At this point, the party became more directly involved in the events of the major war, and things drove towards their climax. The final session was just a four-ish hour long diplomatic negotiation between various galactic powers whose war assets were mostly exhausted, which I thought was a fitting way to end the campaign.
Level 13: The Iseno Rebellion
With the galaxy at fullscale war and half the Azure Imperium locked up in the Colonies with nothing but Duro between them and Coruscant, Alderaan, and Kuat, the party head south to the Colonies to cause as many rebellions as possible and divide the attention of the Azure Imperium between multiple fronts and give the weakened Duros a fighting chance. In order to avoid the large Azurite fleet on Tinnel, Riven Kuno navigated a new hyperspace route around them (with some minor difficulties along the way) to Iseno.
At Iseno the party encountered an undertrained but fairly well-equipped Corellian resistance movement. The main stumbling block to a rebel assault on Iseno’s founding colony was the bio-sensor used to detect incoming Bain attacks before James Ryder’s team had pacified them.This highly advanced sensor was able to detect individual lifeforms approaching even through the biological white noise of the jungle from an extreme distance, giving the Azurites all the time they needed to prepare the massive anti-personnel turrets at the colony’s perimeter, also installed to fight the Bain. Further, the Azurite corvette parked in orbit could orbitally bombard any discovered rebel positions with impunity, and while its armaments were relatively light for purposes of destroying entire armies, the fact that the rebels had no way to retaliate made it an impossible foe. However, the party was able to sneak into the starport and Grumpy rigged the corvette’s next fuel delivery to explode, tearing it in half and striking the first blow for the rebels. This also convinced the rebels, discovered in the aftermath by Riven’s tracking skills, that the party could be trusted, and they formally joined forces. This is also when the party discovered two new recruits: Eclipse, a Kisai Sith with a vigilante past who had come to join the rebellion in order to fight tyranny, and Koyi, a scholar who had followed the party out of interest in their activities and who is more than adept with her fists and feet.
Mircellus used her Fold Space technique to warp the party past the walls and into the administrative district of the colony. The party attempted to sneak to the bio-sensor, but en route Eclipse was discovered, however he was able to play it off as being Rath Koltu and visiting the colony as part of a morale boost for the war effort. Working with Emir and Mircellus, Eclipse was able to spin this into a fiction that drew hundreds of soldiers to a munitions dump which Grumpy had rigged to explode. After similarly rigging up the bio-sensor, Grumpy detonated all of his devices, throwing the Azurites into chaos and killing over a hundred of them in one fell swoop. While Riven sniped officers attempting to restore order to prolong the chaos, the party made their way to the wall where Mircellus folded them back out and then joined in an attack on one of the perimeter turrets along with the advancing rebel army. Punching a hole in the defenses, the rebels overwhelmed the Azurites in command of the colony.
Now in command of the founding colony’s orbital defenses, the rebels prepared to defend themselves against incoming Azurite forces. Having successfully split the Azurites between yet another front, Emir gave the rebels some tactical advice for the upcoming battle and then left with the rest of the party to cause havoc elsewhere.
Level 14: The Corulag Rebellion
While Alsakan prepared to advance on the Azurite homeworld, the Perlemian Worlds had the occupied Corulag standing between them and victory. Hoping to prevent Coruscant and Alsakan from claiming Azum and Anaxes for themselves, the party dedicated the last days before the first major battles of the war to weakening the Corulag garrison with an uprising. Unfortunately the party faced multiple significant setbacks compared to Iseno. Firstly, Emir had been badly wounded in the battle against the perimeter turrets on Iseno and was still incapacitated. Second, Corulag lacked the level of resistance to authoritarianism that the Corellian colonists of Iseno had, and their resistance movement was relatively small and scattered and principally concentrated on discovering a supposed lost heir to the aristocratic house that had opposed Azurite occupation to the bitter end and been wiped out supposedly to the last man, woman, and child for it. Unfortunately, near as any in the party were able to discern from their investigations, the rumors of this missing heir were naught but wishful thinking. Ultimately the party made a few raids on Azurite guardhouses, put some resistance movements in contact with one another, set them up with a plan of attack, and left, hoping for the best.
Level 15: The Battle of Duro
The party joined the Duros to resist the Azure fleet’s attack. While about a quarter of the fleet returned to Iseno to engage in a horrifically bloody stalemate that ended with the fleet shattered, but also most of the Iseno colonies bombed to rubble, the bulk of it engaged the Duros. The party fought in starfighters, commanded a corvette, and performed boarding actions across the battle in the Duro system, capturing vital intelligence that allowed the Duros ground forces to prepare for the enemy assault after the fleet was forced to withdraw under heavy losses. Targeting enemy deep strike teams as they dropped from orbit, the Duros were able to destroy nearly all of them soon after or even before they hit the ground. With their attack blunted, the remnant Azurite forces were forced to withdraw to the edge of the system, biding their time for their next attack. Both sides had taken heavy losses, and while the Azurites got the worst of it, their initial numerical and material advantage had not yet been overcome.
Meanwhile up north the Corulag revolt was crushed with minimal impact on the Azurite forces, and cautious Perlemian commanders skirmished with the Azurites, searching for an opening that never manifested. Both sides took some losses, but no significant territory changed hands. Alsakan, meanwhile, found themselves woefully unprepared for the power of Azurite orbital defenses and had their fleet shattered. An Azurite counterattack was launched against Alsakan and after vicious fighting, the Alsakani were completely overrun, the Azure Imperium occupying their world and preparing an attack on Coruscant, who, panicking and abandoning any plan of successfully threatening Alderaan in the aftermath of this war, dedicated their full forces to fighting the Azurite threat.
Level 16: The Raid on Tinnel IV
Tinnel, the first and largest Duros colony, was the main refueling station for the Azurite fleet preparing for the next assault on Duro from the outskirts of that system. The party decided that while causing a fullscale uprising on the planet was no longer necessary considering the current state of the Azurite fleet, destroying the refinery would force the Azurites into either an immediate attack or else a surrender, as they would not have the fuel to continue waiting for a weakness in Duros lines or for reinforcements from the north should Coruscant fall. Tinnel was lightly defended, the Azurites concentrating all of their remnant fleets in the Duro system in order to maintain their narrowing advantage over the Duros, and after hijacking another Azurite corvette, the party was able to raid the Tinnel refineries, destroying their fuel supplies, though they barely escaped unscathed from the retaliatory fire of five incredibly powerful orbital defense weapons.
The party returned to Duro while the Azurites were still investigating the attack on Tinnel, and convinced the half of the fleet left at Duro to mutiny against their officers in order to avoid what was now an unwinnable battle. Even if they defeated Duro, there was no way they could overcome Coruscant and the Perlemian Alliance. When the remaining half of the fleet returned, they were convinced to sign onto a ceasefire with Duro in exchange for relinquishing control of the Duros colonies, which they were no longer capable of adequately defending anyway. The Azurite remnant fleet raced to Coruscant to lend aid in the attack which, if they were so lucky as to triumph, could turn the tide of the war finally in the Imperium’s favor, only to be ambushed by Corellian Commander Edus Laurent. While Corellian General Shiv Khan had refused to grant aid to the alliance against the Azure Imperium when the party requested it before their attack on Iseno, Commander Edus Laurent had convinced his fellow officers in the Corellian fleet to ignore the general and join the battle anyway, ambushing the Azurites on their way to Coruscant.
The battle was not decisive, but while the Corellians kept the colonial fleet occupied, the Coruscanti launched a counterattack against the Azurites on Alsakan. Alsakani rebels sabotaged orbital defenses long enough for the Coruscanti to establish secure landing zones, at which point the battle was over. The Azurites, though overwhelmingly superior as individual soldiers, were atrociously outnumbered by the Coruscanti human wave. The Coruscanti reclaimed Alsakan and then declined to restore sovereignty to them, turning them into a protectorate and marshaling their forces for an advance on Azum. The Perlemian Alliance continued skirmishing with Azurites at Corulag until they were finally able to open up a hole in their defenses, which was immediately exploited for all it was worth. Though the Azurites on Corulag fought admirably and dealt significant damage considering their relative strength, the Perlemians ultimately overwhelmed the Azurites and recaptured Corulag, restoring power to the noble houses who had surrendered after fighting the Azurites and losing, and arresting the noble house who had collaborated with the Azurite invaders for trial by the restored houses for treason.
Though the Azure Imperium had decisively lost, they refused to yield their pride and decided to fight to the last man. Now Coruscant and the Perlemian Alliance raced to captured the Azurite home system before the other. The party declined to involve themselves in the battle, instead spending the time politicking on Alderaan in order to create alliances in the pragmatic faction of nobles led by their friend and ally Eios Organa, forging this faction into the most powerful in the Alderaanian courts in the wake of the loss of confidence in the idealist faction after the start of the war. The Perlemian Alliance again skirmished cautiously waiting for an opening to capitalize on, while Coruscant flung their now dramatically superior resources almost recklessly at the Azure Imperium’s home system to beat the Perlemian Alliance to the crown jewel, and successfully captured both Azum and Anaxes.
Level 17: Farrfin
House Rist of Alderaan informed the party in the aftermath that Coruscant had discovered something. Some kind of artifact, probably Rakatan, that both they and the Imperium before them apparently thought could turn the tide of the war. In order to investigate, they sprung Lt. Colonel Orin Rowan from a formerly Azurite high-security prison for political troublemakers, where Coruscant was now holding those accused of war crimes and general crimes against humanity (a term that could use some updating what with the Coruscanti now hobnobbing with aliens on a daily basis). Colonel Rowan gave them the information in exchange for enough money to buy his way into a new life on the fringe, a location of a dig site where a Rakatan superweapon that Rowan didn’t know the details of was being unearthed. The digsite was on Farrfin, a planet in wild space that the Imperium had discovered north of Coruscant prior to the war.
In order to power the weapon and get it into orbit, thousands of Force Sensitives would have to be fed to its Force batteries. However, once in orbit, it would be able to move and function under conventional power. The Imperium had gathered up a prison colony of thousands of identified Force Sensitives from their own population, convicted of trumped up charges, to be sacrificed once the excavation was complete. Coruscant had completed the excavation but the Coruscanti Senate had refused to authorize the sacrifice of falsely convicted civilians to get it into orbit. Instead, they would keep the location of the superweapon secret while searching for some other way to get it off the planet. Before they could, however, the party raided Farrfin, sneaking past the perimeter and inside the behemoth weapon constructed by the Rakatan fleet that fled from Coruscant by cannibalizing their vessels after they ran out of power. Investigating an archive room inside the behemoth station still half-buried on Farrfin’s surface, the party discovered that it was a vast mobile factory for the Infinite Empire’s droid armies, modeled on some earlier space-capable factory created by the Infinite Empire decades ago. It was a Star Forge.
The party could only remain undetected for so long and fought intermittent battles with Coruscanti forces on the way down, including a confrontation with Diego Wartin and his elite strike team the Crimson Thirteenth. Despite intense opposition, the party was able to destroy both of the energy harvester arrays, rendering the Star Forge inoperable, as not even Force batteries could power its incredibly energy-and-resource hungry assembly lines. The party declined to kill the members of the Crimson Thirteenth as well as most other Coruscanti under the request of Koyi, who wished to minimize Coruscanti fatalities, though they did not extend this mercy to Sahara Winters, who the Coruscanti had hired on to investigate the behemoth machines and its connection to the Force. Though fearful that killing her might give it the power it needed to reach orbit as she (and, according to Sahara, Mircellus) was a powerful enough Force user to provide the equivalent of thousands of lesser Force users’ energy, after defeating Sahara (twice) they retreated with her to orbit where Mircellus executed her.
Level 18: Alderaan
While Coruscant had never officially backed out of the Alderaan Council, it was the incapacitation of the Star Forge that required them to begin seriously negotiating again. With some assistance from the party, a number of deals were struck. The Duros, under pressure from Coruscant, relinquished the colonies they captured from the Azure Imperium back to Corellia, who had owned them before the war. In exchange, Coruscant and Corellia agreed to sign on to the Duros’ Galactic Reconstruction Treaty. Coruscant and Alderaan worked together to bring the Perlemian Worlds into the treaty, disrupting the Perlemian Alliance, and then the two fought to capitalize on this disruption towards their own ends, Coruscant to break up the only power bloc capable of opposing them in the long run and Alderaan to convince the Perlemian Worlds of the fragility of their previous alliance and the importance of signing on to a new one: the Republic. Though Coruscant initially outright refused to join the Republic under any circumstances, claiming it a threat to their national sovereignty, Alderaan (now led by Eios Organa) threatened pre-emptive war against their inevitable aggression against their colonies, and fearful that the Perlemian Worlds would agree, Coruscant agreed to join the Republic on a handful of conditions: The Galactic Senate would be held on their world to discourage aggression, that the Republic Fleet would be deployed only in very strict circumstances, and that the laws of the Republic concerning internal affairs could only be changed with a unanimous vote to prevent Coruscant’s former colonies from ganging up on them to force through votes to change Republic law to allow the fleet to be deployed against Coruscant. In the end, only Tython refused to join the Republic, believing that it would promote war rather than prevent it.
Emir and Koyi went on to found SPINE Industries together, becoming a powerful megacorporation and fighting against the likewise expanding BarrCom for economic domination of the Core and Colonies. Mircellus’ Voidwalkers and Goodwill Shipping would eventually become largely separate entities, albeit still friendly with one another, and the Voidwalkers eventually helped the Ashla and Bogan, exiled to the far fringe of the Tion Cluster, to resolve their differences to the point where they now live as uneasy but peaceful neighbors on the Jedi Worlds. Grumpy was heavily involved in the Republic Navy, forging them into an effective anti-pirate force and slowly tugging them in the direction of asserting themselves more and more against those who skirt or flaunt Republic law (such that it is). Riven discovered a number of planets, most notably including Manaan, the Selkath homeworld, and those Selkath displaced from their home by the Infinite Empire were able to return. Eclipse did his best to soothe the wounds of an unstable Tython, but was ultimately only able to accomplish so much in the face of the Tythan anarchy. He died as he lived: like a boss.
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