Wraith Squadron

My favorite books from the Star Wars: X-Wing series are the three books “Wraith Squadron”, “Iron Fist”, and “Solo Command”.  The basic gist of them is that Commander Wedge Antilles creates a specialty X-Wing Squadron that also doubles as commando/infiltrator unit.  Due to manpower shortages, Wedge is forced to recruit and reform a bunch of washouts and screwballs (your basic “Dirty Dozen” plot).  They end up becoming very effective unit, but they are natural pranksters and practical jokers.  Throughout the books they keep playing practical jokes on each other and Commander Antilles. My favorite is when their Bothan slicer (computer hacker) puts a creepy insect in the cockpit of another’s X-Wing before a routine mission.  In another joke they modify Wedge’s voice recorder to sound like an Ewok during a mission.

The problem is that in a later mission they are to infiltrate Imperial Forces under the command of Warlord Zinsj by posing as a pirate/mercenary force with Tie fighters, and the Imperials had previously listened in to their communications and question them on how it is they have an Ewok for a pilot.  So they invent the persona of Lt. Kettch who is an intelligent Ewok who escaped from a medical lab and uses leg and arm extensions to pilot a fighter. 

To complete the persona, Wedge Antilles pilots a Tie fighter in a mission while wearing an Ewok costume, just in case someone sees him in the cockpit.  I can just imagine Commander Wedge Antilles, winner of the Kalidor Crescent who did two death star runs, co-founder and leader of Rogue Squadron, and the best pilot of the New Republic, going into combat wearing an Ewok costume.


THR reports that Netflix is in talks to pick up the rights to Beasts of No Nation, the drama directed by True Detective’s Cary Fukunaga and starring Idris Elba.

The movie is based on a novel by Uzodinma Iweala, and follows a young boy —Agu— who, when civil war tears his family apart and militants kill his father in West African country, is forced to join a unit of mercenary fighters.

Ukraine peace talks produce deal on buffer zone

AP: Representatives of Ukraine, Russia, the Moscow-backed rebels and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe reached a deal that creates a buffer zone to separate government troops and pro-Russian militants.

The negotiators also reached an agreement on the withdrawal of all foreign fighters and mercenaries.

Follow updates on Breaking News.

Photo: Local resident Luba Zikova cries in front of her damaged house after shelling in the town of Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, Friday, Sept. 19, 2014. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

Nohrian Army Headcanons

 I like to imagine that the Nohrian army has a more regimental organization than its Hoshidan counterpart. In particular, I like to think that the army operates similarly to European armies from the late 1400s to the early 1600s (Renaissance, Wars of Religion, etc). 

  For the rank and file Nohrian, battles are probably formational in nature. Imagine pike and shot warfare- Swiss pikemen, landsknechts, Spanish tercios, etc.  Picture rows of halberds and lances interlocked in a tight phalanx, marching and turning in unison. This would be supported by the equivalent of rodeleros- Mercenaries and Fighters- who would form a flexible offensive supporting arm of the infantry corps. Similar to a tercio, fighting blocs would also include a handful of embedded ranged troops- likely Dark Mages and maybe the odd Outlaw (though they’re probably deployed as irregular scouts and spies tbh). 

   While disciplined infantry presents an indomitable core, the real killing arm of Nohr is it’s mighty cavalry. Swift and heavily armored, they are the hammer to the infantry’s anvil. In a single, well placed charge, they could plow through and crush the enemy between the weight of their charge and the immovable wall of spears of the Nohrian infantry. (In a way, I guess this form of warfare is also similar to that of the Hellenic Diadochi but Nohr’s aesthetic and armament is clearly late Medieval/early modern). 

   This might be the reason why Leo and Xander seem to be so obsessed with army drills, unit positioning, and formations. The Nohrian army is an efficient killing machine but it breaks down if it’s mishandled. Without discipline and clear command, the Nohrian phalanx breaks down. Without correct support, the pike line is too slow and inflexible and will get cut to shreds by missile fire or get outflanked. Too far outside of the phalanx, and Nohrian mages and Outlaws are vulnerable and outgunned. The cavalry are a mighty and decisive force, but a badly timed charge will get them bogged down and cut into pieces. 

 In short, Nohr’s military is an army of soldiers run by strict discipline, careful planning, and regimental synergy. 

 Next time: Hoshido and Muromachi/early Sengoku Jidai warfare (though this’ll prolly take a while and might change because i still need to play Birthright)

That one time I was in a comic...

Ultimate Spider-Man #87 is a comic book I distinctly remember reading. It is cover dated February, 2006, which means it actually came out late November/early December 2005. The comic featured Silver Sable and the Wild Pack. Silver Sable was a bit less sympathetic in the Ultimate Universe. Here she was more of a mercenary than a freedom fighter. As cool as Ultimate Silver Sable was, though, there was another reason I so clearly remember my first time with this book. Mary Jane was still reeling from the breakup she had with Peter. In this issue she learns of his new romance with Kitty Pryde. While I did enjoy that development (Kitty being my favorite comic character and all), it also wasn’t the thing that stood out to me that made reading this comic so unforgettable. It definitely wasn’t the Ultimate Vision story, either. John Romita Jr is my all time favorite artist, but that story was a whole lot of no thank you.

Ultimate Spider-Man was written by Brian Michael Bendis. I had been reading his run on this book since its inception.  I dearly love his tenure on the series as well as his runs on Daredevil and Alias. I was also a member of his now defunct message board on his Jinxworld website. When I signed up for the board I decided to use my actual name as my screen-name instead of coming up with a clever handle. However, I rarely let my presence known. That message board was extremely popular with an enormous membership and it was also very insular so my posts were few and far between. Anyway, I had known for some time that Bendis would use names from the board for insignificant background characters in his creator owned book Powers. What I didn’t know was that he did the same in his Marvel output. And even still, I never would have thought he’d use the names of members of his board who rarely posted, like me.

What made this book special to me happened halfway into it. Flash Thomson was mistaken for Spider-Man and abducted by Silver Sable’s crew. He escapes and runs to the police. He was abducted on school grounds, so the media gets involved. This leads to a press conference and who happens to be in front of the cameras and microphones but Sherriff Mike McNeely! (My name, in case you’re wondering. Hello!)

I just stared at that panel for I don’t know how long. I was in a comic book! Well, not me, obviously. BUT STILL! I sent Bendis a message on the board asking if he used my name from the board and he said yup! (I also asked him to lie to me if it wasn’t because I was so damn ecstatic, but that’s neither here nor there.) 

I met Bendis only once. My wife and I went to the Wizard World Chicago convention in 2003. I got my copy of Ultimate Spider-Man #4 signed by Bendis, artist Mark Bagley, and then Editor in Chief Joe Quesada. While I have yet to go to another convention where Bendis is attending, I did manage to get a copy of #87 signed by him via my friend Joseph at the San Diego Comic Con a few years ago. He signed it, “Hey, Sherriff.” 

At least that’s what I think it says. Authors do tend to have terrible handwriting.


Originally posted by oscarextrada

NAME: Lynesse Gloamingdawn
AGE: Adult, human equivalent of mid to late 30s
SPECIES: Sin’dorei
GENDER: Female
: Paladin
: Quel’thelas, near Sunspire Port
: November 27
SIGN: Sagittarius 
MARTIAL STATUS: Widowed; Single
PROFESSION: Mercenary; Fighter and Healer
RESIDENCES: Decent sized home on the eastern Eversong beach. 



APPEARANCE: She’s broad shouldered and of average-ish height for Sin’dorei. Her features are fairly angular; sharp cheekbones, straight nose, strong jawline. 
HAIR: Copper-orange and straight, if kept long she usually has it up in a bun or braided. 
EYES: Peridot
SKIN: Olive toned, heavily freckled. 
HEIGHT: 5′7″
WEIGHT: Athletic, muscular
OTHER: She has scars in the shape of Vrykul runes that run in an inverted arc under her collar bones and clavicle as well as on the backs and palms of her hands. Her ears are modestly single pierced with one small hoop in each lobe.


SIBLINGS: Meryn Deh’lorei; half-brother
PARENTS: Valia & Aertur Sunsprite, both deceased; Otelias Embergale (bio-dad), deceased
OTHER RELATIVES: Xanelen Deh’lorei; Brother-in-Law
ACQUAINTANCES/FRIENDS: Zaralen OfManyCats, Andaeros Dawnflare, Khaeris Dawndancer, Tellanar Shedoesn’tknowhislastname, Talonoa Dal’shula, Onyx Shedoesn’tknowherlastname, Sylrissa Ravenmourn, Abraaxas, Cazmilan Fin’endal, Daxion Sunvale, Pollux Hale, Calebbe, “Red”. Probably a bunch of others.  
LOVE INTERESTS: She and Calebbe have an active and loving FWB situation going on, they’re both different enough lifestyle wise that she’s aware that it’s unsustainable long term but for now she’s going to make the best of it. She has a major interest in Daxion Sunvale, but he’s never shown any interest in return. 
ANY PETS? yes [] | no [X] 



  • Strength -  (6/6) She’s a blacksmith and a melee fighter. Easily her highest stat. 
  • Dexterity - (3/6) Most of her fighting style was based on her classical ballet training, but she’s not nearly as flexible as a real and practiced dancer. 
  • Constitution - (5/6) The Light helps a lot with this one. She can cleanse poison quickly and has very high pain tolerance. Loses a point for her record of being easily addicted to mana dust and sleeping potions. 
  • Intellect - (3/6) Never had much schooling. Most of her skills are practical or learned. 
  • Wisdom - (5/6) She’s very quick with tactics and fairly perceptive. 
  • Charisma - (2/6) I don’t think anybody would say she’s particularly charismatic at all. 


  • Cooking
  • Blacksmithing
  • Embroidery
  • Dancing
  • Fighting; martial, dueling and brawling. 



Compassionate in her own way, tenacious, resourceful, dependable


Stubborn, hedonistic, low self esteem, low self worth, abrasive


: Oranges, yellows, Plum
SMELLS: Mountain sage, citrus, spices
FOOD: Chocolate covered oranges, candied lemon peels, lynx stew, grilled shrimp, crab puffs
FRUITS: Oranges, cherries, peaches, starfruit
DRINKS: tea of all kinds, black coffee, water with lemon
ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES: Whiskey; dwarvish


COLORS: Neons. 
SMELLS: Death, lavender
FOOD:  dry chicken, dry steak, hardtack, field rations
FRUITS: Who hates fruit? 
ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES: Ambrosia, too sweet



SMOKES? yes [X] | no [] - Frequenly
DRUGS? yes [x] | no [] - Thistle; currently off Dust (for now)
FLYING LICENSE? yes [ ] | no [X]
EVER BEEN ARRESTED? yes [X] | no [] - Prison; 3 years. 

balefuldragon  asked:

"I want to use them, to enjoy them, and to dominate them."

“Is that not what they are here for?” It was a delicate game, the Ribbon Mercenary mused internally– while he wasn’t a Shepard, at the same time, for some reason, he was allowed his life relatively unmolested so long as his hands were in Grima’s service. He’d done worse for things worth much less. 

Joel casually tied his hair back with the same yellow ribbon he’d worn during the conflict– trying not to give an inkling of the sheer terror the Dragon inspired in him. A member of the Ribbon Squadron wasn’t to display fear, and as their leader… It’d be hypocrisy on high if he did, wouldn’t it?