Lush greenery filled the planet of Takodana, dotted by small lakes and winding rivers. For centuries the planet had been a place to lay low. A place for those who didn’t want to be found to breathe.
Legends have it an old castle was partially destroyed eons ago, a castle that held secrets. A castle that contained treasures lost to the galaxy. Rumors have spread through spacer circles for years of the treasure that awaited. Yet most dared not to set foot in the ruins - reports of mysterious happenings and disappearances plagued the castle ruins. Even the most hardened salvagers and treasure hunters dared not enter.
Time has taken a toll on the ruins. Basement entrances long lay blocked and some partially flooded from the lake. Tree roots have buried into rock. Vines cling up half-remaining walls, shrouding much of the original architecture. Anyone looking to raid the spoils inside will not find the journey easy.
OOC Notes :
Opposition not DM'd but if you need me to toss in something for you, yell.
Enemies?Expect Force-y stuff due to a Sith/Jedi battle ages ago. i.e. Sith phantasms
Don't know what to do? Steal something. Perfect time to raid/lay claim
The world was lush and pretty, a place you could go and have a vacation or a place you could go to stay low. In her case though the chance to explore it and see what there might be was more then she could hope for. With her tail swishing and ears covered by the blonde hair the half varren had left her masters side... he kind of just slept all day and drank. Vulps was not as impressive anymore even though he still promised to be a king. She though was not getting much training from him so head off into the unknown and learn from life... and her family She knew there were problems but all of them knew what they were doing now. She had a saber to defend herself and a staff as she moved out of the exploration vessel that had touched down in the jungle. The recon atv was there when she climbed on it and started heading off with her scanners active and ready.
If Mereel had learned anything from drinking in cantinas over the years, it had been that many spacer legends had an uncanny knack for having some truth to them. He set his ship down in a clearing about three kilometers away from a ruined castle on the planet Takodana.
Spacers said that the castle was haunted. Mereel decided that the force and his blasters would lead him to the truth behind the legends. He closed his ARC-170's cockpit behind him and began his trek toward the ruins with his rifle drawn.
Edited by Mereel Vaun, 07 January 2018 - 10:06 PM.
He was if anything feeling a tad bit foolish at the very least guilty have been here when if nothing else his spot on the seem maiden voyage of the Explorer corp.But then again if nothing else a rather convincing and insistent old acquaintance of his from his Academy days got him in. And he thought it would be quite a shame if he refuses and let him win their seem long-standing wager which had felt that had gone on for millennia that no one knew or remember exactly what started it in the first place. But to say the least, he was not about to concede be the one to drop the ball and give the win to him no matter what. Granted he didn't quite see a need for him be here other than that as he had passingly thought as that of a helping hand or moral support to his old friend.
And maybe thought he did a somewhat abysmal job not say got a barely passing grade in Galactic History and Archeological studies back in the Academy. He did as best he could say knew enough to get by that he could only hope wish be somewhat useful in that aspect. Especially when dealing with the natives if they ever come across one. Or at the very least it would be an adventure as his friend said to convince him otherwise as it would be least be something to take him away. From the mundane and tedious desk work as Ambassador if only for a little while.....
Thought it would seem otherwise that as much as he was told so too was that he was told little of the dangers that awaited them....... that is as their ship made its final approach that it did a fly by the ruin.Where peek out the porthole that he sees their destination. That only added to the dread and somewhat uneasiness he felt earlier once the ship lands followed by the call for them disembark.
Edited by Andulf Nicholas Teraan, 07 January 2018 - 10:01 PM.
The starfighter lurched without a hint of grace, touching down easily enough. He was getting used to piloting the thing, but he would never be any sort of ace. The cockpit hissed open with a slice of pneumatics and his armored form leapt easily from the seat and landed on the lush ground of the clearing with a grace at odds with the starfighter's own landing. A grizzled, stubble-covered face scruffed by close-cropped brown hair gazed with bright sapphire eyes, before a gleaming helmet with a menacing t-visor was clamped into place, transforming his facade fully into the menacing outline of one of the Mando'ade. Though, from what he heard as he roamed the galaxy as a newly freed man, his mentor was of a fringe element of Mandalorians now, and not nearly as fanatical and rabid as the other factions. Regardless, with a clatter of mildly ill-fitted Mandalorian steel, the young warrior took off. A battered mass-driver rifle held in his hands, and a pair of pistols in thigh-holsters, with a well-worn vibro-blade at his left hip, sheathed and gleaming from a recent oiling.
Maps and books in the ship had told of treasures here and there throughout the Galaxy. Some entries had suppositions or hints or outright stated what was supposed to be cached there. From gun stashes from his rescuer to possible resting places of relics of the Mando'ade. This entry was merely the closest from where he had been prior to deciding to start exploring them and working jobs as he did. But it's markings also intrigued him. Coordinates, with the planets name of 'Takondana' and scribblings about a castle, a kyr'bes banner of someone or thing, and just an etching of the same skull symbol as the banner would have had. It had been curious, the lack of detail, and spoke of either purposeful vagueness unlike the man before him, or a recent find with unknown content. Rolling his shoulders uncomfortably, the spry man stalked forward, pineal sensors and HUD flaring and flickering to life as he made his way towards an old ruin.
“While I live, no other can claim to be what I am, what I have been, and what I will always be. Come and see.”
The evening convocation under the Black Arch had been more darkness roaring. He recalled a haze of discoloured visors bobbing in cheer, gauntlets clenched overhead and clutching at still-warm ashes, banners, polearms, firearms, short-blades waving from the heady gamut of energy. Come see. He’d seen it. Empty eyes under a gnarled brow, unkempt, unbathed, smelling like the grave, breath a stench of brimstone meant to exude the spirit of the gods. Dead gods. Deities they’d slew with disbelief because their benedictions had finally rung hollow. They had the Resol’nare and each other. It was enough, had been enough. Until a dead waste of an animal crawled out of its grave and proclaimed benediction from a lost pantheon.
Whether the taste in his mouth was from freeze-dried meat cutlets or bitterness, Cato couldn’t tell. He piloted aboard a single-seater RZ-2. A-Wing interceptor, refurbished from cobbled aftermarket additions, adapted to support modern contrivances to compete with current-century tech being fielded. The instrumentation was still in its classical configuration. He’d hand around the steerage yoke, off-hand adjusting acceleration levers. On-board returns read clear, save for Resistance IFs. Handful of partnered vessels. Cato pinged once on the ShadowNet: a brief, simple code reading: ‘I am me.’ He pedalled the floor and levelled off with the horizon terminator. Takodana slashed by below.
“Come and see…” Cato murmured.
The R2-A throttled off and coasted into a low bank west of the half-sunken super-structure. Cato jostled in his seat, looked out the canopy, noting a knurl of smooth-cut stone jutting at wild angles through parts in the arboreal canopy. Acoustic returns drew entangled sub-levels, where the signal could penetrate the stone. He jockeyed port and eyed a narrow cut in the tree cover. The interceptor stilled as its underbelly extended landing claws. The ship sank down, stanchions pinning through the loam, cantered slightly before finally settling. Cato popped the seat canopy as the engines spooled down, fixing on his helm. Takodana was read to him through an extended T-visor, through a host of on-board AR readouts.
“Ah,” He paused, and reached under the seat. One last thing. Oilseller. Mother’s old killing blade. Cato tugged at his waist-belt and fitted its scabbard into place, hitching up his Type-3 rifle and hiking into the underbrush. Ten minutes through silent, mossy knolls brought him to the edge of a grassy courtyard. He was facing the castle’s west-end facades but age, erosion, and the growth of an olive tree in the architrave collapsed the entrance. Cato ground clay-mud out of his boot cleats before turning south and following the edge of a fallen bulwark.
The Mandalorian nearly paused in time. He thought his forward step had pressed into something soft, ‘light', in the soil. “…Whoargh!” Old cobblestone, hidden under loam grime, buckled under his body weight. Cato went flailing into dark, having found what was left of a sunken aqueduct.
Lethargic. Utilizing a walking stick that had nothing to do with his age. Smoking some foul cigar that trailed nauseous smoke behind him. He kept dabbing his neck with silk and discarding a small fortune in favor of a new sheet of silk every few minutes or so.
It was no surprise that one of the Thyrsians had decided to start picking them up.
Sweaty? Yes. Gross? Certainly. Worth it? Most definitely.
"Lord Mecetti, what is this, do you think?" He had somehow knelt next to a piece of crumbling pillar. It still had some etchings attached to it. "Early Mando'ade renaissance period, perhaps? The cubism is quite prevalent throughout the wear and tear." Itash walked on over, shielding his eyes from the sun to take a gander himself. This entire operation was bringing them a fortune. They had met back on Eshan, Cassandra Paige dazzling him with her smiles, Tash flashing his old heritage?
The old Baron stood no chance.
Didact had already served as a security detail to his daughter. Now? Now they were deepening the bond somewhat.
"Cubism, Baron?" He saw some vague shapes, but couldn't really make out anything else. "I have always preferred other expressions of art, if I am honest."
That was when the Tapani noble chuckled, rising up from his own crouch and sending a look around the place. Overhead they had seen ships in coming, a fighter too, but nothing deeply concerning. They were far away enough from civilization that Tash doubted they'd suddenly stumble into an expansion effort by this nation or that. "A shapely dancer in my lap, artistic wine in my hand and maybe some quality hookah between my teeth, Baron. That's all the art a man needs."
The Baron giggled.
That caused Tash to raise an eyebrow for a moment, but wiped it out before this... man could turn around and see it. "Oh, Lord Mecetti, your humor is beyond dispute, certainly."
...he had not- Well, it didn't matter, he reckoned.
Mereel's hike to the castle ruins had been far more eventful than he was expecting. Although he hadn't been able to see anything through the trees, he had heard the sound of starship engines somewhere over head.
This event was followed up by him receiving a message on the Resistance ShadowNet that said, "I am me". Real kriffing helpful..
Mereel quickened his march to the castle while making a short response to the extremely vague message he had just received, Blue armor friendly.
As he sent his message through the ShadowNet, he came across the first sign that he was near the castle ruin. A tunnel that had collapsed in on itself lay before him. Just beyond the block in the passage he could sense something dark.
Cato stilled, watching a rifle barrel-end nudge into a pillar of broken light shafting through the canopy, before shifting an arm free from under debris. It took a moment wrestling out fallen cobble and slabs of rotten ferrocrete, wiping mortar dust off his visor and keying the vision-mode with an ocular gesture. Mereel Vaun appeared now, blue armour viridian from low-light amplification, cautiously squaring up Cato down his rifle sights.
“Udesiir.” Easy. Cato laid his hands to his hips and performed a short bow. Old fashioned but an easy gesture, and kept individual honour placated. He took stock of Mereel’s fighting trappings, looking out for trophies, paint daubs, fetishes or affectations that would give away certain loyalties. Halfway certain the man wasn’t on the Watch, his hand relaxed off Oilseller.
[…Will you not introduce yourself?] He asked, sliding to Mando’a.
Mereel lowered his rifle and activated his helmet's external flashlights. There was a man behind the block in the tunnel he had just stumbled upon, and not just any man.
The man in there knew how to speak Mando'a. Mereel figured that even if the man was with the Mandalorian Empire, as long as he didn't know Mereel was a force sensitive there wouldn't be any problems.
"Su'cuy ner vod." It was a greeting he used often, it was strange to be saying it to another Mandalorian again.
Mereel slung the DC-15AB across his back and began clearing rubble out of the way. He could see the fellow Mando's armor now.
"My name is Mereel.
He purposefully left out his last name. The Vaun clan was a very contentious Mandalorian clan. They had been exiled from Mandalore within the last century due to his father's criminal undertakings, and Mereel specifically had been further hunted by his kind many years ago for being a member of RC's Death Watch.
"What's your name? And how the kriff did you get in there?"
“From up there,” He said, pointing to a ragged space opened in the tunnel’s roofing. Torn moss and overhangs of root-knotted earth were spilling over and wet soil still misted the air. He piled on several thicker slabs of torn brick and dirt, before hopping up and scrabbling his hands and boot toes for purchase in the loam and tunnel walling. Exhaled, swung his legs out and pulled up and onto steady earth and back into fresh air. The tunnel damp clung to him, with a sepulchral smell to match. He wiped dirt again from his helm and, again, nodded and bowed after Mereel.
“Cato,” He said, dusting down his fatigues. It was poor stuff; surplus army-olive textiles with surplus gear all belted and packaged on weight-distribution harnesses that, too, was surplus. Cato wasn’t monied, and it showed. He gestured at the hole broken through the loam. “Trod on something light and suddenly, ground gave out from under my weight. Lucky it wasn’t a siege trap. Long and short of it.”
Cato bobbed his helm toward the line of castle ramparts above the Takodana oaks. “Going my way?”
Mereel redrew his rifle but kept it lowered. He turned off his helmet lights and looked to the ramparts where Cato had bobbed his helmet. "Aye, it would seem that we have the same destination."
Mereel's entire plan had been to travel to the middle of the ruins and follow what he had sensed in the force once he got there. It was a plan he was still going to follow, now he just had a travelling partner.
Mereel resumed his walk to the castle ruin. He hoped Cato would follow suite, otherwise he was about to be talking to himself.
"If it's not too sensitive a question to answer, what brings you here ner vod?"
Wyman sniffed at a little rock... and then licked at it.
"Uh." Tash coughed, but the Baron didn't seem to notice it at first. "Uh. Baron?"
"Mhmmyes, Lord Mecetti?"
He nibbled on it a bit now. Tash exchanged a look with one of his guards, they just shrugged and kept on studying their surroundings. There job wasn't to figure out every inch of the eccentricities the fat Baron was displaying. No, they were just there to keep him safe and sound, so they'd get paid at the end of the day. But Itash had all the time in the world and was kinda bored now.
"D-do you often lick on rocks?"
This time Wyman did not giggle, instead it was a snort. One that sounded more like he had farted truth to be told. But Itash kept that to himself as well. There was no point in antagonizing the honorable Baron. "This is not a rock, my good fellow. This... this beauty is porous metamorphic calcite." Somehow Wyman managed to turn a touch, looking over his shoulder.
There was a pointed look there.
"That means marble, Lord Mecetti."
For some reason it felt like Itash was missing something... marbles were rock, weren't they? But he decided to let this one go. Something about that pointed look told him this wasn't a discussion worth stepping into.
"There should be subterranean area here somewhere, I reckon, Mecetti. I can feel it in my loins."
He let that one go as well.
Edited by Itash Mecetti, 08 January 2018 - 06:35 PM.
At the moment, the droid was in sitting by his ship. They'd landed on the planet for simply to recharge some components on the ship. Having it hooked up to a simple "Gonk" droid. SN didn't feel like this wasn't much of a planet he should invest his time in. It was full of forests and lakes, making it hard to land a ship as bit as his. Seriously, maybe he really should invest in a smaller ship. He liked his reliable hammerhead corvette. Although there would probably one less many guns, but there would be a lot less maintenance he'd need to keep up with.
The droid simply ran some calculations to pass the time, recalling some recent encounters. would others on local planets and systems. Then remembered there were rummer of an ancient castle that housed treasures. Maybe that was something to pass the time.
“Recon and coin, Mereel,” Cato said. “See what’s buried.”
They traversed the underbrush and scaled a roll of old knolls dimpling the former courtyard grounds, passing the tree line into a littered courtyard propped up with what had been a line of defensive fortification. Cato felt over what’d been a sandstone carving, vaguely impressionist, its channelled grooves terraced now with milk-white sprouts and meticulously gardened by generational families of iridescent beetles. Cato paced beside Mereel, cradling his Type-03. AR fields overlaid the castle-proper with ingress vectors and potential points of assail. Starlings winged by, turning in a noiseless cloud.
“Wait, there,” He said and nudged Mereel’s elbow. A line of creepers had bit into an old rot of plaster and stone. Centuries of seasonal freezes and melts had chiselled the granite, eventually ‘popping’ a half-metre thick chunk of blunt, dark stone from the outer walling. The entry was now a rough albeit natural doorway, with must and shadow swimming beyond. “There’s our in. Come on.”
Normally Mereel would just jetpack over the wall, but doing so would mean he wouldn't be able to cover Cato if he went through the breach in the outer wall.
He still sensed a darkness about this place. He tried using the force to detect the source of the darkness, but his concentration was interrupted by a Hammerhead Corvette flying by overhead to set down somewhere in the forest ( SN-1411 ).
While he hadn't found the source, he wasn't about to leave his new ally alone here. "Following your lead."
Mereel had to duck to go through the breach in the outer wall. As they went through the entrance provided by the elements and time, Mereel felt more and more like someone was watching their advance.
"Recon and coin sounds like a better cause than why I'm here. A spacer bar story and my morbid curiosity lead me to this expidition."
“Spacer bars and a little brave wonder are what set the galaxy in motion,” Cato murmured, easing up to the opening. The aperture was ragged and light level differentials beyond were playing a weird havoc with infrared returns. He thumbed a vest torch, casting a twitch of hard lumen light through into the castle interior. Acoustic and heat returns were quiet but nominal. Cato held his breath, feeling heat bleed up his face from under his helmet rim. He swung and fixed his rifle into place and thumbed the safety catch free.
Mereel in close tow, he strode into the dark. He panned left, taking the far corner of an enlarged galley, watching down an aisle rowed with stone sinks with clay and lead plumbing plugged solid with silt and plant growth. Counter spaces were black with resin-hard residue. At their intrusion, a scurry of womprats hissed, chattered, and clawed away to burrows chewed into spongy capstones and torn brass-embossed wainscoting. Save for faint boot-falls and rodent trill, the galley was silent. Cato snapped a glow-rod off his rid and tossed it across the low hall.
“…Slim pickings.” He poked his rifle muzzle against a pot stack; time and moisture drips had solidified the metal into a mass of calcified rust. He ran his torch over a cutting table left as an island on the galley floor; a thing like a burly praying mantis chirruped and buzzed into the rafters. “Just came to look. That right, vod?”
She stood there at the edge of the forest and could see others were coming, she could feel them in the force as her tail swished. Before she was really moving though her mind was playing out what she could do... most of it involved moving in and being attacked.... she didn't realy like that so she was playing it cool and safe. She was smaller then most and looked unassuming until she able to do something with the force. Looking over when she slipped through on her balls of her feet letting her weight be less and less with the resource chip. She could move a little faster, slink around and into the rooms a little faster to search throughout it all. The coldness of the darkside was there as well for her to feel.
After a bit of thinking, or calculating in SN's case, the droid figured that there was no harm in doing a bit of exploring. In his ship he checked on a map of he planet, seeing if there was any notable areas unexplored. Luckily for him he was quite close to one of these areas, a sizable one to. The odds of finding an old castle filled with treasure was certainly low, but the droid figured it could increase its odds with looking with looking for it in the most remote areas. He remembered back when he heard of others discuss it that it was half flooded. That only narrows it down to the thousands of lacks on the planet.
Also SN thought that if he was gonna build a castle, then it should be well protected by the environment. Putting all these pieces together a handful of locations seemed like prime areas. It's great to see what a bit of logical calculating can do, a perk of being a droid certainly. Most fortunately one of them was near him. So after grabbing some packs and gadgets. SN holstered his DLT-19 modified blaster and headed out into the wilderness.
Mereel followed Cato into the darkness. The man thumbing off his weapon's safety hadn't been a lost gesture, and Mereel followed suite.
As Cato moved off to the left side of the room, Mereel activated his helmet flashlights and swiveled to the right.
His flashlights swept over something that he could only guess had been a keg storage rack. There were two barrels left on the bottom shelf.
"Well, sort of. You could say that I'm here to settle a bet. A spacer told me this place was haunted. I told him that's osik."
It had been against his better judgement. He knew a few spacer stories that had panned out to be truths, but ghosts? There had to be a better explanation.
He still couldn't shake the feeling that they were being watched. A shiver ran down his spine,"Place gives me the creeps, but I haven't seen any ghosts yet."
As he finished his sentence, a lone rodent scurried out from under the rack and fled further down into the darkness he had been facing.
He tracked the rodent's escape route and his helmet lights illuminated a doorway leading deeper into the castle. He began walking towards the door as he was calling out his finding to Cato,"I found something, looks like a door further int-"
As he crossed the threshold, his stomach sank and he found himself unable to speak. A small wisp of darkness formed out of ribbons of black before his eyes.
The thing floating in the air had no distinguishable features to it, but he swore he could see the wall beyond it at several points. It was almost as if it was in the room with him, but not at the same time.
Before he could call out to Cato to see if he could see it too, the wisp floated away further into the castle's darkness.