Friday Feature: Planetary Factional Alignment in EiF – 5/19/2017

Planetary Factional Alignment

Factional alignment of planets is one of the major questions surfacing, as people prepare for city placement and roleplaying. Putting things into perspective, Empire in Flames’ timeline starts three weeks after Endor,  Below is the listing of planets and their factional alignment in EiF.

Planet

Faction

Other

Corellia Imperial Core
Tatooine Neutral Outer Rim
Naboo New Republic Mid Rim
Tanaab Imperial Inner Rim
Lok Neutral Outer Rim
Dantooine New Republic Outer Rim
Dathomir Imperial Outer Rim
Talus Imperial Core
Rori New Republic Mid Rim
Mandalore Neutral Outer Rim
Yavin IV Imperial Outer Rim
Endor New Republic Outer Rim
Kashyyyk Imperial Mid Rim

Sandarie, Community Manager

Friday Feature: The Court of Naboo

“My queen, we must take a side,” Pooja Naberrie said emphatically. “To refuse to align ourselves with either the Rebel Alliance or the Empire is tantamount to inviting the criminals of the galaxy to overrun us!”

“And I’m sure you have no opinion about which side to take?” Moff Panaka asked sharply. “You’re concerned only with the welfare of the people?”

“First and foremost, yes,” Naberrie retorted. “You think me a traitor because I believe the Old Republic of a thousand years better than your young Empire of twenty. Should our queen decide to align our world with your interests, I will still gladly serve in whatever fashion I may.”

Queen Kylantha held up a hand, forestalling further argument. “Your opinions have both been made known,” she said firmly, then offered an exasperated smile. “Never has a meeting of the Advisory Council been so heated since I took the throne.”

Panaka narrowed his eyes. “Your Highness, never in the time you’ve sat on the throne has there been danger like this. With the disaster at Endor, the Empire threatens to fragment.”

“All the more reason to join the Rebel Alliance, your highness,” Naberrie chimed in. “The Republic will rise again. It is already happening.”

“What reason do we have to throw in with this lot of killers and thieves?” Panaka asked coldly. “Our beloved Emperor came from this very world. Has Naboo not been well-treated, protected, under the watchful eye of the Empire? Do I need to remind you that each and every outside invasion of Naboo came under the careless rule of the Old Republic?”

“Your point is made, Moff Panaka, thank you,” the queen said wearily. “As is yours, Pooja. I understand why you would align us with the Rebel Alliance, but you ask us to risk much for little gain. You cannot even speak on behalf of the Rebellion – you cannot make promises for them, only advocate. So I ask you both: what do the people want?”

Panaka and Naberrie exchanged looks.

“With the Emperor dead, it is entirely possible I will no longer sit on the throne,” Kylantha said slowly. “This is not a decision to be made in haste. Indeed, it may not be a decision for me to make at all.” She rose from her seat and offered a small nod to the seated Council members. “For now, the Council is in recess.”

She turned and walked with slow grace out of the Council chamber and into the private quarters of the palace. Out of sight, her pace quickened as she attempted to walk off some frustration.

She was so withdrawn into her thoughts that she almost missed the feather-like footsteps of another figure falling into step beside her. Kylantha glanced over and immediately stopped. “Did I not make myself clear when I banished you? You nearly brought disaster upon us once, and I do not wish to repeat the experience.”

The figure pulled back the hood of her cloak, offering a small smile that sparkled in her violet eyes. “It’s a new galaxy, your Highness.”

“Did you come to advocate on behalf of the Rebel Alliance as well, Kelta Rose?”

The red-haired woman shook her head, sending waves through the elaborate braids that fell around her face and down her back. “No, I am not here as an advocate.”

“Then what? Did the Alliance send one of their few Jedi to spy on my court?”

“I’d be an awful spy if I were standing here talking to the woman I’m supposed to gather information on. No, I came here to bring a message from the Rebellion.”

“Ah, the offer that Pooja Naberrie wanted to make but did not have the authority to do.”

Kelta laughed, but this time Kylantha thought she saw a speck of pain in the Jedi woman’s eyes. “No, I was sent with a message only.”

“Then you should deliver it, not make small talk.” The queen offered a small smile in return. “You should not be caught here.”

“Yes, your Highness.” Kelta’s face grew serious. “Alliance High Command has sent many like me throughout the galaxy after their victory at Endor. The message is this: war between the remnants of the Empire and the Rebel Alliance is inevitable. Those who choose to support the Empire will be targets for us – not because we wish any people pain or suffering, but because victory is necessary.”

“I do believe that is a threat, Rose,” Kylantha said stiffly.

“Not a threat, your Highness. A warning that war is coming. You may attempt to keep Naboo out of the war, but neither the Empire nor the Alliance will do the same.”

Roleplayer Lore: Rise, Part IV

One of the details that sets Empire in Flames apart from other SWGEmu-based servers is a focus on story. While roleplaying alone cannot sustain a server, it can be an important part of the playerbase’s activities. The live Starsider server is a great example of that.

Durileinterview

Rhaze Durile was a mainstay figure in the RP community on Starsider. As an Imperial Inquisitor, he provided a steady stream of story-driven events over a number of years. Although he currently is focusing on Star Trek Online, he is planning to return when Empire in Flames launches to run another long-term campaign. Rhaze will be a GM in-game to allow him to more easily create the epic setups he specialized in back on the live servers. 

As part of the setup, he’s writing a serialized story to set the stage. This is the fourth part.

 

Tarv threw himself back from the bulk of the cave-in, but the screams he heard over the comms said not all of his men were so lucky. Alright, so this kid wasn’t an amateur. That was fine by Tarv. He’d been spoiling for a good fight anyway. He switched on his jetpack and blasted out of the pile of rubble covering him to try and get some altitude on the Jedi, but suddenly found himself crashing to the ground.

He quickly ejected the jetpack, and rolled over to see the smoking ruins of it clattering down among the rubble with the Jedi standing over him with his lightsaber pointed at Tarv’s throat. There was something familiar about those steel grey eyes Tarv recognized before his helmet’s HUD went dead, likely from the impact of several falling rocks.

Tarv removed his helmet and stared into the face of his opponent. “I know you,” he said with a gravely snarl.

“Yeah,” the Jedi said. “I’m sure your Master wasn’t expecting to find me here. Tell Durile we’re on to his plan, and it’s not going to work. I’ll let you gather the rest of your team if you agree to leave peacefully.”

Tarv laughed and spat blood. “Not gonna happen, heretic.”

“I don’t think you’re in any position to refuse.”

Tarv laughed again. “You Jedi…always underestimating your opponents and never seizing the opportunity to strike when you have it.” He outstretched his hand and let lose a blast of energy from the Force.

The Jedi allowed himself to be carried by the wave of energy and used the momentum to propel himself back on top of a pile of rubble. He sneered at Tarv and said, “Spectre Trooper”.

Tarv grinned and opened a hidden compartment on the lower back of his armor and drew a chrome plated lightsaber hilt. He ignited the crimson blade and brought it up in a salute. “The only thing I will be telling Lord Durile is how I killed you right before I claimed the artifact.”

***

In his private chambers, deep in meditation, Rhaze Durile saw the fight unfold between Tarv and Grade Ardeen. Altough he had felt a familiar presence in the Force upon arrival, he hadn’t shared that information with anyone…not until he was sure, anyway.

Rising from the meditation platform, Durile activated the holocomm and Captain Mevara’s stern face shimmered into existence. “Yes, milord?”

“Captain, there has been a new development. Ready my shuttle. I’m going to the surface.”

Roleplayer Lore: Rise, Part III

The journey had been an arduous one. Grade Ardeen had always wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps as a boy, but his training had been a bit unorthodox. Training while on the run from the Empire with his father and mother had taught him how to wield the Force, but it was his time living with his father’s unlikely best friend, Iske Ahi, that had taught him how to survive and fight. As a Mandalorian, Iske’s training had been downright brutal at times. Grade had railed against it as a boy, decrying it as a path to the Dark Side since much of Mandalorian culture was based on violence.

As he got older, though, Grade came to see the Mandalorian culture as less about violence and more about honor. The ideals of the Jedi and Mandalorians were certainly at odds when you looked at them from the outside, but once you got down to the core of what each fought for, they became more in line than either side wanted to admit.

The Jedi sought peace and balance. The Mandalorians sought honor for their families, and honor came in many forms. Iske had taught Grade how to use the environment around him to survive. He’d learned farming, how to care for and domesticate animals to improve quality of life when there was no technology available. He’d learned how to care for others around him and to protect his assets through martial techniques.

His father had shown him how to feel the Force in all those things and draw strength from it at the same time as embracing the inner peace needed to focus. And yet, both men had the same basic lesson. Never start a fight…but always finish it.

That lesson now replayed in his head as he stood inside the Jedi sanctuary, alone in the wilderness, with only his still nascent command of the Force and his will to survive serving as his armor. His emerald lightsaber blade cut through the darkness and glinted off the black special ops stormtrooper armor of his foes.

Grade knew the armor well, as he had seen them all too often while being hunted by his father’s and Iske’s nemesis, Rhaze Durile. Grade had heard rumors that Inquisitor Durile was on the move following the deaths of Palpatine and Darth Vader. The Rebellion’s Intelligence network had revealed Durile was operating in the Outer Rim, but with no clear evidence, they didn’t have any resources to direct toward his advances while still dealing with the aftermath of Endor.

Without the oversight of the Emperor, the Empire had started to swarm like angry insects, with every Moff in the galaxy moving to assert their power. It was only a matter of time before Durile made his move.

Grade steadied himself. His curly close-cropped straw-colored hair was already damp with sweat from his heightened sense of anticipation. “You don’t belong here,” he said as he stepped into the single shaft of light coming from the planet’s moon at its zenith, which cast Grade in a brilliant shaft of light.

The lead stormtrooper lifted his weapon and barked, “Identify yourself!”

“You don’t belong here,” Grade repeated. The stormtroopers didn’t move and they were certainly not going to leave. They had come for the same thing he had…the artifact. He could feel it in the Force. A fight it would be then.

Grade called upon the Force to add speed and strength to his charge, then launched himself at his enemies. A hail of blaster fire surrounded him. Most of it was fire for effect, a standard tactic by the Empire that was meant to unnerve an opponent they meant to subdue, rather than kill. Grade had no doubt Durile had given these men standing orders for no prisoners, but a “Jedi Cultist” was always something Durile cherished, and trumped any orders he gave to kill.

It was an old tactic of the Imperial Inquisition. Capture a Force Sensitive if possible. Kill only when necessary, because a turned Force Sensitive was more valuable than a dead one.

Well, that was their folly. They weren’t just dealing with a Force Sensitive. They were dealing with someone who had been taught to fight by a Mandalorian. Grade pressed a button on the remote attached to his belt with his free hand while he batted away blaster fire with his saber hand.

There was a rumble, and then the ceiling came raining down on them.

Roleplayer Lore: Rise, Part II

One of the details that sets Empire in Flames apart from other SWGEmu-based servers is a focus on story. While roleplaying alone cannot sustain a server, it can be an important part of the playerbase’s activities. The live Starsider server is a great example of that.

Durileinterview

Rhaze Durile was a mainstay figure in the RP community on Starsider. As an Imperial Inquisitor, he provided a steady stream of story-driven events over a number of years. Although he currently is focusing on Star Trek Online, he is planning to return when Empire in Flames launches to run another long-term campaign. Rhaze will be a GM in-game to allow him to more easily create the epic setups he specialized in back on the live servers. 

As part of the setup, he’s writing a serialized story to set the stage. This is the second part.

Sergeant Major Tarv Gelari moved slowly down the center aisle of the assault shuttle, checking the readiness of his assault squad. He knew and trusted his men, but if the past few weeks had taught him anything, it was the small details that got you killed. The Emperor and Lord Vader had learned that the hard way.

Tarv had been a raw recruit fresh out of the Imperial Academy when he was hand-picked by Inquisitor Durile to serve in his elite unit, called Spectre Troopers – a top secret branch of the Imperial Stormtrooper Corps that the Inquisitor hand-picked for latent Force Sensitivity.

Tarv’s squad had also been selected by the Inquisitor and they had been personally trained, in secret, by the Inquisitor. They were not trained in any archaic doctrine like the Jedi, but only how to use the Force in martial combat…to use it like the weapon it was. Tarv liked that. When you cut the dogma out of it, the Force was just another extension of a person’s intent. It was intent that controlled weapons. It wasn’t the blaster that killed Tarv’s enemies, it was his intent to use the blaster that killed his enemies. The same applied to the Force that he and his squad now commanded.

Their secret training had been hidden even from the Emperor in his final days, and Tarv understood why. Inquisitor Durile told him how his first recruits, led by a man named Apo, had turned on the Inquisitor because they didn’t understand his purpose. Tarv and his squad did. They would see Durile’s vision realized.

Tarv gave a thumbs up when the pilot announced they were nearing the drop zone. He held onto the railing to stabilize himself as the drop ship bucked against the turbulence of atmospheric entry. His black stormtrooper armor reflected the red interior lights and gave him the appearance of a man bathed in the blood of his enemies, something Tarv secretly craved.

He removed his helmet and cradled it in his free hand, revealing his scarred face, shaved head and one milky white eye…his “battlefield medals” as he liked to think of them. “Alright! Listen up!” His squad immediately gave him their undivided attention. “In a few moments, we will be making a planetary night drop from high altitude. I want equipment checks and verification of functionality now!”

He nodded at the calls of “Check!” from the squad, as each member verified their equipment’s functionality. Once that was done, Tarv spoke up once more. “Our target is an artifact inside a former Jedi stronghold. The Inquisitor has provided us with a layout, including where the artifact is stored.

“Intel has had eyes on the place for days. Although there is no noticeable rebel activity, there has been some movement in and around the temple. We suspect smugglers or Jedi cultists. Our orders are to neutralize these threats, if encountered, with extreme prejudice.”

He looked around to his squad to make sure the orders were clear and then continued, “We run silent on this one. Switch your comms to internal only. The structure’s internal map will be on your heads-up display.”

The drop ship touched down near the target on the planetary night side. Tarv and his team moved silent and swiftly up to the first checkpoint. The area around the target was fairly open wilderness with little cover. The only sign of civilization was the small speeder parked outside the target, which looked like little more than a pile of rocks with a small cave at the base. Inquisitor Durile told Tarv the ancient Jedi often liked to build their temples and strongholds to resemble naturally occurring structures in nature. That was often as a means of deception to prevent others from finding their places of power.

Tarv had to admit the tactic was sound. If he didn’t know better, he’d say he was looking at a cave with no more function to it than a smuggler’s drop point. He waved his men forward and made his way to the entrance, which was oddly open to the air and no obvious defenses immediately visible.

This only served to set Tarv’s nerves on edge. There was no light, and the only way Tarv could see was thanks to his night vision from his helmet. Weapons at the ready, he and his men moved forward slowly. The cave led them down a winding path that eventually opened into a large cavern carved into the rock. Ahead of them was two large stone doors with some type of symbols intricately carved into the surface.

On either side of their path was large pools of water that was so still, it looked like glass. The cavern stretched up into the darkness, and was quiet as a tomb, until…

“You don’t belong here.” The voice echoed all around them.

Tarv brought his weapon up and started scanning all around him for the source of that voice. “Identify yourself!”

Movement near the doors caught Tarv’s attention. A slender figure stepped out from behind a rock near the door, and a sound Tarv was all too familiar with in his training sessions with Inquisitor Durile echoed in the cavern, sending waves of dread up and down Tarv’s spine. The snap-hiss of an igniting lightsaber was followed by the green glow of its blade chasing away the shadows in the cavern.

Tarv switched off night-vision to avoid being blinded by the sudden appearance of the light. The man holding it looked to be in mid-twenties or early thirties. He held his blade angled toward the ground with his free hand behind his back. His features were chiseled. His build was lean and athletic. He repeated his warning. “You don’t belong here.” Then, without another word, he launched himself at Tarv and his men.

Tarv grimaced. “Krife.”