who carry out the reprisal against the Swoop Gangers of the Nova Cross in South New Vertica City. He is accompanied by the Quarren Golwoch, a Gamorrean named Zugr and a Weequay Cult Warrior of Quay, named Kar Wehd'jix. A squad of Gank Killers is also on hand to flush the gang out, likely to their swoops. The raid is an absolute massacre. The Ganks end up shooting up the gangs base of operations, an abandoned warehouse near the Under-City Limits. Darius Bel captures the leader; a Rodian named Chapel while he is trying to escape and discovers that the reason for the gang's attack against the Motor Pool was because Jantel murdered his son.

Darius Bel confronts Jantel about Chapel's claim that she murdered his son. She laughs and says that Rodians and Devarronians can't interbreed. She tries to play the whole thing off like "Chapel" does Death-Sticks and has the intellect of a Womprat. It really isn't her fault that the local Gang-bangers are dumb enough to shoot up a Hutt Cartel business on a Hutt-owned moon. Darius crushes up her Death Sticks and makes her get back to work.

Sister S'swon has taken ill and Darius takes over watching Xim (who is still recovering from injuries) for a few days. She has elected to recover via a primitive method of smoke and strange jelly rubs. No doubt Bacta would be a faster method and it is likely she contracted the disease whilst she was among the Refugees in the Duros Sector. Anasha Kanaj curiously promotes Darius to Medical Staff for few days in her absence.  Those who know her, realize that this is bad for her financial situation, there has been some talk about a fund being raised for her down at the Refugee Camp in the Duros Sector, but so far it doesn't look good.

Salmith Chejel is sent by Sias Oppal to locate one of the Galaxy's leading authorities on Corusca Gems; Bash Fateau who makes his business over the world of Yavin Prime, a massive gas giant located in the Gordian Reach Sector of the Outer Rim Territories. The human has spent his life in search of the gems and at great personal expense he has outfitted a vessel and hired on a crew to "dive" the Gas-world. Mr.Fateau is rumored to have sensory equipment capable of detecting the frequency of the power contained within a Corusca Gem. This seems unlikely however because he has yet to uncover a single gem, even after searching for nearly a decade. The Iktochi Scout elects to take Grandfather along, but they discover that the Yavin System is completely uninhabited. After consulting his star charts the Scout looks for answers in a nearby system, on a planet called Torque.

After landing on the small world, Salmith discovers from agents of Bwahl the Hutt that Bash Fateau has been recently kidnapped from a local cantina at blaster-point along with his Astromech Droid by a group of large Cyborgs who left by unknown means. No one saw a ship leave the planet, there was no way to stop it from happening just like it did. A member of Bash's crew was killed and they have put together a 20,000 credit Bounty for his return. Salmith notices that Bwahl entertains Imperial Officers in his establishments, this Hutt while not part of the Five Families, he helps facilitate arrangements between Hutt Space and the Galactic Empire.

Salmith searches outside the city limits and he finds some signs of a large ship having taken off, although he is fairly certain that due to its location it would have been plainly seen from the city by any observer. Especially ones who supposedly searching diligently for their companion. Grandfather comments that the "large cyborgs" could be the same Yaka that accompanied Naadira Calos before she was arrested. He returns to Hutt Space with news of the human "expert's" abduction.

Upon their return, Puskha the Greater, the Chief Mechanic of the Blaster Alley Motor Pool & Garage  asked Salmith and Grandfather to borrow a sum of 10,000 credits. He says he can pay the money back in 11 days, (36 standard days). Puskha's nephew needs a number of items to enter the Duresian Shipwright's Guild as an apprentice. Puskha can't afford it right now, not with layoffs coming up and the Shop losing business. He has yet to receive an answer.

EV-9D3 casts suspicion on Besslich to Arden Jeht, the Supervisor Droid openly accuses the Givin of sending and receiving coded transmissions from the Garage on a daily basis. EV-9D3 blatantly confronted Besslich and he recoiled from her and has been avoiding her ever since. She claims he is a Desilijic Clan Spy and that he puts everything in danger by playing outside the rules and ignoring protocol.

Bixel Anderon is confronted in the local cantina by Logriss, the Dashade Bounty Hunter. The Lieutenants will meet soon and Logriss wants Bixel's/"Blaster Alley's" support in opposing O'Garn, Son of O'Gar's (the Weequay General) bid to become Chief of Lieutenants. O'Garn is popular, has reputable history with the Besadii Hutt Clan and he is an excellent warrior and veteran. However he is a General, not an Administrator. He is far too religious and primitive to ever be able to lead an organization such as their's. Logriss says he is biased against O'Garn. Logriss's threats are plain, if Bixel backs O'Garn there are going to be problems in the future.

After the harrowing experience with "Stonewall" Logriss, Jantel dubiously arrives to soothe the Boss-Man's nerves. Bixel and Jantel spend the night doing death-sticks and enjoying each others company. There is No illusion that she is trying to garner some kind of favor after her recent mistakes and the Shop getting shot up. 

Arden Jeht investigated the claim and discovered the encrypted code. After deciphering it with the help of her Archive Droid, she discovered that Besslich is making arrangements to send credits to a male, family member. There is nothing nefarious taking place, in her estimation despite the Supervisor Droid's paranoia. 

The Birth of Durga the Hutt will be celebrated by all members of Aruk the Great's employees. The festivities will take place at Aruk's Cantina and although it is not a Hutt Elder Council sanctioned event (there will be no official representatives) it is expected that a modest gift be given and libations be made in his honor. Everyone at the Blaster Alley Motor Pool & Garage has had a mandatory lean on their pay (according to their grade) to afford a suitable gift. The shop has ordered a custom Ubrikkian Industries Floater, that has been modified to reflect the Young Hutts scholarly pursuits. The vehicle has been made safe and especially sturdy and it is likely that this vehicle will last him for a century or two, before he outgrows it. There is a lot of pressure on the garage to get it right. Word has it that the Galactic Standard Motor Pool & Garage are planning the same gift, though Durga is not of the Desajilic Clan which certainly is odd. Some extra finances would enable Blaster Alley to upgrade their vehicle and provide all sorts of Bronzium overlays and extras like a back-up repulsor.

In his dreams Salmith Chejel sees a cloudy blanket of grey and he is cold and wet, he feels anxious but he does not know why. There is a light nearby and he hears familiar voices calling to each-other.
 
Sias Oppal has been placed under a bizarre sort of house arrest by the Besadii Hutt Clan Elders. His failure to discover the nature of the disappearance of Arok the Smoking Hutt has led to their desire to find his replacement as Chief of Lieutenants. During this transition period Oppal is still being used as an Advisor, however he no longer has the Authority to issue commands and direct the Syndicates activities. He will likely be executed in some spectacular fashion at a later date. Sias's many enemies openly mock him now and say that he was the one responsible for the loss of the Smoking Hutt and that he must face justice. Truthfully nobody knows the hierarchy or had the respect of the Lieutenants like Sias Oppal. No one is qualified to replace him, but someone surely must and the Hutts take a poor view of sentiment or misplaced loyalty. 

Sias Oppal from his own jail cell has bid that the crew leaves immediately for Rhen Var, an icy and inhospitable world. Aruk the Great seeks a Corusca Gem that is the size of sentient's clenched fist. This is perhaps the only way that Sias can see that his life is spared. Yavin Prime is reputed for Corusca Gems in legend, but Rhen Var is historically known to contain them.

The Imperial Listening Post is located along one of Rhen Var's snow-covered northern mountain chains. The Tower and dishes are part of a larger network of sensors located all across the Galaxy. These posts spy on the movements and communications of the Galactic Empire's many perceived enemies and once functioned to gather scientific data for the Grand Army of the Republic. Unlikely as it seems this ice-world was contested during the Clone Wars.  Though its operation is largely automated by droids, it is patrolled and defended by a Garrison of Imperial Snowtroopers, from the 12th Oversector Army. Their primary Fortification, Landing Platform and Barracks are located at lower altitude on the same face of the mountain as the Tower. 

Sias Oppal knows that the Planetary Commander Milon Landem is as corrupt as they come. Certain preferred individuals are allowed access to Rhen Var and its ancient Ruins. Bribing one's way onto the planet is easy and it will take the pressure of the Imperial Garrison off of the search for the gem. Not much is widely known about Rhen Var,  It is assumed that the Corusca Gems would need to develop beneath extreme pressure and very likely powerful mining equipment would be needed to drill deep beneath the ice and rock.

Commander Milon Landem is starved for the comforts of the Core Worlds. He foolishly spoke out of turn about the Emperor and was caught by COMPNOR. His punishment could have been a lot worse, at least he still draws breath. Landem is from an influential family and was a decorated soldier during the Clone Wars, though it matters very little now. He is corrupt and greedy, craving all the luxuries which he has been denied these last several years. Milon has given up hope that Rhen Var hides anything of value, he will let fools wander around freezing all they like, so long as they provide him with entertainment or a distraction from his life of tedium.

 

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The Mines of Jhantoria



Silas Oppal
 has sent the team to the humid jungle world of Jhantoria in search of a Chevin Mine Overseer named Rolos. The Besadii Hutt Cartel operates an illegal Durallium mine in the wilds there. The local planetary government knows very little about the venture, due to the efforts of a few corrupt Administrators who are in the Hutt's employ.

The team briefly meets Naadira Calos, a Zeltronian business woman who has fallen out of the graces with Aruk the Great. Naadira is able to gain a private audience with the promise of a lavish gift of gems and material wealth. 

After arriving in Jhantor City Spaceport, the team learns from an Administrator that the mine was attacked several days ago. The local Port Authority are not equipped to deal with the unknown force that defeated the Cartel's enforcers that were posted in the mine. The entire operation is in jeopardy and an Imperial Star Destroyer has been snooping around the system. 

The team takes off in search of the mine. As they approach the coordinates they are attacked by a Proton Missile launcher-team that is hidden in the Jungle. They retaliate with their ship's laser turrets and presumably destroy the weapon. As they land they can see signs of a large battle which took place recently.

The mine was attacked by Iotran Mercenaries from 387th Free Irregulars. Bodies of the Hutt's enforcers are strewn around the mine entrance and a large Y164 Slave Transport is landed nearby. The survivors were pressed into mining the Durallium and many could not keep up a pace that satisfied their new masters.

Inside the mine, Rolos is discovered to have been severely beaten and imprisoned. The Captain of the Iotran Mercenaries is overheard speaking to a woman, presumably over the Holo-Net and she advises him to flee the area and that the Imperials have been notified. The team guns down the last of the mercenaries and rescue a total of 24 miners that were being kept in cells. 

Before leaving they load the last of the mined Durallium ore onto their Freighter and steal the computers and data left at the mine's office.  

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Rumors heard around Blaster Alley...
"... you know better than to trust a strange computer."


"A pod of Rogue Lamproids have taken up residence beneath the sub-structure of the old Garage. A couple of the local Death-stick junkies have been attacked and it is likely that the creatures consider the area to be their territory. Be careful when you go to your Speeder after your shift."

"The local Swoop Gangs have resumed fighting, after a few short years of peace. Hutt Cartel Security isn't doing anything about it, of course. Meanwhile the neighborhood has turned into a shooting gallery!"

"The Galactic Standard Motor Pool & Garage has been filching our customers and ruining our reputation whenever they get the chance. It has been getting personal and business is going elsewhere."

"Expect lay-offs to be coming up next quarter, it will be temporary while the business  self-audits and sets new target goals. Pilots and Mechanics will likely get it worst. Make other plans for employment now if you can." 

 

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HoloNet Galactic News Channel 2
"Your First News Source"

"A surviving Baktoid Armor Workshop Droid-Factory was discovered in the Outer Rim Territories, orbiting a Moon in the Dalchon system.   A local Imperial Fleet of the 14th Oversector under the Command of Moff Murquan led the attack. After the destruction of the Droid Control Center, resistance ceased and the Factory was seized. Moff Murquan went on record saying that "Imperial tactics were executed flawlessly and that the Sector is finally rid of the Confederates once and for all."

"Grand Moff Cinzero Gann of the 5th Oversector was invited to Coruscant to receive the Imperial Medal of Valor from Emperor Palpatine at the Imperial Citadel. It was awarded in recognition for the Grand Moff's conspicuous bravery and patriotic character. A parade of ten Imperial Stormtrooper Legions were on hand at the ceremony, as well as a fly-over by Pilots from the "White Cuirass" Elite Fighter Corps." 

"An Aide of the Imperial Senator from the Bormea Sector; Rygus Foln was arrested today at his home on Brentaal IV in the Core Worlds. The Senator's Aide, a career politician of 22 years, is accused of Conspiracy to provide material support to enemies of the Galactic Authority and aiding and abetting criminals within his home. Though he denies the charges; a large supply of spice was found in his home as well as alien criminals, hidden in a sub-level."

"The Corulag Imperial Military Academy celebrates the completion of their new Naval History Library. Grand Moff Wilfurd Therbon, a born-native of the planet gave a rousing speech to this year's Cadets and welcomed them to the new building." 

 

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Rumors heard around Nar Shaddaa...
"I don't trust him either! But... he is my friend."

"Any aliens species that fought with or sided for the Confederacy during the Clone Wars has to face some pretty harsh penalties. Ships are being confiscated and some spacers are disappearing completely. There is talk of non-humans leaving the known regions of space to escape their bounties."

"Gank Killers are out in force on the Smugglers Moon. The Hutts don't usually let them have so much free reign, but all of Hutt Space is changing with the Rise of the Galactic Empire. There is legitimate reason for the Hutts to fear assassination, the Gank Killers are meant to protect the more fragile parts of their operations in this time of uncertainty."


"Grand Moff Therbon has met with the Besadii Clan Elders on several occasions. The 12th Oversector Army; called the Cerulian Spear has given Hutt Space a very wide berth, but at what cost? Surely the Galactic Empire has nothing to fear from the Hutts and yet their presence and patrols are very scarce."

"Most don't notice, but the infighting that resulted after the disappearance of Arok the Smoking Hutt has only gotten worse. Aruk the Great has taken over, though some believe that he is the one responsible for his elder's disappearance. Aruk allows no one to smoke in his presence, in respect for the deceased."

"Aruk has many rivals but his greatest is the entire Desilijic Hutt Clan. So far Aruk has fended them off remarkably and even embarrassed them. Some say it was a foolish mistake, others claim it goes to prove he really is "the Great Hutt of Our Time."

"The Bounty-Hunter Stonewall Logriz has been busy lately. Aruk's consolidation of power within the Besadii Clan remains in question. An animosity is growing with Gardulla the Elder, Aruk's sister."

"Naadira Calos is playing a dangerous game. Her insistence on keeping her Employer a secret in hurting her chances of doing business with the Hutts. She is wearing out her welcome."

"There was some kind of attack on a temple in the Little Kintan District. It is the second-such attack, following the killings at the temple of Quay in New Vertica City, three days ago. The local Weequay and Nikto are outraged and beg the Hutt's for Justice. So far no one has claimed responsibility."

"The Red Sector is a place where one can get their hands on pretty much anything they desire; for a price. Nothing is off-limits; illegal weapons, slaves, dangerous beasts, military equipment, explosives, etc, it is all for sale. This part of the Smuggler's Moon gets rough, so be careful."

"Sias Opaal will soon be replaced as Chief of Lieutenants in the Besadii Clan. Though he has done fine work, he has failed to find out what has become of Arok "the Smoking Hutt". He failed to protect his former Master and no one can avenge him."

"The Duros Sector has fallen on hard times. The Ex-Confederate Corporations had many of their assets seized, and the once prosperous part of Nar Shaddaa is starting to look like a ghost town. The Duros Shipwright's Guild is still open, but mostly you only see refugees around that part of the Smuggler's Moon."


 

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