Welcome, one and all, to our newest Consul report. There’s a lot of important developmental content this round, pretty things, so let’s get right down to it.
ONWARD, TO GLORY!
Our first line item is the esteemed Grandmaster’s latest report. He included a TL;DR for the lazy, which I’m blatantly copying here:
That’s right, Possessions and updates! Much of it is logistics, but it’s all very worth checking out, and there’s even pictures. :P Long story short on Possessions? There. Are. A. Lot. A LOT of items. They’re still working through nearly 2000 of them, not only in the Voice office, but the Herald too as they make images for each one. The good news is, though, that the project is nearing it’s Beta stage, and the team and GM will be sending out Beta invites to get a well-rounded critique of the system soon.
There’s some other notes in the Possessions talk, like that we’ll be having a Fleet Reset 3.0 when all is live and done, and that Clan artifacts (some of them, to be determined) will be included in Possessions as well. Stay tuned!
Otherwise, Sarin talked about some other awesome stuff, like that Wally and team have several new NFU Disciplines coming out, some hints about the upcoming DB fiction update, and a bit about Antei 2.0, now named Arx. Go read above!
Also a major featurette of the latest news is that our dearest lord and master James has completed work on the Fist-o-matic TG Bot, which you can read about here. Needless to say, this new bot is critical to all our gaming in the club going forward, and is fully integrated into Telegram. Go play with it, check it out, make some matches, crush some skulls and grind them into dust for baking bread— I mean. Uh. For Clusters. Yes, for Clusters.
The Voice and his staff have recently published and rolled out some changes to the Cluster of Ice system, documented here. The highlight reel? Requirements for CIs being awarded for comps have changed — a Star Wars or DB basis for the comp is necessary, with story and realism elements — the CI reward for ACC matches has been increased, and lots of language in the policy got changed to clarify some more obscure topics like poetry.
Also new from the Voice office is a lovely parallel to the DB Art Club, a DB Fiction chat for Telegram. If you’re interested in discussing fiction topics or sharing work, follow the link to join!
The Shadow Academy staff recently rotated their magistrates and hired some more writers, and they’ve welcome our own Rins’zler to the team. Give him a congrats if you see him!
There’s been a lot going on on the Clan front...most of which I’ll be talking about specifically in separate sections, so this one gets to stay short. :P
Most notably, you’ll have recently seen Uji's Proconsul report, where our esteemed, ponytailed Pecan has highlighted one of our major wiki articles, discussed our current clan comp, and answered pages of questions. Give it a read! Go, go!
Also, I want to take a moment to thank Celahir for his time serving as Qel-Droma’s Quaestor. He decided to step down due to piling high time constraints, and wanted the job to have its due. Thank you, Irfy, for your work and efforts.
Thankfully, we had a candidate ready to go, and after speaking with Uji, Terran moved on up from his Aedile spot. Welcome and thank you, Vic. We look forward to everything you and QD will produce. You can read his introductory report here.
Now, without further ado...
Welcome back to Sins of the Past! As you'll recall, this is a series of 4-week events that will help shape the fictional landscape of the Shadow Clan. Plot updates will be sent out over the Arcona mailing list on a weekly basis, as well as made available on the Brotherhood’s Discourse. Remember, your submissions will help shape what does and doesn't become part of the new Arcona Canon, so get excited if you're not already...which you should be (hiiiint hint).
You can find all the competitions for this Episode here, including the Special Event, this time a retro style ACC Race that hearkens back to the days when Sashar/Teroch was Combat Master. The goal is to win as many matches (and lose as few matches) as possible during Episode II. Further details (as well as how to sign up) can be found in the relevant sub-competition. This event is worth a lot of points, so don't miss it! Remember that you're practicing your ACC writing skills for the War, my loves. If at first you don't succeed, fight, fight, AND FIGHT AGAIN!
Just look at all these active matches right now. You've all completed just as many. Now double that number, Arconans. DOUBLE IT! LET ME SEE WHAT YOU'VE GOT!
And now, finally, I give you the introduction to Episode II: Attack of the Clone. We're already knee-deep in the thick of it, with Week II's dramatic updates already released, so be sure to check out all the updates on our Discourse thread if you miss or lose an email in the depths of that inbox!
YT-2400 - class Freighter Dragon's Wings
Klaxons filled the small cockpit and the freighter pilot's youthful complexion grew worried. His blue eyes darted to the ship's control board as he took a step towards his seat, but the sudden lurching of the freighter threw him forward, slamming him into the console. The steaming mug of caf flew from his hands, shattering against the transparisteel viewport as the elongated contrails of hyperspace resolved themselves into the brilliant pinpricks of stars.
Lysander pulled himself to his feet, sweeping his long, raven black hair behind him and sliding adroitly into the pilot's seat, fingers dancing across the ship's controls and silencing the alarm. Barely pausing for a breath, he called back over his shoulder to the passenger in the freighter's galley.
"We've been hit by an interdiction field. Looks like there's two ships on our six, half a klick and gaining. No way I can lose them at this rate."
A hulking figure strode through the doorway in striking yellow and black armor. Accented in blue to match his skin, it fit him like a carapace and shined like onyx. The resplendent armor was dull beside the fire in his cobalt eyes, and his unyielding countenance made clear his thoughts on a pack of impertinent pirates trying to hijack his ship.
"Let them come." His tone was half smirk and half snarl, and his fingertips played over the dragon-headed hilt at his waist.
The pilot took a moment to look back at his brother, his own fingers running softly over a chiselled cheekbone, feeling the telltale sting where it had struck the ship's console. After a moment, he nodded. "As you say, Wun."
Even as the words left his lips, a second alarm, higher in pitch than the first, sounded from the weapons console. "They've locked a tractor beam on us," stated Lysander flatly, punctuating it with a sigh that bespoke aggravation and inevitability in equal parts.
"Arm yourself then, brother," replied the storied Arconae, nodding to the Sapphire Blade at Lysander's hip. "It's past time your blade tasted blood."
We’re going to talk about factions. Now, when I say that, I don’t mean little camps of people and all of us divvied up. I mean ideological factions, different schools of thought that draw different people together and lead to certain goals and actions. Arcona has a lot of these. It’s been our primary aspect developing over the last year and a half, as our Clan took up its Gray paths, forged an alliance with Odan-Urr, and kept close its shadowy, machiavellian history. It’s especially been important to us since the revolution of the New Order, where Pravus’ enaction of the Undesirables Purge and the destruction of New Tython called into question our many loyalties and pulled us in many different directions — the Iron Throne, or the Resistance; the Inquisitorius or the Undesirables; the Clan, or the Brotherhood; the Dark, or the Light...or both?
These “factions" aren’t brand new. They’ve long been developing amongst all our individual characters and in the stories we as a Clan have told. It’s been a good bit of work for us to document them, but I’m glad to finally define and present them to you (and don’t worry...there’s the chart for a quick, easy visual reference, and everybody’s got cool logos to stare at too.)
Why yes, I did make you a very big chart.
I’m going to go into specifics with each group, but I want you all to keep in mind what I’ve said above. These aren’t about dividing us. We are still one Clan, one Arcona, and that’s what ties us all together, whatever our characters’ individual loyalties — outlined below — may fall towards. These aren’t about cults of personality, but about helping you tell your stories in the framework of the larger DB fiction and of Arcona’s fiction — like Sins. These aren’t to trap you in any way, or force you to pick sides. On the contrary, we encourage you to change factions if your character’s allegiances change, to develop your stories and work with others in the same and different factions in developing them. These are a tool for you, my loves.
Go explore them.
“We will protect those who cannot protect themselves; we will protect even those we hate so long as it is right.”
They believe in preserving life and stopping the Purge and New Order, or at least are willing to follow Atyiru in doing so. Some wholeheartedly support the alliance with the Jedi, or just believe the Consul’s word is law. Some may want to defend friends and allies or stand with them, while some may just want to protect what’s “theirs.”
Real talk: it’s important to note that this faction isn’t just “help the Jedi, save the Jedi, yay lighties,” and so should be avoided if your character doesn’t like Jedi. Not by a long shot. The New Order is the biggest issue in our world right now, and thus primarily the easiest context to frame the positions of these factions in, but it’s not going to last forever.
In shortest terms, the Champions are about doing what's right because it's right, not because of revenge and regardless of whether or not it's difficult or dangerous to do. It’s about fighting the fights that need fighting, not picking and choosing the battles you can win. And it’s about doing all that with moderation, not extremism.
Chief goals of this group are to protect the Undesirables (targets), protect the Resistance Jedi (targets), protect anyone who has been hurt or threatened for opposing either Pravus or the Resistance (targets), protect the bystanders and families (targets)...do you see a pattern here? While those around her most certainly will not share this particular ideal, Atty even intends to protect Pravus in the long run, to the best that she can. The Champions faction, while having many of the same goals as the Operatives in their agreement of needing to somehow stop Pravus and the INQ, differs on a very fundamental and key point: preservation instead of ruin. To fight to save, not to fight to ultimately kill. To protect, not to seek vengeance. They don’t seek to necessarily recreate the world, just to keep as much of it intact as possible.
And if that’s all a little much...there’s always the sunshine and rainbows excuse of the blind leading the blind.
Key themes: preservation of life, tolerance, coexistence, lawfulness
“We aim to create a perfect world. A world with no place for us in it. A world where we won't be missed.”
Their purpose is to eliminate evil as they see it for the sake of a better world, whether or not it makes them evil themselves. They’re more violent avengers than peacekeepers, and aim to dethrone and slay Pravus and get retribution on the Inquisitorius. While some may be focused on defense, more are just focused on vengeance and eliminating Pravus, anyone who works with or for him and anyone who gets in the way of that goal.
Real Talk: The Operatives are shadowy folks willing to let the ends justify the means if it leads to a better future...depending on their individual interpretation of “better.” Arcona is a place of assassins and saboteurs, and while they might be sympathetic to the thought of a shinier world, their skills and desires don’t necessarily match that. They’re a little more suited to do the things no one else is willing to do, and they carry that burden with varying degrees of gladness. It’s not just about “murder the INQs for what they did to us!” — even if that’s certainly a motivator. It's about improvement, enabling the galaxy to regrow, even if it must be razed first.
On the flip side, their methods are pretty violent, and veer heavily into extremism and ruthlessness. It’s not just war, it’s a purge they’re fighting, and if their enemy goes to ground, then they’ll leave no ground to go to. Burn and salt the earth...because glassing planets is so last plot update. It’s about doing what’s necessary to change what needs to be changed and to make sure no one prevents that.
Chief goals for this group are to root out and eliminate the Inquisitorius, bring down the Iron Legion and Pravus himself, and route any disloyal members from inside Arcona (regardless of what, exactly, they are otherwise loyal to, as long as it’s not the current regime). They live to serve.
In the end, though, if you’re just jonesing to get a stabbing knife and get some payback to our overlords for killing off your space panthers, this might just do too.
Key themes: elimination of evil, revenge, rebirth, service
The Shadow Hearts
“We will do whatever is necessary to preserve this Clan. Arcona Invicta.”
Arconan traditionalists who are against Atyiru and Uji because of their actions and the danger they bring to Arcona. They see opposing Pravus and befriending the Jedi as mistakes that will harm Arcona and they seek to usurp or counteract the current Consul's influence. Their goal is the survival of the Clan and the Clan alone...with or without its current leaders. They seek a return to the former glory of the Shadow Clan.
Real Talk: The Shadow Hearts are essentially the archetypal examples of your more classic Arconan ideals. They’re dark, they’re powerful, and they stand for Arcona and Arcona alone — any personal ties, families, friends, allegiances, oaths, none of it matters as much as the pure state of the Clan continuing, as it should continue, not as it currently is. In the last several years, some would say Arcona has become diluted, and some would bring to bear every tool at their disposal to see that rectified. Why? Because Arcona has to survive. Arcona must survive. It’s our home, and it’s a home that needs to outlast us, needs to exist for future generations. If we don’t fight, the future is lost to us.
It’s important here to realize that this group isn’t about the Arconae, or the old people, or just obscure Clan lore. The Shadow Hearts are a group concerned for the well-being of the existence of something they see as greater than themselves. If you’ve ever heard adages about planting trees whose shade you’ll never know, they apply here like they in part do to the Operatives. It’s all well and good to be rallying against something that might be wrong...but not if it puts our world at stake. The rest of the galaxy? Sorry not sorry, but we’ve our own problems.
To the Shadow Hearts, they — we, Arcona — won’t make it if something doesn’t pull us back from the ledge they see us on, and they will drag us back if they need to.
Key themes: Tradition, self-defense, restoration
The Iron Loyalists
“We are sworn to something far greater than any one Clan; we are a Brotherhood.”
This faction has no loyalty to Arcona, only to the Dark Council and the Grandmaster. Composed of people in Arcona loyal to Pravus, the Inquisitorius, and/or the Iron Throne. Some want to kill the Jedi for the sake of it and support the Grandmaster’s reign, while some just believe the Iron Throne is their first and greatest master. They are driven by the dark side, by oath to the Brotherhood, and by power.
Real Talk: The Iron Loyalists are a group that sees a higher calling and honor in the wider Brotherhood than in the petty and consuming squabbles of any one Clan. They also just so happen to see a higher power in the Grandmaster that could float your insides to your outsides with his mind without batting an eyelash. Their ideology stems from power, both in getting more of it and who, ultimately, holds the most of it. The Iron Throne is our rightful governor, and we’ve all sworn to its master; to do anything against his orders, no matter the morality, is treasonous.
What’s got to be noted here is that the Iron Loyalists aren’t bad guys. They aren’t just the suspiciously Nazi-esque Inquisitors hunting down Undesirables; they’re anyone who may hold loyalties to both their clan and family, but also recognize the Iron Throne as the true law of the land. They may also be those that know the safest side to be on is the one with the biggest army, best weaponry, etc. Whether it suits them because they believe the Grandmaster’s word outweighs anyone else’s or because they see falling in line as the most self-preserving option for the moment, it’s not all darkity sable blackness.
Then again...for some of you, it might be just that. This group can also work well for any true Inquisitorius agents or anyone who knows the dark side is the true key to power, and who sees that Pravus is going to purify the Brotherhood of any light-sided or weak-minded influences.
Key themes: Order, fealty, power, domination
“There's a lot of fine ways to die. I ain't waiting for Pravus or Atyiru to choose mine.”
Those who, unlike all their more zealous companions, have no stake in the larger game and just want to survive. This group are those sick of politics, war, and threats, those with their own agendas and paychecks and no regard for Clan or Council, and those afraid for their lives because of their species or alignment.
Real Talk: There’s no better way for me to talk about these guys than to say that they look at all of this madness and all the above paragraphs and just don’t give a damn. They’re honeybadger. The individual reasons behind that might vary, but it’s still the baseline. This group isn’t even a group so much as it is the collective of everyone who isn’t invested enough to be a group, chasing ideologies and sticking their necks out for one silly thing or another. These people, whether on their own or with their friends, are just looking to get out alive and get on with their day.
Many kinds can fit into the Wildcard demographic, be they mercenaries more motivated by paycheck than any social ties, folks tired of fighting and long burned and bitter towards any rallying cries, people too busy being hunted to bother taking up a cause, or plain old those who aren’t invested for whatever other reason. They might also be anyone torn between many loyalties who ultimately decides that their first concern is Number One (read: themselves).
If any of you have trouble figuring out where your character fits now, especially if they don’t have the right motivations for any other group yet, this might just be your starting place.
Key themes: Survival, self-regard, pragmatism, indifference
To help y’all out, some of the standing Summit and Arconae (and a Barabel) have all declared their factions. You can reference them for an idea of who’s who, where, doing what — just bear in mind that while YOU know these allegiances, your characters likely don't.
It’s time to ask yourself, dears: who are you, and what do you want?
That's all I have to say about that.
We’ve got lots of large awards and a Knighting this last month! I’m very proud of every one of you, for all your hard work. Congratulations and well done. Always.
Inarya Tiberius Entar
Celahir Erinos Arconae
Xenna asks, #AskTheAtty how do i become awesome?
Terran asks, #AskTheAtty who's your favorite Vong war orphan?
Alora asks, With Atty being blind, how many times a day does she trip over that braid?
Celevon asks, How does Atty take her coffee?
Turel asks, When am I getting an "angry Atty" match?
It’s a lot to take in, darlings. If you skipped down here, go back up and read about the ideological factions we’ve developed. Then come back for hugs because Atty always loves each and every one of y’all beautiful crazies. Always have, always will. You make me proud.
Now go damn well do it again.
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