OUT OF CHARACTER INFORMATION
Intent: Add some flavour to Firemane's ranks by subbing a more unusual unit of Force specialists.
Image Credit: Here. 'Sci fi Soldier' by Oana-D. Found on Deviantart.com.
Role: Anti-FU specialists, support.
Permission: They can use Abregado-Rae Guild of Hammers equipment due to Firemane gaining access to ARGH tech in 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. Permission to use Tricks of the Trade submissions here.
Links: Firemane Industries, Epicanthix, Panatha, Into Darkness.
Unit Name: Order of Fire Silencers.
Affiliation: Firemane Industries, Order of Fire, House Kerrigan, Saito.
Classification: Infantry, Anti-FU.
Description: The Silencers are a crack infantry unit that serve Firemane and the Order of Fire. The core of the unit is composed of Panathan exiles who fled the Pacanth Reach after it fell under the control of the Sith and the Zambrano Dynasty. As such they are renegades, but still devoted to many old Epicanthix traditions. This includes worshipping the old Panathan deities. They are particularly devoted to Nukheia, the Goddess of the Hunt, Vengeance and Justice, and hold Canthar the Great in high regard. The other gods of the Epicanthix Pantheon, such as Nereus the All-Father and Chief God of War and Nussyn the Goddess of Love, who also ferries those who were slain on the field of battle to the halls of the gods, are also respected. The Epicanthix soldiers continue to partake in the religious ceremonies and festivals of their people. Firemane adheres to the principle of freedom of religion.
The Silencers are a tough, independent-minded, and self-reliant lot. Every single member of the unit is a Force-wielder. However, they forego many of the classical powers often associated with Force-Users such as Jedi and Sith. Instead of shooting bolts of lightning from their fingertips, hurling boulders or mind controlling enemies they focus on suppression, stealth and containment. Their primary focus lies in dampening, negating or suppressing the Force abilities of other Force-Users. This is an ability inherent to the Saito family, which formed and leads the unit. It makes them an ideal support unit and skilled Force hunters. Moreover, they excel at stunning or paralysing opponents and concealing their Force aura. This allows them to strike unexpectedly and contain enemies. It was for this reason that Firemane sought them out.
Though the Silencers allow non-Epicanthix to join, they still have a preference for their kin. They are a rather tight-knit group. Epicant, the language of the Epicanthix, is the language of command. There are no gender barriers, as Panathan society is very egalitarian in this regard. Due to their own history, they are fierce opponents of Sith and Imperial regimes. The Silencers are special purpose operators and so on first sight discipline may be a bit lax compared to regulars. For instance, there is little saluting and it is not that uncommon for soldiers to wear their hair longer than regulation dictates. However, this does not reflect in their combat performance, though it can clash with the mentality of officers from line regiments. Adepts are trained to comport themselves as soldiers instead of death charging space wizards, work as a team and integrate their powers into the overall battle plan. As they are part of Firemane, they receive all the rights and benefits of Firemane employees. Promotion is based on merit.
One of the most prominent members of the unit is Sergeant Hikari Saito. She is the daughter of Eshima Saito, the founder of the unit. Most of her comrades and friends simply call her Saito, even though the unit has several members with the name. Somehow, it has stuck. Saito was still a child when the Sith took control over Panatha. Raised as a warrior, she was forced to become strong and self-reliant at an early age. She fought at O'reen, Eriadu and in the Republic-One Sith War.
Saito is a driven, serious, and very direct woman. She becomes very focused, pragmatic and take charge in the heat of battle. Although she has served Firemane skillfully in many battles and been awarded several valorous decorations, she has consistently refused promotion to anything beyond her present rank as a Sergeant. This has caused her superiors a good deal of frustration, as a Master of the Force should obviously be more than 'merely' a senior NCO. It also annoys her mother Eshima Saito, who became a high-ranking Firemane officer and is a rather demanding parent. Indeed, her younger cousin Fuyuko, who also serves in the unit, outranks.
However, Saito enjoys being where she is. It may also be a manifestation of disdain for the high life she was born into. She has on occasion taking charge of forces a lot larger than her rank would entitle her, when say her commanding officer was shot or otherwise incapacitated. Saito is very confident in herself and direct in dealing with others, even commissioned officers. She has a good knowledge of small unit leadership and low level logistics. She defines herself as a soldier instead of a space wizard and conducts herself accordingly.
Saito is rather neutral when it comes to specific sides of the Force, though she is mystified by Jedi philosophy. She has worked with Lightsiders, Grey Force-Users and Dark Masters, provided they were not chaotic, unduly destructive or had their heads in the clouds. This pragmatic mentality is helpful in the Order of Fire, as she has to command, work alongside and under a rather diverse group of Force-Users.
Unit Size: Medium
Unit Availability: Unique
Unit Experience: Elite
Primary Ranged Weapons:
- DC-19 Stealth Carbine
- Voxyn Charric Rifle
- Reaper Plasma Shotgun
- Magnetic Repeater
- ACS-205 Advanced Dual Weapon System
- Shatter Rifle
- Model MGL-1
- MkI Bolter
Wrist and Underbarrel Weapons:
- ACS-207 Aerosolblaster.
- ACS-207 Cryoban Gun
- Wrist Bolter
- ACS-208 Wrist Ion Beamer.
- ACS-208 Wrist Charric
- Firemane Force Suppression Devices.
- Grappling Gun
- Taozin Amulet
- APE Boltgun Ammunition
- ACS-301 YVH Probe Droids
These abilities are rather powerful, but require a good deal of focus and concentration. The Silencers are at their strongest when they work together, which is why their training emphasises team work as opposed to lone wolf action. In addition to their aforementioned specialisation, they are also proficient in concealing their Force auras, which allows them to pass as common Force blind. This can cause hostile Force Sensitives to dismiss them as 'mere mundane grunts'. Alternately this skill can allow them to conceal their Force presence from other Force-Users entirely. Someone very experienced with such techniques could notice something is off though.
Furthermore, they receive extensive training in Force Stasis, which can be used to contain or slow down enemies, and Force Flash. They have potent Force Sense abilities, which helps spot dangers others might miss. Finally they have strong mental defences, enabling them to conceal their thoughts and intentions from other Force-sensitives. On the conventional front, the Silencers have a knack for stealth and are precise shooters.
However, due to their specialisation, they lack the raw power of more traditional Force-users. Indeed, their control over the Core powers tends to be rather weak. Their adepts can just about lift a pebble with their mind. In short, their telekinetic abilities are negligible and have no real combat application. The same applies to their defensive powers. Thus they cannot tank a hailstorm of blaster rounds with Force barriers and have no advantage over non-Force-users in that regard.
For the most part, they fight like 'common' soldiers if they end up facing Non-Force-Sensitives in combat. Well-trained and equipped common soldiers, but without preternatural advantages against Force blind beyond the use of Force Stun and sense powers. This also means that if they cannot contain or dampen a hostile Force-user, they must resort to conventional methods. Their main role is to get into position so that they can suppress and snipe or stun Force adepts, not get into firefights, especially prolonged ones.
Moreover, they are equipped and trained as light infantry. They lack heavy weapons such as portable blaster cannons, heavy repeating blasters and anti-tank missile launchers. Thus they are not cut out to deal with heavy armour such as tanks or walkers. If they run into those, they'd best retreat or hide. For the same reason they do poorly against entrenched fortifications such as bunkers.
Being infantry, they are also vulnerable to air strikes, long range bombardment and so on. Heavy weapons are a particular threat to them as, while decent against common firearms and blasters, their armour emphasises mobility and stealth. Their low numbers and lack of heavy weapons leave them vulnerable in protracted engagements. They are intended to be used in combination with more conventional troops or martially orientated Force-users, weakening their targets to support their comrades. In addition, they can also help capture hostile space wizards.
- Force suppressors. The Silencers excel at Force Suppression and Dampen Force, enabling them to dampen or suppress the powers of other Force-Users. They are also very skilled in stealth, stun and have very good mental defences.
- Excel at stealth, sniping and are very mobile. They make an ideal support unit. Good at containing, eliminating or capturing hostile Force-Users and other high value targets.
- Forego heavy weapons such as anti-tank missile launchers, rotary cannons and similar to stay mobile. Lack support forces and heavy vehicles. Thus they are vulnerable to aerial or artillery bombardment if exposed. They are not the type of unit to be deployed against tank columns or to storm entrenched fortifications on their lonesome.
- Forego many of the traditional offensive and defensive powers associated with Force warriors. They are specialists, not generalists.
Force powers are cool and fun to play with. At least unless your opponent has Force powers and you don't. Especially if you do not have access to ysalamiri or Voidstone gear. While the former have become more common on the battlefield than in the days of Thrawn, the latter is especially rare. Firemane forces have often engaged hostile Force-users in combat. Examples include Bando Gora, Sith, rogue Eldorai Angelii, Xioquo witches and so on and so forth. While Firemane has its own Force-using branch, the Order of Fire, Non-Force-using soldiers represent the backbone of its armed forces. The megacorporation possesses the resources to find and train a unit able to perform relatively rare Force styles. Thus a decision was made at a High Command briefing to create a highly specialised unit of Force-users, who would not focus on direct combat, but on hampering the powers and connections of hostile Force-users.
Some of the generals, more accustomed to put their faith in a good blaster or tank, were initially sceptical. But Siobhan decided to give the idea a try. She may have been influenced by the fact that she'd been temporarily cut off from the Force more than two decades ago. This had occured after she faced a Sith Lord in the mental plane while trying to free her master, Adril Tythorin, whom he had possessed. It had been quite debilitating.
Thus individuals were recruited who possessed an innate talent with disrupting and suppressing the use of the Force in others. Some were identified within Firemane's ranks, others discovered outside of them. All of these men and women were specialists. They tended to lack the flashy, more flamboyant powers Force-users are renowned for. Instead they focused on a very specific skill set: suppressing or weakening those aforementioned cool powers in others. In addition to honing their skills as walking, talking Force dampeners, they also received a rigorous training in marksmanship, hand-to-hand combat, knife fighting and stealth.
When it came to finding recruits, Firemane turned to a force of Panathan exiles led by the Saito family. During the Dark Age the Saitos had been sellswords and minor warlords. Having made a name for themselves during the conflicts of the Dark Age, they hitched their wagons to the cause of King Hotep. They became his vassals. Their fealty and skill in combat was rewarded with land and privileges. The Force was strong in Saito's bloodline, but very few family members manifested any affinity for the powers commonly associated with Forcewielders. Instead they had an affinity for suppressing or negating the powers of other Force adepts. Her mother in particular had won renown due to her powers.
When the Zambrano Dynasty took control of Panatha following the fall of the Sith Empire to the Republic's crusade, the Saitos fought for those among the native leaders who tried to resist them. Eshima Saito rallied around King Hotep, but the King was slain. The family fought against the Imperial invasion of Gekha, where Prince Nasir, who styled himself as the True King, and his supporters made their stand. However, the city was conquered by the Imperials.
Eshima's husband perished, but she managed to escape with her family, including her daughter Hikari. Prioritising survival, her mother Eshima led what was left of the clan into exile. They linked up with other Epicanthix who did not support the new régime, which proceeded to unite the Pacanth Reach under its control. Her mother used their remaining assets to found an Epicanthix sellsword company, using funds gained from the contracts to keep the family afloat. Where possible they tried to fight back against Sith and their allies. Eshima recruited other Epicanthix Force adepts who possessed abilities like those inherent to her family. She, her daughter Hikari and her niece Fuyuko made a name for themselves as mercenaries. Among other things, they fought for the Omega Protectorate at Eriadu.
When the One Sith emerged from the shadows and conquered Coruscant, Hikari and other clan members became involved in the conflict that ensued. They signed up with the enemies of the Sith, and saw action on many battlefields. However, their ultimate loyalty remained with their family. Later, Hikari aided the Mandalorians in their crusade, having grown disillusioned with the Republic. An attempt to return to Panatha went poorly, and they faced a traitorous family member. Later they aided the Galactic Alliance in its campaign to liberate the Core Worlds from the One Sith's stranglehold.
Following the defeat of the One Sith, they were hired by Firemane. They formed the core of an Order of Fire unit called the Silencers, who specialised in negating or dampening the abilities of hostile Force-Users. Their skills made them useful for eliminating or capturing high-value, enemy Force-Sensitives on the battlefield. This could also apply to Force Sensitive Firemane employees who had turned traitor. For this reason they were given access to weapons that stun or restrain rather than kill their victims, such as headbangers, carbonite rifles and stun grenades.
The name Silencers was considered appropriate not only due to their knack for blending in with their environment and quickly vanishing without a trace, but also because they could keep an enemy from hearing the call of the Force - or weaken his ability to do so at any rate. People with the talents they possessed were rare and training them took a good deal of time, which made them a significant investment for Firemane. The fact that Epicanthix possessed a natural unconscious talent to shield their minds from Force-assisted mental manipulation and domination makes them ideally suited for the Silencers. Eshima was given a commission and assumed a command position in the Order. Much to her irritation, her daughter Hikari Saito insisted on remaining an NCO, even after being made a Master of the Force.
One of the Silencers' missions involved taking down a sect of Xioquo necromancers, the Blood Wraiths, and their legion of dark creatures and fanatics. Leaving the hordes to the regulars, the Silencers were able to get close enough to the witches to dampen their powers, sabotaging the dark ritual she was performing as she fed off the deaths. To this they worked together with Firemane regulars but also members of two competing Xioquo sects, the Heralds of the Destroyer and the Banishers of the Night. The Heralds drew upon the power of the Dark Side while the Banishers countered the Blood Wraiths' illusionary horrors and undead hordes with blasts of Light Side energy, smiting the abominations. This helped Firemane regulars and the soldiers of the Xioquo Liavondra overcome the witch's abominations.
A detachment of Silencers was assigned to Firemane's Exploration Corps, headed by Tegaea Alcori, the corporation's founder. They were under the command of Sergeant Hikari Saito, a tough Panathan NCO. They were aboard the Scarlet Destiny when it began its maiden voyage. However, what was supposed to be a peaceful exploration mission to initiate first contact with worlds cut off by the Gulag Virus turned into something significantly more bloody when they came across the world of Tephrike. A Firemane delegation was ambushed by extremists in the Jedi-led Dominion of Light, a totalitarian theocracy. In response, Firemane declared war, allying with the Republican Guard, a native insurgency that opposed Force-Users.
However, while Tephrike's technology had regressed due to near-constant warfare and four hundred years of isolation, the Dominion was a formidable opponent. When Firemane troops assaulted Fortress Purity, the Dominion employed the Force and a weather control machine to even the scales. Many Dominion troops fought to the last man. Some of the most fanatical turned themselves into living bombs. Saito's Silencers were among the Firemane ground troops deployed to take Purity. However, a kamikaze pilot attack forced Saito and her comrades, along with the Xioquo warrior Karrigan'Xalda, Laira Darkhold and a Resistance unit, to hastily exit the craft.
Once under ground, they came under enemy attack. The Silencers pulled off a flanking attack to relieve Firemane regulars that were being swarmed by Dominion militia and Jedi. Using their special abilities, they were able to suppress the powers of several hostile Forcewielders and disrupt the Force meld they used to coordinate. Saito and Xalda worked together to take out the main caster. Linking up with scattered Firemane troops, they tried to secure a landing zone. However, the storm created by the weather control machine made it difficult to reinforce them or communicate with the Firemane command. Saito was injured during the fighting, but proved vital in rallying and inspiring Firemane troops that had been cut off.
Upon reaching a hill that held Dominion forces, the allied troops were subjected to a massive psychic wave. Being more resistant to mental influences, the Silencers were better equipped to resist it, but then the Dominion attacked with Jedi sharpshooters and death charging militia who had turned themselves into living bombs. This forced the Silencers and their comrades on the defensive. Casualties were severe, though the special operators could use their powers to stun and contain enemies. A stalemate ensued, as the enemy was well-entrenched on the hill.
Eventually, Firemane was able to take it, making use of elementalists to turn the storm on the enemy. Saito coordinated with Colonal Varkathras, the commanding officer of Firemane troops, to arrange for Qadiri elementalists to steer the storm. Xalda summoned a mist to conceal the advance of Firemane troops and the Silencers used their skills to conceal their auras. However, combat was intense. Dominion troops were well dug-in and had Jedi sharpshooters, who used the Force to guide their projectiles and hit with unerring accuracy.
Brutal fighting ensued as Firemane troops stormed the Dominion lines. The Silencers proved their worth in the battle by dampening the powers of enemy Force-Users, stunning enemies and through good marksmanship. Their stealthiness allowed them to pull off surprise attacks. The Firemane soldiers faced the Ever Loyal Vanguard, an elite sect of Jedi warrior-priests. Clad in imbued armour and wielding alchemised weapons, they proved a tenacious opponent. Using her stealth skills, Saito ambushed the Jedi Commander, who was using a meld to boost her warriors. The Jedi paladin hammered her in melee and with potent telekinetic Force abilities. Lacking the raw power of her enemy, Saito used stealth, guns, debilitating powers and finally her Force Suppression abilities to weaken her. When the wounded Jedi choked her with her hands, Saito shot her in the ribs with a holdout bolter. The Jedi died, but the blowback broke the Panathan's hand.
In the last phase of the battle, the Dominion officers covered their retreat by throwing a brigade of Younglings at the attackers. Though she hated doing so, Saito ordered her soldiers to fire. The Youngling Brigade charged bravely and was mowed down. Troubled by the pointless loss of life, Saito felt intense anger towards the Dominion for abusing and manipulating mere children this way. She helped bury dead Younglings. The Silencers were among the Firemane units that entered what was left of Fortress Purity. Many members received commendations after the battle. Given how many Force-using enemies the corporate empire had faced on Tephrike, Firemane decided to expand the unit and invest more in them. Saito refused a promotion because she was happier being an NCO, getting into the action and yelling at people. More recently, the Silencers have seen action on Tygara and participated in mop-up operations resulting from the demise of several Sith governments in the Tingel Arm.