Date: 3948 BBY.
Viscount Alvor Bolis of the Tapani Empire travels to the Tallan Shipyards at the call of his uncle, Count Ikra Bolis, to oversee the hyperdrive test of a prototype of a transport, a possible candidate for Tallan’s new line of merchant marine vessels that are capable cargo haulers and capable of combat superiority. The Spinward Savant, the prototype vessel, captained by the capable pilot Hep Raraza, and his crew Auugu Vih’Torr, Foogam Penin, Abia Hamasaki, and Kaleb Hannser. Alvor Bolis sees this position as an annoyance, but necessary to grow the fortunes of his family and that of his noble house, House Mecetti. The final test of the Spinward Savant is a long hyperspace trip across the known galaxy to the edges of known space, the destination determined by a party unknown in House Mecetti.
After arriving halfway to their destination, the system operator Foogam Penin, a Fosh from one of the guilds in the Tepani sector discovers a virus in the ship’s mainframe. Although the virus seems to be inactive, he cannot remove it. Alvor contacts his House’s research department about this issue, and they decide to go forward with the test. They continue until they realize that the current jump data would take them through the Kanz Sector, a sector blockaded by the Republic and embroiled in a deadly civil war. Alvor authorizes the rerouting of the flight around the Kanz Sector, which takes up another couple weeks of jumps.
Alvor decides to talk to the overseer of the Tallan industries, and uses his force powers to interview him. When the overseer falls over, wracked with pain, Alvor suspects him as the culprit, as only another force user can prevent the persuasive powers of the force from extracting knowledge with such results. He then detains him and contacts his uncle, who sends a message back that Tepani overseers are protected from force persuasion. Realizing his mistake, he releases the overseer and apologizes, although the man is obviously upset.
When they finally arrive in Dantooine, the second to last stop of their trip, Alvor persuades the overseer to judge them fairly, ignoring his mistake. The man agrees, and they make their last jump—right into an ambush. A pair of carriers await them, sending a message to the ship in a foreign language. The Fosh, hearing this message, immediately bolts to the engine room, where he is stopped by Abia, the engineer. Alvor disables him with the force just in time for the ships to attack.
The two carriers unleash fighters upon them, but Hep Raraza and the Spinward Savant dodge almost all of their fire, managing to destroy the fighters. Somehow, the virus wiped their hypercoordinates, and they are unable to return to Republic space, so Auugu Vih’Torr, the Sullustan co-pilot finds hyperspace coordinates for a local system. They appear there, only to encounter an asteroid field and with a half dozen fighters in pursuit. Hep dodges through the asteroids, only to have the ship nearly crippled. They short jump to a close system in order to fully escape the unknown enemies.
They arrive at a single star system with twelve planets, four being gas giants, four are too far from the star, and are frozen, and three are too close to the planet. However, they discover that a dwarf planet in between the four closest and the gas giants has breathable air. With the level of repairs they need, they go towards the planet to hopefully find a place to land and fix their secondary hyperdrive. When they get near, something takes control of their ship and steers them into the planet’s atmosphere.
After they get through the atmosphere, a tractor beam catches them and draws them towards a mountain, which is covered in carvings of semi-human appearing beings and writing that is complex beyond what they have seen before. The tractor beam pulls them into the mountain, where a hangar bay opens up and draws them in. A platoon of droids appears as a voice says, “Greetings. I am ERQ-NUO. Welcome back, Masters.” It brings them into the station, where they discover much about this unique planet.
The planet wide AI known as ERQ-NUO informs them of their status as the masters of this facility due to the prophecy of the 3,000 reincarnation cycle founded by the original masters of this facility. Alvor determines that the planet was created by the Celestials, the most ancient, powerful and mysterious architects of the galaxy, as an artistic homage to their original homeworld in another galaxy. ERQ-NUO assumes they are the reincarnations, and gives them complete access to its facilities. They determine that it has a droid manufacturing plant, and possibly even a starship plant and all it requires it raw materials to reinforce its planetary, system and sector wide defenses.
With the sprawling choices, including access to starmaps of the unknown regions, the group decides between their options as they move forward.