Victory-II Star Destroyer Paladin, Main Hangar
"Not a prisoner," that vexatious voice cut in, sounding almost bored. "A guest."
"A guest, then," Laren replied curtly with a nod toward the cloaked figure. "You take me as your guest, and for what? I'm flattered that I'm considered important enough by one with the power of a Star Destroyer in their possession, but frankly -"
His voice cut off again. There was a tightness around his throat that made it difficult to breathe. He reached up, attempting to loosen the collar of his dark shirt, but he found it was already loose. It was as if the air itself was suffocating him, tying invisible threads tighter and tighter around his slender neck. He sank to his knees, spots beginning to appear in his eyes. He could faintly see polished boots striding forward toward him, the dark brown cloaked figure stopping inches from where Laren suffered helplessly. Frantic golden eyes looked up, and they bulged. A gnarled, tree-like hand was out-stretched, fixed on Laren, and he could see the faint shape of an eyeless face contorted into what could be a grin of pleasure. It seemed he had walked straight into the clutches of a Sith.
"Release - me," Laren struggled hoarsely. His vision was beginning to fade, and he knew his face must have been flushed dark blue with effort to continue breathing.
What felt like an eon later, the pressure around his throat disappeared. Desperately he drew a powerful breath, though he quickly regretted the act. His chest heaved and swayed as he coughed, his body filled with the sweet bliss of air once more. He turned his eyes toward the gnarled tree-like man - it was a man, considering its deeper tone, he decided - and his gaze burned with fury. He did not like being taken by surprise, let alone by one who could wield the Force. Feeling helpless to anyone made memories of his enslavement, so carefully shoved into the distant corners of his mind, bubble to the surface with his rage.
"Have I come to be tortured," Laren said after a time, rising to his feet. "Have you brought me here to satisfy some debt?"
"Nothing so petty," his tree-like captor replied. "No, you're here to be tested."
You can find the ongoing Shadow Academy Run On here. If you like what you're reading, you catch some typos or other mistakes, or both, feel free to contact me over Telegram or by e-mail (see dossier for e-mail).
Now some of you might be asking yourself, “Wait a minute, where’s the real Headmaster? Like all of us do from time to time, he’s off enjoying himself on a fantastic cruise somewhere until sometime. Until that sometime elapses completely, I have all of the power. And all I’ve really done with that power is force Ood to take less naps, send Kelly away on errands with a bad mood, and leave Bentre a massive pile of paperwork that had to be done two months ago. And burn the office down. Notionally.
In all seriousness, however, this report is (as usual) going to cover a few bits and pieces. First off the mark I’ll actually be handing this report over to two staff members, Kelly Mendes and Sang Entar. Before Farrin left, he agreed that it might be kind of a neat’o idea to highlight a small portion of our wonderful staff, and have them talk about their experiences with the Shadow Academy. Following that, this report will cover our ongoing projects, some exam numbers, as well as the #AskthePHM portion, which turned out to be quite interesting this go around.
Without further adieu, let’s get started.
Hey all, for those who don't know me, first that's a lot of rocks to be living under and secondly well I'll tell you just a bit (can't have a bunch of strangers knowing everything about my life.). I've been around a little over 3 years, all spent in Plagueis. #darksyde4lyfe I've been known to dabble in everything, though my passion for the club first expressed itself in the venerable halls of the Shadow Academy (overseen by Dacien at the time I believe). Now this is still a passion of mine, though I really need to do more of it (will have to make sure that's allowed).
Anyways, I've been trying to get a SA staff position for a while now, this being my third or fourth attempt. It just goes to show that if you bother someone long enough they'll give in. In all seriousness, persistence pays off. Before the move up to Magistrate I was the professor of the Leadership blah and blah department. It was fun and a promotion from just handling Leadership Competitions, which was part of my role as M:MAA that I carried on since nobody was put in place to replace me.
Now, jobs in the SA, there's a good many of them that exist. Most of them are Professor roles, where you'll be responsible for grading certain exams. Some courses still have Docents too, which are a junior version of professors and a more manageable workload than a whole department at once. Be on the lookout for these when they come up. If you want a promotion, shiny, or just to give back to the community, PROF and DOC roles are great ways to get your foot in the door. Of course, the current Praetor and my murder buddy Laren didn't start off with a lower role. He went straight in and claimed his place as Farrin's second. (though we know Ood is always first in his heart) This is also a possibility and by no means am I suggesting anyone wait forever until Sang's graded a billion exams and calls it a day. If you're interested in a job and one comes up, go for it.
Seeing interest in what the SA does motivates us to be the best staff we can be, keep courses up to date, (the error form is also quite useful) listen to suggestions for courses (Laren handles that but it's something we as a staff like to see.). The goal of the Shadow Academy is to expand members' knowledge and for some courses skill sets. We want to make the best members we can and I think the SA does a damn good job of it. Now, Laren asked me for a paragraph or two, this should be enough and sorry for the wall.
Hi, I'm Sang.
I've been in the club for going on 8 and a half years now. During that time, I've been involved with the Shadow Academy in one way or another as a Docent or Professor for 7 and a half years! I started off as a Docent marking Clan Arcona's History exam and from there somehow managed to blag my way into becoming one of the longest running SA staff members outside of Ood, my beloved Belgian manservant.
I've gone through several different Headmasters; Taigikori, Ronovi, Solari, Dacien & Farrin, Each one of them brought something different to the table, a way that bettered the Shadow Academy and made it a more fun and useful experience for our members, new & old.
I've marked 1162 courses during my time as a staff member, ranking just behind Ood and dbbot (who has THOUSANDS!!!!) and I've loved every minute of it. When I see an exam from someone who has truly put time and effort in and given me a fantastic answer, it makes my day a little brighter.
If you're wanting to get some cool stuff for your dossier from the SA society, or you are a Journeyman grinding to Knighthood or an Equite earning your Mavens, your exams often light up my day. Keep up the good work, guys and girls!
Just like Farrin did in his last report, there will be a double reminder about the Google Form we use to track troubleshooting. E-mails or direct communication on Telegram is great, but submitting to this form (it’s quick I assure you) allows us to track all issues with the Shadow Academy, and have them all co-located in one spot. This form will also be linked at the end of the report, in case you didn’t read all the way through. :)
“Ask” portions are always a blast, and this time around was no different. We had a good variety of questions from loads of folks. Take a gander below and see what people have asked the P:HM.
Let’s begin with our featured question, by none other than the former (and super amazing) Praetor to the Headmaster, Marcus himself!
God I really like this question. Besides our on-going project (which isn’t all too exciting) making some upgrades and changes to the Leadership courses, not much in the ‘near’ future. But I suppose it depends on what you consider the near future. If we can consider the ‘near’ future to be within the next six months, lots.
As some may know, and others may not, the Shadow Academy works heavily across departments. In fact, some departments write their own courses, providing us with quality, completed material that simply needs to be implemented on the site. As of now some of these projects have slowed for the upcoming Great Jedi War, but they are by no means in the dust.
One of my first projects as Praetor was to work with the Fist and create a new Advanced Warfare course. My hope is in the future to continue a revamp of our available warfare courses, with the Fist’s cooperation and approval. I would love to see our current selection of warfare courses updated to reflect Star Wars canon, and perhaps to expand the department with another new course or two about warfare in the Star Wars universe.
Other departments, such as the Voice and Herald, also have concepts and courses in mind. In the near future, expect Wally and his crew to work with us to release another updated writing course or so. And let’s not forget Atra’s beta testing with the writing workshops, as well.
Speaking of workshops and interactive learning… no. You know what, I’m going to stop there and leave you all thinking. Let’s just say it’s an upcoming proposal, and you’ll hear more once action has been taken.
Terran Koul asks:
Might leave his office a little messy upon his return. Besides that... perhaps a few too many eager messages over Telegram. I think I’m at a five or six-to-one message ratio. I swear I’m not annoying, okay?
Kojiro Keibatsu asks:
The CoJ courses themselves are an ongoing project and the purview of our friends in that department. The current goal now is broad: we're attempting to overhaul the existing leadership courses where possible. In short, it's in the pipes, but no action has yet been taken. Yet. :) Please stay tuned.
Marcus also asks:
Both? Neither? Perhaps I’m just Plagueis #darksyde4lyfe #selikafanclub #abadeertooiguess . In all seriousness, however, Laren currently doesn’t openly align with either party, preferring his loyalties to be in the hands of powerful individuals rather than larger organizations. It’s easier to serve a master with one head, rather than numerous.
Oh yes. Here’s a prime example of a fantastic non-notes oriented course right here, and the notes found here. The magnificent Wally himself just hammered out this fantastic course. There are other examples of non-notes courses as well that are easy to read and super informative, though I would hope you folks will take the time to explore the Shadow Academy, do some courses, and find out which for yourself.
And regarding that one example, I think you’re referring to Alchemy? I know I found it difficult to read, though I appreciate all the work that went into creating the document.
Dek Ironius II asks:
Perhaps. :) Stay tuned for more.
Maximus Alvinius asks:
Phat Headmaster. Or in reality, Praetor to the Headmaster.
Qor Palpatine asks:
I like to think they’re excellent! The entire team worked super hard on getting these courses done. Besides the Advanced Warfare course, the history courses were my first ‘big’ project coming into the Praetor’s chair. And as I said in the chat, without Marcus’s and Lexiconus’s work that they left for us, none of this would have been possible so quickly or efficiently. And to that, I tip my hat to you folks, as well as to the awesome Magistrates who helped the SA Staff make these courses a reality: Celevon and Bentre. For more information, check out this report for more information.
Marcus finally asks:
Well after using the assistance of a medieval name generator, this is what I got: Phillipos Flambard Al’Rheanion, Lord of the Supreme Purple Diktat of Snazzyness, First Lord of House Plumbuss, Defender of the Gumdrop Fairies and Shield of the Unicorns.
Does that work?
Thanks for all the questions, folks!
Shadow Academy Staff are currently engaged in the following projects:
Core Leadership Courses Audit - Laren, Kelly, Bentre: Farrin has tasked the staff proper to give the Leadership courses an overhaul. With the exception of Report Writing, which was completed by the ever-amazing super worker known as Wally, we intend to keep the current courses and department structure. The audit has us examining the finer details, everything from the current course notes to question. Estimated completion: end of 7/2017
DJB History I & II Update/Rewrite - Alishu: Alishu has completed first drafts of both courses and they've been sent to the DC for approval. The DC has a lot on its plate right now, but I think we'll see some movement on this soon to get these courses released for all to enjoy. Estimated completion: TBD
Operation Remodel - SA Staff: In an effort to streamline the organization of the Shadow Academy and make it easier to initially get to information and then to find similar information, the SA will see a fairly extensive reorganization. The first phase of this is done, and the graphical elements will begin shortly. Estimated completion: end of 8/2017
Operation Remodel (Degrees) - SA Staff: The reorganization, as well as the addition/removal of various courses, has left some of our degrees a bit outdated. With the release of the new History courses, we’ve asked James to rework the History and Legends degrees as outlined above in my report. The Leadership and Law degrees are still being sorted, and I don’t have a timetable for their completion. Estimated completion: TBD
|Name||# of Exams||# of ACs|
|Professional TuQ'uan Varick||31||85|
|Augur Atra Ventus||21||27|
|Neophyte Casey Denimore||19||6|
|Warden Celevon Edraven Erinos||17||40|
|Proselyte Angel Snow||15||4|
Note: these numbers cover the period from 6/15/17 to 7/19/17 and count both initial attempts and retakes.
While Farrin looks something like this on board an awesome cruise ship:
We the Staff continue to serve. Grading times have been excellent, and exam takers have been fairly diligent. Keep up the good work on that front.
The Shadow Academy is an amazing resource, created and administrated by some imperfect human beings who strive for perfection. We try our best to catch and fix any and all errors before we release courses, but we're not always successful. Because of that, we will always need your help. If you spot an error, please report it to the SA Staff using this simple form; if it's a major enough error, or you spot enough, you'll be rewarded. With cookies. And an SA team thankful for pointing it out. And a Headmaster thankful to scold his staff. I kid, he gives us cookies, too.
In Darkness -
Praetor to the Headmaster of the Shadow Academy
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