STAR WARS: RETROSPECTION- The Bannermen
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The White Tower of Halloy
Another sun is setting on Halloy, the desolate desert world upon which only a scant few cities have managed to flourish. There is one city from which the sunset can best be viewed; the Stad, the great walled city built against one of the largest mountains on the planet's face. The White Tower of Halloy dominates its skyline. In the light of the setting sun, it is dyed a fierce molten gold.
At the very top of the White Tower is the King's Court. Upon the throne a new King is seated, a self-styled overlord. Lothar Tull, the Dark King in the White Tower.
Lothar has not shed the dark sorcerer's robes that he has born for decades, even as he begins his rule. However, he has adopted a crown, after a fashion- a circlet of black metal that rests on his brow.
He sits uneasily on the throne; it is not yet repaired from the damage it took during the last King's overthrow. Before him, two of his loyal subjects stand. The first is a gaunt man in light blast armor, with a long and powerful rifle strapped across his back. The second is a small girl, now garbed in black robes as he is.
"What do you wish to share, Enah?" asks Lothar.
"I wished for your advice regarding my sword," Enah says.
"Lightsaber," Lothar corrects. "And I am quite busy. I instructed you to wait until I was ready to tutor you further in my arts. Return to your chambers or I'll have you dragged there."
Enah frowns and leaves in a huff, leaving Crutch alone before the Dark King.
"What news do you bring me, assassin?" Lothar inquires.
"King Evand has fled to Coruscant, Your Grace," Crutch states, simply.
"King Evand?" Lothar hisses. "Do you still call him King?"
"I meant no insult, my King," Crutch says drolly. "Evand has taken refuge with the Jedi Order, until the Senate grants him asylum. The Jedi Denzral has made sure he is protected. I cannot touch in him while he is within the Temple walls."
"He will not remain there," Lothar says.
"Coruscant is a risky place to perform the assassination of a fallen monarch, even if he is not recognized in the Republic as such."
"He will not stay there either," Lothar says. "Evand is too proud to let me have his throne. He will try to take it from me... and the Jedi will help him. I have forseen it."
Welcome to "Bannermen," a game from the Retrospection series. These games are meant to provide a fun plot based upon the backgrounds of player characters, while giving players themselves a chance to gain experience- both in points and in practice with the system. This time, Retrospection returns to the plight of Denzral Vassisk- a Jedi Knight whose Master was assassinated during the latter days of his training.
Denzral has confronted his Master's killer, a seasoned assassin named Crutch, and the man who holds the assassin's leash- Lothar Tull, an acolyte of the Dark Side. He came upon them in the midst of their plot to take over the world of Halloy, unseating the ruling King, Evand of Halloy.
Now, Denzral has returned to Coruscant with Evand, hoping to seek not only political asylum to ensure that Evand is protected, but also to seek assistance. Lothar Tull has come into power on Halloy and now controls a great force. And his plans are not yet fully realized. Denzral needs help from the Council and the Senate if Lothar is to be stopped...
Senate Chambers, Coruscant
The Senate has called one of its routine meetings, as they do every so often to discuss galactic matters. In these meetings, they make their speeches and petition for laws to be passed. You know full well by this time that most of the action in the Republic takes place behind closed doors. The Senate is just where the public is informed of great doings or massive actions.
The Senate would not call any sort of emergency meeting for the likes of Evand. As far as they are concerned, Evand is not a recognized ruler; Halloy is not in the Republic.
It has agreed to hear him during one of their scheduled meetings, of course. You are not all that disappointed by the delay, Denzral. It has given you time to rest after the debacle on Halloy, before going out into public with Evand again. You both are very safe within the walls of the Jedi Temple.
Evand has adorned himself in a lavish tunic, one of the few he managed to take with him when he fled his world. It is a dark green, with tracings of gold and the claw of a desert cat embroidered on his shoulder.
"I apologize for being late," Evand says when he meets you in the halls of the Senate building. "I needed to finalize my speech to the Senate. I trust you understand."
Evand is escorted by Trozen, the lone bodyguard that escaped with you both when you fled Halloy. He has forgone his massive Halloyan suit of armor today, in favor of a simpler tunic, but he still has the oversized assault rifle that the Halloyans favor. He regards you with a nod.
"That is not a problem," Denzral said as he offered a curt half bow half nod towards the two "I just hope it goes well today. I am not expecting miracles here, but its at least a stepping stone." He looked the 'King' up and down, with a smile. "Nice outfit."
(Who's your tailor I love that outfit!)
"I expect the Senate to hear me out and act accordingly," Evand states plainly. "They will see that their borders are threatened, and that I must be returned to my throne."
Denzral did not believe so, but nodded in agreement all the same. He was actually surprised that they had agreed to see Evand so quickly. Hopefully the threat of a growing force lead by a Dark Jedi that could threaten Republic worlds (as they already had in their raids prior) will help convince them. Though he doubted it. Well, they'd find out soon enough.
The Senate would have convened an emergency meeting if they were truly concerned by Evand and Halloy. They managed to find time for him in an upcoming scheduled meeting. You were made to wait nearly a month.
"Yes," Evand says. "Come."
Evand has been given one of the spare Senatorial pods from which to make his stand. He leads you to it and steps onto the pad, letting Trozen take the controls. Evand is awed by the tremendous size of the Senate Chamber; it is something you have seen before.
"Impressive is it not? For nearly four thousand years the Senate has stood in this place, representing thousands of systems under the Republic, almost every imaginable species."
A month was a lot sooner than Denzral expected the Senate to actually grant hearing. It indicated they were not concerned if at all by the potential threat seeing it as nothing more than something that does not concern them most likely, and probably about to tell us just that.
He was about to say something but did not want to shake the man's apparent air of confidence.
As you settle into the pod, the circular portal at the very base of the Senate Chamber opens and a large column rises from it. The podium from which the Supreme Chancellor speaks ascends, with Chancellor Palpatine standing upon it, waving and smiling amicably.
Many other pods begin to float up with it. Everyone else stays in place.
"That is Chancellor Palpatine, the current senate leader." Denzral will point out any of the important Senators he can.
"I see," Evand says. "I will need to speak with him directly then. He holds all the power."
(Oh boy I hope I was right.)
What does Denz know about how this is supposed to go down, I am assuming they will recognise us when they get around to it and until then we don't go floating up? And I would assume that Evand address the whole senate not Palpatine directly. But I am not sure personally.
There is something inherently wrong with what Evand just said.
And that is correct. You will wait until your issue is put before the floor by the Chancellor or his attendants.
Just to be on the safe side, does Denzral know what was wrong or was it the way Evand said it, so he may help correct.
"While Chancellor Palpatine is the current head of the Senate, you would generally address the whole Senate which represents all sectors of the Republic. The Chancellor isn't an Emperor here, he holds office and presides over the Senate, he is influential, but to a point. His 'power' as you so put it, comes directly from the Setate itself. Palpatine will ensure you are heard out without interruption. But he is not nessessarily the one you need convince."
"But he's the Supreme Chancellor," Evand says. "You're telling me that he does not have executive power over everyone here?"
Well if I am wrong make me say the right thing
"He would only gain such power if the Senate voted him Emergency Powers, and that would only happen in a time of a Galactic crisis." Denzral coolly responds, watching the the political opera show that was erupting before them.
"For now he is the leading face of the senate, but his power comes from the heads of each sector that are represented here. The Supreme Chancellor has influence (especially after the events surrounding Naboo, and the Trade Federation and his handling of that situation but), he does not rule like a king such as yourself.
"The Chancellor serves mainly as an officiator of the parliamentary procedure such as what we are about to see. However, Chancellor Palpatine does have authority to call Emergency Sessions of the Senate, and in some cases; by-pass the Senate in circumventing minor issues that may have arisen.
"Unfortunately for us, this is not something the Chancellor could by-pass the Senate with. He is a great believer in the Democratic system, and the fundementals of the Republic, and a supporter of the Jedi Order, so I am sure he may be concerned with what we bring fourth today and that could go in our favour. We shall see."
Denzral finished his explanation, and straightened his robe.
((Sorry for double post))
Evand is admittedly not aware of the naboo situation, but he knows who the Trade Federation is. He processes what you've said.
"So... people have to vote on what I am going to present," Evand says after a moment.
"That is likely, yes. I cannot say for certain though." Denzral will inform the 'King' on the various ways in which decisions are made in the senate (because I can't find any specific information on that).
"That is horrifically inefficient," Evand says. "Why not let the Chancellor decide everything? He is in a position of power but has no power, from what I can tell."
"Funny old system, huh?" Denzral smiled.
"It's ineffective," Evand says. "What if an agreement cannot be reached? What if there are too much parties with too much solutions for an issue? The factions will butt heads until it is decided that nothing will be done.
"Hell, why aren't the Jedi in control?"
Denzral will answer as best as he can with what he knows, giving what ever reasons why the Jedi were not in control.
A vague answer won't suit here. Why does Denzral think the Jedi are not in control of the Republic?
(And do not worry; I am not looking for a response that fits in with the Expanded Universe explanations. Just a feel for Denzral's personal views.)
Denzral stared at the King for a moment, and looked back towards the proceedings unperturbed. "We are guardians of peace and justice, we have no interest in controlling the galaxy around us. While I admit perhaps things would be better, it is just not our way. To my knowledge there hasn't been a Jedi in power for as long as the Republic has stood, and will likely remain as such for many decades to come."
"An order of powerful warrior monks that are content policing an empire," Evand says. "I would not be so content."
It occurs to you that Lothar certainly was not.
The Senate is currently discussing some new initiatives for galactic trade taxation.
Denzral smiled with mirth. "I guess it can seem that way. We do not crave power, I guess. To have power and control over people wiuld be unjust, and would tempt the dark side. It appears Lothar himself was not content to protect the kingdom in your name in the same fashion you suggest for us. There have been times. Jedi in the past have thought this too and have separated to find their own path, while others even more deranged and power hungry fall pray to the evil of the Dark Side of the Force."
"You keep saying that," Evand says. "What is this 'Dark Side' that you speak of? Forgive me, my experience with the Jedi Order is limited to yourself... and even so, does me being King of a planet make me corrupt and power-hungry? Is that how it works?"
"Not all rulers are corrupt, that is not what I am saying." Denzral will give a brief description of the Dark Side.
"So its Jedi that embrace their emotions and use it for personal gain," Evand says. "And that's what Lothar is? One of those evil doers?"
Denzral (me) is not sure how to answer that. While the Jedi try to pust past their emotions, some like Mace Windu who studied different paths of Jedi technique ect embrace some emotion. They aren't Vulcan, emotion is not forbidden. The ones to watch out for is fear. Love can lead to fear, fear can lead to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering. They are of the Dark Side. If Denzral can explain it any better, I don't know.
Love does not necessarily lead to fear. The rest is the old mantra that all Jedi learn, so that they can avoid the Dark Side.
"Ah, so it's more complicated," Evand says. "Which one of those do you think Lothar is? Fear, anger, hate? Hubris, even?"
Thats why I said 'can;' and not just 'leads' love can lead to fear of loss, loss to anger itself, and then hate, hate then leads to a lifelong suffering. Going by Jedi mantra and applying logic to it.
"This is purely speculation on my part, but I venture that Lothar is the way he is because he has a deep long seated hate for someone or something. But potentially he can be feeling any of these emotions. You have known the man for far longer than I, did you never suspect?"
Evand shakes his head.
"If he had any pent-up hatred of me or my kingdom, I saw no sign," Evand says. "He must be very practiced at the art of concealment. You did not recognize him for a villain either. Did you?"
"He was very patient, and guarded, I had my suspicions but without any evidence I'm sorry to say, I had my suspicions about you too." Denzral looked distantly at the crowds as the senate dribbled onwards. "Lothar only broke his emotive state when he saw the coin that was related to the Cult of Necros, that was when he became my prime suspect. It meant he was surprised and possible knew something of the cult, or knew where the coin had come from. It appears that for many years he has been building his forces and apparently rebuilding this age old cult. His assassin Crutch murdered my Master when I was a Padawan. This case in general, you would say is close to my own chest."
"What are you planning on telling them?" He indicated the senate.
"I am sorry for your loss," Evand offers. "I am going to tell them who I am and why I have been forced to come to Coruscant. And then I am going to ask who is willing to help me unseat Lothar and reclaim my throne. That should be all that is necessary."
"You may have to offer something substantial in order to get the help, the Republic isn't a benevolent organisation especially in the case of help requested from Outside the Republic. Posing that Lothar is a growing threat to Republic boarders won't help much, as they won't consider it an immediate problem, or dismiss it entirely. Perhaps offer to join the Republic in exchange for sanctioning this. We have several sovereign states such as the Naboo who are left to run as they would. Chancellor Palpatine is from said world in-fact."
Evand does not respond to that one. You can clearly sense his displeasure though.
"Halloy was outside the Republic so that it could be self-sufficient and provide for its own," says Trozen. "We do not pay tribute."
"A lot of good it's done you, too." Denz didn't believe what he was telling the king, but if they can get the help now things can be worked out later, he sighed. Turning back to face the king, he started; "So then, how can you expect to get help from the senate if you do not offer them something substantial in return. Help comes at a price no matter where you are in the galaxy, and your choices would be the Hutts or the Fed's, and I don't think you would want to deal with them personally speaking.
"For instance if you joined the republic you would begin to have a higher influx of trade and export, and even tourism to see your great tower, your Knights could become a sanctioned security force in your sector of space, with the influx of trade and economy you could begin to build your people better dwellings, cleaner living and better standards.
"Evand," Denzral addressed the man in the fancy dress item, "I have been in one of your many dwellings and they are packed worse that the lower level slums of this very planet.
"But don't throw the idea away, just consider it. I am not telling you to join us, it is just a suggestion to try.. Saying that, that may not even accept you."
EDIT : OR SOMETHING SIMILAR TO WHAT IS WRITTEN ABOVE WITH SLIGHTLY LESS AGGRESSION PERHAPS.
Evand at first seems shocked to be addressed in such a way, and Trozen just looks angry.
"Allow me to escort him out of the pod, my liege..." Trozen grumbles.
"No," Evand says. "Denzral is right. The terms of my joining with the Supreme Chancellor would need to be negotiated, but it is certainly something to consider if it means regaining my crown and rescuing my people.
"Though I am certainly not thrilled about it..."
"I have heard many people say that in my time." Denzral smiled, and checked to see how far along the proceedings were.
"We should be on our guard however. Lothar won't sit idly by. He probably knows you came to Coruscant, likely he will interfere in some way at some point. After all if we succeed here, his position would be threatened. His assassin," Denzral eyes looked into his distant past, "Crutch ventured into the Republic before and assassinated my Master. No reason why he couldn't do it again."
The chamber was huge and Denzral wasn't sensing any danger, but even with his Jedi-honed eyesight, he would be hard-pressed to pick out anything odd. "If I randomly say something rapidly and commanding, do exactly as I say and do not question." He gave a lopsided grin to the King and Trozan, "trust me, I'm a Jedi."
"It would be appalling if not even the Senatorial chambers were safe," Trozen says. "I'll watch for the assassin."
Evand is just brooding now. He nods at your request, and your warning. The idea of joining the Republic is not sitting well with him. You wonder which is stronger- his desire to return to his throne, or his desire for independence.
The Senate is trundling over trade routes and planetary disputes over them, now. This is taking awhile.
"It isn't that they aren't safe, we are perfectly well protected. In-fact the constructors of this senate building claim that the building is indestructible. It is more a case of the would be assassin being patient, and resourceful. Please don't worry. The senate guard are sworn to protect all those within the senate chambers. King, ou are perfectly safe. I am simply being cautious. However...
"I would like you to think on something for me, which is it you desire most. To return to your throne, or your independence? Because that is something you must decide at the opportune moment, when that moment occurs."
(Guess Denz is in a blunt mood. Probably because the senate is boring heh...)
"Nothing is indestructible," Trozen says.
The Senatorial Guard are all over the interior of the chamber. Nobody would dare try anything here and expect to escape.
Evand just nods again. He is deep in thought.
Denzral will close his eyes and wait patiently having finished what he needed to say.
While it takes far longer than you would have liked, eventually the Senate arrives to the matter you are most concerned with.
Chancellor Palpatine, looking resplendent in crimson robes from his homeworld of Naboo, looks down toward Evand's pod with a grandfatherly smile.
"The Senate now recognizes His Royal Highness, King Evand, of the outlying world of Halloy. King Evand, you have the floor. Why do you come before the Senate, my lord?"
Evand nods to Trozen and the pod floats forward and upward. Several hovering cambots zip over to record what is said and project Evand's likeness into a hologram, so that other representatives may see him.
"I come with dire tidings from my home planet of Halloy," Evand states. "I have been replaced on my throne by an Usurper! I wish to appeal to the Senate for assistance in retaking my birthright and my world."
The Senators and representatives in attendance begin to talk among themselves.
Denzral will stand with the King, but will not interject at this point. He will listen for now.
"For what reason do you come to this governing body for such assistance?" asks the Chancellor. "Halloy is recognized as a world independent from the domain of the Galactic Republic."
"I have found assistance in the Jedi Knight Denzral Vassisk, who was investigating criminal activities stemming from rogues I was unaware of," Evand explains. "I hope that I might be able to find sympathy in the Senate."
One of the hovering pods floats forward, bearing Senator Galahad Faust of Thespia, to whom the Chancellor gives the floor. Other pods float out as well.
"What reason would the Republic have to lend assistance to a world rife with brigands?" Senator Galahad inquires.
"It isn't 'rife' with brigands," Evand says, irritated. "And they will be dealt with if my leadership is reinstated over Halloy."
Denzral will wait and see if the senate picks up on the main point before interjecting.
You are getting bad vibes from the other Senators.
"I do not pretend to know the details," Senator Galahad says, "but I cannot help but that think that your world became overtaken by criminal activists during your reign, not after it."
"Forces beyond my ability to control were at work!" Evand shouts back. "A Dark Jedi named Lothar Tull inspired the coup that removed me from power. A villain in league with all the dark magicks of the Sith of old. Would you leave him to his own devices, domineering over thousands of helpless civilians and in possession of an army?"
The Senate becomes a little more frantic at this. Senator Galahad is unmoved.
"Do you have evidence that he intends to attack the Republic with his forces?" the Thespian Senator asks.
Evand looks at you.
Denzral will clear his throat and nod to the king. "Men under this Dark Jedi have already raided several Republic worlds, and he has admitted to ordering the assassination the Jedi Master Kanna Ichinne, several years ago. That 'assassination' took place right here on Coruscant. That wouldn't worry you?" Denzral's voice gets a bit sarcastic. " 'Oh no, if it doesn't bother us right now we'll just let him build up his army nice and large and not care because it doesn't threaten us this instant' so when he attacks the republic what will you do then? When he is on the door steps to Coruscant, has his assassins in every alley way ready to take our beloved capitol, will you say it didn't concern us then? He has raided Republic words, killed Republic citizens, subjugated an entire planet from, and assassinated a Jedi Master, not to mentin anything else he has done, all this before he had taken control of an army. Do you think a Dark Jedi following the old Sith cult of necros will sit idly-by with a sizeable army, an entire planet of willing soldiers (whether they realise that or not), and do nothing?" Denzral will interject as much disbelief into his voice as possible, and make it sound like he is annoyed, but annoyed with all the graces of Mace Windu.
In the time between the last game and now has Denzral learned anything about Lothars other suspected movements?
Your use of sarcasm certainly does not go well. It causes some uproar as many Senators respond to your taunting.
"Remember who you are addressing!" shouts one Senator. "This is the Galactic Senate, not a class of your trainees, Knight!"
The Supreme Chancellor has to call for quiet in the Senate before anything can resume.
While Denzral is a Jedi Knight, even Master Windu is subject to the will of the Senate. You cannot act against the interests of the Republic, nor can you taunt the people that run it. Not without consequence.
Denzral gains a point of Censure. Any social rolls with Senators or their associates are penalized.
Once peace is restored, it is Palpatine who pushes ahead on the matter.
"I am certain our Jedi friend only means well with his comments," Palpatine says. "Raids upon the Republic's rim is certainly of grave concern. I cannot tolerate our citizens being subjugated to such grievous crimes."
"I appreciate your assistance..." Evand starts.
"However, the Republic does not have a standing military body from which we could draw able men to assist you," Palpatine states.
You see Evand's face sink.
"Senator. Senators." Denzral begins. "I apologise for the disrespectful manner in which I have addressed you, but the situation is grave, and carries with it a great threat to the Republic which, if not dealt with soon, could doom the Republic's entire existence." Denzral will humbly bow and continue to speak calmly. "I have come before you all, with Lord Evand of Halloy, to beseech you to act. I would not have spoken in such a manner if I did not believe the threat was very very real indeed." Denzral will look to Palpatine. "Supreme Chancellor. I understand that the Republic has no standing military to call upon, but I believe in the past the Republic has called upon it's Judicial Forces to act in military matters, or even call upon it's member states for use of local militia, or security forces."
((I believe that is correct (especially the Judicial Forces part), I believe by this point the Republic Navy has just been re-established in the wake of the Naboo crises, and most of the Naboo security forces have been absorbed into it to augment its remaining ground forces.))
Will this Censure thingy affect Denz through the rest of the game, any way to recover it?))
You may be able to reverse it. Otherwise it will stay in effect for the entire game, yes.
The Republic does have a small military body at its disposal, and a small Navy, but at this point in time the Republic almost entirely relies on planetary militias (like Naboo's security forces).
"If you think that it is wholly necessary for the meager military forces at the Galactic Republic's disposal are necessary," Palpatine states, "we can choose to put this to vote."
Yes, any way for me to reverse it?
Denzral nods. "This is a grave threat the Republic cannot simply ignore, sir."
(or in a way that doesn't insult the supreme Chancellor)
You will see!
"As Supreme Chancellor, I request that this matter of Halloy be put to vote... in a week's time. I move to adjourn this meeting of the Senate, if no other matters need be presented."
This movement is backed by many Senators... and the gathering is over.
"Wait," Evand says. "The meeting is over? They're not doing this now?!"
"I believe we may have won the Supreme Chancellors support, he will now likely tell us to work on gathering the support we need. If they voted right now, it would never have passed. He has given us a little more time, it also means the senate have given Lothar more time. But this is purely speculation. When you take the pod back to it's slot, we shall see." Denzral will smile. "That went better than I expected, but rougher than I'd hoped. Have you had lunch yet, Lord Evand?"
Indeed, the Senate would have shot it down.
Evand says he is not hungry.
When you are returning the pod to its proper place, you are greeted by a Senatorial guard, in their blue helms and robes, a sniper rifle slung over his shoulder and a pike in hand.
"Well, I am starving." Denzral says in response to the King.
When the pod is docked.
"How can I help you?" He will greet.
SORRY FOR DOUBLE POST.
Is that the same rifle Crutch used?
Not even close! The Senate guards use sleek elegant rifles, a standard issue for their position. Crutch's was a nasty piece of hi-tech work.
The Senate guard is simply delivering a summons for King Evand and his retinue to a private meeting with the Supreme Chancellor.
"As predictable..." Denzral trails off quite quickly, nods to King Evand. "Thank you. After you, your lordship."
"Why is that predictable?" Evand asks, irritable.
"What is wrong, your highness? You did not think it be so easy did you? I predicted how this part would have all panned out the moment we left Halloy, and this isn't something I have gathered from the Force. What comes next will be the real challenge.
"As the Supreme Chancellor said, they will vote in one week. That give us a week to win over the necessary people to 'get the vote in' so to speak, unless of course, the Chancellor has other ideas.
"He would not have summoned us if what we had said in there hadn't meant anything to him. I wish we had more political figureheads like Palpatine, the Republic would be a much brighter place."
"If you say so," Evand says, still irritable. "Come on then..."
Trozen nudges you with a strong arm, and dips his head back down the hallway, away from the King-that-was.
He wants a private word?
"I understand you are not a liege man to my lord," Trozen says. "But take care to remember that he is a King, not a politician. You need to talk to him like one."
Denzral will look slightly confused for a moment, and then will nod. "I will do my best. Got any tips?" Once answered Denzral will rejoin the group, offer a half bow to the King. "Sorry about that your highness, may we proceed?" Denzral will then proceed to follow the guard pending Evands answer.
"Treat him with respect as befitting his status," Trozen says.
"Of course," Evand says. "I hope this Supreme Chancellor of yours is not going to waste my time further. I have to attend to much larger issues, as you well know."
You can sense that Evand is not angry; he is just afraid.
It is a short ride over to the Chancellor's private office! You are greeted by a squad of Senatorial guards that escort you into his chambers. As in the films, his offices are in Republic colors- as deep crimson as blood and as gray as steel.
The Supreme Chancellor is seated in his chair, looking out over Coruscant. He swivels around when you enter. His blue-skinned, horned attendant, Mas Ameda, stands to one side of his desk.
"Ah, Master Jedi, come in," Chancellor Palpatine greets warmly. "And, of course, King Evand of Halloy."
Evand offers a nod and assumes a seat before the Chancellor's desk.
"Please be seated," Palpatine says. You think he narrows his eyes for just a moment.
"Supreme Chancellor," Denzral will greet with a friendly smile, and a bow, and will take a seat after it is offered, glancing briefly at the King.
Can you give me a brief run-down of Force Powers I can use that are free? For instance Scan, Empathy, Push/Pull ect. If you need me to be specific Scan/Empathy.
Anything that does not state that a point must be spent is a free power, unless otherwise stated. Scan can be used for free on a Force roll, or a spent point for a guaranteed result. Empathy requires an expenditure.
"It is a pleasure to make both your acquaintances," Palpatine says, amicably. "I am familiar with Halloy's history; you, King Evand, hail from a long line of Kings who have stood against slavery in the Outer Rim. Is that correct?"
"It is," Evand says. "My full title is Evand, Third of His Name, King of Halloy, Lord of the White Tower, Protector of the Freedmen. 'King' will suffice."
"Certainly. Though I understand you seek the assistance of the Republic in reclaiming that title."
"What counsel have you given, Master Jedi?" Palpatine asks you. "How have you advised King Evand to win the support of our galactic government?"
Erm, I think Denzral has.
"I advised him to offer Halloy in joining the Republic, and all that would go along with such a move. However I had left it up to his highness, King Evand, to think on the best course."
"And what do you make of this advice, your Highness?" Palpatine asks.
"I have... considered it," Evand says. "Long has Halloy stood solitary against those with dark hearts in the farther reaches of your Republic. I would prefer an alliance to a union. But if it means gaining support for my efforts..."
"Many of Halloy's moral standards and laws have stemmed from Republic influence, I do recall," Palpatine says. "Before the Republic, all worlds were like Halloy, or they were in chaos."
Evand nods, thinking quietly to himself.
"Do you understand why I extended the time until the vote?" Palpatine asks.
"Yes, I believe so. You have allowed us the time in which to convince the necessary parties to gain the support we need in order to have the vote pass."
"Precisely," Palpatine says.
"You don't think that the vote would have gone through in my favor if it had been executed right then and there?"
"Not at all," Palpatine says.
"If the Dark Lord of the Sith stood before the Senate and proclaimed himself such, half of them may not even notice, and the other half probably wouldn't care. I don't have a high opinion of Politicians, no offence Chancellor. You would be one of the few exceptions." Denzral will look down for a moment. "Chancellor, the task before us is impressive, and can I assume you at least have an idea as to where we should start or who we should convince. Maybe even how?"
Palpatine says there are some worlds that have voice interest in supporting Evand's claim... but they are too few or too minor to be of much use in the overall Senatorial vote.
"You will need to target worlds that have massive influence within the Republic," Palpatine advises. "Domains that can sway portions of the Senate to reflect their opinions and wants. For if the vote to send forces to Halloy falls flat in the Senate, even if you have gathered supporters, they will not be able to assist you."
"I understand. Thank you Chancellor for giving us the time we require. And advice on where to start."
As it so happens, one of Palpatine's attendants has assembled a list of planets whose representatives you should talk to! And he advises that you get to it as soon as possible- you only have so much time before the vote is held.
He will tell you up front that he will provide a small escort of Senatorial guards to protect King Evand while he is abroad currying favor, and that the Chancellor can call in one favor if truly necessary.
"Thank you for this Chancellor, it will be of much help, and thank you for offering his highness King Evand protection." (Currying?)
Denzral will look over the list.
(Gathering, collecting, etc.)
Here is the basic set-up, then. Denzral has 7 DAYS in which to gather support for King Evand.
Each planet has a Strength rating and an Influence rating. Strength refers to the military power they are able to lend to Evand's cause. Influence is, simply, their influence in the Senate.
Denzral must meet an Influence score of 10 in order to pass the vote in the Senate. If the vote passes, the worlds that have pledged to support Evand will send military forces to Halloy. If the vote fails, Evand will have no support in retaking his world, and your mission becomes much harder.
Each world also has a Day rating. You can only talk to so many people in the time you are alloted.
The Corellians have a tendency to breed uncouth types, like smugglers. They have a decent police force.
The Arnians are fervently isolationist and dealing with civil strife. They have a strong naval force and vicious soldiers.
Many are watching the rise of the outlying world's new Senator. They have a recovering security force.
The Trade Federation has its hands in a little bit of everything. It has a vastly reduced but multi-purposed droid army.
The sight of an awful massacre and an important core world. It has a large but inexperienced police force.
A cold world reknowned for their genetic splicing and experimenting. You are not sure what they have to offer.
The Hutts are not part of the Republic, yet they still have some influence... and they have bounty hunters and mercenaries.
The Bothans hold a lot of political power in the Senate. They don't like to talk about it, but they have a solid network of dedicated spies.
Some interesting suggestions there, especially Arkania, there are many Jedi from Arkania. Some even left the Order and returned to their homeworld. Steeped in history stemming far back into the Sith Empire.
So how is this going to go down?
You can choose the world that you wish to start with! Just keep in mind how long each will take. You can also take longer with a specific world if you feel the need, but at the expense of time.
And as previously noted, you can call in ONE FAVOR from the Supreme Chancellor. He would prefer if you do not make use of it.
Sounds like a plan. Will the Specific nations I get involved with this affect the end of the story, say I get the Trade Feds involved, that could potentially muck things up more than it is worth to have them.
Might be an idea to start with the Naboo. Need a lot of strong Political ties to ground off with first.
(Updates coming thick and fast today.)
You have no idea how the factions you interview will interact with each other.
And to confirm- Denzral wants to go to Naboo as his first diplomatic meeting?
Yes. Naboo I believe is a good start, and I am sure given Naboo's past dealings with the Jedi, they might be more than helpful.
A Republic diplomatic cruiser is being loaned to transport Evand. All supplies are loaded onto the ship and its passengers without issue, and you are ready to depart for Naboo.
Will Denzral be taking his own fighter or riding along with Evand?
He will ride with Evand. Unless he can fit the starfighter in the cargo hold? If not the he will ride with the King. He will bring the standard Jedi Kit, a hacking kit, supplies obviously, can he bring a spare lightsabre, and place it concealed on himself somewhere, smoke and concussion grenades, and his blaster obviously.
The cruiser is not large enough the hold a fighter- picture the cruiser from the start of TPM that Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan use when meeting with the Trade Federation at Naboo.
The ship is unarmed and you have no fighter escort. Is this okay?
As far as the rules are concerned, unless plot intervenes, you cannot carry a spare lightsaber.
You can get a couple grenades. As usual, it is Dexterity to throw and they follow Heavy Weapons rules.
Meh. What about a Vibroblade-like short sword? I am assuming the standard Jedi kit includes the under water thing Obi-Wan uses, and grapnel and chord, and a flash light?
Denzral is going to be as prepared as possible.
He'll go in his fighter then. Wish Soapy was here.
A short sword is fine (though Denzral is more efficient barehanded when using Combat). Standard Jedi equipment is all good too.
You sense that taking the fighter is a wise decision. Evand is not going to be safe everywhere you go.
And so, taking off from Coruscant, you begin...
The diplomatic cruiser in its crimson and gray drops out of hyperspace within sight of Naboo, as they have been doing often following the invasion of the world below. A fantastic number of representatives and diplomats have been seeking an audience with Queen Amidala, who has retired her throne to take up the title of Senator.
As in the films, Naboo is a beautiful lush world with swaying fields and sparkling waters, untouched by industrialization in the way that Coruscant knows it. Their technology is highly advanced, yet constructed in harmony with nature, not against. As such, much of their designs are organic in character.
Evand receives a fighter escort from you alone, zipping up behind in your modified wedge-shaped Jedi interceptor (which is whatever color you like). The astromech dock is sadly a little empty for this journey. You wonder what Soapy is up to or what has become of him.
Denzral will lead the envoy into Naboo's recently constructed starport, unless ordered by ground traffic control to do otherwise and if contacted by control he will tell them who they are, and their reason for arrival.
Starflight control actually directs you to the security hangars at Theed; they do not want such a high-profile guest landing in the civilian starport. King Evand sent word of his coming before departure, to ensure that the Naboo would receive him properly.
Your welcoming party is a small cadre of Naboo security men, with their toughened leather blast jackets and skirted uniforms. Surrounded by them is the youthful and beautiful Padme Amidala, Senator of Naboo and hero of the Invasion. Beside her stands an amiable man in lavish robing typical of upper-class Naboo statesman, mostly in tones of green and gold.
King Evand has chosen a sophisticated doublet in Halloyan colors- white and sky blue- and has strapped both his shielded gauntlet to his wrist and his heavy pistol at his hip.
"King Evand," greets Senator Amidala. "It truly is a pleasure to receive you. Welcome to Naboo."
"The pleasure is mine," Evand says, with a smug grin. "This is my escort, Denzral Vassisk. He's a..."
"Jedi Knight," Senator Amidala says warmly. "Welcome, Denzral."
"Call me Denz," Denzral greeted, "a pleasure to meet you, Lady Amidala." Denzral will offer a formal bow, and a smile; his reply in a matching warm tone her own.
He will scan the party with his mind to get a general feel.
"Jedi Master Kenobi and his promising Padawan learner Anakin, are who she speaks of, they are heroes of the Battle of Naboo. The late Jedi Master Qui-Gon," He offered his hand in Senator Amidala's direction, "and the former-Queen of the Naboo; Senator Amidala here-" he smiled "-are also heroes of the same."
He turned back to regard Amidala. "I do not believe his highness, King Evand has had the pleasure of their acquaintance, m'lady."
She was asking you!
Evand still appreciates the explanation.
"It seems I picked the right person to come with me, then," Evand says.
I wasn't sure if she had been asking me or the king.
In addendum to that, Denzral will say... "... but, indeed I have met Master Kenobi, an Anakin on the occasion."
"When next you see them, give them my regards," Senator Amidala says.
"Shall I see more of your beautiful world, or are we conducting business in the hangar?" Evand asks the Naboo politician.
"Come, you shall see more," she says.
She walks you into the palace, with its high halls of ornate marble. Any damage from the liberation of the palace has been repaired. Evand idly asks questions about the planet and the invasion, which Senator Amidala graciously answers.
The stately man walks along quietly beside them.
Denzral will scan the states man.
"Indeed I would be happy to, m'lady. This is in-fact my first visit to your world, it is quite mesmerising. I know Soapy would love to see this place."
You might be able to talk to him about it. Right now would be bad tact, in front of someone you are negotiating with.
"It is locally noon, Master Jedi," the Duke responds. "And thank you. My day goes well. The Senator has tasked me with handling this issue. I understand you are the King of Halloy. Is that correct?"
"Yes," King Evand says. "I have come to see if Naboo well pledge its assistance for my cause. I have need of soldiers and of support in the Senate."
Thats why I asked and powered on with the conversation as it were.
"Support in the Senate is likely more important." Denzral began. "It was my choice to come to the Naboo for aid first, based on recent history with the Zabrak Sith Lord, who aided the Trade Federation in their not so peaceful blockade and subjugation of the Naboo people." Denzral glanced at the surroundings as if they were being listened to, and leaned forwards.
He lowered the tone of his voice a little. "There is a Dark Jedi named Lothar Tull, who has seised control of Halloy, from the good King here. The planet and it's vast resources right now are likely being consolidated by him, and his power over the populace is surely growing, biding his time, rearing up his army.
"He has already staged several raids on Republic worlds prior to this take-over and upon investigating those, I was lead to him. It is only a matter of time before he strikes at the Republic again, and with the power of a sizeable army behind him, and the dark arts of the Sith cult of Necros to blindly guide his way."
Denzral pauses for a moment, and slowly breathes in, before licking his drying lips, and making sure his voice is as deadly serious and calm as possible before finishing; "This is a great threat to the Republic and it's member states especially that of the Naboo. Perhaps even the entire galaxy. And without a unified effort, unattested, Lothar will metaphorically speaking walk straight up to the doorstep of the Republic, and before anyone knows what is happening it will be too late."
"Ah," the Duke says. "You were hoping we would have some empathy with Halloy because an evil man in black robes is terrifying its citizens. Understandable... and wise. That is something that will resonate well with Senator Amidala, I think.
"Unfortunately, you have come to Naboo in a trying time. We are still recovering from the effects of the blockade and subsequent invasion. Our world suffered tremendously. People died violent deaths by the droids, or starved in their camps. We must think of our own concerns."
"Does a threat to the entire Republic not include you?" Evand asks.
"It does," the Duke says. "We have more tangible matters here. I do not think this 'Lothar Tull' will come to Naboo first. You speak in theory."
Denzral will nod in acceptance. "I understand that, of course helping your people out of this struggle will be a higher priority to you. But wouldn't not helping us open up your world to further victimization by a much more dangerous and calculated being. Lothar follows the dark arts of the cult of Necros, and I do not know what dangerous powers he can possess."
"He can't be more dangerous than a Dark Lord of the Sith," says the Duke. "What forces does Halloy possesses, anyway? What was your army like, before Lothar took it from you?"
"Mostly ground personnel, heavily armored and heavily armed," says Evand.
"Do you have fighters? All-terrain vehicles?"
"We have some fighters..." Evand says.
"But no tanks? No artillery?"
"No," Evand admits.
"The Trade Federation had worse than that," the Duke says. "And the Queen is strengthening our armed forces. I am not certain that are terribly concerned of the threat. The Senate would be more quick to act against an invasion from beyond the Republic than it would for an invasion from within."
"It is very unlikely that any war he plans out and enacts himself, will be waged with such conventional means. Don't get me wrong, I understand why you would believe so, and would draw on the sums of his military strength just by the forces and hardware he may have acquired during his coup of the good King." Denzral finally rattles out his answer after a very brief reflection.
"What worries me, and should worry most of the Galaxy, with the teachings of the Cult of Necros behind Lothar, he will using ancient Sith magic that even the Sith themselves abandoned because of how potentially dangerous this power is. Given enough time he could possess the population of the planet Halloy resides, and twist them, change them according to his will. I would not like to allow him such time, nor would I like to allow him time for his assassins to infiltrate the Republic, and do not think they would not come here.
"I wish to stop Lothar before he has had the time he needs to plan and prepare, before he can send his assassins as he has done in the past when he had Jedi Master Kanna Ichinne assassinated on Coruscant itself years ago. If we delay sending anyone to stop him for too long then by the time something is down it will likely be too late."
"I mean no offense when I say this," says the Duke, "but a Jedi Master, as great and respectable as he may have been, is only one man. I refuse to believe that Lothar Tull has secret powers that the Sith would not."
"The Cult and any information related to it was believed destroyed by the Jedi over a thousand years ago, at the ends of the great Sith war, if indeed that knowledge is still out there somewhere..."
Denzral will scan the Duke, and what is Denzrals intuition telling him about the conversation thus far.
Honestly REX, I'm stumped, so you are obviously doing a good job, you've collided me straight into a transparisteel wall, I can see what I need, there is just a blaster proof wall in-front of me, and my lightsabre malfunctioned.
The issue is that are trying to worry the Duke about an impending invasion that does not directly affect Naboo. The threat to them is vague and they have gone up against the Trade Federation; they are not afraid.
You sense that the Duke is nonplussed.
"And so were the Dark Lords of the Sith," the Duke says. "And yet... they were here, were they not? One of them, at least."
"Indeed." Denzral will agree. While he feels Lothar to be an even more dangerous threat than Darth Maul ever was, the Duke still had a point. "Perhaps there is something we offer to help you or your people with in exchange for any help the Naboo can provide us?"
"Ah," the Duke says. "It is sad to see that a Jedi Knight resorts to offering help after he sees that threats of dark magic and terror will not intimidate the Naboo."
"He's not threatening you," Evand snaps.
"He was not assisting me, either," the Duke says, with a smile. "Now he may. As it so happens, there are some matters that need attending to. Ones that the new Queen has not had a chance to correct."
Denzral will thank the King with a nod. He was greatful that the King did not feel he was using a scare tactic, and even though he had not been intending it in such a way, it could have easily been misinterpreted.
"Of course, and may I inquire as to what these matters are?"
The Duke smiles.
"Are you aware what allies came to our aid during the battle for our world?" he asks.
THEY HAD ALLIES?!! LOL NO I DON'T REMEMBER.))
"I assume you mean the Gunguns?"
"I do," the Duke says. "The Battle for Naboo has unified our world in a way that it never has before. We have ratified an agreement to have a spokesman for the Gungans, to support our representative in the Senate. Our armed forces are now an amalgamation of the Gungan Army and the Royal Security.
"Not everyone feels confident about this unification, however."
Denzral smiled. "Indeed the unification of the Gungun people, with the Naboo has strengthened your selves incredibly."
"It has," the Duke says. "As I say, not everyone agrees with it. We ourselves fully support the unification of those who live above the water and those who live below... but some of the Gungans are very prideful and are resisting the change."
"I chose my words carefully so as not to accuse either side, however just point me in the right direction, tell me what problems they have voiced, or what you know of them, and off we go."
"I wouldn't see it entirely as a problem, everyone is entitled to follow their own paths and make their own decisions yourself included, but I do see what you mean, yes." Denzral will look thoughtfully at the datapad. "If no one is permitted to visit, or to even to talk to him, then how do you expect me to- I see. You want me to burst his bubble so to speak?"
The Duke nods.
"We appreciate his freedom, but this unification is integral to Naboo's future. Without him, it has the potential to fall apart. Other Gungans may start seeing things his way."
And so the Duke tasks you with this mission- convince Boss Hin-Hon (for that is his name) that unifying with the Naboo is in the best interest for them.
"If you succeed, I will see to it that Senator Amidala tries to influence the vote in your favor, King Evand."
"And men?" Evand asks.
"Potentially, yes. But I have something you may need even more than that."
"What would that be?"
The Duke smiles. "Money. I'm one of the wealthiest men in the sector. It certainly would not hurt your cause to have funds to bargain with."
"Yes, quite. Then we have an accord?" Denzral asks eager to get this done, and move onwards.
Is there any chance I may be able to get one of the other Bosses to help me?
That would require visiting one of the other Gungan cities. Do you want to fit that into your schedule?
Best I get the low-down first from another Gungun tribe they may know more or at least have more ways I may be able to convince the guy. If Denz has the time of course.
It will take time to go down to another Gungan city and talk with their leaders. The Gungans are not big on holographic communications.
Being a Jedi maybe Denz can insist?
"Would one of the other tribes be willing to help convince him? And also, Duke, do you have any imagery or even a painting that is a collaboration of Gungun and the Naboo since the merging? Something tangible." (or something along those lines)
The thing is, the Gungans do not use comms like the Naboo do. They do everything in person, and their technology has a very organic feel to it.
The Duke says he does not have what you ask about.
"I would have gone to the Gungan tribes instead of you if I thought they could accomplish what I ask for," the Duke says.
"What about artwork, something that shows both cultures are better as one, or stronger. You understand where I am going?"
"No," the Duke says. "This is a recent venture, Denzral. There's no history behind it, except one of bloodshed and cultural misunderstandings."
Okay, fair enough. And off Denz goes.
Denzral will get ready to leave and perform his given task (somehow). What of the King? He's been sitting there like a stone fish.
"Go and see your child born, and may the Force be with her. I will do my best to settle this matter. King Evand, will you accompany me to greek this 'difficult Gungun, or do you wish to do something else, as I must go and do this if we are to gain the support we need?"
"I'll go with you," Evand says. "Though I don't like doing the errands of diplomats..."
The Duke thanks you for your blessing and takes leave of you. One of his aides shows you to the submarine craft that you will be using. It is one of Naboo design, sleek and chrome, that the Naboo have been developing to assist their new friendship with the Gungans.
Can Denzral actually pilot this craft?
Pilot is the skill to operate the submarine, so yes.
The King and his guards can fit, yes?
Yes. King Evand crowds into the passenger seat, and Trozen sits uncomfortably behind you. It is a very small submarine.
You are off! You depart Theed via the river, following it up and away from the scenic waterfalls of the city and toward the access point for the underwater cave network.
I'll keep an eye and the Force out for danger, and on any sensors, or visually during the trip.
It is only a short time before you reach the access point that leads into the underwater caves and toward the planet's core.
Dive dive dive! You sense some anxiety from King Evand as the water rises outside the craft's windows and swallows the submarine. Even the clean blue waters of Naboo dim the light as you descend, and soon you are moving into the mouth of a great submerged cave.
"Are you sure you can drive this thing?" King Evand asks.
"Sure as I was ten minutes ago." Denz responded, as he piloted the craft into the cave system, flicking the lights on and such. "I do recommend you fasten yourselves in, this could get a little bumpy."
The cave network branches off in several different directions, but a combination of your Jedi senses and, more importantly, the maps provided for you help you navigate in the right direction.
The issue here, then, is time! Some routes are easier but slower, while others are decidedly more difficult but quicker for getting to the Gungan city. Also, how fast you are driving the submarine.
So I will need a plan- how fast are you going and what route do you want to take?
Moderate speed, on one of the faster routes not the fastest.
Does Denzral have any Pilot Schticks that would assist him?
He only has Tactical Awareness. So not really.
Combined with Dexterity, that is a pool of 7 dice, on which you roll two successes as you zoom along through the submarinal caverns. You aren't pushing yourself so you spend some time navigating the caverns, going deeper and deeper into the planet's crust.
The sensors blurt out a warning signal, and you feel uneasy.
Go dark, and silent. What kind of ping, proximity alarm?
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