Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Blogger removing Google+ functionality and other updates

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

Today is just a couple things that need to be said. First, blogger has removed the ability to comment via Google+ due to their attempt to shut down all Google+ functionality by August, you're going to need to use your blogger account to comment on these entries from now on. Nothing big, but all comments made in the past are now gone. 

Oh, and I changed my twitter handle slightly; it's now https://twitter.com/SeanLAkins so people can find me easier. I did this at the advice of Delilah Dawson, a published author, to help get people who search for me to find me.

That's it for now. So for now, stay beautiful freaks!

Sunday, January 13, 2019

My SWTOR Characters for storyline/cutscene purposes

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

So, I'm going to be doing something a little different for the first post of 2019, now that Ragdat's Darkest Days and Rise of Mamine are effectively finished for the time being; I'm going to show off the characters, and a basic profile for them, that I use for cutscenes in SWTOR.  So, here we go!








Name: Ragdat
Class: Jedi Guardian
Sexual preference: Heterosexual
Romance: Kira
Alignment: Light Side
Iokath Choice: Republic
Going Forward: Loyal Republic
Roleplay tips: Ragdat is a man who does what's right, but isn't afraid to, when the situation calls for it, do what's necessary.







Name: Adaso
Class: Sith Juggernaut
Sexual preference: Heterosexual
Romance: Dark Side Jaesa
Alignment: Dark Side
Iokath choice: Republic (He refused to support and Empire that would allow Malavai Quinn to live)
Going Forward: Loyal Empire (Vowrawn is worth following to him)
Roleplay tips: Adaso is a man who will do what is necessary, but still retains a code of honor and conduct.


Name: Allisani
Class: Operative
Sexual preference: Pansexual (effectively, she doesn't care what your biological sex, gender identity or species is, so long as you're sentient and the right person for her)
Romance: Lana
Alignment: Light Side Republic Double Agent
Iokath Choice: Republic
Going Foward: Imperial Sabotage
Roleplay tips: A woman with a code of honor who wishes to protect her people at all costs.


Name: Amelisan
Class: Commando
Sexual preference: Heterosexual
Romance: Aric Jorgan
Alignment: Light Side
Iokath Choice: Republic
Going Foward: Loyal Republic
Roleplay tips: Military honor combined with a desire for vengeance against the Empire that is responsible for her needing cybernetics.


Name: Curoda
Class: Scoundrel
Sexual preference: Polyamorous Pansexual (same definition for pansexual as Allisani, but polyamorous means she's got enough room in her heart to devote herself to more than one person at a time)
Romance: Corso and Arcann (If the game would let me do that, anyway, but if I want the Corso cutscenes in the future, I have to stick with him)
Alignment: Light Side
Iokath Choice: Republic
Going Foward: Loyal Republic
Roleplay tips: A woman who wants to make the galaxy a better place



Name: Koyi'shak (Still Darth Nox in my head, though)
Class: Sith Assassin
Sexual preference: Bisexual, though she does prefer men
Romance: Khem Val (I thought this would be funny, and I was surprised at how sweet it was)
Alignment: Dark Side
Iokath Choice: Republic (Did her after Adaso for the same reason, since she had heard about what Quinn did)
Going Foward: Loyal Empire
Roleplay tips: Power hungry, cruel, sadistic, but with a soft side that almost no one sees.


Name: Maircus
Class: Mercenary
Sexual preference: Heterosexual
Romance: Mako
Alignment: Light Side
Iokath Choice: Republic
Going Foward: Imperial Sabotage
Roleplay tips: You want to make the galaxy a better place, and the Empire is an obstacle to that goal.


Name: Vedere Marr
Class: Jedi Shadow
Sexual preference: Homosexual
Romance: Nadia (because why not try it?)
Alignment: Light Side
Iokath Choice: Republic
Going Foward: Loyal Republic
Roleplay tips: Vedere hopes to live up to her family legacy as a protector of the peace and defender of the innocent.


Name: Akez
Class: Commando
Sexual preference: Heterosexual
Romance: Elara Dorne
Alignment: Light Side
Iokath Choice: Republic
Going Foward: Loyal Republic
Roleplay tips: Enamored by the military life at a young age, takes his job as both a protector of, and an example of, the Republic very seriously, and acts like the example of a Republic soldier he knows he has to be.


Name: Banota
Class: Gunslinger (I've learned to love this playstyle)
Sexual preference: Heterosexual
Romance: Akaavi Spar (though interestingly, Akaavi still mentions not being able to have children of her body to another Zabrak, so that implies something about her without intending to)
Alignment: Light Side (though he chose to be a pirate on Corellia)
Iokath Choice: Republic
Going Foward: Loyal Republic
Roleplay tips: The Republic's a big, self righteous pool of money, and Banota's got swimming privileges.  And he sees no reason for that to change now that he's the Alliance Commander.


Name: Juun'ova'azang
Class: Jedi Sage
Sexual preference: Heterosexual
Romance: Nadia
Alignment: Light Side
Iokath Choice: Republic
Going Foward: Loyal Republic
Roleplay tips:  Loyal defender of the Republic and Jedi Order who took him in after his mother fled from the Ascendancy, but has a major problem with said Ascendancy for considering him "corrupt" due to a quirk of birth.


Name: Yaziar
Class: Jedi Sentinel
Sexual preference: Homosexual
Romance: Lana
Iokath Choice: Republic
Going Foward: Loyal Republic
Roleplay tips:  Sees the best in people, always, and fights to give them a choice to become the best they can be.



Name: Lannall (Darth Occlus, which was a pain to get)
Class: Sith Sorceror
Sexual preference: Heterosexual
Romance: Ashara
Alignment: Neutral, though Dark Side Inclined
Iokath Choice: Empire
Going Foward: Loyal Empire
Roleplay tips: His quest for power is tempered by the knowledge that you need be feared and loved to rule effectively. (Chose to kill Kaliyo and Koth, but saved Senya and Arcann)


Name: Kaicet
Class: Mercenary
Sexual preference: Heterosexual
Romance:Torian
Alignment: Light Side
Iokath Choice: Empire
Going Foward: Loyal Empire
Roleplay tips: A true Mandalorian, where challenge is more important than money, and the Empire is the way to get that challenge going forward.


Name: Myshi
Class: Sniper
Sexual preference: Heterosexual
Romance: Theron Shan
Alignment: Dark Side Hand of Jadus
Iokath Choice: Empire
Going Foward: Loyal Empire
Roleplay tips: Enamored with the Sith due to the favor of Lord Jadus, she intends to spread terror and fear throughout the galaxy. Only Theron sees what's beyond that.


Name: Urakai
Class: Sith Juggernaut
Sexual preference: Bisexual with a preference for men
Romance: Quinn, Theron Shan and Light Side Jaesa (killed both men for betraying her, then realizes long time feelings and attraction toward Jaesa once they reunited)
Alignment: Neutral, though Light Side Inclined
Iokath Choice: Empire
Going Foward: Loyal Empire
Roleplay tips: True strength does not lie in once side of the Force.  Rage fuels you in battle, but compassion is given to those who deserve it. (Killed Kaliyo, sided with Koth, Senya and Arcann)


Name:Sarias
Class: Jedi Guardian
Sexual preference: Heterosexual
Romance: Doc
Alignment: Dark Side
Iokath Choice: Empire
Going Foward: Republic Sabotage
Roleplay tips: She never felt at home with the Jedi or the Republic, and intends to see it all burn one day. Cruel, manipulative, and destructive.


Name: Tila'Zatara
Class: Jedi Sage
Sexual preference: Heterosexual
Romance: Felix Iresso
Alignment: Dark Side
Iokath Choice: Empire
Going Foward: Republic
Roleplay tips: Starting as a sort of Knight Templar type, her quest for knowledge and secrets have driven her to agree that maybe, the Empire's way of doing things is the right one.





Name:Sukyi Phi
Class: Mercenary
Sexual preference: Bisexual
Romance: Lana
Alignment: Dark Side
Iokath Choice: Empire
Going Foward: Loyal Empire
Roleplay tips: Mayhem and destruction are her preferred methods of getting her jobs done, and the Empire never asked why. She'd like to keep things that way.


Name:Sydrak
Class: Gunslinger
Sexual preference: Heterosexual
Romance: Risha
Alignment: Dark Side
Iokath Choice: Empire
Going Foward: Republic Sabotage
Roleplay tips: The Creed is Greed, and the Alliance's relationship with the Empire has brought in a LOT of wealth.


Name:Rhoxii (Darth Imperius)
Class: Sith Sorcerer
Sexual preference: Heterosexual
Romance: Andronikos
Alignment: Light Side
Iokath Choice: Empire
Going Foward: Loyal Empire
Roleplay tips: The galaxy needs rational leaders, not controlled by a desire for power or vengeance, and you're the only one who fits the bill. Under your rule, there would finally be peace.


Name:Irugil
Class: Sith Marauder
Sexual preference: Heterosexual
Romance: Vette
Alignment: Light Side
Iokath Choice: Empire
Going Foward: Loyal Empire
Roleplay tips: You fight to protect the Empire that allowed your people to survive, but you will not become a monster.


Name:Oano
Class: Commando
Sexual preference: Heterosexual
Romance: Arcann
Alignment: Light Side during class story, Dark Side in KOTFE/KOTET/after
Iokath Choice: Empire
Going Foward: Republic Sabotage
Roleplay tips: Something changed when Valkorian invaded your mind. You started agreeing with his his mindset, wanting to rule Zakuul and the entire galaxy, greedily devouring every bit of knowledge and power he grants you. And even after he was gone, that though process remained.


Now, I'm sure you've noticed that I've got three women romancing Lana, but no men romancing Theron, Koth or Arcann.  I'll admit that this was not intentional; I just really like the Lana romance, and really like the women that the male characters romance too, so I don't need to swap them out for Lana, Theron or Arcann.  In fact, I didn't realize that I have a tendency to choose Lana for the characters on whom I don't care for the romance for (or the ones I already did the class romance for) until I got to Myshi, which is why she got Theron and why Oano got Arcann.

Also, the main reason I didn't do a third Agent is because of some problems I've having with that class; for some stupid reason, any time I try to talk to Shara Jenn over holo on my ship, the cutscene freezes. I've got to contact CS and tell them to move it forward with a long "this isn't my computer, this is the game" explanation that I had to do four times.  However, if you're curious, the character would have been a human female, because I don't like the Kaliyo romance due to her cheating on you and I find Temple boring, and I needed that last line on Voss about your species unique background, Light Side Empire Loyalist, because I didn't do that one, another Theron Shan romance, since a spy would understand her mindset and plight, the ending where you delete your records with the Black Codex, going Empire on Iokath, only to swap to the Republic going forward, finally giving up on making the Empire a better place.

I want to thank the youtube content creator Roksik for this idea; her videos on the class differences are awesome, and her look for her Consular is what made me go for that hair thing on Vedere. Check out her youtube page and her deviant art page for some awesome artwork and photos.

But until next time, stay beautiful freaks!

Friday, December 21, 2018

SWTOR Musings: Returning romances

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

So I was looking up some stuff for the newest content drop for SWTOR, Jedi Under Siege, and I found this video from xLetalis; 



Now, I'm not really a fan of his content anymore due to him transitioning away from his Legacy series, but this caught my eye, and I want to talk about some of the points he made.

First off, I want to discuss the difference between love and sexuality.  According to the first definition in the English dictionary, love is defined as "an intense feeling of deep affection."  Sexuality is defined as "capacity for sexual feelings" and "a person's sexual orientation or preference", though we're going to focus on the second one here.  These two definitions are independent of each other; a person can develop feelings of love for a person they do not have sexual feelings for.  Children are a prime example of this, as sexuality doesn't happen until puberty, when they become sexually mature, but they can still intense feelings of affection for others.  And there are people who are completely asexual, who have no sexual feelings or a sexual orientation at all, and yet, they are still capable of love.

We can also have the inverse; sexuality without love.  Casual relationships, open relationships and one night stands are all indications that a person can have sexual feelings toward another without developing any feelings of love toward the other person.  However, if you are a being who has sexual feelings, you're going to search for that affection from someone you're sexually attracted to.

But let's focus on what the video is actually about; a character who had been previously established as heterosexual later being opened to being bisexual; in this case, Jaesa and Nadia, and if what xLetalis said turns out to be right, Kira.  He mentions how, while he doesn't have a problem with homosexuality and bisexuality, he doesn't like how they're "changing their character". Well, here's the thing; bisexuality and homosexuality are discovered sexuality.  What do I mean? I'll tell you.

Humans are a species for whom heterosexuality is the norm, at least biologically speaking; we reproduce via sexual activity with a member of the opposite sex.  And because it's biologically normal, it's sort of socially normal, too.  However, a person's sexuality is the same from birth; it is what it is and always will be. So, if a person discovers they are homosexual or bisexual, it means they were always homosexual or bisexual, but didn't realize it until they finally found that person who brought up those sexual feelings within them.

And this can be discovered at any point in a person's life. Sexuality is not necessarily a straight line from birth until death.  It can take as many turns through out life, experiencing a lot that life and the world has to offer, or you can find that one person that makes you forget about anyone else. It's as varied as the people who walk the earth.

Now, there's an easy explanation for both Nadia and Jaesa being revealed as bisexual 13 years after you meet them.  Both Nadia and Jaesa were on journeys of self discovery, and with Nadia, her sexuality doesn't come up unless you show romantic interest.  With Light Side Jaesa, she's still trying to hold true to the Jedi Code, despite traveling with a Sith Lord.  Both are attracted to you either way regardless of your gender, according to my earlier statement about someone always being bisexual whether they realize it or not, but say nothing because they either don't realize it yet, or don't think it's appropriate to say something to their master.

Now, Dark Side Jaesa potentially throws a wrench in this explanation, but again, her revelation can be explained the same way; she either hasn't realized that she's bi, or she has and thinks "Could my master be into me? No, I don't think so, she's flirting with Quinn/Pierce, so she must be straight" and just discards the idea.  And when she uses her power on you, she is both surprised and delighted to realize you feel the same way about her that she's felt for you for 13 years.

However, I do agree with xLetalis' statement about some acknowledgement; a simple "I didn't realize I was into girls until you were gone for so long", or some variant, would have helped smooth this for a lot of people.  Because that kind of thing does happen for people who discover themselves to be bisexual or homosexual sometimes; someone they think they're content to be friends with is suddenly gone from their life, even on a temporary basis, and they realize that they miss them more than they thought they would, and that they think they should.  That is very much Light Side Jaesa; she didn't realize she was in love with the Warrior, male or female, until the Warrior was gone with no hope of them coming back.  She even says as much, claiming she needed to shut herself off from her power because she'd be desperately searching for the Warrior otherwise.

Now, keep in mind that this all comes from a heterosexual male.  I am attracted to women and only women, so I search for that kind of affection only in women.  But I not opposed in any way to people who are different than me.  If you're homosexual, fine. If you're bisexual, asexual, pansexual or any other label you want to apply to yourself, that's fine too.  Just live your life and try to be happy.

But until next time, stay beautiful freaks!

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Assassin's Den Musings: KOTFE Experiment

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

Today, I want to talk about the storyline that SWTOR has dealt with for the past three years; the the KOTFE experiment.  Way back on October 27, 2015, SWTOR dropped Knights of the Fallen Empire, the third expansion to the game, focusing on the introduction of a third faction to the SWTOR storyline, which came to an end with the Nathema Conspiracy in May 3, 2018, with a return to the Republic Vs Empire storyline on December 14, 2018.  That means the story has focused, for almost 3 years, on the story of Valkorian and his children, only tying it back to the main SWTOR story through the fact that Valkorian is another identity of Sith Emperor Vitiate.

Now, KOTFE was an experiment for Bioware; they wanted to see if people would like moving the focus away from the standard "Jedi vs Sith" concept that Star Wars is all about, and while it wasn't a bad story, it wasn't what people wanted.  Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of people who like KOTFE and its continuation of the story, KOTET.  Personally, I say that by itself, it's a good story.  It told an interesting narrative, and didn't apologize for being different.  Bioware also tried something different with KOTFE, focusing heavily on story and introducing new chapters on the story on a monthly basis from the end of the first content drop on October 25th to the end of KOTFE in August of 2016.  They used that 10 month period to see how the fan base would take to that kind of storytelling, and unfortunately, it was met with a mostly negative response. And that is why KOTET was released as one lump sum of chapters to round out the story of Valkorian's family. 

However, this did not mean Bioware was done experimenting.  They moved back toward a multiplayer focus, which gave me little to do for months at an end, with Iokath leading into an Operation focus, introducing new bosses on a monthly to bimonthly basis, finally finishing with the operation at the time of the release of the final boss during 5.8, with the Traitor storyline that weaved through Crisis on Umbara, Traitor among the Chiss and Nathema Conspiracy ending the KOTFE experiment by wiping Zakuul's importance from the board with the destruction of the Eternal Fleet and the Gravestone, leaving the war between the Republic and Empire to begin once again come December 14th, 2018, which will lead into the 6.0 expansion next year.

Now, obviously, the experiment of KOTFE failed; people would rather have the narrative focus on the Republic and Empire, and they'd rather have both single player story and multiplayer content in equal measure.  And as I've heard in the game, they'd rather not have SWTOR follow on World of Warcraft's coattails and do pretty much the same thing they were doing at the time? I don't know how true that is, because I don't follow World of Warcraft, but I digress.

So, what can the devs learn from this? Well, they need to balance single player story with multiplayer better. During the KOTFE expansion, people complained about a lack of new multiplayer, and during the KOTET expansion, people complained about the long stretches without story.  And while you're never please the entire fanbase all the time, doing so will please the most people. Second, make sure our choices matter in the end.  The main complaint I hear about KOTET is how it all didn't matter in the end; because while choices regarding characters certain characters carried across it all, in the end, it was all reset back to basics.  And while that's fine when it comes to them taking the story back in the direction the started with, it meant that nothing we did in KOTFE and KOTET ultimately mattered. The only thing they can really do now is for them to make the ability to choose the faction you support at the end of Nathema Conspiracy to matter. I would love to have, say, my Republic Double Agent Imperial Agent be allowed to openly support the Republic now if she wants to, instead of being locked in with the Empire.  That alone would make your choices in KOTFE and KOTET matter in the long run; you're no longer beholden to your starting faction.

In the end, I don't fault Bioware for the KOTFE Experiment. In the end, you have to try new things to remain successful in any storytelling medium, even if you do bring things back around to the old status quo, because sometimes, those changes stick.  And when those changes stick, you did something very good and very memorable. There are reasons why, to use comic books as an example, Geoff Johns Green Lantern run is so beloved; he wasn't afraid to shake things up, but he did so in a way that expanded on what was there and made it better. But if he'd have been afraid of trying something new, he never would have become the Chief Creative Officer over at DC before stepping down in 2018.

So Bioware? Keep trying new things, but don't lose sight of what makes the game good and profitable.  Because sometimes, shaking things up can be a good thing.

But until next time, stay beautiful freaks!

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

SWTOR Character Tales: Rise of Mamine Traitor Saga

Welcome back, my beautiful freaks, to the Assassin's Den! It's time to close out, for now, the story of Rise of Mamine!

The search for the traitor was slow going. The leaders of the Alliance were concerned that their people may have betrayed them, but were at least happy that their Commander respected their privacy. However, one day, Lana brought a lead from Umbara.

The trail led them to a hovertrain with a stockpile of Adegan crystals, where a transmission with the same encryption as the one from Iokath was detected. Lana, Theron and Mamine boarded the speeding train to intercept and stop the traitor, Suthazi having remained on Odessen to train with Arcann.  The investigation led them to the control cabin of the locomotive, where the three reached it to find the cockpit of the train empty. It was this moment when Theron revealed himself as the traitor, shooting at Mamine, only for Lana to jump in front of her. Mamine was irritated at Theron for betraying them, and vocalized this, only for Theron to spout some nonsense about her becoming a symbol of oppression despite all her efforts to the contrary as he locked them into the cab.Mamine  replied that she never wanted any of this, and that she wanted to destroy the fleet, not take control of it. Theron said sadly that intention and action and action weren't always the same, and sabotaged the train's tracks, which would cause the train to crash into the side of a mountain, which, Theron stated, would be vaporizing Mamine, Lana, and the crystals.

Managing to bail before the impact and survive the crash while Theron escaped on a speeder, Mamine and Lana went after Theron on foot, while also fending off local wildlife. Lana fumed over what Theron did, raging over trusting that "SIS scum", wanting to end his life painfully.  Mamine, however, mentioned she sensed conflict within him; that part of him didn't want to do this.  Mamine wanted to know why, but Lana added they needed to catch him first.

They eventually caught up with Theron, but were unable to stop him before his shuttle left Umbara and were forced to contend with an Umbaran Spider Tank which covered Theron's escape. Returning to Odessen empty-handed, Mamine sent a galaxy-wide message on the HoloNet about his desire for peace directly to Theron in regards to his treason, and ordered Lana to use every resource at the Alliance's disposal to locate Theron's whereabouts and intentions.

It wasn't long after this when Arcann asked to speak to Mamine in private. He met Mamine outside her Defender, and mentioned he never thought he'd set foot on Odessen as anything but a conqueror, and Mamine mentioned how Arcann was a better man than he was when they met. Arcann thanked her and presented Mamine with an armored shirt that he'd been making since landing on Odessen. The Knights of Zakuul had taught him how to craft his own armor, he said, and that if he was unable to be there to protect Mamine, Arcann could be certain that this would. Mamine inspected the armor; it was light, yet sturdy, and she could feel the Force flowing through it, illustrating that it had been imbued with the Force to give it lightsaber resistant properties. She said it was beautiful, and thanked Arcann for it. Arcann said it was the least he could do for someone who had done so much for him, and went on to admit without saying he had feelings for Mamine, and Mamine smiled and said that she cared about him too.  Arcann was surprised at this, and Mamine said that Arcann should have noticed, since she wasn't subtle about her feelings.  Arcann went on to say that knowing about Mamine's feelings made him feel hope that he could be a better man, and that he'd stay by her side through whatever would come next.  Mamine moved up to him and placed her hands on his chest, and said that she'd like that.  Arcann smiled, and leaned forward and kissed Mamine.  Mamine then said she never thought she'd deserve someone like Arcann after all the horrible things she'd done in her past, and Arcann said the same about his own.  Arcann took Mamine's hands in his own, and said they'd continue to become better people together.

Within a week, Mamine's message reached the right ears and Aristocra Saganu of the Chiss Expansionary Defense Force arrived to Odessen personally, who revealed that Theron was being sheltered on Copero by the rogue Syndic Zenta of the Inrokini Family. To avoid a political conflict, Saganu asked Mamine to deal with the traitor personally, sending a Human Lieutenant Raina Temple with the Commander, though when Temple saw Yokonari walking towards her, who had been in the hanger on other business, her eyes widened with fear.  Yokonari, however, calmed her fears, saying that Temple had nothing to do with what the Hand had done to her, so Temple had nothing to fear from the Empire's Wrath.  With that out of the way, Mamine, Temple and Saganu's guards entered the shuttle to take them to Copero.

Arriving on Copero, Mamine and Temple were informed that Force sensitives among the Chiss were considered "impure", which is why Valss was so protective of Syndic Zenta. The pair fought their way through the Copero City, eventually engaged Zenta in combat inside her starship factory. Defeated and subdued, the Syndic explained that Theron had betrayed her as well, using Valss to steal the location of a holomap by slicing into her personal datapad. The map had long been kept in secret on Copero and led to yet another superweapon of the Sith Emperor Vitiate. Having learned Theron's location, Mamine was about to continue their pursuit, but Saganu demanded that they take Zenta's life. Mamine said that Jedi don't kill their prisoners, and Saganu claimed there would be no deal between the Alliance and the Ascendancy otherwise. Mamine said that, if that was the case, the Alliance didn't want to be allied with the Ascendancy, but Temple added that Zenta had purchased secrets from the Alliance, meaning Zenta had committed crimes against the Alliance as well. With this in mind, Mamine said that Zenta would be arrested by the Alliance and would be tried for espionage against the Alliance  and would be tried by a tribunal of both members of the Chiss ruling families and Alliance officials. Saganu was not pleased at this, but he was at least willing to help Mamine complete her mission to find out what Theron was up to.

Eventually reaching Theron, who had destroyed the holomap after learning the superweapon's location. He and Valss prepared to leave, when Theron noticed that Mamine and Temple had arrived to stop them. Valss stayed behind to buy Theron enough time to escape, and Mamine struck the Valss down in a lightsaber duel, her first one since being freed of Vitiate, a fact that she thoroughly enjoyed.

Once again again returning to Odessen without Theron, Raina Temple mentioned the fallout in the Ascendancy with Saganu in serious trouble, and volunteered to stay with the Alliance, when Lana came up and Mamine mentioned how strange Theron's actions were for a man who wanted to ignite a galactic war.

Eventually, smugglers working for Hylo Visz intercepted a message to the Alliance from an Abandoned Listening Post and Mamine and Suthazi went there with Lana to personally investigate it. They discovered that the abandoned station served as the Order of Zildrog's base of operation for months, and that the Order was able to watch the Alliance that whole time despite the regular security sweeps on Odessen. Holorecordings revealed that the Order was led by former Horizon Guard Vinn Atrius, who planned to awaken another superweapon from Iokath called Zildrog and use it against Odessen. During this whole thing, Suthazi noticed that one of those conversations was on Iokath; when Mamine, Theron and Lana discussed the the traitor in their midst. She wondered what Theron's intentions truly were if he was being recorded even that far back. However, the final message entered just before their arrival also revealed a set of coordinates on Nathema, which Lana recognized as coming from Theron due to the unique encryption they developed together on Rishi. Forced to flee as the self-destruct mechanism was activated and completely obliterated the station, the three returned to Odessen just when the work of restoring the holomap from Copero was finished, revealing a location on Nathema that matched the coordinates left by Theron.  However, before they could leave, Arcann stopped Mamine to talk to her; he grabbed her hand and said that even though Arcann himself had been her enemy from the start, she gave him a chance.  He said that Mamine should give Theron the same chance to make up for his mistakes that she gave Arcann. Mamine squeezed Arcann's hand and said that the woman she had been when her journey first started would have killed him without a second thought for his betrayal, but that wasn't who Mamine was now.  She would give Theron the chance to explain himself, causing Arcann to smile, adding a "Please come back to me" after she was done speaking.  Mamine promised that she would, giving Arcann a kiss before heading toward the hangar.

To stop the Order's plan and deal with Theron one way or another, Mamine, Suthazi and Lana traveled to Nathema, where they were shocked to see once lifeless world overgrown with plant life. After dealing with several Nathema Zealots and escaping beasts from the Sanitarium, they reached the coordinates where Theron approached them and revealed himself to be secretly working for the Alliance's interests the whole time. Lana was confrontational, of course, but Mamine and Suthazi were more forgiving; both understood that no one was beyond hope of redemption, and based on wha they had seen on that station, neither believed that Theron wanted to hurt anyone in the Alliance. However, everyone agreed that the Order should be stopped, and the four headed towards the Emperor's Vault under an ancient Sith Temple, where Zildrog was located., while Theron and Lana hammered out issues the entire time. Theron even echoed something Lana said to him on Rishi years ago, how they "had to be kept in the dark" in order for the plan to succeed.


They tried to enter the facility, only to be stopped at a terminal, where a holo of a Pureblood Sith activated and started raging at Mamine for killing his master. He revealed himself as "Servant One", a member of Vitiate's Emperor's Hand, and was upset because his "master was his life", and wanted to help the Order of Zildrog to help destroy the Jedi who killed Vitiate 3 times and her Alliance once and for all, sending out a giant Guardian droid for the four to battle.


The battle was won, and they continued on into the facility. When they reached the Vault, Vinn Atrius and GEMINI 16 were already in the process of awakening Zildrog. Theron shot Atrius, and Atrius raged over how his people had suffered under Mamine's actions. Mamine, however, stated that every event that had happened over the last six years was engineered by his "Immortal Emperor"; the Eternal Fleet attacked the capital worlds of both the Republic and Sith Empire all to lure Mamine out. He then destroyed an entire scout fleet without warning, and faked his death at Mamine's hands, which allowed Arcann and Vaylin to kill quadrillions of people throughout the galaxy before he could finally be destroyed once and for all. All Mamine had done this entire time was mitigate the damage and helped people, even providing relief for the people of Zakuul once she stopped the Fleet's rampage. Vinn Atrius shouted for Mamine to "Shut Up!" and that "Valkorian brought peace and prosperity to Zakuul!", which caused Mamine to shake her head and say "You can't reason with a fanatic." However, GEMINI 16 trapped all of them in a force field and finished summoning Zildrog, allowing it to remotely take over the Gravestone that remained parked on Odessen.


Controlling it through the Dark Sanctuary, Zildrog took the Gravestone, though not before the crew had a chance to evacuate, into Odessen's orbit and proceeded to repeatedly fire the omnicannon at the Eternal Fleet, which sat defenseless in the absence of orders from the Throne. Hylo Visz contacted Mamine and informed them of the crisis, but they were unable to do anything to stop Zildrog from completely annihilating the Eternal Fleet. Zildrog then targeted Odessen itself, but needed to recharge the omnicannon before the next attack, forcing GEMINI 16 to engage the Alliance directly. Lana, Theron, Suthazi and Mamine destroyed the last remaining GEMINI droid, and Theron attempted to shut Zildrog down, but was stabbed in the back by Vinn Atrius with a lightsaber pike.


Atrius then ordered Zildrog to augment him with its power and attacked Suthazi, Lana and Mamine with his new increased strength, but even with all that, he was no match for three trained Force users wielding lightsabers,defeating Atrius without much difficulty and destroyed Zildrog, which also caused the self-destruct of the Gravestone and disabled the "Eternal Throne."


Mamine marched toward Atrius, glaring at the man while he taunted her. Atrius told her to "Just kill me and get on with it. Be the hero, like you always do!" while Lana and Suthazi tended to Theron's wounds, determining that he needed to be immediately brought to Odessen for treatment. Mamine said once again that Jedi don't kill their prisoners, and that he'd be given back to his own people and be put on trial by them, a fact that shocked Atrius to his core.


Mamine had her companions stabilize Theron and took them all back to Odessen. Once back, Lana reported to Mamine that although Odessen suffered minimal damage with no casualties to Alliance personnel, the Gravestone and the Eternal Fleet, two of the Alliance's greatest weapons were gone. Mamine was relieved at this fact, since she never wanted the fleet in the first place, but Lana added that, without them, the Alliance no longer possessed the military force to rival that of the Republic and the Sith Empire, who redoubled on their preparations for the inevitable renewal of open hostilities. Additionally, many Alliance members choose to leave and rejoin their original factions, since the Alliance's initial goal of toppling the Eternal Empire accomplished, requiring the Alliance leaders to choose which faction to support. Mamine jokingly asked if Lana would have any reservations about joining the Republic, and she jokingly added that she wouldn't if the Republic didn't have a problem with her interrogation methods. Mamine said that she'd be right at home with the SIS as she said Theron came into earshot. At that point, Mamine, Lana, Theron and Suthazi stood in the hangar, and mused on the future now that the shadow of Vitiate had finally been been illuminated.

About a day later, Mamine looked out at Odessen's landscape from the ledge outside the common area, and thought about her life.  Her journey to this point had been a long one; from a failed shaman apprentice to a Jedi to the Commander of the Alliance.  She had gained wisdom the hard way, through finding her way through Darkness and into the Light, finally in a position where she could do some real good in the galaxy. She had a student to teach the lessons she had learned, and a man she loved who wouldn't lead her back into Darkness. For the first time in her life, she had nothing to fear from the future.

And that's it for the Rise of Mamine! I'm finally done with the SWTOR Character Tales stories until new content is dropped! Granted, that's in a week, but I'll need to play it a few dozen times for it to grant me story ideas, but that's a back burner thing as I work on the book.

Anyway, look forward for a free post for Christmas on my Patreon for a quick "Merry Christmas" from my book's cast in a week or so, and stay beautiful freaks!

Monday, December 3, 2018

SWTOR Character Tales: Rise of Mamine War for Iokath

Welcome back, my beautiful freaks, to the Assassin's Den! The Rise of Mamine is coming to a close with the War for Iokath today and the Traitor Saga tomorrow!

Six months had passed between the Alliance dismantling the Eternal Throne and now, and Mamine had worked tirelessly to repair the damage that Vaylin did.  Zakuul was slowly learning how to rule themselves, but so much of their infrastructure was tied up in the droids performing all tasks for them that they didn't know what to do once they were shut down for good.  Mamine had hoped that they would have some semblance of survival instincts, but she was proven wrong time and time again, forcing her to take a heavier hand than she liked in teaching them how to survive. It didn't help that, for the first time in their history since Valkorian took over, there was famine and disease for the general populous, so Mamine was forced to bring in supplies and medicine for them, which cut down on the resources she could be using to help the people of the Republic.



She also had taken the time to continue her Padawan's training, though now, it was focused on more peaceful arts like emotional control and meditation.  A LOT of meditation.  Suthazi didn't have the luxury that Mamine had at her age with the blood hunts of the kiltiks, though maybe that was for the best; for Mamine, it only made her problem with her rage worse, since Mamine thought she could always depend on the kiltik nests to bleed off her darkness.  She worked closely with her Padawan over her feelings, and the life cycle of beings and the Force; she reminded Suthazi that having feelings for others wasn't wrong, nor was being attached to those around her, but she had to accept the cycle of the Force, of birth, life and eventually, of death. Mamine reminded Suthazi that one day, she was going to die, and she accepted this willingly.  It was an honor to become one with the Force, connected to all those she had ever cared about.

She also spent quite a bit of time with Arcann, also training him in emotional control.  Like Mamine's path to redemption, Arcann carried a LOT of regret over what he had done and the pain he had caused, and Mamine said that was fine.  She told Arcann that those regrets would push him to be better for both the people he hurt and those he would come to care about in the future. But she also told Arcann to not let regret consume him; self hatred was a path back into Darkness, and he didn't want to go back down that path that Valkorian wanted for him.  Arcann said that was hard, because everywhere he went, he was reminded of his failure to be a good person; by the members of the Alliance, by his own people, and by Mamine's Republic and Lana's Empire.  Mamine said the path to redemption wasn't easy, and while it was still his path to travel, he didn't have to do it alone.  He had people that cared about him; his mother had risked everything to see his potential realized. Suthazi cared about him, even if she didn't outright like him, and Mamine cared about him. 

And Suthazi showed she cared about Arcann her own way, when she asked him to train with her.  She told Arcann that she wanted to do a training duel with him, as his fighting style was new to her.  She'd dueled Mamine many times, Master Anstrisil many times, Yokonari and Casek several times as well. But she said the Zakuulans had a unique version of Form VI, and she wanted to see how well she would fare against it.  However, this training exercise was to see if Arcann was worthy of Mamine, since that's where Mamine's heart lied.  When the duel was over, Arcann coming out as the victor due to Suthazi's lack of experience, Suthazi said that she cared deeply for Mamine, and if Arcann ever hurt her, Suthazi would come after him.  Arcann was confused about this, not really catching Mamine's subtle advances toward him, but promised Suthazi that he wouldn't do anything to hurt her Master.

It was at this point when the radiation levels on Iokath had finally subsided, and Lana led an Alliance team to claim it for the Alliance. She contacted Mamine and Theron with a status report, which was interrupted by arrival of Imperial and Republic forces on Iokath, who were fighting for control over a superweapon. Mamine summoned the Eternal Fleet to Iokath, where contact with it was mysteriously blocked and Theron suggested to look for the source of the transmission on Iokath. After landing, Theron, Suthazi and Mamine fought their way across the surface and finally got to the the Fleet Spire to meet with Lana, where the Alliance began landing their forces and started setting up a base of operations. Lana also mentioned that she managed to capture two emissaries send by the Republic and the Empire; Captain Elara Dorne, former member of the previous incarnation of Havoc Squad, and a Captain Quinn, whom Yokonari later mentioned was a relative of Malavai Quinn, whom Yokonari had killed for siding with Darth Baras against him almost 13 years prior.

It turned out that Quinn represented Empress Acina, while Dorne was working for Supreme Commander Jace Malcom. Both sides arrived on Iokath looking to claim the superweapon and both pleaded to the Commander to join forces against the other, both trying to appeal to Mamine's honor. But when the time came to choosing an ally, Mamine simply stated that "My people have been protecting the Republic since the formation of the Alliance. I see no reason for that to change.", which got an insult spouted from Acina, who then ordered Captain Quinn to implement her back up plan by throwing a flash bang, setting off several charges on Alliance vehicles, and ran off before being confronted by Yokonari, who choked the life out of him while saying "siding with the wrong Sith must run in your family" before joining Mamine in the command center. Mamine, after glaring disapprovingly at Yokonari for again taking matters into her own hand as her vision cleared, ordered Dorne to keep them in contact with Malcom as they reinforced the Republic's defenses.

After doing so, Mamine, Suthazi and Theron went into a weapons cache to retrieve Iokath weapons and knowledge on how to use them. Theron downloaded the files from an ancient console, learning about the superweapon that both the Republic and Empire were chasing; it was powerful enough to wipe all organic life on Iokath in the distant past, in addition to ten trillion lives on other planets. Both Mamine and Suthazi recoiled in horror, with Suthazi saying that no one should ever get their hands on something like that, and they needed to covertly do everything to prevent the Republic from getting their hands on it while they actively doing the same for the Empire.

When the three reunited with Lana, she revealed to Mamine that the conflict was orchestrated by an unknown outside force, which leaked identical data regarding the superweapon to all three parties, luring them all in the same place and at the same time. And since the "Eternal Throne's" control over the Eternal Fleet could only be sabotaged by an Alliance member, Lana suspected a traitor in their ranks.  Mamine just shook her head, saying this was the last thing they needed while trying to prevent both sides from getting access to a superweapon.

However, she was forced to push these thoughts out of his mind as she, Suthazi, and Theron moved to prevent the superweapon's activation by Acina, who had called to taunt them about her now controlling it, as well as Brosra, who stated that even though she lacked the power to do so herself, she wanted to be there when Acina died after the Empress' taunts, but they were unsuccessful and the legendary Six Gods of Zakuulan legend were awakened, however, not without Acina dying as she did so. With the control over the Eternal Fleet was restored, Theron, Brosra and Suthazi stayed behind to delay the superweapon activation, while Mamine went inside superweapon command point, taking control of a throne similar to the one that she had dismantled, and witnessed Tyth, the first of Six Gods, revealing itself to be a very powerful droid. Tyth looked at Mamine's soul, and stated that he was an "unworthy sacrifice" given her lack of unending rage being not enough to empower it, something that made Mamine feel good about; she had fought long and hard to let go of the rage that drove her for so long, it was nice to have that recognized. Tyth then revealed what Lana suspected, that a close companion of Mamine's was responsible for starting the war and awakening the Six Machine Gods, hinting it to be someone consumed with anger and despair. And while Mamine was beginning to become consumed by Tyth while he was still was plugged in, Brosra had managed to sabotage the throne, and Mamine ordered the Eternal Fleet to fire on the droid, knocking it out of commission, but not destroying it.

She awoke back at the Fleet Spire a few hours later, and confirmed Lana's suspicions that there was a traitor in their midst. And since there was no way to narrow down the list of suspects, Lana asked them to approve full-time surveillance by an independent party, monitoring of even herself, to which Theron strongly opposed.  Mamine was tempted, but in the end, chose to alert the Alliance to a traitor, and to watch out for any unusual activity while still performing their day to day. This, Mamine figured, would make them suspicious of each other for a while, but still content that their Commander trusted them. And after a brief conversation with Malcom about them controlling the resources of Iokath, she was alerted that a Scion of Zakuul wanted to speak with him. The Scions informed her that their Machine Gods were now active, and that Mamine needed to gather his forces to destroy them.

It was at this point when many of her strongest allies had gathered around him, ready to aid him.  She expected Suthazi, Yokonari and Casek, as they had come to Iokath with her, as well as Master Anstrisil, who came in later, and his mercenaries. But she was surprised that Senya and Arcann join the fight, though she understood that both wanted to end the threat of the Machine Gods once and for all.

Mamine led her team into battle, going through Tyth, Aivela, Esne, Nahut and Scyva, before finally confronting Izax in one massive, climactic battle, finally destroying the Six Machine Gods, Iokath's greatest superweapons, once and for all. However, Mamine remembered one more name from Zakuulan legend; Zildrog. If these Machine Gods were the gods of Zakuulan legend, Zildrog must be a real entity as well.  She would need to deal with Zildrog when it eventually appeared, but for right now, as her allies returned to Odessen, she decided that dealing with the Traitor was more important at the moment. She'd need to keep her guard up for the near future.

Traitor Saga tomorrow, and that's it for the Rise of Mamine! Until then, stay beautiful freaks!

Sunday, December 2, 2018

SWTOR Character Tales: Rise of Mamine KOTET 7-9

Welcome back, my beautiful freaks, to the Assassin's Den! It's time to round out KOTET for Mamine!

Mamine spoke to Arcann for a few hours, and learned a great deal about his life experiences. Mamine had known of his twin Thexan, but she knew nothing about Arcann's life with him.  According to Arcann, the brothers trained to be warriors from childhood, but even though their father never showed any emotion toward them, which caused a brewing jealousy inside Arcann, these were happy times.  Arcann reminisced about his time with his brother, at Mamine's request, since she wanted him to focus on the better times to help with his redemption, and then told Arcann her own story; of her youth on Cathar, her training to be a shaman, the stories she heard of the Cathar Jedi legends of her people in Sylvar, Crado and Juhani.  She mentioned her Jedi training, her exile from Cathar, and her own quest for redemption. And as they talked, Mamine found herself drawn to Arcann in ways she hadn't connected with anyone else.  Yes, she had plenty of friends at this point; Lana, Theron, Suthazi, Yokonari, Casek, Rusk, T7, and so many others in the Alliance she considered among her friends. And if they were still alive, she'd count Doc, Scourge and Kira among her friends. But it was different with Arcann. 

A few hours after she was finally done talking to Arcann, Mamine had gathered her Force advisors for an important meeting; how to defeat Vaylin without killing her.  Now that they'd revealed her conditioning to the galaxy, Vaylin would be more dangerous due to her desire to remove the conditioning, and they needed a way to prevent Valkorian from absorbing her power, since unlike Arcann, Vaylin showed no good in her and had no desire to be a better person.  Sana-Rae had no means to do so, however, Casek presented the idea that if they timed it correctly, he could Force Walk Vaylin's ghost to prevent Valkorian from getting access to Vaylin's power. This bothered Mamine, since Casek lacked the purity to redeem her the way he did with the other Sith ghosts he bound years ago.  Anstrisil, however, brought up the idea that they could cut Vaylin off from the Force. It was a last resort, and only possible by a person who had both raw power and unquestioned purity, but unfortunately, no one there had the required purity; Anstrisil's Sith blood tainted his ability to perform the ritual, Sana-Ray was too gray, Mamine had Valkorian stuck in his head, and Suthazi was still in a very emotionally volatile time in her life for her to be considered pure enough.  Anstrisil added that the main reason he had Yokonari and Casek broken out of the Hand of Jadus' prison was for Casek to perform the ritual, but he had been driven to the Dark Side during his time in captivity.  However, Anstrisil said that, if they could find someone that had the required purity, he could teach them the ritual, but they shouldn't get their hopes up. So with a heavy heart, Mamine realized that her only choice was to kill Vaylin, a thought that didn't sit well with her, since she feared that Valkorian could absorb her power the way Casek had during his own journey to power.

When Mamine slept that night, Valkorian chose to allow Mamine to glimpse his memories of Vaylin's return to Zakuul after her conditioning on Nathema, and upon Mamine walking, Valkorian suggested that Vaylin may have found a way to break her bonds in the place they were created. Vaylin had indeed vanished from Zakuul, and when Mamine brought up the dream, Theron mentioned that he'd recieved signals from a facility on Nathema recently. A facility that, upon scanning, they found a transmission to Vaylin that was detected during the Festival. With all signs pointing that Vaylin did indeed return to Nathema, Mamine,  Lana, Theron and Suthazi geared up for battle, while Arcann stayed to watch over his still comatose mother. Mamine mentioned how she believed in Arcann at this point, believed that he could handle the Darkness there, but she understood the desire to remain near his mother while Mamine was away. He thanked Mamine for her kind words before heading off to see his mother.

Theron piloted the shuttle to Nathema, and Lana, Mamine and Suthazi began feeling the effects of the Force void before even setting foot on the planet. Even Valkorian found his power diminished in this place, though he promised to shield them from from its worst effects. Mamine mentioned this to Lana and Suthazi, and said she hoped this would weaken him enough for them to perform their mission without him getting in the way, leaving Theron behind in the shuttle, which he returned to orbit so he wouldn't be affected by the void in the Force.

Making their way through the planet's surface, which was left lifeless ever since the Ritual of Nathema over a millennia ago, the trio reached the Sanitarium, the only structure still showing signs of life on the planet, with Vaylin already inside. Dispatching several Horizon Guards, Nathema Zealots and Keepers, the three explored the inner workings of the Sanitarium, learning about Vaylin's past there from holorecording left by an Anomid named Jarak, a name Mamine recognized as the architect of Felix Irresso's current mental state.


Meanwhile, the ritual to break Vaylin's bonds went out of control, with Vaylin's power vaporizing those in her vicinity. However, Mamine, Lana and Suthazi came upon Jarak, who offered to take them to a place where they could take shelter. Mamine didn't trust Jarak after what was done to Felix, but recognized that this was not the time to act upon the distrust; the three of them would be able to handle any trap that Jarak set up.

 In the Sanitarium's lower levels they reached the Immortal Emperor's vault, where Vitiate stored artifacts even he deemed to dangerous, and the group barely managed to get inside in time. Once inside, Mamine recognized that Valkorian was somehow blocked inside this room, and finding the door stuck, Mamine realized that this was likely their only chance to hide something from Valkorian. Lana and Mamine went to activate the backup power generator, while  Suthazi killed the vault guardian that killed Jarak, having done her best to defend the man. Inside, the three made an important discovery of Dramath's holocron, which still housed the essence of Vitiate's father that he killed over 1300 years ago. Dramath told them that the holocron held the power to destroy "Tenabrae", Vitiate's birth name, once and for all. Dramath asked to release him and grant him oblivion, to which Lana disagreed, but in the end, Mamine's Jedi mindset won out and Mamine released Dramath from his purgatory. Mamine then ordered Lana to take care of the holocron, since she wanted to keep the fact that they had it a secret since as soon as they stepped outside, Valkorian would have access to Mamine's body once again. Eventually unlocking the door that trapped them inside and defeating several Voreclaws, the three learned from Theron that Vaylin has already left the surface and escaped the Sanitarium which now threatened to collapse. Mamine, Suthazi and Lana rushed outside where Theron picked them up, but before they could rest, they learned from Bey'wan Aygo that Vaylin launched another assault on Odessen.

Returning to Odessen, the team found the battle already raging on multiple fronts. Theron and Suthazi volunteered to sneak behind the enemy's lines, both from different avenues, while Lana and Mamine made their way to the Gravestone, which was still in dry dock, unable to take off until the Iokath upgrades were completed. Commandeering an Eternal Empire Walker, Mamine and Lana made their way through the front lines, eventually meeting Arcann and the now awoken Senya Tirall at the Gravestone, as it was finally able to take off.  Pleased to see Senya at full strength, Senya renewed her commitment to the Alliance, Mamine and the desire to stop Vaylin once and for all.  Mamine just looked at Arcann and smiled slightly, pleased to know he was okay before turning her attention to the task at hand.

Lana went to join Theron while Mamine contacted Vaylin via a holo-call, successfully taunting her to abandon the safety of her flagship and travel to Odessen surface for a face-to-face confrontation. Immediately after, Mamine contacted Anstrisil, who told her that he had not found anyone who could perform the ritual. Mamine on her own on that front.

Mamine, Arcann and Senya fought through the battlefield, having picked up Suthazi along the way, only to receive a message that Vaylin was holding Torian hostage, and that Vaylin awaited on the Alliance landing platform. It didn't take long after that for Mamine and Vaylin's family to get to Vaylin, and did their best to duel her, though not before she killed Torian before they could stop her. The four were required to duel Vaylin the best they could, a battle Vaylin could not win on four fronts, granting Mamine the opportunity she needed to defeat the insane Empress. However, they had no time to rest, as Vaylin chose to unleash her power to bring down the Alliance base. With Vaylin's power raging out of control, she began causing a massive Force Storm, leaving Mamine no choice but to strike her down. And just as she suspected, Vaylin's soul was absorbed into Mamine, confirming that eating his children was part of Valkorian's plan.

 As Vaylin laid dead, Senya and Arcann lamented her loss, but were relieved that the conflict was over, though their spirits were dampened when Mamine informed them of what happened. Suthazi was the most concerned; Mamine had been fighting off Valkorian successfully for quite some time, but how, he had a LOT more power at his disposal to combat Mamine with. Mamine, however, had to admit that this was a victory; the fighting on Odessen was over as Zakuulan forces surrendered en masse. The war was not, however, as with Eternal Throne empty the GEMINI Captains have gone rogue, bombarding the capital worlds of Coruscant, Dromund Kaas and Zakuul into rubble. Mamine grumbled, since claiming the Eternal Throne was the only way to stop the destruction, which she knew was part of Valkorian's plan, but she also knew she had friends supporting her and helping her from descending into Darkness, and was forced to lead the Alliance to Zakuul.

Catching some sleep on their way via the Gravestone, Mamine experienced a vision of the Eternal Throne surrounded by their allies and Vaylin, who rose from the dead to strike them down. Waking up, Mamine feared that this was how Valkorian was going to win, and ordered Suthazi to bring Dramath's holocron along. Valkorian intervened again, dismissing it as a useless dusty trinket, and Suthazi could finally feel his presence in the Force, illustrating how much more powerful he was now. More powerful than even Mamine's iron will, which worried them both.

The major players then gathered on the bridge, with entire fleet at their back, where after dropping out of hyperspace, they witnessed the Spire blockaded by the Eternal Fleet, though Iokath upgrades of the Gravestone allowed Tora, the new Commanding Officer of the Gravestone, to breach the blockade. Suthazi, Senya and Arcann volunteered to accompany Mamine to the Eternal Throne and together they traveled down to surface in a boarding pod that landed in the Garden of Izax. The four of them made their way to the Spire as the Eternal Fleet burned Zakuul around them, receiving unexpected assistance from Indo Zal and his Zakuulan rebels. Fighting through the skytroopers and Knights of Zakuul, they finally took a turbolift to the Eternal Throne, but Valkorian tried to seed doubt in Mamine's mind, telling him to strike down Suthazi, Senya and Arcann to avoid any competition for the Throne, something that irritated Mamine since she would never strike down the two most important people in her life for the sake of power, though she simply stated "one more word out of you, and I'm giving back to Arcann just to spite you."

After entering the Eternal Throne room, Arcann was taken aback at seeing his old Throne and lamented the death of millions he caused while holding it, while Senya assured him that he became a better man since then. However, it was this moment when Mamine found herself moving without any desire to, and walked up to it and took the Throne, which sent a shock through her body and pacified the Fleet. Senya congratulated her, but immediately afterward, Valkorian revealed his ultimate goal, dominating Mamine's will and forcing her to kneel and proclaiming his desire to eradicate the Mamine's mind and take possession of his body, shocking her into nothingness and forcing her mind to go black.

Suthazi freaked out at what had just happened to her Master.  Mamine was the reason she had worked so hard to control the hamask defect that the two of them shared, working tirelessly to understand her triggers into such a berserker rage.  She started to run toward Mamine, not knowing what to do but knowing she had to do something before Arcann grabbed her by her arm and forced her to see the Skytroopers coming out of the lift. "We can't save Mamine if these droids kill us." he said to the Padawan, who was still in an emotional turmoil, but she knew that Arcann was looking out for all of them, and Suthazi was forced to draw her lightsaber and start deflecting blaster fire.


Suthazi chose to focus more on deflecting fire back at the droids, instead of just away from herself as she frantically thought of ways to help Mamine, eventually remembering the holocron she had in her robes; Dramath's holocron. During a short lull in the combat, Suthazi told Senya her plan; she would meditate on the holocron, sending her energy through it and into Mamine, in hopes to strengthen her resolve against the demon controlling her.  Senya agreed, and said that she and Arcann would hold the Skytroopers off while the girl did what she had to.

Suthazi found herself in a barren wasteland, with Mamine and Vitiate standing at the top of a a group of stairs.  Vitiate summoned Vaylin's enslaved spirit, proving that his will was stronger than his daughters, and placed her under his spell and commanded his daughter to destroy Mamine.  Suthazi chose this moment to leap into battle, drawing her lightsaber and clashed with Vaylin, telling her Master to not give up, they could win this together.

Mamine was surprised to see her Padawan, but quickly figured that she was a representation of her own strength;  that a battle of the minds was determined by who had the stronger will, and since Mamine's will was stronger than Valkorian's, she had what she needed to win. However, Mamine was also much more creative, and while "Suthazi" was battling Vaylin, Mamine drew the holocron that she had grabbed to regain her form and used it on Vaylin, freeing her from her father's mind control. At this point, Arcann appeared inside her mind, which, Mamine figured, symbolized her own desire to be a better person.

Mamine, "Suthazi" and "Arcann" were able to convince Vaylin to join them against Valkorian, however, as Valkorian began to summon up power to battle the trio, Mamine decided that enough was enough, and used Vaylin's conditioning code, "Kneel before the Dragon of Zakuul" to turn the tables on Valkorian and rob the Emperor of his strength. Valkorian was horrified that this worked, claiming that this only worked on Vaylin, Mamine smugly stated "This isn't your mind, Valkorian; it's mine. And in my mind, what I say goes. And I say what works on Vaylin, works on you." This delighted Vaylin, who demanded that her father "Kneel before the Dragon of Zakuul", in a way saying that Mamine, not Vitiate, was the Dragon that held all the power now.

With Valkorian overpowered and helpless, "Senya" joined her children in Mamine's mind and together the family watched the "Immortal Emperor" shout his final words, which were purely insults and condemning their weakness, though Mamine shot back that their "weakness" is what gave them the strength to end him once and for all before she put a final end to Vitiate's millennia-long existence.

Back in the physical world, Suthazi said "we did it", cluing in to Mamine that they had not been representations of her own strength like she thought, but had actually been in there, lending their strength to hers. Senya congratulated the Commander on finally putting an end to Valkorion and opened a system-wide holochannel to announce the Alliance victory. However, this was the point when Mamine finally recognized what this moment was; Lord Scourge's prophesy.  The players were different, with Senya being the one to put the crown upon her head, but all the aspects of the prophesy were there; people kneeling before her as whe held Vitiate's power in his hand. She looked at Suthazi, realizing this was a critical moment in her training. She looked at Arcann, the man who showed how much that Throne could corrupt even the most noble of people, and she decided that she would not follow the prophesy to completion; she would not take the throne, instead, allowing Zakuul to finally rule itself. From there, she proclaimed the age of the Eternal Alliance, unifying the military of Zakuul and the Eternal Fleet with the cause of the Alliance, with the Eternal Throne dismantled and the controls moved to Odessen and the Eternal Fleet now under his control.

In the coming days, Mamine took some time to talk to her people, to see how they were settling in to a peaceful future. Yokonari and Casek remained so they could have resources to continue to work on Yokonari's cure for the Hand of Jadus' plague, and Suthazi remained to complete her Jedi training. But what surprised Mamine was the fact that Anstrisil chose to remain with the Alliance. Anstrisil said that the Empire had nothing for him; the White Knights were gone, and the rest of the Sith would destroy a light sider. But he also said that the Republic had little to offer as well. People were willing to give him a chance as a Jedi when his face was covered by his hood, but they were always suspicious of his intentions when they finally saw he was Pureblood Sith. At least in the Alliance, that didn't matter, and he could continue to do good for the galaxy here.

However, Mamine knew it was time to talk to her Padawan about Suthazi's feelings toward Mamine. She took Suthazi to her Defender so they'd have some privacy, and was blunt; she knew Suthazi had feelings for Mamine.  She could sense them for quite some time, but with the war going on, she had so many more important things to teach her to help her survive the battles. But now that it was over, it was time for Suthazi to confront the truth. Mamine stressed that having feelings for someone wasn't wrong, but Suthazi needed to recognize where she was at in life; she may be a Jedi Padawan, she may be an experienced diplomat, she may be a battle tested warrior and a leader in her own right, but she was still only 15. And that age was a very difficult one, with all the emotional and physical changes she was currently going through.  She asked if Suthazi had meditated on her feelings recently, and whether the young woman had determined if these feelings were actually how she felt about Mamine, or if they were just a desire to hold on to a level of stability that she hadn't had for a couple years between when she lost her first Master and found Mamine. Suthazi was forced to admit, to both Mamine and herself, that she hadn't, and she didn't know.

Mamine then added that she had sensed Suthazi's jealousy toward Arcann. She said that jealousy could lead to Darkness, and that was the last that someone like they needed. She reminded Suthazi that even if Arcann did take Mamine away from Suthazi after her Jedi training was complete, that was part of life.  Suthazi was going to need to become an independent Jedi Knight anyway within the next few years, living her own life her own way, so getting this attached to Mamine wasn't healthy for Suthazi.  And Suthazi finally recognized what was going on; Mamine had feelings for Arcann, not Suthazi.  However, she realized that in some way, this made her happy; her Master was happy, even if it wasn't with her. So she just smiled a sad smile and said that, whatever happens, she's just glad that Mamine was her friend and her teacher, and Mamine just smiled warmly. Mamine said that, when she was older and had some years as a Knight under her belt, there would be nothing wrong with Suthazi seeking out love in another.  But for now, she had some growing up to do.  Suthazi agreed, and headed off the Defender to meditate on what she had learned today.



All was relatively quiet as Mamine's Eternal Fleet patrolled the galaxy, assisting in recovery efforts on Zakuul and everywhere else. But Mamine knew that this wouldn't last forever.

And there's the start of the Arcann romance.  I'll add some more into the next chapter, and confirm it in the final chapter. Look forward to them, and stay beautiful freaks!