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    posted a message on [Forum RPG] Embers of Peace - Character Creation

    Mechanics that rely on RNG or chance/luck are never seen in SC2. Neither attacks or abilities have a chance to do something different (for example, critical strikes or randomized damage or chance based slows do not exist in SC2). 40% chance to avoid an attack is luck based and therefore has no place in Starcraft 2, and even less of a place in a forum RPG.

    Even if it were reworked (for example, a variant of the Immortal's hardened shields), it would pack too much utility for a single ability (armor penetration AND damage evasion). I would either rework the damage evasion and eliminate armor penetration or simply eliminate damage evasion and keep it as armor penetration only. With 60 base damage, armor penetration will do little for your hero's DPS as even the most beefy units will have an armor stat less than or equal to 5 (so 8.33% more damage in the best case scenario).

    I haven't actually changed Phase Shifter yet. I am letting you decide on how to change it.

    Looking forward to your tweaks.

    Posted in: General Chat
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    posted a message on [Forum RPG] Embers of Peace - Character Creation

    Wrath of the Ancients
    Cost: 50 Cool down: 5 Range: 8
    -Telemose unleashes a stream of psionic energy at a single target dealing 75 damage (+75 vs. mechanical).

    Fine as is.


    Immense Power
    Cost: 75 Cool down: 10 Range: 9
    -Lifts a unit into the air, and then smashes it against the ground dealing 100 damage and stunning it for 1 second. 1.5 second stun total (including lifting into air). Cannot target massive units.

    Decreased cooldown and damage. Stun takes extended by being lifted into air.


    -Should Telomose slay an enemy with Twilight, a psionic shockwave ripples out from the body of the victim, dealing 30 damage to all similar nearby units within a range of 1.5 of the killed unit.

    What do you mean by similar nearby units? Why not simply all units? Decreased range as 4 is way too much (about a Command Center). Also, why not just use the splash stat and have 3 abilities instead? Cheaper.


    Phase Shifter
    -All attacks targeting Telomose have a 40% chance to pass through him. In addition, all of Telomose’s basic attacks ignore armor.

    Apart from being quite OP, the ability relies on chance, and that is never seen in Starcraft. I would change it so that attacks only ignore armor or so that it is a remade first part of the ability (e.g damage reduction or an active that gives invulnerability to the next X attacks).

    Also, as I mentioned in the PM, he background needs to be altered.

    Posted in: General Chat
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    posted a message on Starmon - A pokemon style map

    @SoulFilcher: Go

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but Pokemon PvP battles did not allow you to use items, unless they were attached to your pokemon. PvP was the only place where actual strategy, skill and stats mattered. If you were just doing PvE, you could get away with anything and the classifications of sweeper, wall and annoyer never really mattered.

    Posted in: Project Workplace
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    posted a message on [Forum RPG] Embers of Peace - Character Creation

    I have written a nice long explanation of what tech and supply represent and why factions still need to operate planetside mining bases in order to deploy troops. I wrote form a purely protoss perspective but the same idea applies to terran armies and, more loosely, to zerg broods.

    Apart from that, a protoss RPG appendix is also in the works. It is mostly done and will be completed soon^tm.

    Happy Easter.

    Posted in: General Chat
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    posted a message on An accurate Starmap of Koprulu Sector anywhere?
    Quote from SoulFilcher: Go

    With Blizzard spitting out new planets like they are Id say its impossible.

    Agreed here. Instead of reusing many of the old planets, Blizzard is just creating new ones to suit its needs. I don't think Blizzard even keeps a map for themselves. They do not have to bother with travel times and are quite likely too lazy or unmotivated to make a map.

    Also, I'm backing Orloth's statement. That map was made for an old forum RPG on the sc2 Armory about 2 years ago.

    If you really want consistent and exact travel times, make your own map or use what's up there. You're not getting anything from Blizzard.

    Posted in: General Chat
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    posted a message on [Forum RPG] Embers of Peace - In Character Thread

    Two Weeks Ago

    He drifted in the abyss, god overlooking creation. A million million million tiny points of light lay below him, above him, around him. This was the Void. Inside him and outside, his window to the universe.

    He scried the stars, learning each one's history and nature at a glance and forgetting it as soon as he moved on. Time did not pass and he searched for an eternity until he came upon a specific point of light.

    It was unremarkable, like any other, but it was what he had been looking for.

    Davir. The name echoed through his mind and he looked closer. The other points of light disappeared from his vision and new ones emerged. The solar system lay before him, tiny and huge at the same time.


    He could see the planet now. Barkanos. And around it smaller points of light, dimmer, almost too dim to see. But he saw two leave it. A thousand years ago, a decade ago, an hour, twenty minutes. It did not matter when. It had happened.

    And then, he searched for another point of light. His eyes settled on it and all went blank. That was how it always ended. No matter what he did, he could not look back at himself.

    But he did see one thing. He saw the Oscura move as his mind tugged at it.


    Vardanis writhed and squirmed on the cold stone floor. He could sense Asala nearby, sometimes standing over him, other times at the entrance. But he did not pay attention to her. He was in too much-

    Pain! The pain! The Pain! He convulsed as another seizure caught him, and would have rolled away if one of the Nerazim wasn't there to hold him still. But that was all he did. They did not tend to his wounds: they could not. And they did not comfort him either: that was not their way.

    So he lay there, for who knew how long, on the cold stone floor of a cave, while the others stood guard, waiting - waiting for what? There was nothing to wait for. They were done. Stranded on this desolate rock with vermin, shamed and forgotten, left to rot. Or being hunted down. There was no way to tell which.

    At times he was strong enough to open his eyes and sometimes he spied Asala there, staring down at him. It made him rage. Arrogant, foolish, reckless CHILD he thought venomously. How he would love to grab her, tear off her precious nerve cords, bash her empty head against a wall...

    But he couldn't, he was too weak. So he lay there, alone with his wounds. For hours or days or weeks. He might have been dead, was certainly dying. He did not know at which point they came. He only felt arms hoist him up and take him away. And then he was gone, swimming in darkness.

    Oscura ,Barkanos Orbit

    Asala regarded the dark templar in front of her suspicously. It was his subordinates who had rescued her and the others from the terran planet but she did not know his name, or even where his allegiance lay. They were all Nerazim, so she first guessed they were with the Tama. But the Nerazim from her own team had assured her that these Nerazim were with the Imperium and meant them no harm. Why they refused to talk to her, she could not guess.

    It was only after they had sealed Vardanis in a capsule and exited the planet's atmosphere that they brought her before their leader. And there she was now, a lone Khalai facing a single Nerazim in a dark spherical room that she took to be the ship's bridge, though it looked nothing like one: there was a single platform in the center surrounded by a fence and a few screens, nothing more.

    {Asala,} the protoss in front of her said, as if testing the name.

    {That is my name, yes. May I know yours?}

    The dark templar said nothing, merely shook his head and turned around.

    {You have failed your mission. As of now, it is suspended until such a time as we encounter this cerebrate you hunt for. The planet has been seeded and is now hostage. Do not worry yourself further with its fate. We will leave now.}

    {Where for?}

    There was silence for a while. Then, the dark templar turned around slowly.

    {Your master still sleeps. You do not exist until he wakes. It is only then that you shall suffer punishment and rejoin us. Leave.}

    Asala was about to ask what he meant by punishment but the look in his eye told her it would be a futile question: they were dead eyes, staring somewhere far away. She left as quickly as she could.


    Operatives Vardanis, Asala and their companions were recovered from Barkanos two weeks ago by the Oscura

    3 Ravager Orbs have been planted on the planet.


    Special Weapon - Ravager Orb

    Modifiers: Mechanical, Armored, Ground
    Health: 100
    Shields: 100
    Energy: 200
    Armor: 1
    Shield Armor: 1
    Mov. Speed: 1
    Sight: 8

    Weapon: None.

    Burrow: The ravager orb burrows itself in the ground, becoming invisible unless detected by detectors.
    Detonate(200 energy): After a 10 second charge up time, the Ravager Orb detonates its energy core, dealing 500 damage to all units in a 9 radius area. The Ravager Orb is not harmed by this.
    Psifall(200 energy): Grounds all enemy air units in a 9 radius area, dealing 50 damage to them (100 to massive). Grounding lasts 30 seconds.

    The Oscura is en route to Lidrim. 4 posts/days till arrival.

    Posted in: General Chat
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    posted a message on [Forum RPG] Embers of Peace - Character Creation

    Orloth, what are you talking about? I had no idea this "Mozared2" was actually our well known Mozared, until you pointed it out and he admitted it. No idea at all.

    The character has my approval, since that is apparently needed.

    Posted in: General Chat
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    posted a message on [Forum RPG] Embers of Peace - In Character Thread

    OOC: Might be a bit too dramatic. Or badly written. Same thing?

    Run. Hide. There is still time.

    They were as rigid as statues. Living substitutes for the stone guardians that had once guarded the entrance to the building. Four warriors and two dragoons. They were all that was left, apart from the two that were resting. And they were all tired... So tired.

    You know that they are only stalling. They can destroy you whenever they want to. But they are merely withholding, keeping you trapped while they destroy what you haven't already. Claiming this planet as their own.

    A barricade blocked most of the entrance. Several meters thick. Fallen masonry, pieces of metal, zerg bodies, dragoon shells. Whatever they could find. But they had to keep a small part of the passage free, so that the zerg rushed through it instead of simply destroying it.

    Oh, but you've seen what they can do. You've seen them dig and you've seen their worms. They can end this whenever they want to. They are toying with you. They are toying with you and they are not stupid, not dumb animals streaming in through your small gap to be slaughtered. They are wearing you down, robbing you of your hope and strength, while they fulfill their real goals.

    They were the last ones. The only thing standing between the monsters and the remaining civilians. Their ship was gone, packed with as many refugees as could fit into it and on its way to safer space. They were alone...

    And dead. You have been left here to die, along with those you think you saved. Overloading the psi network, destroying the zerg, destroying the city, trapping yourself and the civilians in this building. They are as dead as they would be had they stayed outside. Without light to live off of, save for the light of their hope. And what a foolish hope! That the Imperium will return! And rescue them! That Erana will hold her promise!

    They felt their minds before they saw their bodies. Feral, cruel, ignorant. The zerg climbed the hill of dead bodies and debris in front of the building and charged the barricade. The dragoons immediately began picking off the banelings, trying to keep them from destroying the barricade. The faster ones -zerglings- kept running.

    Watch them now. They funnel in even before they arrive at the barricade. Disciplined, organized. And you think them stupid beasts?

    The first zerglings passed through the gap and leaped at the zealots, slashing, biting, screaming. They fought like demons. And the protoss responded in kind. Their blades cut through zerg after zerg, spilling ichor over themselves and the stone floor. But this time it was different. He knew it as soon as he felt the ground shake.

    You could have run. You still can. You can live while they die. Why not do it? Why die here? There are no preservers alive to remember your valiant last stand. And there are also no preservers alive to condemn your flight. You can still live!

    One of his warriors sent out a psionic scream as his shields gave out and he disappeared under a flood of zerglings. The dragoon behind him exploded, spewing its blue goo all over him. A zergling jumped at him. His shields gave out and he was toppled to the ground. He lashed out blindly and managed to decapitate the creature and stand back up. His warriors were gone, replaced by living carpet of zerg. He was-

    Alone. And now you die. Alone.

    He fought like a demon. His vision became clouded, his body was quickly covered in zerg ichor. He felt nothing, saw nothing. He lashed out at minds he could barely feel, defended himself from attacks he did not register. And then the barricade exploded. A flying zerg hit him squarely in the chest and he was thrown to the ground. He looked up. Where the barricade had been stood the largest zerg he had ever seen. An ultralisk. So they had finally decided to end it. He closed his eyes, awaiting the end he knew would come. It did not.


    {Praetor, we are about to arrive.} Khalos had already been awake for an hour but it was the captain's announcement that stirred his thoughts. He sat up in his bed now, shaking his head to clear it of the memory that had visited him unbidden in his sleep. But it persisted: a few small pockets of fear and despair clinging to his mind as he purged it.

    He began to pace around his room - the Executor's Quarters - focusing on eradicating the feelings nagging at him, but the more he thought about them, the stronger and more resistant they became. He could almost feel the panic he had felt at the time, the blind fear gnawing at his mind as he withstood wave after wave of zerg trying to break through. All up to the point where the terrans came and saved him from the zerg's clutches, quite literally at the last second.

    That had been more than five years ago. So why did it all feel so recent? Why did he remember it now, and not in his days of boredom on New Aiur? During his recovery under Dagganoth's "care"?

    Khalos looked down at "his" arm at the memory of the cerebrate. He remembered the series of events that had lead to the most unlikely of encounters, the battle with the Order... the fear. His fear. To his surprise, the hybrid hand seemed to clench itself into a fist at the memory. At first he thought it was acting up on its own, but then he realized his own hand was clenched tightly. More than that, he suddenly felt anger. No, rage. Blind, inexplicable rage, erasing the fear that no amount of thought had been able to control.

    {Praetor, we will be arriving very shortly. I suggest you present yourself on the bridge.}

    {I am aware,} Khalos answered, putting far more irritation into the response than he intended.

    {Is something amiss, Praetor?} came the immediate query.

    {No... no... it is...} Khalos was taken aback by his own behavior. Confused, he tried to find its cause, a reason for the anger. He thought back to his thoughts, to the battle... It was a murky area of his memory. He really did not remember that much and hadn't tried to since: more important things had needed tending to. But he thought back to it now, thought as hard as he could. And after a while, it came back to him. Erana's offer. Her immediate betrayal. His own folly. His own terror.

    And then, as suddenly as it had struck, it all disappeared. The fear, the anger. All gone, leaving behind nothing but a tempered mind, metal forged in the fires of a star.

    {I will be there shortly,} he notified the Flame's captain, and left the room. And on his way to the bridge, he moved both his arms as if they were entirely his own, making that gesture which he had seen terrans use so often: a fist hitting an open palm. A clear sign that a battle was about to start. Or as the terrans so eloquently put it: "that shit was about to go down."


    Khalos flashback to days of zerg invasion.

    The Flame arrives in Aris.

    Khalos reflects on battle with Order

    Posted in: General Chat
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    posted a message on [Forum RPG] Embers of Peace - In Character Thread

    Hidron, Aris System

    Tarial banked his phoenix upwards. Hard. A madness of red lights and sounds ensued as his on board computer told him just how insane the maneuver was. He ignored it, devoting his entire mind to completing the movement.

    Completely calm, despite everything.

    He felt the heat from the air drag, the sound of his ship's failing shields, the scream of the wind. Even the sudden but subtle increase in mass as his ship's gravity distorters pulled in the three Exiled corsairs unfortunate enough to be closest to him.

    And then he was out, surging out of the mass of Exiled ships with three helpless corsairs in tow. They tried firing at his ship but it was already too late: their weapons simply disintegrated, followed by their hull, leaving behind nothing but golden dust.

    And then Tarial dove in again.


    Tarial surveyed the battlefield from atop a nearby cliff. Two dozen ships littered the ravaged jungle floor, but few of them were his. The Exiled had paid dearly for their mistake, losing what little air superiority they were left with after losing their little armada in orbit. The armada..

    Tarial looked up at the sky, where the remains of his ship and the Exiled supercarrier he had crashed it into were orbiting the small planet. He closed his eyes, remembering his crew's shock at the order. They thought they would all die, that it was the end for them. Admittedly, it was the end for some of them: Tarial personally killed those who actively defied his order.

    But the others now saw the genius of his plan. They were stranded on the planet, yes. But unlike the slow moving Exiled legions, they were not stranded in one place. They were constantly on the move, sabotaging and raiding the few facilities that hadn't already been destroyed when the invaders triggered the traps Tarial had ordered set. They were everywhere and nowhere, appearing and disappearing in a frenzy of raids that left the Exiled confused and disorganized. And, in their arrogance, the Exiled kept throwing away forces they could not afford to waste in a vain attempt to crush what they believed was a small group of stragglers. The fifteen burning wrecks before him and the eight ships that had been turned into dust by Tarial himself were testament to their failure.

    The latest battle brought the kill count to fifty six: the skies had gone from contested to fully dominated by the Imperium and Tarial was now fully ready to exploit this. If the opportunity presented itself. He was not stupid. He knew that the enemy's ground presence was simply too overwhelming to deal with in the current, scattered state of the Imperium's forces. He knew that every day made the noose around their necks tighter and that the Exiled would remain stupid only for so long. But he also knew that he was not alone. Reinforcements were coming. They had to be.

    New Aiur, Khasan System

    Khalos looked at his companions. There were six of them, all looking as if they hadn't slept at all in the past week. Four of them had the look of scientists while the other two were clearly zealots. One of the zealots was missing the lower part of his left arm and was eyeing Khalos' own prosthetic arm with interest. Khalos ignored him. They were strangers, waiting for the same thing but otherwise unrelated, just like the dozens of other protoss Khalos had seen enter the waiting chamber before them.

    This did not make them uninteresting, of course. Khalos was surprised by the number and variety of protoss Councillor Odranos was receiving at the Council Palace, which was still undergoing repairs. Where previously only the most privileged and exemplary protoss walked, now the rather unprivileged and non-exemplary masses swarmed. The palace had been transformed from a sanctuary of the powerful to a crossroad of the ordinary. The soft footsteps of ceremonially robed Councillors and elite guards had been replaced by the heavy footfalls of heavily armed warriors and the skittering of scientists and craftsmen. Khalos saw veteran warriors whose entire bodies were covered in scars, scientists wearing helmets completely covered in gadgets, protoss with malformed nerve cords and almost white bodies: it felt like completely opposite extremes of the Imperium were present in the palace.

    Khalos did not mind the increased activity. It allowed him and his hybrid arm to meld into the masses: he was barely noticed in the bustle of activity and was allowed to sit back and observe, as much a part of the scene as he was segregated from it. For the first time in what felt like years he was not the center of attention: he was simply part of a crowd, minding his own business while everyone else went about theirs.

    Which was why he was surprised when both he and the group of sleep deprived scientists and zealots were summoned to Odranos' auditorium. Up till then, he had only seen single protoss or groups of similar protoss enter the auditorium at any one time. The scientists and zealots seemed as surprised by the call as he was and examined him with renewed interest, taking special note of his prosthetic arm. He gave them one brief glance and then stood up and made his way towards the entrance to the auditorium, where a single guard stood sentinel.

    The guard stood aside without so much as a word and Khalos entered. Immediately, he felt the outside world disappear behind him. He turned around, startled, only to see that the waiting chamber with all its protoss was still there.

    {Do not worry, Praetor. It is merely a psionic veil. You must understand. Many of my visitors value their privacy and I, as their host, am obliged to... oblige them,} Councillor Odranos' voice came from the end of the room, as dry as Khalos remembered it. He turned around, surveying the auditorium. It was dark. Completely dark, save for the pair of glowing crystal lanterns that stood on either side of Odranos' chair, barely illuminating the Councillor himself, let alone the entire room. Odranos himself looked like he was barely there: his nerve cords were covered in dull black bandages, as was the right part of his torso. In the dim light, it looked like only half a protoss was sitting on the chair.

    {Please, have a seat.} Odranos gestured and another chair lit up. Khalos walked over to it and sat down. The six protoss whom he had not felt enter the room followed, each occupying a glowing chair facing the Councillor.

    {Very well. Let us get straight to the matter at hand,} Odranos said and then obeyed his own words, plunging directly into the topic of discussion. {Khalos, three weeks ago a secret Imperial scientific outpost was attacked. These are six of the many survivors of the attack. Six protoss were killed, but a total of seven are no longer with us. Would you care to guess who attacked the outpost?}

    The way the Councillor barraged Khalos with surprises and information put the Imperium's fleets to shame. At first he thought that Odranos had made a rhetorical question but when silence ensued, he realized he was supposed to answer it. And yet he did not know the answer. He looked around at the other protoss, who seemed as confused as he was. Why ask me a question I cannot possibly answer?, he asked himself. Because you probably can answer it., came the response. Khalos' thoughts scrambled to find the answer while his eyes wandered lazily around the room, focusing on the glowing crystals, Odranos, the zealots' scars... the scars!

    Khalos examined them closely now, taking note of their shape and depth. He looked at the protoss whose arm was missing, noted the texture of his stump, the slashes across his chest... zerg! And then it dawned on him.

    {You mean...} he started but was cut off.

    {The cerebrate in question offered to help the wounded and provide transport for any survivors. It also ransacked the entire station, stole copies of all the research that had been performed there and left with a volunteer. Fortunately, copies of the data were sent to our central databanks by that same volunteer, indicating that his heart was at least partially in the right place. I can safely say that the research is absolutely vital to the integrity of our military and that we would be extremely vulnerable without it. But I digress. I take it that you are familiar with this unnervingly kind cerebrate, are you not? Would you care to enlighten us - all of us - with information concerning it?}

    It took Khalos a while to find ground again. The Councillor's thoughts were too fast. Khalos could not tell what the protoss was aiming at, or why. So he simply obeyed. He gave a brief recounting of his stay on the zerg behemoth and his contact with Dagganoth, the cerebrate who had saved him from certain death, describing his prosthetic arm and ending it all with a brief explanation of how he had returned from Domus. As he was talking, he realized that he was not speaking only for Odranos' benefit. The sickly protoss seemed just as interested in his story, their gazes never wavering from him.

    When he was done, a moment of silence ensued and he realized Odranos was speaking to the other protoss privately. He must have dismissed them because a minute later they all stood up and left the chamber. One of them, a scientist, addressed Khalos as he left:

    {We look forward to collaborating with you, Praetor.} And then he was gone, his mind completely obscured as he passed through the psionic veil, leaving Khalos alone with Odranos.

    {I must apologize, Praetor,} Odranos started {you are only my last audience of the day because of the delay inherent in the arrival of the protoss that just departed.} When he saw that this did not prompt a response, he continued {Now, to get to the real matter at hand..}

    Khalos narrowed his eyes at this but otherwise remained still.

    {I am not aware of how informed of our military endeavors you were during your stay in Sindiris but if I had to guess, I would say your current knowledge of the Imperium's armed forces lies somewhere in between a rock's and a terran's. That is, you know nothing.}

    This time, Khalos' surprise did show. It was highly unusual of a Councillor, or any protoss for that matter, to use such coarse language. He did not know whether he was being insulted or simply informed of his ignorance.

    {Let me acquaint you with the contemporary map of the Imperium,} Odranos said dryly and flicked his wrist. A hologram of an extraordinarily detailed map sprung to life in the middle of the room, bathing the entire auditorium in its cyan-blue light. The map zoomed in on one corner, making the system of Aris, Meron and Idum clearly visible. Details came into sight beneath the systems, providing details on the Imperial presence in the systems. They did not look good.

    {You are probably aware that we launched an invasion of the Exiled-held Aris system a year ago. What you may not be aware of is just how badly the entire invasion backfired. Oh, you know about the Exiled assault on Meron, fruitless as it was. But you do not know that, in the aftermath of Erana's escape, the Flame and its forces were recalled to Khasan to "serve in the protection of the heart of the Imperium against the rebel threat" -and we can see how that went, haha - leaving our foothold relatively undefended. So undefended, in fact, that our last remaining supercarrier was destroyed two weeks ago, reportedly in a "suicide warp" against an enemy supercarrier. We have heard nothing since and have neglected to go in and discover for ourselves what is going on. I was hoping someone with your military expertise could enlighten me as to what is probably going on there: is the system as unprotected as the heart of the Imperium, haha?}

    Odranos did not laugh. He spelled out the 'ha's, as if attacking the very idea of what a laugh was: transmuting it from emotion to dry, cracked words. That was what alerted Khalos to the fact that he was being led to a conclusion rather than answering an actual question.

    {You do know, of course, that the loss of Aris will likely result in the loss of Meron, leaving Khasyn, and even New Aiur completely vulnerable to Exiled attacks?} Odranos added helpfully. Khalos ignored him and stepped up to the map. Contrary to what the Councillor had said -and he probably didn't believe what he had said - he had heard a lot about the loss of Aris. The disgraceful suicide attack of the prelate in charge had been a frequent topic of discussion back in Sindiris: it was not often that an Imperial officer resorted to such pathetic measures to do battle, even when the Exiled were the enemy.

    But while others saw nothing but disgrace in this action, Khalos now saw genius.

    {If Aris fell two weeks ago, why is Meron still standing?} he asked, zooming in on the Meron system to see that it was still equally contested by Imperial and Exiled forces. {Reason would drive the Exiled to launch a full scale invasion of Meron as soon as Aris fell. Obviously, that hasn't happened. Therefore, we may conclude either that reason is not what drives the Exiled or that Aris is, in fact, still standing. While many of my superiors would argue that the former is true, I am of the other persuasion: Aris still stands, somehow. Whoever is in charge of the system's defense should be praised, not condemned. Better yet, they should be helped.} The map suddenly disappeared and Khalos found himself staring directly into Odranos' burning eyes. The Councillor had risen from his chair and was hunched over slightly, probably due to his injuries. Despite this, he seemed to tower over Khalos, his psionic presence now clearly felt and dwarfing Khalos'. For a second, Khalos felt awe. Then, he felt a subtle tinge of fear.

    {Praetor Khalos,} Odranos started solemnly, {recent events have left our beloved Imperium in what can only be called a regrettable state. It is up to protoss like you and me to restore it to its former glory. But the masses do not know this. The craftsmen, the scientists, the scholars, the warriors, they need heroes, not capable commanders and leaders. They will not accept the authority of those unproven in their eyes. And the only solution to this problem that I believe to be within our grasp, is to satisfy these needs. We must create heroes out of the capable, make legends out of those whose wisdom we must confide in.}

    Here, Odranos paused, as if catching his thought, but Khalos knew that the pause was purely for dramatic effect. And it worked. Khalos was almost entranced by the Councillor's words.

    {The Imperium is afraid, Praetor. You can feel it in the way it draws breath: zerg, exiled, rebels... enemies are pressing us on all sides, suffocating us. But more maddening than that, we [are not even retaliating. We have blades, but no hands wielding them. We have great minds, but they are not allowed to think. We have great pride, but it is suppressed by fear. We are bound, unable to strike, to lash out against our enemies. And you, Praetor, you must be the one to take up the blade. You must break these bonds and strike. You must become a hero. Only then...}

    Another pause, and this time there was no attempt at hiding its purpose.

    {Only then, may I name you, Khalos, the supreme Executor of the breadth of the Imperium's armed forces. Only then can the Imperium retake its throne. You know what you must do, Khalos. The Flame awaits your command. Leave.}

    Khalos stared at Odranos in disbelief. He was completely and utterly stunned, refusing to treat the Councillor's words as facts. And yet he felt himself walking away from the room involuntarily, fully aware of what he had to do. Fully aware of what Odranos had just blessed -and cursed- him with.


    Once Khalos had gone, Odranos returned to his seat, where he remained for a few minutes, deep in thought. Then, he brought up the holographic map of the Eurim sector up again, zoomed in on the system that had recently been labelled "Davir" and stared at it, once again deep in thought. Seconds, minutes, half an hour went by. And then.

    {He will make a fine Executor, if he survives his mission,} a voice out of nowhere suddenly said. Odranos did not budge, his eyes still fixated on the map, now looking at the planet named Barkanos.

    {A fine Executor is not something you "make". It is something you are born as. But it is nice to hear your opinion on the matter, Zereth,} Odranos answered. The dry laughter of a Nerazim echoed through his mind and a dark templar suddenly materialized next to his seat, joining him in his study of the map.

    {Are you sure he knows exactly what he is supposed to do? Your orders were not explicit,} said Zereth.

    {I am fully confident in the Praetor's ability to come to correct conclusions based on even small amounts of information. Even if he does not know what to do, he will be informed. But I sense it is impatience rather than doubt that prompts your question. Am I correct in my assumption?}

    Zereth did not answer for a while, simply staring at the map. Then:

    {Indeed, you are,} he answered, at last. Odranos nodded.

    {It was your own choice to wait for his thoughts and insights. While I respect your decision, I do not think it gives you the right to be impatient.}

    {Impatience is a state of being, not a right.}

    {And the other state of being is action, which vanquishes impatience?}

    Again, Zereth remained silent, this time for a full five minutes. Odranos did not mind. Zereth's thoughts traveled different roads than his own and he was never one to ignore such a gift. It made Zereth impossible to manipulate, for a start.

    {There are many states of being,} Zereth started, {one which happens to be dead and another which happens to be alive. I prefer belonging to the latter and charging an enemy with no knowledge of his mind is a good way to end up in the former.

    {Agreed,} Odranos answered, laughing. This time, the silence spanned a full hour. Then, finally:



    {It is almost time.}

    {I know, brother.}


    Prelate Tarial is putting up a resistance on the planet of Hidron, in the Aris system. He is outnumbered but has air supriority over the Exiled's ground forces and is using hit and run tactics to remain out of the enemy's grasp but cannot do so indefinitely.

    Supply Losses in Aris so far: Exiled: 1 flagship, 649 supply. Imperium: 1 flagship, 280 supply.

    Khalos and a group of survivors from Mozared's science outpost raid have an audience with Councillor Odranos, the only currently living member of the Imperium's Ruling Council. Khalos is sent to Aris to retake the system. He is traveling in the Flame, a flagship reserved for the Imperium's Executor. 4 ICs/days until arrival.

    An unidentified spaceship has left Khasan space and is heading for Barkanos. 6 ICs/days until arrival.

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    posted a message on [Forum RPG] Embers of Peace - In Character Thread

    Unnamed Planet in System below Meron

    The field was littered with the bodies of countless alien creatures, their dimly glowing carcasses giving the scene an eerie appearance. Not that this bothered Yatara. She could barely contain her excitement as she walked among the dead creatures. There was so much to study! So much to learn! It was a dream come true! She reached down to touch one of the bodies, overwhelmed with curiosity, intent on divulging every secret it held. But as soon as she touched it, it began to disintegrate. She cried out and looked up to see that all the other bodies were decaying quickly now, too quickly to study. Despair and hopelessness overtook her and she ran towards the bodies in an attempt to examine them before they disappeared. In vain. They all disappeared, leaving behind nothing but an endless expanse of dirt.

    Yatara abandoned herself to despair, casting down her head and remaining frozen in place. Then something grabbed her by her ankle. Alarmed, she looked down and saw a battered protoss holding on to her with both hands.

    {You abandoned us, Yatara. You left us, youngling.}

    Silent, she tried to wriggle out of the protoss' grasp but the grip was simply too strong and the body too heavy. She tried kicking with her other leg but found it to also be restrained. Another protoss was grabbing onto it. She looked up to see if anyone was around to help her but only saw other protoss. And these ones weren't on the floor: they were charging at her, murder in their eyes.

    {Why, Yatara? Do you not remember our creed?} They piled onto her, crushing her with their sheer weight.


    She woke up screaming, her fists clenched tightly.

    {You are safe. Calm down.} Normally, the unknown protoss' words would have had the intended calming effect on Yatara. However, the accompanying surge of emotion did the opposite. One moment she was waking from a bad dream, the next she was being drowned in a torrent of emotions unlike which she had felt since her childhood. Startled, she shook and recoiled from the protoss, backing away from him and towards the other end of her bed.

    The protoss seemed surprised by this and the flow of emotions ebbed. Quickly, Yatara closed off her mind, sickened by the violation of her privacy.

    {H-how dare you?!} she screamed, outraged. The protoss in front of her seemed to freeze up and stared at her blankly. Yatara was about to scream at him again when the more analytical part of her mind kicked in: what was going on? Who was the protoss in front of her? Why was she acting based on ignorance?

    {Who are you?} she asked after a minute of silence. The protoss seemed to relax at this.

    {I am Amar of the Imperium, though I no longer hold allegiance to it,} he answered, again trying to force his underthought into her mind. She resisted. {Why do you close your mind to me?} he asked. {I am not your enemy.}

    Yatara stared at the protoss that called himself Amar with a mixture of curiosity and revulsion. Imperium, did he say? Did they treat the Khala so perversely there?

    {I am Yatara of the Wandering Tribes,} she finally answered. {It is not customary for us to share underthought with those we do not know.}

    Amar blinked at this. {Underthought?}

    {What you just did. The Khala,} she answered, bringing up the ancient term for what her people no longer referred to by name. Amar's eyes widened at this but he said nothing. Yatara guessed he was restraining himself from commenting, acknowledging the fact that the protoss before him was very different from what he was used to. She herself was doing the same thing: trying to understand the Imperial before judging him for his actions and tearing him apart for what he had done.

    {It is clear,} Amar started after a while, {that there is much of the unknown to both of us.}

    Yatara was about to answer but Amar interrupted her {Though I would enjoy learning more, I am afraid there are others eager for your attention. Follow me.} The Imperial rose and left the room. Seeing no other choice, Yatara followed.


    Yatara first stared at the field of alien bodies before her, then focused on what Amar had called a zergling, as if trying to decide what to dissect first. She was still partially shocked and exhausted, but that didn't stop her from appreciating how much had changed since the indigenous lifeforms had attacked. There was so much to study! She had never seen any zerg before, nor any terrans for that matter, but this did not stop her from examining the beings as closely as possible while still being part of the ongoing conversation.

    "You've never seen the aliens before?" one of the terrans, Adam, asked.

    {If I had, I would not be so fascinated by them now. And we would not be in this situation,} she replied, crouching down to stare at one of the still glowing bodies.

    {But how long have you been here? Surely you would have seen them in the time it took you to set up this facility?} Amar asked.

    {Were they not invisible to our eyes, we surely would have. However, as you should know, they have a knack from staying out of sight.}

    {Your sight. But your scanners? Your observers? Did you not examine the planet using technology? Why did you even set up such an elaborate research facility if everything could have been done using automated probes?}

    Yatara almost snapped at the last comment but managed to contain herself. She rose and turned around to face the strange group before her: Amar, three terrans and the "avatar" of the cerebrate who allegedly controlled the zerg around her.

    {And what makes you think we did not? The fact that I said they were invisible to our eyes? Do you not know that we of the Wanderers treat our technology as extensions of our bodies? That to us, our eyes are the sensors on our ships, the optics of our observers? What I meant, though now I see that I may not have been clear enough, is that nothing we did revealed these aliens. Which tells me one of two things,} here, Yatara switched to a more serious and straightforward tone, {Either, the aliens emerged from somewhere hidden when they attacked us... or they are completely invisible to protoss technology.} Amar seemed taken aback by this but the terrans showed no discernible reaction: all they did was move slightly and twitch their facial muscles in a manner Yatara found at once interesting and irritating.

    {Our technology is the result of thousands of years of research and scientific discoveries, there is no way an isolated population of animals could-}

    {Our technology functions much like we do. Psionically. I do not know if you, as terrans and zerg, are aware of this: every functional piece of our technology includes some kind of psionically attuned crystal at its core. You saw this firsthand when I activated the base's power core.} The terrans nodded, Amar merely stared at her. {Through personal experience and this evidence, I believe that the lifeforms have some way to shield themselves from psionics: I can detect them neither psionically nor using my physical senses.}

    Her statement was met with silence. One of the terrans, Bob, raised his hand.

    "Yeah but... don't we already know that?" he asked. Yatara nodded and looked at Amar. He stared back. She closed her eyes. And felt the idea dawn onto his mind.

    {That's because they are not making themselves invisible but making us blind!} Before anyone could say anything, Yatara interjected, admiring her own idea.

    {Precisely. You did not feel it. You were close to them for only a small amount of time. But I was defending myself from them for a duration I cannot even begin to judge: I felt their work. I experienced first hand how my own mind began to betray me, how seconds became eons and how noise became silence, how figures became shadows and rooms became galaxies. Because they are psions! They are psions and they can sense other psions and I know this because that is how they attacked and that is how I dispersed them: psionic interference! That is all there is to it. No technology, just mind games!} Her speech was met with considerably less excitement and emotion than she had hoped for and she began to wonder if she was making sense at all or if her mind had been permanently damaged.

    "Good thinking. Sounds like an interesting theory, but assertions without evidence won't get us very far. Where is your proof?" asked the terran named Bob, whom Yatara had quickly identified as a scientist.

    {All around you!} Yatara exclaimed and laughed- a real, protoss, laugh, one which only the Wanderers could reproduce. She spun around, procured a slim crystal disc from her still intact research bracelet, and set to doing what she lived to do: science.


    Yatara wakes up and is quickly introduced to Amar, Adam, Jack, Bob (who landed along with a group of Swarm Hosts on the terran transport ship) and the Garamar brood.
    She explains her theory regarding the indigenous lifeforms: that they are psionics and that they can cloak themselves not by becoming invisible but by manipulating the minds of other living beings.
    She then sets to collecting samples of the creatures for lab analysis, assisted by Amar, the terrans and the zerg.

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    posted a message on [Forum RPG] Embers of Peace - In Character Thread

    Uncharted Star System

    Yatara's body strained with effort as she climbed the makeshift ladder to the top of the pole, where the nets were suspended. They were sensor nets, complex instruments designed to monitor the atmosphere, and a few minutes ago, the base's computer system had notified her of a malfunction which she had gone to fix.

    She could have used a remote probe or other robot to investigate and repair the thing for her but, like any good member of the Wandering tribes, she followed the old rule of use-not-what-you-can-make-not: she would not use a remote probe until she could design and make one. That, and she couldn't resist the opportunity to climb up the pole and survey the area she and the rest of her team were investigating.

    She did this now, sitting down on a narrow platform atop the pole to rest her muscles. All around her, extending as far as the eye could see, was nature: cyan-leaved trees, green grass she knew glowed at night and countless other fantastic plants she had never seen and couldn't wait to study.

    And study them she would. That was the reason they were here. Big as the verdant area was, it was the only one on the entire planet: the rest was made up of huge oceans and barren wastes that supported no more than the most basic life. The fifty kilometer-radius area they were in was as different from the rest of the planet as the living were different from the dead. And they were here to find out why.

    Yatara closed her eyes and nodded as if appreciating the scene and task before her and got to work. She stood up and began to walk from one net-supporting pole to the other using the narrow platforms that connected them. She kept an eye out for any damage or inconsistency in the thin, barely visible fabric above her but saw none.

    Confused, she accessed her suit's personal data crystal to look at the report. "High Pressure Abnormality in Quadrant 3, Gird (6, 7)" it read. Yatara raised her head to look at the source of the anomaly but saw nothing strange. Confused, she was about to contact the rest of the small expedition to check if her equipment was malfunctioning when she heard a crackling sound coming from above her.

    She whipped her head up in time to see a mass of blue sparks course through the net, making the sky beyond seem dim and distant. And then, with the sound of tearing fabric, the net gave in. For the briefest of moments, the discharged electricity allowed Yatara to see the outline of a large, winged form. A second later, it was gone. She screamed.

    Yatara clutched her makeshift weapon tightly as she advanced down the corridor as silently as she could, her mind carefully shielded. The distance between her and the door at the far end of the corridor seemed to stretch as she came closer.

    A distant sound came from somewhere else in the building and she crouched, her weapon at the ready. It wasn't even a weapon. She had merely disassembled a probe and turned its particle beam into a portable weapon. It wasn't powerful but it was enough to hold off the... things.

    She waited, not entirely trusting any of her senses. When nothing seemed to happen after two minutes, she continued, albeit more cautious than before. She reached the door withing half a minute and found it to be locked.

    She cursed, something she had become accustomed to doing in the past few... hours? days? weeks? She couldn't tell. All she really knew was that something had happened and that something had disabled the base's power crystals. Without the power, she couldn't open the door. So she cut through it with her particle beam, pushed it to the side and entered the base's control room.

    As soon as she was inside, she pulled the door closed and, after changing the particle beam's settings, fused the door closed. Still not entirely secure, she set about piling the rooms chairs and other movable furniture against the door. Once she was done, she walked over to one of the many crystal computers in the room and tapped its core. Nothing happened.

    Frustrated, she shook her head and activated the particle beam in order to dispel the gloomy darkness of the room. She crouched and reached down to grab the cables that connected the crystal core to the power supply. Using the particle beam, she severed the cables, grabbed them and stood back up.

    She then turned off the particle beam and, using the little light that illuminated the room to see, took out the power crystal inside. She curled the power cables around the crystal and held it with one hand while touching the computer core with the other hand. Reciting a mental prayer, she reached out to the power crystal with her mind and activated it.

    The crystal glowed blue and, thanks to the miracle that was protoss technology, the power cables wrapped around it received its energy and transferred it to the computer. The core suddenly lit up and, before the conscious part of her even realized, she was instructing it to send out a distress signal to any friendly ships. Then, as quickly as she had turned the computer on, she turned it off. She could not afford to waste the crystal's energy. She needed it... for the things.


    Yatara, a scientist that is part of a Wandering Tribe expedition to an off-charts planet, sends out a distress signal to other Wandering Tribes fleets after her expedition's base is overrun by... "things".

    The system is the red system 5 hexes to the right of Ihan.

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    posted a message on The Thread of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics
    Quote from Mozared: Go

    What's empirical, measurable evidence? Is it like the wiki says "information acquired by means of observation or experimentation"? In that case, an elephant is larger than the moon. I witnessed an elephant the other day and it was huge - if I look at the moon it's tiny. There, information acquired by means of observation or experimentation.

    And then that finding proves to be inconsistent when you look at an elephant from 500 meters away and the moon is still the same size. Or your conclusion is inconsistent with other data. And then you have to come up with something new to explain this. And then that new thing is also disproved in another example and you come up with something else. And so on.

    Science attempts to explain natural phenomena and tries to get as close to the truth as possible, knowing that uncertainty will always exist but that it can be minimized. I think it's about coming up with theories, brutally murdering them and coming up with newer, more consistent theories.

    But I don't know. You're the trollosopher.

    Posted in: Off-Topic
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    posted a message on [Forum RPG] Embers of Peace - In Character Thread

    Planet Sindir, Sindiris System

    Khalos lifted his arm. It obeyed sluggishly, as if it was tired of being experimented with all day long. He let it drop and watched it. His fingers -its fingers- moved slightly and then stopped.

    He didn't trust the arm. It was more like a separate being that obeyed his orders than part of his body. Its pulsing brownish-purple skin reminded him too much of the zerg and the metal framework simply looked out of place on his organic body. But the greatest drawbacks were the reactions of his fellow protoss. They looked at the arm with disgust, even fear, and Khalos himself received no better treatment. Not only had he failed to keep Erana from the Order, he had also accepted a gift from the mortal enemy- the zerg.

    And yet, he wasn't sure about having the arm removed. It felt special, something to be preserved, examined and used. And it set him apart from all other protoss, something which he took a disturbing amount of comfort in. It wasn't often that a protoss was "bestowed" with the characteristics of two other races.

    The sound of a door opening shook him from his thoughts and he looked up from his chair to see Imperator Madran walking towards him. He was without company: this was a private meeting.

    "{Nothing. Apparently a ragtag group of rebels can attack the most important location in the entire Imperium and the combined forces of the military and law enforcement cannot capture them.}"

    Khalos maintained his silence. He knew that Madran did not like being interrupted, let alone argued with.

    "{The situation couldn't be worse. We lose Erana and an entire fleet to wretched zerg and then we lose the Council to the damn rebels. And that's not all. We are losing Meron and Aris, Khalos. After a year of fighting, we're losing them. Hidron is down to its last defenses. The imbecile in charge apparently crashed his flagship into an Exiled carrier and now they are putting up some kind of futile resistance on the surface. I give them a week at most. Meron? Forget it. Ever since we withdrew forces from the two systems, the Exiled have been pushing and advancing. And for what? We can't even find the rebels with the extra fleets, let alone do anything to them. We essentially gave up Meron and Aris for nothing.}"

    His rant apparently over, Madran stood in front of of Khalos, staring at him.

    "{And you want me to do something about it?}" Khalos replied. Madran scoffed telepathically.

    "{I don't want you to do anything. However, New Aiur seems to think differently. They are recalling you to Khasan. You are to depart immediately.}" With that, the Imperator turned around and left the room, as if the only reason he had come was to communicate his frustrations. Knowing him, that was probably the case. Madran was the kind of officer Khalos had mixed feelings about. A good tactician and strategist, willing to listen but prone to complaining about problems rather than solving them.

    Still, for him to notify Khalos of his imminent recall personally meant that something important was going on. And with that thought, Khalos' mind immediately swung to the meeting he had with Odranos just before he left New Aiur.

    He hadn't thought much of it once he had left the planet. Odranos was known for being slightly eccentric and cryptic and Khalos linked his behavior - his comments on the Council's "tragic flaw", the refusal to answer Khalos' question regarding the Council's competency - to these qualities.

    But now, with the Council destroyed and the entire Imperium on alert, Odranos' comments had a much different meaning to them.

    But surely, the Councillor had nothing to do with the bombing? Surely, he wasn't being serious when he criticized the Council? Surely, he couldn't have anticipated what had happened since their meeting?

    But one question stubbornly rang through Khalos' mind: Why, out all sixteen Council members and their countless bodyguards and advisers, was Councillor Odranos the only one to have survived the explosion?


    Talk and character development.

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    posted a message on The Thread of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics

    @Taintedwisp: Go

    Those were some pretty interesting links. Combine it with the improvement of processors using nanomaterials and the fact that supercomputers are seeing increasing use in science and you catch a glimpse of the future: supercomputers simulating trillions of different situations at a time and storing everything in specialized DNA. Looks like the future of scientific progress is going to be completely based in supercomputing, as opposed to partially relying on it.

    I'm not sure about Organs on Chips being completely reliable as a way to test new drugs. A drug used on a few cells is a lot different from a drug affecting an entire organism. However, the idea is certainly promising if you're trying to find out why a certain substance is affecting an organism in a particular way. I don't think it will replace animal or human testing but it may speed it up exponentially (and make it much cheaper which is extremely important as today's drug development costs millions and takes far too long to keep up with our increasing, self-inflicted health problems).

    Posted in: Off-Topic
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