Star Wars - Edge of the Empire

2. The Jewel of Chandrila
Heist Homework

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Star Wars: Edge of the Empire
The Jewel of Chandrila

The plan to steal the JEWEL OF CHANDRILA is in motion! Having gathered preliminary information on the bidders and racers it’s now time to start to dig deeper into their lives and personal motivations.

While the rest of the crew is making plans for the heist – Guffy Gar’gar and Kraus Gilb have headed for the seedy side of Cloud City – looking to score spice and infomations on the Cloud City Grand Prix.

The pair of spacers find themselves at The Podracers Retirement, a popular hangout for various mechanics and other crew members involved in the race. Greasy in more ways then one, the cantina is dimly lit and tainted with a vague undertone of hydraulic fluid beneath the reek of heated swill. Most of the patrons are dressed in shabby and oil-stained coveralls, as is the cantina staff itself.

They take a seat at the bar and start drinking, grilling the bar tender about the upcoming race. The bar tender points out Ol’ Sav sitting in the corner for more information. They come to him with drinks. Charming him proves to be difficult, but after a couple of pints of Corellian Ale he loosens up a bit. Ol’ Sav has been on a race team every year since the beginning, but this year is the first he’s not participating “Too old for these young’ens, I’d reckon, no ones offered me a job.”

Kraus attempts to get him to reveal how they might get their hands on a cloudcar to try out before the race, but he only can suggest they buy one or rent a striped down tourist model from the upper level. The spacers press on him for information about the race teams, but he doesn’t offer anything more then what they’ve already found out. He does however point them to two possible leads for copilots. One’s in retirement after a close call in the Grand Prix a few years back and the other is a young upstart named Thera Morrow. She’s placed well in the amateur circuit the past three years, but hasn’t found the sponsorship to get into the Grand Prix. She can be found up at landing bay P4.

Lastly, Kraus clumsly attempts to ask him where booster blue can be found. Ol’ Sav sees right through him and warns him to not get too caught up in the stuff, but points him to a docking bay around level 124. Down at the back door of the bay, after a secret knock, the dealer sells the pair 5 canisters. Guffy holds onto 2, Kruas downs one and holds onto the other two. They ask the dealer about explosives and the shifty human tells them to find Moz Boshaw, a Trandosian weapons dealer operating out of Market Row.

Meanwhile, Xagrab wonders through the halls of Cloud City, when someone yells his name in his native tongue. A Gank approaches him “Xagrab! Where you been you kriffin’ chiphead. Kerek is about the blow a gasket with you disappearing! I made excuses as much as I could, but you better have a good reason you gone or a good lie. We go see him. He’s down at the 4 1/2 Bar now. You lucky he’s happy drunk. You not so lucky if he’s mad drunk.”

At the 4 1/2, Kerek, a grizzled human with a scarred face. sits at the corner booth.
“Were ya been Xagrab, I’ve been trying to comm you for days?!”
“We’re getting the jewel and all the money, no comms, comms bad, comms tracked.”
“Yeah. Yeah, well the sooner we get the Hutt gets he’s jewel the better and we can get back to Nar Shaddaa. Bought tired of being stuck with that slug. Look I want you on duty tomorrow with me to escort the Hutt to brunch at The Three Beldons Buffet.”
“I like buffets. Good food.”
“Something tells me the Hutt ain’t gunna share with us. You’re to meet us at the lobby of the Yarith Bespin Hotel where he’s staying. Got that?”
“Meet at the hotel. Go to buffet. Got it.”
“And here – take this comm and answer it when I call next time.”
“Got it.”

As Xagrab leaves the bar he tosses the comm.

Later, everyone is back at the apartment when Xagrab arrives. He announces to the assembled group_"I’ve got an in to the auction. I work for the Hutt. I’m security."_ The others aren’t sure if that’s something that just happened or why Xagrab is on Bespin in the first place and asking him doesn’t do much to clear it up.

“Gunsha Murglak” toils away at planning the computer spike needed to slice the bank when an alarm goes off. On the wall screen four images appear. One a few out the front door where 3 Bespin Wing Guard stand. Another a top down view of the front entrance showing the same 3 Wing Guard. The next the main hall to the left showing 3 more Wing Guard. And the last showing to the right of the main hall with a Wing Guard Commander with a handheld holoprojected image.

Aris comes out from the rear room dressed in regal purple gown, putting an earring on. She looks up to the wallscreen and gasps! “You idiot!”, she shouts at Gunsha. She waves he hand and the last image enlarges to fill the screen. The holo image he holds is of Gunsha. “They’ve already made you!… and we haven’t even begun” Over the intercom, “Bespin Wing Guard! Open up, we have some questions” Aris begins to pace, “We have to get rid of them – Ideas – now!”

After a little debate, it’s decided that Gunsha should escape out the balcony. Using Guffy’s climbing gear he scales up to the next level and waits while Aris and Aanchi deal with the authorities. Guffy and Kraus sit looking bored at the wallscreen and Xagrab makes a mess in the kitchen attempting to look like the help.

“Unauthorized attempts to access The Central Bank of Bespin have been traced to this apartment. We’re looking for a individual seen accessing a public terminal and then coming here before the breaches were made.” Aanchi does a convincing job at passing this off as the reason they thought the apartment was broken into. The guards question why they didn’t report it, but she tells them they couldn’t be sure it wasn’t just the cyborg assistant they have, “He’s been… malfunctioning. And there was nothing missing so… Excuse us, but we were just about go out for the evening.” She indicates Guffy and Kraus on the couch and lets the guards fill in the details, but the guards brush it off. “That’s fine we’ll examine the apartment while you’re away.” “Is that really necessary if we have nothing to report missing?” “We still need to examine the computer… I’m afraid we’ll have to confiscate it” “Oh, very well. Xagrab would you bring the computer terminal to the officers.” “Yes. Yes. I’ll bring it.” Xagrab rips out the terminal without unhooking it and smashes the sides of it as he carries it over. It wont be turning on anytime soon, but Aris knows that they’ll have droids able to access the data within a day or so regardless. She comms her father and then leaves for the casino with Aanchi. The guys bring Gunsha back in from outside.

Later, Arend arrives with his silver protocol droid carrying a new computer. “Do try to be more careful with this one” Kraus tells him that they’ll need to get to the cloudcar to work on it for the race and get a feel for flying it, but Arend informs them it wont be available till midday tomorrow. In the meantime they can go to Cloud Scape Tours and get a rental using his offices as reference. “Now, we’ll have to deal with the authorities sooner rather then later. They mustn’t suspect any one of us.”

At the Pair O’Dice Casino, Aanchi heads to the sabacc tables and finds the two members of the Stormhawks. She attempts to grill them over the rumor of their marriage, but gets no answers. She concocts a plan to have Chara Tull catch her with Gerrol Hunn before the race to throw off their teamwork. At the bar she spots Leina, Shreya Ordassa’s friend, sitting near Aris. She gets Aris in on convincing her they’re the only two left of a girls night out. Leina is despondent, upset over Shreya not being around. Too busy with procuring the jewel over her ex, Mil Mikkir. She does spill some that there is someone else around from Shreya’s life, a twi’lek. Aanchi plays up that if Shreya can get this jewel then she’ll be able to see her friend and have the nice vacation she’s wanting.

Meanwhile, Aris has left to get into an argument with Vorse Tabarith, her husband. He’s drunk and yelling about a betrayal of one of his men. After Aris storms away Aanchi speaks to Vorse, who, while drunk, attempts to compose himself. He apologies for the outburst, hopes shes’ having a good time at his casino. They talk about the upcoming Grand Prix and asks if he’ll be attending the race. He tells her he has money on the Dugg racing team.

She plays to his ego talking about what a big shot he must be and how “that woman”, Aris, is lucky to have him and she’s sure she’ll come around. He begins to talk about the jewel and how she’ll be kowtowed once he’s got it for her, but he talks about a Hutt wanting it too. She again plays to his ego saying that he can’t have a “dirty Hutt” take it over him. Vorse is spurred by this, seems to get an idea and agrees. He calls to the droid bartender telling it that Aanchi drinks free the rest of the night then digs into his pocket and leaves a handful of chips totaling 150 credits for her and leaves.

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1. The Jewel of Chandrila
Shadow Port Blues

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Star Wars: Edge of the Empire
The Jewel of Chandrila

Its origin and history shrouded in legend, THE JEWEL OF CHANDRILA is one of the largest and most beautiful corusea gems in the galaxy. By luck or by fate, a group of enterprising individuals have the chance of a lifetime to steal the precious stone from its current owner in the idyllic CLOUD CITY.

Their contact, a canny Pantoran by the name of ARIS SHEN has arranged a meeting at a bar in the shadowy Port Town in the center of the massive floating metropolis, but she is not alone nor are past debts and sins far behind…

The assortment of spacers have gathered at the rowdy and ruckus establishment The 4 1/2. Gunsha Murglak sits in a corner booth attempting to tap into the local infonet. Kraus Gilb and Guffy Gar’gar gather at a table taking in their surroundings. Aanchi is at the bar listening to the drunken locals and Xagrab movies to each empty spot picking off the leavings from beneath the tables.

A plethora of drunken species shout in uncountable languages over the wailing Jatz band. All manner of illicit activity openly occurs in the seedy dive which distracts most from seeing the bar’s latest patron arrive.

A Pantoran female, slim and attractive, slips nimbly into crowd – scanning the bar and then walking a circuit passing each of the spacers. As she does she presses a button on her wrist comm as she nears. The datapads they were given as their initial contact and instructed to bring light up with a new message.

“Have a tail. 6 goons in black leather and goggles just behind me. Have to loose first. Help if you can. NO KILLING. Meet around side at droid access hatch. – Aris -”

The spacers attempt to get a look at goons but only Kraus notices the pack of thugs. Two Rodian, Two Humans, a Trandoshan and Lutrellian stand around toward the entrance. Guffy moves to the bar to get a better look when a Twi’lek bounty hunter moves into his spot, blaster drawn on Kraus. “Koona t’chuta, Gilb?” he says in Huttese. Kraus manages to keep his cool and convince him he’s working on something bigger then the Black Sun debt he owes pointing out the crowd of goons following Aris. The Twi’lek is skeptical but leaves Kraus to speak to the group who have now moved a little further into the bar looking for Aris.

Guffy moves back to the table and asks, “Wha’d the tailhead want?”. Kraus keeps his big red eyes on the Twi’lek and thugs, only responding with “Get ready to get out of here”. Within moments the goons have surrounded the Twi’lek bounty hunter and an argument erupts. Aris makes eye contact with Aanchi and gives a flick of her head toward the entrance, moving from the darkened booth out the door. Aanchi, Guffy, and Kraus follow soon after. A last message from Aris to Xagrab and Gunsha reads, “You coming?”. As Gunsha walks out, head buried in his datapad probing the infonet’s vulnerabilities, blaster fire can be heard inside the bar behind him.

Crowded in the droid access lift, Aris muses over the access hatches, air ducts, and garbage shoots being the most undetected way to move through Cloud City. She thanks the group for coming and the distraction from her husband’s protectors and tells them they are on the way to meet her father on the 50th level.

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Aris opens the door to an apartment, handing the keycard to Gunsha as they enter. Inside they see a middle aged Pantoran male dressed in fine robes of deep maroon and blues which play well on his skin. He stands “Welcome. I’m so glad we could all make it. Aris, darling, be a dear and make our guest some drinks. I am Arend Shen tax administrator here in Cloud City and through my various contacts I’ve learned of each of you and your certain skill sets, as well as your …obligations… which would make you more…responsive to my employment opportunity. Now what I have to propose is confidential, illegal, and potentially quite dangerous, BUT if successful could pay out in the hundreds of thousands, maybe more. In addition, I can help most of you with your problems, at least locally. Do I have everyone’s attention?”

Everyone grunts approval and Arend continues. “I thought so. Now in a few days time an auction is to occur at the Figg and Associates museum at a gala concluding the annual Cloud City Grand Prix. The object of interest is a gem known as the jewel of Chandrila. Its a cut corusca gem with a reputation of being unstealable. Presumably because those that own it spend its worth protecting it, but fortunately for us the museum is not designed to protect something so valuable, giving us our best chance to nab it… but I don’t want to steal it once, oh no, I plan on stealing it twice.” He lingers taking in their perplexed looks and grins. “To do this we first will have to infiltrate the gala, using the information we gather on the bidders we manipulate them into going as high as they could possible go, then divert the credits into our account, and before the transaction clears the bank actually steal the jewel and sell it to an underworld contact. …You have questions, I imagine.”

Guffy growls, “Sell to who? Sell to Hutts? I don’t deal with no Hutts” Arend frowns momentary before putting on another smile, “We will gladly take a Hutts money if it means we are richer and they are poorer and left with a bobble of no value to us.”

Kruas pipes in, “What’s the cut?”. “Equal shares among the seven of us including Aris. 14.285% to be exact, with the remaining .005% being used to buy us a bottle or two of something nice to celebrate with. Even this meager percentile should be in the thousands if all goes to plan” , Arend responds. Other questions come from each of the spacers in turn.

Who are these bidders? “Seven have registered. I haven’t gathered more then their names and pictures. Shreya Ordassa, Pos Podura, Mil Mikkir, Kaltho the Hutt, Zekra Fol, a woman simply named Elaiza, and Aris’ husband Vorse Tabarith.”

How do we get into this gala? “The most straight forward way (and least conspicuous given your backgrounds) to obtain an invitation will be to enter the Cloud City Grand Prix. Winning will not be easy, the 30k credit prize is a big draw on a lot of pilots, but simply placing while putting on a good show should be enough. I have a Cloud Car you may borrow for the race and will front the entry fee.”

What of the account we divert the winning bid to? “I’ve set up a dummy account untraceable to any of us. The relevant routing and account numbers are on a datapad there on the table”

How do we pull off this heist? “I leave it to you to develop your plan. You’ll need to do some reconnaissance to get around security. The less I know the better.”

Where do we go when we’re done? “I’ll have a get away speeder waiting nearby you’ll bring to my yacht which I’ll have primed for our escape to a nearby system. There we’ll divide the funds, celebrate, and go where we will”

“Now let us enjoy our drinks, get to know one another. Gunsha, I first heard of you when a notice came though my office of someone owing 30K credits in back taxes from gambling winnings… that must be an error, 3K is much more realistic number to owe” Gunsha catches on and agrees, “Must have been an error, thank you for catching it, your eminence.”

Arend continues on, “And Aanchi, we’ve moved in similar circles for a little while now. I’m saddened to learn of your family, but perhaps it will please you to learn the current owner of the jewel is an Imperial.

Ten years ago I came to know him while working at a bank in the core. Investments when south and rather then paying his debts, this man Marus Grayson – an Imperial Trade and Commerce Commissioner, used his connections to draw up treason charges against the bank. The assets were frozen and despite never coming to trial I was ruined. I’ve worked here in Cloud City since then. The new Baron Administrator Calrissian is hell bent on cleaning up corruption here in the city. I knew it was time to take my leave when I came to learn of Marus Grayson’s auction. We needed worry of the Empire coming after us though, recently coruca gems were outlawed, which is why Grayson has set up the auction here outside the Empire’s gaze."

More stories are swapped. Of Kraus Gilb’s selling of a Black Sun ship for credits to buy booster blue. Of Guffy’s betrayal to the Hutt he was a slave to. And of Xagrab’s most recent employment by the Hutts before he wandered off.

A silver protocol droid dressed in robes similar to Arend’s, lets itself into the apartment. “I have matters to attend to, but you’re welcome to use this place as a base of operations. It’s fairly well located in the city. Aris will be available to aid you and should you need to speak to me, act as liaison. Good luck.” With that he leaves and Aris emerges from a rear bedroom now changed into a fine gown.

She addresses the group. “The datapads we’ve assigned to you are all biometrically locked to you and send encrypted messages to one another. Try to avoid comms, use codes if you do. Obviously the datapads are linked to the local infonet though not the Imperial channels. And they feature a holorecorder which should come in handy for recon and investigation.”

“If your investigations of the bidders bring you to my husbands casino, message me. We must not be seen together or have any hint we know one another.” You’re pulling one over on your husband to, huh? “My father arranged the marriage when we arrived. Vorse used to be big time, but now is just jealous and paranoid. His power is slipping and I want to make my own way. Getting him to sign on to the auction was too easy, kinda pathetic really. He’ll do anything to keep up appearances. I’ll be manipulating him at the gala.”

Gunsha moves to the computer to start gathering information. He probes the banks connection to the infonet and discerns he’ll need a sample of encryption they use, most likely from a droid at the bank. He also learns of Lobot, head of Cloud City security. Later he slips away to a nearby info terminal to get schematics of the museum then brings them back to show off to the group.

Xagrab wanders off to the museum as the group attempts to decipher them. Not far behind Aanchi joins him. There they make note of the security’s patrol route. Aanchi sees the camera placement and learns of extra security the night of the gala , and Xagrab makes note of the garbage shoot in a janitorial closet near where the jewel is kept. Anachi also learns the most expensive artifacts are in the Reflections of Xim exhibit, and begins to form a plan of diversion.

Guffy and Kraus go off to score some booster blue and find out about the race.

Gunsha scours the infonet to find information on the bidders and racers.
INVESTIGATION PAGE HERE.

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