Our intrepid quartet, going on the hints from the holocron, landed on the mostly lawless planet of Geonosis. Their first step out of the space port landed them in a huge, noisy bazaar. Kel-Daj took the opportunity to present the Kwa crystal he’ found to an appraiser of archeological artifacts, but was only able to glean that crystal was very similar in make to Jedi lightsaber crystals.
Kel-Daj slipped back in with group as they went to investigate a commotion from a distant corner of the bazaar. They picked their way through numerous merchant stands and found a group of protesting academics having it out with some with stoic Geonosian battle droids. The leader of the protesters, not wanting any of his underlings to be killed on his watch, sent them off, which in turn caused the battle droids to leave. Sahn, the lead protester, had caught sight of Patan and his friends and quickly explained his predicament. One of the few true ancient Geonosian landmarks, a tomb called the Mound of the First Gladiator, had been vandalized. The Geonosians don’t normally care much about their past, but this was one of the few things for which they created an honor guard. Sahn’s group, the Guild of Historians, had intended to help preserve the site and study the chambers within to figure out just who the First Gladiator was. They’d barely begun studying the hieroglyphics in the entry way before the opening of the tomb was blown up. Sahn and the Guild hadn’t even had a chance to see if anything had been stolen before the area was closed off. They appealed to the Geonosian Guard to investigate but the Guard, to their surprise, seemed utterly indifferent.
Patan asked for a bit more information on the Mound, and Sahn explained that they’d only manage to discover that the tomb was about 5000 years old and that the one interred within it was not of Geonosian descent. Patan relayed this information to his comrades, and they all agreed that this was probably the resting place of the second former apprentice, Go’lor. Sahn gave them a lift in his overhauled sandcrawler and, after a bumpy three day journey, they arrived at the tomb. Despite having been closed off, there was a conspicuous lack of security for the tomb. Perandor, growing impatient, took advantage of this and the fact the sandcrawler’s crew was busy readying their equipment and took a look for himself. Patan, Kel-Daj and Rosh caught up with him shortly and they surveyed the destruction before. The mouth of the structure, which itself was in the crude shape of a twi’lek head, had been turned in a jagged, gaping maw by some manner of explosive. On top of that, the harsh desert winds carried a foul stench from the tomb. Undeterred by this, they pressed on, though they had trouble seeing even with all of them using their lamps.
Perandor reached out into the Force and found a Dark Side Force signature that was quite a bit more faint than he would’ve anticipated given how strong Czarino’s whuffa worm bound Force energies had been. They followed it down a long, dark hallway and stopped short at the end upon hearing buzzing and clicking that they quickly identified: a Geonosian was speaking some where in the tomb. This perplexed them as they’d been told that the Geonosians were aggressively indifferent to this whole situation. Worse still, a number of Geonosian corpses, all bearing guard insignias, were scattered around the room. None of them understood the Geonosian language, but Kal-Daj managed to make a out a few words regardless. They seemed to be discussing payment for something. They decided to find out if this payment being discussed and the dead bodies were connected, and Patan called them out, hoping to be able to reason with them. A big Geonosian bearing a captain’s insignia sauntered out of a dark doorway, and mocked their attempts at diplomacy and intimidation. He responded in broken Basic that he was being paid far too well to be cowed by this lot.
The big Geonosian, called Gezzer, bellowed over his shoulder, causing four more underlings to appear out of the shadows. Kal-Daj and Patan took advantage of the cover provided by many rooms within the tomb but still sustained some serious injuries due to the low-light vision enhanced shooting of two of the Geonosian cronies. Meanwhile, Rosh and Perandor fought out in the open, focusing on Gezzer himself. Thanks to some good shots from Rosh, Patan and Kel-Daj and a blast of Perandor’s newly learned Force lightning, the felled most of the company, including Gezzer. The last of Gezzer’s cronies quickly surrendered, and Perandor used the Force to find out that this sniveling wretch had potentially useful information. They bound their new informant and investigated the various rooms in the tomb, finding out that only item had been stolen: the Gladiator’s coffin. Perandor studied the Force energies in the Gladiator’s former resting chamber and confirmed that this was, in fact, their mark. Now, of course, it was gone. They took some of the more interesting looking artifacts and returned to the Guild’s sandcrawler.
Sahn was more than a bit concerned to see a cowering, tied-up Geonosian among their company and asked what happened. Kal-Daj told him the whole store, changing Sahn’s attitude entirely. He turned his attention to their captive and demanded the information he’d promised them in return for his life. The Geonosian croaked and clicked frantically. Sahn translated, stating that most of the guard had been paid off by somebody or something (he’d never met them) called the Red Vornskrs. He knew no more than that, but it was a place to start. Sahn had one of his assistants stow the traitor in the back and took Gezzer’s salvaged insignia as well, stating the guard would hear of this treachery. He also paid them a handsome sum for the artifacts and eagerly set to work studying them as they readied the sandcrawler for the return trip. Kal-Daj and Perandor used the two day return journey (the winds weren’t so high, allowing their driver to safely increase their travel speed) to make sure the more grievous wounds their comrades had suffered were tended to.
They arrived back at the bazaar and prodded the first shady character they could find for information. This turned out to be a Geonosian tech specialist (this one knew a bit of Basic), and he happened to have some info for them. He pointed them to a cantina called the Sleeping Merdeth, which was was well known for its under the table dealings as it was its ale. He explained that if anything illegal had been shipped off planet, then it had gone through the Merdeth. He gave them directions but seemed unwilling to say any more about the place. When they arrived (after navigating some winding back alleys) they found out why. The place was crawling with security measures. Two huge T’surr stood guard at the front doorway, with a sign that stated a password was needed or else in front of them and security eyes above and behind them. Patan, ever the diplomat, tried talk and bribe them into letting them in, but then quickly realized that these behemoths were wearing control collars, which were normally reserved beasts and other unwilling combatants in the arenas. They decided to check around back and found a data console by the back door. All four of them tried to slice it, with Kel-Daj finally succeeding.
They entered the door way and found themselves in a huge storage room. Behind several locked doors they spied all kinds of crates and other goodies they wanted to get their hands on. Rosh attempted to blast open one of the doors, but the alloy was simply too strong even for his powerful rifle. Patan and Kel-Daj succeeding in blowing open a door to an office area and Perandor investigated it, finding a datapad on the desk inside. The encryption was far too strong for any of them to bypass, but they found a hint when the datapad stated that “User Zeezer only had one access attempt left” and decided to see if they could find this Zeezer upstairs in the cantina proper. They made their way upstairs quietly enough but Rosh ended up colliding with something in the cantina’s back room, making quite a ruckus and alerting the bartender to their presence. Patan attempted to reason with him, but Zeezer was too scared of his clients to make any kind of a deal. However, Rosh’s intimidating presence (and rifle, for that matter) convinced Zeezer to cooperate. He gave them the password and explained the other steps to deactivate the encryption, and took advantage of their relaxed guards. He hit a button beneath his bar, which caused several doors to open his walls. Battle droids stepped out of these hatches and Zeezer himself drew a vibrodagger. Two of the droids quickly blocked the main exit while the other two engaged Rosh and Kal-Daj. Rosh, in a truly heroic display, demonstrated his hard earned combat prowess by destroying the four droids with a hail of blaster rifle fire. Perandor, who’d slipped in behind Zeezer, and Patan, who’d jumped the bar from the other end, went after Zeezer directly. Zeezer proved to be a more difficult mark than his small size and sniveling demeanor had suggested. He dodged nearly all their attacks and was finally felled by a combination of Perandor’s Force lightning and Rosh’s trusty rifle.
The four, triumphant yet again, used the datapad and availed themselves of the goods in Zeezer’s store room and came out loaded with medical supplies and tools for repairing weapons. They also found the information they sought: the Red Vornskrs dealt exclusively in black market artifacts and art, and they were headquartered in Alderaan. As they passed the front of the building they saw the two T’surr shaking themselves as they examined the now deactivated control collars. The T’surr, seeing Zeezer’s datapad, thanked them for freeing them and stated that they were at their service from this point on. Tulg and Zulg also handed them the collars, stating that most any tech specialist and artificer would love to get their hands on Geonosian tech such as these collars. The company thanked the twin giants and took some well deserved leisure time by doing a little gambling in the pits, coming out quite successful in the end.
Finally, they boarded their new ship, Fortune’s Girl and made their way to Alderaan. Upon arriving in Aderaanian space, they discussed how to go about getting on this heavily pro-Republic planet. A number of useful suggestions came up, but Patan’s idea regarding an old contact of his won out. He sent a private call to a Mon Calamarian shipmaker named Carmeck Zel. Zel was initially disgruntled to receive a call from a Sigre but, due to Patan’s elegant way with words, decided to let them land in his private hangars on the condition that they help him clear his name…