The following message was delivered by Grand Master Ashen to Arcona, Tarentum, and Naga Sadow. It has been intercepted by dbb0t.
Brothers, sisters, friends;
In the last few days, you have heard a great many things. You have heard stories of hatred, of anguish, of loss, and of destruction. You have heard propaganda, and you have heard lies. You may have thought to have heard truths. It is with a heavy heart that I too have heard such things. But I know something that many of you already have known: The way of the Sith is Deception.
Some have said that the Crusade was a fool's errand. Some have said that I was willing to sacrifice all of your lives for a chance at power. Some have said that it is selfishness that drives my acts. Some would say that I keep too many secrets, or that my reign has been too long.
I do not try to deny these allegations. I trust that you are smarter than that, that you all can see beyond what is presented to you, beyond the talking points of men too accustomed to political speech and grandstanding to do actual work. I would hope that instead you remember that the years that I have held the throne have been those of rebuilding our legacy, of expanding our holdings, and of destroying those who would threaten our brothers. I feel that my record stands true, that I have ever acted to bring us together, to unite us against those who would see us eradicated from the galaxy. That I have done everything to strengthen our brotherhood.
I speak before you today to remind you of the old years. To remind you that the Brotherhood was once a very different place, bought and sold by Taldryan. The scraps off of their plates were all that you were permitted. Their stranglehold on the Dark Council, indeed the Brotherhood itself, stifled growth outside of their own narrow paradigm.
Even now, as Taldryan rallies behind their artificially inflated ranks of elders and masters, they proclaim themselves our betters. They declare themselves the rightful rulers, the unbeatable champions of all. They pat themselves on the backs, thinking that they will defeat all of us so soundly that we stand no chance.
I know better.
I see you all as better than that, better than the petty tricks and machinations. I see those hard-won victories without the helping hands of biased rulers and petty sycophants. I remember when your clansmen challenged the alleged might of Taldryan and further, would have overcome it had they not manipulated the outcomes. I remember when Arcona triumphed, and Taldryan's reaction, their bitterness, their desperate maneuvering to get someone, anyone of their own stock back into the council to change things to their favor again. I remember those schemes, those underhanded deals, and I have held them as anathema to my own dealings.
I see the engines of war turning, and I have no delusions that this will be an easy fight. We have the corruption of the Grand Master Cotelin, a man who even I once admired, fighting against us. He has drawn allies under the banner of hatred, of hating me for holding the throne away from him and his cronies for too long. Further, we have the weakness of the One Sith, an enemy that we have spent the last year eradicating. Their failure has cost them all of their holdings, a system of planets, as we approach Korriban as our prize. And now, the fool Esoteric thinks that he can undo that by murdering our Dark Councilors? By corrupting our own brothers and turning them against us? I believe that you all know better in your hearts. That this is a distraction, meant to divide and conquer us, a distraction that we can not allow.
I will deny them that pleasure, as much as I can. What happened on Antei shows how strongly I feel about this. Yet I can not do this task on my own.
I ask this of all of you: to fight as I have fought, to bleed where I too bleed, to give until there is nothing left to give, to use your dying breath to curse and spit in the face of the traitors and the rebels.
We are a Brotherhood.
We are not Vassals.
We will not Fall.
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