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Messages - Orell

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I'm more in a "eeeeeh" mode with it.

I thought that it was a fairly well directed, brilliantly acted film that had a number of strong action pieces and some great comedic moments, with moments that tugged on my heartstrings and a few concepts that I found intriguing.

And that the actual story was dumb as shit.

Four death fake-outs, multiple plot cul-de-sacs, no time for the characters to breathe, no themes beyond "hey maybe you don't have to be an evil monster just because your granddaddy was" and an entire fleet of planet-destroying ships that also come with giant "Shoot here for massive damage" weak spots.

JJ Abrams really just cannot help himself. The only way to outdo a planet-sized superweapon that could blow up entire star-systems was a massive fleet of planet-killing ships.

And yeah, something like a third of this film could be removed if everyone stayed together and C-3P0 could just say what the dagger said.

......but really, the worst part was Palpatine. Everything about him. His plan was dumb, his strategy made no sense, his powers were of the "whatever is needed for the plot to work", him being Rey's grandfather was an annoying retcon (even if the film at least did something with it) and... he just bored me as a character.

Palpatine boring.


Cantina / Re: Jedi: Fallen Order
« on: 12/18/19, 02:56:12 PM »
While the game is a bit... well, it ain't exactly hiding the influences, between the Metroidvania exploration, Dark Souls combat, Uncharted adventure setpieces... yeah, it really does feel a lot like a mash-up of everything popular modern games...

...but the story really is what got me. It's honestly a bit shocking that (unless it gets a lot of focus in Rebels) it's taken us this long to really get a Star Wars story dealing with the whole "holy shit, yeah, the Jedi Purges would've been traumatic as all fuck for the Jedi that managed to survive it.

Spoiler: show
Basically every major character aside from the comic relief pilot, including a pair of villains, are utterly traumatized by what happened to them during the Jedi Purge (or a eerily similar other event). The flashbacks in particular really hit hard.

If you do play it, don't be afraid to play it on an easier difficulty, though. Playing it on harder difficulties can get really frustrating on harder difficulties, and the game doesn't quite reach the pinnacle of "super hard but in an entirely fair way" difficulty that Dark Souls managed...

Cantina / 6.0 Patch Notes
« on: 10/21/19, 05:16:19 PM »
Well, they finally pushed out the patch notes for the expansion, and it's a bit on the long side...

...but, some of the more interesting changes?

Preferred Status players at level 75 can now earn Renown XP at a 25% rate.
Free to play players can now play 10 Warzones per week (up from 5).
Free to play players can now receive rewards from 10 Flashpoints per week (up from 3).
Free to play players can now play 10 space PvE Missions per week (up from 5).
The lockout for Story Mode Operations is now 24 hours (previously a weekly reset on Tuesdays).

Gasp, maybe the game will actually seem like a real "Free to Play" game at some point!

Events and Occasions / Re: Dancer's Palace 8pm PDT
« on: 10/17/19, 11:48:05 PM »
With the expansion landing that week, might be for the best! I'll be there regardless :).

...and if you thought "Military Intelligence" was an oxymoron, whooo boy...

Sith Intelligence is probably not as effective as Imperial Intelligence was. Say what you will about Darth Jadus (...but not right now, only so many hours in the day), but it was a clear pattern throughout the Agent storyline: The more the Sith get involved with spycraft, the worse it gets for the Empire, for the people on the ground, for civilians, really for anyone within saberin' distance.

Still, it'd likely also attract Sith that are interested in that sort of work, and they'd be better equipped to not just torture anything that gives them lip. Probably better able to manage the tangles of Sith politics and avoid all of their operations from getting ruined by Darth Stabbiwonkers types.

But there's a reason why the Republic was able to, at one point, get a sleeper agent into the organization and have him progress to being the Sith Intelligence's Minister's right hand man. Granted, Lana was more of an operations manager than a spy, but if that was the top brass at the time, and she quit, one only wonders how capable her replacement is...

Events and Occasions / Re: Jedi kNight: A Plague on Dravik
« on: 05/30/19, 06:55:59 PM »
I will totally be there, just might be a bit late!

I might have to back out of this. Parents are coming into town, and there's tentative plans to meet up on Saturday, sorry. I'll let you know if/when things solidify :(.

Events and Occasions / Re: Allies on the Road to War
« on: 05/11/19, 02:35:47 PM »
Gah! Could've sword I'd said that I'm interested in this fun!

And the 25th is fine by me, Quar will be in attendance :D.

Holocrons and Info Nodes / Re: Tales of the Orell Legacy
« on: 04/08/19, 01:37:09 AM »
The Lesser Evil

One week after the Battle of Ossus

"You want what?!"

"A meeting with one of your very talented intelligence operatives."

"...I knew I should not have picked up this comm. Unknown caller, obviously suspicious, but what do I have to lose? And just on principle, I should never pick up a comm, I have people to pick up comms, if my comm rings, it is bad."

"We live and learn, cutie, but-"

"You are not my type."

"Is it the breasts, the lack of hair or the occasional dalliance in shameless evil?"

"All three. Why are you wanting this... meeting?"

"I wish to offer my services to the Republic, of course. An ugly war is coming and I'd much rather be on the right side of it. But I'm no idealist, I know that such things would need to be handled under the table."

"I am sure. And why should I even consider such a request from you?"

"You know my abilities. You know my position regarding the Empire. It's hardly a shocking request."

"Not yet convinced."

"Fine, I tried. Because you are a good, noble government official that's being contacted by a foreign agent wanted for numerous crimes. Clearly, as a responsible elected official who has done nothing wrong, you would report this communique to the correct agency to ensure to them that you are not compromised. And would have to divulge the subject of the conversation."

" are blackmailing me for picking up a comm."

"You were correct, you really shouldn't have picked up."

Corellia Palace Casino, Nar Shaddaa, some time later...

Agent Wellin sighed, carefully polishing a glass behind the bar. The annoying part of working undercover was that civilians rarely got the message. And that the casino's patrons would always order the most obscure drinks that they could.

"You really shouldn't water the drinks down so much," Sariana said into his ear, the handler's voice annoyingly clear through the background chatter of the casino. "If you get them drunk enough, they'll probably leave you alone."

"Or they'll pester me for more drinks," he muttered under his breath. "Eyes on the contact yet?"

"Negative, party pooper. She's twenty minutes late already, good odds she's not going to-" There was a pause from the other end of the line. "Huh."

"...please don't hold me in suspense, Sar."

"Eight o'clock? And, uh, sorry. Just saw her."

Wellin turned his head, his eyes tracking onto the yellow Twi'lek woman at the edge of the bar, waving vigorously at him. "Excuse me sir, do you happen to know how to make Corellian Tea?" the woman said, her grin so wide it threatened to split her head in half.

Wellin strode over, giving his best managing-a-potential-asset smile to her while motioning for the other agent behind the bar to deal with the actual customers. "I think so, miss. Is that the one where you frog blast the vent core?" he asked, slipping the code phrase into the conversation.

"Oh, yes, but only after you lightning the rubber with ozone," the Twi'liek replied, her own code phrase coming in just as bluntly. "You really need to start leaning on encryption, you know."

"It has downsides, and you're late," Wellin said, smiling while looking over the woman. She was dressed in a run-down outfit, probably purchased from a second-hand store and thoroughly cleaned, but no obvious bulges he could see. Older than most of the dancers he'd seen on Nar Shaddaa, but he wasn't expecting a set of barely legal lekku to waltz in tonight. "How do you like the security?"

The woman smirked, looking around half-theatrically. "Three snipers, a half-dozen other agents and what I'd guess is a bulky scattergun under your coat." She gave Wellin a grin, extending her hand. "Either that or you're exceedingly happy to see me. Go ahead and call me Quarasha, I'm not your enemy here."

Wellin took a step away, looking down at her hand, his own showing a brief movement to the weapon hidden under his jacket. "If you want to hold onto that head, you'll keep your distance. Also, you missed a few," he added, giving a quick smirk but not shaking her hand.

She retracted her hand, letting out a long sigh. "This isn't a scheme of mine, my motives and actions are sincere."

"Positions reversed, would you believe that line?"

"No," Quarasha said with a faint, false laugh. "But that doesn't make it a lie."

"Well, how about you pretend like I don't know anything about you but your rap sheet," Wellin said, eyeing the Sith. "A few dozen murder charges, accessory to at least four digits of murder, a few of the fun charges like 'Attempted Regicide', let me tell you, that's a special one." He gave his own quick, fake smile. "Why should I believe a word you say?"

Quarasha stared at him. Her eyes remained focused, five seconds, then ten, then twenty and more, her stare boring a hole into his forehead. Wellin stares back, or at least he tries to, his eyes flicking away for relief as her eyes bore into his skull.

He'd heard that getting into a staring contest with Jedi was foolish, but at least you didn't have to worry that the Jedi would kill you with their mind if you stared too hard.

"You know more than my record, agent," Quarasha said. "The person that set up our meeting has plenty of collateral on me, as we both know. She's too smart to not share that with you."

"That's not-"

"Do you mind if I cut through your espionage-style kath crap so that we can get to the fun bits?"

Wellin hesitated, looking back over Quarasha. He thought of her as a schuuta, sure, but that didn't mean he thought she was wrong. "...fine." He sighed. "I know of Nima Kluub, I know about your troubled relationship with the Sith Lord Alnas, I know that you pitched in to save us from Zakuul." He gave Quarasha another smile. "Congratulations, we'll print you a medal. But none of that proves you're on our side, and we don't have a place for traitors."

Quarasha couldn't help but laugh. "You work, gleefully I might add, alongside the Jedi Order, which accepts ex-Sith with open arms. You truly wish to say that the Republic has no room for traitors?"

"Jedi are Jedi, SIS are SIS, we don't share personnel..." Wellin sighs. "Fine. You're a schutta, but you're capable. We're suspicious assholes, but we're... not against getting help. Like you said, let's skip the kath crap and move on." He leans on the bar. "What assets do you have that you're willing to use to help?"

Quarasha smirked, leaning on the bar herself. "Large accounts of credits under assumed identities-"

"How much?" he interrupted.

"8 digits to start with. Trusted connections and blackmail on multiple Imperial officers scattered throughout the Imperial military-"

"Multiple meaning two?" he cut in to ask.

There was a flinch from the Sith. "I'll give you a redacted list. But for now, less than you hope, but more than you suspect. Accurate Star Charts of Imperial holdings-"

"How accurate?"

"More than weeks, less than months." Quarasha let out a smirk. "There's other things, knowledge of Imperial hierarchy, intelligence on Hutt schemes, intelligence on what Republic officers have been compromised..."

"Compromised by people besides you?" Wellin asked, knowing she wouldn't answer, not that it mattered too much. If someone's been compromised by a minor Sith in Hutt Space, they might as well be on Sith Intelligence's payroll.

"Oh, and you'll get me," Quarasha said, standing up and giving the SIS agent a little twirl. "A Sith Assassin with more kills than you can pin to me, and an asset that your organization can set loose on the enemy without any of those poor, terrified voters back home knowing about it."

"And you'll take out anyone we tell you to?"

The Sith's voice went cold. "You need to work on your comedy. I'm an ally, not a minion, and just because I'm willing to do your dirty work doesn't mean that I will do it sight unseen."

"You have to trust your handlers. We don't always get the full picture, just what needs to be done."

The anger was starting to come on strong for the Sith. "I spent years in the Empire doing what I was told. I gave the Jedi information on another Sith because I loathed what he was doing. If your people want something done sight unseen, find someone else."

Wellin held the stare, then leaned back, smirking. “...well, good to know you’re not trying to charm us.”

“Charm would make you suspicious. I’m here to be taken seriously.”

“Shouldn’t we be suspicious? Given your history-”

“Everyone’s suspicious of me, and I tired of it years ago.” She pushed away from the bar, eyes sharp, staring daggers into the intelligence agent but leaving a comm behind. “My offer is made. Contact the saved number on that if you have something for me. Anything else?”

Wellin hesitated. “Your colony, Nima’Kluub-“

Is. Not. To. Be. Touched,” Quarasha interrupted, leaden tones landing hard. “Try using them as leverage, and I’ll show you just how much damage I could do to the Republic if I wanted.”

He backed away from the counter, raising his hands. “Easy, easy! I was just talking about trade, resources, maybe a refueling point for covert operations! There’s a bit of a resource crisis going on, you know, that whole reason your ex-apprentice tried to murder an entire planet?"

Quarasha stared down the SIS agent, mind spinning at the seemingly earnest information. "I'll consider it. The threat stands."

"Fine, fine, I'll make a note, Agent Q is really bad at playing nice." Wellin sighs, lowering his guard as he looks over the Twi'lek. "...if you don't mind me saying... I wish teaming up with you didn't make sense."

Quarasha snorts and walks away. Wishes were a fool's game... and if she had her wish, she wouldn't have to do any of this at all...

Events and Occasions / Re: Ossus: Legends Never Die (Part II)
« on: 02/12/19, 09:44:48 PM »
Shall be there, and Quar will actually be strong enough to fight back this time!

Events and Occasions / Re: Ossus - Legends Never Die
« on: 02/09/19, 09:39:47 AM »
Actually, you can reach Ossus without having done the new missions. Went there on my sub-20 Pub-Quar alt just fine :).

Events and Occasions / Re: Ossus - Legends Never Die
« on: 02/06/19, 09:11:49 PM »
Quarasha likes Jaade (...she really enjoys him taking the piss out of the Jedi >_> ) and feels like she still owes Dassalya a bunch. Besides, between the Jedi and the Sith, she thinks she has a better chance in a galaxy dominated by Jedi.

Sure, it's more pragmatism than ideology, but she still kinda likes the Jedi, she just doesn't want to be one of them. Don't worry, she'll totally be on their side and do all the necessary rotten stuff that the Jedi hold their nose at!

Events and Occasions / Re: Ossus - Legends Never Die
« on: 02/06/19, 11:26:22 AM »
Hrm. Question for the GMs: Would Quarasha count enough as "Republic" for the purposes of this event? She's certainly on the Republic's side when it comes to the conflict, but don't want to have her intrude if it'd make the event a nightmare to do.

Cantina / Re: [SPOILERS] Jedi Under Siege
« on: 12/20/18, 10:50:15 PM »
So, one bit... I'm wondering if it's possible for Gnost-Dural to be dead right now. Here's the three possible cases for him as I see it:

If you're Imperial and take the LS Option: Gnost-Dural is taken as a prisoner by the Empire.

If you're Imperial and take the DS Option: Gnost-Dural is struck down by Malgus.

If you're Republic: Gnost-Dural barely survives being struck down by Malgus.

Follow me? What if Malgus didn't actually kill off Dural? Same as he didn't try to kill Malora, just threw her aside? And Gnost-Dural is still determinant because he's captured by the Empire, but that's an easy thing to recify in-story.

The presence of Malgus is what's honestly fascinating here, because his presence makes no sense in such an interesting way. Acina and Vowrawn are smart, sharp, sensible Sith. There is no possible reason they would trust Malgus an inch, no matter what he says, because of his betrayal at Ilum. He's clearly being forced to follow their instructions, but how much control do they have, how much does he have?

I'm not thrilled to be back to a faction vs faction storyline, they seldom work, but I'll admit, things are looking pretty interesting so far...

Cantina / Re: State of the Galaxy
« on: 11/30/18, 10:49:39 PM »
That they're merging some of the branches is a bit of a good sign, at least. I wonder if the upcoming content is going to merge more of them, especially when it comes to who's in charge of the Empire...

Shall have to see what happens to Acina when the update comes. If I were them, I'd go to the old standby for the "sided with Acina" storyline: "Empire's on the verge of defeated the hated Republic and Jedi, time to stab other Sith in the back!" :D

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