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Community Highlight: Kirbus

By Qog - Posted Aug 13, 18

Community Highlight: Kirbus

This month, I finally went rogue and spoke to one of our Jedi roleplayers on the Darth Malgus server! Kirbus is a long-time roleplayer on Star Wars: The Old Republic, and is also known for community coordination and story writing. Some say he even moonlights as a composer - you can check out the rumours of that in this thread. :D

Kirbus was a complete sweetheart to talk to and was very patient with many extended deadlines and my bad memory. His interview is definitely worth a read and I encourage anyone who gets the chance to say hello and get to know him in the game as well. 

Read on for his Q&A, and to see some more awesome art. 

Who is your main character, and what is their story?

My main character is currently a Jedi Master by the name of Kirbus Vaos. Kirbus is currently a clan leader, and the Battlemaster and member of the Lost Praxeum Council. The Lost Praxeum is the Jedi Enclave of which he has been a member since passing his initiate trials at the Temple on Tython, shortly after the outbreak of the Second Great Galactic War (Just after the cold war).

The entirety of his story I don’t believe has ever been told to any other RP’er. There are many characters with pieces of the backstory, but none to my knowledge have the whole story - so I believe this is what journalists call a ‘scoop’, yes?...

Kirbus was born on the planet of Ryloth, an usual place of birth for a Human. But Kirbus is in fact not entirely Human - he is the son of a Human father and a hybrid Echani mother, making Kirbus a quarter Echani in genetic makeup. Even with this information, the boy and his family were obviously not native to the Twi’lek homeworld. As a boy, Kirbus was schooled by his parents, both of whom carried an usually high standard of education - but being a young boy at the time, nothing seemed out of the ordinary to the lonely child. Both of his parents made a living out of a charitable organisation that sought to end slavery on Ryloth, which often brought with it dangerous situations involving slavers, other criminals and the Hutt Cartel. Kirbus was largely shielded to these situations by his parents, who were well aware of the dangers of their work, but it caused the boy to be passed from safe place to safe place, and often with people he did not know well, and often he was unsure if he would ever see his parents again. It is during this time, that Kirbus began to develop his trademark introverted personality, content to spend time entirely by himself and it is also around this time that he discovered the power that lay dormant inside of him - the power of the Force.

Unbeknown to the now thirteen year old boy at the time, not all was as it seemed with his parents also. Their high standard of education, the way they treated Kirbus emotionally, the way they taught him skills and knowledge that would go beyond that of a normal education - all of these things seemed normal to him, with no way of making another comparison. His power in the Force, by now a thing he was keenly aware but not in control of, was also not strange to him. He had seen the power before, manifested in both of his parents. For Kirbus was the son of ‘failed’ Jedi. Two people who had decided later on in their lives to not pursue the life of a Jedi Knight, having found and fell in love with each other as students.

Willingly let go by the Jedi Council, but as is so often encouraged to use what they had learned for the good of others, Kirbus’ parents kept his birth a secret from the order. They did not want their son to be trained, to be asked to protect the Republic, perhaps at the sacrifice of his own life. But the Force has a destiny for all, and sometimes, that destiny is inescapable.

On his thirteenth birthday, Kirbus and his parents were involved in a speeder accident, later discovered by the young man to be ‘staged’ through sabotage by a local slaver ring. Kirbus, by luck or the will of the Force, was flung from the vehicle as it crashed. But his parents were not so lucky. Trapped in their seats, flames engulfed the speeder. Aware of his power in the Force, but having not been trained as per his parent’s wishes, he could do nothing but struggle and fail to lift the canopy that kept his parents trapped. Orphaned at thirteen, and now truly alone, Kirbus spiraled into depression. He was forced to take a courier job, running holo-messages and packages around the capital of Lessu to feed himself. As time went on and on, the depression, the anger and the fear began to have its effects on Kirbus. Falling deeper into his power in the force, but not in a controlled manner, the lure of the darkside began to lick at his heels. Again, by luck, or the will of the Force, Kirbus was tasked to carry a package to a wandering Jedi Watchman who immediately felt the signs of a boy sensitive to the Force, who was becoming a danger to himself and others.

Unaware of the Jedi Order, having never been told about it, Kirbus flung himself at the first thing he recognised in the Jedi. The Force. To him, it reminded him of his parents, and around the Jedi, he felt more relaxed as if he was around them once again. Being taken back to Tython changed the now sixteen year old. Being around others like himself, caused him to become quite attached to the Jedi way, never knowing that this was a life he was kept from by his parents until later. After discovering his lineage as a young Jedi Knight, Kirbus quickly grew the opinion that despite his parents wishes, they would be proud of his choices. They would respect the will of the Force.

Rising through his studies, Kirbus had largely an average Jedi education until it was time to join the Lost Praxeum. Here, he was taught by Jedi that he considered to be the best. Jedi Masters such as Emoral Heliolite, whom he would later study with personally as a protege, Alen Stanic, Rasheke Mobius, Harabec Weathers and more. Kirbus took lessons from most all of the Jedi around him, amalgamating theories and lessons with his own thoughts to become truly a product of the society and atmosphere around him. Taken padawan by Jedi Knight Trister Kratog, Kirbus served as a loyal student, eventually passing his Jedi trials to be Knighted as a Jedi Knight of the Republic - succeeding in a life his parents could not live, in a family that was not his blood.

Serving as a Jedi Knight for some years, his powers in the Force, his knowledge and reputation grew so that he was considered for a placement upon the Enclave council of the Lost Praxeum. Shortly after his first appointment however, the Eternal Empire struck their blow to the Republic. The Lost Praxeum was caught up in the initial excursions, swept aside by the Eternal Empire. Staying behind upon the Praxeum Ship the RSS Deliverance, Kirbus ensured the escape of his fellow Jedi, along with a small group of other Jedi. With the choice of a blind hyperspace jump, or death, the group plunged into the unknown. Spending five years struggling on the crippled ship, alongside other Jedi and his now mentor Master Emoral Heliolite, Kirbus saw opportunity to return to what he had done as a boy. To study, reflection, training. In this time, having been taught personally by Master Heliolite, Kirbus expanded upon his knowledge in the Force and especially the lightsaber. When the Lost Praxeum returned and reformed, Kirbus was elected to its reformed Council.

After more time of service and guidance, during which he took a padawan and trained her to Knighthood, as well as guiding an initiate clan through their trials, Kirbus was eventually elevated to the rank of Master, taking on the empty Battlemaster position vacated by his mentor shortly before. Now the Jedi Master trains and serves the Enclave of which he is part, the Jedi who he considers family, and most importantly to him: The Force.  

((There are about five years worth of RP stories in here, but I notice it getting rather long!! :/))

What is a character or event concept you have always wanted to try?

I have always wanted try a SIS agent or a trooper, but I have never found the time! T.T For the SIS, I can imagine it would be interesting to play a character who had to do things that perhaps they did not entirely agree with, and how they would cope with that. Not to mention that doing secret spy stuff is always cool, obviously. :D As for the trooper, I have always been quite fond of the movie inspired comradery between squaddies. The connections that the troopers form within their unit, or not, and how that affects those people within the group. I have always tried to familiarise my Jedi character with troopers, and tried to get him to see things from their point of view. Icly, Kirbus considers troopers to be a symbol of the real heroes of the Republic. The ordinary men and women who, with nothing but their own will and determination, stand up for their home and the people they hold dear.   

What inspires you to continue creating roleplay content and stories?  
*The Never Ending Story theme begins to play*... No seriously, I really like stories, and especially those that unfold in ways that I did not expect. This happens quite often in RP. I also like to see what sort of impression I can leave on the characters that take part in the stories that I create with the narratives I come up with. I like to test the limits of characters, testing their resolves in the causes that they have chosen to align themselves with - most often for Jedi, it is about faith and their dedication to the Jedi teachings. It’s been…. interesting :D

What advice would you give to someone new to roleplay?

You can’t enjoy swimming by standing on the shore. Get stuck in!

Take it slow, but make sure to take part. If you are unsure of what to do, don’t be afraid to ask questions, it is the easiest way to make friends, and as soon as people know that you are new they will seek to help you.

In regards to character creation, I would say, try to keep it simple at first. Over time as you begin to feel more comfortable, more things can be added to spice up your character, not to mention all the things that will happen to affect them in actual RP sessions!

When I started, I had Kirbus pegged as the average run of the mill initiate, in short, he was a bit boring when I look back. But it gave me so much room to develop him as the situations around him affected him, that he became a combined product of the storytellers that have come before, purely a product of the RP that I witnessed and conducted. In the end, I think that makes for a far more satisfying character than one that comes through the doors kicking and screaming so to speak.

If someone wanted to try a Jedi character for the first time, what advice would you give them?

Much the same as before. Try to keep it simple at first. If there are some Jedi from the lore that you like in particular, read up on them, try to understand why they do the things they do. If some of those things seem like fun things to play, pick one or two to get you going and see where the RP takes you :)

Don’t be afraid to let the RP you take part in change your character. When I started, Kirbus was quietly spoken, and that is if he spoke at all. But now, after having to step up and take control of a situation numerous times, he has kept his humility to an extent, but it is backed up with a determination and confidence that was born of success through those situations. This happened over time, but when I look back, I can see the path clearly.

The rest I think boils down to what sort of rank you begin playing at. Jedi students, Jedi teachers and Masters, they all come with different challenges. I think, to enjoy a student character to its fullest, you must have an insatiable appetite for learning and exploring the lore of not only the Jedi, but Star Wars in general. When moving up, I think a certain amount of confidence in that lore will help when moving on to teach. Teaching is something I like to do on my character often, as it lets me explore other characters by listening to them and affecting them. Certainly for a Jedi Knight or a Master, I think it is advantageous to be perhaps more interested in other characters than your own. Jedi are inquisitive, and this trait will help portray that, it certainly helps me.  

And lastly - what is one of your favourite roleplay stories to tell?  

This was relatively early in my time as a RP'er, and my character was a fresh padawan at the time, ready to take up his saber in the name of the republic and Jedi glory! Quite the idealistic fool :D One of the events of chain involved a huge skirmish on what ICly was Rhen Var, but OOC we used the PvP area on Ilum. When I say huge, I'm talking 20-30 people a side doing free combat emotes. It was the most chaotic and thrilling RP I'd so far in my journey, but that is only one reason why it was one of my favourites.

My character, being so young and foolish, got caught up in a friendly fire incident - the very reason he carries the scars on his face today. Looking at the situation as objectively as I could, he couldn't really continue in the state he was in. But to my surprise, it didn't really matter. The Jedi who were with him, mostly his padawan peers, rallied around, pick him up and dragged him to the closest safe area, all while under attack. Whilst they were doing this, I was quite shocked to see how disturbed they were about my characters condition. At that time Kirbus didn't say or do very much, so I was surprised to see just how much he meant to those around him. How much they'd be prepared to go through for his sake. At the safepoint, two characters who had never met my character before battled to keep him alive in the cold, holding him as he lay near death in a freezing cold cave in the ass end of nowhere. This, was perhaps the earliest moments in my experience that I felt that my character did belong, and meant something to the narrative he was taking part in. It made me feel part of a community, who all enjoyed the same things as I did. So... yeah, my favourite RP was being blown up and watching people panic over it... but it was special... honestly!!

I hope that was a decent enough story, it kind of defined to me what TOR was and is all about for me. My fave RP sessions are where everyone gets stuck in. Just get stuck in and see what happens :D
Art credit: Coupleofkooks and Chintya