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This character was created for a forum based role-playing game set in the Star Wars universe. It was written in Febuary/March 2011.

Description: A woman in her early thirties, Elspeth Duquesne has an average build and is usually dressed somberly, either in a crisp Tapani military uniform or a traditional Tapani dress. Her hair is dark blonde and her eyes are of a light brown.

Bio: Born on Bethal, in the Bethal system, to Baron Alec Duquesne and Baroness Safi Eiker-Duquesne, Elspeth Duquesne has two sibling younger than her. The first, seven years her minor, is a socialite and flippant young woman by the name of Elanie Duquesne. The second, a boy, was taken in by the Jedi Order at a very young age, his whereabouts are unknown by the family.

At a young age, Elspeth took a keen interest to history, which prompted her to study in that field at one of the universities on Mrlssi upon the age of sixteen. Yet, academic studies brought little sense of accomplishment for Elspeth, who only scored average in many classes because of a certain lack of interest in anything unrelated to wars, battles or Shey Tapani. Granted, the first emperor and uniter of the Tapani Empire was heavily promoted throughout the sector, but while most admired his accomplishments, Elspeth concentrated her attention on his military campaigns. It was because of this interest, and in no small part a growing sense of duty, that Elspeth went to Procopia to join the ranks of the Navy at the age of nineteen.

At the academy, Elspeth discovered new interests, such as the martial training that was compulsory of each cadets. She decided upon taking the more advanced classes and was initiated in the K'thri style, which suited her lithe physique, while in the ranks of the academy team. During her stay, she proved to be a competent student, with good leadership abilities and a certain resourcefulness found lacking in many nobles. Nevertheless, several glaring character flaws prevented her from claiming the top spots, her teachers noting her aggressiveness and brash attitude.

Upon leaving the academy at the age of twenty-two, Elspeth served as a junior officer on four starships until she got her first command three years later. It proved brief but eventful. Satisfied with her performance, the admiralty gave her another command and by the time she attained her majority (30) she had seen action against a plethora of pirates and raiders.

Upon her majority, being the eldest of the Duquesne children, she received an estate and the title of Baroness. Her holding on Mirori, a moon in the New Javis system, consists primarily of a manor and the headquarters of prosperous mining conglomerate which was turned over to her control by her mother. Her father on the other hand, gave her a simpler gift, if a bit more unique: A lightfoil recovered during the Jedi Order and House Pelagia's struggle against the Sith sponsored Mercosa Order of assassins centuries ago. The gift was meant as a highly valuable decoration piece and an artifact of interest to someone interested in history, but Elspeth quickly started training with the weapon. She was not taken by the rather flamboyant fashion of the so called "Saber Rakes", but by the elegance of the weapon and an interest in how it could be made to complement her existing martial skills.

Theory soon turned to reality, when more than a year later she found her marriage proposal to Baron Vultan Mar-Shayal of House Calipsa rejected, due to his interest in another woman. Outraged at this slight against her personal honor, Baroness Elspeth Duquesne challenged him to a lightfoil duel. Vultan Mar-Shayal had once been a Saber Rake and possessed his own lightfoil, but that was poor preparation for this fight. The result of the duel left Vultan badly wounded and many in his House were enraged, not least of all, Dame Kytra Graf, the subject of Vultan's love.

Elspeth needed to disappear for a time, while things settled down, and the ongoing conflict with the Sith Empire proved to be the perfect solution for the leaders of House Pelagia. Elspeth Duquesne would be kept out of the way and House Pelagia would addone more contribution to the war effort by sending one of its own nobles as a combat commander on the front lines.

Story 1: Command Decisions

Obelia System

Tapani Sector

7 years ago


The slow rumbling of the deck plates echoed through her deepest thoughts as Elspeth pondered on her current predicament, the burden of her first command heavier than she could have imagined. The small patrol craft she captained was not even worthy of more than a designation, IPC-264, and had only ten crew members. Yet, the responsibility was hers and ten or one thousand made very little difference at the moment.

None of her crew knew what to make of the small freighter limping ahead of their ship, keeping just out of weapon's range and ignoring hails. It might be damaged, but then why not stop and wait for help? Or perhaps it had lost sensors in addition to communications? But to be reduced to this slow speed its engine were also probably damaged. It was possible for a ship to suffer damage to all these systems and still be space worthy, although it was rare. Yet, even rarer was a starship in such a state heading out of the star system.

“Keep our sensors fixed on it.” She repeated for the third time in so many hours.

The mechanical “Aye ma'am” from her operations officer came in immediately after.

They were all on edge, Elspeth realized. Of course, having a first timer captain aged twenty-five did little to ease the nerves in such an uncertain situation, but she admired how they kept their cool professionalism in spite of her. Absently she flicked a bangle of dark blond hair away from her eye, as if she could do the same with her current problem. Following the craft was the right thing to do according to procedure, but there was something definitely wrong here. It didn't make any sense really, either the ship was freak cripple with an idiot for captain or she was baiting them. At first glance the latter explanation could seem logical, except pirates didn't ambush patrol crafts, not the other way around. There was a good reason for that, ton for ton a patrol craft was more heavily armed  and armored than almost anything pirates could field and its crews were generally more competent. Last but not least, there was little profit in attacking what was in all respects, a pocket warship.

So assuming the captain leading her on wasn't an idiot, she had to assume it was the second possibility that remained and then only the question of why remained. There was little hope in capturing the patrol craft for its firepower, for one Elspeth and her fellow captains would always put up a fight and secondly, these study little crafts were not hyper capable, which was why they were so lethal for their size. There must be...

The answer dawned on her in a flash as she observed her bridge crew giving her expectant glances. She was important! She was Elspeth Duquesne of House Pelagia afterall. Someone worth killing or capturing for some. Elspeth scowled at the egotistic thoughts, but knew they were probably true, there were no shortage of political assassinations in the Tapani Empire. Well then, she had her job cut out for her; survive and make sure her crew did likewise.

With a renewed vigor and purpose she rearranged her pristine uniform to make sure it was smugly in place before turning to the plot. Spatial calculations were not her forte, but easily enough she realized that the freighter was leading them near a gas giant with dense rings. Elspeth's nimble finger entered the coordinate in her datapad, which she forwarded to her operations officer.

“Mister Terham, begin a sensor sweep of these coordinates.”

“Scanning now ma'am.” His fingers danced on his console and the bridge returned to its silent humming while the remainder of the officers glanced nervously at Terham's post. Experienced spacers as they were, they had processed similar thoughts in their minds and surely had arrived at the same conclusion. Elspeth wondered if they hated now, at risk of dying simply for being on the same starship as her and not by choice to boot. Surely they at least resented her, but the young noble didn't hold it against them.

Her musings were interrupted by a worried look from Terham, indicating he had something to report, most probably confirming their worst fears.

“Let's have it Mister Terham.”

“Right ma'am.” He nodded, his cool professionalism kicking in. “I've picked up twelve faint power signatures.”

“Snubfighters...” Elspeth began.

“Could be, or a sensor ghost.” Terham interjected, but even to him, the words sounded hollow.

They grew silent once more, the crew waiting on her decision. The decision of a green upstart who was only captain because of her lineage. The decision that would seal all of their fate.

Elspeth turned to the stars, biting nervously on one of her nails while looking at the ringed gas giant growing steadily in the bridge viewport, as if she could see the squadron of assassins waiting for her and her ship. They were still an hour away. It seemed like a lot, it wasn't. Deep down she knew it was her job to find an answer, her responsibility, doubly so in this situation. Yet, she hadn't the faintest idea what to do.

Deciding she had little to lose, she spoke up.

“I know things are not looking good, but if we are going to get out of this, I need your help. Let's go through our options.”

It wasn't the plea of a frightened little girl asking to be saved; it was a brash young woman coming to her senses and realizing her crew was there for more than taking orders.

“Ms Djearn...” It seemed ridiculous addressing her pilot and second, a woman at least a decade older than she, this way. “We can't outrun them, can we?”

“Afraid not, ma'am, not unless their engines are pure hogwash, which I doubt if they plan on taking us on.”

Elspeth nodded with every word spoken by the middle-aged brunette and turned her command chair slight to face the only officer who was about her age.

“Mister Gharan, can we fight them off?”

“Unlikely ma'am. We'd give a good account of ourselves, but we can't handle so many fighter. If they have concussion missiles though, it will get real nasty, real fast.”

Before she could say anything, Terham chimed in. “Communications are jammed ma'am, it’s coming from the freighter.”

“Figures...” Elspeth mumbled, having completely forgotten about the ship that had dragged her in this mess. “Well, as I said, it doesn't look good, but we do have one advantage.”

The bridge was filled with puzzled looks and more than a few furrowed brows in consternation.

“They probably haven't realized we know about them!” Djearn exclaimed and Elspeth nodded more assuredly than she had ever felt during the course of her duties.

“We need to make the best of it.” The young captain expounded. “Here is what I was thinking...”

The preparations were swift, for Elspeth's plan was rather simple, but nevertheless, the entire crew made diligent preparations. They took the most they could of the hour, anticipation rivaling nervousness as a hopeless situation was turning into merely a dire one. Slowly, but surely, Lieutenant Commander Djearn changed IPC-264's course by a few degrees, hardly noticeable in such a short time, but they were pulling away from the freighter's trail, heading straight for the gas giant.

A few clicks away from the dust rings, the hidden snubfighters lt up as they went to full power. At that same moment, alarms blared throughout the patrol cutter's bridge, from missile locks and from the engines. IPC-264 leaped forward at what should have been an impossible speed for it, but pushing the ship's drives much farther than safety limit had taken care of that.

Twelve concussion missiles came in, struggling against the cutter's military grade ECM suite, point defenses and random fire from the main guns. Only a quarter made it through, but that was enough to almost bring down the forward shields, which by redirecting power, was all the shields they had. Next came the brutal onslaught of the nimble interceptors themselves. Elspeth directed her gunners to scatter the fighters, but with numbers on their side, they fell upon the sluggish ship like ravenous nexu. A lucky hit managed to reduce the opposition by one, but the exchange of fire was far more devastating for the cutter. Its thick armor was mauled in several places, with atmosphere venting in at least two locations. Shields were out and as if to spitefully add to their misfortune, the engines flickered dead due to a combination of exertion and damage.

Yet the crew of  IPC-264 for alive and their aggressors would have to waste precious seconds turning back towards their target. Meanwhile, gravity continued what the cutter's engines had failed to do and the wounded ship hurdled through the dust rings and into the murky atmosphere of the gas giant. They were safe for now, as they disappeared from sight and sensors both, but if the repulsor drive had been damaged it wouldn't be pretty...

Three days later a rescue ship had homed in on a tight beam distress call. They had found a heavily damaged ship, from weapon's fire and gravity stress, barely holding on at minimal power. The crew; tired, hungry, dehydrated and cold, had been found huddled in the bridge, the only section with any breathable oxygen left. Last to leave the ship, to her insistence, although she was too weak to even walk, had been one Elspeth Duquesne. It had been a very short command, barely one week, but had been enough to test her mettle.

Story 2: Insult & Injury

Procopia System


1 Year Ago

He had dared to refuse her, it was as good as spitting on her honor. All because Vultan Mar-Shayal, Baron of Ilsemere, had fallen for some upstart knight, a commoner at birth of all things! There had only been one response possible for this insult; a duel.

Now Elspeth stood dressed in a practical black bodyglove, with the elegant hilt of her ancient lightfoil in hand. Facing her, Vultan was dressed in a flamboyant doublet reminiscent of his time as a Saber Rake. He seemed confident enough, with his newer yet weaker lightfoil, thinking Elspeth had nearly no experience with her own weapon. She permitted herself a predatory smile as she spotted the common tart upon which he had set his heart's desires. They would both receive a harsh lesson on this day.

The small crowd of witnesses drew silent, as the seconds left the side of their respective duelists who both stepped forth, stopping a scant two feet from each other. With a snap-hiss both lightfoil were ignited at the signal given by the referee. Vultan's bright turquoise blade homed in on Elspeth's torso, who deftly parried with her own crimson saber. Adroitly sidestepping to his left, she landed a quick blow of her food on the back of his knee, sending him off further in the room to regain his balance.

Vultan was visibly shocked as he regained his footing, he had never expected her to put up much of a fight and as such he was completely taken aback by the blend of her nimble martial arts with her blade work. Elspeth's gleamed as she studied him, his every movement, and when they came at each other, the result was similar; a parry followed by a quick jab with one of her limbs. Methodically, she wore him down, never going for openings and never wounding him. This was calculated, for Elspeth would not be satisfied by a mere scratch Vultan could heal easily. No, only some suitably grim mutilation would compensate for the insult she had received. Elspeth bid her time and as minutes passed, her adversary weakened, soon he would have trouble standing.

He was becoming sluggish, his attacks clumsy. Elspeth seized a wide opening in his wide swing. To all appearances, the Baroness had finally missed a parry, but this was soon revealed to be untrue as Vultan's right hand went tumbling to the ground and Elspeth's red blade arced to his face as it took his right eye in an elegant sweep. The Baron of Ilsemere, once an attractive man, was know kneeling on the soft polished floor, shrieking in agony. Elspeth spared him only a contemptuous glance, before leaving the room, he victory bittersweet as the clamour of curses and outrage rang out with her every step.