Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Sim-Neleg, Scavenger Village on Jakku

Many of the scavengers on the planet Jakku live a solitary existence, dwelling by themselves in isolated places and selling what materials they can scrounge to shady, self-interested brokers. There are exceptions to this rule, however, groups who have banded together to work for a common good. One example of this is the beings who live in Sim-Neleg Village. 

The Village
While it might not look like much when compared to the settlements on other planets, on the harsh and arid world of Jakku, this is almost a little slice of paradise. The buildings are made from cut stone covered in a coating of whitewashing clay. None are taller than one story in height, allowing the desert winds to blow across them. All are built around a central square, in the middle of which stands the village's moisture vaporator.

A typical house in the village (1) has a common living space with a kitchen and table (A), along with a larger bedroom (B) and one or more smaller bedrooms (C). There is also a compact but serviceable refresher unit (D). Typically these homes are occupied by a family or by a few unmarried scavengers.
The hub of daytime activity in the village is Duwo Sim's shop (2). Here, scavengers bring their found items to clean and prepare for sale. The main work room (A) is filled with low tables for that purpose. Off of that are a refresher unit (B) and a storeroom for items that are ready to sell (C). There's also a kitchen for Duwo and his assistant, along with their bedrooms (D and E, respectively).
Next door to the shop is the home of Sonjah Neleg, the dewback wrangler. It is laid out much like the other homes, with living quarters (A) and a fancier refresher (B and C), along with a kitchen (D), storage area (E) and bedrooms (F and G). More notable is the fenced-in dewback pen and covered stalls (H), where a handful of those creatures are kept.

What looks like nothing more than a small comm booth (4) is in fact a shrine for the Church of the Force. There is a compact workstation and vidscreen. While this is generally used for contacting nearby settlements and ships in orbit, those who know the proper codes can access a database with teachings about the Jedi Order. (Note that these detail the history of that group, not ways of using the Force.)

After the workday is finished, activity in the settlement tends to take place in the small cantina (5). Rather than having its own proprietor, the cantina is a place where the locals come together to share food, drinks, and whatever entertainment they can muster.

Using Sim-Neleg Village in an Episode VII-Era Campaign
This village and its inhabitants can be incorporated in a campaign in many different ways; a few of the possibilities are detailed here.
  • PCs who crew a tramp freighter could be hired to deliver supplies here and thus have a chance to interact with these beings.
  • Alternately, the PCs could be natives of the village; this option gives the GM a chance to use the settlement rules from Far Horizons, as well as the shop rules from Special Modifications.
  • One who has medical training could even be called on to provide aid to an injured scavenger or even help deliver a newborn dewback.
  • When the scavengers run afoul of a ruthless salvage gang, they might turn to outsiders for help settling the conflict. This could involve claim jumping, payment of protection money or something similar.
  • During a nastier-than-normal sandstorm, some of the village's scavengers go missing; they ask the PCs to help find them.
  • A vicious beasts lurks in the nearby desert and begins preying on unsuspecting scavengers.
  • This could be a stop on a Force-sensitive character's path to learning more of its mysteries; these beings might even have met Lor San Tekka, and perhaps know some of the lore that otherwise would have died with him.
  • The discovery of a long-lost Imperial vessel in the sands of Jakku, one that holds important secret information, draws unwanted attention to this settlement.
  • After the destruction of Tuanul Village by the First Order, some of the scavengers begin calling for militant action against that organization. Others disagree, however, arguing that it's just too powerful of a foe.

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