There's no mystical energy field that controls my destiny!
Character creation for End of Empire the other night. Our heroes are:
Jax Cadderly (Rajan)
Human Smuggler (Scoundrel)
Jax is the group's lynchpin with the galactic underworld, a friend of Para's from the Imperial Academy, & the Player Character closest to the intro NPC, Eris Berserk. He fled the Empire out of the Academy, just after the first Death Star destroyed Alderaan: he didn't sign up to commit atrocities, just to get off his backwater homeworld. His mouth turned out to be as much of an asset as his skill with a spanner, until a completely legitimate game of sabacc went his way instead of renown retired assassin, the red lightsaber wielding Mandelorian Vigo Rao Kast, & he's come to Ord Mantell hoping that the protection of rival Vigo Concilliator Kek will keep him safe.
Droid Spy (Infiltrator)
A "Human Replica Droid," with his oversized battledroid arm Jolit appears more like a cyborg than a droid. Designed for infiltration & espionage, he lacks the technical expertise to keep himself in good repair, relying on Para for maintenance. A miniature ID9 probe droid that can stowaway as a disc on his back completes his ensemble. Jolit works as a go-between for droids & organics using his ability to pass as a human cyborg, which is how he knows Eris Berserk is a part of the Droid Uprising. He is haunted by flashbacks, memories from the organic patterning that developed his neural net, something haunting that's led him to where he is now.
Para Totool (Rachel)
Human Engineer (Mechanic)
A former officer in the Empire, Para has seen too much & done things...things that made her desert the fleet. Meeting up with an old schoolmate, Jax with her recent business partner Jolit, she's part of the crew Eris Berserk has rounded up. Para actually served with Imperator Pryl once upon a time, when she was just a young captain in the Outer Rim, & following her superior's career has left her with a passionate interest in rancors. She keeps tabs on all her old Imperial shipmates & has a bad habit of feeling responsible for them. Para worked in the hanger, overseeing the upkeep of ships & droids, & still has the TIE/Interceptor she escaped with.
Theynur Kötturinn (Burke)
Farghul Explorer (Fringer) (Force Exile)
The Farghul are a felinoid alien race renown for their loose sense of personal property & their dislike of the Jedi. That makes Theynur's sporadic fits of Force use unwelcome, & she's developed a spice habit to dull the pain. She left her homeworld under a cloud of suspicion & fell in with the Rebellion, though she never joined up, officially: ranks & orders just aren't her style. No, her style is skipping system to system in her X-wing, trying to stay ahead of the mess she makes with her uncontrolled abilities. Ord Mantell is the latest place she's come to, & her freedom-loving ways have led to her sympathizing with the Droid Uprising, & meeting up with Eris Berserk.
So, what I told you was true... from a certain point of view.
The NPCs & Organizations that the PCs are aware of, in various combinations:
The cyborg pirate Eris Berserk is your contact on Ord Mantell, arranging jobs of varying legality that suit your special skills. A Chiss, she has the blue skin & red eyes typical of that near-Human species, with a shaved head but for one sizable grey forelock. The distinctive black gorget & blinking lights of her chestpiece, as well as the over-sized black-clad cyberlimb that replaces her left arm complete her regular appearance: otherwise Eris enjoys dressing in the looted couture of the nobility & wealthy.
"Privateer," is what she'll grumble to herself when people call her a pirate, if no one is listening. It is barely a secret that Eris took a commission from the Rebellion to hunt Imperial ships during the War, but it is confidential that she's a former slave & a member of the Droid Uprising, not just a friendly third party. Eris' cybernetics are extensive, & seem painful; she prefers to relax privately, in a bacta tank...or splitting a pack of imported death sticks with the crew after a successful job.
Imperator Tanda Pryl is the leader of the Praetorians. Supported by the remnants of the Royal Guard, she was an Admiral in Darth Vader's Death Squadron Star Destroyer fleet who vanished after the death of the Emperor for a time but has recently reappeared to reignite the embers of the Empire in the Outer Rim. Her service record was marked by rivalries until she was singled out by Vader...or one could say that only after she brought total ruin upon all her foes did the Dark Lord of the Sith take interest in her naval career. Before his sponsorship could blossom, the Battle of Endor ended Vader & Palpatine's lives.
Straight-laced & utilitarian, Pryl herself had a reputation for being "half-witch" that even her wealthy background couldn't shake. Excelling in the Academy brought no relief, as her surprise victories & sudden turns of fortune turned to gossip & infamy. Her harsh sense of justice won the slow loyalty of those who served with her, & any critics her military successes didn't silence became her bitter foes. The Sith Lord's patronage earned her the whispered name "Vader's Pet," but what of it? After the Battle of Yavin she was called in from the Elrood sector, rising to the inner circle of the Empire...until the victory of the Rebellion.
After the destruction of the second Death Star, Pryl's ship, the Devastator, Lord Vader's former flagship, retreated to the poisonous swamp world of Dathomir, homeworld of the galaxy's most fearsome predator, the rancor. The Star Destroyer remained in orbit for quite some time, & it was there that the crimson ships of the Royal Guard rendezvoused with her. From there she reclaimed the Empire's R&D facilities & academies, fringe resources not fully exploited by the war effort, as the battles shifted to other arms of the galaxy. Her forces are elite but thin; they rely on re-converting defunct Imperials to their cause...
Ostensibly the liaison between the various business consortiums of Ord Mantell & the government-- whether the Imperial garrison or the hereditary nobility-- Concilliator Kek is in fact the de facto authority of the planet, as well as the public face & legal owner of the legitimate business interests of the Black Sun crime consortium. The Faleen Vigo is a respirator-wearing germaphobe who delights in wearing furs & feathers, whose topknot is long enough to trail behind him.
Navigator Marid is the Mon Calamari leader of the old Rebel Alliance cell stationed out here at Ord Mantell. His ship, the Old Daughter, is a heavily armored Corellian corvette with a modest fighter bay, designed as a depot for operations in uncharted space. Yes, "Rebel Alliance"; out here on the Fringe, with Star Destroyers still in the skies, it seems a bit early to Marid for the Core Worlds to be crowning themselves a "New Republic." The Old Daughter lurks in asteroid fields & uncharted space, making naval guerrilla strikes on ostensibly Imperial targets & gathering intel on whatever forgotten bases or weapons the Empire might have tucked away in this forgotten spiral of the galaxy.
The ancient Mandelorians & the Sith were allies, or so the story goes. The same legends say the only way to unite the clans is under the blade of a laser sword. Whatever the truth of the legend, Rao Kast believes it: his twin red sabers tell that story as plain as can be. Not a Force user himself, Kast's customized black battlearmor & red blades nevertheless made him one of the galaxy's premier assassins, until his fame & notoriety grew too large & forced him into semi-retirement as a Black Sun Vigo.
Praetorians are a faction of the Imperial remnant led by Imperator Tanda Pryl & the fanatical survivors of the Royal Guard, dismissed from the throne room by the Emperor at Endor. This warrior-cult's goal is to restore order to the galaxy, using Imperial elites to shore up the splintering force of the Old Empire, starting with the Outer Rim. They don't have the resources for total war, & instead prefer shock & awe tactics...something the Imperator is uncannily good at.
The Praetorians fly predominately TIE/Interceptors in ship to ship combat, & battle with gigantic Praetor-class Super Star Destroyers flanked by the corvette-class Vigil Star Destroyers & Interdictors. They deploy more mechanized infantry than typical, relying especially on AT-PTs & K2 security droids. Black-clad, disruptor pistol-armed ISB agents lurk amongst the greyscale officers, rounding out the Praetorian's frightening profile, alongside crimson Royal Guards, a tide of pale Stormtroopers accompanied by shining Chrometrooper sergeants & led by their dark Imperator.
Older than the Empire, older than the Republic, & the only real rival to the Hutt's control of the galaxy's underworld, the Black Sun are a crime syndicate with tentacles in everything but who are most famous for dealing in flesh, whether assassins, bounty hunters, or slaves. Each gang in the Black Sun operates independently, & a shifting web of allegiances & rivalries between the Vigo bosses are the order of the day, as each jostles for the title of Underlord...a position currently vacant. On Ord Mantell, where the almighty credit reigns, the Black Sun enjoy exceptional freedom, ruled by a respirator-masked Faleen Vigo named Concilliator Kek.