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Dragonspear, pt1

PostPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2021 6:46 pm
by The Ctan
Sirenna had to admit she was going up in the world. The proof of that was staring at her right across the station’s piers, in the form of her fifth bulk freighter. They were the backbone of galactic shipping, slow as a drunken gandar-monkey and about as graceful, but they carried two huge intermodal containers and had a crew of ten each, though they could run with less with the newest automation upgrades. One hundred sixty-three meters in length when loaded, they were legitimate commerce personified.

Cherka Station was the hub of trade through the coreward sectors leading to the Mid Rim from the Centrality, and it was as good a place as any to expand a shipping business.

“You don’t need to worry about us,” Jau’va said. The captain of the Bolraidas IV was an ugnaut, four feet of pride right now.

“I’ve got every confidence,” Sirenna said, looking down at him, “it’s a nice safe flight most of the way, keep your wits about you and stay in convoy,” she said.

He gave her a grin and headed away to the boarding tubes on the level below.

“Do you always see your captains off?” the voice was familiar and Sirenna turned, old instincts pulling her hand to a blaster that she no longer wore rimmer style on the station, but tucked away inside her jacket.

The man who stood there was in his thirties, he had lost some of the youth she had first known him with, but she could also tell that he had been using the juvenats that she had, or something similar, to slow ageing into an eternal summer of full bodily strength. He wore the black uniform of the Jedi Covenant, a sub-order that had taken pains to redefine themselves as an active force in the galaxy after the collapse of the core, wearing wide-shouldered robes that incorporated light body armour in the chest and vambraces just visible under his black cloak.

“Eth!” she said and subjected him to a hug. “What brings you out here?”

He laughed, and put his arm around her, “Can’t I look in on an old friend?”

“Unannounced?” she said. “I don’t think so, there’s always trouble when you go anywhere quietly. Let me show you this new place that’s opened up, I think you’ll like it, it advertises an authentic necrontyr menu. I’ve been meaning to try it,” she said.

She had seen Ethril Arknet walk into a room full of the worst thugs in the galaxy with total confidence, but he paled at that. “Maybe a standard tapcafe?” he asked.

She grinned, “I’ve heard that too. The food is so bad where you come from that you fled to another galaxy, huh?”


The cafe was busy but Sirenna had been able to secure a table out of the way, and steaming noodles sat barely touched on the table between them. “I’m honestly surprised you’re wanting me Eth, don’t you have one of those sleek new Jedi corvettes or even a Civ-ship?”

The young man gave a broad smile, “Let’s just say I want to keep this on the down-low, divided loyalties are a thing, and the Jedi aren’t involved here. I’m just here as a student of the force and a Great Civilization citizen.”

“Oh? Not an official commission?”

“I wouldn’t go that far, sometimes Civilization is a bit, staid and procedural, but there’s a long tradition of informal request and solution. They’re very interested, shall we say. We want to find a lost planet, by the name of Tund.”

“The Sorcerers of Tund?” Sirenna asked. “They’re a myth.”

“We don’t think so, and more interestingly, the Sorcerers are said to blend the tradition of the Force with ‘magic.’

“Sounds like superstition.”

“Maybe there is some, but there’s a great interest in the Great Civilization to developing a ‘unifying theory’ of magical traditions. Over in the Great Wheel there are thousands and places where shamans casting spells works. I’ve seen it with my own eyes.”

“So how does that never work here?”

“Well it does, you just don’t see nearly so much of it,” he said. “Some of our people have answers, or rather they have hypotheses, but nothing so concrete.”

“So you want me to fly you out to this lost planet?”

“Actually I was hoping to borrow the Flutterplume,” he said.

She studied his high cheekboned face for a long moment. “You can't be serious? I never let anyone borrow my ship.”

“You have a few now.”

“The Flutterplume is my ship, the others are ships I own,” she said, “and she’s the only one I’d trust to fly too far off the beaten track.”

“Well, in that case, I guess I am hoping you will fly me there, yes,” he said, “but I guess that might be difficult.”

“Nonsense, I have been meaning to get away a bit. K5 pines for the danger of real rim work I think,” she said.

“There’s not much better going on in the Core,” Ethril said, “from the Chaos Wars and the Huntaerian collapse, the Thrashian Withdrawl, I am kept pretty busy just trying to intervene in refugee conflicts and crises. It could take five generations to reach a new galactic equilibrium.”

“It’s been a good time to be in shipping for small rim colonies, shame about the piracy,” Sirenna said.

“Are you sure you can take the time away?” he asked.

Sirenna laughed, “Am I going to get turned into a pile of shale?”

Ethril looked at her, “Probably not.”

PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2022 8:10 pm
by The Ctan
Great Civilization Retrieval Service

Disclosure-Class ISA-2 (Citizen and Patriate Eyes Only)
Breach of DISCLASS regulations is a felony carrying extensive penalty

Message Body Begins

Priority Notice

All GC Persons are advised to vacate the Hypatian Commonwealth without delay.

GC Citizens and Patriates are advised to withdraw from Hypatian Commonwealth Territories, Vessels and other administered areas. Hypatian and third-party persons will be accommodated as required in line with relationship policies. Specific disclosure of the general outline of this message is permitted ONLY to relationship partners excluding any directly employed by the Hypatian Government. Further guidance is available on request.

Retrieval Service (Non-Militant) aligned vessels are being deployed to all known Hypatian territories and areas of influence. Personal routing details are attached to this message for all recipients.

All other traffic is advised to re-route unless carrying non-military emergency supplies.

The cause of action in this circumstance is the lack of resolution of the Menelmacari ultimatum to the Hypatian Commonwealth, now with ten (10) Mars-Standard days to expiration.

The estimated time to full evacuation of Citizens and Patriates from the Hypatian Commonwealth minus any recusance is 2 days.

If no further progress has been made in Menelmacari-Hypatian negotiations one standard week before ultimatum expiration, a general notice advising refugees of third party nations and Hypatians of the availability of relocation options aboard second wave vessels is available.

For reference, the following timeline applies.

T-10 Days (This Message) - Citizen and Patriate withdrawal operations commence
T-8 Days - Citizen and Patriate withdrawal operations conclude
T-7 Days - General Refugee Announcement
T-2 Days - Drawdown of GC Diplomatic Service assets in Hypatian Commonwealth
T-0 Days - Menelmacari ultimatum expires

At this time, GCV Opinions on Tradition will remain on station at Sigurdshafn continuing medical assistance operations.

Citizens and Patriates in Menelmacar and aligned territories are advised to operate in line with local guidance to Menelmacari citizens.

Personalized evacuation details follow.

Message Body Ends

PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2022 8:22 am
by The Ctan
Mars, Terra Noachis, Terra Sabaca Territory, Martian Forum Administrative Zone

The scout soared over the dry desert dunes of the uplands of Terra Noachis, a lean and raked machine of golden metal and blue crystal, sustained by power fields that blended the pilot’s essence with the machine itself. It was one of hundreds that were criss-crossing the plains in a wide search pattern. They had been launched from the citadel of Naraz Galar, close to the far border of New Bajon. This remote settlement was one of the few holdouts of the Protoss on Mars, a population that had been common when Tor Yvresse had maintained a settlement on the world.

The Protoss had a strong common interest, and it had moved offworld over the years for many clans, but for the people of Naraz Galar, the Red Planet still had secrets to reveal, and their pinnacles and slab sided golden buildings sat at the northernmost point of the New Bajon colony, divided from the Hellas Sea and the Hellaspontos depression by the bare ashen wastes of the original mars still visible on the highlands.

Their forces surging over the Sabaca territory were a manifestation of the GC’s form of localism. Where a problem could be dealt with by local assets they strongly preferred it. Naraz Galar and the few Neitzchian settlements along the north western border.

Here and there strands of red weed and wild quickbronze flashed by in the desert, travel hazards for the unwary. The pilot watched with interest as the sensors in her craft picked up reams of data on the ground conditions. Celdaris had little interest in the welfare of the people of the region, but a general understanding existed that there needed to be some governance. Humans, particularly, were wont to atrocity if left without governance. Most species, even. The Khala provided her people with a unity of purpose that few could match.

The governance of the area would call to the OSA but she saw several things that warranted further investigation as she flashed over the rimwall of a crater-marsh in the Noachian plains, there were settlements that had to be as old as the Santa-Barbaran colonies, and newer ones. She tagged them for follow-up observers to come on station and observe for criminal activity, and wondered briefly at what the nature of the people who had dwelt in such places in all the long years.

Notification of handover to OSA control would be available to anyone with a linkings connection in the region, but many of these would need ground teams and probes to inform the local population of where they could go for major support going forward.

Aaathor City, Hellas Crater Wall, Hellaspontes Montes, New Bajon

Celdaris had returned to base and phased herself across the New Bajon colony to the city of Aaanthor, the wind from the Hellas sea was pleasantly relaxing. Like all of her kind she did not regularly consume organic matter after growth, but she could derive a passive energy from sunlight, here on Mars that was weaker than many worlds, and the major source of power for her was the psychic nourishment she derived from the collective consciousness of her kind. The mist of the Hellas went over the city-strip, a conurbation that had grown up on the sides of the impact crater and above the green strip of farmland and cultivated rainforest that made up the Hellas Basin.

She drew no attention here, her own kind were the least populous of the three native peoples, but they were common enough here, and the Great Civilization was a diverse place. The inner track of the crater-wall was home to Aaanthor, a distributed city that ran its entire length, the places where the delvings of the Bajoni opened out into the wide gardens. Gleaming silver and bone white buildings rose toward the sky gracefully in a wide circle, and here they were at one atmosphere of pressure, rather than the higher pressure natural on the crater-floor, hanging gardens and wide apartments and entertainment venues hung over the greenery, and sub-cities with names like Helium, Zodanga and Gathol jutted outward like the prows of ships pointing toward the centre of the Hellaspont.

Her reason for being here was simple enough, a social call. Some who came here from across the seas imagined that without the incentive of starvation, public hospitality venues would be extinct here. They were wrong, but their nature was changed; Kaalauri’s was just such a place, down a flight of stairs built in the intermediate style of tread, she placed her feet carefully, and entered it.

Graceful arches of silvery living metal held the upper floor of Kaalauri’s to the underside of the larger observation platform above, and on three quarters of its curving side wide windows looked out to the views beyond, balconies displaying the view of the Martain sea and the thousands of flitters and light starships that came and went about the sea.

“Celdaris!” the call came, “over here!”

The flame of her blue eyes locked onto the speaker and she nodded, circling around the central bar and giving a bow of recognition to the proprietor, selecting a phial of rosewater and letting the multi-legged being draw out a trio of psychic tinctures. A combination of essences that served as a social lubricant in a way not dissimilar to alcohol on near-humans, though with less impairment of judgement in extreme cases. Kaalauri’s was a family environment.

She gave her thanks and stepped away toward the nearby area, the table that had called her over was a stonework carved from a single piece of red mars rock and inlaid with coloured mica chips beneath a crystalline surface, depicting the first Mangalan accords.

The guests at the table could have represented a microcosm of Bajoni opinion.

Rauva who had called her over was a longtime friend, a drow woman of the old kind, she was a celebrant of sacred rites of Araushnee. She’d been the nucleus of this particular group, during the early settlement of New Bajon she had been deeply involved and she had been there before all of them. She had been involved in the wars against the Vacillian League centuries ago, as had Celdaris, something they had bonded over. Beside her sat Gauderian, one of the rugged post-human Nietzschean settlers who had for a time ruled old Bajon after a coup, and whose clan had largely moved here when the Olympus Mons colony had integrated with Menelmacar, preferring to settle on the frontiers, he was actually a doctor, which was an occupation that one imagined from their standoffish reputation that they would shun, but nothing could be further from the truth, aiding survival was a worthy goal. Rounding out the trio was Asmal, who professed no occupation, but was held in high regard.

“How was the trust territory?” Asmal asked, clad in scarlet and ochre robes, with a ruff of feathers at his shoulders and neck, he rose to give her the brightest seat and shifted to the shadows adroitly.

“Undeveloped,” she said, her telepathic voice was converted into audio as she spoke, speaking the neo-silvan that was in common currency within the region. She was surprised to hear her disapproval inflected clearly in the tone, perhaps she had felt it more than she had said. “An archeologist would tell you the place had never been under the Phoenix Domain’s custodianship.”

“Disappointing,” Rauva said, on her side of the table there was a small pile of wingpacks discarded by her children and Gauderian’s, who were in the floor below at the moment. She held her spice tea with an attitude of someone who knew they would have to gland it away in short order. “I had higher hopes for the Phoenixi.”

“The Hypatian fallout continues. Pride is a good thing to have but not one to bring to a multi-polity system.”

“I don’t understand why they didn’t have the wherewithal to keep the whole matter of these Revenants secret, if they’d not put it in their AMJRI delegation, the Menelmacari would be oblivious, and we would all be settled, and they could just have… not deployed that technology with their allies.” Rauva’s tone was baffled, “A storm in a teacup for most of us, and if the Menelmacari had been who they’d wanted to keep it from they could just have… not told anyone until they were done with it. Or dropped the treaty,” she shrugged, her tone was one of bemused weariness. “It is always better to gain forgiveness than permission, surely they knew that.”

Gauderian’s disapproval was harsher, “They see themselves as having a special relationship with the Menelmacari, ignoring that the Menelmacari get very little out of it. I would punish them for that. A failure to exert punishment will make the Menelmacari look foolish.”

Asmal laughed, “Harsh!” he declared, “it costs the Menelmacari nothing to forgive them either, and that is often wiser,” the elf decreed, “though the wider discontent over the whole affair puts me in mind of the old Martian wars, and not in a good way.”

“You think someone will quickbronze them?” Rauva laughed.

“Let’s not forget it was a First Triumvirate of Yut member that planned that, sorry, dissidents within one,” he said, “and I suspect Neja could have stopped it, if she’d wanted.”

“Maybe,” Celdaris said, “the Phoenixi withdrawal is simply sound thinking,” her tone was wry, pulses of amusement converted into humanoid tonal markers as she imbibed.

“Some pundits are blaming the Phoenixi collective consciousness,” Asmal said, “for a sudden unexplained change that has diminished trust. What do you think?” He looked at Celdaris.

Celdaris flexed the long tendrils that hung like dreadlocks from her large head, stroking them with one hand in thought. “I suppose,” she said. “Certainly we never feel much obligation to explain our decisions, but then,” she paused, “we can also answer inquiries about our policies. I don’t think it’s anything to do with their decision making,” she paused, “I think they’re just rude.”

“It is foolish to separate from the Sol System over the Hypatians when the Hypatians desperately wish to remain attached to Sol,” Gauderian said, his tone was stern; Celdaris knew his philosophy approved of such things but she always found it jarring that he was a rehabilitative therapist by trade. Last time they spoke about such things he had described the work being done for the Triangulum expedition. “If the Hypatians wished to vacate Mars, they would have done so.”

“They wish to be the hegemon of Mars, as if anyone would take that seriously,” Asmal said with derision, looking out across the crater sea. It was hard to make out what he could see, atmospheric attenuation prevented Celdaris from seeing the details of the far shore, across the crater-sea, perhaps elven eyes, able to blend magic and optical acuity, could see more clearly.

PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2022 8:14 pm
by The Ctan
Embassy Row, National Mall, Hypatian Commonwealth

Callithua Regantar looked out from the window, her yellow eyes moving across the crowd of protestors. Her posting as Resident Emissary of the Great Civilization to the Hypatian Commonwealth had been deeply uneventful. It was now over. She moved with care, where there had once been tasteful displays of cultures from across the Great Wheel and beyond, there was now only bare walls and stripped back furniture.

“Well, I hope you’re ready for a show,” she said, looking to the protestors. They would not hear her, of course, as she stepped back from the window, leaving the conference room that had the main view toward the national mall. The facilities of the spacious building were now pared down to the flotilla of escort-class knife missiles that accompanied her, and the fanblade open on the room she returned to, which had formerly been a waiting room.

During the recent crisis, she had begun preparations to remove personnel, and these had been augmented by her instructions from Coordinator Neja since then. She had one final job to do. Her touch brought the fanblade, a lotus-like pane of living metal over which back-shadowed holographic screens sprang to life.

The primary document she had displayed had been prepared and authenticated, though it was not usual for such things to be sent electronically. More often than not an elegantly inscribed and illuminated example would be provided on permaparchment. This wasn’t required however.

The Office of the Coordinator of Mars of The Great Civilization of the C’tan
To Her Majesty Tristan I the Empress of the Hypatian Commonwealth

Your Majesty,
The Diplomatic Service of the Great Civilization has decided to give our citizen Callithua Regantar another appointment, having recalled her from the position of Resident Emissary of the Great Civilization to the Hypatian Commonwealth.

Being confident that Callithua Regantar has faithfully executed the office entrusted to her, the Diplomatic Service of the Great Civilization feels obligated to explain this decision.

Although the Diplomatic Service is gratified to see that the Hypatian Commonwealth has resolved amicably the poor relations between the Eternal Ascendancy of Menelmacar and itself, it is duly concerned by the increasing militancy that the Hypatian Commonwealth has expressed towards its citizens of Kadrian ethnicity, including the resignation of former Prime Minister Njord Ragnvold Stigandr immediately following the Sigurdshafn incident. Today this has been followed by the decision by the Rovanian Parliament to further extend its state of emergency and to effectively impose martial law in the region. This among a raft of other recent emergency measures have proved alarming to the Diplomatic Service.

The Diplomatic Service has also noted with concern that the senate of the Hypatian Commonwealth has today directly invested you with emergency powers. The Diplomatic Service is most concerned that the effect of these emergency powers will be to forestall the constitutional convention called for by your present Prime Minister, and that they are instead intended to allow you to proceed with the ‘Ascendance Project’ disputed with the Menelmacari, without scrutiny from your parliament, nor dispute from your people.

Your Majesty, the Diplomatic Service has considered less stringent warning measures than this, but regrettably, we do not feel your officials are capable of relaying to you the gravitas and urgency of our concerns without this tangible token of our deepest concern. We believe you are skirting the line of atrocity.

We call on you to disclose the full and complete details of the ‘Ascendance Project’ to your people, who will be greatly impacted. Should you fail to do this, the Diplomatic Service shall be sadly forced to conclude that their assessment is correct and that regardless of stated motives, your intention is to bind your nation under your direct rule in ways that undermine fundamental rights.

The Diplomatic Service believes that you feel that a sudden ‘Ascendance’ of your nation will result in a re-assessment of their status by involved polities and respect and eminence being accorded to the Hypatian Commonwealth. This is not likely; if you press ahead with reckless action, it will only cement a reputation for pressing ahead with foolish risks.

We remind your people that a number of options for immediate resettlement exist, including ourselves and the Republic of Sunset.

After consultation, the Diplomatic Service has decided not to expel your ambassadors, though you are of course at liberty to recall them, and you may also contact me directly via the medium of the Martian Forum.

Samara Neja
Co-ordinator, Mars

Callithua knew much more than was in the letter from her superior of course. The whole affair was deeply troubling to the Great Civilization, the increasing centralization of power around what they considered to be clearly poorly understood xeno-technology provided by aliens who most likely did not have Hypatian best interests at heart, which they showed every intention of forcing upon their people invasively, was reminiscent of one of the blackest of the many dark chapters of our bleak history.

The evacuation warning of the Great Civilization's persons from Hypatia was not going to be reversed, even though the Menelmacari had set aside their treaty concerns. In fact the meeting had made them all the more concerned.

A great number of their citizens recalled the forced bioconversion of their people by their predecessors, which was affected by tyrannical government overreach. The ‘Ascendance Project,’ also known as the ‘ATLAS project’ that the Menelmacari had been briefed on, appeared deeply reminiscent of this, a wide-reaching operation to alter the fundamental mind-state and substrate of the Hypatian people prepared in secret with aid from a species they barely knew. Famously, the monarch who ordered this in the Second Translation was wholly consumed with regret when he realized the depth of the mistake he had made, and abdicated his crown for penitential exile.

The bioconversion they remembered – that version of it at least – provided a form of immortality and certainly a physical upgrade, but the famous philosophical principle of double effect applied in full; it was also hoped by the Silent King Szarekh to have the effect of quelling disunity and ensuring his legacy. His goals were personal and dynastic, as well as, in his mind, providing greater national strength and he did not act as a true servant of the people. He was not remembered as a faithful servant of the people. He lived yet, but he did not rule, and alone among the great multitude of the Great Civilization, no others bore his name, for his crime was so abominated that none would name their children with it or take it for their own, and those who had borne it before the great sleep had cast it aside, for it was a soiled thing.

Callithua pressed the confirmation button to relay the message, and touched a few more controls, folding the terminal and letting her eyes look out at the crowd, as a wave of discorporation flashed through the building, and through her body, the whole building became a rain of denatured dust that left a gap in the city, a hole in the ground like the wound in a gum after a tooth extraction. Not a single particle remained of Callithua or her embassy.

Ranisath's Household

PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2022 4:57 pm
by The Ctan
Truneval Ancalimiva held her breath as she plunged through the freezing waters, feeling her frame tighten in the darkness even a few dozen feet down as she kicked her legs, her wings propelling her with oar-like strokes as she pushed herself through the water, before bursting again from it a short way off.

She was one of the worst swimmers in the world. But then, it was an ocean world.

The world was known as Larna’s Breath, one of the countless worlds settled by the Great Civilization, or at least marked for settlement, though for many cultures it was far from prime real estate, as it was all but without a terrestrial surface, a single vast ocean seven hundred kilometers deep.

She burst from the ocean with a gasp, her pale hair pulled back against her head, and she pulled herself up so that her forearms rested on the outrigger of the pier, before she took a deep breath and hauled herself out.

She called upon the aether and cast a charm of fastidiousness on herself, the water fell from her body, leaving only a touch in her hair and dismissed from her wings as though repelled by magnetism, and her cheeks colored with the touch of visible makeup on her pale skin. The suns were already warming her again.

Another touch to her bracelet converted the swimming garment she wore from its cling-tight deployed form, to long dress that reflected her homeland, leaving her shoulders and arms bare, displaying a tattoo of the ankh of the triarch on her shoulder, leaving no doubt as to her commitment. As if there were any doubt left by that the dress she wore bore the pale blue of the Ancalimë clan, worn with the seal of her husband on its shoulder strap in gleaming gold. The dress worked by shifting molecules, it was a single layer of living metal that could become a mist or a garment. Stooping she picked up a string of pearls and Altean jade, wrapping it loosely around her waist. She was not a C’tani Citizen, but one of the many Patriates of the Great Civilization.

In a society that prized identity as much as the C’tani did, and disparaged distinction by species or gender or other biology, dress was important, and her garments proclaimed belonging, a place in the universe, and the status of her family. Although she had come to the Great Civilization, she had decided against the political participation required of its citizens, though it was something she would absolutely require from her daughter, and the son she would soon treasure, in time.

To much of the galaxy she would look like a human with broad wings mounted on her back and subtle augmentation of her chest muscles and bones to accommodate them, but they were not the product of science but aeons old magic. She considered taking to the air, but decided against it, resting her hand on her belly, as she glanced at the bangle around her wrist, glancing over prenatal information and her demanding health regimen. She could have kept her body in shape in less traditional ways, but she enjoyed the sense of accomplishment. Satisfied, she dismissed it and walked in from the pier, toward the circular rings of the floating city.

Miliah and Chance were waiting for her, the pair had arrived around the same time, and their garments were similar in the symbols they displayed. “I still cannot believe you do that for leisure,” Miliah said.

“You’ll succumb eventually!” she said, teasing the other woman, both were of similar age and upbringing, from a society that had treated all manner of contact with seawater as ritually impure.

“You’re a swanling, I’m a gracklan!” she added, “Water is hardly good for me.”

Truneval gave a broad shouldered shrug, “It’s absolutely fun, though,” she said, “thanks for waiting for me.

“What’s next?” Chance asked, he actually was a human, tousled dark hair and piercing steel-blue eyes, as he looked to Miliah, who in turn looked back to Truneval, “It’s your trip,” she said.

“The deep tour leaves in about an hour,” glancing off to the side of the city, “but I wanted to take a look through the markets, before we do,” Truneval said.

The platform-city had several markets, it was after all a primary trade hub for bringing things to and from the world. Intra-system and even intra-planetary trade were a small percentage of the volume of production within the Great Civilization but that was still a vast amount.

Dragonspear, pt2

PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2022 6:53 pm
by The Ctan
The Outer Rim, Skyriver Galaxy

The Flutterplume shot from hyperspace.

“That’s it, then?” Sirenna asked.

K5 confirmed the scans, looking at the screens around him. “I can confirm,” he said.

Ethril looked up, leaning over the emancipated security ‘droid’s dome shaped head to look at the planet in the forward pane of the cockpit’s transparisteel windows. “Tund,” he said. “I feel it.”

Sirenna knew better than to question his insights. Often Ethril knew things that the woman couldn’t comprehend. He was a Jedi, a knight of that mystic order, of the division called the Jedi Covenant.

Tund was a lost world, green as a polished jade in the darkness of the sky. Long lost except from the rarest maps.

The wayfinder sat in the cradle linked to the Flutterplume’s navicomputer. A piece of stone and glass, with strange liquid computer medium flowing within it in response to heat currents.

The thing was precious, few could reach this world, and only Ethril could have made it, of all the hundreds of pilots that Sirenna knew, even herself, and she was always a better pilot in real space.

Sirenna was already in action, her hands dancing across the controls, “No sign of any traffic control, some industry, but no full spaceport homing signal,” she said.

Ehtril disconnected the wayfinder. There were ways to get here, the Jedi could do it, several of their holocrons held the secret path, but this wasn’t a mission for the Jedi.

“Where to now?” she asked, watching him.

He looked far away, and she shifted from the pilot’s seat, standing, hovering like a probe droid, watching carefully, squeezing around one another. He keyed in a series of landing coordinates. Guided by the force, perhaps.

“There we go,” he said. “Do you want to…”

He didn’t need to wait, and moved out of the way as Sirenna retook her place at the front.



As they disembarked, Sirenna could feel the unspoilt air of the world hit her nostrils, hand on the butt of her heavy blast pistol. The landing site was a cleared area, blast-baked solid. Ahead of them, a series of buildings rose, mountainous structures of stone half overgrown by jungle.

“Could this world be dead?” she asked, “or this city at least?” she added, thinking back to the signs of industry.

“It’s not dead,” K5-U3 said. “I sense several life-forms in underground tunnels. He held a heavy blaster rifle, too large for a man to carry. She’d seen him split a chaos marine in half with it, and level small buildings.

She smiled, “Guess they don’t get many visitors. Do you know if they even speak basic.”

“Maybe,” Ethril said.

“Hello!” she called. “We’re explorers, we mean no harm.”

Ethril looked at K5, who gave a small shrug of his mechanoid shoulders.

“Hello?” she called again, stepping forward. “I don’t suppose there’s an ancient language you want to try?”

Ethril began to think, considering the ancient languages.

A roar split the jungle’s song.

“Or maybe they’re hiding from that,” Sirenna said, turning.

Ethril and K5 took a moment longer to look at the monster.

The creature was a hulking simian beast with a head that looked like a ramship.

K5 wasn’t subtle, he fired at once, a direct shot that hit it head on. It dropped back and was thrown three meters.

“I do hope that wasn’t a sacred beast,” Ethril said.

As if called by his words, figures began to emerge, wrapped in dark red clothes. None of them were armed, but they were clearly a range of ages and species.

“Hello?” Sirenna said.

The group chattered in a strange tongue. Ethril listened carefully. He spoke the old Sith tongues, and he could tell this was a descendant tongue. He was saved from having to venture an attempt to communicate as one stepped forwards.

“Jedi, offworlder,” the figure was a woman, he thought, though not human, half the height, and strange. “Welcome. We thank you.”

“Could you not have done something about it yourself? Do you not have any blasters?” Sirenna asked.

The woman shook her head. “No, outworlder. Blasters are not found here. This is Tund. The Sorcerers have no time for guns.”

Sirenna put her hands on her hips and looked at Ethril with clear reproach, just for a moment, “Well if you want to leave, we’ve got room for a few dozen people.”

She laughed, a bitter laugh, “Came here to escape the galaxy, in the ruins. I wouldn’t want to go back to the chaos.”

Sirenna wondered how she’d come to this hidden world, but couldn’t argue that with the quadrillions who had died recently, there was certainly chaos.

“My name is Ethril, this is Sirenna and K5,” he said.

“Ulta Zeen,” she said.

“Are there any sorcerers here?” Ethril asked.

“Not for days,” she said. “Caron Saa said that he would return, but he went to hunt a dragon that was affecting the outlying settlements,” she said.

“Perhaps we should go looking,” Sirenna said, not looking forward to spending days waiting for this Sorcerer to return.”

“Do not worry,” Ulta said, “we have prepared for you. Both of you.”

“Both of them,” K5 said.

Ulta shook her head, “No, you too. Both your group and the other ship.”

Dragonspear pt3

PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2022 12:57 am
by Covenant Jedi

“Master Ingar, is this truly a wise option?”

The Jedi Master Tammas Ingar was a species called Quelid, almost entirely unknown to the wider galaxy. He wore brown robes that covered a frame slightly larger than most humans, his hands folded before him in his lap. Four scarlet eyes looked out over the plains of Ossus. “It is not because of ill will that we should consider preventing this, but practical reasons.”

Jedi Knight Zada Vas watched him attentively. She had been his student for many years and though she was now a Jedi Knight in her own right, she still appreciated Master Ingar’s guidance. She said nothing.

“The Great Civilization has given us a lot of assets, and they seem quite content to shower the Jedi Order with resources, to a degree we have not seen for generations. They offered twenty five Praxeum-ships, and those are Rendili-built star destroyers, along with escorts and mission ships of many sorts,” he said.

“With respect, Master, that does also fit with their general policies, they are seeking to build up galactic resources against another threat. They have rebuilt the Centrality Navy, and more independent planets than you can shake a stick at. They are even trying to persuade Aquilae to become a new nexus of Outer Rim activity. I have heard that the Queen of Aquilae has been invited to make a state-visit to their galaxy.”

“Ah, Aquilae. The Jedi order has always kept a distance from the rangers of Aquilae, but the C’tani want the Jedi Order to work closer with them, to man the navy they want us to have. They seek to make the Jedi into a military. The dissident conclave they have established is more proof of that.”

She nodded, she had her own concerns about the way they wanted to change the order. Everyone in her circle agreed there was a need for change. Over recent generations there had been no shortage of states that had either become, or proven to be, hostile to the Jedi, while Sith marauders were encountered in the wild with alarming regularity, even outside of their supposed empires. And then there were other threats, the worshippers of ‘Chaos’ that had poisoned the galaxy, and the likes of the Clone Masters and the Covenant.

Master Dooku’s proposals had found a willing audience, but she agreed with Master Ingar, splitting the Order, as he had functionally proposed, and returning to the practices of thousands of years ago, adult recruitment, decentralized training, and Jedi led by their own conscience rather than the council, and even recognizing the orders of state-jedi some cultures had, was a slippery slope to total dissolution. “I agree that this is a provocation,” she said, “and concerning.”

“That Dooku’s former apprentice has taken an interest in the Sorcerers of Tund cannot be allowed. Consider the danger they could pose if the C’tani get what they want,” Ingar said. “The Sith ideology destroyed Huntaer, an reprehensible state, certainly, but the deaths of countless billions marked their virulent implosion. The Sorcerers may be passive, but they also preserve their own form of the Sith ideology. They must be convinced to remain where they are.”

“I had hoped to lead a mission to Kendar,” she said, “they are in urgent need. But, I fear you may be right, Master Ingar,” she said. “I will go to Tund.”