Explorers on the Edge

Into the Ziggurat

Session 10

Summary

In the Unknown Regions on the desert planet of Luma, the PCs used a stolen Imperial thermal detonator to destroy a native rock monster, discovering an ancient Lumanite cave in the process.

Through a secret underground passage, the party approached the Ziggurat of Jaren Laa and investigated its slave cells, freeing prisoners. Among the prisoners was mechanic Aurren Cado. Cado warned them of the Star Hammer, a massive machine at the heart of the Ziggurat.

As they set off into the Ziggurat itself, Rodian guards blocked their way with weapons drawn!

The Litulanak Strikes

In the salt-flats desert of the planet Luma, the party discovered a rocky outcropping with a pool of water and some vegetation. They approached it, only to find a large creature seemingly made up of rocks and pieces of metal rising up and threatening them.

Ti’mouth’ca was able to discern that it was an organic creature which used the tendrils of its body to burrow into objects and use them as a form of armor.

The creature struck Hrossk, nearly incapacitating him. Jad distracted it by shooting it, and the creature struck Jad as well.

Tark had an idea, and took from Eldo the thermal detonator they salvaged from a stolen Imperial submarine on Kalandra. He rigged up a bit of adhesive paste onto the detonator and attached it to the back of the creature.

The resulting explosion incinerated the creature, leaving chunks of metal and rock spread across the salt flats, with a crater where it had been standing. The tremors collapsed some rocks near the oasis, revealing a sinkhole.

Carvings in an Ancient Cave

Beyond the sinkhole they discovered an ancient cave, carved by the hand of a sentient creature, with runes and hieroglyphics on the walls in the written language of the native Lumanites.

Elated at the chance to decipher the ancient runes, Ti’mouth’ca was able to distinguish two distinct sets of carvings:

The Ziggurat of Jaren Laa

The hieroglyphics dated back thousands of years. They had suffered a great deal of damage and were of a different form than the modern examples Ti’mouth’ca was given by the natives, but she was able to make out a couple of points:

  • The ziggurat they are travelling towards is the Ziggurat of Jaren Laa, the same ancient figure whose temple they explored on Christophsis.
  • A secret passage leads from this cave into the Slave Cells of the Ziggurat.

The Story of Jaren Laa

The second set of carvings was more intact and thus easier to interpret. Ti’mouth’ca learned:

  • Thousands of years ago, on another world, Jaren Laa was a wise woman, studying how people travel across the stars. She discovered the Eye of Rodia on a distant planet.
  • Jaren Laa has a powerful, magnetic will
  • She has visions which sometimes predict the future
  • Jaren Laa is able to compel people to follow her against their will

Imperial Probe Droid

As they were preparing to make camp for the night, the party heard the sound of repulsorlifts humming outside the cave.

Jad snuck over to the edge and peered out. He was able to spot the bulbous black body of an Imperial Probe Droid hovering across the salt flats, its multi-eyed head circling and scanning the surroundings.

The group speculated about why an Imperial Probe Droid might be on the surface of Luma.

  • Perhaps it was part of a ship that was marooned here by the same forces that marooned others?
  • Perhaps the Empire was investigating what was happening?

At last, the droid did not seem to have noticed them and it passed by out of sight.

Strange Dreams

The next day, the party located the secret passage into a long, man-made tunnel that stretched toward the East. They ventured down it and travelled for about a day.

That night the party experienced strange dreams, having to do with Nayva Swift, Jaren Laa, the Ziggurat, and various elements of their pasts.

Jad, Eldo and Ti’mouth’ca shared their dreams while Tark and Hrossk kept theirs to themselves.

Eldo

  • you’re running through a maze of ancient stone hallways
  • in front of you is a woman, you’re trying to catch up with her
  • she is Lyda Vapasi, daughter of Rek Vapasi, the woman you left behind on Coruscant
  • but she is wearing the amulet belonging to Nayva Swift, wife of Cad Bane
  • before you can catch her, a tall figure steps out from the shadows
  • the figure stabs her and she falls to the ground, dead

Jad

  • you’re in the cockpit of the Sad Remerel as she’s about to crash on Luma
  • in front of you is a massive stone and metal temple
  • inside the temple is a Throne Room
  • in the Throne Room is Nayva Swift, crying
  • she goes to the window and looks out
  • just as the ship crashes and everything goes black

Ti’mouth’ca

They continued on, and within several hours the tunnel inclined, becoming a stairway, until it ended at a secret door leading into the Slave Cells of the Ziggurat of Jaren Laa.

Slave Cells of the Ziggurat

The Ziggurat’s slave chambers consisted of a honeycombed block of individual cells holding four to five people each behind barred metal gates with a mechanical lock. Each cell block contained between 40 and 50 individuals of varying alien races.

Aurren Cado

In one of the slave cells, the party located Aurren Cado, a mechanic shipmate of Hrossk’s, who had been marooned on this planet with him. Cado was severely beaten and barely alive.

Tark picked the lock of Cado’s cell and they took him and the cell’s other occupants behind the secret door to perform medicine on him.

Dr. Rip was able to bring Cado to the brink of consciousness and give him a stimpack, rendering him lucid and able to move about, with some difficulty.

The Star Hammer

Cado raved that the Ziggurat contained a massive weapon called the Star Hammer, which was the device that had wrenched their ship out of hyperspace. He said that, when fully charged, the Star Hammer would be able to transport the entire planet of Luma to the orbit of any other sun in the Galaxy.

He said that the device had begun charging and that it would be fully charged in less than two hours, leaving them very little time to destroy the device.

Destroying the Star Hammer

Cado explained that three control towers regulated the flow of energy through the Star Hammer. All three must be deactivated to trigger the destruction of the Star Hammer and the Ziggurat itself.

Cado’s cellmates

Also in the cell with Aurren Cado were four other individuals:

  • Amitey Baldor, a female Gran politican.
  • Cacete Darwin, a female Togruta dancer.
  • Edus Fiana, a male Arcona with glassy, glazed eyes.
  • Burgan Graal, a male Chevin. Burgan Graal is a businessman and he tells the PCs that if they were able to help him escape, he would be able to reward them generously on Nar Shadaa.

The party learned of the existence of a Computer Room where they could learn more about the Ziggurat and possibly deactivate its security, and a Hangar Bay where they might be able to find a vehicle to escape the Ziggurat.

Freeing the slaves

The group left the secret passage and opened the rest of the slave cells. Dr. Rip rallied the captives to fight, gathering a group of ten stronger individuals who were willing to take up arms against their Rodian captors.

Turning toward the cell block’s open blast door to leave, the party was surprised by a patrol of Rodian guards drawing their weapons and ordering them to freeze!

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