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Messages - Orell

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1
Events and Occasions / Re: Jedi Night Weekly Event Thread
« on: 05/17/18, 01:56:15 AM »
Not a big scheduled event or anything, but Senator Rhybak will be paying the Jedi Custodum a visit to politely ask why their members are stumbling into interstellar incidents :D.

2
Holocrons and Info Nodes / Re: Tales of the Orell Legacy
« on: 05/15/18, 04:47:31 PM »
A Jedi Holiday (Part 3)

Sorialas City Slums

Merrant was struggling to keep up with Tholmir through the press of people, doing whatever they could to get away from the city center, where the dropships were still landing. It wasn't quite the full-on stampede, there weren't enough people for it yet, but Merrant had to slow down more than once to make sure a stumbling woman found her feet, or to point a missing child's head towards a fretting parent.

There would be no stampede if he could help it. He came here to help, after all.

He spotted Tholmir's waving hand again, easing his way through the unconcerned and oncoming crowd. "You're slow!" the kid said.

Merrant grunted back at the kid. "You're small. How much further?"

The kid grinned, pointing at the unimpressive doorway he had ducked into, simple block text reading "Gherrod's" on the window.

Merrant looked at the window, then down at Tholmir. "...I was distracted."

"Sure," he said, the grin showing no sign of fading as he rapped on the window, two then two then three.

The door opened quickly, a Cathar with a scar over an eye and a sour look on his face peeking out. "What in the blazes are you doing here, Tholmir? Go home," he said, before looking up at Merrant.

"I was home!", the kid wailed. "Mom told me to bring Mister Merrant here..."

Merrant looked into the Cathar's eyes, and he could see the calculations running through the man's head. A glance at the bundle in worn, brown cloth. A flick of the eyes at the horns on Merrant's head, Merrant couldn't remember seeing many other Zabrak here. And then there were the faint scars across the Jedi's face.

"...and you did, Tholmir," the Cathar said, not taking his eyes off of Merrant. "Now go home and stay safe, I'll look after your friend." He gestured inside, letting Merrant inside as Tholmir, job done, ran home to mother.

The store wasn't anything too impressive, just the usual corner shop, snacks and drinks and medicine and the general sorts of things you might need at any hour. "You're Gherrod?"

The Cathar grunted, probably in the affirmative, as he looked Merrant over. "Are they here for you? I've got a scattergun with your name on it if you try kathcrap on me," Gherrod half-growled, stepping behind his counter.

Merrant shook his head. "No. And yes, I'm a Jedi."

Gherrod grunted again, pulling an oversized scattergun from under the counter and slamming it on the counter. "Want to change your answer?"

Merrant couldn't risk the smirk, but he was a bit impressed by the gesture. "Either they're not after me, or they're being worse at it than normal." He gestured up as another transport screamed overhead. "One Sith might ambush me with my guard down, get me that way. Or they'd scout out where I was and attack in force right there."

"So?"

"They're not attacking me, they're taking the city center. There's no Sith here either." He shrugged. "We're taught that there's no coincidences, only the Force, but I think the Sith were coming here regardless. Whatever they're after, it's not me."

Gherrod grunted. "...yeah, well, I'm not con-" He turned his head as the holounit beeped long and loud. "Emergency broadcast. It's a bit late," he muttered, watching the figure of Governor Baylen appear, looking utterly defeated.

"Citizens of Sorialas City, as many of you no doubt know, the Empire has invaded. They have warships in orbit, they have soldiers on the ground, and we have no choice but to surrender."

Merrant tried not to notice Gherrod's death glare.

"I have been instructed to cede control over the Sorialas Starport, the Holonet Relay, the Governor's mansion and all law-enforcement facilities within Sorialas City. All trade with and transport to non-Imperial worlds is... outlawed, but I have been assured that all produce goods will be purchased by the Empire for... 50% over the normal price,"

"...isolation and bribery. They aim to stay, not just take me out," Merrant muttered to himself.

"Shut it."

"I know it's a tall order after today's events, but please, remain calm. I will be... meeting regularly with Lord Alnas and Lord Zhel to ensure that you remain safe... I'm sorry, everyone. I wish I had another choice," Baylen finished, the broadcast closing off on his exhausted face.

Merrant blinked at the names, and when he turned to Gherrod, he was looking down the barrel of the scattergun. "Friends of yours?"

"Long story," Merrant said, tossing the bundled robe, and Lightsaber, aside, raising his hands before the shopkeeper. "I'll tell you the truth. Just don't shoot me until it's done, alright?"

Gherrod grunted, but was kind enough to visibly remove his finger from the trigger and point it slightly downwards.

"Alnas is simple. Heard of her, commands Imperial Marines, reports say good ones. Heard she was one of the nicer ones but-" he quickly added, sensing Gherrod's rising anger, "that was a bit ago, and 'nice Sith' is a bit like 'honest Senator' or 'healthy chocolate'. It's a low bar."

"So, you think those are her troops?"

"Probably. And probably good ones, not just grunts that couldn't hit me from where you're standing."

Gherrod grunted. "Okay, fine. What about the other one?"

Merrant stared at him, trying to figure out how best to break the news... and decided to go for broke once the Cathar started to lift the scattergun again. "I used to be a Sith. Nearly a decade ago. Got better. Jedi Knight now," he said, the words rushing out before the Cathar decided to squeeze the trigger. "Darth Zhel was the man that pulled me over to the Dark Side," he said, skipping over the five minute digression about who was truly to blame.

Gherrod's face gave nothing away... but the scattergun stayed put, and Merrant could sense that more curiosity than mistrust. "He said Lord Zhel. Not Darth. Coincidence?"

Merrant shook his head. "Darth Zhel died years ago. Zakuul nuked him from orbit. Good odds that one of his underlings took up the name."

"Who?"

Merrant shrugged. "Only knew of Alnas because a friend... tussled with her," he said, avoiding for the moment what else 'tussled' might mean. "Best odds... probably Bresix. Minor Lord, dealt with logistics mostly. Soft name, seems the sort that would try to upgrade."

Gherrod stared at Merrant some more, tapping the barrel of the scattergun. "Why did you come here in the first place?"

"...on vacation," Merrant said, sighing at the Cathar's involuntary bark of a laugh. "Jedi vacation. Go somewhere, help with smaller problems, try to make a few lives better. Fighting Sith, teaching Padawans, dealing with politics... wears on you. I was trying to stay connected to people."

"Do you really expect me to believe that?" Gherrod asked with an exasperated sigh.

"As Tholmir's mother how her thermal unit's working." Merrant said, looking back at him.

"...we're not in the Republic, Jedi."

"Sometimes means you need the help more," Merrant replied, shrugging slightly. "I'll be honest, I had a dozen worlds in mind, picked this one at random. That holosite with people asking for help with stuff was really useful."

Gherrod shook his head, for once a weak smirk sneaking onto his face. "Don't tell Krayg that, he'll be gloating about it for years."

Merrant started lowering his hands as Gherrod finally seemed to relax a bit. "...can I ask who you are now? I don't think you're actually Tholmir's uncle, he's not hairy enough."

Gherrod grunted, putting down the scattergun entirely. "Shaney and I go a long way back. Fought against the Empire when they had us under their thumb," he said, his face dropping. "Thol's father didn't make it. Not many of us did."

"That's why she has that antique," Merrant said, shaking his head. "You people do know that slugthrowers won't even dent the Imperial's armor, right?"

"We know," Gherrod said, glowering at Merrant. "But not all of them go around in full armor, and you can still put a round into the joints. Did you bring your laser sword?"

"Lightsaber," Merrant corrected, his face twitching just enough to notice. "I did. Those marines probably know how to fight someone with it, though."

"So? Don't you know how to beat their method?"

Merrant nodded. "Yup. Don't get into a situation where they can hose me down with fire." He smirked at Gherrod. "I came here to help you and your people, Gherrod. Plan to keep doing that, just means my vacation's cut short."

"...we'll see, Jedi," Gherrod grunted, gesturing at the backroom. "The basement's through there. And the sewer system, it's a good way of getting around without being seen, if you don't mind the smell. Just have one more question: Do you think they know you're here?"

Merrant looked Gherrod in the eyes, hesitating, thinking it over... "...probably not. Shuttle I took wasn't coded Republic or Jedi. My datapad's on me. Navcom's voice locked. Shouldn't......" He paused.

"Shouldn't what?" Gherrod asked, his tone both indicating that he knew the answer, and that he was regretting not using the scattergun earlier.

"...shouldn't see it as a Jedi craft, unless they notice something I might've left in the shuttle's storage locker." Merrant said, clearing his throat. "...and I'm okay with bad smells?"

------

Sorialas Starport

Asori rolled the purple crystal over in her hand. "This is all you found?" Asori said, looking over at Captain Derris.

The good captain saluted. "Yes ma'am, just this and some rough brown clothing. Could be nothing, just a little trinket, but it just seemed a bit big. Felt it was better to double-check."

She looked around the shuttle. Simple rental craft, the sort of awful little contraption that anyone on a budget might charter. The Jedi would use it, but so might a peasant wanting to see the galaxy.

The crystal, though... purple was used by Jedi and Sith, but the brown clothing screamed Jedi. "You were right to. It's cut for a Lightsaber, and the Force is in it..." She sighed. It could be a coincidence. This wasn't a Republic world, the Jedi showed no interest in it ever, the biggest export was grain... "Captain, Sergeant Henneses is part of your team, right? On sapper duty?"

Derris nodded. "Yes ma'am, she's taking care of the non-cargo vessels' engines right now. Orders?"

"Tell her to only do superficial damage to the engines on this one. I want it still flyable, but barely able to go straight." She lifted her head, looking over the hangar. "Spycams there, there and there, " Asori said, pointing at three secluded parts of the structure. "Make a rotation, I want someone watching those feeds every moment of every day."

"You think it's a Jedi?" Derris asked, doing his best to hide the smug satisfaction of being right.

"When this is over, you can brag about how right you were, Captain," she said smirking at the officer. "For now, do the job." She pauses. "I'll inform the rest of the 333rd officer corps myself. Other than that and those you assign to be watchdogs, no one's to know. Especially not Zhel's people. The last thing we want is the Jedi to find out that we know..."

"...and," she thought to herself, "for Bresix to think he has a chance for glory."

3
Storyboards / Re: News Channel Feeds
« on: 05/14/18, 11:51:53 AM »
Galactic News Network
Treslanis IV Joins the Empire!
In Other News: Mak Doral says that his quad-goal against the Rotworms was "just a dream come true" ... Nima'Kluub: Freedmen Holy Land, or another galactic hoax? ... Strange rumors of events over Odessen, what is the Alliance doing? ... This and more to follow!
The formerly independent world of Treslanis IV has agreed to become a Protectorate of the Sith Empire, according to a joint press release issued by Governor Edre Baylen.

Prior to the resumption of open hostilities after the Battle of Corellia, Treslanis IV was defined as a Tributary of the Sith Empire. Organized by then-Lord Quarasha Ahnshal, this world has been seen as a minor breadbasket for the galaxy, leveraging large farming surpluses to feed far-off worlds and maintain their neutrality.

Baylen, previously the head of Treslanis IV's planetary government, said that the decision to return to Imperial control was not made lightly. Speaking to GNN, Governor Baylen said, "between the unending threat of piracy and the inability for most governments to effectively combat it, it was felt that Treslanis IV needed a strong military presence to protect its citizenry."

When asked what specific incident prompted this decision, Baylen refused to comment, simply stating that interplanetary affairs would be handled by the offices of Lord Asori Alnas and Lord Zhel. Lord Alnas had no comment at time of release, while Lord Zhel stated that "The Empire's only effort here is to protect a sadly vulnerable segment of the galactic community.

The Eternal Alliance and Galactic Republic would not comment on the record of the matter, however Republic Senator Alyonna Rhybak (Feldinar) stated "This smells just like a Sith power grab. If Governor Baylen was coerced into making that statement, the galactic community, and the people of Treslanis IV, will surely respond appropriately."

Governor Baylen Rhees has represented Treslanis IV for the last 12 years, formerly the chief inspector of the Sorialas Starport. Lord Asori Alnas is a member of the Ministry of War, in command of the 333rd Imperial Marine Regiment. Lord Zhel is a member of the Imperial MInistry of Logistics and commands the Imperial Cruiser ISS Zedney's Reign. Senator Rhybak represents the Republic world of Feldinar and sits on the Senate Military, Intelligence and Near-Human Relations committees.

Galactic News Network: Your one stop for news from Coruscant, Dromund Kaas, Odessen, Nar Shaddaa and all points in between!

4
Holocrons and Info Nodes / Re: Tales of the Orell Legacy
« on: 05/13/18, 11:29:16 PM »
A Jedi Holiday (Part 2)

Meanwhile, at the Treslanis Governor's Mansion

Governor Baylen was already having a bad day before he got word of Imperial warships. They
just added to the mess, and the defenses... were not up to snuff. The planet's lone Ion Cannon and an outdated Defensive Shield wouldn't be enough to hold the Empire off for more than an hour.

An hour, if they were lucky.

But the Empire's vessels didn't demand surrender. Just parley. Baylen wasn't a complete fool, he knew surrender was in the cards regardless. But what choice did he have? Fight back and be a speed bump in the Empire's way?

His heart sunk as he listened to the reports. Dozens of dropships, elite Imperial units spilling out of them. Some of his police were fighting back, either not hearing of the order to lay down arms or not caring, but they were being overrun.

The Imperials already controlled the Starport, the comm relay connecting Treslanis IV to the rest of the galaxy was shut down, and he could hear the Imperial transports landing on the roof, they wouldn't be-

He lifted his eyes, hearing a commotion outside his office... and then the double-doors broke open, splinters traveling across the office, leaving the man shaking in his too-expensive boots.

"Governor Baylen, I presume," said the woman at the fore, Torgruta, shorter than he expected but between the armor, lightsabers on her hip, the red and black robes and her flat expression, he had no misconceptions about who was in charge.

A Sith Pureblood followed her, as well as a half dozen Imperial soldiers, taking up positions in and outside the office. Baylen knew she was trying to intimidate him, and it was working.

"...I... y-you asked for parley, n-not to invade outright!" he said, stuttering over the words. He knew he couldn't browbeat what looked like two Sith and an army behind them, but... what else could he do?

"Correct," said the woman. "I am Lord Asori Alnas, this is my associate, Lord Zhel," she said, gesturing to the Pureblood, a superior sneer spread across his face. "If you don't mind, I'd like to save everyone a great deal of time and tell you exactly what's going to happen right now."

"Wha-"

"My soldiers will escort you to your broadcast system and you will send out two messages," Asori said as she strolled into his office, her eyes fixed on the governor, pinning him to his seat. "First, to your people, you will instruct them that they are now under Imperial rule. They may live their lives as normal, but they will not be able to contact the rest of the galaxy or leave the planet until further notice. Access to the rest of the galaxy will be restored in, at most, a few months."

"Why a few-"

"Second," she interrupted again, resting her armored knuckles on his desk, "you will send a message to relevant news agencies that Treslanis IV has voluntarily agreed to become a protectorate of the Sith Empire, and that any questions on the subject should be routed to me. You will be provided with scripts, do not deviate from them."

"W-why shou-" he tried again.

"If you follow my instructions, you will remain alive, the citizens of this world that do not fight us will be unharmed, your farming industry will continue to thrive and all will be well. If not..." She looked up at the window, hearing a distant explosion. "...your city shield generator is now disabled, and the frigates in orbit have overwatch over the entire city. Do not push me."

Baylen's face went white. He'd heard of what the Sith would do to civilians. Rumor was that the Empire was a bit kinder these days, but still... "...c-can I ask why? You've left us alone for years! All we do is farm! We even sell you food! Why?" he shouted it this time, confusion leading to a desperate rage, too late remembering exactly what he was staring down.

Asori's face remained unchanged, neither shaken by his confusion and anger, or enraged at it either. "Perhaps. Later. But you will send that message out immediately, to stem any... confused acts by your people. Right now, I don't want to kill everyone on this planet, and you don't want to be dead. Keep it that way."

Two of the Imperial Marines moved behind the governor's desk, grabbing Baylen and dragging him out of the room. At Asori's nod, the others departed as well, pushing the governor's aides out too, leaving her alone with the Pureblood, whose smirk could hardly grow larger. "Not bad, Alnas. You have a-"

"If I wanted your opinion, Bresix, I would've beaten it out of you," Asori muttered, glaring back at Lord Zhel, born as Bresix Aitile, a name that the prideful Pureblood abandoned at the first gate. "Tell me you're using this chaos well."

Lord Zhel scowled, looking over his datapad. "Initial resonance scans confirm the reports from the archives. The Chasin Mountain Range contain large amounts of ore, iron and some of the more exotic types of materials too. Not high quality, and deep underground, but it's there."

Asori sighed, sitting down in the governor's chair. "Looks like almost no one lives up there either," she said, pulling out her datapad, looking over her own initial reports. "Minimal resistance from the locals. Some hotshot idiots, but only one fatality so far."

"So they're cowards."

She rolled her eyes. "Or they're waiting to fight when their pants aren't around their ankles. There's a reason we landed in force, Bresix. The point is they're acting like I expected them to. They'll work to free the city, sabotage, terrorist attacks, the usual, but the important part is that all eyes will be focused here. Your fancy mining drill will be safe."

Lord Zhel bristled again as Asori flicked on the holonet channel. "The Hillbreaker is no mere drill. It will turn that mountain range into-"

"Shut up, the show's starting."

The beeps of the emergency broadcast signal sounded off, followed by Baylen's form, doing his best to look strong and in control, drawing a faint smirk from Asori. "Citizens of Sorialas City, as many of you no doubt know, the Empire has invaded. They have warships in orbit, they have soldiers on the ground, and we have no choice but to surrender."

"Not exactly winning over the locals," Zhel muttered.

Asori scoffed. "We both know they wouldn't believe us if we claimed to come as friends."

"I have been instructed to cede control over the Sorialas Starport, the Holonet Relay, the Governor's mansion and all law-enforcement facilities within Sorialas City. All trade with and transport to non-Imperial worlds is... outlawed, but I have been assured that all produce goods will be purchased by the Empire for... 50% over the normal price," Baylen said, the practiced politician managing to keep almost all of the surprise out of his voice.

"Really? We're bribing the locals?" Zhel muttered.

"They won't have a real harvest for months," Asori said, waving a dismissive hand. "Plus it sets the farmers against those in the urban elites. We're buying time, not food."

Zhel just grunted as Baylen continued. "I know it's a tall order after today's events, but please, remain calm. I will be... meeting regularly with Lord Alnas and Lord Zhel to ensure that you remain safe." He sighed, looking utterly miserable, staring down at his feet. "...I'm sorry, everyone. I wish I had another choice." he said, shutting down the broadcast.

"Was that last part scripted?" Zhel muttered, looking over his convenient ally.

"No, and I wish I had thought of it," Asori said, smirking a little. "He did well enough, he gets to keep his fancy bedroom." A pinging from her belt drew a frown, and she opened up her comm. "Captain Derris, report."

"The Starport is secure, ma'am. But there's something you should see," came the gruff voice from the comm, raising an eyebrow from both Sith in the room.

"Could you stand to be a little less ominous, Captain?"

"Not on this channel, ma'am. Rather show you in person." He hesitated. "It's about one of the parked ships. Code Jackal."

Asori rose to her feet. "I'm on my way. Secure that area immediately, tell no one else."

"What in the blazes-" Zhel started, staring at the departing Togruta.

"Make sure Baylen's press release fits our line and keep him under guard. And get your damn drill into place, Zhel," she shouted, not bothering to look at him. "We might have a complication."

5
Holocrons and Info Nodes / Re: Tales of the Orell Legacy
« on: 05/12/18, 09:25:19 PM »
A Jedi Holiday (Part 1)

Planet Treslanis IV, Sorialas City

"Can I turn it on now?"

"Not unless you want to electrocute me."

"I thought Jedi couldn't get electrocuted?"

Merrant grunted. "Nope."

"But you ignore Sith Lightning, right?" The kid said, a human, maybe twelve at most, and he was almost cheerful at the subject.

"The Lightsaber does that. Mostly. Also, still repairing the power line. Turning it on wouldn't help."

"Sorry, just getting tired."

Merrant laughed, finishing up the weld on the power line, wrapping the exposed metal with electrical tape. "You're standing up, I'm on my back under a giant thermal unit. You're tired?"

"Well... you're the Jedi?" The kid said, and Merrant could hear the weak grin. "I heard Jedi don't get tired."

"Just of questions like that," Merrant chuckled, double-checking the connections. "Try it now, kid."

The switch was flipped, and the thermal unit rumbled to life, cool air starting to fill the room. "You did it!" the boy said, a wide smile on his face.

Merrant chuckled, pushing himself out from under the thermal unit. "Told you."

An older woman, no, not that much older, at most a decade older than Dassalya looked, peeked her head into the door. "You fixed it? Thank you, Master Jedi."

Merrant smiled at her, doing his best to ignore the pang of guilt he felt at not remembering her name. "Simple patch job," he said, standing, brushing the dust off his trousers. "Should hold for at least a couple years, assuming nothing chews through it."

"Are you sure we can't pay you?" the mother said.

Merrant could sense the hesitation in her. She wanted to pay him. It felt wrong to her to accept help without repayment... but she couldn't afford it, she was only scraping by, if she wasn't, she would've hired a repairman months ago instead of sweating out the hot summer months.

He smiled at her, shaking her head. "Pretty sure," he said, scuffling the kid's hair before heading to the fresher to wash his hands. "Something we do sometimes, Jedi Vacation."

"This is your vacation?" the little boy said as he struggled to get his hair back the way he was accused of liking it. "Why?"

"...sometimes nice to do simple things all day." He shrugged, grinning at the mother trying to silently scold her son.

He'd been on Treslanis IV for only a few days so far, and simple things had been the majority of it. Merrant didn't know why he felt compelled to come here, but the need was clear when he landed. The planet wasn't part of the Empire or Republic, although the Empire's thumb had left an impression after a few years of vassal-hood, back in the old days before Zakuul had shown up.

It was independent, which mostly meant that it wasn't well funded and relied on insignificance over military might to stay safe. They grew good food, had a decent starport, and no rare resources in sight. The middle of nowhere, Zakuul barely gave them a glance, and the people seemed happy for that.

Merrant shrugged, breaking out of his reverie. "Mind if I be honest?"

"...of course, Master Jedi. And... and I won't let you go without lunch!" she blurted out, cheeks darkening as she tried to force some semblance of payment onto Merrant.

Merrant chuckled again as she scurried off to the kitchen. "Well, if you insist," he said, again mussing up the young lad's hair and earning another scowl from him. "My normal days? Training Padawans how to fight, repairing war machines, trying to not to lose my patience with politics. Nice change of pace."

The mother laughed as she prepared a simple sandwich. "It's good to know that my cooling unit isn't as complicated as a war machine."

"Do you kill a lot of Sith?" shouted the kid, grinning up at Merrant, enamored with the Zabrak Jedi.

"Tholmir!" the mother scolded.

Merrant hesitated, looking down at the suddenly apologetic boy. Normally, this is where he'd say it, the big line, the admission, he was the big bad Sith once...

...but most non-Jedi... they had trouble understanding.

"It's alright." He smiled at Tholmir. "Kid, Jedi don't go for the kill, not unless we have to. Much prefer capturing them. Sometimes, there's a good person buried under all the hate, just need a chance to draw it out."

"Then... why do you kill them?"

Merrant sighed. "Because sometimes they don't give us a choice. Can't sacrifice a good man for the chance to save a bad one." He took the sandwich with a grateful smile from the mother, the rumble in his stomach belying his stoic patience. "It's not simple. But for Jedi, nothing is si-"

A roar from overhead interrupted him, coming from aircraft flying far too fast and far too low. "...we're not near the starport, right?" he said, looking at the mother.

She shook her head, fear and confusion battling for space upon her face. "...no, they never fly over us like that."

Another roar. And another. Panicked cries from the streets drifted indoors.

"Master Jedi, what's-"

Merrant held up a hand to the mother, slipping to the back door and peeking his head out.

Over the expanse of slum dwellings and futile efforts at suburbia, shuttles dotted the sky, dozens of the crafts, screaming over the buildings and making their way for the city center. "Excuse me," Merrant said, leaping up to the family's roof, ducking behind the small chimney.

It was hard to tell, the ships moving too fast, many of them too high up, but what he could see confirmed the bitter Jedi's cynicism. He couldn't quite track the movements of all the dropships, but none were landing outside the city center. And they were landing, distant sounds of blaster fire made that quite clear.

"Imperial dropships," he said as he dropped back to the ground. "Lots. Probably an invasion," he said, short, quick phrases belying his concern. He looked back at the mother. "...if they ask, tell them I was here, but I ran off once they showed up. Tell them everything, it should keep you safe."

"No!" shouted the kid. "We're not scared of the fu-"

"Tholmir!" the mother interrupted, before turning back to Merrant. "I understand. Thank you. But..." she hesitated, looking over Merrant, then back at outside, where the screams of the people and the incoming shuttles still echoed, "...we won't abandon you. Tholmir, take the Jedi to Uncle Gherrod's shop. You know the one?"

The boy grinned. "Of course, it's the one with all the candy!"

Merrant shook his head. "Not putting you in danger. Or the boy."

"I'm twelve!" Tholmir shouted

The mother chuckled, opening a cabinet under the sink, creating a cloud of dust up with the effort. "Master Jedi, we've been expecting the Sith to return. Take the help," she said, pulling out what looked might, in the right circumstances, be generously considered a weapon. A slugthrower, judging by the way she checked over the weapon.

"......I'll take the help," he said, inwardly wondering if an Imperial soldier in full armor would even notice a slug bouncing off his armor. "Just... don't use that unless you have to, okay?"

Tholmir raced out into the street, beckoning Merrant to follow him, and Merrant reluctantly followed, bundling his lightsaber and robes up, trying to look like just another civilian as the Imperial dropships roared overhead.

Most of the people seemed to be running for their homes, staying under cover where they could. No weapons fire, but the few times Merrant did look up, he could see blaster cannons pointed down, sometimes tracking him personally.

Before he landed, he had made sure to check out the planet's population. One and a half million, almost half a million in the city and the immediate area, others spread out across the farmlands that surrounded the region, clustered near the multitude of rivers.

As Thorlmir rounded a corner too fast for Merrant to track, he couldn't help but muse that, if there were any Sith here, they'd be feeling more enough fear to sate them.

For now.

6
Classifieds / Re: The NPC/Companion/Quest Giver Thread
« on: 05/12/18, 02:54:02 PM »
...yeah, I like this idea :).

Colonel Lien Orell

Description: Part of strategic planning for the defense of the Republic Core systems, connections in Republic Military, Special Forces, Intelligence, some smugglers. Former Special Forces.

Best Used For: Sending military support for other operations, being a good, but not brilliant, commander of naval forces.

Doctor Kyri Orell

Description: Doctor, owner and head of the Orell Medical Clinic, organizer of a number of free clinics set up in the lower sections of Coruscant. Formerly a member of the Dawnstar Shipping Company, a front for a collection of smuggling and other less-than-legal adventurer operations. Also formerly an anti-Zakuulan terrorist, and former member of the Odessan Alliance. Currently more associated with assisting the Jedi Order. She's had a weird life.

Best Used For: She's a doctor with a ship, and talent for getting to where she needs to go. She'd treat those in need gladly, although not for free if you can afford it.

Quarasha Ahnshal

Description: Sith, formerly of the Empire, former organizer of the Gray Alliance, currently making her trade as an venture capitalist on Nar Shaddaa and an information broker.

Best Used For: She invests in a number of businesses in Hutt Space (and, through less than legitimate methods, in Republic and Imperial space). While her terms aren't as generous as a bank loan, she's much less exploitative than the Hutts and has something of a grudging reputation as holding to fair deals. She also, through aliases, will buy, sell and trade information to individuals and spy agencies.

7
Cantina / Re: Roll Call - How active are you?
« on: 05/11/18, 02:54:20 AM »
Work's kept me from RPing as much as I'd like, plus other non-MMO's, plus... look, Obsidian just released something, I'm gonna play it!

But I've honestly not been playing the game to, uh, play the game in a while. I still enjoy it when I do, especially when I'm healing an uprising or something, but I don't have the headspace to get into Ops groups, and not doing Ops... kinda leads to a "What's the point of playing?" situation for me.

Still, showing up for the regular events, hopping in if people want to do stuff with one of my chars, stuff like that. Even writing a whole thing!

We hit a drama patch recently, though, no question. And Bioware's handling of the game has been... well, Ziost was the last time I really, truly loved a piece of content, and that was literally 3 years ago. Maybe they can right the ship now that we're through the worst of the Alliance stuff. But I still love the RP, I still love the chars. I do hope people will return over time, shit sometimes gets ugly when different people in different spaces have important conversations... but if it doesn't, well, I'll be among the people to turn off the lights and lock the door. I don't intend on leaving before its done.

8
Cantina / Re: Your RP characters as in-game NPCs/enemies
« on: 04/29/18, 06:59:08 PM »
...oooh, this is an interesting idea...

Lien: He'd probably be an Aygo type, quest giver type that gives orders and is implied, off-screen, to be handling actual military crap.

Shaantil: Probably an end boss for an Inquisitor-type story. She's all straight lines in terms of morality, Inquisitor's about as twisted and curly as you can be...

Merrant: End boss for a Warrior-type story. The whole "Used to be a Sith" thing, the firm morality, also that he's something of a brick wall...

Quarasha: Another quest giver, underworld type stuff, most likely for a Republic story. The whole having to work with a difficult to read person that might be an enemy is always fun :).

Kyri: Friendly NPC for a Jedi story, most likely. The mix of her being still something of a Jedi Fangirl and a doctor makes her obviously useful for a Jedi char as an ally, but her willingness to execute Sith if given the chance... yay conflict between allies :D.

Asori: Probably ally for a Sith story. She'd work most any Sith, if it's in the Empire's best interests, but she's a bit more LS-y than most, a Mother to her Troops sort of thing, and if the story involved sacrificing any of her troops...

Anakithane: Maybe recurring NPC for various stories. She's a mercenary sliver, it's an easy thing for all sides to justify using.

9
Cantina / Re: 5.X Patchnotes, Updates, Guides, etc...
« on: 03/19/18, 11:35:24 AM »
bitch if you still won't go dark side when this update comes out i swear i'll tear your montrals off

Because how dare characters have non-standard character arcs and take things in their own directions.

Give the character some room to breathe already, dude. She's a far, far more interesting character than Dark Side "I made you a robe out of the skin of orphaned puppies" Jaesa is.

10
Cantina / Re: 5.X Patchnotes, Updates, Guides, etc...
« on: 03/19/18, 10:28:33 AM »
We can has patch notes: http://www.swtor.com/patchnotes/3202018/game-update-5.8

Some highlights I noted...

  • The Mirialan ability “Focusing Ritual” now restores all Class resources when used. (Mirialans are now OP!)
  • All planets now fall into one of three Invasion Targets for Strongholds. Planets with lower Invasion Targets require a smaller amount of Conquest points to complete and give smaller rewards. High Invasion Target planets require a large amount of Conquest points and give the largest reward. (Didn't know this was coming, it's a great idea to give smaller guilds something to aim for)
  • The visuals for various Classes “flurry” attacks have been updated to be more accurate with their scrolling combat text, hits, and misses. (...I'm just kinda curious how this'll look now)
  • To assist in combating credit inflation, the Galactic Trade Network’s tax rate has been increased to 8% (up from 6%) (...heh, cute way of messaging a nerf)
  • Companion Romance: Arcann - A redeemed Arcann makes his feelings known to those who’ve given him a chance to atone for the evil deeds of his past. (...god damn it, Arcann's gonna come onto Story!Shaantil, isn't he? She only has thighs for Lana, damn it!)

11
Cantina / Re: The Absent Thread
« on: 03/15/18, 02:32:49 AM »
Is... is that... cold, to you?  :wtf:

Well, no. That's perfectly temperate for an Angeleno like me. But Phoenix is usually high 80's to low 90's this time of year...

12
Cantina / Re: The Absent Thread
« on: 03/15/18, 12:24:06 AM »
Gonna be out a couple days for my yearly baseball vacation! Enjoy the freezing cold, suckers, I'm gonna be in Arizona, where the highs are-

<blinks>

.......mid to low 70's.

...

Why you trolling me, world?

13
Outside Realm / Re: the last jedi [spoiler city]
« on: 03/07/18, 11:38:59 PM »
Regarding this deleted scene, because I don't want to dodge spoilers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=97&v=HjoJqZDjxgI

What I like about it is a bunch of things:

1: It gives Gwendolyn Christie a chance to, you know, fucking act outside of her voice. So much good acting done, even if all we see is an eye.

2: It ties up a dangling plot thread before the character is axed. I just kinda like that sorta thing, especially since there was no hint of an explanation in TFA about why Phasma went along with it.

3: It outright axes a character. No "oh who knows if she survived i mean i don't see a body" BS, especially since it's pretty clear that no one really has an idea what to do with her, along with all the other villains.

4: It ties into one of the more subtle points in TLJ, about how... well, pathetic fascists often are once all that PR hype gets stripped away.

Hux? He's a firey, powerful speaker... when he's giving a speech to a crowd, but he's just a cowardly idiot in reality. Kylo? Hell, reams were already written about TFA about how great a character he was because of how much of a Vader Fanboy he was. Snoke was powerful and smart, sure, but still oh, so mortal.

And now Phasma: Lots of showy authority, no actual backbone when push comes to shove.

Star Wars has always had an issue with how the Empire's so much cooler than the rebels. From Vader to Stormtroopers to Darth "I'm the only good part about this film" Maul, they've always had trouble where the bad guys are cool... so, I approve of scenes that smack down that unfortunate result, that show that the people trying so, so hard to seem cool and powerful, are really anything but.

As for the whole "Good Guy Filibuster" bit? To quote my favorite author of all time...

Quote
From Men at Arms, by Terry Pratchett
"If you have to look along the shaft of an arrow from the wrong end, if a man has you entirely at his mercy, then hope like hell that man is an evil man. Because the evil like power, power over people, and they want to see you in fear. They want you to know you're going to die. So they'll talk. They'll gloat. They'll watch you squirm. They'll put off the moment of murder like another man will put off a good cigar. So hope like hell your captor is an evil man. A good man will kill you with hardly a word."

I mean, it's not completely true, duh, but it's a good enough rationalization for me :).

14
Holocrons and Info Nodes / Re: Tales of the Orell Legacy
« on: 02/18/18, 02:16:04 PM »
Sith Politics

Nar Shaddaa, Imperial Docking Bay C-38

"...Lieftenant Beras says the new recruits are slotting in well, only a few regulation violations."

Ensign Prali's voice had a certain droning quality, but Asori couldn't quite miss the faint tone of amusement that came with it. "Anything more serious than the bad jokes I'll overhear about in the mess hall?" she said, doing her very best to keep a straight face.

While Prali could keep a straight face just fine, the lekku twitched with amusement, a little visual laugh that no one unfamiliar with the Twi'lek would notice. "A few things more interesting, my Lord, but certainly not more serious."

Asori couldn't quite hold back her smirk. "Good. Tell Beras to prepare for immediate deployment. There are a few soft targets I've been keeping an eye on." Asori looked down at her own datapad. How are supplies?"

The Ensign's twitch told Asori all she really needed to know. "Lord Zhel apologizes for the delay, but he should have our-"

Asori cut her off with a glare. "Tell Bresix that if he doesn't stop stalling, I'll bring my battalion to sort his situation out. Those words, precisely."

"...shouldn't we use his chosen name, my lord? As a matter of protocol?" Ensign Prali said, with a carefully measured amount of meekness to her voice. At times, Asori wondered if adjutant officers had special training when it came to managing Sith...

...not that she would ever ask the Ensign that openly, of course. That would be rude, and it'd give away that she suspected. "Yes, we should. But he's a glorified quartermaster putting on airs, he could use a deliberate insult or ten."

Prali's eyes flicked up to her lord, the Sith's stare boring into her eyes. "...of course, my lord. Just... seeking clarification."

Asori frowned, but not at her aide for once. The Force was speaking to her, something familiar, something close, something... dangerous.

"Asori."

Asori's ears had barely heard the words before she turned, both lightsabers flying through the air at the intruder to the docking bay. By the time Ensign Prali's gasp had registered, the Twi'lek's weapon was ignited, a purple blade batting both weapons out of the air, tumbling back towards the Sith Lord.

The yellow Twi'lek glared down the length of her lightspear, returning Lord Alnas' gaze. "A little jumpy, my old apprentice? I'm here to speak, not fight."

"You were never my master, Quarasha." Asori said, catching the returning sabers and settling into a ready position. "And what are you here to 'talk' about?"

"...either you don't check your holomail, or you've deliberately been ignoring my messages." Quarasha sighed, deactivating her spear, her eyes never drifting far from the Togruta. "You, lackey," she said, glancing at Prali. "You want to go into the ship and forget you saw any of this."

"Don't mind-trick my aide, Quarasha," Asori growled.

"It wasn't a mind trick, it was an assessment of what she wants." Quarasha's smirk went by in a flash. "Were I here to fight, Asori, I wouldn't have announced my presence. You're smart enough to recognize that, so how about we put down our weapons and talk like civilized people?"

Prali cleared her throat, both hands on her pistols, plain dread coming off of her in wave. "Uh, th-there's a few things I should probably-"

"Go. You didn't see any of this," Asori said, letting out a sigh. The Sith Lord relaxed her guard slightly, lekku flicking with irritation. "Well?"

Quarasha had to suppress rolling her eyes, but relaxed her own stance in return. "It's about Nima'Kluub. Have you read any of my messages?"

"Who the kriff in Nima'Kluub?"

Another sigh from Quarasha. "The colony. They gave the planet a proper name, I think it means 'Gift of Tranquility'." At Asori's unimpressed look, she shrugged. "It was their decision, not mine. You really should read your holomail."

"I've been busy."

"Clearly."

The Togruta has to suppress her growl, her eyes leaving the Twi'lek's gaze for a few moments. "Fine, they renamed the place. The old one was just weird. You don't need to show up in person to tell me."

"Given that you seem to be ignoring my messages, clearly I do." Another quick flash of a smile from Quarasha. Even after the better part of a decade of exile from the Sith Empire, Quarasha couldn't help but enjoy toying with another Sith. "It's about what they're doing."

"Uh huh. Spare me the suspense and just get on with it?"

A frown came from the former Lord. She remembered, long ago, when the colony was the Togruta girl's only real concern. Everything was about that, it was more than just a duty, it was a cause, something pure and good, a thing Quarasha so rarely saw in the galaxy.

"They're entering the galaxy. Stepping out of hiding. You know what that means."

Recognition flashed in Asori's eyes. Nima'Kluub had survived through secrecy for many years, protected from raiders and slavers and worse from the simple fact that almost no one knew it existed.

It was in the shadow of Hutt Space. Closer to Republic control, perhaps, but close to the Empire's front lines. And the Hutts would take persuading to leave it alone, and when you took into account the number of pirates with loose connections to prominent Hutts...

"You have a plan," Asori finally said, cynicism finally overriding fear.

"Of course I have a plan!" She almost sounded offended. "There's four nations of note. The Alliance doesn't care, so they're easy. The Republic... I'm handling." At Asori's raised eyebrow, Quarasha could only shrug. "It's tricky. The Hutts are also tricky, but I've found an angle. It's hardly a pleasant one, but it could work."

"And that leaves the Empire," Asori finished.

"...and that leaves the Empire." Quarasha sighed. "It would only take one-"

There was another growl from the Togruta, the formerly-idle Lightsabers slowly spinning into a ready stance. "Just get it over with, Quarasha."

The Twi'lek could only suppress her surprise, not trustly mask it. "...I need you to voice your support for them."

"My support." Asori's tone was without emotion, an old trick that Quarasha had strained to teach the younger woman. Avoid showing a reaction until you're sure what reaction you want to show. It doesn't always work, because there's a difference between not reaction and not showing a reaction, but it's better than nothing. "Meaning what?"

"Meaning you plant your flag and say that any attack against them is an attack against you." Quarasha narrowed her eyes. "Your power base might not be among the strongest in the Empire, but your soldiers are respected and your abilities are known. It'd ward off some potential threats, at least long enough for me to maneuver against them, and those too strong to care wouldn't care about the world as a prize in the first place."

Asori's eyes narrowed at the Twi'lek, and Quarasha could see her old student's hands tighten their grip on the Lightsabers. "In other words, I expose myself to embarassment, and get no benefits. Tell me what I get out of it and I'll think about it."

"...ah..." Quarasha sighed, shaking her head at the Sith Lord. "You'll fulfill a promise you made to the people there, before you joined the Empire. Remember that, Asori?" She said, noting the lack of a flinch from the Togruta. "You told them you were going off to learn how to protect them. To learn how to fight, so you could bring the fight to anyone that would harm them. Remember that, Asori Alnas, eager little girl wanting to do whatever it took to help the people of The Hold get free?!"

Quarasha was near shouting now, disgust plain in her voice, if only because she could see how little her old student seemed to care. "A promise made by another person," Asori said, idly swinging her Lightsaber, her eyes tracking Quarasha's form.

Ready to fight.

"Ensign Prali has a boyfriend on Dromund Kaas," Quarasha said. "He works at what passes for a restaurant on the outskirts of Kaas City."

Asori blinked.

"Major Hesselman, your Aurek Battalion leader, has gambling debts to three separate Hutts, and a cousin on Nal Hutta he's been worrying about."

Asori shook her head. "What are you-?"

"Reminding an old, foolish student what power really is," Quarasha spat. "I have information on every single officer under your command. Weaknesses, vulnerabilities, data that, in the right hands, would turn your finely tuned Regiment into a pile of corpses."

It was a lie, of course. Quarasha had some intel on some of the officers, some of which could make them vulnerable. It wouldn't tear Asori's power base apart...

...but Asori knew that, even if it didn't, it'd weaken Asori far more than a random colony the Togruta claimed would if lost. "You still love using your words, Quarasha. You never had any real power, did you?"

"Power is power, my old apprentice." Quarasha gave a little smirk, shifting into a defensive stance, the blade of the Lightspear igniting. "It's far more than simple martial ability. If you wish to test me there, feel free, but don't pretend that my silly little words couldn't tear everything you've forged to shreds."

Asori let a faint smirk go. "Ten moves."

Quarasha's confusion was brief, and by the time she understood Asori the Sith Lord was already on her, the two lightsabers brought down on the defensively-raised lightspear's haft.

The guard held firm for a moment before Asori pulled back, spinning both blades at Quarasha's ankles, or at least where they were before the Twi'lek backflipped out of the way. A roll forward followed by a roundhouse kick failed to find purchase as Quarasha again spun away, the spear's blade coming an inch away from shortening Asori's lekku.

A high-to-low feint, read and countered with Quarasha's spear thrust next to Asori's ear. A focused set of strikes forcing Quarasha back on the defensive, the haft growing warm under the heat of the deflections.

Asori backspringed, making distance as both Lightsabers streaked at the Twi'lek, narrow deflections pushing the blades aside. She lept over Quarasha's next charge, catching the returning blades and aiming both at the exiled Sith's back, missing again by inches.

The Twi'lek's counter-attack was caught by one blade, the second of Asori's aimed right at Quarasha's neck, again blocked by the quickly-raised haft. The brief stalemate held until Asori slammed her foot down on Quarasha's, sending her stumbling back, away from Asori's spinning blades... and one last leap, both sabers coming down at Quarasha's shoulders.

The haft was there once again, one hand supporting it, Quarasha's body buckling under the strain... but the other hand was on Asori's throat, gripping tight. "Stand down, Asori, or you'll be nothing but a husk," Quarasha growled, nothing but rage behind her eyes.

Asori blinked, fear only now creeping into the woman. She could sense what Quarasha was doing, what the exiled Sith could do. There was a nothingness, an emptiness, a gaping maw eager to devour anything connected to the Force...

She forced a smile, deactivating her Lightsabers, pulling her hands away from Quarasha. "Ten moves, remember. You're not bad with that thing, pick up a few tricks from Zakuul?" she said, her voice abnormally friendly, too clearly reminding Quarasha of the young and eager student from years before.

Quarasha's face flinched, just briefly, before she stepped back, pushing away whatever darkness had swelled up within her. "It's an effective weapon. Make your claim on the world when the time comes. Understood?"

Asori flashed another smile. "Sure, sure, like you said, I already promised that much. Tell them they have my help, okay?"

The exiled lord stared at Asori, hands still tight on the Lightspear, parts of her just screaming for blood and violence and murder and death and all those things that, once upon a time, she lived for... but instead, she stepped back, deactivating her weapon. "Good. Prepare your statement, I'll let you know when you need to release it." Her lip twitched into a sneer as she turned away. "May the Force serve you well."

Asori watched Quarasha go, dimly aware of her adjutant slowly walking up behind her. "...I can start drafting a-"

"Do it." Asori said, her tone clipped. "And contact Korriban, I need to do some research."

15
Cantina / Re: 5.X Patchnotes, Updates, Guides, etc...
« on: 02/10/18, 09:13:44 PM »
Mmm, that's one interpretation, Jaade.

Another is that it's pro-player: Players doing, say, their Smuggler story aren't spoiled at where the Trooper story would eventually go. All they see is "Republic instance". May sound silly, but I've found myself pulled out of the story at points by remembering "oh, right, that zone's where I'm supposed to go".

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