Friday, April 12, 2024
Source GuideThe Mandalorian

The Mandalorian Chapter 18: The Mines of Mandalore

Episodes – Story – Characters – Vehicles – Planets – Aliens – Droids – Creatures – EquipmentForce Powers

<< Chapter 17 The Apostate | Chapter 19 The Convert >>

Story

Good business
On the planet Tatooine, it is Boonta Eve, which residents are celebrating with fireworks. In Hangar 3-5, a Rodian customer argues with the mechanic Peli Motto about Motto fixing their speeder. Motto points out that there are many parts missing, and she would have to order them from the Mid Rim; she estimates the time to repair it at two months. When the Rodian complains, she says she will put a rush on it, on the condition that the Rodian pay half upfront. After the Rodian reluctantly hands her some money, she grumbles behind their retreating back that this will mean she has to work on Boonta Eve, and should have charged him more for making her work on the holiday.

Motto gets her DUM-series pit droids to check that the Rodian is gone before she calls out to some Jawas, revealing that she has been running a scam with them: they strip speeders of parts, and when the owner comes to her for repairs, she charges them but uses their own parts, painted to look different, to do those repairs. The Jawas demand credits for the work of painting the parts and putting it back together, which Motto acquiesces to after a token protest.

Din Djarin’s N-1 starfighter arrives, and Motto tells the Jawas to leave, with instructions to strip another speeder. She crows about how good the N-1 starfighter’s engine sounds, and despite Din Djarin saying he has no complaints about its performance, she promises to tune it up anyway. She asks where Grogu is, and when he pops out above the rim of the cockpit and uses the Force to leap into her arms, she is delighted. She suggests to Djarin that Grogu is saying his first word, Peli.

Djarin, ignoring her claim, declares he is there for business. Motto asks what the business is, suggesting that he is going to take down Boba Fett or that the Hutts have returned and have to be dealt with. When Djarin responds that he is only looking for a droid part, she declares it boring, but calls to the pit droids to summon the Jawas back so they can deal with Djarin’s request. At Djarin’s specification that it is an IG-series memory circuit, she jokingly calls him a “grandpa,” saying that IG memory circuits have been out of production for some time. When the Jawas return, she asks them in Jawaese if they have the memory circuit Djarin is looking for, but they inform her that they do not have the part.

At Djarin’s complaint that he needs his droid fixed immediately, Motto suggests he buy the dilapidated R5-series astromech droid she has in the hangar bay. Djarin says that he needs a droid able to spelunk, so he has no use for an astromech droid. When Motto asks for further details, Djarin explains that he is going to Mandalore, and requires an astromech that go ahead of him and test the atmosphere to make sure it is safe for him to breathe. The astromech, R5-D4, begins to shake and back away, but Motto tells it to get back, and claims it is just as good as when it was fighting for the Rebellion. She then offers to reinstall the N-1’s astromech port so the astromech can copilot, and to sell him the droid at half price, with a free oil bath.

Djarin accepts, and as night falls, Djarin, Grogu and R5-D4 are in the N-1, almost ready to take off. Motto admonishes the droid, telling it to be braver, and then tells Din that R5-D4’s circuitry is fragile and that he should not rely on it. When Din protests, pointing out that she had claimed it was built for adventure, she shuts the cockpit and says she cannot hear him over the sound of the engines, and the starfighter rises into the sky.

From generation to generation
As Djarin and Grogu arrive in the vicinity of Mandalore, Djarin assures Grogu that while it may look scary, with its turbulent stormclouds, it was once beautiful and verdant, back in the days when the songs Djarin knows about Mandalore were written. He tells Grogu that it is the homeworld of their people, and that every Mandalorian can trace their roots back to this planet and its beskar mines. He confesses that he has never been to Mandalore either, and that instead, he grew up on Mandalore’s moon, Concordia. He points to Concordia, which they can see from the cockpit, and then to Kalevala, reminding Grogu that it is where Bo-Katan Kryze lives. He then points to the scope, which shows the three astronomical bodies he has mentioned, explaining to Grogu that Mandalorians must be skilled at reading maps so they do not get lost.

As the ship descends through the atmosphere of Mandalore, the clouds buffet R5-D4 and cause the ship’s systems to flicker. When they have broken through the clouds, Djarin suggests that the fusion bombs from the Great Purge of Mandalore disrupted the magnetic field around the planet, preventing any communication out of atmosphere. The ship lands in a clearing surrounded by jagged pieces of green trinitite, and Djarin orders R5 to scout ahead and test the atmosphere in the mines. R5 reluctantly trundles off in the direction Djarin indicates. When Grogu shows concern about R5, Djarin says they can watch it on the scope, which shows a dot slowly travelling away from them before abruptly disappearing. As Djarin unsuccessfully tries to raise R5 on comms, the ship’s systems flicker again. Djarin says it is probably just atmospheric interference, but acquiesces to Grogu’s distress, leaving the ship to go find R5 after pressurizing his helmet.

Djarin enters a gloomy green cave, walking slowly to a precipice, from which he can see the ruins of an underground city. He is suddenly attacked by three Alamites with clubs. Though Djarin manages to shoot an Alamite, the remaining two attack him with clubs, causing him drop his blaster. Unable to reach his blaster, Djarin pulls out the Darksaber, though his swings are clumsy as the blade remains heavy. After wounding the second Alamite in the leg, Djarin manages to his opponent over the edge into the ruins below. He stabs the third attacker with the Darksaber before throwing him over the edge. After defeating the Alamites, Djarin hears R5-D4 beeping and finds the droid overturned in a pile of rock. Righting it, Djarin and the droid then return to the starfighter.

When Djarin receives the atmospheric readings from R5-D4, he discovers that the air is breathable and declares that Kryze was right, and that Mandalore is not cursed. He takes Grogu into the cave, pausing at the precipice from before and telling Grogu that this was once the civic center, where Kryze told them to go. He uses his jetpack and Grogu uses his hovering pram to descend past the mangled metal skeletons of buildings, pausing on a girder to tell Grogu that the mines are further down, and that they were on their own from here. They continue descending down a well, past ancient water pipes, before landing at the bottom.

They proceed through a large tunnel with more water pipes branching off it, and several reptavian creatures observe them, unnoticed by Djarin. Turning off into a smaller tunnel, Djarin discovers that the detritus beneath their feet includes an old Mandalorian helmet. While he is distracted looking at the helmet, a trap springs shut, and Djarin is captured by a mechanical arachnid with an organic eye. It takes Djarin, now tightly encased in a metal cage, and puts the cage on a rack akin to a rotisserie spit. The mechanical arachnid then lowers itself to the ground and a smaller mechanical being with six limbs and quills on its back comes out. Grogu watches all this from the shadows, having left his pram to get a better view. When the creature has disarmed Djarin and wandered off to get some cables, Grogu approaches Djarin and attempts to free him with the Force, but when a piece of the machinery holding the cage snaps off, the clang alerts the creature.

Djarin tells Grogu to get to Kryze, his voice weak, as the creature attempts to electrocute Grogu with a staff. It misses, and Grogu makes it to the pram and speeds off towards the surface. He manages to dodge one of the reptavian creatures that lunges at him but is met at the mouth of the cave by an Alamite. He Force pushes the Alamite away from the cave mouth and races to the ship, closing the canopy behind him just in time before a reptavian creature smashes into it in an attempt to get to Grogu. Grogu points at the viewscreen as ship lifts off.

A reluctant ally
Kryze’s footman droid presents itself in front of the throne in Kryze’s castle, announcing an unexpected visitor. As she sees the N-1 through the narrow windows of the throne room, she declares, “Let’s get rid of him once and for all.” Instead of Djarin, however, there is only Grogu in the cockpit. Upon seeing this, Kryze asks what happened to Djarin; when Grogu only babbles in reply, she orders her droid to download the data from the astromech to find out where they were.

Her ship flies away from Kalevala and towards Mandalore, carrying R5-D4, Grogu and herself. As they come in to land in the same clearing Djarin had done, she gazes upon the ruins of a city, the dome that once encased it suggested by the twisted steel rising from the ground. They land, and Kryze and Grogu enter the cave, coming to the precipice from which they can see the ruins of Sundari. Kryze tells Grogu that her family once ruled this beautiful civilization, though it has now become a tomb. She then descends towards the floor of the well, Grogu once again following in his pram.

As they pick their way through the cavern, Kryze tells Grogu that she knew some Jedi, and that Jedi and Mandalorians once got along well. She asks Grogu how skilled he is with the Force, reasoning that he must be good if he found his way to her by himself. When they hear a noise, she gestures for Grogu to get back and slowly moves forward, watching a crystalline patch of ceiling. She fires at it with her blasters and three Alamites fall to the floor. They rush her, and there is a brief fight before Kryze emerges victorious. She asks the watching Grogu, “Did you think your dad was the only Mandalorian?” She then identifies the beings she fought as Alamites, saying they once lived on the surface, in the wastelands between their domed cities. She wonders what else survived, given the Alamites were able to endure the Purge.

Meanwhile, the creature that has captured Djarin hooks him up to a small droid with clear tubing, through which Djarin’s blood begins flowing. He makes pained groans, but before too much blood can be siphoned out of him, Kryze shoots the pump droid. The creature stuns her multiple times with its staff, but Kryze manages to grab the fallen Darksaber from where the creature threw it on the ground when disarming Djarin, and she uses it to absorb the next bolt of electricity before readying herself to fight the creature with the saber and her Personal Combat Shield. She wields the saber far more easily than Djarin had in his fight against the Alamites, and skewers the creature through the chest.

As the creature falls, she turns to focus on Djarin in his rotisserie cage and attempts to rouse him. While she says she’s going to free him, he manages to croak out a warning that the creature was behind her. It had managed to crawl away from its metal body to return to the mech suit, and Kryze has to fight it with the Darksaber and her shield. She chops off several of its limbs and finally destroys it, hacking it into pieces.

The full tour
Kryze frees Djarin and sets up a fire, over which she heats up a powdered soup. He eventually stirs, groaning, and sits up from where she had propped him against a rock. Kryze points out that she saved his life. He responds by asking how she found him, to which Kryze tells him that Grogu found her, and praises his navigational skills. Kryze was right, Djarin points out—Mandalore is not cursed. Kryze, however, questions that, saying that there is nothing left of the great society that Mandalore once was. She ruled here once, she says, but there is nothing still here for her to cling to.

She brings a cup of soup over to Djarin, who asks what it is. She finds it ironic that he has never had pog soup, which she claims is something all Mandalorians grow up drinking. Once he has finished the soup, Djarin gets up. He ignores Kryze’s protests that he should rest, and when she says she will get him back to her ship, he refuses. He must continue on to the Mines of Mandalore, where he can immerse in the Living Waters to redeem himself. When Kryze points out that there is nothing magical about the waters themselves, he responds by asking what they are without the Creed—what do they stand for? He credits the Creed with ensuring the survival of the Mandalorian people in the diaspora. He acknowledges that he will always be in her debt because she saved his life, but he cannot go with her until he has immersed himself.

After this speech, Kryze offers to take him to the Waters, as he would never find them on his own among the devastation of the ruined city. As they walk through the ruins together, Djarin says he finds it difficult to imagine the city being filled with Mandalorians, as it looks like it has been centuries since its destruction. Kryze responds that it was not very long ago, but that the Empire sought to wipe away their memory as a punishment.

Djarin tells Kryze that it must be painful to see the city in ruins like this, when she had once witnessed it in all its beauty. Kryze says that the thing that truly pains her is the Mandalorian in-fighting before the Purge; that Mandalorians were killing each other for reasons too complicated to articulate, and so they could not resist the Empire’s wrath when it came.

Before Djarin responds, they reach a gate and enter a much older part of the city: the mines proper. Kryze reveals that she has been to the Living Waters before, as a child. She spoke of how, as a member of the royal family, she had taken the Mandalorian tenets publicly, but that it was merely theater for their subjects: a spectacle of a princess reciting the tenets while her father looked on with pride. Djarin suggests that her father was proud, and that he would like to have known him. Kryze responds that he was proud of her, and that he was a great man who died defending Mandalore. In response, Djarin stops, and when she turns to face him, he solemnly proclaims, “This is the Way.”

They reach the Living Waters, a vast pool of water accessible by a wide set of stone steps. Before he enters the water, Kryze insists on reading him the commemorative plaque near the steps. It records that the mines date back to Mandalore the Great, and there is a folklore tradition that they were once the lair of mythosaurs. The mythosaur skull was adopted as the symbol of their planet because it is said that Mandalore the Great tamed the mythosaur, it notes. When she sees that Djarin has not reacted to any of her words, she asks if he is alright, but he does not respond. Instead, he removes his jetpack and weapons and proceeds to walk into the pool, reciting the ritual words: “I swear on my name and the names of the Ancestors that I shall walk the way of the Mand’alor, and the words of the Creed shall be forever forged in my heart.”

As he finishes, he abruptly disappears underwater, having walked off the shallow shelf and fallen down the deep trench beyond. Kryze dives in after him, using her jetpack to propel her to the bottom. She finds Djarin’s unmoving body and carries him towards the surface, once again assisted by her jetpack. On the way up, they pass a giant reptillian creature with white horns, whose eye opens as Kryze’s helmet light illuminates it: a mythosaur. They speed away, making it to the surface, where they lie on the steps, Djarin wheezing and coughing as he revives. Kryze takes great, heaving breaths as she stares out into the waters.

Characters

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Force Powers

PT White

I've been involved in creating content for Star Wars The Role Playing Game since 1992 and consider myself a Star Wars Super Fan and knowledge bank for the Star Wars Universe.

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