An Unusual State of the Galaxy…
Today, Star Wars: The Old Republic posted a very interesting ‘State of the Galaxy’ memo to their developer blog. The memo appears to be in-character and referring to the mysterious conflict that is happening behind the scenes, which the developers have been hinting at for quite some time. Either the organization themselves or their leader, apparently goes by ‘The Shroud’. The entirety of the memo is as follows:
State of the Galaxy
FROM: The Shroud
TO: All Assets (Level 25 Encoding Active)
SUBJECT: State of the Galaxy
The information gathered here should be studied thoroughly by all assets. Knowledge of our current landscape is essential in exploiting all possible opportunities.
The Empire’s position has subtly but significantly improved in recent months. This can be traced primarily to two key factors: collection and utilization of isotope-5, and the overall leadership of Darth Marr.
Isotope-5 mining operations are ongoing (see “Makeb” entry, below) and providing the Empire with increasing stores of the unusual material. Despite initial expectations, weaponization has not been the Imperial Science Bureau’s primary research vector. Other developments in energy production and gravity manipulation have taken precedence so far. Prototype iso-5 generators have been activated in fifty-seven planetary garrisons and shipyards, drastically reducing the Empire’s reliance on previously-strained resource lines and boosting available frontline assets by 39.7 percent. (See attached list for full deployment details.)
This conservative, long-term strategy is consistent with other actions carried out at the behest of Darth Marr. Though there is no official leader of the Dark Council, Marr has become an unofficial figurehead for the Empire, using his sway to maintain a semblance of control over most of his fellow Councilors. The unity and cohesiveness brought about by Marr has been a key aspect of the Empire’s continued survival. Though the Republic is still at an overall statistical advantage, the gap is closing.
The Republic’s overall advancement has slowed somewhat. It has become a victim of its own success, spreading resources too widely to continue pressing against the Empire in more than a handful of areas.
Supreme Chancellor Saresh continues to enjoy popular support in both the Senate and the public, and shows no sign of abandoning the aggressive policies that brought her to office. Assets R-12, R-89, and R-104 have all been stymied in their attempts to infiltrate Saresh’s inner circle or otherwise carry out direct observation, and R-31’s initiative to obtain blackmail materials failed utterly (see “Lost Assets”, below). All Assets involved should continue to exercise utmost caution.
Despite the popularity of Saresh’s strategies, they appear to be untenable in the long term. The Republic’s production capacities (particularly foodstuffs, energy, and war materiel) are already nearing their maximum capacity. The Empire’s defensive maneuvering has dragged out conflicts in multiple areas, while third-party activities are also taking a toll, particularly increased starship piracy in the Abrion sector. Absorption of the bulk of the Hutt Cartel’s assets after the Makeb debacle brought only short-term gains, and only after the substantial expense necessary to bring those Cartel operations in line with Republic interests and legal codes.
The Hutt Cartel
The Cartel is in shambles. The invasion of Makeb can only be seen as a disastrous failure for Cartel interests, with all resources committed to the campaign lost and almost nothing gained. Many elements of the Cartel that weren’t directly absorbed into the Republic by force are continuing to operate, but with almost no direct cooperation or coordination beyond the continued use of the “Cartel” name. It seems unlikely that the Cartel will return to its position of prominence in the galactic underworld for some time.
LOCATIONS OF NOTE
Contrary to initial reports from Asset R-27, Makeb’s tectonic instabilities did not result in planetary destruction. Imperial forces intervened and have continued the mining of isotope-5 in earnest, though atmospheric and geophysical conditions on the planet are still degrading at an appreciable rate. Calculations on the maximum potential material that can be recovered will be under the purview of Asset I-44.
This small moon has become a highly-contested battleground for Republic and Imperial forces, both of which are working to recover Czerka corporate assets and research data from the moon’s facilities. Thus far, our activities in nearby sectors remain unnoticed, making this conflict a useful distraction. Asset C-5 will continue to observe the situation and relay any findings of note.
Reports from Oricon have been highly erratic and contradictory. Used as a headquarters by rogue Sith known as the Dread Masters, the moon was invaded by Republic and Imperial forces, all of whom seem to have suffered from psychological manipulations with varying degrees of severity. In spite of these effects, the Dread Masters themselves were neutralized, though it remains unclear which side is responsible.
Before their defeat, the Dread Masters were a significant threat to both the Republic and the Empire; this was a danger more in terms of mass violence than one of any real political potential. Followers of the Dread Masters amassed an impressive collection of ancient and unusual technologies to serve their ends; Asset O-9 has been assigned to assess the possibility of recovering some of these technologies, and to confirm or disprove rumors that one of the Dread Masters may have been captured alive by Republic forces.
As one of the Republic’s most valuable shipyards, Kuat remains a target too enticing for the Empire to pass up, even in their current state. So far, neither side has been willing to take the step of simply destroying the shipyards to remove them from play; Asset SF-5 will remain in play to prevent that eventuality until our own interests can come to fruition.
The upcoming installation of a Huttball arena on this world makes it a valuable site for the observation, recruitment, or compromise of VIP individuals from across the galaxy. Several Assets will be relocated toward that end in the coming weeks.
Asset R-31 was killed while attempting to negotiate the purchase of potentially-incriminating holorecords from Chancellor Saresh’s time on the planet Taris. The seller was also killed. As with past efforts along these lines, GenoHaradan assassins are the most likely culprits.
Assets R-3, R-27, I-12, I-32, and I-40 have all been neutralized by an unknown party or parties. R-3 was framed for accepting bribes from constituents and arrested by the Senate Guard; the evidence was very convincingly forged. R-27 and I-32 were killed after unexpected reassignments to frontline postings. I-12 and I-40 remain unaccounted for, but deaths at the Sith Academy have always been difficult to trace.
These losses are particularly worrying as they lack the typical fingerprints of our usual adversaries. Assets R-10 and I-4 have been assigned to investigate. I will not admonish the rest of you to be on your guard, as vigilance is a basic skill I expect from all of you. Remember – your deaths are useless if they do not inform.
That is all.
What do you think things means for Star Wars: The Old Republic going forward?