Seraine "Erinyes" Taldrya Ténama/OOC
There seem to be a few common misconceptions about how to portray Erinyes, so I (RL Erin) created this page as a reference for people who want to write IC Erinyes, as a supplement to her character sheet.
The Most Important Things (Short Version)
- Most of the time, Erinyes comes off as chill and prone to joking around, sometimes with an edge of sarcasm. She usually acts impulsively, but if she's in a leadership role, she's more inclined to be thoughtful. She doesn't go out of her way to provoke people, and will usually act dismissive towards those who try to do so to her, unless they present an actual threat (immediate or implied).
- Deception isn't really Erinyes' strong suit. She has a decent poker face when she needs to, but she usually leaves actual lying to people who are better at it.
- Erinyes has some degree of empathy—more so than is typical for a Sith, but not as much as most lightsiders. It's rare for her to lose her temper to the point of lashing out in anger, or to make people suffer for her own satisfaction.
- She also has some sense of honour and integrity, at least as far as keeping her promises and trying to look after anyone she considers "her people". That said, she's not above "dishonourable" behaviour when the stakes are sufficiently high.
- Pet peeve: The vast majority of the time, Erinyes goes by either her nickname, or a rank/title combo when it's appropriate (e.g. "Consul Ténama" from members of the Taldryan military). If someone unwittingly calls her by her given name, she'll tell them to call her Erinyes instead. Otherwise, the only people who call her "Seraine" are the ones who don't care what she prefers and aren't worried about her making an issue of it (mainly Grand Masters and fellow Elders), and/or are trying to provoke her.
Combat (ACC or Otherwise)
- When Erinyes fights, she has two modes: treating it as a game if an opponent is skilled enough to give her a challenge and she isn't pressed for time (see the "It's the Thrill of the Fight" Aspect on her CS), or finishing the fight as quickly as possible if she has other priorities (like during a mission) or it looks like it's going to be boring. She isn't above running if she gets in over her head.
- Erinyes is a saberist first and foremost. She default approach is to use her dual-phase standard/training lightsaber in her right hand, while leaving her left hand empty to use Force powers or mix unarmed combat into her fighting style. If she's decided that she's fighting for fun or would rather humiliate the opponent than kill them outright (which, between the two options, covers most ACC battles), she'll use the training phase of her lightsaber. Erinyes deciding to use her second lightsaber or a blaster is rare enough that it's probably easiest not to bother, but the details of how she would do so are in the Deep Dive section.
- As far as Force powers go, Erinyes prefers to use the Force to enhance her abilities as a saberist. The powers she uses most often are Amplification (to shore up her Might and Stamina during prolonged fights), Battle Haste (in place of Amplification for Athletics), and Precognition (including its Marauder variant, Battlefield Awareness). She also uses Telekinesis as a "utility" power to deal with opponents at range, which is (once again) explained in more detail in the Deep Dive section.
The Deep Dive
This entire section will be revised and expanded over time.
Core Personality Traits
- Erinyes is a Dark Jedi because she's selfish, not because she wants to hurt others. I cannot stress this enough. Erinyes doesn't conform to the stereotypical "mustache-twirling villain" or "brooding teenage edgelord" depictions of a Sith. Like many people, she would rather do something she enjoys than be "responsible", and she tends to get away with it because not many people have historically had the power to hold her accountable for her actions (whether as a Force-sensitive growing up around non-Force-sensitives or as an Elder in the Brotherhood years later).
- Erinyes doesn't like to make people suffer, because she has too much empathy not to feel their suffering herself. Remember, the (Legends) reason Zeltros is a party planet is that Zeltrons experience others' emotions—not just perceive them, but feel them. The only time Erinyes goes out of her way to inflict pain is when she's angry enough that it drowns out her empathy. Otherwise, she'd much rather have fun.
- Erinyes is more impulsive than deliberate, but is learning to rein herself in. The experience of being a wartime Consul during the Collective's invasion of Arx (GJW XIV) has influenced Erinyes to be more thoughtful in her decision-making, but it doesn't come naturally to her yet. Most of the time, she's still driven more by her emotions and prone to making snap decisions.
- Erinyes has the full range of sentient emotions, and doesn't hesitate to express most of them. This kind of ties in with the first point, especially the "brooding teenage edgelord" reference. Erinyes has more moods than "seething rage" and "delighting in the suffering of her enemies". She gets bored and sometimes exasperated when she's at her "day job" doing a Consul's typical administrative duties. She compliments things she likes. She laughs at jokes, awws and squees over how adorable Harakoan polecats are, flirts with attractive women and feels disappointment if they don't reciprocate. It's rare for her to truly lose her temper (more on that below), but she'll readily express annoyance. The only emotion Erinyes tends to suppress is fear, because it tends to be a distraction at dangerous times.
- Erinyes' facial expressions tend to reveal her mood unless she's going out of her way to suppress them. She sighs, raises one eyebrow, raises both eyebrows, rubs the bridge of her nose, gives sideways glances, squints, stares, rolls her eyes, and so on.
- Like most people, Erinyes tends to get more animated as she gets more excited, including tending to talk with her hands when she's worked up about something.
- Erinyes drinks. A lot. That said, she's more of a steady drinker who maintains a perpetual buzz than someone who's constantly plastered. Her typical poison is a hip flask of starwars:tsiraki, which she refills multiple times throughout the day. In conversations, her taking a drink can be a space-filler the way someone might drink from a glass of water or cup of coffee, or it can be an "I need a drink"-style gesture of exasperation. Under stress, she drinks noticeably more, such as in the back half of this forum post—note how she's drinking straight from the bottle instead of her flask, and not bothering to replace the cork between gulps.
Interactions With Others
- Erinyes maintains a very laissez-faire, "you do you" attitude towards other people. She doesn't hesitate to speak up when she disagrees with someone (and thinks she can get away with saying so), but won't try to convince them to change their course unless it conflicts with her own interests.
- Despite her nickname, Erinyes usually keeps her temper in check, if only because she doesn't take most situations seriously enough to bother getting angry. When she does get irritated enough to do something about it, her reaction is normally in the vein of a pointed glare, snippy retort, or stern lecture. When she does lose her temper, the results tend to be explosive; one case involved backhanding someone hard enough to knock them off their barstool, followed by a caustic dressing-down that escalated into a fight. (See this ACC battle for details.)
- On a related note, Erinyes doesn't follow the Darth Vader School of Personnel Management (warning: tvtropes link). Instead, she's inclined to give second chances to otherwise competent subordinates, and banish the incompetent ones to jobs more suited to their talents. However, her reasons for this are more practical than sentimental. First, Erinyes is well aware that Taldryan doesn't have the same endless supply of recruits that the Empire did, and thus can't really afford to waste even marginally useful personnel. Second, grateful subordinates are far easier for Zeltron empathy to handle than ones who constantly fear for their lives.
- That said, any Taldryanite who actively harms the Clan is fair game for being made into a gruesome lesson in the importance of loyalty.
All info is as of December 2020, and subject to change with future CS revisions.
- Erinyes' primary combat style is lightsaber-focused and uses Juyo, Dun Möch, and Tràkata. As the "Very Offensive" Combat Aspect on her CS describes, she combines Juyo's "all-out assault" mentality with using Tràkata to bypass her opponent's defences. When necessary, she adds Amplification and Battle Haste to overwhelm technically-skilled opponents with raw speed and strength. Most of her use of Dun Möch revolves around questioning her opponents' certainty that they can stand up to her in a fight, especially after she's counted coup with the training phase of her lightsaber ("if I'd wanted to, I could've killed you" and so on).
- As mentioned above, most of the time, Erinyes uses a single lightsaber in a one-handed grip. However, she does carry a second lightsaber and a Bryar pistol, and uses them under specific circumstances.
- The most common reasons for Erinyes to dual-wield lightsabers are if she's fighting a huge number of opponents (like an assault on an enemy base) and needs to both deflect a lot of incoming fire and kill a lot of people quickly, or if she's fighting a single opponent who's so skilled at defending that she can only break them by doubling the number of attacks they have to fend off.
- Erinyes' second lightsaber is also dual-phase, incorporating a standard blade and a "lightsaber pistol" mode that fires a bolt of lightsaber energy in a similar manner to a blaster pistol (not like Ezra Bridger's lightsaber/stun pistol combo). Since most people would assume that a lightsaber isn't capable of shooting bolts instead of a blade, she sometimes uses it in situations when she needs to hide a ranged weapon in plain sight, or John WIck-style in close combat (especially when combined with Tràkata). ACC participants, please note that Erinyes' off-hand lightsaber doesn't have a stun phase and save yourself a potential continuity error. :P
- Erinyes' Bryar pistol is honestly more of a display piece than anything. Without using the Force, her marksmanship is adequate but not particularly skilled, so she mainly uses it to lay down covering fire or against ranged opponents when she wants to limit her Force usage. If she combines it with Telekinetic Combat, she's a frighteningly accurate shot (at least with how the power's written as of December 2020), but needing to spend most of her concentration to do so is rarely worth the risk.
- Although she's not as inclined to use them as other Dark Jedi, Erinyes does mix other Force powers into her techniques when necessary. Besides powers that augment lightsaber use, her most commonly-used Force power is Telekinesis, which she combines with Battlefield Awareness to snipe long-range attackers with thrown objects or Telekinetic Combat to fire ranged weapons from behind cover. She's also been known to use Healing if an opponent lands a hit but doesn't incapacitate her outright.
Defence and Vulnerabilities
- On defence, Erinyes relies heavily on either preemptively attacking or making sure she's not in a position that would lead to her getting hurt. She keeps her mobility up by supplementing her Athletics with Battle Haste to increase her speed and Amplification to keep from tiring out too quickly, and uses the Disjunction Feat to avoid being trapped by Force-using opponents with powers like Force Choke or Slow. As usual, her ability to avoid damage suffers if she's in a confined space.
- Like most Force-users, Erinyes' largest immediate weaknesses are anything that can't be deflected by a lightsaber or dodged with raw speed, like flamethrowers, gas attacks, or grenades. She does have Barrier at a high enough level that she can fire it instantly if needed, but having to use it repeatedly will drain her Force reserves and make it more difficult for her to use other powers.
- Erinyes relies heavily on the Force to both keep up the intensity of her attacks and handle opponents at range. Her response to an opponent attacking her connection to the Force will depend on the circumstances of the fight. If her connection is only partly severed, she may continue to fight without changing her approach, especially if she feels she can win handily regardless or if the consequences of losing are minimal (such as in a friendly match with a Clanmate). However, dangerous circumstances will lead her to prioritise destroying the source of the attack over all other threats. If her connection is fully severed, she may likewise continue to fight if she feels she can succeed without using the Force, especially if she believes she has a way to re-establish her Force connection. If not, she'll do her best to retreat from the battle rather than continue fighting at a serious disadvantage.
- That's the theory, anyway. In practice, I detest how the mechanics of high-level Suppression can effectively make it a win button against other Force-users (which is why I don't use it myself), and dealing with that sucks the fun out of writing so much for me that I just can't be bothered. (Yes, I realise NFU characters deal with that disadvantage literally all the time. Without going into several soapboxes' worth of ranting, I'll just say that there are CS-mechanics factors that make it so NFUs have an easier time dealing with not having Force powers than fully-suppressed FUs do.)
- As someone who's spent a lot of time around Krath (and later Sorcerers) and uses Dun Möch herself, Erinyes has trained her Resolve to the point that only a skilled Equite or Elder could reliably affect her mind using the Force. However, she's also impulsive, prone to being suckered by attractive women, and not terribly good at hiding either of those failings, which makes her prone to manipulation by people with enough guile to take advantage of them.
Inspirations and References
I don't exactly have a playlist that I listen to when I write Erinyes, but here are a sampling of songs that I think fit her well (links to YouTube):