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Of Two Minds

Raziel a posted Jan 27, 16


High Orbit over Belsavis
The Bozhnee Sector
Outer Rim
The Maelstrom of Retribution
Sanctum Deck

The satellite telemetry data fed into a large holodeck in the prison. Darth Palatinate was seated before it, his gloves cradling the armored sculpture surrounding his head. The lights from the graphics scintillated off the metallic sheen of the stoic visage. The reconnaissance pointed at the mass of invigorated Republic soldiers and marines fortifying their positions on a large, intact, communications tower. Armor and mobile artillery could be seen crossing a large skybridge towards the tombs, protected by Jedi survivors. Imperial loyalists were being directed to the penitentiary, to be held indefinitely by the Republic.

They failed the Empire.

They failed the Empress.

No, they failed us. They do not have faith in us.

They are weak in heart. We did not have the support.

They refused to support us. They want to see us fail. They want us to be replaced. They are a detriment that will never let us inherit the Master’s legacy.

They need to be motivated to become more powerful.

They need something to fear.

The sliding doors to the sanctum opened, an Imperial Navy officer entering. “My Lord, our Minders have successfully deciphered the outgoing datastream from the communications tower. We are, without hesitation, assured that it is a request for orbital support from Coruscant. Our position here becomes untenable. Admiral Babbage awaits your orders.”

Darth Palatinate jolted from his trance. He leaned in to slide the focus of the imagery towards the deep Tombs, where the Bulwark facility lay. Dozens of engineers, construction mechanics, and expeditionary Marines were working to excavate the area, clear the brush, and set up defensive barriers. Abandoning the planet would abandon them to the wilds of Belsavis without any support, and the Republic Incursion would only advance.

Sacrifice them to show others the price of failure.

Protect them and grant them redemption. Martyrdom is below Sith.

You do not know what it means to be Sith. They do not believe you can make the hard decisions. Burn this world and let the souls forge your legacy as Darth Malak once did!

There has to be a better way. How does this serve the Empress? What would the Master do?

He would compromise, because he is weak.

He saw potential in us. He chose us to supercede him, as all Sith choose their apprentices.

But he gave you me. So he knew he would have to destroy you, or us together to destroy him.

“Alert the demolition teams. Cave in the tombs. Get Lord Xistika to the planet and recruit his sapper teams to begin sabotage operations against Republic infrastructure. Every bridge, every door, every wall; We want it in pieces. Hit and run guerilla tactics, free some prisoners and shift the blame on riots and Esh-ka. Have him relocate his resources to the Bulwark. If the facility falls, so goes his men,” Darth Palatinate said after a moment of introspection.

Make them invested. Make them feel their failure.

Make them invested. Make them take pride in their victory.

“Yes, my Lord. At once. Should we maintain position?” The officer inquired.

“No,” Darth Palatinate answered. “After the Bulwark has been girded, we move back to CZ-198. We have something to retrieve.”


Raziel a posted Nov 9, 15

Dromund Kalakar Shipyards
Dromund System
Esstran Sector
The Sygian Caldera


The Bridge of the Harrower-Class Dreadnaught The Maelstrom of Retribution, with her two sister Terminus-Class Destroyers Apotheosis and Kharrid's Vengeance.

Petty Officer Jenks finished the download from his seat at the massive communications terminal alongside the bridge.  The communique had specific codes, delineating it to be for official use directly to the Commanding Officer of the ship.  "Chief, better have a look at this," he called.

Chief Jordins strolled over to the computer.  "Roger that," he said.  "XO, ma'am.  Better come see this."

The twi'lek Captain Nagi Manasa turned her head from the visual screen, where she was reading a report from the work at the shipyards, where the engines of the ship and her sisters had been retrofitted with top of the line isotope-5 engines and thrusters; the prototype technology thereof would make all three much more evasive and quicker torque for broadside approaches.  She returned the datapad to the ensign near her and strolled from the bridge to see what the commotion was.  "What's the issue here, Chief?"

"Something important's come in for the Admiral," Chief Jordins informed, pointing to Petty Officer Jenks' monitor.  "Look at the code."

Captain Manasa scanned the encryption.  "Upload it to a personal device.  I will deliver it to Admiral Babbage personally."

"Aye aye, ma'am," Chief Jordins said.  "You heard the XO, son.  Get it to her."

The Engineering Level

Admiral Babbage had just finished a brief with the Chief Engineer when Captain Manasa arrived.  "Ma'am, we have an urgent report from the Ziost system."  She handed the human women the personal datapad.

"Ah, thank you Captain.  Let's see what it says, shall we?"  She asked.  When prompted, she scanned her biometrics and input her keycode, bypassing the encryption to highlight the report of the Nathema at Ziost.  "These codes are from the Intelligence Minister.  It seems they were beaconed to all Fleet Commanders.  Something very tragic has befallen Ziost."

"Your orders, ma'am?"  Captain Manasa questioned.

"Lord Typhaon was near there, was he not?  We will stay as we are, and ensure the retrofitting is complete.  Let us keep calm heads about this," Admiral Babbage assured.  "Have the Commodore contacted and expedite all supply and logistics missions while we're in the Dromund System.  Get the Operations Officer on the line and begin our task with Ilum."

"Right away, ma'am," Captain Manasa said, clicking her boots together.

Five Months Later...

"All communications with Bosthirda have gone down, ma'am."  Communications Officer Howe reported.  "Whatever attacked Korriban must be using the Kamat Krote.  That means that they're coming here next."

"The combined fleets of the Empire stand watch over Dromund Kaas, Lieutenant Howe.  Not even the Republic are foolish enough to confront this," Captain Manasa responded.  "Get Commander Jest to get the astromech telemetry online for our jump."

"Roger that, ma'am," Lieutenant Howe said.

"By all accounts, whatever struck Korriban could have very well been another Revanite attack like the last one.  Korriban's defenses cannot hold a blaster to Dromund Kaas," Captain Manasa explained.

Captain Bere overheard.  "She's right, El-Tee.  Don't doubt her because she's an alien."

"Never put it in my mind," Howe replied.

"XO!  Hyperspace scanners picking something up.  Something huge," one of the Sailors shouted.

"The Republic?"  She asked.

"No.  No ma'am.  It's bigger than that," was the answer.  The holoscreen popped up.  Hundreds of ships were coming through the hyperlane in massive lines crossing each other.  Their design was like anything seen in the Core Worlds or the Sith.

"Scramble the squadrons," Captain Bere shouted.  "Quick-Attack Scouts and Bombers pronto.  Defensive minefields now."  He rushed down and hustled to the elevator to the hangar.

"Get engineering to turn this thing around.  Battle stations.  Get the gunners on the turbolasers and concussion missile launchers.  I want broadside ships up and at full power," Captain Manasa urged.  "Get the Admiral to the bridge."

Loud sirens screamed through every deck and level of the ship as the Maelstrom of Retribution, Apotheosis and Kharrid's Vengeance joined their sisters in the approach against the Eternal Fleet.  The outpouring of thousands of starfighters from the combined Imperial Fleet and dozens of dreadnoughts and destroyers moved towards the fleet with great aspirations, but lacking the coordination and focus of the Eternal Throne.  Within hours, the Eternal Fleet ripped through the Defenders of Kaas. 

"Ma'am!  We're not going to win this.  Three more dreadnoughts just detonated.  We can't hold out once they focus the field.  Captain Bere has recalled whatever remaining pilots back to the hangar.  We have to do something," decried Lieutenant Howe to Captain Manasa.

"We do not retreat from Dromund Kaas!  This is our home.  This is the capital of the Sith Empire," she said patriotically. 

The holoimage of Admiral Babbage appeared from the command center.  "I have just spoke to the commanding officers of Apotheosis and Kharrid's.  Begin hyperspace routing to Ilum.  We cannot afford to lose the ship to whatever this force is."

"But Admiral!"  Captain Manasa protested.  "Dromund Kaas!  The Dark Council!  Everything!"

"I had the Chief Engineer fortify shields with the isotope-5 generators.  We should be able to bypass their field scramblers and gravity wells with the enhanced power," Admiral Babbage informed.  "Many of the Empire's best ships did not get upgraded in time and have been lost attempting retreat.  We will return to Dromund Kaas one day, loyal Sailors and Marines, but what we take in failure we will bring back with hope."

The human woman's form fizzled out.  The officers on the bridge looked at each other for a moment with deep shame and apprehension.

"You heard the admiral," Captain Manasa said, tying her lekku back behind her.  "Abandon Dromund Kaas.  We fall back to Ilum."

Initiation: 3.0

Raziel a posted Jul 17, 15

So 12 July, Aria, Illiete, Reignfire, Nex, and I held a massive hours-long brainstorming session when concerns were brought up about the ever elusive “fun factor” in our initiation process. The major concerns were that the initiation has long since been one of exclusion and speculation for individuals who feel a social pressure to attend. That means it is boring. I don’t want it to be boring. If members of the guild want to be included in the process, then I am all for hoisting that responsibility on you, should you want it. It was just never expressed that anyone would want to do that whole thing, but I had an idea of fragmenting it into a multi-part process, rather than a single-day thing. So here’s the idea of Initiation 3.0.

With the idea that inclusion means more fun, I have decided upon an initiative that compartmentalizes our initiation further. I am strident about everyone having a base amount of knowledge before their character can become a fully appreciated member of the guild, and I refuse to budge on that. We use too many terms in-character that I can’t have people in the dark about what we do, who are are, and how we fit into the scheme of things. That may change with Fallen Empire; every single roleplaying guild is going to have to deal with what comes in their own way.

This third iteration of our initiation is meant to be the most inclusive yet. I am delegating 90% of my authority and responsibility to members in good standing who want to take it. The opportunity is going to be there to lead, teach, and put your character out there for other new members to attach. I am basing this third revision on the Personal Qualification Standards, or PQS, that was instrumental in obtaining warfare insignia during my time as active duty. The layout of the PQS system was compartmentalized in such a way that one person would have to visit each workcenter in the command and learn from the boss of that workcenter the purpose of each cog in the machine. The workcenter supervisor would then sign off on that section of the workbook and you would move to another section. Once the workbook was filled out, you were ready to be qualified. That’s the mechanic I’d like to try out for this next iteration with the utilization of player character Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) representing each goal of what we wish to accomplish. I am also removing myself as a primary and secondary SME position, only to be tertiary in unexpected circumstances. What this means is that initiation is on all of you now, not me.

Because we are Sith-centric, what I’d like to do is introduce this mechanic in a codex-friendly way, utilizing the Spheres of Influence of the Dark Council. I believe this will allow a customized characterization of these miniature events that can be quite varied and illustrative and enhance the fun of the situations. By making the initiation into smaller pieces, more hands can be put into the experience, fleshing it out with less waiting and reading, and more in-character interaction and flourish.

I’ll be taking in more ideas as we go, but I plan to stay very flexible with this, allowing up to twelve different subjects (each with 1-3 SMEs) that explore everything players should need about being in this guild and possibly more depending on their experience with SWTOR and MMOs in general and tailor-making our initiation to the player and their character, rather than this one-size-fits-all pony that people no longer enjoy riding. I’ll put out a couple of threads out there on the forums to detail the mission statements of each of the Twelve Spheres and what we can learn from them, then we can take applications from players to whom would be best in fulfilling that diplomatic obligation. They will compile a lesson plan and go through a dry run with yours truly. If I like what I see, then that’s that. We’ll have a Core Set of Spheres that must be represented, as well as a secondary/optional set of Spheres that can be assigned based upon the needs and desires of the player. This can be done via a call on the Sponsor to the applicant or a pre-interview process with me.

Ultimately, I believe it should fall on the Sponsor’s call. They’re the ones who should be around to take care of the applicant. They’re the ones that will need to interact with SMEs to get those books checked off. They’re the ones who will communicate with me when they believe their applicant is good to go. I am relinquishing the power, my friends. Who will drink from the cup?

Edit:  Page added here.

Darth Volintine As will I, I think it's beyond time I become involved in the training of our Acolytes, say the word and I'll c...
Rall Rall can give tips on subverting and secretly trying to bring down the guild and the Sith from inside.... errrr I mean R...
Arialene Darth Repentia can do a "Miss Manners" course, and Csapla'rane'lan can do Sith Intelligence.

I would like to alert everyone to the news that we will be closing Chapter 5 of our Guild Story for Fallen Empire.

For those of you who are not aware of what this means (about 99% of you), that means that you should begin organizing a synopsis of in-character progression for every character you have maintained persistant presence within the guild since their induction since the Death of Securo event a year and a half ago.

I will open a thread in the Open Stories forum for everyone to begin posting these summaries.  I'd like for everyone to be done by the end of August, allowing me some time to compile the data to close out the Guild's Chapter and begin Chapter 6 in time for the Fallen Empire story arc.  This, in turn, allows everyone to begin their forewards and begin planning for the 5 year time jump and the ruins of the Empire and Republic as Valkorion mounts his conquest.

New and exciting things are afoot in the Old Republic timeline.  It's time to start planning for that dive and closing some plotlines.

U'ras Yeah,planning to finish Xanatos Gambit,Master of the Hunt and Meltdown before October should be sweet to work on the 5 y...