Star Wars: Dawn of Defiance

Episode Six: Session Two
Shoot-Out at the Outlanders

After talking to Resh the heroes learn that the ISB agent they were told about, Lesan Dos might know how to get into the building that Resh believes the Sarlacc Project is based: this being the Imeici Spire.

They head straight to the cantina, in the middle of the night, to find a small crowd watching swoop races and drinking the night away. They split up, looking for Dos, and spy someone who matches his description by the vid-screens. Valdor spots the agent’s bodyguards, and the heroes quickly confer over their comlinks, and plan: Tracer goes out to the alleyway, while the other are to follow after they lure Dos outside.

Hacking into Dos’ datapad, Valdor sends him a message and arranges a meeting outside, saying something along the lines of “Your cover has been compromised, meet outside”. He seems to fall for it, and as Dos exits the cantina, one of the bodyguards following, the other heroes follow.

Outside, Tracer grabs Dos, and the others pile outside. Then Valdor spots a surveillance droid hovering nearby, sensors trained on the alleyway: he opens fire, misses, and then notices that the bodyguards have entered the alleyway, one following Dos, the other having gone round the front. And he seems to be accompanied by someone dressed in workers’ overalls, who looks just like Lesan Dos: there is two of them!

But there is no time to think, as a fire-fight breaks out:
Riddick starts by using the Force to smash the surveillance droid into the wall of the building, crushing some of its sensors, and Valdor follows up with a shot that almost knocks it from the sky. The Droid of Doom opens fire on the nearest bodyguard, while Tracer stuns the Dos that he has grabbed.

More blaster bolts fly. The Jedi pulls out his pistol and takes out the flying droid before it can do much, and the battle droid badly injures the bodyguard, and Tracer opens fire with multiple shots at both bodyguards: the first falls down, knocked out.

Riddick leaps onto a crate and draws his vibro-blade, slicing into the other bodyguard, and sees the other Dos pull a blaster. He uses the Force to Negate the blast, much to the agent’s surprise. “Jedi!” he calls out, clearly worried, but also realising what capturing one means. Tracerensures that the first Dos is well and truly stunned, and Valdor pours stun bolts into the other Dos, dazing him.

Then Riddick is hit by a well-aimed blaster bolt, injuring the jedi. He retaliates by blasting the agent with his pistol, taking him down. Then a combined fire of stun bolts from Valdor, Tracer and the Droid of Doom take down the other Dos.

For a few minutes all seems quiet: they dump the bodies in the alleyway, tie-up the two Dos’s and decide that they’ll take them with them, grab their speeder, and head off somewhere quiet to interrogate the two captured agents.

But before they can do so, around the corner another agent and a patrol of stormtroopers charge around the corner, all ready to fire, obviously called in as reinforcements.

Riddick grabs his lightsabre from the Droid, ready to ignite it and blow his cover if he has too. As the Imperials open fire, all missing, the other heroes fire back and kill two of the troopers and the agent in a hail of blaster fire. The other troopers follow straight after, but then a pursuit transport screams down from over the building, releasing more troopers and another agent Its cannons turn on the heroes and open fire, smashing holes in to the ground and smashing the surrounding crates. Grenades are lobbed by both sides, taking the wind from the heroes, but wounding several of the Imperials and scorching the hull of the transport.

As theDroid of Doom, Tracer and Valdor concentrate on taking out the Imperials, Riddick makes a dash for their speeder.

Meanwhile, Valdor takes out the new agent, and the other two deal with the troopers. They then turn their fire on the transport, which returns fire and manages to score a hit on Valdor, knocking him to the wall. Then the transport suffers a series of powerful hits that disable it, and it crashes into the wall.

Riddick arrives with the speeder. They haul their prisoners on board, and take off. And as they do so, a pair of Imperial Pursuit Speeders arrive and give chase.

End of Session

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Episode Six: Session One
Heart of the Empire

Coruscant.

Or, as it now better know, Imperial Centre, is the heart of the Empire. It is a world that our heroes would be better off avoiding. They all have bounties on their heads; three would likely never see the light of day if they were discovered, and all have good reasons for never wanting to set foot on the planet.

But they have a mission. And to Imperial Centre they go, in their freshly repaired transport, the Heart of Alderaan (with an altered transponder and new name), with false identities and disguised as merchants looking for work. With untraceable credits and the name of a contact (Tero Reskan), the elite members of the Alderaan Resistance find themselves in an approach vector of the Imperial Centre, stuck in a traffic jam after narrowly avoiding a collision with a bulky transport that comes careening out of hyperspace much too close to the space lanes.

They land in the city without any trouble, taking a berth and clearing customs will minimal fuss. Locating a suitable, out of the way hostel on the lower levels, the heroes waste no time heading off into the city to track down information on the Sarlacc Project.

They don’t have many leads, but one seems promising. They have learnt of a former associate of Darga the Hutt, a Sullustan named Resh. It takes them several hours, well into the night, to track down someone who can help them: an information broker called Eetoa Ro. After making contact they meet up with the speeder-bike riding teenager and, after some haggling and handing over 2500 credits, learn that Resh has a hidden warehouse in a section of the lower levels known as the Works; and that he is also being hunted by bounty hunters. The heroes get directions and immediately set off, using their own air-speeder to get to the lower levels. After securing it they hike to the warehouse.

As they are moving through a fume-choked street surrounded by factories and walkways, they start to cross a bridge and a voice calls out for them to stop. It demands they pay a toll, and in the fume-shrouded shadows, a number of Rodians can be seen moving into position while the heroes are on the bridge.

Never one to be told what to do or held hostage to anything, the trigger-happy Droid of Doom opens fire, injuring the gang’s leader; who then falls to a shot from Tracer as he draws his pistols and fires. Valdor opens fire too, wounding another Rodian, and the Jedi moves up to engage one gang member in melee; and as that rodian backs away, Riddick lashes out with his vibroblade and wounds him too.

The gang starts to run, but before they can three are shot down by the Droid of Doom, Tracer and Valdor. And while Riddick wounds another, that member then runs to the nearest stairwell and escapes.

An hour later the heroes find themselves at the warehouse where they believe Resh to be hiding. They spot a crashed speeder on the roof, and as they near the entrance they hear raised voices from inside. Valdor translates and tells the others that there are bounty hunters inside, trying to get Resh.

The heroes sneak in, moving through the crates and boxes of the front of the warehouse. Across the walkways several devaronian bounty hunters are trying to get into a locked and armoured office at the far end. Their leader, a battle-suited devaronian called Sisla, is telling Resh to come out or they’ll come in guns blazing. At the bottom of the warehouse if a sludge of oil, and from there two more bounty hunters are climbing the scaffolding to the office.

Just as those two hunters are finishing their climb, the heroes attack, surprising the hunters:

All but Tracer hit, the clone trooper’s shot going wide. Valdor shots again and knocks one of the hunters off the scaffolding, down into the oily mess. Both the droid and the Jedi fire and miss, while Tracer fires with both his weapons and seriously injures one of the hunters on the walkway. None of the heroes take any damage as the hunters’ blaster bolts smash into the surrounding creates.

Then one hunter lobs a grenade, and it explodes and stuns the droid and the Jedi, but little more than that due to the cover they have.

Valdor pops up and fires again, taking out the badly injured hunter. Riddick fires too, a well-aimed shot that takes down another hunter, who is injured already by a concentrated blast from the Droid of Doom. Sisla and Tracer exchange fire, but neither does anything close to damaging the other. Frustrated, Tracer turns on one of the other hunters, and takes him out.

Now only Sisla is standing, and all the heroes pour blaster bolts into him. He manages to get a couple of shots off, all missing. Then he is felled by a blast from the Droid of Doom.

With the bounty hunters now dealt with, the heroes rescue Resh and sit him down for a nice talk.

End of Session

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Episode Six: The Mission

As you enter the stark white briefing room, Admiral Varth waits impatiently for you to take your seats. The Admiral looks extremely tired and sleep deprived. It takes you a moment to realize that Captain Verana sits nearby, near the familiar assisting astromech droid. Admiral Varth begins.

“Congratulations. The data you obtained on Nizon is very revealing, so much so that I fear that once the Empire realizes it has been compromised, they will take steps to invalidate it. I’m afraid that time is not on our side.

“Thanks to you, we now know the origin of the Sarlacc Project, if not its final purpose.” The Admiral signals the droid, and the holoprojector activates, showing a very familiar city-planet.

“I suppose we should not be surprised that the project’s origin and design team resides on Imper—I mean, Coruscant. I do not believe that the entire project is housed there, given the casualty figures I have seen in my former Imperial life. However, it is apparent from the new data that the project is controlled from somewhere in this area.”

The Admiral waves at the droid, and the view zooms to the planet’s surface, highlighting a large district that includes some of the Empire’s most important governmental structures, such as the
Imperial Senate. “Unfortunately, we do not have an exact fix on the building or agency directly responsible for the project. The leads we have are impossible to pursue remotely. Therefore, we must send you in as soon as possible.”

Captain Verana speaks in a serious tone. “Before we delve into the details, you should know that our benefactor has fully authorised this mission, and he wanted me to personally assure you of its importance.”

The holoprojector zooms out to show thousands of starships, space stations, and satellites orbiting or approaching Coruscant.

“Coruscant is, of course, the center of the Empire. If you have not been to the system since the days of the Republic, the amount of traffic and the level of security may astound you. Peace and order, even under an oppressive government, have brought new opportunities to corporations and individuals throughout the galaxy.

Between the prosperity of the Core Worlds and the rebuilding of the planets damaged by the Clone Wars, traffic to Coruscant has increased many times what it was only a few years ago. Security has also increased, so it will be vital that you have the proper documentation and permits to approach the system and land at a suitable port. I will provide this for you.”

With that, the Admiral finally takes a seat, leaving the holoprojector on as a nearly silent reminder of your final destination. “Now, I’m sure you have additional questions.”

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Episode Six: Core of Corruption
Opening Crawl

Episode Six Opening Crawl

STAR WARS: DAWN OF DEFIANCE
Episode VI
THE CORE OF CORRUPTION

The Nazren uprising is over. Out of the chaos, Senator Organa’s agents return to the starship Resurgence with new data essential to discovering the origins of the mysterious Sarlacc Project.

Fearing that swift Imperial action will invalidate the compromised information, the Imperial traitor Admiral Varth has reassembled Organa’s agents for a dangerous trip to the heart of the Empire. There they must continue their desperate search for the Sarlacc Project, under the oppressive gaze of the Empire itself . . .

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Episode Five: Session Four
End of Episode

At the plaza the heroes quickly analyse the opposition between them and the central dome containing the communications centre: three laser turrets and a patrolling AT-ST.

Their plan is simple: they walk in, open fire, lob grenades to take out the nearest turret and deal with the walker; all entering from the south side so that only one turret can target them.

The heroes make short work of the AT-ST and turret, suffering nothing more than a few bruises. Seems they are a powerful force to be reckoned with, and Imperial Walkers are no match for them.

Inside the dome the technicians there surrender, especially as their leaders have fled. As Sartok deals with the communications and sets in motion events that’ll liberate his planet, the heroes locate the data about the Sarlacc Project, only to learn that it has been downloaded by remote access: from a location up on the mountainside, where the half-completed shield generator stands.

Leaving Sartok to his work, the heroes trek up the mountain and arrive at the platform, where they discover a docked ship and the bounty hunter, Vril Vrakth. He gloats that he has them exactly where he wants them, and that not only does he have the data that they are looking for, but Inquisitor Draco will pay him well for their capture, or death.

The heroes waste no time talking and take the offensive, with the Droid of Doom scoring a critical hit with the first shot, injuring the bounty hunter; Vril Vrakth takes a step back, dealing with the pain and getting his breath back, while from over the scaffolding that supports the platform a trio of crab droids charge the heroes; they hit the former Senator and the Battle Droid with powerful charges but miss the Jedi. In retaliation the heroes pour blaster bolts into the droids,.

Then Vril Vrakth lobs a thermal detonator into the heroes midst, badly wounding Valdor who backs off to heal himself and injuring the rest. The Droid of Doom and Tracer blast away at the droids, who are also injured by the lobbed grenade. Then Riddick moves up to deal with the bounty hunter, almost falling down a loose panel that shifts beneath his feet; as he recovers his balance, he uses to Force to throw two of the droids into each other, smashing them to a pulp.

The Droid of Doom continues to blast away at the crab droid, and then Vril Vrakth lobs another detonator, destroying his own droid, but also wounding the heroes again, although not as badly as before. Valdor and Tracer open fire on Vril, but his battle armour absorbs the bolts. But it doesn’t stop the cutting blade of Riddick’s lightsabre.

With the enemy droid now destroyed, the Droid of Doom fires at Vril, but misses by a wide margin; and the bounty hunter lobs another grenade, catching the heroes in its blast once again, all are badly injured, and Valdor falls unconscious. Then the mighty Tracer takes careful aim and takes out Vril Vrakth with a shot to the head!

In the aftermath the heroes recover the data, return to the city and help Sartok mop up the enemy in his city. Within a matter of hours the planet is liberated, the Imperials forces withdrawing from the city and off the planet. The heroes are honoured by the nazren, then take their leave and return to the Resurgence to deliver the data.

End of Episode

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Episode Five: Session Three
Across the rioting city

Following Sartok further into the city, as the riot spreads along the streets from pockets of resistance long in place and now acting upon their leader’s orders, the heroes spot a transport landing in a nearby hanger, black smoke pouring from poorly maintained thrusters.

Sartok tells them that it is a slaver ship, coming to collect another batch of slaves. If those slaves can be freed, his people will join the growing resistance and the victory will help boost the morale of the rioters.

Happy to help, even more happy to blast slavers, the heroes agree and head off to the hanger to find eight slavers escorting a small number of slaves towards the waiting ship; a number of nek hounds guard them.

The heroes race in and open fire, Riddick using the Force to slam several to the ground; a lucky shot from return fire hits Valdor and wounds him. More shots are exchanged, two slavers fall dead, another couple injured, the Droid of Doom absorbs several blasts but takes a glancing blow as one shot penetrates his shields.

Tracer kills another, the Droid of Doom injures one, while Valdor lobs a grenade and wounds several more. Riddick uses the Force to throw one salver into another, then Blasts one to the ground. And all the while the heroes dodge blaster bolts, swings of heavy clubs, and ignore the pretty useless hounds.

The rest of the slavers fall quickly, the remaining hounds fleeing. Sartok helps his people from their chains, and all head back into the city.

By now the riot has exploded across the city and the Imperial forces are trying to subdue it. Units are diverted from less critical, opening the way for the heroes. Then, from the mountainside, the working turbolaser starts to open fire, burning holes into the buildings and blowing chunks out of the city. One shot hits a building, which turns out to be a school; a group of nazren children pour out onto the roof as the lower floors burst into flames.

As the heroes look round for a way to help them, Stormtroopers appear on the roofs of the opposite buildings and start opening fire on the people below.

While Sartok helps his people flee and tries to find a way to extinguish the fire, the heroes make their way up to an adjacent building to deal with the troopers. They surprise the troopers stationed there and cut them down quickly, but not before one opens up with full auto-fire and wears down the Jedi. The heroes move to the edge of the roof, blasting the troopers below, then, one-by-one, the heroes leap across the gap to the next roof, taking out the troopers there.

Within less than a minute the troopers are all dead, the children saved, and the way clear.

Sartok tells them that the passage to the plaza, where the control centre is located, in now open, and that they can save the planet if they move quickly and take control.

The heroes follow the resistance leader, weapons ready, eager to claim back the planet for these people.

End of Session

Heroes are now Level 10.

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Episode Five: Session Two
Jail Break

During the day the heroes watch the camp and plan, then move under the cover of darkness. With Tracer dressed up as a Storm Trooper and the Droid of Doom disguised as a slave (using his hologram), Valdor hanging back to cover them, and th Jedi Knight Riddick cloaking himself with the Force, the heroes make their move.

The disguised heroes advance on the camp, calling up to the ’troopers in the towers, telling them he has a new prisoner. They open the gates to let them in, while the Jedi sneak closer and uses the Force to drain the energy from the mechanisms controlling the gate. As the ’troopers try to close them, cursing the poor components, the disguised Droid of Doom goes up to Sartok and tells him that they are here to free him; he in turn passes word to the other captives, and all are ready to break free once the firing starts.

This happens sooner than planned when one of the Nek hounds starts sniffing around the two heroes. Knowing that surprise is their only advantage, Riddick uses the Force to hurl the hound into the two ’troopers in a tower, smashing the gun emplacement there and knocking them all prone. The other heroes immediately open fire, as Sartok and his people start making a move to the gates and out to freedom.

Blaster bolts fly across the sky, multiple shots hitting ’troopers and heroes alike, the Jedi using a Force Blast to knock another ’trooper to the floor. Some of the prisoners fall to blaster fire, and even Sartok takes a hit as he ushers his people to the gates. The first kill for the heroes goes to the Droid of Doom as he deadeyes a ’trooper; while Tracer wounds another and Riddick strengthens himself using the Force, and Valdor gives covering fire to the slaves now escaping the camp.

The heroes back out with the slaves, with more blaster bolts keeping the ’troopers down, and the Jedi Force Slams another couple of ’troopers to the floor. The Battle Droid kills another trooper, and then they are all away, escaping into the city, with Sartok leading the heroes to a safe haven: a cave hidden part way up the mountain on which the city is built.

Sartok makes a quick sweep of the cavern, checking to ensure that it has not been disturbed. Apparently satisfied, he crouches by the simple fire and motions for the heroes to sit. He takes a few long breaths, then turns and speaks:

“My world is enslaved, and we have come to realize that no negotiation or appeal to reason can free us. The only way we shall regain control of Nizon is to take it back by force, which requires us to face the weapons and training of the Empire. That battle must begin here—all other settlements look to us for inspiration and leadership. For the sake of our world, we must take up arms against our oppressors.

“The cost shall be high for my people, but they are eager to pay it. The cost for remaining slaves would be higher, and it would be paid by our children and our children’s children. If you will help us, we are ready to throw off the yoke of tyranny, even if we lose our lives. Liberty is too precious to sell for the chance of quieter, safer lives under the dark shadow of oppression.

“I have allies throughout the city who are ready to raise arms against the Empire at my signal. We are not a warlike people, but the stormtroopers have shown us the basics of violence, and we
have learned the lesson well. Against soldiers, I have no doubt that my people would fight bravely with a fair chance at victory. But the Imperial forces have vehicles—large, metal, two-legged machines of war—that we cannot face. My people fear these machines, and though many would still fight bravely, too many would wait to see if we could topple them. Such an attack would be staggered and lose too much of its impact. Only if many of us take up arms at once can we overthrow our oppressors.

“But you are outsiders, and to be standing here, you must have opposed the Empire’s machines successfully. Many of my less confident allies believe that with your aid, even the walking war
machines could not stop us. This would give them the confidence to bring enough forces to bear at once. If we can take control of the planetary shields and turbolasers that they have nearly finished building on Mount Antas, we can complete those structures ourselves and use them to defend against further Imperial attack. The first step in such an attack is a citywide riot, which I am prepared to trigger.

“I know this world is not yours, that our people are not your people. But if you will aid us, you will always have a place of honour among the Nazren.”

Naturally, the heroes agree to help, and a plan is formed: as Sartok starts the riots, the heroes will head to Checkpoint Gamma and open the gate there, removing the Imperial guards who watch it. Once that is open, the resistance can gain access to the major parts of the city. Sartok will meet the heroes after they have defeated the Checkpoint, then take them to the control centre at the heart of the city, to reclaim the city and help the heroes get the information that they have come for.

The heroes waste no time, and after a brief rest to tend to a few minor wounds, they head over to Checkpoint Gamma and sneak up to it, quickly spotting the RT-AT walkers present. They move up to attack, but their cover is blown when one of the walkers spots the Jedi, and then the fight begins.

Riddick opens up with a powerful Move Object, shoving a walker into the wall of the adjacent building, but the walker’s armour is tough and the impact does no damage. The Droid of Doom opens fire, burning holes in another walker. The walker returns fire, but the Jedi blocks and deflects the bolts, returning them to the walker, damaging it some more, and then both Tracer and Valdor add to its damage.

Then a third walker moves into view and launches a mortar, which catches the Jedi in its blast, injuring him; the other walker opens fire at the Droid, but misses.

Riddick charges, leaping over the barrier, and with a mighty swing of his lightsabre he cuts the damaged walker down, trapping and knocking its pilot unconscious. The other heroes open fire, scoring more hits, and ducking behind cover to avoid the walkers’ return fire. Another flurry of fire for the heroes takes out the second walker, the last shot by Valdor taking out its pilot. Then all four converge on the remaining walker, lightsabre and blaster fire taking it down, the kill shot going to a well-aimed deadeye by Tracer.

As the smoke clears, Sartok returns and leads them further into the city, as all around them the sounds of a city-wide riot can be clearly heard.

End of Session

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Episode Five: Session One, continued
Into the City

After landing the transport and putting the fighter back into the hanger bay, hidden in a valley a good few miles from the only city, the heroes head off in their landspeeder and speederbikes, and hide them before walking into the city as nothing more exotic than any spacefarer that comes there.

The city is a major metropolis, but it’s also the only big city to be found anywhere. There is starship traffic, proving that the city has a spaceport—most likely, the only one on the planet. The city is built on a flat, rocky region between a large mountain and rough badlands of valleys and hills. There is construction on the mountain overlooking the city, but from here it’s impossible to tell exactly what’s being built. Starship traffic is regular enough to suggest the presence of
more than just Imperial forces and the local population. A few small freighters, manufactured by numerous different companies, are landing or taking off. Given that they lack any sign of Imperial
markings or identification broadcasts, they are probably privately owned, meaning that at least a few members of other species will be found in the city, making it easier for the heroes to move around there.

The city is sprawling, with 10- to 15-story buildings crowded around wide streets and public fountains. Most of the city looks old, constructed of stone and natural caverns. Ancient statues of rock and ornate decorative carvings are worked into most buildings, and even the roads are paved with carved stones. More modern constructions can also be seen, mostly watch-posts bolted onto buildings or gates that block access to some streets. Posters, wanted signs, and recruitment fliers for the Empire have been plastered everywhere, ugly debris atop the city’s natural charm.

Most of the creatures the heroes see are obviously locals, the Nazren. None seem to carry weapons, not even something as crude as a knife or club. Their heads are generally downcast and their shoulders slumped, but whenever one glances at an Imperial poster or flyer, it looks up, and a flash of hatred shows briefly in its eyes. Though much less common, aliens from dozens of worlds also walk through the streets. Most are followed by one or two Nazren carrying heavy bundles of goods. The aliens go by without comment and are diverse enough that there is no reason the heroes own appearance should draw unwanted attention. The Imperial presence here is also obvious. Stormtroopers in small groups patrol openly through the city, and in the distance there is the mechanical stomp of military walkers, though nothing as big as an AT-AT would fit in the streets.

Knowing that they need to learn what is going on, the heroes decide the best way would be to free some slaves from the Trandoshan slavers lurking around the city street’s. They follow a group of four slavers escorting six downtrodden Nazren, and as they are about to make a surprise attack, Riddick spots a patrol of Imperial Stormtroopers dragging a Nazren woman from her home, telling her that she is under arrest for helping the resistance. From inside the building the sound of a child crying can be clearly heard.

Tracer opens the fight with a sniping shot, taking out a Stormtrooper. Then the others join in, and in quick succession Riddick Force Slams four of the Troopers to the ground, knocking them unconscious, the Droid of Doom blows a hoel through the chest of another Trooper, Tracer double attacks the Slavers, injuring one and killing another outright, and then Valdor takes out the injured Slaver with a well-placed shot. The remaining Slaver pulls out an axe, looking around in shock and surprise.

As Riddick helps the woman drag the Stormtrooper bodies off the street, the other three heroes take shots at the last Slaver, but only the Droid of Doom hits, and he only injures him. That Slaver turns tail and begins to run, but is shot down by the Droid of Doom before he can escape.

They help clear the street and free the slaves, who thank them and hurry off. The woman, Adruk, tells them that the Imperials have been occupying the city for about a year, shipping her people off as slaves to some unknown location. Anyone who resists is placed in the detainment camp in the centre of town, before being sold-off as slaves. She also tells them that a Zabrak bounty hunter called Vril Vrakth has recently arrived on Nizon with a collection of old crab droids. Most people think that Vrakth is hunting Sartok, but that he keeps asking about newcomers, and that he seems to have the aid of Imperial troops. Many believe that Vrakth is chasing an Imperial bounty on a non-Nazren target.

Sartok is their resistance leader, who has been accidentally arrested and placed in the camp. At the moment the Imperials have no idea who he is, but if they do, then any hope of resisting the Empire’s rule will end with him. If the heroes can free him, they will have gained a valuable ally who might well be able to help them.

The heroes begin planning the liberation of Sartok and the Nazren at the camp.

End of Session One

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Episode Five: Session One
Against the Dragon

After weeks of meditation and study, Master Denia once more calls the heroes together with news. The meditation techniques she learned from the holocron have proven to be helpful, and she believes that she has located the home planet of the slaves the heroes failed to rescued in [[Episode Three: Session Three | The Queen of Air and Darkness]]. After consulting the Force, she believes that the
alien slaves were in fact Nazren, a species from Nizon, an obscure planet in the Maldrood Sector.
A special request by Senator Organa to the University of Aldera revealed only that the planet Nizon is a barren world in the Centares System. It lies near Centares, an industrial world occupied by the Empire from which Imperial forces have been withdrawing for some months now. Captain Verana has managed to locate Nizon in his navcomputer and is willing to share the coordinates with the heroes if they agree to investigate the world, and try to locate any data relating to the Sarlacc Project.

The heroes set off in the Heart of Alderaan and enter the Centares system not far from the debris cloud surrounding the planet Nizon.

Hyperspace fades, and the stars find their rightful positions again as they arrive in the Centares System, far enough from Centares to avoid any starship with sensors sharp enough to find them. A Message to Spacers broadcasts automatically, warning travelers to be cautious of rogue meteor fragments. They can see that the system has seven planets, many of which are ringed by fragments from a large asteroid belt between the second and third planets. Centares and Nizon sit within asteroids, too, but they’re also cloaked by dust clouds. There’s a lot of rock in nearby space.

Then all of the ship’s sensors and warning alarms go off at once. Between them and Nizon, emerging from the dust cloud that surrounds the world, is a Star Destroyer! It’s an older, smaller model than the new Imperial class that the Empire is producing, but it’s still a fully functional capital ship, with an escort of V-wing fighters. Having just escorted a transport ship (of a type they’ve seen before) out of Nizon’s orbit, the Star Destroyer turns and heads toward the Heart of Alderaan. The Imperial ship makes no effort to communicate, and its approach is direct—and hostile. It’s transponder identifies it as the Victory II-class Star Destroyer, the Arkanian Dragon.

Chatter over the transceiver reveals additional ships in the system. At least two other Star Destroyers are in orbit around Nizon, though nowhere near their position. Dozens of starfighters, mostly V-wings and V-19 Torrent models, are also in orbit around the planet. A few other ships, including bulk carriers and personal starships, are flying about in the planet’s atmosphere, below the dust cloud. At least one ship still orbits Centares, maintaining an Imperial presence there. From the sound of the chatter, it’s another old Star Destroyer design, though perhaps a bigger design. Whatever it is, the heroes don’t want to be sitting in orbit if it decides to investigate.

In the Heart of Alderaan the two soldiers, the Droid of Doom and Tracer man the laser cannons and turbolaser respectively, while Valdor operates the shields, sensors and engineering side. While their pilot droid keeps the ship flying, Riddick is flying along in one of the Headhunters.

It is immediately obvious that the Imperials are hostile and looking for a fight, or at least to catch them in a tractor-beam and board the ship. Since they are now wanted criminals, they agree that the best plan is to blast past the blockade and straight through the debris cloud to the safety of the planet below.

As their ship takes evasive action and starts to move away from the Star Destroyer, the escorting V-Wings move to intercept both ships. One opens fires straight away, the shot going wide. Another fires its laser cannons at the Heart of Alderaan, but the transport’s shields are too powerful and absorb the attack without any reduction in power. The transport fires back, hitting one of the fighters, and the Jedi retaliates and burns a hole in the hull of another.

A V-Wing slips into close range and engages the transport in a dogfight, and Riddick finds himself similarly engaged. Shots are fired by both sides, but all miss. Again the transport takes a hit, but the shields are too strong, and then the Droid of Doom counterattacks and blows the V-Wing out of the stars; quickly followed by a heavy burst of fire from Tracer, taking out a second fighter. Meanwhile, Riddick disengages from his dogfight and scores a hit on the enemy fighter as he does so.

By now the Star Destroyer has closed into long range, opening fire with its multiple turbolaser emplacements, all missing the agile ships; even the sweep of a tractor-beam fails to land.

The Jedi scores another hit against his opponent, while dodging the return fire. The remaining fighter misses the transport, and then the Droid of Doom takes it out with another well=placed shot, the fighter exploding. Then the rumbling Star Destroyer gets lucky and a burst of turbolaser bolts scream into the transport’s shields, weakening them and burning scorch lines across the hull. Somewhere inside there is a small explosion, and the recharge capacitors suddenly go off line [in game terms: no recharging shields until damage is repaired]. The jolt makes the heroes realise that they need to go away quickly, before another lucky shot takes out the ship.

As Riddick takes out the last V-Wing, the Heart of Alderaan heads towards the dust cloud, while the Droid of Doom and Tracer open fire on the Star Destroyer, hoping to get a lucky shot in. They manage a few hits, but the larger vessel’s shields protect it.

With the Star Destroyer slowly pursuing, the Heart of Alderaan enters the dust cloud, hitting a large rock and taking some minor damage, and more shots are exchanged, but while the former Clone Trooper hits, he does no damage. The Jedi turns his fighter towards the planet and darts into the cloud, skilfully dodging the larger rocks using the Force.

Both heroes pilot their vessels further into the cloud, shields and careful piloting keeping them safe. The Star Destroyer continues to fire, but halts its pursuit at the edge of the cloud. On the edge of entering the atmosphere, the Heart of Alderaan hits another rock, and then just as they are about to move out of range of the Star Destroyer, Tracer gets lucky and lands a hit on the Imperial ship: a critical hit that tears through the Star Destroyer’s shields and punches a hole in its hull.

The heroes escape, knowing that the Imperials aren’t likely to forget this encounter, and that the Imperials on the planet below might well be expecting them…

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Episode Five: The First to Strike
Opening Crawl

Episode Five

STAR WARS: DAWN OF DEFIANCE
Episode V
THE FIRST TO STRIKE

It is a time of rebellion in the galaxy. Members of the Alderaanian resistance have
won a major victory against the Empire, and more battles are close at hand.

The Empire’s mistreatment of non-Humans continues throughout the galaxy,
as Wookiees, Mon Calamari, and other species are forced to work
as slaves on Imperial projects.

Aboard the Resurgence, Master Denia has peered into the Force and discovered
another group of oppressed beings, ones who might hold the key to
unlocking the mystery of the Sarlacc Project . . .

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