Welcome to my between-GJW-Phases report!
Ruins of the Sith Academy
Valley of the Dark Lords
"Excuse the disruption, but I found these two sneaking around, Prophet," growled a man in a black facemask and full-body Dark Armor. He shoved the two prisoners to the ground, both with hands bound behind their backs. In front of the three stood a robed woman, her back to them, an impossibly long lightsaber held loosely in one hand.
The two sisters both shifted in their cuffs, but it was Nalia that spoke up. "We weren't sneak-"
She wasn't able to finish. The crushing blow of a blaster rifle to the back of her head knocked her immediately unconscious with a sickening crack. The Nephilim snorted. "Jedi."
The robed woman turned, a blue hologram visible for a moment behind her. She cut an imposing figure with shoulder-length cranial horns and deep set orange eyes. Necren smirked, her gaze settling on the single conscious sister. Defiant eyes peered back at her - either the girl had no idea who she was, or she was simply too stupid to know the danger she was in, Necren thought.
"Sneaking or not, you have what I want," Necren stated, her lightsaber shifting ever so slightly.
Rhiaen's eyes widened, her stubbornness abating, if only for a moment. "Nn-no! We couldn't get it! Lord Cotelin will understand, we tried-"
"Shut up." Necren turned her back for a moment, seeming to drift away from the conversation. After a brief pause, she turned back towards Rhiaen. "And who, may I ask, has the writings?"
"C-Connor! He tricked us, it wasn't our fault..." Rhiaen trailed off, glancing down at her sister. A small pool of blood had formed beneath her unconscious face. Rhiaen's expression changed once more, the gravity of the situation finally hitting her. "We have to get her help... let me help her!" Rhiaen struggled in her cuffs, shifting towards her sister, Nalia.
Necren ignited her lightsaber, the familiar snap-hiss echoing through the chamber. "No closer." Rhiaen stopped, still a few feet away from her unconscious sibling.
Rhiaen's eyes filled with tears as she glanced down at her unmoving sister. "You aren't... you aren't with Lord Cotelin, are you?"
Necren turned, her amusement clear in her tone. "No."
"B-but the Nephilim..."
"Then who do you serve? Ashen?"
Necren shook her head. "You're a fool."
Rhiaen whispered a single word, terror filling her mind: "Esoteric."
Necren chuckled. "How limited your views. I wonder, little Jedi... How much do your people mean to you? How much does your sister mean to you?"
Rhiaen instantly felt that something was off. Waves of panic filled her mind, mixing with anger and sadness, as a sudden knowing settled upon her. Using her boot, Necren raised Nalia's unconscious head and lifted her lightsaber ever so slightly. The Nephilim behind Rhiaen stirred.
"NO!" Rhiaen shouted, forcing herself to her feet and trying to lunge towards her sister. The Nephilim behind her grabbed her cuffs, dragging her away as Necren's blade descended, slicing Nalia's head clean off. Rhiaen's panicked cries filled the chamber, the wailing and sobbing continuing unabated as Necren stalked towards Rhiaen, her lightsaber dissipating.
Necren grabbed Rhiaen's chin, forcing her to look into her orange eyes. "Understand one thing, fool. You are alive for one reason: You know who has what I want. You can, and you will, bring me those writings. If you don't, your sister won't be the last of your kind whose head I take."
Rhiaen's mind filled with images of her friends and loved ones slaughtered... A'lora, Liam, dead. All because she failed. She fought back her tears, her eyes settling on her fallen sister. Anger filled her head, hatred for this woman and all those she served. She would get back at her, somehow... but first, she'd find those writings.
"Get her out of here," Necren commanded, turning her back on the Nephilim. She heard the living twi'lek being dragged from the room, strangely silent. Necren's eyes fell on the small, blue hooded figure before her.
The hologram shifted, an ebony staff-like object blinking briefly into existence in his hands. "A dangerous choice, Necren. You know the penalty for failure. You expect this will regain his favor?"
Necren shook her head, but said nothing. It was clear she had other plans for the girl; she wasn’t stupid enough to trust such a sensitive mission to her alone.
"Whatever you are up to, Necren, it better pay off… And you better be more careful with my Nephilim than you were with his bounty hunters. I do not so easily forgive..."
In a general sense, I usually avoid report fiction, as I feel like reports are the place to distribute meaningful information and useful insight into what is going on at different levels of the club. But I wanted to take this opportunity to advance, fictionally, the plot of a couple of our NPCs. And don't worry - regardless of how your story has fit in at all to this minor fiction will have zero influence on your grading. I'm interested in the story you wrote, not the story I have in mind.
So what's going on here? Well, one of the NPCs from last period just had something pretty traumatic happen, and we get a little clue as to Necren. She's an odd figure - one that seemingly betrays her own character aspects - but is looking to redeem herself with whomever it is she worked for. If you couldn't figure it out from here, you'll be seeing some familiar names in the next fiction prompt, too!
Anyway, we'll also be getting a real plot update from Pravus soon enough!
I have begun grading fiction and have made it through roughly 20 entries. I've got a boatload more ahead of me, but I am not trying to make any kind of immediate grading deadline. Still, I wanted to say the entries I've read so far have been excellent quality, with quite a few people clearly either dedicating a lot more effort this time around or simply having grown as writers.
We had 86 fiction entries, which is a great effort from everyone. Participation numbers are below (roster numbers are from start of GJW, not today's numbers):
Naga Sadow: 6/38
Odan Urr: 3/58
Scholae Palatinae: 16/45
A few questions have filtered my way lately, so I thought I'd answer them real quick.
Q: Why so many NPCs?
A: I wanted to give members with lower ranks a chance to enlist aid, battle, kill, etc... a variety of targets, while giving our Equites and Elders some meat to deal with. By no means did people need to use all NPCs, and most writers did not. The same will be true of any NPCs in other prompts.
Q: Who should we contact if we have formatting or other technical issues related to the site or Discourse?
A: First, before editing a post or otherwise modifying it if doing so would violate the rules, CONTACT ME IMMEDIATELY. It is much easier for me to take care of technical issues if you let me know ASAP.
Q: Can we use insert random NPC or Clan dude in our fictions?
A: If it makes sense for insert random NPC or Clan dude to be in your fiction or run-on's location, then yes.
Q: Who is Esoteric?
A: I really wanted to link a clip from the movie Spartacus here, just for fun.
Got more? Ask below!
Since we launched the ACC this year and have overhauled a lot of our Cluser of Ice policy, and considering we are inching ever-closer to the launch of the Fiction Society, I thought it time to take a look at our Clusters of Ice from 2014. I asked James to create a list of all members earning a Cluster of Ice. Through all of 2014, 182 different members earned a total of 2154 Clusters of Ice, with the average member earning a Cluster taking home 11.84 clusters. But as you can see from the below figure, most of our members earning Clusters tend to be those pulling in just a small handful:
What can I conclude from this? First, I think I am not doing a good enough keeping members earning Clusters of Ice, so this coming year, I will be trying different competitions to try to increase the number of people earning Clusters. I also think an added incentive in the Fiction Society and renewed ACC focus (once the Vendettas are behind us!) may help there. Second, there are a handful of members earning way more Clusters of Ice than most members by a sizable margin (yes, someone earned more than 100 this year!).
So who are those people bringing up the right end of that distribution? I thought I'd look into it. Below are our top 10 cluster earners, this year:
I suspect that things will look much different with the coming Fiction Society and the plans we have to increase ACC activity and usefulness. Either way, thought you all might find some numbers interesting!
The Question is taking a hiatus for now. Too much GJWly stuff to do!
Hope you all enjoy the 2nd GJW phase! Good luck!
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