Jump to content


Roleplay Mod Team
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


ObliviousKnight last won the day on September 16

ObliviousKnight had the most liked content!


13 Good

Recent Profile Visitors

The recent visitors block is disabled and is not being shown to other users.

  1. That was a rather profound emotional response. Had Zinthos been part of one of the Sith Empire’s many raiding parties against the Republic’s presence on Gala? The Jedi Grandmaster couldn’t place her face amongst any of the Sith--or Imperials--who had invaded the world. Of course, Zinthos might have been ten years old if they’d had an opportunity to meet there. For her part, Draygo had been far more preoccupied with the likes of Vladimir Faust, Kakuto Ryu, a pair of resourceful Sith sorcerers, and a wound that should have been fatal. Draygo just nodded. Her lips thinned as she thought on a similar incident involving a crashing Star Destroyer. “You speak of Admiral Slaughter’s actions above Coruscant.” She fell silent for a few seconds. “If you are absolutely determined to delay an invasion of this moon without significant loss of life, I can see one strategy to divert their attention. That is to make even approaching Nar Shaddaa so hazardous that the Sith will have no choice but to turn their attention towards your fleets. “As I understand it, this moon has a significant orbital debris field that complicates ingress from a number of attitudes. It is within our capabilities to exploit this terrain feature. Safer approaches to the atmosphere can be mined. Others can be rendered unnavigable by converting some of the larger pieces of debris into kinetic-kill weapons. All that would be required is a rudimentary guidance system and a sublight engine. No commander would conduct minesweeping operations with a hostile fleet at its back, and only a few near-collisions would be required before the Sith would be forced to regard an invasion as an untenable prospect."
  2. For a second, Armiena Draygo chewed on her lower lip like a schoolchild and her eyes grew distant. Potentially every outpost the Jedi held was within striking distance of the Sith armada. The only sure defense would be secrecy--and there was only one outpost that Draygo was absolutely certain had not been scouted. “Phu.” That was likely a planet that the Empress had never heard of. Draygo tossed her portable holoprojector onto the desk between them, and a galactic map flickered to life in the air. A yellow-orange star pulsed amidst the white glo “During the last war, I had established a secret base there. It was intended to be a refuge of last resort, in the event of final catastrophe. Not even the Jedi Council knew about it. I am almost certain that the Sith will not know of it. It is a veritable fortress… but it will not be able to support millions of refugees for long. There is also our praxeum on Ossus, and… perhaps Gala.” Finally, Draygo sat before the Empress and steepled her fingers. “However, I am skeptical that we will be able to evacuate a substantial portion of Nar Shaddaa’s population before the attack comes. We will need to prioritize our efforts to the vicinity of The Red and Black and the orbital shadow of the SpaceWorks. What we can do is make this battle a disaster for the Sith Order. “I believe that there has been a significant change at the highest levels of the Sith Order. A new Dark Lord, perhaps. Their attack on Felucia was very confused, as though a portion of the Sith had not accepted their commander’s legitimacy. There is also the uncharacteristic brutality of their attack on Naboo--Theed reduced to ruins, major spaceports wiped off the map… it was not The Spider who led that attack. “My suspicion is that this new Dark Lord may lack the full support of the Order. They have been making statements, not conquests, wasting resources on battles that have gained them nothing but wreckage. If the Sith were to be drawn into a quagmire on Nar Shaddaa--worse, one that resulted in Nar Shaddaa’s industries being ruined by combat--that could be a disaster for the Sith. All of the destruction, all of the waste, and none of the opportunity that the Sith crave.”
  3. The Stokhli spray armor, as Armiena Draygo calls it, is an ad hoc jury rig of several components from off-the-counter products: plastoid armor acquired from the armories of the Imperial Knights; motion sensors, power cells, and a small amount of ultrachrome alloy from various salvage operations; and roughly a quarter of the critical components of a stokhli spray stick. Appearance and Defensive Capabilities: The armor is plain, pale-gray plastoid plate, with a somewhat feminine cut as the outline of its plates accentuate the bust and hips of its wearer. The pauldrons have a somewhat unfinished appearance as its Imperial sigils were melted off without taking proper care to smooth out the scouring marks. Much like standard plastoid armor, the plate offers decent protection against blasters at range, deflecting glancing blows from vibroblades, and is highly protective against unaugmented “dead-blades” and subsonic fragments; however, it affords virtually no protection against lightsabers outside of its gauntlets. The armor has been further cut down from the standard Imperial Knight pattern in order to accommodate the lightsaber forms that Draygo prefers. Ataru and Djem So in particular require a profound degree of freedom of movement and the removal of plating from the major joints renders them vulnerable to attack. The palms and fingers of the gauntlets have been bonded with a thin layer of ultrachrome alloy. Ultrachrome is a potent superconductor, channeling heat and electric shocks with almost perfect efficiency. This property also makes it somewhat resistant to blows from lightsabers, as the superheated plasma blade is unable to immediately cleave through the material. The alloy will still rapidly heat up with prolonged exposure to a lightsaber blade: within three seconds of constant contact, the alloy will transmit significant burns to its wearer, then outright melt from the bonded plastoid plates and lose all protective value. Offensive Capabilities: Draygo has woven in several power cells and superconducting fibers into the armor’s bodyglove, allowing it to dispense potent electrical shocks through the ultrachrome plating of the gauntlets. This is matched by a pair of stokhli stun sprays that are embedded into the vambraces, which are triggered by specific hand gestures. Upon being dispersed, the viscous stokhli spray rapidly congeals into a hindering jelly, then an air-dried webbing that can entrap its victim, then a semi-solid webbing that can entrap its victim and even support the weight of an adult human. Through the coagulation process, the spray is highly conductive to electric pulses and exposure will incapacitate anyone coated by the spray. The spray has significant limitations. After congealing into a semi-solid webbing, the spray will gradually evaporate to leave a harmless powdery residue. While reloading is possible in the field, the process is a delicate process that requires several seconds of undivided attention. The process of miniaturizing the stokhli spray removed vital components of the weapon, namely the compression chambers and focusing nozzles. Its range and accuracy is significantly diminished as a result, and its maximum effective range is approximately twenty-five thirty meters.
  4. The discomfort was written on Draygo’s face through her utter lack of expression. On one hand, the exiled Empress was young--close in age to her own son--and an heir to the depraved government that had hounded her entire adult life. On the other… Zinthos had been one of the two young officers who had overstepped her own authority to signal the fateful cease-fire at the Third Death Star. There clearly was some significant imagination within that mind--or at least, some humanity. She was clearly a dangerous woman, a judgment that the Jedi Grandmaster could make without trepidation. “Your highness.” Draygo responded in Jedi fashion, bowing just a little deeper than was her habit to allow her black hair to fall around her face. She rose and approached to shake the younger woman’s hand. The Jedi’s appearance was indeed unorthodox. Even if she had strippped the plastoid plate of crimson paint and melted away the Imperial sigils, the cut of the armor was unmistakable as a product of the Knights’ armories. The faint scent of paint thinner that wafted vaguely from the armor hinted that this suit was a recent acquisition. “If only this meeting could have happened under less urgent circumstances.” Draygo just stood before the Empress for a second. “Managing” the Empress, she decided, would be a mistake. Better to be blunt. “With the recent loss of Naboo, there is every reason to believe that the Sith Empire is preparing for an attack on Nar Shaddaa as we speak. Our situation is not untenable, but a battle above this world will become a delicate matter. The cost is likely to be incalculable... ...but it may hold unexpected opportunities.”
  5. Several minutes later, Armiena Draygo sat on the top of the curved dome of the Red and Black. She had wandered into the city of the Smuggler’s Moon for a brief period, barely more than an hour. That was time enough to watch the city, to really watch it, to expose herself to the roiling waves of sapient energy that coursed from the moon-spanning city. It was all the drama of sapient existence: greed, lust, envy, pride, rage. It was the blazing life-light of billions of sapients who believed that their entire life was them and their mate against the rest of the universe. Despite all the contest, so many of the humans and hominids and countless unrecognizable species that she passed believed that their existence had some greater purpose; that their life was contributing to the betterment of the galaxy. It was a world of fleeting, momentary existence. Nar Shaddaa might have been a grimy hive of corruption, questionable construction standards, and bad memories that its denizens had escaped, but she found it beautiful. Draygo quietly watched the flickering lights of airspeeders and sun-shining glow of advertisement glowpanels, devouring a flatbread that she had purchased while clearing her head. It was one of those unhealthy, dripping sandwiches that inevitably left a saucy mess on one’s fingertips, packed with heavily-processed, greasy meat and a few sad scraps of cheap vegetables. It was delicious. It was in this state that Draygo pondered the reports that had flooded in regarding the Sith offensive in the Outer Rim. The remaining Jedi Temples across the galaxy confirmed: no Sith forces were within the range of detection of their early warning systems. In fact, there was no sign of a military build-up anywhere within the Galactic Core, or even the Colonies. The entirety of the Sith offensive seemed to be dedicated to prosecuting the war in the Outer Rim. Contact lost with Felucia. Naboo had fallen--Theed and other cities had been flattened, either reduced to rubble by a de-orbiting kinetic weapon or strafed indiscriminately by starfighters. The objective seemed to be to create a statement rather than a staging point--and a planet of billions of sapients was the necessary cost for this manifesto of terror. Even with the planet in ruins, taking Naboo meant that the Sith now had a site that would allow them to safely muster forces for an attack on Nar Shaddaa. By any reasonable metric, they had achieved most of their objectives--save for reducing the most significant bastion of Rebel activity in the galaxy. Defending this location could be achieved, but would inevitably result in the destruction of millions of lives and a potentially irreversible loss of faith in the Rebel Alliance and Jedi Order. The cost could make even a successful defense of dubious value. That was a strategic decision that Draygo was not prepared to make on her own. The Jedi Grandmaster slid down the grand slope of the headquarters’ roof and cushioned her fall with a minute application of a barrier. Once inside the headquarters, her passage drew little attention. Having discarded her robes for ordinary plastoid armor that lacked even the characteristic crimson paintjob and Imperial sigils of the Empress’ Knights, there was little to identify the woman as a Jedi--at the moment, she didn’t even have a lightsaber at her waist. Her appearance was so incongruous with that of a Jedi Master that, upon entering the Empress’ staff offices, Zinthos’ secretary only stared in mild confusion when the armored woman bowed to the secretary. “Please tell her Highness that the Jedi Grandmaster must speak with her.” Realization dawned on the functionary’s face. The man half-stood and made an awkward attempt at returning the bow while still sitting. “It is a matter of critical importance.”
  6. ...says to place her in a chair and to allow her to wake on her own. She tends to get violent when startled. Lose the blanket. Much like how one felt clothing as it was donned, Draygo felt the presence of her own body: goosebumps rising with the thrill of an adrenaline rush, a pressing weight on her chest--searing cold that swept through her breastbone. And of immediate significance, the fact that she once again had legs. She gasped cool air into her lungs and her pale-green eyes shot open. Instincts of self-defense compelled her body into motion before conscious thought had an opportunity to take note of her surroundings and guide her actions. She kicked out, flinging a small blanket into the face of a Bothan medtech. He gave a yelp of surprise amid the clatter of falling instruments as he gripped a tray for balance. And then thought had a chance to assert itself. A familiar voice over the overhead speakers suggested that Draygo had been revived at the Alliance base on Nar Shaddaa. The clean, brown robe; the crisp, excessively dry air; the sterile, plasticky garb of the medtechs; all confirmed that she had been recently cloned and her body transported to the recovery ward until flash-learning and the Force-enabled mechanisms of the Jedis cloning apparatus had brought her back to her body. She glanced about wildly. No mud, no rain, no pain--every familiar scar was present, everything was as she was only thirty minutes ago--excluding for her lightsabers, of course. “What the kriff?” _______________ A few hours later, Draygo had claimed one of the unused briefing rooms to privately review the more critical reports that had reached her; the Rebel Alliance and Jedi had liberated Mon Calamari, but Naboo had been lost--pulverized by the Sith Empire. Contact lost with Sullust. A distress call from Jedha. Until only a few hours ago, the Grandmaster wasn’t even aware that anyone was still alive on that moon. In the central holographic pit of the briefing room, a suit of plastoid armor cast a man-shaped shadow over the image of the galaxy. It wasn’t the grey clamshell of an Imperial stormtrooper, but the crimson plates of an Imperial Knight’s cuirass and pauldrons. Armor not being standard-issue among the Jedi Order and stormtrooper plate optimized for protection over flexibility, the cuirass would at least provide a useful foundation for her plans. She dragged it towards her and cast a skeptical eye over the armor. The breastplate was at least suitably cast for a woman of her stature--the curvature of the bust and hips was actually somewhat flattering, as though it was designed for court functions as well as combat. That certainly explained the absurd Imperial sigils on the gauntlets and pauldrons, to say nothing of the waxy polish that caused the galactic holomap to reflect on the plastoid like a mirror. It would be a useful foundation, nothing more. A more complete set of armor, forged months in the future--perhaps years--would call for a visit to her forges on Phu. That visit would result in a concave plastoid honeycomb reinforced with a molecular sintering of phrikite alloy, an armored skirt, complete integration with the Jedi Council’s virtual chamber. And wireless access to the HoloNet--that was indispensable. She glanced down at a circuit board below her, around it situated a small collection of capacitors, motion sensors, and superconductive plates of ultrachrome. A larger power cell had already been connected to the circuitry, ready to be rigged to the fingertips of the gauntlets. The other piece of equipment that she had misappropriated from the arsenals of the Imperial Knights was a stokhli spray stick. A meter long and more than twice the weight of a blaster, it would make for an awkward weapon for a Jedi. However, the staff-like weapon was optimized to incapacitate big game at a safe distance; a significant portion of that bulk was occupied by pressure chambers and an oversized focusing nozzle. None of those features were required for point-blank range. Miniaturized versions of that equipment--not dissimilar to hyposprays for subdermal medications--would be sufficient for a range of thirty meters or less. Draygo took a sip of cold caf and grimaced. This first incarnation of the armor would need to be crude. Time had become more precious still, and she could not afford the luxury of spending days completing fine finishes on a suit of plastoid. She began by placing her hands on the suit’s pauldrons and calling to The Force. Breathing deeply, Draygo reached for a power cable from which she had stripped the shielding. The Force shielding her from the vast amount of energy that flowed through the cable, she allowed her body to act as a conduit into the plastoid plate. The pauldrons and gauntlets soon began to warm and deform; the Imperial sigils melted away to conform with the curves of the armor. A brief treatment with a foul-smelling solvent caused the crimson paint to evaporate into acrid mist--only the featureless grey of raw plastoid remained. She breathed deeply despite the fumes, peeling apart the plates with her bare hands to reroute superconducting fibers through the armor’s systems. Armiena next reached for the gauntlets and placed them with their palms facing upwards, and sprinkled a few of the scraps of ultrachrome into their palms. Linking fingers with the gauntlets as though holding hands with another sapient, she allowed that vast store of energy to flow directly into the superconductive metal. Though enormously heat-resistive, the scraps soon glowed red, then white--then began to sag and melt into a puddle of lightsaber-resistive metal. Draygo allowed this puddle to spread over the fingers of the gauntlets and into the wrists. That conductive metal would be critical for allowing the charge from the power cell to course through any dispensed stokhli spray. The rest was merely a matter of routing wires and programming the motion detectors, a routine task that lasted only an hour. After uploading the firmware, the armor was complete--imperfect, as her touch had left finger-sized divots in the pauldrons and gauntlets--and functional. Upon registering a specific gesture, the magazine of stokhli spray in the vambraces would dispense, coating a target up to thirty meters away in the viscous mist. A mere touch of the hardening jelly would transfer a vast amount of energy into the target, potentially incapacitating them. It was crude, ugly, and an unfinished prototype, but it was at least functional. Her equipment completed, Draygo began to transmissions to the other Jedi Temples throughout the galaxy The Sith were on the move again, and a disaster would befall the galaxy if the Jedi could not retaliate against their offensive.
  7. There was at least a partnership between the weapon and its master, then. There was a muted vibration in The Force that emanated from the hulking warrior’s position--the greatsword and its wielder were definitely communicating. In more peaceful times, Draygo would have taken some time to study the weapon, attempt to ascertain the means of its forging, determine if there was something that could be learned or if the weapon needed to be disposed of. There was no time for that. The greatsword and its owner needed to be separated--and then it would be back to the battle. Incapacitating that armored brute was going to be quite the challenge. He was younger than the veteran Jedi--not an insubstantial advantage, as he had fewer lingering injuries of the kind that persistently slowed his opponent. He was physically stronger--far more physically powerful, of greater mass, certainly more aggressive, and better equipped. However, Draygo had possessed a significant advantage that few Jedi were willing to deploy. She was willing to escalate, to wage her life on a gamble. The Jedi Grandmaster drew her blaster pistol immediately began to spit azure stun blasts at the leaping Sith warrior, eclipsing his sides in their shadows. They were snap-shots, fired in a rush from her off-hand and rendered inaccurate by her double-vision, but even a graze might slow her opponent. Only a heartbeat before he and the barbed ice-mace struck home, she hopped to the side--nothing more injurious than mud and shards of ice assaulted her person. She allowed the pistol to fall from her hand--it was immediately buried into the mud by the stamp of the Sith’s darksteel boots. Another minute application of The Force plucked Draygo’s remaining grenade from her belt. The cylinder fell just beside her boots and buried itself into the mud. A second later, the shell detonated into a blinding flash of light that rivalled the storm-bolts above them and a blast that would instantly deafen the two duelists. Draygo, standing almost on top of the flashbang when it exploded, was instantly blinded and deafened, seeing nothing but a curtain of yellow-white and hearing nothing but a keening chime in her ears. Being robbed of two of her senses mattered little to a Jedi, however. The Force could see and hear for her, and instinct and decades of experience could guide her lightsaber. It was a terrible gamble, but Draygo could guess that the Sith brute lacked either of these advantages--that he would hesitate for a brief moment after having his senses stolen from him. She felt her lips thin in a grim smile. Draygo ignited her lightsaber in an unseen emerald torch and brought the blade in a sweeping arc around the blade of her opponent’s greatsword. Again, the undulating edge of his serpentine flamberge caused her own weapon to vibrate almost uncontrollably as it crested each curve of the greatsword, but she managed to wind her own emerald blade around the Sith’s and redirect it in an almost-perfectly executed parry. Almost--when she took a step forward to execute the disarm, the bind of the two blades slipped and the greatsword sliced her left forearm down to the bone. Warmth immediately spilled from her arm--the pain would have been blinding, but Draygo had just inflicted that upon herself. She pressed forward in a pair of steps, the two blades sliding over each other until the two duelists were standing almost shoulder to shoulder. A second vibration rattled her faltering grip as the lightsaber caught on the greatsword’s crossguard... ...and came the Jedi Grandmaster’s last gamble. Unlike the Sith brute, Draygo had no intention of trying to kill her opponent. Her every blow had been an attempt to disarm, wound, or incapacitate the warrior--threats that were significantly more difficult to detect through warnings from The Force. She extinguished her lightsaber for an instant, causing the hilt to pass through the crossguard. In the next, she reignited the blade and hacked upwards, attempting to deprive the warrior of his weapon--and both of his hands. ((Round 3: Draygo fires a few inaccurate stun blasts as Blackmorne leaps after her, dodges out of the way of the mace and drops a flashbang almost directly at her feet. She is blinded and deafened for the rest of the fight, relying only on The Force and instincts to guide her blade. She parries the overhead chp from the Sith warrior, gets badly sliced on her left arm, and attempts to hack through Blackmorne’s hands to disarm him. Been a pleasure.))
  8. ((For Qaela)) “Merged… splash one. Three, Four, keep the other three busy. Two, on me--two? Spast.” As Tyrell brought his X-Wing into a bone-crushingly tight loop to pursue the erstwhile transport, he caught a glimpse of his wingman’s X-Wing crashing from the skies with a trail of smoke and burning fragments in its wake. The pilot, however, had survived and was descending from the skies in her ejection seat--the scattered bursts of crimson that were trailing one of the TIE Interceptors revealed that she was defiantly firing upon the starfighter with her side arm. The other two X-Wings of Mistral Squadron broke as one to engage the surviving TIE Interceptors. Though nominally more maneuverable and faster craft, the lighter mass of the TIEs, compounded with their lack of shields, gave them serious difficulties in cross winds and other extreme conditions… such as dogfighting at the edge of a hurricane. The venerable X-Wing, despite its comparative slowness, simply did not suffer nearly as much when pummeled by a sideways gust. None of that was on the Chandrilan’s mind as he closed in on the transport and continued attempting to get a transmission through the storm. “Unidentified transport, divert to 300 mark 18. You’re flying into a combat; hostile triple-aurek is in the area. I repeat...” Seconds before the X-Wing swooped over the dorsal surface of the GR-75 Medium Transport, Tyrell triggered a burst of cannon fire that passed so closely over its hull that one of the bolts was intercepted by its shields. Upon racing over the transport’s hull, he veered towards that course to try and get the message across. However, not only had the transport failed to register the message, it had gone into a steep dive. “Control, stand-by. Going to take a closer look. I have a bad feeling about this…” Tyrell grumbled as he sent the starfighter into a diving roll that would allow him to glide mere meters from the bridge of the transport. Glancing to his right and triggering another burst of cannon fire across the bow of the transport, the pilot did a double-take upon getting a close look at the bridge. There was no one inside. “Control--the transport is piloted by droids. Repeat--” “Engage the transport.” “Say again Control?” “Shoot it down. Repeat, shoot it down.” Almost without thinking, Tyrell triggered the fighter’s retrothrusters, causing it to shoot behind the transport. Already, the clouds were starting to thin as the two ships broke through the storm--they were almost directly over the landing pads surrounding the cliffside Temple. He didn’t hesitate, nor did he wait for his targeting computer to return a firing solution. He just started pumping cannon fire and missiles into the engines of the transport, which quickly flickered and died. Under sustained fire, the transport began to break up and crash-- --almost directly over the landing pads of the Temple. On the ground, ground crew and other support staff ran for the trenches. Mistral Squadron and the remainder of the starfighter garrison began to take off and retreat in every possible direction. The burning hulk of the transport plummeted towards the permacrete, a torch that refused to be doused by the slackening storm--and then a hundred meters above the deck, something within the transport triggered and it exploded from within with even greater ferocity than could have been expected from its reaction. Like a massive shotgun, the explosion caused an airburst of fragments all over the Temple grounds, rending several starfighters apart and damaging many others, cratering its landing pads, and puncturing a fuel tank and triggering a secondary explosion that leveled the air traffic control tower. One of the few surviving fragments of the transport that survived the initial explosion plowed through the main entrance of the transport, gouging a trench through its floor until it finally ground to a halt.
  9. ((For Vorin)) Even if the lightsaber was a vaunted weapon crafted with excruciating attention to detail and in awe of the woman who had last wielded it, its shell was nothing more than acid-etched steel. It cracked and splinted under the weight of the Sith warrior’s boot--and the electronics and batteries within were made of even more fragile stuff. The latter gave birth to a miniature explosion upon rupturing, momentarily illuminating the Sith’s feet in fire at the same moment that the blade was extinguished. “She’s down! Open fire!” A cry came from an anxious soldier in the trenches. “No! Wait!” Responded an older, more steady voice, but it was too late. Pockets of blaster issued from the trenches, focused on the position where Draygo’s lightsaber had just been extinguished. It was suppressive at best, aimed more in the general direction of where the soldiers thought that the Grandmaster had just fallen rather than the glints of steel and frost on the Sith’s gauntlets. Draygo ignored the crimson bolts for the moment, being more focused on the armored Sith that was intent on bisecting her. Her green lightsaber whirled in a desperate parry, catching the crossguard of the greatsword and redirecting it upwards-- --and then stars. The parry was not quite fast enough, the Sith’s prodigious strength too great for a conventional defense. The pommel, slowed by a fraction by the parry, caught the shorter woman just above her left eye. Blood spat out from a deep cut along her brow and something broke within--the Grandmaster eye suddenly saw double vision. Armiena staggered backwards and rolled with the momentum, simultaneously avoiding the slash towards her neck and threatening the Sith’s legs and groin with an unaimed slash after the lightsaber blade sliced through the ground and back upwards through the air. Once the momentum had been spent, Armiena rose to her feet. The Jedi Grandmaster gave a bloodstained smile and licked her lips. In the millisecond before the pommel made contact with her eye socket and dashed her to the ground, Draygo enjoyed an intimate study of the Sith’s greatsword. It was plain, unadorned steel, with no telltale welds or seams that suggested the addition of a boobytrap or some other surprise. It was an honest weapon, if a product of Sith thralls could be described with such a virtue. However, there was an ecstatic anticipation of the coming bloodshed--and an obscene release at having inflicted pain that bordered on sexual. Now Draygo had a greater understanding of the weapon: it was at least partially sapient, capable of understanding its surroundings and its purpose… and likely bound to its wielder through The Force almost like a friend or lover. That knowledge was one final gift from an old friend and her sword, the decidedly more compassionate Sanare. The final question was the nature of their bond: were the Sith and his weapon partners, or was their relationship something more parasitic in nature? There was a way to find out... “Utter kriffing shame,” Draygo spat out. Her lightsaber was held in a classic Djem So defensive stance, with the tip of the blade prepared to probe defenses or redirect attacks--but one-handed, as though contemptuous of her opponent. Even as she goaded her opponent, the Jedi carefully kept her senses trained on that oversized greatsword to measure its reactions “All that forging, and it gets wielded with all the grace of a hydrospanner. Would’ve been better to have smelted it down than to waste perfectly good steel.” The Jedi Grandmaster extinguished her own blade and called to The Force, disappearing into the rain and wind with an empowered backwards leap. ((Round 2: The lightsaber gets crushed. A failed attempt at parrying the pommel strike breaks an eye socket and sends Draygo into a backwards roll, which she uses to simultaneously dodge the slash to her neck and threaten with an unaimed series of slashes to the legs and groin. She then goads Vorin by dousing her lightsaber and leaps backwards into the storm to make use of the terrible visibility.)) ____ ((For Qaela.)) “Well, good thing that’s not a ruse.” “What are you talking about? That’s obviously a ruse. How did a civilian transport get a transmission through all this jamming?” One of the three air traffic controllers was a Sullustan, a species not terribly fond of sarcasm. It wasn’t that the species had a mental block against the concept--however, having evolved on a planet as treacherous as the semi-habitable Sullust, many of his species tended to interpret sarcastic remarks and exaggerations in a literal fashion before remembering that most other sapients were somewhat given to these habits while under great stress. “Oh--right--you guys don’t really--sorry, I’ll run a landline down to Mistral Squadron.” The Zabrak paused and considered the possibilities: one hundred twenty-nine sapients on board a transport that was running a gauntlet of Sith fighters. One possibility--the more likely one--was that it was stuffed full of heavily-armed Sith marines. Another was that it really was crowded with innocent sapients who had panicked and made the profoundly stupid mistake of attempting to land in the middle of a warzone, rather than make a hyperspace jump to any other system. Mechanical problems? Out of fuel? Medical emergencies? All of those possibilities seemed unlikely--but the Grandmaster was known to cast a baleful eye (and baleful fists on one occasion) on Jedi who chose to shoot first and ask questions never. “Try to find them an opening in the storm. Any unit, even a flight. We’ll try and intercept that transport and get them to fly elsewhere.” _____ Captain Tyrell of Mistral Squadron, unlike most of the Jedi Temple’s defenders, was warm and dry. A puddle of water had accumulated in the bottom of his X-Wing, but the astromech had cheerfully redirected some of the reactor’s power to warming the cockpit. If the Chandrilan had thought to bring a cup of caf and the planet was not under siege, this evening would have been just like home during the monsoon season. Another mitigating factor was the fact that his squadron had just been ordered to do something incredibly stupid: to take off while the Jedi Temple was being pummeled by the grazing edge of a hurricane and intercept Sith fighters without support. “I’m sorry, you want us to do what?” “We’ll guide you through the storm. Sensors show a lighter patch opening in three minutes. Just follow our route and you’ll be fine. Unless you don’t feel up to--” “Oh, I thought you were going to ask us to do something stupid. You know, like dive-bomb the Herlov or poach a summa-verminoth. Lads, start your timers and take off on my mark.” Two minutes later, four X-Wings of Mistral Squadron hovered several meters from the deck, then oriented themselves at a nearly ninety degree angle from the permacrete to blast off in a vertical take-off. So close were they to the deck that the exhaust from their engines scoured the permacrete and pummeled miniature craters into its surface. The ascent through the storm was difficult, instrumentation-only flying in a tight formation with little visibility; lightning warped around their shields as they ascended, but after several thousand meters, the skies cleared to a tranquil afternoon grey with puffy clouds surrounding them. Maintaining the tight formation to try to defeat the comms jamming, the four X-Wings vectored towards the descending transport and its harassers. Water vaporized from their wing surfaces as their strike-foils opened. “Alright lads, combat spread on my mark. Pick your targets and protect your wingman. Remember, try and get those pilots’ attention any way possible. Vape the transport only as a last resort. Lock your targets--mark.” The four fighters broke into two wing-pairs, each orienting to engage the Sith fighters from long range with their missiles.
  10. Draygo approached the glints of steel and frost. Every millimeter of her body was dripping with rain; her black hair, previously bound in a neat ponytail, now hung about her face in sodden tassels; her robes were soaked through and clung damply to her form; water dripped from her fingers and struck sparks against the hilt of her low guard… but her feet were completely dry, despite her boots being caked in mud. The tip of the lightsaber traced lazy circles in a vague approximation of a defensive Ataru stance, but in the first few seconds of this encounter, Draygo was more concerned with studying her opponent. He was well-armored in unfamiliar alloys and of prodigious proportions, but of more concern was his companion. Her eyebrows were furrowed in a pensive frow. The Jedi Grandmaster thought she detected the life-light of two sapient creatures. However, as the hilt of the Sith-steel greatsword fell into the hands of the warrior, she realized that the second being was not a living creature, but the enormous warrior’s weapon. The bronze lightsaber wandered in another sloppy semicircle. Something about that weapon jogged a memory of a dear friend from another life-- --No time to ponder. The warrior leaped forward and smashed the ground with a Force-empowered lurch of the spongy earth under her feet. Rather than attempt to resist the shift of the soil with a widening of her stance, Draygo embraced the chaos and neatly sidestepped onto her left foot, using the momentum from her pirouette to fuel a strike that was intended to swat away the cleaving blow towards her neck. At least, that was the intention. Rather than parrying the enormous blade into the earth, the warrior’s brutish strength plowed cleanly through her defense. Only a shift of her faltering guard succeeded in redirecting the greatsword from its intended target and caused the edges of both blades to whirl angrily into the dirt--but with the physical Sith-steel crushing the tip of her lightsaber blade into a puddle of waterlogged savanna. Steam and mud splashed over her hands.This was a position of clear advantage to the enormous Sith, and one that he could have exploited to bisect Draygo in about half a second. The Jedi Grandmaster acted without conscious thought. She allowed the hilt of her lightsaber to slip from her muddy grasp and leaped over the head of the Sith warrior. Sputtering and steaming in the sandy soil, the lightsaber was left abandoned--until a cylindrical grenade that was telekinetically plucked from her belt splashed into the puddle next to it. It would blink for a few seconds with a crimson menace until the mounting seconds and anticlimax would reveal that it was a dud, a dummy, a deliberate distraction. More dangerous was the Jedi who had ignited a second lightsaber midflight and taken an instinctive swat at the spine of the Sith warrior. Regardless of whether the green blade found its mark, Draygo would land in the mud barely more than a third of a meter from the Sith, ready to close the gap and re-engage. ((Round 1: The overhead chop nearly decapitates Draygo, but she redirects it into the ground. Rather than fight from a position of significant disadvantage, Draygo drops a dud grenade and leaps over Vorin’s head to take a quick swipe at his back.))
  11. Duel Ruling: Kadi Silan vs. Telperiën Ar-Pharazon Firstly, as someone who manages a much more limited rate of writing, I just want to say that I am thoroughly intimidated by two writers who managed to go through an entire three-post duel in a single caffeine-fueled evening. Congratulations to the two of you, this is an impressive and frightening achievement. The same goes for being cheerfully murderous in your out-of-character interactions on the Discord. Also, thanks to both of you for maintaining up-to-date character sheets. Kadi Silan and Telperiën are a curious match-up. Both characters are, in a sense, of a naturalist bent; Kadi, as a Jedi, being of a decidedly more benevolent discipline and Telperiën, as a Dathomiri Nightsister and child of one of the more infamous Dark Lords in the RP… her background is somewhat complicated, to say the least. In my opinion, both characters played well to their strengths. The psychological state of both characters was consistent throughout the fight, with Telperiën favoring a cold, rationally calculating predatory mindset, making sacrificial plays to protect herself; Kadi, for her part, seemed reluctant to exercise lethal force, motivated more by defending the Jedi Temple’s noncombatants and solidarity with her acklay. Kadi made skillful use of her acklay companion to force Telperiën into evasive maneuvers, as well mitigating much of the threat of that facing a trio of illusory attackers would pose. The use of a lightspear is similarly an excellent weapon for defensive situations, which, combined with the kinetic capabilities of Ataru, would make for a truly formidable defensive screen for any attacker to breach. Her response to Telperiën’s attempt to draw combatants into an illusory arena reminiscent of the recent massacres on Felucia was similarly well-written--the character did just spend a significant amount of time helping with the clean-up after that battle. Additional sensory details would have strengthened the defense to this attack even further. That said, it consistently seemed as though Kadi was responding to threats throughout most of the fight, rather than driving it to its conclusion herself. On Telperiën’s part, I really have to congratulate the writer for their ability to communicate the kinetic movements of the character, especially in the first two rounds of posting. I had a very easy time understanding exactly what she was doing at every stage of the fight and the appearance of her weapons. Her single shot from the bow is the best example of this. I similarly enjoyed the simultaneous attacks and set-ups for Nightsister sorcery with her own blood. However, I can’t help but feel as though the specific illusion that Telperiën cast was a misplay, as Kadi Silan was very recently at the site of a similar massacre (one inflicted by Telperiën’s mother, in fact), and spent some time dealing with the emotional aftermath of witnessing such an atrocity. Something more subtle--or viscerally distracting--would have been just as effective while exerting less effort. Similarly, while forcing an opponent to deal with multiple illusory combatants is a classic Assassin maneuver, it is made less effective by the fact that her opponent is wielding an excellent defensive weapon in the form of a lightspear and is accompanied by a beast capable of shish-kabobing at least one of the illusions unless an inordinate amount of effort was placed into maintaining it. My ruling is thus: Kadi Silan is the victor of this duel, and gets the next post.
  12. From the sodden landing pads that surrounded the Jedi Temple, Captain Okliy watched miserably from the boarding ramp of the GR-75 transport Andrevea as the rain began to pick up. In the distance, barely illuminated by the glow of the sensor consoles, he could see Grandmaster Draygo in the air traffic control tower, apparently engaged in a terrific shouting match with the two Zabraks manning the tower. Their words were drowned out by a centimeter of transparisteel, a hundred meters of distance, and the growing din of the winds, but he could observe the following: Draygo pointing angrily at the two Zabraks and then towards at the stranded transports--she was still dripping from the rain--and the air traffic control shouting back just as vigorously. Then the three sapients simultaneously twisted to view a crimson glow that had just flooded the tower, and the croaking shriek of the security alert klaxons began to make their conclusive counterargument heard even over the storm. Okliy shook his head. Rain dripped from the five braids that dangled from his scalp. No doubt his services would soon be needed at the helm of the transports. _____ “There’s your launch authorization. Get the transports refueled. Send out the Sentinel droids if you need to. I’ll be prepping my fighter.” When Draygo returned to the landing pads, the wind shear had caused the rain to come in at an almost horizontal angle. Their silhouettes barely visible through the downpour, a company of soldiers raced under the lines of starfighters and transports, hunched under the wind and rain that was battering their ponchos like a percussive weapon. Several of them--about two squadrons worth--were pilots who clambered up into their cockpits, but the remainder were foot soldiers who had the miserable duty of sitting in bunkers and firepits and protecting their arms and MANPADs from the rain. Draygo herself clambered into her own Jedi Ace interceptor, fully prepared to enjoy the relative dryness of a climate-controlled cockpit. Even as she clambered up the ladder, fingers slipping on the slick rungs, there was an unwelcome sensation of coldness that trickled up her extremities. That wasn’t hypothermia setting in--the rain was torrential, but it was warm--but rather a warning from The Force. Someone with murderous intent was nearby. There was a cry of alarm that jolted the Jedi Grandmaster out of her reverie. Draygo glanced up and instinctively ducked as a palm trunk, uprooted from the nearby plains, tumbled across the landing pads. It sideswiped an R3 unit, causing the squat droid to spin about and squall in fright as it attempted to regain control of itself--it bounced towards one of the GR-75 transports and slammed against its side, splintering into a cloud of wooden shrapnel. The Jedi Grandmaster stepped back from the ladder. She paused at the tiny cargo compartment of the fighter, space-pale fingers considering whether to retrieve her carbine… but she thought better of the weapon. The weapon would just be an added burden and this engagement would almost certainly be face-to-face, fought with blades rather than blasters. Hunched against the winds, Draygo joined the company of soldiers that was scrambling towards the pits. The slick duracrete soon gave way to sodden plains and dunes, and every step splashed A challenging roar managed to make itself heard over the din. The barrel of a blaster rifle poked out of a nearby firepit and scattered unaimed bolts in its general direction. Draygo sighed. Her life was going to be in the hands of a terrified, trigger-happy garrison that could barely see fifty meters beyond their noses. She withdrew Emily Zsahra’s lightsaber and ignited a glaring bronze torch upon the plain. Mist and flashes of light sparked off the blade as raindrops struck its core. The Jedi Grandmaster advanced, eyes half closed and breath steady. A shrug caused her cloak to slip from her shoulders and the brown garment was instantly carried away by the winds. Her eyes would be almost useless until blades clashed together--and there was the ever present threat of a lightning strike while she was clutching a metal cylinder. It was a terrible environment to fight in. She would need to rely on The Force to carry her through.
  13. The comlink that the Jedi Grandmaster had loaned Kadi Silan chirped as the Jedi Knight dozed, alerting him of a brief message that had been dispatched to him.
  14. Draygo trotted over to the clamshell-hulled transports, boots splashing rivulets of standing water with every step. Even that modest exercise was enough to make her begin to sweat--and every breath of the saturated tropical air felt as though it were being imbibed through a straw. Hearing the approach of a Jedi, the Weequay commander of the six transports turned about and folded his arms impatiently. A pair of the hulking Sentinel droids, striding in carefully measures as they hauled pallets of medical supplies onto the transports, twisted to view the Jedi Grandmaster and acknowledged her arrival with a mechanical beep before returning to their task. That response was even more taciturn for the droids than typical, almost as though the droids had been irritated by the Sith attack on Felucia. “Captain, you were given explicit orders to evacuate to Nar Shaddaa. We needed your medics closer to the front, not… here. The Weequay was not of a temperament to accept even this mild beratement. His weathered face wrinkled in disgust and he spat on the ground. “Draygo, right? Look you Jedi and your little snubfighters might be able to navigate the eye of a needle, but when you’re at the helm of a big transport like this, you take whatever course you can get--you do not zip around and look for a better course, and you don’t kriff around with fancy evasive maneuvers--you--” “You get refueled, you get up in the air and back to Nar Shaddaa.” Draygo held up a hand and somehow managed to loom over a sapient that was nearly half a meter taller than her. “We can’t. Not with the storm. Air traffic has grounded all outbound traffic until it passes.” As the Jedi Grandmaster began to jog towards the cliff face that obscured the Jedi Temple, her gaze traversed over the roiling waters of Lehon’s oceans and towards the inky stormfront that was beginning to approach this particular archipelago. Already, the winds were beginning to build and the lanky, banded trees were beginning to sway dangerously, their palms nearly shearing away from their trunks. Lightning flashed just within the black clouds, illuminating the waters below. She paused in her approach and frowned. A persistent pressure was worrying on her shoulders. That was more than the stiffness of a long-distance hyperspace jump, Draygo decided--it was a warning from The Force. Something more threatening than a mindless act of nature was approaching. The Jedi Grandmaster unclipped another spare comlink from her belt and dialed in a text transmission to the unit that she had loaned to one of the Knights on Felucia. “Silan, redeploy to Lehon. Half our meds on Felucia evacd here. Just have a feeling that something is about to hit.” The call for reinforcements having been sent but no clear threat having emerged, the Jedi Grandmaster withdrew into the cliffside Temple, in search of an air traffic controller whose priorities needed to be shifted.
  15. Master Windu had become reclusive after returning from Haruun Kal. I could not begrudge him that. The ordeal he had faced on that planet would have tested any Jedi--ending a genocidal war, trying to save one of his former students from falling to the Dark Side, all while recovering from serious wounds and disease--so I was hesitant to approach him. Then, like every other Jedi, he was then deployed to more worlds than I care to name: Dantooine, Anaxes, Abregado-rae, Ryloth… an interview was quite impossible until our paths crossed when Grievous was repulsed from Coruscant. To say that my request to train under him was denied is an understatement. It was a flat, uncompromising, categorical refusal. “No. I do not expect that I will teach another student the techniques of Vaapad,” he had said. “Not while this war continues. Master Quol-Jing, your ability with the lightsaber is exceptional, but you lack a critical element necessary to learn it. You do not enjoy the fight. You will never be able to master Vaapad. It will master you.” I’m embarrassed to admit that his refusal stung--my initial evaluation was that his denial was somehow an aspersion on my character, or at least on my discipline and capabilities. I spoke foolishly, rashly--no doubt confirming his ascertainment--and demanded what made Master Windu so exceptional. “I created Vaapad as an answer to a grave weakness of mine. I have always felt a dangerous connection to the Dark Side, a love for aggressive action. Many of my people share the same tendency. Every time that I use Vaapad is a confrontation with myself. What inner darkness do you carry with you, Master Quol-Jing?” His rhetorical question devastated me into silence. I confess that I find myself to be a rather ordinary person--rather boring, really, compared to Jedi like Skywalker or Nu. I never sought to become a great Holonet hero or renowned scholar, but merely to attempt to follow the will of the Force wherever the Jedi sent me. Certainly, I grieved when my own Master died. His death was an unenviable one. However, we had lived through extraordinary years together, and as I grew in my own powers, he became more than a teacher--a great friend, whose teachings and companionship that I was grateful to have enjoyed. It is highly unlikely that Master Windu will change his mind. He is not known for being fickle in his judgment. But one question remains: his comment regarding the Korunnai. Can an entire people really be so malleable to their environment that they become bent to the Dark Side of the Force? I believe that this question merits further investigation. Hopefully, once this war is finally at an end, there will be some time that I can visit Haruun Kal, and see this jungle for myself. Perhaps I will understand then. “Master Quol-Jing was killed within the first hour of Order 66,” Armiena murmured to herself, repeating the footnotes of this rare collection. “He was tasked with leading a reconnaissance expedition to Ord Mantell and was murdered by the Clone Troopers under his command.” The swirling glow of hyperspace dancing on her space-pale face, Draygo shut the journal and sighed. It was unlikely that her research would yield further results--at least, not without visiting Haruun Kal and living amongst the Korunnai. That was an unrealistic proposition, with the value of every spare moment being measurable in lives… and the Korunnai would likely find her presence somewhat patronizing. Perhaps there would be an opportunity as the years passed. An alarm sounded and an indicator light blinked on the Jedi Ace’s control panels: in thirty seconds, the interceptor would return to realspace above Lehon. Draygo tucked the journal into its clamshell protective case, and the funnel of hyperspace withdrew to reveal the blue jewel of the panel. As the ship descended into the atmosphere, the fighter’s weak sensors began to register faint background signatures--radiation, most likely--and Armiena glanced upwards in the canopy to observe the engine nacelle of an ancient ship drift by. She nodded; the drives of those ancient dreadnoughts were notoriously filthy, often relying on toxic and radioactive isotopes. Many of them were so obsolete, so hazardous to handle, that only a desperate scavenger would bother salvaging them. As she descended, the automated beacons began to guide her towards the Temple. Armiena began her descent glide, but a voice from air traffic control interrupted the familiar routine. “Grandmaster, alter course to two-five mark one-six-two. We’ve got a bit of a storm system approaching. Meteorologist reports that it should pass us by, but make your approach from the north.” Indeed, there was a swirl of grey and white clouds beginning to approach the archipelago that housed the Jedi facilities, not dissimilar to the freak storms that had embattled Coruscant after its moon fell. These were likely a common occurance on this tropical planet. Adjusting her course, her final descent towards the landing pads was routine, if somewhat turbulent due to the growing winds. By the time that she opened the canopy, however, it was beginning to rain. Draygo grumbled at the trickle of water that splashed her forehead through the seal of the canopy and pulled up her hood. A few hundred meters away, hovering in the muggy tropical air, was a small squadron of GR-75 transports, all tethered to the ground by refueling cables and magclamps.
  • Create New...