Destiny was, and would forever be a fickle mistress. Her ethereal tides, like the future, were uncertain and ever-shifting. While many prognosticators believed they navigated the tempestuous currents of Providence with a measure of skill, the truth was that they fought against drowning in the turbulent oceans of Fate. However, there were islets that remained ever constant amongst the rolling seas. Places where, despite everything, those fateful moments were written in stone; unable to be changed by the capricious hands of mortals. It was upon one of these inevitable shores, that the incumbent Lord of the Sun Guard found himself staring at the abyssal fissure beneath his gilded boots. The man was uplifted for his actions at the Battle of Eshan, and the recurring Shadow Crusade across the expanse of the nebulous Ison Corridor thereafter. Alongside all of the plunder, slaves, and new recruits - Khonsu was now a Thychani Dictator, and next in line to claim the title of Supreme Sun Guardian.
His dark bargain with the supposed Lord of Death had seen the man meteorically rise through the ranks, and forever changed the fate of the Thyrsian people. They were fated to rise above their chains and take to the stars as Solar Crusaders; taking their barely constrained fury out upon all who seek to deny their destiny amongst the stars. Greatness was theirs for the taking, but the chains of the past and the present kept them grounded on the verge of cultural extinction. Those nigh-translucent skinned Echani still ruled and lorded themselves over their genetic cousins, forcing them to endure a slow and agonizing demise. It was the Way of the Warrior to place yourself above those that were considered to be inferior; either exterminating them because of their weakness or using them for back-breaking menial labour unfit for those that proclaimed themselves the victors.
While the silver-haired Echani and their Queen denied the past, there were those amongst her people that embraced it. Through their actions, they forced the hands of the Mandalorians to annex the Six Sisters; which in turn led towards the Confederacy’s retaliatory actions in that sector of space. To think, it was the Echani’s denial of their own nature that caused the devastation to their homeworld. Such things could’ve been avoided if that race was less concerned with isolating themselves from the galaxy and hiding their shame. They could’ve looked to their neighbours, the Mandalorians, and set their entire culture and species on a different path. However, they chose to remain blissfully ignorant and raged against the notion of their past ever coming to light.
The Scions of Mandalore found themselves along a similar path and were the second face of a single coin. They too denied who they really were, and took to the stars to ensure that none dared remember them as they once were. It was a choice made by one, a self-styled Wolf bearing the collar of a tamed beast. Through their will, and entire Culture that thrived on testing themselves against their betters, and growing, as a result, was utterly stifled and suffocated in the cradle. The Mandalorians, like their Echani cousins, became stagnant. They believed themselves to have risen above the barbarous roots, and stood amongst the more civilized societies that populated the Galaxy. It was a disgrace. They were mighty warriors once, and they had the chance to be mighty once more - yet they denied themselves the chance because of a Dog that considered themselves a Wolf.
Khonsu was fated to do great things, even if the poison of the dark side was being poured into his ears. He would enlighten these warriors, cloaked in the comfort of stagnant lies, and reveal their true natures; whether they wanted it or not. The choice was no longer theirs to make, as that chance had long passed them by. All that needed to be done, was for the Thyrsian Warlord to take a leap of faith into the fissure that arrayed itself before him. However, the man’s feet were planted atop the precipice and unable to move. The newly christened Thychani Dictator was stilled by the possible consequences of failure; and what would transpire to his entire species as a result. The Galaxy was a myriad shade of grey, but there were those that believed it to be nothing more than black or white; good or evil. His actions would be considered by many to be evil and abhorrent, and that all Thyrsians share the same desire.
It wouldn’t be true, and any rational mind would see it, but - sadly - many minds that held a modicum of power weren’t rational in any sense of the word. Though his failures, the Thyrsian people would be punished further and perhaps expedited towards the point of extinction. The many being punished for the crimes of the few. He couldn’t let that happen. Nor could he allow for the Golden Company to fracture, as his radical ideas led towards openly defying the Supreme Sun Guardian - who ruled over the Sun Guard and their subordinate forces like a Nomadic Emperor without a throne. There were those that believed in Khonsu and the future that he promised. Thyrsus was forever denied to them by the written terms of the Almera Accords; which saw the Sun Guards banished from their homeworld and led towards the Mercenary Outfit’s creation.
Yet, it was the keystone of that Thyrsian Warlord’s pledge. He would lead the Golden Company towards its ancient homeworld and take back what was stolen from them. They would slaughter all of the Echani that stood in their way, and enslave those that survived; forced to endure what Khonsu himself survived as a Child. None would stay his wroth whilst he lived. Not even the Supreme Sun Guardian - who believed that Thyrsus should remain an unwilling hostage in the hands of the Echani, lest their people were put to the sword. The man was afraid of what the future held for his homeworld should the fires of ambition tear the Gilded Confraternity asunder; leaving their people to die alone and unremembered by the annals of history. He feared those White-haired devils for what they would do when their backs were against the wall, and in doing so - proved that he was a coward.
Cowardice was the gravest of sins amongst the Sun Guard. Those warriors, who once shrouded themselves in black, believed that martial heroism was the only route towards victory. That in throwing yourself atop the crucible of combat, one could be remade into a glorious hero who’d live on throughout the ages - much like their ancestors did during the Bengali Uprising centuries ago. After they were exiled, and recast anew, the Sun Guard chose to embody their heroic nature and wore their ancient colours proudly atop their armour; although the scheme was inverted to better showcase their martial culture. In the act of adorning themselves in Gold, there would be nothing they could do to hide from the gaze of the Sun or their beloved comrades. They would know fear, and openly defy it in the face of the enemy; for to do so would go against their nature.
The Sun Guard, who was true to their purpose and devout to the cause, would never willingly turn their backs against what they were. They were warriors; war and violence incarnate.
When the Supreme Sun Guardian ordered that Khonsu and his subordinates remain on the outskirts of the Eshan system - the Thychani Dictator knew that his time had come. He needed only step over the proverbial edge, and then the man would guide his people towards a bright, and glorious future amongst the stars. However, the time wasn’t right just yet. His warfleet was still mustering, with dozens of strike vessels reverting into realspace daily, and the peoples that were previously enslaved upon Eshan’s despoiled surface were still flocking to his banner; the desires of revenge and hatred painting their ash-stained faces. He needed only to wait, and to draw that craven wretch - who demanded to be called Khonsu’ Lord and Master - out of hiding and into the open. Then, and only then, would the Supreme Sun Guardian find himself judged by those that served him and would be found wanting.
So, the Sun Guard would wait as their forces gathered beneath the risen standard of the Twinned Suns. They would wait until the appointed hour, and then, when it arrived? the Thyrsians would launch their Crusade - and slaughter all that sought to deny them of their future that was just out of their reach.
A New Dawn for Thyrsus, and her people, was just around the bend.
Aboard the GCV “Guerdon.”
Liberated First Order Resurgent - Class Battlecruiser.
Eshan Outer-System Edges; Six Sisters Sector.
With the Spear of forged Mandalorian steel clutched betwixt his gilded talons, and it’s bladed-tip digging into the surface of the command dais, Khonsu gazed out into the bespeckled canvas of night. His dark eyes were shrouded by the false-firelight of his helmet’s combat visor and were assailed by a ceaseless screed of information scrolling at the edge of sight; threatening to steal his attention away from the field of stars before him. It was the first time in ages that he had the chance to stare at the stars that birthed him. The system was so frustratingly close, that he could almost feel the warmth of it’s twinned suns and the razor-sharp winds on his flesh. Yet, such a sensation was denied to him, and to his fellow kindred amongst the ranks of the Sun Guard, as well as their subordinate forces. Their current Supreme Sun Guardian saw to deny them their ancient hearths and homes, because of the written terms, our grand-sires were forced to comply with when the Echani brutally occupied their world generations ago. He feared what would transpire if they marched back into the Thyrsus system with an armada, as the Echani forces there were firmly entrenched, and held the majority of the species hostage.
In that man's eyes, it would've been foolish to launch an assault against an enemy that held a proverbial gun to the head of the homeworld. However, Khonsu didn't see it that way. The Sun Guard had come so far in their exile. Through their own, innate genius, the Thyrsian people rose to intergalactic prominence and formed the foundations of the most technologically advanced forces ever to stalk the stars. It would be a simple matter for them to systematically dismantle the entirety of the Echani occupying force. A vast majority of their Gilded Confraternity were former members of various Special Forces groups throughout the known Universe; each weaving their martial prowess into the imparted teachings of the Thyrsian people. Therefore, the Golden Company wouldn’t have broken a sweat in order to infiltrate their homeworld and sabotage the Echani’s claim and hold on their planet.
Such a truth, it seemed, didn’t sway the concrete nature of their superior’s command. That left the Thyrsian Warlord with little choice. He’d make that sacrifice, when the Supreme Sun Guardian wouldn’t, and save his species from their inevitable demise. The man knew, all too well, what it was like to grow old with shackles clamped around one’s wrists. That wouldn’t, nor couldn’t be the future that destiny promised his people. He’d see to it that they were saved, one way or another. Thus with his humours despoiled by the notion of finding salvation through the halls of purgatory, Khonsu tore his Spear free from the command dais and stalked towards the rear-most sections of the former Imperial Battlecruiser’s bridge. It was there that he found his Navarch, and a hololithic projection of the newly installed artificial construct pouring over what seemed like grim tidings.
“Finally tired of brooding by yourself?” The Navarch said with a coy smile stretching the puckered scarring of her lips.
Astarii Saren had come far in her career as a Naval Officer, despite the myriad of regime changes and setbacks. Her life began as a simple Captain for the Royal Hapan Navy before she grew tired of patrolling space and fighting renegade male pirates; who despised the righteous matriarchal rule of their home cluster. She then enlisted with the Galactic Federation of Free Alliance’s, and somehow managed to catapult herself to the rank of Fleet Admiral after forcibly tearing apart the One Sith’s Imperial Armada with her unorthodox tactics and strategies. When that Federation collapsed through a cunning betrayal, as the Sith Empire returned in force, the Hapan Officer found herself in service to the First Order - an Imperial regime that held the promise of finishing what their ancestors started.
However, as history has proven time and again, events that led towards the Stellar Empire’s downfall repeated themselves once again. The mighty First Order was torn apart, and their Supreme Leader’s mental indoctrination simply vanished in the blink of an eye. Though she was now free to choose her own path, the woman decided to involve herself with the Golden Company - which led towards her becoming an invaluable asset that proved her worth, time and again with every successive victory. Everything that transpired, from the moment of her enlistment to taking the Captain’s chair aboard this mighty Battlecruiser, allowed the battle-scarred woman to speak her mind as an equal to anyone she wished; despite the organizational formalities declaring otherwise.
The restrictions on gender were an antiquated societal construct that the Thyrsians did away with when the matriarchal warriors of the Echani first came and enslaved their world thousands of years ago. It would’ve been foolish for their ancestors to stick to their patriarchal roots and wage a war against a gender-stratified species. Such a mindset was applied to the Sun Guard themselves after they were banished from their homeworld. How would their culture survive if they remained bound to a single species? Losses were beginning to mount, and fresh recruits were very, very hard to find. Their ranks were opened to all that proved themselves worthy enough to don their gilded raiment. This choice was what would eventually see the Golden Company’s ranks swell with recruits; including the indispensable experience that came along with the venerated Admiral Astarii Saren.
So, when she spoke freely - poking fun at her superior officer’s predilection for staring out into the void of space - there wasn’t just cause for verbal retaliation. Astarii earned her place at the table and was free to express herself to whomever she wished. This, of course, led her to shoot one of her fellow officers in the head after he disobeyed an order and abandoned his duties - but that was one of the reasons Khonsu kept her around. She instilled a sense of discipline in her crew and held everyone to exacting standards - which was still considered to be rare amongst the various Mercenary outfits across the stars. It made the Golden Company stand out; which in turn made them wealthier than anyone could possibly imagine.
“I wasn’t brooding,” Khonsu finally replied, as he leaned his mighty and extinguished spear against the table. “I was simply thinking about what must be done. What we are about to do, and the consequences that will come from our choice.”
“So, brooding,” Astarii said again before her coy smirk faded into a thin-lipped smile. “Look, Khonsu, I understand that you want the best for your people. They’ve spent nearly two generations enslaved to the Echani, and have been dealing with millennia of hatred and warfare before that. You want them to be free, more so than the rest of us do. However, your hands are tied -- just like ours are. We can’t act unless we go against the Supreme Sun Guardian, which will see us declared as traitors and will sunder the familial bonds we’ve worked so hard to forge.”
“Don’t you think I know that?” the Thyrsian snapped back. “I don’t want to break our bonds of fellowship, nor see us all mocked by the ashes of history. One man stands in our way, and I need to kill him… no matter the cost.”
“Words like that have seen great men do terrible things.”
Khonsu scoffed. “That’s rich coming for you.”
“Well,” Astarii began with a shrug, before crossing her arms above her uniformed chest. “That doesn’t deny it’s truth. We’ve done horrible things, both in the name of the Solar Cult and their Sun Gods, as well as culling entire planet’s of their native population for profit. However, that’s small scale in comparison to what you’re wanting to do, Khonsu. After you kill the Supreme Sun Guardian and take his post -- what then? Will you free your people and simply stop there? Will you return to Eshan and follow through with what your ancestors only dreamed off?”
“It’s a tempting notion,” the Sun Guard replied as the faceplate of his gilded helmet retracted - revealed the ebon-hewn flesh beneath. “But, the Confederacy of Independent Systems is rife with Echani and their sympathizers. Their vessels already despoil these stars with their presence, and would act in kind if I suddenly posed significant enough of a threat to my genetic cousins on Eshan.”
“Their strength relies on numbers and the immense size of their starships. They’re weak when combat's joined and would be nothing more than ash when our new warships deploy to the void.” Her words were passionate; the hallmark of a true believer in her craft. She saw many battlefields in her youth and had spent enough time standing alongside the Confederacy to gauge their effectiveness in pitched spatial warfare. They had numbers, sure, but that was their only true advantage when compared to warships that held entire arsenals that were designed to negate the defensive capabilities of plasma shields. What good would such a barrier be, when their weapons simply lance through them and speared into the hull plating beneath? Not to mention, a majority of their newest warships - including the pilfered Battlecruiser upon which they stood - housed a different type of shield; one that doubled as not only as a defensive asset but an offensive one as well. Their weapons would be rendered ineffective against the technological supremacy of the Thyrsian Fleet. “We just need to approach this situation like everything else we’ve been hired to do. You know the consequences of failure, just like I do, Khonsu. How do we go about this and stand victorious?”
For what seemed like an age, the Gilded Conqueror stood in meditative silence; his dark and hooded eyes staring at the hololithic table splayed out before his armoured bulk. Whatever thoughts raced through his mind, were for Khonsu alone. Due to the xenografted flesh that adorned his naked frame, the man was almost immune to the ever-present energy field that permeated everything in this universe. His thoughts were guarded against those who sought to skim through his consciousness like it was an opened book. When the dark-skinned Thyrsian spoke again, it seemed as if he had an answer; One that would undoubtedly lead them towards an uncertain future amongst the tumultuous stars.
“How do we claim victory, Astarii?” the Thychani Dictator said with a serpentine smile creeping across his lips. “First, I summon the Supreme Sun Guardian to meet his doom above thrice-damned Eshan, and then?” He paused for a moment to consider his next words, very, carefully. With these words, Khonsu knew that he would be ordered hundreds, if not thousands of his men into a desperate and inevitable battle against the Galactic odds; condemning them to die so that others may live. Yet, in a way, that’s what they signed up for. They’d forge the world of tomorrow but never see what would sprout from their sacrifice. Such was, and would forever be a part of the Warrior’s path.
“Then, we fight all that stand in our way.”
Sun Guard Objectives:
- Prepare for the Supreme Sun Guardian’s Arrival, and witness the ebb and flow of history, first hand.
- Prepare to launch the First Crusade, and take the fight to all that stand in our way.
| Vilaz Munin | Muad Dib |