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Approved NPC Eyes of the Forest

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OUT OF CHARACTER INFORMATION
Intent: To sub a unit inspired by the canonical Imperial scout troopers...by using Wood Elves and thus making Space Legolas a thing. This submission continues the trend of Firemane utilising native Sepoys, in the manner historical colonial powers and groups like the East India Company did. As a recon unit largely recruited from a low-tech race, they lack the hard-hitting power of regulars, but possess some unique skills.
Image Credit: Here. Eldar Scout by DavidAp. Found on davidap.deviantart.com.

Role: Scout troopers for Firemane's ground forces.
Permission: ARGH gear available per this thread. Permission for all ArmaTech gear and all other subs made by Laira Darkhold's writer here and here. CD-X Cryptologic Key available for Firemane per this thread. Firemane obtained a supply contract that allows it to use Fire for Effect gear here. Permission to use Tricks of the Trade submissions here.
Links: Vashyada, Four of a Kind, You're Grounded, Firemane Industries, Tylania,
Dahomey, Communion.

GENERAL INFORMATION
Unit Name: Eyes of the Forest
Affiliation: Siobhan, Firemane, Vashyada, House Kerrigan-Alcori.
Classification: Light infantry. Force Recon.
Equipment:

Armour:

Rifles:
Sidearms:
Wrist and Underbarrel Weapons:
Misc:
Melee Weapons:
Description: The Eyes of the Forest are an exclusive special forces division of the armed forces of Firemane. Though officially Firemane is a corporate entity, in practice it performs various functions that are normally associate with a state. In the best tradition of megacorporation that stradle the line between business and government, it raises taxes, maintains armed forces, signs treaties and maintains a network of clients who have sworn fealty to it as their quasi-feudal overlord.

It is particularly active on remote worlds in the Outer Rim or Wild Space. Many of these worlds were cut off when the Gulag Virus ravaged the Galaxy, causing them to regress, or had never been part of the galactic community in the first place. Firemane claims that its efforts are aimed at uplifting the natives of these worlds. It provides protection, technological know-how, combats pirates and slavers. Detractors claim that this is a smoke-screen for colonialist exploitation and self-aggrandisement. The truth probably lies somewhere in between.

Regardless, the Eyes of the Forest are a product of Firemane's interactions with native populations. They are elite guerilla fighters, trained in force reconnaissance and direct action operations. The unit is mostly composed of Vashyada scouts. Of all the Eldorai subraces, the Vashyada are the most primitive. They resemble the wood elves of legend, living in tune with nature. However, as their enemies have often discovered, being technologically primitive does not mean weak or simple-minded. Though less war-like than their cousins, the Vashyada are skilled warriors, who excel in guerilla warfare. This has made them ideally suited for the Firemane scout corps.

The Vashyada do not want to give up on their traditions and live as the humans do, but they recognise the need to advance themselves. One could compare them to the Wookiees, who live in sync with nature and but understand how tech works and are indeed very good at using it. Indeed, Wookiee bowcasters are more powerful and accurate than blasters. Moreover, the Vashyada recognised the necessity to move into space and colonise other worlds. Or, to put in Vasyhada terms, they want to acquire sky-ships to settle on other islands in the vast sky-ocean. In return for Firemane aid, the Vashyada provide cadres of warriors.

The Eyes are a mixed unit of Vashyada and Dahomian scouts. Compared to the Firemane regulars and Qadiri Sepoys, there is less rigid formality or saluting in the Eyes. Unlike with many Eldorai units, the gender ratio is even because the Vashyada are largely free of the sexism that is a hallmark of their cousins. As a result, the distribution of male and female officers is about even. And the pragmatic Dahomians are indifferent to gender wars. Though the Vashyada are new to modern technology and spaceflight, they are a fairly confident lot. They are also not indebted to Firemane in the same way some of its Qadiri and Xioquo vassals are. The Dahomians, meanwhile, have become quite influential in Firemane. This is epitomised by the existence of the so-called Dahomian Clique.

In comparison to Firemane regulars, the Eyes are more lightly armed and armoured. Their primary duty is to conduct recon operations, commit acts of sabotage, patrol perimeters, identify enemy strong points and weak spots, command centres, communications installations and so on. Their training also makes them adept at guerilla warfare. In a combat zone, they could be utilised to infiltrate enemy territory and possibly train and lead friendly natives, similar to how the Rebel Alliance utilised Ewoks during the Battle of Endor. Moreover, they can identify and mark targets for air or artillery strikes, set traps, place surveillance equipment and so on.

Their stealthy prowess also makes them good for sabotage operations, assassinations of high-value targets, such as enemy officers and long-range combat. Stealthy weapons such as shatterguns, stealth carbines and Graphite bows are popular among the Eyes. They also receive training in knife fighting and hand-to-hand combat. Their skills make them natural snipers. Transport is generally provided by speeder bike, should vehicles be required. Boats are available for use if they have to traverse waterways. When deployed alongside Firemane troops, small units of Eyes are attached to combat units of Firemane regulars, relaying their findings to the responsible commander. This makes coordination essential, as good intel is of little use if it is not analysed and exploited properly.

However, the Eyes are not equipped for prolonged combat. These girls and boys aren not meant to storm trenches or heavily fortified positions. This would undoubtedly go poorly for them. Bottom line, if they encounter large concentrations of enemy forces, it would be better for them to evade or retreat, especially since they are deployed in small squads. The Vashyada are still new to modern weapons, and thus will require time to adapt. Moreover, they are used to living and fighting in the forest. Thus wide, open spaces can be unnerving for them. Language barriers are a bit of an issue. Like the other Tygaran races, Vashyada were isolated from the rest of the Galaxy for most of their existence. Thus the new recruits had to learn Basic. However, this isolation is also helpful because it means Prosabia, the Vashyada language, is virtually unknown, so it makes an excellent code.

One of the prominent members of the Eyes is a female Vashyada warrior called Alisa. She is a capable scout and mercenary who follows a martial code of honour. Unlike some Vashyada, she is still very spiritual, having pledged herself to one of the nature goddesses of her people. Alisa has recently been seconded to the Kerrigan-Alcori household, where she now acts as head of security. However, she remains in contact with her brothers and sisters in arms.

COMBAT INFORMATION:
Unit Size: Medium
Unit Availability: Rare
Unit Experience:
Elite
Combat Function: They are highly skilled, mobile special forces operators, who excel at stealth, sabotage, recn and sniping. The Eyes are perfect for reconnaissance operations, targeted assassination of high-value targets, long-range combat and so on. Capable marksmen, they emphasise disciplined fire and precision over blazing away at targets. Having grown up in forests where danger is everywhere and carelessness gets you killed, the Vashyada, who make up the bulk of the unit, have very well-developed senses of smell, hearing and sight. Being adapted to nature, they are excellent trackers, can navigate by signs and are good hunters. The Eyes are also trained in Teräs Käsi, which can make them a threat even for trained Force-Users and allows them to ward their minds against mental attacks or manipulation. In contrast to their cousins, Vashyada are physically hardy and strong.

While lacking the racial characteristics of the Wood Elves, the Dahomians are similarly adept at tracking. Being light infantry they suffer against mobile armour and heavy weapons. They are not suitable for pitched combat. Hit-and-fade tactics are their thing, not frontal assaults. They also lack heavy vehicles. Vashyada are unused to wide open spaces, as they come from the close confines of forest, river and clearings. Caverns and the like are easier to deal with.

The Eyes are highly capable
guerilla fighters, trained in force reconnaissance and resistance operations. Their skill at sniping, sneaking and laying traps can allow them to punch above their weight, confusing and picking off foes. However, for all their skills, they are best deployed as a force multiplier in direct engagements, acting in concert with more conventional infantry, rather than as the main force. The Eyes have access to speeder bikes and patrol boats, which allow them to traverse waterways. However, these craft are meant for patrolling, investigation and recon, not direct combat, as their weak armour makes them vulnerable.

Strengths:

  • Force Recon. The Eyes are a highly skilled special operations force. They can blend into their surroundings and are capable of operating independently behind enemy lines to perform unconventional special operations in support of conventional forces. This makes them perfect for recon and operating behind enemy lines. The Eyes are highly skilled at blending in with their surroundings, especially in forests. They are well-versed in using their terrain to their advantage. Even Force-Users can have trouble detecting them.
  • They are ideally suited for sabotage, sniping, targeted assassinations of high-value targets and detecting concealed threats. They can screen allied forces, acquire intelligence and provide targeting data for aerial, artillery and orbital strikes.
Weaknesses:
  • Light infantry force. They are scouts and special forces operators, not assault troops or heavy infantry. They are not meant to lead a charge on an enemy fortification or take on heavily armoured enemy formations.
  • Lack heavy weapons such as rotary cannons or anti-tank missile launchers. They also forego heavy vehicles. The Eyes lack integrated heavy support. They are elite scouts and irregular fighters, not tank drivers, artillerists, gunship pilots etc.
Historical Information:

The old Galactic Empire's Stormtrooper Corps maintained special units called Scout Troopers. Trained for stealth and recon, these soldiers were less heaviy armoured than common stormtroopers, but specifically trained for unconventional warfare and recon. This made them a useful addition to the Imperial military's arsenal. They acted as reconnaissance troops, spies and survivalists. Moreover, they were skilled marksmen, which also made them useful as assassins. They proved their utility on several battlefields. They saw action in the Battle of Endor. Unfortunately for the Empire, they were ultimately unable to prevent the Rebel Alliance from destroying the shield generator that protected the incomplete Death Star II.

Flash forward several centuries, and Firemane Industries desired to set up a similar unit. When it came to composition, the corporation's generals turned to two different racial groups, the Vashyada and the Dahomians. The Vashyada are one of the many Eldorai sub-races, and can be best described as Wood Elves. They are agile, tough by Eldorai standards, excellent hunters and trackers. Moreover, they have even better senses than the other elf races. Both the Qadiri and the Xioquo learned that the forests their cousins inhabit can easily become death traps, as the Vashyada repelled several attacks from both races, despite being the least technologically developed of the Tygaran natives.

After making first contact with Firemane, a number of Wood Elves became curious about what lay beyond their forest - and indeed their homeworld. These were recruited for the scout corps. To provide officers and trainers, Firemane turned to its Dahomian soldiers. The natives of the tropical planet of Dahomey had long been an elite corps in Firemane. Back in the early days of Omega Pyre, Tegaea Alcori and Siobhan Kerrigan led a liberation force that toppled the slavers and warlords that had held Dahomey in a death grip. Both formed strong ties with the planet. These endured after they left the Omega Protectorate and founded Firemane Industries. Indeed, several Dahomians would rise to key positions in the corporation, such as General Devotion, Chief of Army Staff, and Major Tempest, Siobhan's apprentice.

Moreover, Dahomians were used to fighting as light infantry and utilising irregular tactics. This made them a good match for the Vashyada, who had to be trained in the use of modern weapons. In time, Vashyada were promoted to officer rank, allowing them to take command of their units instead of being mere subordinates. The new unit was given the name Eyes of the Forest.

To command and drill each squad Firemane made a special offer to experienced rankers: They could accept a promotion to Sergeant in the Eyes. This posting would last for three years, and those who performed well could transfer back to the regular forces with their NCO status intact, or advance to officer rank in the Eyes. This empowered the lower ranks and gave them incentive to train and have their unit perform well in action. Needless to say the selection process was still rather thorough, as the Eyes required leaders with the ability to work more independently than an officer or NCO in the regular forces. A degree of empathy when dealing with a rank and file drawn from a low-tech race that until recently had never heard of blasters, faster-than-light travel or droids was also required.

The cooperation between Firemane and the Vashyada was intensified after a personal meeting between Lady Tylania, Paragon and prophetess of the wood elves, and Lady Kerrigan. There Siobhan agreed to provide the Vashyada with advanced tech and help them move into the 'sky-ocean' so that they could go off in colonise. Furthermore, they would also educate the wood elves about the Galaxy. A select number of particularly adventurous wood elves would go on what could be described as an exchange programme with the corporation. As a result, Firemane increased recruitment among the Vashyada, who made excellent, healers, scouts and illusionists.

The Eyes would soon see action in several low-intensity and brush fire conflicts, proving their mettle. They were deployed as a recon and skirmishing force during the Krolis War, when Firemane faced an opponent who used guerilla tactics. They also spearheaded a Firemane expedition to the tropical planet of Raevana together with Zeison Sha adepts. Unfortunately, the planet turned out to be a death world disguised as a paradise, where the flora and fauna conspired to foil attempts at settlement and exploitation. The Vashyada's survival skills proved invaluable when it came to surviving this hornet's nest.

A select number of the scouts were assigned to Tegaea Alcori's command when the Scarlet Destiny embarked on its maiden voyage to explore worlds cut off by the Four Hundred Year Darkness. What had been intended to be a peaceful exploration mission turned into a brutal war when a Firemane delegation was ambushed by extremists in the Dominion of Light. This led to Firemane being embroiled in Tephrike's multi-sided civil war. The Eyes participated in these battles, putting their skills as recon operatives and stealthy snipers to good use. The fact that much of the war-torn planet was covered by forests made them ideally suited for this.
 
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Runi Verin

Two pounds shy of a bomb.
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Submission moved to Pre-Codex per author's request.

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V U L K A N
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Moved to pre-codex as per writer's request.

Please remember to include a list of changes made when tagging a member of codex staff to move this submission back to live judgement.
 
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