Sarz'na Khumatari (Player corporation)

From sdeevelopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

All this data is potentially out of date, and should be taken with a truckload of salt

Sarz.png
Name Sarz'na Khumatari
Ticker [[SARZ]]

{{safesubst:{{safesubst:#if:The Unthinkables|p1|p2}}|

}{{#if:The Unthinkables|

| style="background:#222;border-bottom:1px #303030 solid; padding: 0.5em;border-right:1px #000000 solid;" | Alliance | style="background:#000000;border-bottom:1px #222 solid; padding: 0.5em;" | The Unthinkables }} |- | style="background:#222;border-bottom:1px #303030 solid; padding: 0.5em;border-right:1px #000000 solid;" | CEO | style="background:#000000;border-bottom:1px #222 solid; padding: 0.5em;" | {{#if:Tempest Borne|Tempest Borne|Undisclosed}} {{safesubst:{{safesubst:#if:|p1|p2}}| |- |}}{{#if:| | style="background:#222;border-bottom:1px #303030 solid; padding: 0.5em;border-right:1px #000000 solid;" | Director(s) | style="background:#000000;border-bottom:1px #222 solid; padding: 0.5em;" | {{{directors}}} }} |- | style="background:#222;border-bottom:1px #303030 solid; padding: 0.5em;border-right:1px #000000 solid;" | Founded | style="background:#000000;border-bottom:1px #222 solid; padding: 0.5em;" | {{#if:January 17th, 2008|January 17th, 2008|Undisclosed}} {{safesubst:{{safesubst:#if:|p1|p2}}| |- |}}{{#if:| | style="background:#222;border-bottom:1px #303030 solid; padding: 0.5em;border-right:1px #000000 solid;" | Founded by | style="background:#000000;border-bottom:1px #222 solid; padding: 0.5em;" | [[{{{foundedby}}} (Character)|{{{foundedby}}}]] }}{{safesubst:{{safesubst:#if:Recruiting|p1|p2}}| |- |}}{{#if:Recruiting| | style="background:#222;border-bottom:1px #303030 solid; padding: 0.5em;border-right:1px #000000 solid;" | Status | style="background:#000000;border-bottom:1px #222 solid; padding: 0.5em;" | Recruiting }} |- | style="background:#222;border-bottom:1px #303030 solid; padding: 0.5em;border-right:1px #000000 solid;" | Headquarters | style="background:#000000;border-bottom:1px #222 solid; padding: 0.5em;" | {{#if:|{{{headquarters}}}|Undisclosed}} {{safesubst:{{safesubst:#if:SARZ Public|p1|p2}}| |- |}}{{#if:SARZ Public| | style="vertical-align: top; background:#222;border-bottom:1px #303030 solid; padding: 0.5em;border-right:1px #000000 solid;" | Public Channel | style="background:#000000;border-bottom:1px #222 solid; padding: 0.5em;" | SARZ Public }}{{safesubst:{{safesubst:#if:|p1|p2}}| |- |}}{{#if:| | style="vertical-align: top; background:#222;border-bottom:1px #303030 solid; padding: 0.5em;border-right:1px #000000 solid;" | Website | style="background:#000000;border-bottom:1px #222 solid; padding: 0.5em;" | [ {{#if:|}}] }}{{safesubst:{{safesubst:#if:|p1|p2}}| |- |}}{{#if:| | colspan=2 style="background:#222;border-bottom:1px #303030 solid; padding: 0.5em;border-right:1px #303030 solid; horizontal-align: center" align=center | History }}{{safesubst:{{safesubst:#if:|p1|p2}}| |- |}}{{#if:| | style="background:#222;border-bottom:1px #303030 solid; padding: 0.5em;border-right:1px #000000 solid;" | Alliances | style="background:#000000;border-bottom:1px #222 solid; padding: 0.5em;" | {{{prevalliances}}} }}{{safesubst:{{safesubst:#if:|p1|p2}}| |- |}}{{#if:| | style="background:#222;border-bottom:1px #303030 solid; padding: 0.5em;border-right:1px #000000 solid;" | Former CEOs | style="background:#000000;border-bottom:1px #222 solid; padding: 0.5em;" | {{{prevceos}}} }} |}


Summary[edit]

The Sarz'na Khumatari are a Minmatar roleplay-based corporation focused on the goals of Matari Freedom. We are a combat orientated unit with the over riding objective of taking the fight to the supporters of slavery and their allies.

We favour small gang combat as a daily pursuit, with larger engagements taking place as part of alliance life in the Ushra'Khan, of which we are long standing members.

The corporation was formed in January 2008 by the merger of several existing Ushra'Khan corporations and pilots. The principle merger was between Khumatari Holdings, former administrators of Unity Station, and the Yiotul Fighters. Since then we have seen and adapted to many changes in circumstances but always seek to maintain our core values of PVP skills and community spirit.

We seek to support our members by encouraging our members to support one another. Industry and infrastructure building is encouraged within the corp in order to improve and support our combat abilities.

Who We Are Looking For[edit]

  • Ideally applicants should have 10 million skill points or more. Much of our activity takes place in null sec which can be a skill point demanding environment.
  • Team players. We are a part of a large community and can be involved in large scale battles in support of the alliance. Preferring solo PVP is fine, so long as you get in fleet when needed.
  • Mature players. We value the relaxed community spirit of our corp chat. We do not seek massive ego's, argumentative types or pro-trolls. Or emo rage.
  • Stability. If you are the type to try a new corp every month, please do not apply. we want people we can get to know and rely on to still be there a couple of months later.
  • An interest in EVE-Online's back story. We do not force everyone to involve themselves directly in roleplay, but you should have an interest in the backstory and a play style that is guided by it. Corp/alliance chat are 'out of character', but when speaking in local chat members should endeavour to keep it 'in character'. You do not have to own a D&D rulebook to apply, but respect others choice in taking part.
  • No gold-diggers. If your dream is to earn as much ISK as humanly possible, then your dream is not ours. We seek to recruit industrially minded players, but all members must have an active interest in PVP. The pursuit of ISK should be to enable us to buy more gear to kill our enemies with, not to look shiny sat in the hangar. You can mine/manufacture to do that, so long as you pick up a gun and go hunting as well.
  • Veteran PVP'ers and those who might aspire. We like to kill stuff. We want you to like it too. If you want to learn, then we want to help you learn. But you must be willing to do so.


Want To Know More?[edit]

Public chat channel: SARZ Public

Drop in and chat with one of our members.


Origins Part 1 of 3[edit]

The boy Sankar kneels on sacred ground before the Spirit Conductor of this Voluval. The ancient Vehrokior shaman holds the silvered syringe ready in his hand, staring steadily into the boy’s eyes. The members of his clan look on in hushed reverence, expectant. Sankar sees his father watching at a distance, ever the stern Elder of this Sebiestor Clan.

As the stillness of the moment lingers on, the boy feels tension building deep within his muscles. The huge significance of the moment palpably weighing down upon him. He keeps his eyes locked upon the Shaman looming over him, an ancient figure leaning heavily on his staff. With great effort Sankar tries to force the gleaming syringe from his mind as he wrestles with awe and fear in equal measure for what comes.

Suddenly the elderly Vehrokior strikes with alarming speed, plunging the syringe into Sankar’s chest; swiftly penetrating the breastbone to deliver its solution directly to his heart. He can almost taste the sensation as it courses through his veins. He is only dimly aware of the second injection being administered to the base of his spine and of the ceremonial black mantle being lowered over his head and torso. As the world closes down to a stiflingly small blackness, the few minutes that follow become timeless. There is nothing left but the sound of his own heartbeat and the apprehension of what is to come next.

All is dark, close and muffled. His heavy breathing makes air in the confined space hot.

At last the mantle is lifted from him, the feeling of cool air on hot skin rushes over him as the world returns to his awareness. The attendants step back leaving the boy to be viewed by his peers. The clan folk look on; the silence is broken by sharp in drawings of breath. Shocked murmurings ripple around the circle.

The eyes of the ancient shaman widen, the wrinkles of his weathered face deepen. A startled, angry cry breaks from his lips as his hand is raised in a warding gesture against evil spirits. The old man staggers backwards whilst invoking names of protective spirits in the tongues of Vehrokior Shamans. His two attendants step forward quickly to support him as the heavy wooden staff falls from the old man's grip. They withdraw together, watching the boy closely as they move away. The clan folk grumble louder now, visibly shocked by this outcome.

Bewildered, Sankar looks desperately about himself for the mark that this ritual has inflicted upon him. His eyes stop at his left flank, on the dark mark formed there below his ribs. Bewilderment seizes him; this twisted shape means nothing to him!

By now the Shaman has left the circle, heading down the mountainside helped by his strong young aides. The old man does not look back. The people of the clan begin to depart in his wake; few look in Sankar’s direction or meet his pleading gaze. Of the few that do, their eyes are filled with pity and sadness. Only Sankar’s father remains. He stands tensely and stares adamantly at the ground, waiting for the others to leave.

“You do not know your mark Sankar?” The words are ground out through gritted teeth. The boy can but shake his head. His father sighs. “You bear a cursed mark. It tells us that you shall bring about suffering and misfortune." He sighs deeply. "There is nothing I can do, I must honour the sacred law of our Clan.” He pauses, radiating anger. His hands are tight fists, his knuckles white. He will not look upon his cursed son. “You cannot return to the Clan, your presence would bring disaster upon us. You shall leave this place and not return. I pronounce you exile.” With that the father turns and leaves. He does not look back.

Sankar has become a statue of flesh. He sits upon the dusty earth where he was abandoned, utterly motionless.

The sun rises. The sun sets.

He remains where he was left, staring down the mountainside towards the town of his clan in the foothills. He cannot return there and none will come back for him. His life is taken from him by a twist of fate; he knows not what to do next.

The sun rises. The sun sets.

He becomes aware of voices. With an effort he prises his heavy eye lids open. He can not tell how long he has slept. It is scarcely light, dawn approaches. He finds that he is staring at shoes mere inches away from his face. Six shoes. He wearily lifts himself to a sitting position, his raw throat coughing up dust. One of the three people standing by him leans down offering a water flask. Sankar shields his sore eyes with his hand to find two women and a man looking down at him. Each wears a dusty traveling cloak and bears an automatic rifle slung over their backs, efficient looking blades hang from their belts.

Sankar begins to speak but breaks down into a fitful sputtering cough. The woman offering the flask raises it to his lips. “Drink it, it’s safe. Take small sips though, you’re dehydrated.” Sankar takes the offered water and drinks it warily.

He tries again to ask his question. “Who are you? You’re not from my Clan, so what are you doing here?” He frowns, realising something that had been nagging at him. Re-assessing the newcomers quickly he blurts out: [i]“You aren’t even from the same tribe! You two are Sebiestor, I recognise your tattoos but…” He looks more closely at the third figure, studying her appearance and unfamiliar markings. “You’re Vehrokior? Are you...with the Shamans?” She laughs abruptly and coarsely at the suggestion.

The Sebiestor woman smiles but shakes her head. “Aroha isn’t really the spiritual type. She’s one of us now.” Realising that the boy clearly does not understand she begins to explain. “We are…not part of any one Clan or Tribe. We all were, once, but not now. We come from many Clans and perhaps all of the Tribes that live on this world. We are those who no longer belong with the others so travel with each other instead. Do you understand?” Sankar simply shakes his head.

The woman frowns and tries again: “Ok, I used to live with my Clan far to the east of here, across those mountains, over that way. There was a feud between my Clan and a formerly allied neighbour who lived at the far side of our Valley. There was to be a marriage between the children of our chief elders; the first born son of our Clan’s leader to the first born daughter of their Clan. For years there was peace between us under the pact, but it didn’t last."

She sighs sadly at the memories, collecting her thoughts before continuing with a distant look about her. "Our Chieftain bore no sons, but their Chieftain bore both sons and daughters. In time it became a point of grievance, a perceived sign of weakness and eventually it turned into an offence. The fighting returned and our former allies became an enemy. We were finally defeated, broken and scattered. I was only small when my mother was sent away by my father. Our village was destroyed soon after."

She blinks hard, shaking away the memories. "And now my Clan is gone. Each of we...outcasts, has a story and none of us can go home anymore. For some of us there isn't even a home left to return to.”

The Sebiestor man who until now had remained silent was circling Sankar as he sat in the dust. He points to the mark of the Voluval on Sankar’s side. “Seems he has no home now either. That’s a doom mark that is. No way are they going to let him go back.”

He looks at Sankar’s dismayed face with an indifferent look before rolling up his dusty sleeve to show his own mark. With his free hand he points to an old scar running across the side of skull. “I got this when I tried to go back. They didn’t want me, they don’t want you. Trust me on that and save yourself the beating. I guess you’re one of us now kid. Unless you want to go it alone of course. Me? I’d rather be a Sarz than some aimless ghost.”

Sarz. Sankar had heard that word before. It was a spirit legend, a lost vengeful soul, hurt and angry, stalking the wilderness seeking retribution. “What difference does that make? All I've got is these damned wastelands now. So whats the point in choosing at all?” He snaps back, the pent up frustration surging.

Aroha breaks out in another coarse laugh but the man remains impassive. The water-woman looks on sadly and distantly, perhaps still reflecting on her lost family. “What's the point?” Aroha asks, stepping forward to squat down in front of Sankar.

“You can be a shadow like us, living on the edge of society, rejected as some dirty little mistake, or you can go out there into that wilderness on your own and be dead to everyone. What is a Minmatar with no family anyway? We might not be the Tribe or Clan you were born to and we may be spurned by them people in polite society, but at least we stand together. You can live despite what they say” she flicks an angry gesture towards the distant town, “Or you accept it and go out there to die alone. Your choice.” With that she stands and walks away. The water woman goes with her but looks back after a few steps before turning to go on.

Only the man remains to mutter quietly to Sankar: "There's more to a Sarz than you reckon. The legends tell us that the Spirit is fated to walk the wilderness with a purpose."

He leans down, face up close, eye to eye with Sankar. "It seeks redemption. It wants release and vindication. It wants vengeance on they who wronged it and it wants justice. It can't find rest until it gets that. It won't rest until it gets that. Now, are you sitting there in the dust looking for a reason to live, or are you sitting there waiting to die, young Matari? Because if you've got nothing left, if those people down there took it all and you don't want it back, then you stay right there." With nothing else to say, he stands and walks away.

Sankar sits, thinking furiously. He glares intently down the mountain, eyes locked on his former home. The dull thumping steps of these...Sarz fading as they leave. To follow or to stay? Try to go back or leave it all behind and start afresh? He looks down at his mark cursing its very existence.

Abruptly a feeling rushes over him, a thought delivered with the force of a kick to the head behind it. This mark and the arrival of these Sarz converging at this place, at this time? For the first time in his life, destiny speaks to Sankar; although not with this voice he might have expected. He stands, he looks for the three nomads in their dusty cloaks and he sets out after them, towards his new future.

He strides onward with the mountains arrayed before him; with comrades new at his side.

The sun rises.

One month to the day later, with technology beyond anything the Matari of the day possessed, great lances of fire rained down from the sky upon the town at the foot of the mountain. The Amarr had come, blocking out the sun behind their great star ships. It would be a long time before it rose again.


Origins Part 2 of 3[edit]

Years later, Sankar crouches in an alleyway adjoining the town’s marketplace. It is quiet; few people come to this market anymore. There are fewer to come since the day of darkness, while those who do remain have less to spend then before and prefer to keep their distance.

He peers around the corner to see the Amarrian checkpoint across the square, the entranceway to the town garrison. He creeps forwards into a fabric trader’s market stall. Pulling up the hood of his travelers cloak he ducks under a table displaying long strips of material, blending in with the fabrics to disguise his presence. From here he may watch the checkpoint and wait for the right moment to come.

A line of covered wagons enter the square, some are motorised vehicles and others are towed along by animals. A few rickshaws follow, wheels bouncing on the cobbled square as they are pulled along by their trader-owners attempting to sell whatever they can to anyone they pass. The convoy pulls up to the checkpoint and halts. The market peddlers move closer and begin to haggle with both drivers and each other, all attempting to capitalise on this brief rush of would be customers.

After a few moments an Ammarian officer steps out of the checkpoint gatehouse followed by three uniformed Nefantar. The Amarrian directs them to the wagons, himself hanging back to observe with a bored look on his face.

The three Nefantar begin to check papers and inspect the wagons under the bored yet watchful eye of the Amarrian. One wagon owner clearly does not possess the expected papers, sparking a hasty exchange of words and gestures flickering between the driver and officials. The first official raises his voice silencing the wagon owner who cowers back with a nervous, cornered look flashing across his face. Wary eyes around the market turn towards the scene.

Eventually the Amarrian strides across to take charge, his underlings stepping back in deference with a half bow. The wagon owner, seeing the approach of authority, leaps down from his cart to kneel on the hard cobblestones of the marketplace.

As the Amarrian asserts his dominance, Sankar seizes his opportunity. While all eyes are on the Amarrian, Sankar slips out from his hiding place to skirt the edge of the gathering onlookers until he reaches the vehicles. Quickly he eyes up their contents as he searches for the right one.

There!

Three wagons from the Amarrian and the prostrated Minmatar, Sankar glimpses a cargo of pressurised gas cylinders poking out from under the tarpaulin coverings. He sneaks around the back of the vehicle, ensuring that he stays unnoticed in his work.

With swift practiced technique, Sankar reaches under his dusty cloak to bring out the crude explosive pack he had been given by technicians back at camp. He activates the attached radio detonator and pushes the device well under the tarpaulin so that it will be out of sight. Ensuring that all appears normal he walks away at a steady pace, careful not to rush and draw attention to himself. He lingers on the edge of the crowd a moment before moving back towards the alleyway and his hiding place. He waits.

By now the wagon owner is climbing back up into his vehicle with a sour look on his face as the Amarrian strides away looking pleased. There is a glint of metal in an open palm before fingers close over the coins, slipping them into a pocket.

Bribery and collaboration. Truly this is the right target! Sankar lies in wait as the remaining drivers have their papers checked. From his vantage point Sankar sees another wagon owner handing his papers to one of the Nefantar, a fistful of coins along with them which the official discreetly pockets as he wordlessly gives the papers back with scarcely a glance. A few minutes later the checkpoint gates are swung open and the wagons roll into the garrison compound.

Sankar’s hand grips the remote trigger; a tremble passes through him as his thumb rests ever so lightly on the button.

Easy. Wait for it.

He can see through the layers of wire fencing, wagons roll up the short road behind the gates towards the main building. He watches collaborator Matari Enforcers and clerks coming out to meet them.

Get ready.

The wagons pull up and clerks set to work inventorying the deliveries, haggling with the extra traders who came with the caravan. Enforcers stand by in idle groups waiting to begin unloading. The flow of people into the square slows. As the last few gather, Sankar tenses and shifts his grip on the detonator.

Now!

The fireball rips through canister, wagon and man with a perfect fury. Splintering, burning wood flies through the air, windows shatter. The force of the explosion slams into everyone gathered nearby, hurling bodies through the air to slam back down to the ground. Half a heartbeat later, everyone in the market throws themselves onto the cobbles as the deafening wave of sound sweeps over all. A gale of hot air rushes in its wake, kicking up dust into eyes.

Sankar hauls himself up to lean on his elbows as he surveys the carnage which his device has caused. The garrison is on fire; the whole area around the shattered wagons is littered with bodies, few of which show any signs of movement. Regaining his composure, Sankar has begun to pull himself to his feet when his eyes meet those of a Nefantar attempting to do the same. The Nefantar looks from Sankar to the detonator by his feet, horrified realisation creeping across the man’s face.

Screaming a curse the Nefantar fumbles for his side arm. Sankar staggers upright and runs back towards the alleyway. With feet pounding on the cobbles, he reaches the alley mouth. As he skids around the corner towards safety a shot rings out and a lancing pain tears across his shoulder blade. Crashing into the far wall and stumbling forward, he runs on. He keeps running, always heading away from people and towards the edges of the town.

Somehow he finds his way to the edge of town unhindered and keeps on going. Out into the wilderness, away from this twisted civilisation; fading like the avenging Spirit he has become. The light is failing by the time he reaches the cave and his fellow outcasts. The 'Sarz', his fellow rejects.

He slumps against the cool stone of the cave wall. His shoulder throbs and he can feel the sticky wetness of blood trickling down his back. Olarin, the healer of their little group hurries over. Sankar's stained cloak is cut back from the wound as Olarin sets to work efficiently cleaning and stitching the long graze.

Sankar looks about him at the activity going on all around. Craftsmen at work with children sitting around them, each watching and learning. An old man strips a rifle, cleaning the mechanism within as he points out details to a young girl by his side. At the far end of the cave a teenage boy hammers a piece of metal into the shape of a crude blade as the blacksmith towers over him, critical eyes watching every movement. Across from them the camp kitchen prepares the next meal butchering a fresh animal carcase.

Sankar’s eyes are drawn down almost unconsciously to the mark on his side, below the ribs. To the doom mark bestowed upon him by the Voluval. He was cast out of his clan for bearing that mark, shunned by society for the threat he represented. They said he would bring doom to his people, that he was unfit to live amongst them!

They had been wrong, or at least in part. He did indeed bring doom and today he had slain many. The mark of his destiny was a feared one and rightly so. He would indeed bring destruction and he would bring blood. He strikes from the shadows, when least expected and least wanted he shall come. He has become a black and vengeful spirit, in his fight against the oppressor he shall find his vindication. He shall bring justice for his people, by returning what was lost.

He and the other Sarz, he and the other unwanted shall forge their own destiny. And long may the traitors fear it’s coming.


Origins Part 3 of 3[edit]

Ugleb stands looking out of the viewing gallery located high in the Station’s main tower. He stares distractedly at the docking tube far below watching the flare of a ship’s manoeuvring thrusters firing as it glides through the long glass tunnel, one of several ships coming and going from the station. He looks up and stares for a long while at the rocky surface of the planet the station orbits, slowly turning on its axis and bathing in the sun’s rays.

The crew had been talking about the Shaman again today. Ugleb had heard them as he floated within his pod at the heart of the ship. Despite himself he catches snatches of crew conversation going on around him; sometimes the chatter bleeds through into his awareness as he focuses his attention on different functions and systems. This Shaman… he has made quite an impression. And despite all of his quiet scepticism, Ugleb cannot help but be intrigued by it all.

The Shaman had arrived on the station a few weeks ago. This one is a Brutor, a traditionalist by all accounts and he has been holding public gatherings. More and more of the crew had been attending it seems. And listening. It wasn’t often that Ugleb’s crews took so much interest in the Shamans. Somehow the recruits tended to reflect their captain’s outlook on such things although Ugleb rarely got involved with hiring the crews himself. Ugleb had never shown much interest in religion; so neither had his crew as far as he’d noticed. This served to make this new development all the more curious.

With a sigh he turns away from the view port and heads towards the transport tubes, two hulking guards falling in behind him silently as he walks with a purpose. Time to go see what the fuss is all about.

Tonight’s gathering proves easy to find, this part of the station is well worn and of little interest to anyone in of itself. Cramped living quarters, pokey little shops and cluttered markets are crammed into the concourses. A small flow of people, evidently running late, picks their way towards the gathering place and Ugleb simply follows them. A few glance curiously at the pod pilot but keep their distance in the presence of the looming guards. Ugleb doesn’t like to leave the Capsuleer sections of the station too often; the implants always draw unwanted attention. But sometimes you just have to go see what normal people see. It’s important to understand them.

He arrives at a crowded meeting place; the press of people make the large room with its low ceiling feel small. The place is a crossroads really, an intersection between two of the station’s main concourses with a raised platform in the centre. The Shaman strides across the platform, sweeping his arms in big animated gestures as he tells the crowd tales of ancient legends. He speaks of spirits, the wise, the vengeful and the lost. Of the damned and the redeemed. Some of the tales Ugleb has heard before, others he has not.

The Shaman continues at length, clearly touching many in the crowd as he speaks, instilling hope and fear in seemingly equal measure. A powerful speaker indeed, it is soon obvious why he has made such an impression. Ugleb studies the speaker, the energy and feeling conveyed in his movements. He is still quite young for such an influential Shaman, barely middle aged and physically fit. He speaks with unremitting fire and conviction of legends and ancient histories until late in the night, when the gathering finally comes to an end and the crowd begins to disperse.

Ugleb reflects upon what he has seen and heard; It was an interesting night and certainly good to see so many so enthralled by the old tales, yet it offered little new for him. He nods to his escorts and they turn to leave, making their way back to their quarters in the upper levels. He had barely taken three steps when a voice calls him back.

“Pilot! Please wait! The Shaman wishes to see you!” A breathless young woman is pushing through the crowd towards Ugleb, her facial tattoos mark her as a Shaman’s aide. She stumbles to a halt in front of Ugleb, who notes with some annoyance that his escorts have instinctively stepped back to allow her through. Funny how deeply ingrained the deference can be. “The Shaman wishes to speak with you, will you come?” She asks, attempting to regain her composure as onlookers murmur excitedly to each other at this unexpected development.

Ugleb sighs with heartfelt reluctance. But it is the curiosity that brought him here which prevails. “Very well, I’ll come see him.” He glances at the wide eyed people nearby and adds firmly; “In private.” The apprentice smiles nodding emphatically and gestures for him to follow.

She leads him along a succession of twisting corridors into another, smaller open area filled with tents and makeshift huts. Out of the corner of his eye Ugleb spies a few peddlers trading suspect looking little packages to noticeably twitchy customers. The place is crowded and dirty, one of the poorest parts of the station. The apprentice stops at one of the shacks and holds back the grimy fabric covering the doorway. She motions him inside as the guards move to stand just outside the door.

Inside it is small, dimly lit and cramped. The sheet metal walls are draped in tanned leather, decorated simply with rough hand painted symbols. The space is littered with shamanic paraphernalia; old dark wooden chests, carved musical instruments, little bags and jars of strange substances. The low roof forces Ugleb to stoop slightly as he enters.

The shaman sits on the floor towards the back of the room, quietly watching the pilot with a steady, measuring gaze. Ugleb picks his way across the random clutter to sit in a cleared space before the shaman. A small, low table lies between them.

Neither speaks for a long time, they sit and watch as each waits for the other to speak. Finally Ugleb gives up waiting for the mystic to explain himself and breaks the silence. “Your Apprentice came to find me. You wanted to talk about something? Or was calling a Pod Pilot to give an audience part of the public show, maybe trying to stir up some extra publicity with the masses? It must have looked quite impressive, summoning a Capsuleer to an audience like that.”

The Shaman smiles wryly and chuckles quietly. “Ahh so you’re one of those eggers then.”

Ugleb frowns but says nothing. The Shaman continues which barely a pause. “You, are a sceptic. It’s radiating off you; I can see it. Maybe you really do believe in that red-fisted cause of yours, but your thinking is still rooted in this world of Republics, accords and conventions. For all your spirit of defiance, your mind conforms.” The smile doesn’t budge and neither does the stare.

Ugleb’s jaw tenses: what is this anyway? “You called me in here to tell me, what, that I belong back in the Republic? You think I was meant to stay in the Fleet or something? Let me guess, you had a vision and now...” He is interrupted by the Shaman’s harsh laughter.

“I said you were a sceptic! I can always spot those who don’t know their own mind. Or at least, those who are close to finding out what it is. I can see their tension…yes, I think you are getting closer now.” His left hand dips into a small bag sitting by his side; in one fluid movement his fingers close on something inside and he pulls it from the bag. With a flick of his wrist several little objects are tossed onto the small table where they tumble to a rest.

Ugleb’s eyes widen slightly in surprise at the sudden motion. On the scarred, battered surface on the table perhaps a dozen small, carved talismans have been cast like dice, each displaying an engraved symbol now facing upwards. Peering more closely at the dull-white objects he realises that each is made of bone. While no expert, Ugleb suspects that he is looking at finger bones, each long detached from their former owner. He glances up at the Shaman to find that the Shaman is staring intently at the talismans, lips moving quickly and silently.

Abruptly, the Shaman looks up. He leans forward to speak, his words slower now than before. Perhaps he is still pondering their meaning even as he begins to talk. “The spirits tell me that you are approaching a cross roads of sorts, that the traveller before me must choose between the roads that lie before him. They tell me that his fist is a dark and bloody red, which I think we both knew before now. But they also tell me that his own hand might guide his path, despite the deep stain that marks it and his disparity of mind and spirit. Perhaps we did not know that before…” He falls silent, waiting for something.

This puzzles Ugleb. What does it mean? His contact with Shamans in the past has been limited; rarely meeting any outside of the few important organised rituals that he actually does attend. Bloody hands…well that sounds simple enough, there has been plenty of blood spilled over the years, granted. But the rest…

The Shaman grows impatient. He scoops up the talismans with a flourish, quickly seizes Ugleb’s wrist and presses the grisly things into his unresisting palm. Still gripping the pilot he leans in closer until Ugleb can feel the Shaman’s breath on his face and barely make out his whispered words.

“Your heart can be seen if your hand shows us. Now throw, let the spirits reveal it to us.” He lets go of Ugleb’s wrist and sits back, expectant and sombre.

Despite his incredulity, Ugleb finds his hand casting the talismans upon the table. They bounce in the grooves of the wood, each clattering to a stop. Half fall on one side of the table, half fall on the other; the symbols seem random and mixed. The Shaman is studying each piece even as they begin to fall. With a satisfied grunt he returns his attention to Ugleb.

“It is I said before, you are pulled two ways and must choose one. Your youth was not a spiritual one, neither was your training. Yet you believe. You would not have ended up where you are now if you did not.”

Warily, Ugleb asks “And what is it you think I believe?”

The Shaman answers without a pause. “You believe in the old ways, but you were raised in the new. You have lived your life in a society that is the product of outside influences. Republics? Parliaments? Science and modernism. There is little place for our traditions in that world, all must give way to the demands of revolution and new thinking. But it isn’t new thinking that you need, is it? It’s old thinking. Knowing who you are and why.”

Ugleb snorts dismissively “So what? You want us to give up on advancing our technology and go back to living on a few isolated worlds? The Amarr wouldn’t waste any time putting us back in chains!”

“We are not talking about your damned machines or even that shiny metal I see embedded in your neck! We are talking about the values you have based your life around! You scoff at the old ways and yet answer me this; just what has your modern world achieved for you? If I am wrong then why did you ever set foot outside Republic space? Why are you here, on a Thukker station surrounded by you enemy’s light years beyond the border? If it has got you so far since the Great Rebellion, what are you doing right here, right now?”

Ugleb cannot answer that. What have his ‘modern values’ achieved? If it has all worked out so well what did bring him here, practically outcast by the nation he grew up in. He had set out to bring his enslaved kin home, yet for all those who support that cause, so many speak against it. They who speak of Parliaments… Republics….

In that little moment, Ugleb begins to move beyond asking questions, and considers a different path.

“That’s it, isn’t it? We, I, have been clinging to some dream that was given to us! Perhaps by the Gallente, or maybe even by others. It’s their way of thinking, not ours. But…we’re starting to get it back, aren’t we? The Amarr tried to take it from us once, but they only distracted us. We haven’t forgotten it all yet, I think. Who we are. Who we really are.”

The Shaman nods with satisfied approval. “The old ways. Our ways. I will help you learn now what you did not learn before. Temper your knowledge of technology with the knowledge of who you are and how you came to be here. In time your uncertainty will fade, I am sure. Now, we shall begin.”

He retrieves a large, battered old book, which he opens across the small table; it is adorned with many symbols and anatomical illustrations. “Now, show me your mark.” Ugleb obeys, rolling up his right sleeve to reveal the mark of his Voluval. The Shaman smiles slightly, nodding thoughtfully.

“Now tell me, have you heard the legends of Sarz?”

Some hours later, Ugleb returns to his quarters. When he arrives, an aide is waiting for him. Ugleb nods to the woman to begin her report.

“We have captured an enemy agent sir, he’s a Nefantar. He was attempting to enlist as crew for one of the new ships under construction. We think it was an attempt to infiltrate the communications blister to gather intel. Should we shoot him now?” Her expression wrinkles with distaste; “He’s one of the devout ones, he keeps screaming on about God’s coming wrath upon us heathens. It would be damn good to shut him up!”

Ugleb, about to order the execution, stops in mid sentence, thinking furiously. “No… No, I have a better use for this one. I want him loaded on the next ship passing near one of their eyesore Cathedrals. When the ship passes, space him and ditch the body outside the station with a transponder attached. And these are special instructions to be arranged before hand.” He says, taking a notepad from his pocket and scrawling brief instructions.

The aide smiles as she reads them and sets about the task without another word.

Early the next morning, the body of the Ammatar agent is scooped up by a security patrol outside a grand Cathedral. A sign is discovered hung about his neck. It simply reads “We still believe, and your God shall not take that from us.”

The hand of the agent is not found. Instead, its bones are delivered to a young Shaman who with great care takes out his engraving tools and sets to work. File:Sarz Logo.png