To the Emerald Cliffs
- Real World Date: 12/13/2008
- In-Game Date: 30-31 Enola, 3,971 BBY
Episode 1 Chapter 5:
To the Emerald CliffsThe young padawans of the Unified Force Academy have been tasked with uncovering the mystery of the Pirates of Zebulon. After wining the Nightside Rally with the help of their allies from the Aeon Harrier they were able to discover that the pirate base is on Zebulon Prime in a place called the "Emerald Cliffs". A quick search on the holonet then turned disastrous as they sprung a trap set by a hacker by the name of Zaxor. After fighting their way past some hacked battle droids the padawans consulted their field instructor Jedi Knight Lornn Varri who has sent them to the prime in search of the cliffs…
Turmoil at Camp Great Tree
The southern reach of Zebulon Prime is home to the Zend Forest, a huge stretch of towering trees that covers an area the size of Texas.
Camp Great Tree, the planet's most sizable settlement, is built on an immense tree that towers over the rest of the forest. It’s actually a tightly knight grove of trees that have been bound together over time; each member tree is easily the size of a red-wood, and the whole thing towers a half-mile into the sky.
It is home to several landing platforms and a base camp that is anything but civil. There are two kinds of people here: botanists and naturalists exploring the forest, and lumberjacks intent on harvesting the best wood for transport off world.
The two are at each others throats at the best of times, and when the Aeon Harrier arrives things the crew quickly realizes things have gotten worse. It seems that something – or perhaps some things – is preying on both camps. Rather than pulling them together, they have turned even more against one another.
The botanists accuse the lumberjacks of ‘disappearing’ their people to try and strong arm them off world, while the lumberjacks claim the botanists habit of sticking their nose where they don’t belong has woken up some creature.
They’re about to come to blows over the situation when the heroes leave the ship, and start asking questions. The first head to the botanists station, where they find a number of lumberjacks threatening the researchers. After forcing the lumberjacks to stand down and eventually retreat, the Jedi and the crew of the Aeon Harrier speak with the researchers. They learn the botantists’ side of the story, how the lumberjacks’ destruction of the natural habitat has provoked a response from the Zend’s fauna. The researchers demand that the Jedi take action to bring the lumberjacks to justice!
Soon after the heroes head to the Broken Axe Cantina, the local drinking establishment in Camp Great Tree. There they find the lumberjacks they’d driven off earlier boasting about how they’d confronted the Jedi. This time around, Highlife decides to talk to them, and is able to tease out a few more details about the attacks in the forests, and where lumberjacks (and botanists) have gone missing. They find that the disappearances all happened around a large ravine or canyon on the outskirts of the Zend Forest, near where it abuts the Cardiff Mountains. Checking their maps, they see a river along the forest’s edge, but there’s no indication of the canyon.
Meanwhile, Shim’kworr decided to hack into the bar’s automated credit dispenser to see who’d been using it. He discovered that the Zabrakian bounty hunter Koth had been there earlier and withdrawn a sizable amount of credits under the alias “Turin Greenstrider”. Some quick hacking revealed the source of those credits was a temporary bank account on Zebulon Beta: The First Bank of Zebulon. Further tracing reveals the funds originated with a bank account on Taris.
After talking with the lumberjacks, the heroes headed to the landing platform once again, where they talked a reluctant guard into revealing that the bounty hunter’s ship — The Fallen Star — had arrived and then left the day before.
Into the Zend
The heroes head out to where the canyon should be on their maps on a landspeeder rented from Starrior Expeditions in Great Tree. They find the opening to the ravine, and aren’t surprised to notice the green glint of some sort of gemstone or mineral on the exposed cliff face. that night, as they camp, they are attacked by Zebulon Swamp Bats, which attempt to latch on to them and drain their blood. The heroes quickly defeat these monsters.
The next day, they proceed up the river. They soon come across some humans who are butchering bodies of what appear to be lumberjacks. They move to engage these men, quickly discovering that they are pirates Their leader looks to them and says “Finally, a really challenge!” before igniting a crimson red lightsaber!
A tremendous battle ensues as the Jedi battle their Sith opponent, who unleashes terrible Dark Side powers against them, such as a horrifying scream that weakens their bodies and minds. Meanwhile, Zulen and Highlife attempt to deal with the pirates, exchanging volleys of blaster fire while vying for better tactical positions.
The Jedi Quest Fios and the training droid JPD-14 did everything in their power to defeat the Sith, but the villain continously thwarted them, turning aside lightsaber strikes, absorbing the energy from attacks that did hit, and sapping their strength (even that of the droid!) with crushing sonic scream attacks. Finally, and surprisingly, it was was the lowly mechanic Zulen Tek who finished the fight, firing his blaster at the Sith and killing him with a single amazingly lucky (or perhaps Force-guided) shot.
Experience & Rewards
On Zebulon Prime, the heroes found three cred sticks worth 50 credits on each pirate, and one cred stick worth 150 credits on the Sith apprentice. They also found three blaster pistols, three vibroaxes, a scarlet-crystalled red lightsaber, a backpack, food supplies, water, belt knife, short-range encrypted comm link (which they have not deciphered), and a glow rod.