I was going to open with a fiction, but instead I felt the need to say a few words.
We of House Odan-Urr have always been the odd bunch. We began as a tiny group of Dark Jedi Brotherhood members with a crazy idea and a lot of passion. Before we were founded, the idea of a Jedi House was ludicrous; there wasn't any support for it. The robes were an April Fools joke; the member interest didn't exist, and the premise couldn't stand. It couldn't be done.
But that didn't stop our founders. Couldn't be done? They just got up and did it.
Our homeworld was a backwater rock. We had a few fighters as a fleet, no lore or history. No one could possibly write interesting good guy storylines - what's the appeal? Honesty, heroism; it all sounded so naive. So impossible for motivation, the idea of being a goodie two-shoes. No one would go to war over that.
Until we did.
Pillars of Menat, Bastions of Knowledge, Tides of Freedom, the Fall-Return saga - we wrote and fought in all of that as good guys. It wasn't good, no - it was amazing. We got up and fought our asses off in a Dark Crusade that we couldn't possibly stand up in; we walked away with capital ships, a huge roster, and one hell of an image boost. We entered that campaign a raggedy band of misfits and emerged as a force of nature, and all it took was the one resource we have not - and cannot - run out of.
A lot of Odanites come here because they're tired of the same old stories; we offer something vibrant and new. Many come here for a clean slate, a second chance - and they get that from their first step in the door. A lot of them came here to escape DJB politics and cliques - but I am part of a clique. And so are you, should you choose to join me.
I am an Odanite - as are all my Odanite brothers and sisters.
I love this place. It has redefined me, reshaped my outlook on life, on the world, and on people in general. Odan-Urr has shown me that no, I'm not weak for standing up and doing the right thing - I'm stronger for it. It has shown me that no idea is too foolish, and that the impossible is just another f*cking door to kick down. Here you are given a fair chance to succeed; a home, a family, and a stepping stone to become great. I love this place - and I will go to my grave to keep it up, if need be.
Defying convention is something other units consider ground-breaking, extraordinary. Here, that's called Tuesday. You might say to yourself, "Liam, I'm not some amazing member. I don't have the talent, or the vision. I'm just little old me. I can't change the DJB."
To that I say - you're an Odanite. You were MADE to change this club. It's in you - so let it loose!
Kane Vader once typed his first letter. Firefox once joined this club, utterly clueless. Jac Cotelin once wrote his first short story; Muz Ashen once drew his first picture, and James Entar once learned his first HTML commands. Someone once read an email's subject line and asked themselves, "Who the hell does this Sarin guy think he is?"
These people all have something in common - they are the pinnacle of this club, members whose names will be legends years after they themselves retire. And each and every one of them is you. So ask yourself this, Odanite - who do you think you are - and what are you going to do about it? It may well be impossible to reach your goals, and achieve your dreams - but ask yourself this.
When the f*ck did that ever stop an Odanite?
The Eleventh Great Jedi War is in full swing, and round one is over. I wish I could say we did well; sadly, a ton of us were sidelined hard by our circumstances in January. Some of us had no time, or other worries. Some of us didn't think we could do it. Some of us couldn't be bothered.
I wish I could say we had time to turn this around. Lucky for me, then, that we've entered round two.
Two days ago my hard drive died, rendering my laptop useless. While I hunt down a keyboard for my ten-year-old desktop, I'm doing this report up on my cell phone. It doesn't take much to get up and do something; it's fun, rewarding, and well worth your time. If I can do it from my phone after work, while chasing around my kid, spending time with my wife, and playing video games - what can you do?
No ideas on fiction? Tell the group, and share whatever thoughts you may have. Discuss ideas and possibilities. Terrible at graphics? Me too - but Da Vinci didn't paint Mona Lisa off the bat, and just like him, no one will hold your first scribbles against you. Need help on the puzzle? We happen to have a direct line to sixty four Odanites and the Dark Council popping up in your invoice - use it, it's yours!
I am here because I love Odan-Urr. I am in the role of Quaestor because I know I can lead, because I was once ballsy enough to try being a Battleteam Leader for an ailing team. I gained my skills by failing, f*cking up, and falling ass-backwards into the view of people who mattered. And you know what I have to show for my mistakes?
Two custom sabers, four Equite ranks, thousands of good friends, and the honor of leading the best damn House in the Brotherhood.
This section is titled "HOU News." Here's our news - our members have largely done nothing. We had three fiction entries - THREE - out of sixty-four members, most of whom I've personally seen write a damned good story off of a three-sentence prompt. Few gamers, out of a roster that just a couple of months ago had the gaming community in awe. But you know what?
This is also the roster that turned 18 submissions into 40 within a couple of days, with ease. That means this is a roster that could break club records - all it takes is you trying.
I'm here because I love you all. We've got a home here, and a family greater than anything we could ask for - but that home is under threat, and it needs us now. I am here because I will not watch that home wither and die.
To those who want to sit there and do nothing, go ahead - the club won't force you to advance. The club is busy with its own progress, and if you don't want to be part of that, you won't be made to. And you may even get your wish - you'll be able to do nothing to help us with aplomb if the House dissolves, and you end up in the Rogues.
Or, you can get up, do one puzzle, write one half-assed short story as quick as possible, draw one picture, play one two-minute round of virtual cards, and spend the rest of your wartime days chatting merrily and relaxing. You can do all of the things - check every box in the war for this great House's success - inside of an afternoon. If you want to, you can casually enjoy HOU and relax, all while securing our future.
So ask yourself, Odanite - why are you here?
The Great Jedi War is taking place right now - and our participation for round 1 clocked in at 40/58. That leaves us Round Two and the Team Events to pull it together.
So here is how it works.
Every time you participate in any event - play Pazaak once against someone outside of the unit, solve a puzzle - you've just added one point to our total. Your personal 1/58. If you do all of the events - and it doesn't take much - that's four points toward our whole total. You just did the part of yourself and three friends, and it didn't even take a day. It's that simple - every activity is another voice shouting to the Dark Council that Odan-Urr is here to stay.
I don't want to make them look. I want to make them go deaf at the sound of us. Shout out, Odanite - it's your turn, and it is all too easy.
I'll give you my vision for our future - success.
We had more Knightings in 2014 than in the previous year - several times more. We got more ships, won more competitions, filled more leadership spots, and sent in more submissions than all of HOU's prior years combined. Then, we were struggling, working desperately to stay in the game.
This year, we take that game by force. 2015 is the year of the Jedi.
I won't sum up my words above, because you, Odanite, need to read them. What I will do in closing is apologize. Of late, real life has been difficult, while factors within the club and without have drawn more and more time and energy away. I confess that I am, and have been, exhausted. I have put things off and made excuses not to get on the ball, and you have suffered. The House - and by extension, the club - has paid for my laziness.
So, I know where you're coming from. I know what it's like to just push the work aside, to forget, to say "that's good enough for now." But that doesn't excuse it - instead, that gives me the insight I need to say that our problem can be fixed. You can do it, and you will. I know you have what it takes, and I have faith in you.
I love you all, Odanites. May the Force be with you all.
Quaestor of House Odan-Urr
You need to be logged in to post comments