Minder Shane Lawrence (he/him)
They never do think / (Their first mistake.)His true strength, however, lies in his tactical and people skills. He surrounds himself with competence, finding ways to best utilize the strengths of others. His personal attention to the needs of the members of the Mordena without any expectations in return has also earned him their unwavering devotion. He is therefore able to call upon the skills of others to augment his own expertise whenever necessary.
They don't understand / (A big mistake.)
Wherever he goes / (Into the Void?)
There too we stand. / (The Afterlife!)
Defy if you must but know that we march
United and one with the Grand Navarch
Bastard of Baden
He's a bastard, but he's our Bastard.After his efforts during the Battle for Baden he retained his janitorial position, assisting with cleanup and leading the efforts to found the Mordena in his remaining time. There was a noticeable change in him upon his return from assaulting the attacking armada. Whereas before he had been quiet and brooding, attempting to hide from the troubles of the universe, he emerged focused and driven to confront those challenges head on. The quiet, introverted janitor eventually developed an outgoing exterior and a reputation as one of the most frightening and powerful individuals in the universe, first as the Bastard of Baden but eventually under the title Grand Navarch of the Mordena. His intense and aggressive personality earned him the unquestioning devotion of the Mordena mercenaries, and many political experts from across Vazdimet speculated he was destined to personally challenge their own governments.
Death at GarnellBut all things must come to an end. Shane's meteoric rise in power ended at The Evacuation of Garnell when he sacrificed his own life to save the lives of everyone else on the research station. His son took up the mantle of Grand Navarch, and the reign of the merciless founder of the Mordena came to a close.
MORTACAnd yet endings always lead to new beginnings, particularly for a powerful necromancer. While suffering from cosmic burnout and therefore completely devoid of his own magic, Shane's soul lives on as the Minder within the Mordena's MORTAC supercomputer. Death has not dulled his influence as he continues to hold the same authority and respect he enjoyed in his mortal life.
Morality & Philosophy
Left to my own devices I'd cause more problems than I fixed. Cause more people like me. I may not be good, but I am pragmatic.He is aware of his failings in this regard, and the potential problems which may arise due to his overzealous actions. The Mordena quickly learned to never leave him unsupervised, forming The Inner Bastion, an informal order of trusted Mordena willing to help counter Shane's worst tendencies. Shane welcomed the oversight, surrounding himself with those unafraid to speak up to him with logical arguments to counteract his more brutal inclinations.
Blind loyalty never did anyone any favors. If I wanted someone who did everything I demanded without question... At that point I might as well do it all myself. It would be closer to what I wanted in the first place. And it would be a bad idea.
Likes & Dislikes
It takes very little to break a person. People like to know what's going to happen. But give them uncertainty and they expect the worst, custom tailored to their own nightmares. Between my reputation and their imagination, I have everything I need.Shane understands the power of appearances and will do whatever necessary to ensure his appearance will work in his favor. While alive he remained physically fit, more than required for an effective mage. Within MORTAC his default preset holographic projection portrays him at peak physical condition.
Contacts & Relations
You value your family above everything else, Asul. Same as me. I'm offering to let your family join my family.The Mordena mercenary organization is Shane's legacy to his son, his extended family, his hope for redemption, his personal responsibility, and the universe's last chance of peace. Shane pours his whole self into everything he does, and nothing personifies this more than his relationship with each individual member of the Mordena.
He leads by example, and so we'll follow him anywhere.He has very little he considers his, instead pouring everything he has into his son, Jake, and the Mordena. He even transferred his original home on Baden to the mercenary organization, converting it into the Mordena Embassy of Baden until its targeted destruction by the Space Defense Legion.
Freehold PlanetsShane has built political and strategic alliances with the leadership of many planets of The Freeholds, both personally and as a representative of the Mordena, before eventually delegating that role to his then-teenage son Jake. His role in the Battle for Baden, a Freehold planet on the borders of Sparnelli space, secured him the recognition required to found the Mordena.
Vardan TradersHe holds close ties with the Ferrik Clan of the Vardan, having personally trained the Cosmically Attuned Kris Ferrick the closely guarded Hyperjump spell in exchange for a trade agreement.
Sparnell ConfederationShane's relationship with the Sparnell Confederation can be described as adversarial at best, and antagonistic at worst. This opinion is clearly personal, although he entrusts very few with even hints as to its origin. His opinions on the Sparnelli people themselves vary more widely and largely depend upon how much or how little they support the Sparnell Armed Forces.
Leadership? The SAF wouldn't recognize leadership if it bit them in the ass. Their chain of command is based on simple physics: hot air rises.
Space Defense LegionThe Space Defense Legion enjoys a relatively neutral stance from Shane and hence the Mordena. While he has turned and recruited many from strategic positions throughout the SDL, most notably the engines expert Daoff Asul, the Mordena founder has always been cautious to remain covert in his dealings which might anger the Legion. Publicly he has even spoken highly of them on occasion, largely allowing the faction to dictate the state of their relations with the mercenaries, adjusting the Mordena's actions to match.
Hydell OrderShane's training as a necromancer has placed him at odds with the Hydell Order, who believe only their own sacred dead have the right to resurrection. While he does not set forth to intentionally antagonize them Shane will not hesitate to stand against them or their aims should the need arise. His thoughts are even less delicate in private.
Fanatical idiotic zealots, the whole lot of them.
The Universe doesn't need to love me. They don't want to. They choose fear, and hatred. And the Mordena... They already know who I am. They already understand. They don't need anything else. So why would I take the credit for others' accomplishments? Let them shine their starlight and save the Universe, while I take all the hatred and personally direct it at me. I probably did something to deserve it anyway.Surprisingly Shane is rather generous with those he considers under his protection. He genuinely celebrates their victories and is always quick to give credit for successes to others, even undermining his own contributions in the process. It is his belief that celebration of those within his sphere of responsibility is reward enough for his efforts.
The words you hear don't always align with the truths he speaks.
Why tell a lie when the truth holds more power?
You have something I want. I'm going to find out what it is.
Want to Read More?Shane Lawrence's rise from humble janitor to the founder of the Mordena mercenaries begins with In Spite of the Inevitable, a 75k word novel exclusive to my Patreon subscribers! (First three chapters are free!)
"We have to go. Now. It was a diversion. SAF lured all Baden's defenses into the open." Shane was pacing, his normally impassive face a conflict of emotions. "There's a whole armada up there now. We don't have much time."
Razick's stomach sank. If the janitor's words were true, Baden had no chance at remaining independent. The shelter vault had its own defenses but these were largely nonviolent measures and eventually they, too, would be breached. If the Confederation didn't starve them out first.
Razick watched as Jake's face hardened. "I don't want to run anymore, Dad. I finally have a chance at something good here. Better classes, actual friends, no more bullies..." His eyes turned pleading. "I know you can fix this. Please don't make me start all over again."
Shane stopped pacing, looking at his son as if seeing him for the first time. "A whole armada, Jake."
"I want to stay."
To Razick's surprise, after studying his son for a moment Shane sank to the floor in thought, still seemingly oblivious to her presence. "Okay."
The Names and Titles of Shane Lawrence
Grand NavarchHis formal title within the Mordena while he was alive, this rank has since been passed to his son Jake. Most references naming Shane as the Grand Navarch are therefore historical in nature, although some Intelligence briefings maintained by the other factions also continue to use the title.
MinderShane's current title, Minder refers to his role as the head of the Minds within the MORTAC hivemind supercomputer.
The Bastard of BadenEarned prior to the official founding of the Mordena, this nickname references his surprising victory against overwhelming odds at the Battle for Baden. Merely a middle school janitor at the time, his efforts fighting Admiral Kydell's armada succeeded where the entire Baden Defense Force could not.
GrimA nickname earned at some point in his past, the list of those who dare to call him Grim today remains short. His son Jake is the only one to use the name outside of private conversation, and only as a warning when his father is at his most brutal. The name is assumed to be a reference to his imposing countenance, or a reference to the dire fortunes of those who dare cross him.
The JanitorOriginally a derisive commentary on his day job, The Janitor became a respectful reference to Shane's abilities to resolve and clean up any situation thrown his way.
OathbreakerFar from an insult against Shane's commitment to speaking only truths, Oathbreaker refers to his unprecedented ability to break a Soul Oath, severing the Oath's binding tether from the soul of its target. After passing the secrets of this ability to other necromancers within the Mordena this title was also passed to the knife used to perform the procedure.
TergeraelMorjakk for "The Repentant One," Shane earned this title from Janikk herself during his efforts to negotiate an agreement allowing the Mordena to claim the planet as their own.
Jake Cartwright Lawrence
Beloved son of Shane Lawrence, founder of the Mordena, Jake built his own impressive reputation as a talented Shielding Mage with an uncanny ability of blending the strengths of magic and technology with remarkable results.
An expensive and ferocious band of mercenaries, the Mordena have earned equal parts respect and fear throughout Vazdimet. Few outsiders understand their true motives.
A HiveMind Supercomputer containing the willing souls of Mordena's most tactical thinking former members, MORTAC provides the Mordena an edge in all strategic matters involving politics or military might.
Grand Navarch is the title held by the leader of the Mordena.
Blood and Water, Chapter 1
A father sets out to strike an impossible bargain in the hope of saving his family.