Author Topic: Shadow of Shadren - Summary Thread  (Read 2588 times)

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Offline Noth

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Shadow of Shadren - Summary Thread
« on: 10/19/17, 03:19:57 PM »
On Iridonia, a king dreams of darkness...
On Shadren, a people search for their queen...
Two planets - two factions - rest poised at the edge of conflict.

Can you avert it? Would you begin it? Will you join it?

Known to those with their ears to the ground:

Some time ago, a local news channel on Iridonia aired the following broadcast. The broadcast was quickly pulled from all channels, but enterprising slicers and the savvy local viewer will remember this feed:


"Shoppers in the sleepy town of Tira'Osh found themselves in the middle of a conflict between three Force users during a duel in front of the local cantina. According to witnesses, a Human woman—identified only as a Sith—spent some time drifting through the town's market square before being confronted. The two others, a local Sang and an unidentified Zabrak, confronted the woman, leading to sabres drawn. We bring you footage of that moment now."

Blurry footage, from an unhelpful angle, just barely shows three figures: an imposing Zabrak man in brown leathers holding a metal zhaboka and his back to the camera, a slim, hooded, Human female with a red-black lightsaber, and a ruddy-skinned Zabrak with a white sabre whose jato are obscured. They appear to be in standoff. When they do start moving, the jostling camera and the blur of the lightsabers makes it difficult to discern the action.

"Townspeople gathered in the local hall while the fight occurred. The conflict ended when a ship carrying members of the Zabrak Army landed in the market square, surrounded the combatants, and arrested the Sith. Neither the Sang nor the remaining Force user could be located afterwards for questioning. The Sith is still believed to be in custody."

Since that short-lived broadcast, neither hair nor sabertrail has been seen of this mysterious Sith, nor the people she dueled. Rumor persists, however, and those seeking answers may find ones if they go looking...

Known to members of the Jedi Order, the Office of the Chancellor, and upper echelons of the Zabrak Army:

Kal'Edar Ayrak Malid, current king of Iridonia and arbiter of the Iridonian High Council, approached Jedi and their allies gathered at the Jedi Custodum on Coruscant in search of aid. While there, he revealed that he has been holding none other than Queen Vedriat Azeara, sovereign of the Shadren Hegemony, as his prisoner for a little under two weeks.

The Kal'Edar is holding Queen Azeara under the charge of inciting violence and unlawful ingress as a Sith Lord on a Republic world. He further suspects her of spying or scouting for an attack on Iridonia, although she claims to have been hunting a traitor to the Sith Empire. The Kal'Edar himself claims to have followed a Force Vision speaking of a shadow threatening Iridonia. When pressed, he revealed that he has not yet informed the Iridonian High Council nor the Republic Senate--aside from, after Jedi prompting, the Office of the Chancellor--for fear of warmongering.

In response, a Jedi delegation has set out for Iridonia to interview Vedriat, discern the truth of the situation, and discuss how to proceed. King Ayrak has expressed a willingness to cooperate with whatever decision the Jedi come to regarding his prisoner, and will seek Republic military aid should a conflict arise, but is focused on finding a solution which does not end in war.

When last we met them, the Jedi delegation left, in the escort of Ayrak and his clan, to Iridonian space...

Known to the Empire and the Shadren Hegemony:

Known to the Empire and the Shadren Hegemony:

Queen Vedriat Azeara has been working very hard to restore the tarnished reputation of her people. Since her ascension as the sole ruler of the Shadren Hegemony, Vedriat has sent ships to serve in the engagement on Iokath, denounced the traitorous "Darth" Taelios and raided his megafactory on Shadren IV, provided the documentation of the Valefor's legal secession of the Sith Empire, and called forward her allies within the Sith to speak on her behalf.

Now, however, trouble sparks from the already inflamatory existence that is the Hegemony. A pulled, Iridonian news broadcast suggests the capture of an unknown Sith, and queries and statements from the recently vocal Shadren fall suddenly silent. There are rumours that Lady Tymeis, Vedriat's most trusted servant, reaches out surreptitiously to her believed allies...

Do you take this opportunity to end the threat of the Shadren Hegemony once and for all? Do you use it to bring the headstrong nation under your heel? Or do you seek to aid the Empire's ally, regardless of any claims against it? Act now, for the window ever closes...
The Jedi: Bren (Archaeologist), Iirim (Healer), Zorru (Recruiter), Orans (Master), Aybekk (Padawan)
The Politicians: Varooth (Senator), Seirion (Aide/Spy), Ayrak (King)
The Mandos: Urziya (Rallymaster), Terr (Chieftain)
The Outlaws: Telen (Slicer), Majia (Pirate/Smuggler)
The Imperials: Athuuna (Agent), Zhekrazh (Lord), Z'ridia (Apprentice)

Offline Karmic

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Re: Shadow of Shadren - Summary Thread
« Reply #1 on: 10/19/17, 05:21:21 PM »
Plot question - and something I've never been clear on.

I was under the impression that the general Imperials and most Sith would have no idea about the "threat" of the Shadren Hegemony - no idea about raising and using undead, etc.

Is this not the case?  Is this now more common knowledge?  Just want to clarify this before I figure out Karmic's stance and what is, and is not - actual IC information (vs. ooc).

I know Malagant "knows something" but he's certainly never gone into public detail about what he knows; and I know he's never talked to Karmic about his suspicions or whatever.  So it could be viewed more as one Darth just going after another for no "real reason other than power" (vs. undead/sith alchemy stuff...).

So yea wanted to clarify what exactly about the Hegemony "most of us" would already be aware of.

I mean it may still be hush hush as much as possible and that's fine - just want to know for sure.

Fankies!  :aww:

History Posts:  Her Backstory , Darth-Hood

Offline Joshmaul

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Re: Shadow of Shadren - Summary Thread
« Reply #2 on: 10/20/17, 01:12:25 AM »
Shadren has a public HoloNet channel, and I believe Dorian has, on a number of occasions, mentioned "skeleton care" in some of the things he's posted in the News Channel Feed thread (though typically as a "next on the news, how to care for your skeletons" sort of thing). So I think the fact that the Hegemony reanimates the dead is known, though to what degree is unclear.
Circled tomb of a different age
Secret lines carved on ancient stone
Heroic kings laid down to rest
Forgotten is the race that no one knows

Offline Noth

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Re: Shadow of Shadren - Summary Thread
« Reply #3 on: 10/20/17, 02:17:11 AM »
@Karmic - Dass is working on a post summarizing what is and is not known about Shadren's history. Stay tuned!
The Jedi: Bren (Archaeologist), Iirim (Healer), Zorru (Recruiter), Orans (Master), Aybekk (Padawan)
The Politicians: Varooth (Senator), Seirion (Aide/Spy), Ayrak (King)
The Mandos: Urziya (Rallymaster), Terr (Chieftain)
The Outlaws: Telen (Slicer), Majia (Pirate/Smuggler)
The Imperials: Athuuna (Agent), Zhekrazh (Lord), Z'ridia (Apprentice)

Offline Karmic

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Re: Shadow of Shadren - Summary Thread
« Reply #4 on: 10/20/17, 09:29:58 AM »
@Karmic - Dass is working on a post summarizing what is and is not known about Shadren's history. Stay tuned!

Gotcha - and sure thing, of course! I figured it might prompt a good summary to help everyone out :).

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Offline Mourne

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Re: Shadow of Shadren - Summary Thread
« Reply #5 on: 10/20/17, 11:49:18 AM »
@Karmic - Dass is working on a post summarizing what is and is not known about Shadren's history. Stay tuned!

I think she already posted that here:;topicseen#new (reply #16).

Offline Karmic

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Re: Shadow of Shadren - Summary Thread
« Reply #6 on: 10/20/17, 09:54:59 PM »
Yea I read this thread right before that one =D...but already

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Offline Noth

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Re: Shadow of Shadren - Summary Thread
« Reply #7 on: 10/25/17, 07:08:33 AM »
The newest installment of summaries and transcripts! Please, if you have OOC comments and questions, do not post in this thread, but go to the OOC thread to post them. Keep this thread purely for the IC content. Thank you @Dassalya for the massive help with transcribing.

Available to members of the Jedi delegation to Iridonia and close allies of the Kal'Edar:

A series of interview logs is kept by the Kal'Edar's intellience network and the Zabrak Army, recording all discussions with Queen Vedriat Azaera. These logs are encrypted and closely protected, but are available to those people Ayrak has called in to help with the situation. Logs 1 and 2 are dated not longer after Vedriat's capture. Logs 3-6 are more recent and all took place in the span of a single Galactic Standard day and night.

Log 1: Vedriat's Effects

Spoiler: show
Recovered from Vedriat's person upon her capture:

A single-bladed lightsaber, Sith design.

A tracking beacon, inactive.

A disposable communicator. It shows three logged incoming calls, each from the same frequency, and no outgoing. Each call was placed after the time of Vedriat's capture. The identity of the caller remains unknown.

Clothes and rations for a trip of only a few days.

A false passport showing Vedriat's face and identifying her as Velora Mirad, aged 35, of a small, inconspicuous, Mid-Rim, Republic planet. It is noted that the passport was never used, and investigation revealed Vedriat used Force mind tricks to bypass travel and customs agents.

Log 2: Interview - Vedriat, Juz Malid

Spoiler: show
[Vedriat lounges in the couch in her cell, idly reading the contents of the datapad. The camera outside the cell shows Ayrak standing, arms crossed. Vedriat takes a moment to finish what she's reading before unhurriedly setting it aside.]

Ayrak: Settling in well?

Vedriat: As well as one can be expected in a prison, yes.

[Vedriat stands, casually, and steps towards the containment field.]

Vedriat: To what do I owe the pleasure, your Majesty?

Ayrak: Kal'Edar. My people stand on ceremony. They do not kneel to me. Something our peoples do not have in common.

Vedriat: The weak deserve to kneel to the strong. To do otherwise encourages complacency in both those lesser and otherwise.

Ayrak: This is Iridonia. Those who survive are strong, by their will or by their clan. As for why I am here... I know better now who you are.

Vedriat: And?

Ayrak: I think that you have very few friends among the Empire. But you are still Sith. And you are still intruding on a Republic planet.

Vedriat: Should I bow my head? Throw myself at your feet and beg for mercy?

Ayrak: No. I find it unlikely you would, and it wouldn't increase by disposition. Why did you come here?

Vedriat: Would you believe me if I said I merely wished to take a walk?

Ayrak: The man you followed here... I take it he was your quarry. But I have no discounted the idea that you spy for the Empire.

[Vedriat laughs and spreads her arms.]

Vedriat: Yes, indeed, I am the very boogyman haunting your every step from inside my insular cell.

Ayrak: Spied. You know what I mean.

Vedriat: What are we but animals if we do not execute precision of language?

Ayrak: We are animals. Playing games with words is shadows only.

Vedriat: Ah, but am I not a monster from the shadows, hereto eat your children and corrupt your youth? Do you blame me for acting as my nature?

Ayrak: Perhaps you should spend some time hunting, if you believe animals act only to their 'natures.' As for yours... You are from a place where there are no shadows. You cannot cast them from so far within.

Vedriat: I think you underestimate the length of my reach. [Her tone darkens, then brightens suddenly.] But are you here to posture or are you here to converse? Surely you do not think you can win against a Sith.

[Ayrak folds his arms again.]

Ayrak: You have not answered my question. Why are you here?

Vedriat: [Sighs audibly] And here I was beginning to enjoy our conversation. If I tell you, I shall wish for a small sheet of metal in return--durable, if I may so request.

Ayrak: Something you can fashion into a tool of escape? I think not.

Vedriat: Surely you will not deny me practice while I remain your captive. I request so that I might not utilize something of value to you. [She gestures around.] If I had the desire, I would simply tear it from the walls. I will not be so uncouth as to disregard your hospitality by escaping so early in our acquaintanceship.

Ayrak: And what will you practice... Your swordsmanship? Manipulation of the Force? The tools you already have should be no different.

Vedriat: Fine, fine. Let it be so. I shall destroy my own conveniences for your conscience, then.

Ayrak: Dodging the question of what you need it for... We will grant you the sheet metal. Expect that you will be watched, however.

Vedriat: Is it not already so?

Ayrak: [Grunts audibly] What is your purpose here?

Vedriat: As a show of good faith, I shall answer before demanding my payment. I cam here to aprehend a traitor. I have no designs against you or your people. Is that enough?

Ayrak: A traitor who has declared sanctuary and came here under the impetus of pilgrimage. Why go yourself?

[Vedriat spreads her hands again.]

Vedriat: Come now. I will not do you a disservice by assuming my motives are not clear. You admitted yourself that you have researched me.

Ayrak: To endear yourself to the Empire. Or because you value subterfuge over conquest. Remind me why I should not take these things as threats?

Vedirat: He did not claim sanctuary until after I made myself known. Does that not concern you?

Ayrak: No. I may follow the tug of fate as much as you or your quarry. My senses tell me to trust his intentions and to distrust what you bring with you.

Vedriat: I am flattered you find me so frightening a threat. But I would caution you, Kal'Edar: A traitor, oce made, finds it easier to betray once again.

[Ayrak shakes his head.]

Ayrak: You are a herald, if I am right. But keff is quiet yet, so... this does not tip things. [A pause] I am aware of that.

Vedriat: Then I am glad to see I'm not imprisoned by a fool.

[Ayrak leans against the wall between the cell and the outside chamber.]

Ayrak: I would ask you about your people...

[Vedriat spreads her arms welcomingly.]

Vedriat: Ask away. My schedule is quite open, as you can imagine.

Ayrak: [Huffs audibly] Indeed. [A pause] You raise the dead.

Vedriat: Ha! [She laughs] So the rumors have reached even here, I see.

Ayrak: I have done my research, and I do not think it a rumor.

Vedriat: Then again, you are not a fool... My husband commands the dead as if they were the living soldiers of his armies. I would not advise you to cross him.

Ayrak: And yet your husband is dead. Or do you also practice necromancy on your own mate?

Vedriat: I do not use that power for such petty things. [Her tone intensifies] My husband may be withdrawn from the galaxy's politics, but he is not deaf to them. He will come for me if you retain me in your keeping. It is a battle that your people cannot win. Do not test the surety of my words.

Ayrak: I do not doubt your surety. But the darkness I sense was coming before you arrived on this planet... It is not your people and their dead. And I do not think corpses can accomplish what Sith and Mandalorians could not.

Vedriat: [Softly] Would your people fight their own? When the farms are burned and there is sickness in the streets, would their strength endure against that which has no limit?

Ayrak: You know what we call farming, in Zabraki? It is akin to our word for 'futility.' We test ourselves against the planet itself, and the dead form the root our foundation to... the Force. [A pause] Our soldiers are strong, and we have fought our own before. I think we would fare better than you believe.

Vedriat: I have warned you. I wash my hands of whatever happens next.

Ayrak: You wash your hands? You should have considered that before you intruded yourself, rather than send a hunter to gather your traitor.

Vedriat: Some things one must do oneself.

Ayrak: [Grunts audibly] Perhaps not the smartest decision.

Vedriat: If all you have to offer are insults, I will return to my reading.

[Ayrak nods subtly.]

Ayrak: I have asked my questions.

Vedriat: You cannot keep me here. You understand this.

Ayrak: Perhaps not indefinitely, no.

Vedriat: Then end this charade and let us part ways. There is no need for our peoples to throw themselves at each other. I am certain we both have enemies on which our forces are spent.

Ayrak: I remain unconvinced my people are not on that list. Until I am... enjoy your reading.

Vedriat: ... until then.

[Ayrak turns to leave. Vedriat turns away from the containment field and kneels in the center of her cell. There is a moment of quiet. Ayrak turns back temporarily, then looks to the guard.]

Ayrak: Tominyet shar oen, vyshtal.

Guard: Vi, Kal'Edar.

[Ayrak leaves.]

Several hours pass in which the only motion is the guard occasionally fidgeting and Vedriat meditating in her cell.[/i]

Vedriat: ... if you require the restroom, I ive my word that I will not attempt an escape while you use it.

Guard: [Audible snort] Wouldn't have this job if I were attached to the fresher. Guess you're alive after all.

Vedriat: Was there doubt?

[The guard rubs the back of his neck, the way one would to seek out an insect bothering them.]

Guard: ... ajmagni ushmag...

Vedriat: My translator was confiscated upon my capture. What did you say?

Guard: Said Sith magic won't work. Been forewarned you might try something.

[Vedriat stands and turns to the guard.]

Vedriat: I doubt you have ever seen Sith 'magic.' There is not enough fear in your eyes.

Guard: Seen what the Kal'Edar can do. Close enough.

[Vedriat moves a step closer.]

Vedriat: No. No it is not.

Guard: So I suppose you're just... sitting there because you want to, huh?

Vedriat: [Laughs] Sometimes there is prudence in surrender. I am alive, am I not? [She motions to the cell] I am treated with as much dignity as can be afforded a prisoner... And for now, that is all I require.

[The door to the cell area opens, and the guard nods to whoever is arriving. The footage cuts, then skips forward.

When the footage returns, Vedriat's demeanor has shifted: She crouches, filled with rage. She looks directly into the camera and makes a gesture with her hand. There is the sound of crushing metal, and the holo-footage becomes static. The audio continues.]

Guard: I can still see you.

[The sound of some object smashing into pieces.]

Vedriat: You know nothing! You know NOTHING! [A pause] Yes, shoot me. Shoot me! Or haven't you the courage to take a single action of your own!?

[The door opens again, followed by footsteps. The next voice is Ayrak's.]

Ayrak: I suppose you took my advice to practice with what you had a little too literally.

Vedriat: I apologize. I was a little vexed.

Ayrak: Hmm. See that you do not become 'vexed' at anything that lives.

Vedriat: I have already restrained myself.

Ayrak: Try to keep it that way...

Log 3: Interview - Vedriat, Knight Merrant and Padawan Harkasone Milan

Spoiler: show
[Vedriat lounges on the couch in her cell, reading a datapad with a bored, displeased expression. The two Jedi approach--a Zabrak and a human. The Zabrak knocks on the wall between the cell and interview chamber.]

Merrant: Miss Mirad? [A pause] Enjoying the accomodations?

Vedriat: Come now. Let us not start on the wrong foot, shall we? You know very well who I am, as I know very well that you do. Welcome to my abode.

[She makes an elegant gesture around the cell.]

Vedriat: Forgive the mediocracy. I find myself without my usual amenities on hand.

Merrant: Odd. [He looks at the passport] This appears to be the passport of Velora Mirad. The picture looks quite a bit like you.

Vedriat: The Shadreni have made quite a sport of finding lookalikes among the populace. Curious, isn't it?

Merrant: I suggest you get used to the amenities. It's a rather nice cell for a spy.

Vedriat: [Sighs audibly] And here I was hoping we might have a conversation before the namecalling began.

[Vedriat stands and turns to face the two Jedi.]

Merrant: Just sightseeing then? With a fake passport?

Vedriat: My actual one tends to acquire significant interest, as you can imagine.

Merrant: Burdens of being a head of state. But forgery of official documents and the use of them to bypass customs is a serious offense.

[Hark crosses his arms as he watches.]

Merrant: Mostly because spies use that method. Tends to ruin all of the trust.

Vedriat: Hm. I don't recall using it to bypass customs. Does it still count?

Merrant: Did you go through customs using this passport?

Vedriat: No, I did not.

Hark: How did you get through customs?

Merrant: Ah, so you simply avoided customs entirely, after arriving from offworld. Also, generally speaking, a serious offense.

Vedriat: So is being a Sith, in the Republic. Is there anythin else you would like to add to the list of charges?

Merrant: Just emphasizing your current situation. What were you doin here?

Vedriat: Did you not decide I was here sightseeing?

Merrant: If you want to leave this cell, you might have a better answer than that. The local authorities are well within their right to hold you for a very long time, given your crimes, the general political situation with the Sith Empire and its affiliates, and a general distrust of those taking part in espionage.

[Vedriat steps up to the containment field.]

Vedriat: Ah, but we both know that won't be happening. The Kal'Edar went to you because he understands the situation is precarious. And he is rightly concerned. Is it truly in your interests--or his--to antagonize me? To antagonize those... close to me?

[Hark scratches his chin. Merrant shrugs.]

Merrant: Honestly, I'm mostly here for the free trip and some traditional Zabrak cuisine. None of the meat on Coruscant tastes right. Even the stasis-preserved bantha steaks. Oh, and you'll probably just be executed eventually. You know how desert cultures can be, they don't place much value on long-term internment, just a waste of precious resources.

Vedriat: My poor man, my poor, poor Jedi. [She shakes her head] I am disappointed that you have not even done a little research.

Merrant: The meat here's that bad?

Vedriat: Abominably so. As poor as certain individual's manners.

[She motions to Hark.]

Merrant: Might just be inferior human taste buds. Or that prison fare remains prison fare.

[Vedriat's attention remains on Hark.]

Vedriat: Not even a hello? Not an inquiry into my health or estate? I am hurt. So very hurt.

Hark: Apologies. You seemed so into your conversation with Merrant, I didn't want to interrupt.

Merrant: I'll mention that you might prefer something shipped from off-world for your last meal. Cultural respect is of great importance to the Jedi Order.

[Vedriat looks to Merrant.]

Vedriat: Do stop tryin to intimidate me. It is tiresome.

Merrant: Maybe for you.

Vedriat: Hm. I suppose I should have expecte nothing more than an infantile mind from a Jedi.

Hark: Come now, Queen. Despite my friend's insistence, we really are here as... peacekeepers.

Vedriat: Ah, yes. 'Peacekeepers.' Isn't it interesting how the definition of 'peacekeeper' changes dependin on what part of the galaxy you are in?

Merrant: Things seem peaceful here.

Vedriat: Well, it is true. Your verbal sparring offers little threat. [She steps back] But if you believe this place to be 'peaceful,' well... I have been sorely misled about the Jedi.

Hark: You were too a few years ago. But in this case, the best way to do that is to catch up with my old comrade. There are so few of us left now. After all, it's interesting to see a friend return to Republic space after her kin falls asleep at his throne. I'm more sorry for the position you're in. If there's anything I can do to help...

Merrant: We both know she's not leaving this cell, not unless something big happens. And if she had something to trade, she would've done so by now.

Vedriat: [A pause] Your overtures are as transparent now as they were the day we first spoke. [She looks to Merrant] Yes, you are correct And it is such an event that I'm trying to avoid.

Merrant: [Sighs audibly] And what event is that, oh mysterious one?

Vedriat: I find myself disinclined to finish the conversation, O Ye of the Glib Tongue. I believe I find my novel of ridiculous propagandist proportions to be of more entertainment.

Merrant: We could always come back in a few days. No rush.

Hark: Why don't we play a game then?

[Vedriat moves back to her bed and picks up her datapad, looking at it.]

Vedriat: A game. A game...

Hark: Sure. I guess, and you tell me how hot or cold I am.

Vedriat: [Laughs] Oh, please... Children's games?

[She stands and crosses her arms.]

Vedriat: Fine. I will entertain this 'game' of yours. Ask your question.

Hark: It's more my statements you're going to tell me are hot or cold. Let's start with the fact that you're here. Spying is beneath you, when you have an honor guard of Force users and an entire spy network.

[Merrant leans on the wall and watches.]

Hark: That leaves what: Running, or you aim to get something here. To the first, you have kids, and you never trusted Dorian or his nobles. So you expected to return, since they aren't here.

[Vedriat crosses her arms.]

Hark: That leaves the second. You want to get or talk to someone here. How am I doing?

[Vedriat pauses a long moment, then smiles.]

Vedriat: And who would I be lookin for, here? What would I be searching for?

Merrant: Something personal?

Hark: Indeed. She's trying to stop an event.

[Hark shakes his head. Vedriat looks at Merrant.]

Vedriat: You are not part of this conversation, nor do I desire your participation. Remain silent.

Merrant: Make me.

[Vedriat turns back to Hark.]

Hark: But consider this. You came here alone. Without guards or spies. Which implies that you don't think they can handle it. Or you don't trust them for this.

Vedriat: [Amusedly] I am a Sith. Don't you know we don't trust anybody?

Merrant: [Laughs] Sith that don't trust anyone are as dead as the ones who trust everyone.

Hark: Coming from the same woman who brought her guards to that risky business with Zakuul, you'll forgive me if I don't quite believe you there.

[Vedriat waves a hand to Merrant.]

Vedriat: Yes, yes. We are all so very impressed by your expertise.

Merrant: I didn't get my sunny disposition in the Jedi Order.

[Vedriat's demeanor shifts with interest before Hark grabs her attention again.]

Hark: But the third fact. Your burner. Burners are meant to contact a select few who know the number. Considerin how long you've been in here, and how many calls we've received, you were probably here to meet someone. But, see, here's the twist. I don't actually care what you're doing. All I care about is that someone cares about what you're doing. Because the moment they realize you're bein held by the Republic, the last leader of Shadren disappears. And guess what happens to that leader's children? Power vacuums aren't kind.

Vedriat: No. No, I think you are quite cold indeed.

Merrant: We're Jedi. Cold's part of the job description. So is saving children.

Hark: Am I? Oh well. Regardless, whoever you're meeting is going to figure it out eventually. And I AM here to help you.

Vedriat: 'No emotion, peace.' As cold as they come.

Hark: So why don't you think over letting me help out? After all, I will be here all week. I hope Shadren can say the same.

[Vedriat begins to laugh.]

Merrant: Yeah, he's not good at being ominous. We will be though

Vedriat: [Continues to laugh, loud and long] Oh... Oh, dear Harkasone... [She wipes at her face] Do you truly believe the Hegemony will fall without my presence?

Hark: I only speak the truth. I have all the time in the world. Her legacy without her... does not.

[Vedriat approaches the containment field.]

Vedriat: No. No, I think you do not understand.

Merrant: [A pause] The coup already happened, didn't it?

Vedriat: Politics are not your strong suit. You seem to think my husband is gone. No, no, that is far from the case. And without me there to temper his hand... Well. Have I not tried to be accommodating in this matter?

Merrant: You think he'll go on the offensive, out of a mad vengeance.

Hark: I assure you, we both lose in that case. You would not be there to safeguard what you love, and we would fail our duties. It is to our benefit to work together. Like old times.

Vedriat: That is exactly what I keep trying to tell everyone.

Merrant: Then you need to work on your delivery.

Hark: Let us deal with whatever you have going on, and in turn, I'm sure a diplomatic solution can be found to... this. You are, after all, a guest in our house.

[Vedriat gestures to Merrant.]

Vedriat: Get this buffoon out of my sight. I tire of his company.

Merrant: Not our house, Hark.

Hark: I meant the Republic.

[Merrant looks at Vedriat.]

Merrant: I'll be blunt. You want to prevent your husband from squanderin your navy on vengeance? Start thinking of things you can trade. The politics of Shadren aren't the only ones at play here. You need to give the locals a reason to let bygones be bygones and let you go.

Vedriat: I want to save the hundreds of thousands of lives that would be destroyed by a campaign to recover me. Is that not enough?

Merrant: One student of Korriban to another? No one trusts Sith. Blame the ones that launched an invasion during peace talks. You make the first step, they can become open to it. But they're going to need something. Figure it out.

Vedriat: Does that ever eat at you in the dark hours of the night? That you will never truly belong to one side or the other--that there will always be somethin, something pulling you back from here or there? That there will always be a shard of Dark or Light within you, tainting the other pieces.

Merrant: You're not going to top my own doubts. So maybe stop playing the man and start playing the game.

[Vedriat's demeanor closes off. She begins to turn from the Jedi.]

Merrant: Besides, any Sith worth their absurd fascination with the color red knows how to turn this situation into a win-win. Find a step, find something that will help them trust you. Otherwise, this is a lose-lose.

Vedriat: The only one that loses... is you.

[Vedriat turns away fully.]

Merrant: You know your husband can't defeat the entire Republic. And you know what happens to Sith that lose. And what happens to their families.

Vedriat: [Softly] Oh, yes. I know very well.

Hark: How are the Imperials, lately?

Vedriat: This audience is over. Leave me.

[Merrant walks out. Hark shakes his head.]

Hark: Good luck, Vedriat.

[Hark leaves as well. Vedriat goes to her couch, inspecting it a moment, then turns to stare into the camera directly.]

Log 4: Interview - Vedriat, Master Niarra Reymark

Spoiler: show
[A robed Mirialan approaches the cell. Vedriat kneels in the center, meditation. Niarra brings her fingertips together and waits until Vedriat raises her head.]

Vedriat: I do not know you, and my patience is near its end. Must we do this now?

Niarra: We both know that this is now just a question of time. Given that, now would seem the opportune moment.

Vedriat: Then ask your questions and be done with it.

Niarra: When you leave this place, as inevitably you will, what must you leave Iridonia with in order to prevent an escalation that would benefit no one?

Vedriat: Nothing you can give, Jedi.

Niarra: I am inclined to guess that your court was not fully informed of your plans, otherwise demands would likely have been made by this point. And if I am correct, then it may be the case that no one except yourself had expectations of how your business here needed to go. If that is true, then it is not necessary for you to leave Iridonia with the prize you originally sought. Circumstances have changed. Other stories can be woven.

Vedriat: 'Other stories can be woven.'

[Vedriat stands and turns to face Niarra.]

Vedriat: What do you knw of pride, Jedi? Is it not one of your forbidden emotions? Is it not the fall of the Light to have it?

Niarra: To forbid it is foolishness. Pride is powerful. It fuels. It drives. It can keep a being fighting, and surviving, against otherwise insurmountable odds. Is it your pride that governs you now, Queen Azaera? Or is it prudence? Forethought? An attempt to salvage? Circumstances have changed. So must strategies.

Vedriat: Do you enjoy serving the Light, Jedi? To submitting yourself to others? To give up what you are in order to be that which you must?

[Vedriat moves as she speaks, stepping closer to the containment field.]

Niarra: I do not give up what I am. I merely fit my goals to my nature, and to my abilities. To my circumstances. Which is what everyone must do, in pride or otherwise. Sooner or later, you will successfully escape from this confinement, or you will be released from it. Neither of us should pretend otherwise. It is therefore a question of timing, and of what you leave here with.

[Vedriat approaches the field.]

Vedriat: You cannot give me what I came for, Jedi, and there is nothing on this acid-eaten rock that I desire. You will release me or you will suffer the consequences. Those are the choices.

Niarra: Those are not the choices, for consequences will come regardless. The choice is what those consequences will be, and what they will be depends on what is that you desire. Why have you not summoned help?

Vedriat: Ha! I speak so many times, and no one listens. Do you think that I will repeat myself indefinitely?

Niarra: I think that if you were confident that the Empire would back you, and the Hegemony, in the face of the political ramifications of your having been captured on a Republic world, that we would be having a very different conversation. You are a Queen with resources, but not Imperial surety. The same uncertainty of position cannot be said for your captors.

Vedriat: Do you know of Shadren?

Niarra: Tell me what I must know of Shadren, Queen Azaera.

Vedriat: [Grunts audibly] I have no patience to entertain your roundabout questions and quiet machinations. Either you play my game or I go back to reading the insipid literature I've been provided.

Niarra: We are playing the same game. It is the game that determines how many people die, if one of those people will be you, or I, and how much you stand to lose even if you survive. Or how much you can salvage. The satisfaction of victory will be fleeting, if in the long term you gain nothing toward what brought you here in the first place.

Vedriat: And why should I trust you, Jedi? You, who claim to be righteous and true but break your word and murder just as easily as any Sith?

Niarra: Vedriat Azaera, if we were all what we claim to be there would be no need to struggle, pursue ambition, or climb. We are what we strive to become. That is no less true for Queens or Sith than it is for Jedi. You do not need to trust me, but you must contend with me. We can work toward the better path, or gamble on losing it all. Is that a gamble you wish to make, here, now, for these gains?

Vedriat: What gains? There were never to be gains. Only moving from one scrap to the next, moving from one petty victory to another? Perhaps I should resolve my self not to care at all what happens, and let this world and this galaxy be consumed by that which it does not fear enough.

Niarra: It is true your initial goal here failed, and circumstances are such that those gains are likely not to be had. But the situation need not be total loss, and perhaps a new path opens. If you wished to allow the galaxy to be consumed, you woul dnot have brought your children into it. If your mission here was truly as carefully secret as it appears to have been, you have the freedom to shape the narrative.

[Vedriat's hands curl into fists. Her posture angers, then calms.]

Vedriat: You are as blind as all Jedi are.

Niarra: Am I? I see a woman trapped. In more ways than the obvious. You can accept that this, where you stand, is merely another manifestation of that cage, and view your escape from it as merely moving on to the next set of bars and boundaries and silent fury. Or you can see this unexpected place as an opportunity. I will never trust you to be true to my needs and desires, but I will trust you to be true to a goal we might find that is aligned. It is up to you whether you wish this to be an opportunity, or merely another petty victory, with petty gains to tide the moment by.

[Vedriat stares a moment, then swiftly raises her hands, as if to crush something.]

Vedriat: Prove it! Prove it, then, Jedi! Show me that your way is so much more powerful, so much wiser than mine!

[Niarra goes still, slowly moving her hands as if to manipulate something unseen. The guards near Vedriat's cell move--one to the door, the other to Niarra's side.]

Niarra: No. There is... nothing... to prove. There is only... choice. Do you... die here? Or do you... go back to your children... and seek a new way?

[Vedriat's hands become fists. She throws her hands out, then turns to channel Sith lightning towards the circuits of the door, which sparks brightly. The guard at the door curses and draws back. Niarra, unmoved, thrusts her hand out to return the Force push. The guard near Niarra tugs on her arm.]

Guard: Come, ay'Vyshtal! We can get you somewhere safer.

Niarra: Secure the cell!

[Vedriat whirls around in her cell. The bed lifts from the ground, then flies towards the joint between the containment field and the wall. Niarra moves a hand, slowing the bed. It collides hard enough to damage, but not break, the containment field, which begins to flicker and spark. The two guards draw their weapons and face the door. Vedriat lets loose another bolt of lightning, which flares spectacularly against the weakened containment field. Footsteps sound, and Ayrak appears in the room, his own weapon drawn. He circles around to Niarra's side. Both Jedi and Sith now seemingly turn their attention towards the blast doors behind the containment field--Niarra to bring them down, Vedriat to keep them up.]

Ayrak: Ay'Vyshtal! Move!

[Ayrak begins to move, and chant, slowly, too quietly for the recording to fully pick up. A point of light in the containment field brightens and spreads. The weakened field seems to strengthen and brighten. The doors jerk down, then stop, held by the Force. The bed moves again, jammed between the doors and the ground, and lightning sparks again inside the cell. In a flash of light, the containment field suddenly springs to life, and the side inside Vedriat's cell catches on fire.]

Ayrak: I give you time, Vyshtal! I cannot move objects.

[Niarra moves her hands. The bed slides back out of the way, and the door slams shut. Vedriat roars with rage, and begins to take out her fury on objects in the room.]

Niarra: Engage the seal and locks.

[The fire dies down as Ayrak's prayer does. Inside the cell, a sprinkler system activates. Niarra finally relaxes.]

Ayrak: [Breathing audibly] I think... perhaps... people should cease to mention... her children.

[The interview cuts off there, though flickering portions remain, damaged. At a certain point, they cut off entirely, becoming static again.]

Log 5: Interview - Vedriat, Taelios and Master Niarra Reymark

Spoiler: show
[A diminutive Sith Pureblood steps forwards towards Vedriat’s cell. Niarra accompanies him, but she steps to the side, not totally hidden from view, but not close either.

Vedriat’s cell is a bedraggled mess. A broken bed is pushed against one wall beside a haphazardly placed table. The sofa looks musty. Vedriat lies on the sofa, back to the door, her long, red hair loose about her. Niarra lets her hands drift together into a loose clasp and closes her eyes, as Taelios taps on the security field.]

Vedriat: Go. Away.

Tae: Vedriat, get up.

[Vedriat pushes herself up into a half sit. She turns to the door.]

Vedriat: What are you doing here?

[Vedriat twists her hair over her shoulder, combing out the tangles.]

Tae: Visiting? Why, not happy to see me?

Vedriat: It is more the questions of how you are able that concerns me.

Tae: I asked nicely. You know me well enough to know there’s not a lot stopping me from doing anything.

[Vedriat rises and steps up to the field.]

Vedriat: Then release me from this cell. [A pause] Are you loyal to me or not?

Tae: You didn’t want me to be, did you?

Vedriat: Are you playing a game?

Tae: I’m always playing a game. But no, I came here to see if I could help you… I could, you know. I could touch this force field and collapse it, I could fly you on my back back to your home… But that’s not much of a lesson for you, is it? And it puts my HOLDINGS in danger, which… we can’t have that, can we? Can’t have our alliances misconstrued?

Vedriat: Will you do it, or not?”

Tae: Your husband bids me inform you he intends to speak with the Imperial Diplomatic Service in order to become a Protectorate of the Empire. They reclaim the Belsmuth Sector, you retain your sovereignty.

[Vedriat's posture shifts to surprise. She touches a hand to her forehead and gives a small shake of her head.]

Vedriat: He— ...what?

[Niarra laces her fingers as she listens.]

Tae: Malagant and his wolves are at the door, and he seems to think you need the protection.

Vedriat: So this Empire cares nothing that— [A pause] ...will you not even do us the courtesy of pretending to give us privacy?

Niarra: If it is pretense only, then it is also purposeless. And I am not authorized to give you more than pretense.

Tae: Is that what you want? Do you want me to break the cage and rescue you?

Vedriat: Do you think I enjoy being here?

Tae: Do you want me to RESCUE you?

Vedriat: You have entirely abandoned it, haven't you. I am the only tie left.

Tae: Vedriat. Answer the question. Do you want me to rescue you and put that 'shame' on your name? 'She couldn't escape, so she turned to the traitor. The one she exiled and stripped of his title'."

[Vedriat takes another half step close to the security field, but she retreats to her former position with a wearier slump to her shoulders.]

Vedriat: What is one more shame, Taelios?

[She presses her palms against the table and leans on it.]

Vedriat: My whole life has been lived in shame. I have never escaped it.

Tael: [Sighs audibly] I... [He looks to Niarra] I...

Vedriat: [Tiredly] Go. I will not ask you to divide your loyalties.

Tae: I’m going to… do this the diplomatic way. I promise to get you back home to your children.

[The force field flickers a bit. Taelios, distracted, turns to leave and pauses by Niarra.]

Tae: Please continue to afford her every comfort available.

[Niarra opens her eyes and looks to Taelios. She turns and moves to walk with him as he leaves the cell. Vedriat does not move from her position at the table. There is a long period of time with no motion or words, after which the door opens again, and Niarra returns to the cell. She lowers herself into a seat on her side of the force field. Vedriat is preoccupied with a holo-image.]

Niarra: Did he allow you a moment to see them?

Vedriat: [A pause] No. He gave me a lewdly dancing Sith woman.

[Niarra nods.]

Niarra: I hope that you will be reunited with them in peace.

Vedriat: Why do you care?

Niarra: Because, above all else, my greatest desire in resolving this situation is to find a resolution in which no one suffers.

Vedriat: There is no ‘no one suffers,' Jedi. We are enemies. If you return me to mine, you give them greater strength to defy you. And if you withhold me, you weaken them. That is the situation.

Niarra: The situation, like the crystals we both know, has facets. I withhold you, and I anger them to action I do not want. I return you, and you may act to prevent needless slaughter. The suffering will have been yours alone, in what you are enduring now. I would wish for none at all, but I cannot change what has already happened.”

Vedriat: Is that all you came here for? To discuss my ‘suffering?'

Niarra: I came to discuss, I hope, a way in which we might ease it. I came because I wonder what messages Taelios delivered to you with his choice of words. I came because I need to understand you better. In all that I do, I am seeking only that hope that the solution of least pain might be found. I may not succeed. But I will not accept that defeat without trying.

Vedriat: [Huffs audibly] How very Jedi of you.

Niarra: In a refusal to accept defeat, Jedi and Sith are not that different. It is in our definitions of defeat where we most often differ. But I do not think that must be the case here.

[Vedriat turns to face Niarra. Her hands drop to her sides.]

Vedriat: Am I your latest project, Jedi? Would you see me ‘come into the Light’ and abandon my evil ways?

Niarra: No. That is a fantasy far beyond my aims here. I would also not so demean your predicament. What concerns me is greater by far than you, or me, or this room. But I do believe that it is in this room that a solution might be found.

Vedriat: And what would you have me do?

[Vedriat turns to Niarra further, raises her arms and gestures at the room around her.]

Vedriat: As you can see, I am brimming with the ability to affect my surroundings.

Niarra: Someone who once observed you, in different circumstances, told me they perceived you as one who kept her own counsel and acted independently even of her allies. I think it likely you did the same here, in coming to Iridonia. I believe your agenda was motivated by the personal, even if it would have had consequences beyond you. I believe a great many things. But it is the beliefs of others, who suspect your motives here to have been broader, that are keeping us at this impasse. You do have the ability to change things, by what you are willing to say.

Vedriat: And lose all my cards, Jedi? If what you say is true, that would be a very poor play of my hand, indeed.

Niarra: So you believe that you hold your words close in an effort to buy time, in which your allies might become aware of trouble, and move to free you, cutting through us in the process?

Vedriat: Believe what you wish. I am not playing your game.

[Vedriat turns away from Niarra, taking on a frustrated tension.]

Niarra: Mm. But I am not convinced that that is what you wish, even if it may be what you expect will happen. I suspect that our fears may not be that different, in at least one respect—that what might happen in an effort to free you should bring consequences outside the scope of what you intended in first coming here.

Vedriat: [A long pause] There are other ways in which the Jedi and Sith are similar. [She looks over her shoulder] We both manipulate. You, for your righteous cause or whatever bright word you use to describe it, and I for power. But, in the end, both our words are poisoned, and I will not listen to them.

Niarra: We may both manipulate. But the aim of all manipulation is to achieve of greater advantage than that in which we currently find ourselves. It does not necessarily follow that one side must lose and the other win for that to happen. We may yet find a way to use each other to reach a better outcome. Consider that our aims may not be entirely misaligned.

[Niarra stands, obviously preparing to leave. Vedriat turns to face her again, one hand clenched at her side while the other raises to point accusingly at the Jedi.]

Vedriat: That is it. That is it exactly. Your words are all wrapped up in a paper of calm and rationality, as if they did not hide the viper’s sting as much as mine. How do you not choke on your own righteousness?

Niarra: Righteousness is not a claim I have made. Every word I have spoken is truth. Above all else, I said, I wish to find a solution in which no one else suffers, and in which your suffering ends. You may think of me whatever you wish, and it may be that your opinion of me is not unfounded. That does not change that we must contend with one another, or that we might yet find a way to end this that meets at least some of what we each desire.

Vedriat: You can give me nothing of what I desire, Jedi—I will never be like you.

Niarra: I did not say that you would be. And freedom is not something I can give. But it may be that we might be able to help each other in such a way that you might achieve it for yourself.

Vedriat: And now you sound like a Sith. ‘Help me so that I might help you.’ ‘My victories are your victories.

[Vedriat shakes her head.]

Niarra: Think of my motives whatever you wish. But even if I am as self-righteous and quick to martyrdom as the most scornful of opinions of Jedi make me out to be, surely you can easily imagine the things which I might fear to see happen here. And I believe you should be able to see, thereby, the points of leverage you already have. We both know there is no way out of this situation that does not involve us compromising more than we might wish. Think on what you wish, Vedriat. Find a way to make me help you.

[Niarra shrug, and Vedriat steps forward.]

Vedriat: Open my cell. I obtain my freedom, and you obtain your lack of bloodshed. Is that not a compromise in and of itself?

Niarra: It is. It is not a compromise I have dismissed. But I am not the only one who needs to be convinced. For we both know the obvious question that follows. What does Queen Azeara do once she has returned to the Hegemony?

Vedriat: Is it not clear that I will be contending with too much of a mess to be bothered with revenge?

Niarra: That may be true. That thought is part of why I have not dismissed the possibility of recommending that you be allowed to go free. How to decide if I should trust that thought, and your assurances, is another part of the concern, however. Should I believe you? And even if I do, should I gamble on the hope that you can control what your husband or your Imperial allies do?

Vedriat: If you return me, my husband will have no cause to attack you.

Niarra: 'If we return you'… Your choice of words is… striking. And what of your own aims? Vedriat’s aims. If you leave here without the man you sought, do you find another way? Or do you seek to punish those who blocked your path?

[Vedriat turns away. She rests a hand against the table.]

Vedriat: I have resigned myself to the fact that… that the opportunity has passed.

Niarra: [A pause] But perhaps this is an opportunity. There may be those who would be more convinced that you would not seek revenge, were you to be released, if there were some condition you requested in return. Call it cynicism or wisdom, or perhaps equal measures of both, but most are likely to suspect that a Sith would not extend such a promise unless there were something to be gained in exchange. Or is your freedom truly enough?

Vedriat: By all means give me Lord Kaeron, then. I will not argue if I must exact a condition. ‘Freedom’ is never without a price, after all.

Niarra: That concession is beyond my power to make. But if you think of others, I will listen.

[Niarra gives her a nod and seems about to leave again.]

Vedriat: Do you have children, Jedi? A foolish question, I know, but I have heard of exceptions to your established rule.

[Niarra pauses, arrested in the act of turning to leave.]

Niarra: I do not.

Vedriat: Then perhaps you are the wiser of us.

[Vedriat turns from the table and away from Niarra.]

Niarra: [A pause] Seek the opportunities. With the Jedi involved… and the knowledge we may bring… perhaps there is the unexpected to be found.

[Casually, as if hardly aware of what she does, Vedriat lifts a hand and crushes the cameras in her room for the third time, one by one, with nonchalant ease. Her eyes never move from where they stare at the ground before her.]

Log 6: Interview - Vedriat, Knight Merrant

Spoiler: show
[Merrant enters the cell area with what looks like a bag of fast food in hand. Vedriat is doing push-ups by her damaged bed.]

Merrant: Knock-knock.

Vedirat: What.

Merrant: Popping in, saying hello, opportunity for you to curse someone out in person. Heard you had fun.

[He pulls some finger food from the bag and snacks casually. Vedriat continues to do push-ups.]

Vedriat: I have no... particular enjoyment... of your company.

Merrant: Is there anyone on this world whose company you enjoy?

Vedriat: I don't know. Is anyone interested ... visiting?

Merrant: Well, a couple Jedi. Some people think we're moderately interesting.

[Vedriat chuckles. She stops doing push-ups and looks at Merrant.]

Merrant: Hypothetical question. You have a rival, and you find out something important's been taken from them, and they can't get it back themselves. What would you do?

Vedriat: I see where you are going with this, but my answer remains the same: Nothing.

[She gets to her feet and dusts off her robes.]

Merrant: Nothing?

Vedriat: Why should I return anything to a rival? Let them wallow in their loss. It is my gain.

Merrant: I mean, I know what I would have done. Granted, as a Sith I was a bit on the dumb side.

Vedriat: I can only imagine. You are not particularly bright as a Jedi, either.

Merrant: But it would've been hack my way through whatever defenses there were, take the object, and use it for ransom fodder. Smarter Sith probably would wait for the rival to get desperate enough to expose themselves to try to get the thing back and then sweep in while they're undefended. Maybe you'd get a 'benevolent' one that'd trade their assistance for a heavy favor.

[Vedriat studies him, then goes to wipe her brow with a corner of her bed's blanket.]

Merrant: But nothing? Waste of a weakness.

Veriat: Why not go one step further? Why not wait for someone else to put in the work, then steal the object from them? Why not create an elaborate plot to capture both your rival and your rival's rival? [A scoffing sound] That you did such a foolish thing is of no surprise to me. Do you not have such a thick skull bioloically because your ancestors used to beat heads?

Merrant: ... actually, I think we might've. Certainly comes in handy. [He shrugs] And you could do that too. But you're missing the bigger question. How many dumb, mediocre Sith who use their lightsabers to compensate for... personal failings are there in the Empire?

Vedriat: Your point?

Merrant: Just that you're making the biggest mistake any master planner can ever make: Never underestimate the ingenuity of overconfident idiots.

[Vedriat scowls. Merrant goes back to his snacks.]

Merrant: Your husband's exposed, and entering a very big pond with a lot of really dumb sharks.

Vedriat: Fortunately they only have the Republic to contend with. My concern is limited.

Merrant: [Laughs] Do you think the King wants to be the center of a war with part of the Empire? At a time when pretty much no one wants total warfare, because we're all too exhausted from Zakuul kicking the shit out of everyone? I'm no master strategist. I'm as much of a mechanic as I am a Jedi, these days. And one thing a mechanic learns? If you can solve an annoying problem by throwing some money at it, it can get reaaaaally tempting.

Vedriat: The Empire needs our ships and our resources. I am not concerned.

[Merrant shrugs.]

Merrant: Sure. Want to try this? Zabrak food on Cor isn't the worst, but there's nothing better than getting it fresh. Not the most healthy though.

[Vedriat looks at the bag with disgust.]

Vedriat: I am not so ill fed that I am tempted by your scraps, Jedi.

Merrant: Felt it was rude not to offer, more for me.

[Vedriat scoffs and looks away.]

Merrant: Merrant, by the way. Went by Lord Merrant on the other side. If you heard of me, it was probably preceded by 'that fucking idiot.'"

[Vedriat studies the table.]

Vedriat: ... were you a Jedi before?

Merrant: Yeah, went Jedi-Sith-Jedi. Was getting near my Knighthood too.

[Vedriat brushes the table again, then curls her hand into a fist. Her posture is tense.]

Vedriat: I think my brother knew you.

Merrant: Mm. I'm guessing it wasn't because we hooked up at a cantina once.

[Vedriat looks up at him sharply, fingers curling into the table.]

Vedriat: No. I suspect not. You were only worth mentioning because of your particular stupidity.

Merrant: How did he die?

[Vedriat's gaze drops again.]

Vedriat: You were there at the same time as him. I suspect you know more about the circumstances of his death than the report they gave us. [A pause] He was a weak man. He did not deserve to become Sith.

Merrant: [A long pause] I... can't make this sound not trite, but... you'd have to narrow it down. The list of things I did in the Empire is a long one.

Vedriat: [Laughs] You think you're the one who killed him?

Merrant: It wouldn't have been the first time.

Vedriat: He fell from one of the balconies and broke his neck. Are you saying I have a face, now, to the one who pushed him?

Merrant: [A pause] No. That wasn't my style. [Another pause] Four pieces and left for the wildlife to clean up, though. That would've been me.

[Vedriat gives him a frustrated look, then returns to the table to smooth a crease out in the runner.]

Vedriat: [Very quietly] I might have preferred it. It would have meant he had given a fight.

Merrant: Want to talk about him?

Vedriat: No.

[Merrant nods. Vedriat turns away and drifts further into her cell.]

Merrant: Sorry for your loss.

Vedriat: I have enouh lies to contend with, Jedi. I don't need yours.

Merrant: I don't lie about much these days. Especially not htat.

Vedriat: Then I've no need of your condolences, either. The irony is acid upon my tongue.

Merrant: Irony?

Vedriat: And here I thought you knew who it was you held prisoner.

Merrant: Sith Queen was a big part of that file.

Vedriat: Well, it is comforting to know my accomplishments stand on their own. [She spreads her hands] She married into royalty. How brilliant.

Merrant: More that it's something important to deal with.

Vedriat: As I said: brilliant.

Merrant: Still has me beat in terms of a resume. All I have is that I have trouble picking a side. And that I'm just not good enough a fighter to survive when I'm acting like a violent idiot.

Vedriat: How very fortunate for you and unfortunate for the Empire.

Merrant: Depends on the point of view.

Vedriat: Does your survival to defection benefit the Empire?

Merrant: The Empire or the people of the Empire?

Vedriat: Are they not one and the same? You cannot have one without the other.

Merrant: Only if you think the Empire is good enough for the people of the Empire.

[Vedriat turns away and fidgets.]

Merrant: How were you doing, without the Empire's heroic and inspiring reign?

[A long pause as Vedriat does not answer. Merrant pulls out another piece of finger food.]

Merrant: Last one.

Vedriat: I do not want your disgusting piece of Empire knows what!

Merrant: Can't be worse than what you have to eat during survival training.

[He eats his food. Vedriat scowls at him.]

Vedriat: Do you have anything useful to say? Or do you intend to stand there to irritate me to madness?

[Merrant shrugs]

Merrant: Way I see it, you know how this could play out. Either a miracle happens, or you put off making a deal until it doesn't feel like it hurts so much. Question is what are the odds of that miracle, and who can wait longer, you, or us. [A pause] Give me a holler when you figure it out.

[Merrant crumples up his bag and moves to leave. Vedriat suddenly storms up to the security field.]

Vedriat: Why? Why did you defect?

Merrant: First time? I was a young, cocky idiot that thought his master was holding him back. And after I worked off my rage against the Sith that killed my master, the offer from a Sith was real tempting.

Vedriat: [Angrily] The Republic. Why did you defect to the Republic?

Merrant: Second time? A brave Jedi showed me how empty it was to fight for nothing but blood lust. And then she showed me how it felt to fight for something besides myself.

[Vedriat makes a fist, looking like she might hit the security field.]

Merrant: Yeah, it's a little trite and cliche. Both times. But... made me who I am now. Why? What was your money on?

Vedriat: It's like talking to beings from another galaxy. Nothing but bloodshed, as if that is all the Empire stands for.

[She turns away and hunches over, resting her hands on the table.]

Merrant: It's all it was to me. It's all I was to it. Why, what's the Empire to you?

[Vedriat says nothing, but seems thoughtful. She straightens with a long sigh.]

Merrant: Well?

Vedriat: Why do you care, Jedi? Aren't I just 'the enemy?'"

Merrant: Sith aren't the enemy of the Jedi. The Dark Side is. You're a person, same as I was a long time ago. [A pause] Well, you're more sane than I was. But like I said, a brave Jedi cared about me when I was the enemy. Figure she was doing something right.

[Vedriat does not turn, but the camera close to her shows that she is seemingly struggling not to cry.]

Vedriat: [Lowly] I have no desire to speak with you any longer. Leave me.

Merrant: Rest well.

I believe that's it for official interviews from the Pubs. Thank you everyone for participating! Members of the delegation, assume the above logs are free for you to peruse and discuss ICly. Next up: The Imperial meeting this Wednesday and deliberations therein.
The Jedi: Bren (Archaeologist), Iirim (Healer), Zorru (Recruiter), Orans (Master), Aybekk (Padawan)
The Politicians: Varooth (Senator), Seirion (Aide/Spy), Ayrak (King)
The Mandos: Urziya (Rallymaster), Terr (Chieftain)
The Outlaws: Telen (Slicer), Majia (Pirate/Smuggler)
The Imperials: Athuuna (Agent), Zhekrazh (Lord), Z'ridia (Apprentice)

Offline Mourne

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Re: Shadow of Shadren - Summary Thread
« Reply #8 on: 11/18/17, 02:37:10 AM »
For the Imperial side of the plotting, er, event, here is the intel that Volarris would ICly share with those that were present at the meeting with the Shadren Hegemony and its constituents:

- SI cannot find specific information on where Vedriat is being held, but they are able to provide information on Iridonia's major prison facilities. Of these, there is one in the capitol, one in the middle of Iridonia's acid seas, one for each of the Zabrak colony worlds (some of which are notably barren otherwise), and several other military prisons in the planet's desert or polar regions. There is little to suggest Vedriat was brought off-world. In fact, there's almost no notable intelligence on her movements beyond that she is being held. Chances are, it's one of the facilities on the planet itself.

- Information on Iridonia's space defenses--ships, stations, etc.--show that they are very sophisticated but took heavy hits during the Eternal Empire's invasion. Response time may therefore be slow.

- SI also has information on a possible spy network for Iridonia called the Ru'Serat. They do not answer to individual clans, and the prevalence of Zabrak through the galaxy--including Sith space--makes them a potential concern for the Sith, but given that they answer to Iridonia, and not to the Republic government itself, has made SI overlook them as mostly irrelevant. Agents are, however, noted for their intense loyalty to their planet and the usual Zabrak resistance to pain and toxins. Interrogating one is recommended only for experienced agents. As for movements of the Ru'Serat, SI has no recent information.

This is the extent of the additional intelligence that Volarris was able to provide from SI. However, he does have the details of the escape plan worked out and will be sharing that at the next RP session. Obviously, there is still a lot of work to do and intel to gather before a viable plan can be put into action. Hopefully, the other interested Imperial parties can help fill in the rather large blanks on which prison she's being held at, and other pertinent details necessary for our planning.

Offline Erednash

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Re: Shadow of Shadren - Summary Thread
« Reply #9 on: 11/18/17, 01:37:55 PM »
A simple message sent out to King Dorian and Volarris.

Queen confirmed on Iridona. Facility confirmed within 99% certainty. Security force confirmed within 99% certainty. More to follow in person.

Dead Man

Offline Noth

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Re: Shadow of Shadren - Summary Thread
« Reply #10 on: 11/19/17, 03:22:50 PM »
Known to the elites of the Shadren Hegemony and their Imperial Allies:

The Queen of Shadren, Vedriat Azaera, is being held by the government of Iridonia. In response, the Shadreni have now sent a formal demand to the Iridonian High Council:

"I, Tymeis Ial, Fury of the Queen and Lady of the Court, hereby demand, on behalf of King Dorian Numair and the Shadren Hegemony, the release of Our Lady, the Queen Vedriat Azaera. We will have a response. If the Queen is not immediately released into our custody unharmed, we will consider it an act of war against the Hegemony and will respond appropriately."

They await a response. Thus far, none has arrived.

For the records of the Jedi Order and the Strategic Information Service:

Each member of the delegation to Iridonia was summoned suddenly for an apparent emergency meeting with the Kal'Edar. King Ayrak revealed that a demand had been sent, from Shadren, to the Iridonian High Council, and played it for the group: <the holo-message is repeated here>


- Ayrak Malid, Chieftain of Clan Malid, King of Iridonia
- Isha Malid, Chieftess of Clan Malid, Queen of Iridonia
- An unnamed member of the Zabrak Army, identified as Ayrak's chief of security
- Niarra Reymark, Jedi Master
- Merrant, Jedi Knight
- Harkasone Milan, Jedi Padawan
- Taelios Lolermelon, Jedi-Friend, Shadren "Expert"
- Agent "Avril", SIS

Points of Discussion:

- The legitimacy of the threat was brought up, as was the likelihood of Imperial involvement. For the purpose of the meeting, it was both taken seriously and assumed there is Imperial involvement. Uncertainty was brought up as to if the Republic would aid Iridonia or leave them on their own in the event of an attack.

- The legality of Vedriat's imprisonment was discussed and confirmed. Question was raised, however, as to if her status grants her special dispensation under the law. The suggestion to deal with it as a purely legal matter was brought up but dismissed under 3 counts:
1) That wounding Vedriat's pride with a legal fine would be potentially dangerous, as a Sith Lord who has good reason at this point to hold a grudge, or at least may dismiss it as an option.
2) That her status and the politics of the situation should not be ignored.
3) That if tried under Iridonian law, it would be as a duel, which would be dangerous and potentially fatal for either party.

- The duel option was discussed in greater detail. Ayrak and Isha dismissed it as an option, Ayrak for the personal risk and the lack of good it would do to his reputation, and Isha for the fact that the High Council already considered Ayrak's capture of Vedriat as victory in said duel. Ultimately the idea was dismissed.

- The delegation settled on the option of negotiating a ransom and/or conditions for Vedriat's return, and dealing with it in a closed-doors political manner. The hope is to keep damage small through the maintainence of secrecy, while keeping things official enough to satisfy all parties involved.

- Taelios volunteered as a possible messenger to Shadren to minimize risk in replying to the demand. The suggestion wasn't discussed in detail. ((Due to OOC gremlins removing the player. @Lolermelon you are welcome to assume this was discussed in greater detail of behind the curtain if you wish.))

- Ayrak revealed that the Iridonian High Council is not happy about him hiding Vedriat's presence, and suggested that he would likely have to duel someone anyway to answer for his secrecy in a potential threat to the planet. He left the delegation with the promise to try to sway the High Council.

For the records of the SIS only:

After the conclusion of the above meeting, Agent Avril approached Ayrak and Isha to suggest a deal with the Republic to mollify the clans with charity rather than appease honor through a duel and risk losing the Republic-supportive King. Several chieftains have expressed anti-Republic or separatist sentiment before, and the Republic would like to maintain Ayrak's influence over and hardline approach to these chieftains.

Detailed briefings on the Kal'Edar and his family may be made available upon request.
The Jedi: Bren (Archaeologist), Iirim (Healer), Zorru (Recruiter), Orans (Master), Aybekk (Padawan)
The Politicians: Varooth (Senator), Seirion (Aide/Spy), Ayrak (King)
The Mandos: Urziya (Rallymaster), Terr (Chieftain)
The Outlaws: Telen (Slicer), Majia (Pirate/Smuggler)
The Imperials: Athuuna (Agent), Zhekrazh (Lord), Z'ridia (Apprentice)

Offline Ryshias

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Re: Shadow of Shadren - Summary Thread
« Reply #11 on: 11/19/17, 06:08:24 PM »
A high-security dossier has begun circulating among the Empire's allies of the Shadren Hegemony, and the Hegemony itself, listed only as sent by "-T".

Several notes has been found inside, the most notable being:
-Soldiers in charge of the capture of the Queen belongs to Clan Malid.
-Lower key officers are easy to corrupt and had shared a big amount of information about the main stronghold of Clan Malid, located in the capitol of the planet, Malidris.
-Has noted possible to have turn-coats among the Zabrak.

No more information has been shared. The dossier destroy's itself after an hour of being opened.

There are many ways to serve the Empire

"I'm willing to burn half the galaxy if I save the other half in the process."