Beyond - Legends The Winds of Erilnar (AU, OC)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Vehn, Feb 8, 2020.

  1. Vehn

    Vehn Force Ghost star 4

    Sep 14, 2009
    Title: The Winds of Erilnar
    Author: Vehn
    Timeframe: 297 ABY and Beyond
    Characters: Queen Carley Heraat, members of the Vehn family, other minor characters (AU, OC)
    Genre: Alternate Universe, Political Drama,
    Notes: This story shares the same timeframe and universe as the Tesserone stories. I.E: Fields of Tesserone, Exile from Tesserone, Shadows of Tesserone, and lastly Dawn of Tesserone

    Map of the Centrality:




    The long war between the Eastern Centrality and the Western Centrality has finally ended. Queen Carley Heraat stands alone atop the ancient throne of Erilnar. Victory has come at a terrible price.

    The Centrality is far from pacified, however, and even now systems are refusing to listen to the new government on the capital world of Erilnar. Unrest and sporadic fighting between fringe political groups threatens the process of reunification.

    Outside powers circle hungrily around the weakened Centrality eager to snatch up additional territory or expand their military presence in the region.

    Queen Carley Heraat has requested an emergency conference with the leaders of the Corporate Sector Authority and the Roon Federation in an effort to delay what some view as the inevitable....


    Queen Carley Heraat gathered her cloak around her as she gazed out across the capital. She could feel the cold seeping in through the windows of her palace. She could see her breath condensating on the window pane hinting at the winter wonderland beyond. That cold now found its way into her very blood. She fought off her nerves and the cold as she eagerly watched the delegations of the Roon Federation and the Corporate Sector Authority arrive and clear security.

    Winter had come and stayed for much of the world of Erilnar, capital of the Centrality. A heavy dusting of snow blanketed much of the city and a thick layer of smoke from wood fires clung low and heavy to the rooftops. People hardly wandered outside. It was nearly unsafe to do so. None of this had stopped the delegations of the two more powerful governments in the Eastern Outer Rim from visiting today.

    "They're here," Centurion Aiden Khairn whispered in Carley's ear. He took up position near her throne always keeping a hand on his blaster pistol which was currently holstered.


    Aiden Khairn had served in the 5th Tund Legion during the Centrality war. After several feats on the battlefield that had caught Carley's eye he had been quickly transferred to her personal honor guard. He was a cunning warrior. Loyal. Strong. Never one to back down from a fight. He was also one of her longest running military advisors.

    Carley quietly sat down on her throne and turned her attention to the thick wooden doors leading into the main reception chamber. She gave a nod to the guards who quickly opened the doors as the Roon Federation and Corporate Sector Authority delegations entered the room.

    "Greetings, Queen Heraat," the Federation delegate spoke first bowing ever so slightly, "President Liberty Karr and the Roon Federation wish to extend congratulations on your victory in the Centrality war and wish you many years of peace."

    Queen Carley Heraat gave a curt nod to the Federation delegate as the Corporate Sector Authority delegate introduced himself. She stood and guided the pair to a nearby conference room that overlooked the many lakes of Erilnar and once she heard the doors shutting behind her she went straight to business.

    "Let's cut right to the thick of the matter," Queen Carley Heraat said, "both of your governments are licking your chops at the prospect of dividing up my kingdom for your own personal gain. I will tell you with no hesitation that if a single Federation frigate or Corporate Sector Authority dreadnaught dares to cross our borders I will declare open war. If needs be I will even call upon the Republic to intervene."

    "Your highness," the Federation delegate stammered, "Roon has no designs on the Centrality. We come here to discuss business, trade, a mutual exchange of wealth."

    "The Corporate Sector Authority would never think about infringing upon Cetran sovereignty," the CSA delegate added, "to do so would be tantamount to our interests in the region."

    "Then tell me," Queen Carley Heraat insisted, "did my forces catch CSA raiders crossing our borders to attack freighters carrying durasteel?"

    The CSA delegate stammered.

    "And tell me," Queen Carley Heraat growled looking at the Roon Federation delegate,"how Federation weapons and munitions ended up in the hands of dangerous insurgent groups that refuse to submit to the rule of the central government?"

    The Federation delegate was speechless.

    "I want you both to leave at once! Your not serious about helping the Centrality. You're only serious about putting us down and keeping us a pawn to use between the two of you. The Centrality is not, and never will be, yours!" Carley said raising her voice.

    "Your highness," the Roon Federation delegate started

    "If you would only," the CSA delegate added.

    "Leave," Carley shouted, "or I will add your heads to the main tower for all to see!"

    The delegates made a hasty exit leaving Carley alone with her thoughts. She expected treachery from the Corporate Sector Authority. They'd openly supported the Western Centrality prior to their defeat three months ago.The Roon Federation truly surprised her for they had been her strongest allies during some of her darkest days. Now they were secretly supplying weapons to the fringe groups that sought to overthrow the centralist government and plunge the Centrality into darkness.

    "You handled them well," a voice said from the shadows.

    "I had a good teacher," Carley replied.


    Henryk Rhyken emerged from the shadows and smiled ever so slightly, "Now, are you ready for the fun to begin?"

    Tag: @Trieste; @jcgoble3
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2020
  2. Vehn

    Vehn Force Ghost star 4

    Sep 14, 2009
    One Year Earlier
    High Point

    Henryk Rhyken, newly elected President of the Roon Federation and former Director of Foreign Affairs, had been overthrown from power. He'd been kidnapped in the early morning hours by forces loyal to the Vehn family and dragged naked out of his presidential suites for execution. Nobody spoke during the entire operation. Nobody dared.

    The journey out to High Point where the continent met the ocean was long and arduous. He'd been released by his captors where they quickly decided his fate. A long journey off the cliffs to the dangerous rocks jutting out of the ocean far below. He threw up his hands and pleaded for his life but no one listened. Strong hands reached out and tossed him over the cliff edge.

    Henryk screamed on the way down. The water seemed to race up toward him at a speed his mind couldn't even comprehend. The fierce coastal wind whipped around his body and hair and all he could think as he was about to hit the rocks was that his life hadn't amounted to much of anything. He didn't have any regrets regarding the decisions he made but he did have regrets about what he hadn't done.

    His momentum stopped. He felt himself being lifted up away from the rocks which were only meters away. He was supposed to die on those rocks. What was going on? He felt his skin come into contact with the cold, hard, metal of a ramp. A transport ramp. A figure stood over him blocking out the blinding white light of the deck as he felt himself lifted away from Roon.

    "Who are you?" Henryk asked shivering as a blanket was tossed over him, "and why did you save my life?"

    "They're called tractor beams. My name is Carley Heraat. You know me but not because you've helped me in the past. Only because you've tried to end the inevitable. I'm on the verge of winning a long and terrible war," Carley said kneeling down to look Henryk in the eyes, "and despite your track record with the galaxy I need someone with foreign policy experience to assist my new government."

    "I'm out of the game," Henryk replied dejectedly, "toss me back down there and let me die."

    Carley shook her head, "Can't do that. You belong to me now."

    "What are you going to do with me?" Henryk questioned.

    "Save your soul," Carley replied as the ship entered hyperspace and leapt back to the Centrality.

    Tag: @Trieste; @jcgoble3
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  3. Trieste

    Trieste Force Ghost star 5

    Apr 10, 2010
    Has the Centrality been admitted to the D12 (which would then be the D13) by this point? The Corporate Sector could be in breach of the Security Compact if it was sponsoring attacks on another state...

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  4. Vehn

    Vehn Force Ghost star 4

    Sep 14, 2009
    Negative. This is a huge focus for Carley.
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  5. Vehn

    Vehn Force Ghost star 4

    Sep 14, 2009

    "The Council is suggesting you upgrade your flagship," Henryk Rhyken whispered quietly as Queen Carley Heraat overlooked the factories of Erilnar beginning to churn out the first generation of locally produced warships.

    "The Kyriad has been in my family for centuries," Queen Carley Heraat replied, "I won't give it up now. Not after what it took to restore her to her former glory."

    "Your adoptive family," Rhyken gently reminded.

    "The Kyriad is more capable than you realize," Carley pointed out, "and it has become a symbol of our national unity. That leads me to a new development. I am assembling a fleet, call it a good will tour, to survey the worlds of the Centrality and bring those who still refuse Erilnar's control to heel. The Kyriad is to spearhead the tour. It is time I go to the people. They must know me then and only then will they fall under my banner."

    "Is that wise given your tenuous hold on power? There are rumors of rebellion in the southern provinces," Rhyken questioned.

    "Tell me," Carley shot back, "are you in the business of helping me or causing problems?"

    Rhyken let out the rarest hint of a smile, "I am ever in your service."

    "Then assemble my finest soldiers and call Erilnar to arms. It's time our tour began," Carley ordered, "prepare my ship."

    "As you wish, your highness," Rhyken replied with a slight bow.

    Days Earlier
    Hall of the Fallen

    Queen Carley Heraat walked through the narrow graveyard full of headstones and mausoleums erected by past great families. She'd come here today to gather her thoughts amongst the dead. Her aunt, Reyna, and her mother, Taaya, lay at peace here under the quiet, watchful, gaze of ancient willow trees.

    She knelt before their graves and allowed the silence of the moment to overcome her. History and blood lines flowed through her veins. She was the heir to the Heraat clan. The legacy rulers of the Centrality. She was found after spending many years wandering the galaxy in search of her identity. Still many obstacles remained before she could truly pacify the Centrality.

    "Guide me," Carley whispered to the graves of her ancestors, "show me the way."

    Only silence returned in the form of a deafening quiet.

    She felt more alone than ever.



    Lord Alexandre Renaard, governor of Renatasia, quietly trotted his horse through the rolling green pastures of his sprawling estates on Renatasia. The early morning light cast a glimmering shine on the spring grass, fresh with the cold dew of morning, making the world magical and unique. He loved this time of morning. It was a time to gather thoughts and prepare for the business of running the planet. It was his time. No one could take it from him.

    He settled atop his horse near a crest from which he could overlook his estates and saw that all was well. The tenant farmers were hard at work on the many fields and there was a spring in their step for they had all received their quarterly raises which lifted many of them from the terrible clutches of poverty. He was a man who prided himself on his benevolence. A man who also knew the struggles working families faced since the vicious wars between the Western Centrality and Eastern Centrality had finally concluded.

    Renatasia had largely escape the greater conflict between the two Centralities by providing both armies with food in exchange for protection and self rule. Even now, after the great peace signed by Queen Carley Heraat and a significant number of Centran planets, the food shipments still took off toward the bustling markets of Erilnar and Tund as they had for decades prior. Life was, for Renatasia, largely unchanged. Lord Alexandre Renaard had seen to that.

    "Morning report," Renaard asked a nearby aide.

    "Our exports are up and the markets are holding strong," his aide replied, "but there are some in the highlands who refuse to submit to the great agricultural improvements. They are intent on farming the old way. They're refusing the technology we've provided them as well as the education. They're also balking at the new levies placed upon their farms and families which they say are disproportionate in size to those lands closer to your estates. Our informants in the fringe towns report that men of all ages have gathered. They're angry, my lord."

    "Angry?" Lord Alexandre Renaard frowned, "What ever for? Do I not give them a place to live? Do we not provide a small holdback of their yearly crop to feed their families? What more could they possibly ask for?"

    "They want a direct audience with you to air their grievances," his aide said.

    "I gave them an audience a year ago. I heard all their complaints. I told them I would act on their concerns," Lord Renaard said, "why do they not understand my hand are tied. These are policies set forth by Erilnar. Not myself."

    "They are speaking of open rebellion," his aide continued, "and they will use force to remove you from power if you do not comply with their demands."

    "Open rebellion?" Lord Alexandre Renaard scoffed, "against me? There hasn't been an armed conflict on Renatasia in over three centuries. I will certainly not have one now."

    The aide grew quiet before finally replying, "They've crossed a new line, my lord. This morning we just received news that two of our patrols were ambushed and killed. Their bodies were strung up for all to see. I believe we may have a situation on our hands."

    Renaard sighed and quietly thought about his options. He could call on the militia. They weren't the most reliable. Unfortunately they were the very same people who now threatened his position. He could call upon Erilnar for assistance but the central government seemed so nascent it could barely tell which was was up or down. He did not want blood on his hands but if these farmers, these hard working families, continued to resist his rule he would consider harsher measures.

    Renaard heard screams, shouts, and his eyes darted in the direction of the sound. His eyes went wide as he caught sight of his mansion burning under intense flame sending thick plumes of smoke into the sky. He could tell it was not able to be saved. He quickly dismounted and fell to his knees as he watched his childhood home go up in flames. He took off his hat as tears ran down his face.

    "Why? Maker, why?" Lord Renaard cried out.

    Suddenly the problems on Renatasia had just grown far more serious.

    Tag: @Trieste; @jcgoble3
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  6. jcgoble3

    jcgoble3 Force Ghost star 5

    Nov 7, 2010
    A rebellion! Cool! I love rebellions!

    I have a feeling these two plot threads are going to get tangled in each other.
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  7. Trieste

    Trieste Force Ghost star 5

    Apr 10, 2010
    I guess some beings just want to watch the world burn. ;)
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  8. Vehn

    Vehn Force Ghost star 4

    Sep 14, 2009
    Former Capital of the Eastern Centrality

    General Kyr Montayne was a veteran of the Great Centrality War as the conflict of the last 50 plus years had come to be known. He'd served loyally under the banner of the Heraat clan and had been hand selected to lead Tund into a new era of peace. A peace which did not come easily. A peace that required a heavy hand.

    Montayne's armed forces carried around a mixture of Federation, CSA and old Imperial era weaponry. His men and women were fighting for food and for pure survival. They were the hardened warriors who'd stayed behind on Tund following reunification. They were the ones that Queen Carley Heraat had promised would receive their land and retirement. They were still waiting.

    Unrest amongst the soldiers of the Tund legion was growing. Montayne could tell that it was only a matter of time before the soldiers openly revolted. They, who had risked life and limb, were being ignored by the Halls of Erilnar. The promises coming out of the former Western Centrality meant nothing. Idleness and boredom had taken a firm hold in the ranks. The old promises and loyalties to the Heraat clan were strained.

    Montayne had heard the news of the Renatasian revolt. The highlanders were fighting back against the perceived persecution of the landed aristocracy. The highlanders ways were disappearing. That now led to open dissent. Lord Renaard in all of his wisdom had failed to see the problem growing right in front of his nose. The old ways were dying. The Centrality, if it were to know true peace, needed a strong leader to rally the systems.

    General Kyr Montayne was the descendent of a very old Centran family. A family that had known the loyalty and admiration of systems near and far: from Tund to Erilnar. It was only a matter of sheer chance that the Heraat clan assumed its ancestral rights to the ancient throne of Erilnar. An heir, adopted by the Vehn family, had been discovered by the last surviving members of the Heraat clan. The Heraat's had rushed quickly to fend off the other powerul Centran families with a golden stroke of political maneuvering. They had figured out the key to Centran power.

    Win the war, win Erilnar, and win the peace.

    "The soldiers are awaiting your command, General," an aide said entering Montayne's personal quarters.

    "Send a signal to Rhyken. Tell him we're on our way," General Montayne replied.

    Tag: @Trieste; @jcgoble3
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  9. Vehn

    Vehn Force Ghost star 4

    Sep 14, 2009
    OOC: Back after a hiatus. My apologies to all.

    Deep Space
    Enroute to Renatasia

    The renovated Venator class warship Kyriad blazed a trail through the blue hyperspace tunnel with barely a vibration through the decks. The ship was close to three hundred years old but had recently been renovated to the top of the line replete with upgraded weapon systems, shields, and a crew that knew exactly how to push her to her limits. She had been in the possession of the Heraat clan ever since the conclusion of the Sith-Almanian War of 218 ABY.

    The Kyriad had fought hard during that long four year conflict under the wise captainship of Almanian AdmiralDerek Vehn. His death over Taris and the subsequent destruction of the Kyriad had put an end to the Vehn family's ownership of the vessel which had been in the family for centuries. Survivors of the battle, ancestors of Carley Heraat, secured piece after painstaking piece of the wreckage and brought the remnants of the great warship back to Almania where it was reassembled over the course of the next two centuries. She re entered service during the long East-West Centran war serving as the Supreme Commander of the Eastern Centrality's flagship. Now Queen Carley Heraat proudly sat in the captain's chair carrying on the tradition of those who had come before.

    "Reversion to real space in five, four, three, two, one," a voice stated matter of factly over the intercom.

    Hyperspace was gone. Replaced with the twinkling beauty of space in all of its majesty. Carley stood from her chair and walked toward the triangular shaped windows. Renatasia swirled below in all of its beautiful glory.

    "High priority message," an aide said glancing up from the port crew pit.

    "Put it through to my quarters," Carley said as she made her way aft.

    The hologram projector in her personal quarters sprang to life.

    "Queen Carley Heraat of the Centrality," the figure said, "it's been a long time."

    "Verity," Carley replied bowing her head slightly to the matriarch of the Vehn clan. Her voice barely above a whisper, "what can I do for you?"

    "It's what you can do for me," Verity replied, "for the galaxy."

    "I'll do my best," Carley replied, "though these days grow dark and I grow weary of the troubles."

    "Problems in the Centrality?" Verity questioned.

    "Never ending," Carley replied.

    "Ah, yes, I've heard Renastasia is giving you some trouble," Verity said.

    "Make that all of Centran space," Carley replied.

    "You know there is a way to fix this. There is a way forward beyond the endless conflict," Verity pointed out.

    "And what would you suggest? I pacified the Centrality and took up the mantle of my birth right. Still we do not know peace. Still armies march against me. Still I am faced with decades of war, suffering, and economic strife," Carley fired back.

    "I never said the solution would be easy," Verity said, "but I do think there is a way to end the cycle once and for all."

    "Go on," Carley said.

    "You need to get married," Verity advised.

    Carley shook her head, "Married? That's your solution. I'd rather tie my hands and legs down with irons and be cast out into the Roonian sea."

    "You misunderstand my intention," Verity cautioned, "if you get married it doesn't mean the end of your reign. It means the end of the wars. It means true and lasting peace but you must choose wisely."

    "I swore to myself early on that I would never bow to any man!" Carley said raising her voice.

    "And if you choose well you will never have to," Verity said with a hint of a smile, "after all you are the neck and the man may be allowed to think he is the head. As we speak you have very few options. As we speak my spies inform me that an army marches against your position. You have few allies to which you can rely on who call the Centran government a friend."

    "I will not marry," Carley grunted, "I refuse."

    "Then you will never know the end of the conflict that has consumed your people for decades," Verity replied, "listen to my words. Truly listen. You are the future, Carley. The future of not only the Heraat clan but of the Centrality itself. If you do not start a line there will be endless war. I promise you that."

    "I must go," Carley testily replied, "do not contact me again."

    "As you wish," Verity replied as her image winked out.

    Carley paced back and forth in her quarters. She fumed. She threw up her hands in frustration. All the while a gnawing uncertainty gripped her soul.

    The troubling fact was Verity Vehn was right.

    Tag: @Trieste; @jcgoble3
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  10. jcgoble3

    jcgoble3 Force Ghost star 5

    Nov 7, 2010
    Ah yes, that incredibly minor thing known as needing a royal heir. How annoying. :p
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  11. Vehn

    Vehn Force Ghost star 4

    Sep 14, 2009

    The House of Cunaar


    Tygh Cunaar surveyed the burnt mansion of Lord Alexandre Renaard with a look that said he was not pleased. His personal retinue surrounded him, heavily armored and armed, as they picked their way through the rubble of the once great mansion looking for anything valuable. Most things of value had been stripped by Renaard's household members fleeing the oncoming army. Still, it was worth a shot. Anything to help the cause.


    "You're one step closer," Kyr Cunaar, Tygh's brother, whispered as he pulled alongside his brother.

    "One step closer to what, exactly?" Tygh asked.

    "The throne of Erilnar," Kyr replied with a wry grin.

    "Let's not get ahead of ourselves, brother," Tygh reminded his younger sibling, "we are a long ways from reclaiming our claim to the throne."

    Tygh sighed as the armored column moved out and deeper into Renatasia's thick forests. The throne. The claim. His mother's final words burning in his ears. You are the rightful heir of Erilnar. The throne is yours to claim. The words had long served as a motivating force in his life. His mother had been gone nearly a decade. A pestilence had wiped her out.

    The Cunaar's and the Heraat's shared a common ancestor. From the kings and queens of old who once ruled a united Centrality. Generations had passed since those lofty days and the family trees of both branches had slowly wittled and withered after a succession of wars without end.

    The two houses had supported opposing sides during the Western and Eastern Centrality war. Neither could defeat the other and so a terrible stalemate ensued. Now with the Western Centrality defeated and Erilnar ruled by Queen Carley Heraat it seemed that victory, at last, had fallen upon the Heraat clan.

    Tygh Cunaar clinched his fists and gritted his teeth.

    He was determined to change what destiny had seen to deny him.

    His claim to the throne.

    Tag: @Trieste; @jcgoble3
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  12. Trieste

    Trieste Force Ghost star 5

    Apr 10, 2010
    Henry VII I mean Tygh sounds like he knows what he's going to do. ;)
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  13. Vehn

    Vehn Force Ghost star 4

    Sep 14, 2009
    The Winter Palace

    "Your highness," Lord Alexandre Renaard said with a deep bow, "welcome to Renatasia. An honor to have you here."

    "A pleasure to be here, Lord Renaard," Carley said as she offered her hand which Renaard readily kissed in reverence.

    "Rise," Carley said as she strode past Lord Renaard peering up at the grand mansion before her.

    "Forgive me, your highness, I would have taken you to my summer palace but it's undergoing renovations at this moment and is unavailable," Lord Renaard stammered after the Queen.

    "By renovations if you mean it was burned to the ground by rebels then I would definitely say you have a problem," Carley fired back.

    The look on Lord Alexandre Renaard's face was priceless.

    "I only sought to protect you," Lord Renaard stammered, "I couldn't have you thinking Renatasia was out of control.

    "No, Lord Renaard," Carley said spinning in her tracks, "you only sought to look after yourself. Where are your armies? Where are your advisors? You act as if you would readily let the rebels win than defend what is yours."

    "These are no ordinary rebels," Lord Renaard clarified as his face went ashen.

    "Tell me," Queen Carley Heraat pressed, "what are they?"

    "Canaard's," Centurion Khairn pointed out as he pointed out the distant battle flags with a gloved hand.

    "Canaard," Carley repeated, "I thought they were wiped out."

    "No, your highness," Lord Renaard corrected, "they're just getting started."

    "Come with me," Queen Carley Heraat commanded, "it's time we see what we're up against."

    The Fields of Terranor

    "If we strike here we're likely to make the entire planet ours," Kyr Cunaar advised his older brother as the pair looked down upon a holographic map.

    "Yes, that would cut off the capital from the farmlands," Tygh agreed, "good thinking. And what of reports of Renaard's army?"

    "My lords," a messenger cried out bursting into the tent, "come, come!"

    "Can't it wait?" Kyr cried out in frustration.

    "You need to see this," the messenger insisted.

    Tygh shot his brother a glance and the pair emerged from the tent. Tygh stopped dead in his tracks when his eyes looked upon the cold gaze of Queen Carley Heraat surrounded by her retinue which in turn was surrounded by his army.The mood was heavy and grim throughout the military encampment as both sides stared one another down in silence. No one made a move for their weapon. No one made a sound.


    Tygh fought off his fear as he returned Carley's gaze. She was more imposing than the holos gave her credit. He also knew, deep down, she was just afraid of him though he'd never have guessed it by looking upon her now. The pair were the same age though they came from wildly different backgrounds. Their journey to this point in time, their journey through the last few years of a horrific war, was eerily similar. They were joined by a common ancestor. They were also joined by a common desire for the throne of Erilnar and in turn the Centrality.

    "Welcome," Tygh said as he addressed Carley directly, "I should congratulate you on your victory over the Western Centrality."

    "Clearly my victory means nothing here," Carley replied with an icy tone, "for this army has risen up against me."

    "This army," Tygh replied, "is the only thing that stands between you and utter destruction. With one word I could have them rise up now and take back what is rightfully mine."

    "You wouldn't dare," Carley said, "you'd plunge us into another century of war."

    "Don't overestimate your influence," Tygh replied, "as we speak soldiers that are loyal to you are marching against your forces. Tund has betrayed you. You have little choice but to accept my terms."

    Carley leaned over and whispered to an aide who confirmed the news. Her face betrayed nothing of the anger that swirled deep inside at the betrayal of General Var Montayne and her legions. Legions whom she'd promised pensions and retirement if only they held out a little longer. She'd been so close to securing her victory. So close. Now the odds were against her.

    "Name your terms," Carley spat out.

    "A cease fire," Tygh began, "between our two houses."

    "Done," Carley agreed.

    "Equal representation in the Senate," Tygh added.

    "Done," Carley replied.

    "Retract your sole claim to the throne and rule with me at your side," Tygh pushed.

    Carley clinched her fists.

    "Never," Carley shouted, "never will I yield my authority. Not to you nor any man."

    "Then I'm afraid that I will have to step aside while your own armies attack you," Tygh replied, "and then when you're dead I will step forward and claim Erilnar for my own."

    "Guards, to me! Shields to me! While I live, Erilnar is mine!" Carley cried out as she was immediately enveloped by her armored retinue and protected in the center of the formation.

    Tygh looked over to his brother Kyr and nodded.

    "Take her down," Tygh ordered, "set for stun."

    Tag: @Trieste; @jcgoble3
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  14. jcgoble3

    jcgoble3 Force Ghost star 5

    Nov 7, 2010
    Will this conflict be quick and decisive, or is it the start of another century of war? I can't wait to find out. :D
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  15. Trieste

    Trieste Force Ghost star 5

    Apr 10, 2010
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  16. Vehn

    Vehn Force Ghost star 4

    Sep 14, 2009

    The Fields of Terranor

    "Halt!" Queen Carley Heraat yelled at the top of her lungs.

    All around her, both friend and foe, stopped what they were doing and looked in her direction. A cool breeze from the east picked up and swept through the encampment. Weapons were lowered. Tensions were dissipated. There was a chance here to make history. Fighting off all of her emotions Carley realized she needed to speak as she'd never spoken before.

    "My lords! My lords!" Carley cried out, "do you know me?"

    "Of course," some of the men from both sides replied, "you're Queen Carley Heraat of the Centrality."

    "Then listen to me when I command you!" Carley shouted, "The Centrality is being driven apart by forces who claimed to be loyal to me. Forces who swore an oath to me and now march upon our positions as we speak! Traitors, the lot of them! You know what the punishment is for traitors!"

    "We do," several of them replied.

    "We may serve different houses in this war, we may believe in different dreams, but all of us wish to see a strong Centrality free from the influences of the Corporate Sector and the Roon Federation!" Carley said.

    The men cheered and yelled, "Freedom from foreign powers!"

    Carley fought off tears as she addressed the loyal soldiers of House Cunaar and the remnants of her own forces who'd accompanied her to Renatasia. So much had been lost in the last half century that plunging the Centrality into another conflict would be disastrous.

    "And if you will not follow me," Carley said, "if you will not march behind my banner, then at least march for a lasting peace that can span generations! We have had enough of war, have we not? Half a century of war that has destroyed our families, our homes, and our people! Enough is enough! March with me, today, and I swear I will always do right by you and your families regardless of which side you fought for we are all Centrans! Somehow, someway, that has been forgotten. If you march with me I will make sure you are never forgotten."

    Tygh Cunaar held Carley's tear streaked gaze and gently nodded his head in her direction. She had won. She had won without a single drop of blood being spilled. It was clear to him what must happen. It was clear to him that he had lost his claim and the war a long time ago. To fight now would mean undoing everything that both sides, even in war, had built together without knowing: the future.

    He looked to his brother and their eyes met as if to say, It's over. No use resisting.

    Tygh Cunaar then returned his attention to the queen and slowly, cautiously, kneeled on one knee and bowed his head. Kyr Cunaar and the army of House Cunaar followed suit.

    "The Queen!" roared Centurion Volgaar

    "The Queen!" roared soldiers loyal to the Heraat clan.

    "The Queen!" roared soldiers loyal to the Cunaar clan.

    "Long live the Queen, long live the Centrality!" Tygh and Kyr Cunaar shouted in unison.

    Queen Carley Heraat, lip quivering in awe, gazed upon the army that now surrounded her. The army that she could now turn against those who were marching against her position. The army by which she could now control all of the Centrality and say to those foreign powers who dared meddled in its internal affairs to leave the Centran government well enough alone.

    She closed her eyes and said a small prayer to the gods.

    It was done.

    Tag: @Trieste; @jcgoble3
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2020
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  17. Vehn

    Vehn Force Ghost star 4

    Sep 14, 2009
    OOC: As you two, @Trieste and @jcgoble3, will see the real conflict isn't so much between Carley and Tygh but the other remnants hanging around the Centrality. I'm sure both of you were hoping for a knock down drag out fight here but it was never in the cards. I didn't want to embroil the Centrality in another centuries long conflict, no matter how tempting, as they've just left one. Needless to say, buckle up, because this ride is about to get really interesting. There's so many good things to write about and we are only just beginning ;)


    The Royal Army


    Queen Carley Heraat leaned against a nearby table studying the holographic map of the Centrality before her. The Royal Army of House Cunaar and House Heraat had officially joined forces and now possessed a sizeable force. Still, they were outnumbered by the Tund legions under the command of General Var Montayne. Experienced soldiers who'd served with great acclaim during the Great Centrality war.

    "I just need a moment," a voice said outside of her tent to her handmaidens.

    "Let them in," Carley said as her handmaiden stepped aside to allow Tygh and Kyr Cunaar entry to her personal field quarters.

    "My lords," Carley said.

    "Your highness," the brothers replied.

    "Do you think our strategy convinced the men to put aside their differences?" Carley asked Tygh.

    "I believe they will follow us to the ends of the galaxy," Tygh replied, "and that our strategy worked."

    "I've heard nothing different," Kyr added, "the men and women are behind us now. Nothing can stop us."

    "I appreciate your help making the tension appear legitimate," Carley pointed out with a wry smile, "and for gathering your armies. I know this hasn't been easy for anyone but this is the only way forward."

    "I couldn't make you think that we'd go down too easily," Tygh replied with a grin.

    "Perhaps I should have ordered a strike sooner," Kyr added, "something to keep that tension going."

    Carley waved her hand as if to shrug off the notion and embraced the two brothers in turn. "We have agreed to put aside our differences for the betterment of the Centrality. Help me win this coming fight and I will make sure you're both handsomely rewarded for your efforts."

    The trio had met in the waning months of the Great Centrality war and agreed for a road map forward to peace. Carley would assume primary position as the leader of the Centrality, as the Heraat's had the stronger claim to the throne by blood, and in turn House Cunaar would join House Heraat in a show of force against the pockets of resistance that refused to submit to the central government. In exchange for their loyalty House Cunaar would have considerable influence in the forming of the new Centrality, and possibly, a chance to share the throne.

    "Montayne's forces are advancing as we speak. Lord Renaard's forces will be accompanying us off world to meet them on the field of battle," Carley explained to the brothes Cunaar.

    "Can we trust him?" Tygh questioned.

    "I have no other choice," Carley replied, "he possesses a powerful militia that could cause a great deal of upset were I to turn him against me. No, it's safer to keep him close."

    "As you command," Kyr replied, "but when battle is joined I will keep a battalion or so in reserve in case of treachery."

    "Good idea," Tygh said, "perhaps we all should hold some reserves back in the event the battle does not go in our favor."

    "That would be the best strategy," Carley replied, "make it happen."

    "I'll see to the men at once," Kyr replied as he saluted and left the tent.

    Carley quietly advanced toward Tygh and pulled him close for a passionate kiss on the lips. They had been in love for years. Secretly. Neither side could profess their open love for the other while other members, more powerful members, of the Cunaar and Heraat houses were alive. Now they were the last of their lines and all they had was one another. The pair made out for a few minutes before pulling away.

    "I was so worried that we'd shed actual blood in our confrontation," Carley said.

    "Why, my love?" Tygh asked.

    "It's amazing how the smallest thing can go wrong and create the biggest of problems," Carley replied.

    "I love you," Tygh replied, "you don't have to worry about me."

    "No," Carley said as she drew Tygh to her bed, "I don't, do I?"

    "I thought you were against having a man rule beside you," Tygh said as he undressed.

    "I need someone to rule beside me. Someone to marry. Perhaps I was looking for the wrong man or in the wrong direction before but that's all changed," Carley replied as she undressed as well, "but I need an heir and what better heir than to have a son or daughter born of a union between House Cunaar and House Heraat?"

    "You've thought this all out. Clever. You are something aren't you?" Tygh replied as he fell onto the bed with Carley in his arms.

    "That's what they say," Carley replied, "now shutup and let me lead."

    Tag: @Trieste; @jcgoble3
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2020
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  18. Trieste

    Trieste Force Ghost star 5

    Apr 10, 2010
    The old political theater trick!

    I would insert a gif, but the appropriate one so giant it would be absurd to do so. ;)
  19. Vehn

    Vehn Force Ghost star 4

    Sep 14, 2009
    Foreign Affairs Office

    "Transmission secure?" Henryk Rhyken asked.

    "Absolutely," the hologram of Lord Alexandre Renaard replied.

    "Good," Rhyken said, "so, as expected, the Houses of Cunaar and Heraat have united."

    "As expected," Renaard replied, "though I must play the ignorant fool."

    "You do that so well," Rhyken said, "and now for our next steps."

    "The longer House Cunaar and House Heraat remain as one the stronger they will grow. Much of the Centrality supports them. It was really a bold move by the queen to address her rivals so directly and win them to her cause," Renaard admitted.

    "A foolish move, you mean," Rhyken replied, "Montayne's forces are battle hardened. They're supported by the Corporate Sector Authority. I don't expect the queen to be able to mount a serious campaign against them."

    "Are you wanting to plunge us into another century of war?" Renaard questioned.

    "No," Rhyken replied, "I'm wanting my opportunity to get my just reward."

    "And what is that, exactly?" Renaard asked.

    "A return to my place of power within the Federation," Rhyken replied, "but first there's something we need to do."

    Near Centrality Space
    The Prism

    Peace is a lie. There is only passion.
    Through passion I gain strength.
    Through strength I gain power.
    Through power I gain victory.
    Through victory my chains are broken.
    The Force shall free me.

    The words of truth and power stirred an awakening of power inside of him like he'd never known before.

    He rose effortlessly from his cell and slipped off the dead ysalamiri from around his neck watching with muted satisfaction as it slopped onto the cell floor. He heard the security systems of the cell door unlock and without hesitation he merged into the corridor. Up ahead a firefight ensued as the overwhelmed guards struggled to control the jail break gunning down prisoners that hadn't seen time outside their cell in years.

    He felt the old power return. Slowly, cautiously, and he did not believe it to be true. The Prism was a place devoid of the Force. Yet, how could he feel its power returning to him? Had something been broken? Had something changed? The ysalamiri had been placed around his neck as an extra precaution. The guards had been afraid of him. As they should be.

    A guard stumbled around the corner and immediately raised his blaster. He felt a tingling in his finger tips and with little effort he reached out and choked the life out of the guard. The guard went slamming into a nearby wall with a terrifying crushing sound. Yes, his power had returned and it felt good.

    He took a turbolift up to the main hangar. Fires had broken out all along the length of the hangar as armed soldiers continued to subdue the limited guard population. The battle was nearly won. Victory was at hand. So too was the next step in his journey toward freedom.

    "My lord," General Vas Montayne said kneeling on one knee, "long have I waited to serve you again."

    "Do you have him?" The being asked.

    General Montayne stood and nodded and made way as the warden of the Prism was dragged forward and thrown before the robed figure. He stood aside as the being drew himself up to his full height. The sounds of battle faded away. The struggle was at an end.

    "Warden," the being hissed, "how good to see you again. I'm sure you forgot about me rotting away in the lowest depths of this wretched place. Now, here I am, returned from near death."

    "Returned from hell," the warden hissed, "which isn't good enough for you."

    "Such disrespect," the being replied, "don't worry soon your end will come."

    "This act won't go unpunished," the warden said looking up into the being's eyes, "the Vehns will make sure you never return to power."

    The being chuckled ever so slightly and shook his head. He reached out with his hand and placed it gently on the warden's forehead. Within seconds the being's face had turned to rage as he used the Force to crush the man's skull in a slow and menacing manner. A sickening scream echoed throughout the hangar as the warden fought against the being's grasp before going mercifully limp on the hangar floor.

    It was done.

    "My lord," General Montayne, "there's something I wanted to share with you. Something we recovered."

    The being looked into Montayne's eyes and replied, "What do you have?"

    "Your lightsaber," General Montayne replied and handed the being a weapon that when last he saw it had been destroyed.

    The being ignited the lightsaber and the red glow illuminated his face.


    "Nearly a decade I have suffered. Nearly a decade I have rotted away in this miserable place. Let the galaxy know I have returned," Master Tel Adain whispered, "and I have come to reclaim what is rightfully mine!"

    Tag: @Trieste; @jcgoble3

    OOC: Some of you may remember that Master Tel Adain was defeated by Austin and Grace Vehn on the planet of Tarhassan in Shadows of Tesserone. He was imprisoned in a horrible place called the Prism which was devoid of the Force. You may be wondering how he can use the Force if I've established in the past its not possible. Don't worry. That will be explained. That time frame is going on roughly five to eight years at this point. It's been a long time since Adain was a problem. Now, he's back.

    I told you two to buckle up....
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  20. Vehn

    Vehn Force Ghost star 4

    Sep 14, 2009

    "The Tund legions have turned against you and Master Adain is free once more," Councilor Henryk Rhyken stated during a meeting of the High Council, "the situation in the Centrality has gotten out of hand. You must call upon help from the outside if you're to hold onto your kingdom."

    "We must consider a tactical retreat," Lord Alexandre Renaard insisted, "some place our forces can gather. Any minute now the Tund legions could drop out of hyperspace and destroy us. We are exposed here. Call upon the Federation. Ask them for help!"

    Carley shook her head as she studied the holographic map before her. Retreat was not an option. The Tund legions had disappeared. All reports indicated they had gone out of the Centrality to the Prism, freed Master Adain, and then gone dark. A force that large couldn't disappear forever. They were out there, in the void, growing and plotting. Scheming and waiting for their chance to strike.

    "I will not call upon the great powers for help in this matter," Carley replied, "the Centrality fights and solves its conflicts on its own. Start getting me some real solutions. Solutions I can work with."

    "My lady," Rhyken began to press, "you have very few armies. Even with your recent additions they are no match for Master Adain and his forces. I beg of you retreat from Erilnar. Cede the capital and live to fight another day."

    "You'd have the queen retreat from a position of strength?" Lord Kyr Cunaar questioned raising an eyebrow.

    "Only to fight again when victory can be assured," Rhyken responded.

    "Our armies are not as small as you'd lead the Council to believe," Tygh Cunaar added as he drew himself up to his full height, "and to suggest that we could be defeated so easily by an old wizard and a general who never won an important battle during the last war makes me wonder what side your loyalties truly lie, Rhyken."

    "What are you accusing me of, my lord?" Rhyken challenged.

    "The Council is well aware that you served, treacherously, in the cabinet of President Eleanor Vehn during her administration of the Roon Federation. You plotted and schemed to have her removed from power since your time as Director of Foreign Affairs. You're a known collaborator with the Corporate Sector Authority, our mortal enemies, and were only spared by the grace of Maker because my wife saw something in you that others do not," Lord Tyr Cunaar hissed, "and what that redeeming trait is I do not know."

    "Tell me, my lords," Lord Alexandre Renaard said interjecting, "where was House Cunaar during the final days of the Great War? Where was House Cunaar when Erilnar fell to the queen's mighty forces?"

    "I'll tell you where House Cunaar was," Lord Kyr Cunaar threatened as he drew his blaster.

    "Enough!" Queen Carley Heraat shouted, "enough! Master Adain is a cunning foe. All the evidence suggests that he was behind our Great War. Nobody here can deny this. He was behind the abduction of Eleanor Vehn's daughter, Grace, and he is now behind this latest movement to tear our union apart."

    "My lords," Carley said looking at Rhyken and Renaard, "are either with me or you're dead to me. Which will it be?"

    Centurion Aiden Khairn tightened his grip around his own blaster pistol and stepped forward closer to the queen. Were a blow to fall he would be the first to sacrifice himself for her. He had served her well during the Great War. Now he would continue to serve her as members at court threatened to divide everything.

    "I shall ask you one last time, gentlemen," Queen Carley Heraat declared her tone as cold as death, "you are either with me or you're against me!"

    Rhyken gulped and looked over at Renaard. Renaard gave a barely imperceptible nod in return.

    "We're with you," Rhyken replied.

    "Good, that's settled. Now, come closer and let's plan our next movements," Carley commanded.

    Tygh Cunaar leaned over to his younger brother Kyr and whispered, "Rhyken and Renaard are not to be trusted."

    "I await your orders, brother," Kyr replied.

    "Soon, very soon," Tygh said, "but first there needs to be a formal act of unity between House Cunaar and House Heraat."

    "I agree," Queen Carley Heraat whispered as a general took over the briefing, "we need unity now, more than ever."

    "I'm glad you agree, my love," Tygh replied.

    Not so very long later
    Royal Chapel

    "Her Royal Highness, Queen Carley Heraat, supreme ruler of the Centrality and uniter of the realm," the royal aide declared as Carley strode down the flowery aisle of the Royal Chapel on Erilnar wearing an immaculate white wedding dress.

    Hundreds of guests, nobles, military leaders, and foreign dignitaries, bowed their heads as the queen reverantly marched on down the aisle. Carley's eyes never left the gaze of her husband to be Tygh Cunaar. She reflected quietly on her journey to this place. The long war she'd fought. The struggle for her own identiy between Vehn and Heraat. Her early days on the racing circuit. So much had changed. So much had grown. So much was different.

    "My lady," Tygh said as he kissed Carley's outstretched hand as she drew near.

    "My lord," Carley replied with a slight bow as the pair turned to face the ordaining priest.

    "We're gathered here today to witness the union of two ancient houses of Erilnar. House Heraat and House Cunaar," the priest stated, "and with this union may we have heirs and peace for generations to come. Let this union symbolize a united Centrality. A Centrality looking forward into the future rather than the great sins of the past. It is our sincerest hope that out of this union there will be a new dawning for our great territory. Let our ceremony commence!"

    Holy rites were read, old passages were sung, and ultimately vows exchanged. The wedding was broadcast across the Holonet as a symbol of the growing power and union of the Centrality. A new era had dawned in the galaxy for this tiny little fiefdom. For just a day the dark clouds of uncertainty and endless war disappeared.

    Only happiness and joy reigned.

    Tag: @Trieste; @jcgoble3
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2020
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  21. Vehn

    Vehn Force Ghost star 4

    Sep 14, 2009
    Nime, Roon
    Executive Offices
    Presidential Suite

    Liberty Ann Karr, President of the Roon Federation, looked to the setting sun as the glistening skyscrapers and glimmering bay far down below shimmered and sizzled in the dying light of day. Her mind raced as she evaluated the last briefing of the night displaying the wide array of foreign affairs that lay before her. Decisions and more decisions.

    The Centrality had certainly become the top priority foreign policy problem on the Federation's plate. More pressing than establishing a free trade agreement with the Republic. More pressing than reviewing the Hutts application for independence.The Centrality, fresh off a war lasting over half a century, had finally come to an unsteady peace between two rival factions now united under a common leader. The Centran government was having a hard time holding it all together.

    Liberty bit her lip slightly. There was no easy solution when it came to the Centrality. The Federation had developed a level of notoriety with regards to its foreign policy over the last few years as the media had gotten wind of a secret special operations task force that operated at the bidding of the government on Nime. The task force, known as the Phantoms, had conducted a series of infamous raids beyond the borders of Federation space. The group had since been disbanded but the Federation was dogged by the impropriety of it all and Henryk Rhyken, former Director of Foreign Affairs, had certainly not helped matters. There was a reputation to fix.

    "Madam president," an aide said, "there's one more thing."

    "Yes?" Libery asked.

    "Master Adain has been freed from the Prism and commands a powerful army," the aide replied.

    Liberty Karr's face went ashen.

    "Get me Austin Vehn, immediately!"

    II Avali

    "Something is wrong," Austin said frowning as he finished his cup of tea.

    "What is it?" Addison, his wife, asked.

    "I'm not sure," Austin replied, "something in the Force. I can feel that something has changed. Something dark and sinister is out there. Reawakened."

    "Your comm. is chiming," Addison said as she sat up abruptly from lounging on the balcony, "Austin, what's wrong?"

    Austin answered the call inside and returned to the balcony moments later with his lightsaber in his hand. His hands were shaking. He was visibly upset.

    "What is it?" Addison pressed as she snuggled their son, Connor, who had just turned three.

    "Master Tel Adain," Austin replied as he kissed them both goodbye, "he's escaped the Prism at the head of a powerful army. I need to get to Roon. Immediately."

    Tesserone, Roon

    "Got it!" Eleanor grunted as she pulled the last fence post out of the ground with the old family tractor.

    "Nice, Mom!" Grace cheered as she helped her mother, Eleanor, reset a new post where the old one had been.

    Eleanor's comm. unit beeped as a shuttle flew low and fast overhead before landing at the family hangar.

    "Someone's in a hurry," Grace remarked.

    Eleanor answered the line and turned away from Grace to block the wind on the Laweeya Prairie.

    When she set her comm. unit down her face was ashen.

    "Mom, what is it?" Grace asked

    "Master Tel Adain," Eleanor replied as she quickly hopped on a nearby horse and rode hard back to Tesserone.

    "What about him?" Grace yelled out but was answered only by the sound of galloping hooves and the roaring wind.

    Not so very long after
    Tesserone, Roon

    "Thank you, everyone, for arriving promptly and on such short notice," Eleanor began as she gazed upon the face of her brother, Austin, her daughter, Grace, her son in law, Sean, and her mother, Verity. A few members of the Vehn personal security cadre stood around as well. They were all ex Phantoms and had been vetted by Sean Vehn, Grace's husband.

    "As you know Master Adain has been released from the Prism. We're still gathering the details on what happened but we do know that the Tund legions have sworn allegiance to him and his cause," Eleanor stated.

    "What in the hell is going on in the Centrality?" Sean asked.

    "Queen Carley Heraat is struggling to hold the kingdom together. She emerged victorious at the end of their Great War. She's made a powerful political move and married her former rival Tygh Cunaar of House Cunaar. Their combined armies are strong but no match for the veteran leadership found within the ranks of the Tund legion," Eleanor replied.

    "Or the power that Adain wields," Austin added.

    "And what would you have us do?" Grace asked, "Are we to sacrifice everything we've built for the Centrans?"

    "They didn't make anything easy for us," Sean remarked as he looked at several of the security detail. He'd fought for the Federation against shadow elements of the Corporate Sector Authority in the Centrality and bared no love for the problems in that part of the galaxy.

    "You won't have to do anything," Austin replied, "Eleanor and I will handle this."

    "With what resources?" Eleanor asked her brother.

    "The Fifth Druckenwell is stationed on II Avali," Eleanor replied, "they'd follow us anywhere."

    "If they go," Sean replied, "I'll go."

    "Sean," Grace said squeezing his hand, "don't its too dangerous."

    "Someone has to protect your mother," Sean replied.

    "Grace, you and mother," Eleanor said looking over at Verity, "keep the home fires burning."

    "As for the rest of us," Eleanor said addressing the others, "We best get moving. We've got a date with Queen Carley Heraat."

    "No," Grace said stomping her foot, "no I'm going. My Jedi training is solid enough thanks to Uncle Austin. He could use another lightsaber wielder. Mother, please."

    "She's right, sister," Austin added, "she's one of our best fighters."

    Eleanor realized in that moment that her time from the galaxy was slipping fast. Any resources mobilized now would be at the behest of her daughter, Grace.

    "Go," Eleanor conceded, "and best of luck."

    Tag: @Trieste; @jcgoble3
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  22. Trieste

    Trieste Force Ghost star 5

    Apr 10, 2010
    So if Eleanor and company get a brigade/battalion/division behind them and go marauding off, that's going to cause some awkward conversations at the D12 security council...
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  23. jcgoble3

    jcgoble3 Force Ghost star 5

    Nov 7, 2010
    The forces are being assembled and war awaits. And yes, the D12 may have a little something to say about this...
    Trieste and Vehn like this.
  24. Vehn

    Vehn Force Ghost star 4

    Sep 14, 2009
    Stay tuned you two...
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2020
  25. Vehn

    Vehn Force Ghost star 4

    Sep 14, 2009
    Tesserone, Roon

    "You forgot one thing," Verity Vehn stated matter of factly as they walked away toward the Vehn family estates.

    "Oh?" Eleanor asked.

    "D1SC," Verity pointed out, "no member state shall take offensive action without consulting the others."

    Eleanor nodded and replied, "I'm aware that by sending Grace and the others at the head of the Fifth Druckenwell we may be violating our very own agreement. My agreement. I promised the D12 years ago that I wouldn't allow atrocities and the horrible war to destroy Centran society and be a stain on the galaxy. I am finishing a promise."

    "You're breaking your own agreement," Verity said.

    "Breaking your own agreement," Eleanor repeated, "so, mother, what is the solution? Do I let Queen Carley Heraat fight on her own? She's badly outnumbered. Even if she were to win could she really defeat Adain?"

    "Did you learn nothing during your time in politics, dear?" Verity questioned.

    "I learned a great deal," Eleanor replied.

    "You send just enough help to make them think you're providing more. Then you stay on the sidelines and watch what happens. Send Grace, send some of those Phantoms, send your brother Austin, but do not send the Federation military," Verity advised.

    "Our foreign policy could use the good news," Eleanor replied.

    "Our domestic policy and the markets could use some stability," Verity said, "especially after the year we've all had."

    "Why didn't you ever run for office, Mama?" Eleanor asked.

    "My place was here at home. That doesn't mean at times I wasn't want to steer things where I could or exert my influence here and there. I'd like to think I've gotten quite a lot done in my life," Verity said, "quite a lot done."

    "I suppose you left the politics to me," Eleanor sighed as they sat on a hanging bench built into the front porch.

    "I left the future and world building to you. Your father and I gave you all the tools you needed to be strong, smart, and a unifier of the Eastern Outer Rim," Verity replied, "and look what you have achieved."

    "The Roon Federation is far stronger than the RTO before it or the Federal Republic of Kamino before that. It will stand the test of time. The independent systems are booming due to our trade with them and peace reigns throughout. The Centrality will settle. In Queen Heraat you see the future. A peaceful future. One where maybe even the Centrality joins the D12 and signs D1SC. You will see the Republic finally recognize the Federation as an equal, stabilizing force. The Hutts have recognized the supremacy of the Federation and willingly signed the acts of union to save their clannish ways. Lastly, there is peace in our family. Your daughter has been recovered and is happily married. Austin is settled. And Tesserone is ours as it always was and shall be," Verity finished.

    "I suppose I did get a lot done," Eleanor admitted, "and there's so much to do."

    "There will always be something to do," Verity pointed out, "always. You remind me so much of your father, Oisin. Always unsatisfied with the status quo. Never one to accept what is and always wondering about what could be. When you laugh and smile I see him. I miss him. Very much."

    "I do too," Eleanor admitted, "I do too."

    "Let the next generation rule, Eleanor," Verity said, "let them make their own mistakes. Our time has come and gone."

    "It's hard to let it go," Eleanor replied.

    "It's never easy entrusting the future into the hands of the unproven," Verity replied with a gentle smile.

    "No, I suppose not," Eleanor said as she leaned against her mother's shoulder and relaxed.

    Tag: @Trieste; @jcgoble3