Jump to content

  • Log In with Google Sign In
  • Create Account

Elpsis Kerrigan-Alcori

Elpsis Kerrigan-Alcori

Member Since 04 Mar 2015
Offline Last Active Today, 06:00 PM
****-

Breaking the Machine

27 April 2018 - 04:57 PM

Ari Vox, Sebastian Thel

 

 

The aftermath of battles was not something often spoken of. By contrast, it was epic clashes of armies and the grand duels that drew attention. But it was not seemly to focus on the scars - both mental and physical - such battles could not leave. Especially if you wound up being thrown into the conflagration again. You steeled yourself, womaned up and dealt with it. Or gave a good impression of doing so at any rate. So that was what Elpsis did.

 

 

The safehouse was an unobtrusive, nondescript building, not really standing out from any of the other buildings on the street. It was drab, dull and the furnishings were pretty simple, with only the most basic functions in mind. Worker drones on the industrialised hive world of Ession did not need anything else, after all. It had food, clothes - and, hidden in a secret compartment - enough guns to cause some havoc.

 

 

Elpsis had picked a spot on the carpet in one of the few rooms to meditate. Meditation was a basic skill any Jedi apprentice learned, but she'd long struggled with it. It required peace of mind, the ability to let go and turn your gaze away from the great and small concerns that plagued you. She'd always had trouble staying in one place. Inevitably her mind wandered to the recent events that had taken place during her first sojourn to Ession. She'd come here with high hopes. Help the local rebels, deliver a blow against Sith sympathising, imperialist friendly scum, impress mother. When her contact had told her of a Sith Lord and asked that she take care of the problem, she'd pounced at the chance. Silly dreams.

 

 

What had happened? The Sith Lord she'd faced had been none other than Matsu Xiangu. The dreaded Witch-Necromancer. Elpsis would be lying if she claimed she hadn't been afraid. The fight had been vicious, driving both to their limits. She'd held her own, suffering ghastly injuries, but dishing out as well. But good people had died.

 

 

The rebels had chosen to help her with the assignment, but nonetheless the deaths weighed heavily on her. Like a mountain. She wondered how Tempest dealt with it. Or Siobhan. Her adoptive mother's name caused the bile to rise inside her stomach. Siobhan had scorned her as weak, but she'd stood up to a monster who was her mother's equal. Revulsion filled her even as she tried to focus.

 

 

So here she was again. Determined to put the intel the rebels had given her to good use. Her maimed right hand, lacking pinkie and ring finger, was a permanent reminder of the duel. As were the burns on her stomach and the dark marks etched into her face. Being blind, she could not look at herself in the mirror, but she could feel the imprint of darkness. Attempting to find serenity in meditation did not go well, for peace eluded her.

 

 

She tried to reach that safe spot inside her mind, the sanctuary of the forests and wild beasts. But just as she was about to cross the threshold, she was pushed out of her meditation when she felt two presences approaching. They were coming this way, en route to the safehouse. With a sigh, she turned her ethereal gaze outward, homing in on their presences. Their auras were not hostile though.

 

There was a knocked on the door to the room. "Company. Motion sensors spotted two people approaching. No jackboots," the female Devaronian dressed in spacer clothes was one of the local rebels who'd found alongside her. One of those who'd extracted the young empath when things went to hell.

 

"It's our friends," she said with certainty. "Tell Horns." 'Horns' was actually Lin Brakka, an Irridonian Zabrak and a Sergeant in Firemane's black ops division. She wasn't fond of the nickname. The rebel nodded - and checked a blaster pistol concealed in her jacket. The two newcomers would have to identify themselves with a password before being let in.


Castle Maysaf

28 January 2018 - 03:53 PM

Gothic-castle.jpg

 

OUT OF CHARACTER INFORMATION

  • Intent: To sub the headquarters of the Disciples of the Vader, a home-grown NPC cult on Tephrike. Aside from providing another location for rps for explorers to discover, the sub helps flesh out the lore of Tephrike by codifying a location referenced in the planet submission.
  • ​Image Credit: Here. Found on dailydesigninspiration.com. Gothic castle. Unknown artist.
  • Canon: N/A
  • Links: N/A

SETTING INFORMATION

  • Military Base Name: Maysaf Castle
  • Classification: Army base, castle.
  • Location: Tephrike.
  • Affiliation: The Disciples of the Vader, a local Sith cult on Tephrike. Not affiliated with any non-Tephriki faction.
  • Population: 10, 000 slaves, 10, 000 non-slaves ( second category includes non-military personnel, 100 Sith and 5000 soldiers).
  • Accessibility: The castle is well known and highly visible, but very hard to access due to defence shield, mountain passes and defences.
  • Description:A foreboding fortress located in a mountain that lies on the border between the deserts and the jungle lands. The castle has achieved infamy as the place from which the Disciples of the Vader rule. Through use of slave labourers, they have dug extensive tunnels beneath the earth, enabling them to quickly flee or get reinforcements and supplies in case of an outside attack. Unsurprisingly, the castle also has dungeons and laboratories, in which ghastly alchemical experiments take place. The castle is protected by a shield generator, giving it some protection against bombardment. The castle and the nearby town function as the capital of the Sith cult. From here, the dark cultists launch raids to acquire slaves and booty, along with forcibly extracting tribute from the settlements that have the misfortune of being under their heel. The cultists have strong opinions on trespassers. It can be summed up with the phrase 'heads, spikes, walls'.

 

POINTS OF INTEREST

 

The Grand Hall: Here the cultists congregate to pay homage to their Dark Lord and offer him tribute in form of slaves, plunder and so on. Same applies to representatives from the settlements that have been forced under the yoke. Unsurprisingly, the hall is very grandiose, and the Dark Lord sits upon a throne made of skulls. Tapestries decorate the walls, telling the story of the Vader. Time has distorted historical records, and so the Disciples have some rather odd ideas about their idol. While they agree that he was conceived by the Force, spent his childhood as a slave, won a pod race, became a Jedi and then embraced the Dark Side, crucial details differ. For instance, they believe that when he returned to Tatooine many years after his departure, he slaughtered the Hutts and Sand People, freeing the slaves. But then the slaves begged him to enslave them again, for they did not know what to do with their freedom. It was then that he realised that some people are born to be slaves because they are not meant for freedom. Furthermore, they believe that Darth Tyranus and Qui-Gon were the same person and Dark Lord of the Sith, and that Anakin slew him to claim the title. In his final living moments, Tyranus urged Anakin to fulfil his destiny and named him Vader.

 

 

Likewise, on Korriban Vader was tested by the spirits of the ancient Sith Lords, but he overcame all of their trials and devoured their souls. Obi-Wan, the archnemesis of the Dark Messiah, betrayed him and corrupted his son Luke. It was Vader, not Palpatine, who was the ruler of the Empire, for the Emperor was a weak Force-user. Tales of Vader's redemption are dismissed as filthy lies by the dark acolytes. The Dark Messiah was betrayed by his son and struck down by the false Emperor, who embraced the Light. There's an enormous Darth Vader statue.

 

 

Hall of Tournaments: Inside this castle chamber, the wheat is separated from the chaff. Taking the Sith's obsession with rule by the strong to its logical extreme, the Sith have dispensed with more rational means of promotion by allowing a Disciple to challenge his direct superior to combat to the death. The rationale behind this is that any man who cannot physically defend his position does not deserve to hold it. However, this method of promotion is only permitted if the challenger makes an official challenge to his superior. Assassination, poisoning, a knife between the ribs in the dead of night, these are considered trickster tactics and proof of a man's weakness, not his strength. Once a formal challenge has been made, a duel takes place in this hall, under the watchful eyes of witnesses and statues of ancient Dark Lords such as Vader and Bane. Disputes between Disciples are also resolved her through duels to the death. Gladiator fights also take place here for the entertainment of the higherups. Moreover, Force-sensitive human slaves can fight here for the right to become Disciples.

 

 

The Sanctum of the Dark One: Located in the highest tower of the impractical castle, secured so only the highest masters can see it. Here, the Disciples store what they believe to be Vader relics. For items that supposedly belonged to Vader are regarded as sacred. Said items are all frauds, and it is doubtful that they were ever even in the same room as the Dark Lord. Or existed in the same era. Indeed, with all the pieces of Vader's cloak, mask, lightsabre and armour they claim to possess, it would have been enough for several individuals to put together. This has not stopped the Disciples from continuing the search for relics. Only the highest masters have access to this room, and it is heavily guarded by the most loyal acolytes, who have shed flesh in favour of crude cybernetics. Successive cult leaders have claimed to commune with the spirit of the Dark Lord. Channelling his presence through his mask, he relays instructions to his heirs and shows them the power of the Dark Side. The Disciples believe that one day a Scion from the bloodline of the Dark God Vader will appear to eclipse the Light. So they store these relics until that glorious day arrives.

 

 

Chamber of Sacrifice: Once an acolyte has passed his trials to become a Disciple, it is time for him to sacrifice a limb like the cult's idol did. So he is taken to this chamber, where his right arm is severed at the elbow by a lightsabre. Subsequently, it is replaced by a crude cybernetic arm. He's also given a dark mask. Some particularly fervent Disciples go a step further and sacrifice more limbs than just an arm, desiring to emulate Vader as closely as possible.

 

 

Chamber of Forging: Located in the lower levels of the Castle. Here, alchemists conduct experiments on sentient beings and beasts alike. Prison cells and cages lie adjacent to the laboratory. The result of these experiments are crude Sithspawn creatures conditioned to serve their dark masters. Alas, some of them are simply too savage and need to be put down. But there's always more prisoners to experiment on. Moreover, cultists also design alchemised weapons in a nearby workshop. As lightsabres are extremely rare on Tephrike, Sith swords and the like are standard weapons for Disciples.

 

 

Chamber of Illumination: Also located in the lower levels. Here unbelievers are enlightened via torture. The Disciples favour some rather ghastly, stomach-churning punishments that even some Sith might consider extreme. Prison cells are nearby.

 

 

Sith Council Chambers: Located in one of the higher towers. Here, the Dark Lord and his most powerful lieutenants convene, deciding on important matters of state. As the Disciples are frankly a band of barbaric marauders, this mostly boils down to campaigns to torch Jedi enclaves, acquire slavers and booty. Composition of the council fluctuates, as power struggles are a regular occurence. The Disciples are human supremacists, so there are no aliens.

 

 

Slave pens: The economy of the Disciples runs on slavery. Slave labourers are held in deplorable, squalid conditions. The logic is that the strong do what they will, and the weak suffer what they must. So the weak deserve anything that happens to them. They toil day and night, and have no rights. It is perfectly legal for a Disciple to strike or kill a slave in anger. Individual Disciples are awarded slaves in return for service. Should a slave escape, it is their responsibility to catch and punish them. However, should the escape be successful, this shows the Disciple was weak, which means that he is the one who is punished. Slaves are not allowed to be able to read or write. Disciples who show compassion to slaves are regarded as weak, for they are succumbing to the pull to the Light. Because Vader was human, the Disciples regard humans as the master race, so many of the slaves are aliens. However, a Disciple can be enslaved as punishment for transgressions against the Sith Code. Should that occur, he is severed from the Force.

 

 

Execution grounds: Located in the courtyard of the palace. Here heretics, traitors and uppity slaves are publicly executed. Executions tend to be public events. The Disciples are fond of a variety of savage execution methods. These include breaking on the wheel, crucifixions, disembowelment, dismemberment, hanging, drawing and quartering and immersion in boiling liquid. Sometimes the friends or loved ones of the condemned are forced to carry out the sentence themselves. Should they refuse, then they're obviously enemies as well.

 

 

Hangar: A small hangar can be found in the castle. It is able to hold a small amount of ships, but is not designed anything like frigates or cruisers. None of the Disciples have ever left Tephrike anyway. Instead, they have some primitive gunships and fighters. These are outclassed by the Dominion of Light's craft, which says a lot about their poor state since the Windian Jedi's tech is quite primitive. Rather their main utility lies in scouting or imposing the Disciples' will upon villages by raining down death upon the helpless. Up on one of the spires, there's a landing pad for small craft, which is reserved for the use of the Dark Lord. The Disciples might idolise Vader, but they've been unable to imitate his piloting skills.

 

 

Barracks: Living quarters for the soldiers that guard the Castle. By the standards of the Disciples, they constitute an elite force. Separated from their families at an early age and indoctrinated to revere the Vader, they are essentially slave-soldiers, though they are regarded as standing above the slaves. Constant indoctrination teaches them to regard Vader as the Dark God and the Disciples as his chosen ones. Connected to the barracks is an armoury for all their violent needs.

 

 

The high masters of the cult reside higher up in more elegantly furnished chambers, attended upon by their slaves. Aside from the aforementioned locations, one can also find storage rooms, a medical wing, grand dining hall, kitchens, and so on. There's also a library, though the Disciples don't have any rare holocrons from ancient Sith Lords lying around.

 

 

DEFENSES

Defences consist of an energy shield protecting the castle, some antiaircraft guns, turrets, motion sensors, long treacherous pathways leading to the castle, maze like interior, guards and traps. Moreover, ray shields have been installed along strategic locations in the castle's main spire. There are also some simple pitfall traps...but unfortunately they malfunction sometimes and several people have been lost when the trap accidentally triggered. The guards are a mixture of non-Force-using grunts, Sith and primitive Sithspawn creatures/war beasts. Extensive tunnels have been dug beneath the castle through the use of slave labour. If needs be, these could enable the cultists to make an escape - or suprise and hit a besieging army in the rear.

 

 

HISTORICAL INFORMATION

 

One might wonder what Darth Vader would think about the fanatical cult that worships him with such zeal...while totally misunderstanding him in many ways. Presumably Force Choking would ensue. Sadly, you do not always get to choose your worshippers. Castle Maysaf was built in the distant past of Tephrike. The exact circumstances have been lost to history, though it was probably built as a defensive fortress after the planet was settled during the days of the Old Republic. When the Galactic Empire rose to power and brought the Galaxy under its jackboot, it served as a sanctuary for Tephrike's Jedi and rebels.

 

 

However, its walls could not withstand a force of stormtroopers with armoured support, and so the rebels were slaughtered. The Empire briefly made use of the fortress, but over time it was abandoned. In the centuries that followed, as Tephrike experienced various ups and downs during the time of the New Republic and the Galactic Alliance, the fortress remained out of use.

 

 

Until the Gulag Virus did a number on the planet. Long story cut short, the Dark Age sent Tephrike spiralling into chaos. Isolation caused famine, a myriad factions fought over scarce resources, leading to an age of strife. Cut off from the rest of the order, the Jedi tried to take control. At first on a provisional basis, but soon they sought totalitarian power in the name of order and founded a repressive régime called the Dominion of Light. Repression bred resistance, which in turn bred more repression.

 

 

As the Jedi grew corrupt and sought to impose their vision on society, some grew drunk on power. One of them was Cade Seward. Born during the Dark Age, he was thrust into the horrors of war at an early age. Jedi ruled over vast swathes of territory as Jedi Lords, seeking to impose order by any means necessary. They dispensed justice, requisitioned supplies to feed population centres under their control and commanded armies. For some the strain proved too much, and the siren call of the Dark Side could not be resisted.

 

 

Reaching officer rank, Seward was part of a bloody campaign against rebels in Tephrike's jungles. These rebels considered the Jedi theocracy illegitimate and sought to restore Tephrike's pre-Gulag Virus Republic, though in practical terms they were another warlord faction. The campaign was not going well, for though the Jedi forces could deploy impressive firepower, they were harassed by guerillas and plagued by disease. Increasingly, food and clean water became scarce. Many soldiers on both sides lost their lives but succumbed to various diseases. Morale was understandably poor. Jedi Knight Seward took command over a section of the forces after his superior was fragged by mutineers.

 

 

Bitten by a nasty mosquitoe, Seward was afflicted with malaria. Suffering from the effects of the diseases, which caused headaches, fever and uncontrolled seizures, he experienced bizarre visions. Even as a child, he'd received Force visions, but now these were more intense. In his fever dreams, he saw a towering warrior clad from head to toe in black armour, with his face covered by an imposing mask. The figure handed him a scarlet lightsabre and, in a cold, gruff voice, ordered him to break the chains the Jedi had placed upon him and eclipse the light.

 

 

It took some time, but eventually Seward succumbed. Drawing upon his somewhat incorrect knowledge of history, he deduced that the man in black had to be Darth Vader. He shared his revelations with a few subordinates. Some refused to heed his bold vision. They were put to death. The rest swore allegiance to him. Secretly reaching out to the rebel forces, he struck a deal with them, and led the Jedi loyalists into an ambush. Holding his own troops back from the fighting, he proceeded to turn on the rebels. Conveniently, they were in a poor state as well and so a good number of their soldiers joined his cause when he promised them revenge and booty.

 

 

Taking over a few minor settlements and assimilating various militias into his army, he began his dark crusade. At first dismissed as a mere bandit, the Windian Jedi Order eventually realised that this rogue, who'd begun to call himself Darth Menace, was an actual threat. War ensued, but after winning a number of victories, his army was decimated at the Battle of Palmyra, which left Tephrike's already ruined old capital devastated by use of chemical weapons. Forced to retreat into the jungle, he led the remainder of his army on a Long March, performing scorched earth tactics on the way. Still obsessed with his destiny, he plotted revenge on the Jedi, but some of his generals had enough. And so they did the classic Sith thing and turned on him. His apprentice Darth Vengeance challenged him to a duel and defeated him in mortal combat.

 

 

It was Vengeance who led the remnants of the 'Dark Legions' to the ruins of Castle Maysaf. Here, high up in a mountain that lay on the border between jungle and desert lands, he planted his standards. From this moment on, it would be the new base of the Disciples of the Vader. Its ground was consecrated through the ritual sacrifice of several captives. While Menace had been slain, many of his principles remained alive, though the order he'd founded changed over time. Though the Disciples kept claiming that it was their goal to cover Tephrike in darkness and exterminate the Jedi, in practical terms they became a band of marauders who preyed on the weak, while still launching raids into Jedi territory whenever the Dominion of Light showed weakness. Vengeance was less of a fanatical Vader worshipper than the cult's founder, but intensified the cult of Vader in order to provide a unifying ideology that could keep the cult together.

 

 

Successive Dark Lords have kept the dark faith alive, albeit with varying zeal. It has produced an odd cult that takes the Sith's obsession with rule by the strong to the extreme. Slavery was revived, for those who could not defend themselves did not deserve freedom. Moreover, non-Force-users were inherently inferior to Force-users and thus equality was a lie. Using slaves acquired through raids on scattered settlements, the Sith cultists rebuilt and expanded the Castle, digging deep tunnels beneath the earth. They also installed defence systems, which had been mostly acquired through raids. Ghastly torture was inflicted upon heretics, 'uppity' slaves, captured Jedi and so on in the dungeons. In line with their vulgar Social Darwinist ideology, the Sith Masters decree that the old and infirm should be killed due to being 'useless eaters'. They demanded tribute from nearby settlements, and extracted it via brute force.

 

 

The Republican Guard, a secular faction that idealises the Old Republic and despises Force-users, has often launched raids on the Castle and the nearby villages, seeking to rescue slaves and captives. The Jedi are aware of the fortress', but its defences have proved formidable. Moreover, the forces of the Dominion of Light are stretched thin across the planet.

 

 

Despite often claiming that they are the only ones fit to impose order on the Galaxy, Sith have a tendency of being unstable and fighting amongst themselves. This was especially the case for the Disciples of Vader, as they fully embraced a martial might makes right ideology. Thus throughout the history of their reign over Castle Maysaf, its halls have been stained with blood.


Of particular note is an episode during the reign of Darth Impaler. As the name would imply, this Dark Lord was fond of impaling those who disagreed with him. Or just plain annoyed him. Indeed, his crass cruelty was even considered extreme by other Sith. It helped that he was extremely paranoid and convinced that his fellows were plotting against him. In all fairness to him, they actually were, so he wasn't that far off the mark.


Aside from the usual backstabbing, two heretical movements reared their head. A group of cultists had discovered what they believed to be 'a sacred text' from the Jedi, which told the true story of Darth Vader. Said text was actually a 'Galactic Civil War for Dummies' sort of book, which told the story of Vader's redemption. Thus one group proclaimed that since Vader had embraced the Light, it was their duty to do so as well as the true disciples of the Chosen One. In doing so, they would finish what he started by restoring the balance of the Force. The other group claimed that since Vader had fallen to the light side, Palpatine was the true Dark Lord and it was their duty to destroy the false Sith. Civil war ensued. Impaler hoped to pit both factions against the other, but the leader of the 'Light Sith', Darth Krieg, was able to rally a number of rebellious slaves to his cause.


In the end, Impaler was slain in a duel. The Sidious zealots were purged and Krieg took control. Despite ostensibly being a lightsider, he saw nothing wrong about ruling as a dictator. He reached out to the Dominion of Light to negotiate a treaty, but they rebuffed him. So he declared that the faux Jedi had fallen to the Dark Side and must be purged. Cannily, he arranged an alliance of convenience with the secular Republican Guard, launching a joint campaign against the mutual enemy. However, while Krieg was campaigning, his enemies in the cult seized control of the castle and upon his return he was poisoned. This was justified with the argument that he was an unbeliever, and so the normal code did not apply. The old order was restored and the 'heretical' text was burnt.

 

 

Presently, the lord of the castle is a Sith Lord called Darth Furcht. He came to power during the disruptions caused by the Netherworld Event. Castle Maysaf remains the centre of power of the Sith cultists, despite the best efforts of the Dominion to dislodge them. With the Windian Jedi weakened by internal purges, the Sith cultists sense an opportunity. Whether they will be able to stay unified long enough to take advantage of it is another question.


Nexus City

24 January 2018 - 03:54 PM

pyongyang-vintage-architecture-by-raphae

 

OUT OF CHARACTER INFORMATION

  • Intent: To sub the capital of Tephrike
  • ​Image Credit: Here. Found in an article by Dan Howarth: 'Ralph Olivier's photographs of North Korea reveal Pyongyang's unique architecture', found on dezeen.com.
  • Canon: N/A
  • Links: The dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell served as an inspiration, both for naming of certain organisations and the general feel. Wikipedia link here. It also owes a bit to Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, though people probably have more fun there. Wikipedia link here.

SETTING INFORMATION

  • City Name: Nexus City
  • Classification: Urban Centre
  • Location: Tephrike
  • Affiliation: Governed by the Dominion of Light, the official government of Tephrike. Not affiliated with any non-Tephriki faction.
  • Demographics: The distribution between humans and aliens is about even, with humans having a slight majority. While the Windians are responsible for many unpleasant or frankly insane policies, they are not racist. After all, Tephrike's first Jedi Lord, Zaras Dant, was a Duros, and her successor Tiyan Kree was a Devaronian. Humanocentric racism looked upon poorly. However, Quarren, Gungans and Nautolans are discriminated against because many of them support the Republican Guard. Few of them live in Nexus City, and those that do are under constant pressure to prove their loyalty.
  • Wealth: Low. Even the richest of Jedi Lords own little of real value to the galaxy, and most people barely have anything. Credits and other forms of money have been abolished. Instead, citizens receive a fixed amount of coupons. They can only use these coupons for specific things. For instance, one coupon is for food, another for clothes and so on and so forth.
  • Stability: High. Dissent is ruthlessly squashed. From the moment they're born in state-run nurseries, citizens have tracking devices implanted. Security cameras, surveillance drones and the like monitor the inhabitants. The monitoring does not stop in public places, but continues in the habitation complexes the citizens inhabit. Furthermore, they must present their IDs at security checkpoints manned by militia. Having an invalid ID is cause for arrest and detention in the Ministry of Harmony. An inhabitant of Nexus City is constantly bombarded with propaganda, and the kindly visage of the Grandmaster and Lord of Light looks down upon him from posters on public buildings. Unbelievers, deviants and lawbreakers are executed, detained and reeducated, deported to labour camps or banished into the wilderness, where they often die. Reeducation is a euphemism for brainwashing, and can include mindwipes. Not reporting to the Ministry of Healing for egg/sperm harvesting and sterilisation is one of the many transgressions a citizen should not commit. As citizens are encouraged to report those who show insufficient faith and deviate from the holy laws, fear, suspicion and conformism are pervasive in the city. Hoarding, violating the universal dress code, simply not showing up at a parade or appearing insufficiently patriotic are all considered heretical acts. Citizens who find themselves experiencing 'wicked thoughts' are strongly advised to report to the Ministry of Harmony so that they can be purified before the dark side enslaves them. That said, the city has been plagued by terrorist activity, as both the Republican Guard and the Disciples of the Vader have been able to infiltrate agents, despite the draconian security measures.
  • Description: Nexus City is the official capital of Tephrike and the largest city on the planet. It is the centre of power of the Dominion of Light and the Windian Jedi that rule it. The city is filled with enormous buildings and monuments. In many ways, the builders tried to create an idealised version of Coruscant, though on a far smaller scale. While grand spires reach towards the sky and past Jedi heroes are glorified with massive statues, the living conditions of the common citizens are rather poor. The habitation complexes are drab, and lacking in comfort. All aspects of daily life are monitored by the totalitarian government. Due to the ongoing civil war, security is very tight.

POINTS OF INTEREST

Galactic Senate: The architects did their best to copy Coruscant's Galactic Senate Dome. Here, Senators are supposed to make laws for the good of all. However, the grandiose building has never been used. After all, the peasants do not need a semi-oligarchic legislature when the benevolent Lord of Light rules over them. Moreover, the Jedi overlords did not take into account that the soil would be unable to support the enormous structure. As a result, the dome is in a poor state and has partly caved in. This is blamed on dark side machinations.


The Grand Jedi Temple: A fairly faithful copy of the Old Jedi Temple on Coruscant, though this ziggurat is a lot more grandiose. It is located in Skywalker Square, like many public buildings. The visitor is greeted by huge statues of legendary Jedi Masters such as Lord Hoth, Grandmaster Soda, Master Mace Windu, as well as of the Jedi Lords who ruled over Tephrike. Holographic projections of old Jedi recite lines of the Jedi Code, more or less inaccurate quotes of Jedi sages and general words of wisdom from Tephrike's rulers. It has training rooms, living quarters, an armoury, forgery, hangars, laboratories and medbays, council chambers, gardens and so on. Despite the heat, members of the order are still expected to wear baggy Jedi robes, no matter how impractical. Jedi Temple Guards and Inquisitors watch over all, always on the lookout for signs of heresy within and without. The Temple is protected against bombardment by a shield generator. Moreover, defensive emplacements have been set up. As lightsabres are very rare on Tephriki due to the lack of crystals, many Jedi use Force imbued or alchemised melee weapons. The Jedi Inquisition maintains its own wing in the temple, which only authorised personnel are allowed to enter. It includes a dungeon for unbelievers, though these are soon handed over to the Ministry of Harmony to keep them from contaminating the temple with their vile presence. To prevent jurisdictional friction, the Grand Inquisitor is dual-hatted as Minister of Harmony. Also of note is the Wall of Heroes, upon which the names of all Windian Jedi who died in the crusade against the dark side are engraved.


Jango Fett Cloning Facility: It may be considered odd that the Jedi would name something after Jango Fett, considering what happened on Geonosis. However, time has distorted facts, and so the Windians remember him differently. In their version of history, Jango was a Mandalorian Crusader who was redeemed by Mace Windu. Under the tutelage of the Jedi Master, he saw the light and abandoned the bloodthirsty ways of his brethren, volunteering to become the genetic donor of the Jedi's clone army. The clone troopers served the order faithfully, for they felt naught but reverence for their Jedi Masters. Alas, they were stabbed in the back and massacred by the evil Stormtroopers, who had been grown in secret by the Dark Lords. Thus it is only fitting the today's clone troopers continue his proud legacy. Appropriately, this is the place where they are grown and educated. They do this under the watchful eyes of twin statues of Mace and Jango, who are shown shaking hands. Sadly, the Dominion's cloning technology is very primitive, and so the clones have a low life expectancy. Clone madness is also an issue.


Palace of the Lord of Light: This grandiose building serves as the residence of the Grandmaster and Lord of Light. Pilgrims often come here to make obeisance before the grand statues. In the old days, the Grandmaster would greet his subjects from the balcony, waving and staring benevolently upon them. However, the present Grandmaster, like a number of his predecessors, is a puppet of the Jedi Battlemaster, who commands the clone army. Indeed, he's never left the palace since being appointed and so most citizens only know him from the propaganda posters. Since said posters have looked the same for a long time, no commoner really has much of an idea what he looks like. The palace is guarded by Jedi Guardians and clone troopers. Rumours claim that within these hallowed halls, the Grandmaster violates the vow of chastity that everyone is expected to follow.


Ministries of Harmony, Health, Enlightenment, Plenty and Peace: These ministries are all located in close proximity to one another in Skywalker Square, so they can be described as one. Harmony is responsible for ensuring ideological purity and controls the thought police. Here heretics are compelled to see the error in their ways. Health regulates all aspects related to healthcare, which includes the mandatory harvesting of eggs and sperm and the growth of new citizens in nursery complexes. As this too much to handle in one building, it has subsidiaries in several districts. Enlightenment is responsible for propaganda and education, Plenty regulates the economy, assigns citizens to their workplaces and doles out coupons, Peace runs the armed forces.


Elgin's Repository of Approved Mystical Items: The license of this shop was approved by the Ministry of Harmony. Here, the loyal citizen can purchase talismans, good-luck-charms and other Force imbued items that protect him or her against the temptations of the Dark Side. In actual fact, these items are pretty useless for the wearer. What they really do is weaken the wearer's mental resilience and make them more susceptible to Force-based suggestions, in other words mind tricks and the like. The wearer experiences a minor high and thus grows addicted to the item. This helps protect the wearer from wicked thoughts that could cause him to question his place in the Dominion.


Industrial Workers' Habitat 16A: All habitation complexes are assigned to members of a specific profession/caste. Thus this habitat can be considered a model for the average one. It is a high-rise apartment complex. Here people who perform factory work in the same district live. All apartments within the complex are provided by the state, which also provides furniture. They're small and all look the same. To ensure equality, the inhabitant is not allowed to furnish his apartment on his own. Thus liberated of the need to buy a bed, chairs and so on, the resident can concentrate more thoroughly on serving the Light. Kitchens and bathrooms are communal on every floor. Hoarding is considered a serious offence. Within his apartment, the resident has access to entertainment channels, but these are all provided by the Ministry of Enlightenment. Furthermore, he has a channel specifically dedicated to his work and job. It keeps him well-informed about the Windian Jedi Order's vision of a brave new world, the Dominion of Light's victories, and how dark the world outside of the Dominion is. Needless to say he is constantly monitored. Like every habitat, this one has a habitat warden, who is responsible for the conduct of every inhabitant. Under the supervision of the habitat warden, residents regularly meet for faith sessions in the communal room. They watch patriotic movies, proclaim their faith in the Dominion of Light and perform self-criticism. Every resident is encouraged to produce a statement detailing his or her ideological errors, no matter how minor those might be, and reaffirm their renewed belief in the Jedi. Sadly, this habitat is in a poor state and the building has seen better days. Power is unreliable and it is best to use the stairs rather than the lift, no matter how many time you have to climb.


Larn's Approved Medical Commissariat: A store located in one of the less reputable portions of town, the Sapphire District. Aside from the usual medication, it also sells various illegal and semilegal items,s such as mind-altering drugs. These are generally acquired via the Order of the Blessed Way, which harnesses the mushrooms located in the Ruhewald. Officially, these flower children are schismatics, and so many customers of the store have the feeling they're doing something illegal. However, in actual fact the government knows all about what is going on in the store. The happy pills help keep bad thoughts from the minds of their users. The owner of the shop has a deal with the Ministry of Harmony and keeps the Inquisitors abreast about customers who are in need of enlightenment.


Open Circle Grand Protection Fleet Base: Open Circle references a Clone Wars fleet. This the sole spaceport of Nexus City. However, there's no civilian traffic, as it is believed that everything outside of Tephrike is covered in darkness. So the military is the sole user of the base. But the 'fleet' is quite unimpressive since most of the ships are old and rusty. A few starfighters, bombers and subcapital ships are functional, but they are very dated and maintenance is poor. Moreover, the pilots lack experience in spaceflight. The gunships are good enough to drop napalm bombs on partisans in the jungle though. Or spray said jungle with herbidcides.



HISTORICAL INFORMATION


Today, Nexus City is the official capital of Tephrike. In practical terms, it's the capital city of the Jedi theocracy known as the Dominion of Light. This regime rules most of the planet, though its control over more remote provinces is shaky.


Construction of Nexus City began during the reign of Jedi Lord Tyian Kree, as the old capital Palmyra had been devastated during the civil war that ensued after the outbreak of the Gulag Virus. However, Kree died from a heart attack while laying siege to a rebellious Gungan city. So it was left to her successor, the human Norn Astur, to complete her work. Astur had been elected by the Jedi Generals in secret conclave and lacked the authority of his predecessors. To further legitimise his claim, he assumed the title of Grandmaster, in addition to that of Jedi Lord. For all he and his brethren knew, they were the last Jedi in the Galaxy after the Great Plague had brought civilisation to its knees.


Astur was less warlike than the previous Jedi Lords. This was partly due to necessity. After years of fighting, the army was tired and the Jedi Generals wanted to consolidate power. So he focused on building an 'enlightened society' in the territories the Jedi Militants controlled, leaving the more remote and often devastated areas to the rebels.


Nexus City was supposed to be the last bastion of civilisation, a shining example to the rest of Tephrike. The builders did their best to build a new Coruscant on the tropical planet, albeit on a far smaller scale. Furthermore, many Tephriki had lost their homes and livelihood during the war. They needed to be taken care of. At the same time, this was a welcome chance for the Windian Jedi Order's ideologues to build a 'perfect society' in their image. They could create a civilisation fully immersed in their warped perception of Jedi dogma, for they wielded absolute power.


In many ways, Nexus City resembles Coruscant. The cityscape is characterised by huge towers, high-rise apartment complexes, and grandiose buildings, such as the Jedi Temple, the unused Senate Building, the Arch of Triumph and so on. A wide area of jungle was cleared to make room for the city. Intensive planting was done to support the new population. Unfortunately, the soil is quite thin and poor, made worse by inefficient farming techniques. Moreover, the soil is too weak to support a number of the more grandiose monuments, causing them to cave in. This has been blamed on dark side magic and terrorist activity, for it must obviously be the work of wreckers and sloths.


A succession of Grandmasters has ruled from this city. During the reign of Grandmaster Kolar, a vast palace was built to serve as residence. It was absurdly expensive, but conveniently the citizens of the Dominion of Light are paid in coupons. Incidentally, Kolar was also a puppet of his Jedi Battlemaster, much like most of the Grandmasters that succeeded him. When Grandmaster Kalija Grael tried to break out of the gilded cage and exercise true power, she was quietly eliminated. Since then few Grandmasters have left the palace after being put into power. Security was tightened further after a group of clone troopers mutinied and joined the rebels, forming the Republican Guard. Terrorist attacks committed by the darkside Vader cultists heightened paranoia in the city.


The régime was brought to the brink during the Netherworld Event, when mass disappearances threw the city into chaos. The event coincided with food shortages. Public protests on Skywalker Square turned violent when the régime's praetorians fired upon unarmed civilians. This day would become known as Bloody Sunday. The bloodletting caused some soldiers to join the protesters. Both the Republican Guard and the Vader cultists seized the chance, activating their agents inside the city. However, the loyalist forces were able to rally, exploiting the rebels' inability to cooperate. It did not help that the would-be Scions of Vader were often more interested in marauding than in pursuing a military campaign. While the Dominion was left weakened by these events, its crackdown in Nexus City succeeded. Since then the régime has become even more paranoid. Whereas there was a time in the past when enforcement of the religious laws was comparatively laxed, these days citizens are under extreme pressure to conform and broadcast their loyalty to the 'one true Jedi order'.


In this day and age, soldiers, militia and surveillance drones are present throughout the city. High-rise apartment complexes are prominent in the cityscape. Most of them are drab and rather bland, unless they happen to belong to the élite, though even the Jedi Lords own little the greater galaxy would be interested in. The Jedi Temple is an enormous ziggurat that in theory can be reached by a maglev train, but said train is less than reliable. Patriotic rallies and military parades often take place in Skywalker Square. A puppet Barsen'thor blesses the faithful. In the city of the faithful, citizens are born in government-controlled nurseries. They do not know their progenitors, because the miracle of life takes places in a medically sanctioned way in a lab, without sexual intercourse. Theoretically, they are all implanted with tracking ships upon birth, though the efficacy of these devices varies, as glitches can occur.


They learn their predetermined trade in government-controlled education complexes. After reaching the age of maturity, they are assigned a small apartment in a habitation complex and spend the rest of their lives repaying the Windian Jedi for their kindness by serving the order in whichever profession they've been assigned. They are paid in coupons, which exactly determine what they can buy with them. Barracks double as permanent habitats for soldiers, ensuring that they are always ready to serve the cause of the Light.


Despite the poor conditions, living in Nexus City is considered a privilege. The alternative is to live in one of the minor settlements, which are close to villages. When it comes to supplying the Dominion's citizens with food and other essential goods, Nexus City is prioritised. Those who live here generally do not need to worry about not having enough food, drink and other essentials, though there is very little to buy in the shops. This is why being exiled from the capital is commonly considered to be a death sentence. This, perhaps more than the surveillance state, is what causes most citizens to be compliant, no matter how much they might privately grumble about the totalitarian régime that seeks to dictate every aspect of their lives. Moreover, they are constantly bombarded by propaganda, which seeks to convince them that everything outside of the Dominion is hellish. After centuries of isolation, the average citizen might not be an enthusiastic zealot. But he or she simply does not know any better.


Inferno

24 January 2018 - 03:36 PM

Orange_Lightsaber.jpg

 

OUT OF CHARACTER INFORMATION

  • Intent: To sub Elpsis' lightsabre.
  • Image Source: Here. Found on powerlisting.wikia. Unknown artist.
  • Canon Link: N/A.
  • Restricted Missions: N/A.
  • Primary Source: Vanquish,

PRODUCTION INFORMATION

  • Manufacturer: Elpsis Kerrigan-Alcori, Draco Vereen
  • Model: N/A
  • Affiliation: Elpsis Kerrigan-Alcori
  • Modularity: Crystal and power cellscan be swapped.
  • Production: Unique

Material:

  • Krayt Dragon Pearl (primary focusing crystal)
  • Dantari Crystal (secondary focusing crystal)
  • Madog Steel (received ooc permission from Ijaat Mereel to use his sub, tagging him here so that he can confirm this with a like)
  • Leather
  • Standard lightsabre components

 

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

  • Classification: Lightsabre.
  • Size: Average
  • Length: Hilt 25 cm, blade 110 cm.
  • Weight: Light

SPECIAL FEATURES

Strengths:

  • All the standard strengths of a lightsabre.
  • Due to Non-dimetris circuitry, it cannot be shorted out by cortosis, only blocked.
  • Can be utilised in water.
  • Due to the imbuement, Elpsis can channel the Force through the weapon so that the sabre is able to harm demons, spirits and other Force apparitions.
  • Reduces Force Fatigue

Weaknesses:

  • This feature requires concentration and focus. The weapon is attuned to her Force presence, but she must actively channel her power through it to harm the aforementioned entities. This can be distracting.
  • Madog Steel causes the hilt to emanate a minor Force aura. This makes being stealthy a bit more difficult, as it is easier to sense the wielder.
  • Possesses most customary weaknesses of a lightsabre. Namely a weakness in penetrating lightsabre-resistant alloys (beskar, phrik, cortosis, songsteel etc.), Vonduun Skerr Kyrric and Amphistaffs and a lack of mass. The latter limits the amount of power a wielder can unleash with each blow, compared to a physical blade that can cause physical trauma through sheer force.
  • Lightsabres are weak at blocking conventional bullets (slug rounds etc.).

DESCRIPTION
 

As a Jedi, Elpsis never got around to building her own lightsabre. Or even utilising anything beyond a standard training sabre. (Un)fortunately, her career as a Jedi was cut short by a traumatic encounter with her father Xerexes, a sadistic Sith Lord. Though she was saved from the torment he inflicted upon her, she was unable to cope and ran away from the Jedi Temple.

 

 

What followed were many years spent on the streets of Coruscant and Nar Shaddaa, the underworld and general scumpits. Eventually, she acquired a real lightsabre by taking it from the corpse of a dead Sith on Ossus during the Netherworld Event.

 

 

She used this weapon until she lost it while fighting One Sith minions during the Corellian League's raid on Sith-held Corellia. Finally she decided that it was time to build her own. At this point, she'd become a good deal less angsty and joined Firemane Industries as a semi-independent contractor.

 

 

Her new glowstick served her through many battles, such as the Omega War, Kaeshana and Mustafar. It was a utilitarian and fairly standard weapon. More recently, she and and her buddy Laira Darkhold fought and killed a Krayt Dragon on Terax. During the course of the brutal fight, Elpsis tossed her lightsabre into its mouth, which helped end the beast. Rather than retrieve the blade, she decided to make a new, more customised one, since the pair had conveniently acquired Krayt Dragon Pearls.

 

 

One was used by Laira for her first sabre, the other was claimed by Elpsis. Hopefully she will not end up losing her third sabre as well. Regardless, Elpsis modelled her weapon on Laira's to a degree.

 

 

The hilt is composed of finely crafted, engraved Madog Steel. This ancient Je'daii metal was originally created by the ancient Je'daii Master Vur Tepe Tem Madog, and later rediscovered by Ijaat Mereel, who passed his knowledge on to Draco Vereen.

 

 

Conveniently, Draco is Laira's father, so he was nice enough to make the hilt for Elpsis. It probably helped that she's very nice to his daughter, but this one digresses. The metal has been attuned to the Force aura of its wielder, bonding them. Furthermore, it possesses minor lightsabre resistance. Finally, it enables Elpsis to imbue the weapon with the Force. This allows it to harm Force apparitions such as spirits and demons, in the same way as a Force imbued blade would. Elpsis has a personal reason for this since while her father was killed many years ago by Siobhan Kerrigan, she ran into him in the Netherworld. So if he returns as a spirit, this gives her a tool to slay him. Besides, she's run into her share of malevolent spirits and Force abominations during her travels. Leather is wrapped around the hilt, and there's a small bone talisman hanging off the chain. Said talisman does not yield any benefits whatsoever. Both are just there because Elpsis is nature girl.

 

 

The second important feature is the inclusion of a Dantari crystal. Compared to Laira, Elpsis is more of a mage in combat, as she relies heavily on her Force powers, especially her pyromancy. Moreover, she's physically blind and depends on the Force to see. Thus the Dantari was included to serve as a secondary focusing crystal. This allows her to recover faster from Force fatigue and delay the moment she reaches that point to begin with. A refined Krayt Dragon Pearl acts as primary focusing crystal. The blade has an orange colour, projecting an appropriately fiery light.

 

 

Aside from these two components, the features of the lightsabre are quite standard in this day and age. A bifurcating cyclical ignition pulse enables underwater use. Non-dimetris circuitry ensures that contact with cortosis will not short out the blade. The Faraday Cage gives the electronic components limited resistance against ion attacks and the like. Due to a dual phase setting, the length of the blade can be adjusted, switching between a standard longsword and a shoto.

 

 

However, the weapon has the standard lightsabre weaknesses against lightsabre-resistant alloys such as beskar, phrik and so on. Elpsis considers this acceptable since she views her lightsabre as more of a backup, as opposed to a primary weapon.


Tephrike

12 January 2018 - 08:01 PM

mqo_class_planet__by_voyager212.jpg

 

OUT OF CHARACTER INFORMATION

  • Intent: To create a planet to explore for RPs. This planet also plays with the concept of how isolation can affect a world in situations such as the Gulag Plague. How would people react when the civilisation they know collapses? Would benign intentions turn to evil over time? It is also a typical case of how those using the Force can fall to the Dark Side, while still believing that their intentions and actions are good, eventually taking over a planet not unlike Joruus C'Baoth did. Contrasted with them are other factions, all of which are trying to recall a past they do not actually remember, worshipping long-dead idols. How would history be remembered after a dark age? The many dynamics of the place make it an interesting world to explore and interact, especially considering how the galaxy has changed. The sub is a joint effort, incorporating ideas from Valiens Nantaris and Nima Tann.

  • Image Credit: Here. MQO class planet by MacRebisz, found on Deviantart.

  • Canon: N/A

  • Links: N/A

GENERAL INFORMATION

  • Planet Name: Tephrike

  • Demonym: Tephriki

  • Region: Outer

  • System Name: Sivas

  • System Features: A vast asteroid field encompasses the system. Large enough to prevent the approach of large capital ships, though smaller vessels are able to slip through easily enough. In addition to Tephrike, there are two other terrestrial planets located in the system: Carcassonne and Bogomil. There are also a few gas giants. Tephrike has a pair of moons, Tarpani and Karbeas.

Coordinates: AM-38.

 

unknown.png

  • Major Imports: Technically N/A. Potential: Medical supplies, food, clean water, weapons, advanced technology.

  • Major Exports: Technically N/A. Potential exports: Wild animals, timber, drugs, raw materiels.

 

GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION

  • Gravity: Standard.

  • Climate: Arid.

  • Primary Terrain: Tropics, with some deserts and mountainous areas, along with irradiated wastelands. The constant conflict between Jedi, cultists and rebels has devastated significant portion of the planet. As a result of the use of chemical weapons, several rivers are contaminated, causing great harm to flora and fauna. This has also negatively affected underwater races such as Nautolans and Gungans, compelling many of them to throw in their lot with rebel groups. While the inhabited areas are mostly alright, some parts of the planet have been so devastated by warfare that they can no longer support sentient life. Some forests have been devastated by herbicidal warfare and use of incendiary agents such as napalm.

Major Locations:

  • Nexus City: The official capital city of Tephrike. It is the centre of power of the Dominion of Light and the Windian Jedi Order that rules it. The city is filled with enormous buildings, monuments and great statues that glorify past Jedi Masters. Unfortunately the names for some have been garbled over the years. For instance, there's a magnificient statue of Master Soda, Grandmaster of the Galactic Jedi there. Naturally, the Grand Masters of the Windians are glorified as well. Other landmarks of note include the Arch of Triumph, the Tower of Eternal Peace, the Grand Jedi Temple, the Grandmaster's Palace and the Senate Building. The last one has never been used. Alas, some monuments are so grand that the soil is unable to support them, causing them to cave in. The régime blames darkside terrorists. High-rise apartment complexes are prominent in the cityscape. Most of them are drab and rather bland, unless they happen to belong to the élite. The Jedi Temple is an enormous ziggurat that in theory can be reached by a maglev train, but said train is less than reliable. Patriotic rallies and military parades often take place in Skywalker Square. A puppet Barsen'thor blesses the faithful. To live in Nexus City is considered a privilege, and thus security is very tight. Those who transgress are often exiled into the wilderness.
  • Red Coral City: A cross between a refugee settlement and an armed rebel camp, it is protected by the Republican Guard. The underwater lies in the a sea called the Cerulean Expanse, in the north of Tephrike. Located in some underwater caves combined with the hydrostatic bubbles the Gungans use keep the water out. As in Otoh Gunga, these bubbles contain a breathable atmosphere and have special portals that allow inhabitants to exit. However, space is sparse and quarters are very cramped, meaning there is little privacy for the inhabitants. The members of the leadership fare better, but it is still a far cry from luxury. Security is very tight and the partisans are a vigilant lot. Scarce resources mean that those who gain entrance to the underwater city must make sure they contribute to society, for otherwise they must leave. Red Coral also houses the command staff of the Republican Guard and the leadership committee of its political wing.
  • Masyaf Castle: A foreboding fortress located in a mountain that lies on the border between the deserts and the jungle lands. The castle has achieved infamy as the place from which the Disciples of the Vader rule. Through use of slave labourers, they have dug extensive tunnels beneath the earth, enabling them to quickly flee or get reinforcements and supplies in case of an outside attack. Unsurprisingly, the castle also has dungeons and laboratories, in which ghastly alchemical experiments take place. The castle is protected by a shield generator, giving it some protection against bombardment. The castle and the surrounding town function as the capital of the Sith cult. From here, the dark cultists launch raids to acquire slaves and booty, along with forcibly extracting tribute from the settlements that have the misfortune of being under their heel. The cultists have strong opinions on trespassers. It can be summed up with the phrase 'heads, spikes, walls'. The castle features a massive Vader statue, since the Disciples idolise him, believing that he was the true ruler of the Empire, while Palpatine was just a figurehead. The Castle elite guards wear armour and masks based on their idol's life support suit.
  • Ruhewald: A thick jungle occupied by a schismatic Jedi sect called the Order of the Blessed Way. They are pacifist flower children who reject violence against sentient beings...which does not prevent them from being the planet's biggest drug producers. They believe that they can commune with the Force through use of mushrooms. The forest's name is rather ironic because it is populated by nasty creatures with a healthy appetite, including mosquitoes, giant spiders, fast growing creepers, feral nexu and carnivorous plants. The cultists have tamed some of the beasts. A cynic would say that the beasts enable them to be pacifists because the Mother Jungle does the killing for them. Aside from being adept at animal friendship and concealment, the cultists employ plant surge to ensure the forest remains untainted. They have been known to provide guidance and healing to refugees who find their way to the jungle, but on the whole are isolationist. They refuse to get involved in outside affairs.
  • Die Große Verwüstung: Located in the far east. Once a verdant, fertile land, teeming with life, it was devastated during the age of strife, to the point where it can no longer support life. The air is foul for most living beings to breathe and the water is contaminated. Once Tephrike's old capital Palmyra was located here, but now only ruins remain. Word is that zombie like creatures roam the land. Perhaps they were unleashed by darkside cultists during one of the many battles, perhaps they are the spawn of some horrible bioweapon that was used. Either way, this land is cursed. Rumours of lost treasures or technology continue to attract daring - or foolish - adventurers. Indeed, one occasionally finds something lost and forgotten in an old bunker or amidst the ruins. Very few make it back alive.
  • Tephrike Golden Future Binary Fusion Plant: This power plant was supposed to help usher in a brave new world for Tephrike. Alas, it turned out to be just the opposite. Sentient error and construction errors conspired to cause a large scale meltdown. Huge swathes of land outside of the power plant were turned into radioactive wasteland. Successive governments made an attempt to clean it up, but then the Galaxy was thrown into a Dark Age and simply surviving became more of a priority. To this day, the area is contaminated. Even today radiation levels are extremely high. It does not bother zombies though.

POPULATION

  • Native Species: Once upon a time, Tephrike was close to a paradise. Its tropical forests were home to a diverse flora and fauna, teeming with plant and animal life. However, even in those days, the seemingly so beautiful forests were dangerous. Today, the age of strife has devastated large portions of the planet, though a number of native species still survive. Sea beasts are common in the waters - those that are not contaminated at any rate. They are particularly troublesome for the rebels, who make use of underwater habitats. Of note are the Beißer, which are essentially highly dangerous sharks, and the Ungeheuer, a giant squid with huge tentacles that can drag men to their doom. Fortunately, the squids are quite rare, though there were attempts to weaponise them during the civil war. Piranha-like fish also exist, and can be dangerous for careless swimmers. In the sky, predatory, bird-like creatures vie with one another, some mammal, others reptilian. Most of these creatures live in the mountains, where they are safe from attack. Tephrike has insects and crawly creatures in abundance, including rather dangerous mosquitoes, which can act as vectors for many disease-causing viruses and parasites. Parasites of all sorts abound. Plants are naturally a huge part of any jungle and the remaining tropics of Tephrike are no different. However, the traveller should be careful, because the planet is home to carnivorous plants similar to what might be found on Felucia. Furthermore, there is an ostensibly harmless looking leaf covered in fine hairs. These hairs are a defence mechanism, and if they contact exposed skin they inject a mind altering substance which causes irrational fear and flight. Many animal species are resistant against it, but the effect is quite unnerving on humans. Unsurprisingly, various parties have tried to weaponise the substance in question, seeing its potential. The intrepid explorer should also beware the mushrooms that are particularly common in the Ruhewald, for they tend to possess psychedelic proprties and can have interesting effects on his psyche, causing vivid hallucinations. Moreover, there are fast growing creeper creatures. Of note is also the Blutfledermaus, which is often found in the desert regions. As the name might imply, it is a vampire bat that feeds on warm-blooded animals. Normally it does so while its victim is sleeping and causes little harm, but alchemy has created a meaner, more aggressive subspecies.

  • Immigrated Species: Humans, Nautolans, Gungans, Devaronians, Twi'leks, Quarren etc. Foreign settlers also imported animals such as Nexu and Boma.

  • Population: Sparsely Populated

  • Demographics: 52% human, 48% alien. Aside from the usual alien races such as Duros and Twi'leks, the planet also attracted a number of aquatic races due to its bountiful rivers, which allowed them to recreate their natural habitats. These include Gungans, Nautolans and Quarren. The environmental degradation caused by the war led many to throw in their lot with the rebels.

  • Primary Languages: Galactic Standard Basic

 

Culture: Tephrike's culture has been inexorably shaped by the outbreak of the Gulag Virus - and the decisions its leaders made to weather this great storm. As with many worlds across the Galaxy, civilisation collapsed. Cut off from the rest of the Order, the small chapter of Jedi on the planet believed that they were the last bastion of Light in a Galaxy that had beenconsumed by Darkness. In their eyes, the outbreak had to be a Sith plot. With the social order unravelling, they were thrust into the role of political leaders. At first, they assumed this position reluctantly, but over time they came to enjoy being Jedi Lords. Then they became convinced it was the will of the Force. To be keepers of the peace, Jedi could not be at the beck and call of politicians. They had to take control and shape society in accordance with what they considered to be the will of the Force. 

 

 

As a result, the culture of Tephrike is more than a little...bizarre. Doubtless very, very, very few Jedi would believe that the dogma imposed in the Dominion of Light has anything to do with what the ancient Jedi sages such as Odan-Urr, Yoda and Luke Skywalker wanted. Indeed, they'd understandably argue that it has more in common with the tyranny Lightsiders are supposed to fight. Joruus C'baoth and Atris might approve though.

 

 

Within the Dominion, family units have been abolished for the masses. From birth, all new-born children are communally raised in nursery complexes owned by the benevolent Windian Jedi order, without ever knowing their parents. The enlightened Jedi consider sex even inside marriage to be sinful, for lust is a cardinal sin. They suggest all males and females register for mandatory sperm and egg harvesting, before having permanent operations to prevent such sin occuring. Thus the miracle of life can occur in a medically sanctioned way without putting citizens at risk of being seduced by the Dark Side. A tracking chip is implanted into every new-born baby, though it experiences glitches sometimes.

 

 

The nurseries raise the new-born for five years, then they're sent to an educational complex, where they're taught to become loyal, hard-working citizens. Naturally the order will decide their profession via a standardised test, and their entire education will be all about excelling in the particular field the order has chosen for them. This enlightened caste system ensures that every citizen knows his place in society. Moreover, their accommodations are chosen for them, because all common citizens are assigned a spot in a habitation complex. There they live in urban communes, under the watchful eye of the order's monitors. It should be noted that these edicts are far more difficult to enforce in remote settlements far away from the centre, meaning that enforcement is not universal. Furthermore, the system is highly corrupt, enabling a privileged few use bribes and connections to ignore the draconian laws. Indeed, it is rumoured that some Jedi Masters are far less chaste than the Code dictates they should be. As the saying goes, all animals are equal but some are more equal than others.

 

 

To combat materialism, currency has been abolished. It is not possible to use credits in the Dominion of Light. Instead, every citizen receives a fair share of coupons. From each according to his ability to each according to his needs. Private ownership is considered a great evil because it leads to greed - and thus the Dark Side of the Force. The order provides everything a citizen could ask for - education, an apartment, clothes, food and drink. So there is no need for money.

 

 

While the death penalty has been abolished, the theocratic overlords have other ways to punish lawbreakers. Thousands of 'decadent' urban dwellers have been 'persuaded' to relocate to rural areas to redeem themselves by toiling the fields. Particularly extreme deviants undergo a Force-induced memory wipe. Stripped of their original personalities, they are meant to be docile labourers who serve the order without question, for an empty mind is a pure mind. The regime not only tolerates, but encourages the use of 'happy pills' - mind-altering drugs - since they help keep the populace docile. The same applies to cheap talismans and good-luck charms.

 

 

The profound social and political transformation on Tephrike went hand in hand with a technological regression and the rise of a theocratic movement, which deified the Light Side and treated the Dark Side as a malevolent demiurge. The Grandmaster is not merely the leader of the Jedi, he is a holy man who has achieved oneness with the Force, making him immune to the Dark Side. In short, he is the embodiment of all that is good and pure in the world.

 

 

The irony is that the Jedi who imposed this system on Tephrike were, at least to a degree, motivated by guilt. For it was their belief that the Jedi had failed in their duty as protectors by allowing the Gulag Virus to bring down galactic civilisation, causing trillions of deaths. The only way to protect the last bastion of light is through constant vigilance and faith. Their great role model is Mace Windu, the Jedi Master who led a failed coup to topple Chancellor Palpatine and thus prevent the Sith from taking over the Republic. It is doubtful that the Jedi of Tephrike have much of an idea of what Master Windu's tenants actually were, but they are quite fanatical about them. Doubtless he would be horrified.

 

 

From early on, young citizens are taught to dedicate themselves to what is considered to be the one true faith. Jedi healers perform miracles, thus proving that the Light cares about the faithful. On the flip side, those who oppose the order are not merely enemies of the state, but also unbelievers, darksiders and heretics. Great monuments have been erected to glorify the Jedi heroes of Tephrike and their equally glorious forebears, and most art serves propaganda purposes. Within the Dominion's cities, the benign visage of the Grandmaster can be seen on propaganda posters that cover the walls of public buildings. Indeed, every citizen is advised to put a portrait of the Grandmaster in the living room of his or her apartment. Likewise, pilgrimages to giant statues are encouraged.

 

 

The Disciples of the Vader were founded by rebellious Jedi who were disgruntled by how official Jedi dogma was infringing on their inalienable right to practice the Dark Side. Their first order of business was to subjugate the communities of exiles who had been driven into the wastelands, and seize a few minor settlements that had previously paid tribute to the Dominion. Their second order was to impose what amounted to chattel slavery by turning their new subjects into serfs. Free to indulge their desires away from the totalitarian control of the Windian Jedi Order, their regime soon degenerated into warlordism, sustained by savage raids and terror.

 

 

The average subject of the Windians receives a limited education...but he receives one and, provided he pays lip-service to dogma and doesn't break any of the many, many laws, he has a high degree of job security and is reasonably safe in his life. His life is dull and there's little to buy with his coupons, but he is largely safe. Provided he doesn't get caught up in a terrorist attack or get sent to the frontlines.

 

 

By contrast, the average subject of the Sith cult is an illiterate slave who gets worked to death and can be beaten or killed on a whim. His life is a hollow one, defined by fear and backbreaking labour. It is made more bearable by cheap liquor and drugs. Some serfs possess a higher status because they have much needed skills or work in the household of a Sith master, but in the end they are still serfs, unless they turn out to be Force-sensitives. As feuds between Sith masters are common, serfs often change masters a number of times during their lifetime. They are also commonly traded as gifts, since they are considered to be property. The most unlucky ones end up as victims of primitive alchemical experiments performed by the sorcerers amongst the Disciples. By contrast, the Force magi live like feudal overlords, lording it over the peasants. On the flip side, the peasants get to experience something like family life, unlike their counterparts in the Windians' territory. Provided their families are not broken up by their overlords.

 

 

The Disciples propagate a darkside religion that idolises Vader, elevating him to the status of a Force God, the Son of Suns, for he was born of the Force. They believe that one day a Scion of the bloodline of Vader will reveal himself and usher in an age of darkness, in which the Light will forever be eclipsed. They are rather militant about enforcing this faith, much to the detriment of the common populace. Items that supposedly belonged to Vader or were components of his armour are treated as sacred relics. Said items are all frauds, and it is doubtful that they were ever even in the same room as the Dark Lord. Or existed in the same era. Indeed, with all the pieces of Vader's cloak, mask and armour they claim to possess, it would have been enough for several individuals to put together. This has not stopped the Disciples from continuing the search for relics. Tales of Vader's redemption are dismissed as filthy lies by the dark acolytes. The Dark Messiah was betrayed by his son and struck down by the false Emperor, who embraced the Light. To become a full member of the cult, an acolyte must have his right arm ritually severed. It is then replaced by a crude cybernetic. The most fanatical Vader worshippers go a step further, sacrificing flesh to become closer to their idol. They are also fervent human supremacists, regarding non-human races as lesser beings.

 

 

The situation is quite different - and yet in some ways similar - in the areas that have fallen under the control of the Republican Guard, a radical rebel faction. It is staunchly secular, regarding Force religions as a means 'space wizards' employ to oppress the common people. As a result, all forms of Force worship have been prohibited. Force-users are often regarded as deviant witches. If they cannot be controlled, they must be eliminated. Some of the members of the Republic adopt a maltheist viewpoint, seeing the Force as some sort of malevolent deity, but this is a minority position, as it clashes with the Republican Guard's overall atheism. Children who manifest Force powers in rebel territory are subjected to brainwashing and a good bit of mental trauma to associate the Force with bad things. The rebels regard the Force as a disease, but lack the Vong technology to truly cure the infected by turning them Force Dead. So they resort to mental conditioning to suppress Force use.

 

 

Being an insurgency movement that has managed to seize control over a few provinces, the resistance has imposed a war economy on those it seeks to liberate - whether they want to be liberated or not. As it was founded by rebellious clone troopers, joined by various alien races, this faction is highly militarised, with universal conscription. In its culture and daily life, the rebels idealise the old Galactic Republic, seeing it as a bastion of democracy, sentient rights and good governance. Indeed, ballads and theatre plays glorifying the deeds of the Grand Army of the Republic are common - by contrast, the Dominion of Light does the same for the Jedi. Many of the inhabitants of its territory include citizens who fled the Jedi or Sith controlled areas - or were rescued during raids on labour camps. As supplies are scarce, they seize a lot of what they require via raids. Resistance fighters also try to smuggle subversive literature and leaflets into the territory controlled by the Force cultists.

 

 

Every citizen is expected to own a weapon and become reasonably proficient in its use, and must serve with the part-time militia. The unofficial credo in these lands is 'freedom is never free. It is purchased with blood', which sums up their mentality quite well. In contrast to the two theocratic factions, semblances of a free press and autonomous cultural life exist, but due to wartime exigencies, even these are limited. It is a hardy, rugged life, defined by the constant struggle for survival. For a while, the radical democrats in their ranks experimented with a democratically elected officer corps, chosen by soldiers' councils. This proved to be terribly inefficient and was quickly suppressed. While the rebel faction possesses a political wing that maintains the formal trappings of democracy, in practical terms it is controlled by a junta. However, there is a strong element of direct democratic participation on the local level. Since the currency is worth little, barter trade is common. The Republican Guard reluctantly tolerates opium poppy production...though they prefer illicit export into Jedi or Sith territory!

 

 

Unlike in the territory of the Windian Jedi Order, citizens in rebel territory are allowed to procreate via the conventional way. Indeed, they are encouraged to do as often as practically feasible, since the bastion of freedom is always in need of new workers and soldiers.

 

 

GOVERNMENT & ECONOMY

  • Government: Jedi theocracy. This describes the Dominion of Light, the dominant government on the planet. Its control is contested by a variety of rebel groups, ranging from secularist Republicans to Sith cultists.

  • Affiliation: Unaligned.

  • Wealth: Low. Decades of war, political and economic mismanagement and totalitarian control have led to widespread impoverishment. Free trade is suppressed by an authoritarian command economy. There is a flourishing black market, which rebel groups use to fund themselves.

  • Stability: Overall Low, as there is a civil war going on. However, stability in the areas under the unfettered control of the Dominion of Light is High, as it is a totalitarian government that suppresses opposition and has enacted an extreme form of religious communism by forcing an extremist, warped interpretation of Jedi philosophy on the populace. However, revolutionary factions contest this regime by supporting insurgent movements within its territory, which carry out terrorist attacks. Basic rights such as freedom of movement, freedom of expression and so on are suppressed. The Dominion has created a paranoiac surveillance state that seeks to monitor and mould the daily lives of its citizens. Two rebel groups, the securalist Republican Guard and the Disciples of the Vader seek to violently overthrow the regime. Whereas the former is dominated by Non-Force-Users and focuses most of its draconian policies on Force-users, the latter is a cult of darkside fanatics and slavers. Though officially the Dominion is an orderly police state governed by an enlightened philosopher-king who rules in accordance with the will of the Force, in practice the recent Grandmasters have been puppets of their Battlemasters. A Grandmaster who steps out of line risks being 'retired' by a palace coup.

  • Freedom & Oppression: Freedom is highly limited and largely restricted to a select few, namely the upper class. Officially, the Jedi Grandmaster is the absolute leader of the Dominion of Light, though in practice he is a puppet of the Jedi Battlemaster who commands an army of slave-soldiers. A thought police monitors the citizenry and persecutes those considered to have succumbed to the Dark Side. Though technology has regressed since the outbreak of the Gulag Virus, surveillance is pervasive. Fear of the ruling body is prevalent, as there is strong pressure to conform. Within the areas the Dominion controls, private property has been abolished. The same applies to family units. Forced relocation of nonbelievers is common. Though officially dedicated to the creation of a democratic Republic, the Republican Guard runs its territories via an authoritarian junta and has suspended most basic freedoms for the duration of the war. However, limited criticism of the regime is allowed, but only within certain bounds.

 

MILITARY & TECHNOLOGY

  • Military: Heavily militarised, but suffering from technological regression, as detailed above. All feuding factions maintain military forces, using them to mount campaigns against the opposition or extract tribute from the populace. The Dominion of Light is the dominant faction in that regard. Aside from regular soldiers chosen via the regime's caste system, it maintains a force of clone slave-soldiers. However, the technology used to create them is not the best. On average, the clones have a very short life span and increasingly face the risk of madness. Thus more clones must be grown with increasing frequency. The forces of the Vader cultists have more in common with bands of marauders, while the Republican Guard idealise the Republic's army, but have more in common with the Rebel Alliance since they're an insurgent force utilising asymmetrical warfare. However, theShould an external force seek to take control over the planet, the natives would face the problem of being divided and having inferior technology. While officers are promoted on merit in the Republican Guard, Force-users have monopolised command position among the Disciples and in the Dominion.

  • Technology: Before the outbreak of the Gulag Virus, technology on Tephrike would have been comparable to what constitutes the average on the Outer Rim. Rugged and utilitarian, but not primitive. However, centuries of isolation, impoverishment and civil strife have caused a technological regression. The military sector has fared a bit better than the civilian one since it's in the interests of the feuding factions to make sure their soldiers have the appropriate tools to kill each other - or keep the plebeians in line. Thus they still have guns, tanks, walkers and so on, but these are very dated. Blasters are more difficult to maintain in the jungle, which is why the more rugged, reliable slugthrowers have become popular. The Dominion of Light regime possesses primitive spaceflight capabilities, but only the most ideologically reliable members are given access to starships. As the regime believes that they are the last bastion of light and civilisation in the Galaxy, there is little incentive for it to explore what lies beyond their world.

 

HISTORICAL INFORMATION

 

Tephrike has always been a peripheral planet of minuscule importance. However, its fate has been closely linked to the ebbs and flows of galactic politics. After the Battle of Ruusan, the Galactic Republic enjoyed an age of peace. Enacting the Ruusan Reformation, the Galactic Senate demilitarised the Republic. Likewise, the Jedi renounced their military ranks, disbanded the Army of Light, believing that the threat of the Sith had been banished with the destruction of the Brotherhood of Darkness. This makes it a tremendous irony that one day a Jedi theocracy would come into being upon this insignificant planet. Of course, it is extremely unlikely that Lord Hoth would have approved of the regime on Tephrike.

 

 

Regardless, the planet was discovered in 500 BBY. Initially, pirates used it as a base that was out of the way and beyond the reach of law enforcement organs. However, they found the native wild life to be extremely dangerous. Much later, legitimate private enterprise came across the planet. The corsairs were driven out and capitalists from the Core Worlds were attracted by the ample supply of timber and exotic animals.

 

 

It helped that Tephrike was not inhabited by indigenous sentient life. Natives always made colonisation awkward since they resented the terra nullius doctrine. Colonial wars were expensive and generally produced negative PR. However, as the private companies soon discovered, while Tephrike was beautiful, it was also home to manifold dangers. This slowed down colonisation to a large degree. To a large extent, the initial settler population was drawn from convicted felons, who were given a second chance by performing menial labour on the jungle world. This was a convenient way to free up prison space.

 

 

Occasionally, convicts escaped into the wilderness. Those who survived the experience became raiders, which also gave the corporate settlements another reason to stock up on defences. However, Tephrike also attracted aquatic aliens such as Nautolans and Quarren. Some of them were political activists disgruntled with conditions on their homeworlds for this or that reason. Tephrike's oceans and seas were a natural fit for them. However, these alien colonists refused to follow the rules of the corporations that had been turning Tephrike into a corporate state. Moreover, many of the original colonists were humans or near-human. As a result, conflict over settlement rights were inflamed by racial tensions.

 

 

At the same time, environmentalists complained about the effect colonisation was having on the environment. In one case, radical animal rights activists tried to free captured animals, causing a number of deaths. As a consequence of these incidents, the Republic Senate got involved. The Jedi Order dispatched Jedi Knights to mediate, producing a compromise settlement that, in the spirit of compromises, satisfied no one but left the involved parties better off than in the past. The order set up a Jedi enclave, not only to keep the peace, but also to ensure that Force-sensitives born amongst the settler population received proper training after a darkside cult led by a radical Quarren tried to foment civil war on the planet. Following the end of the Naboo Crisis, a community of Gungan exiles who rebelled against the strict laws that held sway in Otoh Gunga established a colony.

 

 

The Jedi's presence would turn out to have long-lasting consequences for the people of Tephrike, for it made the planet a target after the Republic was transformed into the Galactic Empire. Jedi had, after all, been declared enemies of the state following Mace Windu's failed coup d'état. Aside from skirmishes with Separatist forces, Tephrike had largely escaped the Clone Wars unscathed.

 

 

This changed when Imperial forces descended upon the planet. The Jedi enclave was razed, and the new Imperial governor inaugurated a humanocentric colonial regime. A few Jedi survived the Purge and escaped into the jungle or aquatic regions, where they continued to resist the Empire by using guerrilla tactics. However, even with the help of persecuted aquatic aliens, their ability to bring about change was limited. To combat the partisans, the Imperial forces employed brutal scorched earth tactics, including the use of herbicides, napalm and chemical weapons. However, the colonial government also united Tephrike's scattered settlements and built the planet's first capital, Palmyra. Following the Battle of Endor, the colonial government lost contact with Coruscant, as the Empire began to self-destruct.

 

 

With no one further up in the hierarchy to oppose him, the Imperial governor became a warlord. An exorbitant fortune was spent on grandiose construction projects, such as hydroelectric dams and a new palace. These were financed by nationalising private assets and forcibly extracting tribute and population, which also had to provide forced labourers. However, the regime's harsh policies and notorious corruption produced resistance. Already weakened by internal power struggles, the regime was overthrown by a popular revolution with the aid of the fledgling New Republic. In its place, the native set up a federal republic loosely based on the Old Republic. Protection of racial minorities was enshrined in the constitution, which also specified that a minimum number of seats in the parliament should be reserved for minorities. This was a well-intentioned response to the humanocentrism of the Imperial regime and the racial strife that had plagued Tephrike in the past, but would turn out to be an error.

 

 

Ostensibly normalcy returned to Tephrike. By and large, the planet managed to get through the Yuuzhan Vong War and the Sith-Imperial War without becoming much of a target due to simply not being that important. The planet's bountiful plant and animal life attracted medical companies. Medical facilities were set up to run tests and experiments, encouraged by rather lax laws. This included a medical cloning facility. Some of these experiments created creatures that managed to escape, causing harm to civilians. Despite attempts at industrialisation, Tephrike remained underdeveloped and dependent on importing and exporting vital materiels. Tephrike continued to maintain a Jedi enclave, though the few survivors of the Great Jedi Purge struggled to integrate into the New Jedi Order. Indeed, there was a bit of a culture war between those who clung to the old ways and those who embraced the new.

 

 

To a large degree, the Tephriki focused on raw materiel extraction, relying on other planets for processing. In addition, they imported a lot of their food. Tragedy struck when there was a grand scale power plant meltdown. Some believed it was sabotage, though in all likelihood it was simple sentient error and design flaws that caused the power plant disaster. The Tephrike Golden Future Binary Fusion Plant incident turned a huge swathe of land into radioactive wasteland, triggering the release of substantial amounts of radioactivity into the atmosphere. Entire settlements had to be evacuated, and the area was placed under lockdown.

 

 

The strain on society was significant. It was accompanied by bickering in Parliament. Many of the political parties were species parties, rather than representing the populace as a whole. Coalition governments were common, and increasingly lacked stability. A power block of aquatic alien species demanded greater autonomy, claiming that the post-Imperial compact had been broken, even though many influential politicians had been drawn from their ranks! Similarly, alien races that had been left outside of the aforementioned compact agitated, believing that they had not been given a fair share. Radical humanist agitators declared that they were the ones being exploited.

 

 

But it was the outbreak of the Gulag Virus that broke the camel's back. The pathogen was brought to Tephrike by the crew of an Alderaanian merchant ship, who'd contracted the virus. Thus it was an accidental import. By the time people began to drop like flies, contact had been lost with the Galactic Alliance. Like on so many other worlds, entire Tephriki cities descended into chaos and panic. Security forces, medical doctors and Jedi to make sense of the crisis and hold back the storm that was sweeping across the planet. In some towns, the unrest coincided with outbreaks of racial violence.

 

 

It was in this situation that the Jedi decided to assume a protective stance. They were, in their own mind, the only body that could be considered neutral and objective. Furthermore, it was their duty to protect the people. Having lost all contact with the rest of the Order, many of them feared that they might be the last Jedi left. It might find surprising in the light of what their stewardship turned into, but the hardliners among them were also driven by guilt. They were Jedi Knights, defenders of peace and justice in the Galaxy. It was their duty to hold the darkness at bay and protect the innocent. And they had failed. They'd become complacent, and allowed their mission to be compromised by politics. Just as they'd done during the twilight of the Old Republic.

 

 

Declaring herself Jedi Lord, the Duros Zaras Dant took control over a provisional government. Her claim was disputed by the surviving members of Tephrike's parliament and cabinet, but she was able to gain control over portions of the security forces. With an iron hand, they began to restore order, whatever the cost. It was supposed to be a temporary dictatorship. Once the crisis had abated, power was supposed to be returned to the people. Necessity has always been the excuse of the tyrant, but it is likely that Zaras was sincere in her promise. At least at first. Alas, things would never return to normal.

 

 

Zaras launched a series of campaigns to restore order. As what was left of Tephrike's parliament and cabinet refused to acknowledge her claim, fierce fighting ensued in the capital of Palmyra, and the Presidential Palace was shelled. The death toll was high. However, many fatailities were not due to combat, but due to disease and malnutrition. Tephrike had always been dependent on trade, but this was obviously no longer an option in the Dark Age. Many foodstuffs and other essentials had been imported. With large swathes of the populace at the risk of starvation, the Jedi Lord implemented a policy of requisitions. All spheres of economic life would be nationalised, those who did not work would be conscripted into labour battalions and hoarding would be punished severely.

 

 

It came to clashes with the Gungans, who were accused placing their own selfish desires above the greater good and had granted asylum to renegades who'd stood with Parliament. The punitive campaigns and requisitions took their toll on the Jedi. Unable to cope with the strain - or rationalise the disconnect between the Jedi beliefs and their bleak reality - some went insane, deserted or fell to the Dark Side. Feeling that she could not relinquish authority despite having 'restored order' to most of the planet, Zaras broke her promise to step down. A rump Parliament had been convened to implement a new order and attempt to negotiate a settlement. But when several of the delegates criticised the Jedi Lord's actions, her soldiers forcibly removed them from the building. Elections were indefinitely suspended. Zaras Dant was assassinated by one of her own bodyguards. Her death led to a power struggle between the factions, out of all of which Jedi Tyian Kree emerged victor.

 

 

A Devaronian Jedi Sentinel, Kree was very ambitious - and had unknowingly fallen to the Dark Side. Obsessed with the idea that the Plague had been a Sith conspiracy and that agents of darkness lurked everywhere, she saw the uprisings sparking across the planet as confirmation. The infrastructure for a dictatorship had already been put into place by Zaras, but Tyian finished what her predecessor had started by implementing a totalitarian theocracy. For it was the only way to ensure that the Light would not be eclipsed by the forces of Darkness. In order to save the last vestiges of civilisation, the Jedi would have to harden their hearts. Furthermore, they would have to spread their beliefs to the common people, lest they become pawns of the Darkness.

 

 

A harsh crackdown followed, as her rule was challenged by Jedi who believed she was going too far, genuine darksiders and secular or secessionist rebels. On both sides, the war became increasingly savage. Abandoning the devastated Palmyra, she ordered the construction of a new capital, which would in time be known as Nexus City. By the time of her death, she'd secured most of the planet, though insurgents continued to challenge the Jedi's rule from hideouts in the jungle or underwater. To bring the rebels to heel, Kree laid siege to a Gungan city that housed rebels, but ended up dying from a heart attack.

 

 

The Jedi commanders met in secret conclave and elected a new Jedi Lord, who also assumed the title of Grand Master. After all, as far as they knew, they were the last Jedi. The new realm would be called the Dominion of Light. Palmyra was abandoned for good and Nexus City became the new capital. Here, the population could be monitored and indoctrinated. Here, the Grand Master reigned from a Jedi Temple modelled after the one on Coruscant...though said Grand Master increasingly became a puppet of the Battlemasters. Moreover, the Jedi began to make use of the medical cloning facilities that had been built before the collapse. Of course, since these had originally been designed with animals in mind, many clones ended up being of inferior quality. Many had a very short life expectancy or were afflicted with clone madness. Over time science and magic became one and the same, and the ancient systems were surrounded with rituals and lore.

 

 

A group of rebellious clone troopers deserted the regime and joined with Gungan and Nautolan insurgents to found the Republican Guard, as the indoctrination backfired. While Jedi idealised a warped Jedi order, believing that they were the inheritors of Mace Windu and Lord Hoth, these clones idolised the Republic. Red Coral City became their new headquarters. From there they would launch raids and skirmishes in their bed to liberate the planet from its theocratic rulers. Rebellious Jedi students, drunk on the power they wielded in the remote provinces, declared war on the Light and founded the Disciples of the Vader. The leader of this cult had been grown in a lab and was more than a little mad, believing that the Vader spoke to him in his dreams and had given him a mission to destroy the Light. Using primitive sorcery, they amassed an army of beasts and undead, using them to overrun a number of settlements, before failing at the ruins of Palmyra, after being lured there by the Jedi Battlemaster. However, disease and lack of supplies took their toll on the Jedi army as it pursued them. The Vader cultists would eventually claim an old castle as their stronghold, using slave labourers to restore it and augment its defences. Reflecting the racial tensions that had plagued Tephrike for so long, they also adopted a human supremacist ideology.

 

 

Lacking the means to directly overthrow the theocratic regime, they became raiders, slaveholders and marauders. Increasingly, the Windian Jedi Order grew bloated and corrupt. In the territory it managed to seize, the Republican Guard restored semblances of the rule of law and even democracy on the local levels, but also persecuted Force-users. Given the harm Forceful beings had done, one could not blame them. Both rebel factions remained implacably hostile to the Dominion of Light, but refused to cooperate due to their mutual animosity. This probably helped keep the regime afloat, even though its power was diminished under the reign of a succession of weak Grandmasters. For those who lived within the heartland of the Jedi's dominion, there was a degree of stability and security, albeit at the price of living under a totalitarian regime. Over time, what knowledge the Tephriki had once possessed of the outside world faded into the realm of myth.

 

 

Time passed, and most of the rest of the Galaxy emerged from the Dark Age. Great powers tried to exact their dominance upon the known worlds, empires rose and fell, but Tephrike remained in a state of stasis. The Netherworld Incident caused an outburst of religious fervour, as suddenly tons of people vanished. In the territory controlled by the Windian Jedi, the event was blamed on nefarious darkside magic. Clearly collaborators and Sith sorcerers had caused the disappearances, even though the Vader fanatics had been affected, too, and even underwent a civil war. The ensuing purges weakened the Windians, allowing their rivals to make some territorial gains. It remains to be seen which side will prevail and be able to enforce its vision upon Tephrike, and whether the planet's population will finally get lasting peace and the chance to recover.