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Messages - Joshmaul

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See, this is why we love the Stell. She makes our lives easier. :D

Nic, is there a large enough ocean space on Belkadan for a place like this? Malagant needs some new digs. Or if not, perhaps on that waterworld the IWSAS could find, that you mentioned. :D

Cantina / Re: What Was Disruptive about the Last Expansions
« on: 06/24/17, 07:08:12 PM »
Now tell us how you really feel, Iaera. :D

Cantina / Re: What Was Disruptive about the Last Expansions
« on: 06/22/17, 03:43:11 PM »
I feel like they missed an opportunity to create a new shared space with Manaan.

Which is probably why they're throwing the (no doubt expensive, more so than Yavin) stronghold at us, to give Manaan more use. And if the rumors from datamining are true, we're getting one on Zakuul eventually, too. Both of which, like Yavin, make no sense...why would the Selkath let aliens have a base on their planet, especially considering the Sith bombed the last attempt they made at making nice with air-breathers? And it's bad enough Zakuul has to submit to one Outlander - how would they feel about letting a whole horde of them move in?

I am forced to wonder what the future will hold for this game, considering that (like WoW has with Legion, though not nearly as egregiously - at least we get to keep our own class as the Big Damn Heroes, more or less) the narrative has focused so much on shoehorning us into one big Savior/Conqueror of the Known Universe role, with no real regard for class narrative or anything of that sort. We haven't had any real class-oriented questing - and the KotFE chapters where certain classes get shoutouts don't count, as all classes can do them - since Rishi. Rishi, for the love of God. The piratical bird-people planet was the last place I can recall getting anything really class-related (the side mission you get at the same time as the quest for Blood Hunt).

Cantina / Re: What Was Disruptive about the Last Expansions
« on: 06/22/17, 02:48:26 PM »
I will never gripe about the game ever again if they give us the Temple on Coruscant back.

Heard and witnessed, folks! We got it on record!

Cantina / Re: Gratitude
« on: 06/22/17, 08:51:13 AM »
No gratitude post is complete without saying thank you @Noth for having us :)

But holy...did you all really go until 3 AM?! I have to admit to feeling overwhelmed by the characterization skills of all of you. The unique-ness (in a good way) of the personalities that you've all developed for your lovelies is amazing.

I was ready to drop at midnight, but I stayed until just after 1. Because tihaar is important. :D

Holocrons and Info Nodes / Re: A Knight is Sworn to Valor
« on: 06/19/17, 07:16:06 AM »
The Roze Garden, Nar Shaddaa

Whenever he travelled off Odessen, Tavener tended to wear a robe to hide his armor; one would ask why he did not just go without, but he had worn it for so long that he felt naked without it. In "social situations", he wore a jacket with a wrap around the upper part of his shoulders and chest, so that he did not look like some kind of monk (or a Jedi or Sith, for that matter) and throw off any potential conversation. This had been one of those "social situations". The Smuggler's Moon was observing Soovada, which the hostess at this establishment, a young lady named Jessak Roze, had described as a celebration of wealth and opulence. Typical Hutt mindview, he had mused.

Normally he was careful not to mention his origins, only to say that he was neither Jedi nor Sith if anyone asked about his lightsabers. But something about Jessak and her consort, a Rattataki called Effet, had elicited him to be honest. He had revealed he had been a Knight of Zakuul. And they had not batted an eye. In fact, Jessak had even mentioned she maintained a lounge in the building designed to Zakuulan standards. That had surprised him greatly - not so long ago, Zakuul had been the "great enemy". Mentioning you were Zakuulan typically got you hostile glares...or worse. Yet these people had simply accepted that it was who he was, nothing more.

He had still been running that through his mind when Jessak and Effet continued their rounds, and it was still going through his mind as he made his way back upstairs to the speeders. Along with another thought: Is everyone so...accepting? Then he chuckled grimly. He knew the answer to that. He had seen it often enough...


Illuminopolis, Reydovan Prime
Two years earlier

Another glorious morning dawned in the Caymarnian Mountains. That was the one benefit of remaining down here, Tavener mused - at least the scenery was nice.

Ever since the peacetime occupation, the captain had taken his morning walk in the streets, partly to get the energy going, and partly to check in with his patrols. Jadre no longer bothered to come to the surface anymore, preferring instead to meditate within the central core of his Star Fortress in orbit, hanging above the city like a sentinel. Tavener found that highly presumptous, but then again, given the hatred that the Sith had for him in particular, perhaps that was wise. He certainly got sneering looks from these people often enough - if they bothered to show their faces at all.

Above all, this stroll gave him time to think. And he had plenty to think about. Rumors had spread of an "Alliance" that had risen to oppose the rule of the Eternal Throne, led by the Outlander who had assassinated Valkorion five years earlier. Tavener had been surprised that Arcann had not killed the Outlander for murdering his father, but he did not presume to know his Emperor's reasons. The Alliance had inspired other resistance movements on worlds occupied by the Eternal Empire...and an uprising on the Bothan homeworld of Bothawui, which had been brutally put down by its Star Fortress, with casualty rates still climbing. Other Fortresses had been destroyed by Alliance-backed insurgents, such as the ones on Voss and Alderaan, among others. Tavener had a feeling that this one would probably be next...and he had a good reason.

Three years ago, Tavener had come into contact with a former Imperial Intelligence agent named Hirum Jayther, who had sworn full allegiance to the new overlords, and was employed as something of an enforcer in Jadre's name; the Exarch had approved Tavener's "diversion", becoming complacent in the quiet of the occupation. Not too long after, his path had taken him to Zakuul, where he had met with an old ally, Commander Varan, a Chiss who had once commanded Reydovan Prime's army during Malagant's rule. Jayther had managed to send a fragmented report back that had confirmed what Tavener had long suspected: Malagant was alive, and living in the Old World of all places. That had been the last Tavener had heard from him, which led him to believe that he was right...and that the Sith had killed Jayther for his treason.

He had gone up to the Star Fortress and brought that information to Jadre, who had been displeased that his initial assessment of Malagant's death had been disproven so...eagerly, had been his term. "You seem content to torment me with a man I had hoped was a ghost," had been Jadre's comment, and he had dismissed Tavener to return to his duties on the surface. Jadre's ennui was concerning to him - more so because a "senior Knight" had visited the Star Fortress not too long ago, accompanied by a man who fit Jayther's description of the elusive Commander Varan. And Jadre had done nothing.

Had peace driven him mad? Or was he waiting for the revolt that he had hoped would come?

Alarms began to ring from the plaza in front of the Archivum Imperialis, the planet's largest library. He tapped the commlink in his helmet. "Tavener here. Report."

"Captain, we're at battle alert. The Sith are moving on the shield generator."

Tavener felt a chill up his spine. What he had feared had begun. He looked up at the Star Fortress for a moment, wondering if he would be among those incinerated by Jadre's fury...

Roleplay Workshop / Re: Underworld RP, which side has more?
« on: 06/19/17, 06:36:24 AM »
The only person I have who fits the category of character mentioned is Neema'cyl, my Twi'lek gunslinger/pirate/murdering bitch type. In the Joshmaul canon, she was former first mate on the Direwolf, which is now the Zherron family ship, when Eidan Zherron first signed up as its navigator. The captain fired her for disemboweling a client who made a pass at her because of her race, and wearing his guts tied to her lekku. So yeah, she's nasty.

As for my other BH/smuggler types, Orten Yaitz (BH/powertech) is Mandalorian, Eidan (my other gunslinger) works for the Custodum, his kid Lucia (smuggler/scoundrel) works for the Alliance, and Nyssha Petrand (BH/mercenary) works for Taelios. Though I suppose Taelios is pretty underworld-y nowadays.

Cantina / Re: Gratitude
« on: 06/18/17, 06:54:16 AM »
Glad to get a little fun in before I went to bed. (I was Galen, the grim Knight, heh heh.) Nice place you had, too.

Introductions / Re: Brief Lurky Hiatus Check-in
« on: 06/14/17, 12:50:48 PM »
Who're you again? :D I kid. Good to see you.

Holocrons and Info Nodes / Re: A Knight is Sworn to Valor
« on: 06/11/17, 12:30:03 PM »
Temple of Introspection - Darth Malagant's Former Residence
Original Site, Yavin 4

Tavener had heard in the HoloNet media that this place had been abandoned, and that this was where it had originally been before Malagant had brought it to Reydovan Prime. He decided to have a look at the place himself, and was not altogether surprised that the jungle had started to reclaim it. Yet it had been in this hall, back when this building had been situated in the Caymarnian Mountains, that he had encountered the first Sith he had not faced in battle. Insomnius had been both self-confident and smug, knowing that Jadre had wanted to save face by ending the rebellion quickly. That had saved him - and it had saved Tavener as well, as he knew that Vaylin's moods swung quickly, and violently so more oft than not.

He walked to the end of the room, where Malagant's Sith throne was slightly covered by vines and shrubs growing through the cracks in the stone floor and ceiling above. He visualized in his mind's eye the grand hall that Malagant had set up here, and seeing "lesser" beings kneeling before him, like he was some kind of emperor himself. It was an uncomfortable reminder of his former commander, who had begun to act similarly during the occupation...


Temple of the Mountain Sun, Illuminopolis
Six years earlier

Just as Tavener had predicted, Jadre had installed himself in Darth Cyanoculus' old throne in the great hall, lording over his new domain even as he dealt with the embarassment of continuing to deal with rebel attacks from the mountains. That would soon change. "My captain," Tavener greeted him, "these Sith have requested a parley to end the fighting and submit this planet fully to the Eternal Throne."

"Indeed?" Jadre looked the three of them over. Two of them were actual Sith, their lightsabers and attire marking them as such; the third was an officer in their military, and the look in his eye and the lines in his face told Jadre that this was the commander of the Sith soldiers. "Who speaks for them?"

Tavener looked to the figure at his right, who had stepped in front of him with a slight nudge to push the Knight out of her way. He hid his annoyance. "I am Darth Insomnius, Captain Jadre. I have taken command here in the name of the Sith Empire, with the agreement of my associates here - Lord Lazhna and General Daltyn." She indicated the other Sith, a red-skinned Togruta, and the human officer. "We have come to end the ongoing hostilities."

Jadre stared at them for a long moment, then said, "I trust you are all aware that both the Galactic Republic and the Sith Empire have negotiated treaties with the Emperor to end the futile uprisings on a galactic scale, and have agreed to pay tribute to the Eternal Throne. That is the fate you must accept if you are to walk out of this building alive. Do you accept it?"

"On one condition," Insomnius replied. Tavener looked irritated and ready to protest, but Jadre raised his mechanical right hand to silence him. He was leaning forward, listening. "I presume that under this new agreement with the Eternal Throne, you will be assigned here to act as a sort of military governor, is this so?"

"It is so," Jadre confirmed. "A Star Fortress will be placed here at my request, and I will command this world and its surrounding sector as its Exarch." His eyes narrowed slightly. "Which I presume is the reason behind your request." He stared at her for a moment longer, and she seemed to meet his gaze right back, even without her eyes. Finally, he said, "State your condition, Darth Insomnius."

"Merely that while you rule this planet and its sector for your Empire, that you allow me to do so for mine. Endorse me as Sith governor of this sector, and I will ensure that this conflict ends favorably for the both of us."

Tavener's eyes were wide with outrage. "This is your solution, Sith? To dictate terms to us? We are the victors here, not you! You should be willing to accept what we give you, and be glad you are allowed to live!"

"Perhaps you may be the victor here, Knight, but up to now, you couldn't find us at all. We had to come to you. Were it not for my good sense, you would be forced to deal with continued fighting until your Emperor got tired of your incompetence and took your heads." Insomnius grinned wickedly. "Or are you saying you could have ended this fight without my help?"

"You pompous witch," Tavener snarled, drawing one of his lightsabers. "I will --"

"Hold, Galen!" Jadre stood from the throne, stepping down onto the floor so that he was face to face with Insomnius, who did not flinch. Then he began to laugh. "What spirit you outlanders have! You continue to stand strong in the face of overwhelming odds. Your will is solid, unbroken. I like that." He laughed again. "Very well, Darth Insomnius. You may rule here as Sith governor if you wish, provided that you be mindful of the authority that Emperor Arcann grants me. Work with me, and you will rule well. Oppose me...and I think you know what will come of that. Return to your people and inform them of our...arrangement."

Insomnius gave a slight bow. "I look forward to working with you...Exarch." Then, with her silent companions, she departed from the hall.

Tavener turned back to Jadre once they were gone. "Outrageous! You know they will betray us eventually, Hedrath. That's all these Sith know, is treachery and reckless self-interest."

"Perhaps so," Jadre replied, "but if this one is any indication, they learn the lessons we teach them...admirably. Worry not...Captain Tavener." At his surprised reaction, the new Exarch smiled. "Yes, my friend, you have been promoted as well. You will command the installation here on the surface, and keep watch over our new domain. That open plaza near their archive center is a perfect place." He now stood. "In the meantime, you have command here. I must return to Zakuul for my...formal installation."

"As you command, my...lord Exarch."

Jadre put a hand - his organic hand - on Tavener's shoulder. "Worry not about Sith treachery, Galen. Once my fortress is installed in orbit, I will count the days before I use it." Then he flashed a mad grin, not unlike that of the Sith who had just departed. "I'm sure it will be a short count."

It's great to get a brief history of all its past incarnations.  I couldn't help but be reminded of this classic scene:

"Burned down, fell over, then sank into the swamp" was certainly the case with the barge. I was there (as Darth Malagant, as I recall?) when it went kablooey.

Well, I've got 18 characters, and I think of them, only...want to say maybe three or four don't have one...altogether? Probably around 300.

Holocrons and Info Nodes / Re: Comments on Stories
« on: 06/08/17, 05:34:48 PM »
I was wondering if you really had killed off Insomnius!

I did, as a matter of fact. The story in question is largely flashbacks to the beginnings of the Zakuul war, from the perspective of the former Knight who fought in it. :D

Holocrons and Info Nodes / Re: A Knight is Sworn to Valor
« on: 06/06/17, 04:48:01 PM »
The Force Enclave, Alliance Headquarters, Odessen

Tavener sat alone, separate from the other Force adherents meditating and training here. Even after all that had happened, they were not comfortable around him, nor he around them. Time, he mused. All it needs is time.

He was taking the time now to think on what Tergahn had said about how there were exceptions to any given rule. In that way, he and the other Knights who had fled before the Commander had taken the Eternal Throne - those who had followed Senya Tirall's example, and (eventually) chosen not to blindly follow the one who sat upon that throne - were exceptions, too. The Knights were typically seen by the outlanders as being fanatically loyal to the ruler of Zakuul, be it Valkorion, Arcann, or Vaylin. But they were in fact in the service of Zakuul as a whole, of which the Emperor or Empress was merely a part. At least, that was how his father, Draigo, had taught him.

In time, however, he had come to the decsion - as had those Knights who had come with him - that the best way to serve Zakuul was to put an end to the lie that Valkorion had made of it, a lie that Arcann and Vaylin had perpetuated in their own, sadistic ways. No empire was eternal...though the arrogance of the "Eternal Alliance" made him wonder at times, too.

Arrogance. A crime that had caused him a great deal of trouble these past few years. Partly his own, partly those of his enemies...and partly those of his supposed superiors.


Jadre's Flagship - High Orbit, Reydovan Prime
Seven years earlier

"It is done." On the bridge of his command ship, standing near the serenely-floating GEMINI captain, Jadre looked satisified as he saw the fire spreading in the city. He flexed the mechanical hand that had been attached to the stump of his right wrist, as if he could crush the world below in his grasp. "Let that be a lesson to those who would oppose Valkorion's will." He looked at Tavener, who did not seem entirely convinced. "You disapprove."

"I do, my captain," Tavener replied. "Burning them makes them useless to our Empire. What is the sense of claiming their worlds if we simply destroy them all? Who is left to rule?"

"Perhaps you have something there, Galen, but there are some cases where it is better to remove them to be certain. I --" He suddenly stiffened, feeling a great ripple in the Force. Looking up at Tavener, he saw he was affected too. "What...?"

One of the few living crewmen aboard the ship looked up. "Knight-Captain, we're receiving a transmission from Zakuul. It's being broadcast on all channels."

The holoprojector came to life, showing the tall, half-machine visage of Prince Arcann. "People of Zakuul, the unthinkable has happened. Our beloved Emperor, Valkorion, is dead - murdered by an Outlander who sought to shake the foundations of our great society. The assassin will receive swift and just punishment, and this act of unprovoked aggression will be answered."

Tavener exchanged a glance with Jadre, who looked just as horrified as he did. Valkorion dead? It did not make sense. He was the Immortal Emperor. Immortals couldn't die. And yet the feeling in the Force was fairly clear. This news was coming just after that ripple...which meant that Arcann had witnessed his father's death.

"As your new Emperor, I can promise you this: Zakuul's enemies will face the full power of the Eternal Throne. They will answer for their warmongering ways... and every last one of the Core Worlds will burn!" The transmission cut out.

"Receiving new instructions, Knight-Captain," the crewman said. "We are to deploy all ground-based reserves to pacifying this planet. Eternal Fleet units are being ordered to attack the sector defense fleet."

Jadre nodded. "Order all ships to deploy our forces to the surface. Have them meet in Illuminopolis. That will be our base." He turned to Tavener. "Our task is before us, my friend. The war has begun in earnest. We will descend upon them and make them pay for their crimes."

Tavener nodded, for once in full agreement. The murder of their Emperor must be answered. "Let it be so, Hedrath. We will show them what it means to be an enemy of Zakuul."


Temple of Introspection - Darth Malagant's Former Residence
Caymarnian Mountains, Reydovan Prime
One year later

That feeling had not lasted long, once the war had truly begun. The skytroopers had descended upon every major settlement on the planet, and yet there were still holdouts, commanded by a Togruta called Lazhna Dai'lo along with General Arik Daltyn, the commander of the planet's defense force. They were hidden in the mountains near Illuminopolis, for the most part, using the mineral deposits to fool scanners.

Jadre had thought any opposition to his forces would be over and done with in a week. That had been a year ago. He had been advocating harsh measures to put down the rebellion, including the idea of burning other cities on the surface. Tavener was uncomfortable with the idea. He had no problem with killing enemies of the Eternal Throne, but part of him sensed that Jadre did so to fulfill some sick sense of power.

The captain was well aware of his lieutenant's reluctance. "This is no time to indulge in your typical 'bad feelings'," Jadre had said bluntly when they had spoken in Illuminopolis. "If you are not up to the work ahead of us, I will replace you with someone who is."

"I am fully prepared to do the work the Throne demands of us, Hedrath," Tavener had replied angrily. "I simply do not see the need for the frequent executions and threats of destruction."

"I speak to them in a language they understand, as they do not seem to have a grasp of common sense. This false Empire is populated by vicious and immoral filth, Galen. All evidence in our dealings with them prove it. What we do to these people, we do because we must." Jadre's tone had hardened. "If it were up to me, I would wipe them all out, but Arcann commands that we rule them rather than destroy them, and so we obey. I trust that is not an issue for you?"

Tavener had his back against the wall, and he knew it. "No, my captain."

"Good. Now then, I have received word that there is a temple somewhere in the mountains - the ones the rebels use to hide from our scanners. I want you to go there."

And that had been that. Tavener had gone into the mountains, and he had found the temple just where it was said to be. With one of his fellows beside him, he had looked around the worn stone blocks, the moss growing from cracks in the walls, the grass coming up through the stones in the floor. Inside the open entrance, he could see a throne at the other end of the hall.

"I didn't think you would come." The voice had echoed from inside the temple. Tavener walked inside, lightsabers in hand but unignited. "And you came...mostly alone."

"I am here at the behest of my captain. And I would know who I am speaking to."

"Of course you would." That had come from behind him. Now he did ignite his blades, holding the tip of one of them out towards the speaker. She was a woman of average height, a criss-crossed pattern of scars on her face...and a strange mask of carved bone over her eyes. Her hair was bone white, and her robes were blood red, as was her upper lip and the "split" on her lower one. "You will not be needing that, Knight. I am not here to fight you."

Tavener's blade did not lower even a fraction. "You're a Sith."

"I am now, yes." The woman smiled as if at some private joke. "And I am also the answer to your 'rebel troubles'. I place myself in your hands, Knight. Bring me to your captain, and I will show you."

Tavener stared at her for a moment...and then lowered his blades. "I would know who it is I am speaking, so that I may inform Captain Jadre accordingly."

"Of course." That maddening smile never left her lips. "I am Darth Insomnius. And I believe your Captain Jadre and I have a great deal to discuss."

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