Part 40: Council of EldersPart 40: Council of Elders
Last time, we found the Star Forge and immediately crash-landed on a tropical planet after getting caught in a disruptor field. Not only do we need to shut down the field to get off the planet, but we also happened to call the Republic fleet for backup and we really have to shut this thing off before the entire fleet crashes on the unknown world.
Exploring the planet, we came across a settlement inhabited by members of the Rakata race, the remnants of the former Builders of the Infinite Empire. These Rakata call themselves the Elders and seemed to recognize us, so let's find out what they have to say.
Since we already started doing this "no I'm not Revan anymore" shtick last time, might as well keep going.
Well, yes, but it's complicated.
Kind of, yeah. We don't recall a thing about being here before.
Yet the power you wield - what you call the Force - is within you still. You can still help us, Revan... if we dare to trust you again.
Yeah, let's take things slowly for now and figure out what's up with these guys. Maybe they'll give us more details about what happened last time around. We got the short version, of course, and it didn't sound good.
We heard them call themselves the Elders, and since they're not immediately trying to kill us we can assume they're not affiliated with the Rakatan warriors that have been throwing themselves at our sabers while we've been here.
You arrived with Malak - your servant - three of your galactic standard years ago. We saw your ship plummet to the earth, a victim of the disruptor field that guards this planet. You and Malak both survived the crash, though you were stranded here on our world. And in your search for a way off this planet, you discovered our enclave - just as you did this time. You used the Force to draw the Rakata language from our minds, even as you planted Basic into our skulls so we could help you in your quest to escape this world. We helped you enter the Temple of the Ancients. You and Malak both. And you now, after all this time, you have returned - with your mind wiped clean. Is there anything else you wish to know?
That explains why we're fluent in their language, at least. Also, it seems the disruptor field was not actually set up by the Sith to guard the Star Forge, but was already there to guard the planet before Revan and Malak even gained access to the Star Forge's secrets.
That is how the great war beasts you call rancors came to this world. A few of the beasts survived the crash, and they were captured and trained by some of the more primitive Rakata tribes.
Those would've been the guys we've been fighting.
I guess Zila might have figured the Rakata were just one big tribe and the warriors we've encountered were simply more aggressive than the priests we're currently talking to.
Many times the warriors of the One's tribe have attacked our compound, hoping to gain the knowledge we guard. But our technology is far superior to theirs, and their attacks have failed.
"The One"? Guy seriously goes around calling himself "The One"? Who does that? I'm assuming he originally had a silly nickname and he had to change it on short notice because he realized no one took him seriously as a threat.
During the collapse of the Rakata Empire, the warlords unleashed weapons of terrible destruction that threatened to drive our species to extinction. In the devastation's aftermath our ancestors locked the knowledge of such technology away in the Temple so it could never be used again. Ever since then, we Elders have kept our vigil.
Tell me about the Temple of the Ancients.
There is little I can tell you about the Temple. I know the secrets of our ancestors are contained within, but the Temple itself is barred to us. Only those who can command the Force can enter. Long ago we Rakata had this power, but it has since been lost to us. That was why we helped you the last time you were here, Revan: you could enter the Temple, but we could not.
Wha? No, we don't. We already found the parts, we just haven't repaired the ship yet because I didn't feel like backtracking.
As for the parts you seek, that we cannot help you with. You might be able to salvage what you need if you explore some of the crash sites on this world. But most of the wrecks are quickly raided and stripped by the more primitive and war-like Rakata tribes. Though they do not understand the technology, they hoard whatever they can carry.
Can't blame the Elders for being cautious. We did kind of screw them over last time.
Like the last time, you have crashed here. Like last time, you have come seeking our help. How have you changed, Revan?
We're trying to get to the Star Forge for very different reasons this time, but the Elder councilor is justifiably wary of our intentions.
You must prove to us that you are not the same as you once were, Revan. You must prove that you have changed.
How can I prove that?
Recently several of our scouts were captured by the One. Most of them were brutally slaughtered, but we have information that one of the scouts is still alive. They will use unimaginable tortures to force the scout to reveal everything he knows about our tribe. And once the One is done with him, the scout will be executed like the others. You must prove you have truly changed by risking your own life to save another. Rescue our scout from the clutches of the One, and we will consider helping you.
It'll be done. Just point us in the right direction.
So if I save the prisoner you'll help me?
Risking your life to save the prisoner would show us that you are sincere about making amends for the past.
Fair enough, I guess. But first, we want some more information.
We will tell you what we can, Revan.
You should speak to Osraa, the Keeper of History. He is located near the great computer on the far side of our enclave. But I will do my best to answer your questions.
Tell me about your tribe.
We are the Elders. Our ancestors were the priests of the Infinite Empire, the guardians of the Temple and the keepers of technology.
This is basically the exact same thing they told us before, just with slightly different wording.
We sealed the knowledge of destruction within the Temple, and for the past thousand generations we have kept vigil here, ensuring the knowledge does not fall into the wrong hands. If you wish to know more about this you should speak to Osraa, the Keeper of History.
Yeah, we'll find the Keeper in a bit.
He doesn't know what it is, does he?
The prisoner is being held in the chamber of the One himself. Return to us once he is free. Until then you have free run of our enclave.
Before we go anywhere, let's explore the enclave and find Keeper Orsa.
This place is kind of like a fancier version of the Sand People settlement we visited.
They've got some of the One's warriors captured, and apparently they're also researching these warriors for unknown purposes.
I wonder what they're trying to do. Maybe somehow figure out a way to restore their race's Force sensitivity?
Over in this area, we can find some Elders worshipping a statue of... someone. Might be one of their ancestors or possibly some sort of Rakatan religious figure, or both.
Unfortunately, they won't tell us what this is all about.
There are some containers we can find around the enclave, but there's nothing interesting in any of them. I'm more interested in the Elders' dinner, frankly, and it's not particularly fascinating either.
Here's the Keeper.
As expected, he recognizes us as well.
Sadly, we can't say the same about him.
The Council told us all of the destruction of your memories, but still I had hoped you might recall something of our past discussion.
The Rakatan emblem behind him resembles the Star Forge, much like the current Sith emblem. I assume this would've been the symbol of the Infinite Empire.
Let's see what the Keeper can tell us about the Rakata and the Star Forge.
I will do my best to enlighten you with the knowledge I hold. What subject do you wish to learn about?
This is our designated Rakata exposition dump, so prepare for a lot of
As you do.
Over time, we lost our ability to use the Force. Some believe we had used the Force for so long that we evolved biologically, and became immune to its effects. In any case, once we lost our sensitivity to the Force our Empire began to fracture. We had to revert to more conventional space travel using inferior technology. Our ultimate collapse was inevitable.
They used the Force to facilitate their space travel? That's cool, I wonder what it was like. By the way, nice job with the two obvious spelling mistakes in a single sentence there, guys. I know, shit happens when you have to write tons of text, but the constant typos in the script don't exactly help shake the vibe the Xbox version of the game was released unfinished.
The Infinite Empire was built on slaughter; it was inevitable it should collapse upon itself. War, plague and slave rebellion forced us to retreat back here to our hidden home world. Here, conflict among power-hungry warlords escalated into full civil war. Terrible weapons of mass destruction were unleashed, driving most of the Rakata far beneath the earth for shelter. The devastation ravaged the world. Our people were scattered, our cities levelled, our very existence all but erased. The glory of the Infinite Empire is now nothing but dust and bones. In the past few thousand years small bands of Rakata have begun to return to the surface, but they are primitive and superstitious creatures. Only we Elders remember anything of the true past.
It's never mentioned in the game as far as I know, but the Rakatan home world is named Lehon. In the days of the Infinite Empire, they also called it Rakata Prime. The Elders don't look back at the days of the Empire with much fondness as they correctly recognize their illustrious ancestors were a bunch of violent dickheads and the Empire's fall was inevitable, but for whatever reason they still keep the old Star Forge emblem around.
We Elders are descendants of the holy priest caste of the Infinite Empire, survivors of the terrible weapons unleashed by the warlords during the final collapse of our Empire. Inside the Temple of the Ancients, our ancestors were safe from the devastation that forced the other Rakata to flee undergound. We emerged from the Temple to find an empty and ruined land. At last we understood the terrible power of our own technology. To ensure it could never be unleashed upon us again, we sealed the ancient knowledge within the Temple.
What do you know about the other Rakata tribes here?
Maybe he can tell us something useful about the One.
But these Rakata were as violent as the warlords they had fled many millennia ago. After centuries of battle and bloodshed, the tribe of the One has emerged as the strongest of them all. Now the One, lured by half-remembered legends of his people, lusts to possess the terrible power locked inside the Temple. We can never allow that to happen.
We do have the technology to destroy the One and his followers. But if we kill them all, then we will only prove that we have learned nothing over the past 20,000 years. The One is mad with power. We choose not to fight him, so our only course of action is to stay here in isolation where we are safe; just as we have done for the past 20,000 years.
Yes, their only course of action is to stay here and send us to kill the One. Otherwise, they'd be just as bad as their ancestors. To be fair, the Elder council didn't explicitly tell us to kill the guy and his tribe, but come on. If he's as bloodthirsty as Orsaa suggests, we're in for a gigantic fight and we all know it.
Only those who can command this power - what you call the Force - can enter the Temple. Many centuries ago there were still a few among us who could pass within its walls. But living in the shadow of the Temple we became desensitized to this power. As you yourself said the last time you were here, we Elders are no longer 'Force sensitive'.
None of the Rakata can control the Force now, but long ago there were those who could pass through the barrier. Our ancestors created the energy shield around the building as a second line of defense. But the energy shield was created using technology within the Temple itself. Once we helped you and Malak to get past the barrier, you discovered a way to lower the shields at will from within the Temple itself. After this you had no further need of us. The once hallowed ground of the Temple is now overrun with the followers of Malak who can command the Force: those you call the Dark Jedi.
Can you tell me about the Star Forge?
Much of our knowIedge of the Star Forge is lost. It was built during the height of the Infinite Empire, long ago. All we know now is that it casts a terrible shadow across our world.
Even the Keeper doesn't really know what the Star Forge is and how it came to be. All anyone knows it's an artifact of evil, but we've kinda figured that out by now.
When you and Malak last came here, we saw you as saviors. We let you into the Temple so you could destroy the Star Forge, but instead you harnessed its dark power for yourselves.
Err, sorry about that.
The disruptor field is one of the ancient defenses of the Star Forge; a great generator within the Temple of the Ancients fuels it. You will have to enter the Temple to disable it.
Okay then. That's all we can learn from the Keeper, so let's head on out.
Nah, we're good. Let's go.
The rancors and other enemies along the way will respawn when you transition between zones, so in theory you could XP grind here if you wanted. It's hardly necessary on a completionist(ish) playthrough, though.
Before we pay the One a visit, we'll repair the Ebon Hawk. There's no real reason to do this until you're leaving Lehon, but might as well get it out of the way.
Now we can take the path to the north.
It's only a short walk to The One's House of Hardcore Violence from here.
Oh. Hey, guys.
We could've come here first, and the One's goons would've given us a quest to go to the south beach and kill the Elders. From there, we can choose to either go through with the murderin' or side with the Elders after hearing their story.
The One's warriors are not happy about us working with the Elders, so we've got a rumble on the beach in our hands. On my very first playthrough, I died here countless times because a group of Rakatan elites and two rancors is a pretty tall order when your build is complete and utter ass (I had a Jedi Sentinel and absolutely zero idea what any of the feats or powers actually did). Although our build is a hell of a lot better than the one I had back then, it's still probably a good idea to actually put some more preparation into the fight than we usually do.
Juhani will go for Stasis Field to hopefully freeze everyone in place, and Power Attack for that extra damage.
Jolee drops some buffs and a Stasis Field of his own just in case.
Let's do this. Our Force Wave spam is still effective, so we should be alright here.
Huh. Apparently, Zila can use Force Wave while controlled by the AI. I must have been mistaken about the power being unusable by the AI, then (or maybe this was just one of the initial Force Waves we queued up at the start of the fight). I definitely have seen Zila (or Jolee) use Force Whirlwind instead of Force Wave, which should not be possible once Force Wave has been mastered.
We don't even get a single scratch in the fight.
There is no way to achieve a diplomatic solution with the One once you have talked to the Elders, so let's kick the door down and introduce ourselves.
Luo here is the guy who would give you the "Invisible Mandalorians" quest and we'd give him the severed Mandalorian head we're carrying in our pocket, but that's no longer an option as you can plainly see.
So, now we just need to make our way to the boss man himself, and that means cutting a bloody swath through the entire tribe like we're Anakin Skywalker at a Tusken Raider camp.
We're not angry when we do it, so it's okay.
Sure, these are bad guys and all, but I always thought it felt a bit weird to just bust into their enclave and slaughter every last one of them. Then again, I suppose we've done that at multiple Sith bases as well, most recently on Manaan, so this isn't really anything new.
Looks like that bridge leads to a larger room, almost like an arena of some sort. That's probably where the One will be waiting for us.
I don't use Throw Lightsaber that often, but it's pretty nice when you can't be bothered to run up to the enemy. Jedi Guardians get a Force Jump ability to automatically close the distance, but for some reason I haven't seen Juhani use it at any point in this playthrough. Maybe she didn't have that until the PC port? Maybe I just didn't notice? Who knows.
That's gotta be the One up ahead, just calmly waiting for us to make our way to him.
Well, here we are. Time for a showdown.
His name is "the One" and he leads a tribe called "the Black Rakata"? Creativity clearly isn't one of his strong suits, but then again I suppose it doesn't need to be when you and your crew can skewer anyone who laughs at you on a stake.
Instead of attacking us, the One pulls a lever at the edge of the arena. I'm sure we'll find out very soon what that lever does.
It opens the four cages on the sides of the arena, each containing a young rancor.
This may prove troublesome.
Some elite warriors have also shown up, and start the fight by tossing a grenade at us. At least I think that was a grenade and we didn't just run into yet another mine.
We'll go straight for the big man. Juhani and Jolee should be able to keep the others at bay, at least for the time being.
"I'm too old for this shit"
Juhani can spam Stasis Field to hopefully keep these things in check. Probably would've been a better idea to have Jolee use that because of his higher WIS, but he's too busy healing so Juhani can handle the offensive Force powers. I'm sure at least one of those three will get most of the group.
The One is in fact not the one who will live on.
Now then, we've still got four rancors and some elite warriors to dispose of, and our companions could use some healing.
There we go, finally got most of the enemies into Stasis. Two rancors down, two to go.
Scratch rancor number three.
And that'll do it. On my first playthrough, this was another fight I found almost impossible, and even if your build isn't a joke it can definitely catch you out if the RNG isn't co-operating. That's not Force Jump Juhani is doing there, by the way, that is Power Attack. We've also gained a level, and that means we've hit level 20 and the level cap!
The last available attribute point goes to STR. If you recall, we've got +5 STR gauntlets equipped, so that'll get us to 20 STR in total and a +5 modifier. We are also at 20 DEX, because I bought a Baragwin Stealth Unit from Suvam (forgot to show that off earlier). While we have no use for the +10 Stealth or +4 Awareness it provides, it also boosts DEX by 3, and that combined with our level 1 DEX implant brings our total DEX to 20. That Implant Level 1 feat turned out to be worth it in the end!
Our final Persuade rank, CHA modifier included, is 19. I think one of the thresholds to make Persuade checks more likely to succeed is 18, so we just about made it over that. Technically I don't even need this point, but where else am I going to put it? Looking at our points allocations, I should've just ignored Demolitions and Awareness altogether because we had so few points in those they were all but worthless. We could've put those into Repair and maybe gotten three extra ranks (each requiring two, since it was a cross-class skill) early on, making it easier to complete some of the repairs on HK-47. Probably not all, though, unless we saved all those points until the Jedi class change and then put them into Repair, and even then we'd have barely made it with the help of Master Valor.
The most useful bit of information I learned during this LP was that Knight Speed and Master Speed are amazing. I just never paid enough attention to this skill tree so I never realized you get two extra attacks per round from Master Speed. Considering how ridiculous our damage output is already, adding two attacks to that is downright unfair to most enemies. When it comes to Force powers, one I didn't take and maybe should've taken was Force Breach/Force Suppression which cancels active Force powers on enemies. I keep forgetting it exists, and since I didn't really save levels on Taris I didn't have as many powers to play with as I usually do. Kinda worth it for the Scoundrel bonus feats, though.
There it is, our final form. Not an optimized build by any stretch of the imagination, but we're dealing crazy damage, have solid defense, and our Force powers obliterate trash mobs. Our CON is pitifully low and never went over 10, but that barely matters when most things die before they ever hit us. 12 INT or more could've been handy for the HK-47 repairs, but oh well. I could've minmaxed to improve STR or WIS further and really specialize in one of them for even more absurd damage numbers, or maybe even DEX for a defensive build, but I like to have some different options.
The bins behind the One contain some vendor trash, which would be more helpful if any vendors were available at this point. Well, I suppose you could also use some of these weapons and items, but we're good.
These must be the Elder scouts. As the council mentioned, one of them had survived but was likely to soon meet a grisly fate like his companions. He's still kicking, barely, so let's get him out of here.
Was he locked in a cage with a rancor? I think he was.
I'm sure that, had you not come, I would have ended up as they did.
I was sent by the Council to save you.
I don't know what I could have done if you had not come. I suppose I would be dead now, like the others they captured with me. Thank you for saving me. I shall attempt to return to the Enclave on my own. I will tell the Council of what you have done.
Um, we could escort you or even heal you. You seem to be in pretty bad shape, so just hold on and we'll...
Never mind, I guess. I hope he manages to avoid the rancors and Black Rakata on the way home.
You know, these guys.
Juhani learns Master Power Attack (+10 damage) and Knight Speed.
Jolee learns Master Dueling (+3 to Attack and Defense when using a single one-handed weapon) and Burst of Speed.
Let's meet back up with the Elders and inform them we've killed the One and everyone in the Black Rakata enclave.
How on earth did he beat us here, especially in his condition? Dude's fast. Maybe he knew a shortcut.
In any case, we've done our part.
We must discuss this in greater detail. We must have some privacy, Revan. We will return when our deliberations are done.
The Elder Council wander off to
...and here they are again. How did those deliberations go, guys?
The Council has decided we will trust you once more. For many generations we have sought a way to enter the Temple and discover the means to destroy the Star Forge. But only those who can command the Force - those like you - can enter the Temple of the Ancients. We no longer have that power. That was why we helped you the last time you were here. But you cannot enter the Temple without our help, Revan. Only the ancient rituals of our people can lower the shield for you to enter. You need us as much as we need you, Revan.
Looks like we'll be working together, then.
For our own sake, and that of the entire galaxy, we hope you truly mean to atone for your past evils. When you are ready, Revan, we will take you to the Temple. But the temple is a place of sacred power. If you are to enter you must do so alone, in the tradition followed by our Rakata ancestors for the past thousand generations.
We believe you truly wish to destroy the Star Forge this time. But the lesson of the past is not easily forgotten. We will not defile the sacred ritual a second time; only you alone may enter.
I don't think breaking tradition was the problem last time around, but sure. We'll play by the rules.
I didn't go yet because I wanted to look around a bit more first, just in case I missed something.
Now we're ready.
I think we can handle a few Dark Jedi, no problem.
But they will not be able to prevent us from using the ritual to gain you access. Once inside, however, we can do nothing to help you. Go to the Temple now. We will meet you there once the ritual has been prepared. Remember: in accordance with ancient Rakata tradition you must enter the Temple alone.
Right, right, got it. Let's get going already.
Here we are, back in front of the temple. I explored the rest of the temple grounds and killed all the (non-respawning) rancors earlier, but there was nothing worth showing off. Let's just meet up with the Elders and get this ritual started.
Thankfully, we don't actually have to sit here for hours, listening to the same dialogue loop over and over.
What's going on now?
Why didn't we have a premonition like that? In any case, Jolee and Juhani seem intent on accompanying us into the temple, but that's not going to sit well with the Elders.
I guess we're gonna have to discuss this with our friends here.
They are not pleased.
The Elders have a hard enough time trusting us after what happened last time, so we probably shouldn't push our luck.
So you just tell that guide of yours to do whatever he has to do to get us all inside the Temple.
Okay then, if you insist. Let's see if we can convince the priests somehow.
That's pretty much the response we expected, but slightly more politely worded.
The Republic fleet is on the way and we're stuck on this planet until we deactivate that disruptor field. You have to convince him to get us inside that Temple!
Never mind the fact the whole fleet is going to crash-land on Lehon unless we shut that field down. We would definitely prefer to avoid that.
I will resume the ritual now.
Back to waiting, then.
A few hours later, the ritual is finally complete.
And that means the door to the Temple of Ancients is now open to us. What might await us within the temple's walls? That's what we shall find out next time.
However, we're not quite done yet, because meanwhile on the Star Forge...
This must be the new leader of the Sith fleet, Admiral Karath's replacement. I don't remember if his name is ever mentioned, but there he is. The Star Forge is pumping out ships at a worrying rate now, apparently operating at 300% capacity which sounds really bad for the Republic's chances. They've had enough trouble handling the Forge's normal output.
As the officer talks, we can see Malak's face is being operated on by a medical droid.
Pictured: the end result of a duel between Malak and Revan on Revan's flagship the previous year. Malak was apparently mouthing off () to his master, accusing her (well, him in the book this story came from) of being soft, so the two fought and Revan sliced Malak's jaw right off with a lightsaber strike.
I like how horrified the officer looks during this scene, which is pretty clearly meant to be referencing that scene from The Empire Strikes Back where Admiral Piett sees Vader's scarred head from behind and looks visibly disgusted. Malak is confident Bastila will join the dark side anytime now, and if that happens the Republic will surely be finished...