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Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Posted: 2019-12-11 12:44pm
by Eternal_Freedom
That's a shame, the work so far had been very promising indeed.

As a general update, I know it's been a while. I've hit a wall on this story, so I'm going to branch off to something else to try and get the creative juices flowing. That "something else" is actually something I promised waaay back after Book 1 - a sort-of prequel/side story tentatively titled "The Burning of Picon" which describes the Battlestar Constellation's last stand over that world during the Fall. I have a buch written already, just needs sorting/editing.

So while it won't be the main story, it will still be 13th Tribe material, but I'll give it a separate thread anyway.

Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Posted: 2019-12-11 02:51pm
by dxe131
Look forward to reading it.

Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Posted: 2019-12-11 08:10pm
by DKeith2011
You write it, I'll read it.

Also, with the StarGate RPG coming out next year, what are your thoughts on getting creative and doing a 13th Tribe setting guide?

Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Posted: 2019-12-12 04:55pm
by Eternal_Freedom
Difficult. The only real conceivable ground action we've had so far has been some firefights in Atlantis, 1st Marines deploying onto Ba'al's Pegasus homeworld, and 1st and 2nd Marines defending the generators on Reach. So having enough of an idea of the ground forces and equipment is a lot more difficult than for the space forces.

It's not something I'd be terribly interested in I think. I like playing RPG's, if you have a good GM, but running one doesn't appeal. Plus at the moment I want to actualyl finish the stories. But if you or someone else wants to have a crack at it, by all means. I'll happily kibbitz on it and contribute, but it wouldn't be a priority.

Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Posted: 2019-12-14 05:05pm
by DKeith2011
No response on the Dreadnaught pic so I guess its back to the drawing board.

Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Posted: 2020-01-01 01:06am
by DKeith2011
Sean Tourangeau, designer of the Luna class U.S.S. Titan for Star Trek, has opened up commissions for ship designs and I'm considering offering him the Dreadnaught job.

Would anyone be willing and able to kick in on the price, wont be less than $100.

Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Posted: 2020-01-07 07:49pm
by fnord
What's Kobolian Navy practice on master's ticket holders? Normally just the CO and XO, like most wet navies today?

Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Posted: 2020-01-08 01:06pm
by Eternal_Freedom
I'm not sure what you mean by master's ticket. If you mean who is considered capable of assuming command in combat situations then CO and XO, but in extremis the Tactical/Ops officer would step up. Or the senior surviving line officer.

Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Posted: 2020-01-08 08:30pm
by fnord
No, I was talking about the mundane paperwork. Namely, a certification that J. Random Officer is sufficiently skilled and experienced to command $SIZE_RANGE_AND_OR_CLASS_OF_VESSEL in their own right, not as someone else's lieutenant.

Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Posted: 2020-01-09 12:01pm
by Eternal_Freedom
Ah. That would be limited to Commanders and above who hold, or have held, command positions - all the destroyer skippers are Commanders with one Captain per battle group as the senior destroyer skipper. XO's for them are Lt. Commanders but don't hold Master's tickets yet but will do eventually. Cruisers would be Captain/Commander but both hold masters tickets.

Battlestars are an odd case, as the group Commodore is officially also the Battlestar CO, and the XO is a Captain and both hold Master's tickets. I would imagine it comes with the promotion to Commander and an XO slot somewhere - so Commodore Wallace would have got one when he was posted to Nemesis as XO, Commodore Fischer would have gotten his when he took over his destroyer (IIRC he had the Vengeance before taking over as Pegasus XO).

Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Posted: 2020-01-09 11:05pm
by fnord
So do you have a single class of master's ticket, where a newly-minted destroyer driver would be qualified and trained to take over a warstar if things went really south?

Or is it split into an escort and a capital-ship class, mirroring the distinction among the vessels themselves? In that two-class structure, would there be any reason for an escort master's ticket NOT to be a prerequisite to even attempting to get the capital-ship version?
XO's for them are Lt. Commanders but don't hold Master's tickets yet but will do eventually
So what happens if the destroyer captain gets killed, or otherwise incapacitated in a mysterious gardening accident, especially out of combat?

Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Posted: 2020-01-10 04:43pm
by Eternal_Freedom
Oooook. Um, at the present (in-story) the situation is a bit distorted because the TCN has expanded so much in just a few years. Going forward there would be a single "Masters Ticket" qualification, saying "You can command a destroyer and/or command/2IC a cruiser or larger."

Intended progression would be senior officer/department head or destroyer XO moves up to destroyer commander and gets their Master's Ticket, then as positions become available and if recommended by senior officers, you get the chance for an XO slot on a cruiser/capital ship and/or a senior officer slot on a Warstar (by which I mean Tac/Ops Officers, CAGs). From there you'd usually move to be skipper of a cruiser, than eventually a Battlestar (even though you'd "officially" be the XO, you're Captain-rank and the de facto ship's master). Being a Battlestar's XO basically means you're at the top of the tree as far as Captains go, and you're on the shortlist for Commodore and command of a group or a Fleet Base.

If a destroyer skipper is incapacitated out of combat, then the XO is trusted to manage the ship until a replacement can be rotated out (probably from a larger ship).

Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Posted: 2020-01-10 07:36pm
by fnord
Thanks for that. From what you've said, it looks like OC Destroyers (Kate Stewart as at First Terra) no longer exists, and neither would its cruiser analogue.

I'm not sure if that would be a good idea, especially in light of you saying "recommended by senior officers" - where would the institutional memory for driving escorts then reside? In lieu of OC (type), who decides "X candidate does _not_ get their ticket" while "Y candidate gets their ticket" ?

It would also be a possible alternate route to flag rank - you'd have at least as much influence by picking who goes on to drive a ship and your judgement would be at least as scrutinised as a battlegroup XO.

Of course, it's not impossible for the Kobolian Navy to stuff it up.

Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Posted: 2020-01-11 02:34pm
by Eternal_Freedom
"OC Destroyers" as a post doesn't exist, and only existed at First Terra because the destroyer force was operating semi-independently and the TCN hadn't yet formed up into proper battle groups (since at that point the priority was building enough ships to survive the Cylon assault, and after that the Battlestars alone went off to Pegasus while the destroyers stayed home.

Remember that a good chunk of the TCN institutional memory and organisation comes from the Colonial Fleet, as told by Adama, Jellicoe and Kirov. Thus they think in terms of Battlestar groups rather than independent escort squadrons.

Officers can progress from destroyer command to Captain rank and then to flag rank if their performance warrants it. It's not a hard and fast rule - each Battlestar Group will usually have one destroyer whose skipper is a full Captain, and they'd be in line of succession to command the group after the Battlestar XO and the cruiser skippers. But if you are going to be a flag officer, you'll be commanding forces with attached fighters/bombers/gunships, even if that's a Fleet Base rather than a Battlestar group, so you need to have at least some experience of dealing with light squadrons.

Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Posted: 2020-01-11 06:55pm
by LadyTevar
Is there going to be an update to the story anytime soon? Cause all this talking keeps getting my hopes up.

Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Posted: 2020-01-11 08:48pm
by Eternal_Freedom
I know it's irritating. I am hopefully writing more of either the main storyline or the Burning of Picon side story tomorrow.

Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Posted: 2020-01-14 12:18pm
by Eternal_Freedom
It's back!

The Great Betrayal
Covenant Holy City
High Charity
Ninth Age of Reclamation

The massive Covenant city floated in an otherwise cold and empty star system, surrounded as it always was by the six hundred ships of the Defence Fleet. Within the vast hull countless millions of San’Shyuum, Sanghelli, Jiralhanae, Unggoy, Kig-Yar, Yan’me and Lekgolo went about their daily routines, building new ships in the Foundry, studying Forerunner artefacts to unearth new secrets and generally administering the huge Covenant Empire.

The daily routine was not quite normal though. Everywhere one looked there was an undercurrent of tension. The Hierarchs may have said things were going well but anyone could see the long lists of casualties as ships were lost against the humans. The fighting had reached a new and dreadful intensity over the past quarter-cycle and rumours of devastating new human weapons and technologies were rife. The higher-ups quashed any such rumour within earshot, arguing that it was dishonourable speculation (for the Sanghelli), cowardly speculation (for the Jiralhanae) or just something they need not concern themselves with. This did a lot more harm than good, as many of the rank and file of the Covenant recognised that their superiors would not be so prompt to suppress the stories if they weren’t at least partially true.

Unggoy patrols and work details were even more jittery than usual for the diminutive race, the rumours affecting them more than any other as they were well aware of their status as cannon fodder in combat. They knew the humans called them Grunts and it was a fitting name for their purpose in life. The thought of being wasted even more senselessly than usual was deeply troubling.

The Kig-Yar largely didn’t care, they were little better than mercenary sell-swords. But even among their indifferent numbers, there was the occasional voice raised in doubt. The Sanghelli were almost as on-edge as the Unggoy; while they would never admit it to others, many of the superiors knew of the doubts and of the discussions that the Imperial Admiral had with his Supreme Commanders. They had known for some cycles now that the San’Shyuum were plotting something- though that was hardly surprising as the San’Shyuum were always plotting something.

The only ones completely unaffected by this tension were the Huragok engineers. They floated about as serenely as always, fixing, repairing and building as they usually did. Of all the Covenant races, these were perhaps the most alien to humans, and the most unfathomable.

In the Grand Council Chamber the High Prophets of Truth and Mercy floated on their thrones and discussed the myriad of issues that suddenly plagued them. The human resistance had always been incredibly stubborn but of late it had become effective. The Sanghelli were proving to be disappointing; several of their Councillors had openly questioned why the humans had to be destroyed rather than be allowed the chance to join the Covenant.

Those Councillors had been quietly detained, interrogated brutally and then mysteriously died in an “airlock accident.”

Truth and Mercy needed the Sanghelli to keep fighting until they could move to one of the newly-discovered Rings and begin the Great Journey. Even now, the city’s massive slipspace drives were slowly powering up and a course was being plotted. They could arrive in barely a day, for despite the city’s colossal size, the drives were the fastest the Covenant possessed.

And then came the moment that changed things forever.

While Imperial Admiral Wattinree had forbidden anyone in his armada from contacting High Charity once they began their withdrawal from Reach, they had ignored the Forerunner-designed tracking and monitoring systems that the Hierarchs had quietly installed on all the Supercarriers long ago. Thus, a data burst sped through slipspace to the mobile throne of Truth, informing him of what was going on and even including sensor telemetry – and logs of incoming and outbound transmissions.

Truth and Mercy both fell silent as they reviewed the recordings. Imperial Admiral Wattinree was not just defeated, he was retreating – and had parleyed with the hated humans to do so under a flag of truce. The transmissions from the Oracle would, undeniably, tear the Covenant in two. The only question was which side would strike first.

The two Hierarchs finished their pondering. Mercy looked at his long-time ally (even in his own mind he refused to think of Truth as a friend) and spoke.

“We have to eliminate the Sanghelli. Possibly the Unggoy and Kig-Yar was well. The Sanghelli already doubt us and the Will of the Gods openly, they will take this message and concentrate their full fleet here as soon as they can. We should…” Truth cut him off.

“Yes. We should take care of this problem.” He pressed a button his throne to open a comm channel to an aide. “Summon Tartarus to the Council Chamber, at once.”
While they waited, Mercy ran the numbers through his head several times. The odds were great – the Jiralhanae fleet was powerful but would be massively outnumbered by the Sanghelli. They would, hopefully retain control of High Charity’s defences but a stand-up fight was not advised.

“A direct confrontation is unwise.” He finally said to Truth.

Truth nodded. “Correct. That is why we will avoid such a confrontation. We are so close to beginning the Great Journey and Ascending, we cannot be deterred now. We can, and we will do whatever is necessary, even using the Anathema Codex.”

Had Mercy possessed the physiology to do so, he would have paled dramatically at that announcement. The Anathema Codex was utterly forbidden. No-one in thousands of cycles had dared open it, never mind try and use it, for It contained the darkest secrets of the Forerunners and the Oracle at the heart of High Charity. Usually even mentioning its name was grounds for immediate and painful execution – but these were far from usual times.

Mercy had barely recovered the power of speech what Tartarus, the Great Chieftain of the Jiralhanae entered the chamber. He marched up to the Hierarchs with great stomping paces, his massive frame carrying the equally massive gravity hammer he wielded as his chosen weapon. He stopped just short of the dais their thrones floated upon and looked at them squarely, without any fear, apprehension or deference.

“What is your bidding Hierarchs?”

Truth looked at him with cunning, calculating eyes. “The Sanghelli have betrayed us, they have failed in their assault on the human world and are retreating…and they agreed a truce with the humans to do so! This is treason of the highest order.”

Tartarus barely blinked at that news. He and Truth had planned many contingencies for the moment when a race needed to be stripped from the Covenant. He did not question the facts, or the motives. He just waited for orders, like the obedient follower he was.

“What would you have me do?”

Truth smiled. “Call up your…specialist teams for Contingency Nineteen. All Sanghelli above Ultra-rank are to be captured if possible or killed if they resist. Your second will lead his team to the control room of the Dreadnought and bring it to full readiness. You will go personally to the control centre, kill every Sanghelli present along with anyone who resists. You will raise the shields, arm the weapons and destroy any Sanghelli ship in range. Go now and do not delay!”

Tartarus grinned savagely and turned away, sprinting for the door and rumbling orders into his comm device. Long had he waited for the day when his gravity hammer would taste – and crush – Sanghelli skulls.

Truth now opened another comm channel to his aide. “Connect me with Chieftain Rekassa on the Lightning Strike.” There was a short delay while the secure channel was connected before a hologram of the Jiralhanae naval commander appeared before them.

”Hierarch, is it time?”

“Indeed it is. Take your fleet to the Second Holy Ring. There are three Sanghelli Fleets garrisoning it – they will surrender to you or be destroyed. I will bring the Holy City there as soon as possible, the Great Journey will soon begin. Once you have secured the space, deploy your forces to the surface of the Ring. We must hold the Control Room as soon as possible. Disregard anything the Ring’s Oracle may say.”

Chieftain Rekassa bowed his head ”As you will Hierarch.” The hologram faded from view.

Mercy looked pensive. “I genuinely hoped it wouldn’t come to this, that the Sanghelli would walk the Great Journey with us.”

Truth scoffed at the notion. “Harden your heart old friend. They have rejected the Will of the Gods and so they will be left behind.” He pressed yet another control on his throne and the Council Chamber was sealed by feet-thick blast doors and energy shielding. “Now let us sit back and watch as the Sanghelli are cast down into the abyss.”

High Charity Control Centre, Five Minutes Later

The Control Centre for the Holy City was a vast spherical chamber a kilometre below the Council Chamber. Ring after ring of consoles and controls lined the edges of the lower half of the sphere, whilst in the centre there was a platform that served a central point for the commander on duty. In the upper half of the space were enormous holograms showing everything from the local space, to far-off engagements to production reports.

The carefully-selected Sanghelli Zealot in command that day was Ulrik Torgadee, a warrior who was fanatical in his devotion, not to the Covenant, but to the Sanghelli people. It was this distinction that had meant his career had not advanced; many of his contemporaries felt he should have been a Fleetmaster by now but the Hierarchs frowned on such apparently divided loyalties.

He was just concluding a discussion with Supreme Commander Narvik Arakee of the Defence Fleet when he heard the first shots and screams from outside the control centre. He immediately slapped his hand down on the emergency controls that sealed the chamber and sounded alarms throughout the city – the undercurrent of tension that everyone had noticed would now explode as those alarms meant only one thing; treason and civil war were afoot.

He quickly checked the displays for the latest information and then his next move was to warn his superior outside the city. “Supreme Commander, several Jiralhanae squads are attempting to breach the control centre. I have reports that dozens of other squads are moving through the city; several Councillors have already been killed and there are a least a dozen firefights underway. I can only assume they wish to take the control centre to turn the city guns on the Defence Fleet. I urge you to retreat to a safe distance.”

The hologram clicked its mandibles together in agreement, before turning and barking orders at his own staff. ”We will be moving shortly. Can you hold your position?”

Torgadee shook his head. “I do not believe it likely. We have sealed the chamber and I have locked down the weapon controls so they will only answer to me…but a Hierarch or a senior Chieftain could override that access. I would expect we have only a few minutes at most…” he was interrupted by the sound of an explosion as the first layer of sealed doors were blasted open. Torgadee glanced again at the status displays, blanched at the information they contained and then continued.

“The outer doors have just been breached. Several more Jiralhanae squads are converging on this position while more are moving to secure the Dreadnought. The city’s slipspace drives are charging for a course to the nearer of the Holy Rings, you must warn the Imperial Admiral and the other Supreme Commanders so they can prepare. By the time High Charity arrives at the Ring, I expect the Hierarchs to once again have full control of the weapons. I have no doubt they will use them. We will fight these savages as long as we can; I have faith that you will avenge us.”

Narvik Arakee could only nod before slamming his fist to his chest in salute of the Zealot and his devotion to the Sanghelli cause. The channel closed.

Ulrik Torgadee took a moment to compose himself before drawing his plasma repeater and energy sword. He looked around at the staff manning the control centre; they were not front-line warriors. The Sanghelli were skilled in management and tactics but close-quarters combat was outside their skill-set. This would not stop them from doing their duty. The assorted Unggoy, the handful of Kig-Yar and the single Megalekgolo pair guarding the entrance looked nervous, or eager, or inscrutable, depending on their species.

“Brothers! The time has come. Treason is upon us, perpetrated by our own Hierarchs. They have sent their Jiralhanae attack dogs to take these controls and turn the guns on our ships. We cannot allow this. Take up arms and resist with all your hearts. We will die here, but we will make them pay tenfold and we will deny them their prize.” At that, he activated the dead-man switch that would set off a series of plasma grenades scattered around the control centre, grenades that would wreck the room and render the city guns unusable until the systems could be routed elsewhere. It would not take long, but every second the guns were silent was a second that the Imperial Admiral could use to gain the upper hand.

The second layer of sealed doors broke under the pounding of Jiralhanae weapons fire and breaching charges. Only one more remained now. The control room staff spread out and took cover behind consoles and walkways, ready to unleash an avalanche of plasma bolts, needles and harsh irradiated matter from the Megalekgolo’s arm-mounted cannons. The beasts coming for them would indeed pay tenfold.

The last door began to glow as plasma torches started to cut through it. The metal glowed brighter and brighter until after just a minute it failed and their Jiralhanae executioners began their wild charge, gravity hammers at the ready.

Ulrik Torgadee raised his plasma repeater and pulled the trigger as he shouted one last exhortation to his men.

“For Sanghelios!”

The defenders opened fire. The first wave of attackers staggered, blasted apart by plasma fire or the hideous green beams from the fuel rod cannons. The first dozen through the door died, and the second, but the third wave had a reprieve as the defenders had to reload and cool down their weapons. The Jiralhanae dived for whatever cover was available and tore at the defenders within reach. Unggoy and Kig-Yar were split in two by the massive hammers. Several Sanghelli were flung across the chamber to smack with lethal force into the walls. Grenades were thrown that ripped several of the beasts apart and stunned others, allowing the Sanghelli energy swords to finish the job.

But there was no denying the savage pressure of the attackers. Minute by minute, shot by shot, life by life they pushed deeper into the room, stepping over the bodies of their dead and dying without a care in the world. Tartarus himself had now entered the fray and was making a beeline straight for Torgadee, who saw his opponent coming, knew he was outclassed but defiantly stood his ground.

“Tartarus, you brute. Your Hierarchs are destroying the Covenant and you jump to obey like a trained beast! You are no better than the Unggoy, at least they think for themselves!”

Sword met hammer as he tried to parry a brutal overhand strike only for the sword to shatter against the Great Chieftain’s personal shield. The hammer met no such resistance and struck Torgadee on the left shoulder before tearing through his torso, abdomen and right leg. Ripped in half, bleeding heavily and with only moments of consciousness remaining, the Zealot had one final word for his killer.

“You…will not win…and when we are both…in the next life…you will die…a thousand times…at my hand…”

Tartarus just sneered at what was left of the Sanghelli. “There is no next life Sanghelli, just this one…and you lost.”

Torgadee breathed one last thought as the life faded from him. “Have…I?”

It was then that the Great Chieftain suddenly heard the sound of dozens of beeping grenades all around the room. He cursed and sprinted for the door while diverting every scrap of power available to his shield, hoping it would be enough.

He was ten steps from the door when the grenades exploded. He leapt forward, letting the blast throw him out into the corridor as his shield flared. He landed in a heap, his shield depleted and his fur singed with fire. He recovered his senses and looked back at the ruined room. The Hierarchs would not be pleased with this development.

Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Posted: 2020-01-14 08:52pm
by fnord
Wow. And thus the Covenant Very-Uncivil War starts?

Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Posted: 2020-01-15 01:59pm
by Eternal_Freedom
Yup! This act isn't called "Schism" for nothing :D

Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Posted: 2020-02-06 05:33pm
by DKeith2011
Might be making some progress on the Dreadnaught project, negotiating with a guy on Shapeways to make a printable model. Should be a continuation of the model started by AdamKop before communication there dried up.

For clarification, Dreadnaughst hull is basically smooth with minimal detail, like the Asgard hulls tend to be, right?

Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Posted: 2020-02-06 05:35pm
by Eternal_Freedom
Pretty much yeah, aside from the light weapon mounts (PD guns and coilgun turrets).

Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Posted: 2020-02-06 07:00pm
by DKeith2011
Which are probably small enough to invisible at this scale. Aiming for a printable model about 6 inches long.

Looks like the design work will be $70 or so, not sure how much the model print itself will cost on Shapeways. I'm checking to see if he is willing to sell the model files as well.

Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Posted: 2020-02-07 06:45pm
by DKeith2011
Regarding the latest Dreadnaught attempt;

A modeler on Shapeways is willing to do the job for $70. This would produce a printable model about 6 inches long with satisfactory levels of detail if his other referenced work is any indication.

After payment, the files for the model becomes property of the buyer to do with as they please. Good news if you have a home printer, if not the model can be printed off any number of commercial sites.

I would rather not foot the bill for this solo, but will if I have to. Any and all contributions to the cause would be appreciated.

E_F, if there are any additional details you would like added (bridge windows, lateral ribbing similar to the Galactica or such) now would be the time.

Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Posted: 2020-02-07 06:59pm
by Eternal_Freedom
I'm willing to chip in about half that, and a friend of mine has a 3D printer which is helpful. There wouldn't be bridge windows on the superstructure as the command centre is deep in the hull. No lateral ribbing, just stick with the base model we started with and the initial descriptions I think.

Re: The 13th Tribe Book II: A Symphony of War

Posted: 2020-02-07 07:55pm
by DKeith2011
Ok, I'll get all the info gathered up this weekend and send it off to the modeler.

Cross your fingers everyone.

Almost forgot, he is willing to do other ships as well if you have the designs ready.