Shadows of Deceit Plot Summary
This is a general plot summary of the first Lords of the Expanse campaign I ran, called Shadows of Deceit. This started out as a merging of two plots – the Torpedo Sphere Campaign plot in the box set, and the plot in the LotE Tapani Instant Adventure “Lost Destiny.” It grew from that to be a convoluted plot using Sith-controlled Mecrosa, strong Mecetti politics, and a number of Character-oriented subplots stemming for the group of players I had. Barnes Sandos-Central to the plot was Barnes Sandos, a man who wanted to sell information to the players. There were all kinds of rumors as to the nature of the information, most relate back to House Pelagia in some way or another. He turns up missing before he could sell it. All PCs had a stake in what that information could be. I proceeded to play out the Tapani Instant Adventure “Mecetti Files”, obviously modified for this situation. The newly formed party had to find the last known person to talk to Sandos, who turns out to be a smuggler entangled in his own problems.It turns out that Sandos was in a Mecetti prison awaiting his trial for the murder of a Mecetti Lady, Lady Katrina Borodish Ilm. (This plot, I have to admit, was inspired by a Deep Space 9 episode, which I believe was PRODIGAL DAUGHTER from the last season. I’m not saying it was all that great an episode, but it had a lot of good intrigue.)
Assisting Sandos was a deposed Lord of a Herglic Trade House name Lord Rexilor “Rex” Caradonus Adrios, Herglic High Lord , who I modeled after Rigel from Farscape. He was very rude and annoying, constantly farting out his blow-hole atop his head. He was a fun character for me, the GM, to play. This character joined the party in the search for Sandos.
Sandos has the location of a lost Pelagia ship, which he says has or had the Children of the ruling family aboard. Of course, I used the Jedi to convince the party that the kids were still alive and Force Sensitive, through communications via their dreams.
Sandos is a professional miner amd owner of a small mining establishment from Aleron. He also has a small information brokering gig on the side. He has a secret passion for secrets and noble lore. This passion lead him to find the information of the Lost Pelagia Heirs in “Lost Destiny”. However his involvement with Lady Ilm brought about a consequence he didn’t see but should have. Everyone knows not to deal with a Mecetti.
On initial investigation, it did not look good for Sandos. All the evidence they could find made Sandos look guilty. It was difficult enough that he was going to be tried in a Mecetti court. However, as further inestigation into the murder scene revealed, strange anomalies began to appear – hidden data files, a strange mark on Ilm’s door that looked like a rune of some kind, and evidence of another interested party that wanted no further investigation into the murder.
In fact, Sandos did not murder Lady Katrina Ilm, and the investigation into who truly did will lead the party through a dark path.
Lady Katrina Borodish Ilm-Also central to the plot is the murdered Lady Katrina. A outcast Mecetti noble, she was involved Sandos through a business deal that bailed him out of financial trouble. In return, Sandos funded her lodging while she hid away within the Free-world regions plotting her return to Mecetti. She also got a large portion of the bailed-out mining company of Aleron. She was involved in a convoluted plot that involved Annora Calandra – the Mining Guild Official, Lord Alander Berellion – Mecetti Lord with a dark plot to change Tapani forever, and portions of the Torpedo Sphere plot. Her trail of intrigue, blackmail and murder leads the players into several significant plots.
In truth, she was not murdered. Her murder was staged by Berellion once he found out the significance of what the Lady had.
Lady Katrina had information about the pirates attacks from the “Torpedo Sphere” plot – where Callandra was directing pirate attacks to redirect Imperials away from the Torpedo Sphere. At first, the players are lead to believe that Ilm was using this information for some insidious purpose – perhaps blackmailing Callandra. However, in truth, she was manipluating the deals, and causing the pirates to target specific liners carrying Mecetti lords that exiled her from the House. This, of course, required a lot of money to not only convince the pirates to attack specfic liners and kill specfic passengers, but also pay the slicers to make sure Callandra didn’t notice it. This is when Ilm blackmailed Sandos further to milk him for more money and in turn, forced Sandos to try to sell the information he had.
Lord Alander Berellion – Berellion came into play when I wanted to create an interesting political conflict between two of the players. Berellion is a very powerful Lord on the Mecetti High Lord’s Prvy Council. He is also a plotter and a schemer. He is also a egotistical meglomaniac. He feels like he can either manipulate, blackmail or buy his way out or into anything. This is exactly how he got to where he is now. A very power leader of a very influential family within Mecetti, he as much at his disposal and is not afraid to show it.
It wasn’t clear Berellion intentions at first, at least to the party, because he was helping a few of them out in some instances, while threatening others at the same time. In the end, his enigmatic plan cam vaguly into view. He had plans to assassinate High Lord of Mecetti and take the thrown itself. He palnned to make it look like someone else had done it, either the secret society of Melantha/Mecetti conspirators, or a lower lord or the inept Imperial Moff overseeing the region.
Berellion got involved when he noticed many of his enemies disappearing or turning up dead floating in space. He investigated and tracked it to Lady Ilm, whom he brokered a deal with. Lady Katrina was on the verge of returning to Mecetti as her reward for serving Berellion when Callandra, and JAN got wind of her actions. Callandra arranged a forged Mecrosa hit on Lady Katrina and framed Sandos.
Attack on the Torpedo Sphere by a secret group of Nobles and JAN – This is the general plot outlined with in the Box Set, modified as the campaign went along to fit the circumstances. In general, the JAN/Melantha plot remained the same – to redirect Imperial security forces away the Torpedo Sphere at a specific time using arranged pirate attacks in another region of space. Once weakened enough, JAN would infiltrate the Torpedo Sphere and destroy it.
However, too many interests get involved and try to use the event to further their own goals. Meanwhile, the Empire along with a secret society of Mecetti/Melantha Lords seeking to create a new house, have their own plans for the Torpedo sphere. The Torpedo Sphere was to serve as a testing platform for a new secret super weapon with devistating power.
An unnamed secret society of Mecetti/Melantha nobles looking to destroy both houses and form one on their own, allied with the Empire. This includes a plot to assassinate the High Lord of Mecetti. Berellion was central to this plot, assisting this society where he could. The Chamber saw this move as a threat to their goals and fought against it. Lord Berellion, in the end was simply using this group to get to the High Lord of Mecetti, assassinate him to take over Mecetti.
Secret Super Weapon test on board the Torpedo Sphere using old Herglic technology – The Emporer has been secretly creating a series of super weapns for his Empire (the most famous of which is the Death Star, of course). Some researchers found out about a secret technology the Herglics kept secret involving the 12 Stars of Caparan. According to their research, these are rare gems. Lost to the ages, but due to their nature, could serve as a power catalyst to their new super weapon. They found Rexx who was willing to sell out his Herglic familyu’s heritage for the price the Empire was willing to pay. They just had to get the last Star – the one around Lex’s neck.
A secret Sith plot involving the Mecrosa, the Sith and an enigmatic figured simply named the Judge that involved this Herglic Tech and it’s true nature and connection to a old Sith ritual. The 12 Stars, once used in the way the Empire plans to, will release an intense amount of Force enery that the Juedge, with the help of a resurrected Sith Lord, Kar’eez Nar, planned to absord this power and become the most power Sith lords in the galaxy. Unbeknownst to the Empire, Mecrosa plans to be a part of the JAN attack force and take over the Torpedp Sphere. With their ally within the Torpedo Sphere plot – Dr. Arkeld, servant to the Judge and the Sith – the Judge planned to infiltrate the infiltrators.
The Pelagia “lost holdings” – An underlying plot referencing a section of space lost at the time of the Purge that includes a planet Camille, the inhabitants which are immortal and want to hide that fact. This wa linked to the Chilren in the “Lost Destiny” adventure as well as Tarsus Jarnak’s family history. With in the Holdings is a planet Camille, that is secretly home to a humans that seem to have a very long life span – that are virtually immortal.
Dragon Cults – Underlying this was the growing movement of Dragon Cults and High Inquisitor Tremaynes movement to the Dragon Wars – from my first Star Wars campaign. This did not dominate the campaign but was only hinted towards occasionally. This comes into play a little stronger in the second campaign, and is strongly linked to the Immortals of the Camile (Lost Pelagia holdings).
(under construction… more to come)
Baron Ignatious Pyre – Baron Pyre of House Cadriaan was a dealer in information, and was interested in what Sandos had to sell. He secretly was once a Marquis for Pelagia but now a sleeper Noble with in Cadriaan, working to help the eventual return of Pelagia. Every move he made, he tried to make to the benefit of Pelagia. However, it didn’t seem like that to the other members of his party.
Pyre was deeply involved in the politics of things, including nobles and underground. In his maneuvers, he ended up playing both sides, with the Chamber vying for his knowledge of Berellion and help to bring him down, and Berellion’s want to find more about what the player’s know of Ilm and what Sandos knew as well.
Significant Plots Events involving Pyre:
In a very strange and unfortunate string events early on in the campaign, Pyre was framed for the murder of a Hutt in th Free world Sector – a Haggus the Hutt. He became wanted by the Hutts as a result.
Pyre got deeply involved with Berellion. Pyre was approached by Berellion when the Mecetti Lord got wind of their involvement with Sandos, Lady Katrina and her murder. Berellion attempt to seduce Pyre with noble power was not unseen by the information-brokering Baron from Cadriaan, but Pyre decided to try to use the situation to his advantage, taking a “…keep your enemies closer” approach.
His eventual path took him to saving the Mecetti High Lord from one assassination
Pyre was involved in brokering a smuggling deal between a minor/miner House Krilos and the Hutts to bring in spice into the region. With Riddom’s contacts with the Hutts, and the smugglers of Soccoro, the met aboard the great SeaSerpeant Express world-train of Procopia.
Pyre was married off at another point in the campaign. Through a strange series of events, an arranged marriage was dropped into his lap.
At a major turning point, Pyre was supplied with a new identity within Mecetti, by the Chamber, to investigate this secret alliance of select Mecetti and Melantha lords with the Empire. He became Lord Goromaldi of Meetti’s Outsector Colonies for a short period of time.
The major change in him was when a failed attempt on his life left him with a scared face. Through a deal brokered through Remmy and his “boss” – Xixor – Pyre’s face was reconstructed intoa likeness of the real Goromaldi (who was actually deceased, but few nnew that). He proceeded to takeover the holding of Goromaldi and attack Berellion politically from with Mecetti. This also got him out of the arranged marriage he was in.
Through his maneuverings, he was able to actually counter Berellion’s moves while at the same time helping the party towards it’s own goal of getting Sandos out and getting the information he had.
In the end, with the Torpedo Sphere fiasco directly linked to Berellion, Pyre was not onl able to bring the Lord down, but take over a vast majority of the Lord’s holdings.
Sir Tarsus Jarnack, Knight to House Callipsa – Also a sleeper noble for house Pelagia, cousin to Pyre, and a former admiral of the Pelagian Navy, Jarnack had a secret past that involved the Mecrosa and the death of his mother. His quest for justice lead his to a secret his family has held for many generations, one even he didn’t know. His parents died in a Mecrosa prison camp at his birth, by the hand of the man they new as the Judge.
A lot of what Tarsus’s story revolves around is his quest for his past asnd his quest for revenge against the Mecrosa.
In his quest, Jarnack faced the Sith on many levels, and but eventually over came the obsticles put iin his way, including the trust issues with in the party.
Significant Plots Events involving Jarnack:
Early on, Jarnak was able to find out bits and pieces of his past. One of the first things, after meeting the Judge (a suppose “former” Mecrosa”) was that some kind of ritual was performed over him at his birth that he truly never found the nature of. For a long time, Tarsus is lead to believe that his father was not his real father and that it was possible that his mother was raped by someone while she was imprisoned on the secret Mecrosa prison world. But instead, it was simple a ritual performed on his mother just after she was captured. This ritual was performed by the Judge, while he served the Mecrosa.
Through further investigation, Jarnak was able to find out that his parents were from Camille, a planet of immortal humans that were striving to keep their existence and their immortality a secret.
He also was contacted by The Fellowship of the Broken Sword, an organization formed by his father to counter the actions of Mecrosa and their Sith plots. Jarnak strove to find his way into this organization, who in turn sought to investigate and stop the current Mecrosa plot. However, the Broken Sword has strict order to keep Tarsus out, for his own protection. It took a hard father and son talk to convince Lord Jarnak that his son was redy to be accepted into the folds.
Tarsus was promoted several times with in Calipsa and eventually was re-instated at his orginal rank within Pelagia.
Baron Jerik Cayl Brendaron, Baron to House Caadrian – Brendaron was a business owner, interested in anything that could help his business and his allies – the Rebellion. However, those interests were not always in line with the interests of his House. He also got deeply involved with a secret society of power brokers called The Chamber, who were countering every move made by Berellion.
Brendaron company is the Interstellar Shipwrights Corporation
Significant Plots Events involving Brendaron:
Brendaron’s company was reporting many engineer employees not reporting to work. Further investigation lead to the fact that these and several other engineers in the region were turning up missing. In the end, he was able to find out that the Imperials were conscripting engineers for the Torpedo Sphere project.
One of Brendaron’s own managers was caught dealing with the Empire, which was something Brendaron did not like. Instead of “taking care if it” right out, he decided to use this person, blackmail him into spying for him. This ended up being the source though which he foun his missing engineers.
The Chamber approached Brendaron early into the campaign as a contact into the Sandos/Lady Ilm affair. They knew this would lead to Berellion in some way, and wanted someone on the inside when they needed them.
Interstellar Shipwrights Corporation faced many perils as Brendaron’s actions within the Sandos/Lady Ilm affaircame ot light to many. Pressure from Cadriaan, and other house fficials came down often to k stop what he was doin, etc.
Brandaron was promoted several times with in Cadriaan, with a final noble title of Marquis.
Baronette Raphaiel “Raphie” de Kragar, House Pelagia – The only true Pelagian in the group, Kragar grew into a true representative of his House. His quest to return Pelagia to it’s Jedi traditions lead him along a perilous path and a collision couse with the Sith-infested Mecrosa.
Significant Plots Events involving de Kragar:
The Order of New Hope was revealed to de Kragar as a mysterious organization with ties to the Trade Houses of the Herglics. Kragar’s first encounter with them ended in a dual between Jarnak as his champion, and a member. Explained below, the Order ended up being helpers to de Kragar when he needed it in sticky situations.
de Kragar used his contacts with in Pelagia to help hide force-user-potentials they found along the way, creating an “underground railroad” of sorts supported by the Order.
de Kragar became the groups primary Rebel contact as time went on. The Rebels were attempting to create a cell with in Tapani and de Kragar became one of their liaisons to Pelagia and the group.
At a major turns of events, de Kragar was almost framed for the murder of an Alderaanian Noble at a very special event. It turns out it was a warning from someone high up that they were getting too close.
de Krager was promoted several times with in Pelagia, with the final title of Count.
Janice Marks, House Reena Troubleshooter – The youngest in the group, he ended up being a pawn in a greater plot that ends up tearing his house apart.
Significant Plots Events involving Marks:
Marks was very young when he was admitted into the Archive. The approached him when they realized he may be on to something “secret” and this is, of course, what the Archive is for. As a result, they were forced to grant Marks a noble title – Baron.
Marks got tangled in the Black Sun’s interest in the Lady Ilm affair as well as their interest in the state of Reena stability. Through Remmie, he was contacted by Black sun agents often to perform tasks and report information.
Marks became the unofficial watcher of Lord Lex, and followed along the 12 Star plot, helping Lex in his quest to find his brother and avenge his family’s honor.
“Remmie” RM-85-B Librarian & Info-Droid – Assigned to Marks as a servant, he ended up being a spy for a darker entity that few knew existed with in Reena – The Black Sun.
Significant Plots Events involving Remmie:
Remmie struggled with his existence as a droid, being torn between his role as librarian droid, and his role as spy for the Black Sun.
Remmie was also deeply involved in the politics if the Reena internal conflict – pro-Black Sun factions vs. those that wanted to “clean Reena of such corruption.
Fizo Riddom, Captain of the Sunrise – Joining the group late, Riddom served a the underground connection when the party began to dig deeper into the ploit and found parts of it lead to more dirtier and darker corners of the Tapani socirty. With his connection with the Hutts and the Socorro smugglers.
Significant Plots Events involving Riddom:
Riddom was instrumental in the House Krilos/Hutt deal and in the infiltration of the secret Asteroid base around Mrlssti.
Rexilor “Rex” Caradonus Adrios, Herglic High Lord (from a deposed Minor House) – “… heir to the Fourth Seat in the High House of Adrios, 22nd Holder of the 12 Stars of Caparan, 4th of the Caradonus Family Lords in line for the High Throne.” – An NPC, this was my Rigel-like character. He brought the Herglics and their secrets into the lot, as well as the complex poltics of the Herglic Trade Houses (political entities that I added to the Tapani sector).
Lex and his twin brother, Rexx, were the keys to the 12 Stars of Caparan, the core element to the technology being tested in the Torpedo sphere. Once the 12 Stars were collected, and placed on the Sphere, the weapon could be tested. However, there was an even deeper and darker secret about the 12 Stars that even few Herglics knew.
Significant Plots Events involving Adrios:
Rexx, Lex’s evil twin brother, was able to stea the 12th Star from Lex through deciet and trickery. Marks and Lex waorked together to get the Star back, along with the 11 others to restore House Adrios as the leading house of the Herglic Trade houses.
Other Plots Elements/NPC Plots
(under construction… more to come)
Brendaron vs. Pyre – Through out the start of this campaign, I was able to set these guys up as political adversaries through people they dealt with and deals they made. While Pyre (at first) seemed to be working closely with Berellion, Brendaron was working directly against, with the help of the Chamber. Allegiances were questioned for a long while, but this division just about destroyed the party. However, because Brendaron’s player wasn’t able to continue coming to the game, Pyre’s side of the plot advanced further.
Turmoil with in Reena “Black Sun rises” – this subplot involved Remmy and Marks, and the secrets of Reena. The secret hyperspace route, and the involvement with the Black Sun has finally torn Reena apart. While striving the keep the route secret, Reena is fighting it own secret civil war to settle whether their allegiance with the Black Sun will stand. Meanwhile, the Black Sun has gotten interested in the recent actions of the Empire and this new super weapon.
House Adrios and the Herglic Trade House– I created another sub-culture of nobles that were forced down to minor status due to the New Order. The Herglic merchants had, at one time, noble houeses of their own centered around their trade. House Adrios used to be one of the more powerful ones, until the loss of the 12 Stars, one of the most treasured items in the Trade House society.
The 12 Stars of Caparan – Fabled Jewels, they are of unknown orgin and have unknown power. House Adrios was assigned by the Greater Trade Council of the Herglic Trade Houses to guard it, an due to the treachery of Reilor’s brother, they were lost.
The Chamber – As defined in the LotE Box Set, a secret society of Nobles and …
Order of New Hope – This secret society hides in the shadoows of Pelagia, trying to keep hope alive within the dispirited house. Secretly ormed after the purge by knights with a strong fantatical loyalty to Pelagia, they secretly made a deal with the Herglics for their technology. Using ancient Herglic technology, the knights were able to modify their own bodies to simulate most percieved “Jedi” powers. Some call them “Techno-Jedi”.
The Fellowship of the Broken Sword – Anti-Mecrosa Cadre formed by Pelagia “sleeper” nobles throughout the Tapani Sector, it was formed ot counter any action made by the Mecrosa.
The Mecrosa – Mecetti Province Allied with House Mecetti, this Secret Assassins Guild is only rumor and myth. Also rumored to have connectiosn with the Sith.
Mecrosa Runes – Something I created within the confines of my own version of the Tapani Sector was the Mecrosa Rune system. The Mecrosa use special runes to mark their targets. Hidden within these runes is instructions to the assassins on how it is to be done, who is allowed to do it, and when. All Mecrosa assassins know how to read these runes. They are burned on the target through various means, depending on the nature of the target and the nature of the assassins the Rune is meant for.
The Archive– Mysterious Information gathering organization of House Reena
House Krilos & Spice Smuggling in Tapani – House Krios is a minor mining house that is officially part of the Reena province. However, they feel that Reena has not made strong enough efforts to make a profit for the Minor house, so they are secretly reaching out to other factions to get thema better deal. The house that answered was, of course, House Cadriaan. Cadriaan assigned Brendaron to make the ships. Brednaron hired Pyre to broker the deal. Meanwhile, Riddom had hired Pyre to broker a deal to work with the Hutts (even though Pyre was wanted by them) to work out a deal with the local smugglers to transport the Hutt’s spice into the region. This lead to a deal made between House Krilos and the Hutts. During this deal, an assassination attempt on the Krilos High Lord was thwarted as well as an attempt to capture Pyre for the Hutts by bounty hunters.
Mrlssti Asteroid Belt Slug Hunters – Hidden deep with the asteroids of the Free Worlders Region is a scoiety of Herglic Space Slug hunters – fanatical spacefarers who’s soul mission in life is to hunt down Space Slugs and rid the space lanes of the scurge. No one really knows where their hatred of the Slugs came from, but some say they hunt the space lanes for the “Big One” – a mythical creature that may be a space slug or may be something else entirely different. In reality, the “Big One” was a space dragon hiding among the asteroids of Tapani.
The Secret Information Exchange Societies of Mrlssti – Hidden dep within the swamps of Mrlsst are shantytowns that are the ultimate source of underground information. Hoever, you better have something juicy to excahnge, because the only way to get information is to get information. No credits are exchanged in these towns, only information. Even the basic items likea drink at a bar can be gotten by giving up a small secret.
Gredarian Sullumar-Arconan pirate and scoundrel who served as an underground contact and nuisance for the party, and really nothing else. He was intertwined in many of these plots as a source of illegal contraband and problems for the party.
TO BE CONTINUED