Dark Times Tuesday - Episodic Star Wars Edge of the Empire at Gryphon Games and Comics

The Diary of Dr. Tal'Kabo Utcats
The Jewel of Yavin

I have been reviewing footage from the surveillance gear I left in the tiny folks’ temple. I’d have named them by now but given the planet has yet to be crossed off the Imperial Reserve list the race itself remains undiscovered and unnamed. To do so at this juncture would invite trouble should they end up being named something else; how I wish I’d left a droid with full translation function instead. Since my theft of the radioactive stone that had been, well, irradiating their population four galactic years ago, maybe eleven or so of their years, they seem to have eschewed the more accurate representation of myself enrobed in radiation gear for a mural depicting a dog-faced creature being speared by what I assume is some sort of sun god. Remarkable how humanoid species all seem to come up with the same amalgamations of animalistic humanoids to worship, or in this case revile. More importantly, they have installed a new, albeit smaller, stone of the same variety back into the temple! Although it is rather a shame that the annual festival they held chasing one of their number for a stone seems to be on the downward slope to being an activity for children, this latest development seems a good opportunity for me to rid them of what I do not doubt, given my camera’s fatal malfunctioning shortly thereafter, is yet another radioactive hazard, as well as rid myself of Teemo the Hutt’s presence once and for all. Still, I would rather NOT have them subject to repeatedly irradiating themselves, given that this appears to be the first actual city on this young world. A more impressive display of godly theft might leave a decent enough cultural impression, but I’d rather not risk the Imperial censure and loss of academic credentials that would follow. Perhaps catering to their newly depicted dog-thief-god would do the trick. Fortunately for me I know a dog that owes me a favor.


Blast! Of all the times to get blackmailed… again. Drawn to Bespin on some silly errand. Whatever job this is had better pay well, and after I was so close to finding out where the girl went. Another lost trail I’ll have to pick up after this is over, if this doesn’t pay enough that is.


Curse me for not thinking this one through. The offer was too good, I’ll be able to pay off Teemo and have credits to spare! Imagine if I could just get the Old Arrowhead up and running, I’d be free to wander the galaxy again. All I have to do is talk up some rock until the bid gets maximized. I was able to get a good look at the thing, and if this were the days of the Republic I know for certain that a certain… cult… would have bought the thing outright, so it is valuable, but now I’ve put myself in a pickle, trying to get in the good graces of another respected archaeologist, and posing as a student under a fake name too! I have to write an entire dissertation in one night thanks to her damn droid. I’m too old to be binging on energy drinks like my navy days. Sadly, this will have to do.

What kind of name is “Ford.” I should have picked something with more weight like Dolarhyde or Deckard.


All that effort and it’s the alien that lands me a date with the Professor. On the bright side we’ll have something to talk about.


A most marvelous race! I had a feeling about that girl, Calorie or whatever her name was. Betting on an unknown like that has certainly paid off, and with the group looking to split the pot I’ll be able to finish off my debt to Teemo once and for all on this alone! I was celebrating with the professor in as restrained a manner I could when something suddenly clicked in my mind. The stone is useful to people of a certain persuasion, and this whole affair could be far more than it seems. The museum’s security on this station is far less than even a campus’ security. Supposedly that cult was exterminated, I had nothing against them personally, they were each admirable and worth a battalion in combat, but if they are involved this could get complicated fast. I’ll have to be on the look out for whatever Imperial presence might make itself known, they might be my only ticket out of here if this job gets out of hand.
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Having taken a second look at the recent winnings, I only have half of what I need to pay my debts, especially if I need some on hand in case things get out of hand.

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Followup Report
Session 9

Pesnyt,

Turns out we had a lot of fun trying to offload those four crates I told you about. Even ran into a doctor who was able to point out which ages would taste the best. We invited him, after a long story about his dreams, and a couple of his friends. Before the the sale, he volunteered to help us crack each crate open and arrange things. Turns out your advice on the ones popular with Weequay was still correct, but the crew was less than careful handling our only bottle and it broke on us. When I told them how much it was worth they were adamant about getting more. My advice was to let it be since it cost us enough to get what we had. It would amuse you to know that our new, rather twitchy, Drall friend kept calling the weequay whiskey “Firespray whiskey” for some reason; a ship certainly but I doubt you’d find a whiskey called that in any system with Imperial copyright laws. One of the other crates had a bottle that might have interested you. This btotle was filled with “nanites to enhhnce the flavor,” our less-than-cautious friends almost cracked it open right there but we were able to convince them that wasn’t in our best interests since we were still selling these. Corellian whiskey was pretty hot at the station, our buyer found us right away and bought three crates, although out of embarrassment we didn’t say anything about the special Weequay blend. You might want to track some down yourself, this particular brand would fetch 2kk credits. Before you find a bottle though, my crew could use a caution in how to properly handle such a find bottle before they break another one.
Things are going great in the system, by the way. Our little port is expanding and might even draw notice from the Imperial Trade Bureau. We might even have to find some permanent residence soon. I’ll believe it when I see it though, barely any notice thus far, but we are pretty popular with the local crowd.
I’ve been feeling cooped up on the ship, bad dreams, so I plan on taking a hiking trip for all of next week, just me and nature. Come along if you get the chance to visit, there’s a dreamy hiking trail, just look for the tallest mountain with trees on it north of the port.

Respectfully,
Maha Bha’rata

PS: I just noticed the spelling errors.

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Dreen's ramblings in the dark

the tall ones think that Dreen doesn’t see. but Dreen sees. Stupid, filthy tall ones. They smell. They let the bad men go. They no listen to “Good” Dreen. No one will suspect “Good” Dreen. (scratch scratch) If Dreen gets no money from the bad man, Dreen may get money from the Tall Men who let him go…

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Sei's Report

Dear Pesnyt,

I had a blast with a Gand at the bar, turns out they can party hard in interesting times. You should have seen him, he had some unusual tricks up his sleeve that made the whole place a riot, too bad he couldn’t handle his liquor very well. Corellian whiskey seems to be going for a great price this last week, we got a good offer on one crate. I advise stocking up with at least 4 crates before things start going back up after the sector’s political holiday I’ve got as many iced on my crew’s new ship. I personally want to sell them individually but I don’t know the quality of what I’ve got yet. Crew’s already going to open up one to share, say they can smell it’s good stuff. I’ve got to make sure the crew don’t get their hands on the rest of my crates, wouldn’t want them to wind up in prison for piloting drunk. We got a new ship and our Rodian babies it like a pet nexu and swears she had a dream, something about stormtroopers in space coming to blow it up with proton torpedoes. I was too busy, making sure the crates were keeping cool, to pay much attention. If you’re in my sector give me a call, we can discuss things over a crate or three for a few weeks while I watch the prices.

Yours in friendship,
Maha Bha’rata

PS: Our new guy Orso insists I tell you he said “Hi.” I don’t get rodians.

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Luck might be changing

Ruda Eemiss

Mentor,

After the previous mission the pack went back to Port Nowhere for some rest. While we were there I got a message from a contact I made a while back and since some of the pack took off again with the main ship we crammed into a tiny thing and went for a visit. I was hoping he’d have some work but as it turns out I may have solved our transportation problem. Having just one ship is proving a hassle for a pack that often splits with no notice and I happened to have acquired my own ship. I just needed to get it and my contact was able to help me out. Some of the crew went along and we were able to find it. It needs some work but it will be perfect for an alternate means of transport and eventually I can use it as my own when I strike out and leave the pack.

I was impressed this time with everyone that went. The human I used to view as the leader had some good ideas and they worked out in the end. The Bothan finally worked with the team and held her own in a fight. My contact hooked us up with some new gadgets and I think I’m finally figuring out just how I should proceed as a hunter.

There was also a new addition. My contact had a friend he wanted to help find work. He’s a Rodian warrior with experience fighting in the last war. I was able to learn much from him to build on the information I’ve been accumulating about galactic history. He is not a mentor, though, and our combat styles are different so I don’t think he can add to my hunting skills. Still, I look forward to future talks and it is welcome to have a fellow Rodian around, even if he’s not actually from Rodia.

Ruda

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Sei's Log: Entry 9
Personal Log

When we got back to Port Nowhere we found our old fighter waiting for us. No sign of Khorbin though, not even a note. It was actually good that we found it because Kalira had something to take care of elsewhere and Ruda wanted to meet up with her old friend Sticks back on Barabel. It’s going to be cramped quarters but me and Slie are all for going.


Slie insisted on taking King with him. I feel a bit sorry for the robo-mutt since his olfactory sensors are going to have as much trouble sniffing around this tub as I am. As soon as we land I’m finding a shower.


Sticks seems a lot cooler than I remember him. That might have been the free drinks talking though. He introduced us to another rodian, name of Orso. In the bar they told us stories about the old Separatist War, apparently they fought for the wrong side. More importantly, they had stories about Jedi, fighting in the war. Their story is that the Jedi used to be peacekeepers, and that it was on the same day that the Empire formed that they were all executed by the military, and the same day that the Confederate leadership was executed. Considering the apparent simultaneity they describe, I doubt that these facts could be coincidental. The… impressions I get of the Jedi are largely positive. During our talk, well, their talk – I didn’t say anything so I guess I can’t claim to be part of the conversation – I tried reaching out again to see if what they were saying was true. Maybe it was the alcohol but it was much easier this time to get a feel for their minds, I could even catch glimmers of actual, coherent thoughts. It didn’t last long but I could tell they were telling the truth. Ruda mostly carried the conversation, more interested in the Jedi as difficult bounties than anything else I would say. I’m actually feeling a bit happy that I’m starting to get this Force thing down. I just wish I had time to find somewhere that has information on it. I considered starting my own line of questioning but when Orso asked me something I figured it was best to remain silent. I’m already enough of an oddity to this crew for whatever connection I might have to the Jedi, no need to reinforce that, or let anyone outside know.
Ruda and Sticks got along pretty well for the rest. Sticks even offered to look up the ship whose ownership slip she got the last time we ran guns for the guy. I honestly didn’t think she’d ever manage to cash in that ticket, but Sticks found out the location of the ship, an Imperial world called Taris. Even though Sticks had been hinting at a job earlier, Ruda was so excited about the possibility of getting a ship that I kinda got swept along, the beer helped. Orso decided to come along for the ride too, just another wanderer looking for work, just like us.


This fighter is too damn small for four people. What were we thinking taking on extra help. R5 calculated the best route possible but it’s been two days and I’m about ready to get out and walk.



Taris was… interesting. Slie tried to find us a bar where we could get some information. I still laugh a bit when I think of his “special encounter” with that ugor. It was definitely worth it to watch Slie walk away from that one, don’t think I could ever un-see what a drunk ugor might do with a human. I gave him a pat on the back and showed the group to a real Imperial bar. If he’d just cross-referenced the local map I looked at at the spaceport with the location of housing and Imperial facilities he might have gotten us there in the first place.
Whatever Slie did to piss off that Imperial officer, it certainly went south in a hurry. Fortunately for us it seemed that officer had a few closer enemies to worry about. We ended up having to fight off some Hutt’s thugs, I took a pretty bad shot to the chest, lucky I have some protection. Afterwards one of the stormtroopers tried to “help” me but it was more stressful having to tell him where my organs were than anything else. He did help me out as I saw to my own wounds though. Kinda reminds you that stormtroopers are people too. For some reason Ruda went and sat down at a table behind me; she could have at least tried to help. Probably go distracted by something shiny again.


Turns out Ruda and Slie kept the officer alive, and he was grateful enough to get us entry to look at ships in the impound lot. After our Imperial guest left us to our own devices, a little creativity with the info on her impound slip got us a -*. I am legitimately excited to see what we can do with two ships now. I might even get to pilot it since I’ve got more training than anyone else here.

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End of my rope

Ruda Eemiss

Mentor,

I am again flustered about this group. Our latest job was not even a job, or a bounty. We were blackmailed into helping one of our crew out. I wasn’t against helping her out but I’m trying to learn negotiation and counter offers. Unfortunately one of the crew caught on to my plan but instead of working with the entire crew like I was doing she went off on her own and tried to bluff. Almost botched the whole thing. I know I told you I am actively trying to insinuate myself into the pack but this pack may not be the right one for me.

Every pack has a leader, alpha male, or some such that the others look to for direction. I thought this pack had one but I was mistaken. They spend so much time arguing with each other over every little detail that sometimes I want to scream or shoot them, or both. I am fed up with wasting so much time on indecision, or worse, bad decisions. The Bothan nearly shot our chances of getting anything besides threats out of the contact. The pilot argues or second guesses every decision made by anyone else. Even the astromech droid has an attitude. At one point the person I used to see as the leader asked me to pretend to be a mentor. Can you believe that? I would never assume I was ready to give knowledge I’m sure I don’t have yet and to think he would even suggest it shows how little these humans know about honor.

Even so, I feel that if someone doesn’t step into the position of group leader soon I will have to do it, but I don’t think they’ll listen as I’m so young and that’s not what they want anyway. So if they can’t figure something out I will have to find a new pack or strike out on my own. I’m sure I can use the contacts I’ve gained to find another path. At least my contacts may have information and be polite about it. Most of the group contacts we’ve dealt with are all the same: cocky, fearless, and self-assured. The next one that threatens me on my own ship and smugly throws it in my face will get a bullet in the head and forget the bounty.

I know I’ve improved, Mentor. I work hard and my combat skills are better than ever. I’ve also realized that combat may not be my best suit so I’m working my natural abilities into my hunting skills to see how they can complement each other. I’m just realizing I may have gone as far as I can go at this location and my have to move on soon. I will let you know when that happens and send information once I get there. Until I get that figured out I’ll run with this pack and try to keep my sanity.

Ruda

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Sei's Log: Entry 8

Picked up another job. Garall left so we picked up a new hire, a Lepi. She seems very excitable. Things could have gone better during our “interview” process. Some human blackmailing the group, claimed his people would let Za’aril off the hook from a bounty if we played along. While everyone else decided what to do about the job, I thought I could help everyone else out and get some useful info. At least this backfire only cost me my pride, and a glass of good alcohol.


Have some time to think while we’re waiting for our ride, destination is a backwater named Hoth. It’s been only a week since we met that Jedi and I already feel like I’m backsliding. I didn’t tell the others this but I’m very confused now about what I should do to trust them. I thought we were finally working things out but when Garall left all I could do is wonder about who is going to be there for me to trust. Ruda did the appropriate thing in calling out my behavior, and I told the truth that it’s still difficult for me to invest in others, even though I left out the part about how little I feel we’ve come together after losing another member of our crew.
-——————————————

Right now I wish I hadn’t wasted some of my Whyren’s on that blackmailer. I’m not cut out for intrigues, Agera would have run circles around the human. It’s funny how I can still miss her but not feel sad anymore. Looking back, I can see I missed a lot of opportunities to learn her tricks of persuasion, but I really feel now that her way wasn’t for me. I have been, and I want to be, as truthful as I can be, to quote the Jedi “from a point of view.” Maybe more truthful than I have to be…


I keep replaying the conversation with that Jedi in my head over and over, and in retrospect I can actually remember feeling her on the surface of my thoughts. I tried holding that feeling in my mind and trying it out a couple of times, it seems to be a natural extension of how I can feel others around me sometimes. Thus far I’ve been able to pick out emotions when I can concentrate on an individual, I haven’t had much luck refining the technique but I can feel I’m on the right track.


Planet Hoth coming into range. Going over the plan again. Honestly the “fake prisoner” routine has to be one of the most time-tested cliches ever to grace bad holovids. Slie makes a rather excellent Imperial captain though, just the right smattering of overconfidence and self-aggrandizement. Ruda’s on point as, ironically enough, the bounty hunter that’s bringing us in. Couldn’t tell if she was being sarcastic earlier about commanding Slie’s dog – not exactly standard imperial issue that one – but I get the feeling she’d enjoy it.

Weapons on the sled, in and out if we can get the ball rolling.



I thought the Jedi was as weird as things were going to get for us. Part of me can’t believe what I just witnessed.

The plan went off well enough at the start. We arrived to find the prisoners were already rioting, and half the guard staff were locked outside. Slie and Kalira managed to convince the guard captain of their identities, but from what they described when Bait managed to open the door, things were much worse than that. Slie was able to leverage things to our advantage, got the Captain to trust him enough that he left his own men behind to guard the ship while we went spelunking – prisoners in front as bait, of course.

When we got to the cave we got to see what was killing the prisoners. Giant white mammals, like wookies with horns and no compunctions about using claws. We fought off three of them as we approached the facility, I didn’t see how the others did but the Lepi and Bait did a very good job laying on the fire, I was able to get in some well-placed shots while they kept the snow thing engaged. A couple of cave-ins spared us from the effort of having to kill more than one, but we lost the sled and our Imperial escort. We pressed on.

Throughout the walk I tried using my senses to get a feel of what we might run into, guess I really should start thinking of it as the Force because it’s definitely not all within me to control. Whatever was going on in this place, it was like I just couldn’t get a handle on my concentration enough to feel where anything was. There was… that other thing I could have tried – I certainly was scared enough – but I already backslid enough trying to pry information from out employer, there’s no way in any given hell that I’m backsliding on using this Force thing the way that feels right. Fear isn’t what’s going to drive me from now on, so I won’t use it. It makes me laugh to write this, but maybe I need the others to keep me from doing stupid things on my own more than for learning what is right, I seem to be getting better at catching my mistakes… after they happen.

When we got inside, I can’t even begin to describe the horror. A virus that turns people into beasts. We did our job, rushed it as much as we could, and got out alive. There was some debate on whether or not to keep some of the samples. I was for tossing the virus out the airlock into the nearest star. Prudence didn’t win in my opinion, and we turned over what we got. I hope we haven’t unleashed something terrible on the galaxy.

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Mentor: Just more questions

Ruda Eemiss

Mentor,

I haven’t written in a while. Things have gotten strange in a way I haven’t experienced before. I thought I would get answers but only have more questions. I met someone recently, a bounty I didn’t turn in so I could try to gain knowledge of the hunt. I did gain some knowledge but not what I was trying to. I thought she could teach me how to be a better hunter as she was but instead she showed me that I should strive to be the best hunter I already am, not worry about becoming a greater hunter that is different from who I am. Her words are wise and yet disheartening. Does this mean I will never reach that level I have worked towards for so long because I cannot be that type of hunter, or can I get there eventually by embracing who I am now and working with what I have? She reminded me of you with her conundrums.

Beyond that she opened my eyes to the greater world. I thought I was educated but I apparently know little about events and truth. I am reminded that I am still young and have much to learn but there are also things out there that I will never learn unless I dig up the truth on my own. I was searching for knowledge to become smarter, but perhaps I should be looking for wisdom. It will serve me better in the long run and may also help me figure out who I should be and how I will get there.

Until that day, I shall remain your ignorant student.

Ruda

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Journal Day 2

I don’t know what to do right now it was all I could do just to leave with out shoving grenades up their asses. I hate it when I lose it like that. so I left to come into my room and meditate like I learned to do from my visits to the Jedi Temple. I just can’t let things like that get to me I know these people are good people who have been lied to. I can understand being precocious and trying to be safe but that’s not what they were doing they were just letting there fear rule them. I just hope at least that when the Jedi and her friend left that they didn’t think to ill of us. I think I will contact my father and see if maybe I can meetup with him sometime so we can talk in person about these events.

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