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  1. 1 point
    “Well look at you, my dear apprentice, you’ve filled out quite nicely with the proper care and sustenance. I’m thrilled to see you finding your health again despite the state that you were in when you first were sent to me. Not everyone could bounce back from that like you did. I’m proud of you.” Just like parents would affect how children would raise their own offspring, Darth Nyrys’s training was affecting how she would train her own apprentices. She certainly knew the value of harsh treatment, but she felt like there was little she could do to top what he had been through. Better to take the pieces and reassemble them into what best suited her needs. And if kindness and support bolstered his loyalty to her even better. “Goodness” could be pragmatic, and faithful allies were priceless in the world of the Sith. Lately 03 had seemed reserved but polite, mindful of the servants that tended to him. You never knew with slaves, sometimes their pasts would grant them great empathy towards others, and other times they would transform into the monsters they once served to prove to themselves that they had finally gotten out from under. But the softness with which 03 moved and acted could not wipe away the rage she had seen when he fought. He was like a pressurized inferno inside a teddy bear. “I will be working with you next on exploring the properties of transference and energy, in particular, life force and thermodynamics. I think it will compliment your style well, and it’s something I have a great deal of experience in. Drago, I have some scrolls and tomes for you to begin studying biomancy from. It should be a smoother transition from scientific perspective than some of the more esoteric sorceries. Not to mention less likely to cause an untimely death.” Drago was a quick study and rapacious reader, the kind of student that studied for the sake of knowledge rather than to achieve a specific purpose. He had less of a raw connection to the Dark Side than 03, but his mind could leverage that connection to his own form of greatness with the right education. With how much the initial training had drained him, laboratory work would allow him time to build up his core reservoir without allowing his intake of knowledge to stall out. It was said that the Dark Lord had an affinity for the Dark Side monstrosities that roamed Onderon, cultivating a sorcerer that could create new dark wonders for him was a political investment. Furthermore, a skilled biomancer could turn even the most meek into a serious combat asset, and the Dark Lord would need troops for the coming campaign. “Often we speak of the Force as a distinct entity that exists as its own form of energy, but I think that is inaccurate to some degree. I think that the Force is more like a spiritual neuronet and medium that allows us to interact with and manipulate all of the energies and physical laws of existence. In all of my studies, I’ve never seen the Force exist in a vacuum as a power source, it’s always facilitating the transfer or consumption of other energies. For us Sith, most commonly that is emotion and sensation, along with the echoes of past wrongs. The Jedi seem to draw on whatever surplus energy exists naturally. They would be comical in choosing to be janitors over being gods if not for their penchant for the genocide of anyone that disagrees with them. Anyway, manipulating energy. Once you realize this basic truth, you can begin to explore ways to transfer, disperse, or excite energies of various types through the Force. I was brought into the galaxy through Sith alchemy, my parents were incompatible species but they wanted a child together, so one of them made it happen through alchemy and genetic science. I was often sick growing up, and myself and others always just assumed it was because I was a hybrid and that came with medical issues. Upon joining the Sith, it became apparent that my body needed to take the life force of others to correct an internal deficit. My first “feedings” were chaotic and brutal, and I remember very little of them, but they led to the first time in my life that I felt truly healthy. The process should be less uncontrolled for you to learn, since you aren’t going off of instinct and desperation. Also, since we’re on foreign soil as diplomatic representatives, I want you to start with practicing the manipulation of thermodynamics, we can use that as a lead in to vital energies later. Remember that thermodynamics isn’t heat and cold, rather movement and stillness of particles. Once we have better access to living subjects we can work on the transfer of living energy through strikes. Striking an enemy is a display of force, and force is the root of which all other authorities are derived. The Force acknowledges this most primal form of conquest, and allows a trained warrior to use it to lay claim to the life energies of others. With practice and discipline, you will be able to sustain your fighting style with the vitality of those that would oppose you. I have one of the valets out and about to retrieve a cut of rail meat for you to practice on. It will be similar to punching a person and also react comparably to any heat changes. In between practice sessions we will work together on crafting your first set of armor. I will provide the materials but whatever you complete will belong to you. Drago, I want you to read through the teachings of Morth Senizen, Kos Vellator’s saga of Korlioth, this surgical case file from the records of Darth Visector during his Alabaster Church period of work, and this treatise by Darth Mellisidae on a theoretical Sithspawn biome that could sustain itself through parasitic interactions with neighboring areas. Then I want you to decide if you want to pursue viral, alchemical, surgical, or parasitic methods of Sithspawn creation, and speculate on three morphologies you think would be of value to create. Once you have a theoretical foundation to work off of, we can move to laboratory experiments, although if you choose virals as your preferred vector we’ll need to have access to a proper clean room. I’ve read some particularly gruesome horror stories about biological agents that weren’t properly contained and got out."
  2. 1 point
    Sith Assassin Guide What are Sith assassins? Assassins practice a blend of stealth, social, and mental powers to further the goals of the Sith from the shadows. Whether an assassin focuses on being an invisible killer, masterminding great political schemes, or driving their enemies mad through mental manipulation is up to the player. Assassins are also not limited to those archetypes, and this guide is more of a tool for inspiration and establishing themes than creating hard and fast rules or immutable character templates. In more tactical/gamified terms, assassins tend to be lightly armored strikers and debuffers that kill through precision and exploiting vulnerabilities, and survive through speed and misdirection. Veteran players will be available and willing to mentor new writers that want to improve their craft, but assassins are generally recommended for experienced writers. Our current lead assassin is the Dark Lord Exodus. Key concepts: Fluidity, misdirection, agility, adaptation, stealth, speed, power of perception, poison, mind games, multiple approaches, illusions, unexpected movement, invasive Assassins and recurring themes Politicking: While warriors and sorcerers incidentally gain political power as they pursue their endeavors, assassins often actively seek political power. This unfortunately makes other Sith quick to question whether an assassin deserves the position they occupy, especially when it comes to Sith lords, but by the time an assassin reaches master rank they are generally regarded as proven. While there absolutely are assassins whose ambitions exceed their capabilities, it is worth noting that assassins also have the most training and natural aptitude for leadership roles. From an assassin’s perspective, they are the best suited to leadership, focusing on the larger picture, and are simply doing what is best for the Sith. Alternatively, an assassin may find a skilled warrior or sorcerer that lacks political savvy and offer to serve as council and emissary. In this way an assassin can advance themself through the rise of their ally while largely remaining in the shadows. These situations can be mutually beneficial as long as both Sith understand and respect the power dynamics and roles involved. Mortal ties and fake lives: Assassins are more likely than any other type of Sith to keep or develop ties with people and organizations outside of the order, both to accrue power and to keep their social skills sharp. Pretending to be able to relate to lesser beings is a skillset that requires practice and upkeep. Some assassins also develop ties to serve as emotional fuel for their powers, or because the Dark Side makes using people for pleasure and personal gain so easy. Rarely, Sith will seek out lovers, family, or friends from their lives before the Sith order, but that often ends in tragedy. Some Sith will maintain a family mimicking the motions others go through in advancing politically and professionally. Spouses in these arrangements are almost always either highly independent and occupied with their own lives, or so susceptible to mind tricks that their daily lives are almost like waking dreams of whatever patchwork false reality the Sith wishes to give them. Often these marriages and their offspring are treated as afterthoughts, unless any children possess Force potential, but some Sith cultivate them like gardens and compare them with other Sith in friendly competitions and wagers. Such games can quickly turn torturous or even deadly for the people caught in them. Mind games and control issues: Sith assassins have a penchant for (or some might say obsession with) mind games, controlling the information available to and perspectives of people around them. As self titled masters of manipulation, assassins always want to feel in control, even if that control is not direct. They want to feel like everyone is a piece on a board that they can move when the time comes, and when they can do so, they want people to know who is in charge. On their more benevolent days assassins want to be considered solution finders and match makers, but that’s just the opposite side of the same coin. When an assassin finds themself not in control of a situation, they tend to react in one of three ways, leaving the situation, hiding until they can understand the situation better, or doubling down on their skills of mind control and manipulation to force control over those around them, or at least the most susceptible person. Showmanship: Assassins don’t just focus on results, they focus on how they can multiply the effect of those results through performance. They make difficult feats look trivial, and mundane actions look flashy. There is music in their steps and poetry in their plans. For many, they embody power, desire, intrigue, and temptation. The assassins have a reputation to maintain, and they expend a great deal of energy doing so. Patience: More than the warriors or even the sorcerers, the assassins practice patience. Their games can play out over years or even mortal lifetimes. There is no bigger picture than the one that assassins focus on. This may make them seem indifferent to more immediate concerns and setbacks, but that’s only because they are. Powers Duelist’s cloak: An illusion power that focuses on concealing rather than deceiving, the duelist’s cloak let’s the assassin conceal his or her footwork and core stance behind a flowing illusionary robe that leaves them their full range of movement. Phantom step: When the assassin dodges or disengages, for a split second multiple illusionary instances diverge in probable directions and maneuvers to foil attempts to predict the assassin, lead shots, or score attacks of opportunity. OOC( I want to emphasize again the brevity of the illusion here to specify that this is not to create a mid duel shell game, rather just to increase survivability while disengaging an enemy.) Painful truths: The assassin uses illusionry to adopt the persona of someone known to the opponent, and speak with their voice. The goal of the power is not to deceive the opponent by adopting a false appearance (in fact the target often can intuitively detect the deception almost immediately), but rather to damage the enemy’s composure with uncomfortable truths and unspoken doubts. This power works best when the assassin either has been surveilling the target or has performed some sort of invasive mind reading attack. Mind pick: This power lets the assassin project the victim’s mindscape onto reality. While in use, reality, memory, and imagination bleed together to make an amalgam scenario where the assassin can attempt to call upon painful memories or hunt for information by trying to prompt the target to think about it. (Originally this was going to be an opposed romp through the target’s mind with both parties oblivious to real world events, but there was too much potential for other participants in battles to gank one person or the other mid mindscape duel, either trolling or as part of an underhanded one two punch combo. Instead it’s a blend of mindscape and reality to allow both participants the ability to react to events nearby.) Dreadful Morpheus: The assassin can deep dive into the mind of a sleeping or unconscious victim, devoting their full energies to exploring the depths of the dreamscape. While mind pick allows the user to peruse the surface of a target’s mind, dreadful morpheus allows the Assassin to actively dig for memories through neural pathways that connect thoughts and ideas, or to implant dreams into the victim’s psyche. Think of the connection between thoughts as like navigating wikipedia through links. The assassin must start somewhere unprotected, and outmaneuver the victim by approaching the information they need through an unexpected angle. With this power the assassin has a great deal of control over the dreamscape elements, similar to the monster from Stephen King’s It.(Since only the aggressor is making a gamble here with the other party already unconscious or asleep, I felt more comfortable with a deep dive here, rather than giving a player incap on demand.) Gale Blade: Less a distinct power and more a refined aspect of telekinesis, this skill lets the assassin affect the arc that a blade or other weapon travels in when thrown. This should not be treated as a homing attack, but rather the ability to throw around cover or in a manner that returns the blade to the hand without sacrificing lethal momentum. The assassin should already be visualizing the arc before the blade leaves his hand. Gale blade also preserves the momentum of a throw even after impact. Grasping Fetters: This simple ritual allows the assassin to treat a throwing weapon as the point of origin for telekinetic throws, holds, and pulls, allowing them to apply resistance from unexpected angles. Alternatively, the assassin can treat the weapon as sort of telekinetic grapple point to swing or redirect their movement with. Shadow Lash: The assassin relies on distraction and controlling the battlefield, and this application of illusion exemplifies their ability to strike unexpectedly at range. The lash that the Sith appears to conjure allows them to deliver painful strikes with considerable reach. While the pain is illusionary, that makes it no less vicious to the senses of anyone struck. A Sith Lord can create more complex illusions where the lash touches, especially if it entangles a limb or weapon. Flesh might bubble or become covered in cancerous lesions, or weapons may rust and crack, it’s all a matter of personal preference. Cloak of Lies: This illusion power allows the assassin to appear as someone that belongs in an area. It doesn’t replicate an existing person’s appearance, but rather just extrapolates an appearance of an appropriate look of a low key identity. For example, the Sith may look like a janitor, secretary, security guard, or office worker. The power doesn’t force people to believe that the Sith does in fact belong in the area (that’s the realm of a straight up mind trick), but it does lower the chances of people noticing them to begin with. This power works best in locations where staff or security are too numerous for everyone to know each other. Sudden Reversal: The assassin uses the Force to form an invisible barrier momentarily for them to springboard off of, allowing rapid changes in direction, aerial course correction, and otherwise impossible maneuvers like double jumps. This power can also be used to reduce falling impact by breaking the descent into multiple segments rather than a long fall. Sinister Brand: The assassin can mark a victim’s soul like ranchers brand cattle. The power is not a direct link, but rather an affliction of the spirit designed to be readily recognizable by the Sith that embedded it. Once a Sith has branded a person, it becomes significantly easier to pick them out in the Force. The more insight the assassin has into the person, the stronger the brand becomes, not only making them easier to track, but also metastasizing the darkness within. The weak willed find themselves becoming more ruled by their passions and less able to function with a clear and calm mind, eventually becoming slaves to impulse and their own dark desires. The iron willed (read PCs) won’t be dominated by the mark, but must wrestle with their own inner darkness more as the brand grows in power. It’s important to note that Sinister Brand does not appear as foreign or alien to non Sith that observe it, instead it appears to be someone losing control of their own demons. Empathic Delirium: The assassin unleashes a deluge of emotional energy onto the mind of a target, attempting to overwhelm the victim and throw them off balance in a fight or make irrational decisions while suffering from a state of severe emotional imbalance. The power can only project Dark Side related emotions like fear, jealousy, lust, and anger, and the more tone appropriate the emotion is, the more effective the power is. As with many other mental powers, understanding your target is key to getting the most out of this application. Toxic chemistry: This power allows the assassin to manipulate a victim’s response to fear and excitement. The neurochemistry of a sentient brain has the same trigger response for both, and the brain tries to file it afterwards according to various parameters. By adjusting those parameters, the assassin can seduce with terror and make the victim fear healthy attraction to others. OOC(This power is meant more for use on NPCs to recruit cultists and PCs that have consented for the purpose of storylines, as always, ship responsibly and remember to respect other players’ boundaries.) Lingering Doubts: A more subtle tool in the assassin’s mental arsenal, Lingering doubts allows the Sith to implant a thought, mental image, or short scenario into the victim’s mind, or tag a memory that the assassin knows of. Whichever route the assassin chooses, the power creates a small but nearly indelible mark in the victim’s psyche, causing the mental payload to be repeatedly brought to the surface of the mind. This is not a brute force mental attack, but rather the means to slowly make people question themselves or others, what they want, and who they are. Shadow Step: The assassin is adept at manipulating their weight and center of balance, allowing them to move silently and traverse over loose material like snow instead of through it. Particularly skilled practitioners can use this power to walk on the surface of fluid bodies. Storm Dash: With a powerful burst of TK energy, the assassin flings themself in a direction of their choosing. This power allows the assassin to change direction or misdirect opponents easily, but is more draining than sudden reversal. Death by Inches and Degrees: Originally a warrior’s application of the Force, Assassins who favored piercing weapons adapted this power with a more subtle approach. This power prevents a Sith from thrusting too deep into a target, using telekinetic control to stop the blade the moment a killing strike has been delivered. When engaging multiple targets, this is crucial in making sure the assassin is not hindered by having their blade too deep into the enemy. Nightmare Lurch: Through illusion and focused muscle control the assassin moves in disconcertingly unnatural and erratic ways. This can be used to both intimidate and to confuse opponents. Blood Echo: The assassin can cut themself and use the blood to broadcast a false ping of their presence in the Force. The range of this power is roughly twenty meters, and it pairs well with throwing knives. A Truth Amidst Ten Thousand Lies: The assassin floods the Force with thousands of potential strikes to conceal one attack that lacks any kind of Force guidance, making the attack both less accurate and less likely to be deflected by Force users. Punish the Weak: By probing through the Force, the assassin determines which opponent is most vulnerable to being overwhelmed quickly. This should not be treated as a variation of Shatterpoints, as it does not reveal how to strike or guide the attack, it’s simply sizing up opponents through preternatural abilities. ------------------------- A discussion on stealth and invisibility: I remember a while back watching a video on Force use that used the example that a Jedi could fly, but the strain of using that much Force for an extended amount of time made it impractical, especially when other forms of conveyance were readily available. I think a similar argument could be made for invisibility in that it is feasible but not practical for an assassin of any worth as they have powers and skills that let them operate at a lower baseline of Force use. During downtime a Sith may choose to indulge in invisibility in a place with enough supplemental Dark Side energy, such as a Sith temple or personal lair. Should the Sith decide to do this outside of their lair, they will forgo their Force senses and quickly become fatigued from extended use. Passing out while invisible means passing out without the aura of self that traditionally protects Force users, leaving the Sith vulnerable to Dark Side spirits. ------------------------- Poisons: Sith Poison is an oft mentioned aspect of the Sith arsenal, but its applications have been glossed over or used more as a justification for bringing Jedi to the Dark Side. Here are some alternative interpretations of side effects from poison as it spreads. Breathstealer: Swelling in the throat makes it difficult for the enemy to catch their breath, and impossible to do so quietly. Blinding Hypocrisy: This poison dilates the eyes to an extreme degree, making bright lights unbearable and even normal light sources difficult to look at. Trembling Doom: Micro spasms and muscle twitches course through the victim’s body, making fine motor control difficult. -------------------------- Forms of Control Political Office: Excepting times of overt Sith rule, assassins who hold power through politics are the most at risk for having their identities compromised, but the rewards for maintaining a public persona of power can be monumental. While we’re all familiar with the heights that Palpatine rose to through politics, even on a smaller scale the Sith can be afforded opportunities and tools of great value. I assume we’ve all seen the movies so this entry is more of an acknowledgement of the method than a complete overview. Cults: There are several avenues that Sith can use to establish cults and secure recruits, and while cults may not have the direct power of some of the other entries in this section, the inherent secrecy and zealous nature of cult members provide their own advantages. The recruitment process is made easier by the fact that Sith actually do have access to mystical powers, instead of just relying on charisma, subverted faith, and drugs. Furthermore, assassins can use the Force to erase memories and manipulate perceptions, allowing them to control the experiences that members have completely. The vast majority of Sith cults are cons to gain power and influence, but on rare occasions the cult leader might actually be a true believer. The Sith are indifferent to this as long as the cult serves its purpose, but players should keep rule 6 of the universal Force guide in mind if they go this route. It’s also a good idea to avoid the “everyone was a cultist the whole time!” trope. Some Sith dispense with pretense and simply form cults around their Sith personas, but these groups are used more to attend to ego than accomplish any secret objectives. The exception to this is power players who don’t want to admit that they’re in a cult and think that because they have lunch with Darth so and so they’re totally in the inner social circle of that Sith. They are not. But they are still useful. In terms of writing, it’s better to portray cultists as people that came from somewhere and were consumed by this hidden life rather than just faceless bodies that do whatever they’re told. Cultists should have their own internal logic for doing what they do, whether it’s seeking power of their own, wanting a sense of belonging to something larger, or even because they’ve been brainwashed by the Sith, but relaying that information gives depth. Celebrity: A Sith who uses celebrity wields an indirect and difficult to anticipate power. Celebrities have access to places and people that might otherwise be unreachable, and while they can’t directly control their fans, they can have a disproportionate effect on public opinion. Managing stardom’s never ending demands can be hellish for a Sith, but the money and fame can be intoxicating. Some Sith cheat and use mental control to attach themselves to a celebrity as part of their entourage or as a lover or agent, controlling a star from the shadows. This is a far more viable method for active Sith to utilize celebrity over the long term. The Devourers of Stars are a group of Sith assassins and body hoppers who offer a third option, abducting celebrities, taking over their lives, and then publicly burning out when their usefulness expires or a new celebrity catches their eye. Media: There are two different ways that assassins can exploit the media. The form most commonly associated with the Sith is the use of propaganda, whether in the form of defamation of enemies, propagating anti-xeno sentiment, glorifying Sith accomplishments, and vilifying enemy factions. Propaganda is rarely one hundred percent successful, but it doesn’t need to be as long as it convinces a suitable percentage of the masses. A more subtle approach involves Sith masquerading as investigative journalists to perform character assassinations with surgical precision. Even pillars of virtue can be twisted under the corrupting touch of an assassin, or at least convincingly made to look like a monster. Amusingly, if an assassin ever decides to take the role seriously, they’re actually quite capable Crime: Criminal organizations allow Sith to achieve their objectives through unexpected avenues, provide excellent financial resources, and generally don’t mind that they are working with evil space wizards should the subject arise. Many Sith cultivate ties with smaller criminal organizations or even local street gangs to act as muscle or perform simple but less than legal tasks. Some Sith even form their own criminal syndicates, after all, Sith powers are especially suited for crime. While such endeavors are more time intensive than a simple business relationship, the profits are notably sizeable. Alternatively, some crime lords have built significant empires before discovering that they were instinctively using the Dark Side to enhance their command. Business: Corporate and Sith psychology tend to go hand in hand, and the perception of Sith seemingly having limitless resources is fed largely by their mastery of the corporate sector. A Sith Lord can use the Force to manipulate deals, force acquisitions and mergers, and cause untimely deaths for rivals. Assassins that have mastered the Sith hive mind power can create soul crushing never ending crunch periods, causing mental breakdowns and collapses from physical exhaustion. -------------------------------- Lairs: A lair is many things to an assassin. It’s a temple to the self, where they go to recenter after a deep infiltration mission. It’s a walk in multi story closet where they perfect disguises and hand craft their looks. It’s a theater and a funhouse where the assassin can torment unassuming guests or impress their fellow Sith with displays of grandiose illusion. It’s a trophy room of their favorite kills and deceptions. It’s a workshop for designing concealed weapons and mixing deadly poisons. It’s a study for planning future missions and reviewing intel. It’s a powerful conductor attuned to the assassin’s soul. Lairs are meant for plot and not PvP (luring the enemy to your super secret nerve center is not a sustainable strategy). It’s a chance to explore the psyche of the character outside of their on mission personas and look at what matters to them. Lairs are too personal to be part of locations like major Sith temples or other areas with major through traffic. Sample Lairs A forgotten tenement in a rundown part of the city serves as a lair to an assassin who grew up in poverty and favors targets of wealth and hedonism. After he kills them, he binds them to one of the crumbling and rotten apartments to exist in squalor for eternity. An abandoned theater serves as a shared home for a close knit troupe of assassins who reenact their favorite kills on stage for friends and potential clients. Occasional squabbles between members turn the theater into a nightmarish phantasmal killing ground, but amends are made in time. A manor home that has outlived its foundations. Reluctant to lose such an important memory, the assassin has allowed a family to move in and renovate, completely unaware of the Sith’s presence. The family is now the Sith’s new chew toy. -------------------------------- Sith Assassin Fighting Styles (These are sample styles and by no means the end all be all of Sith assassin combat styles.) Treacherous Blade: This fighting style focuses on baiting, redirection, and punishing enemy attacks. To the untrained eye it may seem like a reactive style, but in truth the Sith is controlling the flow of the duel by feigning vulnerability and drawing out strikes. The style lends itself to parrying weapons and off hand strikes, along with limited special armor use on the hands and feet. While many techniques of the style can be used in full armor, true mastery requires freedom of movement, speed, and maximum awareness. Hidden Path: With so many Sith assassins using concealed weapons it was inevitable that a style would develop that catered to their usage. Hidden Path is a precision fighting style that achieves victory by systematically crippling the opponent. Depending on the weapon, Hidden Path will target joints, arteries, and pressure points until the enemy is unable to effectively retaliate and a killing blow can be struck. Poisonous Little Death: As the name suggests, this style focuses on poison usage, almost always as the opener. Rather than endeavor to deliver a killing blow, the intent is to distract the victim from getting help or otherwise neutralizing the poison, while also pushing the heart to beat faster and therefore spread the poison more quickly. The style is acrobatic and ostentatious, relying both on physical theatrics and illusion to harry and startle the victim into a state of reactionary panic. Spiral Ghost Dance: An evasive style that has the assassin perpetually engaging and disengaging to capitalize on advantageous moments and prevent the enemy from pressing any sort of attack. If the enemy is skilled in close quarters combat, the assassin keeps distance and distracts or throws off the the enemy’s balance with throwing knives or lanvarok disks, only closing when the enemy is overwhelmed. If the enemy is a ranged combatant then they are given no room to breathe as the assassin dogs them relentlessly. ------------------------------- Rituals and other diversions Rituals of youth and beauty: There are many variations that have been developed by the Sith over the years, but ultimately the general metaphysical mechanics are the same. The young and beautiful are sacrificed, or at least have their youth and beauty drained out of them to a crippling degree, and the vital energies are imbued to some medium that the Sith can apply or imbibe to absorb them. In terms of results, many consider it the most effective and undetectable. Sith who rely on it must be prepared to routinely invest time in performing the ritual, and increasing the number of sacrifices as they age. The greatest issue with this method however is the eventual development of a mental condition that makes the Sith begin to perceive flaws and imperfections in their appearance, despite no observable change to anyone around them. If pressed to explain what they think is wrong, they tend to be at a loss for words, desperately trying to grasp a way to communicate what they are seeing but usually falling back on words like “blight” and “rot”. This condition tends to manifest three to five years into using the ritual, and slowly worsens over time, although no actual perceivable deterioration occurs. Ritual of Tainted Perfection: An attempt to provide a solution to the creeping madness of the sacrificial rituals, this one concentrates Dark Side corruption into a single feature that becomes undeniably warped. The rest of the body ceases to change or age, other than to grow more fit and attractive with the accumulation of Dark Side energies, however the corrupted feature proportionately continues to worsen. Clawed fingertips may metastasize into arms covered in scales, black eyes might start weeping blood continuously, a serpentine tongue that constantly tastes the air might start imbuing words with an otherworldly tone. While many Sith consider it a worthy tradeoff or even relish in the reactions they get to their mutated appearances, their warped visages undeniably out them as Sith, which can be problematic for infiltrators. Sith who work wholly within the Sith Empire such as government officials benefit from propaganda portraying the mutations as noble sacrifices made in service to the Empire. Black Rite of Apoteras: If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, is not any quest for supreme beauty flawed? Is it not better to sculpt perceptions than the body? Apoteras is about embracing one’s own monstrous nature and forcing people to love it, rather than trying to sculpt a perfect body through sorcery and lifestyle. Upon performing the rite, the Sith’s body rapidly transforms into a corrupted state of “otherness” that is alien and monstrous. Each transformation is unique, and unsettling to look at. Or it should be. The horrific underlying power of Apoteras makes its disturbing form inexplicably desirable to those that behold it. Witnesses are acutely aware of their revulsion for the Sith, but are overwhelmingly compelled to also desire it, as if driven by some sense of morbid curiosity turned unhealthy fixation. -------------------------------- Sith Assassin places of power The Broken Halls: A locus of Dark Side energy in a dilapidated castle overrun with phantoms and dessicated Undying who have outlived their usefulness. An intricately woven veil of illusion covers the grounds to make the denizens fair and delightful to look upon, and the decor and structure well maintained, but this illusion varies from most in that it is only visible to those skilled in the art. To the uninitiated, the Broken Halls is a desolate place of nightmares, wandered aimlessly by shriveled and gangly monstrosities. That is why the assassins come here to train in intrigue. A novice must learn to hide their reactions behind a pale mask of lies, to convincingly profess love to unspeakable horrors, to smile and make small talk with feculent courtiers who smell of offal and rot. The Theater of the Gods: An ancient fane located in a partially submerged cave network where primitives used to go to seek the wisdom of their divinities, researchers would later discover that the stories of mythical encounters were tied to a mixture of hallucinogenic mold spores, plants with mind altering effects in the water, and natural gases that bewilder the senses and steal away focus. While no mechanical lighting is installed in the fane, the molds and algaes in the caves are bioluminescent with a wide array of colors. The Sith have begun using the caves to practice mental warfare, learning how to cope with an uncooperative and deceitful mind of their own and also how to effectively alter the minds of others. There are a number of cenotes that connect to the cave system, and masters are known to toss apprentices down them to see if they can make it out from the deepest parts of the caves. Not all do, many dying due to starvation or the paranoid delusions of their peers. Some become the madness that they have consumed, learning to live in the caves in a state of permanent delirium, and becoming a serious hazard in their own right. The Impossible Labyrinth: Built to test the skill and determination of assassins through massive free for all brawls, this structure is a grand maze with overwhelming verticality set within a massive gyrosphere, allowing the whole structure to spin, tilt, or even invert itself at its master’s whim. Furthermore, the entire interior is kept pitch black. Its creator shares the video feeds with a select few, who watch its bloody proceedings for entertainment. Still Lake Manor: A strangely placid manor adjacent to a calm fog shrouded lake, the peaceful location certainly does not strike one as a Sith holding. Inside the manor the furniture is dated but of high quality and appears barely used. The servants are obedient and attentive, and the head butler will readily hand over keys to new guests that open any door in the manor save for a wing on permanent reserve for Luxia Ravelle. Still Lake Manor is largely seen as a token of favor given out by the Dark Lord to Sith that have earned his attention, and sometimes, it is exactly that. Other times, however, when a rival Sith’s star starts burning too brightly the Dark Lord sends a very special invitation to the would be challenger. At first glance, their treatment seems the same as any other guest’s. Over time however, they may start to notice holes in their recent memories, and that they drift off more easily than normal, but it’s easily explained by the sedated atmosphere and copious amounts of food and wine. Things unravel however as the periods of missed time grow from minutes to hours to days to months to years, until suddenly it’s decades that are unaccounted for. Time has passed, because if the Sith struggles they can remember random details from what otherwise seem like gaping holes in their memories, and they can be prompted to remember certain events, but what they can recall is limited. Eventually they fade away entirely, lost to old age and a catatonic mind. But it has only been a week or two. The Time Drinkers are a secret (even by Sith standards) group of assassins that report directly to the Dark Lord and possess a very specialized skill set focused on numbing and circumventing a Force user’s ability to detect threats and external manipulation. The initial blackouts are caused by sedatives delivered through whatever means are most likely to be consistent with the current Sith. Sometimes it’s food or drink, sometimes it’s skin contact. Sometimes it’s in the bed sheets or the freshly laundered clothes. During the blackouts false memories are implanted but buried deeply to make them seem distant and the incompleteness implies memory loss, and the Time Drinkers use illusion to appropriately age all of the staff for bouts of wakefulness. The staff seems familiar with the daily habits of the Sith because they put them there. Throughout the process, the dosage sizes increase until finally the Sith fades away. A perfect murder through stagnancy. Worldbuilding The Charybdian Hollows: Imagine beings so filled with vain self loathing and envy for the lives of others that they became singularities among a sea of stars. Drawing in light and sound, joy and warmth, the Charybdian Hollows spend most of their existence as featureless shades, faces distorted by reality’s inability to handle their non identity. While in this state, the hollow feeds on the world and the people around them, creating an aura of disquiet and suffocating ennui. Upon reaching a satisfactory level of satiation the hollow devours it all en masse, transforming from a desolate singularity to a brilliant star. Exuding powerful charisma and raw force of personality, the hollow explodes into the public eye, burning through their energy stores at breakneck speed. The high may only last a night, or at most a few days, but during that time the hollow is the life of the party, the center of attention, and the object of desire in the minds of everyone around them. The Godbeasts of Onderon: While the implications of Exodus’s seeding of Onderon with the Dark Side will be seen to some degree planetwide, none were more deeply affected than the Beast Lords. Some tribes feared the changes brought on by eating corrupted beast flesh, and other tribes simply tried to endure it as a new facet of survival. A handful however sought mastery over this newfound power. Considered mad by the other tribes, they had their greatest hunters, shamans, and chieftains gorge themselves upon the meat of Sithspawn. Most were driven mad and heavily mutated by the Dark Side taint, but a select few of profound spiritual strength mastered the power that they had consumed and became monsters with insight ascendant. The hunters became quadrupedal beasts with fangs that could tear through durasteel and hardened skin that was as resilient as heavy armor, their bodies growing to the size of a landspeeder. The shamans and shamanesses, trained in the path of walking between two worlds, became bestial hybrids, able to evolve their own bodies to adopt the traits of the beasts they had eaten. The chieftains found a higher truth and became as dragons. While many understandably mistake the Godbeasts as warriors, their animal cunning and preference for stalking prey makes the assassin arts of highest appeal to them. The Godbeasts that spiritually guide their tribes also use the illusive powers to craft powerful internal journeys of the mind and to walk among their tribe unseen. The Procurers: While assassins are largely assumed to use their skill sets for murder for obvious reasons, there are other very lucrative outlets that they can be put to. The Procurers are Sith specialized in providing for the special needs and rarefied tastes of their fellow Sith. Alchemical components, ancient texts, rare ores, people of a specific type, whatever the Sith need, the Procurers can provide for a price. While some requests can be obtained easily through legitimate means, the majority involve theft or kidnapping. Procurers love solving puzzles and beating challenges, and security systems and guards are like high stakes puzzles and challenges that try to shoot you. The harder the heist, the more Procurers are into it. The Procurers routinely confound museum and private collection security teams, and have absconded with an astounding number of members of planetary royalty. For these mystical thieves, wealth is almost an absurd abstract of which they have an overabundance of and yet little use for. Even the most high tech thieving gear does little to put a dent in their carefully hidden bank accounts. As such, Procurers have something of a reputation for frivolous and nonsensical spending. Some of it could be considered vaguely charitable (sometimes they tip service industry people so obscenely that they never have to work again, or they might build a school or a hospital to impress a romantic interest), but to them it’s just finding amusement in their fortunes. The Kennel Masters and the Friends of Luxia Ravelle: Two groups of Sith assassins that enjoy a symbiotic relationship occupying the galactic party scene. The name Luxia Ravelle is a myth spoken of in reverent tones by bon vivants and hardcore party goers alike, an urban legend synonymous with extravagant bacchanals and wild excess that sounds too grandiose to be true. There are people you know, people that claim they know Luxia and can get you in. They don’t look exceptionally beautiful, well connected, or even the partying type, and yet there they are, insisting on being able to accomplish an absurdly impossible thing. They’re coworkers, book club members, friends from sabacc night, and shy college students. But you humor them, you say yes, and then that weekend they deliver you into paradise. The drinks are the best and worst kind, the kind where you don’t realize how much you’re drinking, and drugs are on the house upon request. Maybe you hesitate at first, you’ve never done anything like this before, but your friend dives in headfirst. A transformation takes place and they’re no longer a quietly average wallflower, even though they look the same now they’re an eleven and everyone wants to be around them and you want that too, even just a piece of that. That’s how they get you to swallow the hook. There are two types of predators working this hunting ground, Trainers and the Friends. Trainers are Sith who use access to the party as a carrot that quickly leads into a cycle of blackmail and increasingly severe tasks. The ones who stop trying to fight back are called hounds, and that is where the group gets the sobriquet of the Kennel Masters. The services of their hounds can be purchased for the right price by other Sith… The Friends are the actual party runners, using illusion where necessary to create the grandiose extravagances of the party until it can reach its own critical mass with bodies. They use that same talent with illusionry to kidnap and impersonate people that nobody pays attention to. The Friends have less of an interest in making people do bad things for them and more of an interest in making people want to do bad things. These assassins use an umbramantic ritual with the bacchanals as a focal point to infect people with darkness, nurture that darkness, and then feed on it. When the party bloats to sufficient size, the Friends consume all of the guests not claimed by the Kennel Masters in a cannibalistic bloodbath that rejuvenates their flesh and makes their power swell. When the Friends emerge from the cocoonlike mound of half eaten bodies, they now wear the features of their former guests, and the legend of Luxia Ravelle continues. It is unknown if there even is a Luxia Ravelle, or if it’s just another part of the theatrics... The Kind Ones: A peculiar breed of Sith Assassin that has an unusual path to power. A Kind One will enter the service of a household appearing as a member of the staff through illusionry. In larger households they will often go unnoticed, but in smaller or more perceptive families a great deal of confusion may arise over an unknown but helpful individual that no one can recall hiring, or even seeing beyond a brief moment of passing. Superstitious people may even whisper of ghosts or otherworldly beings. But over time, the family and the staff come to accept the mysterious entity as being benign, both through its actions and a general sense of kindness surrounding any passing encounters. Furthermore, a sense that the being’s presence is a secret of utmost importance to keep from outsiders infiltrates the minds of everyone. After some time of enjoying the quiet industriousness of the Sith, either the matriarch or patriarch of the family (Or sometimes both, if the Sith has their eye on an heir of age) will begin to suffer a wasting disease that burns through them quickly. Exploiting the grief of the survivors, The Kind One will assert more and more influence into the lives of the household, replacing the lost parent as a romantic partner and cementing their place until they become the head of the household. If the children are well behaved and useful, The Kind One will allow them to persist, but if they rebel against its presence it will kill or otherwise remove them from the board of the game that it is playing. While the goal may seem like a crass desire for material wealth and possessions, and sometimes that is exactly what it is, more often The Kind One has a more sinister purpose for its manipulations. It was not just wealth and privilege that attracted The Kind One to the family, but some nascent spark of Force potential. While rarely do any of the members have enough talent to be Sith in their own right, they carry enough power to virtually ensure Force sensitive offspring and also have proven that they can function in a family unit, and that is the true prize that the Kind Ones seek, future soldiers for the Dark Lord’s forces raised in secrecy. The assassin does its best to both protect and grow the family, dealing with threats both without and within. It is harder on its own children than the original heirs, in a calculated move that both makes the original children more sympathetic to the half outsider, and inures the Sith child at a young age to hardship. In fact The Kind One often appears to spoil its stepchildren, fattening the lambs for a coming slaughter. If the Sith children appear to be lacking in Force ability by the time they come of age, The Kind One shows them how slaughter their step siblings and steal their power for their own. The Kind One does not aid the Sith children in this, that is not the way of the Sith, and if the originally family overcomes their murderous stepkin, the Sith will instead channel the power of their failed offspring into the survivors, ensuring that either way a crop of new recruits is harvested. The Kind Ones represent the usurpation of family and the desire to twist a loving place of sanctuary into a means to an end. While The Kind Ones are probably better as NPCs due to what actual play for them would be like, I’m adding them here because they also make for great character background fodder, if the player chooses to be one of The Kind One’s descendants or surviving stepchildren.
  3. 1 point
    Shadows... voices... screams... pain. She had the dream again. Her master was not well. He screamed over and over in rage. His eyes issued forth fire and flame. He seethed on his throne in front of her, restrained in the darkness by something that couldn't be seen. Some bright chain that held him from her... he strained to rise, but always was he pulled back. "Liars... traitors... thieves!" Came his voice, dark and horrible and enraged. "Took what was mine and defile it with your hands... the blade was mine... always mine! You are unworthy! I will remove you from this world. I will crush your hope... I will burn you to ash and dance in the remains!" M'ruka heard him cry. "Kern... who... please tell me who?" M'ruka begged, unable to approach lest she be consumed. Kern did not reply... he simply continued to scream and rage. --- She awoke to hear the guards in the palace running to a disturbance at the front gate of the massive palace built to honor her long absent master. Outside, a storm raged, it was not an uncommon occurrence in this the small capital city of a world pulled from "the dirt" as Kern had put it. Her master had arrived on a world that was a backwater, a ball of dust and blood, where the locals had no technology, nothing but crude weapons and brutal tribal warfare. In short order he had abolished their old world, and ushered in his order. As a God, he did what he wished, striding the planet to pacify it. No resistance was tolerated, no rebellion unanswered with crushing force. Kern put down any who opposed him with brutal efficacy. Those who served him, and did his will prospered, those who opposed were vanquished... slowly and painfully. Sith god's were prayed too as well, Exodus, Faust, Ryu, names that were beaten into the minds of the younger generations as befitting veneration. Kern was a member of this grand order, M'ruka loved him desperately and still found herself wishing that he could have remained forever, but dreams do not last forever. Then, at the height of his power. He vanished. His power was still held in check by his acolytes. His high priestess Morrigal kept his name in the rituals, his soldiers still held sway over the planet. But rumors had started, the talk of his demise was not unheard. One or two pretenders had tried unsuccessfully to reclaim the planet, but Kern's influence was felt from afar. Had he been killed by his lust for vengeance some felt, others that he had other planets to tame and conquer. Some even questioned his godhood. What would happen to the planet if he remained away much longer? Morrigal had seen fit to keep her as a symbol of Kern's power. In truth however, she was paramount in her position. M'ruka felt she was more prisoner then ever before, and the child....Her child Aldra had been born a few months after he had left. The girl was small, but every bit the image of her father. The childs' bed across the grand residence was quiet, as the child slept in the comfort of many furs. M'ruka approached the small bed, and smiled lovingly at the child. "He will return, I know he will. Your father will return. Those who seek to thwart him will fail. I know it." --- "This is the freighter Halcyon II, on descent to Kesh. Respond Station 1?" The captain of the large freighter running illegal frieght to the small Sith outpost, asked calmly. On his screen a storm flashed in a vibrant display. The large Corellian blockade runner swooped low over the mountain ranges that ringed the capital city, surrounded now by industrial farms and factories, where the populace had only been living in thatched huts, large metal buildings and modern streets had emerged from the muck. Still the planet was not remarkable, no one came to Kesh that didn't know of it from the Sith archives, it was not a vacation spot. "Halcyon II acknowledged, stick to established landing route. Enter passcode." "Confirmed. Pass Code Kern-sigma-one-Faust." The co-pilot nodded to the captain, "I better go check the straps, that storm looks nasty." "Hurry, I don't want to be here long, this place gives me the creeps." The captain said back. The hold was full of containers from various underground suppliers to Sith forces across the uncharted regions. Careful to cover their tracks with blind jumps and jumbled transponders, freighters and smugglers made a pretty penny by supplying dormant places with the supplies they needed. This run was routine, save for the odd passenger from time to time. "Got a storm, might want to strap in." the co-pilot advised to the three passengers. Two of them obeyed immediately. The third was covered in a dark robe, only his heavy boots, and thick armored gloves remained without shroud. The figure in a dark robe said nothing at first, then moved to strap himself in as advised. Only one hand moved to obey the request, the other remained un-moved. "You uh... never mentioned payment." The co-pilot continued. "You will receive payment in full on arrival. Your assistance has been vital. Your pay will be considerable, trust me, I repay my debts." The man said with a simple quick statement. "Hey, you're the boss chief, why would you want to go to Kesh anyhow? Place is a mess if you ask me. Looks like some long gone Sith conquered it years ago. Ain't much here except a couple of training bases and some factories. Couple of nice statues...but otherwise unremarkable." The man said checking a random gauge at a nearby panel. "I have... unfinished business. Besides, aren't most places worthless balls of blood and dust?" The pilot nodded, and headed back to the small bridge. Looks are often deceiving... whole empires rise from the dust, as will I. He said to himself. He had almost nothing. Kesh was no longer truly his. It would have to be reclaimed. RelmCorp had folded, it's assets frozen. His estate on Corellia had been seized, his legacy further tarnished. No fortune, no weapons, no power save for the force that still animated him. The challenge was daunting, but his will was equal to the task. One thing he had learned in his time away was patience, cold calculating patience. Kern said sternly as he reached out with his gloved hand to adjust his cowl, as the ship hurdled towards his old home. So much had happened here... so much was about to.
  4. 1 point
    Thanks! This time I'll take my time and not rush into anything. Apologies will need to be made, bridges rebuilt, relationships reforged... chaos renewed
  5. 1 point
    As Aidan's shuttle cruised down through Nar Shaddaa's atmosphere, he marveled at the idea that mere months ago, this moon was infested with all kinds of criminal elements thanks to the influence of Nal Hutta and the Hutt Cartels. The Empire had changed so many things for the better here, and had suffered blow after blow. Now, he was one of the last few bastions of hope, holding the front lines against all manner of enemies that would seek to see them extinguished. They were still without their Empress, but that was only a matter of time. Aidan wanted to help with that operation, but he knew his talents were needed elsewhere. After a few more minutes, the shuttle touched down lightly on the landing pad, and Aidan briefly felt Sandy's presence nearby. It was a small comfort, knowing she'd managed to survive her encounter with the Mandalorians. Later they would have time to catch up, but for now Aidan had a singular mission on his mind. One purpose that he needed to fulfill, something that would define his future in the Imperial Knights, and perhaps even in the Jedi. It didn't take long for him to get back to his room, having procured a small handheld scanner on the way from one of the supply points. First, he scanned the Sith lightsabers, displaying an expanded holoprojection look inside the devices. Then...he activated his father's holocron. Aryian's ghostly image materialized in front of him, greeting Aidan with a warm smile as the holocron recognized a prior user. "Hey, kiddo. What would you like to learn today?" "Hey, dad. I need to see any stored schematics you might have on lightsabers." As requested, Aryian raised his arms, flooding the room with projections of schematics for various types of designs, as well as textual articles detailing how to build one. As Aidan began studying, Aryian's image spoke to him once more. "You sure you're ready for this?" "Positive." Aidan barely noticed when Aryian's image faded with a slight grin and a nod, leaving Aidan to peruse the information in peace. It was all the image was programmed for, but Aryian had the foresight to understand that his son would eventually be ready for the larger lessons a Force practitioner needed to learn. Meanwhile, Aidan began to take lengthy notes on a datapad, understanding he'd need several materials to even begin the process. This would not be an easy task. Aidan didn't expect it to be.
  6. 1 point
    It was only in the safety of the cockpit of the venerable Jedi Ace Pernition that Sandy began to come down from the adrenaline high of the fight. First her fingers became numb as the cold of the Ace’s interior finally pressed past her body's defenses. She shivered, and cried out at the pain from her shattered chest armour. Probing numb fingers came back bloody and a glance at the reflection of the viewport showed the entire front of her tunic was a dark red. That's when the pain came in and she hissed and pressed her fingers back onto the wound. The R4 unit chortled something uncouth and Sandy let out a biting laugh as she fished on her belt for her medical pouch and when she had retrieved it she broke open the hard case with a rap against the steering yolk. Bacta. Cauterize. Bacta Again. Gauze. Tape. And it was only a few hours later that Sandy arrived over the now bustling small world of Nar Shaddaa. Letting the imperial fighters guide her into a birth belongside the landed Jedi vessels did not take much concentration, and when she had stepped from her cockpit, Imperial medics gave her a one over in the hanger before clearing her as walking wounded. The planet smelled like fear. It was rank on the now capital of the Imperial Remnant. Or whatever was left of it. It took nearly an hour of sifting through the murky haze surrounding the planet to find her erstwhile apprentice, and some hours later she found him beside one of the GA frigates that was undergoing maintenance. She was paler than normal and was in a spare imperial BDU. Stark grey, with red bloodstripes, her Jedi tunic and armour having been discarded by the medics earlier. “Kel!” She pulled him into a fierce embrace before stepping back. “How was your journey? What did you learn?”
  7. 1 point
    I will be out of the country from April 26th to May 5th. I'll do my best to check in as WiFi is available, but international data on my plan is somewhat expensive and I'll be attempting to use it sparingly.
  8. 1 point
    With the RP changing settings to one in which the Sith Empire is the dominant power in the galaxy, I feel that it is appropriate to reboot the public topic for the Galactic Alliance detailing its new role in the RP for the foreseeable future. The old topic can be found here. In this post, I’ll be going over the following topics: The story thus far for the Galactic Alliance Overall mechanics concerning the political and military mechanics of the faction. Introduce Bruce Slaughter for new members of the faction The TL;DR is that the Galactic Alliance is going to operate primarily as a resistance faction on the main board. With few exceptions, the Galactic Alliance will not be able to maintain the overt military presence that it enjoyed in previous years. Covert actions, such as clandestine recruitment, sabotage, and small-scale player vs. player battles will be the primary focus of the main board, whereas fleet combat will be limited to the campaign subforum. Because the GA is going to be a somewhat ragtag operation, members of the faction are encouraged to engage in worldbuilding the units and ships that they command. The story thus far: This is a time of considerable uncertainty for the future of the republic. The advance of the Sith Empire and its minions has penetrated deep into the Galactic Core. Worse, the ravaging of Coruscant by Vladimir Faust and predation by the resurgent Mandalorian Crusaders has destroyed the Galactic Alliance's most productive shipyards, rendering its position in the core untenable. This and the murder of a sizeable portion of the Galactic Senate has driven most of the Alliance's member systems to secede and seek their futures elsewhere, either in trusting the mercy of the Sith Empire or as independent states. With the Galactic Alliance in shambles, desperate times are ahead for the survival of the republic. Nonetheless, all is not lost. A small number of the Alliance's core members have refused to bend the knee to the Sith Empire (though whether out of stubbornness, patriotic fervor, or ambition has yet to be demonstrated). Memories are long amongst the nonhuman species of the galaxy, and nothing--nothing--can erase the memory of decades of discrimination and predation by the Sith Order and its Imperial proxies. Even in worlds nominally aligned with the Sith Empire, Alliance agents are bound to find enclaves of support amongst the nonhuman populations of the Sith Order and veterans of the civil war. The reach of the Sith Empire may have extended far indeed, but its armies and spies cannot be present everywhere. Alliance agents should be able to mix freely with the population of its worlds as long as they keep a low bearing. And despite the loss of Coruscant and the bulk of its industrial base, the cream of the Galactic Alliance's military has survived. What remains of its fleet is arguably the most elite fighting force in the galaxy--very few forces can boast to have endured as much battle as the fleet of the Galactic Alliance. However, its elements are deliberately scattered across the galaxy, as they lack a permanent base and a logistical foundation to lick its wounds and return to full effectiveness. Until these objectives can be achieved, Admiral Bruce Slaughter has proposed that they operate as a "ghost fleet": always on the move and able to exert influence on the galaxy just by virtue of the fact that its composition, location, and mission are not known. Its primary objectives will be to gather resources for a return to open warfare against the Sith and to secure a permanent base of operations. The former can be achieved through developing diplomatic contacts with disparate resistance factions in the galaxy and potential member systems with grudges against the Sith. Close cooperation with the Imperial Remnant and even hiring mercenaries is not out of the question. In addition, while the Bothan government has been hesitant to openly support the remnants of the Galactic Alliance, the characteristically underhanded Bothans have been known to occasionally “misplace” a cache of supplies or accidentally permit the theft of valuable intelligence. The Bothan Spynet has located an uninhabited star system in the uncharted depths of the Outer Rim and allowed its data to slip into the hands of the Galactic Alliance. Flush with unexploited resources and obscured by a radiation storm that renders remote probing nearly impossible, this represents the perfect opportunity for the Galactic Alliance to jump-start its war machine. As for securing a permanent base of operations… at the moment, few systems are willing to tolerate even the presence of the Alliance fleet for short periods of time. This may change as the Galactic Alliance re-establishes itself as a potent fighting force that can openly challenge the Sith Empire. Mechanics: Politics: The Galactic Alliance is in a state of disintegration. Its planets in the Galactic Core should be considered to be untenable for overt fleet activity, as they are within close striking distance of Onderon and the military of the Sith Empire. Planets in the Outer Rim, especially those that have primarily nonhuman species (Sullust, Mon Calamari, and Ryloth come to mind) should be considered ripe areas for recruitment and overt operations. Fleet Operations: The Galactic Alliance fleet will deliberately be kept scattered and will not engage in overt combat on the main board. While it may occasionally appear above planets in the Outer Rim that are sympathetic to the Alliance, the bulk of its operations will be limited to the Crucible in the Campaign sub-forum. Because of the multi-species, somewhat ragtag organization of the Galactic Alliance, ships in its service will range in origins and age; from converted passenger liners to renovated hulks to fully modern ships of the line. The Galactic Alliance is not going to be picky in terms of the weapons and technology that it deploys--it needs all the help it can get. In OOC terms, this means that I am entirely in favor of developing homebrew ships to fit the unusual demands of the faction. Please PM me or contact me on Discord if you have any ideas you would like to develop. Ground Operations: Although the Sith Empire is in a dominant position in the galaxy, its forces are stretched thin within the Galactic Core and the Rim has always been difficult to police. In addition, numerous planets have always been on friendly terms with enemies of the Sith due to long memories of persecution and exploitation by the Sith Order. Alliance agents should be able to move freely as long as they conceal the identities of their vehicles and their personnel. Outright conquest of occupied planets should not be a goal of Alliance units, but raids on supply dumps and sabotage of garrisons and other installations will be pursued. Because of the multi-species, covert nature of the Galactic Alliance's resistance to the Sith Empire, this area is ripe for customization in terms of the specialties and the equipment used by PC-led units. The Galactic Alliance has recently adopted the AC-18m “Borcatu” Modular Weapons Platform, a blaster carbine that is simple to maintain and build, but Alliance units should use any weapons that they are able to get their hands on. Some units may be fully-equipped veterans of the Galactic Alliance with military-spec equipment, but many resistance cells are just going to be using any weapons that are available. In OOC terms, this means that I encourage members of the faction to provide some worldbuilding to the units that they command, including any unusual weapons they might use, specialties in combat, and species that may be especially prominent in their ranks. Who is Bruce Slaughter? Slaughter’s a bit of a young-ish character in terms of post count so I think it would probably be a good idea to introduce him and some of what he has done in the RP. Bruce Slaughter hails from Coruscant and joined the Rebellion some time after his home planet fell back into the hands of the Empire. His background is rather ignominious: he will proudly admit that he was essentially street trash, a stupid kid with no education, no money, and no future before he joined the Rebellion. Bruce’s father died when he was still young, and his mother was mostly absent from his childhood. As such, the story of his life probably would have been a very short one if his sister hadn’t kept him from falling into the pointless violence of the street gangs of the Lower Levels. He is of the opinion that the Republic gave him everything that he has today: purpose, education, respectability, and a future. It’s only right that he gives it back everything he can. Admiral Slaughter is a no-nonsense, professional soldier, known for placing a high importance on drilling his command to a high degree of combat readiness. He served at a number of the largest battles in the RP: he was at Centerpoint Station during the conclusion of the Arach’tar War, and was also at the battle of the third Death Star at the conclusion of the Galactic Civil War. However, his reputation is darkened by a number of incidents in the Galactic Civil War for which he was never investigated. During the retaking of Sullust, the Imperial garrison attempted to stall the liberation of the planet by threatening hostages. Not only was Slaughter not deterred, he personally executed several officers who had taken the Sullustans as sapient shields. The second incident was during the attempt at retaking Coruscant. During this battle, Slaughter seized an unexpected opportunity to cripple the Imperial flagship while it was maneuvering at the edge of Coruscanti airspace, causing it to drop out of orbit and crash. The civilian death toll in the planet-wide city was enormous. The latter incident is regarded as a freak accident caused by an incompetent Imperial commander; the former is not well-known and only spoken of in unconfirmable rumors. The Admiral is known to have something of a prejudice against Force Users, a mild disdain of Jedi and an almost pathological hatred of Sith. That said, this prejudice contributed significantly to misjudgments that he made just prior to the fall of Coruscant, which may have been prevented if he had only just gotten the Jedi Order involved more quickly. With the Galactic Alliance in a state of disintegration and the future of the republic in doubt, however, he’s prepared to do whatever it takes to see it restored--it doesn’t matter who he needs to ally with, or what he needs to sacrifice, or who he needs to kill, he will see the republic reborn or die trying.
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