Cloud City Cantina
“Oh Great Hive Mother. Gand accepts the trials. Betrayal and Disgrace shall be the first trails that challenge your servant. But they shall be overcome and purged from your servant. This Gand swears to the Mother of all Gand.
The first trials of Gand seem to resemble the offal pits of Bachtal. It seems as if Gand has temporarily traded Betrayal and Disgrace for Pestilence and Odor. The Krayt Fang and the sewers of Nal Sharrda are the new battlefields. Having escaped the sun-baked deserts of Tatooine, the clumsy embrace of the slug Teemo have been replaced with the putrid confines of a slaver’s freighter. The breath mask spares Gand the worst of the stench onboard the Fang, but Gand’s skin can feel the ship’s festering atmosphere descending like a swarm of scriibeetles desecrating all that they touch.
The sight of the burned out husk of a place called Greentop on the Hutt world of Nar Shaadda greeted us on the Hutt moon. Death surrounded it. And the roots of another’s betrayal.
But through the trials, there are glimpses of the blessing of the Hive Mother. Her guidance at Greentop brought Gand comfort. SEEK, is just one of the gifts that the Great Hive Mother bestows upon her champions. And its arrival was a hopeful sign that the Hive Mother has a purpose for Gand.
After more dealings with Hutts, Gand’s newfound hivemates found themselves in the sewers of Nar Shaadda. And Betrayal followed our course. Yet, Gand and the new hivemates struck down the first of Betrayal’s challenges. Agents of yet another Hutt worm struck while we made contact with the Krayt dragon’s buyers. But they were no match for the determination of our crew. Afterwards the buyer of the Krayt dragon young – a Hutt named Sinasu – reached out with offers of more bounty, but Gand is cautious of trading the chains of the captor for another.
Future trials await. Gand is ready…"
Journal #2. The Second Trial.
Cold… It felt cold. An empty, biting cold that eclipsed even the numbing feeling that Gand felt when he was cast out of the Hive.
When Gand grabbed the Knife, the Second Presense, Gand was unprepared for the emptiness and the lifeless cold. But apologies. Gand is getting ahead of his confession to you Oh Great Hive Mother.
The experience began when Gand’s newly bonded hive members entered the large cargo freighter that we found using the Solo’s information. It was tattered, huge, hanging awkwardly in space listing ever so slightly as it rotated belly up like the bloated corpse of some dead animal floating to the surface of the water.
The moment we stepped onboard, something was off… Gand could feel a Presense. Like a beacon standing out from the background. But it was not the only Presense Gand could feel. There was another. A shadow that surrounded the image of a Knife with a name Gand cannot bare to utter. It had the stench of of death. Not the welcome embrace of a long life of service to you, Oh Great Hive Mother. This shadowy presense was corrosive… corrupting of life itself.
As we ventured further into the ship, the infecting corruption of the Knife made itself known. We stumbled upon one of the crew, if it could be called that. It turned at the sound of our arrival. From feasting on another member of the cargo ship’s crew. Wild with frenzy, it attacked. At first we tried to stun it into submission, but to no effect. Finally, we sent it to its final rest.
More crew members driven mad by the shadow cast by the Knife were drawn to us. Each one released to return to the afterlife, but during the fight, one of our crew was bitten. The infection continued to spread. Gand felt its corruption throughout the vessel. But the bitten one was in even more danger.
At that moment, the First Presense that Gand felt upon entering the cargo ship reached out to Gand with instructions. “Focus your Anger. Focus. Anger. They are the tools that will see the Knife’s presence defeated.” Gand, was confused. Anger is dangerous. Anger is the tool that often leads to regret. But Gand would try.
Finally, the Hive Mother’s gift of SEEK returned to guide us to the Knife. The cargo ship’s Captain’s Quarters was the location that the Hive Mother shown to Gand. Most of the group joined Gand to my own surprise. Only our ship’s pilot had other plans.
When we arrived, the cargo ship’s “captain” was already gone. Corrupted, she stood with two more of the foul crew. But in the ensuing battle, little seemed to effect her. She seemed invulnerable. Finally, a stray shot separated the Knife from her hip. It was the moment that that you provided. Gand leaped onto the Knife and felt the biting cold of the Knife. Gand remembered the words. “Anger. Focus your Anger.” Oh, Great Hive Mother, Gand summoned all of his remaining righteous anger and focused it on the Knife. Gand felt fire, heat, and then calm.
The First Presense touched Gand’s mind and said the scourge of the Knife had been defeated. It would be watching. And guiding. Gand is unsure. Oh, Great Hive Mother, Gand hopes to have pleased you. But there seems to be much more ahead. Gand awaits your judgement.
Journal #3 – The mine
Pop! Everything seems clearer. Details jumped out at Gand in a new clarity. Senses heightened. Kneeling down in cover, Gand surveyed the droids moving around in the distance.
The soothing voice from the Presence on the Distant Sunset whispered in Gand’s head. “Enjoy this gift I offer you. Feel its power grow. It will keep you safe.” And then He was gone…
Pop! Another sense deepened. But this one was different. More familiar. The Hive Mother’s gift of Seek seemed to thrum in response to the words of the Presence from the Distant Son. Peripheral details seemed to sharpen and compete for Gand’s attention. Competing with the gift He had provided.
“Gand.” The earpiece comm unit spoke up over the thoughts in Gand’s head. It was Ioun. “We’ve neutralized the droid in the cloud car. Headed back to the mining station.”
“Got it.” Gand replied. “Vercetti is headed back to the landing pad to meet you while I keep an eye out here. Over.”