A New World

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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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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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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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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Treasure Asteroid
Session 5

The Nova Star is sent to the planet, Voonlar. The Yuuzhan-Vong supposedly attemped to ‘remake’ this planet and failed. Countess Adriana wants to know why they failed and whether they left any usable information behind. She wants to know more about this faction of the Yuuzhan-Vong which continues to fight on after the surrender at Coruscant.

Voonlar is a nearly-airless rock in space. It is red, rocky, small and cold. There isn’t much there, though there are traces of the atmosphere which the Yuuzhan-Vong attempted to create.

Although the characters don’t find anything left behind by the Yuuzhan-Vong, they do find a hidden pirate base. Inside the base, everything of a technological nature has been smashed to bits. Most of the furniture was left alone, but the Yuuzhan-Vong had destroyed every computer, droid, view screen and piece of equipment they could find.

With some careful searching of the records, the characters manage to find a few useful clues. There is a data card, perfectly intact, stuck inside an otherwise thoroughly smashed data drive. Somebody was drawing on one of the viewscreens with a marker and it is possible to reconstruct the lines and circles from the bits of glass. From one of the control consoles, they manage to recover a video board which still contains the last few images shown on the screen.

Back on board the Nova Star, the data is reconstructed and matched to the viewscreen scribbles. There is data on a battle between the New Republic and the Empire, with the little circles clearly marking specific ships and the lines showing where the ships probably went. It appears the pirates were looking for the remnants of destroyed capital ships.

After a bit more reconstruction of the available data, the characters begin to follow a trail of bread crumbs which leads them to a large asteroid and the remains of a Mon Calamari battle cruiser.

What they fail to notice is the lack of bodies in the pirate base. The pirates had already abandoned the base before the Yuuzhan-Vong broke in and smashed everything. They are out there, looking for the same wreckage, and willing to fight for it.

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A Needle in the Eye
Special Session 5.5

In search of a spy who may know more about the faction of Yuuzhan-Vong who destroyed Casperia, Cpt. Valera Sunrider pays a visit to the Eye. Weapons are not allowed, so she boards the station alone and unarmed.

It takes time, effort, a few bar brawls and some palm grease, but she manages to find an elderly Gran trader who may or may not be the spy she is looking for. He refuses to confirm or deny whether he might or might not have worked for the government at one time, or maybe not. But he does know some honest Yuuzhan-Vong traders who live on board the Eye. They are some kind of preachers or missionaries or something.

Cpt. Sunrider agrees to meet with these Yuuzhan-Vong and hears what they have to say about the rogue faction. To the Yuuzhan-Vong, these people are Vong, but they call themselves Volon-Vong. They are the most puritanical of the purists and refuse to stop fighting until all abominations are destroyed. Their entire world-ship was disowned for this reason. The only thing they can say for certain is that the Volon-Vong must have been acting to destroy the most abominable of abominations, whatever that might be, and they must have associated it with Casperia.

Now that she has a better idea of what she is looking for, Cpt. Sunrider returns to the hidden planet of Dr. Ploon and searches again. She finds no real data, but she does finally search the deletion log and discovers two global deletions. First, she discovers a deletion order for all files containing the name, “Casperia.” Realizing that this must be the reason why Casperia was missing from his galactic map, she searches again and finds that all files containing the term, “cyber-ship,” were also deleted.

Guessing that the shuttle they found on the landing pad must belong to the dead cyborg in the cybernetics lab and that he must be the saboteur who deleted the records, she searches every system on board the shuttle for the term, “cyber-ship.” In the holornet communicator, she finds a saved message from Count Vladimir Monocerotis II. The message instructs the spy on his mission to kill Dr. Ploon and destroy all records linking Casperia and Count Vladimir I to a project which threatens the galaxy.

The captain’s findings will be revealed to the rest of players in the next full session.

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The Emerald Millenium
Session 6

A Jedi stealth shuttle arrives on board the Nightengale. On board are Master Kyp Duron and seven other Jedi. Master Luke also sends word that he will not be taking part in this mission, but will attempt instead to negotiate with the Volon-Vong on Casperia’s behalf.

Countess Adriana and Master Kyp have come up with a plan, but first, Captain Sunrider must brief them on what they are looking for.

Captain Sunrider has found evidence that Dr. Ploon was designing giant cybernetic implants to be grafted into a Yuuzhan-Vong ship. The implants would significantly augment the ship’s capabilities and allow a Human crew to pilot it. Dr. Ploon died 17 years ago, long before it was possible to complete his research.

Two years ago, somebody raided the Yuuzhan-Vong colony on Voonlar and stole a baby battleshp. At about the same time, Dr. Ploon’s cybernetic research was also stolen, most likely by the same people. It is estimated that, if the implants work and the ship is properly raised to adulthood, it might become significantly more powerful than the Death Star. Granted, the Death Star is powerful enough to destroy a planet in a single shot and you don’t need any more firepower than that, but this ship would have a greater firing range, more speed and the ability to maneuver at least as well as any other capital ship.

The seven Casperian stealth ships, plus the Jedi stealth shuttle, will each take one Jedi and spread out across the galaxy, in search of the cyber-ship. Between the use of the force by the Jedi and some new scanning software specifically attuned to the unique ship they are looking for, they should be able to recognize the cyber-ship if they pass anywhere near it. Their orders are to locate, report, and absolutely not to engage the cyber-ship. Once it is located, the fleet will converge en-masse and try to destroy it with the Mandalorian anionic torpedoes.

After investigating a few red herrings, the Nova Star arrives at a nebula known as Mare Charybdis. This nebula has two massive black holes in the center, orbiting each other and dragging the gas of the nebula into a cyclonic shape with a cat-like eye. The gasses are ionically charged and massive arcs of enercy sweep through the charged gasses. Only a ship at least as resistant to ionic energy as the Nova Star would dare to enter Mare Charybdis.

But some have dared. As they investigate the supposedly unexplored planets along the outer reaches of the nebula, they find traces of impirial star destroyers – the wreckage of a shot-up TIE fighter, bits of random trash, scorched stormtrooper armor, damaged engine parts, etc. They find a cloud of tiny fragments about the same mass as a star destroyer. Further in, they find the entire conning tower of a star destroyer tumbling through space. The markings indicate this ship is the Emerald Millenium and include the logo of the Czerka Corporation.

The characters suit up and spend a few hours exploring the wreckage. For once, there is nobody shooting at them, but the wrecked ship is still a dangerous place. Over time, they manage to put together a partial picture of what has happened here.

The Emerald Millenium was a newly built science ship based on the Impirial Star Destroyer. Instead of thousands of troops, it contained massive research facilities. In place of most of the fighters and ordinance, they had more and bigger shuttles. In place of Impirial officers, they had Czerka employees in pseudo-military uniforms that looked very much like Impirial uniforms.

By putting together command codes, event logs, error reports, power flow data, failure times and other recovered data from various systems, they get an idea of what heppened to the ship. The astrogator had just made calculations for a hyper-jump, when the helmsman began a hard turn. Seconds later, the ship was struck by a massive energy blast, powerful enough to collapse their shields. They returned only a few shots before they were struck again, this time splitting the ship right down the middle. The conning tower was thrown off as the rest of the ship was destroyed. Most crew in the section died from exposure to space, if they survived the g-forces.

Once the characters manage to reach the quarters of the top officers, the captain’s office and the VIP quarters, they start finding what they are really looking for – evidence linking the destroyed ship to the cyber-ship. They find enough information to grow and outfit a cyber-ship of their own, including tactical plans for the raid on Voonlar. They also find more information linking the project to Count Vladimir Monocerotis I and proof that part of the research was carried out on Casperia. They discover that the ship’s captain was Marko Tarkin, grandson of the infamous Grand Moff Tarkin. More than enough data is found to prove that Czerka has built a cyber-ship and that Captain Tarkin led the project. They also find a man who died with his finger on the button of a restraining bolt remote, still bleeping away the same signal over and over, with half a charge still in the battery, based on which they estimate the ship could have been destroyed no more than 9 days ago.

Also found is a holographic map of Mare Charybdis, in which several locations are marked. They decide to investigate each in turn. All turn out to have been attacked within the past few days. They find another demolished star destroyer, a burning planet, a debris ring where the map said there should be a moon, a cloud of destroyed star fighters, and the wreckage of yet another star destroyer scattered across the surface of a desolate moon.

At the advice of Varu, their Jedi advisor, they skip the next two points and head for the deepest of the marked planets. She can feel pain, confusion, rage, fear, and thoughs too alien for her to comprehend. As they arrive, they see a cloud of TIE fighters attacking the cyber-ship. As they watch, the cyber-ship destroys the planet which was marked on the holographic map.

According to Varu, there is nobody on board the cyber-ship. It is intelligent, scared and confused. It is lashing out on its own, at anyone it sees. It is a wounded, wild beast on a rampage, with the power to destroy worlds. It must be stopped at any cost.

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The Monster That Ate the Galaxy
Session 7

The cyber-ship is on a rampage. It is destroying everything in its path. It must be stopped, immediately.

But before it can be stopped, the characters must figure out how to fight it. This monster is more agile than most ships, swims through hyperspace like we walk through air, and can destroy just about anything in a single shot.

Their examination of the research reveals a few details about the cyber-ship, but they choose to build their strategy around just a few of them. The monster’s vision is slightly blue-shifted compared to Humans, it uses gravity manipulation to move through space, it is shielded from ionic weapons and it seems to choose one victim at a time and hunt them relentlessly.

Since ion cannon are useless against it, they order all ion cannon removed from the fighters and replaced with an extra blaster.

To gain a visibility advantage, they paint all the fighters dark red. The pilots will be able to see each other, but to the monster, they will seem as black as space.

To maximize this advantage, they ask the Jedi to lure the monster into the Cauldron Nebula. The gasses there are thick, further reducing visiblity, and the nebula is illuminated mostly by red stars. The pilots will see dark red ships against a bright red background, but the monster should not be able to see the contrast and the captial ships will have an easier time hiding nearby. Kyp Duron volunteers to taunt the monster and lead it in circles through the Cauldron.

Finally, the characters take parts for a gravity focus array, a terraforming device used to regulate a planet’s gravity, and use it to build a weapon. By means of a giant claw, this device will clamp on to the cyber-ship. The gravity equipment is configured to work similarly to an Interdictor, but inversely – seperating the target from all gravity, making its dovin basal completely useless. They call it a “Gravity Boot.”

Once the Gravity Boot is mounted on the Nova Star and prepared for launch, the characters hide the ship in an asteroid field. Hundreds of starfighters are also hiding, landed and powered down on the larger asteroids.

Master Kyp Duron leads the beast into the trap. The asteroids provide partial cover for the fighters, protecting them from some of the cyber-ship’s shots. The fighters tear down the implanted defenses of the cyber-ship. When they have weakened it enough, Jedi Varu escorts the Nova Star into the battle, showing them the safest path to the target.

The Gravity Boot works perfectly. The cyber-ship is unable to maneuver or escape. The capital ships are able to move in and destroy the monster with the Mandalorian anionic torpedoes.

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The Casharin Cluster
Session 8

The Nova Star is sent, once again, to explore for a new planet to settle. This time, they are sent to investigate several star clusters in and near the Deep Core. These are dense clusters, flooded with radiation from young, hot stars and isolated from the hyerspace routes by the sheer mass of the many stars they contain.

As they investigate a series of false leads, the characters find a lost colony of Trandoshans, an unlisted tabanda mine, a greenhouse planet hot enough to melt iron, a highly radioactive planet which seemed to have been bombarded in an ancient battle, and another planet which was somehow being turned into a giant tree.

Each of these planets, though interesting, were also useless to them. Each were also found in places where the Nova Star had expected to be the first thip ever to go.

Finally, the Nova Star arrives at the Casharin Cluster. This open star cluster is a stellar nursery which is being ejected from the galactic core, nearly 30 degrees off the galactic plane. Although the cluster is slowly expanding as it leavss the galactic core, the stars are just now beginning to drift far enough apart for a safe hyperspace route to form between the many giant stars around the outside of the cluster. Even the Nova Star will have a hard time exploring this one.

Doctor Nogo Larogo calculates a possible safe pocket inside the cluster, where about a dozen smaller stars can be reached via a very narrow hyperspace corridor. Over the next two weeks, the Nova Star carefully charts every body of mass along the treacherous route to the safe zone.

Once inside, the Nova Star is finally able, for the first time, to explore planets which have only ever been surveyed by long range scan. They find 16 planets and moons which they believe could be settled or teraformed.

The best they find is very similar to Felucia. The rest are even worse, but any one of them can be improved in some way and all seem to be completely unclaimed and untouched.

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Dead Mandalorians Don't Wear Plaid
Session 9

The Nova Star is sent back to Dr. Ploon’s hidden planet, this time to recover any plants and animals they can find on the grounds of the habitat bubble, along with any research materials or useful objects left in his castle. This is to be the final mission to this planet. Once everything in sight has been packaged and is ready to load, the Nova Star will provide a bulk freighter with the navigational information. Once everything that is not nailed down has been loaded on the bulk freighter, the planet is to be scuttled.

Before they reach Dr. Ploon’s hidden planet, they recieve a distress call from another Casperian ship. This one had been sent to buy weapons from a shady trader at a trading outpost in the same sector.

The Nova Star responds to the distress call. The moment they drop out of hyperspace, they are attacked by a dozen Zils. The ships are not very heavily armed and the pilots are unskilled, but they drive the Nova Star closer to the planet, where there are several heavy ion cannon waiting for them to come into range.

The trading outpost is a trap. The real traders have been removed and replaced by thugs hired by a bounty hunter, known as Nightblade, whom Sengo thought he had killed on Malastaire.

It takes hours of fighting to clear out the thugs and secure the building, but the bounty hunter escapes.

The characters have only one ship, so they have to choose whether to pursue the Mandalorian, or find and free the real traders. They choose to find and free the traders.

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