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Topics - Hawking

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1
Outside Realm / Solo: A Spoiler Thread
« on: 05/24/18, 11:27:15 PM »
A place for discussion regarding the new film. Obviously spoilers will abound, so enter at your own risk!


Personally, I was in the camp that believed that we never needed or wanted this film and that it would probably be a mess due to all the behind the scenes nonsense that was going on.

And yet, I loved it. Absolutely loved it. This is my favourite of the Great Evil Mouse's Star Wars films. It felt in keeping with the OT without being self-indulgent as Rogue One was. It was smartly written in a way that the ST hasn't been. The supporting cast were absolutely fantastic. The story was simple but effective, and the moments we were all dreading (goddamnit they're gonna do the Kessel Run, and it's gonna be lame), actually turned out to be done superbly. This film was like a big budget SmugCo adventure, including a bit involving a giant space demon in dark space that @blingdenston may want to push a lawsuit over.

I have to admit I was wrong regarding the casting of Han. Alden Ehrenreich may not look like Harrison Ford, but he absolutely gets the character. Han was fantastic, and seeing his canonical meeting with Chewie and the bond that grew from it was great. Donald Glover also nails it as Lando. Emilia Clarke is better here than in 7 seasons of Game of Thrones.

The cinematography and visuals were what stole the show for me, however. The planets and locations were memorable and wonderful. Kessel looked like something out of a Star Wars videogame from the 90s. The Maelstrom was gorgeous and terrifying. The aesthetics of the still-emerging Galactic Empire was super cool to see after having a number of films with all of that stuff already established; half-built star destroyers, conscripted soldiers wearing proto-Stormtrooper armour invading worlds in the quest for expansion. (Special shout-out to that last bit, the war sequence in Solo was a better war film than the entirety of Rogue One).

Most of all, the film was fun. It was a lot of fun, and would have been an enjoyable action-adventure romp even without the Star Wars label. It just so happens that it's a great action-adventure film whilst also being a great usage of the Star Wars setting (seriously, the worldbuilding was startlingly in-depth. They canonised Teras Kasi by name, for god's sake!).

hey.

good film. check it out.

2
Outside Realm / A return (sort of) and an overdue apology
« on: 12/20/17, 04:55:36 PM »
Begerenites, long time no see. Come, take a seat, sample the whisky, breathe in the air of change, admire the carpet. I see there's a fancy new server which is not actually Begeren Colony, and now people on the fleet have weird shit adorning their names, and the cartel market is somehow even more aggressive than it once was.

Howdy folks! I'll try and keep this brief and to the point, as I could waffle endlessly about this. Firstly, and most importantly, I'm sorry. A year and a half ago (or something, life moves quick these days), I basically vanished without a trace or a word from BC. I don't regret leaving. Life was kicking my arse and accelerating into lightspeed, my interests had waned or migrated, and frankly, the game was proving negative to my general health and productivity. Leaving was the right call at the time. What I do regret, and do apologise for more than I can convey in a forum post, is how I left. I said nothing, I left people hanging, and most frustratingly for the people in the guilds and communities I was involved in, basically halted everything by up and quitting the game while still retaining GM rights and technical oversight on the forums and such. That was a shitty thing to do, and I do wish I'd handled it differently. It's understandable if you guys are keen to cast me into the Pit of Doom™.

But, onto the brighter news. Having finished Uni for the year, embarked on a fresh tabletop adventure with some mates, and finding myself with a huge steaming lot of free time into the new year (and the nostalgia/hype that accompanies the release of a new SW film, irrespective of the film itself) I thought I'd resub for a month or so and give SWTOR the send-off I probably never did. I'll be around for a bit to dip my toes back into the game, RP and SWTOR itself inclusive. If you're keen to abuse me to my e-Face, looking to tie up plots we left hanging in the previous aeons, or just keen to play Internet Star Wars Puppets for old times sake, feel free to drop me a line on this thread, via PM or in-game.

Missed you guys. Sorry for being literally the worst.
<3

3
Worldbuilding and Community / Jedi kNight Recap Thread
« on: 07/01/16, 05:58:17 PM »
Week 1
Week B
The Devil You Know
June 30th, 2016


The Jedi Custodum is in dire straits. Though safe from the reaches of Imperial remnants and the Eternal Empire at their new home, Stronghold Adega, the Jedi were soon faced by more practical concerns. Food stocks had withered and dwindled, and soon the Jedi had only a month's provisions to their name.

As the Jedi scratched their heads and looked for solutions, a terminal aboard THE CUSTODIAN'S WATCH  received a strange message. The message was addressed "To whom it may concern", but was discovered to be very much intended for the beleagured Jedi, sent from the mysterious LORD WHITEHART of the nearby planet BAKARDA. Whitehart offered an invitation to parlay, suggesting that he may have a solution to the Jedi's plight. The small team present debated the likelihood of a trap, weighing the risks and rewards of such a proposition. Eventually, it was decided that the Jedi had little option but to trust in the Force and approach the offer with caution.

Padawan Merrant, Master Niarra Reymark, Jedi Knight Harkasone Milan, and longtime Custodian ally Nykel Rooks departed discretely for Bakarda, leaving Padawan Aspasia Maguire behind to monitor the situation. The team arrived on Bakarda some hours later, finding a mysterious spaceport built upon an endless windswept plateau, the desert planet moving into its week long night cycle. There, the Jedi met Lord Whitehart, an enigmatic figure of Imperial origin. They were quickly introduced to Bakarda's native near-human species, a queer, silent people who lived in relative simplicity, preferring to farm and fight in the cold nights. Whitehart was quick to caution the Jedi that the tall, thin people were not what they seemed.

After courtesies were exchanged, Whitehart lead his guests to his estate, built into the side of the towering Fire Peak, a colossal mountain sacred to the Bakardians. Whitehart noted that he was not the first ruler of the planet, and that the previous regime had armed a number of Bakardians before disappearing. The cold winds and oppressive gloom of the evening did little to sway the Jedi, who remained wary but continued onwards. Whitehart introduced the Jedi to his daughter, a swaggering, dangerous young woman called ARELLA, who made a few cryptic references to the Jedi being better guests than "the others". The Jedi followed their hosts inside, now beginning to question the details of Whitehart's story, and the state of Bakarda. An eerie silence fell across the keep.

Whitehart showed his guests to the hall, where a grand banquet set for some hundred had been set out. Merrant and Niarra both inquired as to the nature of the cuisine on offer, whilst Nykel stood quiet vigil over the door. Whitehart continued to act evasive and low key, insisting that the  Jedi take a seat so that business could be addressed before it was  "too late" He addressed the Jedi by name, despite Niarra and Merrant's silence when initially asked. Arella stood astride Nykel, watching the watcher. Whitehart was quick to get to business.

Whitehart swiftly explained that a mining and salvage probe from the Stronghold Adega had crashed on Bakarda, alerting him to the presence of someone or something on the station. He secured the probe before "they" could. Not stopping to answer questions, he stated that he knew of the Jedi's presence at the station and on the Watch, and also of their dire supply situation. He offered the Jedi a deal - ample foodstuffs and medicines every week, on the week, in exchange for helping him eliminate his "guests", and reassert his control over Bakarda. The Jedi were quick to inquire as to who these guests were. "The silver fleet that took our worlds, laid waste to our navies, and destroyed our pride."

As if on cue, the heavy footfalls of armoured boots rang out. The Jedi and Nykel went for their weapons, only for Whitehart to hiss for the fools to put them away. Arella looked bemused. And then entered the distinctively golden armoured form of a Zakuulian Knight. He stood tall, with an aged face and cold, cruel eyes. Whitehart put on a face and welcomed him back to the hall, naming him as SEEKER TOLANDE. Tolande said nothing, scanning each face with a dead expression, before instructing Whitehart to have his guests gone - ASAP. Tolande turned and left as quickly as he had arrived.

Whitehart swore, deciding it was time to fill the Jedi in. He told them that he had formerly been a Darth of the Sphere of Diplomacy prior to Zakuul's invasion. Having witnessed the Empire's failure, he fled in disgust, adopting the moniker of Whitehart, burying his identity as Sith and taking his daughter and apprentice Arella with him. He found Bakarda during his exploration of the far flung galactic corners, and quickly asserted himself as ruler and god in the eyes of the native Bakardians with "a few pretty displays with lightsaber, and a few magician's tricks with the Force." The Jedi expressed skepticism, with Niarra noting that Whitehart's connection to the Force was clearly damaged, and Merrant expressing doubts regarding the morality of Whitehart's rule. He was quick to dismiss Merrant's concerns, insisting that he has never mistreated the native peoples. Whitehart politely declined to discuss how he had lost his ties to the Force.

Whitehart explained that Arella was a Seer in training when asked how he knew about the Jedi's predicament, espousing that she had been watching the Jedi for quite a time. Arella cryptically warned Merrant about the specter that resided within him. With all cards now out on the table, Whitehart reiterated the deal: Supplies in exchange for help. He would supply the Jedi as best he could whilst the Zakuulian garrison was in place, but would be able to better provide once the Eternal Imperials had been "quietly removed." The Jedi discussed amongst themselves  before finally answering. They would consider it, but only after speaking to the Bakardians regarding their wishes and welfare. The prospect elicited an irritated sigh from Whitehart, who implored the Jedi to be pragmatic. Niarra wryly replied that it was their duty, refuting Whitehart's suggestion that the Bakardians were too simple a people to appreciate the matters the Jedi broached. The two parties agreed that regardless of who ended up running Bakarda, it would not be Zakuul. Eventually, Whitehart agreed to the terms. But only on the condition that Arella travel with the Jedi, both to see the Bakardians and back to the Watch. "She will be my liason, and I fear she has little to learn from me now." The Jedi agreed.

The sound of Zakuulian boots echoed through the corridors, bound for the banquet. Time to go. Whitehart bid his farewells, whilst Arella now lead the Jedi out through a back window, quickly displaying exceptional agility and a wicked sense of humour. With a few muttered comments, the Jedi set off up a trail, bound for the summit of Fire Peak, following their Sith guide...

4
Events and Occasions / Jedi Night Weekly Event Thread
« on: 06/28/16, 05:12:49 AM »
FORMATTING POST
(For the sake of cleanliness and accessibility, consider this a template by which to slate yourself a position as host, and to inform the hosted as to what you intend to do!)

Host: @Example
Week: A(On-ship)/B(Off-ship)
Date: XXth of Y Month (IE - 20th of July. To avoid confusion regarding the US system of MM/DD/YY and the civilized system of DD/MM/YY)
Location: Example
Requirements: (Level requirements, faction requirements, etc.)
Title: Example (Revenge of the Goobertrons Pt. 3: Revengenance. If you intend to do a serial adventure, make sure to note that!)
Blurb: Insert a tease of your exciting adventure here!


Changed thread title per request ~ Iaera

5
Storyboards / Confluence [Closed]
« on: 02/03/16, 08:07:47 PM »
Moving the existing posts from the most recent Custodum Council Chambers stuff over to here, so we don't have to hijack a preexisting thread!
The story begins below...again...

6
Outside Realm / XCOM Thread 2: The Second XCOMing
« on: 02/01/16, 11:18:28 PM »
It happened.


I recall someone started an XCOM thread back in the EU days, where characters from the community were created in the game, and their stories (and glorious deaths), were updated in a narrative fashion.

If you'd like to donate a character to Earth's defence once again (survival not guaranteed), post a screenshot of them, along with their name, any nicknames, and preferred weapons. I'll do my best to create them in XCOM 2 (when it's out), and then see how far they can make it before they're claimed by the alien hordes.


7
Storyboards / Heroes of the Empire
« on: 10/23/15, 03:55:07 PM »
Written with the ever fabulous @Miller , stay classy :^).
Open thread for all characters belonging to the 2nd Battalion umbrella!




DROMUND KAAS
DECEMBER
1900 HOURS


"Hello, and welcome to the program. Tonight, we sit down with two Imperial treasures, veterans of a decade of combat and more recently of the Imperial victory on Balmorra. Ladies and Gentlemen, Major Ralakan Walker, Hero of the Empire, and Captain Noran Reinel, both of the venerable and now even mythical 1st Imperial Marine Division, who sacrificed it all in the name of victory at Polarion. Major, Captain, welcome to the program."

Ralakan took a brief moment to glance around the set, disguising the movement by tugging at the rebellious hems of his white gloves, tightening them. They were currently well above the cloud layer in Kaas City, near the top of the Imperial Media Network's expansive spire within which the Empire's governmentally approved messages were created and dispersed. He had already forgotten the name of the interviewer, a middle aged man with greying hair and kindly eyes, evidently some sort of analyst. He was dressed simply, wearing a suede jacket and dress pants, in stark contrast to the two Marines, bedecked in their brilliant white dress uniforms, chests bedazzled by medals and accolades. Wonderful. Ralakan thought bitterly, before offering the currently nameless interviewer a curt nod in greeting, following it up by promptly planting himself in the chair assigned to him.

Noran sats curtly beside Ralakan, with the rigidness of a soldier who clearly felt out of place on a stage. Her officer's uniform was pressed and prepared to a tee - more uncomfortable still was the makeup around her eyes, on her lips, even touch-ups to the bruises on her neck, though the reason for that being covered was no mystery. Regardless, her duty brought her here, and she'd perform as well as she could.
She nodded to the man, smiling kindly, polished white teeth barely creeping out behind the dressed lips she tried to keep closed. Ultimately, she sat in waiting for Ralakan, or the interviewer, to speak the first words.

The thunderous applause of the studio audience finally subsided, and a thick feeling of expectation hung in the air. The interviewer evidently found it more comfortable than the Marines. He reclined in his chair, seemingly unbothered by the blinding spotlight leveled on himself and the two soldiers.
Noran swallowed hard, eyes scanning the crowd at the introduction began. Then came the first question, the very abrupt end to the anxious trail she had been following.
"So. Major, Captain, how does it feel to be home again after such a trying campaign?"


"Good," She managed, before blinking hard. In truth, she didn't know how she felt, much less what to say. What did they want to hear? Certainly not the truth, she was certain of that. As of right now, she still couldn't believe her feet were walking on anything other than Balmorran soil. She smiled through it, and passed it off to Ralakan, entirely awkwardly.
Ralakan seemed less uneasy, having had to deal with media scrutiny for much of the past few years. He silently tapped out a rhythm on the arm of the chair with a finger, considering his response.
"It's a relief, sir. Still getting used to seeing intact city blocks. It's nice to be able to walk down the street and not get jumped by a group of angry looking partisans."
The interviewer laughed forcefully and disingenuously, eliciting a similar response from the studio audience. The stage was raised quite high above where the crowd sat below, and the room, whilst large and quite expansive, felt small and claustrophobic if not due to the overwhelming blackness of the colour palette.
"I'll bet. Now. Northern Wind. Your division suffered terribly for the Empire, and I'm sure you're both immensely proud of the work put in by your men and women. Was this your hardest battle?"

Noran nodded deeply, and without a doubt, that was a sentiment she was certain of,
"Northern Wind was by far the hardest offensives I've ever partaken in - and among the first I went into as an officer. Every battle was fought hard, with bloodshed on all sides of the conflict..."
She paused briefly, and after Ralakan's example, and the goading of the host, realized what they wanted,
"Of course, no challenge or adversity is too great for the men and woman of the Imperial Marines. It's never a matter of how, or if, but when."
"Proud? Absolutely. I couldn't count the number of times I felt proud of the men during the campaign." Ralakan said calmly, coalescing his gloved fingers on his lap. "Polarion proved our capacity to work as a team. We were outnumbered ten to one, but we held the line..." He paused momentarily, as though considering his next words carefully. "...despite the costs. Only three of the officers in my Battalion survived the battle, including myself and Captain Reinel here."

Resounding applause echoed again, less sure than before, and the host smiled.
"Yes...the casualties inflicted were quite horrendous, I'm told. Many sacrificed their lives for the Empire in that dark week, Major."
Ralakan nodded, "9,361 of the 10,000 that hit the world, correct."
"But in return, we vanquished an entire Republic battlegroup, Major." The host replied with a smile, swinging one leg over the other, resting it. His foot bounced up and down ever so slightly, as though dancing to a rhythm only it could hear. 
"What about you, Captain Reinel? Any thoughts on the campaign? What did you make of the Republic troopers you faced, from the mud of the Beckett Line, to the deserts of the Candaran Planes, to the ruins of Polarion?"
She listened to Ralakan painstakingly, as he went into detail she was sure the host would rather had avoided. Yet, she was glad he did, because now, she felt so much more alone. Try as he might, Ralakan wouldn't be the figurehead they wanted. He didn't want to, nor did she believe was he capable of it, not after all he had seen. And if he wasn't going to be, nor was she, because she would follow her CO anywhere, even to the brig, if it meant speaking the truth.
"When you're in the field, regardless of it's crawling through mud, or scaling a mountain, a lot of things seperate you, from your enemy, but after the fighting begins, those differences matter a lot less than you'd expect. In the thick of it, the only thing differentiating between our men, and their's, was the flag they stood in front of, and the shape of their helmet. Nothing more."
The host evidently took that as some sort of joke, and begun laughing quietly. "And sense of humour, by the sound of things." The audience joined in with the laughter. Ralakan glanced to look at Reinel. Force. He offered her a reassuring nod.
She returned the nod, and stifled a chuckle, it was weak, and awkward, but given her disposition throughout the interview thus far, the people around her mostly just blamed it on her nervousness.

The host gave Reinel the briefest of glances, staring right through her, before glancing back to Ralakan. "Seeing as how we've begun to enter that part of the show, Major, perhaps you could address the allegations of the Hero 1st Marine Division being involved in friendly fire incidents regarding the Imperial Crimson Guard?"
Ralakan clenched and unclenched his right fist, and his jaw stiffened slightly.
"Ah, I see nerves are still a tad raw. Remember that those men fought and died alongside your own men, Major." The host reminded Ralakan, tapping his clipboard with a pen as he spoke.
Ralakan sat in silence. No, they didn't. They butchered civilians, partisans or not. They massacred prisoners. They killed other Imperials when it suited them. My men. Bastards. "No comment."
Noran worked hard to suppress a scoff - in her mind, the audacity of this blowhard was astounding.  A /reporter/ talking down to soldiers with three tours of duty under their belt, and he was going to belittle them about something so -

She canted her head, and it clicked. She always knew about the propaganda, about the spinning of reality, the lies and half-truths. This host wanted nothing more than to get out of them what he was told to.
He was doing his job like they had, and she couldn't entirely hate him for it, but then, she didn't have to help the rat either.
She nodded, echoing Ralakan's sentiment.
"Shame. Your insight is always welcomed, Major. You're a hero to a lot of folks here tonight." Ralakan remained silent.
The crowd fell awkwardly silent, and the host glanced to Reinel. "Anything to add, Captain, before we wrap up tonight?"
Noran looked supportively to Ralakan, and then back to the host.

She managed a soft smile, "Thank you for having us, and glory to the Empire. We both look forward to getting back out there, and helping wherever we're needed."
Ralakan nodded, seconding Noran's statement. "We've got a war to win. Here's hoping the people of the Empire provide us with what we need to achieve that victory."
The host stood up, a forced smile evident on his face, and Ralakan joined him on his feet, extending his hand.
Much to her own dismay, Noran stood, and curtly offered the host her hand, as a lady expecting a dance might. She wasn't sure what to do, and she'd seen it on the holo. If it were up to her, she'd be shaking hands just the same as Ralakan, but here, she knew better.
The host's eyes opened slightly wider than normal as Ralakan gave him an extremely firm handshake with a smile, before he turned, bent over, and kissed Reinel's outstretched hand with practiced poise. He turned to the camera and smiled.
"Thank you for joining us tonight, ladies and gentlemen. Major Ralakan Walker and Captain Noran Reinel, First Marine Division heroes!"
She smiled to the crowd, then to the camera, and brought her hand back to wave. In an instant, her own unique expression flashed quickly to Ralakan, one that could be suggesting nothing more than Let's get the hell out of here.
Ralakan offered the crowd a curt salute, before turning on his heel with expert poise, and with that, the Miraluka marched off the stage, awaiting Noran just behind the thick, red curtain.
She didn't hesitate to do just the same. Were it up to her, their five seconds of fame would've been five seconds shorter.

As soon as she caught up to him, Ralakan set off again at a quick pace, navigating the wings and corridors of the backstage area with practice. "How'd you find your time in the limelight, Noran?" He asked dryly.
"I already miss getting mud out of my armor with a toothpick."
She wasn't kidding either, each subsequent step following him heavier than the last, as an anger she had done well to hide on-stage now boiled to its brim.
"Where does he get off speaking to us like that - parading us around like we aren't people, but impressive cattle. I hadn't even heard of his lame arse until I was told we had to come on this damned show."
"I'd say you get used to it, but they find new ways to get under my skin. Been doing these damned press releases ever since the Ministry of War picked me up three years ago." He sounded calm, but Noran could sense the frustration in his voice.
"Think I chocked hard enough to be exempt from this servitude?" She sighed and shook her head, "What's the point of dehumanizing us - not to mention he brought the Guard into this. I had half a mind to ask him the last time he saw a mother get cut down right in front of their child for no reason other than to satisfy someone's boredom. Ignorant prick. I don't envy you, Major. Not even a little bit - trading up the bars just doesn't seem worth it."

"Glad I shot Attencourt when I had the chance. Would have dropped him last time he poked up his head. But you saw him. Bastard was about to light the whole Battalion up after Waric. CG have had it coming for a long time." Ralakan commented.  "...Didn't save Lorraine's leg, though." He muttered.
"And it gets worse than that. You remember Lieutenant Colonel Lars? Got killed in the initial push into Polarion."
"Given the current discrepancy in numbers, pretty much everyone in the Division has been promised a pay grade increase. Myself included. Getting the go ahead tomorrow, Beth and I are stopping into CentCom to take up our shiny new ranks before we ship off to Dromund Fels."
Noran nodded, "We've lost so many friends and allies in this war to the enemy - that's the things have been, that's how they'll always be, but losing people to some crazy, self-obsessed zealots? I'll never let it happen, not to my men. To hell with the fallout. Do you think the next batch will be able to properly patch up all the holes Balmorra left in our ranks?"

The pair reached the door to the elevator, and Ralakan paused, sighing heavily. He glanced to Noran. "10 years since Camp Nik. After Polarion...less than a handful of the originals left." He realised how tired he suddenly felt.
"Well sir, as far as I'm concerned, we've lost so many so that the next generation won't have to. It's the only rationale that's gotten me through this war. The only way of thinking that makes me alright with the idea of not making it the end."
It was morbid, but for her, it was true. All she wanted was for it all to end, no matter the cost.
"At least Nik still produces the best Marines in the Empire. We'll always have that, even if we're all that's left of year, we're a living legacy. We're the torch-bearers, and we've got a lot of people to stop from being forgotten. That's why one of us has to make it, at least."
"It's the only reason I'm glad you're behind a desk as much as you are."

Privately, Ralakan still held on to hope that they'd see the war's end, for better or worse, as unlikely as that prospect got with each bloody campaign.  Hope, and hold on.  He offered Reinel a nod, and smiled down at her. "Don't sell yourself short, Noran, still need someone to get themselves dirty and heroically bust in through doors. Now, c'mon, we've got a shuttle to catch to Dromund Fels at 0600 hours tomorrow morning. Reckon we can squeeze in a few drinks at the Nexus Room before then."
"It'll be well deserved, just do me a favor and stop me if I go over-board. It's been a long few days."

8
Outside Realm / Thoughts on the Battlefront Beta?
« on: 10/08/15, 02:25:01 PM »
Have yet to play it myself, but, I've been watching some reviews of what's on offer currently on the youtubes. Thusfar, pleasantly surprised.

What thoughts have you had after playing some of DICE's new game, folks of BC?

9
Holocrons and Info Nodes / Dark Days
« on: 10/07/15, 03:20:38 AM »
@Zarasmina
This story is a one-off that didn't quite fit into the Tale of Two Triteki thread. The adventure™ will be continued in the other thread!




The world was on fire, but Master Hawking Shatari was frozen in time.

He couldn’t move. Why couldn’t he move? Zarasmina certainly seemed capable of moving. Why was she calling out? Had she not noticed the raging inferno all around them? His Padawan simply sat there, yelling wordlessly, a male, ashen blonde haired youth on her lap, the two of them straddling the panicking Drey. The strange Maguirish creature seemed to want nothing more than to escape the smoke and fire.
“Run, Padawan!” Hawking wanted to say. But still, his airway remained sealed by the bulbous thing. It sat at the back of his throat, constricting and swelling like a great primordial slug, cutting off the air he breathed for long moments at a time. But Hawking remained unperturbed. Air was important but at times negligible. He felt strangely calm, disconnected, as though not inhabiting his own skull.
Air returned to him momentarily, and he breathed as deeply as he could, even as Zarasmina’s eyes widened in slow motion. Hawking watched on passively as the fire engulfed his vision, slowly but surely, until Zarasmina, the boy, and the Drey had all been gobbled up by the raging inferno. And as a thunderous chorus of hideous, cackling laughter echoed, at last, Hawking Shatari remembered.

It was a dream, one of many memories on a slideshow of sorts that had the nasty tendency to repeat itself indefinitely. Hawking had to remind himself of that. He never could seem to remember as soon as one of the dreams started, he always needed to wait for the small, out of place details to align themselves in such a manner that it became obvious. He too had been upon that creature on Maguire. Zarasmina hadn’t died there. The boy had been no boy at all, but rather the boy’s sister.
Hawking floated in the darkness again. The void was the part he hated the most about the cycle. The vast, expansive blackness didn’t even have the dignity to represent itself as the inky darkness of space, there were no tiny pinpricks of light, nor distant worlds. It was bare of everything. All that existed was the Jedi, and his personal vacuum. He felt himself begin to suffocate once more. Hawking clawed at his throat, discipline faltering as he gasped for air. Agonising pain blinded his senses, and he fell paralytic once more. Hawking casted his gaze downward, and immediately wished that he hadn’t. His skin was the colour of old parchment, sunken, diseased. His sickly veins were visible through his skin, as black as tar, crisscrossing under his epidermis like a spider’s web. And it hurt. By the Force, did it hurt. He tried to scream, but the void had taken the air from his lungs.

And so he floated, suffering in his own little slice of hell. It felt as though nothing had existed before this instant in time, and nothing would exist after it.

************


This was to be the last attempt to save Master Hawking Shatari’s life. The hut in the Tythonian wilderness that he had been taken to was filled with the stench of death, but still Knight Deena Morgana entered, her fellow healers close behind her. They all knew their orders. Indeed, the council had made it clear. A Jedi’s life may be sacrifice, but in such trying times and with such dwindling numbers, Master Shatari was becoming a lost cause to sink already sparse resources into. Already, the disease ravaging his system had spread, claiming the lives of several of the healers who had been attempting to save him. Several more still were dying of the seemingly incurable ailment even as Deena stepped through the precipice.
“Force…” The collective utterance went up as the four Jedi gazed upon the husk of the dark haired Jedi Master. Word had been passed down to Master Shatari’s contempories in the Jedi Custodum Enclave that they shouldn’t expect him back any time soon, but Deena immediately found herself needing to suppress doubts that he was dead already. Indeed, the only evidence pointing to Master Shatari’s continued survival was the terrible whistling rasp of his breath as it struggled to enter his body past the terribly engorged forms of his tongue and glands. Elsewise, he was as still as a corpse, and looked the part, too.

“Deena,” instructed the team’s leader, a kindly spirited Kel-Dor Master by the name of Ven Saar, Deena’s former master.  “Calm his mind while his mental defences are in disarray. Make him comfortable.”
“Yes, Master.” Deena replied, not totally sure if comfortable was the correct terminology to be using. Not for the first time, she wished she had been born a Miraluka and not a human. The Miraluka Sages she had worked with had always had a natural knack for helping the ill, if not simply due to their ability to quite literally “see” the source of their ailments immediately. She had to simply deal with using triage. A few years ago, Deena might have been unable to bring herself close to such a diseased individual, let alone place her hands upon their skin, but as a Jedi Knight and a Jedi Healer, Deena had become more accustomed to being in close proximity to things she once considered unsavoury.
“We have only a small window of opportunity, my friends.”  Ven Saar said sagely, doing a sweep of the small hut. The other two Jedi in the room waited patiently but anxiously for Deena to do her job.  Deena reached out, her fingers tracing Master Shatari’s face. She’d never met him before, but she could feel the forming wrinkles of laughter lines on his face. She closed her eyes, extending her consciousness into that of the prone Master.

He was still there, somewhere, buried deep within the sickness that had become even his presence in the Force. It had poisoned him, corrupted him, and nearly destroyed him on a spiritual level as much as a physical one. His thoughts were unreadable, his emotions little more than the primal utterings of fear and despair that all animals experienced when close to death. Deena knew she couldn’t stay in here for long. She felt physically sick already, and she had been warned that the plague, and the accompanying influence of the Witches of Maguire, could spread through the Force as well as from prolonged physical contact. Should she be infected, she would die within hours, that much had become obvious. She was doubling her risks as it was.
After what felt like an eternity, Deena had managed to get a firm “grip” on Master Shatari’s consciousness. She was impressed that the defences had held out even when he was in such a state, it appeared that he harnessed considerable willpower.
There is no emotion, Master. You are among friends.
If he was in there anywhere, he must have heard her. Deena thought she felt his mind relax, but she wasn’t totally sure. A bout of nausea hit her, and she doubled over, hands darting out reflexively to catch the straw frame of the bed the Master lay upon, concentration entirely shot. Had she disconnected herself from him in time?
“Deena? Are you alright?” The concerned figure of Master Ven Saar appeared before her. “Yes, Master.” She lied, attempting to regain her footing. Her legs trembled weakly, and she suddenly felt exhausted. “You can lie to me, Deena, but I have known you long enough to know that you cannot lie to yourself. Sit, child, rest.” Deena flopped unceremoniously onto her backside, ignoring the sharp protests of the rough ground. Master Saar’s voice had the tendency to make her feel as though she were a child again, following him around from world to world, learning and seeing from the galaxy with new eyes. She had loved those days, but they seemed so far away now. Everything seemed rather far away.

Deena blinked, suddenly finding herself on her back. She could hear the others conferring quietly, worriedly. Perhaps he has finally died? Deena postulated. She tried to sit up, but found herself unable to. Her limbs were unresponsive. Odd. She lifted her head with great effort, canting her eyes downwards. She saw Master Saar and the others, looking not as Master Shatari, but at her. They were clearly concerned. “Master?” She croaked, suddenly surprised at the weakness of her voice. Something was wrong.
“Hush, child. Rest. You exerted yourself while attending to Master Shatari.” Master Saar commanded quietly. “How…is…he?” Deena managed to ask through exerted breath. “He is calmed and stable.” Master Saar replied. Deena couldn’t read his expression. Darkness consumed her once more.

The sun that had once been streaming in through the door of the hut was gone when Deena next awoke, replaced with the shades of dusk. She still found herself unable to move, and her temples pounded as though she had spent a night drinking on Nar Shaddaa. What’s more, she suddenly felt cold. The freezing air of the Tythonian night rippled along her exposed limbs, eliciting what she was sure was goosebumps. She managed to lift her head again, confused as to why she was unable hear the sounds of her fellows working on Master Shatari. How had she managed to exert herself so completely? Her eyes traced the exposed forms of her legs and arms. No…no! Force! The skin on her arms and legs was pale, yellowing and shrunken, and she could clearly see the black, revolting, tarlike visage of her veins. Her pulse quickened and her breath grew shallow as panic set in. Her training as a Jedi hadn’t prepared her for this. With the realisation came the pain, a fiery, explosive pain from all of her limbs as her cells were mutilated by the malevolent sickness. Before she passed out once more, Deena managed to catch a glance of her compatriots, kneeling in meditation beneath the beautiful form of the moon of Ashla in the night sky, as though praying to her for deliverance.

Knight Deena Morgana awoke for what was to be the final time in her life. For twenty nine years she had awoken and fallen asleep again and again and again, but even in her delirious state, she knew in her gut that were she to fall asleep once more, that she would never wake up. It was midnight, it seemed. Of what day? How long had she been here? Where were the others? A thousand questions raced through her muddled mind, stumbling over one another like infants attempting hurdles. She felt so tired, so very tired. The pain was still there, but it had become as familiar as her oldest friend. The worst was the asphyxiation, from both the air itself and the Force. Her tongue had swollen, as had her glands, which had terrified her at first, but soon, all became numb. Her breath was shallow and laboured. The Force had slipped from her like smoke, leaving her slowly like the rest of her strength. That had hurt, but mostly, it made her deeply sad. She longed to feel it, just one more time. It had become a part of her life as natural as breathing or moving, and it had left a void that was being filled only by the suffocating, vile, incurable foulness of the Scourge. The feeling of nausea hadn’t left her, and Deena was nearly positive she had soiled herself multiple times. But where are the others?
She was unable to lift her head or reach out with the Force, indeed, the best she could muster from her body was a weak flopping, much akin to a fish. She managed to worm her way onto her side, allowing her to gaze across the darkened expanses of the room with extreme difficulty. She was seeing splotches of random colours, and her eyes were having great difficulty adjusting or focusing, as though she was many years older than her age. It appeared the eyes, along with the other vital organs, were among the final things that the sickness corrupted and eventually destroyed. And yet, the little she saw was enough to break her heart. The other three Jedi, including Master Saar, also lay on the floor. They all twitched involuntarily, more than likely all consumed by the Scourge. One of the others, a Mirialan, had evidently expelled a number of sickening fluids brought about from his corrupted insides, and now lay in them, dead. They were all dead. And soon she would be too.

Deena rolled onto her back once again, spluttering weakly, retching up the remains of her insides. They had been Master Hawking Shatari’s final hope, the last group of healers to try and save his life. The groups before them had either died or been forced to return to the Temple, and now it seemed they would be sharing the same fate. As her vision faded, and the Scourge moved in for her heart and brain, Knight Deena Morgana recalled the promises and vows she had made upon joining the Order. She had known she might well die doing her duty, but she wondered if she would have made the same choices, had she known that this would be the termination of her service, and of her life.
Absolutely. My death will pave the way to defeat this virus. But there is no death…there is only the Force…
The final light of life in Deena was extinguished as the Scourge finally took her. She would not be becoming one with the Force. Indeed, the only place Deena Morgana’s essence was destined to go was to the hungry creators of the plague that had taken her body and her life.

“We have eaten well, dear sisters…but we shall feast, once we are returned. These Je’daii are mere appetisers…we will drink the blood and gorge on the flesh of the universe, and all will know the Scourge, Triteki or no…”

10
Hey there folks.

It's with much sadness that I must announce that I'm going to be cancelling the rest of the Balmorra RP campaign for both factions. Due to unforseen IRL business, I'm going to be totally unavailable to run the remainder of the campaign (which makes me extremely salty, I had some big plans which I had hoped would have been fun.)

I will not, however, be leaving the campaign itself in a nebulous state of semi-actuality. Below is a complete timeline of events from the beginning of Operation Northern Wind to its bloody climax, for use in RP, or just purely for reference.

Note: Anything marked "PC Event" was or was intended to be an event to be RPed out.





PHASE I

12th of July - Operation Northern Wind commences, Imperial Troops begin the march to the Beckett Line.

15th of July (PC Event) - First contact, the Imperial 9th Legion secures the first summits of the Beckett Line, including Hill 212.

19th of July - Republic Supreme Commander of the Balmorra theater sacked.

7th of August - Presence of Republic Special Forces on Balmorra revealed during skirmishes against the Imperial advance.

9th of August- Imperial Naval Special Recon Commandos drop on the Candaran Planes, heavily scattered but extensively armed. They are tasked with creating havoc ahead of the main Imperial advance.

13th of August - Republic counterattack begins and fails, Republic forces retreat to Beckett Line Regional Command Outpost, aka "The Nest"

27th of August(PC Event) - 2nd Battalion, 1st Regiment, 1st Imperial Marine Division attacks The Nest, after laying siege for several days. The initial assault is repulsed.

1st of September(PC Event) - 2 Bn. Secures The Nest, destroys the Republic garrison within, and takes the Balmorran Theater Chiefs of Staff prisoner.

10th of September - General Tanya "The Dragon" Stravka is appointed as head of the Republic Balmorran Campaign, much to the ire of the Imperials.

11th of September - Beckett Line falls. Republic 31st, 27th and 3rd Armies are encircled and destroyed, or surrender by the thousands. Holdouts are subject to an extensive "mopping up" campaign.

13th of September - Crimson Guard elements are deployed en masse to Balmorra to follow the main advance. They are tasked with "clearing up".

14th of September - Major Ralakan Walker is reported MIA.

PHASE II

16th of September(PC Event) - Operation Brasidas is executed, Imperial forces stage a mass breakout from the Beckett Line via a coordinated assault by tanks and armour, aircraft and artillery.

16th of September - Imperial Navy Commandos assault a number of targets behind the lines, sowing mass confusion.

18th of September - Imperial forces splinter off from the main spearhead to assault and capture a number of different objectives across the continent.

1st of October(PC Event) - General Stravka orchestrates Operation Varsity, substantially slowing down the Imperial blitzkrieg, effectively stopping two armies in their tracks during the battle of Thesana.

4th of October - The Battle of Black Mountain begins.

5th of October(PC Event) - A surprise amphibious attack on the Republic fortress city of Port Tarnas commences.

7th of October(PC Event) - The 1st Imperial Marine Division and 65th Imperial Army engages General Stravka's Republic V Corps in the desert during Operation Supercharge. The Imperials suffer heavy casualties and loss of material, but a smart flanking maneuver forces Republic forces to retreat across a vast minefield, trading space for time.

14th of October - Thesana finally falls after a Republic withdrawal.

17th of October - Imperial 1st Marine Division closes within 50km of regional capital Polarion.

18th of October(PC Event) - Imperial 5th Marine Division liberates Republic POW installation "Little Tartarus" on Thunder Ridge freeing Major Ralakan Walker and a number of other Imperial prisoners. Major Walker refuses medical evacuation, and elects to rejoin his unit to lead the attack into Polarion.

22nd of October - The Imperial 42nd Division and Crimson Guard 2nd Armoured Division are wiped out at the battle of Black Mountain. The site, wanted for it's mineral deposits and strategic value, is wiped out by naval bombardment.

23rd of October - Port Tarnas falls after Imperial forces complete the encirclement.

25th of October - General Stravka receives her reserves from the south, and begins concentrating them in the defence of Polarion.

25th of October - Blue-on-Blue friendly fire incident occurs as Crimson Guard forces execute a camp's worth of Republic POWs, reprisal from Imperial Marine guards. Inter-service tensions increase substantially.

27th of October(PC Event) - Imperial 1st Marine Division is given the green light to begin the Battle of Polarion, as they engage defences on the city's outskirts. Imperial forces from Port Tarnas and Thunder Ridge and diverted to guard the flanks.

PHASE III

1st of November - 1st Imperial Marine Division begins the bloody slog through Polarion. Brutal urban fighting commences as Republic military units are joined by local partisans in street-by-street combat.

2nd of November - General Stravka reinforces the flanks of Polarion, giving the supporting Imperial units a tough fight. Imperial forces, being freed up elsewhere, are hurriedly moved south to assist.

4th of November - Imperial Crimson Guard 36th Grenadier Division enters Polarion to engage in "Anti-Partisan and Peacekeeping operations." Civilians massacred indiscriminately.

6th of November- Imperial Naval Special Recon Commando unit 031 - "Slayer", under Lieutenant Jack Calliope is ordered to assassinate General Tanya Stravka.

6th of November - General Tanya Stravka begins outlining Operation Stranglehold.

8th of November(PC Event) - Some of the fiercest fighting of the campaign occurs around Polarion's central business district. Heavy casualties on both sides.

9th of November - Continuing Imperial Airstrikes on Polarion cause massive civilian casualties, and reduce most of the city to rubble.

10th of November - Imperial forces secure the city's center.

14th of November - Imperial 1st Marine Division completes the encirclement of Polarion.

21st of November(PC Event) - Imperial 1st Marine Division captures Polarion's Starport, the largest on Balmorra.

31st of November - Republic forces within Polarion's city districts are wiped out by Crimson Guard death squads, and Imperial 1st Marine Division patrols.

2nd of December - General Stravka concentrates her forces for Operation Stranglehold, the last Republic gambit to remove the Imperials.

3rd of December - Commando section "Slayer" assassinates General Tanya Stravka, losing two men in the process.

5th of December(PC Event) - Imperial First Marine Division is attacked by an overwhelming Republic counteroffensive aimed at retaking the Starport. 3 Army groups face down a single division.

8th of December(PC Event) - Imperial reinforcements rush to the beleaguered Marines before they are entirely wiped out.

10th of December(PC Event) - All remaining Republic strategic reserves in Balmorra's northern hemisphere are committed to retaking Polarion.

15th of December(Final PC Event) - Republic forces are routed. The 1st Marine Division suffers 93.7% total casualties defending the Starport, on top of existing campaign casualties. Imperial 137th Army and Crimson Guard 36th Grenadier divisions are totally wiped out in the fighting.

18th of December - Retreating Republic armies are ridden down, encircled, and destroyed. At an extremely heavy cost, Imperial Forces have secured a foothold on Balmorra, and decisively defeated the Republic armies opposing them.

21st of December - The few survivors from the First Imperial Marine Division are evacuated to Dromund Kaas for a hero's reception, much to their ire, and are the subject of the Imperial life day parades. Promotions are doled out to survivors.

26th of December - Operation Northern Wind officially comes to an end with an Imperial victory.

OUTCOME:

Total Imperial Casaulties:
-1.66 million killed.
-3.1 million wounded, sick or MIA.
-Various veteran units wiped out.
-4 Harrower Dreadnaughts lost, various smaller craft destroyed.
-5 Crimson Guard divisions annihilated, several more heavily damaged by friendly fire.

Total Republic Casualties:
-2.73 million killed.
-4.3 million wounded, sick or MIA.
-17 million civilians killed.

-Imperial Strategic Victory achieved, foothold regained in the inner systems, time bought for other Imperial offensives.

-All gains rendered more or less insignificant by Zakuul Empire's invasion some short time later.


On a more personal level, all Marine characters who survive the campaign and stay within the unit are relieved for duty for some leave, and are expected to form the nucleus of the new 2nd Battalion that is to be trained up.

11
Events and Occasions / Operation Varsity (Republic)
« on: 10/01/15, 05:45:29 PM »

REPUBLIC EVENT I - OPERATION VARSITY - HOLDING THE LINE

The Republic is finally finding its feet once more on Balmorra.

After week after week of crippling defeats on the Beckett Line, followed by an Imperial Breakout, General Tanya Stravka has begun the process of rushing fresh reinforcements to the war torn world in hopes of containing and decisively defeating the Imperial Offensive.

For that to happen, the Imperial blitzkrieg must be halted, to allow the rest of the fresh Republic troops time to arrive. 


The small but vital Republic position of Thesana is one of the Empire's first targets, a Republic fort turned city, and the best position to make a stand against the Imperial advance.

Whoever is available is being directed there, in what is sure to be the first decisive Republic engagement in the theater. The Imperials have become accustomed to rolling over the Republic defence, time to give them a surprise. 



The first Republic event in Operation Northern Wind, and a prime opening for Republic characters of any persuasion (Republic Military, Jedi, Mercenaries, whoever would have clause to be there) to get involved.

Event will be held in the chatroom on the 6th of October(7th of October Australian Time), 7pm Server time, and will utilize the standard D100  system. Traits are mandatory, (1 positive/1 Unique/1 Negative) or (2 Positive/1 Negative).

12
Holocrons and Info Nodes / Infinite Mischief
« on: 09/17/15, 05:31:45 AM »
"Where is the prince who can afford so to cover his country with troops for its defense as that 10,000 men descending from the clouds might not in many places do an infinite deal of mischief before a force could be brought together to repel them?"



Lieutenant Jack Calliope's black boots hit the still smoking desert dirt of Balmorra with a barely audible thud. He couldn't smell it, but he knew that the oxidized scent of the compressent that had moments ago blown off the thick, sleek black doors of the advanced drop pod would be caught by the wind and blown across the planes in only a few minutes. Four, by his estimations. Plenty of time for the four of them to assemble the tough, rugged, yet simple speeder bikes, and load them up with all of the supplies they'd need to operate for a month, and still leave a comfortable window for them to disappear into the night. And what a night it was. Calliope flicked on the night-vision settings on his HUD, glancing into the distance, to where the vast, flat planes of the Candaran Desert met the gloom, where his eyes failed to penetrate the darkness.

He also knew immediately that the drop had scattered to hell. 150 of them had dropped, four to a pod, all over the region when the Rancorous jumped out of system rather abruptly, landing in the planes beyond the Beckett Line. It was the job of the "Meteor Men", the Naval Special Recon Commandos, to soften up the Republic forces that lay in wait, to raid fuel dumps, convoys, supply bases, POW Camps and other targets of opportunity ahead of the main offensive. And yet, things had not gone quite according to plan, not that things often had the natural tendency to do as such. He could see only one other pod, and it was far, far away. All four of the occupants of his pod, himself included, had survived the drop.
"And thank the bloody Force for that..." Calliope muttered to no-one in particular, briefly eyeing the base of the pod. It had gone unusually deep into the soil, thanks to the general failure of their retrothrusters to amply slow them down during atmospheric entry. The good news was that all of their supplies had survived. Mac, Dusty and Shifty, the other three from his section, were busy loading up the supplies onto their already assembled speeder bikes.

No-one spoke. No-one needed to. They had trained and fought together for long enough to have an unconscious understanding of what each other were thinking. For the Commandos, this was just business as usual. Consumate professionals. Calliope mused. Once his bike was assembled and humming quietly, Jack spun on his heel and checked the weapon rack by his seat. The green lights blinked on and off, and the slight hiss and fizzle of the last of the gasses being expelled from the seals was only just audible. His suppressed slugthrower, a carbine, seemed to be intact. The weapons had become favourites of Naval special forces. Whilst generally lacking the punch of a blaster rifle, the weapons had been modified to fire tungsten coated rounds to make up for the penetration deficit left by the necessity of using subsonic ammunition.

Simply put, what they lacked in velocity and aesthetic flavour, they made up for in sheer stopping power. Jack unlocked his rifle from the rack, and tested the weight. He checked the breach and the magazine, and, satisified, looped the sling around his torso. The weapon hung by his waist as he mounted up alongside his fellows. Petty Officer "Shifty" Carlyon was the youngest of the group, but, had served with distinction in the Imperial Army on a number of worlds. He was short and lean, but quick and good humoured. Mac, another Petty Officer, had been a Marine, like Jack himself. He was a broad shouldered, imposing fellow, and was what Jack regarded as being a natural-born killer, able to get the job done. Jack had never seen him freeze under pressure. The final Commando in the section was a woman, "Dusty" Haynes, who had been a pilot in the Imperial Navy, before being brought down on Hoth, where she had evaded Republic capture and survived the hellish conditions for long enough to rescue herself, by all accounts. She was quiet, but rarely missed, and possessed a sense of gallows humour.

The four of them hovered, testing the weight of their bikes, burdened with enough radio equipment, food, medical supplies, explosives, camouflage equipment, ammunition and navigational equipment to last them for a full month of individual operation, the optimal timeframe for action behind enemy lines.
"Alright. The situation hasn't changed, in-fact, it's remained strikingly similar to how I described it before. And how did I describe it before, ladies and gentlemen?" Calliope asked. His bloody HUD was in a foreign language again.
"Sabotage, assassination, any targets of interest. Link up with other elements when possible, if not, keep kriffing with the Pubs' equipment until the slack-jawed yokels in the regular military catch up to us." Shifty replied.
"Rules of engagement?" Calliope tested absently, tightening his gloves.
"Natives expendable."
"Final sound off."
"Shifty up."
"Mac up."
"Dusty  up."
"Jungle up," Calliope finished, "Right then, Commandos, lets get to work, we're losing moonlight, and we've a quota to fill."

Time to go and cause some trouble.
 

13
Outside Realm / Video Game OST Appreciation Thread
« on: 09/03/15, 06:37:40 PM »
So, it came to my attention the other day as I was leveling my Sentinel that I'd basically begun tuning out SWTOR's sound design. I'd literally heard the music that I'd once loved so many times that I simply stopped being consciously aware of it. So, I went back to the main menu, and just sat there, and listened to the main theme for a few minutes, just to appreciate it once again. SWTOR's scoring is really, really damned good.

So, it got me thinking.
Consider this the BC.org Grammys. What soundtracks from video games do you think deserve special attention?


The Witcher 3
(Composed by Marcin Przybylowicz, Mikolai Stroinski, Percival.)

Geralt of Rivia: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKdRDi72Ov8
Sword of Destiny: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=viM0-3PXef0
Ladies of the Woods: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J8J9HXcOxrs

Halo (Series)
(Composed by Marty O'Donnell.)

Halo 3 ODST - Finale: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1cvcyi9oPU
Halo Reach - Winter Contingency: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TM2YqbsEzp0
Halo CE - Rock Anthem for Saving the World(The Classic!): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Wcqnofddtc
Halo 3 - Never Forget: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FmuFBK26TtE

Battlefield 1942

Main Theme: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vg0Tmydj29M

Dragon Age: Origins

Main Theme: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oWFEVbfCcOY
I Am The One: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdKwLkEGjhg

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

Main Menu: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uamh1l_tmeI

Company of Heroes 2

Western Front Theme: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fo4SQMv8J9I
Eastern Front Theme: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9eKbJJ1I1Jg

Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II

Angels of Death: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=blCBoXKCGl0

The Last Of Us:

The Last of Us: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y97u-U0nvJM

Spec Ops: The Line

No Values: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wMXE3fulO8g
The Truth Revealed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0mC__bGcmM

Medal of Honour (series):

Allied Assault Theme: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ELFxB-tGhE
Pacific Assault Theme: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1viZjvxH5w

Mass Effect (series):

Pretty much the whole thing, let's just be honest.


I listen to a LOT of video game OSTs, so, this list would potentially go on forever.
Looking forward to seeing your input!

14
Cantina / Reformation Rename Notice
« on: 08/14/15, 05:32:00 PM »
Hey there folks, the Reformation has officially renamed, both in-game and in-universe, to The Valefor. The officers of the guild felt that the original name was a tad too limiting and political, and that it was constricting our possibilities, RP wise. On top of the ability to chase a broader focus now, we were also aware that we were probably going to get screwed post timeskip anyway.

The IC excuse is that the natives of Dorian's system, Shadren, pay homage and live in fear of their primitive understanding of the dark side, in the form of a Satanic collective known as the Valefor. Spiritually, it refers to both a Satan-like figure and dark magic as a whole. When dark-side wielding Imperial loonies from outer space started invading their planets, it wasn't a hard connection for the natives to make. As the system will serve as the Valefor's "home base", we thought i'd be neat to tie it in.

Anyway.

/PSA

15
Storyboards / [A Tale of Two Triteki - Zarasmina & Hawking]
« on: 07/30/15, 05:39:51 AM »
@Aylaa

((This is going to be a damned long thread.))

Welcome to Maguire

Hawking knelt quietly on the polished floor of the Defender-class Corvette, the Aurochs, eyes closed, breathing steadily. He listened to the hum of the engine as the ship traversed Hyperspace, flying at faster-than-light speed toward the far outer clusters of the Outer Rim like a bullet. The reverberating sound was comforting.

Zarasmina was seated across from him, legs folded tailor style.

Hawking was quiet for a long few moments. "The world we're headed to, it's a frontier planet, only recently discovered. The locals are still living in a feudal system, but, are apparently human." Hawking speculated, tone not betraying his
curiosity. "Begs some interesting questions. Were they lost colonists during the dark ages? Near human cousins? Did they suffer some sort of catastrophe?"

"The people who discovered or rediscovered it- what'd they think? Who were they people who found it, anyway?"

"Republic scouts with a team of Jedi. The locals spoke basic, which was another surprise. There are astronomical records suggesting that this system, name of Maguire, was separated from the greater galaxy by an immense, oblique, dark Nebula that came from a dying star."

"Huh. What are they like so far?"

"Only recently charted, hence why they've been isolated for so long." Hawking's eyes remained closed, and he spoke with poise. "That's the important thing, at least for us, as of right now. They view the Force as a forbidden magic. Witchcraft, that sort of thing. They're steeped in folklore, superstition and the like. We have no idea as to how they treat force sensitives, if any even exist within their society."

"What'd the initial Jedi have to say about it?" Zarasmina inquired.

"They were treated with distrust and disgust. The Maguirish are quite god-fearing, it would seem."

"But, they put out a hasty and somewhat illiterate message to the Order using holocomms we provided them with. Evidently they're still getting the hang of it, but...they needed our help. Or, perhaps more accurately, requested our expertise, which would indicate to me that they've run into something Force related." Hawking shifted his weight slightly, adjusting his pose.

"What's the general state of the planet? We talking stone age here?"

"Something more akin to Medieval. They're peasants, farmers, serfs, blacksmiths, that sort of thing. Although I am to understand that they have been, rather begrudgingly, accepting our technology in something approaching an industrial revolution. Still a lot of staunch resistance, if the scout's reports are anything to go by. Transitional."

"Fuuuun," Zarasmina replied, "So what's the problem they seem to be having that's Force related?"
Hawking cracked a smile, eyes still closed. "That's the thing, they haven't told us yet. I imagine that would be far too easy."

Zarasmina exhaled loudly. "Of course they didn't. I'm guessing leave the droids with the ship then?"

"Unfortunately, yes.” Hawking replied placidly. “From experience, there's nothing more dangerous than a lynch mob of riled up zealots. Jedi we may be, but, we're not immortal. We must tread very carefully on this planet, Padawan."

Zarasmina sighed and nodded. "Yeah I guess. So do we know who we're even supposed to contact once we get there?'

"Local lordling of some description, name of Moore."

"How long until we get there?"

"Should only be a matter of minutes. Any other queries on your mind?"

"We should keep our comms. They might not like technology but the rest of the galaxy does. I don’t think we should flaunt it, but at the same time I would feel better knowing we could call back to the ship to have Arrate fire it up and come get us out of there." Zarasmina suggested.

Hawking opened his eyes, looking well rested. He brushed his hair aside momentarily, showing an earpiece. "Got it covered." The Master reached into his hardy leather belt, and produced a duplicate moments later, sliding it across the floor to Zarasmina.

Zarasmina picked up the unit and slide it home, behind her own dark hair. "Great, so that's covered. Any other taboos? They hate women on alternating tuesdays or something?"

Hawking rubbed his chin. "Hadn't considered that. I'm told they marry young here due to short life expectancy. Make sure to wear a long robe and slap any cute natives who try to pull a move on you. Aside from that, nothing aside from the usual mentality of women being good only for producing babies and as serving wenches, I'd wager,” He paused, sighing quietly. "...and that was a joke, wasn't it?"

"...not so much it seems. What species are we talking about?"

"Human, or near human."

"Well, no passing me off as a male of another species then," she said, shrugging.

Hawking stood up, brushing himself down. "Good opportunity to practice your mind tricks."

Zarasmina frowned.

"...or, maybe not, unless you enjoy being burned at the stake." Hawking replied, mostly joking.

"Yeah about that. Last time I did that I got sick."

Hawking raised a quizzical eyebrow.

"Like... migraines and dizzy enough Abethul practically had to carry me to the medbay."

"Like I said, good practice." He offered her a wink.

Zarasmina sighed.

**********

Moments later, the ship touched down in a sprawling, muddy field on the outskirts of a brick and mortar town. The soft soil made a squelch under the weight of the Corvette, sinking into the earth ever so slightly.
The ramp lowered with a hiss, allowing the Jedi to depart.

Zarasmina hauls her brown over robes over her shoulders, checks her pockets and pouches for the essentials and heads down the ramp after Master Hawking.

Hawking stepped down from the ramp, mud splattering the bottom of his robe and boots. To his credit, he made no remark, and started moving toward the town. Various people mulled around the fields and primitive roads, going about their daily businesses. They were dressed simply but modestly, although everything had a layer of general filth. Evidently they hadn't yet discovered the merits of dry cleaning.
A few of them paused, staring at the immense form of the ship in the field. Some gaped, others frowned distrustfully, a few simply shrugged and continued on with their mundane tasks.

Zarasmina quickly and quietly locked up behind them. Last thing they needed was a Medieval teenager taking a starship for a joyride. The Padawan looked around as she walked, trying to ascertain the level of technology the natives DID have...

The technology looked crude, if not effective. The artisans had done a brilliant job for the wealthy, however, it would seem. The town lay upon a large hill, arranged in the tried and true formula of poor down the bottom, rich up the top.
Atop the crest lay a towering structure, ringed by walls of brick and stone. Windows and spires adorned it, woodwork balconies and doorways. Compared to the mostly wooden hovels and huts below, separated only by a number of feudal fences, it was artwork. Most oddly was the holocommunication tower standing atop the village. The black tower stood tall, like a living anachronism amidst medieval drudgery. No wonder the village folk believed in magic and superstition.

Zarasmina continued to follow along the path, "It's not too dissimilar from Nar Shaddaa," she muses then blinks at the tower. "Who put that up?"

"Republic scouts. Presumably that's what they used to call us." Hawking murmured, pulling his hood over his head. A few of the townsfolk offered the pair some queer looks, but, left them undisturbed for the most part. There was an atmosphere of simple ignorance and apprehension.

"Are we there yet?" She quipped, attempting to lighten the mood.

"I'm assuming this Lord Moore will be in the big tower..." Hawking trudged upwards, following stone stairs that had been embedded in the side of the mountain. Within a few minutes, the Jedi arrived before an immense wooden gate, guarded by two lightly armoured men. Both men held a strange, pike-like spear. No firearms or blasters, at least, not yet.

Zaraminsa hung back behind Hawking as they approach the gate, looking around to see what else might be seen in the way of security.

The larger of the two guards stepped forward, sizing up the Jedi. He didn't quite meet Hawking's 6'3 stature, but, made up for his deficiency in height by possessing a dark scowl. A number of guards lined the impressive walls, but, Zarasmina couldn't make out any weapons on them.

Hawking offered the guard a diplomatic smile. "Here to see Lord Moore. We're his Triteki." Hawking glanced backward to Zarasmina, whispering; "Their word for "Those touched by the curse.""

Zarasmina nodded.

The guard studied the two with suspicion, before spitting out what was apparently a local substitute for chewing gum or tobacco. The gooey mess landed near Zarasmina's feet, sticking in the already noxious mud. "You're aliens." The guard noted rather astutely.

Hawking nodded, somewhat patronizingly. "Yes, we are. And we have an appointment with your Lord."

Zaramina steps back a little bit from the glob of whatever and scrunches her nose in distaste.

The guard stared down Hawking, some sort of thinly veiled disgust in his eyes. Moments later, he rapped a fist on the gate, and it creaked open. Within, the two Jedi were met with a series of what looked like stables, as well as a number of other crafstmen working tirelessly. Blacksmiths hammered strange looking metals, masons rebuilt part of the run down wall, and various women paraded around, bearing foods, drinks, spices and exotic looking silks and cottons.
Great lanterns hung from the walls, the fires within crackling quietly.

Hawking followed the well trodden trail inward, eventually arriving at another large door, this one made of what appeared to be marble. "Certainly enjoys his excesses..."

"Market looks busy," Zarasmina noted, trudging behind Hawking, looking around the vibrantly lit area with curiosity.

"Interesting that they even have free markets. I've seen little evidence of a larger county than this Lordship. Perhaps they don't have unified kingdoms?" Hawking pondered aloud.

"No one's asked?"

Hawking pushed the great marble door, feeling it creak and eventually budged. The damned thing was rather heavy. "No idea. I didn't have a chance to read over the full logs that the Scouts took, I only skimmed what was relevant to the investigation."

"Great." she quips. "Need a hand with the door?"

Hawking nodded, thankfully he was a Jedi, or he might need to swallow his pride.

Zarasmina joined her master at the door and helped push against the marble structure, further splattering the bottom of her robes with mud.

The door eventually budged open, leaving the two Jedi standing there, looking rather silly. A grand hall met them. 60 feet long and 25 high, it was ordained with a series of high, thin windows and luxurious carpets. At the opposite end, a tall, thin man sat upon a throne, eyeing the Jedi.

"Enter, Triteki."

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