Near the Iron Imperial capital of Csilla lies a more temperate world, filled with flowing streams, an abundance of floral life, and the secondary home of the hardy Valkyri people. However, their way of life has been threatened since the arrival of Mandalorian refugees, fleeing from conflict of their own. The Oberjarl has long had problems with them since their arrival, already crushing one attempt at a rebellion. Hesitant to welcome more outsiders, the Oberjarl has made the reluctant decision to allow delegates of the Iron Empire into Olstyn to discuss what they hope would be a symbiotic relationship. Though fearsome warriors themselves, it's understandable one could grow weary of years of conflict.
Enter the Iron Empire. The Crown has decided that it is time to bring Olstyn into the fold of the Iron Empire. Go forth and help establish an Iron Imperial presence on the robust planet:
1) Noting their relation to Midvinter, and Midvinter's relation to the Silver Jedi Order, the Crown has reached out to the Dawnguard and royalty of Midvinter to open a dialogue. It is the Crown's intention to forge a lasting friendship between the two factions, and use that friendship to form a similar one with the Oberjarl of Olstyn, in an effort to convince them to join the Iron Realm.
2) While the representatives of the Crown meet with those of the Dawnguard, the Iron Imperial Security Bureau has provided credible intelligence suggesting that a group of Mandalorians is meeting to discuss another coup against the Oberjarl. Walk the mean streets of the Mandalorian Quarter, hit up a bar or two, and show the rogues that the status quo is so for a reason.
The long, thin shadow of the Nebulon-B medical frigate passed over the northern hemisphere of the planet.
The Aurbotha had made the voyage from Roxuli to Olstyn. Though the young Beorni would have preferred to have had more time for the errand of mercy to Roxuli, the field hospital on Roxuli had been established and provisioned. And now the Beorni's priorities had been adjusted for him, bringing him here. It was still a fascinating change from the Order of the Silver Jedi, being in the service to the Iron Empire as much as to Master Théo. Or rather, the two being one-in-the-same.
In this case, the Dawnguard of Midvinter and the Iron Empire were collaborating on diplomatic outreach to the Olstyn governance. The bear imagined that Master Théo was likely to feature heavily in those discussions. Being a Heavenshield was quite a remarkable thing, particularly to a Valkyri.
The fact that Master Théo served the Iron Empire would do much to establish legitimacy with the Valkyri.
"You must be excited."
Glancing up from his cup of tea, the small, white bear looked over at Captain Talus -- the officer who commanded the Aurbotha. As a Consular Jedi, Kiriko's particular skills favored the rear guard. And so, even while not a Jedi Healer, the boy had come to travel in company with one of the Iron Empire's medical ships.
A not unfavorable arrangement, given the boy's penchant for Force Shields.
Seated in the back of a shuttle voyaging toward the surface, the two were enjoying a cup of tea. A particularly aromatic variety native to the Beorni island on MIdvinter, which paired excellently well with the Corellian tea biscuits. A gift from home that had been addressed to Kiriko and Master Théo from Coci Heavenshield. Lowering her tea cup, the frigate captain looked over at the bear -- who had a tea biscuit in either paw at the moment. "I understand Olstyn boasts a rather proud Valkyri culture."
Munching happily on the cookies, the bear seemed to pause a moment at that statement. Finally, swallowing, the cub reached for the small tea pot that rested on the small table between them. "That's what I'm afraid of," the boy remarked cryptically, pouring a new measure of tea for the captain and himself.
The sad tones were not lost on the woman. "I think there's a lot that I don't know about your homeworld," Talus uttered, as she reaching to bring the tea cup up, cradled between her palms to allow it to cool a moment. "The Valkyri and Beorni coexist there, yes?"
Kiriko gave a wan smile, but the gesture was hard to discern against the tapered curves of his muzzle. "Ours is a rather long and complicated relationship," the bear offered politely after another moment. Still cryptic, but about as best as anyone could typify the relationship that the Valkyri and Beorni shared.
"But your master is Valkyri, is he not?"
The whites of Kiriko's teeth flashed briefly, as a much more characteristic smile displayed the Beorni's fierce grin. "He is indeed," the boy answered proudly.
That fact, or revelation, only seemed to cause Captain Talus to grow all the more confused. "I sense you have a great affection for him," the woman remarked finally. "I take it this is not always the case between your people?"
The round ears on the boy's tear twitched slightly. "Ours is a tale as old of time," Kiriko responded. For a moment, the sound of his own voice recalled to mind the storytellers of the Beorni; the masters of oral tradition from whom much of their history was passed. "And, like all old tales, it enjoys moments of great joy... and great sadness."
"And complicated," Captain Talus noted, still obviously confused, but seemingly accepting of the idea that such was the most she was going to get from the boy on the matter.
The shuttle jostled slightly. The woman across from him seemed somewhat startled, the conversation having passed the time so well that she was surprised by their arrival.
A minute later, the loading ramp was lowered. The woman in the Iron Empire Navy uniform descended alongside the white-furred bear, she on two legs and the Beorni on four. A small blaster was at her side, and the bear carried no weapons. Just a collar at his neck and a leather wrap bracelet on his left forepaw. As the pair arrived at the foot of the loading ramp, a human-looking man was waiting just a few steps beyond the shuttle.
The captain came to a stop as soon as she'd stepped off the ramp. Rearing up on his hind legs, Kiriko rose up to his full height and gave a bow toward the fellow.
"You did not mention that there was a... Beorni among your crew."
Raising up slowly from out of the bow, the white furred bear folded his forepaws in front of him. If he had to guess, this man was Valkyri. In part at the very least.
Captain Talus seemed taken aback by the sudden animosity, but recovered from it well. "Is there a problem?" she asked, in a neutral enough tone.
The man's gaze peered down at the bear only briefly, then he once again locked eyes on the captain and spoke as though Kiriko were not standing there at all. "Where are you taking this..." the man began, trailing off as he seemed to struggle to find an appropriate epitaph. "...thing."
"The Mandalorian Quarter," the young Beorni stated, speaking for himself. "If you will permit me, si..."
"Tell your Beorni he should speak only when spoken to," the man snapped, again to the captain as though the padawan were not standing there.
"You do my master much disrespect," Kiriko noted. Not in an aggressive manner, but rather in a seemingly forlorn one. One resigned to the fact that bigotry existed, and there was naught he could do about the arrogance of some men. "I shall convey your words to him. Or perhaps, you would prefer to do so when he arrives?"
"I do not care who your..."
"Oh, I'm so sorry," Kiriko uttered, interrupting the man. "We were getting along so well, I must have neglected to have made introduction," the small Beorni said, before gesturing toward the woman beside him. "This is Captain Talus, of the Aurbotha. And I am Kiriko of Midvinter, padawan learner to Master Théodred Heavenshield, son of Thurion."
The man bristled. Jaw clenched. Knuckles white. It was a piece of news he was obviously less than pleased with. When he finally spoke, he gravely remarked, "You have no claim to Midvinter, beast."
The cub merely tilted his head as he looked up at the man. Softly, he answered, "You say that as though you do."
The man's complexion had started to turn a most curious shade of red-violet. In particular, there was a vein that became quite pronounced against his right temple. "I will not waste any further time with you, Beorni," the fellow spat, speaking from between clenched teeth. "I shall address this insult with your betters."
"No, you will address it with my friends," Kiriko quipped back in reply, before adding, "In which endeavor, I should wish you both luck and good health..."
"...you may need it."
Dropping back onto all fours, the Beorni strolled past the man without a second glance. Captain Talus followed closely after.
"I was not expecting that," the woman remarked, quite candidly.
"The Valkyri are a very proud people," Kiriko remarked, with a surprising amount of sadness. "Particularly so about their gods and their history... which, for very long, omitted the fact that my people exist. Let alone that we did so before them, and passed our culture and ways down to them."
Stopping a moment, the small bear turned his head up to look at the woman. "In this, our existence challenges what they believe about themselves to be true."
"I think I understand what you meant now," Captain Talus said finally. "Long... and complicated."
Now this was more like it. Ylva Solveig had never seen such a place more akin to her kind of living than outside of the Pantheon's tavern, and yet this place was something else entirely. Here there walked stonehands, masons, warriors the likes that she'd been brought up around albiet fairly more civilized. Ylva had come here in agreement with Théodred Heavenshield, he of whom worked alongside the Iron Legion and they whom had gifted her with a warm hearth and good mead following the battle of Roxuli. Today, the menu was very much local and as she strolled down the street wearing her Hide Armor, carrying her War Axe's holstered upon her sides and her War Bow slung across the back of her shoulder, words could not describe the comfort in seeing others carrying the same gear, the same weaponry and clothing made of leathers cut from the kill they had likely taken themselves. These people were more at home with the natural order of things than anyone that sought to traverse the known galaxy in the likes of great starships wielding swords of light and fire.
Nirauan had been similar though without the numerous settlements, villages and peoples that lived so comfortably like they did here on Olstyn. She didn't come from a lavish background of technologies or noble born gifts that most took for granted, everything she carried she herself had cut from the breath of life in the world. Every skill she owned, she had honed in her own time through her experiences out in the wilds and though not educated like some folk, she had become an impeccable huntress and a reliable shot with her bow. Here upon Olstyn, life actually felt like it held a connection to her in some way, that she wasn't completely isolated from a purpose in all the worlds that drowned out her past years in all their insignificance. While she didn't understand this connection, she didn't seek to argue it either. Truth be told the longer she'd stayed, the more comfortable she was becoming and with the people whom acknowledged her with the respect that their hunters were often given, a curt nod and a fairly greeting, Ylva realized that she actually looked the part and some of these people might have actually mistaken her as one of them.
On all the planets in all the galaxy, the Valkyri had found their way to this one. Just on the skirts of Iron Empire space. The news of the discovery had reached him quickly and was met with equal surprise, the intelligence data revealed they had come a century ago and had connection of his grand father when in exile, even before his own father had found his once more, and from that day to this, so much has passed. But no one knew of these Valkyri stuck way out here until recently. His father and no doubt the King, his uncle had been informed and did not waste time in deciding to come to see what could be done to help them, and the growing situation between the hard headed Valkyri and Mandalorians that had sort peace away from their own troubles.
Meeting this group of Valkyri would be interesting to say the least, what tales have they to tell? what was the reason for them to have left their home in order to come this way. Although it appears they did not reach their true destination. No doubt his father was just as eager to know of this as he. And so he waits for the arrival of his family and the others how would come.
On the outskirts of the Mandalorian quarter, Théo paced head turning to the skies looking for the Oathkeeper. After the initial meeting and to catch up with his parents once more, Théo would set out to find his padawan, Kiriko and Ylva. Curious to know what both of them had experienced and their thoughts. But his main objective was to quell the growing tension between to the two peoples. And .. if any of his kinsmen and women wish to return home .. he would take them.
Leaving by choice is one thing, living here out of necessity .. another.
Location: Aboard the Oathkeeper, heading for Olstyn
Objective: 1 and 2
The incredible news of there existing a Valkyri colony somewhere out there demanded the High King's attention, as well as the curiosity of his younger brother. It was simply astounding that Valkyri would ever have left Midvinter by choice, especially so long ago before their kind were even widely known to the greater galaxy. The first recorded person to leave the sacred homeworld was none other than their father, the Dawnbringer, and he did so due to being exiled by the usurper. For traditionally raised Valkyri to even consider leaving Midvinter there must have been a pretty damn good reason behind it.
Thyrian gazed upon the world of Olstyn by the main viewport, trying to make sense of it all while grooming his beard. Part of his was eager to see this colony for himself, yet there were so many unknown factors involved. This 'Iron Empire', for instance. He had had enough of empires for one lifetime, although knowing his nephew played an important part of it eased his mind a bit. "You're nervous," Thurion broke the silence from where he sat in the Captain's chair as they began their descent, making him turn. "I can tell when you're nervous, you know."
He let out a deep sigh in return as his body took on a more relaxed stance, though his fingers instead began fiddling with the hem of his cloak. "I just... It seems so strange to me, is all. Why would there be Valkyri here, of all places?" He slid down into the nearest chair, tapping the armrest with his fingers. "We both know that's not why you're really all wound up, Thyrian." Nodding for Teetoo to take the helm off his hands, Thurion spun his chair to the right to face his brother.
"Still no word from Kära?" Thyrian tried to not let the mention of her name affect him, only to realise he could not hide his thoughts from his closest kin. "I'm not worried about Kära, she can take care of herself better than I ever could myself," he spoke with the briefest of smiles before concern was etched upon his face once more. "It's little Theryn I worry over. He was so small and frail the last time I saw him, I can't help but fear for him."
By now Coci Heavenshield appeared on the bridge, and upon spinning his chair further Thurion's face lit up as it always did whenever she entered the same room as he. Thyrian remained just as gloomy even as he offered his beloved sister-in-law a kind smile, with part of him rejoyed at the deep love the two shared for one another. Another part of him now longed even more to be reunited with his Queen. "Always looking so grim, just like Father when he thought we wouldn't notice," Thurion reached out to him, removing a few wayward strands of dark hair from his brother's face. "You really are a mess, you know that?"
The two looked upon each other in a moment of silence, before they both chuckled. Suddenly Teetoo let out a series of bleeps and chirps, letting them know they had reached their destination.
Aurren adjusted the helmet on his head, and silently cursed those who hadn't got him something more his size. He now properly looked like a Mandalorian, as he had been for a while; he'd been sent ahead to infiltrate the Quarter and those who were planning an attack. His armour was black with a dark yellow trim; it wasn't anything particularly unique, being typical durasteel, but he liked the craftmanship. If things worked out, he might keep it afterwards. Probably have to make some changes so it wasn't so obvious where it was from and it was more comfortable, but still...
He walked through a small alleyway, passing some other armoured figures talking in hushed tones, particularly when he got close. He turned to his left, facing the rickety wooden door that looked like it just lead to somebody's house. It was sturdier than it appeared to be, though. He knocked on it, and it didn't even feel like wood. Knock three times in the tune, just as he'd been instructed. He waited until the letterbox viewing slot at head height opened, with eyes greeting him. It was a Weequay, the first non-helmeted face he'd seen in a while.
"Kraxis Ordo?" The name got a scoff out of Aurren, hearing that cover name again. It was such an odd one, at least to him. He surprised even himself a bit when he spoke. "Expecting somebody else?" The voice that came out wasn't Alderaanian in the slightest. He sounded like he could've lived on Hutta most of his life, and definitely like a Mandalorian. Even the tone he spoke in was defiant, without much room for negotiating.As it turned out, that was exactly what they were looking for.
The door suddenly shot to the left, opening like a blast door. It definitely wasn't real wood. The Weequay motioned for him to follow, leading him down a pretty long set of stairs. He'd been through quite a few trials to prove his loyalty to this group. In ways, he even understood why they thought they had to do what they planned on; but he couldn't let it happen, anyway. There were amateur mistakes involved. This Weequay didn't even search him, not that it would've mattered. Travelling through dank corridors, he passed by small rooms, with more armoured figures reloading weapons and preparing explosives. This was definitely the place.
It is a rare occasion to see the two brothers interact when they believed to be alone, Coci watched them from the lintel of the door leading to the bridge with a soft smile on her face. There was always a hint of regret and sadness that surrounded the two of them, even if they were unaware of it but there is good reason for it considering their history. At least now, the two had time .. to make up for lost time of the past.
So much change had happened within the man now king, from early days in which Coci had encountered him long before meeting Thurion, strange how destiny works sometimes .. once she had viewed him down the sight of her White Mouse and pulled the trigger and now? it was hard to believe not only was he here and alive - reborn - but her brother. Not only by marriage but by a connection from the past that they had faced alone and laid bare everything for the sake of the family and Thurion.
There was no greater power in the galaxy that can heal as great as love. In the wrong 'hands', it can destroy.
"It would not be Thyrian if not for the gloom", she teased him along side her husband as he fussed with him. "He looks fine my love, stop your fussing .. oh do you have your crown?", her lips moved at the corners knowing very well Thyrian would just love the thought of that. And Coci began to fuss with her own Dawnguard Jedi robes sliding her hands down the front of them making sure the pleating was straight .. a habit of her's never lost. She pulled her braided black hair , the same style worn on her wedding day, forward to allow the long plait to fall over her shoulder and took her husband's hand before reaching up to kiss his lips softly.
Their kiss interrupted by Teetoo heralding their arrival to Olstyn and she smiled knowing that her son was waiting for them all. "Come on lets not keep them all waiting".
Location : Olstyn , Wandering the Outskirts of Mando Quarter  Objective : Explore
According to those around him his first military liberty was supposed to hold a day of drinking and general goofing off. Makai wasn't too sure if bars would serve him considering his age but then again, in the military uniform he doubted many would ask for some form of identification. He suspected things worked out differently on these fringes than the ones he was used to.
Speaking of uniform, it seemed it brought a bit of attention in terms of stares. Or maybe it was blue-green scales peaking out his long sleeves from time to time. Either way he was used to such a thing and he continued on the cobblestone lined streets.
Growing up on aquatic planets all his life, moving into the salvaging business, Makai had never seen such architecture until he had reached the Empire and Chiss space. A regional thing? Most of his life had been surrounded by wood and green, canopies and large windows to pull in an ocean breeze. Things were much darker, more stone. He was still surprised by snow, his only experience of snow was during the wedding of Zak Dymo, even then there hadn't been much.
Edited by Makai Dashiell, 17 September 2017 - 11:22 PM.
O L Y S T Y N ,T H E M A N D A L O R I A N Q U A R T E R
A G E N T R H A N E L Y S A R
"Now, we can do this the easy way, or we can do this the hard way."
Rhan's voice echoed maliciously throughout the chamber that he occupied with two disguised Imperial soldiers and a man hanging from an exposed pipe with a black bag over his head. "The easy way involves you telling me what I need to know, and then me letting you go." The Exiled Lord informed, boring holes into the bag with his eyes, "The hard way, well the hard way is going to garner you a lot of unnecessary pain that could be avoided if you don't open your mouth and TELL ME WHAT YOU KNOW!"
The captured man jumped at the Agent's sudden roar, beginning to struggle hopelessly against the cuffs that kept him tied to the pipe. He remained ever silent, wordlessly defying the authority of the Iron Imperial Agent. Elysar looked at the chronometer on his wrist, before glaring back up at the hostage, "Very well, the hard way it is." He snarled, signaling for one of the soldiers to hand him a rusted pole; which he turned to the side and brought it around, hitting the man hard on his torso.
Several swings and multiple yells of pain later, and the bloodied pole was dropped with a resounding clang, "Please! PLEASE! I'll talk, I'll talk...I'll talk..." The man whimpered, prompting Rhan to snatch the bag off of his head, revealing a Mandalorian warrior who took up residence on Olstyn. The beans were spilled in a short period of time, the man left crying as the soldiers tended to his wounds with their advanced medicine.
Agent Elysar left the room, stepping out into the cool air of Olstyn. He held up his holo-communicator and dialed in the code for the Security Bureau's Command frequency; "This is Agent Rhan Elysar, be advised we have enough information to carry out a raid. Inform Praetor Heavenshield if you have the time, I'm sure he won't like us making a mess without him knowing." He relayed, before turning to a squad of plain-clothes soldiers.
It was a fairly unassuming craft, and at the moment, carried only one. This ship had visited Iron Empire space several times in the past, but recently it had been quite scarce. Aboard the Tumbleweed, Valae Kitra sat in silence. There was much on her mind.
She had been working with Praetor Heavenshield to form a branch of healers within the Iron Legion. However, her work there had only just started. Unfortunately, she’d not had the time to dedicate to the effort. Turbulent times had found the Silver Jedi Order. Between battles in their space, Valae had also found herself in the role as Grandmaster.
In this station, she hoped that she would be able to keep the bond between the Iron Empire and the Silver Jedi Order strong. And she hoped that making her introductions today would help in that effort. Word had reached her that members of the Dawnguard were making a journey to Olstyn, and she followed along on her own. Valae didn’t wish to crash the party; she would not interfere with the relations being formed between organizations. However, she did wish to observe.
And she had to admit, it would be nice to see some familiar faces.
The Iron Empire Navy officer had gone her separate way in order to inquire about the current state of medicine and medical care on Olstyn. Of course, such a meeting was held in the planet's premier medical center -- which seemed to cater to an almost exclusive human-Valkyri clientele.
There was a free clinic in the Mandalorian Quarter that provided for the displaced and affected people there. Before they'd parted, Kiriko and Captain Talus had agreed that they would meet at the clinic later; once the captain had finished her meeting with the medical authorities and the Beorni had completed his patrol of the Mandalorian slums.
Judging by the reactions, the people here had never seen a polar bear walking the streets before.
Padding along on all fours, the white bear casually strolled among the merchant stalls and people that spilled out into the open avenues and broad streets.
Kiriko could sense much anger rising from these streets.
And, perhaps even more concerning, was a great deal more apathy. Which was a terrible word. Perhaps even more so than hate, because in succumbing to apathy a person exhibited neither love nor loathing but had ceased to care at all. And when one abandoned the will to even care about another living being, it was nothing short of the slow death of the soul.
There was simply no cure for an amputated spirit. There was no prosthetic for that.
So, the young Beorni did what Beorni so often do.
He stopped to listen to an old, blind man and heard tales of Mandalore. Of battles great and small, in the days before the Primeval invasion of Wayland claimed his sight.
It was not so great an effort to listen. It required almost no effort on the part of the listener; yet, the aged Mandalorian seemed quite grateful for the stranger who paused to hear whatever the man might care to share.
To a teenage mother struggling to comfort a colicky infant, a soothing touch proved a measure of respite for both mother and child.
They were not heroic feats. The bear was not out to save the world. He merely offered a kind word, or a willing ear, or an outstretched paw.
It was amazing how startled people could when presented with even just a simple kindness. Particularly from a stranger. An alien the likes of which they'd not seen before.
But, Kiriko could feel it still.
However the disaffected people of Mandalore had come to Olstyn, and however the Valkyri here had welcomed them (or not), it seemed clear that this place was a proverbial powder keg.
How did one go about defusing a bomb so complex as this?
It was true the little Beorni did stand out rather well within the streets of the settlement they roamed, though only as much as Bjomolf did beside her, the Ice Wolf 'Pup' who had grown astonishingly quickly for something Ylva Solveig had rescued from a cage, the wolf now grown into the size of a Kathhound and still to grow larger. She knew not how old Bjomolf was yet the name was fitting for it's burly appearance despite this holonet that Théodred Heavenshield had tried to introduce her too, the creature was far outside of it's natural habitat and so did it appear was this little one.
It would seem that her brute wolf would notice the presence of the little bear too, his head lowering as it's pace picked up and eyes seeming to hone on the Beorni, Ylva's gaze was taken by the beast, a slight furrow to her brow as she realized it was acting much like any creature who were eyeing up their next meal; she herself behaving similarly when on the hunt. "Bjomolf..." Her voice took a firm tone, the beast slowing and turning to look back up at her with an argumentative half growl ending in a slight whine of it's throat; "No" she added, ending their conversation then and there. He was young and were still learning to walk the worlds that contested his kinds typical climate, yet between the two, the IceWolf was coming to know Ylva and had learned to heed her words. The great Wolf was no pet but a respected companion, something that the spirits of nature had graced her with the loyalty of and him the timely rescue since her crash landing upon Roxuli.
Moving to take a seat upon a nearby wall stacked of great pieces of stone, she perched herself upon the rock fence only waist high and decided better to watch the happenings around them. Some would pass, eyeing both the fire headed woman and her beast companion though calling attention to themselves just a little ways ahead, Kiriko appeared determined to interact with the locals of the settlement. Curious as it were to Ylva who would rather bide her time and remain isolated amidst those not of her kind, or atleast presumed as much, she watched from the small distance that separated them as this little Beorni seemed to take flight to conversation with these rumored Midvinter travelers.
This of course was part of the intrigue and incentive for coming here with those of the Iron Empire, a people for whom belonged to the homeworld of Théodred's, she had listened to him speak fondly of the place with almost a glint of honor in his eyes when he did so, a piece of his heart worn on his sleeve during such a time; she wished to understand more about the nature of these men and woman, those who seemed to defy the rest of the galaxy and humble themselves more with the relationship between themselves and the natural world rather than a world plagued with so much technology and sentient designed complications. What this meant for the Mandalorian who were seeking to stake their claim however, refugees from further south, both peoples seemed to be proud warriors though these Mandalorian were well known for their arms and armors and thus, the Iron Empire seemed to be needed. Wanted or not was another question.
Erik passed beneath an old style gate, complete with Valkyri carvings and knotwork, and into the Mandalorian Quarter of Akureyri.He wore armor that held distinctly Valkyri stylings, but also had minor Mandalorian elements, with the helmet currently missing.His shoulder bore the symbol of Clan Jarnulv, a clan that settled in mountains well north of Akureyri.His ice blue eyes scan the crowds of Mandalorians, his face impassive even though he looked upon them in a different way than most Valkyri of Olstyn.
Among the first of the Mandalorians arriving on Olstyn had been a troop transport that hadn't taken the ionic storms over the forests of Clan Jarnulv's foothills and crashed.Clan Jarnulv sent warriors to check it out, including Erik, the youngest son of Jarl Eamur Jarnulv.What they found were dead and wounded within the troop transport.Those they could save were brought back to the mountain holdfasts of the clan, while those they couldn't save were brought back in the morning light and buried among the Jarnulv dead.Among the survivors was the warrior Tania Itera, who brooked no idiocy, and had captured Erik's heart at first sight upon waking.Some of the other survivors moved on to Akureyri to be with the majority of their people, but a few remained with Tania.
Their courtship had been fast and brutal, both were warriors of their culture, but the Mandalorian way of fighting had taken Erik by surprise, and he was beaten soundly again and again in their sparring until he began to learn.He was the first of the Jarnulv warriors to learn from their Mandalorian guests, but he was not the last.They wed a mere handful of days before the first uprising, and had been travelling to see the Oberjarl as the Clan Jarnulv custom was, to introduce the newcomer to the clan, when the Mandalorians in Olstyn had heightened their fighting.Several Mandalorians saw Erik and Tania together, and took umbrage.In the resultant fight, Tania was killed by her own people.Then, the Oberjarl's forces put down the fighting.
Erik had returned to his clan in mourning, though no tear was shed.Long hours were spent at the pell, at the weapons range, at any task that he could do in solitude and required focus.
The only thing that had pulled him out of that mood was when word reached them that the Mandalorians of Olstyn were going to rebel again.The hows of it hadn't reached them, but Erik left that night for Olstyn.
Erik had been in Olstyn for almost a week now, with the Iron Empire having arrived he had been forced to seek lodging outside of the Oberjarl's halls.That was more to Erik's liking anyway, a place he could be somewhat anonymous as he moved through the city, and searched for those that wished to cause trouble again.
To say that his style of investigation lacked sophistication would be an understatement.He was openly wearing his clans symbol, declaring allegiance to the Oberjarl with every step he took.He asked no questions concerning rebellion, or unrest.Instead, he shopped in the Mandalorian quarter, ate at the stalls and small restaurants that had popped up, and did other such normal things.His thinking was that trouble would find him sooner or later, and he'd take care of it from there.
"Do you have any roba pie today?" He asked in heavily accented mando'a.The older woman, who still had steel in her eyes, broke a grin for the first time in days as she shook her head.
"We haven't had any shipments from Aralia this week, as I told you the past few days."She replied in the Olstyn dialect of Runic, the grin did not reach her eyes, but seemed genuine enough."I have some tiingilar ready to come out of the oven soon.Three credits for that and the local ale."
"Aye, that sounds good."He said, already feeling his nasal cavity sweating from memory of the spice in the casserole.He moved to a table, and tapped in his identity to the old, battered pad sitting there, then waited.
It was an odd feeling in the pit of Douglas' stomach to be walking instead of flying a starfighter or a bomber over the lands of another planet the Iron Empire has set it's eyes upon. It was odd, but kind of refreshing, honestly. He could use a bit of resting and relaxation. Douglas was walking down a dirt road when a group of the natives were playing a game of limmie. "Hey. Could you folks use another? I love a good game of limmie." Douglas called out, with a smile on his face."Sure. Let's get a game going!" one of the natives replied, beckoning him over. Douglas ran on over and joined them.
"Is it alright if I'm a team captain?" Douglas asked. "Sure." one of the natives responded. Douglas and the other team captain started picking members of their team and then the game started.
Thurion chuckled as Coci made mention of his brother's crown, and even Thyrian himself couldn't help but let one out. He then stood and felt his wife's hand in his before their lips met briefly for a gentle kiss. "You look beautiful," he told her in soft tone as his fingers trailed down her raven-haired braid, and he quickly lost himself in those deep, dark eyes of hers. "You always look beautiful." He leaned in for another kiss, this one deeper and longer lasting than the first one.
By now Thyrian had risen from his seat as well, stepping away from the two to give them some privacy. While his heart ached for Kära, he didn't wish to be regarded as a 'third wheel' when it came to his little brother's happiness. He himself greatly appreciated his own privacy, and thus respected that of others just as much. Instead he headed for the ship exit where he would await the pair, as well as take a second to make certain he looked the part of the High King of Midvinter. Albeit without his crown.
Shortly after Thurion and Coci joined their brother just as the ramp lowered itself for them to disembark onto the world of Olstyn. The climate was unlike that of Midvinter, as there was no snow upon the land nor much in the way of great mountaintops filling the horizon. In their place there was actual green landscapes, with flowing rivers and flora the likes of which would never survive on their frozen counterpart. There to meet them as the three descended the ramp was Théodred Heavenshield, Praetor of the Iron Empire. All well and good, but to Thurion he would always be one thing above all else:
"My boy," he greeted him, caring not for any protocol as he simply stepped forth and embraced him, albeit far briefer than he would've liked. "I see you wasted no time in seeing it for yourself. None of us could scarcely believe it when we heard the news." Giving Coci the time to greet their firstborn, he turned to his older brother who had kept his distance while the proud parents reunited with their son. Thurion's head jerked subtly in Théo's direction, prompting Thyrian to take action.
Rather than greet his nephew with a hug like his parents, the King looked into Théo's blue eyes as if they were his brother's. His face softened from his usual stoic visage before bowing his head. "Praetor," came his simple greeting, only to look up and meet his gaze again along with a kind smile. "Nephew..." A hand was placed on Théo's shoulder and neck, giving him a loving pat before he took to looking around at the settlement they found themselves in, as well as the people living in it. "Théodred, who leads these people?"
T H E • L U K E - W A R M • C O L D • E Q U A T I O N
(cue the music)
Once, the young Pantoran had started an uprising on Ord Janon.
It had been as simple as putting a blaster in a man's hand.
The rebellion had spread like wildfire, even before the ships of the Primeval had arrived at the slave port. In a single day, the shadow of the dark god Balagoth had spread across the port of Bilgewater. Freedom was bought that day through hard work.
...but work. All of it very hard work. In fire, in pain, in agony, and in blood had the power of the planet's rulers been broken. The high kings cast from their pedestals, where they'd been shot like dogs by the slaves they'd cast in shackles. It had been as brutal as it had been beautiful. A man's freedom purchased with another man's life.
Tyranny was, after all, merely a matter of perspective.
And all of it -- the murder, the brutality, the violence -- sparked with so simple a thing as giving a man the means by which to act on his hate.
Even at the tender age of eleven, he knew what that felt like.
He stood on a corner, asking for spare change. The boy's blue skin held an unhealthy pallor. He looked like he hadn't bathed in a week and smelled like it might have been two. The blisters on his feet attested to the fact that his shoes had been taken from him. His clothes were torn and nasty, likely recovered from a dumpster, and in bad enough condition that no one had tried to taken those from him as well.
Stumbling, staggering, the child tried to step out into the crowds that were passing him by as though he wasn't even there. "Please, miss?" the boy asked, only to get knocked aside when they walked him as though oblivious to his ever been standing there.
A rough shove. He connected with the side of the building. He fell to the ground. They stepped over him. No one offered to help him up.
All for asking for help. "Please, sir?" the youngling asked, not able to raise his eyes even as he held his hands up in the hopes that the man might drop a credit there. Instead, he felt a large palm grab him by the head and shove him aside.
"Out of my way!"
It happened so fast, few would have noticed. The briefest contact. Not between the man's hand and the boy's forehead, but between the Pantoran's fingers and the man's pocket. The blue-skinned street urchin went careening back against the building, slumping to the ground.
It was only as the man continued on, that the boy's amber eyes glanced from the retreating back to his own clenched fist. Opening it to reveal the stolen credit cube there in the palm of his hand...
The Sith courier was a shadow against a backdrop of perfect darkness.
The Iron Empire were looking in the wrong place. If they wanted to find who was causing problems in the Mandalorian Quarter, then they didn't need to patrol the streets. They merely needed to follow the guns.
Olstyn was surrounded by an asteroid field. It was the perfect place for a rendezvous away from peering eyes. After all, who would risk a collision in such a field? Of course, stranger things had been known to happen -- such as pirates out in the dangerous and unmapped asteroid fields of the Chiloon Rift.
After the initial greetings had concluded, happy that his family was well and here to lend a hand in approaching these Valkyri that had been displaced and in a considerable distance from Midvinter. The questions as to why and how they come to be here would be at the forefront of their minds no doubt. It was his uncle that had moved to start the proceedings.
“Their leader is a man called Grond”, Théo looked to both uncle and his father to see if either of them recognised the name at all. “That is all we have as far as information goes on him I am afraid”. Scant it was at that. Although the Iron Empire had more when dealing with the Mando side of things, the Valkyri as like they are at home, are more shielded. “They seem to have developed a culture akin to that on Midvinter, with ruling families and structure within their clan. But, there is more of a heavy hand when ruling more tyrannical in their dealings with own kind and foreigners. As you know Chieftain of Midvinter can be a stubborn hard headed lot, but they are fair when it comes to leadership and interaction between the clans but .. ”.
“But not in this case?”, it was Coci that spoke up next moving toward Thurion, “Like .. the dark days before the great war”. Thurion would understand what she spoke of, the ruling of the Usurper and his men that would wage war against any clan that opposed him.
It was at this point Théo received a message from one of Agent Rhan Elysar’s men, Elysar had been questioning one of the mando it was understood, however what that information was Théo did not know. “Exactly what is this information acquired?”,He asked Elysar’s man, Théo was not about to launch Legion members into something with little to nothing. Coercions is a handy tool at times but it will also yield exaggeration and ‘give them what they want to hear’.
Standing beside her uncle, Aster's appearance contrasted the war-worn man's in every way. Unlike Isamu who had an appearance of an experienced warrior and a commanding presence, the teenager seemed much more delicate and almost fragile in comparison.
Excited to see the Midvinter royal delegation, Aster closed her eyes briefly to compose herself and allowed herself a polite smile, careful not to make herself seem childish by expressing her excitement as playing the role of the Iron Empire's Crown Princess was a delicate process. Express too much emotion frequently and she might seem unsophisticated in the eyes of others, shattering the illusion of her that the people had enjoy so much, however, were she to show not enough emotion, she might appear cold and callous to the people, losing their adoration. In short, it was a taxing process that made her unable to relax around others.
Slowly inhaling a deep breath, the teenager suppressed her desire to greet her Master with a bright smile and welcome her to the Iron Empire, instead, waiting for her uncle to greet the Midvinter delegation first.
T H E • L U K E - W A R M • C O L D • E Q U A T I O N
Beautiful night for a space walk.
Of course, when one was in space, it was always night.
The starlight courier that he'd been watching had been met by a Vanguard heavy gun ship that absolutely didn't have pirate written all over it. Blacked out hull. No running lights. And those heavy repeating blasters were not present on the stock model.
Feth, those weren't even on the military models.
With the Equinox powered down, the Pantoran had manually opened the forward loading ramp. Just an evac-suit on his back and a whole lot nothing out there that he could get lost in. If he made a mistake, he'd have about two hours worth of air in which to reflect on it.
Good reason not to make a mistake, then.
Flipping up, spinning heels over head in zero gravity, the Pantoran put the soles of his feet against the underside of the Sith courier and then pushed off with all his strength. And, just like that, he was a puppet with no strings. Suspended between the space between spaces, floating among the asteroids.
It took him five minutes to travel the distance. Inverted himself, it was a delicate balance to create a featherpush that would nearly zero out his inertia, but still give him just enough to make contact with the Starlight freighter noiselessly. Crabwalking across the top of the small freighter, the boy produced a small disc from his utility belt, which he placed on the corner of a glasteel viewport.
Retreating back a step, the young Pantoran crouched down and cross his arms. Tapping a few buttons on the wristlink he wore, the boy listened as audio from within the freighter began to trickle through.
"...venteen blaster rifles, twenty-seven thermal detonators, and fourteen canisters of Synedian algae."
"That's what we agreed."
The first voice was gravely, with a hissing lisp as though not evolved for speaking Basic. Trandoshan most likely. The second voice, though, definitely human or near-human.
"You have payment?"
Sounded like the band was breaking up. Crab-walking across the top of the Starlight freighter, the boy crossed over onto the Vanguard right as the force cylinder was retracted. Making his way to the port side engine, the Pantoran could see the Starlight freighter as it turned and headed back toward the surface.
The Vanguard was departing as well. The planet Olstyn rising up over the boy's head as the pirate gun ship banked and started to turn. Removing his utility belt, the boy slapped the strip down lengthwise against the top of the engine. Reaching forward, the boy activated something in the buckle, before pushing off into dead space.
Why the hell would Mandalorians want algae?
In a slow spin, the boy brought his arm up to tap the controls on his wristlink. "Ar-Three, power up," the boy uttered, sending the command back to the droid that controlled the Equinox. "Then see if you can get ahold of Coci or Théo..."
There was no way to convey sound in a vacuum. But, even while he could not hear the explosion, he witnessed the bright fireball that bloomed into existence for one, shining moment. And was suddenly extinguished.
He'd placed an explosive pack on the port engine of the pirate gun ship. It was detonated the moment the hyperdrive had activated. Not a powerful explosion in itself, but it didn't have to be. The starboard and port hyperdrives going out of alignment caused the Vanguard to tear itself apart.
Nothing personal Tossk and Rak'qua. Just the cost of doing business.
...some poor salvager was going to chit himself when or if he ever came across that aurodium though.
"There's something strange going on here, Ar-Three," the boy mused aloud, tucking his legs up into a lotus-position as he mulled over what he'd heard.
And waited for a certain astromech droid to come pick him up.
Edited by Boo Chiyo, 23 September 2017 - 08:41 PM.
Valae’s ship set down on the surface of Olstyn, and she took but a brief moment to appreciate the landscape that sprawled out before her. Wrapping her woolen robe tightly around her form, she walked down the ramp and into the cool air. Though it seemed that this placed lacked snow and ice, she still found a bit of bite to the breeze. But she supposed that it was just the fact that she’d been born and raised on Tattooine, she found many worlds to be quite chilly.
Up ahead, she could already see the delegation from Midvinter approaching the Praetor.
A fond smile graced her lips, memories rushed back. It would be nice to see him again. Her brown orbs also found the familiar silhouette of her Master, and that of his wife. It had been such a long time since she had seen Coci, but she supposed that there would be little time for catching up today. Soft steps brought her up behind the group; Valae clasped her hands in front of her.
As greetings were made, she stood to the back and slightly to the side. Peeking around Thurion, she offered a small nod to Theo to quietly announce her presence. And when there was a lull, she spoke up.
“I hope y’all don’t that mind that I tag along,” She said in a warm tone, smiling.