Age of Nymia #1: Planet Zebes

The following story is based on the first Dungeons & Dragons Homebrew Campaign I’ll be DMing. Focused on the NPCs before the events of the Campaign take place. It’s primarily a sci-fi themed campaign built from/using the Star Wars 5e & Halo 5e campaigns. But also various other science fiction themed characters and locales I found or made for use in 5e. As well as some bits of magic from FFXIV 5e and other stuff I just really liked/wanted to use. I’ve been treating it like one of my normal original stories so hopefully you can read and enjoy!

“General, we’re approaching Zebes.” A Republic Clone Trooper informed his Jedi General who sat in meditation. The Clone Trooper, Commander Jayce, wore Phase 2 Clone Armor. Specifically the recon variant albeit with a pauldron on his left shoulder and cloth skirt that extended to the back of his knees. It bore a distinct sapphire coloration with the pauldron and accents on the forearms and breastplate being purple. He served under Jedi Master Turon Vadamee, a Sangheili. Though most simply call them the Elites, a term bound to them since they joined the Covenant Hegemony. He wore the standard brown Jedi Robes atop grey reptilian skin. White forearm guards, grieves, and a small breastplate were worn for added protection.

“Thank you, Commander Jayce.” Turon ended his meditation and stood up. Using the Force to retrieve a white helmet that lay next to him. Turon was roughly 7 feet tall and towered over the Clone.” Speak your mind Jayce.”

“I don’t see why we’re here, sir. What reasons do the Seps have for coming this far out?”

As Turon begins to speak, he made his way for the bridge. Jayce following not far behind. “I can not say for certain, but the Jedi Council has some suspicions. Master Tusk and Predator Squadron discovered evidence that the Separatists have been in communication with extragalactic forces. They were using a frequency used especially common with the Sangheili. I don’t think I need to tell you what this means.” Turon’s tone deepened ominously.

“The Covenant…If they ally themselves with the Separatists it’ll be a slaughter.” Like the rest of his Clone brothers, Jayce had never actually faced off against the Covenant. The prospect of dealing with an advanced hostile empire that rivaled the Republic in scale was a daunting one. Especially with the threat of the Separatists still present.

“There’s always hope Commander. The enemy of my enemy is my friend.”

“Tell that to the Covies.” Jayce scoffed.

“If we could harness your pessimism as a weapon we’d have nothing to be concerned about.”

“It’s not pessimism sir, it’s realism.” They pause briefly as the bridge doors slide open. “The Covenant are just too different from the Republic. I don’t see a scenario where we’re not fighting.”

“You may be right Commander…But I still choose to believe that there is hope for peace between our people.”

“Hello, Master.” A fishlike individual in Jedi robes greets Turon from the front of the bridge. He had bright sapphire eyes and pale blue skin. Fins protruded from his hips and elbows. The back of his head extending down to his back in what appeared to be a dolphin’s tail. He was a fairly thin lad of Zora descent and average height. Mikau was his name and he was a Padawan learner still training to be a Jedi Knight. “Ready to take down some Droids?” He asks enthusiastically.

“I am always ready, but we don’t know if there are any Separatists just yet.”

“With our luck master, we’re flying into an ambush.” Mikau rolled his eyes.

“You’re leaving a bad impression on my Padawan, Commander.” Turon frowned at Commander Jayce.

“Kid’s gotta learn sometime General.” Commander Jayce replied casually.

Turon sighed as their arrowhead-shaped Star Destroyer exited hyperspace. In the distance, they could see the planet Zebes. From a distance, it appeared to be a dreary yellowish planet with two moons orbiting it. Zebes seemed to be covered in stormy clouds that obscured a proper view of the surface below.

“Curious…why aren’t there any ships in orbit?” Turon thought aloud. Eyes squinting suspiciously.

“Perhaps they came on a smaller transport?” Mikau suggests.

“Or General Tusk got bad intel.” Commander Jayce offered his perspective shortly after.

“Master Tusk is rarely wrong…though I can’t dismiss the possibility.” The Covenant very rarely did operations covertly. They also wouldn’t attempt negotiations without a full fleet. At the least a Capital Ship. Turon could only wonder why they suddenly shifted their methods if they’re intel was accurate. “Admiral, I want you to remain on standby.”

“Yes General.” The Clone Admiral in charge of their ship, the Adversity, replies firmly.

“I shall head to Zebes. Commander Jayce, take Mikau and your squad to investigate the moons.”

“Yes General.” Commander Jayce responded.

“But Master, if there is trouble on the surface you shouldn’t be alone.” Mikau protested.

“All will be well Mikau. Whoever is there, if anyone is there, they likely only have a small attack force. They’ll be of little concern to me.” Turon reassures Mikau.

“But-” Mikau remained unconvinced.

“Have faith Mikau. If anything goes wrong I’ll signal immediately.” Turon pats Mikau on his left shoulder. “May the Force be with you.”

“May the Force be with you, Master…”

With their missions clear; Turon, Mikau, Jayce, and their Clone squad depart from the hanger. Turon flew his Jedi Starfighter. Much like the Adversity, the Jedi Starfighter had an arrowhead-shaped design. An elegant and speedy fighter fit for their Jedi pilots. Its central white portion a sapphire hue with the side red accents replaced by purple. A darker cobalt blue Astromech sat waiting onboard the starfighter to the left of the cockpit. Ready for them to depart.

Mikau lacked a Jedi Starfighter to call his own. Instead, working as a gunner on board Commander Jayce’s Arc 170 Starfighter. It was slightly larger than normal Starfighter that was used by Commander Jayce and the 6 other Clones that served under him. Its long central section was large enough to accommodate not just the pilot and co-pilot but an Astromech as well. Large wings extended outwards with blaster mounted on their underside. Two smaller wings raised above and below the primary wings acted as cooling vents. They departed for Zebes moon in a V-Shaped flight formation shortly after Turon himself departed.

It takes about 15 minutes for Turon to enter the atmosphere of Zebes. His Droid beeping frantically. “Don’t worry X9. We’ve flown through worse.” He reassures his Astromech, R2-X9. Soon after they descend through the storm clouds and get a proper view of the surface. A mountainous landscape that was covered in damp green grass. “X9, scan for any outgoing Covenant signals.” X9 beeps before beginning his tasking. Beeping briefly once more after a short silence. “That would’ve been too easy, wouldn’t it? Any news from the others?” X9 beeps in reply. “Perhaps the storm is obstructing our signal…X9, takeover and see what you can find.”

Once more, X9 beeps at his Jedi and takes over control of the Starfighter. Turon taking the opportunity to meditate. Looking to the Force for an answer. A clue to lead them in the right direction. Minutes pass when Turon senses something. A dark cloud deep within the massive cave systems of Zebes. Something or someone was causing a disturbance and was trying to hide it. Retaking control of his Starfighter, Turon flies off into the distance. Finding an opening in the rocky region and landing a short walk from a cave entrance.

“Stay here X9 and try to get in contact with Jayce and the Adversity. Tell them I’m going to investigate the caves.”

Turon puts the hood of his robes up to block the rain and climbs out of his Starfighter. He ventures towards the cave opening where a door awaited. A smooth circular neon blue door. He pulls down his hood once more, waves his hand in front of the door, and opens it with the Force. Despite the technological door that blocked entry to the caves, they possessed no lighting of any kind. Turon reached to the left side of his belt, grabs his long hilted lightsaber, raises it, and ignites its blue blade. Illuminating a short distance ahead. The bat-like creatures on the ceiling shuddering before the azure light. Slowly he walked through the cave. Over a small hill and stopping at a pitfall that led deeper into the caverns of Zebes. Turon sensed something coming from deep below within the pitfall as well as straight-ahead across from him. The standard Battle Droids were far from maneuverable. Which meant the path forward was both a literal and figurative one. It was a simple Force Jump to make. But he elected to simply walk along the periphery of the hole. Coming to a dead-end once he crossed around successfully.

Turon held his Lightsaber towards the wall for a better view. The wall seemed to have crumbled in places. As if it was broken and hastily rebuilt. A simple Force Push is enough for the wall to crumble and reveal another blue doorway. “I wonder what secrets you’re hiding.” Turon thought as he opened the door. Continuing downhill for 10 minutes before encountering the next door. This one opens just as easily. But when he does, he finds something different. Now the cave walls were replaced with stone bricks. Artificial lights came from organic orbs atop small stands grown from the ground. A welcome reprieve from having to use his Lightsaber continuously for light. A short distance in front of him was three stout aliens with large orange finlike back. Each stood guard with small blue Covenant Plasma Pistols in hand. Turon extinguished his lightsaber and approached the trio. “Greetings little ones.” His words startle the Grunts. Each jumping and turning Plasma Pistols at the ready. Breath heavy behind their respirators. For a moment they hesitate upon seeing a Sangheili. But the hesitation quickly passes.

“Fire!” A Grunt cries as he begins his attack along with his comrades. Turon may be a Sangheili, but they knew he was an enemy and not to trust him.

Turon instinctively drew his Lightsaber and deflected the blasts harmlessly to the sides. “I suggest you all surrender.”

The Grunts don’t live long enough to take the offer, however. Not soon after he made his offer did back-up arrives in the form of Mikau. Mikau leaped through the air with two Green Lightsabers at the ready. A downward swing of his right blade made short work of the first Grunt. A quick swing to the side with his left cuts down the second Grunt. The last attempts to turn and flee but is rewarded with two swift slashes across the back. Destroying the Grunts back fin, which was, in reality, a methane pack that allowed it to breathe. Its destruction bow propelling him haphazardly though the air. Desperate screams cut short as the pack explodes and takes the Grunt with it.

“Are you okay Master?” Mikau asked his somewhat disappointed master.

“So much for a peaceful solution.” Turon sighed. Lowering his Lightsaber. “Where’s Jayce?”

“He’ll be here soon.” Mikau said moments before Commander Jayce arrived. “See?”

“Thanks for waiting.” Commander Jayce said sarcastically.

“You’re welcome.” Mikau ignores the sarcasm entirely. “So Master, I think it’s safe to say Master Tusk was right.”

“Indeed it does.” Turon approaches the staircase before him that goes down deeper into the planet. The sound of clanking metallic footsteps steadily getting louder.

“I think that noise came from here.” A high pitched slightly electronic sounding voice says before coming into view. A squad of B1 Battle Droids. Think tan droids with cylindrical heads and questionable levels of effectiveness. “It’s a Jedi!” The lead Battle Droid cries out.

“Shoot em!” Another Battle Droid says before opening fire with its Blaster. The groups concentrated fire forcing the Jedi to take the defense.

“Leave this to me, Master!” Mikau charges forward fearlessly.

“Mikau wait!” Turon tries to stop his hotblooded Padawan.

The Battle Droids stood their ground even as Mikau lept into the air. Landing in the center of the group. Unleashing a burst of electrical energy from his body. Disabling all but one of the Battle Droids simultaneously. “I surrender!” The last Battle Droid cried. Dropping its blaster and raising its arms in submission. It’s slashed diagonally across the chest by Mikau anyway. “WHY?!” It cried as its parts fell to the floor motionless.

“That was unnecessary Mikau.” Turon chastised his student.

“It’s a Droid. An enemy Droid at that. I just did what we had to.” Mikau defended.

“Jedi don’t execute the unarmed. Especially ones that surrendered.”

“If we left it alone it would’ve reported back to the rest of the Seps. The only good Clanker is a scrapped one.” Commander Jayce lost countless brothers to the Battle Droids. If Mikau hadn’t destroyed the Battle Droid, he would’ve.

“You’re right.” Turon begrudgingly agreed. “Even so, there’s no honor in it.”

“As much as I like this little debate, we still have a mission to do.” Commander Jayce remained focused on the task at hand.

“You’re right. Let’s make this quick then.”

Turon preferred diplomacy but was far from an incapable fighter. It was clear they would have to fight through numerous Covenant and Battle Droids who were no doubt alerted to their presence at this point. They continued down the stairs to the bottom floor. Taking the next Blue Door they found, not even entertaining the Red Door they passed along the way. They crossed through another cave. Cutting down more Battle Droids and Grunts with ease along the way. The next Blue Door opening up to an elevator that used an energy platform. The dark presence Turon felt grew stronger as they descended deeper into the recesses of the planet. He had no idea who it was or what was in store. But there was only one way to find out…

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