HELLO, DUCKLINGS, AND WELCOME TO ANOTHER CONSUL REPORT!
WHY ARE WE SHOUTING, YOU MAY ASK? BECAUSE, MY DEARS, IT'S THE LAST REPORT OF THE YEAR! THE LAST! WE'VE MADE IT A WHOLE OTHER YEAR TOGETHER IN ALL OUR AMAZAFANTABULOUSNESS, AND ATTY COULDN'T DAMNED WELL BE PROUDER.
SO, SWEET THINGS, GRAB YOUR CAPSLOCK KEY, STRAP IN, AND GET EXCITED, BECAUSE THE SHOW'S ABOUT TO START AND YOU'D BETTER NOT BLINK.
HERE. WE. GO.
Firstly, I want you all to turn your attention to the most recent and final of the Voice Anthology Updates trilogy: Seven Strands. This series features a small fiction from each Clan, written by their Consul or Proconsul, meant to show where that Clan currently stands in the larger game. They're all good fictions, with critical points, and they're brief because they're meant to summarize. I encourage (read: am strongly hinting) you all to read them each, or at the very least, the compilation document that Wally put together featuring a clipping from each Clan fiction. I believe in y'all. <3
However, if you do nothing else, you absolutely need to read Arcona's part down below. When you get done catching up on your news, get reading! For srs.
Unless you've been under a rock or are brand new, you'll know that POSSESSIONS HAS GONE LIVE after years and years of dreaming and work (and I mean, like, this project might be about my age) and with it comes another slew of changes. Some of those changes includes a new Custom Graphics Request system from the Herald office and some alterations to certain SA courses, namely CoJ I and II.
In correspondence with Possessions finally being realized, Santa Sarin had a lot to give to everyone who worked on it. I'm talking multiple Elder promotions, Sacramentals galore, and some other merits rolling down the line from Evant to other volunteers. Particular congrats to our own Atra and Val for their awards, and to everyone else who put in the effort. Go congratulate and thank these folks and your DCers, people. They deserve it.
Having been running for nearly a month now, Ev and his staff, along with the Herald and Voice staff and James and team are all super busy tweaking, listening to feedback, and implementing more and more for Possessions. You can hear more about future projects and items to be added in Ev's most recent report.
People seeing the new stores be like.
Speaking of major awards, over the course of the holiday weekend, the Grandmaster kept up his generous streak and posted about two new shiny recipients.
Congratulations to our awesome DGM Mav on his Golden Lightsaber. This is literally the highest honor/award we have. Give him a shout out!
Congrats also to Xen over leading CSP on his Emerald Dagger. Very well done and well earned!
As y'all hopefully know, given it's at the top of most of our chats, we've been under an official spoiler ban for Rogue One this last month or so. Sarin has announced that the ban will be lifting — as far as offical punishment is concerned — as of January 6th, 2017.
If you still haven't seen the movie, watch out, but bear in mind that people are liable to talk!
This is practically old news, but it's still worth touching briefly on with a reminder. The Council elected to officially remove the position of BTS from the site/the DB. This was for several reasons, mainly to clear confusion, as the position did not afford typical duties that other positions do, eg credits, prestige, MAA office recognition for leadership requirements. It was a training position meant to help the BTL out, depending on how a Clan used it.
That said, if you have interest in leadership, if you want to learn, be it something specific or starting from the ground up, if you want to help your team, House, or Clan — do it. Nothing is preventing you. Volunteer. Come talk to us. Get involved. You do not need an ID line to work, learn, grown, and have that effort recognized by your leaders. All you need is a desire to help and whatever time you're willing to give.
Speaking of such jobs, while Aedile applications here in Arcona have just closed — though, be on the lookout always for future job openings — House Shar Dakhan has extended their application period. Check them out if interested.
I want to take a second to give the SA and her staff a big round of applause for finishing one of their more monumental tasks that they've been working on for awhile — a complete audit of every SA course. That's 80+ exams reviewed, corrected, pegged for rewriting, etc etc. Talk about work well done.
Friendly reminder to head on over once in awhile and take a new course! Learn something. Improve yourself. Anyone can do it, and you should too!
Nearly last but not least, it's time we all sat down and took a moment to reflect upon the passing of one of our two annual holidays, Ratification Day. This day celebrates the ratification of our Dark Covenant, the one thing that truly sets us apart from most other online clubs and defines who and what we are. It's important, it's special, and it's what makes you and I more than just pin numbers or faceless net-goers. It makes us members. Brothers and sisters. And that's damn awesome.
As tradition dictates, every DB holiday, we celebrate by awarding Seals of Loyalty to those we believe are most deserving, who represent what Club and Clan stand for. You can see the full list of SoL recipeints here, but I want to take the time to lift up our own people and choices who recieved one.
Many thanks to Zujenia, Kordath, and Ninj. These three were chosen to represent Arcona because of all the work and effort they have dedicated to our home in the last year, as an astonishing Battleteam leader, as a welcoming, far-reaching Rollmaster, and as a steadfast Aedile. We couldn't be more grateful.
Further thanks and congrats to Atra and Celahir, who received Seals for their momentous efforts in the Voice and Fist offices respectively.
Well done, all of you. And all of you, thank you.
Just as we celebrated The Force Awakens’ release last December, this year we celebrate the premiere of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. To that end, the Dark Council is running another series of competitions for the holidays! You can find more information about scoring and rewards here.
There’s graphics, fiction, riddles, a Run-On, Battlefront gaming, and more. CHECK OUT ALL THE COMPS HERE IN CAPS!
Last week, with the announcement of Ninj's coming retirement, we opened applications for Galeres Aedile. While we had some promising candidates, there can only be one, and so I ask you all to join me in thanking and congratulating Kordath Bleu on his appointment to Aedile.
Kord was previously our Rollmaster for the last...long while. :P The summit will be opening applications in the next two weeks as the holidays settle down and we finish launching this month's coming events.
(Guys, did she just say events?)
Yes, dearies. Yes she did.
That's riiiiiiiiiight. You all have been waiting a LONG TIME for this with everything else going on, but it's finally back! We're here! Sins of the Past: Episode III will be premiering January 9th, so get ready, get set, and be prepared to go, go, go when the clock ticks over!
Don’t forget too much in the meantime! If you have, remember you can always refresh your memory on the whole plot thus far here on the Discourse page.
To celebrate the new year and the death of 2016 ("Thank goodness" - every celebrity still standing), Ernordeth is hosting a small series of fun, light comps to kick off the countdown! Pour yourselves a drink (Atty will be having cocoa, tyvm), put on a crown, SET OFF SOME CONFETTI AWH YEH, and GO HAVE SOME FUN!
Play games, make resolutions, reflect a bit, and enjoy your nights. Find it all here!
That I did, disembodied narrative voice standing in for the audience! The portion of Seven Strands specifically for Arcona is featured below, and takes place immediately after the events of Aftermath's Epilogue, Revelations, which you can find linked there if you've not read yet.
For now though, enjoy…
Atyiru Caesura Entar stood alone in the briefing room, having dismissed her aides to take the call personally. On the viewscreen, the face of Marick Tyris hovered before her eyeless countenance. Though the holo was but an empty echo to her divine-granted sight, the Force murmured to her, whispered songs of familiarity even across the stretch of all the stars. She listened to those hymns, and knew it to be him.
What seemed like ages beyond ages ago, when Marick had served as Shadow Lord, he had ordered the particular communications array at her fingertips installed with the latest technology for optimal clarity of feature. No one was around to appreciate the irony. Perhaps for the better. She might not have been able to feign her typical levity.
On the holoscreen, the Hapan’s eyes fixed unerringly on the Miraluka, their holo-washed gaze flat. "Augur Atyiru," his accented voice said, and she straightened at the word, listening intently, "you know that Pravus has eyes everywhere."
"Yes," Atyiru replied firmly. She lifted her chin, rolling her shoulders back. "The First Clan will not sit idle while innocent lives are threatened. Adept Tyris," she stressed, "are you alone…" there was but a microscopic pause, "in thinking that we will simply buckle under threats from the Throne? That we would sooner be lapdogs than face suffering or uncertainty?"
"No," Marick replied plainly without pause. "I am not."
The woman pursed her lips thoughtfully, silver brows furrowed.
"What is it that you want, then?" Atyiru asked, her voice steady despite the maelstrom of emotions storming inside her — anxiousness, loss, betrayal, worry, fear, hope. "We received the body. The Lord Marshal was kind enough to deliver it in person, and explained that the head remained with you. Why did you do such a thing, Marick? What did you—"
"I," the Hapan's interrupted flatly, the words a near mirror of what he’d told she and Ujis days prior, "eradicated a traitor from your midst. I had considered it a final favor for Arcona, but I see that it was a futile attempt. Perhaps I should have targeted the rest of the Agrona—"
"Try," snapped the Consul. "and see how well such an attempt becomes you. Stop throwing about threats like some child in tantrum. I know for certain you would not turn. You’re not this man—"
"No. I am the Voice of the Brotherhood, Consul, and I serve just as you are supposed to serve, as you are bound to," Marick answered coldly, his features an impassive mask even over the holoprojection. The words were heavy, and she felt for a moment as if she laid on the ocean floor, crushed under them. The Miraluka inhaled sharply.
"Bound? By what? Oaths? Meaningless the moment he spilled blood. Honor? I’ve known honorable people. Pravus is no such man. Should fear keep us steady? That’s no life. No, what I hold to is faith, and our Council and their master are not gods, Adept. When men rise together, any one man can be beaten. Any one man may be saved."
"In that you are mistaken. Pravus sees all, Augur Atyiru. Are your forces prepared for the consequences?"
A handful of heartbeats stretched in silence between them before the Miraluka folded her arms behind her back, her stance unbending. "Yes," she, responded, chill like a mountain top, "they are. Farewell, Voice of the Brotherhood." She waved a hand dismissively and, with a brush of Force energy to the proper buttons, the transmission ended.
In that moment, her shoulders screamed to slump, her back moaned its ache, and her empty eye sockets throbbed from exhaustion. She would have liked to yank on her braid, to pace the room, to collapse in a heap — but no. Leaders did not slump. A leader was in control. Especially when they least felt it.
She replayed the conversation in her mind, pivoting and striding out of the room, head held high, to meet with her advisors. The code they used was simplistic at best, a little thing construed on some mission or another when she had served as his Aedile. Whatever else they said, it was the phrase after the signal that mattered.
Are you alone? she’d asked. No, his reply. We will fight, she’d hinted. Be prepared for an attack, he’d warned. So little detail, so much frustration. But at least she knew, now. Whatever he was doing, however terrible, he was still offering them this much, still alerting them. She trusted that.
Captain Bly fell into step at her left as she advanced, her right side absent its usual companion now languishing many klicks below the stone on which she walked. It had been a long, tiring month, and it was not going to get any easier. Not by half. The worst was yet to come. But they would face it. They had to. The Force was with them, she believed.
The Force was with them.
The wash of wane, winter sunlight was blinding as it broke from behind scattered gray clouds and refracted off slim sheets of snow. The air was cold and still, tasting of frost and, faintly, the earthy flora buried under it. The smells of damp and the loam of the soil and the husk of leaf-bare trees filled the air. A congregation in black spread like an ink splatter across the pristine white expanse of the courtyard. Jedi, mercenaries, troopers, workmen, servants, and citizenry alike gathered in grim solemnity. They numbered too many for the lawn’s central space, spilling over onto rime-crusted walkways, out under arches into the surrounding gardens and hallways and even up onto the parapets where only guardsmen normally walked. All of Arcona and her attachés, all that could come, had been gathered together on the frigid terrace.
At their head was a sepulchral sight: row upon row of neatly arranged platisteel caskets, their surfaces matte silver and plain. They held the dead of the recent conflict over Antei, or stood empty for them; the dead from the Lotus’ offensive strike with the Odanties; and in one particular case, the only casualty of an Inquisitorius raid on an Undesirable base, a headless Barabel. Some of their inhabitants would be buried, others cremated or given service funerals out an airlock as their wills, families, or the Clan’s budgetary offices dictated. Before the dead was a lone woman, her dark skin a splash of color in the monotone scene. She wore white, not black, and her robes seemed to glow with the same pale light as the snow.
Far overhead, the predatory birds native to Selen’s peaks circled.
"This is not right," the Miralukan Consul quietly addressed the crowd at last. The Force carried her words to every ear and mind gathered before her. The mountain breeze picked up. Her hair stirred. The courtyard was silent but for the occasional shuffling step, most of its inhabitants rigid with the dogma of their battle training or with tension born of anger or sorrow. She spoke again, her voice silk over steel. "It is not right what has been done here, what has been lost, who has been sacrificed, and who has been stolen from us. We have suffered."
She paused, the moment held in tension, then continued, "But it is even worse how we have responded. When people died around us, near and far, we rallied, yes, but we rallied only in half-measure, in careful, fearful steps. We played games, we moved in shadows, not because it was the most right or the wisest course but because to us the shadows are safe. Because we have been afraid."
It was a bold claim, particularly before all those present. Masters of the Force and the Dark Side. Harrowed assassins and hunters. Veteran soldiers. More, and less. But still people. Still just men.
"But we cannot be afraid any longer!" The Shadow Lady’s voice rose to a cry. "We cannot let these atrocities continue. We cannot do less than we ought be doing. We are the First Clan. We are Arcona. And we do not stand idly by while men who think they own us and our brethren do as these please with our lives. We do not cower. No! We have been wrong, my friends. This," she threw out a gloved hand, gesturing at the coffins behind her. "This is our fault! ...It is our fault. It is mine."
Her tone softened, but remained steadfast as beskar. "No more. Today, we step forward. Today, we remember that the shadows are not where we hide, but that with which we fight, from which we draw strength. Today, we remind Pravus that it is him who should fear us, because we will not condone his actions. We will protect our own. We will protect those who cannot protect themselves, even those we hate. We will protect anyone he would seek to harm, and we will route any move he seeks to make, tear from him any victory he could dream. Where we stand is where the line is drawn. Where we stand, he goes no further.
"If you are Arconan, stand. If you are one of the Brethren, stand. If you call any man or mark your master, be it Pravus, myself, or any other, stand. Whoever you are, whatever you believe — stand up! It does not matter here and now who or what you have followed, or who or what you will follow. It matters here and now, today, whether you bow to the whim of the world around you or whether you stand with me and decide what you will fall for. We will free this brotherhood. We will free this clan. We will stop this tyranny. And we will do so as one."
The wind shifted again, fluttering the raised hoods of cloaks and brushing strands of hair over the woman’s tapered ears. She lifted her arm towards the sky, fist clenched, and gave a shout, only half-expecting a few calls to greet her as she sealed their fate. "Arcona Invicta!" the Consul shouted.
A faceless, thousand-throated roar surged up in reply:
Reminder as ever — you’ll notice this as a new permanent report feature for the foreseeable future — for our ideological factions, different schools of thought that draw different people together and lead to certain goals and actions in Arcona.
These “factions" have long been developing amongst all our individual characters and in the stories we as a Clan have told, and they’ll be our device to further establish ourselves and develop now! They’re our boats to help us along in the fictional sea of the New Order storyline, its eventual War wrap up, Sins of the Past, Aftermath, everything from DB to BT level, and more.
It’s still a very big chart.
If you want to go back over the specifics and thorough details of all the factions, refer back to my previous report on the topic.
Reminder that some of the standing Summit and Arconae (no longer a Barabel, sadface) have all declared their factions to help out as a reference. You can check them for an idea of who’s who, where, doing what — just bear in mind that while YOU know these allegiances, your characters may not.
We saw movements from all of these groups over the course of Aftermath, recent battles aboard the Godless Matron, and in the Anthologies, as well as in Sins II, and will see them not only in Sins III and in House fictions and the War. A recap:
Among the Champions we see Atty taking a stand in punishing dissenters in both Wuntila and Uji, and in declaring Arcona openly as a part of the Resistance and a force for “good”; we see the numbers of Iron Loyalists and Inquisitors watching from among our ranks growing, including their leader, Atra Ventus, and newly-turned Skar Argona; we see Shadow Hearts like Wuntila and Ernor doing their parts to keep Arcona safe regardless of either side of the larger conflict; we see a bold move in the Operatives’ kidnapping of an Arconae, but also a loss of her leaders following Uji’s imprisonment and Zakath’s murder; and we see more and more people wavering from the Wildcards as the margin for staying uninvolved grows dangerously slim.
What’s next for all these groups? How will the events of the December comps and Sins affect them, and each of you? How will your stories continue to build under the New Order?
Go find out.
Be proud, Arconans. You've done amazingly this last month and year, for so much — not just sacs, merits, promos, clusters, medals, but as members, leaders, brethren. All of you, listed or otherwise, take a bow and enjoy the spotlight.
Celahir Erinos Arconae
Atyiru Caesura Entar
Strategos Thanathos Entar Arconae
Tim and Warp ask, #asktheatty When's the War???!11!
Kat asks, asktheAtty how many pictures of ski hills and mountains are too many?
Drac asks, #asktheatty How excited are you for Dracpool and Attyschach 2: The Search for More Scones?
Zuji asks, #asktheatty How ecstatic is Atyiru for the planning? Dare I ask, what lengths will she go? :P
Uji asks, #AsktheAtty - Is this how Atyiru feels about being a FU?
Rinz asks, #asktheatty, when is the next part following on from the previous fiction released by wally arriving...the waiting is killing me lol
Uji also asks, #AsktheAtty - Who was the better anti-hero? Greed or Scar?
Korras asks, #asktheatty bacon or steak?
Uji again asks, #Asktheatty - with the escape of her Proconsul, the betrayal of her Mentor, the dissent among the factions and attacks from Arconas past and the looming war with the GM. How does Atyiru see the future? Is she plagued by doubt? Emboldened by her purpose? How is she handling the situation?
That's all this time, my loves. Happy New Year's Eve, and all the best wishes to you, yours, and to our family here. Here's a cheer to this last year and all it's entailed, and to everything — and every victory — to come.
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