Shadows of the Ascendancy
The Kissai plotline Characters
The storyline of the side quest that had the PCs take over NPC Kissai colony members
Act 3 Scene 3 – The Exile opening crawl:
“Peace is a lie, there is only passion.
Through passion we gain strength.
Through Strength we gain Power.
Through Power, we gain victory.
Through victory, the Colony is protected.
The force shall free us all.”
With the ominous words of the Crawl fading into space, the camera zooms down to a grey, desolate planetary body. After zooming past a small satellite the camera flies to a section of this planet that is riddled with fault lines and honeycomb-like tunnel entrances interrupted by a large rocky spire. The camera zooms around this large spire until it focuses on a ledge overlooking the waste below. As it gets closer you realize a cloaked figure stands focused on the group as they return to Jace’s crashed Sorronian Conquerer-class starship.
Sa-keth breathed a sigh of disappointment. The meeting between the off-worlders did not go as he had hoped. He watched from the spire mountain as they departed back to the site of their crashed starship. Things in the universe had never stopped evolving. Their ship, despite its current state, looks like it would have been beautiful… and strange. In the 1,000 years the Shakrindo Colony has been in existence on Tyrus, it has only encountered a handful of off-worlders, and in all cases that meeting ended in violence resulting in the swift demise of the would-be aggressors. Were it not for the Devastators, the newly formed mining community would have been “dealt with”.
The Colony, like others in the neighboring star systems, is stuck in the ways and technology of a time long past, enforced by laws restricting space travel and outside contact. The ships that were still functional, were barely so and most had broken down, were destroyed fighting off-world invaders early in the Colonies history or were stolen by members not content to live in the Colony.
Outside contact in particular was expressly forbidden. Sa-Keth knew this. But the threat to the Colony posed by the Devastators was too great. The Elders lack of interest, despite his (and other scouts) warnings, resulted in the massacre of almost a quarter of the Colony as the massive creatures erupted through the Colony’s steel outer hull just last week. At least the Elders in their “ancient” wisdom were interested now. But their old adherence to obsolete rules will jeopardize the success of the eradication. Why are we hiding anyway? We are Kissai. The true originators of the Sith tradition and the force is strong in us. It has been so long. Perhaps the Sith won and we are hiding for nothing or perhaps the universe has forgotten us.
The presence of the Jedi was somewhat troubling at first. But Sa-keth notes that he detects only the lone Jedi, and this one is little better trained than a youngling. Inexperienced and unrefined, but still, he thought, the Umbaran was able to pierce the veil that the Elder Vik’ar had bestowed upon him. The Umbaran casts a bigger shadow than his body would/should normally cast…
With his presence known, why not make contact? He could still hear Ta’rinsa warning him not to contact the off-worlders any further. He loved her ever since he set eyes upon her 15 years ago, when he was traded to the Shakindo Colony from his home Colony in the Deykahn system. Despite her feelings, as always, he didn’t listen.
He watched silently as the off-worlders disappeared out of view. He could not go any further into the “details” they wanted. They were prying too far, and that conversation had to end. Obviously the devastators were a threat to everyone and everything on this planet. They devoured everything and have taken over most of the “Dark”. Why did they not care about the devastators? The whole meeting felt wrong. It went against his teachings and against his loves advice. Still…
“The Elders have requested your presence Sa-keth”, Tah’sii said abruptly, breaking Sa-keth’s line of thought.
Sa-keth was surprised by Tah’sii, a scout known for his loyalty to the Colony above all else. He did not wield a lightsaber, like most, but was nonetheless skilled with the blaster rifle. “How long have you been watching me?” Sa-keth asked simply secretly dreading the response.
“Long enough my friend, and as you know, I had to report it. The Elders want me to bring you back.” Tah’sii’s voice betrayed a hint of hesitation and fear. He always wore his thoughts and feeling on his sleeve. It was this trait that allows many to trust his words and grants him respect in an odd sort of way. Sa-keth nods his head and followed Tah’sii.
The maze of honeycomb caverns eventually lead to the large Colony Gate, a hanger sized blast door. The doors were open ever so slightly, just enough to allow them in and then closed behind them without making a sound. The passageways of the Colony were bristling with activity. Most Kissai were moving to or from the site of the Devastator breach and were repairing or providing security. Two Guards meet them in the middle of the entrance passage way and escort the two to the inner sanctum where the Elders resided and presided over the whole Colony. Surveillance systems were ever present in the Colony. All systems fed data to the Sanctum. This fact had always unsettled Sa-keth.
The doors to the Sanctum slid open to reveal a long walkway raised over two lower areas with old seats sitting in front of computer terminals. Arranged around half of the rooms perimeter were windows that only look at earth. Sitting at the end of the raised walkway were the Elders. Zel, Miskan and the Primagen Vi’kar. All three wore black cloaks and yellow eyes that pierced the shadows cast by their hoods. Here as in the other Colonies, the Elders are the most powerful entities. Their power oozes the dark side. Every 50 years a new trio of Elders is chosen from amongst the Colonies finest Force practitioners, where they undergo a process called the “Joining” in which knowledge, equipment and title is passed down behind closed doors. Upon emerging from the Joining, the three old members are always left significantly weaker and the three new members emerge more powerful and take over the duties of leading the Colony.
Once upon a time Sa-keth was considered to be in the running for this great honor. An odd meeting with Zel behind closed doors ended that bid. It was, and still is, strange. Sa-keth remembers that day well. Zel summoned Sa-keth, who was at that time, excelling in lightsaber combat. It was there that Zel, without a word, cut Sa-keth with a ceremonial dagger and “nothing happened”. Zel, surprised continued to attempt to stab the young Kissai repeatedly until the Elder flew into a rage, calling Sa-keth an abomination and cast him out of his office. This was particularly strange since violence was expressly forbidden within the confines of the Colony, even as the laws were written for the Elders a fact that seemed to fall on deaf ears when Sa-keth tried to relay his “side” of the story to the other Elders. No one seemed to care. From that point on he had been put into scout training, his force teaching suspended indefinitely and he was swept under the rug along with records of the incident. Sa’keth came to grips the fact that this scenario would mean death for him and he bitterly wondered why it had taken this long for “them” to find a reason to kill him.
“Sa-keth of Shakrindo…” Zel said in his aging voice that rumbled through the Sanctum.
“We hear that you violated our most sacred of laws and contacted an off-worlder? Is this true?”
“It is.” Sa-keth stated clearly.
Just then a familiar voice, arrogantly interjects from behind Sa-keth. “Interesting… I don’t even have to show the proof of your treachery…?” Sa’keth turns slightly and sees Sev’ek, in his full military dress, his long facial features displaying a large half grin, dominating his left cheek. Sev’ek approached to the right flank and a shadow went to his left. Dessin stood to Sa’keths other flank. He was a great warrior, unlike Sev’ek, one of the reasons Sev’ek rarely let him leave his side. He was a respected warrior who wielded a double bladed lightsaber.
As Sev’ek continued with his tirade on the many minor infringements Sa’keth has done over the years, Sa’keth could only remember how things were between them before his fall from grace. Sev’ek was always jealous of Sa’keth, and in all ways. The noble blooded Sev’ek was always bested in every contest ranging from wits to swordplay, but what truly drove Sev’ek to his current state was the love shared between Sa’keth and Ta’rinsa, a love he could never have.
After some pointless, if harsh, words came from Sev’ek, Vi’Kar spoke in her soft voice. “That is enough my pupil…” She turns to face Sa-keth. “The laws you care so little for now will save your life today, for we are not allowed to take violent action of any kind within the Colony and our laws also forbid the murder of Colonists whilst on a mission while outside the walls. So it just so happens that I have a task for you…”
Just then the doors open again to reveal a panting Ta-rinsa, her wild red hair coming to rest and her eyes taking in the spectacle that is before her, fear clearly seen.
“All of you.” Vi’kar restated. “These Devistators were created by a species called the Croke and were left here decades ago. They were biologically engineered to be weapons and so we seek to fight fire with fire and engineered another biological weapon to control them. A virus. A virus created in our alchemical laboratories should be sufficient to begin control methods. You all will be required to head into their territory and administer the virus to the water supply, then once you return we will dish out punishment mitigated by your success in this important mission.”
“Sev’ek nervous at first, immediately thanks the Elders for the opportunity to serve them and the Colony and walked out. Sa’keth was dismissed and sent to the laboratory with his new found “allies” in tow…