« on: February 05, 2018, 03:14:32 PM »
Proud and Stubborn, noble and self-sacrificing. Both descriptions fit Garm Bel Iblis, Senator, Idealist, Solider, Militant. He was all of these thing- but also a very tragic figure who has lost more than nearly everyone in the Lore, yet internalized it all due to his nature and pride. Bel Iblis was born and raised on Corellia and like many Corellians came to prize independence and belief in one’s ideals above all else. He also believed fiercely that those ideals and independence had to be protected. To that end Bel Iblis decided to devote himself to the public service as a zealous patriot of both Corellia and the Republic. He joined the Corellian Sector military and then the Republic Defense Force to gain experience in arms and tactics. His time in the military bolstered his reputation among his fellow Corellians and he decided that the best way he could serve his world was in the Senate. Bel Iblis was a naturally gifted speaker and extremely charismatic with people he met in his early running days still recalling vividly the presence he seemed to command even at that early stage of his life. Bel Iblis won his Senate seat in a landslide and immediately made an impression on his fellow representatives in the senate with his steadfast incorruptibility-a rarity for a senator and even more so from Corellia which had a long history of smugglers and lawlessness compared to the rest of the Core. Most notably was his immunity to flattery, Bel Iblis was not in it for his own glory, though that is not to say the man had no ego. Far from it, Bel Iblis was very proud of his abilities and prowess and could take slights poorly and once he got an idea in his head he’d see it through regardless more often than not out of stubborness.
One of the first major events that tested him was his decision to keep Corellia out of the Clone Wars due to the nature of Chancellor Palpatine’s emergency powers greatly concerning him. Garm opposed nearly every addendum to the Constitution that steadily eroded the Senate’s power and gave it to Palpatine. What’s more he did so publicly, gaining him little love outside of his home Sector who saw him as abandoning the Republic. Resolute in this decision to both spare his world and oppose to the best of his ability within the law Palpatine’s gradual ascent to total control Garm joined with 2,000 other Senators to voice his concerns with the Chancellor near the end of the Clone Wars. When Palpatine ascended the Throne and created the Empire, Bel Iblis was not murdered or incarcerated on trumped up charges like most of the petitions members, mostly due to Corellia holding one of the largest defense forces and shipyards in the Galaxy with Garm being beloved in his home. Needing the shipyard and not yet ready to deal with full on rebellion so early, Palpatine tolerated Bel Iblis for the moment, while marking him. Bel Iblis for his part still believed he could work within the system rather than outright armed rebelling and so resumed his post as Corellian Senator in the now Imperial Senate under protest.
Any other man might well have hunkered down, or at least PRETENDED to-like Senator Organa but not Garm. He remained as fiercely vocal as ever of the new Emperor’s policies. His protests were often alone in the senate but growing more visible due to his standout nature. Added to his isolation was that his own wife was firmly pro Imperial and this put grievous strain on the marriage. Rather than take the easy route and play along with Palpatine, Garm continued to be a voice of protest and restraint in the public eye, much to his wife’s chagrian. Despite this, Bel Iblis still greatly loved Arrianya and planned for the two of them to go on a second honeymoon in an effort to rekindle their marriage. It was round this time that Mon Mothma, Bel Iblis and Bail Organa had finally agreed that trying to remove Palpatine within the law was never going to succeed and that the time for armed rebellion had indeed come. Finally after nearly fifteen years, Palpatine dubbed the time had come to deal with this irritant, he had a popular replacement set up in Fliry Vorru who unlike Bel Iblis turned a blind eye to smugglers and Black Sun gaining much support from their corrupt constituents to usurp Garm. The Senator prepared a speech for an event at the political center on the planet Anchoran, in which he would denounce the Empire and reveal Palpatine's dark motives. Bel Iblis was extremely nervous about the speech, as his pro-Imperial wife would be present. Just before he was scheduled to address the congregation, he received a message in his office from "an agent ‘Aach’ the alias of Bail Organa's prime messenger and agent. The message told Bel Iblis to meet with Aach at the building's northeast exit immediately; worried, Bel Iblis complied and rendezvoused with Aach, who relayed a message from Organa: he had discovered information pertaining to the location of a top-secret Imperial project overseen by Grand Moff Tarkin.
Their meeting was interrupted by a large explosion in the Treitamma Political Center, as agents of the Empire had planted explosives in Bel Iblis' office, intending to kill him. Aach wrestled Bel Iblis to the ground in order to avoid the blast, and the Corellian Senator was distraught at the loss of his wife and children.
Having now lost everything and being marked for death by the Empire, Bel Iblis went into hiding aiding the new Rebellion alongside Mon mothma with his military skills and resources, bail financed the Rebels, and Mon Mothma was it’s face. However Bel Iblis saw Mothma taking more and more roles and responsibilities for herself and mistaking this as ambition as he had seen from palpatine Iblis became wary of Mon Mothma and gradually began to have doubts about her intentions with the rebellion. Further Mon Mothma was far less willing to face more extreme aspects of warfare Bel iblis endorsed for victory, leading to repeated arguments and strain between them that Bail would facilitate. Then came the destruction of Alderaan, the death of Bail and Mon Mothma began to siphon off more and more power for herself, and Bel Iblis suspected that, should they overthrow Palpatine, she would take his place. Bel Iblis stayed on the with the Rebellion for several months, losing many friends and finding his name on an Imperial arrest list. Sometime later, Mothma gave the go-ahead for an Alliance attack on an Imperial garrison on a world in the Grycia system without seeking the approval of Bel Iblis or any of her other military advisors. Before the attack was enacted, Bel Iblis called Mothma out for her actions at an Alliance conference, requesting that she postpone and reconsider the attack. Mothma overruled him, but a livid Bel Iblis questioned her motives in ordering the attack, claiming it was simply part of a grab for power on her part. The two traded thinly-veiled insults, with Bel Iblis eventually stating that none of his troops would have a part in the attack. He felt that Mothma's Intelligence was flawed, as his own sources informed him it was in fact a heavily fortified Imperial Ubiqtorate base, which his men would be unable to deal with due to the firepower assigned to the base. For his dissent, Mothma told Bel Iblis that the Rebellion no longer required his services. He stormed out of the chamber and took his loyal supporters, including Sena Leikvold Midanyl and another aide, Irenez, away from the Alliance in a fury, certain he would soon be vindicated when Mon Mothma declared herself Empress.
Bel Iblis conducted a personal war against the Empire, but with ever smaller resources he was beneath galactic notice, he largely sat out the Rebellion, Black Sun and Zaarin insurrections always waiting for when he would have to fight Mon Mothma. When the Emperor and Vader died at Endor and the New Republic gradually took Coruscant and half the Galaxy Bel Iblis was sure Mon Mothma would crown herself, thanks to a broker he acquired six Katana dreadnoughts finally gaining some actual punching power. However, he still hunkered down, only launching occasional raids against Imperial targets, still stubbornly set on Mon Mothma’s ‘inevitable’ power grab. It had been nearly a decade since he left the Rebellion to fight his own private war against the Empire, five years since Endor and three years since the New Republic had claimed Coruscant, yet Mon Mothma had not declared herself Empress. He kept tabs on the Galactic situation in the New Republic through his Bothan contacts who did their best to further foment distrust of Mon Mothma for their own ends. By now everyone in the General’s army knew that mon mothma had been sincere in her desire to bring back the Republic and did not intend a coup, deep down even Bel Iblis knew it, but couldn’t admit it aloud. Further he couldn’t bring himself to come crawling back, begging to be let in to those he had forsaken after admitting he was wrong. His pride was too strong and so it took the combined forces of Thrawn, Karrde, Han, Lando and Leia to finally more or less force/trick the old Corellian into a situation where he would be asked back. Bel Iblis force was instrumental in the Katana fleet skirmish allowing the New Republic to capture the remaining 14 dreadnoughts and was welcomed back to the New Republic as a reluctant hero. Still the rift between Mon Mothma and himself was deep with old wounds, Bel Iblis now understood why Mon Mothma had gathered so much power and responsibility to herself, not for power’s sake, but because she truly felt that the more she assumed the less she had to put others in danger, the more she didn’t have to extend trust where it might not be secure. Bel Iblis had inadvertently caused much of this himself. Some of the New Republic military command resented the old general for abandoning the Rebellion at it’s most dire time out of what they considered ego. As such Garm was shuttered out of most of the command decisions upon his return. Feeling he deserved this and also not willing to double the burden on Mon Mothma he remained quietly to the side until the siege of Coruscant under Thrawn. It was this pivotal moment that Mon Mothma came to personally request Garm back, Garm for his part quickly saved her having to formally request, by cutting it short with friendly acceptance and thanks ‘due to the situation’ much to Mothma’s gratitude. The stubborn old soldier had finally both let go of his stubborn pride and his regrets. The New Republic was to benefit greatly from his return, he defended the capital, toured the front, shored up the NR forces fighting skillful rearguard actions against Thrawn but unable to ultimately turn back the Grand Admiral in each encounter they had Thranw emerged victorious. After the Thrawn crisis ended, Bel Iblis was placed in command of Coruscant’s sector forces. He was in overall command of the capital during the Warlord’s attack on the capital, faced with overwhelming odds and wanting to spare the civilians, Bel Iblis recommended evacuating the capital for the present. Again, displaying great personal courage and skillful tactics Bel Iblis managed to evacuate the capital under siege successfully with minimal losses. Tragically this was in vain for the local populace as the Warlords destroyed much of Coruscant in the following Imperial Mutiny much to the old warrior’s regret. During Shadow Hand Bel Iblis operated with the fleet encouraging the hit and run attacks he had perfected over his private war large scale. Following the final death of the Emperor and the subsequent conquest of the short lived Crimson Empire Bel Iblis once again resumed command of Coruscant where he would remain until under Pellaeon and Daala the reunified Empire launched a massive final assault after their initial success in Orinda campaign.
Bel Iblis, along with Etahn A’Bhett and Gial Ackbar counterattacked the Imperials. Bel Iblis fought Daala in the deep Core, soundly defeating her in a series of engagements leading to the complete collapse of the Imperial Forces in the Deep Core and allowing A’bhett and Ackbar to focus solely on Pellaeon. Bel Iblis then advocated for a full-on push to finish the Imperials in the mid rim helping Ackbar and A’Bhett drive Pellaeon’s outnumbered forces back to 8 sectors around Bastion.
The old General was also involved in trying to solve the Caamas crisis, determined not to let everything he had fought for dissolve into chaos, the General threw his full efforts into obtaining a copy of the document and preventing premature civil war among the factions. Bel Iblis was tasked with infiltrating the Imperial Ubiqtorate base at Yaga Minor for a copy. The old General agreed, knowing full well the risks, deciding he personally would ride the ship into the base, he outfoxed Booster Terrik in acquiring his ‘Errant Venture’ and nearly pulled off a successful bluff. Exposed he did just as he had always done, refused to give up and sacrifice everything in pursuit of what he felt was right. Luckily the old warrior and his crew were not required to make that sacrifice as Admiral Pellaeon arrived and ended hostilities.
Bel Iblis, unlike Ackbar and many others who had been in the Military of the Rebellion most of their lives-did not retire. He had no family left, no homeworld since Corellia more or less refused him due to it’s now pro Imperial/isolationist stance and now no comrades of his generation left as Mon Mothma and Jan Dodonna passed away shortly after Peace with the Empire was achieved. He had avenged his family, fought his entire life for the ideals of freedom, personal rights and justice sacrificing everything along the way and now that peace had been achieved this hero was not able to enjoy the fruits of his labors. The military was the only family he had left such as it was, Bel Iblis would continue to serve until he died, it was not only his nature, it was all he had left.
Unfortunately even the peace he had fought so hard for would not last, extra galactic invaders-the Yuuzhan Vong, Political corruption, traitors and internal strife burned down the New Republic around him. Micro managed by politicians and placed under the overall command of an officer technically his junior in both rank and seniority Bel Iblis grew more and more irate at the conduct of the war. The man who had defied Palpatine at great personal cost to prevent what he saw as galactic ruin was not about to stand by as political squabbling destroyed chances of victory.
At Coruscant Bel Iblis was one of the few commanders who opened fire on the kamikaze transports loaded with refugees by the invaders. The old soldier, realizing that he couldn’t save them, was willing to shoulder the burden of mass murder to save those on Coruscant, however most New Republic vessels did not fir eon the transports-which promptly crashed into the planetary shield collapsing it and allowing the Vong to begin sacking the capital resulting in around one trillion deaths. Bel Iblis had had enough, he ordered a retreat for his own fleet and more or less went rogue. Operating on his own outside command channels and refusing to acknowledge the Advisory Council at all, Bel Iblis had basically become a Warlord. Ever stubborn in his pursuit of what was right, Bel Iblis did as he saw fit, which while no doubt saving many lives both under his command and vicinity of his protection led to much fracturing galaxy wide as much of the NR fragmented in confusion. Eventually the political situation stabilized and a new head of state was elected on Mon Calamari who encouraged the military to run the war. Bel Iblis immediately returned to the command structure, thankfully not falling prey to his old doubts. The old warrior led task forces and helped coordinate the counteroffensives at Ebaq 9, Bilbringi and Coruscant helping drive back the invaders. Once again peace had been achieved, but for Iblis the victory was somewhat hollow. The war had left deep rifts among the species of the galaxy, whole scale power changes had occurred, many systems liberated by the Empire returned to it. More sectors had suffered irreversible damage, 365 trillion beings had perished and the Jedi themselves were fractured. It was not too long before his home world, the Imperial Remnant and many of his comrades found themselves on opposite sides of the second galactic civil war. Bel Iblis once again did what he felt was right and rode this conflict out as he had many of the others, stubbornly and fiercely.
Faced with peace once again and now very advanced in age, Bel Iblis could have retired but with nothing outside the military and very little in the military, Bel Iblis, Senator to a dissolved Senate, Corellian denied his home world, Father to murdered children, husband to a murdered wife, General to an eternally reforming military, he stubbornly marches on, devoted to duty and honor, for they are all he has left. As great as Bel Iblis reputation grew, he never was a supreme commander and was often shunted into lesser roles due to inter service rivalry and Mothma loyalists. He never remarried or even dated again, one can only imagine the true depth of the loss he felt, but his ship’s name was perhaps the best giveaway- Peregrine- from the Corellian legend of a man who wandered forever, unable to ever find his way home. It’s the mythical equivalent of Bel Iblis himself, a man who has sacrificed everything for how home-Corellia and the Republic-but can never return home to either in truth. Bel Iblis is proud and stubborn, because his pride in his service is his coping with the loss he constantly suppresses, his stubborn devotion to duty is his only home left to this Hero-who sacrificed everything else for his ideals.