The Skylark has an uneventful journey in reaching Waypoint Station above Sadukka 2, and here the ship is berthed and the Jedi contingent are met by representatives of the Samioi Movement, and Harramis Datshara leaves with them for a few hours to discuss some finer points of the business between the 2 Force using traditions. Tal Eran spends some time going over customs checks and bureaucracy with the local port officials, and the Jedi all make sure that they have all they need for the immediate moment, for customs dictate that the Skylark must be in dock for at least 24 hours whilst the necessary documentation and port business is concluded; it is decided that most of the Jedi materials for the Enclave are to remain in the Skylarks hold, and Tal, Meshara Raaril and the droids shall remain on Waypoint station with the ship whilst the Jedi take a shuttle to their destination of the palace of Paleskaan. Also being introduced are the small contingent of the local law enforcement (called The Law Guards) who shall act as intermediaries and additional protection for the Jedi Enclave, at least for the short term. They are comprised of Captain Argraar Deshunia (a Cathar male and the leader of the unit) and his 4 law officers, being Talsis Vamphora (a burly affable human male), Poyona Miturii (female Twi lek), Vander Slenn (wiry and lean human male) and lastly Lekta Adoyness (Togrutan female). They are all pleased and in the Captains case honoured to meet the Jedi.
Once Harramis returns, the Jedi board the shuttle and make their way down to the Palace of Paleskaan, located in an area of Crown owned land in the Hidanna Highlands on the coast, located some 6 hours from the Sadukkan capital Sadukka City. The journey is easy and take a little over half an hour, and when they arrive, a 4 storied building elaborately constructed from sandstone and other materials greets them; it has extensive grounds, is located on a high hill overlooking the forested hills to the south and west and with stunning views of the sea to the north and east. Once arrived, the Guards immediately perform security checks to make sure the area is still secure (they checked earlier but you never know) and the Jedi alight and start settling in, having a good look around what is to be their home for some time. One of the glasteel walled ballrooms on the first floor makes an excellent sparring and lightsaber practice room for example, having a wonderful view of the sea and horizon.
Harramis elects to take his Padawan Hana Lightfoot on a bracing evening run amongst the trails and forested hills around the Palace, leaving the rest to become familiar with the palace at their leisure.
Meanwhile, Tal is visited by the welcome sight of Kayla Pek in her uniform as she visits the ship, and she spends some time catching up, relaying the doings of her family and own self as she hears about what her former shipmates have been doing. She leaves soon, but confirms she’ll visit for longer when she has some shore leave due.
Harramis leaves with Hana to the capital for important (and sadly unavoidable) meetings with delegates and Samioi, leaving 3 guards and the Jedi to their own devices. During a good run, Fowmaral and his Padawan Xiola Blu come across a highpoint of the area, being a wooded high bluff with spectacular views of the surrounding area. They first notice it as a good spot which enemies might use to attack from, but they also note the Light side of the Force is strong here, and Fowmaral believes it a good place to become a meditation grove at some point.
That night,Tersha has a Force Vision when at rest, with the 5 Dark River engineers being killed by the Force within captivity; her Vision also shows a weblike network of motes and energies floating in darkness, all leading to one shadowy figure at the centre, but more ominously, there is a vision of 4 moons in the sky behind the figure, with the seas and waters behind raging and roiling in a magnificent and awesome tide.
Tersha relays this information to them all at the early morning meal, and thought they all think it over, it is Xiola who suggests that the shadowy figure is manipulated by the 4 moons behind, though what they represent is unknown as yet; certainly, local tides on Sadukka are heavily and powerfully influenced by the movements of the 4 moons, with the seas becoming dangerous and volatile when all 4 moons are in the sky at once.
Deciding that winning the hearts and minds of the locals is a good way to start, Jaric Morandin, Fowmaral, Tersha and Xiola (with Guardsman Talsis in tow) take a walk down the wooded trail towards the nearest village of Mindine (the other 2 villages of Salemisk and Ceraalene are further away). As they approach, passing the terraced groves and orchards that support the local brewing and wineries, they see some old looking ruins near the village. At the village, they are regarded with polite and curious interest by the locals, and are met by the Headmna, an old gent by the name of Menyo. They talk of small things, like the local economy and way of life, and when at the local tavern, they are informed that an academic man was in the village a couple of days previously, on his way to the ruins. Intrigued, the Jedi (guided by Menyo) wander along the pathways to the large ruins to find the man and talk with him of his interest.
The ruins are made up of 4 large ziggurat pyramids, well made (the south western o0ne has partially collapsed some time ago), with walls linking them around a central mezzanine or courtyard. Fowmaral estimates that these ruins are at least 6000 years old, certainly pre-dating the Republic and likely even the Jedi. As they approach, they can hear a slight sound, a humming on the periphery of their senses. Looking within the courtyard, they see a small pyramid like device sits in the centre, and it appears to be the source of the humming. Jaric approaches to investigate, and as he does, he feels the ground tremble underfoot, and he dives aside in time as the centre of the courtyard collapses in with a roar and cloud of dust. As they all focus on the area, they hear the sound of jet enjines from within the dusty hole, and after a few moments and very large and dangerous droid flies up from the hole, with 4 long spider like legs from its chassis and a 4 armed humanoid torso in the centre. It’s head is angular and wedge like, with 2 red glowing eyes. The arms it has end in an array of blaster and heavy weapons, with clawed hand and even a large sword. It is even hard to establish if it is made from metal, stone or ceramic.
It immediately assumes an aggressive posture after scrutinising the Jedi, and with that, battle is joined. The ensuing battle is hard fought, with the jedi drawing on much of their skill and power to defeat the hardy foe, and the masterstroke of Fowmaral and Jaric combining their Move Object powers to take hold of the droid and slam it into the floors and walls of the ruins helps enormously. Tersha battles the thing up close and delivers the final blow with her force guided lightsaber. Even then, the defeated droid has one last trick to play, and enters into a self destruct mode that the party only just manage to avoid. Certainly, they note that the sheared away land and ruins from the odd imploding explosion indicate a lethal sting in the tail for a foe of this droid.
Dusting themselves down from their various injuries and burns, they and Talsis take charge of the situation, calling for support and informing the authorities. When the Captain and other guards arrive, the 3 Jedi Knights and the Captain descend into the pit where the droid came from (a good 20 metres down) and find a very cold antechamber with unusual symbols and etchings on the walls. Fowmaral in particular finds a small frieze showing armies of these droids (with bigger ones too) battling alongside humanoids against foes who seem somewhat alien, and amongst those foes are war engines that look a lot like the mighty machine they encountered a long time previously on a dark and dangerous planet beyond the Outer Rim. Not much wiser, they take notes of all they can and return to the war sunshine above.
Relaying in brief what has happened to Harramis via coms, they politely welcome the thanks dn praise of the thankful villagers and return to the Palace, where they are met by the arrival of Tal and the Skylark. They have much to think on, and foremost amongst these is who created the droid, who woke it up and are there any more of them? The fact that the frieze indicated that what they fought was a comparative footsoldier and there were bigger ones on the mural is a cause for some concern…