Wednesday, November 14, 2018

SWTOR Character Tales: Ragdat's Darknest Days KOTET 1-3

Welcome back, my beautiful freaks, to the Assassin's Den! It's time to get started in KOTET!

Time had passed between the defeat of Arcann and the rise of Vaylin.  She was causing a path of destruction while searching for her brother and mother, wanting to be rid of them for their betrayal once and for all.

Her search led her to Voss, which was under the protection of the Alliance thanks to Sana Rae and Vedere's friendship with the mystic Gaden Ko. Theron Shan and Sana-Rae happened to be on Voss meeting a contact and were caught in the attack, signaling the Alliance to scramble the fleet. The Alliance fleet moved to intercept and engage the Eternal Fleet, while Lana piloted a Zakuulan shuttle carrying Ragdat and Torian Cadera with a squad of Mandalorian warriors down to the planet surface to break the siege of the capital city of Voss-Ka. Upon landing, Ragdat got notification that Adaso and his brother, along a squad of Mandalorians serving Adaso, had also landed to assist in Ragdat's efforts.  Both grounds engaged Skytroopers throughout the burning city before meeting at the Tower of Prophecy, where Theron and Sana-Rae had been waiting for them. However, just before entering the tower, Vitiate froze time for Ragdat, and said, in so many words, "you need to kill Vaylin". After time was unfrozen, Ragdat helped in defending their position from Vaylin's Horizon Guards, and afterward, they received a holotransmission from Senya, who was at the Shrine of Healing. She was hoping that the Voss Mystics could heal her son's body and spirit and pleaded for the Alliance's aid, believing Arcann would join their fight. Lana believed that Arcann had to be neutralized one way or another, and she led Torian's Mandalorians towards the Shrine, while Adaso and his Mandalorians took a group of fighters to combat them from the air, while Ragdat and Theron took a third route, and rode the Mandalorian walker Storm Rider through the Old Paths.

Upon reaching the Shrine of Healing, Theron and Ragdat met with Senya, who again pleaded them to let Arcann be healed, while Vaylin, learning that her family was all in one place, ordered the Eternal Fleet to bombard the Shrine. Again, Vitiate told Ragdat to kill his son, and this gave Ragdat all the reason he needed to order Lana and the Mandalorians to protect the Shrine to buy Senya time and collapsed a tunnel behind them to stop the pursuing skytroopers. He and Theron remained near the entrance of the healer's chamber to hold off the Skytroopers, and once they finally reached Senya's position, they found that she had already ordered the Mystics to use her strength to heal her son in a Voss healing ritual, which left her comatose. Theron stayed to tend to Senya, while Ragdat and Lana chased the escaping Arcann to his shuttle, but were too late to stop his departure. However, Ragdat could feel Arcann's new presence in the Force, and could just barely see his eyes; while not as light as Vedere or Vizhdam, his presence was FAR lighter than it was, and his eyes had turned from the sickly yellow of a slave to the Dark Side to a much brighter blue. Ragdat knew he didn't have much time to talk, so he said only four words; "Your Mother is alive."

By this point Vaylin has ordered the Eternal Fleet to burn her family regardless of casualties on Voss, but the battle was turned by the arrival of the Imperial fleet, which turned the Eternal Fleet away. Vitiate again stopped time and urged Ragdat to pursue and kill Arcann, kill Valyin and claim the Eternal Throne, but Ragdat was having none of it; he would not kill either one, and he certainly wouldn't be claiming the Throne. When Vitiate unfroze time, Sith Empress Acina contacted Ragdat over holo, greeting Ragdat and invited the Alliance to Dromund Kaas to discuss a potential alliance against Vaylin. This got Adaso's attention, stating to not trust Acina; thanks to her, his entire family, all their forces and most of Colmallus' clan, were dead.  He said that Acina had sent him video messages of his younger sister, a girl who was only 9 at time time, being tortured as a way to demoralize Adaso against trying to take her throne, only killing her after realizing how powerful the young girl had become when she started speaking in a language that took decades to learn, a language that Adaso claimed that Brosra did not know before that; the ancient language of his people.  Acina said she would make no apologies for doing what was necessary to gain control over the Empire, Adaso said to never trust Acina. Ragdat, who had been listening this whole time, said that he couldn't turn away potential allies without talking to them first, and agreed that he'd at least talk to Acina before making a decision, with a caveat that he was not going to abandon the Republic even if he did ally with Acina.

Ragdat traveled to Dromund Kaas with Lana, Adaso and Theron, arriving to Kaas City, where Vitiate froze time to lamented that he spend too long on this world that was not worth saving. Ragdat wrinkled his nose in disgust, and reminded Vitiate that he killed him here before, and he'd doing it again as soon as his people figured out how. Vitiate just chuckled and unfroze time just in time for the group to be greeted by Gelmid Lorman, who introduced himself as the new Minister of Logistics when Beniko addressed him by his old title of Moff. Lorman escorted them to Acina, who greeted Ragdat warmly, though she did mock Adaso for following the Alliance despite how this Jedi set in motion the events that took his power base from him.  Adaso did not raise to the bait, however, and simply stated that he was there to ensure Acina didn't betray Ragdat the way she betrayed Adaso. Acina rolled her eyes, and insisted on speaking with Ragdat privately on her personal shuttle. Ragdat agreed, leaving Lana and Theron behind to keep an eye on Lorman, though Adaso chose a different path; he was going to his old estate to meditate on his situation and fuel his rage.

In flight and away from prying eyes, Acina stated that traditionalist Sith would not approve of the alliance she was offering and recognized Vaylin as the true threat. She assured Ragdat that her offer of partnership was genuine despite Adaso's protestations to the contrary, and that she had no intention of taking the Eternal Throne for herself, and Ragdat said the same, but he echoed Adaso's caution toward the Sith Empress. Their conversation was interrupted by a sudden engine failure, requiring Acina to crash land the shuttle and abandon ship. Now stuck in the wilderness of Dromund Kaas with their comms mysteriously jammed, Acina suspected someone sabotaged her shuttle, and Ragdat suggested Lorman as the culprit, though Acina shot down the idea. Lorman didn't have the courage to do so, she said, and this caused Ragdat to add that was the exact reason he was the prime suspect; Acina underestimated him.

Acina and Ragdat were forced to contend with the planet's dangerous wildlife and lightning storms, traversing the terrain to the crashed shuttle in hopes of recovering the emergency beacon. A group was already waiting for them there and identified as the GenoHaradan, whom the Empress had always assumed to be a myth. The "legendary" assassins proved no match for the Alliance Commander and the Empress of the Sith, however, as the pair swiftly dealt with the assassins and continued their search for the GenoHaradan camp.

They continued into the jungle, and just as they were about to head into the camp, they were met by Adaso wiping out the assassins. He looked furious, and directed all his anger at Acina, saying he "knew she'd betray them", but Ragdat rebuked the idea; it was Lorman, not Acina, and presented his theory. Adaso stood down, not wanting to argue with his Commander, and after clearing the camp, Ragdat discovered a holorecording from former Republic Supreme Chancellor Leontyne Saresh. Saresh was revealed as the one who ordered the hit, and Acina remarked on the treachery of the Republic leadership, though Adaso added "You're one to talk, Acina" before a gunship appeared and opened fire, forcing the three to take shelter in a nearby Sith tomb, where the entrance was collapsed by the barrage.Vitiate again froze time, and again remarked how these ancient resting placed of Sith Lords never truly held the secret of immortality, causing Ragdat to roll his eyes at this, saying that it was a privilege to become one with the Force, not something to be feared. Vitiate unfroze time, and Adaso immediately recognized what had happened within Ragdat after he came out of it, and wanted to say something, but chose not to, since he didn't want his Commander to be perceived as weak in front of Acina.

As the trio descended further into the tomb's depths, they found exactly what Ragdat had been saying the entire time; the traitorous Minister Lorman, who was behind the shuttle sabotage, and a GenoHaradan strike team seeking to finish their job. They quickly and easily dispatched the GenoHaradan, and Lorman panicked, claiming to have Lana and Theron hostage. This caused Adaso to burst into laughter, saying that Lana and Theron were not so weak that they would fall to Lorman's flunkies. Lorman, after once shouting "It's Minister Lorman! MINISTER LORMAN!", as he had several times before when someone called him by only his last name,  attempted to call his men, only to discover that his so-called hostages had dispatched them. Acina offered the Commander to decide Lorman's fate, and Ragdat calmly stated that Jedi don't kill their prisoners, something that caused Adaso to smirk, reaffirming that Ragdat was still denying his former master's control, but it caused Acina to frown. Ragdat said that Acina could do with him what she wished after due process had been gone through, but the fact remained that Jedi don't kill their prisoners.

Theron informed them that Saresh was coming to Odessen in a bid to take over the Alliance after she had earlier proclaimed that Ragdat was dead along with Acina. The four quickly returned to Odessen, where Saresh was making a speech in front of the Alliance personnel. Upon seeking Ragdat, she panicked and tried to flee, but Lana cut off her way of escaping. Saresh, in so many words, called Ragdat weak, saying that she'd have ended the Sith Empire AND the Eternal Empire months ago if she were in charge. Adaso said Saresh knew nothing of war, and that she'd lead them all to their death if she had the chance. Saresh just glared at Adaso, and flatly said "So, what, are you going to kill me, Commander? That's what I'd do." And Ragdat again calmly said that "Jedi don't kill their prisoners.You'll be given due process, but don't expect it to go your way." before sending Theron and Adaso to escort Saresh to a prison cell, to Theron's approval.

A little while later, Acina then contacted Odessen with a formal offer for an alliance, which Ragdat denied, saying that, while she had exhibited that she was trustworthy in this instance, she also illustrated a level of tactical blindness that Ragdat couldn't risk getting in the Alliance's way. Acina accepted this, and simply stated that she hoped they'd never end up on the opposite side of a battlefield. Theron, who was standing nearby with Lana and Adaso, asked why he chose not to ally with Acina, and Ragdat simply stated that, outside Adaso and Lana, he could never fully trust a Sith. He explained Adaso's honor code and Lana's pragmatism and sense of loyalty to those that had proven themselves made them unique among the Sith, and Acina lacked both. Both Adaso and Lana were placated, though Lana's pragmatism forced her to say that she hoped the wouldn't need Acina's reinforcements in the future.  Ragdat assured her that they had the strongest fighters and best equipment in the galaxy now, and that she shouldn't worry.

About an hour later, Darth Nox came into the command center and stated that she had managed to convince her apprentice, Ashara Zavros, to join the Alliance after their efforts on Voss, who had happened to be there at the time of the invasion, and Ragdat recognized the name; the Togruta Jedi who followed Darth Nox during her journey toward power, but resisted the corruption of the Dark Side while still accepting some of the Sith philosophy into her being.  Ragdat thanked her, but then got a notification of a distress call. The distress call was from Koth Vortena on the Gravestone; Vaylin had attacked and taken the ship. Koth, who had evaded capture, provided the Alliance with his coordinates, which gave Ragdat what he needed what he needed to mobilize the Alliance fleet moving to intercept. However, before he could leave, Vedere came up to Ragdat with a request for a team to rescue a former companion of her's; apparently, the Alliance had found Felix Iresso's location, and she wanted to free him. Ragdat gave the okay as he was boarding a shuttle with Lana.

Once the fleet got within the space around the Gravestone, Ragdat and Lana infiltrated the Gravestone in a boarding pod and dispatched several Skytrooper patrols along their way to Koth. Upon greeting each other, Koth revealed to them that Vaylin's forces risked triggering the quantum bomb that he installed as a precaution against SCORPIO, which infuriated Ragdat; between the personnel and equipment that a quantum bomb could destroy, this action would be grounds for treason charges based on the on the potential credit loss along. And that wasn't even counting the fact that Koth went behind his Commanding Officer's back knowing full well that Ragdat wouldn't approve of this. Ragdat begrudgingly joined Koth in disabling the fuses, while Lana provided distraction. Koth was elated that they defused his bomb and prevented his mistake from costing lives, but Ragdat said that after this, Koth was never setting foot on the Gravestone again. Koth said "I'd like to see you try to replace me", and then Ragdat said "And now, you're getting arrested on treason charges for the bomb AND threatening your Commanding Officer.  You're former military, Koth,, You know better than this." Koth was shocked at Ragdat's words, but he agreed to help Ragdat reach the bridge in the hope that doing so would help in his trial, only to be surprised to find it empty of Vaylin and her forces.

Koth disabled the bomb from the bridge console and told  his crew to evacuate in escape pods. SCORPIO then contacted them and revealed that she knew about the quantum bomb and manipulated Vaylin into leaving the bridge so that Koth could disable it. SCORPIO also informed Ragdat that Lana was cornered by Vaylin in the Dark Sanctuary, where the bomb was hidden. Ragdat and Koth arrived in time to save Lana from Vaylin, but their fighting still triggered the bomb's countdown. Ragdat dueled Vaylin, but just as Ragdat saw a Shatterpoint that would allow him to defeat Vaylin without killing her, Vitiate intervened and stopped the time as he often did before, although this time, Vaylin was able to overcome his restraint. She used the Force to throw Ragdat against the wall, which Ragdat assumed she was able to do due to Vitiate shutting down his TK Barrier again,  Vitiate uttered the phrase "Kneel before the Dragon of Zakuul", triggering Vaylin's secret conditioning and making her powerless to strike.

Unable to fight, Vaylin turned and fled, giving Koth the chance to disarm the bomb while Ragdat disabled the power relays to prevent its early detonation. As things calmed slightly, Ragdat told Lana to not forget they needed to put Koth under arrest for treason when once they were home.

A few moments later, Theron brought a team of Colonel Strannos, Aric Jorgan, Torian Cadera and Vette as reinforcements by landing an Alliance shuttle inside the hangar. However, SCORPIO took over control of the Gravestone, sending it towards an unknown location and locking the hyperdrive.  The Alliance converged on the bridge, however, their fleet were forced to witness as the Gravestone jumped out of hyperspace in an unknown system, surrounded by the entirety of the Eternal Fleet.

SCORPIO left the ship in her shuttle and contacted Ragdat again, revealing that the GEMINI droids were not imitations of her technology, but were related to her, as well as the Eternal Fleet and the Gravestone. SCORPIO uncovered their point of origin in the Gravestone and brought them all there, thanking Ragdat for assisting their journey and warning them that Vaylin and her remaining forces were sabotaging everything on the Gravestone. Ragdat rushed to the omnicannon, but in his absence, Vaylin returned to the bridge and overpowered his team. She threatened to kill Torian and Vette, but was unable to hurt anyone before a blinging white light engulfed the ship.

 And that's the first bunch of KOTET chapters.  I'll be doing them in batches of 3, then I'll run Iokath as one post, then, the Traitor Flashpoints together in one post.  I hope to have Ragdat's Darkest Days done before December.  And yes, if you're observant, you'll notice I've utilized heavily edited bits from the wookieepedia article on "The Outlander" to speed this up. 

For now, look forward to the next post, and stay beautiful freaks!

Saturday, October 27, 2018

SWTOR Character Tales: Ragdat's Darkest Days Interlude 2

Welcome back, my beautiful freaks, to the Assassin's Den!  It's time to finish the Alliance Alert companions.

With Arcann now somewhere where he couldn't be reached and Vaylin settling in to the Eternal Throne, Ragdat had a couple of weeks to take care of some new people that his specialists had informed him to join the Alliance.  His first mission was to Hoth to retrieve a group of Jawas led by a former teammate of Maircus, Blizz.  Ragdat took Maircus with him to meet Blizz, who explained to Blizz what was going on and how Blizz and his team could help.  Blizz said that if Ragdat could deliver some supplies to Blizz's crew and bring them to a location where a rival gang, a group of Uggnauts, were located, and helped them defeat them, the Jawas would join them. After the Uggnauts' defeat, Blizz and his team joined the Alliance, though Blizz, now calling himself "boss", decided that Ragdat had to be called "big boss", which Ragdat just shrugged off; whatever this Jawa needed to do in order to understand the heirarchy of the Alliance.

Not long after, Darth Nox told Ragdat of something Talos Drellik found on Yavin 4; a Dashade who had been in stasis since the end of the Old Sith War against Exar Kun and Ulic Qel-Droma.  After going through the effort to release the Dashade, he was forced to battle him. After defeating him, the Dashade revealed his name as Ak’ghal Usar, and he wanted revenge against Exar Kun for the destruction of his homeworld of Urkupp during the Cron Supernova. Ak'ghal wasn't pleased when Ragdat told him Exar Kun was dead, nor was pleased when the Dashade asked to join him in return for information on how to get access to the ghost of Exar Kun. He was also concerned when hee remembered that Khem Val, Darth Nox's personal bodyguard, ate Force users, so he decided to knock out Ak'ghal Usar and re-imprison him.  It was a cruel punishment, Ragdat thought, but that would protect a LOT of lost Jedi and Sith out there that weren't strong enough to fend him off.

A day later, Ragdat was informed by Curoda that her friend, Bowdaar, was on Zakuul and running a cantina attached to a pit fighting circuit.  This got Ragdat interested, since it had been a long time since Ragdat had been in that kind of environment, and part of him missed it.  He headed there with Curoda, and was informed that Bowdaar was trying to organize the arena slaves, helping them save up money to buy their freedom, and he asked Curoda if she'd help him. Ragdat took this opportunity to say that he'd fight for Bowdaar, and he'd donate all his winnings to Bowdaar's cause. Ragdat then went down to the promoter, who told Ragdat that he needed a fighter's name. Ragdat suggested "Battlemaster", which was denied due to "having seen 3 Battlemasters this week", and then suggested "the Mysterious Stranger", which got Ragdat to chuckle inwardly; "the Mysterious Stranger" was Revan's name in the Taris arena 300 years before, according to the history texts.

Ragdat went in and won ten rounds of increasing difficulty, though for Ragdat, with a lightsaber and the Force, none of the rounds were particularly noteworthy.  After ten victories as "Bowdaar's fighter", the man whom Bowdaar was warring against confronted him, and demanded that Bowdaar, a former Arena Champion himself, fight his best fighter and end this feud once and for all.  Bowdaar agreed, and entered the arena with Ragdat, and the two won the battle, with Bowdaar finally agreeing to join the Alliance after all the fighters were finally freed.

Upon returning to Odessen from that mission, Ragdat got a mission from Hylo Visz about a Wookiee contact of her, Gryyzak, and he was willing to meet on Alderaan.  However, when Ragdat got to the meeting place, Ragdat found a bunch of wrecked speeders, so he was forced to investigate what happened. Apparently, the Wookiee delegation was attacked, and were forced to flee on their speeders. Following the trail, Ragdat came to a twi'lek male who had been run off the road by the battle and pointed Ragdat toward another crash site.  Investigating this crash site finally led Ragdat to Gryyzak, who was being accosted by a violently psychotic Talz, who blamed Gryyzak for his people's current weakness.  This forced Ragdat to battle the Talz, but when Ragdat tried to arrest the Talz, he attacked Ragdat, forcing Ragdat to kill the Talz.  Later, after returning to Odessen, Ragdat was approached by Adaso, who told Ragdat that he held no ill will against him for killing his former companion Broonmark, the Talz who was the one who put them in this situation in the first place.

Ragdat had a couple of days before his next recruitment drive, this time, the subject was brought up by Sana Rae.  Ragdat remembered a conversation he had with her previously, about how she was not used to people not following her words exactly as they should, and asked Ragdat to talk to the people about it, and Ragdat reminded her that they weren't on Voss; here, she wasn't a revered Mystic. She was just a Force user from one of many Force using cultures, and that she needed to be more tolerant and explain why her visions should be followed that wasn't "The Mystics are never wrong", because a willingness to understand another's culture meant that they were willing to understand yours. Sana Rae took this to heart, and it was in this vein that she brought up a Force user who saw the Force differently than others; she wanted to understand his view, and thought he might be willing to aid the Alliance.

Thankfully, Blizz knew this "shining Jedi Man", as Sana Rae's vision suggested, and took Ragdat to Nar Shaddaa to meet a familiar looking Mon Calamari, and once he spoke, he knew him to be Curoda's former companion, Languss Tuno. Apparently, "Guss" as Curoda called him, went back to finish his Jedi training, but found an unusual master to teach him. Guss took Ragdat and Blizz to meet his master, and Ragdat recognized this man, too; a Padawan who was running into the shuttle that Ragdat had just stepped off when he first landed on Tython.  Ragdat later asked who that was just before Orgus sent him to Coruscant, and Orgus told him he was a man who failed his Jedi Trials, and chose to leave the Order rather than join the Service Corps like he was supposed to.

Ragdat called him out on this when they met, and the failed Padawan said to Ragdat "Oh, so you think you can do better?" when he talked about Guss' training, and Ragdat flatly told him yes.  So the failed Padawan gave Guss a task; get a storekeeper to give Guss a bottle of the failed Padawan's favorite alcoholic beverage by manipulating his mind with the Force.  Ragdat agreed, but not without a protestation about the frivolous use of the Mind Trick before leaving. 

During the trip to the sector, Ragdat talked to Guss about his own path as a Jedi; about how he too came to the Force later in life, and how he too needed a more philosophical approach to the Jedi Code and rules than what was taught to children.  When pressed, Ragdat said that they needed to understand their darkness, not outright rejecting it, while choosing the Light.  Ragdat explained that, as adult students, they already had coping mechanisms for dealing with fear, anger, passion and jealousy built into them from just growing into adulthood, and they should be more concerned about whether or not their coping mechanisms were healthy coping mechanisms. If they weren't healthy for the student, they needed to learn ones that were, even stating that Guss' way of experiencing what the galaxy had to offer was a good thing so long as it wasn't done to excess, since it gave Guss a "what does the Dark Side have to offer me? I have what I want" mindset. Guss was impressed by this philosophy, and said it made more sense for him than what Master Lorenn taught him.

Ragdat continued, stating that in order to master the minds of others, a student needed to know himself.  And this led Ragdat to ask Guss to tell Ragdat about himself.  And Guss immediately launched into that; who he was, where he was from, his life experiences with Curoda, all of it.  When Guss was done, Ragdat realized that Guss' innate abilities were similar to Curoda's; he unconsciously manipulated the emotions of others while he talked.  And just like with Curoda, he had, over time, learned when to "turn this on and off". Guss needed only to recognize this within himself to truly grasp the Mind Trick. 

So, when they got to the first stop, Ragdat just said "Don't worry about affecting their mind; just talk to them. Get a read on them.  See if they are receptive to what you want, because a willing mind is much easier to influence an unwilling one."   Guss went into the shop and even though he failed to get what his "master" wanted again, he understood where Ragdat was going.  The second stop had Ragdat continue the lesson; now that Guss could get a read on the subject, Guss should, while taking, try to influence the feelings of generosity and compassion, the emotions that would make them willing to give Guss what he wanted.  Ragdat also added that Guss shouldn't worry about getting what he wanted here either, and to just apply what Ragdat told him.

When Guss came out this time, he was excited; he had failed again to get the bottle, but this was the first time anyone had politely told him "no".  Ragdat smiled, and told Guss that he was learning quickly.  They continued on to the final store that sold the drink, and Ragdat said it was time to apply everything Guss learned and finally use the Force to get the item.  Ragdat reminded Guss of everything he had been taught; talk to the target, get a read on their emotions, influence the right ones, and finally, reach out and directly influence the mind.  Guss went in, and after coming out, he was elated at his success. He told Ragdat that he did just what Ragdat told him; he went in, talked, got a read on his situation, and during the conversation, they started talking about a food item they both liked, and Guss reached out and said "You should have one", which caused the merchant to repeat Guss, which made Guss realize what he had just done. They continued talking, and Guss was able to influence the mind of the merchant to give him the drink.  Ragdat congratulated Guss, but with a caveat that they'd need to remember to return and compensate him for the bottle in the future, given how expensive the drink truly was once Ragdat recognized what it was.

They returned to the failed Padawan's residence, only to find he had headed to the Cantina off the Promenade from Blizz.  The pair headed to the Cantina and Guss gave the drink to his "master", who then rewarded Guss with some of his favorite food and drinks in a room nearby so he could have some privacy with Ragdat.  The failed Padawan said "I'm surprised you go through to him, with you being a fully trained Jedi filled with their dogma." And Ragdat shot back "He's not  the only one who came to the Force later.  I simply taught him the way I was taught at the adult Academy on Arkania. And the one thing I saw during all of this is that Guss deserves better training than you can offer."  He then turned away from the failed Padawan and joined Guss in his celebrations, returning to Odessen when the Mon Calamari was sated. 

Sana Rae was curious about Guss' view of the Force, and Ragdat stated that it wasn't all that different his own, and that he could benefit from further training in the Jedi arts by someone like Vizhdam or Vedere, but so long as they took the time to get to know the young man. 

A few hours later, Ragdat was given another mission back to Nar Shaddaa, this time by Bey'wan Aygo, a mission that Maircus felt he should come along for, since it involved Black Sun and rumors of an old personal pain in his ass.  Upon arriving at the mission point, Ragdat noticed that his contact was his old teammate, Fideltin Rusk. Rusk, now a Provost Marshal, a leader a unit composed of conscripted criminals called the Dead Man's Legion.  Rusk's command style was perfect for this unit, as Command didn't care whether these criminals lived or died, as they were all death row inmates, so long as the mission got done.  Rusk was happy to see Ragdat, though upon asking what happened Ragdat, expressed concern about the Emperor controlling him again. Ragdat assured that he was still himself, and his mind was a LOT stronger than it was 12 years earlier.

Ragdat, Maircus and Rusk took the Dead Man's Legion against the Black Sun thugs, when they came face to face with Maircus' former companion, Skadge. Skadge had apparently been released in the 5 years since Maircus put him in carbonite, and had extensive cybernetics fit to him in order to fix the damage he had taken in his fight with Maircus, and he was angry. He immediately attacked Maircus, who took him down with the same method as before; shock dart, shot out his legs and arms, then, with his blade, punctured his completely organic lung.  And as Skadge was laying there in pain, Maircus put a blaster bold in his head, finally ending the Houk thug once and for all.  Ragdat then told Rusk to have the Dead Man's Legion clean up the sector, and then to head to Odessen.

Upon reaching Odessen, Ragdat saw HK-55 standing over a human corpse with another droid beside him in the main hall. He asked for an explanation, and the droid stated that, after a mission to capture the Shroud, he went through an entire adventure which put Ragdat's programming to the best; HK could not blast an old blind man that attacked him with only a vibromop, but he was able to kill an unarmed Malforia, simply because she had access to the Force, all because Ragdat explained to HK that those trained in the Force were never unarmed.  He then returned to Odessen to stop the Shroud from blowing up the base, only to find that his companion, Z0-0M, was the Shroud, and the man he shot had planted bombs around the base.  However, thanks to a failed attempt to erase HK-55's memories, Z0-0M fried her own memories, and HK-55 suggested to Ragdat to have Doctor Oggurub scan her parts to ensure she didn't have any surprises for them.  Ragdat shook his head and said "Do what you need to, HK," and headed to see Bey'wan about Rusk, and informed him to either only allow Rusk command of the Dead Man's Legion, or only have him train other recruits, and to never give him troops they wanted to see again due to Rusk's tendency of looking at his soldiers as "we have reserves".  Bey'wan agreed, and Ragdat headed to the gym to clear his head.

It had been an eventful couple of weeks, but Ragdat knew that Vaylin wouldn't sit idle for long. So he made sure that the Alliance stayed ready, and prepared to act when Vaylin started causing trouble.

And that's it for KOTFE!  And before anyone asks, no, that is not the true history of Guss' master on Nar Shaddaa. Beyond "he's a failed Padawan" that we see in game, there is nothing on him.  I just wanted this opportunity for Ragdat to have a reason to illustrate his view of the Force.

I'll get to KOTET sooner or later, and then, to Iokath and the Traitor Saga.  Also, over the next few days, I'll be adding the "Ragdat's Darkest Days" story chapters under the "Ragdat's Darkest Days" label, so you can find them quickly in the future. But for now, stay beautiful freaks!

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

SWTOR Character Tales: Ragdat's Darkest Days KOTFE 13-16

Welcome back, my beautiful freaks, to the Assassin's Den!

Now, before I go into the summary for the next three KOTFE chapters, I want to inform you guys that I made a change in my past post. The change is during KOTFE Chapter 10, and it involved when Kaliyo comes into Ragdat's bedroom. My intention was that Kaliyo was trying to get Ragdat to sleep with her against his own will, and I did so poorly. So, I went back and updated it, so it's no longer "Ragdat overreacts when withdrawing consent" to "reasonable reaction to someone who wouldn't stop even after Ragdat denied consent twice before".  With that said, on with the summary.

A few hours later, Ragdat was still stewing over Kaliyo disobeying a direct order. There would have to be consequences, but they would have to be fair for all parties.  But would Kaliyo accept these consequences as valid for what she did? Probably not, he thought, and he would have to do what was right for the Alliance sooner or later.

However, he didn't have too much more time to think about this, because he got a message that Hylo Visz wanted to talk to him about the Alliance's funding. In short, they weren't getting nearly as much in as they were putting out, even with Curoda's Pirate Fleet and the raids that Maircus and Adaso were taking into Zakuulan held territories.  Hylo brought up an old associate who could give the Alliance the financial kick in the arm it needed to continue this war.  Once they got up the elevator and into the cantina, Ragdat saw a Devaronian playing a card game with Lana. Ragdat could sense that Lana was using the Force to read the Devaronian's mind and tried to predict the cards accordingly, but the Devaronian still won their game.  Lana was outraged and stormed off, and the Devaronian introduced himself as Gault Rennow, a name which Ragdat recognized from talks with Maircus. Gault said that Maircus would vouch for him if he asked, and then laid out his plan; raid the Gilded Star and steal the Zakuulan treasury.  He laid out the basics of the plan; they would board the ship, empty the treasury, and then load it onto Curoda's Corellian XS Freighter, which had the speed and firepower to get away with the haul. But in order to get what they needed, they need two people from the Alliance, Senya and SCORPIO, another person on the Vandin Tibanna platform, and some equipment that Gault had shipped there. Once they had all they needed, they'd all meet at Gault's safe house to discuss the plan in full.

Once the set down on the Vandin station, Gault led Ragdat to a large cargo crate with a person in it; an Anomid named Dretcher. Dretcher called Gault "Tyresius Lokai", which Ragdat later found out was a name Gault used before joining Maircus' crew.  Dretcher activated his battle droids and tried to rid of the Devaronian, however, Gault and Ragdat easily destroyed the droids. But Dretcher's container boasted reinforced armor, and while Ragdat said that his lightsaber could cut through anything, Gault had something more cruel; he threatened to shake him to death with a sonic amplifier to the songs sung by Wookiees on Life Day. Dretecher had no choice but to let them inside and agree to do his job in exchange for finally getting Tyresius off his back.

Ragdat and Gault then went to the meeting with the Brekken Gang and its Captain Kenrik Fost. Asking to inspect his missile, Gault announced his refusal to pay for it and after the Niktos raised their arms, activated the warhead. The gang ran away, attempting trying to flee the blast radius, but Gault was unable to stop the countdown and it reached zero, only to reveal his Twi'lek partner Vette, longtime companion of Adaso's, and Ragdat found out later, friend as well inside the missile, revealing that she was pranking Gault, and had already removed the warhead beforehand.  Ragdat then said that as pranks go, that one was good.  Gault then said not to encourage her, and said that the rest of the team was assembled at the safehouse, and they should head there too.

Once there, Gault finally laid out his entire plan to infiltrate the ship. Dretcher would trick the system to see the identity of Vaylin when scanning her mother Senya, who provided a very close genetic match, though they had to introduce corruption in Vaylin's record in order to fool the censors, which also required Dretcher's skills, and required knowledge that Senya had about her daughter, as well as things her daughter would know. Senya would take SCORPIO aboard as her "attache droid", who would slice into the security and disarm the security around the vault once on the bridge. This would allow Vette, Gault and the Ragdat to get onboard and place the warhead inside the vault, which would break up the wealth into dust, which the Alliance could then vacuum out of the hold and into Curoda's ship's hold.  Ragdat said that there were plenty of things that could go wrong, but added that they could handle them as they popped up.

As they were waiting for Senya and SCORPIO to get into position so Ragdat, Gault and Vette could begin their assault, Ragdat asked how he managed to beat Lana at cards.  Gault smugly asked Ragdat what he would do in that situation, figuring that Ragdat would say "read your mind", so instead, Ragdat chose to be funny and said "Knock you on your ass with the Force, scoop up the payout, and then deflect any blaster bolts shot at me with my lightsaber." This got a grin out of Vette, but all he got from Gault was a frown and a comment about how he'd never play sabacc with Ragdat, before Gault explained how he kept his mind off his cards and in the gutter to resist Lana's mind reading attempts.  Ragdat simply took his word for it, not wanting to test that, which had Gault visibly disappointed.

The chat was cut short when SCORPIO alerted them that she and Senya had entered the bridge, and that it was time for the three to move forward. And as expected, Ragdat's team fought through Skytroopers and human workers, leaving Vette to crawl through vents once on the ship so she could disable the local security, which she had completed before they got to the vault.  From there, Ragdat and Gault set the warhead, sealed the vault, and set it off, leaving the dust and debris to be vacuumed by Curoda's team into her cargo hold. Upon completion of that, Vette rejoined them after having raided the armory and returned with an assault cannon.  Ragdat asked if she enjoyed making entrances like that, and Vette playfully said she did.

The team fought their way through the ship, only for Gault to see the elevator coming back up, and Ragdat recognizing Vaylin's presence.  And while Ragdat was certain he could beat her in combat, he couldn't do so without Vaylin destroying the ship.  So they retreated outside, though not before Vette dropped the assault cannon, saying goodbye to "Spewie" and that she'd "never forget" it, to eventually be caught by Hylo's ship, where Gault and Hylo's interactions with each other confirmed that yes, even though it was rocky, the were in a loving relationship.  And seeing that only served to make Ragdat miss Kira even more.

Upon getting back to Odessen, Hylo, after mentioning the expenses, stated that this haul would fund the Alliance for a long time, though when Gault brought divvying up their shares, Hylo mentioned that she had already done so, but with what Gault owed her skimmed off of his. Gault complained that she had "taken all the fun out of it", but Hylo mentioned that his idea of fun is why his divvying privileges were still revoked, only for them to hear the voice of Maircus shouting "seconded". Gault just glared at Maircus and said "Hey, I only screwed you before we started working together".

However, they didn't have time to celebrate, as that was when Kaliyo and Jorgan had finally returned.  And when Ragdat got to the military hangar, there was a fight brewing between Kaliyo and Jorgan; apparently, when Kaliyo came to help Jorgan, she had gotten Havoc killed.  The Spire still stood, though Kaliyo had managed to get her hands on a database for the GEMINI droids, which held the location as to where to find GEMINI Prime.

Ragdat stopped the fight, and confronted Kaliyo about her actions; he reminded her that there were consequences for disobeying the orders of the Alliance Commander, and Kaliyo said that unless Ragdat planned on acting on that threat, he should get out of her way.  Ragdat immediately called for Colonel Strannos to place Kaliyo under arrest, and ordered the Colonel to have a full strip and cavity search on Kaliyo, ensuring that she had no means to escape her cell, which was a cage that shocked Kaliyo if she touched the bars. Ragdat stated that all her actions, from the time she left Rattatak to now, would be factored in during her trial and that her fate would be put in the hands of the judge.  He then ordered the Colonel to knock her out, which she did via the stun setting on her blaster pistol, before returning to the Command Center of the base.

A few days later, SCORPIO revealed that the GEMINI frequency was based on her design, and said that the Prime unit was being held at a weapon's factory on Darvannis, and Theron Shan said that he could call in a favor from Shae Vizla to get forces there.  Vizla, now Mandalore the Avenger, in turn sent out the call to war, which meant that Maircus had to come along, as he was a Mandalorian.

Ragdat took Maircus to Darvannis, where Vizla's clans were was itching for both payback against the Eternal Empire and a chance to re-arm themselves with the spoils from Darvannis factory. Vizla's second-in-command Khomo Fett was dismissive of the Jedi, which caused him to immediately butt heads with Maircus, reminding Khomo of Ragdat's accomplishments, and how he was more of a match for anyone there. Vizla broke up the fight, saying they had more than enough enemies already, and didn't need to fight among themselves. Vizla decided to give Ragdat a chance to prove himself, pairing him with a scout Torian Cadera, an old companion of Maricus. Torian first recognized Maircus, utilizing the Mandalorian phrase "ner vod", or "my brother", before focusing on Ragdat and said he'd "keep him safe". Ragdat laughed at this statement, and said that he was a Battlemaster of the Jedi Order, and had killed the Sith Emperor twice. Torian remarked that, since Ragdat wasn't Mandalorian, he didn't want to assume, and Maircus added that "You never did learn to not underestimate your allies," and that "doing so is disrespectful to both you and them."

 Torian joined Ragdat and Maircus in capturing the perimeter guns and reprogramming them to target the weapons factory, however, when they got a report about a group of Mandalorians were being overwhelmed by Skytroopers, Torian stated that there was no honor and being killed by machines and attempted to target Chorn's location for an artillery strikes, killing the warriors along the droids, Ragdat stopped him, reminding him that killing their own people wasted a potential asset, and these Mandalorians would raring for revenge if they survived. Upon returning, Khomo Fett was upset that Ragdat didn't let his people die with honor, and Ragdat told him what he told Torian; never waste an aset in war. Vizla then stopped the brewig fight,and informed them all that they needed to rest for the night, and the fighting would resume tomorrow. For now, the Mandalorians would hold a Kote ky'ram, or a death ceremony intended to grant them the highest honor for their fallen comrades. Maircus explained that the Kote ky'ram was usually for those who fell against Jedi or against overwhelming odds, so those warriors who fell were being the granted the glory in death they didn't get in life. With that in mind, Ragdat chose to put off his meditations for a while and joined in with the ceremony, attempting to show solidarity with those he was fighting along side.

The next morning, Torian again joined Ragdat and Maircus in neutralizing the enemy forces at the Zakuulan listening post in preparation for the main assault. After neutralizing their enemies, Lana contacted Ragdat and passed on detailed schematics of the factory obtained by Theron to help with the assault, but also cautioned Ragdat regarding a long-term alliance with the Mandalorians, comparing them to wild animals craving violence.  Ragdat denied this mindset, stating that people like Torian, Maircus and Shae Vizla showed that their people could be reasonable if treated with respect.

With the factory's power stations taken over by Clan Beroya and Clan Fett warriors, Shae Vizla gathered the warriors to rally them before the final assault.  And during the planning stages, Vizla said she didn't see any way to accomplish the mission without heavy casualties.  Ragdat, remembering a conversation they had earlier about how she wasn't used to being a leader where they bonded over their shared experiences as leaders, offered the information Lana gave him as a signal of trust. With this information, Vizla ordered the main Mandalorian force move into the factory to claim as many weapons as possible, while Torian and Maircus accompanied Ragdat on a mission to secure the GEMINI Prime. Inside the factory, Torian revealed that he overheard the previous conversation between Ragdat and Lana and insisted that the Mandalorians were not animals, but warriors with a sense of honor. Maircus agreed, but added a reminder to Torian that Lana had good reason to think that way.  Ragdat calmed Torian's agitation, saying despite how much he trusted her at this point, he and Lana didn't always see eye to eye, and Torian apologized for saying anything. Torian and Maircus said they would guard Ragdat's exit, who then located the GEMINI Prime and established a link with SCORPIO, which piqued the Prime's curiosity. Ragdat, as carefully as possible, removed the droid from her alcove, while the Mandalorians retreated from the factory.

In the aftermath of the battle, Shae Vizla expressed worry about how the clans would react once the war with Zakuul was finally over, and Ragdat said that she would need focus on young leaders that understood that war wasn't always the best way to test their strength. Vizla was intrigued by this idea, and asked Torian, who had just entered Vizla's tent, what he thought about the future, and he flat out said that there were enough challenges without needing to wage war. Vizla agreed, and told Torian to join the Alliance as her representative.

Upon returning to Odessen with GEMINI Prime in their possession, SCORPIO was able to analyze the template and easily crack the droid's internal protocols due to their similar designs. SCORPIO explained to the Alliance leaders that by plugging the Prime into the captain's console on any warship in the Eternal Fleet, she would be able to take control of the entire network, and with it the Eternal Fleet. Identifying a lone warship scheduled to recharge its hyperdrive as their target, the Alliance moved to intercept it.

A few hours later, Koth piloted the Gravestone to the location of the Eternal Fleet warship and stayed onboard to jam its communications and safeguard the GEMINI Prime. SCORPIO was able to confuse the Eternal Fleet vessel's targeting systems, allowing Theron Shan to take a shuttle with a strike team consisting of Lana, Senya, SCORPIO and Ragdat inside its hangar. The GEMINI captain noted their presence before being distracted by SCORPIO, noting their physical similarities. She then activated a set of blast doors, separating Ragdat and SCORPIO from Lana, Senya and Theron, forcing both groups to battle droids. After a brief conversation over the coms where Ragdat suggested that he, Senya and Lana use their lightsabers to cut through the door, SCORPIO mentioned that the doors were made of a lightsaber materials, and said they should head to the rendezvous point. On their way to the rendezvous point, Ragdat and SCORPIO came across a data note and that SCORPIO plugged herself into, establishing a direct link with the ship's GEMINI captain. She announced her intention to erase the GEMINI, but the captain overloaded SCORPIO's circuits and destroyed her chassis. This temporarily disrupted the Gravestone jamming signal, allowing the GEMINI Captain to inform Emperor Arcann of the intruders. Lana contacted Ragdat and informed him of a change in the plan, sending Senya to escort the Commander to her and Theron's present location. Ragdat informed Lana of SCORPIO's demise, which relieved the Sith Lord, who felt that the droid would be a problem in the future one way or another.  Ragdat chastised Lana for her callousness, saying that even though she wasn't trustworthy, SCORPIO died in service of their cause.

Upon arrival at their new rendezvous point, Lana explained that the ship was transporting prisoners for Arcann to interrogate; Imperial Admiral Zasha Ranken, former leader of Imperial Forward Command, Republic Senator Tai Cordan, who followed Vedere as part of the Rift Alliance, and Zakuulan holostar-in-exile Malita Tal. The trio were inspired by Ragdat and his efforts, and had found each other in their search for the Alliance, forming an alliance of their own, but Arcann had captured them and was going to "interview" them on Ragdat's whereabouts. Lana and Theron escorted the freed prisoners to the escape pods, while Senya and Ragdat confronted and defeated the GEMINI captain. After a protracted battle, the GEMINI acknowleded her defeat, and revealed that her clash with SCORPIO granted her free will, before she transferred her consciousness into the frequency and triggered the ship's self-destruct. With power fluctuating like crazy, Theron asked Ragdat which escape pods to launch first, but was only able to launch two, the Republic and Imperial ones, while the third one exploded, killing everyone inside, angering Senya and devastating Theron. The Alliance leadership barely managed to escape the vessel's destruction in time as Arcann and Vaylin arrived with the Eternal Fleet. The Gravestone escaped into hyperspace, while GEMINI Prime had completely shut itself down. Senya confronted Ragdat about his choices, and Ragdat explained his order; the Admiral Ranken could provide ships and personnel, Tai Cordan could give them access to Balmorra's weapons and droids, as well as plenty of funds.  Ragdat said he wanted to save them all, but as the Commander, he had to make choices based on utility in the war.  Senya was still angry, but she seemed placated, but SCORPIO contacting them ended all discussion. She revealed that she faked her death, using the GEMINI network to transport herself to Zakuul, where she took control of the Eternal Throne.

A little over a day later. the Alliance leadership was trying to figure out what SCORPIO was planning, and also learned that a portion of the Eternal Fleet remained under Arcann's control. But almost as if she knew what they were talking about, SCORPIO called and explained that she revealed Odessen's location to Arcann, to test whether he would retake his throne or deal with Ragdat and Vitiate immediately. And of course, Arcann chose to go after his father. With Eternal Fleet on its way, Ragdat had no choice but to leave behind some forces in case of a ground assault, while taking the fight to Arcann on the Gravestone. As the battle of Odessen began, Lana determined that the only way to ensure safely of the Alliance was to annihilate Arcann's Eternal Flagship, disabling its shield and weapons. Lana, Senya, Vette and Gault accompanied Ragdat in the infiltration of the flagship, where after seeing her mother on the security cameras, Vaylin contacted them and revealed that Arcann was on the ship's bridge, while also luring Senya away from them to confront her personally.

As they made their way to confront Arcann on the bridge, Lana was informed by Theron that the rest of the Eternal Fleet had turned on Arcann as well and now targeted Arcann's flagship to eliminate both him and the Commander in one fell swoop. Lana realized, in horror, that SCORPIO was trying to destroy them both, but Ragdat stated that changed nothing; their mission was still to stop Arcann.

Upon reaching the bridge, Lana stayed behind to deal with a squad of Zakuul Knights, leaving Ragdat to confront Arcann alone. Arcann claimed that his animosity was always about Vitiate, not Ragdat himself, but Ragdat said that, by fighting him, Arcann was doing exactly what his father wanted; they only way they could stop him was to be allies, not enemies. This angered Arcann even further, and demanded his father to answer him. When Ragdat said "Don't you get it, Arcann? Daddy's gone, doing Force knows what while we do exactly what he wants!", a frustrated Arcann blasted Ragdat with telekinesis, only for Ragdat to reach out with the Force and parry the attack witn his hand.  Arcann remarked that Vitiate's bond with Ragdat was stronger than he imagined, but Ragdat denied this while activating his lightsaber, saying "the only difference between now and when we fought on Asylum is that daddy's not here to drop my TK barrier".

The battle went back and forth for a quite a while, with Arcann showing Ragdat something new; a mastery of integrating telekinesis into his lightsaber sequences, showing a level of creativity that his father never did.  This kept Ragdat one his does, forcing him to focus on both his telekinetic barriers and his swordfight with Arcann.

Eventually, Ragdat managed to overpower Arcann after finally seeing a Shatterpoint that revealed an opening. Ragdat hit the Shatterpoint, but when he had him at his mercy, he told Arcann to come with them, that they could defeat his father together, but before Arcann could respond, falling debris as a result of the Eternal Fleet's barrage separated them and seemingly crushed Arcann, forcing Ragdat to retreat before the flagship blew apart. As he ran toward the hanger, Ragdat informed Lana that Arcann was finished, who then told Ragdat that she and the rest of the infiltration team were in the hangar and were prepared to leave, though there was no sign of Senya. Ragdat hoped that she'd escape, but he had no choice but to focus on getting to a ship to escape.

As Ragdat found a starfighter, he received a message from Lana that she and the rest of the team were safe, and then got a message from Senya; she revealed that she was alive and so was Arcann, who she was taking away in the hopes of redeeming him. He saved her life from Vaylin, she said, so she knew there was good in him. Koth pleaded with Ragdat to shoot her down, but Ragdat denied this request, saying to Senya to get Arcann as far away from his father's influence as possible. Senya thanked Ragdat, and entered hyperspace. At point, Theron fired the omnicannon on the Eternal Flagship, creating a massive explosion that wiped out the present portion of the Eternal Fleet and winning the battle for the Alliance.

Back on Odessen, Koth was vocally upset at Ragdat for letting Arcann go, and Ragdat reminded Koth that Vitiate wanted Arcann's death, and the only way to win this war once and for all was to deny Vitiate what he wanted at every turn.  Lana assured Ragdat that despite the betrayals they've endured, the Battle of Odessen had become the rallying point the Alliance needed for all the forces seeking to oppose the Eternal Empire, swelling their ranks and giving them the capability to repel future invasions. It was this moment when Vitiate confirmed what Ragdat had suspected all along, and manifested himself before the Commander once again; he wasn't gone at all.  Ragdat would need to continue to steel himself against this monster for the foreseeable future.

I'm going to add another interlude to finish the Alliance Alert companion recruitment missions, since I never got around to doing so when they pop up between chapters. And don't worry, all you who hate Skadge, he will NOT be joining the Alliance, though he will show up in the interlude.

But for now, look forward to KOTET in 3 parts, and then, finally, Rise of Mamine here. Until then, stay beautiful freaks!

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

SWTOR Character Tales: Ragdat's Darkest Days KOTFE 10-12

Welcome back, my beautiful freaks, to the Assassin's Den! It's time to move forward in Ragdat's Darkest Days!

Ragdat headed down into the command center of the Alliance base to meet his advisors, and was informed about a potential ally, Firebrand.  Everyone had their own opinions on Firebrand; the Zakuulans, Koth in particular, didn't want her there due to her actions against Zakuul, and Ragdat's other allies said they couldn't turn away allies.  Ragdat said they could keep Firebrand on a short leash, they could utilize her knowledge base.

Ragdat and Theron took a short trip to Zakuul, after SCORPIO set up a deal for explosives, and were met by someone Ragdat instantly recognized; his ex-girlfriend from Rattatak, Kaliyo Djannis.  Kaliyo was both amused and angered at seeing Ragdat again, though anger won out when she spoke. And even though she wasn't romantically interested in him anymore, his disappearance was the catalyst for taking away "her good thing."

She aimed a blaster at Ragdat's head, and he immediately used the Force to rip it out of her hand, saying "You of all people know better than to point a gun at me."  This upset Kaliyo even more, because he casually dismissed her capabilities with his own.  And she was further angered by the fact that Ragdat and Theron hadn't brought the promised explosives.

Eventually, Theron and Ragdat calmed Kaliyo, and Ragdat promised to help Kaliyo's mission on Zakuul in exchange for the information she had about the Spire.  Ragdat followed Kaliyo while Theron met with some contacts as Kaliyo set precision charges on some power junctions, talking as Kaliyo set up the charges; where Ragdat had been, what he was planning, and what Ragdat wanted out of this war he was planning. Ragdat answered truthfully; he'd been frozen in carbonite for the last 5 years, he was planning on taking down Arcann, Vaylin and their Father once they got him out of his head, (an aspect which Kaliyo didn't understand, but Ragdat chalked that up Kaliyo's lack of experience with the Force), and all he really wanted was to be reunited with Kira.

This last one interested Kaliyo the most, and that worried Ragdat; it meant that, in Kaliyo's mind, Ragdat was available to mess with.  And did she ever start in on it, flirting with him the entire time, getting really close to him whenever she could while still doing her preparations, even offering to sleep with him after their mission was done, "just like the old days."

After a relatively quick stop at Kaliyo's apartment, they headed to the Overwatch, where they finally met the man Kaliyo had talked about; the administrator Tavor Slen. Ragdat could tell right away that Tavor was Kaliyo's latest victim of emotional manipulation, and called her out on it.  Kaliyo smiled as she said that Ragdat knew her too well, and Ragdat shot back "I'm also the only one who escape that. I left Rattatak before you could discard me."

After an annoyingly protracted battle that Ragdat should have won quickly, and Ragdat theorized that it was because Vitiate wasn't letting him see Shatterpoints, something that worried him heavily.  However, after the battle, Tavor and Kaliyo revealed Kaliyo's true plan; to not only take out the droids for a day, but also to ensure that people would suffer.  Ragdat balked at this idea, but Kaliyo stressed that they should both take revenge on the Zakuulans. Ragdat drew his lightsaber, and said "Because of what we shared in the past, I'm giving you a choice; stand down, or be struck down.  There are many other ways to get back at Zakuul, but I will NOT allow you to hurt innocent people."

Kaliyo glared at Ragdat, but knew that if he wanted, he could stop her. He was a far better fighter back on Rattatak, and now, he had the Force.  She agreed that she wouldn't kill the people, but she was adamant about taking down the droids.  Ragdat, though not happy, agreed to this compromise, and allowed Kaliyo to detonate the droid controls before retreating back to the shuttle that took them back to Odessen.

Once on Odessen, Ragdat was met by Theron and Koth, who all remarked on the mission; Theron on the data, Koth remarking on how he stopped Kaliyo from killing innocent people.  Ragdat said that "We're on the same side, regardless of what our personal differences are."  Theron then remarked on Kaliyo, and Ragdat put things bluntly; never underestimate her. Never trust her.  Don't let her get into your head. But it was still better to keep her close than to let her hurt people on her own.

It was about that time when Kaliyo and SCORPIO came down the turbolift, and from their conversation, Ragdat could tell they worked together before, likely under Allisani.  After a brief conversation, Kaliyo continued to flirt with Ragdat, leading him up to the cantina to talk.  She stated that she needed to catch up with her contacts in the greater galaxy, and then seductively added "If you need me, I'll be there."

Later that night, she made good on that promise.  She came into Ragdat's room wearing only her coat and nothing underneath, dropping it when she closed the door. This forced Ragdat's body to react, knowing full well what she was doing; all those years ago on Rattatak, whenever Kaliyo felt Ragdat's morals "got in the way", she'd seduce him physically, and that always got Ragdat to back down.  Ragdat's instincts were to give in, though his higher self, his feelings, screamed "no". And in fact, he did say "no". Twice. But just as Kaliyo was about to get him out of his pants, Ragdat realized that words weren't enough for Kaliyo to stop, so hee used the Force to throw Kaliyo across the room and held her in place against the wall.  He stated that "that" wouldn't work anymore, and so long as she was part of this Alliance, she would behave, or there would be consequences.  Kaliyo, after being released, picked up her coat and said "If you think you can control me, big guy, you're welcome to try." before leaving Ragdat to his own devices.

The next morning, Ragdat found reports of what Arcann was doing to the rest of the galaxy; he was attacking innocent planets so the rest of the galaxy would give him up.  Ragdat simply stated that they'd begin relief efforts to these worlds, since it was both the right thing to do, and because it would be a positive response to Arcann's attacks; Arcann hurt worlds, the Alliance would help them.

A few days later, Theron came to Ragdat with another set of recruits; the newest incarnation of Havoc Squad.  Theron said that Colonel Strannos wanted to come with them, since Havoc WAS her old unit, and Ragdat agreed. The three of them headed to the shuttle, the Colonel decked out in the AZKA armor and an assault cannon similar to the one he had seen her use on Rishi and Yavin.

After putting down the shuttle and walking through the swamp, the "new" Havoc Commander, Major Aric Jorgan started talking to Ragdat over his radio, and the Colonel joked "You're looking at your wife from the scope on your gun? I might consider that grounds for divorce, Aric."  Upon hearing his wife's voice, Jorgan told his squad to stand down, and as Major Jorgan and Colonel Strannos had their reunion, all Ragdat could do was think about Kira, and hope she was alright.

After their reunion, Jorgan acknowledged Ragdat, calling him the Jedi who killed the Emperor twice.  Ragdat added "Hopefully, the third time takes", and explained what he meant as Vitiate taunted him in his "helpful" way.  But before they had too much time to talk, a group of Skytroopers attacked their position, forcing them all to defend themselves.

After the fighting ended, they were forced to scatter. Jorgan gave them the coordinates of their base, the Colonel took command of Havoc, and Jorgan went with Ragdat to get reacquainted with the Jedi Master.  And upon getting to a strange village, Jorgan did just that, talking about the current state of the Republic and how his wife and him parted; Colonel Strannos told Jorgan that as long as the Republic had her stuck behind a desk and not allowing her to command either Havoc or the number of soldiers a Colonel was supposed to command, she couldn't continue to serve them. She was built to fight, she said, and the Alliance would let her do so. Though, near the end of the conversation,  Jorgan stated that he was glad to see the AZKA she had come up with was out in the field.

It was at that point when a group of Skytroopers were moving on the village, and Ragdat headed into the village to help, with Jorgan providing covering fire.  After destroying the Skytroopers and helping the people to evacuate the burning building, and helped the people to Jorgan's encampment, but only after a little bit of "It's your fault!" from the Zakuulans.

After getting to the Havoc encampment, Havoc and Theron started preparing for the night, and Jorgan glared at Ragdat and basically said "These are my people!" before Colonel Strannos jokingly said "Still the same grumpy-cat, I see." and Jorgan gave Strannos a look that basically said "Stop embarrassing me in front of the Alliance Commander!" while Ragdat shook his head and walked off to meditate.

In the morning, Jorgan explained the mission he had in mind; have a small Alliance force distract the Skytroopers while Havoc and Ragdat snuck in the back. Havoc covered their escape, and Jorgan, Ragdat and Strannos snuck in and installed a hack that would grant the Alliance access to Zakuulan communications.  After accomplishing their goals, Ragdat, Jorgan, Strannos and Havoc were surrounded by Skytroopers. Ragdat was ready for battle, but Strannos said "Any last words?" As she readied her weapons. Jorgan angrily shot back "Can that garbage!" before sheepishly adding "...and...I love you."  However, they were rescued not by the Alliance force like Jorgan thought they would be, but by the Zakuulan refugees with some left over weapons the Alliance had left at the base.

At the debriefing back at the camp, Jorgan expressed a desire to embed Havoc with the refugees to get them trained before committing his resources to the Alliance.  And upon returning to the Alliance, they learned of the Gemini frequency, which is how Vitiate and Arcann controlled the Eternal Fleet.  They could attack the Hyperwave relay station hidden deep in the Spire to remove control of the Fleet from Arcann, and Ragdat said that as soon as Havoc returned, they'd be able to begin the assault.  After welcoming Jorgan and Havoc to the Alliance, Ragdat, as he began looking over the resources for the assault, took a moment to notice Jorgan and Strannos head off together to enjoy their reunion.

Two weeks later, the Alliance was ready for the assault, and the day of the assault was disastrous.  On the one hand, Kaliyo wanted to take control over the Spire while Jorgan wanted to destroy it. Both ideas had merit, but Ragdat also knew that Kaliyo would cause a LOT of collateral damage if he let her have her way.  In the end, he chose to let Jorgan destroy the Spire, and sent both off to begin their mission. Ragdat was just about to head to the Defender to lead the assault when Lana suggested he talk to Vitiate about the weakness of the Spire. Ragdat initially objected, saying nothing Vitiate would say was believable, but quickly realized that if Lana, the one person who understood the danger of Vitiate, was the one suggesting it, he really didn't have a choice; he needed Vitiate's information.

Ragdat headed out of the base and into a quiet location full of life to center himself.  Talking to Vitiate willingly meant lowering his guard to him, and Ragdat wanted to be in a place where the ambient life around him could reinforce his defenses.  Vitiate, of course, was confrontational and sarcastic, and spoke in a tone that said "Oh, now you want my help."  Vitiate refused to give Ragdat any information because he had "made no progress on killing his son", forcing Ragdat to say "to hell with it" and started back toward toward the Alliance base when Vitiate manifested, still in his Valkorian guise, and reminded Ragdat that he still had power within the physical world and tossed Ragdat into a large rock. Vitiate then went on to tell Ragdat that he had two destinies; one, which he took the Eternal Throne, the other where he died alone and forgotten.  Ragdat broke free of Vitiate's hold and drew his lightsaber, wrapping the weapon in the Force so he could actually hurt the phantom, saying "I'll take a third option." and lunged at the Force Ghost.

The battle was short, and while Ragdat did gain the upper hand, Vitiate showed he still had great power in the Force when he knocked Ragdat out.

A few hours later, Ragdat found himself in a Defender starship with a few Jedi artifacts that clued him in on who was the owner; former Grandmaster Satele Shan.  And upon meeting her, Ragdat could tell the years had not been kind.  While she still looked physically fit for a woman of her age, she had many more lines on her face and on her hands, and her hair, once peppered with gray before, had turned completely white.  He spoke with her for a bit, only to find that the ghost of Darth Marr had bound himself to the former Grandmaster.  Both spoke to Ragdat about the failures of both the Jedi and Sith and why they fell to the Eternal Empire, something that Ragdat had realized when he was made a Master himself; you must accept both sides of the Force even if you choose to one over the other.  And that's what Ragdat had done for all these years; accept his own darkness while choosing the light inside him.  And doing so had made him more powerful than he had been up to the point when Vitiate invaded his mind; drawing on his own darkness in battle to make him faster and stronger while still choosing the light to grant him mental clarity and focus. He only considered himself weaker now because he had to push away his darkness so Vitiate didn't have something to latch onto, though he realized now that this was the worst possible thing he could be doing to defeat him; he figured this was why Vitiate was able to block his ability to see Shatterpoints.

Satele and Marr led Ragdat into a cave where he was forced to duel an illusion of Vaylin, though Ragdat managed to see through the illusion easily and dispelled her with little trouble.  Satele and Marr said this was a vision of things yet to come; that even after Arcann had been defeated, Vaylin was yet to come.

The pair then led Ragdat to a table, where Satele had laid out some components, save for a crystal, which she had Ragdat gather earlier, and she and Marr said that Ragdat needed to build a new lightsaber for the man he was now. Ragdat rejected this idea, saying that his current lightsaber was never a finished product; he was constantly attuning the crystal to the man he was now. It's why the crystal was a more silver today than the pure blue blade he started with on Tython all those years ago.
Marr and Satele looked at Ragdat and nodded, understanding that their lessons had taken root long before they began teaching him today, and led him out of the cave and to Ragdat's final test; a cave jurgoran whose children Ragdat had killed in self defense. The mother was angry at Ragdat, but Ragdat remained calm, and reached out to the Force and touched the mind of the mother, showing her that he had no malice toward her children, that he regretted killing them, despite having done so in self defense. The mother relented, and went off to mourn her children.

Satele and Marr walked up behind Ragdat and asked what he saw for the fate of the galaxy, and Ragdat said, more kindly since these were his allies, "one without Vitiate" and explained that he would continue to follow his modified Jedi Way into the future.  Satisfied, Satele and Marr left, but not without Satele wishing Ragdat the best of luck in finding Kira.

Ragdat returned to the Alliance base to find the mission in full swing, having gone ahead without him, with Lana wanting to know what happened; Ragdat explained that after Vitiate knocked him out, he seemingly left Ragdat's mind and Ragdat spoke to Satele and the spirit of Darth Marr before returning. Theron was shocked that his mother had been on Odessen, but before they could discuss anything further, Jorgan and Havoc went dark. Kaliyo said that she'd continue the mission her way, but Ragdat rejected that, telling Kaliyo to get back to the Alliance base, with Kaliyo spitefully saying "Still can't control me" before shutting off the comm, forcing the Alliance to wait for their return.

And that's it for Chapters 10-13. I'll be doing 14-16 after I get a few more chapters of my book done, and then, I'll do KOTET the same way, stopping there to do the Rise of Mamine before going into the War for Iokath for both. And yes, I am going to make taking down the machine gods down as part of it, even though I don't bother in the game.

Oh, and I have one request; remind me that I intend to make a joke about the Overwatch in Rise of Mamine; I intended to do so here, but it didn't fit right with the story I was telling for Ragdat. But for now, stay beautiful freaks!

Saturday, October 6, 2018

SWTOR Character Tales: Ragdat's Darkest Days Interlude

Welcome back, my beautiful freaks, to the Assassin's Den!

And now, it's finally time for this universe's specific moments between KOTFE Chapter 9 and 10.

Over the next two weeks, Ragdat took some time to get to know allies and enemies and what they've been doing over the last five years, as well as some people he didn't know all that well.  His main interest was in Kira, and the first person he went to was Master Vedere, the acting Grandmaster of the Jedi Order.  Apparently, both Kira and Lord Scourge had disappeared at some point in the last five years, but Vedere didn't know when or how.  Her focus, ever since the disappearance of Master Satele and the death of the rest of the Council, had been on keeping together what remained of the Jedi Order. The Order was in shambles, Vedere explained, with only herself remaining of the Jedi Council, her bodyguard Vizhdam as the only Battlemaster and suitable lightsaber instructor, one Jedi Master in Daashla Myr, half a dozen Jedi Knights including the twi'lek Chas'Raan, and about twenty Padawans in various stages of training.  Vedere had been overwhelmed with how many losses that the Order had endured under her leadership, with the only person who was able to keep her spirits up was her bodyguard and childhood friend, Vizhdam.  Ragdat asked about Lemda Avesta, because the two of them had been close after the Makeb conflict, but Vedere simply stated that they had broken up years ago due to Vedere ignoring her. Out of necessity due to her trying to keep the Order together, but Lemda had never truly understood the Vedere's growing responsibility to the dwindling Order.  Their relationship had ended four years ago, and Vedere had been alone ever since.

Amusingly, Vizhdam was in better spirits, actually wanting to test the strength of his Battlemaster peer.  They underwent a training duel, and Ragdat noted Vizhdam's technical perfection, but he also had a fluidity of motion that Ragdat hadn't seen outside his own Jedi training.  He could truly tell that Vizhdam's fighting style was based on a combat focused Niman; he truly had an answer to everything.

However, Ragdat's battlefield focus, while making him slightly sloppy compared to Vizhdam's form, far more adaptable.  To Ragdat, Vizhdam fell into the common trap that his own former students fell into he called "enslavement to form"; Vizhdam's fighting style was predicated on him recognizing what another swordsman was doing and cycling through the appropriate response.  Ragdat, however, built his lightsaber technique upon his previous combat experience, which, while making him a more sloppy fighter, did allow him to introduce things into a duel that a trained fighter didn't have an answer for.  And it was this reason that, even though Vizhdam utilized the trakata technique, which utilized the unique property of lightsaber in a sword fight by the ability to deactivate the blade mid swing, it was Ragdat that ended up with the victory.

Ragdat spoke briefly to Chas'Raan, and he had learned about what the rank and file among the Order dealt with.  She had been a scout for the Order and Republic during the worst of the conflicts, and had her own personal reason for wanting to fight the Eternal Empire.  At the moment though, she refused to say why, but assured Ragdat that she wasn't going to give in to her anger, and would talk to others if she was.

It was in the same day that Daashla Myr, leader of the displaced Padawans, chose to speak to Ragdat.  She explained that many, MANY Padawans had lost their masters during the Eternal Empire's attacks, and most of them were dealing with a LOT of anger over what was happening, both to themselves and to the galaxy. When Daashla Myr found out about Ragdat's Alliance through both Vedere and Theron Shan, she happily joined. And while she regretted that she couldn't get her Padawans the Masters they needed, she knew that only the Sith didn't realize that anger clouds judgement when it came to cultures that use the Force, so the teachings of Sana-Rae wouldn't push these Padawans down the dark path.

Ragdat spoke to Colonel Amelisan Strannos as she was inspecting a new suit of armor.  This armor, Amelisan explained, was what Amelisan called the AZKA, or Anti-Zakuulan Knight Armor, to be used by the Alliance's special forces in missions against Zakuul.  She explained that the phrik, combined with the standard durasteel alloy, would not only make the armor resistant to lightsabers, but most forms of weaponry that Zakuul would be bringing against them.  Furthermore, thanks to phrik's ability to disperse electricity, it allowed them to install shield generators in the armor that they could constantly charge thanks to capacitors taking in a charge from being attacked. Amelisan was proud of this armor, and that she'd personally do the field testing, not only for the shields, but also for the other things she had added to the armor to combat the Zakuulan Knights.

Ragdat questioned the Colonel about why she joined the Alliance in the first place, and her answer was pretty simple; not only was she taken off Havoc Squad and kicked behind a desk, but all the ideas she had for SpecForce were being ignored.  This AZKA armor was merely one of a dozen ideas Amelisan brought to her superiors that could have began to turn the tide in the Zakuulan war only to have it rejected, and Amelisan was really starting to understand what Tavus, the previous commander of Havoc Squad, began to feel before choosing to defect. Ragdat assured Amelisan that she'd be allowed to fight on the front lines as often or as frequently as she'd like, so long as she kept bringing her A game to the table, and she agreed.

A few days later, Ragdat finally got the chance to talk to the two Sith members of the Alliance that he had personal experience with, Adaso, now a Darth, and Darth Nox.  Darth Nox had no problem telling Ragdat how well she had been doing in the past despite losing the most powerful asset of her military arsenal, the Silence Fleet.  She had taken the remnants of her Sphere and relocated to a planet in the Unknown Regions, outside Arcann's control, and had continued to do her experiments and ruled her planet like a Sith Warlord of old.  The only reason she chose to leave was when Lana contacted her and informed Darth Nox about how Ragdat now had Vitiate trapped inside his mind, Darth Nox left and brought her most brilliant scientists, her most powerful sorcerers, and her most capable archaeologists to get what was needed to assist in removing the former Emperor from Ragdat's mind. She also had no compunction about telling Ragdat that she still wished to take his power for herself via the Force Walk, a fact that Ragdat wasn't comfortable with, but he knew he couldn't turn a Force expert away.

His meeting with Adaso was far more pleasant.  Adaso still called him "Jedi" at this point, finally explaining why he did so; Ragdat wasn't just "a" Jedi to Adaso, he was "the" Jedi. The definitive Jedi, the standard by which all must live up to. To call him any less would be insulting a man he had come to respect.

Adaso explained to Ragdat that all of his anger and hatred toward Ragdat was gone; he had five years to think he was dead after Darth Marr's ship was destroyed, and he realized that his grudge toward the Jedi was a relic of his time as the Emperor's Wrath.  He still wished to test his strength against Ragdat's, but only once Vitiate was gone one and for all.

Adaso also brought up some resources Adaso had access to that he was bringing into the Alliance; he still had access to his family's accounts, so credits that the Alliance needed, as well as a clan of Mandalorians loyal to him through his brother.  Ragdat thanked Adaso for his...kind words...and moved on to other business.

Ragdat spoke to Maircus not long after, learning what he'd been doing over the last five years.  After Mandalore the Vindicated fell, Maircus continued to hunt bounties for both Republic and Imperial employers until those targets started hiding out in Zakuulan space, and the one time he tried to penetrate Zakuulan space, his starship, a D5-Mantis Patrol Craft, was shot down and destroyed, forcing Maircus and his crew to steal a Zakuulan shuttle and limp back to safe space. Maircus had been injured the worst, forcing his entire crew go their separate ways, and even his wife Mako had to go out and hunt bounties of her own to pay his medical bills. He was only recently fully recovered, and, through Mako, had learned of Ragdat's Alliance.

And within the very same day, Curoda Riggs, the Pirate Queen of Port Nowhere, talked to Ragdat.  She explained that her Pirate Fleet, while having taken heavy losses over the years, had some major success in gaining access to Zakuulan technology and weaponry that they'd been upgrading their fleet with the entire time.  In fact, Curoda said, most of the weapons that the Alliance had now were stolen by her fleet.

She also updated Ragdat of her crew, which was mostly intact, save for Akaavi, who was working with some slicer as a bounty hunter again, mostly to keep her skills sharp while she waited for either Curoda or Mandalore's call to war. However, Curoda stated that Risha, the now former Queen of Dubrillion, was now back with her, thanks to her inability to keep her populous under control when the Eternal Empire invaded. Risha had fled and returned to the only life she was successful at.

On a brighter note, Ragdat's talk with Allisani was far more pleasant. She gave him a LOT of intel about Zakuul, as well as informing him of where her people were at; all in places that would benefit Ragdat's Alliance in the near and far future.  For now, they had to remain in place, however, she would call them when they were ready.

Once all these people had been properly greeted, they started to inform Ragdat of some specialists that could help the Alliance's war efforts. First, Ragdat had to return to Zakuul on the urging of both Doctor Oggurob and Amelisan to retrieve Amelisan's former squadmate, Yuun.  For Yuun, Ragdat had to find some components that Ragdat felt a resonance in the Force for Yuun, who then explained that only someone with a unique connection to them could feel that, which bothered Ragdat; would he have felt that resonance if Vitiate wasn't in his head? Was gathering those part of his plan?

However, Ragdat didn't have time to think about things, since both Adaso and Amelisan had companions to recruit; Amelisan's former squadmate M1-4X and Adaso's former subordinate, Major Pierce.  Amelisan came with Ragdat to Coruscant and convinced the droid to join the Alliance, as did Adaso with Pierce on Dromund Kaas.  And while there was some minor animosity between Amelisan and Pierce left over from the Bastion from all those years ago, they both agreed to work together to stop the Eternal Empire.

Ragdat's next stop was to Ilum to investigate some murders, only to find them being performed by a familar Kaleesh; Darth Nox's former apprentice, Lord Xalek.  Xalek was killing the miners on Ilum for desecrating his father's grave unintentionally, and his culture demanded a blood sacrifice to sate his father's anger, but Ragdat came up with a peaceful compromise; the miners not only restored Xalek's father to his former state, but also create a shrine to venerate him.  They did so, and Ragdat offered Xalek a place in the Alliance, but only after Xalek demanded that Ragdat beat him in combat.  Ragdat did so with little trouble, and returned to Odessen with Xalek in tow.

His next trip was to Yavin 4, with Darth Nox in tow.  Apparently, Nox's archaeologist Talos Drellik was looking for something here, but Darth Nox convinced him that Ragdat's Alliance was more important now.  Ragdat, curious about what the human was searching for, asked, and was told that he was collecting artifacts that Revan had used to resurrect Vitiate on Yavin 4, and Ragdat thought that the study of them would be beneficial to getting Vitiate out of his head, so he and Darth Nox helped him retrieve the items before Drellik and his team headed for Odessen.

Ragdat's next mission was a simple one; getting Nico Okarr, a smuggler who got Master Satele and Jace Malcom back to the Republic from Korriban during the Sith Empire's initial invasion.  Okarr simply asked Ragdat to give him a mixed drink to "prove his worth".  Ragdat did so, and Okarr headed for Odessen.

From there, Vedere mentioned how her old companion Qyzen Fess was now leading the Warstalkers, a group of trandoshans formerly led by the Dread Master slave Kephess.  She said that he could recruit them, but to avoid mentioning that he was captured at all costs, as that, in trandoshan culture, meant he was stripped of all renown he would have as a warrior otherwise.  Ragdat understood, and explained to Qyzen, when asked what happened to the Jedi who killed the Sith Emperor, simply stated he was injured during the battle where Darth Marr's ship was destroyed, and was only recently recovered by Lana, which, in Ragdat's eyes, wasn't a complete lie; the carbonite poisoning was killing him before Lana used the antidote to him. However, Qyzen took these statements at face value, and brought himself and his Warstalkers to the Alliance.

From there, Allisani mentioned she could get a friend of hers, Doctor Eckard Lokin, into the Alliance, but only if they could save him from death. She explained that, thanks his experiments, the human could shape shift into a rakghoul while maintaining his humanity, but unfortunately, the viral strain he had injected himself with was deteriorating, and it was killing the human. He was forced to go to Alderaan, which was somehow infected with the rakghoul plague, and Ragdat had to assist the organization known as THORN to help push back the rakghouls all while looking for the item that Doctor Lokin needed to stabilize his genetic code.

Upon returning to Odessen this time, Ragdat was told that HK-55 was finally rebuilt, although he did not retain the memories, or even programming he had before.  During a series of simulations, HK gave Ragdat some scenerios to help him designate what was and wasn't a viable target. Ragdat made sure HK understood that unarmed and injured individuals were not acceptable to terminate, unless then were attacking him, in which case they were fair game, but even then, they were to be disabled as a first priority. Once all this programming was set, Ragdat welcomed the new HK-55 into the Alliance.

From here, Ragdat had a few days to breathe before the next leg of the war began.

I know it's been a while since I last posted this, but I've been focusing on getting the book moving forward and getting some supporters on my Patreon, though the latter has not been all that successful, but I'm hopeful.

But for now, look forward to KOTFE Chapters 10-13. and stay beautiful freaks!

Sunday, July 15, 2018

SWTOR Playthrough Timeline: Which Class Happens When?

Welcome back, my beautiful freaks, to the Assassin's Den!

I've noticed a lot over the 5 and a half years I've been playing SWTOR that we get one question from a lot of new players; which order should I play the classes in? Well, today, I'm going to tell you, if you're not worried about the gameplay differences, this is the order you should run the classes if you want the story as it happens, and will be as spoiler free as possible.  Also, I'm going to be referring to the classes by their storyline, rather than their class name, because the two classes (Sentinel and Guardian, for example) under that storyline heading go through the same storyline. So, Knight, Consular, Smuggler, Trooper, Warrior, Inquisitor, Bounty Hunter and Agent.

First off, the Knight starts first, for several reasons.  The first reason is that the Consular's Tython ending references the Knight's Tython ending. The second reason?  The Sith Warrior can not start their Chapter 3 until the Knight has began their Chapter 3 due to one of the Knight companions being a catalyst for a title the Warrior gets in their Chapter 3.

Now, the other classes can start in any order at this point.  All of them reach the same point at about the same time, with a few minor things.  First off, if you're doing the Revan Flashpoints, which are Taral V and Maelstrom Prison (Republic version) and  Boarding Party and The Foundry (Empire Version), the Republic ones happen first, because Revan can't be in the Foundry if you didn't free him first in Maelstrom Prison. And if you're doing it as a Knight, you need to have gotten the "Go to Balmorra" questline, because there's a line that happens that references what you experienced just before that. All the other classes can go into these right at the end of Chapter 1.

Things go on as you'd expect, with the Republic slightly ahead in the story than the Empire is, until you hit Chapter 3. At that point, Imperial classes pull forward, with certain events happening that have consequences for the Republic classes.  For example, the Warrior's ending on Voss influences the Knight's questline there.  Furthermore, the Warrior's  companion quest for Pierce directly influences the Trooper's questline on Corellia. 

So, you're at the end of Chapter 3, on Corellia.  Which order should you complete this? Well, for all the classes, you could pretty much complete them in any order for the Imperials, though or the Bounty Hunter, you want to finish your class story there before finishing the planetary story, because the Bounty Hunter's quest giver mentions helping out the final planetary questline quest giver.

As for the Imperial ending? Well, the main concern is that the Inquisitor's antagonist makes a non-vocalized cameo in the Warrior's story, so the Inquisitor ends last.

As for the Republic, you can finish in any order, but you need to save the Knight for last. And you save the Knight for last because after a while, the Warrior gets an email from an NPC the Warrior meets in their story references the Knight's ending. You'll recognize what I mean when you see it.

As for post Chapter 3 content, the only major timeline specific thing that happens is that Republic Makeb happens before Imperial Makeb. After that, all one story with what is called "class flavor" where references to your accomplishments as that class are referenced in the future.

Now, before I go, I need to mention one thing; the Bounty Hunter's final mission. If you go Light Side at the end, there's a bug in way out. It tells you to take the escape pods, but they don't spawn as clickable items.  You NEED to go all the way back to the entrance of the instanced area, and exit onto your ship. And if you decide to skip this and just use the galaxy map to warp directly to the area you return to, the NPC you need to interact with doesn't spawn.  And at that point, you are unable to return to the instanced area you just left to do it the right way.  You're stuck.  Dark Side? The escape pods spawn properly there.

So, I hope this clears up most of the confusion regarding the order the class stories go in.  If you're playing one class to the end of the story, that's fine. In fact, that's the way I advise you to do so, because trying to keep up with the story beats as they happen can get REALLY frustrating with how often you're repeating the same quests over and over again.  But this should be a relatively good guide on "well, this is happening after this but before this."

But for now, stay beautiful freaks!

Friday, June 15, 2018

SWTOR Character Tales: Ragdat's Darkest Days KOTFE 7-9

Welcome back, my beautiful freaks, to the Assassin's Den!  Today, we get to the part of the story that are either partially written, or completely unwritten for fanfiction.net.

As everyone entered the bridge, Ragdat waited just outside the door for Koth.  And when Koth got within vocal range, Ragdat apologized for yelling at Koth on Asylum over something as minor as the "Outlander thing", explaining that he so happened to call him that at the worst possible time.  Koth was taken aback, but apologized for calling him that, saying that it was hard to change the fact that, outside Lana, everyone called him "Outlander".  Ragdat explains why "Outlander" bothered him; it means "person who is foreign to me" with an "and they are lesser for it" connotation.  Koth was getting to know Ragdat, and was learning that not only was Ragdat not lesser than Koth, but only wanted to help and make things better.  And that hurt Ragdat that he still refused to even catch himself calling Ragdat "Outlander".  Koth again apologized, saying he WAS trying, and that he'd try a little harder.

Both men looked at the other for a few moments, before Koth admitted "We're never going to like each other, are we?"  Ragdat nodded, but said that didn't mean they couldn't work together, and took a moment to praise something that Ragdat admired about Koth; Koth's ability to command a starship and the people serving on it, and Koth took a moment to admit that he admired Ragdat's ability to inspire and lead.  Both agreed that, if they focused on that, they could work together despite their issues.

As soon as this was done, they entered the bridge and saw Senya standing there, back to them.  Senya plainly said that she knew they had concerns, and she was right; Koth about her loyalties, and Ragdat was concerned that she might be a Child of the Emperor after what he had learned from Kira and Vedere. Senya may be a sleeper agent for Vitiate without even knowing it.

Koth ranted about Senya and her willingness to fight her children, Senya saying that she accepted responsibility for what they were doing, and also accepted responsibility for being a good parent and stopping them.

Ragdat, finally sick of Koth's ranting, said they were ignoring the bigger threat; Vitiate himself.  Koth balked at this notion, saying he brought "security and direction to Zakuul", and Ragdat replied he tried killing every living thing in the galaxy.  And in case Koth wasn't paying attention, Ragdat said, that included Zakuul.  He also mentioned, when Senya brought up how cold "Valkorian" had gotten toward their children, that was the exact timeframe when Vitiate was ramping up his plan to do just that.

Koth still did not believe the notion that his "Immortal Emperor" was a monster, though Senya, who had been close to him, was more willing to accept it.  Thankfully, before the argument could continue, HK informed them that T7 had found intel on "The Lady of Sorrow", who had been searching for information on the Gravestone, and wanted to meet Ragdat.  Ragdat took Senya to the shuttle, since the zone they were headed, the Old World District, was controlled by a Force Sensitive cult called the Heralds of Zildrog, and Ragdat figured a Force user would have an easier time getting through there than anyone else.

Before they could depart, however, Lana pulled Ragdat aside and gave her summation on the situation; that right now, trust was hard to come by, and Ragdat needed to put in the effort.  Ragdat gave Lana his assessment; Senya, so long as they continued to work toward stopping her children, would continue to help, even with the plan to destroy Vitiate. Koth, however? He was not on board with destroying Vitiate, and Ragdat was worried that he may try to hinder that.  Lana, who knew Koth, said that he desired peace more than anything, and after enough time, she'd be able to convince him of Vitiate's danger.  When they were done, Ragdat headed down to the shuttle bay to meet Senya.

During the shuttle trip to a drainage tunnel going to the swamp from the city, Ragdat heard Senya humming a tune he didn't recognize, and upon landing, she was fully singing it.  And by the context, she thinking about her "romance" with Vitiate as Valkorian.  This dampened Ragdat's spirits, because he knew that he'd need to bring up the ritual Vitiate performed on both himself and his Pureblood Sith companion, Scourge.

  Senya told Ragdat that the Old World District was very much like Nar Shaddaa, a haven for criminals, but mentioned that she did like the aesthetic, praising Vitiate's vision for Zakuul.  This piked Ragdat's curiosity over Senya's relationship with Vitiate-as-Valkorian, and it would have been heartwarming if it wasn't for the fact one of the parties was a monster who was faking all emotions to manipulate the feelings of a young woman.  And it was even more tragic when they had children; they begged for the approval of that emotionless monster, and received none of it.  It was no wonder that Arcann was overwhelmed with jealousy and Vaylin was driven to insanity.  Moreso when Senya told Ragdat just how powerful Vaylin was at the start, and what Vitiate did to get her power under control.  The family was broken even before it was formed, and it tore at Ragdat's heartstrings.

Senya continued to tell Ragdat about how, when she finally realized the kind of monster she had married, she chose to leave, and take the kids with her. And they laughed at her; Arcann and his twin Thexan called her weak, and when Senya tried to take her daughter, she stayed where she was at, even though they were, at the time, torturing her.  So, Senya chose to leave on her own, working in the outer parts of their territory, having no contact with her children since.

It was this moment when Ragdat chose to place the final nail in the coffin of her relationship with "Valkorian"; he told her of how, around 1500 years ago, Valkorian, in his original Pureblood Sith body, enacted a ritual that drained all the life, even the Force, from the world of Medriaas, and made his soul immortal at the expense of all emotion, save for fear and anger, the two emotions that fed the Dark Side within him.  No joy, no sadness, nothing but emptiness. And Ragdat said he knew this because of the ritual that was performed on Scourge was the same, giving him the same experience.

Senya turned away from Ragdat, attempting to process his words, but Ragdat had to ensure that Senya understood that he wasn't trying to hurt her; he said "For what it's worth, I know what it's like to love someone that doesn't love you back," thinking about all his time with Kaliyo on Rattatak and how she just used him for her own benefit, like she did with many others since, according to what he'd heard.

Thankfully, T7 rolled in to the room, distracting them and getting their minds back on the task at hand; finding the Lady of Sorrows.  Ragdat was glad to see his old droid companion, and asked if T7 had heard anything from their friends, though unfortunately, T7 had not. He'd been working for Lana for years now, and Kira, Doc, Rusk and Scourge had all gone their separate ways before that.

Once actually getting out of the sewers and into the district, Senya went to meet a contact, so Ragdat and T7 went off to use some terminals to triangulate the location of the Lady by tapping into surveillance feeds.  And at one point, when T7 went to meet a droid contact of his, Vitiate appeared and tried talking to Ragdat, but Ragdat refused to respond.  And even though Vitiate pushed, knowing that Ragdat was thinking of Senya's reveal, he eventually relented when Ragdat continued to show him silence.

After tapping into a few more surveillance feeds with T7, Senya called on Ragdat's holo and told him to meet her at her current location. T7, who had more objectives to complete, left Ragdat to his own devices, and Ragdat followed the map he was given to a bar not far from where he was at.  He was met by several lightsaber wielding thugs who utilized the Force in battle. Senya mentioned they were called the Heralds of Zildrog, once a local cult that was now more violent gang vying for territory.

Senya went up to her contact and began to interrogate him, and Ragdat recognized the Force technique she was using; it was a way to cause pain in a target without doing lasting harm.  It was a technique that Ragdat had learned about at his training facility when he was an initiate; he saw a small group of adult Jedi around a group of children, or younglings as they were called, and the children were writhing on the floor in agony.  Ragdat immediately stormed over there out of concern for the children, and the Master in charge informed Ragdat of what they were doing.  Apparently, the technique was meant to teach younglings how to cope with pain without actually doing damage.  The technique stimulated the nerves inside the target's body to cause pain, either in a wide area or in a localized area, at varying intensities so the younglings understood how to deal with pain without giving in to anger or fear. And this lesson on coping with pain was for two main reasons; to recognize the body's signals so they could tell when something was injured or sick and give them knowledge of when to focus on healing, and to teach a child to tolerate pain in combat, because, as the Master told him, they were all required to defend themselves regardless of their aptitudes, and that required a degree of pain tolerance.

Ragdat was still not completely convinced of the intentions of the lesson, bringing up the children who were crying in agony on the floor.  The Master stated that these children pushed themselves too far in what they thought they could handle, and were paying the consequences, though the Masters there were helping them ease the pain; that no matter what was done, these Jedi cared about them.  The Master also brought up something that Ragdat hadn't thought of; how all species children had to learn how to cope with pain and suffering and recognizing when something was wrong with them bodies.  He mentioned that Ragdat, who was an adult student, had likely learned those lessons the hard way, though sickness and injuries, when he was their age.  Ragdat couldn't deny that, remembering how brutal growing up on Rattatak was, and how he still had some lingering issues due to childhood injuries he'd suffered in his clan's leaders trying to "toughen him up".

Ragdat was snapped back to the present just as he remembered that the Master praised Ragdat for his concern for the younglings when Senya used the technique a second time; this wasn't a teaching moment. This was torture.  But just as Ragdat was about to speak out against it, the bartender gave the information that Senya wanted and directed them to another contact; a human woman named Mona Gale, a gambling promoter about a few hundred meters down the road.  Senya began questioning her upon their arrival, and Mona chose to mock Senya, and demanding to know who Ragdat was. He was just about to use the Force to influence her mind, to tell her that she "didn't need to know who he was", when Arcann made an announcement about "the Outlander that destroyed a power planet that knocked out power to many city blocks and his accomplice Senya", showing holos of them, Mona Gale and everyone around them immediately looked at Ragdat with fear.  Mona told Senya where they needed to head next; Breaktown.  Ragdat thanked them, and he and Senya started off toward the train there.  Senya joked that that announcement gave them some clout, and Ragdat mentioned that being feared by law abiding citizens was not something that a Jedi wanted.

The two fought through Breaktown before being stopped by Koth, saying that the Heralds would respond better to "regular people" than a Knight of Zakuul.  Ragdat's thoughts, however, were about getting through the sector; the Heralds had shown themselves to be trained Force users, and based on what he saw, Koth lacked the specialized training and equipment needed for a Force blind to combat a trained Force user; no lightsaber resistant armor, no fire or electricity based ammunition, and no sniping ability. Koth wore average clothes for a spacer and wielded a slightly modified blaster rifle.  Ragdat told Koth as much, stressing that Ragdat was thinking about Koth's safety more than anything else, and led Senya into the district.

After a few dozen fights, Ragdat and Senya finally met the leader of the Heralds, a human male filled with Dark Side corruption they called "The Exalted". Ragdat knew that, when dealing with slaves to the Dark Side like this, he'd need to show a bit of strength in order for them to understand his power in any negotiation.

The interaction went as Ragdat expected; Senya threatened the Heralds, the Exalted threatening Senya, and Ragdat doing is best to defuse the situation while still maintaining an aura of strength.  He could tell that lightsabers were about to be drawn when a Nautolan appeared on holo, demanding that the Exalted stop, and showed that The Lady of Sorrow had captured his son, and told Ragdat where to meet them.  Ragdat, who thought it strange that a Nautolan was living on a human world this far from her home planet, was ready to head off, but still remained prepared for the expected treachery from these slaves to the Dark Side.

Ragdat wasn't disappointed the Exalted, despite being ordered not to by the Nautolan, ordered his men to kill Ragdat and Senya, and they were force to fight their way out and toward the Lady's base. On the way, they were met by two of Senya's former brethren in the Knights; one of which Ragdat recognized the voice of.  Apparently, Vaylin had killed his original partner, and it was driving him to the Dark Side, as evidenced by his yellow eyes.

Ragdat and Senya dueled them, with Ragdat once again noticing the same flaws in their technique that Vitiate brought with him into this insular society, and dispatched his opponent quickly because of it.  However, instead of killing them like the fallen Knight expected, Ragdat simply had them tied up and knocked out while he and Senya rode the turbolift up to the Lady's penthouse apartment.

Once there, they were met by Koth, whom the Lady had shown to have captured earlier on the holo, and a droid model that Ragdat recognized from Yavin; the one with the strange crown and female features.  The droid, SCORPIO as Ragdat learned, recognized Ragdat as the Battlemaster of the Jedi Order, killed the Exalted with a shock from her systems and then asked what Ragdat would do with his son, whom she had captured to lure the Exalted himself to her.  Ragdat was torn; by his red eyes and pale skin, the boy as as much an unrepentant slave of the Dark Side as his father.  On the other, he also knew that a being could be corrupted to the Dark Side by no fault of their own, as had been done with him, Leeha Narezz, Tol Braga and Warren Sedoru many years ago.

Ragdat said that, without his father's influence, the boy might find redemption, and he should be given that chance. SCORPIO agreed with Ragdat's choice, but let him go for her own reasons, and told the Nautolan, now revealed as "Thea" to continue her operations in her stead, leaving SCORPIO free to join Ragdat. SCORPIO revealed two reasons for joining; one, she wanted to talk to the Gravestone, and the other was that Arcann had "taken something of her's."

The return to the Gravestone bridge was as unpleasant as Ragdat expected; Koth argued with SCORPIO, HK-55 threatened to shoot SCORPIO, tempers flared.  Ragdat got fed up with it and walked out of the bridge, and Lana followed, informing Ragdat about the people offering to ally with Ragdat now that it was known that he was awake.  Ragdat joked that it might be fun to have people not looking down on him for once, but before the conversation could continue, Lana got a comm from the Scion Heskal, telling Ragdat to come alone once they landed on Asylum.  Ragdat headed up that way with his faithful companion T7-01, and were met by Heskal being held in place with the Force in the middle of the room they had fought days earlier.  His body was then tossed aside, revealing that Arcann was there.  Arcann revealed that Heskal had betrayed Ragdat to Arcann, and Arcann offered a peace agreement; he'd let the people Ragdat had gathered to, but Arcann got the Gravestone. Ragdat, in the meantime, would be returned to carbonite while his people researched the means to remove and destroy his father.

Ragdat knew the truth, however; Arcann had no intention of removing Vitiate from Ragdat's mind. He wanted his father as a trophy now. Ragdat "agreed" and was given a moment to "tell his forces to stand down".  Ragdat turned around and activated his comm, but instead of telling his forces to stand down, he warned them that Arcann was here and ready to fight.  Ragdat spun around while drawing and activating his lightsaber, and prepared for battle.

The battle went the way Ragdat expected; Arcann exhibited the same flaws in his style that his father did on Dromund Kaas and Ziost, though he chained Force abilities into his attack sequences more freely than his father. But with Ragdat's strong telekinetic barriers protecting him from being tossed around, Ragdat managed to out duel Arcann and tossed him through the wall as the roof collapsed.

Ragdat and T7 made their way back to the docks, only to see Heskal being dragged by a couple of Knights. Ragdat struck them down, and Heskal said, as he lied there dying, that "everything was happening as forseen". This upset Ragdat; he stated that according to the Jedi, the future was always in motion and that no vision was ever absolute.  "You doomed people for a possible future, not an absolute one."  Heskal, however, continued to smile as he died, justified in his vision of the "glorious future".

Ragdat and T7 continued down toward the docks, only to find out he had to head back up to unlock the docking clamps.  He was forced to flee when Senya challenged Vaylin in order to fight his way up to the docking clamps. He and Lana were eventually met by Koth and former Havoc Squad member Tanno Vik and his gang.  Lana stayed behind to defend the entrance while Ragdat and Koth headed up toward a warehouse landing pad for a transport ship that would take them up to the tower they needed to get to.

Unfortunately, Koth again showed his loyalty to Vitiate when he asked if he had any tips for Ragdat. Ragdat again condemned Vitiate, and vocalized his worry about Koth still worshiping a monster even after Ragdat and Lana telling him what he did and what he tried to do on a galactic scale.  Koth said "He was always good to Zakuul," and Ragdat replied with "A serial murderer who is a good father to a favored child is no less a serial murderer."

After landing, Koth and Ragdat stopped at the tram needed to get Ragdat to the docking controls, and Koth and HK-55 stayed at the start of the tram to defend it.  Ragdat reached the platform and let loose the Gravestone, only for his danger sense to alert him of Arcann's presence. Ragdat dodged Arcann's strike and activating his own lightsaber to begin this final duel.  He continued to exploit the weaknesses in Arcann's style, while HK-55, who had taken the tram up to assist Ragdat since was taking too long, fired upon the Zakuulan Emperor as they fought. Eventually, Arcann got fed up with the droid and used his power to destroy it. However, at this moment, Ragdat saw a Shatterpoint that would allow him the opportunity to disarm Arcann and take him prisoner.

Of course, Vitiate saw the Shatterpoint from inside Ragdat, and chose this moment to again make his presence known and dissipated the Shatterpoint, and "offered" Ragdat his power, saying he risked death if he didn't take it. Ragdat knew that Vitiate was only trying to manipulate him, again denied the power Vitiate offered, but when Vitiate disappeared, Ragdat noticed something different; his telekinetic barrier had suddenly been dropped. And Arcann, who had apparently noticed this, reached out with the Force and grabbed Ragdat, and pulled him toward Arcann, impailing Ragdat on his lightsaber.

Arcann took that moment to taunt Vitiate, shouting "Feel that, Father?", but Ragdat just grinned.  "He doesn't feel anything, Arcann. Not pain, not joy, nothing." And while speaking this, Ragdat gathered telekinetic energy and let loose with a Force Repulse, knocking Arcann off the platform and into the depths below.

It was then that Koth made his presence known, helping Ragdat down to the docks, where he passed out on the bridge.

He woke up many hours later, surrounded by the allies he had gathered, save for the destroyed HK-55.  His allies had recovered the droid's body, but his memory core had been destroyed. They also told him where they were and informed him of the allies they had gathered. Ragdat took a moment to look at Koth and told him that, if it hadn't been for his Immortal Emperor, they'd have been able to capture Arcann before this war had even started, and explained exactly what happened before Koth found him.  Ragdat did not relent and stated that, as long as Vitiate was in his mind, he'd be unable to defeat Arcann unless it directly benefited Vitiate's plan. This took Koth aback, trying to rationalize the benevolent Emperor that he knew with the actions he had taken during this battle with his son, and how it prolonged the coming conflict.

After leaving the ship, Ragdat indeed saw the gathering of the people there; Republic, Imperials, Jedi, Sith and all sorts of criminals and mercenaries.  Ragdat looked around for something to get everyone's attention, and found it with a giant drill they would use to create an entrance for the facility that was partially built behind them.  He activated it, and started in on a rousing speech of how they needed to work together for a better future.  Once he was done, he went off with Lana, Koth and Senya to begin to make plans for this new Alliance base and the structure; there would be a Commander of the Alliance to make executive decisions about the path they would take, a circle of advisors for the Commander, and people to run the day to day operations.  Ragdat didn't know the role he was going play in this Alliance, but he assumed he'd be some kind of rallying figure at the very least.

In the coming days, Ragdat met some of the members of the Alliance, including some old friends and allies.  He met Vedere Marr, last member of the Jedi Council and acting Grandmaster, who told him of the fate of the Jedi Order during the war; they experienced heavy losses after Satele Shan disappeared and continued to do so for many years after, leaving only the Jedi she had brought into the Alliance with her.  He met Darth Nox, who was no longer a member of the Dark Council, but still had access to much of her former resources, and was giving the Alliance access to her resources and research.  He met Colonel Amelisan Strannos, who had been promoted since the last time he saw her, but was frustrated that she was forced behind a desk instead of being allowed to do field work.  He met the Mandalorian Maircus, who still worked as a Bounty Hunter, but was angry that many of his targets were now in Zakuulan space and that his former employers lacked the funds to pay him.  He met the Pirate Queen Curoda Riggs, now married to her companion Corso, who continued to lead a criminal resistance to the Eternal Empire, and was now offering her assets to the centralized Alliance to bring the fight to Zakuul.  And strangely, Ragdat met Adaso, former Emperor's Wrath, who had lost nearly everything to the Eternal Empire and Acinna's treachery.  What Ragdat found most strange, however, was how Adaso was now over his grudge with Ragdat; Ragdat had been dead for five years, Adaso said, so he got used to the idea of how stupid his grudge was after what Vitiate did.  However, he still wished to duel Ragdat, but not to the death, and not until he was free of Vitiate's influence.

Once the construction was nearing completion, Lana informed him that the last of the Alliance inner circle had arrived and wanted to meet Ragdat; Theron Shan, former SIS operative.  They spoke for a while about things that Lana didn't have the answer to, and Theron showed Ragdat another thing he had retrieved; his old Defender starship.  And when he went to inspect the ship, Ragdat was met by another member of the Alliance; Jedi Master Daashla Myr, whom he had met briefly during his early training.  She had tested Ragdat to determine if Ragdat was going to require her special brand of training to help him control his darker, more violent impulses, or if he could be trained by another master. She deemed him "safe" to be trained by another, and didn't take on a Padawan until a few years ago.  And in the last five years, Daashla Myr had been gathering displaced Padawans and helped them get over the darker emotions that they were unprepared for thanks to this war.

Once this was done, Ragdat met the leaders of the specific aspects of the Alliance; Admiral Bey'wan Aygo of the Republic fleet, whom he had served with during the battle of Kuat, as the the one in charge of his military, Hylo Visz, who was in charge of getting supplies and funds, Doctor Oggurrobb, the Hutt who helped him on Makeb in charge of science, and the Voss Mystic Sana-Rae in charge of matters pertaining to the Force.  Ragdat wasn't too pleased when he was introduced to Sana-Rae, but when Master Vedere said that making a neutral party their Force advisor was her idea, he relented.  From here, Ragdat was told that there was a party going on in the cantina upstairs and that Ragdat was asked to make an appearance, he agreed, figuring that it would be a good idea for their rallying figure to be seen as a "man of the people".  From here, he took Theron aside and continued his conversation from earlier.  Once they were done, the party was winding down, Ragdat headed back into the facility to find Senya standing by his ship's hangar, musing about the future. She told Ragdat what Vaylin told her while on Asylum; that her other son, Thexan, wasn't killed in battle in the Core Worlds. It was Arcann who killed him out a fit of jealousy and rage.  This affirmed her desire to stop her children before heading off. It was then that Vitiate made his presence known, and asked Ragdat what kind of future he saw for the galaxy, and Ragdat was blunt, saying "A future without you." and was about to storm off when he felt a disturbance in the Force; he grabbed the lightsaber of his belt and activated it, holding it at the throat of the stealthed figure behind him, saying "Bad idea sneaking up on me."

The stealthed figure uncloaked, revealing herself as Gua'llisan'ireshoth, or Allisani as she asked to be called, was the former Cipher Agent that had sent him a message so many years ago. She claimed to be an agent of a being called "the Specter", and told Ragdat that he'd have access to all the Specter's resources. And just as she was leaving, she left a warning; do not trust SCORPIO. She's always shady at best, and if he ever thinks she's being direct, she's not.

Ragdat took a moment to ponder this until he got a message from Lana to meet him in the military hanger.  Once there, Lana led him back to the main area of the base and told him that he was now the Alliance Commander himself.  He was not only the rallying figure for the Alliance, but the one calling the shots.  Ragdat took this new title with the same level of gravity and responsibility that he had taken the other ones he had before, save for "the Outlander", and gave a rousing speech to his people.

The next entry will be short; it will be mostly Ragdat going with one of the other Player Characters and meeting the Alliance Specialists, which will allow him to skip the annoying aspects of their recruitment. And yes, Ragdat will be getting both M1-4X and Pierce.  For now, look forward to it, and stay beautiful freaks!