A New World

Manifest Density
Session 4

After a meeting with Countess Adriana Monocerotis and several ship captains, the countess briefs them on their exploration plans. The Nova Star will explore 17 planets in 5 systems inside the Dragon’s Lair Nebula. Although the Galactic Survey used long range sensors to observe, measure and catalog every planet and moon in the nebula several centuries ago, nobody has been able to get a ship into the center of the nebula without the hyperdrive collapsing, due to an extremely large number of giant stars around the nebula’s perimiter. The gravity of these stars collapses a hyperdrive in about the same way as an Interdictor. Nobody has ever been close enough to determine whether any of these planets are habitable, much less attempt to settle them.

With the aid of the scientist, Doctor Nogo Larogo, the Nova Star enters the Dragon’s Lair Nebula and manages to reach the interior without falling out of hyperspace. They are the first ship ever to explore the interior of the nebula, or so they think.

What they discover is not what they were expecting.

Many have made it to the interior of the nebula, just not by using a hyperdrive. There is a thriving Herglic colony which wants nothing to do with Human Imperials. On another planet, they find a xenophobic Wookie living in a log cabin. On other planets, they find an abandoned pirate base, a worked-out irridium mine, a jungle planet full of giant reptiles, a greenhose planet with droid-eating slugs, and an abandoned Imperial Intelligence listening post.

As they explore the spy base, they discover a star chart on which all the other inhabited worlds in the area are marked. There is one more they haven’t found – one which wasn’t even recorded in the Galactic Survey archives. It is so close to its parent star, it can’t even be detected from this close. In fact, it looks like it should be inside the star’s coronasphere, yet it is marked as inhabited.

With their treasure trove of star maps and Imperial Intelligence documents, the characters head for the mystery planet. Their tri-phasic shields make it possible to enter the weak coronasphere of this dim star, find the hidden planet, and land in a 50-mile-across protected biome on the side facing the star. The area is protected by a simple magnetic shield, strong enough to hold solar flares at bay but smart enough to let the Nova Star pass through.

In the center of the biome, they discover the castle of a mad scientist, a Duros called Theron Ploon. He has been dead for 17 years, but his droids are still slaving away, tending the gardens and the small animals, cleaning the castle and trying to keep each other and the shield in good repair. They also vigorously defend the castle against the intruders.

Once the battle droids are subdued, the characters search the house and uncover disturbing secrets – a cybernetics lab where cybernetic implants for spies were created, a partially working scale mockup of the main powerplant of the Death Star, a scale model of a smaller (never built) version of the Death Star, Prototypes and research material suggesting that Dr. Ploon made extensive improvements to the tri-phasic shield, battered equipment salvaged from the Star Forge, a specialized communication device capable of sending holo-transmissions into the Maw, a cyborg who was killed by the droids not very long ago, tons of information about the Yuuzhan-Vong from years before anyone should have known they were coming, detailed long-range sensor scans of Zonama Sekot, full medical records (including never before revealed near-fatal injuries) of one of their past leaders, Count Vladimir Monocerotis I, and a scale model of the former count’s flagship. It is apparent that this mad scientist was the inventor of many dangerous technologies used by the Emperor, but also of the technology that allowed the Nova Star to penetrate the Dragon’s Lair and find his castle.

Believing that they are on the trail of the true reason the Yuuzhan-Vong thought Casperia had to die, they dig deeper, and find more and more links between Dr. Ploon, Count Vladimir I and Emperor Palpatine. They also discover records of transmissions made from the specialized communication equipment and make note of the coordinates of every transmission. They recognize most of the destinations – the Maw, several locations on Coruscant, Casperia, Korriban, The Eye, Kuat, Geonosa, Camino, Wakatu, Kashyyyk, and others. They also spot a few locations where no planet exists, even some where no planet could ever exist. They make note of these impossible locations and make plans to visit some of them.

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Coruscant, the Red Tape Planet
Session 3

Having reached a consensus that they should find a completely uninhabited world to settle, the Capserian Parliament directs Countess Adriana Monocerotis to find such a planet and stake a legal claim.

Although the parliament obviously intended her to use her executive powers to arrange a search for a suitable planet, the countess decides to handle matters personally. Since the galaxy is almost completely charted, she decides the best place to search for a suitable planet is the Galactic Survey Office on Coruscant. She assembles a small team of “experts,” commandeers the small, Corellian freighter which rescued her from Casperia, and heads for the capital of the Republic.

On Coruscant, the characters will face the most intractable foe of their careers – the Republic bureaucracy. Complicating matters is the fact that Coruscant has only recently been liberated from the Yuuzhan-Vong and most of the infrastructure is still being rebuilt.

Although they discover that there are several worlds approved for colonization, the waiting list to claim these worlds is many times larger. Their primary rival, group number 7 on the waiting list, is interested in all the same planets – none other than Senator Leia Organa Solo, representing the 300-odd remaining survivors of Alderaan and their descendants.

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The Countess and the Pea
Session 2

The Cauldron may be a dangerous nebula, but the Casperian ships are up to the challenge. That’s more than they expect of the Yuuzhan-Vong, who don’t have the right type of shields to survive one of the hottest nebulae in the galaxy. The Andraeas system should be safe, for the moment.

At least, it should be safe from the Yuuzhan-Vong. Many of the ships who make it to the Andraeas system are badly damaged, some of them on fire, most of them needing some kind of assistance.

Princess Adriana Monocerotis takes command of the fleet and moves her flag to the largest ship to arrive so far, the Nightingale. About half the size of a Victory class star destroyer, the Nightingale is an assault fighter carrier. The princess orders the primary flight deck cleared of fighters and ordinance, so that surviving members of the government can land their shuttles. They will hold an emergency session of the planetary parliament.

The first act of this session is to confirm Princess Adriana as countess. She was fifth in line, but her uncles were on board the count’s command ship when it was destroyed and her father’s carrier was also destroyed by the Yuuzhan-Vong.

Once she is confirmed, the parliament settles down into an endless debate as to what to do next. Proposals range from disbanding the government and spreading out across the galaxy, to establishing an arcology on a frontier planet, to finding a completely uninhabited planet to teraform and colonize, to building a new planet out of the asteroids in the Andraeas system. Several committees form and occupy various meeting rooms around the ship.

Meanwhile, Countess Adriana is trying to get her new command ship whipped into shape. She has the characters running all over the place on all sorts of errands. Her quarters are not quite to her liking, she wants better looking guards, she wants her shipment of imported fruit found and brought on board, she wants half of the Nighingale’s missiles delivered to another carrier, she wants the Herglic to put some pants on, she sends a shuttle on a mysterious mission involving pressure-cans of amonia, she yells at the soldiers for wearing scorched and bloody uniforms, she wants somebody to talk one of the Jedi Knights into addressing the assembly, she wants the waterbed removed from her suite and incinerated, and she even wants drapes.

The characters finally start to like her when she offers one of her gold necklaces to help them repair ZX14B’s circuits.

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Escape From Casperia
Session 1

On what seems at first to be a simple, ordinary day on the plantation planet of Casperia, Master Luke Skywalker interrupts all broadcasts to inform the people that their star has just gone nova. They only have 22 minutes to leave the system before their planet is destroyed.

As Master Luke instructs them on how to evacuate, the Yuuzhan-Vong are working hard to make sure there are as few survivors as possible. The characters cram as many neighbors into their ships as they can, then fight their way out of the system.

The survivors scatter across the galaxy, most of them having different ideas of where to go. However, the government has a secret contingincy plan, which their ruler, Count Vladimir Monocerotis II, activates just seconds before his command ship is destroyed.

The characters learn that one of the people they rescued is none other than Princess Adriana Monocerotis, their deceased leader’s granddaughter. She instructs them to take their ship into the heart of the Cauldron Nebula, an extremely dangerous planetary nebula with a neutron star at its heart. Their destination is the Andraeas System, which consists of only a red dwarf star and a small asteroid belt. Any other surviving members of the Casperian government will try to meet them there.

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