The Pirates of Zebulon Prime
- Real World Date: 10/17/2008
- In-Game Date: 21 Enola, 3,971 BBY
The adventure began on the world of Zebulon Beta, part of the binary planetary system of Zebulon in the Vargis Tau System. We joined our three young padawans in the training yards of the Citadel of Kal-Kor, home to the Unified Force Academy, under the watchful eye of Jedi Knight Lornn Varri.
The padawans consisted of Quest Fios (Kel Dor Jedi 1, combat build, played by Damon), Rann Nassin (Miraluka Jedi 1, combat build, played by EvilGenius) and Rade Gasa (Human Jedi 1, diplomatic build, played by Erilar).
Varri, lead teacher for the academy’s field instruction exercises, had summoned them to face off against Jedi training droid JPD-14 (Solider 1, lightsaber trained, played by Nate). The combat would serve to evaluate padawans’ combat capabilities in preparation for their first mission off-world.
The combat took place in a courtyard littered with stone pillars, with the three padawans starting equadistant from the droid. The three Jedi trying out their various battle moves, including Force Stun (ineffective against droids), Move Object (used to pin JPD-14 to a column, which was very effective) and Force Slam. The droid proved to be a tough match for the group, but once they pinned him against the pillar, they were able to move in on the flanks and finally wear him down. If memory serves, Quest Fios got in the most definitive blows, earning the respect of his fellow padawans (who proved far less effective in martial combat, mostly because of dice rolling).
Strong in the Force, Weak in Skills
After the training bout, Jedi Knight Lornn Varri charged the padawans with their first offworld assignment: investigate the crash of the transport Surly Susanna on Zebulon Prime (a jungle world, and sister planet to Zebulon Beta, where the academy is located). JPD-14 was assigned to escort them, and serve as a field trainer.
The academy arranged travel to the Prime aboard the Dynamic-class freighter Ruby Raptor, which was crewed by Captain Korinth Cloudskimmer, a pilot and scout for Starrior Exploration Corp., and his Trandoshan first mate, Tursserk. The ship was docked at the planet’s only starport, located in its capitol city of Jolus. The drive into the city was uneventful, though during the course of it the party discovered that only one padawan, Quest Fios, had the pilot ability … or knew how to understand Binary (and thus, was the only one who could speak with the droid. This further impressed his fellow padawans, who began to wonder if perhaps their teachers might have slipped a Jedi Knight into their ranks to secretly observe them.
After meeting up with the crew of the Ruby Raptor, the ship headed off to the Prime. En route they found themselves being hailed by another ship. The vessel — which displayed the burning claw signifying it as a pirate ship — was a Ghtrock 720-class freighter, apparently modified to incorporate a docking clamp and electronics jammers. JPD-14 and Rann immediately jumping on the Ruby Raptor’s laser turrets while Rade headed up to the cockpit.
Jumping on the radio, Rade attempted to talk the other ship into standing down, but when he identified himself as Jedi, it’s surprised captain promised to blow them out of the sky and broke off communications.
A brief battle ensued between the two evenly-matched freighters. The pirates hit with their opening volley, but it failed to penetrate the Ruby Raptor’s shields and hull plating. The Jedi on the turrets fired back, with Rann getting off an exceptional shot that smashed through the enemy’s shields, blew past its armor, and left it all but crippled.
Unable to continue the fight, the pirates broke off the attack and began limping away. The Ruby Raptor, intent on their mission and fearful that the pirates might get in a lucky blast of their own, were content to let them go. They continued on to the Prime.
Touchdown on the Prime
The Ruby Raptor proceeded to the planet, following the last known coordinates location of the crashed ship’s tracking beacon. They arrived to find the ship had plowed into the planet, carving out a small crater that had partially re-filled with swampy water.
The padawans and their droid escort scouted out the ship, carefully moving through the swamp. Quest decided to take a shortcut by using Force Surge to jump to the top of the ship, through an open hatch, and drop into the hold.
After hacking into the ship’s computer, JPD-14 determined that from the ship’s log that at least some of the crew had likely survived the crash. He also determined that the ship’s gun turret was still active, and that the ship had been carrying hardware and supplies for base camps on the Prime.
The Jedi were able to find no trace of the cargo, but Rann’s uncanny connection to the Force allowed him to perceive a swath of dead algae in the swamp water. He posited that some sort of heavy machinery — a repulser sled transport perhaps — had been here and leaking oil, which killed the algae.
He was proven right a short time later when he heard the sound of an approaching sled, apparently powered by some sort of jet turbines. This vessel arrived to find JPD-14 on the turret, Rann weighting in the water, and the other Jedi poised to act.
The thugs onboard the sled attempted to convince the Jedi that they were the rightful owners of the ship, and outraged that the padawans were trespassing. The Jedi, of course, saw through this. Rade was able to Force compel and otherwise persuade the leader of the thugs to admit why he was really there: they were part of a band of pirates that had forced the ship down from orbit, looted its hull, captured its surviving crew of two, and then returned a second time to strip the rest of the ship’s gear.
Rade convinced the thug to surrender, and he agreed, dropping his blaster and vibro-ax. He ordered his men to do the same; one obeyed but the two on the sled reached for their weapons instead. JPD-14, who had been waiting for them to take such an action, fired on the sled’s jet engines. He scored a critical hit, causing both engines to explode. The sled — and its two-men crew — were destroyed in a tremendous fireball.
Into the Pirate Base
After Rade persuaded the leader of the thugs that cooperating was in his best interests, the thug explained that the pirates were operating out of an ancient Zebulon stone shrine attached to a cavern complex. The front entrance was protected by a heavy laser turret (capable of badly damaging approaching ships) but that the rear entrance — concealed by a large waterfall — led to a cavern that held the ship. The Jedi infiltrated the complex through the waterfall, disabled the ship (which was in the process of being repaired from the devastating fight in orbit) and wiped out the battle droids they encountered inside.
JPD-14 was able to convince the computer system to overload the turbolaser’s systems, causing it to explode (and drawing the attention of the bulk of the complex’s pirate defenders). The leader of the pirates however, was apparently out on a hunting expedition, and was not there to rally his troops).
The heroes found a protocol droid that had had a astronavigation module crudely patched into its main processor; this caused the machine to act oddly, and complain greatly about the abuse heaped upon it. They were able to remove the module, convince the droid to join them, rescue the captain and first mate of the downed freighter Surly Susanna, and then flee the complex before the pirates turned their attention to the hanger bay.
Escaping on the Ruby Raptor, they hacked the astronavigation module and learned that the pirates had been fed ship travel itineraries — including theirs — by someone using the account of Torg Shepherdson, assistant portmaster at the Jolus starport. When confronted with this, Torg admitted to selling the data, and then blocking the distress calls from the ships he’d given to the pirates. He had given them the Jedi’s transport information because he’d hoped the pirates would have destroyed them, ending the investigation, but alas, that didn’t work. Now he’s fearful of both the government AND the pirates, whom he effectively double-crossed by feeding said pirates false shipping information.
Experience & Rewards
- XP per character: 275