OUT OF CHARACTER INFORMATION
Intent: Expand on the Shadow Knights. Sub Kaida's boss.
Image Credit: Here. Picture does not look very elfy, but is cool and it's difficult to find elves that have scars instead of being unblemished.
Role: Strategos of the Shadow Knights. As general-in-chief, Yseult is Kaida's superior.
Force Sensitivity: Non-Force User
Appearance: Eldorai female of average height with pale skin, short dark hair and pointed ears. She keeps her hair at a practical length. During a battle, a good chunk of her face was destroyed by blaster fire and shrapnel. Moreover, her jaw was damaged and she lost some teeth. Due to these injuries, synthetic skin was grafted onto the burned half and she received a mechanical eye to replace the one she'd lost. However, scars remain, both from battle and surgery. In addition, the artificial skin looks and feels somewhat off. Yseult struggled with her disfigurements, but eventually came to appreciate the intimidation skill bonus.
In addition to giving her night vision, her ocular implant allows her to see in the infrared and ultraviolet spectrum. Eldorai are known for being more slender and nimble than overly muscular. However, she is quite strong and tough for her race due to intense effort. She keeps a treadmill in her office so that she can exercise when she does not get the chance to go for a jog or visit the gym. She refers to using the treadmill at high speed as her form of meditation that helps clear her mind. She dresses practically, disdaining ostentatious attire.
Name: Yseult Faerin.
Wealth: Moderate. The Shadow Knights pay her well for her services, but she is not a millionaire and does not live in luxury. Her office is rather austere.
- Silver ring bearing the Eldorai eagle. Awarded to all Shadow Knight leaders.
- Medals of valour and service.
- Group holopic of herself and her half-siblings.
- Various trinkets, trophies and mementos acquired during her long career. Dogtags of dead soldiers.
- Cylix Bolt Pistol
- RSIC-11 "Suncrusher" Blaster Pistol (purchase request here, permission here).
- SSK-5 Icon Blaster Pistol (purchase request here, permission here).
- Decades of experience from common soldier to commander.
- Melee Combat
Yseult is no savant or genius of warfare, but a capable commander who worked her way up from the bottom. Decades of experience have given her a good tactical and strategic mind. She also has a good grasp of logistics and is a good pilot. As the Shadow Knights are a spacefaring people, she has learned a bit about fleet combat, while still commanding 'ground' forces. She's also a good pilot. She encourages critical thinking among her staff, but has no tolerance for indolence. She has done much to professionalise the military apparatus of the Shadow Knights and bring the often rather disparate, notoriously independent-minded militias and paramilitary formations under one command.
Her work is far from complete and there are many obstacles that have yet to be overcome. Party leaders and insurgent commanders are loathe to give up their independence. Moreover, resources continue to be an issue. But progress has been made. She sees the forces she is moulding as the nucleus of a future Asuran National Army. 'Asuran' in this case being a term encompassing all Eldorai and their 'cousins', like the Qadiri etc.
Being a nomadic rebel group in search of a new home, the Shadow Knights cannot match an interstellar government in terms of numbers of troops, vehicles, starships and materiel. Given the relatively small size of the movement, their forces are rather streamlined. There is a great emphasis on direct action assaults, boarding actions, raids and piracy. The Shadow Knights do not have the meansto invade a developed and face the forces of an interstellar government on equal terms.
Their objective is to protect the freedom of their people. While they have engaged in raids on planetary domains, they have never sought a permanent occupation, as it would not be practical. Eventually they seek to find a home. There is a heavy reliance on special forces operations, infiltration and rapid strikes. Similar to the classical Rebel Alliance, starfighters play a prominent role in space combat. Boarding actions are also important, as it is more beneficial for the Shadow Knights to take over hostile ships rather than destroy them.
Personality: In contrast to the usual Eldorai attitude of being formal and aloof, Yseult is a fairly blunt person. She has been a career soldier for most of her life. This has given her a no-nonsense attitude towards problems and an unwillingness to beat around the bush. Like many career officers, she is a bit of a strict disciplinarian, though not to the extent that she has become a martinet. Despite her senior rank, she keeps herself combat-ready instead of relying solely on guards. She is no savant of warfare or 'strategic genius', but steady, competent and learns very fast. She knows what her forces are capable of and makes the best use of the resources at hand, while pushing improvements where it matters.
She does not try to cover up mistakes if she makes them or pin the blame on subordinates. She is not one to shirk away from making hard choices. Yseult is always well-prepared for briefings and rather ruthless in dressing down subordinate commanders and staff officers who have not done their homework. She encourages critical thinking among her officers, but has no tolerance for indolence.
It is a common rumour among staff officers that she beat an officer who had committed a misdemeanour of some sort and tried to hide it with a stick once. It is known that she is not above using a cane on her own staff officers. She is known for her rigorous inspections. Once she has made up her mind about something, it is difficult to change it. Her subordinates respect her skill, and fear her formidable temper. Yseult despises waste. War is an unpleasant business and there can be no victory without sacrifice, but she is contemptuous of officers who are careless with lives and resources.
Ironically, one of the reasons she chose to take up a sword was the fact that her father had been a soldier. Moreover, it was a good way for an outcast like her to make a name for herself. Having grown up as a bastard of a deposed royal dynasty, she witnessed how self-destructive the Byzantine intrigues at the Eldorai court could be. Wanting no part in vainglorious power plays, she turned her back on Kaeshana and sought to make something out of herself in the stars. As a result, she is completely uninterested in any of the riven factions and nonsense. Two of Yseult's half-siblings were abducted by criminals many decades ago. While her relationship with them was never close - and indeed often poor - she feels guilty about it. She channels said guilt into anger and uses it as fuel to do do better.
She is strong-willed, stubborn and more than a little hot-tempered. This can make her appear intimidating. In spite of her somewhat harsh personality, she is generally a good judge of character and an able leader on the battlefield. She has no tolerance for failure, but also does not order minions to do more than they are absolutely capable of. She can be rather compassionate towards the common soldier. She can come across as being more than a little arrogant. However, she backs this up with brutal competence.
She is unable to tolerate lazy, timid or reckless individuals. She relates to those who work full strength, creativity and with some fire. She patiently listens to her staff's opinions on tactical and organisational questions, but once she has made up her mind she expects them to carry out her decisions without question. She is an attentive commander who takes the time to visit subordinates in their homes to learn of their needs, and if it is within her power, help. Off duty, Yseult is quite sociable. She knows how to enjoy herself, participating in games and dances. In a club or on a sports field where officers spend their leisure time, rank does not exist for her. She is sincere, includes herself extensively in any possible games and conducts herself simply.
Compared to Naesala, her superior and friend, Yseult is an inferior politician, but a superior commander. In that regard both complement each other well. She lacks her boss' ability to negotiate and reach a reasonable compromise and is less inspirational. But she has greater command experience since Naesala spend most of her time commanding paramilitary forces and irregulars in brush fire conflicts and skirmish actions after going into exile. By contrast, Yseult experienced the Galactic Republic-One Sith War first-hand and faced the monstrosities of the Unknown Regions.
Yseult acts as Naesala's strong right arm. Sometimes the Archon must soothe ruffled feathers. But while Yseult's abrasive mannerisms have sometimes been a point of contention between them, they have never caused a permanent rift. Yseult allows Naesala to focus on the political sphere, and by the same token Naesala gives Yseult room to do something constructive for her people without having to wade into the stormy waters of Eldorai factional politics more often than necessary.
Yseult's experiences have shaped her outlook. They have endowed her with a distinct lack of patience for the petty squabbles of her people and a strong dislike of hereditary nobility. Ironically, she is more at home in the Galaxy than among many of her fellow Eldorai. Yseult is rather cosmopolitan compared to the majority of her people, who have a long tradition of isolationism and xenophobia. She is even dating a non-Eldorai. This is considered rather scandalous in polite Eldorai society, even among many more progressive Shadow. There are members of the Shadow Knights' leadership have a contentious relationship with her due to her lack of 'elfiness'. This has caused some to regard her as 'tainted'.
However, her detachment is also an asset because it means she is not in the pocket of any of the factions that comprise the rebel coalition. This is one of the reasons Naesala gave her the job in the first place. Despite being so removed from her people and several of their age-old traditions, Yseult has accepted a commission with the Shadow Knights. Partly because they pay her quite well, but also because she believes in the cause and wants to help her people find their place and overcome the humiliations that have been inflicted upon them. Even if they sometimes make it difficult for her.
The relationship between Kaida and Yseult is not without complications. Both are domineering, authoritarian women who like to have things their way. Kaida is also less cosmopolitan, more misandrist and xenophobic. She is also a good deal more stoic and prickly at the best of times. There was much grumpiness when the frost elf was foced to allow males to join her unit. However, there is respect. Yseult does not have Force powers and is not as strong a warrior as Kaida, but a better commander on the strategic level. Both can also be pragmatic to the point of ruthlessness.
Yseult has a somewhat complicated relationship with Daymana Thael, the commander of the Caerith Tyari. Daymana is competent but also, in Yseult's words, 'political and loves to hear herself talk'. For her part, the former Angelii, a long-time insurgent, holds it against Yseult that she did not participate in the revolutionary struggle to topple the Monarchy. The Strategos has a better working relationship with Marlaen Nylath, head of the Court of the Four Elements and thus Daymana's boss.
Yseult has a close relationship with her half-brother Elénaril. When they were children, he chafed against the restrictions Eldorai society placed on him because of his gender. She taught him how to fight and after their family's obsession with the throne caused it to self-destruct, they were there for each other. Elénaril is more idealistic than her, but they have a strong bond. He has been able to fulfil his dream of becoming an Angelii by joining the Tyari, as they let elf males join. Yseult is protective of her little brother and reacts very negatively to misandrist comments.
Weapon of Choice: A Sarzmigar or similar polearm weapon is her preferred melee weapon, sometimes combined with a battle shield. Plus some sort of repeating blaster, assault rifle or similar weapon for range. Always carries a sidearm and a vibroknife.
Combat Function: Yseult is good in melee combat with polearm and shield. She is a good pilot and a good shot, especially with pistols and assault rifles. Being an Eldorai she possesses impressive dexterity and hand-eye coordination, which enhances her abilities as a pilot for starships and ground vehicles. She is quite strong and robust for an Eldorai and even by human standards.
However, she is a 'normal' mortal, not a Force-user. Lacking Force powers, cybernetic or genetic enhancements that give her preternatural capabilities, she must rely on skill, discipline and tech to prevail in combat. She is familiar with fighting Force-users, but being a Force blind, she does not truly understand how the Force works. She can react to its use and learn from experience, but is sometimes unable to assess potential dangers.
One of her eyes is a cybernetic implant. It grants her enhanced sight as well as night and infrared vision. However, it is vulnerable to EMP, ion and electrical discharges. Her sensitive hearing allows her to pick up on noises others might miss, but as a tradeoff leaves her more vulnerable to high-pitch frequencies such as those emitted by sonic weapons. On the ground she favours combat at close or medium range and is not a good sniper. She is a rather direct fighter and thus not that suited for sneaking around, stealthy kills and such. She is a soldier, after all, not a professional assassin.
- Capable military commander. She is no genius, but tenacious, steady and competent.
- Tough and robust. She is good in melee and close quarter combat. Capable starship and vehicle pilot.
- Sensitive hearing has its upsides, but also leaves her more vulnerable to high-pitch frequencies. An example would be sonic weapons. Her cybernetic eye improves her sight, but is vulnerable to standard machine weaknesses.
- Yseult is a rather direct fighter and thus not suited for the role of an assassin, stealthy operative or similar.
Eldorai love political intrigue as much as any species in the galaxy. Unfortunately, these Byzantine machinations often have real personal costs involved. Queen Tirathana VI, mother of the present Star Queen Tirathana VII, was a master of the game. Ruthless and conniving, she was not afraid to step over bodies to get where she wanted - onto the throne- and to stay there. Till the day she died, she ruled Kaeshana with an iron fist. However, her reign left many problems that would plague her successors. Her insistence on isolating Kaeshana from the rest of the Galaxy shielded Eldorai traditions and values. However, it also protracted the Eldorai's technological backwardness, leaving them vulnerable to outside aggressors in the long-term and more dependent on foreign patrons such as Firemane when they tried to catch up.
Though her propaganda machine claimed otherwise, she was not the next in line to the throne when Tirathana V passed away. However, Tirathana did not let such legal niceties deter her. So she did what any claimant did: Gather a coalition of allies, promise them a stake in the realm, take control and topple her rivals. Those who refused to bend the knee were purged or banished. The throne was hers by right and all who opposed her claim were enemies of the realm.
This included the Evora royal family. The Phoenix Crown was theirs by right, but while Tirathana might not have had the legal right, she had the martial right. Following past precedent, she declared her enemies heretics, for as Star Queen she was not just a temporal ruler, but also the viceroy of the Goddess Ashira and High Priestess of her Church. Thus the Evoras were banished from Kaeshana, the Eldorai homeworld. They found refuge on Corellia. If this were a fairy tale, then the 'rightful Queen' would have returned one day to reclaim her throne. The commoners, who undoubtedly despised the 'usurper', would have welcomed her with open arms and the peace and justice would have been restored to the realm.
However, reality is more complex and less idealistic than a fairy tale. Like most exiled nobles, the Evoras did not accept their banishment. They became fixated on returning to power. This obsession was particularly strong in Princess Taenarys, who had been very young when she was forced to leave her homeworld and cast out into an unfamiliar Galaxy. Raised in the belief that the throne was hers and that she had been denied her birthright, she would style herself as the Queen Across The Stars, who was destined to return. Ironically, back on Kaeshana, an army deserter charlatan claimed to be an Evora pretender called Aspasia and led a bloody insurrection against the Crown. But the rebels' brutality alienated their supporters and they were crushed.
Young Yseult was the half-sister of Taenarys. Both were the daughters of Taenya Evora, sister of the true Aspasia Evora, who had been put to death at Tirathana's behest. However, they were sired by different fathers. For while Taenarys was the offspring of Taenya's legitimate husband, Yseult was a bastard, the product of a union between the matriarch and a guard. In Eldorai society, being a bastard did not automatically disqualify you from inheriting. Perhaps due to being a matriarchal society, the Eldorai had a surprisingly pragmatic view on this matter: A child was yours if you acknowledged it, which was incidentally also why adopted children had the same status as flesh and blood children. However, she took her father's name rather than her mother's, which signified her illegitimacy.
In spite of this, Taenyra's husband Aeradan perceived Yseult as a threat to the interests of his daughter Taenarys, as well as that of the other children he had conceived with his wife: their younger daughter Taraesyna and their sons Bialaer and Elénaril. Of course, Eldorai society is deeply matriarchal, but being in a subservient position to the matriarch did not prevent him from having ambitions, especially for his children. Yseult's very existence confused the succession plans and was the cause of discord in a family that already considered itself to be under siege from hostile forces and lived in fear of assassination. Yseult's father died when she was still very young. She was told that he perished during the coup, fighting for the rightful sovereign of the Eldorai. However, she later came to suspect foul play and blamed Aeradan, though she lacked proof.
Yseult was treated well enough, but disdainfully. She was called by her last name more often than her first one. Since she might as well put the bastard to good use, her mother ordered her to be trained as a soldier. Yseult took to training rather well. In the company of common soldiers, she was not judged. Indeed, some of the guards who had remained loyal to the Evoras seemed to hold her father in high regard, from a professional standpoint at least. This gave her a somewhat idealised image of him. She also formed bonds with some of the few remaining servants. It also exposed her to outsiders, as the exiled family sought to acquire foreign tech and expertise.
One of her trainers was a Mandalorian mercenary called Akakia Deshra, who taught her a lot about the greater Galaxy. She even picked up some of the Mandalorian language. Her relationship with her half-siblings was distant. Being the daughter of the family matriarch, she ranked above the common soldiers and servants, but she was not on the same level. Thus she did not eat at the same table as her siblings during meals. She also had to make herself scarce when the family received important guests they wanted to sway to their cause. However, she forged a close bond with her younger half-brother Elénariel. Like her, he chafed under the restrictions society placed on him, though for different reasons.
Eldorai are traditionally a matriarchal society. Women are the breadwinners and occupy the top jobs, while men are expected to be subservient homemakers or perform menial labours. Gender barriers were less rigid among the underclasses, but strictly enforced in the upper class. Even among nobles in exile. This imposed certain constraints upon the lad. He was supposed to do his part to further the family legacy by marrying an Eldorai lady from a good house and providing her with children - preferrably daughters.
Elénariel, however, was a stubborn sort and rebelled against the classical gender roles tradition had imposed on him. Being a bit rebellious herself, Yseult taught him how to use a sword and took him out with her when she needed to run errands in Coronet City or when she wanted to get away from the strict confines of her family. These joint excursions got them in trouble, especially after they ended up in a brawl in a cantina and she was told in no uncertain terms to stay away from him.
Like many exiled royals, her family wanted to return to their homeworld and reclaim their birthright. The children were brought up in the belief that Tirathana was an evil usurper. None of the children was as fervent as Taenarys. Perhaps it was because she was the oldest. She had also seen her aunt Aspasia get dragged away for execution. Either way, as she grew older, she became obsessed with obtaining justice. Her mother Taenya had encouraged such notions and tried to build alliances with fellow exiles. However, from the point of view of Taenerays, her mother lacked resolution and was not moving quickly enough. Perhaps Taenya had a more realistic assessment of the balance of forces. Unlike her daughter, she also shirked away from making alliances with dubious foreign sellswords.
Moreover, the schemes for a grand monarchist restoration were also being a drain on the clan's finances. Taenarys discovered that her mother had grown rather sick, which was something the matriarch had kept from her family. Deciding that someone had to take the reins and restore the family to its rightful place, she resolved to take control. Thus she leaked information to the royalists, for the Evoras continued to be watched by agents of Tirathana, who had also enlisted other exiled Eldorai, promising them a royal pardon in return for collaboration. A royalist agent who hoped to curry favour with the régime after being disgraced decided to act on this information. Inevitably royalist agents caught up with the Evoras, who were supposed to host a gathering of exiles. Taenya, who was supposed to give a speech, was killed during the attack. Yseult, who had been trying to get her younger brother to safety, was injured by blaster fire, but managed to gun down an assassin.
However, it was Taenarys who took control of the situation. Insisting that the gathering had to take place, she met the other exiles. She presented them with the dead body and bloodstained dress of her mother. While they gazed upon it, she launched into a fiery speech. With tears in her eyes, she proclaimed her mother a martyr, shaming her would-be allies for their indecisiveness and disunity. Her mother had died not just for her family, but for all Eldorai. Tirathana was a vile, goddessless usurper who had violated all notions of the public good. Not content with possession of the throne, she had staged a cowardly attack and tried to wipe out the entire Evora family, targeting even their children. It was truly a riveting performance. Here and now, she vowed to liberate Kaeshana, which she claimed had been her mother's dying wish.
The group now had a martyr to follow, and Taenarys placed herself at the head of the movement. Her father Aeradan was conflicted, for he had genuinely loved his wife. Moreover, Taenarys soon turned out to be a good deal less pliable than he might have imagined. Yseult was in an awkward position. Her relationship with Taenya had been distant. Towards the end of the matriarch's life, it had been rather poor. But she had still been her mother. Thus she was angry about her death. Part of her was also suspicious and concerned about the frenzy Taenarys was trying to whip up.
Determined to widen her support base, Taenarys sought alliances with criminals and mercenary companies. In addition, she commissioned engineers from Loronar Corporation to build a HRD called Caerys Argente for her. The machine was put to work as an assassin and bodyguard. She used Yseult to get in touch with a group of Mandalorian sellswords. To prove herself, Yseult participated in a number of missions with them. She welcomed the chance because it gave her some combat experience and took her away from the court of the 'Queen Across The Stars'. Styling herself as a liberator, Taenarys launched a campaign to free Eldorai who had been captured and enslaved by pirates, but expected them to swear allegiance to her. Yseult herself took part in a mission to ambush a slaver convoy and free their sentient cargo. The young Eldorai displayed valour and showed some promise for small unit leadership. At first things seemed to be going well. Taenarys' charisma won her many followers.
However, she grew increasingly arrogant and her behaviour became erratic. When a leader of a group of exiles refused to bend the knee, Taenarys accused her of being a cohort of Tirathana and had her executed. Yseult also argued with her when her half-sister took a dubious sellsword commander as her lover. Things came to head when the priestess Sahome Tyral showed up at Taenarys' court. Sahome had been forced to flee from Kaeshana after being branded a heretic. Her crime was criticising the Church's practice of selling indulgences that promised remission of sin. Moreover, she had attacked the Queen's role as head of the church in word and writing, gathering a following of likeminded radicals who sought reform.
Taenarys concluded that Sahome could be a useful asset to her cause. Sahome was hesitant, but accepted an audience with the 'rightful Star Queen of the Eldorai'. During the audience, Taenarys offered Sahome a position in her 'shadow court' as Grand Chaplain if she and her followers submitted to her. From her perspective, Sahome would be a good propagandist. However, the exiled cleric refused to become a pawn and was unimpressed by the claimant's dramatic rhetoric. Instead she questioned the pretender on matters of the faith, on how she intended to cleanse the church of corruption and help the common folk.
Despite her defiance of the church, Sahome was still quite conservative. So she took offence at the presence of foreigners at Taenarys' shadow court. Sahome was particularly disgusted by rumours about the pretender sharing her bed with a foreign sellsword. It did not take long for the 'rightful Queen' to grow irritated, especially after Sahome said "Idle hands and pretentions are the tools by which Illyria corrupts the works of Ashira". To make an example of her, Taenarys sentenced her to death by immolation. However, Sahome managed to quell the fires, seemingly showing that she was divinely protected. As a result, several of Taenarys' followers turned on her. Motivated solely by credit, the foreign mercenaries still stood with the pretender. This left the situation a stalemate, but Sahome took control.
Refusing to spill blood, she called on her supporters to leave this den of iniquity with her, though not before making some ominous predictions about Taenarys' fate. Yseult was there when things spiralled out of control, having just returned from a raid. Entering the hall when things were going sideways, she took out two Eldorai who had drawn their blades against Taenarys. She had no love for zealots and would not let harm come to her sister, but also not be a blind minion.
In the aftermath of the ill-fated audience, Yseult confronted her half-sister. Their conversation went poorly when Yseult declared that pursuit of the crown was a fool's errand. Taenarys, frustrated and angered, vowed to 'take back what is mine' and punish those who defied her. Her pride had been wounded, and she believed the reports that claimed the people of Kaeshana drank secret toasts in her name and awaited her return with bated breath. So she gathered her diminished forces and set sail for the homeworld. Grudgingly, Yseutl accompanied her, though she had been inclined to leave. Ironically, it was her concern for her younger siblings that had influenced her decision to stay. Caerys was dispatched to assassinate Tirathana.
However, the attack went poorly. The assassin droid was able to penetrate the Queen's security perimeter and slew one of the Angelii's senior commanders, but was defeated and disabled by her guards. Since Taenarys' support among the Eldorai exiles had diminished many of her soldiers were sellswords. Yseutl herself was ambushed by mercenaries in the early stages of the battle, but the soldiers she had worked closely with remained loyal, including her Mandalorian trainer, who burnt a sellsword who was about to frag her. Perhaps they had been ordered by her sister to 'clarify the succession'. However, Taenarys was betrayed by a cabal of her own mercenaries at a crucial moment. Yseutl, who had led a small unit of soldiers to knock out an important fortress, realised soon that they were outnumbered and outgunned as they came under artillery fire. Rallying the surviving soldiers who had not died or turned traitor, she pulled off a relatively orderly fighting retreat to escape the carnage, managing to shake off their royalist pursuers and hide in the mountains.
Taenarys, by contrast, was captured by her treacherous followers and sold out to the royalists. However, in Tirathana's eyes there were guilty of supporting an usurper. First she pretended to pardon them. They received wine and amenities, but then were ambushed and subdued. They were dragged through the streets of Santaissa, exposed to the tauntings, rubbish and fists of the common rabble, then hung from towers by their hands until exposure and shock killed them. This was supposed to demonstrate that foreign devils were easily defeated by the 'might' of Eldorai arms. Taenarys' fate was no kinder. Tirathana offered her 'dear cousin' a crown of gold, and so the Angelii poured molten gold over Taenarys' head. She then created a mould of Taenarys' head in gold and kept it in her chambers. The ghastly trophy would eventually be removed by Anya Venari, Tirathana's eventual successor, after she came to power.
Yseutl and her few surviving warriors sought refuge in the countryside, bribing some poor peasants to give them quarter. When one of her soldiers threatened and tried to rob the peasants, Yseutl beat him. However, it was not safe to stay here, as soon rumours spread. Evading royalist patrols, she and her followers managed to secure a ship and escape Kaeshana. She was glad to leave this planet and the accursed throne behind her. She returned to Corellia as quickly as possible. But by the time she made it back to the planet, the landscape had changed. The Evoras' residence was in a state of disarray.
After killing some armed goons, she found Aeradan, Taenarys' father. He was in poor shape. Indeed, he was bleeding to death. After receiving word of the fiasco on Kaeshana, many of the goons had turned traitor. He confessed that he - not Taenarys - had been the one to bribe the mercenaries to attempt to kill her. Of her three remaining siblings, Taraesyna and Bialaer had been taken, while Elénaril might have escaped. With laboured breathing, he told her that he had always feared she would steal his children's birthright. Now she might be the last one standing. Yseutl told him that the family had destroyed itself - and its children - by being so obsessed with their supposed birthright. Then she put him out of his misery.
Eventually she found Elénaril again. Her half-brother had been able to escape the attackers and hide. Indeed, he had been trying to shadow the goons who had abducted his siblings, with some success. However, their attempt to stage a rescue ended in failure. Amidst fierce fighting with goons, a starship bearing Taraesyna and Bialer as captives took off into space. Attempts to track the ship failed. Fighting her way through goons in a violent frenzy, Yseult was bloodied and angry.
Elénaril shot a goon who had snuck up on her in the kneecap with a holdout blaster before he could land a kiling blow, whereupon Yseult turned and beat the thug with a polearm. He was very bloody by the time she was done. However, vicious beatings could not change the fact that they were alone now. House Evora was no more. Yseult had mixed feelings on this. On the one hand the Evoras had treated her with disdain and contempt, but on the other they had been the closest thing she had to a family. She tried to calm her brother - and focus on the immediate future, putting vainglorious dreams about the 'Return of the Queen' aside.
Thankfully, Akakia, her Mandalorian friend, still had some helpful contacts and got her in touch with a mercenary company called Maalraas Tactical Solutions, named after a ferocious predator native to the moon of Dxun. Ironically Yseult had fought against them once while she was serving under the Evora banner. The leader of the sellsword company was an old Kar'zun, a member of a race that been the Eldorai's rival for control over Kaeshana. Until Queen Ariane the Conqueror launched a bloody crusade that culminated in a near-genocide, decimating the Kar'zun. Suffice to say the meeting was awkward, though Akalia vouched for Yseult. The Eldorai warrior woman was given some missions to perform to prove her usefulness. She also proved her worth in the ring, showing her mettle when she was pit against members of the group.
During a raid on a Republic base she proved her worth when she took control of a squad after her superior was incapacitated. Rallying the unit, she took out an assault walker with a discarded rocket launcher that had belonged to a dead comrade. This helped win her the respect of the group. She displayed a gift for small unit leadership, a capactiy to follow orders but also apply critical thinking where needed and remain composed in the face of danger. Conveniently, the mercenary business could not complain about lack of clients. With the Dark Age having come to an end, various powers rose to try and exact their will upon the Galaxy. Rising through the ranks of the mercenary company, she accepted contracts from factions such as Omega Pyre, the Mandalorians and the Fringe. Elénaril stuck with his half-sister, receiving further training from her, and accompanied her on several missions, becoming a capable fighter in his own right. He manifested an aptitude for elemental abilities.
She participated in the Pyre liberation of Dahomey and the campaign to rid Denon of a zombie plague. On Denon, her unit was cut off from allied forces during a massed zombie assault and a subsequent bombardment. They were forced to fight their way back. When one of her comrades displayed symptoms of being infected, Yseult reacted quickly and beheaded her, not willing to take the risk of chopping off an infected limb and hoping that this would avert the transformation. Elénarilwas shocked by her decision, but she stuck to it. The needs of the many outweighed those of the few, or the one. In this Galaxy, survival was the prime imperative. They aided the Pyre forces in acquiring data that helped them understand the zombie apocalypse and free Denon from its grip, though small holdouts remained in the slums. Yseult was contracted for cleanup duty and security, as the Dark Age had done a number on the planet.
While fulfilling a standard security contract for a bigwig on Fondor, Yseult and her friends got embroiled in the so-called Clockwork Rebellion. The artificial super intelligence OMNI, which ironically had been responsible for rebuilding many of the planets that had been destroyed during the galactic wars of old, had decided that now was the time to purge organic life. Fondor was but one of many capital worlds that were targeted when hordes of machines rose up against the organics, taking over infrastructure and planetary defence systems. All of a sudden, virtually every droid from simple household bots and medical droids to military grade ones decided to go on a rampage and murder organics.
What should have been a rather leisurely contract for a bunch of pompous rich folks turned into a fight for survival when battle droids and an AI called the Red Queen ran amoc. Keeping her nerves in face of danger, she was able to organise her men to fight when hordes of civilian and combat droids suddenly attacked them, including the pleasure droid their now very dead client kept for bedroom activities. Knowing that the Pyre maintained a command and control station in orbit, she sought to head there, as it would be a relatively safe place and the most logical position to launch a counterattack from. The Pyre would need bodies and ought to be willing to pay for them.
After the ship the mercenaries had pragmatically requisitioned from their ex-employer was forced to make a crash-landing after being damaged by antiaircraft guns, they were forced to defend themselves against a horde of droids and seek alternate transport. Using the skills she had learned over the years, Yseult led her group, linking up with some survivors from the local forces. They were able to locate and procure alternate transport. However, during the fighting Yseult had been infected with nanites while protecting a comrade from a war bot. When they came under fire from droids, she turned on her comrades. It was Elénaril who took her out. Applying the lessons she had taught him, he shot her with an arc caster. The repeated blasts purged the nanites from her system, at the cost of her eye. The electrical blasts knocked her out and left her with burns, but she survived. He insisted on taking his older sister with them though.
With some luck, they were able to link up with surviving Pyre forces. Yseult received medical attention, but was monitored for signs of falling under the control of the machine rebellion again. Eventually she was released. Due to her injuries, she did not directly participate in the eventua liberation of Fondor. However, she played a behind the scenes role by helping with planning and logistics, mobilising some of her mercenary and criminal contacts. In that regard her injuries might have been a blessing in disguise as she was forced to broaden her horizons and think beyond being a small unit leader on a battlefield. Her brother felt bad about shooting her, but she praised him for not flinching.
Yseult toyed with the idea of joining Omega Pyre and accepting a commission in it, but ultimately decided otherwise. One of the reasons might have been that she did not get on with Major Siobhan Kerrigan, one of the organisation's rising stars and the lover of CEO Tegaea Alcori. Ironically, Siobhan had been trained by the Eldorai Jedi Knight Adril Tythorin. As a result, the human had a somewhat idealised view of Eldorai culture, which Yseult did not share. In addition, there was tension because her mercenaries were accused of taking advantage of the turmoil Fondor was in to loot. Said allegations probably contained a grain of truth. After the commander of Maalraas Tactical Solutions retired from active command and assumed a backseat role due to his advanced age, Yseult took over tactical leadership.
She was eventually drawn to a new, expansionist faction that arose in the Unknown Regions. Its leaders called themselves the Lords of the Fringe. The wild, untamed Unknown Regions were an attractive place for a soldier of fortune. Danger lurked at every corner, various monsters roamed the stars, such as giant, carnivorous spiders, reptiles who used sentients as a power source and the Mnggal-Mnggal.
Yseult proved herself in campaigns against the Ssi-Ruuvi Imperium and other foes during the Fringe's expansionary ventures. She distinguished herself when she boarded a vessel of the lizards and saved a large group of prisoners from being enteched. Around this time she started taking an interest in flying and received training as a combat pilot. She put these skills to use during skirmishes in the so-called Omega Neutral Zone and the Fringe invasion of Atrisia, capital world of the Atrisian Empire, which until recently had been an ally of the Fringe. Her squadron duelled Atrisian pilots in the skies in a bid to attain air superiority, until a ceasefire was negotiated by both parties. Thereafter, the two factions teamed up to avert disaster when the CIS sent several Lucrehulks on collision course towards the Atrisian capital.
After her starfighter was shot down during a skirmish and she suffered a broken leg among other things, Yseult contemplated retiring from combat. She went into business with a Twi'lek called Lyn Bondara, a young businesswoman, occasional lover and, unbeknownst to Yseult, a swindler. At first the firm they founded did well. But her partner ran the firm as a Ponzi scheme, taking investors' money and spending it on personal items. Yseult was more disengaged from the actual running of the business than she should have been. Feeling awkward in civilian life, she was also trying to find her lost half-siblings. The scheme soon collapsed, leading to bankruptcy. Lyn did not get to enjoy her spoils for long, for Yseult killed her. Feeling rather angry with herself for having made such an error in judgement, she picked up the gun again.
The resurgence of the One Sith and their conquest gave Coruscant gave her a new war to utilise her skills in. Faced with a ruthless foe determined to annihilate it, the Republic needed all the fresh bodies it could get, along with people to lead them. Yseult was no fan of the Republic or fond of Jedi. However, she had acquired a dislike of Sith, partly because they, ironically, reminded her of the reactionary ancien régime she had escaped when she left behind the Eldorai game of thrones. So she accepted a commission in the Republic military. A number of her former comrades joined her, having come to trust her as a leader despite her recent financial mishap. Others would find themselves on the Sith side.
Commissioned as a Major, she rose through the ranks, fighting at battles such as Carida, Alderaan, Prakith and Manaan. While not motivated by patriotism or a particular ideological affinity for the Republic, she proved herself an energetic officer. She commanded a unit of soldiers that assisted Jedi Leonina Varkathras and her Master Shakkara Karon in a raid on a One Sith weapons' plant. The operation was a success, but Shakkara was captured by the enemy. When she resurfaced, she had gone over to the Dark Side and become a Sith. This reinforced Yseult's negative opinion of Jedi. She worked with Leonina for a while, developing a grudging respect for her. However, relations soured after the Cathar's Padawan, a pacifist flower child, fell to the dark side and turned into a psychopathic murderer who needed to be put down by his teacher.
When a force commanded by Yseult ambushed Sith units during a battle in an Ahto City district, employing light mortars, repeaters, missile launchers and snipers, she ended up facing one of the dark wizards. At first she was able to target the Sith through use of a flechette launcher, succeeding in wounding her. However, the Sith was able to use telekinetic assaults to force her out of cover and crush her weapon. Forced into a melee confrontation, Yseult defended herself with shield and Sarzmigar. The polearm was not as good as a lightsabre, but possessed some qualities that combined with the shield enabled her to hold her own for a short while, exploiting the weapon's longer reach.
Both inflicted wounds upon one another, but being a Force blind Yseult lacked the fancy powers and preternatural reflexes. The Sith managed to overload the power field of her bulky shield and cut through it. Injured, she was blasted with telekinesis. Using her jump pack, she was able to create some distance. As the Sith struck her with lightning, she tossed an explode on impact grenade. The Sith tried to direct it back with telekinesis, but this triggered the explosive and it blew up in her face. Thereupon Yseult finished her off. However, Manaan fell to the One Sith. Yseult set off explosives in one of the Kolto refineries to deny its use to the enemy, but the battle was a rout.
For a while Yseult served in a staff role for the Republic military on the division and then the corps level. Promoted, she eventually reached the rank of Brigadier, making her a general officer. The Eldorai organised a force of soldiers drawn from planets that had fallen to the One Sith and led several strikes deep into Sith territory to target their supply lines. In one battle she and her troops were able to repel a Sith tank attack. Yseult appeared in person during the fight, commanding a walker. Her soldiers succeeded in capturing or destroying several war machines.
However, while she was able to score tactical successes on the battlefield, the Republic was losing the war. She grew very scornful of the Republic's leadership. Her remark that their master plan consisted of standing in line and moving very slowly forwards to the One Sith might be apocryphal, but reflects her state of mind. She extended this strong dislike to the Jedi, whom she held in contempt. Thus she tried to marginalise them in her command as much as possible. This got her in trouble, she saw it as necessary to assure the safety of her troops. When she suspected a Jedi was secretly consorting with Sith, Yseult had her imprisoned in solitary confinement, questioned and later hanged after her liaison had been proved. According to Yseult, a firing squad was too good for a traitor.
It was around this time that she received word of Kaeshana's desolation. She came in contact with the Shadow Knights, a group of rebels who had elected to stay behind on Kaeshana and protect the surviving Eldorai that had been excluded from the Exodus, during anti-piracy operations. Their presence caused issues as they had been using illicit means to procure resources and supplies for Kaeshana's survivors, but then she cooperated with them to take down a flotilla of slavers, who had been targeting elves as well. However, she did not want to join them. Unlike Yseult, Elénaril decided to get involved with the renegades. She gave him a ship, guns and supplies, then bid him farewell, trying to maintain a brave front. For a while they stayed in touch, but then the holomails became increasingly rare.
As the Republic was driven over the edge, she considered her future. When Prime Minister Lasedri launched a coup and enacted authoritarian policies in an attempt to transform the Republic into a socialist dictatorship, Yseult decided to leave. She did not mind a dictatorial régime per se, but had concluded that the Republic was a failed state and she could make better use of her talents elsewhere. Some of her soldiers went with her. Her desertion was complicated by the fact that Chazwa, the Republic's most recent capital, had become a war zone due to a joint Techno Union-One Sith assault. While she had no desire to fight for the falling Republic, she helped some civilians escape the fighting. With the Republic going down, she returned to independent work. Sometimes she sent some supplies or funds to the Shadow Knights. There were plenty of wars and small brush fire conflicts to get involved in. However, with so many mercenary companies active, competition was tough.
Then she received word of the Kaeshana Rebellion. Having been on the other side of the Galaxy when this conflict took place, Yseult did not participate. Indeed, by the time she had a clear idea of what had transpired, the battle had come to a close. With the First Order having occupied the planet, the Shadow Knights were forced to flee in the aftermath of the Galactic Alliance's withdrawal. Fortunately, her brother was among the survivors and had managed to escape in time. However, family reunions were not the only thing on the agenda. As it turned out, the Shadow Knights had a job offer for her. Their coordination had been hampered by the lack of unified command and control, so they were overhauling their military and political leadership.
Yseult was wary, but agreed to a meeting on Dac. Ironically, she had also received an offer from Firemane, which she turned down. At first the rebels appointed her as a military adviser. Yseult was blunt and argumentative, but also energetic and thorough. She spearheaded an operation against raiders that preyed on the nomad fleet. As Yseult discovered, some of these raiders were Eldorai who had turned on their kind. After rumours about her blue blooded heritage spread, she was confronted with allegations from hardline republicans about being a closeted royalist conspirator.
She dealt with them in her usual gruff manner, pointing out the absurdity of such claims. Unexpectedly, the Archon sided with her. Naesala had a liking to Yseult and charged her with submitting a memorandum for the reorganisation of the Shadow Knight forces. She was eventually appointed Strategos of the Shadow Knights, answerable to the Archon herself. When Shadow Knight society was reorganised into professional bodies called Courts, she became Magister of the Court of War. Given the highly stratocratic society of the Shadow Knights, this is a very influential position, but she has displayed little interest personal aggrandisement.
Edited by Kaida Taldir, 10 July 2019 - 03:23 PM.