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Messages - Joshmaul

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1
Cantina / Re: Make a (fashion) statement
« on: 01/27/18, 07:13:35 AM »
I believe the gloves are from the Hallowed Gothic set. All the pieces for that (except for the helmet) are sold by the reputation vendor on Oricon. The helmet's from a rare spawn, also on Oricon - though I had thought it was from possible rare finds with the Seeker Droid deal from way back when.

2
Cantina / Re: Monthly CM Giveaway!
« on: 01/15/18, 09:32:22 AM »
That Sith Recluse lower armor would be lovely. Easiest character to send to would be Nemiya - she's Imperial.

3
Outside Realm / Re: the last jedi [spoiler city]
« on: 01/07/18, 10:01:23 PM »
I went and saw it just after Christmas, but haven't gotten around to posting on it, so...probably just repeating what others have said, but my take on this whole mix.

Rose. I liked her. :D I recall reading something that called her "the new Jar Jar". I did not get that vibe at all. Jar Jar was a chronic screwup (and remember, kids, he helped make the Empire!), whereas Rose is more of a chronic smartass. And a potential complication for a love shape in the works - because when we started, it was Finn and Rey, then Kylo Ren made it a triangle, and now Rose making it square. Although it could be more triangle-square-pentagon, since some might say it actually started with Finn and Poe...but I digress.

Leia's Force trick. Or, as I sarcastically said to my stepfather, "Carrie Poppins". I think that sums it up. And it's sad because Leia is given a HELL of a lot better treatment - a lot more stable family life, for starters (well, except for the kid who turned Sith, Jacen/Darth Caedus, the proto-Kylo) - in the EU, or the "Legends" canon or whatever the hell they're calling it nowadays. I mean, they actually let her have a lightsaber in the EU, for God's sake. She was a Jedi in her own right - as well as on-and-off Chief of State.

And at the risk of sounding snobbishly nitpicky, what the hell was up with Leia and Holdo in the fancy dresses when they're supposed to be military types? I mean, granted, it's more "paramilitary" than anything else, but jeez. Even the Rebellion had a sense of military decorum - the flowing outfits were saved for the civilian leadership, like Mon Mothma. And...were we supposed to care about Holdo and the way she went out? I mean, granted, it was cool and all, but...eh.

Luke's fate...I'm a bit torn, I'll confess - again, growing up on the EU, I think I kinda got spoiled by the idea of Luke actually being successful in creating a new Jedi Order, even with the bumps in the road along the way. By contrast, the underlying message of TLJ was basically that "failure is always an option", which - though true - seemed to be shoved down our throats here, particularly with Luke. The fact that first Han and then Luke died as broken shadows of their former selves (Luke especially), basically making one last big splash and then being tossed aside, kind of bothers me; it begs the question of "was it all worth it?"

I suppose that'll be what Episode IX is for...

4
I have long feared and long expected that, even with the Cartel Market as an attempt to bolster it, SWTOR would go the same way as another EA-run MMO based on someone else's IP - Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning (which is now run as a private server entitled "Return of Reckoning", and is apparently doing better than it was when it was run by EA/Mythic). The exact same deal happened there. Oodles of servers at launch. Then fewer. Then fewer. Then finally one for the western US, one for the eastern US, and one for Europe. Then shutdown.

This fear has been reinforced somewhat by the fact that the player character has been shoehorned into the role of the tyrant of the universe (benevolent or otherwise), with only minor recognition of any kind of their prior stories, usually in the form of "oh hi, haven't seen you in a while" when meeting a former class companion. With such power in their hands, how do they go back to just being another Jedi/Sith/spacer/agent/etc.? With WoW, it's not quite as narrow - granted, in-game, you're looked at as the "big damn hero" (especially if you are the outright leader of your class hall, like paladins), but the entire geopolitical setup of Azeroth has not been completely upended by the player character becoming the "big damn hero".

5
Outside Realm / Re: A return (sort of) and an overdue apology
« on: 12/21/17, 03:08:14 AM »
Nice to see you, Hawk-man. Now get back into that damn pit. You haven't suffered enough. :P I kid, I kid.

6
Holocrons and Info Nodes / Blue Lady Blues
« on: 12/16/17, 06:20:27 AM »
She felt more than a twinge of anger and bitterness in her heart as her speeder left the Dancer's Palace to return to Mezenti Spaceport. She knew it would be there, but after close to a decade, she had not expected it to still hurt this much. Oh, she had kept up a brave face in front of the others, including the loud drunk human who had been pounding his chest in her ear most of the night, and that opportunist Quarasha. If there was one thing she had learned after all this time, it was to hide her true feelings to avoid giving anyone an opening to use against her. Even in the more "progressive" Empire since Acina had taken power, a Sith was still a Sith.

But today, the memories came back hard. She remembered the days when she had been known as Kelt'hal'irisai, or Thali for short. She had been a young conscript in the Household Phalanx to House Torv, to which her family had been associated for more than a century and a half. Those days were long past. In a way, her old self had died that day she had arrived on Reydovan Prime, when that Cathar's cold gaze had fallen upon her.

Now, she was called Nemiya, Lord of the Sith.

Not a day went by, these past few years, where she didn't curse Varan for taking her with him from Csilla. She had felt her powers awaken when she was fifteen, and had taken great pains to hide them - from Varan, from his father Aristocra Valsar, and from society as a whole. She had seen what had happened to Veerak, Varan's younger brother. Though Varan had stood by him in the Empire, that didn't matter for much in the Ascendancy - and neither had Varan's war record.

After Varan had killed Valsar, ostensibly for his acts of treason against the Ascendancy in trying to break their alliance with the Empire, House Torv's Phalanx had experienced a schism, where Varan had taken part of the guard with him to serve as his elite force while he commanded the Imperial Reydovan Defense Force, the planet's militia. The remainder rallied under Varan's uncle and semi-namesake, General Verane, who had taken over as Aristocra and exiled Varan from the Ascendancy. Not too long afterward, he had offered clemency for anyone in Varan's guard who wanted to come home.

Thali, as she had been then, had considered it, in spite of the risk. Even at that young age, she had thought serving in the Empire seemed too cutthroat a business. But then she had met her Master...

----

"You possess gift, just as I did when I was gladiator." Lord Tethik Nadun spoke thickly accented and broken Basic, but the ice in his stare and the lightsaber at his belt made her wary of mocking him for his speech. So did the next four words he spoke, clearly and bluntly: "You feel the Force."

Thali's red eyes had widened in sudden terror. "You must be mistaken. I'm nobody. I'm just a conscript..."

"Nonsense," Tethik replied, waving a dismissive hand. "Force brings you with Varan, brings you to me. It is sign. Just as when Darth Cyanoculus find me on Korriban. Force wills it. Destiny. You are meant to be Sith. You are meant to be apprentice. My apprentice." He smiled, showing fangs. "I train you, as I trained."

Rather than being honored or excited, Thali looked equal parts terrified and sickened. "No, you don't understand. You can't."

"Can't?" The Cathar stared at her like she had grown another head. "You say I can't? Who are you to say?"

"You don't understand! I've kept this from my family, my commanders, even Varan - and he would know better than anyone about my impurity! I can't risk this getting out."

"Impurity?" Tethik looked genuinely confused. "Force is not impurity. Force is gift! Force is power!"

"The Force is an aberration, in the eyes of my people. They tolerate its use in the Empire, but it's rare among my people...and it's not allowed. Anyone who is shown to be able to use it is given a choice - surgery, or exile. Anyone who uses their powers in the Ascendancy is executed for it. Varan's brother, Veerak - they banished him, and he had no choice but to come here. That's why Varan is staying in the Empire now." Actually, word was the new Aristocra had banished Varan for killing his anti-Imperial father, but that was beside the point. "If you send me to Korriban, they'll know, and I'll never be able to go home!" Thali's expression was pleading. "You don't understand...."

"Not understand, no," Tethik agreed, his expression surprisingly sympathetic. "My family is dead. My home, Ord Mantell, barely remember. Before I was Sith, I was slave, gladiator to amuse Hutts. Then I was slave to stupid Imperial. Force freed me, brought me to Korriban. I never had choice in life...but you do." His expression had hardened, and that stare...how she wished she could avoid that stare. "Consider choice you have, Thali. Either return to Ascendancy, and be killed; refuse to go to Korriban, and be killed; or train on Korriban, and live, but never go home again." Again, a hint of sympathy. "Hard choice. But one you make."

"You're forcing me to choose under threat of death. How is that still my choice?"

Tethik gave a slight shrug. "It is choice we all make, every day. We choose life, or death. Death at own hands, or get killed in stupid charge - still choice, even if stupid choice. Darth Malagant was Veerak's Master. He say Veerak made choice. He chose to train, to use gift of Force. He also chose treason against Malagant, chose death - but he made choice."

Thali seemed to absorb this, and Tethik smiled again, showing fangs. "You make choice now, too. You have gift. With all you know of what Empire will do, of what Ascendancy will do, what say you? Use gift, or reject? Live...or die?"

----

She still thought fondly of her Master, even after all this time, even with this doubt she felt. She was about the same age now that Tethik had been when he had fallen on Nikaea...

After her training on Korriban under the direction of the aged Overseer Charva (who had also overseen Tethik's instruction when he was at the Academy), she had joined him in the field hunting for the traitor Darth Verulam and his ally, Jedi Master Merken Netalis, and had cleared out a "temple" - here on Nar Shaddaa, ironically enough - dedicated to Revan and his mad crusade. After Revan had fallen on Yavin 4, Malagant, Tethik, and Varan had led a force to Nikaea to finish off Verulam and his remaining loyalists. Tethik had taken a barrage of assault cannon fire intended for Malagant, and Malagant had responded by slaying the shooter - Republic soldier Melena Linavil - on the spot.

To honor her Master, Nemiya had gone from focusing solely on her bladework to following in the strengths he had encouraged in her - moving and attacking in the shadows, seeking knowledge (she had spent a lot of time in the Academy archives during her time on Korriban, so that came naturally to her), and protecting the Empire from its enemies both within and without. It had been a task she began to relish when Acina had taken power, becoming one of the new regime's shadowy enforcers - maintaining the peace imposed by Arcann, yet still hoping (and secretly helping to prepare) for the day when the Empire could rise up and overthrow the Zakuulan usurpers. She had begun to believe what Tethik had told her, that the Force was not an impurity, not a curse, but a gift.

Throughout the occupation, she had not thought about what had become of the Ascendancy. They had not cared about her, and so she was not entirely sure she had cared about them. But after Copero, the Ascendancy seemed to be back in the news - and the memories seemed to be back in her head. That purist fool in the Palace hadn't helped with that, either...nor had the strange connection of her mind on seeing the silly Life Day decorations, and remarking on the oddity of seeing snow indoors, that the only way you saw snow indoors on Csilla is if the roof caved in. It was days like this that made her doubt the "gift" she had been given.

As she stepped out of the speeder to make her way back to the ship, Nemiya's thoughts again drifted to Varan, cursing him again, and remembering how he had met his end in a Sith power play, a war of wills between Malagant and his twisted "creation", Darth Insomnius. Part of her had wished that she had been able to get her hands around Varan's neck and strangle the life from him for making her feel like a pariah amongst her own people. Yet there was a part of her mind that knew it was not his fault. Varan had merely brought her to the Empire, not knowing she was Force-sensitive...because she had not told him. And even when he had discovered it, just as he had done with Veerak, he had been supportive of it, clearly not of the same line of idiots as his father and uncle had been (and that his cousins, Verane's heirs, were now). It was the ruling elite in the Ascendancy, with their stubborn, narrow mindviews, that was the problem.

Damn them, she seethed. Damn them all.

As she made her way back to her ship, the Imperial troops guarding Mezenti Spaceport took one look at the scowl on her face, and made it a point to keep their distance. Hell hath no fury, as the old saying went - and it was even worse with Sith...

7
Cantina / Re: Valkorian's True Identity?
« on: 12/12/17, 04:35:52 AM »
From the original KotFE cinematic, I always thought Valkorion looked a lot like Aidan Quinn:


8
Cantina / Re: What to Do With Schrodinger's Galaxy...
« on: 12/01/17, 05:59:02 PM »
New Emperor huh...

How does Emperor Haar sounds?  :evil:

Emperor Malagant sounds better. *sage nod*

9
Cantina / Re: What to Do With Schrodinger's Galaxy...
« on: 12/01/17, 09:23:07 AM »
Isn't there a period of Jedi Warlords anyway?

The Jedi Lords were around at about the time of the "New Sith Wars", which ended around 1000 BBY. There had been four hundred years or so of Jedi Chancellors prior to this period too - that's right, the Jedi DID rule the Republic at one point!

10
Cantina / Re: What to Do With Schrodinger's Galaxy...
« on: 11/30/17, 03:35:43 PM »
In the long term, yes. In the short term....2,500 years of stagnation and getting shafted by "circumstances"? That's just cold, that is.

11
Cantina / Re: 5.X Patchnotes, Updates, Guides, etc...
« on: 11/30/17, 08:19:40 AM »
Sith Purebloods are the embodiment of the dark side. They don't need "corruption" effects. *sage nod*

12
Holocrons and Info Nodes / Sons of the Empire
« on: 10/25/17, 03:06:29 PM »
With all the ongoing conflict on Iokath and Umbara, Darth Malagant was glad to have this place to call home. Well-protected, comfortable, and entirely his. It had been one of the military surveyors who had called this place "the Palace of the Eternal Ocean", and it had stuck with him, too. Now if only someone could come up with a better name than "IC-711"...

Malagant sat in the gardens outside of his private archives, on the upper level of the main residence. He had just concluded his meeting with his chosen agent in order to find out what was going on with the Shadren usurpers, and she had gone to conduct it in her own way - likely with help from her colleagues in Sith Intelligence. While Malagant would have loved nothing more than to get into the fray himself, he had learned from bitter experience that sometimes the obvious solution was not the best solution. So he had told her to act as she saw fit, and to report to him as well as to her superiors. The Sith took their greater authority over Intelligence seriously.

The doors from the archive opened, revealing the commander of the palace's guard force, Colonel Menrim Tekan. "Lord Malagant, a communication from the dreadnought Sanguinar in orbit," the Cathar officer said. "Moff Caudell and the general in command of his support troops have requested a meeting."

Malagant's eyebrow rose. He recognized the Moff's name; he had been an admiral in the Imperial Navy before being named governor of the Nikaean sector, which had rebuilt its economy in the mining industry. It was somewhat ironic that it was another man who commanded one of Malagant's conquests, for he had taken the sector during the Cold War and then burned the inhabited planets of that sector nearly a decade ago when they sided with the Revanites. Odd that the governor of the sector would call on him now... "How about this general? Who is it?"

"He didn't say, my lord. In fact...it seemed to me that he went out of his way to be evasive."

Typically not a good sign, he thought. "Well, we'll soon find out why. Tell him he may come down, but not to waste my time."

"Yes, my lord." Tekan bowed and made his way back inside. The shuttle deposited the visitors, and within moments, they were escorted into the garden. Matthias Caudell was an average-sized figure with a neatly-trimmed mustache, with brown hair going gray at the temples, and deeply set dark eyes. He wore an Imperial uniform in black with gray trim, his task force patch on his right sleeve. The other man, who Malagant pegged as the general, was also of relatively average build, and wore a well-worn suit of what looked to be Deathshadow armor, crafted by the Caymarnian Weapons and Armor Manufactory on Reydovan Prime. He also wore the helmet, obscuring his features.

"Thank you for seeing us, Darth Malagant," Caudell said as he and the general bowed. "I understand that this is rather...unorthodox."

"The fact that you made a point of obscuring the identity of your associate even as you stand in front of me, Moff Caudell, makes that something of an understatement."

"A personal decision on his part, my lord. You had other things on your mind, and to a degree, still do. But with a new conflict in the offing, I thought it best that we know who our friends are...and if indeed, they are something more."

That comment piqued Malagant's curiosity, as he looked to the armored man, and then back at Caudell. "Explain."

Caudell looked to his companion. "I think it's time to let our secrets go, General." The armored man nodded once, and then reached up and removed his helmet, showing his battle-scarred face and the cybernetic set into his right eye.

Malagant recoiled, his expression one of utter shock. His eyes were wider than laigrek's eggs as he stared at the other man. Scars and cybernetics aside, he recognized him instantly. His mouth was open for a moment, but unable to say a word. When he could find his tongue, he finally said, "Impossible!"

"No, Masac," the general said, using Malagant's birth name. Only one man living had ever dared, and so far as Malagant had known, that man was dead. "It has pained me to keep you in the dark like this, but Thias was right in the end, as Bassel was before the end. I would have to tell you eventually. And with a new war seemingly imminent, now is the best time."

The look on Malagant's turned from shock to rage as he looked at the Moff. "Is this some kind of a joke? Explain this, Caudell!"

"I would not seek to deceive you, my lord," Caudell replied calmly. "I counseled him against maintaining his silence, but it was his decision to make. The Jedi Katran's lightsaber strike required extensive reconstruction of his cardiovascular and respiratory systems, but Moff Krysiak - General Krysiak, as he was then - arranged it all, and saw to his every need before he left with you for Nikaea. He was brought in a life support chamber from Tatooine to Dromund Kaas for his recovery."

Malagant reeled, unable to believe it. Bassel Krysiak, the brother of the IWSC's fleet commander, had commanded army forces at Malagant's behest during the taking of the Nikaean sector, and had been the first military governor. He had been killed by the Jedi-backed uprising on Nikaea, not long after the incident on Tatooine. An incident that had made Malagant particularly vengeful towards Saxtus Fayhan and the Miraluka orphans he had rescued during the war, including Caradell - the future Darth Insomnius - and Katran, who had struck the killing blow...or at least, what he and the Mos Anek garrison had believed was the killing blow.

He looked back to the general, eyes searching. "If you are who you say...do you remember what happened that night?" His words implied a hidden meaning, one that Caudell did not pick up on.

The general, however, did. His single eye met Malagant's without hesitation. "We were stuck in that rat-trap apartment in Kaas City with the nanny. How she treated us while Father was away for the war...then I remember her screams of abuse turning into screams of agony. The smell of her flesh as you fried her from the inside out with Force lightning. That look in your eye....I still see it now. I remember Father came home, and told the Sith. I remember that old Pureblood who came to investigate, and took you away to the Academy. What Father said when you were being taken away....'Look upon our future, Andav. For a soldier to father an officer, that is a badge of pride...'"

"'But to father a Sith is the highest honor'," Malagant finished. His eyes widened further, wondering if this was some kind of illusion. But then he put a hand on the man's shoulder, and realized... "It is you."

Andav Undjo smiled grimly, crinkling the scars on his face. "It has been a long time...brother."

13
Cantina / Re: 5.X Patchnotes, Updates, Guides, etc...
« on: 10/24/17, 07:05:33 PM »
This game isn't bouncing and bounding but its five..six.. what? years old now so one wouldn't expect that.  I expect it to con't to plod on at current pace, with very small "new content" patches and maybe another expansion or two before it pants its last.

Which is what people have been saying about World of Warcraft pretty much since the very first expansion - "this game is old, it's dying". It's turning 13 next month, it's likely we're getting a new expansion announcement at BlizzCon, and I feel that - for all the assholes I deal with on a regular basis with cross-server activity, heh heh - it's on strong footing. People are paranoid because Blizzard hasn't been announcing active subscription numbers in their quarterly reports, but there's no sign that it's on the outs. SWTOR, on the other hand...

I admit I'm paranoid because the exact same thing happening here, happened with the last MMO I can remember with a well-known brand name, the developer of which was owned by EA - Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning. It lasted for about five years. They started with a shitload of servers, the list of which got smaller and smaller until finally the game was shut down with only three servers - one for the US, one for Germany, and one for the rest of Europe. They say it's because the license from Games Workshop expired. Gee, I wonder why.

While I hope that - being a Star Wars game, with Star Wars in the news a lot lately - this game is on more solid footing that WAR had been pretty much from the get-go (mainly because WAR was a predominantly PvP game, I think, but that's besides the point), I will not be entirely surprised if SWTOR eventually dies, because while BioWare (mostly) has a good track record, EA does not. All I can hope is, if and when SWTOR collapses, that we all don't vanish into the Internet mists.

14
Cantina / Re: Theme songs for your toons
« on: 10/24/17, 03:44:15 AM »
It's been almost a year, not really too much change here, but...

Darth Malagant - The Destroyer of Worlds
Instrumental (Calm): "Gehn Speaks" by Robyn Miller (Soundtrack to Riven: The Sequel to Myst) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zcEbUiJh2wI
Instrumental (Battle - "Malagant's Fury"): Excerpt from "Druids of the Flame" by Blizzard Entertainment (Soundtrack to World of Warcraft: Cataclysm) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iOrTpdpDewQ
Instrumental (Battle - "All Out War"): "Destroyer" by Geoff Knorr (Soundtrack to Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXgyqtED_50

General Andav Undjo - The Butcher Returned
Instrumental (Calm): "Beginnings: Esher" by Tim Larkin (Soundtrack to Myst V: End of Ages) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HgUu8cEr_OY
Instrumental ("Parade Ground", you might say): "Imperial Guard Theme" by Inon Zur (Soundtracks to Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War: Winter Assault, Dark Crusade, and Soulstorm) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mhqWHIq-aZw

Captain Eidan Zherron - The Chief of the Watch
Instrumental (Personal): "Harrogath" by Matt Uelmen (Soundtrack to Diablo II: Lord of Destruction) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=layjWs2IpS4
Instrumental (Custodian's Watch): "Helicarrier" by Alan Silvestri (Soundtrack to The Avengers) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TXr9oSqhbuI
Instrumental (Battle): "Pursuit of Truth"/"Charity's Irony" Remix by Rtas (Combined from Soundtracks to Halo 2 and Halo 2 Anniversary) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJ1ykdne5mY

Galen Tavener - The Wandering Knight
Instrumental (Personal): "Tau Theme" by Inon Zur (Soundtracks to Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War: Dark Crusade and Soulstorm) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mhXCQFxGqMM
Instrumental ("Thoughtful"; I'd imagine this as he left Zakuul): "The Seeding" by Geoff Knorr (Soundtrack to Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=86t6SoZmXIg

Master Tergahn Dai'lo - The Guardian in the Dark
Instrumental: "Zeratul's Warning" by Blizzard Entertainment (Soundtrack to StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0kfW8BvY6XU
Instrumental (Alternate): "Protoss Theme 01" by Blizzard Entertainment (Soundtrack to StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=60PVsEjmbMU

15
Storyboards / Re: The Rumor Mill
« on: 10/21/17, 12:35:29 PM »
Heard in the Slippery Slopes Cantina, Nar Shaddaa...

"You're not gonna believe this."

"What?"

"Saw a man in a fancy-pants Imperial uniform and a jacked-up face head up to the Dancer's Palace on a speeder from the Imp spaceport...it was him, man. The Butcher of the Sobrikarill Valley."

"You're right. I don't believe you."

"What? I'm serious!"

"Oh, come off it, bud. The Butcher is dead. Everyone knows that Jedi killed him on Tatooine. They made a big whoop about it on the HoloNet, for kriff's sake."

"It was him, I tell you! The smug look in his remaining eye, that face...so much like that psycho Sith brother of his."

"And you could see him while he was flying in a speeder. Right. I know you're still hurtin' from those days - hell, which one of us isn't? - but you're not gonna do yourself any favors by chasin' ghosts."

"But --"

"But nothing. He's dead. You're flashing back again - hush up now and have a drink. Put those nightmares to bed."

"...okay."

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