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  Dark Age of the Empire: Notes and Planning Thread
February 9, 2020 05:35:55 PM     View the profile of Ron 
I've been thinking a lot about how to get back into writing for the Vast Empire and much of what has been holding up the show for me is, I think, a need for some kind of world-building launching point. The chaos and disorder following the destruction of Lotaith begs, I think at least for me, a step back from the traditional military themed writing which I am so used to.

My concept for this story arc is that a "Dark Age" has descended on the planets once occupied by the Vast Empire. Now that the New Order and Thrawn's Remnant has descended upon the destabilized VE front, I think that it makes sense to investigate how the former citizens and NPC's struggle to adjust to the loss of order and culture. This is where I think there is a lot of potential to explore where the Vast Empire is headed in terms of our overall club's story. I hope to discover some new characters to work into my main's arc as well. Since the aesthetic of my vision of the "VE Dark Age" is inherently medieval, I've borrowed a lot of the world-building descriptors from the collapse of the Roman Empire and growth of Gothic Feudalism in Europe. Character names are reminiscent of Saxon/German names.

I don't know how much interest this kind of story would have for any of you, but I figure that activity of any kind at this point is appreciated, and if the particular genre of this story seems incompatible with the feel and look of Star Wars in general, I'm happy to reorganize and edit things to make it work with what our current High Council writing team is looking for.

Plot Background and Exposition

I had some difficulty finding information regarding Cepany on the wiki, and as the planet is VE unique, I've taken the liberty of fleshing out one of our club's core planets using the VE main page description as a launch point, and filling in with my own imagination from there.
Imperial Network Star Wars Image

The once Vast Empire controlled Cepany is noted for its breath-taking rocky cliffs and oceans, which covers most of the planet, and makes urban development difficult due to the lack of producible foodstuffs. Where urban areas exist, the main diet is what the sea yields supplemented by vitamins and minerals harvested by the high moisture lichens and cliff grown vegetation.  After the destruction of Lotaith and the decentralization of the Vast Empire, Cepany went into a dark age. Former Vast Empire magistrates fought to keep control of their land and power; to keep their holdings secure, they resorted to feudal management systems, especially in areas furthest away from the Cepany capitals and major starports.

One of the most remote cities which heavily felt the impact of the fall of the Vast Empire’s infrastructure is Merclifsted. Situated high up in the Southern Mersei Mountain Ridge, Merclifsted was fought over for several months by many former Vast Empire members, turned warlords, due to its defensive potential and old wealth. Repeated turnover from administration to administration had its toll on the populace, who eventually sided against the Vast Empire remnant lords and ousted the last of them before electing one of their own as the Baronial administrator of the city and holdings surrounding it. The autonomy enjoyed by this city was only enjoyed for a short time. News of neighbouring planets being occupied by the New Order has reached the ears of both high and low in Merclifstead. Count Orso has ordered a reinforcement of the city militia; all foodstuff tax has doubled in order to support the barracked defenders. Fear, hardship, and resentment has begun to settle among the lichen farmers and fishing wharfsmen. Change and turbulence is on the horizon…

Non Player Characters

This section will be expanding as the story progresses, as set characters change, and new characters introduced. All characters listed below are available for any writers to use. This thread should be used to discuss major changes (killing off characters, major changes in their arcs, developments between characters, meeting VE members mains, etc.)

Retin Ockplou, Human, 36
A Merclifsted lichen farmer. Unlike Luke Skywalker's farmer-to-hero character arc, Retin lacks the restlessness and naivety found in the classic SW type character, making his character development more of a supporting character for a main. Retin has been a lichen farmer for most of his life, having inherited a small stead from a family member shortly after his teenage years. Retin is distrustful of change, is something of a simpleton, and has a kind of small town conventional wisdom which gets him far among other farmers, but would stop hard on the other side of a journey through hyperspace. He is a middle-generation kind of character who either had a father who was a journeyer or will have a child who leaves the stead. Retin has a homely complexion, short cropped and spiky brown hair, and round cow-like eyes. He has a neglected stubble-beard, and wears the brown-green water-proof garb typical of a cliff dwelling lichen farmer. He lives several hundred miles outside of Merclifstead, but falls within the holdings of the city remotely. He has never been to the city, and dislikes all urbanites.

Hunissi Jacjaw, Human, 39           
Hunissi is a neighbor of Retin, owning a stead approximately half the size of Retin's on the otherside of the traderoad that both of their cliffsteads abut on the way to Merclifsted. He is a tall and lanky former stormtrooper who deserted some time before the destruction of Lotaith and settled with his saved earnings from his service in the Vast Empire in a remote lichen farm. Unlike Retin, who does most of his own labor, Hunissi has in his service a small company of droids who, monkey-like, climb up and down the heavily saturated cliffs for lichens and vegetation. His lack of regular occupation is the cause of his regular drunkeness, and Hunissi can often be found at the local cantina located about 50 miles down the trade road outside of Merclifsted. Hunissi has a surly disposition, a nasty temper, and a lecherous eye for local women. He enjoys the city, though spends his money quickly while he is there, and is ambitious for power in his local governance, though he is not clever enough to scheme for it. He is Retin's closest friend, but a bad friend at that.

Och Nil Mer, Falleen, 57
A dock master a few miles outside of the city of Merclifsted, Och owns the wharf and skiff building businesses which local fishermen and fishmongers rely on for their trade. A former Vast Empire naval officer who settled in Cepany due to worsening conditions in the VE collapse, Och rules over the local maritime trade with efficiency and cutthroat business acumen. He is a rising star in terms of the wealthy minor lords surrounding the city of Merclifsted, though he has no aspirations of politics, he is incredibly distrusting of the New Order and Thrawn's remnant, and houses his own small armory and militia who are starting to come into their own as a recognized mercenary company. He has recently gotten into trouble for some members of his company resorting to maritime piracy, and some of his hoverskiffs have been spotted docked in cliff-side pirate havens and dens of blackmarket repute.

Simia Vareen, Human, 26            
An indentured servant of Och Nil Mer. Sold to the dock master to settle a debt of her parents, Simia has escaped notice of Och's militia company by obscuring her appearance and hiding her otherwise notably beautiful and feminine features with false pores and disease-suggestive scabs. Called "Ugla" by Och's men, but seen by Och himself as a young and potentially talented mind, she has several times been responsible for finding errors in Och's daily routines and plans, saving him money and face in front of his men. Och is in the dangerous and unfortunate position of not being able to free her, or to give her more responsibilities, as he fears that he will not be able to live it up once his men find out that some of his brilliant plans and strategies were the brainchild of an ugly urchin and kitchen wench. She has aspirations to leave Och's service, but has yet to find an avenue of escape that will not lead to her recapture.

Grevan Hundredskeggr, 93, Wookie
Baron of one of many holdings outside of Merclifsted, and the particular stead in which all of the above characters reside. He is a mountainous mass of fur, scar tissue, and bone who has cut his way from being the life-endebted servant of a Thrawn Fleet Admiral to a petty lord on Cepany. He is very clever, ambitious, and distrustful of all Empire Factions. Grevan spends most of his time outside the city, though he schemes daily about finding a way to infiltrate the Merclifsted political elite. His dream is to become the Count of Merclifsted, though he is aware that he is extremely short of resources to obtain this goal. Due to his lack of wealth and men, he has taken to taxing his holding tenants. As the city started to increase their levy demands on him and other barons in the rural holds surrounding, he found it difficult to meet the needs demanded of him by the aristocracy of Merclifsted. He has most recently been pressing Och to give up part of his militia, with little success, and has started lightly threatening Och and his businesses.

Pio Fold'ne'han, Twi'lek, 60
A banished Twi'lek, easily distinguished by his double amputated cranial tails, Pio lives in an obscure rock cave near the steads of Retin and Hunissi. A former aristocrat and son of a wealthy politician on Cepany, he was involved in a scandal between himself and the young daughter of a rival family, which resulted in her death and his banishment into the rural cliffs a thousand miles away from Cepany's capital. He wears a hood to hide his mutilated head stumps, and has been rumored to be something of a holy man. While it is unknown, and not at all speculated by the local populace, as to whether or not Pio is a force adept, he certainly has been known to intervene oddly every now and then in moments of civil upheaval. He also has been known to prophesy certain events before they happen, making him sometimes sought after for advice on harvest expectations and yields as well as for protection from local storms and weather anomalies. Pio is looked upon by his neighboring farmers with both distrust and superstitious respect.

Current Story Needs

This section will be a list of bullet pointed needs, updated and changed as needs are met and new ones arise.
    Opening story post
    Additional writers
    New Order/Thrawn's Remnant characters
    Wiki page updates for Cephany, Merclifsted, story characters
    Plot tie in to current Club main story arc
    Images for all characters
    High council permission/perspective on writing force characters
[WM] [CCA] [QCT] [CoR] [BC] [CoZ] [AS-3]
[This message has been edited by Ron (edited February 9, 2020 05:42:51 PM )]
[This message has been edited by Ron (edited February 9, 2020 07:04:17 PM )]
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