Age of Nymia #2: Overgrowth

The following story is based on the first Dungeons & Dragons Homebrew Campaign I’am 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!

A low hum fills the air as the elevator descends into the depths of Zebes. Turon, Mikau, and Commander Jayce ready for whatever awaited them. After several minutes, it finally comes to a stop. Once more the landscape had shifted. Rather than the caves or stone bricks from earlier, they found themselves surrounded by foliage. Vines covered the walls and were thick enough to make platforms and paths that continued even further down into Zebes.

Commander Jayce glanced over the edge of the platform. “That’s a long way down…” Even without his sniper rifle, he could see tell they were at least 6 stories above the ground. “General, I think we should fallback. We don’t know where we’re going, how far we’ll have to go, or even a map to keep us from getting lost.”

“Scared Commander?” Mikau taunts. “Stay here and leave the Seps to me then.” Without a second thought, he drops down from the platform and begins his descent.

“Such a troublesome Padawan…I wonder how Obi-Wan managed his so well.” Turon groans before following after Mikau.

“Guess I’m taking the long way down…” Commander Jayce sighed. Walking along the path of vines connecting each series of platforms together.

Mikau continues leaping from platform to platform gracefully. Only stopping when he came to two paths at opposite ends of the room. Both blocked by smooth red doors. He reaches out with the Force but the door doesn’t budge. “Hard way it is.” Mikau slashes the door with his Lightsaber. Opening up to long room vent protruding from the ground beneath a platform of vines.

“Slow down Mikau.” Turon requests. Finally catching up to the young Zora.

“Low road or high road?”

“What?”

Mikau points to the room he successfully opened. “Low or high road? I bet there’s something for us at both.

“This isn’t the time for games.” Turon frowned. Mikau remained there waiting for an answer. “Fine, high road.”

“Low road it is then.” Mikau proceeds towards the pipe.

“You were going to just pick the opposite of me weren’t you?”

“…Maybe.”

Mikau stops and ignites his Lightsabers. Out from the pipes soars a swarm of insectoid aliens. Each armed with handguns that had sharp purple needles sticking out of the top. The Yanme’e were another species within the Covenant often going by the name of Drones. What they lacked in physical strength they made up for in sheer overwhelming numbers.

“Incoming!” Mikau defends against the assault of Needler rounds. The swarm making sure to stay out of his range.

“This is why you don’t leave me behind.” Commander Jayce finally arrives and takes a knee. Readying his sniper rifle and taking out the Drones one by one.

“It seems we sprung a trap.” Turon drops his robes and draws his Lightsaber. His attention focused on the Red Door opposite of the trio. “I leave this to you, Commander.”

The door opens with more enemies behind it. Three Super Battle Droids with smooth yet bulky black frames and wrist-mounted blasters. Two thin birdlike aliens, the Kig-Yar or Jackals, came arms with Plasma Pistols and large circular energy shields. A Sangheili Zealot clad in smooth golden armor wielding a glowing two-pronged Covenant Energy Sword led them all.

“Attack!” The Elite orders. His troops responding in kind.

Turon ignites his Lightsaber. But this time a second blade ignites from the opposite end. His Double Lightsaber spun through the air and deflected the onslaught with ease. Plasma Bolts and Blaster Fire deflected harmlessly to the side. The Jackals combined with the Super Battle Droids made for a dangerous opposition. But not one Turon could not best. The Jackal’s shields, while quite durable, had a glaring flaw that was lacked in the Droideka’s Turon had grown accustomed to fighting. Their shields were a hard blue energy field that didn’t fully cover their legs and left an opening for the Jackals to shoot out of. With a mighty swing, he deflects two blasts into the openings. Piercing through the Jackal’s hands and their Plasma Pistols. Stumbling to the ground and removing the troublesome obstacle in his path. Turon throws his Double Lightsaber. Using the Force to control the blade as it spun through the air. Cleaving two of the Super Battle Droids and both Jackals in two. The Elite Zealot ducking under both the attack as it flew and returned to Turon. It’s return spin cleaving the final Super Battle Droid. Arriving just in time for Turn to defend himself. Holding his blade fast and blocking the Elite Zealots upward swing. Parrying it and locking blades. Neither moving an inch despite their best efforts.

Sparks flew as Double Lightsaber clashed against the Covenant Energy Sword. Both of the combatants were of equal strength. The Elite Zealot reached for his left thigh and drew a second Energy Sword. Pushing back against Turon and swinging wildly. Creating space between the two. A fatal mistake for the Elite Zealot. With space to breathe, it was easy for Turon to Force Throw him off the edge of the bridge to a swift end.

“Can you pick up the pace Jayce?” Mikau calls out to Commander Jayce. Despite his best efforts, four needles now suck out from his body. Two in his chest, one in his left bicep, and one in his collar. Two more bypassing his wavering defense and striking him in his stomach. “Gah!” Mikau falls down on one knee as the hail of needles bore down on him. But they stop short in the air. Held in place with the Force by Turon.

“My apologies for the delay.” Turon uses the Force to send the needles flying back at their attackers. Creating a cascade of purple explosions across the air.

“Whoa…what did you just do?” Mikau asked stunned on the floor.

“The Subanese Crystal are deadly and extremely volatile my Padawan. If enough pierce your flesh, they react and explode. It’s fortunate most will only explode when seven have struck you.” Turon helps Mikau to his feet. The needles shattering on their own after a few moments. “It’s also fortunate none of your vitals were pierced.”

“I’m sorry Master…I wasn’t strong enough…” Mikau’s head hung lowly, unable to face his Master’s gaze.

“Do not worry Mikau. There are few who’d have lasted as long as you did. It was my fault for putting you at such risk in the first place. Commander Jayce.” Turon places Mikau’s arm around Commander Jayce’s shoulder to support him. “Take Mikau back to the surface and get him medical attention. I’ll continue on the mission alone.”

“I don’t think that’s wise General. They already know we’re here. If you keep going without backup you probably won’t be coming back.” Commander Jayce expressed his concern for such a strategy.

“You’d do well to listen to your Clone, Jedi.” A voice echoes before appearing before the group in a surge of black energy. A figure shrouded in a jet black cloak with silver spiked pauldrons on the shoulder. He bore a crimson demonic mask that left his mouth and chin exposed visible beneath their hood. Ornate angular purple glyphs in a “v” shape extended from the collarbone to the navel. Whoever this figure was, they appeared to have an average male build and fair skin. Appearing to be of human descent in some form. The mysterious man floated fearlessly in the air above the vined platforms.
Instinctively, Turon readies his Double Lightsaber and stands between himself and the unknown party. He sensed darkness coming from the man but not the same one he had sensed earlier. “Identify yourself, stranger.”

“Who I am is of no import. Just know that I am an ally of yours.” The man in black answers.

“Forgive me if I don’t immediately believe you.”

“A wise decision. One I’d expect from the Clone before you.” The man in black glances at the pair. “I’ve no need for an audience. Away with you.” With a wave of his hand, a portal of darkness swallows Commander Jayce & Mikau.

“No!” Turon shouts in confusion. At first, he wondered what type of technology he used to banish his comrades. But the dark feeling in the pit of his stomach said otherwise. It felt like the Force and yet…not. If he didn’t know better he’d believe it was magic. The thought bringing to mind a tale he heard in passing from Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi of the Nightsisters on Dathomir. Who used the Force in a way vastly different to both the Jedi & the Sith. Performing feats alien to both that could only be called magic. “What have you done with them?!”

“I simply removed them for the time being. They’re safe I assure you. Had I wanted them dead, I’d have done it without making my presence known.”

“Assuming I believe you, what do the Nightsisters want with us? I don’t recall you Nightbrothers being able to perform magic.”

The man hovered silently for a moment. A faint smirk took hold as if he was amused by something. “The enemy of my enemy is my friend. I’ve no love for the Republic, Covenant, or Separatists. But I fathom even you can see the greater picture before you. ” Turon remained silent. Cautious of every word the man spoke. “If the Covenant or Separatists get whatever Forerunner Relic lies dormant here you can be sure it will bode poorly for you. Should they then unite well…I imagine you being here at all is a testament to your concern over such a possibility.”

“Indeed, which makes this conversation pointless.” Turon lowered his Double Lightsaber and deactivates it. “Did you have a point you wanted to make?”

“Why, yes I did. But if you’d rather end this pointless conversation prematurely I can see myself out.”

Turon sighed and played along with the Man despite his annoyance and distrust. “Forgive me for my rudeness.”

“You Jedi are so much more amicable and easy to deal with.” The Man crossed his arms and continued. “Fortunately, neither party has located the Relic. Nor have they not forged a proper alliance yet. Both are keeping the peace while talks commence.” With a wave of his hand, a portal of darkness appears before Turon. “If you were to make your presence known and offer to locate the Forerunner Relic, the Covenant would no doubt find themselves in your debt.”

“Empty promises will get us nowhere.”

“Right you are, fortunately for us, your Padawan will take care of that matter. I’ve reason to believe that beyond Brinstar hidden within Maridia lies the Forerunner Relic. A Zora would be right out home in that submerged region.”

“And you expect me to trust all of this blindly?” Turon scoffed. All this information was too good to be true and only served to make him more cautious.

“Would you rather continue searching for days on end and risk missing your opportunity? Prolonging and guaranteeing almost certain defeat?”

A few minutes earlier; Mikau and Commander Jayce found themselves transported through the dark void back to the surface of Crateria. Turon’s Jedi Starfighter and the ARC-170 that they arrived in still awaiting their return. “What was that? Where’s Master?” Mikau struggles from Commander Jayce’s shoulder but falls to the ground.
Commander Jayce chuckled to himself before helping Mikau up once more. “You did that to yourself.”

“Less snarking and more helping Jayce.”

“If you wish to help your master.” A voice echoes before a second cloaked figure appears from a portal of darkness before the pair. While identical in appearance to the man in black, this one’s voice is lighter and softer in tone. “I’ve a means of doing just that.”
Mikau readies the lightsaber in his free hand. “As if I’d trust you.”

“So quick to judge my compatriot and I. But understandable given the circumstances.” he floats down to the ground and lands softly. “Pray, forgive my rudeness.” he says before bowing politely. “You may call me Yuga if it so pleases you. I apologize for any grievances my associate caused.”

“I’m still not sold.” Commander Jayce says flatly.

“A wise man would not be. Unfortunately, we’ve wasted enough time on pleasantries. Our time runs short if we’re to stop the Covenant and the Separatists.”

“Why-” Mikau begins only to be cut off by Commander Jayce.

“What did you have in mind?”

“My associate, Agahnim, is assuredly ferrying your Master to the parties directly. While they are buying time I’ve a special task for you.” Yuga points at Mikau with his right arm. His gloves clawed and menacing despite his seemingly pleasant demeanor. “They search for a Forerunner Relic but we believe it to be in Maridia. The only area neither party is currently equipped to delve into. But for a Zora, even an injured one, it’d be a simple matter.”

“And how do I know this isn’t a trap?” Mikau furrows his brow suspiciously.

“You’re injured and the Clone is preoccupied with supporting you. Had I wanted to strike you down I’d not have abandoned the element of surprise. Let alone waste time sending you away to do it elsewhere.”

“He has a point.”

“You’re trusting him? Just like that?” Mikau pushes Commander Jayce aside and stands on his own. Igniting his second lightsaber.

“What he said makes sense.” Commander Jayce notes with a level head. “Come in General.” He says across his communicator.

“Commander Jayce? I’m glad you’re safe. Where are you?” Turon answers.

“We’re back on the surface. With a friend of that hooded man.”

“It appears he was telling the truth…Commander Jayce, we’ll work with them for the time being. But stay on guard.”

“Yes General.” Commander Jayce ends their connection. “You heard him Mikau.”

“Fine…” Mikau sighed. “Let’s get this over with.” He turns off his lightsabers as Commander Jayce begins performing quick medical treatment. Wrapping bandaging around his injuries. Hardly ideal but it would have to do for the time being.

“As you wish.” With a thought, a portal appears before Mikau. “Enter and you shall be transported to Maridia. Once there, you must find the Forerunner Relic. Unfortunately, we know not what it looks like. But surely you’ll be able to recognize it upon sight. Look for something, anything that is reminiscent of the Covenants technology.”

“Any other vague wisdom you have to share?” Mikau scoffs.

“I thought you Jedi were fond of vague platitudes cryptic messages?”

Mikau takes a deep breath and resists the urge to respond. Entering the portal silently and finding himself whisked away to the dark depths of Maridia. Floating in the water between what appeared to be a shattered glass tube bridge. Blue doors at both ends of the shattered tube keeping the water from flooding into the adjacent halls. Glass fragments from the tube still drifting in the water. Only being visible from the light that still shone from the tube reflecting off of them every so often. Beneath Mikau were two small platforms growing out of the cavern walls extended outwards. Two more directly above him with another blue door on the ceiling above. Mikau uses his lightsaber to open the door above and swims through. The next room was truly massive. Extending ever upward and even branching off to the side. Strange obelisks floated sporadically yet innumerable throughout the area. Darkness consumed Maridia save for the glow of his lightsaber. Were it not for that or his natural marine biology, he’d have no hope of seeing through the murky depths.

“Master…this could take a while…” Mikau says across his communicator. Yuga made the task seem far easier than it would turn out to be in reality…

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