SWTOR: Rix’larril’an of the Ascendancy 2.05

By Paige Francis Posted Monday Apr 15, 2024

Filed under: Epilogue, Paige Writes 6 comments

Before returning to the Revanites, Kaliyo and I detour back to Kaas City to decide what to do with the Mask of Revan. Ladra wants the mask as a symbol, and possibly believes it contains ancient power. Torrun seems to just want the mask to keep it from people like Ladra and Grathan. I think the situation stinks. Stealing the mask from Grathan is a unique situation…what do the Revanites NORMALLY do? Does that mean Grathan is actually in on this charade? He’s a Sith Lord; sacrificing a few dozen guards every week means nothing to him. The flip-side is what I said to Acolyte Sandor: this is the culmination of a handful of coincidences. But I just can’t believe that. Possible? Yes. But the most plausible explanation is that Grathan and the Revanites are allied against the Emperor and the Dark Council. I haven’t talked to Watcher 2 or Keeper about this, and that may have been a mistake. I considered this journey through the local Revanite Cult to be an extracurricular activity that might help me with my mission to recover Theover Mindak’s contacts. Now it seems possible someone is organizing numerous opposition forces simultaneously.

“I think we’ve been had, Agent,” Kaliyo interrupts my thoughts. “I sent out some inquiries a few hours ago. There are THOUSANDS of ‘Masks of Revans,’ and I don’t mean intentional replicas. There are MILLIONS of those. At least.”

“The thousands of masks are just the ones that claim to be THE GENUINE Mask of Revan,” she continues. “And get this: I’ve found three already that claim to have been stolen from Lord Grathan on Dromund Kaas. The Revanites played us.”

“That actually confirms my own thoughts,” I reply. “Ladra may actually be crazy or just a good actor, but the bottom line is the theft is just a loyalty and character test. Whether you succeed or fail, and who you return the mask to; tells them how to use you.”

“I think Ladra’s the real deal,” Kaliyo smiles. “She mentioned she’s the top enforcer and assassin for the Order…a dose of crazy really helps in that line of work. I would know.” She laughs.

“If she’s being used by the Revanites, I wonder who is using the Revanites in turn; and why,” I muse. I get up from the table. “Well, Intelligence may have some answers, but allegedly we’re one step closer to meeting the alleged Cult Leader, so lets see have far we can untangle this knot.”

Back at the Revanite weekend retreat we return to Torrun, reasoning that we can’t be 100% sure how Ladra will respond. Ladra can clearly see us from her favorite tree, but appears to just be singing to herself. Torrun thanks me for bringing the mask to him and stows it in a chest in the next tent over. Kaliyo eyes the chest then excuses herself to find a restroom. Torrun sends me to another Revanite leader, Raymon; and promises this will be the last stage of my initiation. I wait for Kaliyo to catch up before talking to Raymon.

“Well?” I ask when she step from the shadows behind the tent.

“Completely full of Revan masks,” Kaliyo answers. “Either Grathan is in on it, or he’s as big a dupe as most of the galaxy.”

“I am beginning to think this is all organized. The best suspect now is Grathan, but I don’t think we take that for granted. The Sith are moving against him now, which could be an indication he stepped into someone’s plot. Who is moving against Grathan, specifically? Just saying “the Dark Council” or “the Sith” doesn’t answer the question.”

Kaliyo answers immediately. “It sounds like you’re describing your new boss, Jadus. But isn’t he the one who said all these different groups were working together? And Keeper said there really wasn’t any evidence of a high level of coordination?”

“So it’s either Grathan, or Jadus is playing a much larger game that we can’t see yet,” I respond. “I rather wish this was simply recovering the Mask of Revan. I suspect that would be more easily accomplished. I wonder what ever happened to real mask.”

“Who knows? Maybe Revan still has it. Wouldn’t THAT be a twist.” Kaliyo laughs.

Raymon is located right across from Ladra. She waves as I approach, which I take to mean she knows that *I* know it was a ruse. I’m still not sure she’s NOT crazy, but Kaliyo has a point about crazy being an asset to people tasked with murdering others. It’s not terribly different from my own current occupation, or sensibilities. Raymon turns out to be an angry man who views the arrival of Revanite initiates as proof of poor security. His task for me, and presumably every initiate, is to visit other Revanite leaders and learn how Revan chose and worked with allies. He doesn’t give me a name; he just tells me to search the jungle for my next guide. Thankfully it doesn’t take much to figure out some leads: there is a Revanite hunting party tasked with controlling the deadly, monstrous beasts near the camp, a long-time Mandalorian Revanite training troops just north of The Wall, and apparently an Imperial Officer overseeing a sentry station at The Wall itself. I had to have gone right by him a half dozen times by now. Much like the “test” with the Mask of Revan, each Revanite will question my wisdom, and if I answer wrongly I must prove my strength.

A fancy way of saying if my philosophy doesn’t align properly, at least with the Revanite I’m talking to, they’ll have me prove I can at least fight.

The leader of the hunting party asks me why I think Revan was willing to train non-humans in the Force, contrary to Imperial practice. I want to point out there is no simple answer to this question. The Sith Empire under Revan was not the same Imperium in power now. Suspicion of non-humans was an aspect of the bureaucracy; a useful tool. Revan himself first came from Jedi training, and the tools and creators of his own fleet where non-human in origin. Instead I give a simpler answer that I suspect is at least partly true regardless: “He trained everyone who would make him stronger.” Morrun likes this answer and tells me that I truly understand the teachings of Revan. He forwards me to the Mandalorian warrior I heard about earlier, located deep in the jungle north of The Wall.

Ceta Farr is a member of one of the Mandalorian clans that chose to follow Revan out of respect for his military prowess. Jedi Knight Revan first came to prominence by defying the Jedi Council and joining the Republic Military to oppose the Mandalorians in the Mandalorian Wars. Revan defeated the Mandalorian leader, Mandalore the Ultimate; on Malachor V. Although some Mandalorians joined Revan in his exploration of the Unknown Regions and the source of the Sith Influence at play, it wasn’t until Revan’s “rebirth” as a Jedi that his strong affiliation with the surviving Mandalorians was forged. Revan helped Mandalore the Preserver reclaim the Mask of Mandalore and assume leadership of the Mandalorians. Farr, however, claims to descend from some of the early followers of Revan; she has spent her entire life on Dromund Kaas and was raised a Revanite. She tells me all Revanites are warriors; if that is all I seek she will test me against her best men. And so, what ELSE can I do for the order?

I think on this for a moment, but quickly the answer becomes obvious. “The order is involved in research, and clearly has their hands in many archaeological digs. You seek evidence and proof. I can get you that.”

She nods. “Very good. Head back to The Wall, and talk to Major Pathel at the sentry station watching the deep jungle approach to The Wall.”

Pathel doesn’t beat around the bush. “There are those who join the Revanites seeking revolution, and many who believe it is a secret society that will advance their careers. The true Revanite understands we are dedicated to spreading the teachings of Revan. How do you supposed we best do that?”

Combining what Pathel said with Ceta Farr’s comments, I answer “Lead by example. Prove we are right.”

“Excellent!” Pathel exclaims. “Perfect answer! Return to Raymon; I’ll have talked to him by the time you arrive.”

“I’m having a hard time figuring these people,” Kaliyo admits while traveling back to the Revanite campground. “This group all seemed completely sincere in all this “teachings of Revan” mumbo-jumbo.

“True believers are the easiest to manipulate,” I respond. Not every single Revanite has to be converted to the cause of whoever is pulling the strings. Even the Revanite leadership may be directed unwittingly by a clever strategist.”

At the Revanite compound Raymon informs us our membership is confirmed by the “inner council,” but the final decision will be made by “The Master.” He sends us back to Dzoun, the Revanite who first greeted us. Dzoun tells us we have been granted an audience with The Master and sends us on to another tent, one we haven’t visited yet. The entrance is closed behind us after we enter and the resultant darkness has us both on edge. Suddenly a large holoprojector displays a human-sized image of someone in Revanite robes, and wearing a “Mask of Revan.”

It’s an obvious recording. I suspect this is what most people who join “The Cult of Revan” see; those that think it’s a social club, or a group of weekend warriors. I say out loud, “It’s a very amusing joke, but I would like to talk seriously, now; please.” A woman steps from the darkness; a woman I would swear wasn’t in the tent a few moments ago.

The Master recounts a need for secrecy and security that belies the greatest amount of paranoia I have encountered among the Revanites. Although, considering I was explicitly sent to infiltrate the organization to obtain the identity of “The Master,” I suppose her fears are warranted. She confirms this immediately. She knows who I am, or at least, that I am an Intelligence Operative investigating subversive elements on Dromun Kaas. They know what Acolyte Sandor seeks to do; he’s been recruiting potentials at The Wall for weeks. He is the entire reason Major Pathel assumed command of the jungle sentry post there; they knew I was coming.

“If you thought I was truly a danger to the Order, you would have killed me already. Although I suppose The Cave may still count. So I presume you have a plan for me?” I ask.

“We do. But before we ask for your cooperation, I will tell you who we are, and why the Cult of Revan really exists.”

The Master insists Revan came to Dromund Kaas sometime after the Jedi Civil War. Here on Dromund Kaas he (or she, the records aren’t clear) discovered the Sith Emperor and slew him, taking his place as leader of the reconstituted Sith Empire. Revan then built up and expanded the Empire through the lesser-traveled sectors of the Galaxy, until he was betrayed by the Dark Council. The Council wished to conquer the Republic, which Revan opposed. The Council locked Revan away, explaining the decades-long silence from the Imperial Throne. The Dark Council then announced the presence of the Sith Empire and attacked the Republic. Only a few know the truth, which is why the Dark Council seeks to destroy the Revanites.

“You’re loony.”

“I know this can be hard to hear,” she continues. And The Master goes about explaining every piece of the conspiracy. And like any good conspiracy, as long as you present it the right way, it just about makes sense. Additionally, The Master has a soft, soothing voice. when she finishes her explanation with “Believe in me. Believe in the Path of Revan,” it comes off like a hypnotic command. The Master is the type of cult leader who can be extremely dangerous, but I have seen no evidence she intends anything other than proving Revan is The Emperor and is locked up somewhere by the Dark Council. In this she inherently opposes the Council, yet seems to believe that finding Revan and freeing him is the path to salvation, not the overthrow of the Dark Council. Time to just bluff on through and see where it goes.

“I’ll be honest, umm…Master. I think this is all a bit silly, but I certainly have no allegiance to the Sith, and I haven’t seen any evidence you are anything other than who you claim to be. Cards on the table…what do you ask of me?”

She hands me an amulet. “Return to Acolyte Sandor. Tell him you met the Revanite leader and obtained this token. Sandor will recognize it as a possession of his master, Darth Charnus. Sandor will turn on his master and end this threat against us for a while.”

“And if I choose to tell them about you, instead?” I ask.

“We will be prepared for either outcome. But I think you will make the right choice,” she answers.

Kaliyo and I talk over what to do on the trip back to The Wall.

“Sure, they’re *technically* traitors to the Empire, but it seems more like a theological dispute than a rebellion,” she says.

“Intelligence clearly doesn’t take them seriously,” I respond. “Although I am currently not certain that carries much weight.”

Kaliyo agrees, “Keeper and Watcher 2 clearly know more than they’re willing to share, but it seems like information of the Revanites would have been pertinent to your mission. But really, the deciding factor for me is that they annoy the Sith.”

“An important consideration,” I concur.

And so we end up feeding Sandor the lie. He is visibly shaken. I offer help, but he only says he must consider his next action carefully.

I bet.

Thank the gods we’re finally leaving the jungle. But I carry with me the foreboding thought that there can always be something worse.


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6 thoughts on “SWTOR: Rix’larril’an of the Ascendancy 2.05

  1. Syal says:

    And so we end up feeding Sandor the lie.

    …which lie is this? I’m lost.

    1. Daimbert says:

      The lie that his master is the Sith Lord working with the Revanites instead of the leader that she talked to. The leader gives a fake medallion that implicates Sandor’s master.

    2. I could have written that better. As Daimbert said, the lie is that the Revanites are led by or associated with his Master, Darth Charnus; who sent him to investigate the Revanites in the first place.

  2. Daimbert says:

    Usually when I run this I end up siding with the Revanites because most of my characters feel that a Dark-Light balance is the way to go over the current philosophies. On my latest runs, both of my characters did it for political reasons. My Inquisitor was trying to destroy the Sith Council in revenge for the Sith ruining his life and making him a slave — which triggered his rage which revealed his abilities — and so this would destabilize them and work in his favour. My Warrior is trying to fight his way to power after starting as a Bounty Hunter — I don’t think he did the Revanite quest on the Bounty Hunter run and haven’t checked, but if he did that would fit well with your “many, many masks” theory [grin] — and so thinks that causing this sort of chaos will again allow for opportunity.

    That being said, I think it was only during this run that it really hit me that their conspiracy theory really is totally insane. I can’t imagine my agent siding with them on this run because of that, but I’ll see when I get there.

    1. A big part of what I wanted to write into the Revanites quest chain is to try to make it compatible with both KotOR Revan lore and the later Revan lore introduced in the mid-game flashpoints in SWTOR; and of course the later content from Shadow of Revan. Most of which I don’t actually agree with, but I figure I can run with it to make a fun story.

  3. Sleeping Dragon says:

    Oh I laughed at the whole “box of masks” thing. MMOs are so often trying to shrug whether you are the unique chosen one and the other players are maybe supporting cast, or you’re all doing the same thing as part of some kind of community effort, I love how this is kind of both.

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