Part 33: Sunry vs. The Sith EmpirePart 33: Sunry vs. The Sith Empire
Last time, we escaped a mind prison and did some sidequesting with Canderous and Juhani. With those quests completed, we can finally continue our search for the Star Maps, and that means we're heading to Manaan.
But first, more stimulating conversations with old men.
Jolee still doesn't want to talk about the Exar Kun war, seemingly because some of those memories would be best left unexplored.
However, this is a BioWare RPG and that means we'll make him talk no matter how much he doesn't want to.
My wife's name was Nayama. She was the Ukatis enforcer who shot me out of the sky, if you remember.
Nayama was a marvel of a woman. Fiery, determined, smart... she dragged me to the capital and foiled three of my attempts to escape prison. Oh, and that body...
Err... please focus on the story, Jolee.
At any rate, I wanted to train her in the Jedi way. The Council refused my request, naturally. I was still a Padawan at the time. I was an experienced Padawan, surely... but not yet ready to be a full Jedi and certainly not ready to train another. Especially not one so old as my wife.
I believed in her and trained her in secret. I ignored her willful nature... I loved her too much to see fault in her. And she loved me, too. I know she did. At the time, our love was a shared bliss... better than anything I had known before or since.
So what happened?
Exar Kun is what happened. Nayama was inspired by Exar's promises of a new Golden Age. She wanted to join him. She came to me, pleading with me to throw aside what she called the decrepit trappings of the Jedi... to join her in Exar's war.
That's what we figured after the last conversation.
She would have none of it. Finally, in frustration, she attacked me. She drew her lightsaber and attempted to strike me down. It was a scene being repeated everywhere throughout the galaxy. Pupil against master. In my case... it was a long and terrible battle, but I defeated her.
You killed her?
No... no. I had her at my mercy, disarmed and defenseless. She looked up at me and she knew... she knew I couldn't do it.
And I let her go. To my shame, she went on to kill many Jedi during the war until she, herself, was slain in the final battle. I grieved for her death, inevitable as it was, even as the Jedi Council put me on trial for my actions once the war was over.
They put you on trial?
I had trained Nayama against their wishes. I had failed to kill her when I had the chance, and she went on to kill others. Not to mention that I had remained a Padawan throughout the war. A formality, perhaps, but with the trial it had to be decided if I was worthy to become a Jedi at all. It was a travesty, of course. I told you that even the Jedi were capable of great injustices, didn't I?
What? Seriously? How?
They said I had learned wisdom the hard way. For all I had done during the war, they wished to raise me to full Jedi status at long last. That... that was when the Jedi left me. That was when they failed me.
They may have been able to forgive me. I... could never forgive myself.
Thanks for all the dialogue options there, guys.
Yes, I do, I suppose. Does that surprise you? Ahhh... it is all so long ago. Lost in the winds, I suppose. Nobody cares what an old man believes anymore, do they? Let's continue on with the task at hand. I would prefer to think of the present today.
Next stop: Manaan.
Right, this again.
We briefly saw the Manaan Star Map in the big reveal cutscene, and it's very clearly at the bottom of the ocean. Of course, Manaan is all ocean, so that really doesn't narrow it down very much. No GIF this time because
And here we are. Ahto City, the capital of Manaan.
However, before we go anywhere, Jolee's got one more story for us.
It wasn't as if my travels were pleasant, either. There were plenty of folks who distrusted the Jedi after the war... or worse.
I got so sick of the treachery and deceit I left the civilized parts of the galaxy and headed instead for the uncivilized parts.
So that's when you went to Kashyyyk?
Actually I was on my way somewhere else when I crash-landed on Kashyyyk. The ship I was using was a rust-bucket.
If you say so...
They did at first, oh yes. I can't say I was overly pleased to encounter a group of indigenous giant carpets either, I can assure you of that.
You helped them?
When I could. I would assist the few young ones who would get lost in the Shadowlands or attacked unexpectedly by the wildlife. I must say... for a while there, the Wookiees actually thought I was some kind of benevolent forest god. Amusing, really. I set them straight eventually.
Later, when I started to understand some of their grunting, I realized they would say prayers to the 'hairless one' before descending into the forest. Hmph. Hairless one. I used to have plenty of hair, I tell you. *Ahem* Well, at any rate, it took a few bruises, but I set the record straight.
A few bruises?
I traveled to Rrookworro and met with the chieftain in front of everyone. Freyyr swatted at me just to see if I was real or not.
That's not at all how you spell or pronounce Rwookrrorro, but I guess it is a bit of a mouthful.
Why didn't you stop the slavery of the Wookiees, then?
At first, when the slavers took to hunting down lone Wookiees in the fringes of the Shadowlands, I did my best to divert them. Later, when Chuundar made his deal I didn't see any point. I wasn't here to save them from their own sad follies, after all.
Wasn't it all a bit primitive for you?
Not really. Kashyyyk is a place you can feel very small in. It felt good to devote my time to helping people and living simply.
But still, though. 20 years in the Shadowlands?
Oh no. Please don't tell me this is going where I think it is.
They did in fact go there, the cheeky bastards, and I shall hate them forever. What was it they did, you ask? Well, they paraphrased the famous words of popular early-00s poet Fred Durst and his evergreen masterpiece "Nookie", of course! I'm sure whoever wrote that thought they were so clever at the time, and regretted it ever since.
You remember the alien computer, correct? Kashyyyk was meant to be an agricultural planet. The Wookiees were made for a reason.
The Wookiees? Actually, never mind. We're not doing that again.
At any rate, we should be moving along, don't you think? If you sat around this long in the Shadowlands, a tach would eat you.
We'll take Jolee along because there's a big sidequest involving his friend Sunry on Manaan, and Juhani joins us because... eh, why not.
Welcome to Ahto City, or at least one of the docking bays in Ahto City. Let's have a quick look at our map before we do anything.
The two other docking bays are reserved for the Sith and there isn't much of interest there at the moment. We can just about see that the ship in the leftmost docking bay seems to have the blue "enter" marker, but we can't actually access the dock itself. Interesting.
Jolee levels up and learns Master Critical Strike and Stasis Field. We also give him the Eriadu Strength Amplifier to boost his STR from 12 to 14.
Hm? What's all this then?
Ha! Don't make me laugh, you gutless simp! It's the destiny of weak-minded fools like you to be ruled over by the strong, like we Sith!
I'm warning you! Don't push me, or you'll get just what you're asking for!
You break their laws, you pay the price, Republic scum. But I can see that you're not man enough to back up your words anyway. If you ever feel like relieving yourself of your worthless existence, feel free to come by our enclave here. We have many, many ways to fulfill your wish.
What was that all about?
Maybe this Republic soldier will tell us.
Is there anything I can help you with?
Well, you can start by telling us what that whole display with the Sith there was about.
Why are there Sith on Manaan?
Well, for the kolto, of course. Really that's the only reason anyone would want to be here. It's the only reason the Selkath built Ahto City in the first place: to export kolto.
Ah yes, kolto. The not-bacta BioWare invented for this game so they could have this whole plotline.
Well, that, and they threatened to destroy the only natural source of kolto on the planet if anyone tries to attack them. But I think they're underestimating the lengths the Sith will go to get what they want... They're probably planning something already. Is there anything else you require?
Hey, it's worth a shot.
No, sorry, never heard of it.
Never mind, I must go.
Of course. If you have any other questions you should probably see Roland Wann, he's the Republic diplomat here. He's by the Republic enclave near the visitor residences. If you don't know where that is, go north from here, then south past the port official and the first courtyard, east into the second courtyard, then north then east again. You got that?
Not really. That was a lot of information to process at once. Mind repeating it one more time?
Well, never mind then. I'm sure we'll find our way to the Republic enclave eventually. The directions will also be in the quest journal in case you get lost.
This merchant doesn't have anything interesting to sell so we'll move on.
How about this fellow?
The Selkath dialogue could best be described as horrible gurgling noises repeating endlessly, which is absolutely fantastic because Manaan is perhaps the talkiest part of the entire game and a lot of the talking will be done by the Selkath.
Anyway, he wants to buy exotic species.
We could convince him to take our gizka, but they're part of the crew by this point.
Sorry, Nubassa, we won't be seeing you again.
Let's head to Ahto City proper.
Ooh, fancy. This is the visitors' area where people can wait for their turn to talk to the port officials.
Looks like they take security pretty seriously around here.
Okay, let's see if the official will let us into the city. I would certainly hope so.
Simple enough. What else?
Any confrontations between the Sith and Republic are dealt with swiftly and decisively. Is this understood?
Yeah. We also understand that the Sith are blatantly taking advantage of the situation and trying to goad the Republic soldiers to attacking them so that the Republic would get into trouble, but since they're not technically breaking any laws the Selkath won't mind. We could complain about this, but I doubt this government drone is at fault.
Of course there is. Why wouldn't there be?
I'm not sure why I even bother trying to haggle with these officials.
This time, it doesn't work anyway.
I think we can just about afford the 100-credit fee.
The gates of Ahto city are now open to you. You may come and go as you please, so long as you do not leave the planet. If you do, you will have to pay the docking fee once more.
They didn't actually give us a map, which is something we can easily confirm by going to the map screen of our menu. It is all fogged up and we need to uncover it as we go along, like usual.
Anyway, now we can actually explore the city.
Unfortunately we can't stand around enjoying the cool sea breeze, because we've got a job to do here.
Let's go check out this kolto distribution center while we're here.
Inside, we find some Republic and Sith troops going about their kolto-related business. Let's see if any of these Selkath wants to talk to us.
Oh. Okay then.
The Republic enclave is to the east, so of course we're going west.
There's a lot more to explore to the east, anyway, but that's not to say there isn't anything important in Ahto West. Quite the contrary, because all the important sidequests on Manaan start in this area.
This would be the first one.
I didn't. Nobody knew where you were, not even Sunryl But I heard the Selkath mention you and your friends. The Force has brought you to help us!
Why? Whatever could be the matter, my dear?
You know perfectly well what the matter is! We heard from your friend on Korriban that Sunry was being accused of murder! Did you forget already?
This scene is completely identical regardless of whether you've met Jolee's old buddy, so it just seems like Jolee's going senile in his old age.
Calm down, Elora. Where's Sunry now?
Sunry's being held at the Selkath courts. They won't let anyone in to see him. Please, go to the courts, talk to the Judges. Maybe the Selkath will listen to you.
Don't worry, Elora. We'll get to the bottom of this and help Sunry... somehow.
Before we talk to the judges, we should check out the mercenary enclave on this side. There seems to be something going on out front with the Republic officer and the Echani mercenary.
Huh. I don't recall the Republic hiring mercenaries, especially at exorbitant rates as seems to be the case here.
Maybe the officer will tell us what's going on.
He insists it's nothing, but something about this situation seems... I'd say fishy but that'd probably be the wrong word to use on Manaan. Sketchy? Yeah, that'll do.
Maybe we can find something out at the actual merc enclave.
Err, okay then. What's up?
To be honest, we've talked to three Selkath before Nilko here, and they weren't that bad.
The beauty of Manaan is delicate. Our ecosystem is complex and fragile, and I fear for the preservation of my planet.
The Republic has been hiring mercenaries - many more than usual. As an official of the Selkath people, this is of great concern to me. I only seek the reason for this change in Republic policy.
Apparently, we're not the only ones who thought that whole situation seemed a bit odd.
That said, why can't Nilko carry out this investigation himself?
The Sith cannot be trusted to give me an accurate report of events - they will twist the truth so that it furthers their own goals. And the mercenaries are well aware of the high wages the Republic is paying - they would not report anything that might slow the flow of credits into their accounts. Uncover the truth behind the Republic's actions, and I will pay you 500 credits.
We're not doing this for the money, but because we actually want to know what's happening.
Juhani encourages us to help, but Jolee isn't so sure.
That's the first we hear of the mercenaries not returning. What is going on?
Very interesting. We'll get back to Nilko when we find something out.
Ah, the old man is trying to pick a fight.
Oh, really? Well then, Jedi - you must know about the Manaan laws about keeping the peace, so you just...a... keep that lightsaber where it is.
If we wanted to teach this guy a lesson, we wouldn't need a lightsaber to do so. I don't think the Selkath have the means to monitor, say, someone getting Force choked or idiots getting mind-tricked to jump into the ocean.
Let's leave him to his miserable existence and talk to this Selkath instead.
You could say that.
I am not a fool, I know the Sith do not respect our laws as the Republic does. Were it up to me, I would do everything in my power to aid the Republic in the war against Malak. But intergalactic politics stay my hand. Still, I know the Sith are evil - and I fear what they will do to my people. And what they may be doing now.
These disappearances coincide with the arrival of the Sith, and I cannot dismiss the connection. The Sith are up to something, human. Something sinister - I can feel it!
With the Sith, that is usually a reasonable assumption to make.
There is no one else I can turn to, human. The Republic agents are too closely watched by the Sith, and the Ahto City authorities cannot act without proof of Sith involvement.
Sure, we'll help him out.
Spoiler: They don't.
We'll find out what's happening, don't worry.
What's going on here? Looks to be more merc recruitment.
This is war. In war certain distasteful acts cannot be avoided. But ask yourself this - when we win the war, would you rather be against the Sith, or with us?
Excellent. Report to the Sith Embassy tomorrow for your assignment.
Clearly, the Republic aren't the only ones hiring mercenaries around here.
These Sith, on the other hand, seem more interested in hitting the bottle than recruiting mercenaries. The Drunk Side, indeed.
Her equally inebriated male counterpart is a lot more talkative.
Who knows, he might be drunk enough to blurt out something.
But I don't really want to talk about that right now. I'm just here to have a couple drinks and try to unwind, you know?
I guess not. Oh well, it was worth a try.
Hey, I just thought of something! If I said you had a great body, would you hold it against me? Ha ha ha!
That's more than enough of that. Let's return to the Republic recruiter outside and see if we can get anything out of him.
Great, thanks. We'll just be on our way now and let him get back to his recruitment business.
This must be the court Elora mentioned, and in that case those stern-looking Selkath would be the judges we need to talk to about the Sunry murder case.
This again. I guess this sort of thing happens quite often around here.
Ah, it's just like I'm back in elementary school.
I should throw all parties involved into the Ahto City jail. But since no Selkath were harmed in this conflict I will show mercy and levy a fine of ten thousand credits to both sides. The court is dismissed, though I warn you that further disturbances will not be viewed with such leniency.
We can see that. Let's see what the judges have to say about this Sunry thing.
If you have legitimate grievances with another party then you should speak to me. You should first, however, consult with the Republic Embassy before pressing formal charges. Is there something you wish to bring to my attention?
This Arbiter is a neutral party that can investigate and present evidence in the trial, and argue on the defendant's behalf. As you are a Jedi, I believe you could fulfill this role adequately.
I suppose you're Sunry's only hope. We have to at least try to help him.
So be it! You are now appointed Arbiter in the case of Sunry vs. The Sith Empire. Your name and position have been recorded in our files. I will now inform you of the pertinent facts in this case. You have a limited amount of time in which to investigate and organize a defense of your client, and I advise you to use it wisely.
Witnesses claimed to have seen the killing and are being detained at the hotel in question pending the trial. The manager of the hotel has now been informed of your appointment. Elassa was found dead of a blaster wound with an incriminating Republic medal clutched in her hand. This information has been uploaded to your datapad. It would be wise to review all information before the trial starts. You may question Sunry or the witnesses. The evidence in this case is heavily stacked against Mr. Sunry. I believe it will take some doing to absolve him of guilt.
Yes... but it almost seems too heavily stacked, doesn't it? Very suspicious.
You may also interview the judges here, including myself, to get an idea of the pertinent factors in this case. Since this is also your first case, and you are an off-worlder, I feel compelled to add "good luck" as my final missive.
Alright, let's do this. Judge Shelkar has appointed us Arbiter in the case of Sunry vs. The Sith Empire case, which sounds a bit more grandiose than it probably should. We've learned the murder victim - a Sith named Elassa - was found with Sunry's Republic medal in her hand, which seems more than a little suspicious and we should go investigate the hotel as soon as we get the opportunity. But first, we should talk to the judges to see what they have to say about the case.
We can ask the same three questions from each judge:
Sunry is known to us as a hero of the Republic in your perpetual conflicts with the Sith Empire. While he may have been severely injured in the line of duty, I personally hold him in quite high regard.
Speaking of that injury, has it been taken into consideration, your honor?
In no way does his disability hamper him, though. Rest assured that my personal regard for Sunry will not affect my judgment. While emotion may rule your Senate, the cold hard hand of the law rules here on Manaan.
Okay, so it seems that Sunry's disability would not have prevented him from committing the crime, so we probably shouldn't use that in our defense come the trial.
Is there anything suspicious about the case?
Yes, there is something that has been bothering me: the medal that was found clutched in the Sith's hand. I find it most odd that such a blatantly incriminating piece of evidence would be left at the scene of the crime. We have analyzed the evidence and it does not appear to be a replica, but I still have my doubts. In the midst of the crime, though, Sunry could well have lost it. I have seen much more improbable things happen in my tenure to the courts.
Hmmm. Simply because it was real does not mean Sunry would have overlooked it being in Elassa's hand.
Is there another matter you wish to inquire about, human?
Is Sunry the kind of person who would bring his medals everywhere he goes? We should talk to him about this.
I do not delude myself into thinking that either of your states holds any great love for us, but we are necessary so you will let us hold our autonomy. I try not to concern myself with intragalactic policy. I find it stretches the letter of the law too much for my tastes.
I have no more questions for now.
Very well. When you feel you have gathered enough evidence, you may speak to the warden in charge of the prison where Sunry is being held. He will bring Sunry to us and the trial will commence.
That'll still be a ways off.
Let's talk to the other judges, starting from Duula on the left here. They all look and sound exactly the same, so there will be times when I will have absolutely no idea which one of them is talking.
Good, I don't care about anything else.
So, let's repeat the three questions.
A man who can barely walk killed a Sith warrior in her prime? Preposterous! But I wouldn't put it past the Republic to try and arrange such circumstances to see her dead. The Sith are much more straight forward about their intentions. Is that all?
Is there anything suspicious about this case?
I find it presumptuous to assume that the cripple Sunry could kill Elassa. I think that there must have been another there who killed her. Perhaps one of the 'witnesses'. I do not know the reason for the medal clutched in Elassa's hand either, but it may have been that she fought them off even as she died. I think this may be the work of some Republic conspiracy and I am not afraid to say so! If the only means I have of hurting the Republic is through Sunry, then so be it!
Uhh... right. Duula seems to think Sunry could not have killed Elassa due to his injuries, but instead he believes the whole thing was orchestrated by the Republic.
I particularly enjoy the way they obliterate planets from orbit. Very fresh.
If I was given the power to decide, Manaan would join with the Sith, forcing the Republic to accept the new face of the future. But sadly, it would appear that I am wiser and more farsighted than my immediate superiors. I am relegated to civil judicial matters. I will judge this case. And I will find Sunry as guilty as he is charged to be.
Jolee, please don't dunk on the judges even if they are incredibly dumb.
Quite. Okay then, next judge.
That'd be Kota here. No relation to General Rahm Kota from The Force Unleashed, presumably.
What do you think of Sunry?
Sunry was a great warrior in his time. He fought for the Republic against the Sith aggression and proved valorous. I have great respect for his accomplishments and find it tragic that he finds himself in his current condition. If the Republic had more individuals like him right now, I do not believe the Sith would be so great a problem for your people.
At least Kota doesn't seem openly hostile like Duula back there.
But knowing the Sith, there was probably some deception involved. They seek to do the same thing to us here. There has been much pressure by the Sith on our government - and even on the judges themselves - to deliver a guilty verdict in this case. But the letter of the law is absolute, and we will not be compromised for Sith power-games. Is there anything else you need?
Did anyone mention yet that Elassa was shot in the back? I don't think they did. It also appears the Sith are putting considerable pressure on the Selkath to get the verdict they want, but at least Kota seems to be ignoring them as best he can.
For all its faults, your tottering Republic has benefitted the vast majority of the galaxy for many millenia. To see it fall into ruin in such a short time... I do not like the Sith, that I make no effort to hide. I will even admit that if given the option, I would rule that we should join the Republic. But I must remain impartial and rule on this case as the law requires.
So he's genuinely pro-Republic. That may or may not help our case, at least to a certain extent.
Naleshekan, you're up next.
Ah, he's another rude one. I'm sure this'll be a blast.
I think not. I think Sunry maintains his contacts with the Republic and seeks to escalate the situation here. Is there something else you require?
Yeah, we require judges whose heads aren't quite so firmly lodged in their own asses. Naleshekan seems to believe that Sunry and the Republic are actually trying to escalate the situation on Manaan. Has he even looked at what's happening out there on the streets, or does he just not care?
What do you think of the Republic and the Sith Empire?
I do not buy into the Republic line that this is some epic battle of the 'good' Republic against the 'evil' Sith Empire.
I don't know. The Republic definitely has problems, but they generally don't blow up planets.
It is simply the turning of history, where the old is swept away by the better now.
Have fun getting conquered or blown up by the Sith, then.
Yes, but we're clearly not obtaining any such thing from you so we'll move on to the next and last judge.
Alright, Jhosa, please be less of a jackass than Naleshekan.
Sunry is a former Republic officer who is highly regarded by your people. He is admired by your people here on Manaan, and even seems to maintain some sort of relations with them still. If he is as capable as some of the Republic citizens still believe him to be, he is certainly capable of actions that would result in this murder. Is there anything else you wish to ask in relation to this case?
Is there anything suspicious about this case?
Well I have often wondered, if Sunry were so innocent, why was he seen fleeing the scene of the crime?
Hm. That's new.
This case seems fairly simple and obvious to me. You Republic types stick together, however, and I assume you will go to lengths to defend him.
What do you think of the Republic and the Sith Empire?
Both empires are at fault for this current conflict. The Republic in the past for laying the foundations upon which the Sith Empire grew. And the Sith now, obviously, for starting the war. But no matter the wrongs that had been done in the past, the Sith now have no cause for renewing hostilities. It almost seems as if they just want to conquer everything! I believe the Republic has every right to defend itself and drive the Sith back where they came from. Unfortunately for them... and perhaps for us... they do not seem to be doing too good a job of it.
It almost seems as if the Sith just want to conquer everything? I wonder what could possibly give you that idea. That aside, Jhosa at least seems relatively sensible.
We're done with the judges, so we should go hear from Sunry himself.
If you wish to begin your trial, you must make the request with the warden. It shall then be passed on to the judges.
Alright. We're not in any rush here, so we'll want to learn as much as we can before starting the trial.
Just like old times, eh Jolee? You come swooping in out of nowhere to save my tail from the fire.
You saved my wrinkled butt more than a few times as well, friend, if I recall. But there'll be time for catching up later. Right now we need to focus on the case.
The case is a complete frame-up. Anyone looking at the evidence could see that - or so I thought. But the Selkath seem to think, well that there's enough to go to trial. There aren't any witnesses. All that evidence against me is circumstantial... and completely flawed.
It was going well, too... Until she turned up dead... Hm... maybe the Sith had found out I was turning her and had her eliminated... But let's look at the facts they've given:
My war injuries make it difficult for me to walk even to hold things. See how my hands are shaking! How could I kill a Sith warrior at close quarters? I ask you! Further: They say they found my Hero's Cross at the crime scene. Would I leave my war medal behind if I killed someone? Even I'm not that stupid. Obviously the Sith planted the Cross. And what about the lack of forensic evidence? Skin and hair samples, clothing fibers - why isn't there anything like that at the crime scene? Sounds like an obvious frame-up to me.
The medal does seem too convenient and it wouldn't be a surprise if someone planted it on the scene. However, while Sunry insists he couldn't have killed a Sith warrior, we know for a fact Elassa died of a blaster shot to the back, and we also learned he ran away after the blaster shot was fired. That's not to say we think Sunry killed her, just that his condition is not as airtight a defense as Sunry seems to believe. Also, the line actually says "difficult for me to walk even to hold things", that wasn't a mistake by me.
Anything else I can help you with? I want my Arbiter to be well prepared before we go to trial.
But I think you'd be better off investigating the Sith themselves. Maybe you could find some proof they planted evidence to frame me - though that might mean figuring out a way into the Sith Embassy.
There's a few things we have to clear up.
Go ahead, ask... ask what you need to. I've got nothing to hide.
I heard some of the witnesses said that too, but I swear she was alive when I left! I wonder if the Sith have been putting pressure on people to get them to convict me... It wouldn't surprise me at all. They've had it in for me since the war... You should ask everyone about that... they might admit to helping the Sith under pressure.
That'll be all for now.
There certainly is.
All right. Next time, we'll investigate the hotel and interrogate the witnesses to learn more about the murder, and maybe we'll even find the Republic embassy!