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Elpsis Kerrigan-Alcori

Elpsis Kerrigan-Alcori

Member Since 04 Mar 2015
Offline Last Active Today, 10:10 AM
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Darth Eisen

11 September 2019 - 06:10 AM

 

OUT OF CHARACTER INFORMATION

Intent: Expand on the Vaderites and Tephrike. Provide an antagonist for possible rp.

​Image CreditHere.

Role: Warlord. Dark Lord of the Disciples of the Vader. Antagonist.

LinksTephrikeInto DarknessCastle MaysafAfter Darkness, Adlerberg, Prosperity Quarter.

 

PHYSICAL INFORMATION

Age: Early Sixties.

Force SensitivityMaster

Species: Human.

Appearance: Once Darth Eisen was a dashing fighter pilot. Muscled and photogenic, he looked good on recruitment posters. However, he is no longer a young warrior. Eisen is a gluttonous man who is prone to excess. There is still some muscle behind the fat, but his age and life style have taken a significant toll on his physique. As a result, he is very obese. His weight is about 280lbs and he is 5'10 tall. He is balding and his red hair has started to grey. However, Eisen is vain, so he dyes it. He has broad lips, a fleshy face with puffy cheeks and crafty eyes. His weight means that his physicality is poor and he lacks mobility.

 

Eisen has an enduring love affair with extravagant outfits and flamboyant uniforms of his own design. His clothes are all made from the finest fabrics. His fingers are bedecked with large bejewelled rings and often nails coated in red varnish. Any uniform worn by him is bedecked with medals and decorations. Sometimes he wears a gold and white toga with a golden wreath on his head, but he has also been known to don a huntsman's costume.

 

SOCIAL INFORMATION

Name: Dart Eisen. His birth name is Alec Dragoumis.

Titles:

  • Dark Lord of the Disciples of the Vader.
  • Supreme Leader and Imperial Chancellor of the Greater Sith Imperium.
  • Vicar of Vader.
  • Grand Marshal.
  • Minister of War.
  • Grand Moff.
  • Supreme Commander of the Legions of Dusk (the Sith's melodramatically named air force).
  • Imperial Hunting Master.
  • Etc. He likes to collect.

Loyalties: Himself, Disciples of the Vader.

Wealth: Eisen is the corrupt dictator of a cleptocratic régime that allows its leaders to exploit the people and natural resources of their territory in order to enrich themselves. He has no qualms about embezzling funds at the expense of the general population, or exploiting his power to receive bribes and special favours. The same applies to seizing resources and valuable assets. As a result, he is quite wealthy due to his influence and resources. Tephrike is almost totally isolated from the interstellar economic system and what currency is used on the planet would be worthless outside of it. However, it has natural resources he has no qualms about exploiting for his personal gain.

 

Notable Possessions: Eisens possesses a crossguard lightsabre with a Qixoni crystal. He owns significant real estate. An example is a country residence called Sophiahall, named after his beloved first wife. It is built on an enormous hunting estate. The residence is filled with sculptures, paintings, furniture and has a model train. It is also the destination for most of his looted art treasures. There is also a mausoleum that contains the remains of his wife. Endangered species roam the grounds of his estate. Eisen keeps pet kath hounds and is quite affectionate to them. He also possesses a yacht called Sophia II. He uses it to traverse the seas of Tephrike in style, especially when he wants to impress members of high society. 

 

One of his most prized possessions is avast collection of stolen artworks. He has a a collection of uniforms, medals and valorous decorations. Some of them invented by himself just for him. On a more practical level, he has a Cloak of Hate and weararmor and tunic underneath it. As is common for masters of his order, he has a helmet that resembles a Vader mask.

 

He owns a large number of hunting rifles. Moreover, he owns a large number of slaves. Many of them toil in the fields, factories or mines, others are part of his personal household. Moreover, he owns various mansions, factories and mines. He is a cleptocratic dictator, so strictly speaking all the territory under his control constitutes his patrimony. Eisen does not distinguish between the private purse and the public one. To him, the treasury is a source of personal wealth.

 

Skills: Though his appearance is not that of a warrior, Eisen is a powerful Sith Sorcerer. He has a natural affinity for the more destructive and dark aspects of the Force. Moreover, he is a strong mentalist, able to awe, sway, terrify and mentally dominate others. His repertoire includes Sith Magic, Dominate Mind, Force Drain, Force Net, Force Stealth, Force Lightning, and Force Insanity. Eisen started his career as a pilot, and is still skilled at using the Force to augment his piloting abilities. In addition, he has a talent for Mechu-Deru. This first manifested when he tinkered with engines and fighter craft.

 

Eisen is good at cloaking himself with the Force. His rivals have marvelled at how such a large individual can remain hidden in plain sight. He has some understanding of the White Current, though it is not at the level of a Fallanassi elder. In other words, he cannot create illusory fleets, armies etc. or set up a long-term illusion over a location, like the Luke Skywalker's New Jedi Order did with the Jedi Praexum on Yavin IV. However, he can accomplish a full immersion to conceal himself and others, summon potent illusions and mentally manipulate his foes.

 

In his younger days, Eisen was a daring pilot and capable squadron commander. However, he has moved up in the world since then. He has risen to the position of Grand Marshal due to his political connections, skill at intrigue and the fact that he is a Sith Lord, as the Vaderites believe that Force-Users are inherently superior to Non-Force-Users. As a result, he is a poor general, especially on a grand scale, such as theatre level. He is a good shot with a rifle and a pistol though. Lightsabres are extremely rare on Tephrike, and Eisen is one of the few Sith who owns one. He sees it as a mark of his exalted status, but prefers to use the Force. Makashi is his preferred form when he has to cross blades.

 

Personality: One day Darre, the minister of agriculture of the Vaderite regime, visited Darth Eisen while the Sith Lord's valet was dressing him. A second servant presented a cushion. Twelve rings lay on it - four of each were red, blue or green. "Today, I am displeased," Eisen told the minister with the utmost seriousness and no small amount of campiness. "So we shall wear a deeper hue. But we also desire to show that were are not beyond hope. So we shall wear green." On another occasion, a woman invited to tea found the Grand Marshal wearing a toga, jewel-encrusted sandals and rouged lips.

 

He wears flamboyant uniforms of his design that are bedecked with medals. The lurid picture of his person clad in fine togas and jewel-encrusted sandals with pet kath hounds by his side, owning a castle filled with stolen art works, is completely accurate. Sometimes he greets diplomats and dignitaries holding a spear and dressed in a medieval hunter's costume, or wearing a red toga. 

 

He is the most self-indulgent and corrupt of all the senior Vaderite leaders. The Sith Master has a strong craving for sugar and fine dishes. These increase his size, and the discomfort he feels. He diets and exercises in spurts, but always gains back any weight he loses. It is a constant struggle for him and he has never been able to really achieve a lasting victory in it. 

 

Eisen is a Sith, a humanist and a reflexive speciesist. But he is no zealot. Zealotry requires too much work that could be best spent elsewhere. Like going on hunting trips, procurring precious art works, planning extravagant construction projects or accumulating a ridiculous number of titles. He is power-hungry, but a good deal less fanatical than several of his peers. This makes him more flexible on certain policy issues, as he approaches them more from the standpoint of personal gain than ideological imperatives. His flamboyant attitude, gluttony and obvious decadence had deceived many into thinking that he is a mere buffoonish fop. 

 

This is true, but Darth Eisen is an extremely ruthless political operator. A swaggering, flamboyant individual who relishes luxury and excess, Eisen is also an ambitious schemer. In contrast to many gloomy, preachey or openly sadistic Sith leaders, he is wreathed in smiles and decorations and receives visitors gaily. At times his sybaritic excesses and jovial attitude have given rise to a misleading picture of him being an amicable 'moderate'. Although obese and morbidly unhealthy in terms of appetites, he is cunning and will stop at nothing to attain power. He has an immense drive for self-gratification. This is paired with a high amount of cynicism.

 

"Why, of course, the people don't want war. Why would some poor slob in a village risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his village in one piece? Naturally the common people don't want war; neither in Nexus City nor in Red Coral City nor for that matter in Adlerberg. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, no matter the system of government.

 

Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

 

Eisen pays lip service to Vaderites' ideology, but cares little for it when it gets in his way. When it was brought to his attention that one of his top minions might have some alien blood in him, he is said to have declared: "I decide who is an alien." He treats his personal slaves better than the typical Sith Lord. This has not stopped him from authorising atrocities. He is bombastic, corrupt, a good public speaker, and prone to bluster. The Sith Master is a charming sociopath with a distaste for heavy lifting. He has a primitive mentality, but is quite intelligent.

 

His actions are governed by an innate belief in his own uniqueness and that it is his destiny to rule. Eisen profoundly believes that Tephrike has waited for him for hundreds of years to lead it to glory. In his view, he had to spend many years taking orders from lesser men. His immediate predecessor, Darth Furcht, repulsed and frightened him in equal parts. This has fuelled his determination to inscribe his name in Tephrike's history books.

 

He possesses one of the key characteristics of a manipulative charmer, namely the ability to be all things to all men. He can hold up a mirror to his interlocutor that reflects back their wishes, convincing each that he perfectly understands and supports them. He can treat people with kid's gloves or with an iron fist. He is very clever at tailoring his response to the individual. Rigid stances are not for him. He is very good at putting on a show.

 

Eisen enjoys reading, especially detective stories and tales of ancient conquerors. He has an appreciation for fine art and is a major collector. He uses every opportunity to stalk his private woods with a gun and shoot animals, but he has ironically done a great deal for Tephriki wild life. In the light of the war crimes committed by the Sith, he may have more concern for wildlife than sentient beings.

 

One of his weaknesses is sloth. He has powerful bursts of energy when he assumes a new office, plots against someone or works on a project he considers interesting. However, this dissipates soon and he often overloads himself. Eisen is paranoid about being usurped, which is understandable since the Sith preach rule of the strong. So he has consistently refused to appoint a deputy for his many offices and when one of his subordinates becomes too powerful, he plots to undermine them, often by promoting rivalries between his minions.

 

This allows him to stay in power, but creates a poisonous, toxic atmosphere characterised by administrative inertia and sycophancy. He is also an unrepentant nepotist and surrounds himself with a court of sycophants. These are the usual tricks of someone whose power rests on a shaky foundation. In short, he is a good schemer, but a poor administrator.

 

Despite - or perhaps because of - his eccentricities, he is quite popular among many of the human subjects of the Vaderites. Perhaps his quirks make him seem more 'human' and easier to relate to. He is a gregarious and optimistic contrast to dour and openly cruel Sith. His weight and penchant for medals and titles have made him the butt of jokes, but he takes them in stride. When he learned that a popular soubrette was being held by the secret police because she had made fun of his silver epaulettes and medals, he ordered her immediate release. "Idiots!" he thundered. "If they make jokes about me, it only proves how popular I am!"

 

One day another comedian had made a reputation for himself with a witty and biting Eisen parody. "Let's go and hear him," Eisen told one of his generals, "but make sure he does his act even though I am there." The comedian trembled with fear as the Sith Lord, who held power over life and death, listened to his song. He was not at his best that night. "I bet he suffered more than if I had locked it up," an amused Eisen commented. Sadly, the comedian took things too far after that and made jokes about Darth Furcht. It ended poorly for him.

 

Eisen is not without some positive traits. He is genuinely affectionate to his wife, daughter and grandchildren. Moreover, he is very generous with gifts and fond of animals. He has invested a lot in wild life and nature conservation and considers vivisection of animals to be barbaric. He has also had a hand in setting up concentration camps, ordered carpet bombings of population centres, the disappearance and murder of political enemies, ethnic cleansing, enslavement and murder of civilians as well as the torture and ill-treatment of prisoners of war. Eisen has never set foot in a concentration camp himself or even personally tortured someone. He is fond of saying, "I've never been cruel, I've been hard." But he presides over a comprehensive system of terror and exploitation.

 

He understands the importance of information and maintains a private signal intelligence and cryptanalytic spy agency to keep tabs on his foes. Eisen considers himself the rightful leader of the Sith, but has a poor work ethic. Despite his vanity, he has the support of certain sections of the military and the Sith, who were frightened by Furcht's extremism or resent the way he favoured the members of his power base.

 

COMBAT INFORMATION

Weapon of ChoiceLightsaber | The Force Minions. He is the supreme leader of the Disciples of the Vader, so their armies are at his disposal. Eisen is a Master of the Force, but prefers to leave the bloodletting to minions.

Combat Function: Eisen is the supreme leader of the Tephriki Sith, so combat is not his primary role. He has a realm to govern, after all. However, he still a Sith Master. Moreover, he lives in a society where upward mobility can be achieved by defeating one's superior in a duel to the death.

 

He is a good shot with rifle and a pistol. Eisen has some stout strength, but is not fast and lacks physical endurance, requiring the Force to boost it. As a result, he is better off ending the fight quickly when he is forced into melee instead of drawing it out. He is not a master swordsman and relies more on the Force to prevail in combat. For this reason he prefers to engage opponents from a distance. When he does fight with a lightsabre, he gravitates towards Form II as he considers himself a man of distinction and class. His physique is ill-suited for Ataru.

 

His strength lies in his formidable command of the Dark Side of the Force, especially Sith sorcery. He is a very powerful Master of the Force, and particularly fond of draining opponents of their life force. He is capable of performing area of effect Force Drain. He also likes making use of mental abilities and Force Net. In addition, His ego gives him dominance over others and he can use his talent for sorcery to create illusions, mentally torment others or summon powerful blasts of dark side energy.

 

Eisen is remarkably good at using the Force to cloak himself or mask his presence, even from other powerful Force-users. As a general, Eisen is not inept, but unimaginative. His tactics are simplistic in nature, relying on brute force and stalwart soldiers. Thus he is better off delegating to his generals and setting broad objectives for them to accomplish. 

 

Strengths:

  • Powerful Master of the Dark Side of the Force. Eisen is a powerful Sith Sorcerer. His true strength lies in his mind and his ability to harness the destructive aspects of the Force. He is also extremely skilled in concealment powers.
  • Eisen is arrogant and pompous, but he knows when to fold 'em. He sees no honour in dying pointlessly and will retreat when he is outmatched. He is also absolutely ruthless and has no qualms about sacrificing pawns to get what he wants.

Weaknesses:

  • Eisen is very overweight. This impairs his mobility, endurance and speed. He is not someone to run a marathon. A layer of cushioning fat can be an advantage since it might help absorb a punch or two, but he is also more quickly out of breath when he has to physically exert himself a lot. In addition, he has also started to suffer from arthritis.
  • Weak telekinetic powers. Perhaps it is some form of mental block or simply genetic. Either way, his telekinetic powers are rather unimpressive. He is limited to very basic uses, and even then only small objects with significant effort and concentration. 
  • Limited skill as a general. He is not inept, but unimaginative and relies more on brute force than tactical finesse.

HISTORICAL INFORMATION

 

Tephrike has been isolated from the rest of the Galaxy since the outbreak of the Gulag Virus. Originally colonised during the twilight years of the Old Republic, it was subjugated by the Galactic Empire. The human supremacist regime established by the Empire was overthrown with the aid of the Rebel Alliance and the planet emerged as an unstable, multi-species federation.

 

Then the Gulag Virus sent the Galaxy spiralling into chaos. Warlords, Jedi, Sith and rebels vied for power. Prolonged warfare and the use of primitive weapons of mass destruction brought great devastation to the planet. Benign intentions turned to evil over time. Jedi who sought to restore order and reunite the planet fell to the darkness they claimed to oppose, while still believing that their intentions and actions were good. In so doing, they followed in the footsteps of Atris and Joruus C'boath. Believing that they alone could lead Tephrike out of the darkness, they created a theocratic dictatorship.

 

Renegade Jedi established a Sith cult called the Disciples of the Vader, for they idolised the long-dead Vader as a god and believed it was his will to enslave all those who could not wield the Force and were not human. The Republican Guard, a faction that glorified the Old Republic and staunchly opposed Force-users, was founded by disgruntled clone slave-soldiers and racial minorities that declared war on both Force cults. In between these three extremes, several smaller factions tried to carve out a niche for themselves. The planet was locked in stasis, divided by riven groups trying to recall a past they did not remember. Here, the dark age never ended.

 

The Disciples of the Vader were rounded by a fallen Jedi Knight called Cade Seward. Thrust into command at a young age, he fell to the dark side. A vision convinced him that Darth Vader had chosen him as his champion to eclipse the light. For Vader had experienced apotheois and was now a Dark God. Indeed, the Gulag Virus had been a machination of the dark side to cleanse the Galaxy of weakness. Cade chose the name Darth Menace and was able to assemble an army that became a serious threat to the Dominion. His dark crusade was halted at Palmyra, Tephrike's old capital. But victory came at a staggering cost for the Dominion, for the city was turned into a cursed, dark side nexus.

 

But the Vaderite threat did not vanish. The Sith managed to carve out their own state. It was built upon a foundation of slavery, human supremacism, and tyranny. Humans who professed faith into the Vaderite religion were coopeted as a new middle class and given preferential treatment. They became the soldiers, officers, administrators and technicians of the new regime and were organised in the Humanist Party, a political machine responsible for the promotion of Vaderite ideology. Meanwhile, aliens were enslaved, confined to ghettos or exterminated. Rule of the strong was enshrined in the Vaderite's Sith ideology, for there could be no place in the New Order for those deemed weak, mentally or physically defective.

 

Taking the Sith's obsession with rule by the strong to its logical extreme, the Disciples dispensed with more rational means of promotion by allowing a Sith to challenge his direct superior to combat to the death. The rationale behind this was that any man who could not physically defend his position did not deserve to hold it. The Sith remained at war with the Dominion and the Republican Guard, seeking to bring all of Tephrike under their jackboot.

 

This was the world Eisen grew up in. He was born as Alec Dragoumis. His father was a civil servant who had served the Sith régime as a local governor. As a result, the family was affluent and Alec grew up in privileged circumstances. Like all citizens of the régime, he was educated in the belief that the Sith had an inherent right to rule. Power belonged to those who could command the Force, instead of letting it command them.

 

Of all the myriad species in the Galaxy, only humans were capable of creating civilisation. Every manifestion of human culture, every product of art, science and technical skill, was almost exclusively the product of human creative power. The divine spark of genius was only found in humans. They were the ones who kindled the fire that illuminated the dark night and allowed humans to attain mastery. By contrast, aliens were parasites. The Dark God Vader and his loyal servants had recognised that there was a natural order.

 

Some people were natural slaves, and it was the duty of their masters to assume the burden of responsibility. But democracy, racial mixing and the Jedi faith had undermined the heroism and camaraderie of the human master race, corrupting it from within. The Gulag Virus had been a cleansing storm that allowed humankind to rise again. Now the heirs of Vader were engaged in a life or death struggle against the forces of anarchy. Should they lose, a profound darkness would descend upon the world; all human culture would vanish and the world would become a desert.

 

Alec absorbed these teachings.One day, his school class visited the ironically named Prosperity Quarter, a ghetto. Here, aliens and 'impure' humans lived an impoverished existence defined by oppression, fear and deprivation. The propaganda tour was designed to confirm all the stereotypes his teachers had fed him. Using alien forced labourers to do menial chores was par for the course for the circles he walked in. One of his exams was about a propaganda movie called The Eternal Neimodian. A maths assignment was about calculating how much money the government could save and spend on 'deserving citizens' if the mentally or physically disabled were 'euthanised'. A doctor who worked at a psychiatric clinic gave a lecture on this topic, describing his work as a necessary sacrifice for the people's community. He also attended a stoning of a mixed species couple. This was one of the events of a carnival.

 

Throughout his life, Alec remained a committed humanist. However, he was not extremely zealous about it. Indeed, he was a rather spoilt youth, who was used to getting his way and having his desires catered to. He attended an elite boarding school, but showed little interest in his studies. He found the food poor and the discipline too harsh. Some of his teachers complained about his wilfulness. After growing frustrated, Alec simply went back home and feigned illness. Someone of less exalted status would have been punished, but his family was part of the elite. It helped that his grandfather had been a Sith Knight. Having a Sith in the family was a mark of prestige, though his grandfather considered it a disappointment that his son was a squib.

 

To teach him some discipline, his father sent him to a military academy. This tallied with Alec's own desires as he had been interested in a career as a soldier from an early age. Having been raised on stories about Sith Knights and Stormtroopers fighting the enemies of order, he was eager to attain fame and glory. The discipline was quite harsh and more than a little on the sadistic side. But Alec turned out to be a good student at the academy. He enjoyed playing war games and was commended by his instructors. He became an avid mountain climber and enjoyed studying Sith legends and sagas. After graduating with distinction, he joined the army.

 

At first he was assigned to an infantry regiment, fighting the Dominion and the Republican Guard. It turned out to be a lot less glamorous than he had expected. There was little glory to be gained in trench warfare. Using his connections, Alec was able to arrange a transfer to the Legions of Dusk, the air force. Strictly speaking, he informally transferred himself and was sentenced to punishment when he was discovered. However, the sentence was never carried out. His wilfulness frustrated and concerned his family, but he displayed genuine skill as a pilot, flying one of the aging TIEs that were used by the Sith aerial forces.

 

Brash, arrogant and daring, he was personally fearless in combat, but backed it up with cunning. At first he flew reconnaissance and bombing missions, targeting Republican Guard rebel camps. He flew escort when Sith bombers carpet bombed a town that had rebelled against the Sith government and joined the Guard. Soon he was engaged in dogfights with Dominion fighters and targeting their tanks. His fearlessness in battle earned him the nickname 'Iron Alec', and he scored several air victories. The fact that he was unconsciously using the Force to enhance his aim, senses and piloting skills helped him. Dissatisfied with the primitive tech, he tinkered with his fighter craft and its engines in his free time, after an injury to the hip resulted in him being grounded for almost a year. He ended up with a working prototype for a more modern TIE fighter with a more powerful engine and better speed.

 

He rose to the position of squadron commander after his commanding officer perished in battle. However, while skilled, his arrogance made him unpopular and he was later accused of having inflated his score. Still, he was able to build lasting connections with some of the members of his squadron, who would go on to be his henchmen when he rose to power. Alec caught the eye of the Sith when he distinguished himself in a fight with Dominion pilots.

 

The Sith forces had been fed false intel and lured into a trap, for they were ambushed by Jedi ace pilots when they tried to attack a base. Alec ended up facing one of the aces. The Force was strong in this foe. No matter what Alec did, his opponent seemed to have already foreseen it and devised a counter. His fighter was damaged during the dogfight. Fighting for his life, Alec claims to have heard an inner voice. The realisation that he might perish triggered a rage inside him. Unconsciously, he managed to touch the mind of his enemy, feeding on his fear and rage. The enemy pilot was momentarily distracted by what was an instinctual manifestation of Alec's latent talent as a mentalist.

 

Relying on what he later learned was Force-based targeting, Alec fired a missile and managed to destroy the enemy craft. The operation had been a failure, but the fight had not gone unnoticed. When the squadron managed to return to base. His commander, afraid that he might be accused himself, tried to pass the buck to his subordinate. This put Alec in difficulties, as he found himself accused of poor leadership. However, then the charges were dropped.

 

One of the Disciples had taken an interest in the affair and discovered Alec's strength in the Force. He was a human and the Force was strong in him, so he would be trained as a Sith. If he had been an alien, he would have been killed, for xenos who possessed such powers were deemed an aberration. The revelation that Alec was strong in the Force boosted the prestige of his family. However, when he was reunited with his father after their long separation, the latter had mixed feelings. Perhaps because his own lack of Force-Sensitivity had made him a disappointment to his own father.

 

Regardless, Alec was sent to Castle Maysaf for training. There his instruction in the ways of the Force began. It was a brutal and often sadistic process. One of the trials a young acolyte had to undergo was bayonet a criminal or fugitive slave. This was supposed to pour steel into his veins. Alec learned from earlyon that only the most cunning and ruthless would survive. Around this time Alec grew close to a Sith from a good humanist family called Sophia Anastas. She was a dedicated humanist. Indeed, she was a lot more of a zealot than her husband and heavily into mysticisim. She got him interested in the arcane aspects of the force.

 

Thirsting for glory, he resolved to be at the top of the pack. At first, Alec wanted to continue flying, but it was soon discovered that he possessed significant mental talents and was quite good at concealment. These skills recommended him for the spy service, the Protection Squadron. He came to the attention of a Sith Master called Lord Acholus, a Sith sorcerer.

 

Alec disliked being under someone else's thumb and wanted to keep flying, but the Sith Master showed him who was boss, putting him in his place. This created a feeling of resentment inside Alec, but also fed his hunger for power. Over the next few years, he bathed in the knowledge of the Sith and the arcane aspects of the dark side. However, while his teacher gave him some access to his library, Alec always had the feeling that he was holding back. Wetting his appetite, but not really sating it.

 

These suspicions were correct. Thus Alec started to try and acquire ancient tomes and devices in secret. As part of his training, he was dispatched to the ruins of the Golden Future Binary Fusion Plant. It had been the site of a terrible disaster shortly before the outbreak of the Gulag Virus, which turned the area into an irradiated wasteland. The Sith used the area to conduct experiments, feeding on all the deaths that had taken place here. Alec contracted radiation sickness during his time in the exclusion zone, but learned how to devour ghosts.

 

He made himself a name in hatchet work and espionage. His growing talent in using the Force for cloaking and concealment allowed him to infiltrate a Dominion temple and bug a conversation between generals. This allowed the Vaderites to smash a Dominion offensive and score a notable victory over the Jedi. It put Alec on the radar. His master commended him, but also warned him against getting ideas about his station.

 

Later Alec organised the assassination of a dissident Sith scientist who had fled with compromising information. Both the Republican Guard and the Dominion unsuccessfully tried to retrieve the scientist. Around this time Alec and Sophia got married. The marriage made political sense, but Alec seems to have felt genuine affection for her.

 

When Lord Acholus was appointed governor of a province, he took Alec with him. He was just supposed to be his troubleshooter, but Alec muscled his way into the position of security chief. There he made a genuine impact, purging the local security forces and filling them with his cronies. He also initiated a programme of forcibly relocating the alien population to make room for loyal human citizens. Many of the deportees ended up as forced labourers. Alec also managed to win over 'respectable society' by putting the Party militias on a short leash and closing many of the 'wild' concentration camps. The camps set up by Alec's minions were no less brutal, but better organised. It also gave him plenty of opportunity for graft and embezzlement. Alec himself never visited the detention centres, but was fully aware of what happened there.

 

He also initiated an operation to round up thousands of so-called 'asocials'. Under the Disciples' laws, 'asocials' were persons whose behaviour was defined by 'habitual' misconduct or repeated violations of the law or who did not fit into society and violated the 'natural order'. Those most affected were vagrants, beggars, prostitutes, alcoholics, thieves, humans who had engaged in sexual relations with aliens and aliens who had been caught outside of their reservation zones without official permit.

 

Outwardly he was nothing but loyal to his master, flattering him and feeding his vanity at every turn. However, Acholus started to grow suspicious of him, having noticed that Alec was trying to bypass him and build connections with the Vaderite government. His master continued to deny him access to the holocrons he so craved. When a Jedi Shadow who had led a raid against a Sith research facility was being apprehended, Alec sabotaged the investigation so that he could claim the agent for himself.

 

Officially the Shadow was killed during the pursuit. Alec went so far as to arrange for a body double. In truth, had the Jedi captured and interrogated to learn some of his master's secrets. Once the Jedi had suffered sufficiently, Eisen appeared and turned on the charm. However, Acholus was not idle and sought to curtail his power over the secret police and had some of his associates arrested. He also accused his apprentice of corruption and heresy, having built up a file that showed Alec's devotion to the Dark God was less than pure. Behind the scenes, the power struggle grew violent. Indeed, Sophia once saved Alec from a Republican Guard attempt on his life. Alec later claimed it had been orchestrated by Acholus, though this cannot be verified.

 

Despite being under surveillance, Alec managed to sneak out of the provincial capital and reach Castle Maysaf. Acholus had removed him from office, but Alec managed to present his case to the Dark Council. His wife's connections helped, for Impaler was fond of her. This allowed Alec to present doctored evidence of Acholus being involved in treasonous activities, including aiding and abetting rebels and enemy agents. Furthermore, he alleged that Acholus might have alien blood. The incident managed to make Acholus look bad and gave Alec an opening to challenge him. He managed to gather a coterie of allies through bribery and trickery. Invoking his rights as a Sith, Alec challenged him to a Kaggath. It was a hard-fought battle.

 

Alec was badly burnt when Acholus assaulted him with shadowy tendrils of dark side energy. He managed to momentarily disorientate his master, but Acholus blocked his lightning with contemptuous ease and proceeded to smash him with telekinesis. This was a power Alec was very weak in. However, then Acholus was suddenly struck from behind. Alec had used his master's momentary disorientation to cloak himself and summon a doppelganger in his place. Acholus tried to defend himself by summoning a Force Demon, a construct he had used to show his apprentice who was boss in the past. But Alec managed to overcome it and drain him.

 

Darth Impaler, Dark Lord and Supreme Leader, acknowledged him as a Sith Lord and conferred the name Darth Eisen upon him. He had now joined the circle of power. Power, wealth and influence allowed him to amass a large collection of expensive artworks, speeders, and mansions. He ruled like a feudal lord from his palatial residence. It also allowed him to bestow favours on his cronies and his family. His dandy image made him a source of mockery behind his back, but he was also a figure of ebullient entertainment. This made him popular with many human citizens of the realm. While not a great orator, he had a gift for managing and exciting a crowd.

 

The conflict with his master had taught that power flowed from the Supreme Leader. So he did his best to cultivate a close relationship with Darth Impaler. The dark lord was an imperious, intimidating figure who was quick to suspect betrayal and had a habit of pitting his minions against one another. It kept them dependent on his favour. To flatter his master, he personally oversaw the creation of a mountain retreat for him. The construction was carried out by forced labourers, who had to labour under appalling conditions. Their suffering did not faze Eisen, as long as the deadline was met. Impaler was pleased with his work, but ironically only spent little time in his new mountain villa.

 

He recognised the Leader's almost pathological need for self-aggrandisement. Taking advantage of this, he took the dark lord's glorification to a new level by producing a hagiographic biography. Doubtless Eisen did not personally write it, but he oversaw the process. Impaler had risen from relative obscurity, but his self-proclaimed 'first paladin' fabricated an illustrious lineage for him.

 

Finally, Impaler promoted him to general and made him supreme commander of the Legion of Dusk. Eager to make his mark, he brought in his old cronies from his days as a pilot. Not all of these choices turned out to be apt. Nepotism was a pervasive issue. But Eisen set his sight upon expanding his force. To provide it with more resources and expand his patronage network, he seized control over several businesses, using a mixture of charm, bribery and intimidation.

 

However, Eisen's ascent was marred by the death of his wife, for Sophia had died in childbirth. He tried to save her by Force draining slaves and feeding her with their life force, but it was not enough. Unlike Anakin Skywalker, Eisen had good grounds to be afraid about his wife dying while giving birth. Sadly, Tephrike does not have the sophisticated medical technology of a First World planet like Coruscant. He also did not choke his wife. Eisen was deeply shaken by her death and mourned her. He named his country residence Sophiahall to honour her. Fortunately, his daughter had survived. He eventually remarried.

 

He soon learned that being so close to the sun could be perilous. Months after placing a general's epaulettes on his shoulders, Impaler forced Eisen to relinquish control over his spy agency. It came under the control of Darth Furcht, a rising leader in the Knights of the Ebon Claw. Eisen was annoyed about having his wings clipped, but had to comply. Because he wanted some insurance, he set up his own signals intelligence and cryptanalytic agency in the Legion, the so-called Research Office. 

 

Eisen believed he could control Furcht, especially since many of the officers of the Protection Squadron were still his cronies. This turned out to be an error in judgement. His relations with Impaler deteriorated. As the Sith embarked on a campaign of subjugation, Eisen found his chief's ideas for pacification disagreeable. He had no objections to using death squads, enslaving people and the like, but he considered impaling and salting the earth of potentially valuable slave labour to be unwise. Eisen also unsuccessfully argued in favour of ignoring the Republican Guard, and just focusing on the Dominion.

 

Moreover, the Legions of Dusk suffered setbacks. At the start it achieved notable successes in the field against the Dominion by delivering close air support against its troops in the field. However, when it attacked a major Dominion stronghold, the Jedi activated a weather control machine. The Sith bombers got taken down by Jedi aces who had Force melded to move through the storm. Eisen ordered the bombers to continue their attack despite the weather and the fighters were unable to keep formation, so the bombers suffered disastrous losses.

 

It was a major humiliation. The situation was exacerbated by the Dominion dropping some bombs on the Sith capital. Eisen had wanted to focus bombing raids on military targets, especially Dominion air bases, but Impaler ordered him to 'grind the Dominion into dust' by carpet bombing cities. Bomber losses were high. Resources were wasted on the construction of a huge strategic bomber because the Dark Master commanded it and Eisen did not dare contradict him.

 

There was now a rift between them, and others in the inner circle took note. Eisen bore witness when Impaler made an example of a marshal who had failed him, which increased his fear of him. It was paired with resentment. His loss of influence drove him to hedony. Furcht, meanwhile, rose in influence and directed his agents to spy on Eisen, whose flaws as an administrator left him vulnerable.

 

Ironically, around this time Eisen's Research Office received intelligence on a sect of 'Light Sith', who preached a heretical doctrine. These heretics claimed that Vader had turned away from the Dark Side and sacrificed himself to save his son and kill the evil Emperor. It was their duty to follow in his footsteps by atoning for their sins and restoring balance to the Force. Somehow, Eisen neglected to pass any of this on to Impaler or Furcht.

 

Instead he directed his agents to keep the group under surveillance and try to subvert it. But the Light Sith slipped from his grasp during the Netherworld Event. Like virtually every world, Tephrike was affected by the mass raptures. The result was chaos. It triggered a serious crisis. Impaler reacted with purges, believing it was the end of days. Eisen wanted to make his move, but his forces were weakened by the mass disappearances and the casualties they had sustained on the front. 

 

The Light Sith had outgrown his ability to manipulate them and now instigated a mass uprising of slaves and members of the under classes. Eisen had hoped to be able to rally the loyalist forces after Impaler's defeat, but he underestimated what had been unleashed. Darth Krieg, the leader of the Light Sith, assumed control and adopted the name Salus. Defeated, Eisen went into exile. Ostensibly he continued to fight the 'heretics', but in reality he was focused on protecting himself and preparing for an eventual return.

 

The Light Sith proceeded to invade the Dominion, becoming co-belligerents of the Republican Guard. The Dominion was pushed to the brink. But the de facto alliance was an uneasy one as both sides despised the other. Moreover, a number of Vaderites who had bent the knee to the new régime had not really changed their ways. This soured the accord even more, as did the Guard's policy of rounding up Force-users in communities it managed to liberate. Soon sporadic fighting had broken out. The chancellor who had supported the deal was toppled by the Guard after their failed attack on Fortress Purity, a major Dominion citadel.

 

This left Salus vulnerable and he was murdered. Eisen had used the chance to return from exile, but events overtook him. Radical Light Sith and freed aliens took over Prosperity Quarter and much of Adlerberg. But Furcht crushed the ghetto uprising with extreme brutality. Eisen's troops had helped defeat the Light Sith. Indeed, he had arranged for Salus' death. But his success was overshadowed by Furcht, who proceeded to blackmail him with information about his contacts to the heretics. Eisen ground his teeth and bent the knee to him. The new Dark Master unleashed a wave of purges against so-called deviants and unbelievers.

 

The bloodletting did not stop at Eisen's doorstep. The Sith Lord was forced to sacrifice trusted minions to the meat grinder. Eisen scapegoated his chief of staff for failings in his force. This caused the general to commit suicide. As a 'reward for for unflinching, loyal service', Furcht promoted Eisen to the rank of Grand Marshal. Eisen considered this to be a personal slight, since it was a hollow title that gave him no additional authority and his actual power base had been seriously weakened. Then the star people arrived. The Sith saw the starships appear in orbit, but were unsure what to make of them. When they learned that the outsiders were bombing the Dominion's capital and that the Jedi Temple had been destroyed, they were jubilant. Furcht declared it a sign of the Dark God.

 

Eisen was publicly exultant, but sceptical in private. It seemed too good to be true to be a blessing. While he believed in his sect's ideology, he did not put much stock in omens and prophecies. The outsiders and the Republican Guard proceeded to take Fortress Purity. Word spread that the Dominion's Grandmaster was dead and that part of the army was in open revolt. The Sith leaders were in the midst of planning a great offensive to take advantage of the turmoil, when suddenly the outsiders bombarded Castle Maysaf.

 

Furcht ordered the Council members and sorcerers present to conduct a ritual with him. They struck back by summoning demons aboard the Firemane flagship. Eisen was not among the Sith who joined the ritual. Instead he had used the chance to sneak away. This turned out to be a wise choice, for while the Sith's ritual was successful and Firemane had to fight to take its warship back from the eldritch entities, Castle Maysaf was levelled. Furcht died in the bombardment.

 

Eisen witnessed Maysaf's destruction from afar. He was both awed and intimidated by the 'magnificient desolation'. His musing about what the Sith could accomplish with such power was cut short by the realisation that the Council had been decimated. He sent his minions to the castle to verify that Furcht was dead. After reaching Adlerberg, he addressed the people of the realm and declared himself leader of the Sith. Now was his chance to take the reins of power. However, he faced opposition from other claimants. Moreover, the destruction of Castle Maysaf has sparked uprisings among the slave population. Now his first order of business is disposing of any potential rivals and consolidating the Sith under his rule. Then get the campaign to bring the planet under Sith control back on track.


Earthen Rampart

07 September 2019 - 05:12 PM

 

OUT OF CHARACTER INFORMATION

Intent: Expand on Tephrike and flesh out a location established in rp and other submissions.

Image CreditHereHereHere.

Canon: N/A.

LinksInto DarknessArchangel Research and DesignJedi TempleAfter Darkness.

 

SETTING INFORMATION

Military Base Name: Earthen Rampart.

Classification: Temple, Fortress.

LocationNexus CityTephrike.

Affiliation Dominion of LightMahtaraCassius.

PopulationHeavy.

DemographicsMix of Temple Guards, Jedi, droids and misc. support personnel. The Dominion is a multi-species society, so one can find members of a variety of species here. Humans, Twi'leks and Duros are the most common and there are also a few Mon Calamari and Gungans. The Temple Guard is composed solely of clones. Many, though not all, Jedi are clones, too. 

Accessibility: The Earthen Rampart is very difficult to access. The general population of Nexus City knows it exists, as it is important for them to know that the Dominion is still watching over them. But it is heavily fortified, located underground and not accessible for unauthorised individuals. The Jedi in command run it as a military base, and the Dominion is a nation at war. As a result, security is very tight. The Dominion is an isolationist, totalitarian theocracy that believes itself to be the last bastion of order and civilisation on Tephrike, so it will respond aggressively to any intrusion attempt. The government has declared a state of emergency, so martial law is in force and the base cannot be accessed by members of the public without authorisation.

 

Description: The Earthen Rampart lies beneath the Grand Jedi Temple of Nexus City. Located in Skywalker Square, until recently the Temple was the seat of the Windian Jedi Order and centre of power of the Dominion of Light. The visitor was greeted by huge statues of legendary Jedi Masters such as Lord Hoth, Grandmaster Yoda, Master Mace Windu, as well as of the Jedi Lords who ruled over Tephrike. Holographic projections of old Jedi recited lines of the Jedi Code, more or less inaccurate quotes of Jedi sages and general words of wisdom from Tephrike's rulers. Jedi Temple Guards and Inquisitors watched over all, always on the lookout for signs of heresy within and without.

 

However, the Jedi Temple was levelled by Firemane during its brief, but intense campaign against the Dominion. Many Jedi perished in the bombardment. While parts of the Temple have been rebuilt, many are in a state of disrepair. The Earthen Rampart serves as its de facto replacement. It represents an expansion of the already formidable subterranean facilities of the old Temple. It is a cavernous network of catacombs, tunnels and underground facilities. The subterranean headquarters is equipped to withstand orbital bombardment.

 

The style of the building is utilitarian rather than elegant. Ares such as the Room of a Thousand Fountains harken back to a 'more civilised age', but on the whole the facility is not designed for comfort. The elegance of the Old Jedi Temple has largely been abandoned in favour of practicality. Propaganda is found throughout the Earthen Rampart, extolling the virtues of the Dominion and exhorting its warriors to be ever-vigilant in the face of the threat posed by the servants of the dark side, wherever they may lurk. Likewise, surveillance droids monitor the various halls and corridors.

 

It has dormitories, training rooms, meditation chambers, medical facilities, forgery, armoury, prison cells, offices, a war room as as well as a concealed hangar. Furthermore, a cloning facility has been set up and the Temple Guard is based here. Security is extremely tight. Security cameras and checkpoints have been set up throughout the base. The Windian Jedi Order is very militant and this is a time of total war, where they find themselves engaged in a war to the knife against the Dominion's enemies. As a result, the base is far more militarised than what is typically expected of facilities associated with Jedi. A significant contingent of Temple Guards and Jedi is stationed in the Earthen Rampart at all times. They also patrol the old Temple above. This structure has been partially rebuilt, but is not in use. Instead it has been fortified.

 

In contrast to a typical Jedi temple, only a small number of Padawans and Younglings are actually stationed here. The bombardment caused heavy casualties among the Jedi, so the Dominion's junta does not want to put all its eggs in one basket. Firemane may have withdrawn from Tephrike, but its warships and bombers could easily return. Moreover, the Dominion is engaged in all-out war with its native enemies. Thus training has been distributed across several facilities outside of the capital. This means that most of the Jedi present in the base will be trained soldiers instead of neophytes.

 

To reduce the risk of the Order being decimated by renewed Firemane bombardment, the Dominion has set up a Hidden Temple outside of the capital. Its existence is a well-kept secret. The more sensitive tomes and holocrons have been evacuated from the Jedi Archives and brought to this safe place. However, the Earthen Rampart is still a key military base and allows the Dominion to keep order in the capital and direct the war effort against its adversaries.

 

POINTS OF INTEREST

 

 

Old Temple: Strictly speaking this is not a part of the Earthen Rampart, but it is located directly above it and its lower level facilities have been incorporated into the base. Built in the style of the Jedi Temple on Coruscant. Once it was the seat of power of the Dominion as well as the main training centre of the Windian Jedi Order. Then it was levelled by Firemane bombardment. Parts of the structure have been rebuilt and a lot of rubble has been cleared away, but on the whole it is still in a poor state. For the time being, it stands as a reminder of the 'Rain of Fire'. However, the premise is still heavily guarded, as it is an access point for the base. Checkpoints and defences have been set up.

 

Room of a Thousand Fountains: Resembles the famous chamber in the old Jedi Temple on Coruscant by the same name. Located in the lower levels of the original Temple, it survived Firemane's bombardment. As with the historical room it tries to emulate, there is an artificial waterfall. The water streams out into various pools and streams. There are small arching stone bridges, and the room is filled with meditation pads and benches along the flagstone walkways. Moreover, there are planting beds with all manners of greenery.

 

Corridor of Heroes: Another leftover from the old Temple. The name is unintentionally ironic. One one stretch the heroes of the Old Republic such as Mace Windu, Yoda, Lord Hoth, Obi-Wan Kennobi and the Barsen'thor. On the other side are the matching heroes of the Dominion, such as Zaras Dant, Mahtara, Tyian Kree, General Kennobi and Grandmaster Aegus. Here the Grandmaster was ambushed and murdered by Jedi Councillors Cassius, Varus and Karana. His last words were 'You too, Cassius?', while he lay dying against the statue of Mace Windu, for his attacker was his own clone. Regretfully, Cassius struck off his Master's head. Officially the Grandmaster was killed in a Firemane bombing run while he was heroically touring the ruins to help trapped survivors escape the rubble and provide medical assistance. To claim otherwise is most unwise.

 

Great Hall: Located in a vast tunnel, this chamber serves as a meeting place for the Order in those situations when its members have to gather. Propaganda movies are sometimes shown here. Turbolifts lead to other areas of the Earthen Rampart. Depending on their sensitivity, these may require special clearance to access. The hall is monitored by security cameras and surveillance droids. Several divisions and departments of the Windian Jedi Order have offices for their members near the Great Hall. The same applies to liaison officers from government ministries and the Grand Army of Light.

 

Chamber of Healing: The medical facilities of the base. It is a place for medical studies and treatment for all kinds of diseases and injuries. These facilities is run by the Healers of the Windian Jedi Order. In addition to providing care to the wounded, the healers also study various diseases, especially those created via preternatural means such as Sith alchemy. 

 

The Akk's Lair: Nickname for a highly secured compound in the lowest levels. Here the command and control apparatus is housed. Security is the tightest here, as the leaders can find refuge here and direct the war effort against the enemies of the Light. It also connects to secret passages that allow the Jedi to move in times of crisis, presenting possible escape routes, and an underground train. In addition, the Hall of Ritual can be found here. While smaller meditation chambers are scattered throughout the base, this is a place for the Masters of the Order to come together and hone their power. Located deep inside the lowest levels, it is quite safe from bombardment. Focus crystals are spread throughout the room, helping the Masters harness the energies of the Force.

 

Chamber of Life: A special wing of the medical facilities. This area contains the cloning facilities of the base. The Dominion believes that certain skilled individuals are too valuable to lose...so it clones them. This is called the Blessed Lineage Project. The fact that clones may not necessarily want to be obedient drones and follow in the footsteps of their template is dismissed. In addition, cloning is also a way to restore lost body parts. This wing is largely self-sufficient, with its own facilities to accommodate any newly grown clones before they are exposed to the rest of the Order. Access to this area is restricted and it is under heavy guard.

 

Jedi Archives: Self-explanatory really. Study and self-improvement is a vital part of the life of any Jedi. Thus they are well-advised to learn from the wisdom of their forebears. However, many sensitive tomes have been relocated elsewhere to reduce the risk of thefts and break-ins. Lecture halls and study areas have been included. Obelisk-shaped mounts project inspirational lines from holy Jedi texts and holographic projections of past Jedi masters are there to offer their wisdom to Jedi and guide their studies. The Dominion is a conformist society and discourages its citizens from questioning orthodoxy. For there is only the shining light and the darkest abyss. The Head Archivist has their quarters here, and some rooms have been set aside to house the offices of the Jedi Inquisition. An open mind is like a freshly tuned sod. Unless it is sown with the generous message of the Light, the insidious weed of heresy will take root. Thus any information visitors can get on the 'net is censored. It helps that Tephrike is too isolated to be connected to the HoloNet.

 

Detention Centre: Sadly, there are always individuals who refuse to recognise the wisdom and benevolence of the Dominion. These malcontents, traitors and heretics need to be isolated from society before their corruption spreads. Some can be redeemed after being shown the error of their ways. Others are beyond redemption. In that case, it is best to eliminate them before they can commit further sins and stain their soul. Ray shields and heavy turadium doors protect the cells. Several Force Cages have been set up here. In case of rescue or escape attempts, gas can be released. Propaganda blares out of loudspeakers. Prisoners are seldom held here for long, as the Jedi Inquisition has special prisons to contain, question and re-educate enemies of the Light. Common criminals are handled by the Arbiters, heretics and enemy agents by the Inquisition.

 

Forge: The Windian Jedi Order is not composed of pacifists or flower children. Nor do they subscribe to the idea that the Jedi should use the Force only for defence, never for attack. The Light requires fervent warriors. Here they have the resources needed to construct Force Imbued weapons and armour.

 

Training Facilities: Here the occupants can hone their skills as warriors of the Light. In addition to the typical training rooms, it also has a rifle range. The Windian Jedi are not averse to using a blaster or slugthrower to cleanse enemies of the Light. This section can also accommodate sparring arenas, obstacle courses and so on. Moreover, meditation rooms, the armoury and the quartermaster are located here.

 

Temple Guard Barracks: Here the brave, stalwart Guardians of the Sacred Temple and the Holy Person of the Wise Council are based. The Temple Guard is a special corps of clone troopers who are fanatically loyal to the Dominion. They protect important installations such as the Temple and serve as a means of coup-proofing. They are recognised as a component of the Dominion's armed forces, but separate from the Grand Army of Light.

 

Dormitories: Self-explanatory really. These are the living quarters of the Jedi who reside here. The Jedi are sorted into different quarters by rank. Masters have greater privacy and more spacious quarters, but they are still very utilitarian, even Spartan. The Dominion expects its Jedi to adhere to a vow of poverty. Of course, this does not prevent corruption, but those who are smart about it do not flaunt their illicit wealth. An office or workshop space is attached to the private accommodations of the Masters, who also have remote access to the archives. 

 

SECURITY
Maximum.

  • For starters, the Earthen Rampart is located underground. Its most important facilities have been set up far beneath the earth. A full suite of electronic countermeasures means that even dedicated sensor ships will have trouble detecting it. A shield generator protects the base from bombardment.
  • Two HVs-2 hypervelocity guns have been set up to fire on hostile capital ships in orbit. The cannons are concealed when not in use. Due to the Dominion's tech level, these weapons are easier to maintain than turbolasers would be.
  • Ventilation shafts are filled with locked grates, motion sensors and extremely narrow, with a lattice of crosshatched, intersecting planes made of turadium, There are also traps for the intrepid adventurer, such as enclision grids. Moreover, nets ensnare explosives, objects and animals. In short, this is not the place to sneak in through ventilation shafts or use them to make a daring escape. 
  • Anti-personnel turrets, mass driver cannons and heavy machine guns can be found above ground. There are also flak cannons and quad lasers. Due to a secret deal with Archangel, the Dominion has been able to set up Preserver Defence Turrets to impede access to the base. The sole entrance is heavily fortified and the door is made of Turadium. Inside the base, intruders would have to deal with security cameras, an auto-turret network, motion sensors, sonic projectors and ray shields. The most critical blast doors are made of turadium. This material is very difficult to cut through, even for lightsabres. Ferrocrete has been used to reinforce the walls and floors.
  • Security checkpoints have been set up at major junctures. These include powerful scanners and enclision grids. Sensitive areas require keycards and retinal scans. Retinal scanners are able to determine whether or not the retina they are scanning belongs to a living person. When the turrets are active, they will fire on individuals who do not possess a clearance keycard and are not logged into their facial recognition system. Wasp droids monitor the base itself as well as access areas, including the old Temple.
  • There is a large Temple Guard garrison. There are also battle droids and a small group of HRDs. In addition, the base is the seat of the Windian Jedi Order. Thus intruders will have to contend with a force of Jedi warriors, including members of the Vanguard. While the skill level, number and abilities of the Jedi varies, there will definitely be a force of Knights with some Masters to provide leadership. Lightsabres are extremely rare on Tephrike, so most Jedi will use basic Force Imbued melee weapons, such as swords and halberds. They are not averse to using guns and lightbows either. Many Younglings and Padawans have been relocated to facilities outside of Nexus City, so most Jedi present here will be experienced combatants. The Temple Guard is fervently loyal to the point of fanaticism, but their weapons tend to be older than the galactic standard and their zealotry can work against them. Some of the Jedi are Consulars trained in mental and empathic abilities, which is helpful for spotting infiltrators or assaulting enemies through use of illusions.
  • A hangar that can accommodate small starships and four squadrons of starfighters is situated inside the base. Its underground location gives it good cover from enemy attacks. The pilots are Jedi aces or clone pilots. However, the starfighters tend to be older than contemporary galactic standard.

HISTORICAL INFORMATION

 

 

Tephrike has been isolated from the rest of the Galaxy since the outbreak of the Gulag Virus. Originally colonised during the twilight years of the Old Republic, it was subjugated by the Galactic Empire. The human supremacist regime established by the Empire was overthrown with the aid of the Rebel Alliance and the planet emerged as an unstable, multi-species federation.

 

Then the Gulag Virus sent the Galaxy spiralling into chaos. Warlords, Jedi, Sith and rebels vied for power. Prolonged warfare and the use of primitive weapons of mass destruction brought great devastation to the planet. Benign intentions turned to evil over time. Jedi who sought to restore order and reunite the planet fell to the darkness they claimed to oppose, while still believing that their intentions and actions were good. In so doing, they followed in the footsteps of Atris and Joruus C'boath. Believing that they alone could lead Tephrike out of the darkness, they created a theocratic dictatorship.

 

Renegade Jedi established a Sith cult called the Disciples of the Vader, for they idolised the long-dead Vader as a god and believed it was his will to enslave all those who could not wield the Force and were not human. The Republican Guard, a faction that glorified the Old Republic and staunchly opposed Force-users, was founded by disgruntled clone slave-soldiers and racial minorities that declared war on both Force cults. In between these three extremes, several smaller factions tried to carve out a niche for themselves. The planet was locked in stasis, divided by riven groups trying to recall a past they did not remember. Here, the dark age never ended.

 

The Dominion built Nexus City as its capital. Far away from the ruins of Palmyra, the old capital that had been destroyed during a brutal battle between Jedi and Sith, they could create their perfect society. Every citizen would have a place - and stay in it. The Dominion did its best to emulate Coruscant, seeking to transplant its lost grandeur into a wholly unsuitable environment. Naturally the Jedi Temple constructed by them resembled the famous landmark on the galactic capital.

 

From here the Windian Jedi Order ruled its provinces and prosecuted its war on darkness. Until Tephrike's centuries of isolation were brought to an end by Firemane. The Dominion was divided on how to respond to the arrival of the outsiders. A pragmatic faction led by Battlemaster Mahtara advocated accommodation, believing that contact with the off-worlders could help the Dominion advance and defeat its foes for good. However, Grandmaster Aegus disagreed, believing the 'star people' to be demons and manifestations of the dark side. Having been an isolated puppet ruler for so long, he sought to gain true power and fight what he believed to be the final battle between good and evil. He was supported by Grand Inquisitor Antonius, who saw a chance to become the true power in the land.

 

When Firemane sent a delegation to negotiate with the Firemane, they were ambushed by extremists, who had been acting on the orders of the Grand Inquisitor. A Firemane operative was captured. In response to this betrayal, Firemane declared war. Mahtara was declared a traitor, but managed to go underground and rally her allies. What followed was a short, but intense campaign. After taking down Nexus City's shield generator, Firemane levelled the Jedi Temple. The Dominion retaliated with surface to air missiles, but Firemane troops landed on the planet. They were able to defeat a Dominion army and take a vital fortress with the aid of the Republican Guard.

 

Grandmaster Aegus was murdered in a secure facility beneath the Temple by his own clone, Cassius, and two other disgruntled Councillors. His death was blamed on a Firemane bombing. Shortly thereafter, Mahtara entered the city at the head of an army. When the Council refused to acknowledge her as leader, she declared it dissolved, replacing it with a smaller junta that included Cassius and his allies. The new regime found itself in dire circumstances, for the Dominion had been gravely weakened. But it was committed to fighting a war to the knife to ensure the survival of the Dominion, even if this required pragmatic compromises.

 

One of its first orders of business was to get a replacement for its lost headquarters. The old Temple lay in ruins, as did many other military and government buildings in Nexus City. The Dominion's new government decided to set up a national redoubt in a safe area away from the front lines. However, Nexus City was still the capital and the Windian Jedi Order needed a visible presence in it to maintain order and shore up morale. Otherwise faith in the nation might collapse. Both the faithful and the infidels needed the certainty that the Jedi were watching them.

 

Completely rebuilding the Temple was deemed impractical, as it would be a waste of resources and paint a clear target on the Order's back. But wholly abandoning it was unthinkable. Thus it was decided to set up a secure facility beneath the old Temple, expanding underground facilities that had already existed. Tunnels were expanded and extensive command, control and communications capabilities were installed. A large number of labourers was mobilised to build the base. To protect itself against attacks from within and without, the facility was heavily fortified. The religious police established an office and a substantial contingent of Temple Guards was stationed in the underground base. The Guards were charged with defending the facility as well as patrolling what was left of the old Jedi Temple.

 

This base soon acquired the name Earthen Rampart. From here the Windian Jedi would maintain control. It would be a bastion of the Light and designed to be more secure against aerial and orbital bombardment. While Firemane soon started to withdraw its forces from Tephrike after entering trade deals with the Republican Guard, the work on the Earthen Rampart continued. It soon turned out that another group of outsiders had stumbled upon Tephrike.

 

This time, the Dominion chose diplomacy. The off-worlders called themselves Archangel and seemed to be a group of independent droids. Archangel's leader, Enyo Typhos, did not take part in the talks or set foot on Tephrike, but made use of HRD servitors. Mahtara, being pragmatic to the bone, chose to make a secret deal with them. This gave the Dominion access to more advanced weapons, machines and defence systems. In return the HRDs wanted raw materials and prisoners.

 

The latter was suspicious, but the regime chose to see it as a way to remove figures who had become inconvenient, such as followers of the Grandmaster and Inquisitors who refused to accept the truth that was being propagated by the Ministry of Enlightenment. Tephrike had valuable ores in abundance. Indeed, they had been a major reason for the colonisation of the planet before the twilight of the Old Republic. Two hypervelocity guns were set up to augment the defences of the base. These would be a nasty surprise for Firemane if its warships ever appeared in orbit and menaced Nexus City again.

 

The surveillance droids and battle droids provided by Archangel turned out to be quite useful flushing out Republican Guard agents, as the rebel group conducted a string of terrorist bombings and tried to stir up revolt in the city. Even though its nation was hit by Republican Guard attacks and had to deal with revolts, the Dominion's Labour Corps was able to complete construction of the Earthen Rampart within an acceptable time frame.


Heroes of Purity: A Firemane Film

28 August 2019 - 02:56 AM

OUT OF CHARACTER INFORMATION

Intent: IC propaganda. Also sub a movie that will annoy Elpsis a good deal.

Image Credit: N/A.

Canon: N/A.

LinksElpsisTephrikeOrder of Fire.

 

GENERAL INFORMATION

Media Name: Heroes of Purity: A Firemane Film.

Format: Movie.

DistributionScattered.

LengthLong, for a movie.

Description: 'Heroes of Purity' is a war movie produced by Firemane Industries & Technology. The purpose of it is to detail the events of the Tephrike campaign against the Dominion of Light, which was recently undertaken by Firemane forces under the command of Tegaea Alcori. The movie represents Firemane's perspective of the campaign. As a result, it depicts Firemane and House Kerrigan-Alcori in a positive light. While primarily meant for distribution in areas influenced by House Kerrigan-Alcori, it is available for a wider audience.

 

SOCIAL INFORMATION

Author: Ivra Rassan.

PublisherFiremane.

Reception: Varies. The audience appreciation score inside Firemane influenced areas tends to be high to very high, though some veterans of the campaign have been critical of creative liberties that have been taken with the depiction of the battle. Elpsis is one of them, though she has not been able to voice this publicly. A significant number of Tygarans, unused to movie magic, have been very impressed by the movie. It helps that the movie uses real Tygarans instead of giving elf roles to humans and that Tygaran characters receive a positive portrayal as competent soldiers.

 

The visuals have also been praised. It has been beneficial that the moviemakers were able to hire people who can actually fly, summon fireballs and shoot lightning without digital tricks. This made special effects easier. The filmmakers were able to mobilise large numbers of actual soldiers or militiamen to serve as extras. The scenes set on the Scarlet Destiny were filmed on an actual Firemane warship. The performance of Kira Zanaan, Elpsis' actress, has also won praise. Kira really got into a physically and mentally very demanding role. One stylistic criticism is that the large cast can make things hard to follow at times.

 

However, the movie has also aroused criticism. Some Jedi have protested the depiction of the Dominion, viewing it as a vilification of their order. In all fairness, while the Dominion is in fact an oppressive, totalitarian dictatorship, Tephrike has been isolated for many centuries and even now is barely known. So the criticism is understandable, especially since the movie is quite negative on Jedi in general.

 

Certain elf nationalist groups such as the Shadow Knights have criticised the movie for representing 'colonialist monkeigh saviour propaganda', as the elves in it still operate under the command of the humans of Firemane and their partnership with House Kerrigan-Alcori is depicted as purely positive. Liberal groups have accused the movie of having a pro-war, militarist message. The movie has, ironically, not been distributed on Tephrike itself. Ironically, the unambiguously positive portrayal of a Yuuzhan Vong character, Mezha Krazhmir, has given the movie a positive reception in certain progressive Vong groups. This is ironic since Siobhan does not like Vong.

 

FORMAT INFORMATION

In addition to the film itself, there are behind the scenes videos that provide historical background on Firemane and the campaign and describe the creation process of the movie. This also includes a Firetruth interview with the real Elpsis about her experiences, including her time in captivity. Finally, there is a collection of deleted scenes.

 

EVENTS

Event Name: Tephrike Campaign.

Links:  Into Darkness.

Participants:

Overview: Tephrike's four-hundred year isolation ends. A large battle between the Dominion of Light and the combined forces of Firemane and the Republican Guard ends with a serious defeat for the former. Several thousand Dominion political prisoners are freed and a major Dominion fortress falls to the Guard, emboldening the revolutionary insurgent movement.

 

The Jedi Grandmaster of the Dominion is assassinated by the Council, which is blamed on a Firemane bombing, and Battlemaster Mahtara takes control. Elpsis Kerrigan-Alcori is freed from a concentration camp of the Dominion's Inquisition. In the aftermath, Firemane forces withdraw from Tephrike after signing trade deals with the Guard. However, the Dominion rallies under more cohesive, rational leadership and mobilises for a war to the knife.

 

CONTENT INFORMATION

 

The movie opens in media res with a scene on one of Tephrike's moons. A Firemane task force responds to an emergency call from an unknown base located on it. It turns out an oxygen fire has broken out, causing havoc. Firemane soldiers find dead bodies across the outpost. It is revealed that the dead soldiers belong to a nation that calls itself the Dominion of Light. Propaganda can be found on the walls, warning the inhabitants about demons and the Dark Side. The technology is rather primitive, which is showcased by some huge computers. The team finds the corpse of what seems to be a Jedi. Major Tempest, a tall, commanding Dahomian, directs the crew to find out what they can about these people, as everyone seems to be dead.

 

However, one of her subordinates, Elpsis senses that someone is still alive. She recklessly follows her senses and comes across a young woman called Mara, who sent out the distress call. Mara is clearly frightened and trapped by fire. However, Elpsis walks through the flames, making them part before her. It is clearly a strain for her and for a moment we see her getting almost overwhelmed by the fire as it burns her armour.

 

But she pulls through, blind eyes glowing, and retrieves the sole survivor. Mara is deeply shocked by the arrival of someone who clearly is not from the Dominion or her world, for that matter. Elpsis is shown as empathic, calming her as she pulls her out of danger. She meets up with the rest of the crew, and is admonished a bit for being reckless. However, Firemane now has a survivor who can tell them what happened.

 

Quickly they leave the base. Mara is astonished to learn that there are still people outside of Tephrike. The team learns that the natives believe themselves to be the last survivors of the Gulag Virus or, as they call it, the Great Darkness. They sight of the large Firemane battleship in space awes her. The crew lands on the Scarlet Destiny, the Firemane flagship. 

 

While Mara is sent to the medbay, Tempest and Elpsis meet up with Tegaea Alcori, head of the expedition and Elpsis' adoptive mother, and Colonel Leonina Varkathras, a Cathar Force Master and ground forces commander. They do not take kindly to Elpsis being reckless, but are happy about having a survivor to question. Elpsis expresses discontent about her abilities being doubted, but is told by Leonina that being a Master is about judgement and not just power. There is also an undercurrent of Elpsis wanting to impress her mother.The audience learn that Firemane has been on a voyage for several months to discover worlds cut off by the Gulag Virus and help them connect with the larger Galaxy.

 

Elpsis voices her hope that they can aid the people of this planet and volunteers to question Mara. She is assigned to this task, however Tempest acts as a voice of caution, noting that some of the propaganda found in the base is troubling and that some people do not want to be helped. Before leaving, Elpsis has a private moment with her mother. Tegaea expresses concern over her daughter's reckless behaviour and tries to warn her that she does not need to impress her.

 

Rather she should just work as if she's anyone else under her command. Elpsis rightly points out that she's not just anyone though. Her insecurity and desire to be worthy of her family comes to light. The conversation leaves Elpsis somewhat chagrined. Subsequently she has a scene with Mara, who has been given treatment. She administers a vaccination to make sure the girl does not catch any foreign diseases. Mara expresses amazement at the idea that there is life outside Tephrike and is impressed by the advanced technology.

 

Elpsis questions her a bit about life on her homeworld. We learn that the Dominion is a Jedi theocracy at war with two other powers, the Republican Guard and the Disciples of the Vader. Mara regards the Guard as anarchists and terrorists who have committed terrorist attacks throughout the Dominion, while the Disciples are barbaric Sith who enslave aliens and worship Vader as a god.

 

However, there is an undercurrent of fear when she refers to certain servants of the Dominion, but she described the Grandmaster as a good man. It is also revealed that Mara is a clone. Indeed, she is a bit confused by the idea of someone having parents and not being raised by the state. She also seems to consider sexual intercourse sinful. This leaves Elpsis somewhat troubled, but she hopes Firemane can change things for the better and help the people. 

 

In Nexus City, the Jedi Council convenes, debating the sudden arrival of unknown spaceships. The Jedi Temple is almost an exact replica of the old Jedi headquarters on Coruscant. There is a strong atmosphere of superstition, as several Councillors believe the intruders to be demons or dark side manifestations. Others urge caution. Jedi Master Doran, a Krevaaki, speaks out in favour of accommodation, hoping to reconnect with the greater Galaxy and win the destructive conflict. General Kennobi denounces the latter as cowardly.

 

However, Grand Inquisitor Antonius speaks to him telepathically, advising him to be patient, and let the unbelievers reveal themselves. The Council votes to on whether to enter negotiations. Acting on Antonius' advice, Kennobi does not dissent. The Grandmaster voices his support for diplomacy, urging his Councillors not to let rashness cloud their judgement. He exhorts them to trust in the Light. One of the moderate Masters, a Twi'lek called Airla, is given the honour of negotiating with the outsiders.

 

Elpsis reports to Leonina and Tegaea on her conversation. There are some misgivings about what she said, but the atmosphere is hopeful. Tegaea decides they should seek out the rebels and the Dominion, but not the Sith. The conversation is interrupted by a call from the surface. The connection is bad due to the Dominion's primitive tech, but Tegaea manages to have a chat with Master Airla.

 

Airla is somewhat pompous and her language is flowery, but she presents the Dominion as a peaceful nation that is willing to treat with the outsiders. The two agree that Firemane will dispatch a delegation with an honour guard to Nexus City. However, Firemane will also have some escorts in the sky on stand-bye. After learning of this, Elpsis volunteers to head the delegation.

 

Leonina and Tegaea have reservations. The former notes Elpsis' temper and lack of experience, the latter is reluctant to put her daughter in possible danger. However, Elpsis insists that she needs to do this. She keeps being told she needs to play more of a leadership role in the company and the Order and this is her chance. Moreover, she is the CEO's daughter. Finally, Tegaea agrees. When Elpsis leaves the briefing and gets ready for the assignment, she has a tender scene with Tempest.

 

There is some flirtatious banter. Dahomian wants to go with her to the surface, but Elpsis insists this is something she has to do herself. Tempest relents, but promises to be out there if Elpsis needs her. Elpsis is appreciative, noting Tempest is the one person she feels she does not need to prove herself to. The two share a kiss before heading off to their respective hangars.

 

Cut to Elpsis' dropship taking off to Nexus City. Aside from her, there is a small group on the transport. Captain Mirut heads the escort, while a Firemane diplomat called Firana Marux is there to advise Elpsis on protocol. Elpsis is visibly nervous and reacts stiffly when the diplomat addresses her as 'Lady', but shares some light-hearted banter with Sergeant Loyalty, who calls her little Fire Princess in a teasing way. As they fly over Nexus City, Loyalty notes that it must feel weird for someone who ran away from Jedi to now lead an embassy to a whole country run by them.

 

Elpsis says that she never looked back when she left them, but that even though she does not like Jedi and is distrustful of the idea of a theocracy run by them, the common people may still deserve a chance. Besides, on Tygara her mothers managed to aid the Qadiri and Xioquo, who are now both noble allies and have abolished slavery. They behold various monuments in Nexus City, such as the great Jedi Temple, the Square of Heavenly Peace, the Arch of Triumph and the Senate Dome.

 

However, some of these grand buildings are in a poor state. In Loyalty's words, it looks like someone built Coruscant on a swamp. Reaching out with her powers, Elpsis senses tranquility and peacefulness...but it reminds her of the kind induced by being stoned. She also senses an undercurrent of fear. Elpsis looks uncomfortable, but Firuxa reminds her of her task and coaches her on what to say. Finally, the transport comes in to land.

 

A large ceremonial square has been set aside for the meeting. Vast artifices of gigantic and crumbling appearance loom over it. It is as if someone has heard about Coruscant as it once was through the most basic descriptions and has been trying to recreate it. Civilians line the square, all dressed in the same brown robes as Jedi of old. Soldiers form a barrier around them, their weapons held somewhat upward. Elpsis' Force sight shows many have the same aura...they are clones. A giant image of the Grandmaster towers over the square, his wizened head shrouded by a halo of light. He smiles benignly at his flock. As the shuttle touches down, a small contingent of actual Jedi approaches, with Force imbued blades sheathed at their side. One of them is Jedi Knight Diona, the Grand Inquisitor's agent.

 

A group of Younglings is also present. Boys and girls are represented equally. All are clones. They wear a portrait of the Grandmaster on a badge pinned to their left breast. They sing the Dominion's version of the Jedi code, "There is no emotion, there is calm. There is no ignorance, there is obedience. There is no passion, there is serenity. There is no chaos, there is order. There is no death, there is the Light." Elpsis and other Firemane members look rather uncomfortable by the sight.

 

A little anxious but determined, Elpsis approaches the Dominion delegation with Firuxa at her side and an honour guard behind her. She is wearing a dress uniform, with her lightsabre on her belt. She and Master Airla engage in conversation, exchanging diplomatic pleasantries. She makes eye contact with Diona, but no words are exchanged.

 

Elpsis is a bit stiff, but polite and affirms her hope for peaceful relations and helping Tephrike reconnect with the Galaxy. Airla speaks about Tephrike and Nexus City, describing that it was built as a home for the faithful after the Sith destroyed Palmyra, Tephrike's old capital. It provides a beacon of hope to the rest of the world. She asks about Firemane, but while Elpsis is in the process of responding, all hell breaks loose.

 

Elpsis receives a premonition, directing her towards a hidden sniper. She sees the slug leave the rifle before it does and anticipates is trajectory. Yelling a warning, she knocks the Firemane diplomat who is with her down and summons a barrier. More snipers fire. A heavy slug round hits Elpsis in the leg, she staggers, but keeps up the shield. Airla is injured. A cry is heard: "For the Dominion! Darkness shall fall!" The crowd is oddly passive. They flinch, but few panic or take cover. Instead they depart in orderly rows, watched by uniformed goons.

 

However, Jedi wielding Force imbued swords charge. Firemane soldiers set up perimeter fire, using buckshot. Captain Mirut grabs Airla, double tapping her with a stun bolt. She manages to drag the Jedi to the transport. However, Firemane soldiers come under heavy fire and some are cut down. Firemane support gunships and starfighters are swarmed by primitive Dominion starfighters and come under attack by militia using shoulder-launched missiles. Tegaea can only watch from the bridge and dispatch more squadrons and ships to support.

 

Elpsis finds herself in the rear, covering the retreat to protect her comrades. A glorious wave of flame ripples from her hands, burning Jedi and Dominion militia. She burns and cuts down foes, but is disorientated by a grenade before she can reach the waiting transport, which is under heavy fire. Loyalty and Mirut try to give her covering fire with their bolters, but Elpsis is blitzed by three Jedi, led by Diona. Clad in imbued armour and wielding enchanted swords, the three Jedi are skilled, using the Force to coordinate their actions. Each time she parries a blow or unleashes an attack on one Jedi, the two others strike relentlessly.

 

The trio seeks to push her into a corner, where their armour, physical strength and numbers will help them. Elpsis manages to disrupt their meld and gain a momentary edge, but the transport is being pounded. She is too far away to get to it and cannot run with her injured. More militia are charging. She manages to take down two Jedi with fire and sabre and lifts the transport, forcing it to take off. A wounded Jedi hamstrings her, she blasts him with fire in the face and the ship almost falls, but she holds it aloft.

 

Then Diona does a pommel bash to knock her out. An enraged mob descends on Elpsis seeking to lynch her, but Diona fires in the air, claiming her as a prisoner for the Inquisition. Once she comes to, Elpsis tries to reason with her captor, but Diona is having nothing of it. A collar is forced upon her throat and when she tries to use the Force, she cries out in pain from electrical shocks. Her aura vision is shown to be disrupted, as she struggles to see. She is dragged into an armoured vehicle and the convoy takes off. Having learned what has happened, Tempest pursues the convoy with a trio of gunships.

 

The gunships come under heavy fire from militia and Dominion soldiers using flak cannons and shoulder-launched missile launchers. However, their heavy firepower takes down a large number of Dominion followers. Tempest manages to use Telekinesis to deflect a missile and a Jedi who tries to pull down the lead gunship is mowed down by shattercannon fire from an impressively muscled, cursing Sergeant Freya Solveig.

 

The gunships swoop down, and cut a bloody swathe as they get closer and closer to the convoy, targeting its escorts. But then the pilots start losing control over their craft. General Kennobi is seen invading their minds. Seeing their chance, Dominion soldiers fire missiles. One Firemane pilot is able to regain control and pull away, but the other gunships crash, including Tempest's.

 

Tempest, Freya, Karrigan'Xalda and a male Vashyada warrior called Jaromir survive. The quartet can just about transmit a distress signal before the wreck is being swarmed by Dominion troops. The quartet lets it rip, unloading with bolters, a minigun and grenades. Tempest fries opponents with blasts of lightning and uses her lightsabre to beat a Dominion Jedi warrior, but is injured. Jaromir and Xalda use earth magic to create a barrier of sorts, but the the team is pinned down and cannot retreat. Soon they are in a furious melee. Freya uses a Reaper Shotgun to tear through opponents or club them, but is struck. Things look grim.

 

Aboard, the Scarlet Tegaea and her staff face the unpalatable prospect that Elpsis is out of her hands and they cannot immediately retrieve Tempest and her team. When they get the Dominion on the line, it is represented by the Grand Inquisitor, who blusters and proclaims the Light will prevail.

 

Tegaea issues an ultimatum to him, but he refuses to back down, stating that Airla's life does not matter since she is an infidel who conspired with the 'foreign Sithspawn'. Siobhan Kerrigan learns of the crisis and contacts her wife Tegaea, stating that Firemane cannot back down and must unleash the power of the Phoenix. The two matriarchs share a moment where they resolve to bring their daughter and their people back, or avenge them.

 

A Firemane aide who questions the decision to go to war far away from home for one person is shot down by Siobhan, who states Firemane does not give in to blackmail and cannot be threatened by thugs and terrorists. Tegaea orders a bombardment of Nexus City's shields and military installations, starting with the Jedi Temple. Meanwhile, a group of Jedi, led by Master Doran, confront the Grandmaster, believing the Inquisition went behind his back. 

 

But it turns out that the Grandmaster is in full agreement. He proclaims that he let a hundred flowers bloom to unmask the weeds in the garden and that the time has come for the final battle between good and evil. The dissidents are killed and the Grandmaster addresses the Dominion. Meanwhile, the convoy bearing Elpsis arrives at Fortress Purity. 

 

Jedi Diona delivers her to Inquisitor Lea, who declares that they have struck a great blow for the Light and that the Grand Inquisitor will be pleased. When Diona questions how they will prevent the 'Sithspawn' warships from razing Nexus City, Lea states that the 'hammers of light' will purify them. She admonishes Diona to have faith in the Light. Elpsis is taken away to cleansed. When she refuses to confess to a series of fictitious crimes, she is tortured.

 

While this happens, her interrogators recite the Dominion's Jedi Code. Her head is shaved, then she is burnt and hot water is poured down her throat. Then she is dragged away to a tiny, filthy cell and shackled. She tries to reach out with the Force to her mother and lover, but the collar prevents her.

 

The heavy slug is still lodged inside her leg, so Elpsis uses telekinesis to pull it out and then cauterises her wound with fire. This triggers her collar and she experiences a seizure. Jedi healers help stabilise her and give her medical attention. Lea is unfazed when confronted by Diona, stating that these are growing pains to bring about Elpsis' rebirth into the Light, just like Diona embraced the side of righteousness. Diona wants to return to the frontlines to fight the coming invasion, but is charged with being Elpsis' jailer. Looking back at the captured Firemane, she close looks to sympathetic, then turns rigid.

 

Things look dire for Tempest, Freya, Jaromir and Xalda, but as they are about to be overrun, Dominion soldiers are suddenly cut down from the rear. A rag-tag group of rebels, concealed through use of Cloaks of Nuun, emerges, taking out Dominion clone troopers with precise fire. Their leader is Mezha Krazhmir, a Yuuzhan Vong. They are the Republican Guard. There is no time for explanations. With Dominion troops on their heels, the Firemane soldiers have no choice but to follow their unlikely rescuers. The group escapes into the wilderness.

 

Meanwhile, Firemae carries out strikes against Nexus City's shield. A magpulse torpedo forces an opening into it, enabling an elite Qadiri starfighter squadron led by the dashing Jazan Jai Khalal to slip through and blow up the generator. The Scarlet Destiny's Harbinger Cannons pound the Jedi Temple. The Grandmaster and his inner circle have to flee to a bunker while the temple crumbles.

 

Enraged, the Grandmaster launches a rant, but the Grand Inquisitor is able to deflect his anger by assuring him that the hammer of light will cleanse the Sithspawn and usher in a new age. In the outskirts of Nexus City, two launching platforms are revealed and surface to space missiles are fired. One of Firemane's corvettes is struck. There is no structural damage, but the souls of the crew are consumed and the corvette plummets to the surface.

 

A second missile soars towards the Scarlet. Through some daring piloting and Force-enhanced coordination, Jazan and her squadron narrowly catch it with tractor beams and, their leader puts it, 'take out the trash' by tossing it into a sun. There is great relief on the Scarlet, but the overall mood is somber. Airla is subjected to interrogation. The revelation that her peers have abandoned her breaks her and she provides information on Purity.

 

The day ends with Firemane and the Dominion at an impasse, Tempest and her group reaching an underground rebel camp and Elpsis shackled in her cell while rats bite and gnaw at her. As if touched by her empathy, one rat eventually stops biting and licks her hand. To keep Elpsis from getting sleep, propaganda keeps blaring out of loudspeakers, telling her that the Dominion is victorious and she can only find salvation in the Light.

 

It is still dark when Elpsis is woken up. She is washed by being sprayed with cold water from a hose. Her dirty Firemane uniform is replaced with a prison outfit. Diona presents her with breakfast in form of an unappetising gruel, but only lets her eat it after she recites the Jedi Code several times. When she condemns the Dominion and calls it out on its hypocrisy, she is punished. Then she is put to work doing menial chores and cleaning the robes of Jedi. Naturally this is very difficult for her due to being blind and wearing the collar. Her failure to make a robe pristine again results in correction.

 

However, Diona intervenes when a guard gets overzealous. The other Inquisitor reacts angrily, accusing Diona of having become too close to a heretic, for attachment is a sin. In turn, Diona accuses the Inquisitor of having given into anger. For a while Elpsis is left unharmed. She and Diona end up talking. Elpsis insists that Firemane has peaceful intentions. Diona asserts that she is doing her duty and Elpsis is tainted. She asserts that the Dominion is not just her country, it is her family and she has a duty to be loyal to it, but only has stock responses when Elpsis asks her how betrayal and torture can be of the Light. Later Elpsis is taken away for forced labour. There she meets some prisoners. Some take pity on her, others are understandably wary of the newcomer. 

 

Her story of being from the stars is met with disbelief, but some prisoners are interested. When a prisoner collapses from strain, Elpsis stands up for but is beaten by a guard. The prisoner is taken away. Still in poor shape, Elpsis is soon unable to perform well and guards arrive to take her away. When she meets Diona, there is almost something like pity in the Jedi Inquisitor's eyes. At the behest of Inquisitor Lea, Elpsis is wired to a machine and Jedi mentalists invade her mind. She struggles, but is unable to keep them out.

 

While chanting, they try to rearrange her memories of the Tephrike expedition. Diona is forced to participate in order to provide energy for the meld, but in this moment she sees some of Elpsis' real memories. This leaves her shocked. When Elpsis is questioned about the expeditions, she gives the programmed responses, which causes her to panic when she realises what she said. She is brought back to her cell. There, she tries to burn her collar at the hinges, having figured out that it will not be triggered if she uses the Force in very short bursts, much like blinking.

 

Tempest, Freya, Xalda and Jaromir are brought to General Aruunzeb, a high-ranking Republican Guard commander. Naturally he is a Mon Calamari. The Guard are not terrorists, they are freedom fighters in the tradition of the Rebel Alliance. After managing to establish contact with Tegaea, the two sides agree to an alliance. Guard scouts have tracked the convoy to Fortress Purity, a massive Dominion fortress. Taking it will help the Guard because it is a major citadel on the way to Nexus City. Its loss will be a grievous blow to the Dominion. Firemane will be able to get revenge and rescue Elpsis. After Tempest and her team return to the Scarlet, there is a briefing with Leonina and Tegaea. Leonina will command the assault and coordinate with the Guard.

 

Freya and Xalda will be part of the assault force, while Tempest leads a strike team that includes Loyalty and Jaromir to infiltrate the fortress. At Leonina's suggestion, Tegaea assigns Sergeant Hikari Saito, a stealth and Force suppression specialist from Panatha, and her Silencers to the assault force. They are joined by Cataphracts, an elite order of Qadiri knights in power armour. One of their own, Varkasa Jai Nasal, will be a prominent part of the assault force.

 

While Elpsis is being subjected to forced labour and brainwashed, the assault takes form. Cue montage of the Firemane soldiers getting ready. Saito is introduced as a tough soldier, getting her team organised. She is devout to the old gods of the Epicanthix. She and Xalda hit it off. However, when the Firemane troops and the Guard start their assault, it turns out the Dominion has a few surprises up its sleeve. General Kennobi is in command, awaiting the arrival of the Grand Inquisitor. Through the Force he foresees their attack. Firemane bombs the fortress from orbit, laying many Dominion defences to waste, but the fortress has extensive trenches, bunkers and underground complexes.

 

When Firemane dropships launch, kamikaze starfighters attack them. Many Dominion vessels are destroyed, but some reach their targets. Xalda and Saito and Firemane soldiers with them have to bail out of their transport before it goes up in flames. The dropship bearing Freya and her squad of power armoured heavy infantry is separated from them. When the pilot is unwilling to land, Freya and her soldiers use their jetpacks to bail out. By chance or design, they end up dropping on top of a Dominion trench.

 

Putting her superior strength and Reaper shotgun to good use, Freya begins tearing through opposition. She fights and puts a Jedi down. Dominion troops trying to counterattack them are put down by precise sharpshooter fire. Mezha, her Twi'lek friend Synthia Vao and other partisans emerge from the shadows. Mezha remarks that she has had to come to the rescue of the star warriors again. This earns her a growl from Freya, but the two team up.

 

Cue plenty of action scenes and bad one-liners. Meanwhile, Xalda, Varkasa and Saito rally a rag-tag group of Firemane soldiers, including Cataphracts and regulars. There is some tension between Xalda and the Qadiri, but it has to be buried for the greater good. They ambush a force of Jedi and Dominion soldiers who have swarmed some crashed Firemane soldiers. The pair works together to surprise and take down Jedi. Saito and their Silencers use their skills as snipers and to dampen enemy Force-users, Xalda her terramancy and stealth skills. However, when they try to contact high command, a storm suddenly breaks out.

 

The Dominion has activated a weather control machine. Not only does this hamper communications with the Scarlet Destiny, it also largely negates Firemane's air power. Dominion light artillery begins shelling and they soon come under attack from infantry. The Dominion's guns are ultimately taken out by Freya, Mezha and their crew, as they hit the Dominion in the rear. Both warriors work together to take out a Wookiee Jedi, then use the Dominion's own guns to shell its lines.

 

However, a counterattack forces them to pull back. Leonina coordinates the forces from her command post, directing Firemane artillery and orbital strikes. The storm is extremely hazardous, but while the Scarlet Destiny cannot directly intervene in the fight, it can bomb the roads leading to Purity. Firemane self-propelled artillery is ambushed by saboteurs and Leonina leads the Order of Fire in a charge against Dominion ambushers. Meanwhile, Tempest's team begins its infiltration, but encounters danger on the way.

 

Unfortunately for Elpsis, the damage she did to her collar is detected. She attempts escape, but is subdued. Diona uses the Force to stun her and she is subdued. While correction is carried out in form of strappado, she sees the prisoner she earlier tried to defend. The prisoner has now become a 'Repentant', having been brainwashed into believing in the Dominion. She serenely informs Elpsis that she is not beyond redemption and can still embrace the Light. Pain and strain are evident on Elpsis and she seems closer and closer to breaking.

 

Freya, Mezha and their comrades gain some relief when Jazan's squadron bombards Dominion forces, using instinctive astrogation and Force meld to navigate through the storm. While the Firemane regulars and rebels fight their way through a trench, Saito, Xalda and the other soldiers face a fierce battle on a hill, even with a mist concealing their approach. Suicide bombers, Jedi snipers, illusionists and the elite Ever Loyal Vanguard, a force of Dominion Jedi warriors clad in Force Imbued armour, using imbued melee weapons and shields, assails both groups. Varkasa and the Cataphracts prove their valour against these Jedi warriors.

 

General Kennobi steels his warriors with Battle Meditation, trying to enhance them and undermine his enemies. Freya overcomes the influence through sheer anger, Mezha inspires rebels with a fiery speech, Saito shakes it off through discipline and Xalda through fury and faith. 

 

However, all suffer injuries. A group of Qadiri elementalists, the Celestial Dragons, can redirect the storm against the enemy. But pillboxes and soldiers are concealed by Dominion sorcerers through illusions. Tempest and her team pierce the defence ring, not the least thanks to Jaromir's and Loyalty's stealth skills, but are detected and assaulted by the Inquisition. Tempest fights one of the Jedi Masters. The Grand Inquisitor arrive and is notified of this, but seems unconcerned.

 

After blustering that the Dominion has weapons at its disposal more powerful than even the hammers of light, he orders Elpsis to be brought to him. Upon being confronted by Diona, he blusters that victory is near. When she insists that holding their prisoner gains them nothing and even questions the Dominion's narrative, he threatens her, declaring that her lineage is tainted and she only lives on his sufferance. When she erred, he remade her and he can easily unmake her.

 

Elpsis, by now, in a poor state, is brought to him in shackles. He redoubles his efforts to rewrite her memories and uses his power to project images of the Dominion's triumph and of the Scarlet Destiny being Force nuked. However, the mental invasion causes her to snap. The collar shocks her, sending a powerful electrical surge, but she burns it. Fire sweeps across the hall.

 

Diona defects, fighting Inquisition guards and Inquisitor Lea, who uses illusions and stealth powers against her. Diona is injured several times by Lea, who uses doppelgangers and invisibility against her, then traps her in an illusion of a massacre the former Inquisitor committed. Diona must face her sins, and manages to strike down Lea. Elpsis faces the Grand Inquisitor, who wields her lightsabre.

 

Elpsis burns him with a wave of flame, but is hurt when he unleashes Spears of Midnight Black tainted with Force Disease. Her left hand is maimed when she channels Tutaminis to block a lightsabre blow with it. Chanelling the heat, she forces super heated air down his throat, burning a lung. The Grand Inquisitor manages to bury her beneath rubble. Elpsis experiences flashes of her life, from her time with the Jedi, on the streets, as a Firemane soldier and with her family. It gives her the strength to push through the pain, dig her way out and smite him.

 

Diona and Elpsis look upon one another amidst the carnage. Not enemies anymore...but not friends. Diona's old world has collapsed. She seems to expect Elpsis or Firemane will kill her. But Elpsis does not. Faced with a choice, Diona chooses to fight the Dominion instead of run. Prisoners, having noticed the commotion, rise up and Elpsis comes to their aid. There are plenty of explosions.

 

The Firemane groups break through the Dominion's defensive lines. Hearing this, General Kennobi orders the Dominion's last reserve to be committed to the fight: Younglings. One of his staff officers questions this decision and pleads with him not to send the children to their deaths. But Kennobi demands it because either the 'Sithspawn' will be overcome by their purity or they will hold their fire and be destroyed.

 

Either way, the Dominion will win. Driven into battle by their superiors after being given drugs to suppress the fear, the child soldiers charge the Firemane and Republican Guard troops, who have linked up in the ruins. Many Firemane soldiers are reluctant to shoot. Even Xalda wavers, trembling as she sees herself in the young ones, having been in their shoes a long time ago. Saito and the Silencers try to stun the young ones by using the Force, but they are tired after endless fighting. In the end, they fire. Kennobi does not join the young ones he sent on a suicidal charge. Instead, he activates his lightsabre and commits suicide. His corpse is found by Freya and Mezha. Their disgust is obvious. Mezha takes his lightsabre. Tempest and Elpsis are reunited in the ruins of Purity, taking down the last Inquisition soldiers still standing with fire and lightning.

 

The battle is a victory, but many Dominion, Republican Guard and Firemane soldiers lie dead. Leonina tours the battlefield, seeing the corpses of the Younglings. A number of Firemane soldiers volunteer to bury them, among them a very sorrowful Xalda, who sings a sad lament for them in her native tongue, beseeching the Mother Earth to take them to a better place.

 

Leonina has a brief meeting with General Aruunzeb, then meets Freya and Mezha. The human and the Yuuzhan Vong depart as sort of friends. The Dominion is in a shambles, part of its army is in open rebellion and the Guard will press its advantage to bring it down. Siobhan and Tegaea are informed of what has transpired. Upon learning of the defeat, the Grandmaster is ambushed and assassinated by his own Council. Elpsis collapses due to exhaustion and injuries, after telling Tempest not to hurt Diona, who does not resist when she is cuffed.

 

Tegaea has a reunion with her daughter, who is put in a bacta tank. In an epilogue on the Arx Aeternae, the individual stories are wrapped up. Saito and Xalda have become friends and the latter even sort of tolerates the Qadiri and Vashyada, Jazan is a hero and Freya sort of admits she would not mind seeing Mezha again. Varkasa has composed a ballad celebrating Firemane's victory and the deeds of her fellow Qadiri.

 

Diona is doing penal labour, but it is implied that she may be pardoned due to good behaviour and honest remorse for her sins. Elpsis visits her in prison and that two have some dialogue. It is awkward for both, but there is some understanding. Diona a nullifier, but it only keeps her from using the Force instead of causing her pain. The prisoners who were rescued by Firemane are being resettled and will be allowed to exist as an autonomous community under Firemane protection. On Tephrike, the Republican Guard prepares for its next push. Mezha and her comrades are now equipped with more modern Firemane weapons and it is implied that the conquest of Purity has produced a surge of rebellions against the tyrannical theocracies.

 

There is an awards ceremony similar to in A New Hope, except everyone gets a medal. Siobhan Kerrigan gives a speech, commending her forces and their allies for their valour. Elpsis shares a sweet moment with Tempest and decides to assume a position of leadership among the Young Flames so that she can pass on what she learned, having learned what it means to be a Master. She vows to make the sacrifices of those who perished on Tephrike count.


HISTORICAL INFORMATION

 

"It's bollocks, Mother, and you know it."

"What the script says is true - from a certain point of view."

"Oh, cut the doublespeak, will you? It makes me out to be some kind of heroine. I'm not. I wasn't your obedient soldier. I went down there against orders. I succumbed to brainwashing. I..."

"Nobly sacrificed yourself to ensure the safety of your comrades. Endured horrible torture. Then found the strength to rise up and destroy your torturers and save the lives of many innocents. And are now being groomed for a position of leadership in the Order of Fire. All of this happened. We are merely streamlining the narrative."

"Whitewashing it, you mean."

"You will eventually realise that many truths we hold dear depend on our point of view. Our public wants simple truths. They want heroes. Perhaps the Elpsis in the movie does not fully represent you. But she is who you will be."

"Still your pawn, am I right? There's really nothing and no one you won't use to further your precious legacy that you care more about than anything else, is there?"

"No, because that legacy is all about assuring the safety and strength of the family, including you, when I'm dead and my ashes lie in an urn somewhere. You want to head the Order one day. Well, here's a lesson for you: the truth is so valuable that it can only be passed out in measured doses. Otherwise it might kill the recipient."

"And I suppose you want me to stamp it. Show up at the premiere, shake hands and smile."

"It is in your interests."

"Meaning you need me to. I want some of the profits to go to helping the Tephriki prisoners who came with us. Not just prefabs and stuff. Many are sterile. We got the science to fix it. If we're blathering about helping them in a movie, we might as well do it instead of forgetting about them."

"Done."

 

- Elpsis and Siobhan having creative differences.

 

The movie describes the Tephrike campaign. It is accurate in broad strokes, but several creative liberties have been taken. As is common for movies intended for a mass audience, plot lines have been condensed, characters amalgamated and so on. The Firemane Exploration Corps did indeed conduct an expedition under the leadership of Tegaea Alcori that ended up discovering the lost world of Tephrike.

 

On this war-torn planet, they made first contact with the Dominion of Light, a Jedi-led totalitarian theocracy that sought to exert total domination over its population through control over the media, police terror and cloning. It was engaged in a war with two other factions, the slaveholding, human supremacist Disciples of the Vader and the revolutionary Republican Guard, which pursued a radical anti-Force-user agenda.

 

The initial phase of the expedition diverges strongly from reality. The Firemane fleet ran into a group of Dominion starfighters. Mistakenly believing the intruders to be demons, the primitive starfighters attacked and were decimated. Subsequently, Firemane landed a task force led by Leonine Varkathras on one of Tephrike's moons and stormed a Dominion base. There was no oxygen fire, instead the task force subdued or eliminated Dominion clone troopers.

 

As in the movie, Elpsis befriended a comms technician called Mara, albeit under different circumstances. Subsequently Firemane and the Dominion entered negotiations. A moderate faction led by Battlemaster Mahtara sought accommodation with the outsiders, believing they could be used to their advantage. However, a group of radicals led by the Grand Inquisitor Antonius and the Grandmaster viewed this as treason. A Firemane delegation was ambushed by the extremists. During the course of the fighting, Elpsis was captured.

 

Contrary to what the movie says, Elpsis had not been assigned to the delegation. In fact, Tegaea had ordered her to stay on the Firemane flagship. However, she went against orders and joined its security detail due to a vague premonition of danger. The depiction of her sacrificing herself to ensure the retreat of the delegation is accurate, as is her capture at the hands of the Inquisition. 

 

Subsequently, Firemane went to war against the Dominion. It bombed the Jedi Temple and had to deal with Dominion retaliation in form of Force-enhanced nuclear missiles. However, the Dominion politics are greatly simplified. This partly intentional, partly a result of Firemane simply lacking the information. As a result, the movie mostly leaves out Mahtara's scheming to overthrow the Grandmaster. The same applies to the fact that two of the missiles did not launch because Mahtara's soldiers intervened, though Jazan's heroics did in fact save the Firemane flagship from destruction.

 

In contrast to what the movie states, Elpsis was not brought to Fortress Purity. Instead she was interned in an Inquisition prison camp away from the capital. As a result, the Battle of Fortress Purity and the operation to find and rescue her were two separate campaigns. The movie narrative simplifies things to keep the film from becoming overly long and make the story easier to follow. Elpsis being subjected to physical and mental torture and eventually bonding with her jailer is accurate. However, the movie leaves out that for a while she succumbed to her brainwashing and murdered a captured Firemane pilot at the behest of her captors.

 

After carrying out a bombing campaign against military targets and infrastructure, Firemane landed ground forces to assault Purity. These operated in cooperation with the Guard. The movie glosses over the Guard's radical anti-Force-user views, presenting them as a noble successor to the Rebel Alliance. In actual fact, cooperation between the two groups was rather teeth-clenched. While individual soldiers such as Sergeant Freya Solveig of Firemane and Lieutenant Mezha Krazhmir of the Guard cooperated well and emerged as something close to comrades, on the whole there was a lot of distrust. 

 

Indeed, at first the Guard was reluctant to commit its full force, as it had tried to assault Purity a few years ago and been routed and distrusted its ally. When reflecting on the depiction of the rebels, Siobhan remarked candily: "This will be mightily embarrassing if we have to fight them one day." While the Dominion was technologically inferior to Firemane, it compensated through use of a weather control machine, kamikaze pilots, religious zealotry and mass use of Jedi warriors.

 

In the end, when all was lost, its Jedi General sent a horde of Younglings on a suicidal death charge to cover the retreat of his officers. Then he committed suicide. Laira Darkhold, horrified by what was happening, tried to save the Younglings by hacking through the guns of her allies, potentially putting them in danger. However, she was knocked out by one of her fellow Resistance operatives. Firemane soldiers, including Xalda, buried the dead child soldiers afterwards.

 

Thus while the battle was a victory, it was a hard-fought one. The ground operation was led by Colonel Leonina Varkathras, who was later promoted to Brigadier. Individuals such as Karrigan'Xalda, Freya Solveig, Sergeant Hikari Saito, the Cataphracts of the Ascendant Phoenix and Jazan Jai Khalal distinguished themselves in the fight.

 

The movie merges the search for Elpsis as well as her eventual rebellion with the Purity battle. While Elpsis rebelled against her conditioning and killed the Grand Inquisitor in a big duel, these actions occured far away from Purity. The same applies to the prisoner revolt that was sparked by her actions. Indeed, the search for her was a more drawn-out affair, as Firemane first assaulted another concentration camp to acquire intelligence. Historically, Major Tempest led the search for the captured Kerrigan-Alcori, and while she duelled Dominion Jedi warriors, this did not happen at Purity. 

 

Some of the figures that fought in the actual campaign have been removed. Nyssa Vykaris, a close companion of Elpsis who participated in the operation to find her, does not appear in the movie because the filmmakers believed it would take too long to explain why a Pureblood is on the 'good' side. Nyssa was extremely vexed about this. Likewise, a Firemane associate called Natalie Dorne has been omitted. In contrast to Nyssa, this happened at her request. Being a spy and a rebel insurgent, she could do without the publicity.

 

The movie also does not mention Laira Darkhold, a member of the Resistance, Jedi Padawan and secretly the Crown Princess of Alderaan. The same applies to the Resistance unit that accompanied her and consisted of a mixture of former Galactic Alliance Guard and defected Death Troopers. She and her friends fought at Purity. The portrayal of the actual fighting is mostly accurate, right down to squad level tactics, call signs, equipment and so on. However, the Dominion is portrayed as having more and better troops than it actually had, especially Jedi. While the Dominion deployed these in large numbers, the movie embellishes it a bit. It also depicts some Firemane units and allied groups that played no part in the campaign.

 

The chase scene where Tempest and other Firemane soldiers pursue the convoy to rescue Elpsis did not happen in reality. Firemane did make contact with the Republican Guard under similar circumstances, but what actually happened was that Laira, some of her friends and some Firemane pilots were shot down during the betrayal, retreated into the wilderness while being pursued by Dominion troops and were rescued by the rebels.

 

Finally, the film combines Rhea and Diona into one character. Diona was the Jedi Inquisitor who captured Elpsis and acted as her jailer. Over time she came to empathise with her captive, while also participating in her torture and helping thwart an escape attempt. Ultimately, her sympathy cost her, as she was arrested by her superiors and Elpsis was ordered to rewrite her memories. However, invading her former jailer's mind and seeing her guilt caused Elpsis to snap and turn on her captors. Elpsis engaged the Grand Inquisitor, who had come gloat over his 'creation', in a dramatic duel and slew him. The movie's depiction of the fight is faithful to what actually happened.

 

Diona aided her, slaying Jedi Inquisitor Lea, who had supervised Elpsis' brainwashing and been responsible for doing the same to one of the fallen Knight's friends.Rhea, by contrast, was the Grand Inquisitor's apprentice, though she was really more like a traumatised slave he kept on a leash, having manipulated and then forced her into doing his bidding. Rhea joined Elpsis and Diona in revolt after the Grand Inquisitor was slain. She later became Elpsis' student. From the perspective of the filmmakers both characters were very similar. Elpsis' actions sparked a prison revolt.

 

A group of prisoners who had been conspiring to escape, fearing that the Inquisition intend to 'evacuate' the camp, led a rebellion in the camp. It succeeded with the help of Elpsis and Firemane troops led by Tempest. A rogue Dominion task force dispatched by Mahtara tried to penetrate the camp during the chaos and retrieve Elpsis so that she could be used as a bargaining chip, but was forced to stand down.

 

The end of the campaign left the Guard emboldened and the Dominion weakened. However, the fact that many of its madmen and opportunists had been killed actually ended up helping the Dominion. The Grandmaster was murdered by a cabal of conspirators led by his former Padawan Jedi Master Cassius. With their backing, Mahtara disbanded the Council and assumed command. A coalition of pragmatic hardliners took power, willing to shed self-defeating baggage to mobilise the Dominion for war. Mahtara is entirely omitted from the movie, which ends on a more uplifting note.

 

Firemane forces withdrew from Tephrike after making a deal with the Republican Guard, based on which they would provide the rebels with more advanced weapons, medical supplies and advisors in return for resources. The prisoners who had been freed from the Dominion camps were given the option to depart with Firemand and settle somewhere safe. Before leaving, Firemane's warships levelled the Vaderites' Castle. The Sith used their sorcery to summon demons onto Firemane's flagship. However, the bombardment resulted in the Vaderites losing their Dark Lord and their centre of operations. His rival Darth Eisen declared himself Dark Lord, for he had been canny enough to leave the fortress when the bombardment begun. However, he soon had to contend with other claimants.

 

In the aftermath of the campaign, Firemane commissioned the movie. Siobhan liked the idea when it was presented to her, believing it would be good for morale. Moreover, it could be used to attract new recruits by presenting a positive view of Firemane in general and its armed forces in particular. From her perspective, the movie was also damage control. The Grandmistress' daughter had been captured and tortured. This was a sign of weakness.

 

In her view, this was something that needed to be addressed in order to silence unpalatable whispers. Thus the movie would show Elpsis' heroic side and further villainise the Dominion. Though Firemane is a corporation, it has also assumed functions more commonly associated with those of a planetary government in certain fringe areas of space that are under its protection. She also believed that it would be a good way to capitalise on the important role many Tygaran Sepoys has played in the campaign.

 

Movie culture was still new to the Tygarans, and so significant efforts were made to make the movie accessible to as many of the elves as possible and to get actual elves to play the roles. Because the movie was backed by Firemane, the filmmakers were able to hire actual Force-users, especially elementalists, get some fancy equipment, advisors and so on. A force of Firemane grunts were able to earn some additional credits by appearing as extras. Of course, this also meant that a Firemane officer kept an eagle eye on the script and production phases.

 

The movie portrays Firemane's leadership as being more united behind the campaign than it actually was. While there was a general consensus that the Dominion's treachery had to be answered with some form of retaliation, some senior Firemane officials such as Vice President Kaylah Danton were concerned about getting bogged down in a campaign without end on a planet far from home. This was especially pertinent since Siobhan was set on completely crushing the Dominion until Purity fell and she received word that her daughter, whom she had believed dead, was alive and had been rescued. Even Tegaea initially wavered on whether she should do what was needed to get her back, knowing it would cost many lives. It fell to Siobhan to issue an executive order. The film largely omits this.

 

Ivra Rassan was hired to produce the movie. Her past work in Holowood and with Firemane recommended her for the position. She was also selected to direct because she could take orders from Siobhan and make sure Firemane's leader did not meddle unduly. This was quite pertinent since many a movie project has failed due to excessive executive meddling and rewrites. The crew got to use and occasionally blow up real military vehicles. The main cast was put through several weeks of training at a Firemane army camp to get them to bond and ensure they could plausibly portray their roles.

 

Finding a suitable actress to portray Siobhan proved somewhat problematic. This is in spite of the fact that Siobhan only has some brief cameos. Nonetheless, Siobhan herself joined the trials to check who would be best portraying her. Initially, Dahlia Lynson was picked. However, she could not get into the role and Siobhan argued with her a lot. Dahlia would later describe the Kerrigan matriarch as tyrannical. For her part, Siobhan called her 'vapid', 'intellectually compromised' and a host of terms that would be inappropriate to print. So Ivra gave Dahlia the boot and hired Nala Dheeye instead. Nala is a bit older than Siobhan, but Firemane's leader was satisfied with her commanding performance.

 

Elpsis was portrayed by Kira Zanaan, a method actress who really got into a very physically taxing role. She shaved her hair bald since that was what was done to Elpsis during captivity. She also did her own stunts and persisted with this despite having horrible pains after breaking two teeth while filming a fight scene. Elpsis was unhappy about a number of creative decisions made by the writers and did not appreciated the way she was written. The fact that she was portrayed as purely noble and heroic made her unhappy and quite mad. Siobhan wanted her daughter as a heroine and wanted her story to be told the 'right' way. Elpsis was also very unhappy about the omission of a number of people who had fought at Tephrike, such as Nyssa and Laira.

 

However, she struck up a friendship with Kira. Elpsis had not wanted to be deeply involved in the project, but her actress sought her out to discuss her role and talk about her experiences. As mentioned above, the film largely makes use of actual elementalists. However, Kira is only a minor Force-Sensitive. As a result, CGI had to be used for her fire bending. An exception was made for her due to her acting skills.

 

During an early stage of production, the crew considered replacing Kira with an actual pyromancer. However, Elpsis made a rare appearance on set and shot the idea down. The two attended the premiere together. White lenses were used to portray Elpsis' physical blindness. Sometimes the camera showed her vision in first person, such as while she was being tortured by the Inquisition. Auras came and went due to the pain she was feeling in such scenes, reflecting her real struggle to even see.


Young Flames

18 August 2019 - 04:55 AM

 

OUT OF CHARACTER INFORMATION

Intent: Expand on Firemane and the Order of Fire. Flesh out an aspect of Elpsis' personal story.

Image CreditHereHere. Third pic found here. Seems to be originally from here.

Canon: N/A.

LinksAdjudicationQadiri, Vashyada, XioquoEldoraiTephrikeAfter DarknessInto Darkness.

 

GENERAL INFORMATION

Organization Name: Young Flames.

Classification: Paramilitary Force-Sensitive Group | Cadet Corps.

AffiliationHouse Kerrigan-AlcoriSiobhan KerriganTegaea AlcoriFiremaneOrder of FireElpsis Kerrigan-AlcoriLeonina Varkathras.

Organization SymbolA circle with a central flame reaching halfway up.

Description:

"You're here to join the Order of Fire. Some of you want to make a career out of it, others are here to learn skills you can pass on to your people when you return. Regardless of where you come from, as long as you're here, you're soldiers of the Order. The only distinction that matters is merit.

 

I've been assigned to train you. I'll be teaching you, leading you, fighting alongside you. If you're here for glory and shiny medals, go. If you think this will be an easy road, go. We don't need summer children anymore than gloryhounds. Not all you will make it. Some will realise this kind of life ain't for you during training and flunk out. Some of you will die in battle. Maybe even your first.

 

Some of you have seen war. You know what it is: hell, and that you must fight like hell to survive. Those of you who remain with us will become part of something bigger. Something with purpose. And when you're done you'll be masters of your own destiny. We'll remember those whose souls rejoin the Lifeweb - and avenge them. The road won't be pretty. It won't be easy. It'll be blood and iron. And it will be worth it. A blessing on the Young Flames." Elpsis Kerrigan-Alcori greeting recruits.

 

 

The Young Flames are the youth wing of the Order of Fire, Firemane's Force-using branch. One could compare them to a military cadet corps. Their aim is to provide a disciplined organisation that enalbes students to develop leadership skills by promoting duty, self-reliance, and perseverance. This enables them to embrace their potential. According to their holonet page, the group inspires young people to harness the power of the Force in a productive, team-orientated way and embrace their talents. This is supposed to turn them into productive citizens with the skills to build their own future, who are able to harmonise individual ambitions with the good of the community.

 

It is a training organisation for young Force-users who belong to or are associated with the Order. In times of emergency, the older members of the group can act as a reserve force. Force-Sensitive offsprings of Firemane employees can join the group to get an understanding of their powers. The same applies to initiates from outside the organisation, who are being prepared for a future career in the Order. One of its objectives is to encourage those who have an interest in the armed services to become officers. 

 

In this day and age, Firemane has assumed a protective role for a number of communities on the galactic fringe. not all of them have cohesive training programmes for Force-Sensitives. An untrained Force-user can easily turn into a danger, so the Young Flames fill the void where needed. Where indigenous Force sects exist, the Order does not replace them, but encourages cross-training. The pay is also quite good, which is an incentive particularly for Tygarans.

 

Several of the Eldorai or Tygaran recruits are more experienced in Force use than their human or alien counterparts, having learned the traditions of their people, though this is not universal. In this case, they have joined to further their understanding of the outside world and its technology. It can also be a way to strengthen political alliances between their leaders and Firemane's. This is in keeping with Firemane's principle of indirect rule. Siobhan does like to induct offsprings of elf leaders who once opposed her but then bent the knee. This is presented as a way to mend fences, but also ensures good behaviour. The Young Flames also recruit among Dahomians, but since Dahomey is a developed planet now, the relationship with them is more conventional.

 

The group is funded by Firemane's treasury department and is considered a division of the Order. Its leadership corps answers to Brigadier Leonina Varkathras, the most senior officer of the Order after Lady Siobhan Kerrigan. In contrast to the Jedi Order during the Rise of the Empire, the Order of Fire does not recruit its members as infants, though some come from orphanages run by Firedawn, a Firemane sub-division that acts as a freedmen bureau.

 

In the Order, recruits are grouped together and educated about the Force by their trainers in the manner of a military training camp. A training platoon is the norm. The Force is another advantage to be harnessed, just like piloting, physical education or weapons. This is meant to foster a spirit of camaraderie among the group and enhance cohesion. Another reason for placing less emphasis on traditional Master-apprentice relationships is that the Order is more of a military organisation. 

 

Thus a Master or Knight may have to be capable of commanding military formations, instead of just one or two Padawans or a small strike team. The Order also wants acolytes to identify themselves more with the group than a specific Master, just in case said teacher goes rogue, plots treason or simply leaves. Moreover, much like a mathematics teacher will commonly not teach history, one master cannot be good at everything. Closer master-student happen once the recruits have been winnowed down to the best. Selection, vetting and assignment of recruits as well as instructors is handled bureaucratically by the central authorities, instead of being left to the whims of an individual master.

 

Groups of older Young Flames will be embedded into Order of Fire or Firemane formations to undertake missions in the field. Members of the Young Flames are issued military uniforms. Training is provided by Order of Fire instructors. These tend to be commissioned or non-commissioned officers. Younger Masters and Knights gain the chance to develop their leadership skills and prove their worthiness for officer positions by drilling the next generation. Members of the regular military may also be brought in through the practice of secondment. Young Flames that succeed and elect to stay become full fledged members of the Order.

 

The Order is primarily a martial organisation and this is reflected in the curriculum. Recruits learn how to fight with ranged and melee weapons, read a map, survive in the wilderness, navigate and so on. Weapons handling, marksmanship, battle drills, melee combat, fieldcraft, camouflage and Force training are among the subjects covered. This also involves lightsabre training. Not all Order of Fire members use lightsabres. Indeed, a good number prefer guns, Sarixi or melee weapons that have been Force Imbued or are made of lightsabre-resistant materials. However, they are still familiarised with the weapon so that they know what to expect and can protect themselves if they find themselves facing a glowstick-wielder.

 

Those who display aptitude with the weapon receive the typical training in the classical forms as well as those devised in the New Jedi Order era. The Young Flames can enter various marksmanship and duelling competitions. Fieldcraft lessons cover infantry skills such as patrolling, reconnaissance, squad tactics, ambush drills and survival in the field. Within this framework, Flames operate as part of a platoon. They set up operation bases, post sentries, carry out reconnaissance, and lay ambushes and assault enemy positions as part of training exercises. They become familiar with using hand signals and military jargon for communication. One of the more dull activities is garrison duty.

 

Leadership training is an important part of the Young Flames' courses. This prepares the members for future leadership roles in the Order and the armed services as a whole. However, education is not limited to Force use and combat training, but also covers subjects such as history, languages, medicine, electronics, piloting and so on. This is particularly pertinent since a number of trainees come from low class backgrounds, are freed slaves or grew up pre-spaceflight societies such as the Tygaran elves. This also applies to Tephriki refugees who were rescued by Firemane during its brief campaign against the Dominion of Light. As a result, they may have areas they need to catch up. Possibilities for higher education at institutes of higher learning exist.

 

GEOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

HeadquartersArx Aeternae.

Domain: The Young Flames do not rule over territory or claim domain. They utilise facilities that have been granted to them by Firemane, their parent organisation. They are a sub-division of Firemane and not intended to operate outside of it. However, they operate on worlds Firemane, the Order of Fire or House Kerrigan-Alcori have a presence on and strive to build a cooperative relationship with the local population and assist it as much as possible. They also recruit from it.

Notable Assets: The Young Flames do not possess significant assets. Instead they make use of Firemane facilities. However, they have training camps and barracks and some small starships have been assigned to their use. The latter are crewed by Firemane naval personnel. 

 

SOCIAL INFORMATION

Hierarchy: The Young Flames are a fairly new organisation and still compact in size. As a result, their hierarchy is quite flat, with a spread out command structure. The overall group is headed by an Order of Fire Master with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Teams are commanded by junior officers or non-commissioned officers, depending on size. Elpsis commands a unit of them and gets her orders from high-up. The chief of the Young Flames answers to Brigadier Leonina Varkathras.

 

The overall leader of the Order of Fire is Siobhan Kerrigan, but she does not micromanage the organisation because she is also the leader of Firemane and thus very busy. However, she often carries out rigorous inspections and takes a personal interest in youth and cadre education. Elpsis is one of Siobhan's adopted daughters, but does not get special privileges. 

 

Membership: Must be a Force-User, support Firemane, its principles and not consort with its enemies. There are no species or gender barriers. It is important to note that even though it says ‘Young Flames’ the actual age of the recruits can vary. It is usually young for that specific race, but not necessarily young from a human perspective. For example, a 55-five year old Eldorai is the elf equivalent of an 18-year old human.

 

Joining the Young Flames is a career path in Firemane and the Order of Fire, but members are not required to commit to this. Order of Fire instructors must be of Knight rank or higher and have a commission or be non-commissioned officers. Sometimes Order Knights or Masters who are not part of the military division are brought in to teach special skills.

 

The group gets many recruits from people under Firemane's protection, such as elves. These trainees come to the Young Flames to receive training and get a new perspective, especially if they come from races that are new to modern technology. After completion of their training, they spend some time with Firemane and do work for the corporation. Some make a career out of it, many return home to share their new knowledge with their people. Potential trainees are vetted by the Firemane authorities to prevent infiltration or an influx of unsuitable elements. 

 

Climate: The Young Flames pride themselves on their camaraderie and diversity, as they bring together people from manifold walks of life. This can help bridge the gulf between racial groups that are normally antagonistic to one another, but also manifest in form of unfortunate rivalries. Since there are so many young people, a certain degree of rowdiness, gossiping and so on is to be expected.

 

A good deal of their training is spent on breaking down the 'me' in team. Recruits must be broken down and then built back up. They are pushed to face challenges, come up with solutions and overcome them by working as a team. Some of the Flames have low class origins or used to be slaves, others come from privileged backgrounds and have entitlement issues that need to be knocked out of them. The Order and Firemane's regular military work closely together. Military rank takes precedence over Force rank. The Order has acquired the habit of pairing promising, but bratty acolytes with extremely harsh, gruff NCOs to see if the former have what it takes.

 

The Young Flames are militaristic in nature, which is par for the course for the sub-division of a martial Force order. Older members do see combat. As a result, military style discipline is enforced. However, life in the corps is not solely defined by this. The corps also holds competitions, conducts celebrations, participates in the missions of the Firemane Exploration Corps and provides aid to local communities. The life story of Siobhan is presented as an example to aspire to, as she was born in abject poverty but managed to rise to the very top. This idealisaton obviously also has its critics.

 

Reputation: Varies. People who like the Order of Fire and Firemane probably have a largely positive impression, and those who are poorly disposed to either have a negative one. The group is part of Firemane, and so it will be judged accordingly. The Young Flames have become an integral part of the Order. Their role in providing training, discipline and leadership is acknowledged. The same applies to their efforts to overcome racial strife. The Flames do make an effort to be respectful of the customs of their members, including their religious traditions.

 

However, there are two sides to every coin. The opinion of indigenous people under Firemane protection varies. Some view it positively, others regard it as intrusive. Elf nationalists who believe their people have become too dependent on the humans of Firemane have a more negative opinion. They view it as a propaganda vehicle. The Shadow Knights, for instance, have a low opinion, though their Young Squires corps performs a similar function. Ironically, some elf nationalists have joined the Flames anyway in order to expand their knowledge of modern tech and of the outside Galaxy so that they can help their people become more independent.

 

Firemane civilian and military personnel may appreciate the role the Young Flames play, but also complain about entitled, bratty Force-users. Then again, this is a general problem between 'squibs' and space mages. Outside of Firemane's orbit, orthodox Light Siders who view the Order as too militarist and cavalier about the danger posed by the dark side will probably be sceptical about the Flames.

 

Curios: The Young Flame are issued military uniforms by Firemane. These are the same for both female and male members. In other words, both wear trousers. Standard uniform is olive green with a Young Flames shoulder patch, and a beret. Each member is also issued a fiery robe, but this is rarely worn outside of ceremonial occasions. Tattoos displaying the group sigil or with martial themes are common. Full members have a specially crafted lightsabre or Force imbued sword. Young Flames who go on mission will wear some form of armour.

 

Rules: Being a sub-division of the Order of Fire, the Young Flames follow its rules. They stress loyalty, discipline, comradeship, respect for others at all levels, self-reliance and obedience to lawful authority. Sith, slavers and imperialists are regarded as enemies and consorting with them is strictly prohibited. On average, the group has a low opinion of Jedi. The Force is regarded as a source of strength. It is a tool for both individual empowerment and service.

 

However, certain aspects of the Force are forbidden, such as performing blood sacrifices, necromantic rituals and so on. Overall, the rules stress balance. Recruits pledge to be loyal, to uphold the unity of Firemane and its protectorates, to be disciplined and responsible and take up arms if needed. The Order is a martial organisation, and so the discipline enforced in the Young Flames is similar to that of a military unit. After all, many of the recruits will go on to pursue a military career of some form. The Young Flames are expected to fulfil their duties and follow the orders of their superiors.

 

The group also seeks to foster a positive view of Firemane among its recruits. This is particularly pertinent for natives who hail from Firemane's protectorates who will return to their people after their time is done and potentially assume leadership roles. As a consequence, the group has been accused of being a propaganda vehicle. This accusation is often levelled at it by elf nationalists and has merit. At the same time, its ideology emphasises lawfulness, overcoming racial strife and prejudice. Eldorai, Tygaran elves, humans, Twi'leks and others are brought together in the group. This makes it a bit of a melting pot, though this can also manifest in form of unfortunate rivalries.

 

Goals: Provide educational opportunities, Force, military and leadership training to young recruits from Firemane and its protectorates and train, mould and inspire future leaders. The Young Flames prepare their members for full membership in the Order of Fire and act as a reserve corps. At the same time it aims to provide young officers in the Order a chance to further develop their leadership skills, preparing them for future careers. Finally, its goal is to foster a positive view of Firemane among its recruits, with a view to influencing their people.

 

MEMBERS

The Young Flames are led by Lieutenant Colonel Aerin Cisili, an Eldorai Force Master. She is trusted by Siobhan and Leonina to be in charge of administration. Aerin has a lot of experience in the role, as she was responsible for training Angelii recruits way back and was quite good at it. Aerin was an Angelii who stayed with the Star Queen during the Exodus, fought at Kaeshana but decided to stay on with Firemane. She saw advancement and further profit with the humans. She is not racist and is an agnostic. Aerin likes working with her Tygaran 'cousins' a lot and is an anthropologist in her spare time. She does not get on well with Eldorai conservatives or radicals. Most of her duties are administrative, but she is also a tough combatant.

 

Master Nima Tann is one of the Order of Fire members who is involved with the Young Flames. She teaches illusions, meditation and duelling. Lieutenant Elpsis Kerrigan-Alcori commands one of their units. Notable members are Sienn, a Twi'lek from Arkas, Reverence, a Dahomian from the Mandla tribe, a Vashyada druidess called Shikoba, an upper class Togruta called Sano Tahoka, an Eldorai Forsaken by the name of Celaena Eilris and Rhea, a Rattataki from Tephrike.

 

Rhea used to be an unwilling servitor of the Grand Inquisitor of the Dominion of Light, before rebelling against her masters after Elpsis slew him. Having suffered under both the Dominion and the Sith, she is extremely zealous and vengeful, having vowed never to be weak again and exact retribution on her oppressors. She is an aggressive, skilled fighter, but has yet to master her anger.

 

Hazani Jai Bysara, a Qadiri pyromancer and Sister of the Eternal Flame, has been assigned to the group to assist Elpsis in leading it and expand her own horizons of the outside world. Hazani is the daughter of Sahali Jai Bysara, the infamous High Mistress of the Sisters. Sahali waged war against Firemane and its Qadiri allies, leading a canny irregular campaign. However, she was betrayed and murdered by her allies, who were then punished by Siobhan because she had come to respect her foe and did not trust trators. Since then Hazani has become the Lady's guest, vouching for the good behaviour of her dead mother's people. Hazani has accepted her fate for now, but is a driven person and ambitious both for herself and the Qadiri.

 

HISTORICAL INFORMATION

 

 

The Young Flames are a fairly young group. Their parent organisation, the Order of Fire, was founded as Firemane's Force-using branch. It was set up as a martial organisation that would be integrated directly into the military chain of command. Force-users would play an important role, but they would not assume command roles simply due to their martial prowess and Force abilities.

 

Siobhan Kerrigan, Co-CEO of Firemane, became the leader of the Order. In time she also rose to become sole leader of Firemane, though the Order's role remained unchanged. The Order started as a rather informal association of Force-users employed by Firemane. Siobhan was a woman of action, not a philosopher or sage. However, though not the natural teacher type, she recognised the need to organise Force-Sensitives in her company somewhat.

 

Training had to be standardised, knowledge shared, rules laid down and it had to be ensured that Force-Sensitive employees did not bring the company into disrepute by abusing their powers. The same applied to making sure that Firemane was not infiltrated by Force-users with hostile intent. Thus the group evolved into a military Order with its own facilities, rank structure and units, but was integrated into Firemane's armed forces. It has played an important role in most Firemane campaigns. Most recently it saw extensive actions on Tephrike.

 

With the growth of the Order of Fire, it became necessary to create a formation to bring in and mix recruits together. This became even more pertinent because Firemane had assumed stewardship over many elf groups, having agreed to help the Eldorai and Tygaran elves advance. A number of the Tygaran natives acknowledged Siobhan as their quasi-feudal overlord.

 

The Tygarans wished to advance their people, expand into space so that they could colonise over worlds and gain a patron. Firemane recognised that these low-tech races had a lot to offer, as they possessed useful resources and a high rate of Force-Sensitives. Allowing people to join was one of the conditions of the treaties Firemane made with native rulers. Some of the indigenous potentates saw this as a chance to learn more of the secrets of the 'sky people' and strengthening ties with them. The good pay was also another incentive. Recruits were also drawn from the ranks of emancipated slaves on Tygara and Arkas as well as Eldorai refugees who had fled Kaeshana due to cataclysm and invasion.

 

Thus the Young Flames came into being to fill the void in the Order. For a while their growth was supervised by Colonel Varkathras, before she participated in the Tephrike campaign and was subsequently promoted to Brigadier, making her the most senior officer in the Order after Siobhan herself. The Order of Fire has chosen to depart from the traditional Jedi model of training batches of Younglings together, and then assigning a single Padawan to an individual master. Instead, recruits are grouped together in training units and educated in the manner of a military unit. The Force is one of the tools they learn how to utilise, much like blasters and piloting. Closer student-master relationships would develop once the recruits had been winnowed down to the best, but even then the emphasis would be on the group as a whole.

 

Elpsis, Siobhan's adopted daughter, was put in charge of one of their units. The pyromancer had been captured by the Inquisition of the Dominion of Light, a totalitarian, Jedi-led theocracy that ruled most of Tephrike and imprisoned in a concentration camp. There she was subjected to torture as well as brainwashing in order to mould her into one of their drones. She was able to overcome her brainwashing and slay her tormentors, sparking a revolt that ended with the camp being put to the torch.

 

However, the experience left her deeply scarred both mentally and physically. She was also a lot more goal-orientated and interested in pursuing leadership roles she had once eschewed. After being cleared for active duty again, she was put in command of one of the Flames' platoons, making her responsible for a mixed group of recruits. Some intended to pursue a career with Firemane, others were here for what amounted to an exchange programme.

 

During its brief campaign on Tephrike, Firemane helped a large number of political prisoners held in Dominion concentration camps flee the planet. One of these prisons, which happened to be the one Elpsis was held in, was focused on containing and indoctrinating Force-Sensitives. For the time being the former prisoners have sought refuge in Firemane protected space. Some have joined the Young Flames to gain better control of their powers and because the pay is an incentive. A good number of them intend to eventually return to Tephrike and fight their oppressors. One of them is a former Dominion Jedi warrior called Rhea, who has become Elpsis' student.


Synthia Vao

30 July 2019 - 05:28 PM

 

OUT OF CHARACTER INFORMATION

Intent: Expand on the Republican Guard. Sub Mezha's buddy.

​Image CreditHere.

Role: Republican Guard partisan, second in command of Viper Company and friend of Mezha Krazhmir. Point of view character for the rebels. Aside from this, Synthia provides cultural insight into Tephrike and a new perspective on the Guard.

LinksTephrikeInto DarknessDominion of LightRed Coral CityDisciples of the Vader.

 

PHYSICAL INFORMATION

Age: Eight to ten years old. But she resembles a woman in her thirties due to advanced aging.

Force SensitivityForce Dead

Species: Cloned Twi'lek.

Appearance: In a word: battlehardened. Synthia is a green Twi'lek female who looks older than her years, which is partly due to bad cloning, and is scarred by combat. She is a practical woman and not particular fussy about fancy clothes; she wears what is useful and protective. Indeed, she is extremely disdainful of the way Twi'leks are stereotyped as dressing like ladies of the night. She has the physique of a warrior and is strongly-built, enabling her to use heavy weapons with little issue. Her body is marked by many battle scars. She lost her right eye to an explosion at the Battle of Grimwater Swamp, one of the bloodiest battles fought on Tephrike. It has been replaced by an ocular implant. There is still some scarring around the eye socket. As a sign of her reclamation of her individuality, she has some tattoos, such as Twi'lek tribal markings on her face. Synthia tends to wear some form of armour or fatigues and is always armed. She usually carries a concealed vibro-shiv in addition to a sidearm.

 

SOCIAL INFORMATION

Name: Synthia Vao. Born Synthia Soldier. She chose Vao as her surname after defecting from the Dominion.

LoyaltiesRepublican GuardGeneral AruunzebMezha KrazhmirViper Company.

Wealth: Low. Synthia is not wealthy at all. The Guard does its best to pay its soldiers, but an insurgency is not rich. So she often has to supplement her income with loot.

Notable Possessions:

  • Villip, with optional Oggzill attachment.
  • Cloak of Nuun
  • Storm Commando Armour.
  • Tsaisi
  • Bolter.
  • Dog tags of dead comrades from her time as a Dominion soldier.
  • Copy of 'No Chains, No Masters', the manifesto of the Communards, and the 'Green Book', a training and induction manual issued by the Republican Guard to new recruits.
  • Force Imbued Blade. Used to belong to Jedi General Akosa. Synthia took it from her corpse after fragging the Jedi for getting her friends killed.

Skills: Synthia is a soldier with many years of experience as both a regular assault trooper and a partisan. She is extremely skilled in the use of a variety of ranged and melee weapons and can handle most weapons. Synthia has no experience in starship piloting, but is trained as a driver and heavy weapons operator. She is a skilled small unit leader and good at tactical leadership. Synthia is more tech-savvy than Mezha. She has moderate skill in slicing, and is good at hotwiring security systems and vehicles.

 

Personality: Synthia is passionate, determined and dedicated. She was born without a mother or a father, for she was a clone grown in a Dominion laboratory. Like the Galactic Republic and the Jedi Order of yore, the Dominion of Light uses a clone army. These clone troopers are slave-soldiers who are born and raised to fight for the Jedi theocracy. Thus Synthia was drilled and indoctrinated from birth, for the Dominion sought to mould its people from cradle to grave. She was one of the clone troopers who were thrown into the meat-grinder again and again. After all, if she died, she could always be replaced. As she is fond of saying, "A Jedi's life is sacrifice - of others." However, the Twi'lek rebelled against her conditioning and broke free. Now she is a member of the Republican Guard, a revolutionary movement that seeks to overthrow the Force theocracies.

 

Her experiences under the Dominion's yoke have shaped her. The war is a brutal one and the Republican Guard is not a squeaky clean rebellion that balks at getting its hands dirty. They are insurgents who have spent most of the war on the back foot. As a result, Synthia sees the conflict as a war to the knife and is quite radical in her methods. She is a good comrade to her brothers and sisters in arms and has empathy for victims, but is ruthless against her enemies.

 

As is typical for Dominion clones, Synthia was born sterile because the Jedi state sought to exert total control over its citizens' lives. There was no need for her to have a family or give birth to children if she could simply be cloned, thereby allowing the miracle of life to occur in a medically sanctioned way. She is married and has tried to have children, but has been unable to conceive. This has pushed her to undergo medical procedures to try and regain her fertility. She has recently adopted a war orphan.

 

She is big on justice and determined in her pursuit of it. Having been raised as a slave, she is determined never to bow to anyone or let her enemies know peace. As a result, she devotes a lot of time to work, training and improvement. Her time in the underground has made her a capable survivalist. She has a strong hatred for Jedi, Sith and those who willingly serve them. Her determination for the cause can be showcased by the fact that she voluntarily underwent a dangerous medical procedure to turn herself Force Dead. The Shapers informed her that the process could be fatal, but she was determined to gain an edge against the Force-users and ensure they could mentally manipulate her. Fortunately for her, the operation was a success.

 

As is the law for Dominion citizens, Synthia grew up without a family name. Instead she had an occupational surname and was called Synthia Soldier. Following her defection to the rebels, she chose 'Vao' as her surname to affirm her agency and identity as a free person. According to the records, it was the name of an ancient Twi'lek freedom fighter, so it seemed appropriate to her.

 

Synthia has been involved in efforts to try and sway Dominion clones to the revolution. She has achieved some success in this area, but is frustrated and indeed contemptuous of those who refuse to, as she sees it, break their shackles. The fact that she has often had to fight her 'siblings' has left her with mental scars. Nonetheless, it is her belief that the rebels should not lose sight of the fact that they are fighting for the liberation of all Tephriki.

 

This also makes her suspicious of what she identifies as appeasement. To her, there can be no compromise with the enemies of freedom. For the same reason, she has a low opinion of Tephriki groups that try to stay out of the war. In her view, such a middle of the road approach is tantamount to enabling the tyrants to subjugate the people. She is strongly opposed to discrimination based on gender, class or species. She hates humanocentrism with a burning passion.

 

Synthia is particularly passionate about the exploitation many of her fellow Twi'leks face, particularly in Vaderite territory, where they are enslaved and considered lesser beings. She is active in neighbourhood committees and groups that seek to aid her people and educate them. Moreover, she has been actively involved in several operations to free Twi'lek from servitude. Her fervour can override her judgement sometimes.

 

She is not a rebel without a cause who will go out of her way to offend the powers that be just because, but if she has to choose between superior orders and what she considers to be right, she will pick the latter and deal with the consequences. Compared to her friend Mezha, Synthia is more idealistic. She was more eager to embrace an alliance of convenience with Firemane than Mezha, but this was out of pragmatism since she really wants to see the Dominion go down.

 

Thus her distrust of their Force-users took a backseat to what she recognised as an opportunity to strike against her enemy and make her home safer. Her Yuuzhan Vong companion grew up in the militarised environment of the revolutionary underground and thus does not share the Twi'lek's radical anarchist beliefs. Between the two of them, Synthia is more of a thinker while Mezha is more the practical technician. Nonetheless, both are very passionate about the cause.

 

The Twi'lek partisan is very committed to the fight, combat-hardened and values freedom highly. While the Guard is led by a military junta, it is a rather broad tent with varying ideologies. Synthia belongs to a faction whose members call themselves the Communards. In terms of ideology they have libertarian, anarchist and syndicalist beliefs. Thus they are more democratic than the mainstream of the Republican Guard.

 

However, the Communards also surpass the mainstream in terms of ruthlessness in one area: They believe that Force-users should be executed or subjected to the 'cure', in other words turned Force-Dead. For the good of the community, those with the taint must be healed or excised. Their chief ideologue is a Gungan called Tardle Narukan. He is an intellectual in the Guard who has composed a guiding philosophy. She is an enthusiastic subscriber to it, even quotes it.

 

Synthia views big government as the agent of coercion and is very strongly opposed to it. Instead she believes in solidarity, direct democracy and workers' self-management. She despises institutionalised forms of privilege and Force-user supremacy. To her, the Force is a form of unearned power that allows those who possess it to trample on the rights of others. It also drives people to evil. Thus it is a plague that must be cured.

 

She regards both the Jedi and the Sith as oppressive forces. Likewise, she cannot abide slavers or other exploitative individuals who trample on the rights of others. Synthia believes that citizens have a right to bear arms, provided they possess the maturity to use them responsibly. She sees this as an important prerequisite to protect oneself against oppressive rulers.

 

She is opposed to capitalism, but also rejects the idea of a command economy. From her perspective, both lead to all power being concentrated in the hands of a small, exploitative elite. Instead she supports the means of production being owned collectively by the producers themselves. In this view, collective, joint ownership is key. Rather than a centralised state, Tephrike should be a democratic confederation.

 

While syndicalist economics are quite popular among many members of the Republican Guard, the political beliefs of the Communards are more controversial. Synthia's decision to join the Guard may seem strange, but she argues that a united front is needed to tear down the edifices of oppression. She admits that it has its flaws, but to her it is the only progressive force on the planet that can stand up to the enemies of liberty.

 

"People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people. When the government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. We are the people, and we have nothing to lose except our chains. When the people are being beaten with a stick, they are not much happier if it is called 'the Light's Stick'. Or 'the Master Race's', for that matter.

 

Tardle says it right. 'I hate the Dominion because it is the negation of liberty and because sentience is for me unthinkable without liberty. I am not a Dominionist because the Dominion inevitably leads to the concentration of power in the hands of the state, whereas I want to tear it down. It is oppression incarnate. I hate Sithism because it turns men into beasts and anyone born a 'lesser being' is denied even the right to consider themselves a person.

 

I want to see society and collective or social property organised from below upwards, by way of free association, not from above downwards, by means of any kind of authority whatsoever.' Let the means of production no longer be in the hands of cultists, bureaucrats or businessmen, but of the toilers. I want people to have the right to live and associate freely, their lives freed from the prisons of Jedi and Sith.

 

They call us rebel scum. I say we embrace the moniker with pride. To revolt is a natural tendency of life. Even a worm turns against the foot that crushes it. In general, the vitality and relative dignity of an animal can measured by the intensity of its instinct to revolt. This applies even more so for sentient beings.

 

What mandate does someone have to rule over others just because he was born with the power to move things with his mind and read someone's thoughts? What did he do to earn it? Does he have some special insight we lesser beings cannot understand? No. No one has a right to call themselves a luminous being and us crude matter. No one has the right to be the slave-driver of the masses. 

 

I would condemn revolutionary violence if I thought a non-violent way existed. But there is none as long as clones are grown as slaves in the vats of the Dominion and aliens are worked to death in Sith slave camps. What are we rebelling for? Choice, freedom, dignity. The right to be sentient beings, not drones grown in a laboratory, filled with propaganda and sent out to toil and die for our masters. We can bow before the aristocracy that would have us believe our lives count for nothing because we were born without the Force. Or we can make a stand. Down with the Jedi, down with the Sith. They are two sides of the same coin. They enslave us, they drug us, they send us out to die en masse. 

 

As long as one remains, we shall be drones, not sentient beings. The Dominion tells us dictatorship is necessary to save us from the Darkness and that only their luminous beings can guide us. The Sith claim dictatorship is the natural order because the strong must do what they will and the weak suffer what they most. They fear nothing more than free people standing up and proving that the vaunted necessity of tyranny is nothing but a massive fraud that has led to slavery on both sides. What they call the Force is a taint. A sickness of the mind and soul. And when a patient is sick, you excise the sickness from them. A revolution is coming. We shall break our chains. We shall break the Masters."

 

COMBAT INFORMATION

Weapon of Choice: Synthia is trained in the use of most melee and ranged weapons. She often uses a grenade launcher, a CSPL-12 or a Bolter. She tends to carry an Amphistaff for melee combat or use it to sneak up on and ambush an enemy she is fighting. Also good with rifle, pistol, blade and explosives.

Combat Function: Synthia is a highly skilled soldier. She is trained in standard infantry operations, commado operations and small unit leadership. In battle she is a ferocius fighter. She is a skilled heavy weapons operator. This makes her a good complement to Mezha, who is a very capable sharpshooter.

 

The Twi'lek rebel is quite versatile, being able to use most weapons and armour and drive a variety of vehicles. However, she lacks any experience in starship piloting and has indeed never ventured into space. The idea unnerves her quite a bit. She is a good second in command to Mezha, but can also lead small elite strike teams on her own to neutralise specific objectives. But she is a tactical, not a strategic leader. She is experienced in irregular warfare and terrorist actions.

 

Synthia is extremely devoted to her cause and willing to die for it. However, she knows when to retreat or reevaluate a situation. Being Force-Dead she is immune to direct applications of the Force, similar to the Yuuzhan Vong who bestowed these abilities upon her. It also means that she cannot be sensed in the Force or mentally manipulated through it. By the same token, she cannot be aided by beneficial Force techniques such as Battle Meditation.

 

Strengths:

  • Like all members of Viper Company, Synthia is Force Dead. Thus she is completely void in the Force, cannot be sensed through it and possesses an immunity to direct applications of it comparable to that of Yuuzhan Vong and their biots.
  • Synthia is well suited for small unit leadership and engagements. She is brave, resourceful and inspires those under her command with a fearless example. While zealous, the Twi'lek is no death charging fool. She knows that sometimes it is better to retreat and reevaluate a situation that throw your life and that of your comrades away out of pride and stubbornness.
  • Crack soldier. She trains frequently, is strong and resilient. Long years as a partisan have given her a high pain tolerance. She is skilled in the use of most ranged and melee weapons, favouring a grenade launcher and other weapons that make an impact. She is a capable gunslinger.

Weaknesses:

  • Like most Twi’leks, her lekku are delicate organs, susceptible to damage and sensitive enough that being forcefully grabbed can incapacitate her. Furthermore damage to them can cause permanent psychological trauma as well as physical.
  • She is good at leading small teams of regular soldiers or partisans, but is a tactical, not a strategic leader. While suited for small unit leadership, she lacks the ability or experience to command large forces.
  • Synthia is Force Dead and thus completely void within the Force. While a great benefit, it does have the normal associated downfalls in that she cannot be aided by the Force either. Additionally she is not immune to Force Lightning or its variations, and can be indirectly affected by the Force.

HISTORICAL INFORMATION

 

Synthia is a hard woman shaped by a horrible conflict on a war-torn planet where the Dark Age never truly ended. In one way or another, virtually every world in the Galaxy was affected when the terrorist Zero released the Gulag Virus on Csilla. The plague spread like wild fire, bringing galactic civilisation to its knees. The so called Golden Age came to an end. Governments crumbled, galactic trade collapsed and trillions of beings perished. Historians would call it the Four Hundred Year Darkness. Tephrike suffered greatly during this period. However, the light never returned to this benighted planet.

 

Isolated from the rest of the Galaxy, the planet regressed. Though rich in raw materiels such as precious ores and alloys, the planet had been dependent on trade to sustain itself. Now there was no one who could buy their ores and sell them food. Countless died due to starvation, ecological disasters, riots and civil war. Tephrike's fragile democracy collapsed as the federal government proved unable to resolve the crisis. Its party system was fractured along lines of class and species. The Jedi of Tephrike were forced into a protective role. Believing themselves to be the last Jedi in the Galaxy, they held their Order responsible for the Long Night, as they had been unable to prevent the release of the Gulag Virus.

 

Finally, the Jedi staged a coup to topple the governments after its troops gunned down peaceful protesters. It was supposed to be a provisional emergency dictatorship that would restore order and then step down to enable a transition to democracy. However, over time it evolved into a totalitarian theocracy. Corrupted by their power and scarred by the horrors of never-ending bloodshed, the Jedi became the very thing they were sworn to destroy, while remaining adamant in their belief that they served the Light. They called their new state the Dominion of Light, a nation where every citizen would be controlled from cradle to grave. Every citizen would have a role and stay in it for life.

 

Two factions rose to oppose them. The Disciples of Vader venerated as the long-dead Dark Lord as a God and preached a gospel of human supremacism, Dark Side worship and enslavement of all non-humans, drawing support from fallen Jedi and humanocentric portions of society. The other group was the Republican Guard, a secularist faction run by a military junta that idolised the Old Republic and opposed the Force theocracies, believing that the Force itself was a disease that led those sensitive to it to evil. It received the backing of aquatic alien communities and of Yuuzhan Vong, who were targeted for extermination by the Vaderites and the Dominion.

 

While the Guard pursued a campaign of liberation, its methods were often brutal. Being far weaker than the Dominion, it utilised asymmetrical warfare. Its all-out irregular warfare campaign was characterised by a heavy dose of terror. It took every opportunity to target Dominion forces in the proximity of civilians, thereby provoking the Dominion to retaliate against the civilian population when the partisans vanished into the wilderness. It also used improvised explosive devices to kill supposed Dominion or Sith sympathisers, instigated riots and conducted bombings. The Dominion remained the dominant power, but could not bring peace. All the while, Tephrike bled.

 

To give themselves a loyal force of soldiers to fight their wars, the Dominion created a clone army. In the early days this was supposed to be a temporary measure, but it soon became a permanent fixture. After all, precedent had been established by the example of the Old Jedi Order during the Clone Wars. Cloning would allow them to grow obedient citizens in a medically sanctioned way, as intercourse produced lust and thus led to the dark side. In addition, the Dominion also began to clone its most accomplished researchers, technicians, soldiers and Jedi, as their skills needed to be preserved.

 

Regardless of their donor, the clones were indoctrinated to be obedient to the Dominion. It was their family, the sole bastion of Light and order in a galaxy that had fallen into darkness. Of course, the Jedi overlords discovered the same thing cloners have discovered throughout the ages: organics are unpredictable. Synthia was one of the clones who rebelled.

 

When she was born she was given the surname Soldier, for the Dominion assigned its citizens occupational surnames based on the profession it had chosen for them. To make sure she had the skills and opinions the Dominion needed her to have, she was given flash conditioning during her growth. When she was 'born', she had the size of an adult, but no life experiences to draw upon.

 

The Dominion spent more time and effort on its elite commandos and other specialists, but she was one of those mass produced clone troopers who were supposed to fight on the front lines. The technology used for them was quite primitive. As a result, a number of clones suffered from health issues. One of her early friends did not make it out of basic training. Synthia was told that her sibling had become one with the Force.

 

Obedience was drilled into her skull. When she was caught fooling around with a clone from a different line she was reprimanded, for lust was a path to the dark side. There was only the darkest abyss and the shining light. One could either be good or evil, light or dark. The Jedi were the Force's chosen emissaries, for they alone could hear and interpret its will. However, a severe crisis resulted in her being rushed through basic and sent to the frontlines with only the most basic training.

 

The Netherworld Event left virtually no planet untouched. In the blink of an eye, trillions of beings vanished across the Galaxy. With so many high-ranking officials, including the Grandmaster, gone, the Dominion was thrown into disarray. Synthia was participating in a live fire exercise in the wilderness when suddenly several of her superiors and comrades disappeared before her eyes.

 

She and her remaining comrades did not know what to make of this. Fearful and superstitious, they believed it was a machination of Dark Side demons. In a way they were right, just not in the way they thought, for Akala was no Sith, just a mad goddess throwing a temper tantrum. Synthia organised a search party to try and find the missing soldiers, but they came up with nothing.

 

After sending a messenger to a nearby settlement, they learned that the disappearances were not an isolated incident. People had vanished across the Dominion. Riots had broken out. Some zealots, believing the end of days was at hand, instigated purges. Others welcomed the rapture, proclaiming that the Light was rewarding with followers by allowing them to achieve oneness with the Force. The troopers were pushed into a law and order role, trying to keep the peace in a world that had gone tupsy-turvy. However, they were soon dispatched to the front lines.

 

The rapture had been a blow to the Guard, but it recovered faster than its rivals. It helped that it did not have Force-Users in its ranks. Republican Guard partisans rose up in revolt. Dominion soldiers and officials were murdered, government buildings set aflame and population centres shelled. Synthia was thrown into her first fight. Casualties were high, as she and her comrades had received minimal training and many senior leaders had been raptured. Fierce house-to-house fighting and combat in the jungle ensued. She was terrified during her first fight, but pulled through.

 

The Twi'lek soldier had to learn on the job. She grew close to a fellow clone called Aayla Soldier. Both had the same template and helped keep each other sane during these dark days. Aayla once saved Synthia's life during a battle and they worked together to take down a Republican Guard sniper. When a number of Dominion clone troopers mutinied and turned their guns on their allies, the pair and their remaining comrades had to fight their way out. She was confused and shaken by the betrayal. The Republican Guard poured in soldiers, as its partisans were joined by regular soldiers. Where they went, Jedi and their followers were slaughtered.

 

At risk of being cut off and encircled, Dominion troops had to execute a breakthrough. Delays and the refusal of high command to countenance it meant that by the time it was carried out, many soldiers had died and they had to leave most of their heavy equipment behind. For a while, Synthia and her comrades were cut off from the rest of the force and had to make their way through the wilderness, hounded by rebel partisans.

 

In the middle of the fighting with the Guard, Synthia and her unit received word that they were needed elsewhere. The Vaderites, ostensibly now under the leadership of a faction of 'Light Sith', had entered the war and launched an all-out invasion of the Dominion. The Vaderites were obviously also weakened by the fact that the Force had been thrown out of balance, but they were not the ones fighting a two-front war. The Dominion high command refused to yield territory, issuing the infamous 'not a step back order'. The Army of Light should not only hold the line, but drive out the Sith.

 

Synthia and her comrades arrived just in time to participate in the Battle of Grimwater Swamp. To illustrate the nature of this engagement, at one point certain Dominion generals seriously considered dropping a tactical nuclear missile on the enemy. When later asked what the battle was like, Synthia simply called it hell. Amidst the massive downpour, the ground turned to mud and swamps so the wounded drowned and the dead were buried and uncovered by bombardments. The vermin gnawed on the flesh of the dead and dying alike. Soldiers were ripped apart by land mines and artillery. With both Sith and Jedi weakened by whatever was causing the Force to respond in strange and unpredictable ways to their commands, the bulk of the fighting was done by 'mundane' soldiers on both sides.

 

The Vaderites tied captured Dominion soldiers and alien civilians to posts in the path of the attackers, so that when Synthia and her fellow clone troopers got close the bombs strapped to them went off. It made the Sith happy to see the prisoners turn to red mist, or to force the attackers to do it for them. This was against the teachings of their new leader, but the Vaderite commander was a traditionalist and far away from headquarters. Again and again, the Dominion troops were thrown against the Vaderites. Periods of intense, bloody combat were followed by weeks in the trenches and the mud. Both sides made ample use of chemical weapons.

 

It left Synthia severely traumatised. When some Dominion soldiers tried to retreat during a fight, they were mowed down by machine gun fire from Inquisition 'blocking squads'. To cope with the horror going on all around her, Synthia shut down. There was only survival. She and Aayla helped keep each other sane during these bloody weeks. During lulls in fighting they went out to forage for supplies, sometimes stealing from Vaderite soldiers who had the same idea.

 

During one such excursion, they succeeded in ambushing a group of Vaderite stormtroopers. Angered by the atrocities that had taken place, Synthia and her comrades took no prisoners. When they searched the dead for rations, water and ammution, they came across a map. It showed some of the Vaderite positions. The local commander who was in charge of their battalion recognised its significance. Realising that throwing numbers at the enemy would not break the stalemate, he devised a plan based on which small units of infantry would slip through enemy lines after being covered by a brief hurricane bombardment. Their goal was an enemy command post.

 

Synthia and her friends participated in this assault. Immediately after a brief but intense bombardment that targeted the Vaderites' rear areas, they advanced. They were able to sneak through the enemy lines amidst the confusion. Fierce fighting ensued in the trenches as the clone troopers advanced by fire and manoeuvre. They fought with rifles, pistols, hand grenades, bayonets, knives and improvised flamethrowers.

 

When ammunition became scarce she bashed enemy soldiers with the butt of her rifle or stabbed them with the bayonet. The clone troopers were able to turn some some of the enemy's heavy guns on the Vaderites and storm the command post. Synthia and Aayla found themselves engaging a Sith Knight. The Sith unleashed a mental barrage on them, filling them with dread and making them experience the agony of aliens who had been crucified on the way to the base. Synthia described the experience as pure anguish, but feeling the Sith's utter contempt for her species also triggered an intense rage.

 

A burning fury that would not allow her to go down on her knees. Coming to the aid of her friend, she managed to ignite the Sith with an improvised flamer. Howling in pain, the Vaderite turned his power on her, smiting her with lightning. Some of it backfired on him. Her friend Aayla shot him with a pistol. Synthia beat him until he stopped moving. Amped up by fury and adrenaline the Dominion troopers spared none of the Sith.

 

The command post fell into their hands and they used the guns to hit Vaderite forces. However, reinforcements were slow to arrive. The long bombardments had devastated the ground badly and the swampy terrain made it difficult to bring up large forces. Moreover, dissonances in command did not help. Jedi Akosa, the new Jedi General, took offence at the clones showing independence instead of following her strategic genius and cashiered their commander, who was already in trouble for having broken off a suicidal frontal assault. Soon the Vaderites were able to regroup and launch a counterattack. The clone troopers defended themselves fiercely, but had to fall back. Synthia found herself in command of her squad after her Sergeant was shot. She managed to pull off a fighting retreat through the swampy land.

 

The Vaderite counterattack eventually tired itself out after making limited gains. General Akosa now ordered a full-scale assault on the enemy. Some officers protested against the order. Even a few Jedi voiced misgivings about it, seeing it as folly. However, they were shut down. Later Synthia would describe the strategy as 'a gargantuan effort to march forward very slowly and get mowed down so that Akosa can get a Council seat'. In her words, the clone troopers were nexu led by donkeys. The charge was a bloodbath.

 

Neither the Vaderites nor the Dominion were concerned about casualties. Instead they threw unit after unit into the meat grinder. Entire units were, in her words, swallowed, chewed and spat out. The muddy, blood-soaked and swampy battlefield became a charnel house. Sithspawn war beasts clashed with primitive war engines. Synthia was injured in an artillery bombardment. She lost an eye to shrapnel and almost drowned. Thankfully, she was pulled out of the swamp. In the end, the battle had achieved nothing except gaining the Dominion a few miles of worthless ground.

 

Synthia's company had been decimated in the fight. Most of the clones she had grown up with lay dead in unmarked mass graves, if they were lucky enough to receive a rudimentary burial in the first place. Synthia recovered in a field hospital. There she was surrounded by the misery of the wounded. She eventually received a crude mechanical prothesis to replace her lost eye. During her recuperation she was haunted by the battle. Again and again she was dragged back to the hellish battlefield.

 

Aayla visited her during her recovery. From her Synthia learned that the fight was continuing. However, the Dominion's strategy had changed. Under the leadership of Battlemaster Mahtara, the Army of Light had implemented a scorched earth strategy. Now the Dominion was taking advantage of its larger territory and greater reserves of manpower and materiel. Everything that could be of use to the enemy was to be destroyed if territory could not be held.

 

Of course, common soldiers only had limited insight into what high command was planning. After Grimwater Swamp, Synthia just saw callous Jedi who did not care about those they labelled as 'crude matter'. While still in recovery, she was conscripted to fight again. She was assigned to a mixed clone company that had been formed from the remnants of her old unit, other clone units and had some Padawans attached to it. Many of these Jedi were still Initiates who had been rushed into action. Synthia felt protective of them and formed bonds with the soldiers, trying to do her best to help them cope. She was also reunited with Aayla.

 

The soldiers were deployed to Fortress Purity, a crucial citadel on the way to Nexus City. The Republican Guard had tried to fool the Dominion into thinking that it intended to strike elsewhere, even going so far as to arrange for a faux battle plan to fall into enemy hands. The deception operation would have succeeded, were it not for the efforts of a young comms operator and code breaker called Mara Technician. 

 

And so when the Guard attacked Purity, they were confronted by a large army led by General Kennobi. Nonetheless, the battle was a bloody one. The rebels knew that they had to win here or their offensive would fail. They harassed Dominion troops with nightly assaults. Their combat engineers dug tunnels beneath the Dominion lines to carry out surprise attacks. However, they also appealed to the Dominion clone troopers and militia via loudspeakers, urging them to defect and break their shackles. Synthia tried to look out for her fellow soldiers. Their survival was her priority now. 

 

Unfortunately for her, General Akosa was still in charge of the brigade she belonged to. After one bloody assault after the other, Synthia and her comrades were ordered to charge out into the open. Realising the folly of this, Synthia called her comrades together and decided to improvise. Instead of attacking the enemy head-on, they used one of the tunnels to outflank them. When they got close, the Dominion soldiers sung a Republican Guard song. The Padawans who were with the group had been instructed to tear off their robes, apply camouflage paint and hold rifles instead of the Jedi's traditional swords.

 

It was very dark and the battle was chaotic, so it allowed them to fool the enemy into thinking they were on their side. This allowed Synthia and her comrades to fall upon the partisans, lobbing in hand grenades. The moment the shooting started, Synthia threw herself forward to shield a young Padawan and pull him into cover. Luckily for her, her armour largely absorbed the slug rounds. The battle was quick, but fierce. Synthia was wounded in the shoulder with a vibroblade but managed to kill a Yuuzhan Vong officer. Her quick thinking helped her allies take an enemy redoubt, as the Republican Guard found itself attacked on two sides.

 

However, General Akosa thought this had been a cowardly act and demoted Synthia for not obeying her 'Force-guided' orders, replacing her with a soldier who would obey her commands. Akosa declared she would lead the charge herself, daring anyone to desert or deviate from her battle plan. Synthia was put at the front of the charge. The Twi'lek soldier survived the fight. However, her comrades were butchered. Aayla was killed by a land mine. Synthia tried to save her friend, but it was too late. Her sibling died while Synthia defended her. The Padawans perished as well. Seeing her friends being killed, the Twi'lek clone snapped.

 

Seeing General Akosa exhort the soldiers to fight for the glory of the Dominion, she fragged her. The Jedi was strong in the Force, but this did not make her omniscient. So she did not see the hand grenade coming until it was too late. Then Synthia riddled her with slugs from her assault rifle. The Togruta Jedi struck back with the Force, but the renegade clone trooper kept firing, until her enemy stopped moving. She had broken free - and committed treason. She soon came under fire. Fortunately for her Synthia, her actions had not gone unnoticed by partisans.

 

Two attackers were quickly cut down by a cloaked Vong sharpshooter. The rebel pulled her down into cover. Later Synthia learned that her name was Mezha Krazhmir. Thus the renegade clone trooper joined the rebellion. It was not a decision made lightly. It would pit her against her former comrades, even her siblings. But she believes she had no choice. The only alternative was to be a slave of the Dominion or the Vaderites.

 

There was little time for introductions or even for proper vetting. Mezha and her unit were locked in intense combat. Synthia brought Akosa's sword as proof of her sincerity. She provided them with what intelligence she could. The rebels had sustained heavy casualties and running low on supplies. Bunglers like Akosa had cost the Dominion, but it had more bodies to throw around. And it was getting reinforcements. Akosa's death was probably a net gain.

 

The Republican Guard fought fanatically. So did Synthia, even as she hated turning on her former comrades. When Jedi illusionists unleashed a powerful mental attack, she forced herself to work through the agony and hold her ground. Again and again the rebels tried to seize the fortress. They came quite close. Brutal fighting ensued when Synthia and her new comrades tried to push through a tunnel their engineers had dug. Explosives caused part of it to cave in.

 

But the Dominion was too well-entrenched, and finally their counter-assault broke the Guard's line when they managed to bring up tanks. Mezha was wounded in an artillery strike. Synthia returned the favour by dragging her from the battlefield. Her new comrade survived, but lost a foot. Vong Shapers gave her a replacement The Guard had come close to storming Purity, but the battle was a defeat. She was paired with a minder called Krovic, a fellow soldier who could report on her to make sure she was not a planted agent. Over time the two would become a couple. 

 

The Republican Guard troops fell back to Salona. There their general decided they must hold out in order to buy time for allied forces to retreat. To divert enemy attention, the Guard used deception to fool its enemies into thinking that their force was a lot larger than it actually was. Synthia was engaged in fierce house-to-house fighting. For several weeks the partisans she was with held out in a fortified apartment building. She and a largely recovered Mezha surrounded the building with layers of barbed wire and mine fields, and set up machine gun posts in every available window facing the square.

 

Synthia discovered that an anti-tank rifle she had mounted on the roof was particularly effective at ambushing unsuspecting Dominion tanks; once the tanks had approached to within range of the building, their thin turret-roof armor became exposed to anti-tank from above, and they were unable to elevate their weapons enough to retaliate.

 

Synthia took care of armour, Mezha sniped, while their comrades used machine guns. Supplies were brought in via the trench or boats crossing the river, defying enemy bombardment. Nonetheless, food and water were in short supply. Lacking beds, the rebels tried to sleep on insulation wool torn off pipies, but were subjected to enemy fire every night to try to break their resistance. 

 

The Dominion troops attacked the building several times a day. Each time the partisans laid down a withering barrage from the basement, windows and roof. Part of the building was wrecked when a group of Jedi combined their telekinetic powers to cause part of the roof to cave in. Synthia survived, but her spotter was not so lucky. Using Cloaks of Nuun, the partisans flanked the Jedi and ambushed them.

 

When the enemy ring tightened around the ruins, Mezha made the judgement call to pull out. The partisans slipped out during the night, along with the civilians who had hidden in the basement. Synthia formally joined Viper Company, Mezha's unit. The diversion had served its purpose, now the Republican Guard had to escape the cauldron. They had to leave most of their heavy gear behind. The rebels vanished into the wilderness. Eventually they managed to link up with the rest of the rebel forces. Synthia's cybernetic eye was badly damaged during the fighting. Krovic, who had medical training, helped patch her up.

 

For good or ill, Synthia's fate was now tied to that of the partisans. She mourned her dead comrades. Indeed, Mezha found her when her grief caused her to suffer a breakdown. The Yuuzhan Vong was a hard woman who had suffered at the hands of the Dominion's servitors, but tried to help her through her grief. Synthia rediscovered a sense of camaraderie among the rebels. She helped Mezha when the latter launched a rescue mission to free rebels who had been captured during the retreat. She faced disciplinary action for this unauthorised mission and was separated from her new friend for a while.

 

Synthia's background was investigated by the Guard's security service. For a while, Synthia was away from the frontlines. She was thoroughly questioned about her time with the Dominion and her knowledge of it. There was obviously only so much a common soldier could provide. However, she was useful in other ways. The agitation department of the Guard decided to use her for propaganda. Synthia was interviewed about her experiences as a servitor of the Jedi and participated in propaganda broadcasts urging Dominion clones to defect.

 

It was also supposed to help boost the morale of the rebels. Their defeat had been a grave blow to them, so Synthia was supposed to help remind them of what they were fighting for. To this end she visited a number of communities in the liberated zones. During this time the Twi'lek was exposed to the philosophy of the Communards, an anarchist faction that was part of the Guard's Popular Front.

 

Though united in their hatred of the Force theocracies and their desire to build a secular, egalitarian nation of the common people, the Guard was not free of factionalism. It had experienced its share of schisms and factional struggles undermined cohesion. However, Synthia embraced the Communards' philosophy. Their belief in freedom and self-determination struck a chord with her, unlike the more authoritarian elements of the movemet.

 

However, the rebellion was not without its dark side. Force-Sensitives, including children, were rounded up to be isolated and reeducated. After all she had seen, Synthia had come to regard as a type of disease. Thus she agreed with these measures, but believed they did not go far enough. For the good of the community and their own, she reasoned, Force-Sensitives had to be cured. She herself underwent a risky medical procedure to become Force Dead.

 

Having been unable to win the war conventionally, the Republican Guard returned to fighting an asymmetrical campaign. Synthia participated in several raids and terrorist attacks on Dominion and Vaderite targets, working closely with Mezha. The two became friends. Their missions included blowing up factories and Force enclaves, assassinating or abducting Jedi or Sith, targeting infrastructure well as planting improvised explosive devices on roads and as killing supposed collaborators. 'Collaborator' was obviously broadly defined. Captured Jedi or Sith were often subjected to the embrace of pain or hung from trees. It was a brutal, dirty war. Synthia still dreamed of and hoped for a better world without war.

 

Things took a profound turn when Tephrike's long period of isolation came to an end with the arrival of Firemane. At first the off-worlders negotiated with the Dominion, but then declared war after their delegation was attacked by extremists. Mezha, Synthia and the Vipers helped Laira Darkhold and her mixed group of Resistance and Firemane pilots escape a Dominion ambush. This led to both sides entering an alliance of convenience. Synthia swallowed her distrust of Force-users. For now the enemy of her enemy was her friend.

 

Once again, the Republican Guard assaulted Purity. This time they were backed by Firemane air power and soldiers. But the battle was still very bloody, despite the off-worlders' advanced technology. The Dominion used a weather control machine to negate Firemane's air power and deployed Force-users in large numbers. Linking up with Freya Solveig and her squad, the Vipers fought their way through the trenches and the tunnels of the base. She was forced to slay one of her clone siblings while protecting Mezha, who had been injured while fighting a member of the elite Jedi Vanguard.

 

Close to the end of the battle, General Kennobi ordered a brigade of Younglings to conduct a suicidal death charge to buy time for a retreat. The child soldiers were slaughtered. Enraged, Synthia took out her anger on the Dominion personnel that was still alive when the rebels stormed the base. Unfortunately, Kennobi had committed suicide by the time they caught up with him. The Guard raised its banners, claiming Purity for itself. This was a great victory for the rebels, but the struggle is far from over. Now Synthia is determined to see it through.