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Author Topic: Crystal Glory(Closed RP)  (Read 6745 times)

Ceid Ankoun

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Crystal Glory(Closed RP)
« on: October 16, 2013, 01:48:54 PM EDT »

Discussion Thread

"Status Sunder." Came a voice from the seven holographic images of the men and woman sitting around a Holo table.

"Ah'geed." Said Sunder as he bowed his head with his hand over his heart. "The Duke of the Crystal House has been safely transported to Tatooine, and his son secured transportation." He reported.

"Good work son. We need you back here ASAP." The Ah'geed complimented.

"Yes Sir." Sunder paused for a moment, then continued. "Sir. We are rebuilding our off Sector bases, and it will take time, but our base on Alderaan has to be our first priority am I correct?" He asked.

General Nasi answered. "Before the Empty War, Our operation on Alderaan had priority. We were constantly monitoring the political shifts and keeping a close eye on Communications. We're forty days behind schedule and yes, that Cell is our first priority... Why?" He asked with genuine curiosity.

"Sir, the House Crystal did us a solid, don't you think?" Sunder hinted and the new Elder Kerri understood.

With her intellect, she deserved her post, though, she was criticized for being a little weak in her resolve. She worked on embracing her new authority, but it will require some time for her to understand what her new station within her family really means. She spoke with a soft voice. "The Crystal House once held a strong position withing the Alderaanian political center before being destroyed by the Empire..." She started as the rest of the Elders looked on as she contemplated. "Are you suggesting we aid in their restoration?"

"Not just that my Lady." He said as he smiled. Less than a month ago, Kerri held an equal station to him within the Entity, now she was his Elder. He was proud of her. "Not just restore them, but helping them reach the top of the food chain on Alderaan. They would be a powerful ally."

"What about the Organas?" The Ah'geed asked, knowing the response as the Ah'geed understood just as well as Kerri.

"They Sir abandoned us to our fate when we needed them. We owe them nothing, and aiding the Crystals against them shouldn't make us loose any sleep. They say, you know who your real friends are at times of crisis. The Crystals were our friends, not the Organas." Sunder spoke with fortitude.

"We'll. They are busy with their own matters at the moment son , but once their Chief recovers, and IF they ask us for aid, then that is exactly what we will do." The Ah'geed said and the conversation was over.

"Yes Sir." Sunder ended the call, but the Ah'geed knew that Sunder wasn't going to let the matter drop. He knew that he was going to pursue the matter, and convince the Crystals to officially ask for aid. Perhaps that was what the Ah'geed was counting on. They couldn't just interfere in the internal affairs of Alderaan on their own. Now is a time for politics and intellectual maneuvers.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2013, 02:48:39 PM EST by Master Ceid Ankoun »
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CymStar

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Re: Crystal Glory(Closed RP)
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2013, 10:44:59 PM EDT »

Agnost CrystalStryder stormed into the cantina where brothers McTavish and Cymstar were seated.  He walked briskly across the room and harshly pulled a chair from the table, sitting down.

"Whoa, brother," McTavish cautioned.  "you was waaaay cranked up to be avoiding attention in a Tatooine cantina.  Not exactly where your respectable citizen's hang out."  McTavish scanned the room.  Several patrons had stopped their conversations, following Agnost's path to the table.  Cymstar, for his part, acted as if he had not even noticed Agnost's arrival, continuing with his appetizer and drink.  But he was attempting to exude a calmness in the force.

Agnost could feel it.  At first he resisted.  He wanted to be angry, he fed on its power and it strengthened him.  Eventually, he gave it to the calm.  McTavish was right, it would do none of them good to attract too much attention here.  Recent events with the Endar Spire relic and exposing the foul manipulation played on the Empty Night and the Ankoun Entity had tested the loyalties of Duke Undara and Agnost to the organization of Lord Olrac and they had been found wanting.  Expelled from Olrac's circle, they were marked men.  And they couldn't even be certain whether someone in the Empty Night or Entity organizations, who had not yet gotten world of the Crystalstryder's mediating role, would take them out on general principle.  No, Agnost would allow Cymstar's calming influence to rule, today.

"How is father?" Cymstar asked over the top of his caf.

"Improving, slowly," Agnost answered.  "The doctor is truly a remarkable cybernetic surgeon and my sense in the force is that father will recover.  But we have collectively lost the resources we need to recapture our estate on Alderaan.  Father and I are no longer in contact with the Olrac resources.  The League will have to recover itself and will not have the resources to support us, nor perhaps the desire. Where is Tintagel, she should be a part of this."

"She holo'd me that she was going to Corellia. Look, do you think we could talk to the Organa's?  We were allied with them prior to the Imperial attack, before it was everyone for themselves", McTavish offered.

"Their resources are completely devoted to ensure that fool Thule does not crown himself Regent"
, Agnost retorted.  "Though they might be sympathetic, they are too focused and will not divide their forces from their strategic goals for a house which is not a house of Alderaan."

"But we are a house of Alderaan", McTavish retorted, slamming his glass down on the table.  Cymstar continued to devote his attention to his meal and his caf.  Tough to keep the room calm when emotions were so high.  McTavish sensed, rather than saw, the heads turn in the direction of their table again.  He calmed himself.  "Sorry, brother," he whispered in Cymstar's direction.

Agnost looked McTavish directly in the eyes.  We were a house of Alderaan.  But our house had been commandeered, our fine art treasures looted, our accounts frozen or stolen and our name falsely accused.  Or do you not remember that you saved Cymstar from certain death at the hands of rogue kidnappers when you followed him to the house from university?"

"Each of us has been out in the galaxy since then",
Cymstar stated coolly.  "we have gathered resources, allies, crews, ships, followers.  We have established new bank accounts.  Could we not marshall those resources together to make our move?"

Agnost could not help smiling, in spite of himself.  "You were ever the optimist, Cymstar.  The reality is that all of our meager resources pooled together will not obtain the necessary influence to affect change on Alderaan.  If we sold it all for credits, it would not be nearly enough.  Beyond that, to accomplish our goals we will need to develop our own organization.  And we are what?  Sixteen solid professionals with perhaps as many as another 64 or so persons of various skill levels as crewers with entry level skills, untested warriors and unknown loyalty?  Not enough for planet-level activity, to say nothing of attempting change within the galaxy.  We would need an organization much larger than that and it will take time and talent to build.  Father clearly has the strategic talent to build it but we need a starting point.  We need a base of operations and entry-point sized organization.  You have seen the Empty Night and Ankoun organziations, they number in the thousands."

"What about Empty Night?", blurted out McTavish.

Cymstar thought a moment. "I am unsure.  They have taken significant losses and the emotional toll on the Creeks was especially harsh.  In addition, there are rumors that Empty Night takes on jobs from the Olrac organization - a connection which could be especially unhelpful just now.  But perhaps the Ankouns...they have both substantial resources and deep talent.  Agnost, with father incapacitated you are the eldest now.  If you think it is agreeable, I will contact Ceid and speak privately with him on this matter.  What is your opinion?"

Agnost knew that the burden of family leadership would fall to him if father was killed.  He and father had spoken of it many times in their work for the Empire.  Father had taken time to train him, to teach him everything he would need to know.  Relationships and alliances on Alderaan.  Locations of what family treasures could be hidden before the estate was overrun.  But Agnost was no strategist.  Whatever the special something was which allowed father to see all the options and to know which option would complete some far off future objective was a skill which could not be trained.  There were times when each of them missed the presence of their father.  For Agnost, now was just such a time.
"It is a start, Cymstar, it is a start..."

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Ceid Ankoun

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Re: Crystal Glory(Closed RP)
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2013, 06:10:29 PM EDT »

By the end of the second week after the end of the war, Ceid became used to his new routines as an Elder of the Entity. When he wasn't attending Elder meetings, he spent most of his time on the seventieth floor of the Ankoun Tower. The former business floor has been converted to a wide and open force user-friendly environment. Its scope was massive as it spanned the length and width of the tower. The Apex as he called it, was divided into many open training areas, an armory, closed meditation rooms towards the south end with the view of Coronet, and a conference-communications room in the back.

Thirteen children belonging to the Ankoun family were removed from the Green Jedi and been put into the young Elder's care. Also, the four force users within different Arms of the Ankoun Entity were transfered to Ceid's command, creating a miniature Order within the Entity, consisting of students, instructors, and a director.

Naoko was also assigned to the new Force Arm, as they needed all the experienced practitioners they could find. Each of the five instructors took on two pupiles, which left Ceid with three students to guide in the ways of the Force. They were no longer Jedi, so adhering strictly to the lightside was not their concern, they followed a more grey philosophy, though their ideals still made the dark side their enemy. As Guardians of the Entity, they would see Ankoun interests as priorities.

Recently, the Entity received a formal request for Aid from the House Crystal of Alderaan. The Ankoun Elders saw that it would be in their best interests to have a strong ally within the Alderaanian political circle, and they agreed to make all of their assets available to the Crystal aiding in recapturing their lost strength and history. The only condition for the unrestricted aid was that the crystals sign a Mutual Defence Treaty. If the Crystals were to be attacked by any party, the Ankouns would be obligated to rush to their defence, and vice versa. The Empty war was still fresh in everyone's memory, and this ensured that the Entity would never stand alone.

Ceid was ordered by the Ah'geed to coordinated with the Crystals, given his friendship with Cymstar who was visiting the Tower as a representative of his House to continue the talks. Cymstar visited the Apex and caught up with Ceid. After a lengthily yet enjoyable conversation, Cymstar asked about the former Jedi instructors now Guardians of the Entity.

"Suria and Remi were in the intel arm, both are of Knight level within the Jedi. Turab is a Master, formally within the Military arm, Cal is a Master Healer, moved between our medical facilities. And of course, you know Naoko, a Swordmaster and our best dualist. The children vary in age between twelve and seventeen years old. Our numbers are few, but we plan to be very effective." Ceid explained with a sense of pride and accomplishment. Cymstar smiled in return. "But enough with me boring you with our affairs. I will be accompanying the staff of the Force Arm and aid you on Alderaan personally, should your brother accept the terms of the treaty. You have access to a large portion of our funds, our fleet and if things come to worst, the full support of General Nasi... How do you predict your brother will react?" Ceid asked.

Cymstar explained, then excused himself, said his goodbyes and made his way back to Tatooine to speak with his older brother.
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CymStar

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Re: Crystal Glory(Closed RP)
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2013, 01:50:01 PM EDT »

Agnost was reviewing the information from Micymelarcan again, when Kandoo walked into the room.  Clearly, Agnost had not had Kandoo in mind when he rented this hut on Tatooine. The trooper needed to duck to get through the doorway and his size made the room feel, well, claustrophobic.

"What news, Kandoo?", asked Agnost.

"The work goes well, but it is slow.  Neural network repair is incredibly detailed and difficult work with big hands in small spaces on a living patient.  But this guy is truly the best.  His hands don't shake, he doesn't hesitate, and his experience allows him to be efficient.  The duke is stable, but sedated.  I believe that when he comes out of surgery, he will need some time to adapt to his newer cybernetics.  He has not yet been conscious long enough for me to ascertain whether there is more serious damage.  He has lost his right eye.  The doctor is constructing and will install a cybernetic replacement, but I thought you should be aware."

Agnost was thoughtful, but not disheartened. "The news you bring is good enough", Agnost stated.  "I only wish that father was stable enough that I could ask him questions."  The burden of leadership was wearing on Agnost.  He certainly was not the strategist his father was, he was more a person of action.  He liked his battles one-on-one where you could sense you success as the battle raged.  But this managing of wide-ranging information, loosely joined persons each with their own agendas, against a constantly set of shifting circumstances was quite draining. Nor could Agnost be certain that he saw the way forward clearly.

As he was pondering all of this, Cymstar walked into the room.  Cymstar took off his dusty outer cloak and placed them on the hangars by the front door.  See, Agnost thought, now another piece of information to digest and perhaps cause an entire rework of plans already devised.  "What news of your trip, brother?" Agnost called.

"More and better news than I could have foreseen.  The Entity has given Ceid an entire Jedi arm within the Entity and he is rapidly staffing.  Moreover, the Entity is appreciative of our support in negotiating an end to the strife with the Empty Night.  They have made an offer to support our return and restoration on Alderaan in exchange for a non-aggression act between House Crystal and the Ankoun Entity.  It seemed a generous offer, since we have so few resources and credits to offer in return.  Ceid asked how I thought you would respond.  I told him that I believed you would be willing to agree.  We have no quarrel with the Ankoun family."

"You were right to believe so," whispered a weak and faint Duke Undara.  The medical personnel wheeled his gurney into the room.  An audible gasp went out from those associates who were in the room to witness Undara's return.

Cymstar, Mac and Agnost all rose from their seats and quickly strode over to the reclining Undara.  "Father," Cymstar began, "you should be conserving your energy for your recuperation."

"No need to worry, young Cym", Undara breathed in response.  "I am aware of my many limitations at this time.  I can't even participate in this meeting long, for the trek here has made me weak.  You should communicate to the Ankoun that we accept their terms.  We must regain the estate which is rightfully ours.  Once we are again established on Alderaan, we can begin the re-accumulation of our resources which were plundered and align with those elements of the Alderaanian nobility which still strive for a free and independent Alderaan."

As Undara spoke this last, he faded.  The doctor waved off the family and directed his staff to set up the room which was to be dedicated to Undara's recovery and retraining.  Kandoo, followed them and would provide security.  It was no secret that the list of enemies Undara was accumulating was long.

Agnost looked relieved.  With Undara back, Agnost's plans would be clearer, faster and more precise if for no other reason than he could get his father's feedback. He nodded to Cymstar and suggested that both he and Mac return to the Ankouns with the House Crystal response. He took a drink from his glass. Perhaps today would be a good day after all.
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Ceid Ankoun

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Re: Crystal Glory(Closed RP)
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2013, 08:19:56 PM EDT »

An Elder off world was a rare sight, but it did happen during situations of great importance.
The Elders agreed that the Alderaan situation was one of those situations. The rules and restrictions on the movements of an Elder always bothered Ceid, and sometimes made him regret accepting the position. This is why he greatly looked forward to getting to work.

Having an Elder lead a mission meant the mission was not very secretive, as the security measure and the preparation made everything very high profile. Ceid was assigned two six man teams, Cutler Squad and the new Rabi Squad. Also the five members of his Force Arm, alone with two of his teen aged apprentices.

"Master, we are touching down on Alderaan in moments." Said one of his apprentices.

"Thank you Sain, you and your sister stay close to me on the planet, we are going to move fast." He said and the seventeen year old nodded.

As their transport touched down, he stepped off of the shuttle ramp and was greeted by Sunder.

"My Lord, Welcome to Alderaan." Sunder said with a smile.

Ceid smiled back at the spook, "My friend, how are you?"

"Good my Lord, it seams that the Organas have sent a welcoming committee." He warned with a worried frown.

"We'll it's their spaceport Sun, we're only guests here." Ceid said then he heard a voice coming from the Entrance to their bay.

"Quite right Lord Ankoun. A guest." Came the gruff voice of a bearded middle aged man.

"Lord Elz Organa." Ceid bowed slightly as four out of five Jedi, his two apprentices and the two Military Squads formed up behind him. "A pleasure to see you again." He said to the Organa representative followed by a four man team of Organa Troopers.

"I am here to inquire the reason for you arrival... In such force. We've heard disturbing rumors of a shadow war that you were involved in. A few disturbances were noticed here on Alderaan. You wouldn't know anything about that would you?" The Organa rep. spoke with a suspicious tone.

You Bastards... Ceid thought. You know exactly what happened and you hung us out to dry. The Entity lost four Ankouns to the Empty Night on Alderaan, and the Organas not only did nothing to help them during the war, but they also never even protected their people on Alderaan, which was unprecedented. The Entity would play the political poodoo, but they will NEVER forget how they were betrayed by a very old ally. "That's all they are Lord Organa. Rumors." Ceid said with a frown and then faked a smile and continued. "The Entity is doing well, and if we were having problems, we would NEVER involve your House in it." The message was understood, in both its meanings, and Elz couldn't help but be insulted.

"We can not allow your personnel to roam our streets armed. This is sovereign Alderaanian territory under the protection of the Republic. And thus you are Ordered to hand over your weapons." Elz spoke with an adversarial tone.

"So it's like that?" Ceid said with a calm, distrusting voice.

"It is." Replied the Organa.

"If I can remind you Sir, the Treaty of Understanding between our Houses is still in effect." Said Sunder.

"On paper it is. Either remove your weapons to your ship, or hand them over. Otherwise you will not be allowed to exit the spaceport. Lightsabers too." Elz threatened.

Ceid smiled. "These are expensive toys Organa, I won't hand our technology to you." Ceid raised his hand and with a moment of hesitation, the military squads took the Jedi's lightsabers and returned to the ship with all the weapons and returned."

"Let's hope you don't prove to be an unwelcome guest Lord Ankoun." Elz said as he and his men stood aside and allowed the Entity members to pass.

"That was rude if nothing else." Remi, one of the Jedi said with a low voice so that their welcoming committee would not overhear her.

"Indeed, but we'll be the ones smiling in the end." Ceid said.

"Sir, our forces are unarmed, how do you plan to proceed with the plan." Sunder asked as he suddenly noticed all of the Jedi save Ceid and Master Turab smile at once. He arced an eyebrow and waited for an explanation.

They all got in the lift and reached the main hall of Pallista Spaceport, and found their way to the outside. The moment they stepped out, the cold air of Alderaan made them shiver for a moment, the weather however, was upstaged by the beauty of the snow covered mountains and trees, fountains and grand architecture that was Alderaan. Amazing, Ceid thought.

After a few moments in silence, Sunder lead the group to the edge of the Apalis Coast, south of the Organa Estate and away from anyone's view. Ceid told Sunder to stop, and when he inquired why, Ceid pointed behind them. Suria, the Fifth Jedi in the Force Arm and Sunder's former subordinate appeared out of thin air, carrying the Squad's weapons and the Jedi's lightsabers with a smirk on her face.

As Sunder arced an eyebrow with approval at the deception, Ceid grabbed his shoulder with a light slap and said, "We didn't trust the Organa, but we hoped we would be wrong about them. We weren't. Take us to the Crystal's old estate. They will be occupied on Tatooine for a bit longer. Lets give them their old castle as a gift when they arrive."

"Yes Sir, but... their grounds have been over run with beats and looters for years. It's on a small mountain west of Kaamos Territory to the North, skirmishes between the houses still remain to this day over their lands. Clearing it wont be easy." Warned Sunder.

"But not impossible. We will simply deal with the beasts and looters today, the rest, we leave till the Crystals get to Alderaan. Tomorrow, I want a complete list of all Crystal lands, real-state, art, assets, peoples, monitory funds... Everything that was stolen from them. We'll also start a makeshift shuttle pad, I'll be damned if I go through the Organa controlled spaceport again." Sunder nodded and the group headed towards the Crystal House's old Estate.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2013, 03:10:09 PM EST by Master Ceid Ankoun »
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CymStar

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Re: Crystal Glory(Closed RP)
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2013, 03:16:10 PM EST »

Cymstar's thoughts drifted as his crew prepped his starship for takeoff.  He boarded and walked to the med bay, where Kandoo, the doctor and Duke Undara were stationed.  So, this was it, he thought to himself.  After all this time, to be able to return to Alderaan, with the hope of regaining some of their former lands.  The Crystals were surprised when they contacted the Entity on Corellia.  They were taking back word that they accepted the terms offered by Ceid on behalf of the Entity and were wanting to coordinate planning.  Yet, the representative for the Entity informed them that Ceid had already departed for Alderaan with an advance team.  The Entity had been very gracious to resupply several of the Crystal's ship. Food, clothing, weapons and weapons systems, intelligence-gathering tools, alarm systems. In the end, Agnost politely declined some of the offerings, out of embarrassment.  Clearly, the legendary wealth of the Ankoun's was understated to what they actually possessed and controlled.  Cymstar had been too young to understand even his family's wealth and it did not compare to what the Ankouns so casually offered.

They were delayed almost a day in departing.  The doctor attending Duke Undara had been a guest of the medical staff of the Entity.  The Entity staff took great interest in the doctor's cybernetic work.  To watch them together gave on the feeling that he was intruding on some high-level medical conference, where the participants were comparing ideas, cybernetic surgical procedures, the latest technology advances and methods of re-training.  The good doctor from Tatooine, Dr. Onatonbee, had not desire to leave.  Cymstar could see the pure enjoyment of sharing things with colleagues of a similar caliber of training and expertise. The genuine respect each had for the other was inspiring.  In the end, the Entity staff had taken special interest in the new strategy and procedure Dr. Onatonbee had employed in replacing the Duke's right eye, how Dr. Onatonbee restored to a level of function higher than with the original eye.  The doctor had matched the impulses with natrual vision impulses from the Duke's good eye and had been able to restore normal depth perception, 3D viewing perception  and proper parallax.

Now, they were off.  Several personal ships arriving by different routes to Alderaan to avoid detection.  The instructions from the Entity had been simple - meet with Ceid's team on planet.  It had bothered Agnost, Mac, and Cymstar that things were flowing so smoothly.  Nothing they had ever undertaken had been easy.  During one of the meals, they raised there concerns to Duke Undara.

"To be a proper strategist, one should not only painstakingly study his enemies, but one should apply the same study to his friends.  You have seen the wealth and power the Ankouns wield.  You would also know that they never waste resources, but are very efficient with them.  I know, you believe that they were squandering them right and left in outfitting our vessels.  I can assure you, however many credits they supplied us with, in their calculation it was the most efficient use of capital.  You would also observe their great loyalty.  Reflect - what was it that made the war between the Empty Night and the Entity so brutal?  Was it not that each side felt betrayed?  Two extremely loyal organizations - though each counts loyalty somewhat differently - and each feeling that someone whom they had trusted had betrayed that trust.  I could not have foreseen it at the time, and our involvement was based on avoiding further damage to the Corellian League.  Yet, Cymstar, your relationship with Ceid Ankoun has created some level of loyalty."

"I am honored that you think so, father,' Cymstar replied.

"We must not be lulled asleep." Undara continued.  "I believe that there is also a benefit to the Ankoun Entity in their offer.  Their historic trend of using their finances efficiently is too strong.  That being said, there is no harm when our objective are so similar of The Crystal House becoming a puppet, or a victim.  I believe this offer from the Entity is sincere and true.  Whatever their other objectives for Alderaan, those objectives seem to be working for us and not against us."
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Ceid Ankoun

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Re: Crystal Glory(Closed RP)
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2013, 04:39:08 PM EST »

"Cutler Leader to Entity one. In position." Ceid heard through his earpieces.

"Rabi Leader to Entity one. In position." Another report came in and the rest of the reports started to pour in.

"Suria ready."

"Naoko ready."

"Turab ready."

"Remi ready."

"Cal ready."

"Your plan is a go my Lord." Sunder gave the green light from his makeshift command center in a cave near by.

The plan wasn't all that complicated, but it was damned effective. The moment the ready check was completed, Ceid and his two young apprentices approached the southern grand gate of the once glorious Crystal Estate. In keeping with Alderaanian tradition, the Estate was great and breathtaking. The tall spires of the Estate stood high and proud despite the moss, vegetation and aerial lifeforms that made their nests atop the spires. The metal gate and tall stone fence hid behind it a wide stone courtyard, filled with dry fountains, dead trees, and messy black dirt and frozen ice where it once had beautiful and lush grass. The Manor behind the courtyard layed there, eerie and lifeless. It was depressing, but Ceid could see in his mind how it once was. The loss that the Crystals had suffered in loosing so much in simply heart breaking.

Using the force, Ceid opened the large gate, and he and the young Jedi stepped in.

"Forget it! You go tell that to the Boss!" Said a tall, wide shouldered Human man with a long beard and a gruff voice to a smaller one. They stood near the gate on the inside.

"Ah come on! He won't listen m... Hey who the hell are you?" The smaller man said as he was startled at the sight of three strange Humans dressed in light Leather armor with a blue and black colorings.

"Would you be so kind as calling everyone in the Estate to the Courtyard?" Ceid said with a wide grin.

"Are you stupid? You have any idea where we are? You're not leaving here alive!" Said the large man as he tried to put Ceid in his sights. Suddenly a sniper bolt came from the left and entered the man's skull dropping him to the ground limp. The small Human screamed in terror as he reached to his come and screamed for aid.

"I'll take that as a no." Ceid concluded. Then a flood of human bodies came running out of the Estate, just as predicted. Ceid and his students moved calmly yet with haste and took cover behind a stone fountain to the right as the mob approached.

On queue, Culter Squad to the east, and Rabi Squad to the right simultaneously repelled half way down the tall wall and hung in mid air with their cables, giving their back to the walls and waited for the bandits to reach the center of the courtyard before unleashing hellish flurries of heavy blaster fire that caught the mob by surprise. The two squads had the attackers boxed in, as they mowed them down. The still sizable surviving groups took cover behind the dry fountains and short decorative walls and attempted a retaliation.

At this moment, the Jedi took advantage of the distraction and they jumped over the walls and rush with great haste towards the inner gate of the Estate, and entered with their lightsabers at the ready, they moved from room to room, hall to hall, cutting and slashing any resistance they faced on the ground levels. A two tiered assault carried out concurrently.

In the courtyard, the bandits took a circular formation to defend themselves from all side, again, just as predicted. This is when the two Entity squads climbed up and over the walls escaping what was about to happen next. A small Entity droid dubbed the Scythe dropped in the center of the bandits. It was cylindrical in shaped centered around a think axis. The moment it touched down, it started to spine, firing blaster bolts in every direction, reddleing the attackers with holes, by the time they realized what was happening, it was too late.

"Entity two to Entity one, the ground level of the Estate is clear." Reported Master Turab.

"Sunder to Entity one, the courtyard is clear, am I awesome with the Scythe or what?!"

"Well done everyone, Culter Leader, Rabi Leader, meet Entity two at the ground floor, clear the rest of the Estate. Sunder. How fast can you send a clean up team." Ceid ordered.

"A little difficult, we do not have the man power. My team here consists of only three people, but I will program a few of our ships' protocol droids to take over those duties for now. If you're team would aid them, we will be able to compensate for any lost time my Lord."

"Understood, make it happen Sun." Ceid said then looked out of the main gate to the horizon that stood unending, defiant in the sunset before the Crystal estate. Corellia was a durasteel Jungle, Alderaan compared to it, was heaven. He couldn't help but envy the Crystal for being born in such beauty. "It's a shame that all of this would happen on such a beautiful day!"
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CymStar

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Re: Crystal Glory(Closed RP)
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2013, 09:55:57 PM EST »

"Him, I tell you, it's him.  That one in the light leather in the middle.  Turning towards the main gate.  He is the leader!"

"Everyone," the older man whispered.  "Put down your weapons.  We are not criminals to be shot, neither are we warriors such as these.  We must approach unarmed and if this be our end, then it is our time.  We will have done all that we could do for the memory of this fine estate."  Slowly, with dignity and purpose, Stryder stood up, straightened his back and began walking towards the one identified as the leader.  The 50 or so others who were with him - men, women, teenaged children - followed Stryder's lead and walked in a huddle behind him.  Stryder was tired.  He had tried to defend the estate from so many.  Looters, wild beasts, human beasts, Imperial intelligence agents, Sith Lords, Alderaanian nobles opposed to the house of Crystal.  With stealth, craftiness and at great peril, they had attempted to save what treasures they could and spirit them away until, hopefully, a honest noble would return as the new master of House Crystal.  No one had seen or heard of any of the Crystal lineage since the day Cymbeline had left with Stanton. Stryder had not completely given up hope, but it was harder to hold on to it.  There was so little left.  Stryder's people were not warriors, just simple folks trying to do right and honor the legacy of an honorable house.

The man looking out the main gate saw them.  Stryder thought that he tensed for a moment, but the the thought disappeared.  Stryder was nervous.  For himself, his family and his rag-tag little troop.  He really hoped his choice to approach this one was not a mistake.  He could not help the timidity of his approach, his nervousness was surely showing.  This one seemed different than all the rest.  He was organized, purposeful.  His team dispatched the looters with speed, yet took care to avoid damaging the structures and what greenery was left in the courtyard.

"Good Sir, good sir.  A moment of your time, I beg you," Stryder began.

"Continue", said the man in the leather armor.

"I need to know if you mean good will or evil for this house.  This estate was formerly owned by an honorable and kind family.  There were generous to the community and were supporters of the arts and sciences.  The provided jobs, food and medical assistance to those under their care.  But they were betrayed during the imperial invasion and have not been heard of since.  If you are considering taking over this estate, I need to know if you are of their same cloth, or if you will be no better than the one you have just destroyed."  Stryder paused.  Well, that was that.  he had rolled the cubes and now we would see if this force, which the Duke subscribed to, was a true friend or a cruel trickster.

"And what would that matter to you?" continued the voice.  It sounded calm, controlled, without anger.

Stryder began to get nervous, now.  The warriors were beginning to gather to this leader, some approaching with weapons at the ready.  Well, perhaps today was a good day to die. Stryder breathed deeply and sighed.

"My name is Stryder.  I was at one time, Chief Steward of House Crystal.  For these many years, since the disappearance of the Duke, I have attempted to continue to carry out my duties as Steward and protect this estate.  These people who are with me are all that are left of Duke Undara's trusted servants.  If you are to be the next owners of this house, and are honorable, we will pledge ourselves to your service.  Our food is low, our health declining, our numbers declining and our weapons charges are spent.  But if you are honorable as were those of Crystal House, then we would consider it a privilege to serve you here.  If you would accept our service, I could show you to your quarters and we could begin clearing this mess and trying to restore the estate to its former splendor.  What answer can you give me concerning your intentions?"
« Last Edit: November 04, 2013, 07:29:57 PM EST by CymStar »
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Ceid Ankoun

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Re: Crystal Glory(Closed RP)
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2013, 03:55:08 PM EST »

Ceid leaned forward towards the man calling himself Styder and smiled as he was impressed. "You're telling me that you defended this place all this time all by yourselves? You're either insane or the bravest men and women I've seen in my life." Ceid said as he circled around the exhausted man. He raised his hand and his team stood down. "That kind of loyalty is rare my friend. You and your people deserve medals... But good news will suffice for the moment. Follow me." Ceid said then walked through the crowd and courtyard towards the mansion and hailed Sunder on the Com. "Sunder, I got your man power right here, a lot of man power. Send the droid anyways, we have to make this place presentable before they arrive." Ceid said, feeling a strange satisfaction. The great example of courage truly impressed him.

"Yes Sir." Sunder replied.

"You wanted to know my intentions brave Steward? I'll tell you." He started as he turned around and faced the crowd. "I need you to get this place back to its best conditions, whatever you need to accomplish such a feat, you will have. Your Duke is coming back any day now, with the rest of the Crystal House." Ceid claimed and murmurs and whispers suddenly rose from the crowd as they exchanged looks, some excited, and the rest unbelieving. "In order for House Crystal to regain its prestige, they must first live in an Estate befitting of Nobility. As they say, for Alderaan's Nobles, appearances are everything." Ceid concluded with a smile.

"I'm sorry Sir, but..." a woman from the crowd stepped up and started. "...Who are you people?" She asked and some from the old staff shushed her, fearing that she might offend.

Ceid simple answered with a word. "Friends."
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CymStar

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Re: Crystal Glory(Closed RP)
« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2013, 09:21:17 PM EST »

They were all so shocked, it took a minute for Stryder to regain his composure.  When he did Master Ceid Ankoun thought that he stood a little taller, his back a little straighter.  That sudden gleam in his eye, was it a tear of joy?  Ceid politely turned away from Stryder and his group.  No sense to embarass them, Ceid thought.

Stryder collected his thoughts rapidly, though it took a moment to master the emotions flooding over him.  He straightened and turn to his remnant.  It seemed to him that most were giddy, acting like first-year students at University.  He cleared his throat loudly enough to settle them down.  They were only fifty.  The young ones had never know life under the Crystals, only a life of want.  It was a life which was filled with loss, disappointment and fighting against fear.  Best to break into teams and get an inventory.

"Nora', Stryder began, " take 9 members and survey the accommodations.  Take five experienced servants and four of the young people.  No time like the present to begin learning a working skill.  I want a complete list of what is needed - repairs, supplies - in the next two hours.  Klamesh, you take another 9 members and report to Master Friend - ask for a loan of enough weapons to safely conduct your team to the Cave of the Western Mountains.  Retrieve the strongbox which we have hidden there.  Greet the captain of the guard and have him return to the estate with whatever is left in the hold.  Have him return as soon after you as possible.  Ensure that he has enough men to begin posting a regular security rotation for the estate and to take an assessment of any security issues or perimeter breaches which must be repaired.  Have him select 12 of his best men for an honor guard converting to a security detail.  We will not be so unprepared as we were the first time for any intruders."

"Francis, dear Francis.  You are immediately restored to you station as Chief Chef.  Select of the remaining 30, nine persons who have an aptitude for kitchen work and report to the kitchen.  I want a status - equipment condition, power supply, refrigeration, food stores, if any, and a shopping list sufficient to feed the House Crystal and our guests.  Please obtain the number of our guest from the kind Master Friend.  You also have two hours."
 Stryder paused to catch his breath.  That left just 20 persons to help with the remainder of the work.  It seemed so impossible.  When the estate was in it prime there were 200 servants, all fully employed just keeping the place running.  That was to say nothing of the staff which was devoted to the political affairs of the house, the artisans, the House Crystal benefactors to various charitable causes.  Stryder knew the accounting of what had been recovered to the Hold.  He would have to budget carefully until the estate lands could be put back into production, the local businesses up and operating, and enough income flowing to allow the payment of local taxes.

"Claris, take 4 members up to the taxi station and start to put things in order.  We will need to get reconnected with businesses in the next estates and procure our needs.  Jochem, I need you to take three strong negotiators and one of the young ones and travel to places of business.  I need to know who the honest business people are, and I need some research on current prices.  Then you are to return to the estate, meet with Francis and Nora and build the master shopping list.  Then we will see what we have in the strongbox and I will send your team off to negotiate the best prices possible for the supplies needed.  Start with the most necessary and work down the list."

"Johnathan, take two additional members who have some skill in husbandry and work with our friends to try and salvage the what vegetation we can.  Begin with the rarest plants and work towards the most common.  If we have time, shift from plants to animals.  What to we have left, are their pens or cages, or are the animals running wild?  Elka, take two others who have some engineering aptitude and work with our friends to detail the status of the walls, buildings, power and hydration services.  The three left - you are hereby promoted to supervisors.  Work with our friends and organize the work so that it is efficient and effective.  Don't waste their valuable time after they have contributed so much already."


As the teams departed excitedly, Stryder looked at the man he called Master Friend.  There was a lightness in his step, as if he had somehow overcome great darkness.  The Master spoke animatedly with his colleagues and the integration of the remnant of House Crystal with the Master's work crews was seamless.  Who was this man who exuded confidence and truly seemed to be sparing no expense.  Holocalls were going out.  Serious equipment began arriving at the wreckage of a taxi station.  It did Stryder's heart great good to see the teams clearing a table to lay out architectural plans and discuss with enthusiasm how to repair the estate.  Sometimes, they would clear a table and just stop - seeing a table of exquisite craftsmanship and artistry.  Those cretins who continuously ransacked the place did not even have the cultural wherewithal to recognize a hand-crafted Bellafuerte table when the walked by it.  But these...these "friends", they recognized it instantly and stopped their work momentarily to look and wonder and appreciate.

Stryder had no idea who these friends were or what their history was, but he was not surprised that Duke Undara had managed to become acquainted with galactic men and women of power and integrity.  He shook himself.  He had better get to work himself.  No proper Steward would return an estate to its master in worse shape that it was left to his care.  That, ho thought, was going to be impossible.  But he would try, he would try...
« Last Edit: November 05, 2013, 09:30:54 PM EST by CymStar »
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Ceid Ankoun

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Re: Crystal Glory(Closed RP)
« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2013, 03:20:06 PM EST »

As repairs progressed slowly but steadily, Ceid started to absorb the scope of what had happened to the Crystals. As he passed through the halls of the Estate, he started putting together the history of this place. The scorches of Blaster fire, the rubble cause by grenades. Also flashes of different people came to his mind whenever he passed a spot where something tragic or dramatic had happened. He felt it as ripples in the Force. When he got to the top of the main stairwell on the ground level, Ceid saw in his mind the image of a young boy that strongly resembled Cymstar. He was screaming... Ceid shook his head and tried to remove the image from his mind, it brought with it emotions that were not his which left him momentarily unsettled.

Putting aside the exploration of the past, Ceid returned to the outside Courtyard and scanned the area. The progress was becoming noticeable with the arrival of three protocol droids to aid with repairs and cleaning. As he looked to the center, Ceid noticed Sunder standing before a stone statue of a mostly nude woman, slightly hidden behind a representation of a silk cloth. The artistic statue was beautiful, but his mind was on other things... Sunder has been pushing for this treaty from the beginning, and he wasn't so secretive about it, which was especially strange coming from the second over the Intelligence devision of the Entity. What were his intensions? Why would he be so interested in this mission? Why was he here when he was almost never seen physically.

Throughout his career, he was a great field agent, and upon his promotion, his skills as a tactician and a leader made him more useful to the Entity behind a computer terminal in the Operations room, and no longer went to the field. For years, he never went on missions personally. And suddenly,  he showed up on Nar Shadda during the Empty War peace summit, was always visible around the Ankoun Tower and now he is personally on Alderaan. Ceid approached him, intending to find out.

"My Lord." Sunder said as he was lost in thought.

"We're alone now Sun, don't be so formal." Ceid answered.

"Sorry Ceid, not often do we see an Elder that is my age, it's a little funny." Sun quipped.

Ceid chuckled a little. "Indeed... Sun, I have a question for you."

"Go ahead, shoot." Sunder looked towards the tall human.

"Why are you here? Physically I mean, it's a little strange seeing you in the field. What makes this mission so different?" Ceid started.

"You do know that I was once an Entity spook on Dramund Kaas... I am very good at field work." Sunder smiled, understanding the question but acted ignorant of it.

"You know what I mean." Ceid said with a slow shake of his head.

"I do but... I don't want to answer that really." Sunder admitted as he suddenly blushed.

And sudden flash of a beautiful woman appeared in Ceid's mind. The disembodied memories of the Crystals' fall again? Ceid thought, it was strange since he was far from the Mansion. No, Ceid realized, These are Sunder's thoughts... "Sun?! A woman?" Ceid said with a laugh, "You went through all of this and pushed so hard because of a woman?"

"Hey! These are private thoughts Ceid! Get out of my head!" Sunder complained. Sunder's minded wasn't easily read, but Ceid's telepathic skills have been steadily increasing ever since the Empty War. The image he got was clearly a Crystal house woman.

"Sorry, I can't control it yet. But who is she?" Ceid asked excitedly.

"Look, she's a Crystal, we talked a lot during the Empty Night incidents." He explained.

"Tell me everything!"

"None of your business, I don't want to talk about it." Sunder said slightly embarrassed and irritated as he walked away from Ceid back towards his makeshift HQ.

Ceid raised his voice a little so that Sunder who now was farther away could hear. "I WILL find out you know. might as well tell me now." Ceid said with a wide grin.

"No!" Sunder yelled back.
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CymStar

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Re: Crystal Glory(Closed RP)
« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2013, 10:06:33 PM EST »

Mithic, Mickey and Elysiliandra - she went by Elyss, though sometimes Mithic kidded her the better nickname would be Silli - locked the spaceship and looked at each other.  They each felt a little uncomfortable in the traveler's robes.  For Mithic and Elyss, there was a feeling of exposure without their armor.  For Mickey, it was more like being blind.  She kept some of her specialized gear, but she could only carry so much and still look the part.  There eyes met, there are discreet nods, and they each headed for a separate exit.

Mithic had reviewed the plans with each on-board the ship, prior to orbit.  They were just travelers.  Their role was to each make there way to the Crystal Estate, picking up intelligence on adversaries, numbers and tactical situation along the way.  Mickey was to break off in the nearest town and begin to assemble a dossier on the current political situation.  Which houses were ascendent, which were failing, and what information could be used for political intrigue later.  Mithic and Elyss would arrive at the Estate and start reshaping the odds.  It would be much slower work without their fighting equipment, but hunters are hunters because they can improvise.

Kandoo and Knac'ymr'uthra would bring up the rear with a straight forward approach to the estate.  Kandoo had asked Carliste for a favor or two, resulting in an equipment sled which was spec'd out as a black ops blast boat.  It would carry Mithic, Mickey and Elyss's gear, some food and supplies to the estate.  It didn't hurt that Kandoo or Cymru could mount it in a heartbeat and turn it into a lethal weapon.

The remaining four ships would each come on planet at a different spaceport.  Duke would come in at the Organa's spaceport.  He would see what remained of any goodwill between the houses and whether there would be any support for the return of House Crystal.  He would have Mac, Elodian and the sniper Cym'avignon with him.  Cymstar would put down at the Republic forward base.  His ship carried the young Jedi Cymbril and Mic'ymro'cinnit.  Lastly, Agnost would land in the House Thul Spaceport.  His ship would carry Ar'cym'mach.  That was probably the thorniest match-up as the two of them were always competing.  Duke Undara had warned them both of his displeasure if their personal agendas interfered with the accomplishment of the objective.  And Undara could be very persuasive.

That was it, then.  Each team landed, gathered their supplies from the restocked stores the Ankouns had supplied them with, and started on their separate paths to the Estate.  Mithic or Elyss would be the first to break comm silence with their reports to the teams of what they found when they arrived on the Estate grounds.  Duke had informed everyone about his last contact with Stryder many years ago.  Undara knew that if Stryder was still alive, he would still be trying to defend the Estate.  Undara made it extremely clear that no harm was to come to the trusted Steward.

Each person found their own path, began their own education about or re-introduction to Alderaan.  The pace was different for each crew.  Mac and Elodian found they could not resist bartering and trading in the merchant areas of towns they passed through.  Obviously, many years had passed and the scoundrel life had somehow changed Mac, because no one recognized him as Stanton Crystal.  Cymstar found a different association. When he had left, he had been nobility in poverty.  Young, idealistic, and quite naive.  He was at university in Aldera when the Imperial Attack came.  He remembered that day, running, screaming as the city succumbed to bombardment.  Screaming at the two younglings he had saved by accidental discovery of his force sensitivity.  Saved from death by the timely arrival and intervention of one Grand Master Satele Shan. He was so, well, stupid then. Ok, maybe not stupid, but certainly ignorant or uninformed.  Now, people would part as he approached, not wanting to interfere with whatever important work this Master Jedi was on his way to transact.  Not one person asked him if he was Cymbeline Silverstar Crystal.

For Duke, however, it was quite different.  Upon his landing, mid-level representatives of House Organa were on hand to greet him. Hmm, he thought, that was informative.  House Crystal had fallen so far from anyone's memory that staff were assigned the greeting function.  It was a statement that no one believed Undara would have any clout on the planet for a long time.  It seemed common knowledge how little had been left to the Crystal Estate.  Without wealth or power, no one felt that they had to worry about placating anyone from that House.  Yes, Duke thought to himself, especially when Organa was prominently displaying Undara's own Vangelis original painting of the Crystal Falls in the spaceport waiting area.  Duke remembered when he had commissioned that painting to be done.  The artwork was exceptional and, since the death of Vangelis, the painting had become priceless.  Well, he would need to pass that information along to Mickey and Mac.  Put it on Mac's list of things to re-acquire.

Duke and his team were about halfway through the hike up to the estate when his comlink beeped.  Mithic.  "You are not going to believe what I am seeing here," Mithic began...
« Last Edit: November 09, 2013, 10:13:24 PM EST by CymStar »
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CymStar

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Re: Crystal Glory(Closed RP)
« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2013, 09:49:23 PM EST »

Mithic’s message had been both cryptic and tantalizing.  Mithic would not say what it was that he was seeing, would not reveal what threat level of surprise he had found.  Undara and his team quickened their pace.  Undara was thankful for all the work the cybernetic surgeon had done.  He pushed his body forward, fighting against the creeping anxiety, fighting against the bodily weariness, fighting against charging the final distance unprepared only to have some thief or robber finish what Olrac’s men had started in the casino lobby.

He drew on the force to help achieve calm, to focus on the task at hand to replenish the energy his body was depleting.  His eyes were on the crest of the hill, he could see Mithic lying in the grass, looking over the ridge with macro binoculars.  Undara could no longer help himself.  He charged up the remaining distance and was preparing to throw himself down on the grass beside Mithic and survey the situation.  Then, his eyes caught the glimmer of something.  Unconsciously, his feet kept walking forward.

As his eyes began to crest the ridge, he saw what had surprise Mithic so much.  There, below the ridge, was House Crystal.  Not the wretched collections of construction refuse which Undara had expected to find, not the ruins of a demolished landmark, but a vibrant, energetic work zone.  Frantic activity was apparent in every direction.  Construction work repairing the breaches in the outer walls and crews carrying furnishings and limited pieces of artwork to the interior. Windows and doors being reinstalled.  Delivery vehicles arriving with all manner goods – foodstuffs, linens, and draperies – it was hard to tell at this distance without using the cybernetics in his new right eye. Cym’avignon had stayed with Undara to provide security when Mac and Elodian had gotten distracted bartering with the locals.  Avignon was a good field agent, well suited to security work.  As most in that line of work, however, his ‘on-duty’ persona lacked a good sense of humor or wonder.

There, in the middle of the courtyard, Undara saw Stryder, and standing next to him was on Master Ceid Ankoun, Elder of the Ankoun Entity’s Force Arm.  Suddenly, fifteen years away from the place his family had understood to be home seemed an eternity.  Emotions crashed in uninvited and Undara seemed to have no capacity to keep them at bay.  Pressure built behind his eyes and he found it difficult to maintain normal breathing.  Slowly, at first, then with greater volume as the first tears wetted a path down his cheeks, the burden of leadership over these long fifteen years broke free.  Tears flowed freely and he allowed the sobs to break forth quietly.

It was almost too much.  Surviving the Imperial assault on Alderaan.  The separation from his family and loyal staff.  The accusations of being a traitor to Alderaan as he climbed the ranks in Olrac’s organization.  The anxiety of not knowing who in his family might have survived and what their fates might have been.  The seemingly random, but force-guided discovery of information concerning the Gree artifact, the quest to find it and the faction war which followed resulting in the reuniting of his family, his release from Lord Olrac and his fortunate alliances with the Entity and Empty Night.  Undara plopped himself on the grass beside Mithic.  The veteran bounty hunter looked at Undara and asked nonchalantly, “it meant that much to you, huh?”

Undara flowed easily from tears to laughter at the hunter’s remark. “Indeed it does, good Mithic, indeed it does.”  The remainder of the trip seemed effortless.  Even the sniper Cym’avignon seemed to loosen up a bit and joined the conversational banter more light-heartedly.  There was the wonderful reunion with Stryder.  Undara spoke with Ceid at length and looking his new alliance partner in the eyes, tried to convey the deep appreciation Undara felt for all the Ankouns had done.  In response, Undara saw in Ceid’s eyes the deepest kindness, happiness that the work before Ceid was one of building, of new beginnings and that for a moment the constant warfare of the last many years could be set aside.  In fact, if it had not been for the Ankouns being on side, Undara was certain no work would have gotten done the remainder of the day because the Crystal staff and servants would not be contained.  When someone saw Undara in the courtyard a cheer went up and the remnant of house Crystal swarmed the leader of the House.  Undara could see that the children were responding more from the cue of their elders and not from their own emotions.  Perhaps that was not entirely true.  The younglings could at least piece together that possibly the years of leanness and want might be moving to the past and an exciting future was unfolding in their lifetimes.

The reconstruction work, the re-acquisition of Crystal property would take years and soon enough all would need to return to the larger conflicts on Alderaan and elsewhere in the galaxy.  But now was a time for celebration, for the renewing of old friendships, the telling of tales and the ordering of the new House.  Undara began working immediately with Ceid and Stryder on arrangements for a state dinner in honor of the return of House Crystal.  Undara wanted on that guest list those persons who had most aided members of House Crystal to achieve this return.

Ceid, certainly, and Naoko, Sunder, from the Ankouns.  Carliste and Judas Creek.  Kell Malo, Jevarrik Ta’Karn, Maxxis, Nethrisa Ancalme, Zebron Strom, Tessal, Jamion and Gerglid from the Corellian League.  Mac’s idol Weril Berdon, who taught Mac enough tricks to allow Mac to survive his early days in the smuggling business.  Kandoo’s formidable associates Tr’ent, Thycus Wolf, and the incomparable Da’sha Belos.  Invites were to be sent to Pendor, Liem and Airgain, but Stryder reported that replies arrived saying they were currently on assignment.  Undara instructed that special invitation was to be sent to Ghanikavhett Sheteshoy.  He was not certain whether the independent-minded Mandalorian would show, but supplies and training from the Sheteshoy clan had helped several Crystals survive the rigors of a war-torn galaxy.  Undara would invite selected members of various Alderaan houses.  It would be a good point to show that they had returned and were not as destitute as some would have them believe.  In fact, Undara instructed Stryder, it would be best to only invite mid-level staff from the houses and leave off the people of stature.  That snub would go farther to enhance House Crystal prestige than anything.

Elyss, Cym’avignon and Sunder would head up Security for the event.  The estate walls were not completely restored and it would be too easy for opponents of some guest to ruin the day for all.  Mithic, Kandoo, Cymru and some of the others who felt less comfortable in formal wear offered to be part of the security detail.

And then it was upon them.  Though the estate was still under construction, the engineers had gotten the Grand Atrium finished.  The faceted crystal décor captured the incoming light and sprayed rainbows of color throughout the hall.  The classical music from the live orchestra filled the space with light and lively atmosphere, yet without overpowering conversation.  As each guest arrived Stryder made sure that they were properly announced.  Cymstar, dressed in formal attire of House Crystal for the first time since heading off to University, felt amused at seeing how uncomfortable some of his Corellian League associates looked in formal wear.  Some seemed to handle it better than others.  Weril looked like it was just another day.  It took a little while for Cymstar to pick out Da’sha – he had never seen her without her armor – but she looked completely composed and easily mistaken for any confident, high-level member of a House of Alderaan.

After an appropriate amount of time of small talk and the inevitable posturing which occurs everywhere, all the time on Alderaan, the guests were seated at their places at the table.  Various staff of Alderaan Houses proposed toasts to the return of House Crystal.  Different members of the Corellian league offered toasts which were more humorous and had a ‘roasting’ element to them.  The food was outstanding, supplied by the Ankoun Entity.  The beverages, if comments made to Undara were to be believed, were also outstanding.  Some, of most incredibly rare vintages, having been supplied by the Empty Night organization.  

Undara tapped his fork to his glass and rose from his seat.  “My dear guests, honored attendees, family and friends.  My heart is filled with nearly unspeakable joy at the re-establishment of House Crystal.  I am honored that each of you were able to attend and I am hopeful that you have found the hospitality sufficient.  Such an occasion does not occur simply because I have wished it for the last fifteen years.  No, such an accomplishment can only happen because of the efforts of many people, whether contribution large or small, have given to make this homecoming a reality.”

“The galaxy remains a dangerous place and the times in which we live are troubled.  Yet today, there is mirth and laughter, food and friendship – let that be one thing which unites us this day.  To mark the importance of this day, I want to make a few announcements.  First – I am announcing this day the adoption of my trusted Steward Stryder and his elevation to son and fellow heir, with all the rights and privileges due a son or daughter of House Crystal.  To commemorate this we are renaming this compound the CrystalStryder Estate. Second – for their assistance in helping House Crystal to reestablish trade both on and off Alderaan, we present to Judas and Carliste Creek the rare commissioned artwork The Ice Crystal.”  Undara opened the box in his hands and displayed the 38 carat priceless silver-blue gem.  As the guests watched the light filter through the gem and give the appearance of snowflakes reflecting around the room, appropriate oohs and ahhs were murmured among the attendees.

“Third – for their selfless assistance in the retaking of House Crystal, for their support of my loyal servants, for their engineering and logistical support, we present to the Ankoun Entity, represented by Master Ceid Ankoun, a second rare commissioned artwork The Fire Crystal”.  Undara repeated the ritual, opening the box and revealing a 38 carat priceless silver-red gem.  In this case, the light reflected as small flames, seeming to burn as they moved across the table, the walls and anywhere they landed.  “Lastly, for his long affiliation with House Crystal, for his support in the training at arms, crafting of armor and sharing of critical intelligence, we present to Ghanikavhett Sheteshoy the rare commissioned artwork The Star Crystal.”  Undara pointed with his open hand to the empty seat reserved for the large commando.  No word had been heard in response to the invitation and he had not shown.  Undara left the box closed and the impressiveness of the gift was left for the guests to imagine.  Undara could not help but feel a small pang of separation from the dominating presence of the tall Mandalorian and whatever quest was keeping him occupied.  But he was confident that they would meet again soon, and it would be worth it.

From that point the gathering became drifted to less formality and more celebration.  Several of the Crystals were not drinkers, so the remainder of their day was split between amusement at watching the changing behaviors of the crowd, ensuring that no miscommunications resulting in altercations, and the saying of farewells as the various guests reached their fill and began departing.  As Cymstar and Undara shared privately with one another at the end of it all, it had been a very good day to be a Crystal.  

« Last Edit: November 15, 2013, 09:51:11 PM EST by CymStar »
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Ceid Ankoun

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Re: Crystal Glory(Closed RP)
« Reply #13 on: November 23, 2013, 11:31:05 AM EST »

It was a quiet day on Alderaan, something that was surprising. The last two weeks of construction, bartering and reestablishing were not positively received. Some houses perceived the restoration of the Crystals to power to be a threat to their security, or more likely, to their prestige and wealth. After all, the Crystal treasures didn't go far after the assault, about half was claimed by the other Houses. Nerves were high, and the Crystals weren't planet side yet.

Every day or two, an anonymous group would send people to either physically assault Stryder's people, or actually open fire upon the construction sight, injuring many and killing a few. This forced the Entity to heighten security to a maximum within a wide perimeter around Crystal grounds. They also had Stryder, as a representative of the Crystals, announce to the locals and the other Houses that any trespassers will be shot. He told everyone, if your not a friend, stay away.

As Sunder oversaw security and supplies from the new HQ within one of the renovated security rooms inside the Crystal Estate, he received a report from Rabi Leader. The Entity sent three more squads to defend the Estate after the attack. Cutler squad was assigned to protect and police the market area, and Rabi squad assigned to lead the incoming squads in securing the liberated Crystal territories.

"Rabi Leader to Entity Dark, perimeter breach, three tangos to the South East boarder. We are about to engage." The Ankoun Trooper reported.

"Confirmed, you have a green light Rabi Leader, you've brought honor to your namesake on Alderaan. He would be proud." Sunder reminisced. Rabi squad were known as Colnay squad before the Empty War. Afterwards they were renamed in memory of Rabi Ankoun, the Late Elder.

"Yes Sir." That was Rabi Leader's only reply.

As the troopers brought the tangos into there scopes, curiosity boiled within Sunder for the first time. For some reason, he wanted to see who was attacking. Before he had simple given the order to engage, never caring who they were, but the number of targets that was reported seemed too small.

As he patched Rabi Three's sniper scope telemetry to his station, he saw the trooper take aim at the forehead of a man, flat on his stomach far on the other side of the farms on a small hill, looking through binoculars with a woman just next to his looking through the scope of a large auto-blaster. This was new he thought. It was a small team compared with the waves that attacked them before. Then the woman pulled her head back from the scope and her face became visible.

"WAIT!!!" Sunder yelled and slammed his palm on the metal table as stood up. He recognized the blond. She was the woman he was dreaming about. Sunder allowed himself to breath after Rabi Three pulled his scope up urgently, then Rabi Leader asked over the Com. "Sir?"

"Stand down Rabi squad. The Crystals have landed on Alderaan." He smiled as he looked at the face of Elysiliandra Crystal on his screen.



Its was a joyous day for Stryder and his men. The tears and laughs were plentiful, the return of the Crystals brought heavy emotions to everyone.

Sunder on the other hand was excited. He, the ultimate spook, the one who knows everything about everyone, the mysterious one, here he was volunteering for security details, making himself available for chores or tasks that did not befit his station as an Entity Senior Member, as he was the second authority on espionage after Elder Kizra Ankoun within the Entity. Yet, he was everywhere Elyss was.

When she first saw him she smiled which made him almost float with happiness. It wasn't love exactly. After all, from his point of view, people in his line of work rarely get to experience it. They always had to guard their emotions or there would usually be terrible consequences.

It was more like a gravitation, a deep attraction, everything about her was esthetically pleasing and perfect for him. Even her imposing presence and strength of will.  

They had been in contact towards the end of the Empty War during the Crystal's involvement. But from the first moment, he couldn't get her out of his head.

The banquet soon came and the atmosphere was pleasant. Ceid enjoyed seeing his old friends from the League in a casual environment. Then Judas came.

Ceid and Naoko stood in the banquet hall mingling with the rest of the guests, dressed in elegant formal Corellian fashions and having a relaxing time. The change of atmosphere did them well.

When the Creek party arrived, people paid attention to how the Entity representatives would react. After all, the majority of the guests of honor were friends with both Creek and Ankoun, and they have heard the rumors. As both parties met and exchanged gazes, a few moment of silence fell on the hall.

Suddenly Naoko walked with purpose towards Judas, and with a wide smile, she put her arms around his neck and pulled him down for a nice, tight hug. "I'm glad you could make it." She said.

He laughed lightly and hugged here back. "It's good to see you Blue, I missed you."

Some of the Entity security teams didn't like the idea of an Elder's wife hugging what was known as the Mad Mad, especially the members of Rabi squad. But in the presence of the Elder, it was not their job to object. Naoko let go of Judas and moved to greet Carlest warmly as Judas looked up to Ceid.

Ceid waited for a moment, then he let his eyes smile. "It's nice of you to show, it's good to see you." He said and extended his hand towards his friend, enemy, rival, brother. He was each of those things at different points in time.

Judas returned Ceid's smile and took his hand. It was as if all of the guests allowed themselves to breath again after the two shook hands. "Likewise Ceid." He said. There was still some Hard feelings and distrust between the Entity and Empty Night, but that was on a group level. And wasn't personal between Ceid and Judas anymore.



After the party, when everyone retired to their rooms and quarters, Sunder walked into the Entity Security Control Room, and as he expected, he saw Ceid standing in the middle staring at a security console.

"I have news." Sunder started as he approached the Elder with a professional demeanor. "We have found it."

"The Crystal Heart of Alderaan?" Ceid asked as Sunder caught his attention.

"Yes, the Ulgos have it. It's in the deepest level of their House museum, we have proof. Our Search Virus have infected just about every Alderaanian House Com System with a few exceptions. It has been analyzing all the records from the last decade and we got a hit from two days after the attack. They have it even though their delegation today claimed to have returned all Crystal property and lands." Sunder reminded.

"The small treasures the Duke handed out today were nothing compared with the wealth of the Crystals before the attack. And the Crystal Heart was its crowning piece. An ancient relic, not simply valuable for its cost, but for the symbol of power and greatness it represents. Its owner is treated like royalty. The Ulgos will never willingly return it. They will fight to protect it." Sunder nodded and Ceid continued. "The Duke is not going to like this." Ceid said darkly...
« Last Edit: November 23, 2013, 05:23:08 PM EST by Master Ceid Ankoun »
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CymStar

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Re: Crystal Glory(Closed RP)
« Reply #14 on: November 24, 2013, 10:41:41 PM EST »

" The Ulgos have it?  The Ulgos?"  Duke's hands slammed down on the tabletop.  He was furious.  He looked directly at Ceid, not believing the words his new ally had brought him. "Those vagabonds!  They had the audacity to send a low-level delegation to the banquet and then have that same delegation make a big show of returning all Crystal properties and  you are telling me that they did this while keeping the Crystal Heart for themselves?"

Both Cymstar and Ceid drew on the force for calm.  Ceid had been right, Cymstar thought, when he said he didn't think Duke would be happy with this information.  Obviously, Ceid had understated the case.  Cymstar had never seen his father in such a rage.

"Yes", Ceid answered calmly.

"Did you contacts say anything about the Heart AI?"
, Duke breathed.

"No, and what is the Heart AI, if I may ask?", Ceid responded.

"The Heart Artificial Intelligence unit is the companion piece to the Crystal Heart.  The Crystal Heart actual powers the AI device.  The AI is able to 'read' subtle signatures inside the Heart crystal and display both strategic and tactical possibilities, running several possible futures  to their logical conclusions.  It is both a training device for strategists and tacticians within the Crystal House and a 'live' adviser during actual emergencies, battles or wars on Alderaan."  Duke's voice was calming as he stepped away from the emotions of having been lied to and towards being the teacher of knowledge. "It was how I was trained to be a strategist."

Many of their allies regarded Undara as a top strategist, so obviously this device had done an excellent job.  That it was no longer in Crystal hands was disturbing.  That the Ulgos, of all Alderaan houses, might have it was unconscionable.  Cymstar was running through these thoughts when Ceid spoke again.

"This device must be remarkable, for no one questions your strategist abilities."  Ceid also thought that the Entity would be much better served to have such a device in the hands of an ally than the incompetent house the Ulgos seemed to be.  Now, Ceid thought, how do I convince...

"me that we should retrieve it and restore it to the Crystal House?",
Duke responded.  Ceid was shocked, but too practiced at negotiation to let any of his surprise show.  Was it possible that Duke also had the ability to read the...

"thoughts of others?"
, Duke voiced.  "No, I don't have any such ability, Ceid."  Again, Ceid was surprised but kept his face neutral.  "Ceid, the essence of being a superior strategist is to know men's hearts.  Yours, for example, is warm, sincere, loyal.  Though I would be flattered to think all of your efforts so far are only to restore the Crystal lands, what I see in your heart is that you have more than one motive.  Certainly, there is an honest desire to see a previous wrong righted - your sense of justice and loyalty would both motivate you to restore our house and correct that prior injustice."

"But the Entity is legendary within the galaxy for conservation of resources. There has been no Entity presence on Alderaan for some time.  It would seem logical that this would be a chance to restore that presence - again, motivated by your family loyalty.  I pray that I have not given any offense.  I merely seek to state the obvious and avoid our new alliance from having any hidden agendas. Our house finds no offense with your objectives and by helping the Entity re-establish their presence here we can, perhaps, repay a small portion of the graciousness the Entity has extended to us."

"So we must start by locating the AI device and returning them both to our possession.  Then, if mutually agreeable, we could enter into an intelligence sharing arrangement, or perhaps even train an Entity protege in strategic thinking.  Would you agree?"
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