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It has been four years since the end of the Clone Wars and the Rise of the Galactic Empire. Though most of its core power base has been solidified under the iron grip of Palpatine and his henchman Darth Vader, there are still outlying worlds and cultures that have not been brought to heel.

Many of these cultures possess or have access to powerful artefacts – objects of wonder and reverence that are in some cases as old as the known galaxy itself. Until recently, the Emperor has paid them no mind, believing that they will be brought to heel soon enough. But recently, Sansa Tikkanen, an extremely talented and highly ambitious archaeologist who was an honors graduate from the Antiquities program at the University of Alderaan (not to mention the daughter of a well respected Moff) has convinced the Emperor that it is far better to take hold of these items now, lest they become lightning rods for dissent and resistance. The Emperor, when faced with this simple logic, has agreed and formed the Imperial Archaeological Corps, placing Tikkanen on charge of doing precisely what she suggested.

But Tikkanen’s lobbying of the Emperor didn’t go un-noticed. Her Professor and long time mentor at the University, a Cerean named Tion Harreg learned of what she intended to do and at first attempted to reason with her, but he was confronted with her staunch belief that the Empire was the only route to sponsorship in this New Order and thus she had no choice but to act in the name of the Throne.

But Harreg couldn’t allow that to stand. He, as much as any galaxy-class archaeologist understood the sheer power of many of these ancient things, and became determined not to see them fall into the Emperor’s hands. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much he could do – at least not directly. He did have two things going for him though. The first was a great deal of money in the form of an ancient family fortune which he’d barely touched until now, and second was another student – one who’d fallen on hard personal times before Tikkanen enrolled and was forced to drop out.

So Harreg resolved to find this student, convince them to locate and confiscate the artefacts and so forth before Tikkanen could get her hands on them or steal them from her if she had to. Once taken, Harreg could see them placed in secret warehouses throughout the galaxy, there to wait until the Empire was no more so that they could be returned to their people. It wasn’t a perfect solution, but it was the only one he could think of.

And in order to do make that solution happen, his older student would have to find a ship…and of course a crew….

Star Wars, Tales of the Ruby Queen

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