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I think I finished my character, will post in the characters tab if I have permission

I'll be a bit busy for the next few days, so I won't be able to put up a character sheet. Is there anyone planning to play engineer? I'd like to play that profession
No worries, we'll just wait patiently

It's up.

I'll wait until smiter finishes the OOC before making a character
That sounds like fun, I'm interested as well
Knight's Council, Ogrion

The council room was so silent that you could have heard a pin drop. Eleven figures, all seated around a large round table, were staring at a hologram in the middle. Only one of the figures, that of Grandmaster Berko Hepburn, was physically present, while all the other ones were present through holograms. A few more minutes of silence passed before it was interrupted by the deep voice of Grandmaster Hepburn: "So they were Dominion ships? Are you absolutely sure?"

The hologram in the middle of the table turned towards him. It resembled a man in his thirties, dressed in the uniform of an Orosian trade captain. The hologram spoke: "Absolutely sure, my lord. They had Dominion peacekeeper emblems and everything. My vessel, the Hammerhead, was in Dominion space when we received the news of the sector lockdown. We had just offloaded our cargo, and picked up some Colvianian Trout from the local station. We were already heading back home, but the peacekeepers caught us off guard and fired at us. Several of our trade fleet's lightly armored ships had already been destroyed before we were able to jump away. It's a miracle some of us managed to get back in one piece."

"Hmm, thank you for this information." Berko shifted in his seat as turned off the trader's hologram. He looked around the room, as he addressed the March Knights around the table: "I did not know the situation was this bad. It seems that the amount of unrest in the outer Dominion is at its zenith. Our trade fleets are being attacked all across Dominion space, and I refuse to stand idly while our people are being murdered. This is the time to declare our independence from the Dominion, and remove its decrepit government from power. Who is with me?"

An 'aye!' went around the table, but three of the March Knights stayed silent. "Sister de Villeneuve, you look worried. What's on your mind?" Berko asked.

A young woman, probably only between 25 and 30 years old, Joan de Villeneuve, March Knight of the Mall-ta March, spoke: "As you know, Lord Hepburn, nearly half of Mall-ta's sphere of influence, what we consider Orosian territory, overlaps with that of the Dominion, including some of our richest, most prosperous and productive worlds and systems. Even the Mall-ta system itself is almost on the border. How do you plan on handling this?"

"That is a good question, but we've already prepared for this. The Wandering Knights Southern fleet's patrol area has been moved south, in order to protect that area when the time comes. They will be able to help with our main offensive as well, although the fleet will prioritize defending our own territory. Brother KMA, you were silent as well. Do you have any issues with the plan?"

Before the robot could reply however, another voice spoke up. This voice belonged to a Phupra, who towered over the rest of the knights with his 2.2 meters, and inability to sit in a chair. "With all due respect, Lord, wouldn't this leave our northern borders undefended? We've been having a lot of pirate problems lately, they're becoming so bold that they've started to attack frontier worlds and settlements, as Brother KMA can confirm. If we go south, they'll only start to become worse."

"That is a valid concern, Brother Xaazqu. In order to prevent these pirate attacks, the Wandering Knights Northern fleet, as well as the Marches of Oros and Newacre, will send fewer forces to the south, in order to guarantee the safety of our worlds. As soon as we are done with this conflict, we can focus all of our attention on these pirate attacks. Now, is everyone on board with the plan?"

Berko looked around the room. No one seemed to be having any objections. Good, he thought, With some luck we will be able to end this quickly, stop the Dominion's atrocities, and return to protect our home. He spoke again: "Now then, there is another matter. Although I know some of you dislike these kinds of methods, we've managed to place a spy, or rather several in the Dominion senate. Here they are."

Rather than turning on the hologram, however, instead the screen behind and above Berko activated, and displayed a very peculiar sight. The Knight's Council could see a very humanlike android, with three suspiciously mouse-like chambers or cavities on the outside. And before it stood three Truqiks, the small rodent aliens that make up part of the Union. Berko continued: "For the past few years, these three have been piloting an android representing Alexandra Mars, who you might know as the Dominion senator for our sector. Their names are Kwik, Kwek and Kwak. Don't worry about the original Alexandra, she's retired and working on a farm somewhere in Urusalim."

Most of the Knights were either shocked or amazed at this. They always thought that the slightly uncanny senator was working for the Dominion. "Now, my Truqik friends, we are planning an assault on the Dominion. I need you three to delay the response for as long as possible, and send back as much information about the Dominion's plans as you can, but make sure you don't get snuffed out. Is that understood?" The three furry aliens bowed in unison, before breaking the connection and deactivating the screen.

"Now then, I believe that's all for today. I want everyone to gather as many of our fleets and armies as you can. I will leave my deputy Avra in charge here. I shall announce our independence from the Dominion and have it publicly televised. We will rendezvouz at the Gate of Lucien. There we will wait for the Dominion's response, and hopefully make it out alive to continue south." With those words, Berko ended the meeting and exited the room.

Omiea, Orosian frontier world?

The ground was soft under Sandra's feet as she walked. It was night-time, and as she looked up at the night sky she could see Ravagua, Omiea's odd, purple moon. Major Robinson paused for a moment as she surveyed the land, looking for any signs of the great dust clouds that the pirates made as they traversed the steppes. Luckily, there were none, and she slung her sniper rifle over her shoulder as she kept walking. It took a few minutes, however, before she realized that she was totally alone. "Gábor, Murphy, where are you?" She yelled out, "This isn't funny guys!". Only then did she realize that shouting might not have been a good idea, because she could hear something
breathing and snarling behind her. Almost instantaneously, she bolted away, not bothering to look back, or call for reinforcements. Whatever the thing was, it gave chase, and she knew that she could not keep up. After about a minute of running, she felt a heavy weight knock into her back. As she saw the ground coming towards her, she braced for impact and closed her eyes...

And was greeted by her room. A nightmare, Sandra thought. Just then, her door opened, and the tall robot that had become her mentor poked his head in. "Squire Sandra Robinson, I was just looking for you. Wake up. Oros is going to war with the Dominion."
Uchade, Union of Oros

The sun stood high over the fields and meadows of Uchade. Much like many other Orosian planets, Uchade was rurally organized, its people living in isolated farmsteads and villages, protected by a group of Knights that ruled over the world. The world itself wasn't very noteworthy, being firmly inside Orosian territory, safe from attacks from outside, or so its inhabitants would think.

Munir Meeuwsen, a farmer belonging to the Charge class, looked out from the hilltop near his farm. He saw the golden fields of genetically modified crops that would be harvested to feed Orosian and Dominion citizens alike. He could see the government-provided agricultural robots lumber along, trying to identify any crops blighted by the disease that had spread around the system a few months prior. What he also saw, however, was a large cloud of dust, slowly moving over the road that led to his and other farms. Getting curious, he decided to climb down and see what was going on.

As he approached the road, he could see the source of all of the dust and commotion. A large group of Orosian soldiers was marching down the road, slowly approaching. As they got close enough, Munir recognized some of them. In particular, he identified one of them as Ulysses Bruhn, his childhood friend that had joined the Orosian military forces immediately after finishing his education and becoming old enough. And from what Munir could see, Ulysses was leading the group of soldiers marching before him. He yelled "Ulysses, my old friend! I knew you'd make it this far! What news from the Brave?"

"Aye," the other man replied, "I got promoted only a week ago, but I already have my hands full. Lady Sepp is mobilizing the troops. I think there's some trouble afoot."

"Trouble? With whom? Oros has lived in peace for nearly two centuries now!"

"Haven't you heard? The damn Saxonians have declared war! They're going to secede from the Dominion, so Grand Master Hepburn has issued an order to mobilize our army. Expect some heavier taxes coming soon as well, the Brave are gonna need to eat!" Munir let out a small laugh after hearing those words. "I'll do my best, Ulysses, at least we won't have to pay Dominion taxes anymore if we decide to help Saxony."

Ulysses chuckled and said: "Anyway, enough about me and the state of the galaxy at large. How have you been? Are the kids doing alright?"

"I'm doing well, thank you for asking. Brigita and my son and daughter are doing well too. Trishna's been getting high grades in school and Tarek says he wants to be a soldier when he grows up, just like you!"

"Very good, anyway, I've got to get going, don't wanna miss my transport" with those words, Ulysses and the group of soldiers behind him continued marching down the road. Munir watched them for some time, and then he climbed back up the hill, towards his home.


Many hours later, when it was already deep into the night, Munir was driving back down that same road he encountered the soldiers on. He had gone drinking with some of his friends in a small bar in the nearby town, and was now letting his car drive him back home. He could hold his liquor well enough, but it wasn't legal on many Orosian planets to drive after drinking. Of course, if he'd been in one of the Orosian inner systems, he'd just use one of those fancy 'influence purge pills' he'd heard so much about, which were supposed to remove any sort of effect on the mind from alcohol or drugs. Sadly though, it was not to be, and he was forced to just wait while his autonomous car brought him back home.

The night sky was cloudy, and banks of fog were starting to roll in over the verdant hills. The temperature was starting to drop, and it became clear that that side of Uchade was slowly approaching its winter season. Munir leaned against the car window and smiled, remembering the snowball fights he and his family had every time the snow fell. He thought he could smell ozone, which was odd, but he thought it could be because of the alcohol. The car drove on and rounded a corner close to his home. That was when he saw it: smoke.

As the car approached his farm Munir could smell it too. A great cloud of smoke emerged from somewhere behind the hills. Throwing caution to the wind, Munir grabbed the car's steering wheel and turned off its autodrive. He accelerated, driving home as quickly as he could. As he drove, he saw that his fields were set alight. The farming robots laid broken and mutilated in the fields, clearly destroyed and scavenged for components. He drove up the hill and stopped his car, running into his house. Too adrenaline-charged to even care about any potential danger, he searched the house. There was blood all over the floor, and much of the furniture had been broken into or destroyed to get to the contents within.

As Munir ran into the kitchen, he saw a scene that would stay with him for the rest of his life. His dog, an Orosian shepherd named Andromeda, was curled up on the tiled kitchen floor, clearly dead, and beyond her lay Munir's wife, Brigita. Munir crouched down and cradled her as she bled from multiple wounds. A bloody kitchen knife and a pitchfork lay beside her, clearly having been used to fend off some unknown assailant. Brigita clutched at Munir's arm as she spoke: "They... they took the kids, Munir. I couldn't stop them. I'm so sorry". Brigita started sobbing, prompting Munir to hold her. "It's gonna be okay," Munir replied, "I'll find them, I promise. I'll make that scum pay!"

It took ten more agonizing minutes for the authorities to arrive, but it was already too late at that point. And so, Brigita Meeuwsen died in her husband's arms. Ulysses stepped into the room, having been ordered to investigate the great clouds of smoke that were now high in the sky above the house. As firemen were putting out the fires, and local police forces were already searching the area, he spoke: "I am so sorry, Munir. We received word that a group of pirates were preparing to raid this planet, but we were too damn late. I never expected this would happen."

"It's okay," Munir replied, sobbing between the words as he crouched on the floor. "Well, it's not okay, but you know what I mean"

"So, what are you gonna do now?"

"I'm going to need an audience with our local Knight, I think. Yes, that would be good."
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