It occurred to me that I’d missed a pair of fairly important characters for the Cast List in Star Wars: The Old Republic. I’d assumed that my Smuggler was covered in one of my earliest posts on the blog (well, earliest after the WordPress move), but the banner didn’t include him at the time. I added a menu page under my “about this blog” section to more fully describe the characters in the banner, which includes the smuggler (not in the same detail as what one sees in these posts, granted, but good enough). However, this does not cover my other missing link, my Imperial Agent, Alcaran.
Alcaran started life on an RP server, where an old guildmate from the Star Wars Galaxies days was hoping to put something together. The character’s name started as Alcarin there, and I’d even written up some fiction for him (the semi-open RP going on at that guild’s site is long gone, though, along with that guild’s site, and likely the guild itself). Eventually, I chose to relocate him to the server where my other characters were. To my amazement, someone had already taken the Alcarin name there (proof positive that there are no original ideas), so I changed the “I” to an “A”, and that was that.
Alcaran, in a way, came out of a conversation I’d had many times with my old SWG guild: is being a member of an Evil Empire something that automatically means you are evil yourself? I’d long argued that the rank and file of the Empire-Sith or Galactic-were not evil, and in some cases not necessarily bad-at least, not until you climbed up the ranks and started having to really do some of the nasty things that involve exterminations and genocides. Going after pirates or stopping really bad guys is a good thing, after all. Where does the line exist? At what point is the Moral Event Horizon crossed? The Imperial Agent class seemed custom made for me to put my thoughts into action. As the Keeper of Imperial Intelligence put it, the character was a garbage man, cleaning up the messes and doing the work nobody else wanted to do…or, as it turns out, could do. Despite this, I was definitely going hard with the Light-side choices. Of course, since protecting the Empire involved dirty work, he also did a number of Dark choices, too. So like my Sith Warrior, he never maxed out his Light meter, but never devolved into a monster.
As one of my old guildmates pointed out to me during those aforementioned conversations, though, could a good man remain an Imperial after he’s exposed to the darker and more evil side of the Empire? As the Agent storyline closed up, I had the opportunity for the character to cut himself loose from the Empire-or rather, from the Sith who ruled it. Alcaran had no problem cutting his ties, and serving the people of the Empire as he saw fit, and put the command structure of the Empire behind him. Well, at least until Makeb effectively trashed that ending-guess the writers didn’t want to have to deal with the ramifications of the IA storyline. Even then, however, Alcaran remained independent, although he did at least respect Darth Marr for not being the psychopathic Sith he was used to dealing with (a feeling he also had with Lana Beniko, later; he had no issue with her taking over Sith Intelligence, even though he refused to join it). Then along came the Eternal Empire…. He wouldn’t kneel before Valkorion, resisted his “destiny” with all his might, but he got shoved out of the shadows he preferred to work in and into the light as the Outlander; now he commands the Eternal Alliance. Clearly, his career path has been derailed quite a bit from what he’d envisioned in his early days in Imperial Intelligence. He’d had a number of romantic liaisons, but none since he got involved with Ensign Temple, who remains missing after his carbonite break (but if one has been paying attention to the upcoming roadmap, one will realize that the MIA status will be shortly revoked!).
Alcaran’s had a number of appearances in his outfits as the game has gone on. For a while, he got a tan longcoat, but eventually I got a black one that fit him better. I also made ruthless use of the Appearance Tabs once they came out to give him a “formal” white Imperial uniform; additionally, I took advantage of my status as a Collector’s Edition owner and purchased a full set of Imperial Trooper armor for those occasions when he had to go on the front lines and fight it out-which, as it turns out, I almost never wind up breaking out. Maybe if I did more group content with him….
The constant dance between light and dark exists with Alcaran, and his story has been a big reason why I consider him my primary Imperial character; when new content comes out for SWTOR, he’s usually the second character through it, and the first Imperial. He may be a lot more public than he wants to be these days, but he’s still a super-spy who understands that who you appear to be may not be who you are. (And as such, he’s the one character in my roster who is fully aware that recent betrayals may not necessarily be what they appear to be; he’s been in that role himself….)