This is the chronicle of the journey of a group of players and their adventures within a galaxy far, far away. This is Galiphile’s custom re-skin of 5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons. This is Star Wars D&D.
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…. (click for a custom intro crawl!)
After arriving in Spine Hills, the group of hired adventurers wasted no time figuring out how to defend the farming settlement from nightly loth-wolf attacks.
The party followed a small pack of the animals back to their den deep within the spine tree forest and found a strange device emitting high-pitch frequencies, as well as two bodies with blaster wounds.
Having made peace with the loth-wolves in their den, the adventurers return to the town with new questions that need answering. What will they uncover within the community of farmers and traders….
The group of adventurers leaves the loth-wolf cave with their new findings, and heads back through the spine tree forest toward Spine Hills. The sun went down hours ago, and the group reaches the settlement well after curfew. They approach the south gate, behind which stand two guards.
They address the group, asking if they’re looking to get inside. Ash says that they’re back from taking care of the loth-wolf problem, and are working under the purview of the Mayor.
The guards nod and start to unlock the gate. One turns to the other and says that these adventurers don’t seem like the same ones that left. No one in the party had previously met these guards, so they’re not quite sure what the guards are talking about. Nevertheless, they go inside and ask directions to the inn.
Arriving at the inn, the party pays for separate rooms each, and each head for bed. Ash spends some time meditating and focusing on the two loth-wolves they were forced to kill in tonight’s earlier conflict.
The next morning, everyone awakens and heads to the common area, where they have some breakfast and discuss what they want to do. They all agree that they should go speak with the Mayor Whogg Nand and the Deputy Mayor Alebri Ackebeva to tell them about their success and about the device they found. As for the dead bodies? The group wants to wait on that, and see if anyone else brings them up first.
So the five of them set off toward the large, administration building at the north-center of town. Inside, they meet the Aqualish receptionist, Duanz Rok, and are taken back to see the Deputy Mayor Ackebeva.
Inside the nicely decorated office, the party addresses the Deputy Mayor. Kup Kup says that they solved the loth-wolf problem. Ash explains, saying that he gives his word that the wolves will leave them alone from now on, as he spoke with them in a way that he’s never spoken to an animal before. Deputy Mayor Akebeva does not presume to know the ways and abilities of the Jedi, and so she does not argue this point.
Lop then recalls the entire sequence of events from leaving Spine Hills to returning to it in very rapid fashion, leaving the Deputy Mayor a little stunned, but also up-to-date. He shows her an image, using his tech power of minor illusion, of the frequency device (that he currently has in his bag), and asks if she knows anything about it. The Deputy Mayor truthfully admits that she does not know what it is or what it does.
Lop and Ash discuss together briefly, both in Durese, whether or not they should tell the Deputy Mayor about the bodies. They eventually agree, and Lop then shows a holographic image using minor illusion of the bodies of the Aqualish and the Human they found in the cave. Kup Kup also hands over the Human’s ID card.
Ash points out that there are very un-wolf-like blaster wounds on the bodies. Lop notices that this particular information makes Deputy Mayor Ackebeva very uncomfortable, but she doesn’t seem very alarmed at the information.
The group asks who these people are. Deputy Mayor Ackebeva admits that they were part of a hunting party they sent out a week before the adventurers were hired to try to trap and stop the wolves from harming Spine Hills. The group consisted of the Aqualish Grallpup Eey, the Human Damjere Winagar, and the Human Aditaide Joiham. They set out together, but none returned or checked back in. The news of the deaths of Grallpup and Damjere is unsettling to her.
With Aditaide apparently still missing, and the blaster wounds on the dead bodies, the adventurers immediately suspect Aditaide and start questioning the Deputy Mayor about him. But all she knows at this moment, without looking into it more, is that Aditaide was a fine member of Spine Hills, and had a fiancee.
Since the loth-wolf problem is now solved, with Ash’s promise, they ask the Deputy Mayor about taking on the task of finding Aditaide and figuring out what happened in the forest. Ackebeva allows them to look further into it. They ask where Aditaide worked, and are told that he worked at the Trader’s shop.
Before the party leaves, they ask if they could be paid for their job. Ackebeva agrees, and tells them to speak with Duanz outside, from whom each member of the group is paid 2,000 credits from Vux Foy.
Everyone heads to the Trader’s shop, which is near the stables at the south end, across from the inn. Inside, the party discovers a bevy of mechanical items, parts, tools, and equipment. Lop, upon looking around, sees that most if not all of the things contained here are good fits for use in mechanics and heavy machinery, as well as for farming implements and the like.
At a long table in the back, the party finds a male Ugnaught wearing large welding goggles, despite not currently welding anything. They approach and greet the diminutive figure, who squawks in surprise and backs away a bit on the table. Upon being asked, the Ugnaught says his name is Melvin, and he owns the shop.
Lop shows Melvin an image of the frequency device, and asks if he’s seen anything like this recently. Melvin says no, that it looks very high-tech and therefore quite out of place here in Spine Hills. Ash and Kup Kup then ask about Aditaide, whom Melvin says is very nice and dedicated. Melvin points to the other end of the table, where Aditaide’s workstation sits. Melvin tells the group that he hasn’t seen Aditaide since he left a week ago.
Lop, Sura, and Kup Kup search through Aditaide’s workstation, finding it extremely well-organized and clean, but absent of any personal touches or trinkets from home. Hoping to discover some bit of knowledge, Lop takes out the actual frequency device and shows it to Melvin, asking if the trader knows anything about what it does.
The Ugnaught scrambles over to Lop and takes the device greedily before he inspects it over in a fit of excitement. Melvin comments on its extreme high quality craftsmanship, and even figures out how to turn it on and off. He is enamored with the device, and goes to grab his tools. Before Melvin can start dismantling the device, Ash takes it from him.
Melvin says he believes it produces a sustained, high-pitch frequency noise, and that’s all. He cannot pinpoint any desired use for such an object, nor does he know where it came from. Most likely from offworld. The group thanks Melvin for his time, and starts to leave.
Outside the shop, they hear a voice shouting, “Hey wait!” and see a young Human man running up to them. He stops them, and takes a moment to catch his breath. He says their presence is required at the landing bay, where there’s a large animal that they’re trying to contain. They ask what kind of animal and where it came from, but the young man knows nothing more, insisting he was merely sent to fetch them.
The party follows the young man through town back to the landing bay in which they arrived the day before. There stand the Mayor and Deputy Mayor, overseeing a group of three people trying to wrangle and corral a kaadu from Naboo.
Lop recalls information about this creature that he read somewhere once, and Kup Kup the Gungan instantly recognizes this creatures as her mount, Klaark. Kup Kup goes over to Klaark and attempts to calm her, shooing away those trying to contain her.
Meanwhile, Deputy Mayor Ackebeva asks the party how their investigation is going. They reveal they’ve not found much, and Lop asks Mayor Nand how he feels about people disappearing from Spine Hills. The Ithorian responds – with the Deputy Mayor translating – that it deeply concerns him. He wants only for the safety and success of the people he leads here in the wilds of Lothal. Lop detects no deceit in his intonations.
Ash asks them where Aditaide lived, and she tells them of the shantytown residential area that lies just to the south of the community, right outside its walls. The group, now with kaadu in tow, heads that way.
At the south gate of Spine Hills, Lop and Ash ask one of the guardsmen where the residences are, and if they knew Aditaide. The guard points them to the east of the gate, and says that, yes, he knew the man. He was a hard-worker and generally friendly. They ask who his fiancee is, and the man thinks a second before responding that her name is Cassea Linwom, and she’s also a Human. They thank the guard and go on their way.
They reach the shanty district just south of the wall and make their way through its crowded streets. They stop a female Rodian and ask if she knows the location of Aditaide and Cassea’s residence. She believes they were toward the north corner. As the group continues to move along, Ash realizes that somebody is following them. He quietly tells them to keep going without him, that he’ll catch up, and stealths into the shadows to wait.
Eventually, Ash sees the young man from before walk by him – the one that told them to come to the landing bay. Ash decides to start following him, but is noticed right away. The young man stops, turns, and quickly approaches Ash, saying that they need to talk in private… they need to talk about what’s really been going on in Spine Hills. He leads Ash to his residence nearby.
The others – Lop, Kup Kup, Sura, and Ghost – start knocking on doors to try and locate Cassea. They meet a Devaronian man who says that Cassea and Aditaide live only a few doors down. At this place, they finally meet Cassea, and say that they’re looking to speak with Aditaide. They ask if she’s heard from him recently, and she says no, not since before he left a week ago.
They say that they’re concerned about his whereabouts and wellbeing, and ask if they can search through his belongings to see if there’s anything that might provide them with a lead. She says that if it’ll help find Aditaide, then yes, and lets them inside.
The group begins searching through Aditaide’s home workstation, which is similarly clean and tidy – in fact, the whole place is very well arranged and organized. Lop and Sura get the feeling that this was not someone who would leave things lying around or out of place. Cassea tells the party after being asked that Aditaide volunteered to go out with the others in the hunting party, to serve as a mechanical mind should their traps break or malfunction out in the wild. Lop reveals that the other two in the party are dead, and so they want to make sure Aditaide is still okay. But, with no new leads found in Cassea’s home, they leave.
Meanwhile, Ash follows the young man to his house in the shanty district, doing a quick check around the place to get a sense that he’s not in immediate danger, and begins by asking the man’s name. He says he’s Maxui Locmen, or Max for short. He’s twenty years old, and he works in the administration building for the Mayor. More importantly, he tells Ash that they are not the first people hired to combat the loth-wolves.
Max says that he works with the budget of Spine Hills, and helps to balance its funds, as well as overseeing the transfer of funds to and from Capital City. While he was doing this, he recently found a large imbalance, and did some digging to find out where the discrepancy lay. He found some very large-sum payments hidden among more mundane purchases. Payments labeled “hunters,” which took place 3 days before Aditaide, Grallpup, and Damjere left for the forest.
Ash asks who authorized the payments. Max says that the Deputy Mayor is responsible for reviewing and approving all budgets for Spine Hills – that’s part of her job. Max is very concerned about this, though, because when he was in the academy back at Capital City, studying socio-political sciences, he learned that payments of this size could be associated with contracts. The bad kind. Max doesn’t like the idea of assassins running around Spine Hills, so he thought he should tell the Jedi.
Ash agrees, but convinces Max that the Mayor and the Deputy Mayor are above board, and that there’s most likely a very reasonable explanation for the money issue Max found. He recommends that Max stops digging around anymore if he wants to keep his job, and that he doesn’t tell anyone else about this. Max agrees, and then Ash leaves.
The group reconnects in the streets of the shantytown and discusses what each of them found. Ash reveals that he thinks the Mayor’s office laundered money to help pay for bounty hunters, but they aren’t sure exactly why. Surely it’s more than just to hunt wolves. As they discuss what they want to do next, Ash is suddenly struck with an idea and runs back to Max’s house, and bangs on the door.
And that’s the end of our second session! There was no combat! It was all role-playing and investigation, which was really fun to watch the players do – given that some of them are newer players to Dungeons & Dragons. And, while they took their long rest at the beginning, they leveled up! We’re at Level 2 now!
The mystery deepens as they discover more about Aditaide and the wolf-hunting party that left Spine Hills, as well as these large payments that Maxui revealed to them. Not only that, but they cannot figure out where this frequency device came from! After learning about the payments to “hunters,” they’re starting to assume that the device was left by the possible bounty hunters that might be in Spine Hills.
I know exactly all the answers to these questions, and I’m very excited to watch the players move around and figure things out. When we ended the session, I had no idea what Ash’s player’s plan is. I still don’t. I might reach out to him to see beforehand, so I can prepare for such a thing, but I’m on the fence whether I should or not. Either way, I’m looking forward to hearing what it is.
We were down Ghost’s player this session, so there wasn’t much for Ghost to do but follow the group. The players had a lot of fun “assuming” things about Ghost with the player being absent, but I made sure everything stayed fair. Hopefully next session we’ll have everyone back.
Anyway, I hope you’re enjoying these Star Wars D&D campaign diaries! Let me know in the comments if you’re excited to find out more, and what your ideas are for where this plot thread is going! What’s your take? Where did the frequency device come from? Are there bounty hunters in Spine Hills? Is the Deputy Mayor hiding something?
Until next time – Well Met!