Welcome to second edition of Worlds of the Old Republic. In Part I, we had a look at two worlds that value peace and independence -- Alderaan and Balmorra. Part II of Worlds of the Old Republic migrates from peace and submerges in to the shadows. We go from light to dark as we take a look at two worlds associated deeply with the dark side of the force -- Dromund Kaas and Korriban. Both worlds are available for players to visit in The Old Republic, though members of the Republic and the Jedi Order should tread very carefully. Dromund Kaas and Korriban are likely to be swamped with proud and loyal servants of the Emperor. However, whilst one world is of the living, the other is of the dead. It is a resting place for some of the most fearsome and powerful Sith in Star Wars history.

Confirmed as part of Game Update 3.2, coming to our HoloMonitors on April 28th, is the Imperial-aligned world of Ziost. Why Ziost, you ask? Because that's where the game's story takes us. If you have not played Shadow of Revan and do not want the game's story spoiled, look away! But I would suggest you keep reading, because this a Hutt's gutful of awesome. That's a lot of awesome. 

The class story of the Jedi Knight in The Old Republic is by far my favourite. In my Force Vision-filled opinion, it is the Knight's story that would make up the sequel to Knights of the Old Republic, if it were to have happened. Sad face that it didn't. But I digress. In the class's story, you face the immortal Emperor, who apparently you kill, but not really. We learn this during Shadow of Revan where we discover that the Emperor has returned and has taken an ethereal state. Our actions in the game have caused naughty Revan (that's what we're calling him, because he did naughty things) to bring about his return, and what better place to take up residency than Ziost? That's rhetorical. I don't really have an answer. I personally would have gone to Naboo. Better scenery. 

As with all our editions of Roleplayer's Guide to the Galaxy, we're going to give you the 101 on Ziost. The planet was utilised by the Sith way back in the days prior to the Great Hyperspace War. We're talking about 2,500 years prior to the events that take place in TOR. Following the Empire's defeat during the Great Hyperspace War, the planet was abandoned where the Sith took up residency on their new homeworld on Dromund Kaas

Ziost was not forgotten. The Empire's Ministry of Logistics made Ziost its base of operations, and once again, Sith life returned to the planet. The planet was dubbed "Gateway to the Empire." 

We hear about Ziost in the novel Annihilation, where Theron Shan visited the planet as part of an operation. And it looks like he's going to have to go back again to help us battle the return of the Emperor. We may find ourselves working alongside our opposing mega-faction as both Republic and Sith forces agree that the Emperor's wish of absorbing all life in the universe is bad for everyone. 

Ziost is a barren yet icy world with ice-covered mountains. It is found in the Outer Rim Territories which also houses planets Hoth, Belsavis, Voss, Korriban, Tatooine, and Malachor V. 

We look forward to seeing more of Ziost on April 28th when Game Update 3.2 hits the live servers. 

In each and every society there are those whom go the extra parsec to obtain material wealth and financial stability. There are even those that use the reproductive system to exploit their offspring when they reach an appropriate age. This can manifest in many ways most commonly begging, slave labor or even prostitution. Viven, a merchant artist from the lower levels of Terrarium City found a continued use for his wives when it came to their children. His son Ardex, once an apprentice to Darth Kilgoras on Dromund Kaas, brought worth and profit to the family name. “My sons a Sith!”, he’d hark to get out of the sticky situations he pushed himself into; and in 15 BTC his statement was void of meaning as news arrived of his son's death. With the removal of this esteemed honor, Viven was eager to replicate his lost lineage and gain another child; this time stronger than before.

By 10 BTC Viven amassed five children; two of which died not long after he started his Sith grooming. The remaining three managed to endure his sick training sometimes lasting several hours a day. The mothers would not dare intervene when he was around, but when he was absent they’d bring food and water to the children, tending to their wounds. At night Viven would often lock himself in his room atop a dusty spiral staircase, seeing to his art. The harsh yet malleable structural material provided procrastination from sleep and in the many years he had lived there he managed to fashion a monastery of art with the master bedroom acting as a shrine of brutal teachings, documenting something new, and frequently more cruel, each day.

Cordele, twin to Chord and half-sister to Lucidus was the quieter of the remaining siblings. Chord was obedient and often just stood still when his father repeatedly beat on him, whilst Lucidus was outspoken and encouraged Viven to hit harder. He could never punish Cordele as much as the other two, even when he did the sorrow in her eyes brought undesirable remorse. Infuriated by the twins lack of progress in comparison to their younger brother Viven became more violent to encourage their hate.

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The Old Republic has reached its third birthday. We've seen countless Game Updates introducing new content, along with the digital expansions Rise of the Hutt Cartel, Galactic Starfighter, Galactic Strongholds, and the recent Shadow of Revan. To celebrate the three year anniversary, BioWare will release a number of Stronghold decorations, and they have reduced Stronghold costs for Coruscant and Dromund Kaas from 5,000 credits to 3 credits! If only real life real estate was as cheap. And looked as awesome. <ewok sigh>

We've experienced two level cap increases, free-from-rails player-vs-player space combat, class changes, new story, and the return of Revan who has kicked on through the ages and made his way into SWTOR

Three years may not seem like much age-wise, but it is a lot of online play time. For today's Friday Focus, we'd like to know what your highlight is from the three years of playing The Old Republic. Is there a certain achievement you're proud of, like level capping all eight playable classes? Perhaps a certain storyline you've immensely enjoyed? What ever it is, hit our comments section and let us know!
Alera Honestly, I couldn't pick out a single thing as a highlight without feeling I'm doing something else an injust...
D'aax My highlight had nothing to do with gameplay, and everything to do with character development. I was a reporter for SWTO...
"Our loyalty is not decided by where we are born or how we are raised. It is decided by ourselves."
 ~ Alera Telanar

Alera was born as the youngest child of a pair of Sith Lords, having several older siblings. She was considered to be a fine example of a Telanar, having both blue eyes and black hair. Like her siblings, she lived her early childhood with her parents, who ensured that she recieved a good education before she was sent to Korriban, wishing for her to have the best chances she could get as an Acolyte.

Spending her childhood on her home world of Dromund Kaas in her parent's estate, Alera experienced a comfortable upbringing despite her parents not always being there for her. Throughout her early years qualities desirable in apprentices, her parents going to great lengths to encourage traits such as obedience and respect. They also provided her with training in simple force techniques in order to give her an edge over other Acolytes when she would inevitably be sent to Korriban. However, having older siblings shaped her differently, with activities like sneaking out with her oldest siblings inspiring more independence and free thought.

When she was deemed old enough Alera was sent to Korriban, where she was added to a group of acolytes only just beginning their training. While she was one of the smallest and youngest in the group, the early training given to her by her parents gave her an edge, one that she took advantage of when appropriate. She was far from the most social of acolytes and made few friends, though she was also good at avoiding making enemies of her fellow acolytes. She also managed to appeal to the overseers with her attitude and behavior, leading to her not being given some of the most dangerous assignments during training.

Xanathe Sinan was a Sith Marauder during the reign of the Sith Empire. Born in 31 BTC (Before Treaty of Coruscant) to two slaves on the Sith capital of Dromund Kaas, Xanathe was raised as a servant to a Sith Lord. His destiny changed with a chance meeting with a Sith Lord years later set Xanathe on the path of training to become a member of the Sith. He was taken to the Sith tomb-world of Korriban, where he was to face the trials of becoming a full-fledged Sith.

Xanathe eventually completed his training, bringing full-circle the cycle of the Sith, ultimately killing his Master. In the wake of the deterioration of the Treaty of Coruscant, Xanathe took part in the Second Great Galactic War that swept across the galaxy, playing part in such conflicts like the Liberation of Balmorra and the Battle of Ilum. During this time, Xanathe took on an apprentice of his own.

During the Battle of Ilum, Xanathe engaged a trio of Jedi Knights intent on his capture or death. After killing one and crippling another, Xanathe retreated as the battle for the planet culminated in a Republic victory. After the duel, Xanathe took upon himself the rank of Sith Lord.

"Most of the time, Thanaton just sends people who get under his skin into the tomb of Darth Andru, to find the old Sith Lord's writings. No one has ever come back. Fortunately for you, I have a means for you to avoid that fate...a clean death."
- Lord Malagant to Darth Defileris, as their duel begins

Darth Malagant, born Masac Undjo, is a Sith Lord trained in the evil sorcery of the dark side. Tutored by the Pureblood Inquisitor Jaeden'laek, the same Sith Lord who trained Darth Defileris, he would eventually forsake his old name per Sith tradition and take the Sith name of Malagant; after slaying Defileris in single combat, he was given his rank - and his apprentice - by the Dark Council.

Masac Undjo was born on Dromund Kaas, the son of Eddal Undjo, a sergeant in the Imperial Army who was killed on Alderaan towards the end of the war. He was raised along with his younger brother, Andav, by an abusive housesitter who looked over Eddal's home while he was away at the front. Around age seven, his Force sensitivity was discovered after he killed the housesitter in a fit of rage, and Eddal - allowed to return home to deal with the matter - recommended him to Lord Inquisitor Jaeden'laek, who began Masac's Sith training first in Kaas City, then at the rebuilt Academy on Korriban. Jaeden'laek, a member of the Gorak'nar sect that believed it was the destiny of the dark side to rule the stars, foresaw that Masac would one day overpower his elder apprentice, Artimus Devaneaux. While Artimus had favored the saberstaff, Masac used a curved-hilt duelling saber in close combat. However, his preferred weapon of choice, much like Jaeden'laek's, was the Force itself - the dark powers available to those who hear the calling of the Sith sorcerer.

Despite his physical limitations, made somewhat worse by overindulgence, Masac survived the trials on Dromund Kaas and on Korriban, and was apprenticed to Jaeden'laek at the age of fifteen.

"Don't take it so personally, I lie to everybody." 
~ Caspira

Agent Caspira (designation: Cipher Twelve) was an Imperial Cipher Agent who served the Empire during the Cold War between the Sith Empire and Galactic Republic.

Of a rather average height and trim build, Caspira is a master at blending into the environment when it calls for it and can easily disappear into a crowd when prepared. Despite her ability to blend in, she's chosen a remarkably striking appearance as her default persona; pale skin augmented by dark markings around her eyes and dark brown hair shaved on the sides to leave a crest of hair she usually keeps slicked back and in line. A large scar slashes diagonally across her face, mercifully missing either eye but making her even more easily identifiable should one know what to look for. As well as standard Imperial Intelligence auditory implants, her left eye has been replaced with a remarkably advanced cybernetic eye with a wide array of features that is certainly not of Intel stock.

The earliest records available of 'Caspira' are from the Kaas City Hospital and are all medical in nature. As well as information regarding the fresh scarring across her face, they also outline a rather serious head injury. Whatever records of Caspira existed prior to her entry into the Imperial Intelligence Agent program have either been purged, or never existed in the first place. In fact, the name 'Caspira' can be traced back to a character in an old and long-running holo noir series called The Guiltless.

Luniara OMG OMG OMG! You have to promote this person's art too! Caspira is amazing!!!!

This week we will be featuring the musical side of artistry. And therefore, I would like to introduce to the readers of SWTOR-RP the musician Zeeda; his preferred instrument being the guitar. 

In-game, Zeeda is a musician and bar owner; co-runner of the more than simply dubious Velvet Pearl, in a good way. Is there ever really a bad kind of dubious? OK, there is. My mistake.

"I originally wanted to play a musician because I've always felt that roleplaying communities are at their most robust when they encompass a broad spectrum of character professions."

He goes on to explain what prompted him to begin creating SWTOR roleplay themed music: 

"One night at the Velvet Pearl (before I became a member) there was a "karaoke evening" where players took real-world songs and altered the lyrics to fit a Star Wars theme to comic effect, and this is what first inspired me to attempt something similar. But I wanted to go a step further and write my own original compositions, as I have a great affinity for music and have played guitar for many years."

The following piece describes the capital of devious intent, the city of broken souls and terrifying misdeeds; Dromund Kaas:
Arlan A great spotlight for a great player! Grats mate
Keraal This player seems dedicated to both his art and the community. It has certainly been a pleasure covering him
Arantir / Nexios Some high quality, concentrated awesome on display here.
Iore Rydern was conceived as a result of an Imperial breeding project, Codename: Project Darkstar. Project Darkstar was discontinued one year after Iore’s birth, and assets were distributed to appropriate Imperial sectors. Iore was sent as an infant to Kaas City Imperial Orphanage, then transferred to Kaas City Military Academy when she was of age to train. She remained in the Academy until graduation. While enrolled, she received officer training and medical instruction.

Iore graduated with distinction in practical application. Her test scores were average – no distinction in theoretical application - but she received high recommendations from instructors. Imperial Aptitude Tests on graduation suggested a high threshold for questionable interaction without self-compromise.

Initially observed for potential recruitment by Intelligence during Operation: Jewel, Iore was tapped by Watcher Eight for full-time agent work after her unwitting assistance in Operation: Dreadmask. Iore was granted the designation Cipher Agent Twenty-Four after rigorous physical assessments and personality screening.

Iore participated in Operations Jewel (Hutta), Dreadmask (Dromund Kaas), Starspice (Nar Shaddaa), New Dawn (Alderaan), Heatwave (Quesh), Thistleplague (Taris), Whitenoise (Corellia). She maintained serviceable performance in all operations.

During Operation: Whitenoise, Iore suffered near-fatal injuries and psychological damage after the defection of Watcher Sixteen to the Republic and the death of her long-term partner, Cipher Agent Twenty-Six. Iore received a one month Kolto-suspension for recuperation and rehabilitation. Imperial Loyalty & Psychological Stability (I.L.P.S.) scores were low-to-failing upon her return to active duty. Castellan Restraints were recommended, but rejected due to previous failures with application. When I.LP.S. scores remained low, Intelligence induced a coma for one month to determine Iore's future contributions. A recommendation for Shadow Town was made, but ultimately rejected in favor of rehabilitation through service.

Currently, Iore is assigned to Vaiken Space Dock per order of Watcher 8.

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