The Galaxy's Shadowport
Ord Mantell in Mask of the Pirate Queen
“Well, the bounty hunter we ran into on Ord Mantell changed my mind.”
–Han Solo, The Empire Strikes Back
Hunt down an underworld celebrity, make lucrative back room deals, and infiltrate powerful crime syndicates in Mask of the Pirate Queen, an upcoming adventure book for Star Wars®: Edge of the Empire™. A deadly rivalry has broken out between a former protege of Jabba the Hutt and a pirate organization led entirely by women. There’s plenty of profit to be made from the conflict, but be careful. The more involved you become, the harder it will become to extricate yourself from the affair, and the more you learn about the crafty, elusive pirate queen, the more you’ll want to know.
Mask of the Pirate Queen also opens up two more planets in the Star Wars galaxy for you to explore. Today’s preview offers a glimpse of one of them: the galaxy’s most infamous shadowport, a haven for bounty hunters, smugglers, and all variety of criminals: Ord Mantell.
Setting Its Own Course
For centuries, Ord Mantell served the Republic as a regional depot, but gradually the planet’s strategic significance dwindled. Eventually, the Republic abandoned the military spaceports it had once constructed, leaving them to be occupied, controlled, and used by a number of criminal and corporate elements. Since that point, Ord Mantell’s link with the Republic has been tenuous. During the Clone Wars, it became home to Darth Maul’s Shadow Collective, and even now, under Imperial rule, the planet retains a good measure of autonomy.
As a celebration of its criminal heritage, Ord Mantell hosts the annual Blockade Runners’ Derby, a treacherous competition between smugglers and other thrill-seeking pilots. Prizes tend to take the form of lucrative and illegal business contracts, and more than one fortune has been lost through gambling on the race’s outcome. Many of the galaxy’s best and most notorious smugglers have competed in it. A certain Han Solo managed to win an unprecedented three times.
The Path of Coins
Ord Mantell’s capital city, Worlport, is a sprawling, smoggy, oceanfront city filled with cantinas, casinos, and slums where everyone is looking to make some easy, illicit money. Tourists seeking a relatively safe experience of this seedy metropolis tend to linger in the well-policed areas near the spaceport and Government Circle. Those up to more nefarious business may do their dirty work in Herglic’s Folly, the most dangerous of the city’s gambling districts, where brawls and duels erupt on a daily basis. Wealthy Mantellians are best found among the cobblestoned avenues and lavish estates of the Jewel District, a neighborhood that is accessible by permit and invitation only.
The city’s largest and most public gambling district is known as the Path of Coins. Offworlders mill about its packed streets at all hours, Twi’lek dancers perform advertisements for gambling halls, and vendors hawk street food and good luck charms from brightly-coloured stalls. Near Government Circle you’ll find elite resort-casinos such as Lady Fate's Casino and Mugwaar’s Palace, but there are many casinos affordable for the middle-classes, including quite a few that cater to less lawful clientele as well.
Ord Mantell is not all crime and decadence. North of Worlport lies a immense, barren expanse of junkyards and strip mines—the interplanetary dumping ground known as the Scraplands. The atmosphere there is so poisonous that breath masks are necessary to breathe, and the towering heaps of refuse tend to collapse unpredictably in “scrapslides.” Yet in the center of the waste lies Ten Mile plateau, an uncanny oasis where several native species, including soaring, predatory Mantellian pterosaurs and hulking, brutish Savrips, dwell.
Settlements and villages persist throughout the Scraplands. A colony of Jawas has taken root, very much at home among the heaps of industrial detritus, although how they came there from their home on Tatooine remains unknown. The Wolport Rail terminates at the Fifth Wheel, a settlement large enough to boast both a cantina and marketplace, where various ne’er-do-wells sell salvaged trinkets to gullible visitors. Most inhabitants of the Scraplands, however, are nomadic. Humans, Savrips, and outcasts from countless other species manage to survive by foraging for food among the waste and selling miscellaneous salvage.
Learn the Shadowport’s Secrets
Ord Mantell offers much more than you can possibly experience during your visit there in Mask of the Pirate Queen. The locations, adversaries, and extensive background that the book provides can be easily used in creating other adventures. Your group may bet on or even participate in the Blockade Runners’ Derby. Perhaps they have a rich job contact in the Jewel District or want to make some quick money by gambling with the wealthy patrons of Lady Fate’s Casino. You may even discover deep in the Scraplands a treasure worth more than you have ever dreamed—but only in visiting Ord Mantell can you ferret out the planet’s secrets.
See the shadowport for yourself. Pre-order Mask of the Pirate Queen from your local retailer today!