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Into the Entropic Void

Raziel a posted Mar 3, 17

Ilum Facility

The Hyperarc Facility
Ilum
Sector 7G
The Unknown Regions of Space

"It's what Vergil always wanted," Commander Ortega attempted to explain.  "Autonomy.  Direct independence from the Sith Order.  I can't blame 'em for what he did.  He's still serving the Empire, my Lord.  Just not you."

Darth Moiragetes leaned his helmeted head on his fist, his free hand tapping the clawed tips of the gauntlet along the handle of his seat.  The Vigilance lab in CZ-198, its entire leadership and staff, unilaterally decided to re-align themselves to the miralukan filth of Epikouros Ataraxia, the luka sene executor who was grown in the lab, cutting off support to the operational needs of the Sith.  The cutting of biotic research and droid engineering was a setback, and the loss of Darth Moiragetes adrenal supply going to an upstart irritated him much more than Darth Orecal's success in dismantling the central operations command in Dromund Kaas.

'These morons were supposed to kill each other,' he thought. 'Allying to strike against us is a problem.  They deny us our destiny.'

'Their intelligence isn't as perceptive as they think of themselves.  Hubris can and will be their downfall,' another voice re-assured inside.  'It's the fate of Sith and those who chase power.  The desperation will come, eventually.'

"Captain Marco will get what is coming to him," Darth Moiragetes finally said.  "There are other matters pressing us right now."  He activated a holoterminal, where the image of Admiral Asclepius Podalirius appeared on the bridge of the Maelstrom of Retribution with Admiral Ada Babbage, Captain Nagi Manasa, and Captain Sullas Bere.  Another terminal raised with a connection to the Bulwark, and Lieutenant-Colonel Alexander Kuresh illuminated.  Darth Moiragetes began transmitting the broadcast on all S-thread frequencies.  "We are asserting direct operational command of the Sons of Korriban assets.  The threat of Zakuul is over.  The Sith Empire is free of subordination to the Abdicated One.  We are free of the Emperor's dominance over our order.  Odessan is not our enemy.  The Jedi, and the Galactic Republic that protect them are our enemy, and the false Scions of Zakuul are a cult to be crushed. 

"The way forward is to Iokath:  a world that constructed the Constellation Constructs; a world that promises lost xenotechnology which allowed the Eternal Fleet it's purpose; a world that crafted the skytrooper legions; and a world that will allow us to improve our fleet and droid forces exponentially.  The Maelstrom of Retribution, stationed here in Ilum, Kharrid's Vengeance in CZ-198, and Apotheosis in Belsavis, will begin their preparations in mobilizing to the worlds of Zakuul's former Empire, sweeping up swaths of their remnant technology as we move towards Iokath, where our destiny lies. 

"As Darth Deiphage before us, technology of Old will carve the path of the New.  We firmly believe that Iokath is the jewel that Lord Typhaon would have us pursue, and so we shall pursue it as the Empress would have it at her pleasure."  Darth Moiragetes turned his head to Commodore Podalirius.  "Are we prepared?"

"Aye, my Lord.  It will be a pleasure to breach this machine world of machine men and deliver it to the Empire," Asclepious said proudly.

"Pilots are onboard," Captain Bere promised.  "Ordnance loaded for a solid run to get us a good landing position.  No records of any orbital defenses."

"Once the radiation field is down, we will commence hyperspace jump, my Lord," Admiral Babbage planned.  "Our probes are constantly relaying information now.  We will ensure that the Empire is first to claim te world."

"Dread-tech's comin' along just fine, m'Lord.  Droideka production and Dread Killas are on th' way," Colonel Kuresh reported.

"And you, Commander?"  Darth Moiragetes asked Rudger Ortega.

"Right as rain and calm as the ice on Ilum, my Lord," the commander answered.  "We're ready to move on your command."

Darth Moiragetes stood up.  "The Emperor is gone.  The Sith are free from his false destiny to eke our own our fate.  Let us determine the true leader with a measure of success.  Iokath will determine everything that matters."

On being social

Raziel a posted Feb 14, 17

The term is Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games.

I'd like to emphasize those first two words, even as most people cut off the latter half (but we observe it religiously).

When we get new people, one of the hardest things to do is keep them around, keep them involved, and keep them interested.  They are the proverbial outsiders, looking in, and seeing a bunch of strange people they don't know, playing strange characters they've never met, and doing things they're unsure of, but they want to be included.  Trust me, we all want to be included.  We want to be a part of something bigger than ourselves.  We're in this to have fun, and the thing about new people, and new roleplayers especially, is that there is a lack of self confidence in our actions and that sense makes us unwilling to go outside the boundaries of what we consider safe -- to include present companies.

This is why, even for our most active members, it is a stretch to peel them away from what inevitably results in a clique.  We've seen and criticized this behavior most of our adult lives, and witnessed it in other guilds whose social events we've even been a part of only to be snubbed from interacting with due to the cliqueishness of people who would rather just be amongst their own kind.  This is the monkeybrain effect of human social engineering, and it's a hard thing to break out of.

So, if you see a new name, I don't want you guys to just leave them alone (although you should start becoming familiar with legacy names so you can differentiate people from their characters.  Mine is Hexagra, Bli'id's is Impeln, Orecal's is Mora, Dean's is Atreides, Entimos' is Ocina, Kil'rok's is Kil'rok, and so on).  I want you -- I challenge you -- to get to know new names and do something with them.  So here's what I do.  Here are my tactics, strategies, in just getting to know someone or when I see someone log-on.

  1. Acknowledge them.  Say hello to them in /g.  Greet them by name.
  2. Ask how they're doing; how their day/week/weekend has gone, especially if you haven't seen them in a while.
  3. Ask what they plan to do in-game today.  Whether they want to hit warzones, flashpoints, or do some social roleplaying.
  4. Ask to either be involved, or ask them if they'd like to tag along with you (finish up what you're doing if you're not too involved) if it sounds like something that would be mutually enjoyed.
  5. If you've never met their character before, have an impromptu meeting in the Guild Stronghold(s).  If it's a Sith thing, use the Temple; if it's a military thing, use the Ship.  There's a dueling ground in the back for trials and training.  There's a full military drill field in the middle of the Temple.  Avarice made an amazing operations center in one of the smaller temples, and I made a Mandalorian/Hunter armory in the other.

Just these things make people feel welcome to a guild, and treat you as friends, rather than strangers.  After all, a stranger is just a friend you've never met (Thanks, Will Rogers, William Butler Yeats, and Roald Dahl).  You want people to have a reason to stick around if there's only 1-3 people online.  This can be that reason.


So when you recruit someone, if you're hanging out in Korriban, Dromund Kaas, Vaiken, or whatever, there's a few steps I'd like people to do when they obtain some new blood from the wilds.  First of all, you should get to know them!  My process is using this format of questions to just see what their background is and what they like to do.  This can be done in /g post invitation.  It really helps people get a sense that they're not a number or someone to pad out an experience bonus as some guilds like to do.  It makes them feel like you're treating them like a person.  Don't forget to provide them with instruction of how to use the strongholds, and ask them if they would like any XP boosts if they're leveling, which you can get freely from the vault that I've supplied (thousands of them since I level so quickly).

Redirect them to the Character Biography forum and, using the Bio Template, give them the ability to include their character in the lexicon of biographies to make others aware of them and want to be involved.  Tell them about Enjin and give them your username (or mine, probably) for any questions or concerns.  Don't forget to tell them how the guild works, by showing them the Guild Backstory and the Guild Ranks and Harbinger Information Page so they can become aware of who the chessmasters are and start off on the right foot to begin thinking of their characters' alignments and how to best know which path to choose to progress their own personal stories.

So, to make this post a bit more interactive, since I'm on a thing about 'recruitment,' I am gonna challenge each one of you that regularly read this stuff to respond to it with a recruitment message you could use in /1.  Just write it as a reply to this.  It should be no more than 255 characters, as if you were using twitter.  It should be encompassing what you believe we represent or what makes us stand out amongst the other roleplaying guilds in Ebon Hawk that are, without a doubt, younger than us (as we are amongst the oldest guilds in this game).  Maybe I'll have a prize for ones I like.

Artuss "An Empire united! <Sons of Korriban> is looking for RP/PvPers of all backgrounds to participate...
Domina Zaon Sons of Korriban is recruiting You want to join a nice community great for all players? You are a guy, a girl, a cat, a ...
thegreatwmg Long live the queen!

The Defenestration of Power

Raziel a posted Dec 5, 16

Kaas City
Dromund Kaas
Esstran Sector


"I am going in there alone. Guard this door. Nobody comes in, do I make myself clear?" Orecal told Sparax.

Orecal walked through the door into the Sanctum. The torches were still light, which gave little light in the room after cutting the power off. He took in his surrounding for a moment, closing his eyes, inhaling deeply. He walked down the steps and slowly towards the statue of The Emperor that had proudly stood there for so long. Orecal reached out with his arms, using the force began to tear the statue from its base. After it gave way, he mustered up the strength he had and threw it again the wall. As it shattered into small bits of rock, Orecal unleashed force lightning all around the room, scorching the sides of the wall and burning holes into the carpets on the floor. He used the force and picked up the chairs in the room and threw them to the sides, hitting the wall carving marks into the concrete. He picked up the torches and threw them down. The burning oils spilled everywhere and burned across the floor, igniting the carpets, and the imperial banners that hung up the side of the wall. The room had been fully engulfed in flames as Orecal walked back out.

The doors opened to grant entry down the steps, Darth Orecal found himself suddenly suspended from physical movement, being lifted in the air as a spike of electricity seized his lower back.  A sudden burst of telekinetic energy launched him back in the air, soaring across the length of the room to the opposing wall.  The form of Darth Moiregates manifested, dark force energy bursting from the gloved hand of the Harbinger, frying the door’s circuitry to lock it shut before the Phoenix Guard could intercept and rush inside the room.

“You have come to us.  We are here,” Darth Moiragetes spoke, his voice distorted by the full helmet underneath the armored robes and hood that contained him.  The clawed fingertips on the sculpted gauntlet slid alongside the transparisteel door, mocking Darth Orecal’s paramilitary organization from being able to help.  He tapped the glass twice, pointing at them, emitting an overloading wave of force energy that threw them against the wall, knocking them unconscious.  “We so do loathe to be interrupted when we feed.”

The magenta crystal in Darth Moiragetes’ dual-bladed hilt glowed with power as it floated into his hand.  He turned, seeing Darth Orecal stagger up, force energy pooling around him manifesting in bright blue electrical discharges.  “You are in the way.  Move, or your death will be slow and agonizing,” Darth Orecal threatened.  He spread his arms outward, palms open, and hurtled bolts of lightning across the room, illuminating it in a spectral glow.


Darth Moiragetes extended the two points of the dual-bladed saber, drawing power from the core crystal to engulf his body in purple lightning.  He held the weapon in rear guard while expelling the storm from his opposite hand, meeting Orecal’s own in a blustering cacophony of electrical eruptions that diverged off each other in a spectacular formation, scarring the walls black as they scorched lines across the plasteel.

Darth Orecal clapped his hands together, forming a powerful ball of lightning and pushed it outward, rushing through the electrical defenses of Darth Moiragetes.  It stuck him hard against the wall, grunting. “I won’t pretend to know what entitles you to power. Your command of the force is incredible, I'll give you that. But you’ve a lot to learn still.]”


Darth Moiragetes pushed himself back from the wall, leaving an impression of his silhouette.  He re-ignited his saber, and stomped on the floor, becoming a conduit of death.  Dark energies swarmed around him, causing cracks to appear in the floor as a miasma of decay swirled.  It reached beyond the physical, through the walls, and ripped the Phoenix Guard’s very souls from their forms by overpowering their will and turning their bodies to an ashy husk.  Having absorbed their life force into himself, Darth Moiragetes channeled into his lightsaber, blade crackling with red lightning.  “We shall teach you what we know.  Let us see if you have an open mind to learn.”  He learned back, and launched the spinning blade at Darth Orecal.  The Sorcerer phased into the force, transporting past the propeller effortlessly, only to see Darth Moiragetes vanish into the very ether, using a common mind trick taught to assassins to prevent others from perceiving them.

Darth Orecal could still sense his evanescent presence.  He could still smell that sulfuric scent of the death field that the apprentice left in his stead.  Reforming corporeally, Orecal watched the hilt float back and pierce through the wall into the inner sanctum, where Darth Moiragetes walked through the fires, a gree matrix cube in hand.  Orecal grimaced, clapping his hands together and threw a second ball of force lightning at him.  “I think we’re about finished here.”

“We agree,” Darth Moiragetes answered, becoming a shimmering phantom once more as the ball lightning exploded into the inferno, crumbling a massive Sith artifact stature to rubble.  Darth Orecal sensed Moiragetes’ move quickly, but his force signature seemed obfuscated, as nothing he had sensed outside of Yavin IV or Korriban.  He cautiously stepped towards the middle of the chamber, channeling the force into himself to mend the fracture from being thrown across the room.  Orecal scanned the room, until he was alerted to the massive Gree Hypergate structure drawing massive power from the top-level generators.  Outside, stood Darth Moiragetes.

The Sith Lord’s hand had activated the Gree Terminal, activating the pillars surging with hypermatter.  Droplets of rain danced off his helmet as he raised the energized Matrix Cube to the gree console.  The cube lit up, dissipating in hypermatter, and seemed to be absorbed into the console.  The massive cube opposite the gate powered on, and a large red energy shield surrounded it.  “Let us show you the master’s plan!”  Darth Moiragetes shouted through the storm, his arms outstretched to embrace the chaos.

The Hypergate roared to life with the three pillars discharging massive amounts of hypermatter between themselves for the full length of each until it began to congeal into a fourth dimensional tear in reality of blinding white energy.  The heat and power generated began to evaporate the rain around it, causing steam to rise from the balcony.  A sudden shift of energy occurred as the middle part of the tower went completely dark when the hypergate began to draw from the secondary generators as the unknown destination in the galaxy was located.  A sudden huge vacuum exploded through the hypergate tear,shattering the windows in the entire level as a wave of energy pulsed outwards.  

“We warp reality.  We warp fate itself,” Darth Moiragetes taunted, casually walking in front of the hypergate.  He pointed his finger at Darth Orecal.  “Do you wish to join this power play?  Do you even for once contemplate the forces at our whims?    We invite you to the way forward.”  A gravitational anomaly began to form, pulling Darth Orecal to the hypergate.  He held his hands out, pushing himself back with an equal telekinetic repulsion.  The walls themselves ached and moaned as the fire was sucked from the inner sanctum into the hypergate, twisting around the pillars like a serpent before forming around the tear and turning it bright yellow.  The vortex became bigger, sucking in doors and panels from the upper floor, bending the girders, and inhaling the display cases.  Datacrons, holocrons, matrix cubes, weapons, and machines were ripped from the inner sanctum through the walls at ballistic velocities to feed the gaping maw of spacetime, causing it to widen and increasing the gravity well further.  

“You resist us, but in time, you will be brought into the fold, ‘Darth’ Orecal,” Moiragetes taunted.  “You may earn a place at our table, but how long can your chair be supported, we wonder?”  Tiles from the roof ripped off, being devoured by the gateway, its size now so massive as to bend the Gree pylons outward, causing hypermatter instabilities in the balcony.  The very floor creaked and cracked.  Darth Moiragetes began laughing, once more igniting his lightsaber to discharge the bright red lightning bolts from it’s overcharge into the large matrix cube.  The red force energy swarmed over the gree structure, detonating it in a large explosion that caused Darth Moiragetes to be swept off his feet and sucked into the unstable hypergate.  

Depleted of its’ energy source and coordinates, the instability became too much, and the pylons collided on themselves.  A loud, low bass sound moaned as the hypergate collapsed, shrinking into a singularity before the anti-matter formed touched the atmospheric isotopes of the Dromund Kaas environment and erupted in a near kilometer-wide eruption.  Darth Orecal surrounded himself in a stasis field, placing his arms out in a wholly defensive posture.  The concussion blast leveled the entire office and rooftop, blowing the lid off the entire tower.

When the pylons finally fell to the ground, the balcony fell thirty stories to the streets.  There was just Darth Orecal, alone, with the wind and the rain.  As Orecal walked downstairs, he ignited his light saber, and welded the door to the metal frame, sealing it.


"Orders, sir?" General Sparax asked.


"Begin pulling the divisions out. We are done here. We move to Tatooine."

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Of Two Minds

Raziel a posted Jan 27, 16

Belsavis

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.”

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