Callus paced back and forth on the flight deck of a ruined docking bay aboard the Anchorage. He stopped pacing and stood facing the emptiness of space. Callus drew a ragged breath and raised his hands to his face and rubbed his eyes and temples. He was tired but he knew he couldn’t sleep now there was too much work for him to do and only he could do it. Only Callus saw the signs, how things were changing how nothing was right. Callus was the only one who could make the gears fit.
Was he up to the task? The doubts were harassing him now. Did he have the skills, the resources, the unwavering devotion? The true masters of the darkside were lurking just out of reach and Callus knew he had to be ready to face them. The Brotherhood was a lost cause but perhaps he could save Plagueis? Callus didn’t know who all would join him. He was the Quaestor of House Karness Muur and he could convince them to follow him but the others, Dracaryis, Selika, and Teylas may need to be sacrificed to save the others. He knew he could handle Dracaryis and Selika but the Dread Lord could be a problem. One he’d confront when the time came.
It came sooner than he’d planned. Callus felt a presence in the hangar and spun to see the Consul of Clan Plagueis along with the Rollmaster Jai’de Serpens. Callus took several calming breaths as they approached. “Dread Lord, Overseer.” Callus acknowledged each with a slight bow of his head. “This bay will take time to fully repair and the wreckage is barely scrap. How goes the rest of the assessment?”
“The station is in disarray and there are still places we haven’t explored but we’re slowly making progress.” The Rollmaster responded tapping her datapad. Callus reached to a pocket on his jacket and handed a datapad to the Zeltron woman.
“Those are the scans from here and the section that my apprentice searched mostly the same but it’s encouraging that we seem to be making progress.” Callus replied trying to disguise the unease in his voice and attempting to surreptitiously wipe sweat from his brow. “Uh Overseer, I wonder, I wonder if I might have a word with the Dread Lord in private?” Callus asked, his tone not exuding the confidence that had he had become known for. Jai’de looked at him with a quizzical expression on her face but nodded and made her exit. When she’d left Callus turned to find Teylas gazing out into space as Callus had done moments ago. Callus found himself breathing heavily and felt his heart racing he had to be cautious here, it was imperative that he not let Teylas discover his plans or arouse his suspicions. The Dread Lord spoke before Callus was ready.
“Something is bothering you Callus.” The Anzat stated. Callus attempted to steady himself with a deep breath but he couldn’t find his center. “Planning on killing me?” Teylas spoke as he turned his head to look at Callus from the side of his right eye and his eye line fell to Callus’ right hand where a tarnished metal cylinder was in his grip. Callus couldn’t recall reaching for his lightsaber but there it was, cool and familiar in his hand.
“I…” Callus began looking down at the weapon in his hand.
“Your recent investigations have not gone unnoticed. We know you’ve been delving into some older records and knowledge. You reached to far, let us help you regain your sense.”
“I… I knew you’d say that.” Callus looked up to Teylas and their eyes met. Callus’ eyes were mad full of fury and somehow determination. “I had hoped that I could explain to you what was happening, what I’d seen and learned but I fear you won’t understand.” Callus’ lightsaber came to life, its azure blade casting a glow around Callus’ feet. “I regret having to do this, but you understand I have no choice.”
“I do.” Teylas replied with a resigned sigh, his mauve saber extending from the curved hilt of his weapon.
For an instant there was only silence then the two men sprang into action and were a blur of color and bodies. Callus lead with a heavy overhand strike that Teylas parried away with his own blade. Callus struck out with his left hand at Teylas’ jaw but the Consul ducked the blow and stepped back. Callus pressed the attack with a two handed diagonal blow aimed at Teylas’ left collar bone. The blow was blocked but was heavy enough to force the Anzat back two steps. Callus’ rage propelled him forward as he delivered a horizontal sweeping blow aimed at Teylas’ abdomen. The majority of the damage was avoided but the blade left an angry mark across the Consul’s stomach. Callus struck with a hard push kick driving his quarry back further and opening for him to give an upward swing aiming to bisect Teylas from groin to head. The strike went wide and Teylas performed a pulling motion and exerted his will through the Force. The application of telekinetic prowess was enough to pull Callus off balance. The Epicanthix stumbled forward and Teylas pressed his advantage conjuring up another application of telekinetic energy that struck Callus on the back of his head staggering him forward.
Callus fell to his knees and coughed up blood and sinus fluid as he tried to clear his head of the cobwebs and stars. Teylas approached Callus with his curved saber low by his side, the consul circled around the fallen Epicanthix as Teylas raised his hand to deliver a finishing telekinetic strike. The Force spurred Callus to action and with a howl of pure rage Callus erupted from his kneeling position and launched himself in a shoulder tackle that struck Teylas heavily in the stomach. The two men crashed violently to the floor with Teylas’ breath rushing from his lungs and Callus’ forehead connecting solidly with the hangar deck plating. Callus raised his left arm to deliver a hammer fist to Teylas’ nose but the Consul’s saber sprung back to life and removed Callus’ arm just above the elbow. The scream of pain mixed with anger and surprise shook the hangar as the Epicanthix’s arm fell lifelessly to Teylas’ face with a dull thump. In the moment Teylas moved the limb from his head Callus drove his forehead into the bridge of Teylas’ nose. Callus struggled to his feet and picked his lightsaber up off the ground depressing the activation plate.
“Get Up.” Callus growled at Teylas. “I’m not done with you yet.” Callus spat through teeth gritted against the pain that he was struggling to shove to the back of his mind. Callus’ body was hunched and his lightsaber was gripped loosely in his remaining hand. Teylas got slowly to his own feet wiping away blood from his smashed nose and upper lip.
“Callus you don’t have to die here.” Telyas implored holding his weapon to the side in a non threatening gesture.
“I’m not the one who's going to die here.” Callus groaned in pain as he raised his weapon, his arms felt as if they were encased in duracrete even reaching to the Force gave him no aid. His injuries and tapping into his rage earlier to stave off Teylas’ earlier finishing strike had weakened him sufficiently enough as to make him useless but Callus would be damned if he was going to roll over and die or be taken captive. He raised himself up and brought his blade to ready position. With all the strength he could muster Callus closed the distance between himself and Teylas and swung his lightsaber at Teyla’s left shoulder. The strike was sloppy but still carried all of the strength that Callus could muster, and even on a bad day it wasn’t anything to sneer at. Teylas parried the strike and stepped past Callus while giving him a solid punch in the ribs. Callus groaned and coughed as he slowly turned to face Teylas again. Callus lashed out with a horizontal backhanded strike that Teylas deftly parried and caused Callus to lose his grip on the weapon and both men watched as it clattered to the ground.
Callus extended his hand and his weapon moved a few inches across the ground. Callus dropped his hand and drew a few breaths before trying to pull his lightsaber to his grasp. Callus groaned as the lightsaber clattered again towards him before Teylas put his boot on the weapon and Callus reluctantly lowered his hand and raised his eyes to the Dread Lord. “Don’t get caught off guard.” Callus told Teylas with resignation in his voice. Teylas extinguished his lightsaber and placed it on his belt, Callus’ eyes hardened at the Anzat. “Just get it over with,” Callus implored, when Teylas took no action Callus felt his anger rise again. “KILL ME!” He yelled “JUST END IT!” Telyas still stood stoic despite the impassioned pleas of the Epicanthix. Callus screamed and he felt pure hatred and anger towards Teylas, he was being denied death at the hands of another warrior and was either to be captured or exiled, neither option was acceptable. So with the last of his rage he felt the Force swell to him one last time and extended his remaining hand as an arc of blue lightning came shooting out of his fingertips towards Teylas. Teylas raised his hand and redirected the energy harmlessly into the air. As soon as the lightning dissipated Callus had made his way into range of Teylas and with his only arm he swung a heavy haymaker aimed at Teylas’ jawbone. The blow glanced but still had enough energy to cause Teylas to take a step back. When Teylas had regained his feet he saw Callus hunched over struggling to draw breath. With a great effort Callus stood tall and his eyes met Teylas’. “Thought I was done?” Callus rasped, “Come on then. I’m ready.” His voice devoid of all conviction and menace replaced with only regret and hate. Teylas raised his hands and with the force launched Callus into a small pile of scrap metal. As a final act Teylas manipulated a large piece of metal and slammed it into the pile where Callus’ body lay.
The above was a wonderful fiction written by our very own Callus to introduce the death of his character. He approached me some time ago asking if he could write an official clan fiction which would kill his character at the end of Forged Alliances. I thought it would be a wonderful opportunity to get the perspective of a leaving staff member and help to bring in his new character. It takes place directly after Forged Alliances and marks the transition into the current Plagueis we see today (staff and otherwise).
Speaking of fiction, there are going to be some huge fictional developments and opportunities soon. Still in the planning stages, and without getting into too much detail, Plagueis and Odan Urr will be partaking in a head-to-head clan feud in the near future. For those of you that like time planning details: right now, we're looking at February to launch. I present to you:
As I've said, we don't want to get into too many details but I can tell you that this is going to be a lot of fun. A'lora and Turel have been great to work with Selika and I in planning this event. I also want to give Mav a huge shout out as he has been overseeing the event, but just as much collaborating as any of the 4 of us. I don't hesitate to also mention that this will be, in a ways, the prototype moving forward for clan feuds. There really hasn't been one in a while because of all the major DJB-wide stuff going on, and as a result the clan feud rules are being reworked to be updated to 2016 and this will be the first to operate under those rules. However, with Odan Urr being the light-side clan, and Plagueis being the only fully dark-side clan, it only seems natural we would be feuding enemies. When A'lora approached me about doing this, it was an easy answer.
More details on this will be coming in the next few weeks! I am seriously very excited about this!
So we've been heavily using Telegram these past few months with great success. Everyone has heard the summit beating this drum for a while: Dracaryis, Selika, Kelly, and Eiko. We've all been telling people to get on here. With IRC sitting in disuse these days, and both the desktop and mobile availability of Telegram, it makes a natural successor.
To give you an idea: since we've integrated Telegram and pushed it, activity across the board in Plagueis has been up. Right now the Telegram channel is sitting at 29 out of the clan’s 54 members. That's a pretty good percentage from where we were at when I became consul. In order to join I've set up a join link which can be found on the Clan Plagueis roster page here on the website, or you can contact myself, Selika, or Kelly for an invite. We're constantly active and chatting, so feel free to join us!
Speaking of activity, I'd like to welcome the influx of new (and returning members) from the past month:
All of these members have joined in the last month. A large part of this is because I tasked the summit with going and getting the word out. Word of mouth recruitment. Actual recruitment. A majority of these people joined the Dark Brotherhood, and Plagueis, because we went out and talked to people for a few days. It just goes to show what a little conversation with some friends can do. I hope to be able to add plenty more to this list next month.
The biggest problem about the dark/gray/light dynamic is the misconception that exists as to what both “evil” and “good” actually are in Star Wars. This has been further entrenched by how many others see the "cartoon" villainy that is often seen in places like TOR, the latest of a long line of "dark = evil asshat" morality systems. The "dark side" doesn't have to be Snidely Whiplash, mustache twirling villainy any more than the light side has to be Dudley Do-Right going off to save Nell. Often times the dark path has been pigeon holed into being the side where you will go out of your way to kick a puppy just to kick a puppy because puppies are cute. Yeah, some people in the dark might be that person, but most wouldn't be. Dark and light are both more nuanced than that, and it’s disappointing to see people assuming that anything in between those extremes must be gray.
Many folks talk about going gray while still retaining selfish motivations, the idea that they'd still do whatever it takes to achieve whatever goal. The problem with that is that light and dark in Star Wars aren't just about what you do, they're about why you do. We've all heard that for years in various works of Star Wars. The Jensaarai from the Legends continuity are a perfect example of this. They were taught by Sith, many of their traditions were based on evil things, but they themselves weren't "dark" because they were an order dedicated to the protection of others. There were people that were still light of alignment who were "Gray Jedi" (I'm looking at you, Qui-gon). Jolee Bindo was a Gray Jedi through and through, but that didn't stop him from being light of alignment and having strong opinions about why the Sith sucked eggs.
But, as said earlier, it’s a bit depressing to see "complex character with inner conflicts that isn't thoughtlessly evil" being characterized as the exclusive purview of the gray of alignment. Dark alignment isn't unabashed devotion to puppy kicking and baby killing. Evil doesn't have to be Stalin, engaging in purges to kill massive portions of society because they looked at you funny (including meteorologists who failed to accurately predict the weather in the 1930's). Evil can just as easily be Vladimir Putin doing what he thinks is right for his people and other ethnic Russians, boundaries of sovereign nations be damned. (Though I feel free to revise my opinion on Vladdy if he goes off the deep end at a later date.) Are you a selfish character who will do "whatever it takes" to achieve a goal? Congrats, you're dark of alignment:
From Wookiepeedia: The dark side was seen as having been used for selfish purposes, although many darksiders who were accused of such selfishness claimed that the dark side was simply a means to achieve an end. One of the most notable examples was Anakin Skywalker, a Jedi who embraced the dark side with the intentions of saving his wife after seeing her die in a vision, even at the expense of the Jedi Order.
The definition of "whatever it takes" of course differs from character to character. You might draw the line at a massacre of a village but not at a death here or there. Still dark. "Dark" and "light" both contain spectrum within themselves, they're not points that are solely at the "extreme" end of the spectrum. Our Proconsul Selika is, character wise, dark. Not because she is motivated to go around killing people for "funsies", but because she's going to do for herself and if anyone else gets screwed over (or dead) on her way to getting hers, well that's too bad for them. It's important that we as a Clan, the sole bastion of unabashed darkness, make dark more than the extreme of all black. Dark needs to be more than rabid, thoughtless evil. If we don't there's really going to be next to nobody that wants to actually align "dark" and members will end up skewing gray which, most importantly, will slowly lead to every unit aligning gray. All three alignments should offer equally divided portions of the canvas, gray should not get to lay claim to everything that isn't at the very edge.
If you want to play Jolee Bindo and really have a character balanced on the knife edge, you should be gray. If you want to play a character that is being pulled to the dark end of the spectrum that's resisting the fall, be gray. But, if you're not playing a character who's genuinely trying to maintain neutrality, nut up and call yourself what you are: dark. Admit that the dark alignment is more than Hitler, Stalin, or Mao. Admit that "evil" can come in many different shades of dark, and that a character motivated by self advancement and selfishness doesn't have to execute subordinates willy-nilly to be dark. Dark isn't one shade, it's many.
I'd like to introduce a new competition that the Plagueis summit will be running every month. Named Clan Plagueis: The Wise, it will be a competition which basically tallies the activity of each member into a point based system. At the end of the month the 3 people with the most points will place in the competition. No need to subscribe. Pretty simple! The competition:
Every general activity you perform within in the Dark Brotherhood has a point value. These point values are listed below and are based on perceived difficulty and time taken. At the end of the month the points will be tallied and the top three most active members of Clan Plagueis will be awarded a crescent.
All activity will be tracked and tallied at the end of each month by the Clan Plagueis summit. No need to submit anything through this competition to count.
Now, for this competition everyone in Plagueis will be eligible with the exception of Selika and myself. Since this is really just a point accumulation competition, we could both participate. However, in case there are any discrepancies we will be out of the competition to serve as moderators. Otherwise every other member of Plagueis will be counted. Right now I think everything will be kept track in an Excel document which will be updated by the house leadership's on a daily basis.
In closing I'd like to make some comments based on the recent Grand Master report. The biggest thing I want to talk about is canon. Now that Episode VII is out there are going to be some canon changes as we've already seen with the Undesirables storyline. Now the Grand Master wants to adjust our timeline to be in line with Episode VII. I think this is a great idea, but don't worry. From that report, and my conversations with Pravus, I know that we won't be doing a reset that wipes out the last few years of Plagueis or DB canon. It'll still be there.
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