Captain Pehn Qardaak: mercenary pilot, cyborg gunslinger, gambler, thief, lover, killer, and dance machine. A smuggler operating between the Great War and the Galactic War, Pehn's adventures as proprietor of the tramp freighter Rodomontade have led him into a large variety of adventures in service to the Galactic Republic, various businesses, and his own restless heart.
- 1 Appearance
- 2 Biography
- 3 Personality, Skills and Abilties
- 4 Letter of Marque and Reprisal (Currently Inactive)
Qardaak is a man of moderate height and weight, with rascally brown hair and a single brown eye. The right half of his face, his neck, and much of his torso and lower torso are marked by long-healed scars. His left eye is missing, replaced by a cybernetic prosthesis reminiscent of an eyepatch.
Pehn Qardaak was born in 29 ATC, aboard the University of Peredaex science vessel Thunderous Zhellday. His father was Professor Ubbek Qardaak, an archaeologist, and his mother was Captain Gelian Nuj-Qardaak, the Zhellday's commanding officer. His early life was spent on the fleet, moving from system to system and surrounded by scholars, students, and spacers.
From an early age, Pehn was always in trouble. He tended to get into places he wasn't supposed to be, take things that didn't belong to him, and worm his way out of the punishments levied for these infractions. His interests were difficult for his father to gauge: Pehn would slack off in school, cheat on assignments and tests, and fake illnesses to get out of lessons and other engagements. On the other hand, he'd memorize deckplans of starships, study databases on computer architecture and pick up phraseology in any number of obscure languages, all on his own time.
While Pehn's rambunctiousness was only amplified by the birth of his brother Hyse, his attention was quickly captured by the romance of starships and piloting. His mother, similarly affected, used this as a tool to get closer to the wayward child, and many happy hours were spent with Captain Nuj-Qardaak teaching her son about the piloting and captaining of space vessels. One day, when Pehn was 16 standard years old, Gelian decided the time had come for her son to get his wings. She made Pehn an offer he couldn't have refused even had he known what was to come.
Wings of Vengeance
While the science fleet busied themselves studying the fate of a lost Hydian Way outpost, Captain Nuj-Qardaak took Pehn on a trip in a small shuttle to fetch supplies. It was supposed to be a test of Pehn's readiness for a pilot's license of his own. Unfortunately, the path he'd plotted lead through territory recently staked out by a group of pirates trying to muscle in on the station's business. They pulled Pehn's shuttle out of hyperspace, and chased him into the nearby Roche Asteroids before damaging the shuttle's stabilizers and driving it into a relatively stationary piece of space rock. Captain Nuj-Qardaak was instantly killed, while Pehn was mortally wounded in the crash. Job done, the Iridonians returned to their reaving.
A group of Verpine scavengers was hidden nearby, and approached the wreck out of curiosity. Finding the ruined-but-still-alive Pehn, they carted him off to their base and set about attempting to repair his wounds. Their understanding of human physiology was not complete, but their engineering prowess allowed them to replace large portions of Pehn's damaged nerves and muscle tissue with synthetic replacements, along with his left eye and a few damaged parts of his brain. They considered the opportunity to solve such a complex engineering problem more than sufficient payment for the advanced cybernetics they implanted, and in fact paid Pehn a small sum for the privilege when he eventually awakened.
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In search of vengeance, the teenaged Pehn used the credits the Verpine gave him to make his way to Ylesia, hoping to get a lead on the marauders who had slain his mother. There, he found out that the pirates worked for rivals of the Besadii Hutts and enlisted in the Ylesia Spice Defense Force for revenge. They took the young Pehn, his skills sharpened by his rage and cybernetic prostheses, and deployed him as a fighter pilot against their rivals in their endless battle for criminal dominance.
Flipdarter was also used as a covert operations group by the Besadii, with Dillark and a few chosen pilots (including the eager Pehn) 'mustering out' for various operations beyond Hutt Space. One of these jobs, a mission to Kuat to secure valuable military-grade starfighter parts, lead to Pehn's capture by and whirlwind romance with the Kuati counterspy Kiola of Riddlesby, which eventually resulted in the birth of the future Jedi Knight, Ran-del Qardaak.
Eventually, Pehn realized that being a hired gun for the Hutts wasn't how he wanted to spend his life. Luckily, his daring had impressed his commander, Kogan Dillark. The old man tendered an offer: if Pehn would offer his skills behind the stick to Dillark's venture, Dillark would teach him what it took to make one's own way in the galaxy. Pehn jumped at the chance and tendered his resignation, then pooled his combat pay with Dillark's to purchase a brand new Corellian freighter, which Dillark dubbed the Rodomontade.
Breaking Treaties for Fun and Profit
Under Kogan Dillark, the crew of the Rodomontade engaged in never-ending quest for fortune and glory. Pehn was joined on the crew by a rag-tag band of ne'er-do-wells and spivs: the Bith outlaw tech Jiddus, the Iridonian mercenary Kaavana Stok, the venomous grifter Nolanda Dubblek, and the relentless skip-tracer Lastagir.
The main target of their adventures: the Sith Empire and (after the end of the Great War) the constituencies granted it by the Treaty of Coruscant. Great rewards were available to those who would brave Imperial blockades and deliver vital supplies, coveted luxuries, and even smuggle oppressed peoples from under the Sith's thumb.
Two years as a smuggler taught Pehn more than an entire childhood on a university ship: gunplay, fist-fighting, slicing, hyperspace plotting, basic repairs, confidence games, and every form of gambling from the Slice to Coruscant...there seemed no end to Dillark's expertise, and Pehn's aptitude for skullduggery. Within five years Pehn went from junior member to full partner, picking up the slack where Dillark's advancing age left it, and keeping the motley crew's various quirks from sinking the ship entire.
Eventually, though, betrayal brought an end to this first crew of the Rodomontade. Lastagir, the crew's muscle, betrayed Kogan and the rest of the crew to the Empire for the bounty on their heads. Only Pehn survived, and he escaped with the Rodomontade after a showdown with Lastagir.
From then, until shortly before the beginning of the Galactic War, Pehn Qardaak would be the sole member of the Rodomontade's crew.
The Score of a Lifetime
For nearly six years after Lastagir's betrayal, Pehn tried to keep his nose clean, mostly working in Republic and unaligned space. Eschewing Kogan Dillark's high-minded methods, Pehn ran contraband all across space; engaged in confidence games, heists, treasure hunts...anything to keep moving, never staying in any one place for long.
This changed during a 'routine' job to Ord Mantell, when the Rodomontade (and its cargo of blasters) was hijacked by a group of Seperatists. Pehn teamed up with the local criminal underworld to track down his ship, and eventually cottoned on to a secret held by the Seperatist leaders: 'the Windfall', a vast hoard of cash used to fund the Mantellian Seperatist movement.
Smelling what might prove to be the biggest score of his life, Pehn recovered the Rodomontade and chased leads uncovered on Mount Avilatan to Coruscant's underworld. There, he discovered two things: firstly, that the Windfall was also secretly funding the Justicar militia; and secondly, that someone had placed a significant bounty on his head.
From then on, Pehn ventured forth to hot-spots of Republic/Empire intrigue in pursuit the Windfall, one step ahead of bounty hunters, criminals, and rival agents of fortune. Finally, Pehn tracked down the Windfall to an obscure mining facility on an asteroid in the Albarrio sector and launched a covert strike against it, hoping to capture the Windfall and enter the annals of the legendarily wealthy...
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What he found, instead, was the real secret of the Windfall: it was an Imperial black operations fund, filled by the sale of nova crystals mined by slave labor, and intended to fund terrorists and seditionists in the Core Worlds in hopes of destabilizing the Republic. While the perfidious actions of the Imperials were no surprise, one of their slave miners was: Pehn's long-lost father, Ubbek Qardaak.
Ubbek, sickly and weak from years of forced labor under the Imperials, explained: after Pehn and his mother's disappearance, Ubbek left Pehn's little brother Hyse with the Jedi and set off into space to try and find his lost wife and son. He spent over eight years fruitlessly searching along the Treaty line for his family, until he was captured by the Imperials and put to work at the Windfall strike. Exhausted by over a decade of hard labor, Ubbek had just enough time and energy to ask Pehn to destroy the facility and free the slaves before passing away.
Pehn tossed aside thoughts of fortune and glory and instead set out to scuttle the Imperial mining operation. Freeing the slaves and slicing the mine's security database, Pehn used the Imperial surveys of the facility to locate a particularly volatile lode of nova crystals and, fighting his way past Imperial troopers and war droids, set a proton core bomb to detonate the crystals. The Windfall destroyed, the Rodomontade led a ragtag fleet of Imperial transports and mining freighters back to Republic space.
Letter of Marque
Pehn Qardaak found himself at loose ends: no fortune, no glory, no family, and a price on his head. Luckily for Pehn, the Republic had salve for all his ills: contacts he had made during his hunt for the Windfall wanted a man of his talents for Senator Bevera Dodonna's privateer initative. The job: use his talents, his wits, and his ship to go where the Republic Military couldn't and prosecute operations against the Empire without 'officially' involving the Republic. In exchange: high pay; access to military-grade munitions, ship components, and licenses; and a shot at the Empire and its underworld allies (who were still offering a large bounty for his head).
Before long, Pehn found himself the recipient of a letter of marque, and entered action as a member of the Republic Privateer Service Corps. Assembling a new crew of misfits, criminals, and veterans, Pehn flew a large variety of missions against the rampant Sith Empire, from the Rim to the Core, from gleaming ecumenopolises to barren wildernesses. Eventually, Pehn and the Rodomontade took part in the battle for Corellia, Pehn's conspicuous (some might say insane) bravery earning him first-class bloodstripes.
Pehn's involvement in the war eventually led to a stint in the Supply Corps of the Republic's Theta Company, but, as with his stint as a pilot for the Besadii, years of continuous action and danger had finally grown wearisome to Pehn. He began to long for the days when a gunfight was the least likely outcome of any given day.
Love, Loss, and Lots of Blaster Bolts
Eventually, Pehn and the Rodomontade cashiered out of both the Privateer Corps and Theta Company, and Pehn resolved himself to find gainful and less life-threatening employment. A brief stint as an independent was ended during a chance encounter with Seiyd Alumar, whereupon he was hired as a pilot for Dawn Star Freight, a position he figured would be a relaxing break after years of skullduggery and action.
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|The following information is held by the Smugglers Coalition|
This proved to be something of a misjudgment...Pehn quickly found himself caught up in any number of schemes and chicanery...from impersonating a lawyer, to delivering gifts from Sith Lords to Republic Senators, to taking part in the climactic assault by the Architect's forces against Erini with Cordae Keyis, Aiula Alumar, Jaade and 'the Silver Squire'.
Along the way, Pehn met and fell for Dawn Star's executive officer, Va'ara Kelsin. A whirlwind romance lead to a wedding on Alderaan and the marriage was happy, but brief. Va'ara died in a disaster in space, and her passage (along with the retirement of Dawn Star's previous owners) placed him directly in charge of Dawn Star Freight, after only a year as an employee. Suddenly in charge of both Dawn Star's galactic shipping concern, and the Smugglers Coalition it fronted, Pehn found himself in command of a rag-tag fleet of mercenaries facing threats from Sith Lords, Hutt masterminds, and mysterious magnates like Ionax the Grasper.
Personality, Skills and Abilties
Pehn is a jovial individual, even convivial. He thrives in situations where he can rely upon humor and irreverence, and tends to wilt in situations requiring studiousness, discipline, or patience. In his career, he's pulled innumerable cons, crossed a legion of dangerous individuals, won tremendous fortunes, and wasted them on caprices large and small. While he is not brutal or particularly vengeful, violence and action are not foreign to him and many are the fallen foes who've mistaken his winks and smiles for diffidence and weakness.
- Pilot - Pehn Qardaak is an ace pilot, with decades of experience flying snub fighters and freighters for organizations as diverse as the Ylesian Spice Defense Force, the Republic Hyperspace Armada, Theta Company, and the Smugglers Coalition. His specialty is 'the Bothan job': using stealth and misdirection to sneak past authorities and transfer goods and passengers under their noses.
- Gunplay - Pehn is a pistolero by practice, and a genuinely formidable quick-draw with his cybernetic reflexes. With his cybereye and smart-linked pistol, he is a deadeye at close and medium range, capable of squeezing off pinpoint shots and wounding glances almost at will. At further ranges, he is far less accurate and relies upon 'spray-and-pray' to give him time to close the distance, or he relies upon other munitions.
- Stealth, Slicing and Sleights - From an early age, Pehn has understood that, sometimes, it's better to be neither seen nor heard. He is a well-practiced skulker and housebreaker, with decent knowledge of both the tools of infiltration and the tricks of stealthcraft. Additionally, he employs a modified Baragwin stealth unit that he has personally customized to make a quick getaway...or a crushing first strike. Finally, deception, trickery, and underhanded methods are amongst his favorite techniques for getting into (and out of) trouble, and he has long and extensive experience in con games, feints, and all manner of shady dealings.
- Hand-to-Hand - Pehn's enhanced reflexes and reinforced skeleton and musclature are advantages that he is loath to leave fallow. Countless scraps have forged him into a brawler of no small skill, a talent he has enhanced with some Echani training and a healthy and shameless love of 'tactical retreating'
- Cyberbrain - Several portions of Pehn's damaged brain have been replaced with an advanced bionic computer which processes the immense calculations required for his pre-programmed reflexes and nervous impulses, and has a cognitive danger tracker which uses sensory information from Pehn's cybereye to enhance his reactions to sources of peril around him.
- Orbital Implant - Replacing Pehn's left eye, the external portion of this augmentation appears to be an eyepatch. Underneath the gunmetal-colored shutter is a photoreceptor suite that simulates standard human binocular vision, while also granting him telescopic magnification, predictive visual tracking, and giving a conscious readout of the information provided by his cyberbrain.
- Wired Reflex Suite - The Verpine who rescued Pehn from certain death decided that his damaged nervous system was shot, and replaced it with an incredible collection of synthetic replacement fibers, bionic neural and glial tissues, and artificial adrenal stimulators. Over several decades, Pehn has learned how to use this system, guided by pre-programmed nerve impulses from his cyberbrain, to perform feats of superhuman speed, agility, and dexterity.
- Reinforced Skeleton and Artificial Muscles - Pehn's shattered joints and fractured skeleton were repaired and reinforced with metallic and composite braces, which have since been put to use to enhance his hand-to-hand abilities and strength, occasionally causing damage to his unreinforced physique. Additionally, several pieces of his skeletal muscle have been replaced with artifical replacements. While these muscles are denser than normal organic muscle, they provide little in the range of increased strength, and are instead intended to both aid his wired reflexes and host piezoelectric fibers which turn mechanical motion into power for his cybernetic augmentations.
Letter of Marque and Reprisal (Currently Inactive)
Be it known that Pehn Qardaak, owner of the private vessel Rodomontade, is now recognized by the Senate of the Galactic Republic as licensed to conduct raids upon the government of the Sith Empire and its subsidiaries and supporters; to capture such cargo, properties and vessels as they may own and to deliver them unto the Republic. Further, to capture officers of the Imperial military, government, and supporters. He is also authorized and expected to pursue the war against the Empire as he is able, while in no case endangering the innocent civilian public and without causing undue damage to property. The owner shall surrender all proceeds of such activities to the review of the Republic, and in return shall be awarded 50 percent of their value. The Republic shall also award fixed bounties for the confirmed destruction of Imperial properties.
In return, the Republic shall render such aid as it can, subject to availability and discretion, including: shelter, intelligence, repair, stocking, and fueling. Those members of the crew formerly deemed criminals are hereby granted amnesty, so long as they serve our cause, or until the Empire is destroyed, and do not commit further crimes. Should they do so, they shall be subject to all charges, and summarily imprisoned.
All slaves found in the course of duty shall be manumitted, all illicit substances destroyed. The Republic may choose to buy an entire cargo, as needed.
This letter shall hold in effect for one year from its date, when it shall be reviewed. If either party is dissatisfied, the contract may be dissolved. The Republic reserves the right to assign observers to the ship for the purpose of this review.
Senator Bevera Dodonna, Commenor
Chairperson, Privateer Service Corps