Explorers on the Edge
Throne Room of Jaren Laa
This section should be cross-cut with Chamber of the Star Hammer. See ‘Countdown’ to determine how much time the PCs have before the Star Hammer is fully charged and ready to use.
A strange presence…
If the PCs don’t seem inclined to go to the Throne Room or to seek out Nayva Swift, have one of the PCs (probably Ti’mouth’ca) feel compelled to go there. This is Jaren Laa using her Force Influence ability. She senses the connection that Ti’mouth’ca feels for the Eye of Rodia and wants to meet her.
Ti’mouth’ca must make a Hard () Willpower check with to avoid leaving the party and going to the Throne Room.
On a or more, she resists it but she can tell that she feels drawn to the Throne Room by some unknown force. She feels like they will find Nayva Swift there.
If she fails, she must do her best to get to the Throne Room. She may bring members of the party with her.
If they physically restrain her from going, she suffers 2 strain per round until they allow her to go or she passes out.
Map: “Deep Vistas”
Lighting: “Throne Room”
Timer: “Throne Room”
- Throne Room smells of incense and perfume
- air is misty with smoke from incense burners
- strange torches glow on the walls with a red light on the tan stone
- you feel as though you can hear a faintly haunting melody sung by a chorus far away
- a mellifluous voice is speaking in a kind of sing-song
- occasionally guttural voices murmur in assent
- the sounds stop when you enter
The Throne Room of Jaren Laa is a massive chamber at the top of one of the points of the Ziggurat:
- several levels
- raised dais in the center
- huge throne on raised dais 4 meters up
- pillars and giant statues for cover
- giant computer control console
In the room:
- Jaren Laa
- Rodian Sergeant, wielding pistol
- 1 Rodian Thug minion group, wielding pistols
- variety of servant droids shuffling about
Jaren Laa is actually fascinated to see the party, because they have been so audacious.
She will use her Influence power to attempt to dominate the PCs’ minds.
She’ll greet them, there will probably be a standoff between the Rodian guards and the PCs. Jaren Laa will make her Influence checks and if she succeeds she’ll prevent the PCs from taking hostile action for a time.
The mystical influence of Jaren Laa makes it difficult for those in her presence to resist her influence.
Each player should make a Hard () Cool check to avoid receiving on all checks made until the end of this encounter.
Upgrade the check once if the countdown is 6 rounds or less. Upgrade twice if the countdown is 3 rounds or less.
On a failure, the PC’s head feels fuzzy and they’re a bit suggestible.
She’ll tell them a bit of how she came to be, thousands of years ago. The PCs can ask questions if they like.
“I was a scientist, studying hyperspace. On my travels I came upon the Eye of Rodia and immediately felt its pull.”
“It showed me things I could never have known. Hyperspace is all an illusion, we are not so far apart from the other side of the Galaxy, if we just know the right incantations to make.”
“The authorities of my day wouldn’t allow me to continue my work, they claimed it was too dangerous. My followers built me a temple on the world you call Christophsis and we started our research.”
“I had visions of this world. The conditions were perfect for the development of the Star Hammer. Over twenty years my followers constructed this Ziggurat. Until armies of the natives swarmed over everything, and destroyed all our work!”
“I was in the Star Hammer chamber when they attacked. I saw the machines began to fall toward me and then … nothing.”
“Until several years ago I started to feel a life force near me. I didn’t realize that I still had form, or that I could still feel … anything. But the Eye of Rodia had saved me from oblivion.”
“That life force was Nayva Swift. I realized that I was near her somehow, and that she had just the right sensitivity which I needed, an awareness of the infinite. I knew that over time I could become her!”
“I took control of her mind little by little until I was all that was left. I booked passage offworld and arranged to be brought back here, to finish what we had started so long ago.”
“I’ve felt a disturbance lately, as though another powerful presence is reaching out to find me. It is growing closer now. But soon the Star Hammer will be fully charged and nothing will be able to stop me!”
At some point she’ll make it clear that she’s going to have to kill them if she can’t mesmerize them into serving her, and combat will be inevitable.
What if they’ve got freed slaves?
If the PCs bring groups of freed slaves with them to help fight, Jaren Laa will need to devote at least one just to keeping them mesmerized.
At some point this control will break and the freed slaves will be able to fight against the minions.
Defeating Jaren Laa
Jaren Laa will attempt to use her Bind power to hold the PCs in the air. She’ll tell them some of how she came to be here.
If they get within short range, she’ll use her Protect/Unleash.
Rodian Sergeants and Rodian Thugs will take cover at different spots in the Throne Room and fire on the PCs with their blaster pistols.
If the Rodian Sergeant is killed, the Rodian Thug minion group will need to make an Average () Discipline check to stay in the fight and avoid fleeing.
Nayva Swift’s medallion
If the PCs produce Nayva Swift’s medallion, it will immediately break Jaren Laa’s concentration and cancel any Force powers she is using.
Her mood will change and she’ll insist that Nayva Swift is no more, that she has taken over completely.
Then she’ll lash out viciously at the PC holding the medallion. She’ll upgrade the difficulty of any attacks she makes while the PC has the medallion (to represent her inner turmoil affecting her ability to attack).
She will suffer 2 strain per round (on her first turn) until she has destroyed the medallion.
Social Combat with Jaren Laa
To give the Throne Room encounter a distinct flavor from the Star Hammer encounter, the PCs could be encouraged to treat it more as a social combat scenario than straight-up shooting.
The Rodian guards will engage in the combat, but the players should be able to handle them. Jaren Laa is interested to speak with the players so for the most part, she is not going to physically hurt them.
She can use her Force powers to keep the PCs at bay, while her strain is below a certain point.
They’ll be in initiative order, but they’ll be able to use social skills to afflict strain damage to each other. If a PC exceeds their strain threshold, they’re overwhelmed by Jaren Laa’s hypnotic influence.
If Jaren Laa exceeds her strain threshold, she will pass out briefly and reawaken as Nayva Swift. See “What if they let Jaren Laa live?”
When interacting with Jaren Laa in social combat, the skill used will depend on the approach taken by the PCs.
In most cases, the PCs can approach either Jaren Laa herself, or the Nayva Swift side of her personality.
Being kind, sweet, charming, funny or sincere.
- appealing to Nayva Swift’s love for her husband
- appealing to Jaren Laa’s inflated sense of ego.
Being threatening, rude or insulting.
- reminding Nayva Swift of how hurt her husband will be if he loses her
- telling Jaren Laa the Empire is going to destroy her
Lying to either Nayva Swift or Jaren Laa about some consequence of their actions.
- telling Nayva Swift that her husband is dead
- telling Nayva Swift her husband will lose the will to live without her
- telling Jaren Laa that the PCs informed the Empire of her location
Appealing to either Nayva Swift or Jaren Laa’s sense of right and wrong.
- Nayva Swift is at heart a good, strong person. Add to Leadership checks targeting her personality specifically.
- Jaren Laa is an egomaniac who believes she should rule the galaxy. Add to Leadership checks targeting her.
Trying to make some kind of deal in exchange for something.
- The PCs offering to serve Jaren Laa and help her conquer the Galaxy
- Promising Nayva Swift they’ll return her to her husband
What if they kill Jaren Laa?
If Jaren Laa’s wounds or strain exceed her thresholds, she will be rendered unconscious.
It’s unlikely the PCs would explicitly kill her once that was the case, but it’s theoretically possible.
It’s possible that a rolled by Jaren Laa on an attack could start to collapse her Throne Room. Perhaps a statue might fall on her and trap her. The PCs would need to help rescue her in that case.
What if they let Jaren Laa live?
If she’s rendered unconscious, the PCs will be able to approach Jaren Laa safely.
She’ll wake briefly, clearly a changed person, with the attitude and manner of Nayva Swift.
- she’ll wake up briefly as Nayva Swift
- she’ll tell them that they must destroy the Eye of Rodia or Jaren Laa will be back
If Jaren Laa is rendered unconscious, her Rodian thugs will flee the Throne Room and try to escape.
What if the Star Hammer is fully charged?
If the Star Hammer becomes fully charged and Jaren Laa is still alive, she’ll try to reach the giant computer console in the Throne Room.
Her objective is to transport the planet Luma to the Coruscant system.
It would take 6 turns once she’d pressed the button for this to happen. If nothing prevents it, the PCs and everyone on the planet would experience a sensation of being torn apart and put back together again, and the planet Luma would be orbiting Coruscant Prime.
If nothing stopped her, Nayva Swift would use the Star Hammer to send waves through hyperspace, destroying ships around Coruscant and preventing any Imperial cruisers from reaching the system.
Stopping the Star Hammer
It would take a Hard () Computers check to stop the Star Hammer from transporting Luma to the Coruscant system once the countdown had started. If Jaren Laa or any of her minions were active, add due to their efforts to stop the PC.
What if the Star Hammer overloads?
If the PCs in the Star Hammer chamber successfully activate the Star Hammer’s overload by deactivating the control towers, the Throne Room will start to shudder and the entire Ziggurat will begin to shake.
Next: Escape from the Ziggurat
They use Melee and carry the Crude Vibro-ax weapon.
Their Melee skill decreases as members are eliminated:
- 5 members:
- 4 members:
- 3 members:
- 2 members:
- 1 member: