Candles, incense, and melting wax. It was all so eerily familiar. The chamber was thick and sticky with orange and red hues, but they were underlit with a mellow blue glow. A new touch to the room where the wind couldn't whistle in anyone's ears.
Taigikori Aybara was standing in front of Ronovi Tavisaen, watching as the lights played games with the glassy surface of her eyepatch. Beside her was the Lion, purple robes blazing, the runes dancing in the new Justicar's vision. He had witnessed all of this before, from a different perspective. Now it was his turn.
It was Ronovi who spoke first this time, her cool Yridian accent rising in a hearty lilt over the three Dark Jedi's heads.
"You know why you're here."
Taigikori nodded. "I do."
The Epicanthix's robust fingers tore the fabric away from the wondrous black prism that lay glowing in her palms. It was more beautiful than Taigikori remembered it. Looking down upon it as he brought it to Aabsdu had been an entirely different experience. Now it was as if the sheen, the glow, the aura of the thing was drawing him further in. The endless knowledge he had struggled to attain for so many years...
"Taigikori Aybara," Muz Ashen, Dark Lord of the Sith, pronounced. "For your great services to the Academy and to Antei, you are bestowed the highest degree of the Shadow Academy. You've heard these congratulations delivered to your own mentor and friend. Now, they are being given to you."
The new Headmaster, hiding a smile, watched as Muz's fingers unfurled and his arms lifted from his sides. As the tendrils and coils of the dark power from the holocron swirled about him, Ronovi, just christened a Dupar, gazed firmly at her former superior and new family.
It's report time, bitches! My God, it's been a while since I've written one of these things. Almost a year, I think? But I'm back with the typing and the headers and all the fancy stuff. 'Cause I'm your new Headmaster.
For those of you who don't know me, my full DB name is Ronovi Tavisaen Dupar - just adopted the last part recently - but you can call me Ron, Rono, Ronnie, or any other of my many nicknames. I've been recognized as a leader of Tarentum and a member of Arcona, and I served as Praetor to the Shadow Academy for a year and a half starting from the summer of 2010. Now that Taig is Justicar, I was appointed to become the very first female Headmaster, so that's pretty exciting.
For those of you who do know me...hi. How you doin'.
Anyway, enough of the introductions. Let's get down to brasstacks.
First things first, I want to congratulate Taigikori on becoming Justicar and wish him well on his transition to the Chamber of Justice. He will continue to help me out in the Shadow Academy as I adjust to my new workload, as well as continue to oversee the process of the Grind Path. Which, by the way, is still going strong. The two main hurdles we have now are graphics and, of course, coding. That's always the biggest to deal with.
Of course, with his departure from Headmaster, Muz and I decided to award Taigikori with the prestigious Master of Dark Lore. This is the highest degree one can obtain in the Shadow Academy, and his brilliant dedication has well earned it. Congratulations, Taig, and thank you.
Obviously, as Headmaster, I'll be picking up a lot of projects where Taigikori left off. We've got secret projects and not so secret projects, and yes, for the sake of tradition, I'm going to throw this out there:
Part of my job is to continue to strengthen what the Shadow Academy is meant for: Helping out our new apprentices and providing lots of activities for everyone in the Brotherhood in regards to academic knowledge and lore. Another part of my job is to branch further out with the Shadow Academy with my own projects, perhaps some being rather daring, in an effort to provide new and fresh outlets for those who adore the SA. You'll hear more about my own project ideas later in this report.
But before I do all that, I need a Praetor.
Before you even consider drawing up an application, know this: I am very tough and very demanding when it comes to my staff. I expect work to be done efficiently and well, and I expect you to fully invest yourself in the Shadow Academy. So if you happen to be a leader in a clan or house and are really involved in your unit proceedings, this may not be the job for you.
If you happen to be someone who loves lots of projects, storyline development, playing professor, or just having a blast with a school-ish environment, definitely apply for Praetor to the Headmaster. I do of course have a few qualifications you need to meet in order to be considered:
Starting now (around midnight EST on Wednesday, February 29th) until March 7th, I will be accepting applications. Please do not drag me down with a 30-60-90 day plan; I'm not interested. I want to see your goals and ideas over as long of a span as possible. Not only will you be serving as my right hand and as a result bear a lot of responsibility, but I will also begin grooming you as my successor. Hit me with everything you've got, be brutally honest, and don't be afraid of anything. E-mail your apps to me as well as your friendly neighborhood Muz and Halcyon - our e-mail addresses are pretty straightforward.
NOTE: I do reserve the right to select who I believe is best for the position at any time before the set deadline.
So what've we got to look forward to with the Shadow Academy? Integration. We're going to see a lot of stuff in all facets of the Brotherhood begin to intertwine. The gaming, the writing, the exams, the competitions - you're going to see all of that fully integrated into Shadow Academy proceedings.
Fremoc, Taigikori, and I have been working intensely not only to further include gaming in the Shadow Academy, but also to incorporate TOR as well. With the new promotion guidelines, there are talks of introducing courses or more simulation-like exams to bring gaming and TOR more to the academic foreground. There is a lot of opportunity to see gamers improve from the Shadow Academy and exam takers to improve from gaming.
Now that the Shadow Academy is no longer about getting our headquarters constantly ransacked or invaded, I want to start giving it more tangibility and fictional presence. And by that, I mean I want you to be able to experience the Shadow Academy on a deeper level. Whether it's by offering more simulation-based exams, more lecture-based courses, or even lessons that provide audio and video outlets, I want you to feel like you are actually participating in an academy environment. What I've really tried to bring out in my SA fiction is imagery, so you know what the Academy looks like and how it works and where you go. Sort of like how we all know how Hogwarts looks - but this is much cooler.
Of course, I will be continuing a few traditional outlets. I do want to offer the DSW course again this year around the summer time. You'll hear more about it as the months go by and as we develop our schedule regarding vendettas and what not. As Headmaster, I'm always going to be adding new exams and taking new ideas. The Grind Path is still being worked on, secret projects are still underway, and the Shadow Academy is still at its core what it's always been. Some things don't change drastically. They evolve instead.
Which leads me to the big projects.
The biggest project in my head right now concerns this mantra: I don't want the Shadow Academy to be seen as just for Journeymen. And this goes beyond exams. The Shadow Academy, for what it's worth, is more important than I believe our lore gives it credit for. We bring the initiates. We train them. We have vaults upon vaults of valuable artifacts and trophies of the Brotherhood. We are a treasure trove of wisdom and cunning and untouchable knowledge. Something that some Dark Jedi only dream of attaining.
Even in the aftermath of vendettas, we offer rewards involving advanced knowledge ultimately leading to the creation of a prize. Would we not want to put the clans and houses to the test with these sort of games to see which Dark Jedi are most worthy of particular knowledge of the Dark Vault? Basically, my character as Headmaster would be interested in strengthening the entire Brotherhood in terms of knowledge by giving said wisdom to those people who most deserve it. That way, power is gained without excessively rewarding the weak. Therefore, my project concerns bringing that reward through something we're all familiar with: Competition.
I'm being vague with this project on purpose because promising anything too big can lead to dire consequences - mostly just the idea that you talk big and end up with nothing. Should this all fall together, however, we will have games that are fundamentally different from anything you've witnessed in your typical feud, competition, or vendetta. These games may not always be about the Shadow Academy, but the Shadow Academy would undertake this project with all its staff and all its offerings. Each year, the fiction may be different, focused on something entirely changed from the former - but the point still remains. We emphasize the Academy's power, and we allow members to utilize it in fiction and lore. The idea of creating more outlets for innovative storytelling is crucial to the survival of the club's image. It allows us to grow, and it allows us to explore.
You'll definitely hear more about this as things fall into place. Right now, it's all about transition. But once a Praetor's picked, exams are polished, and our staff is in tip-top shape, you'll be seeing some great new developments within the Academy.
And to conclude my first report, here's a picture of the Eleventh Doctor holding a lightsaber.
-Ronovi Tavisaen Dupar Headmaster of the Brotherhood
Thanks for reading, guys.
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