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Game ⚜️ Knights of the Eternal Empire: The True Sith Trials ⚜️

Grievance Vexx

Dark Lord Krigsbefallaf
Staff member
Moderator
Dark Council
GM APPROVED

Theme/Inspiration Source:

Name/Title: Darth/Lord Grievance Vexx

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Nicknames/Aliases: Karolus Rexx Sheelal (birth name), Krigsbefallaf (Kaleesh title that refers to his past role as a war commander)

Age: 38 Standard Years

Sex: Male

Species: Kaleesh (cyborg)

Orientation (optional): Straight

Homeworld: Kalee

Occupation: Krigsbefallaf of House Cruor

Height: 2.16 Meters

Weight: 159 Kilograms

Physical Description: Intense golden reptilian eyes are his only feature that distinguish him as a sentient being. Cybernetics make up the rest of his body other than his vital organs encased in synthetic skin in his chest/abdominal cavity, protected by durasteel and ceramiplast armor. Physically, he is a replica of General Grievous and his backstory reveals the reason for the heavy resemblance. The only thing that distinguishes him from the late cyborg general would be the Sith tattoos that blacken portions of his armor. These are etchings infused with life through Sith alchemy and they glow, pulse, and change color (mostly fluctuating between crimson and ebony) in accordance with different emotional states Vexx finds himself in. His alchemized cybernetic body is also fully capable of physical feeling, which denies him invincibility as he experiences pain on the same level as if he were composed entirely of flesh and blood. Likewise, his stamina is unenhanced by request at the time of his original engineering because he wanted only to be fueled and driven by his own desire and skill as a warrior.

Clothing: Cortisis-weave cloak of General Grievous bearing the Sheelal insignia; also wears a shield-shaped pendant around his neck bearing the same insignia.

Weapons: Five custom lightsabers: White Death, Cold Blood, Bleeding Bone, and The Reprisals (set of two, each featuring two blades), flamethrower built into right arm

Equipment: Alchemized armor (enables a sense of feeling as though he were made of flesh and blood, but it is resistant to blaster bolts and minor lightsaber damage i.e. glancing blows, though pain is still felt), Medallion of Kaan (implanted in Vexx’s skull, grants invincibility to whatever it is attached to)

Vehicles: Belbussa 41 Starfighter,
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Pets (if applicable): Grog (Roggwart), Sputnik (common jumping spider)

Languages: Kaleesh, Basic

Combat Skills (brief summary, including non-Force-based skills not reflected in Abilities section): Mastery in Makashi, Soresu, and Jar’Kai lightsaber forms; well-versed in the art of war and its application to both large- and small-scale combat. He knows how to execute all basic Force-based combat moves (push, pull, wave, etc.), but seldom uses them.

Other Strengths (brief summary, including non-Force-based strengths not reflected in Abilities section): Strategizing skill applicable to ground combat; capable motivator for camaraderie and cooperation among ranks in war settings. Accomplished teacher and trainer in an informal sense.

Flaws (brief summary, including non-Force-based weaknesses not reflected in Abilities section): Stubbornness; he has a strong moral compass that can also count as a flaw. He also trusts his own instincts and skill far more than he is willing to lean on or trust the Force.

Alignment (Lawful/Neutral/Chaotic, Good/Neutral/Evil): Lawful/Good

Personality: Vexx is predominately standoffish with a tendency to be moody. He is dark and brooding and relatively quiet, but when he does speak, it is often to say something worthwhile. He does appear to enjoy a good verbal exchange of insults while dueling, but when in true combat with the intent to kill, he is all business. He is usually calm and calculating, but is also ill-tempered and can be provoked to rage, though it often takes an extensive attempt to get him there. He is honor-bound and refuses to compromise the ancient teachings of his culture, which is the force behind his extremely broad stubborn streak. He is not fond of the cutthroat ways of the Sith, but he understands and will abide by them so long as his honor is not besmirched. He has greater appreciation for the honest way of the Dark Side rather than the deception and denial of the opposite that dictates the actions of the Jedi.

Fears: A life and death lacking honor; dying in captivity.

Likes: Dueling, strategizing, having a mission, being recognized and acknowledged as a living being.

Dislikes: The Force (though not as vehemently as he did in the past); being mistaken for a droid; his existence as a cyborg; most procedures that are necessary to keep him alive (i.e. the care and feeding of a cyborg) as he sees them as an attack to his independence and dignity.

Habits: Paces when anxious or in deep thought. This tends to serve as a self-soothing quirk. Growls for a number of reasons including, but not limited to: irritation, displeasure, anger, pain, frustration, loss of patience, fatigue, hunger, etc. Is also prone to temper tantrums, but these are rare unless his emotions are stressed beyond his tolerance. He also is plagued by tinnitus when the Force is in use by any nearby character, though he has taught himself not to be terribly distracted by this most of the time.

Relationships/Love Interests (if applicable): None

Companions (optional; may include brief summaries of Companion characters, links to full Character Sheets posted in the Campaign Guide, or both): Medical Droid EV-A4-D, assigned as permanent caretaker, doctor, and repair specialist. He was the medical droid of General Grievous (appearing only once in Clone Wars episode “Lair of Grievous”). He was originally destroyed by Jedi Master Kitt Fisto, but was repaired and reactivated on the command of the Sith who transformed Vexx into a cyborg for the sole purpose of repairing/doctoring Vexx as needed.

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Friendships (if applicable): Reiis Invadator

Masters (if applicable): Lord Draconis

Apprentices (if applicable): Sharkish’ki of House Cruor

Reputation: Feared for his brute strength and overwhelming abilities in melee combat; an accomplished duelist also rumored to have lethal Force abilities, but these remain rumors as his reliance on the Force is minimal by choice.

Biography: Grievance Vexx, originally known as Karolus Rexx Sheelal, was born to Qymaen Jai Sheelal and Ronderu Iij Kummar during the time when the Kaleesh were at war with the Yam’rii (Huk War). Fearing the soulless bugs would capture their son and make a slave of him, Ronderu placed him under the care of her own mother while she returned to fight alongside Qymaen. The two made visits by night as often as they could, but Ronderu was killed while the Kaleesh child was still very young, leaving behind Karolus, who had witnessed her murder. Qymaen, changing his name to Grievous, vowed to protect his only living memory of the sword-fighter he had loved and lost to a savage and cruel war. He moved Karolus and his grandmother to a safer location in the catacombs of Kalee, then returned to war to avenge Ronderu. He returned secretly many times to bond with his son, teaching him the ancient ways of the Kaleesh. However, when Grievous was shot down and enslaved by Count Dooku and San Hill, he was made to forget his past life and all of his family, including his firstborn son. The Kaleesh were led to believe that their legendary war hero was dead and Karolus was captured by the Huk at age seven and forced into slavery, but the young Kaleesh was not convinced that his father was dead and, after a near-deadly escape from his Huk masters, he spent the following eleven years tracking the cyborg that had arisen as a great Separatist terror to the galaxy under the name General Grievous. If the cyborg was his father, he wanted to be reunited; if the cyborg was an imposter who had stolen such a famous name, the young Kaleesh wanted vengeance for the offense.

Unfortunately, Karolus never was reunited with his father, but he learned that the fearsome cyborg was indeed the one and only Kaleesh warrior who had called himself Grievous. After learning of the General's gruesome death at the hands of Obi-Wan Kenobi, a fierce hatred for the Jedi began to grow inside Karolus and he was determined to recover what was left of the cyborg who had wrought havoc on the galaxy all those years; bring him home to Kalee to rest in peace. However, Grievous' remains changed hands a few times and were eventually resurrected as the droid N-K Necrosis, whom Karolus hunted relentlessly until the droid was destroyed by someone else. Seeing his chance to claim what was left of his father, Karolus moved in to do so, but was confronted by a powerful Sith Lord, Darth Kancerus, who could sense the Force in him and told him that the only way he could claim the remains of Grievous would be if he would surrender to the Sith Empire. Of course, to the Kaleesh, surrender is not an option and so a fight ensued in which the Kancerus overpowered Karolus and subdued him, then proceeded to torture him to try and break him. Karolus remained in stubborn refusal--until Kancerus threatened to destroy the cybernetic remains of Grievous and melt them down. Only then did the stubborn Kaleesh surrender. He never knew just what he was surrendering to until, after months of his physical mass being slowly burned away by white phosphorus, he awakened encased in the cybernetic body of his father; a living, breathing (and sometimes coughing) replica of the fearsome cyborg who had opposed the Jedi. Upon surrender, he inherited all of his father's belongings by default with the exception of his Starfighter, the Soulless One. His prolonged time of unconsciousness had been induced by a drug injected into his neck by Kancerus the moment he had surrendered and had been repeatedly administered each time he had awakened and found the wherewithal to try to fight back.

Much therapy was required upon his awakening and his stubborn will defied his captor, wishing to be returned to Kalee to die and thus give his father a proper resting place. Too tempted to kill his creation to deal with him any longer, Kancerus found and reactivated Grievous's reconstructed medical droid, EV-A4-D, and left it to him to motivate Karolus to accept his fate. The droid, having worked closely with Karolus's father, was able to convince the young Kaleesh to rise and take up Grievous's torch and pick up where the cyborg general had left off. EV-A4-D is ultimately credited with having saved Vexx’s life and worked him through learning how to use his cybernetic body.

Once back on his feet, Vexx was used as a pawn to incite animosity between apprentices in the Sith Empire he had surrendered to. During this time, he was subdued by a Sith Lord who would later become his master and teacher: Lord Draconis. Vexx’s breaking was brutal; cruel, but necessary to awaken the power within him and level his resistance. Draconis’s training regimen was custom-tailored to further break down Vexx’s resistance. It was intense and Draconis saw fit to push his apprentice without reserve, for he knew the potential Vexx had and did not want to see him fall short. Vexx’s hatred for Draconis had been very real and intense, but it later became a deep and profound sense of respect and gratitude. Upon the completion of Vexx’s final trial to become a Sith Lord, Draconis decided that his apprentice had earned the right to a new name—one that would distinguish him as a warrior to be feared throughout the galaxy and so Grievance Vexx was given a Sith name derived from his native tongue: Krigsbefallaf, which roughly translated means “war commander”; a title which Draconis sincerely felt his apprentice had proved himself to be.

At around the same time that he encountered Draconis, Vexx encountered another warrior apprentice, one Reiis Invadator, who had challenged him to a duel with the intent to humiliate and kill the beast who looked like a droid. Their fight was intense and relentless, but it led to the death of neither. Instead, it ended with mutual respect earned that later fostered an unbreakable camaraderie that, though it came under attack several times by members of the Empire, still exists to this day. There were times when Vexx and Invadator were pitted against one another with the expectation that one would die by the other’s hand. They came close, but they refused to commit such heinous treason against one another, even if it meant exile or death. Reiis Invadator eventually disappeared of her own accord, leaving a very confused and concerned Kaleesh cyborg behind to continue on his journey to higher ranks within the Sith hierarchy. Vexx never forgot his comrade however and a strange twist of fate reunited them in a place beyond the reaches of the Sith Empire. Invadator committed herself to aid Vexx in returning to his home world of Kalee, where Kancerus resurfaced with the intent to reclaim control of his creation and enslave the inhabitants of the Kaleesh native planet. Together, Vexx and Invadator managed to stop and eventually slay the Sith Lord who had tormented Vexx for the greater part of his life. Reiis Invadator is credited for having performed the Sith alchemy that gave Vexx the ability to experience true feeling and sensation in his cybernetics as well as the etchings that pulse in rhythm with his emotions.

Due to his ironclad honor code and profound sense of loyalty, Vexx holds both Draconis and Invadator in the highest regard and will not fail to come to their aid should either of them ever need a four-armed Force-wielding menace to work alongside them in any given mission.

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STR (Strength): +18
FPR (Force Power): +18
DEX (Dexterity): +18
INT (Intellect): +18
CON (Constitution): +10
MAN (Manipulation): +5
PER (Perception): +10
DES (Destiny): +5

Rank/Level (e.g. Level 40 Dark Lord of the Sith) Level 35 Sith Lord
Base Class: Warrior
Subclass (if applicable): Sith Saber

Skills (game mechanics only; listing all chosen Skills and Skill Points therein):
Shii-cho (+1)
Makashi (+4)
Jar’Kai (+2)
Soresu (+2)
Niman (+2)
Vapaad (+2)
Mounted Lightsaber Combat (+2)
Saber Barrier (+4)
Augmentation (+4)
Shadow Armor (+2)
Force Spark (+1)
Force Lightning (+1)
Lightning Empowerment (+2)
Tutaminis (+2)
Telepathy (+4)
Battlemind (+4)
Force Bond (+2)
Force Resistance (+1)
Stance Discipline (+4)
Precognition (+2)
Fighting Sight (+4)
Force Sever (+4)
Telekinesis (+4)
Force Transfer (+4)
Force Meld (+4)
Mental Shield (+2)
Force Choke (+2)
Sense Force (+4)
Battle Meditation (+4)
Force Barrier (+4)
Force Ghost (+10)
Crucitorn (+2)
Darkshear (+2)
Deadly Sight (+2)
 
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Darth Xxys

Active member
Moderator
Dark Council
Immortalis
Xxyscode2.jpg
*GM approved*
DARTH XXYS
Aliases: The Left Hand of Fate
Age: apox. 170+
Sex: male
Species: appears human
Homeworld: unknown
Occupation: assassin/bounty hunter
Height: 1.82m
Weight: 78kg
Physical Description: Dark eyes that glow red/yellow when in battle.
Right arm appears armored.
Black outfit with hood, gloves, and cloak.
Respirator for protection in battle.
Beard is split in the middle with no mustache.
Bald.
Average height and build.

Clothing: Favors a weathered flight suit and worn cloak so as to not stick out in a crowd. Boots and gloves are likewise worn giving him an over all rumpled appearance.


Weapons: Single phase lightsaber.
Shoto length Lightsaber.
Modified blaster that looks like a lightsaber hilt.
Small blaster pistol.
Bantha hide whip.
Boot dagger.
Garot wire.
Blow gun.
Sniper rifle.
Equipment: grapple gun with 100m durawire line and grapple.
Vehicles: MANDATOR CLASS DREADNOUGHT
"BLOODREIGN" *see ship specs*
Languages: Basic, Hutteese, High Sith (formal dialect only)
Combat Skills: Xxys is a highly trained professional soldier and assassin. Fully proficient with a Lightsaber as well as steel blades, hand to hand combat and the use of: blades, saps, whips, garot wire, poisons. Spent decades honing his awareness and connection to the Force through meditation and his connection to Seven Sith Witches as well as his bond to the demon spirit.
Other Strengths: Very patient. Absolutely ruthless.
Flaws:
Alignment: Lawful/Evil
Personality:Extremely reserved but has a quick wit.
Fears: an underlying fear of a massive power beyond his comprehension.
Likes: Precision and quality
Dislikes: Inefficiency
Habits: stoic and reserved. Has money but not a lavish lifestyle.
Relationships/Love Interests: was married and had a child. Both were killed by a rival. Tends to not make lasting relationships outside of business dealings or momentary alliances to achieve a goal.
Companions: None
Friendships: Xxys has only himself as he has outlived most of his companions.
Masters: Lord Vader, Darth Helenith. Lord Curor
Apprentices: Amaya Masslat
Reputation: known to get the job done no matter the target but is notoriously difficult to find.

Biography: Born approx. 8 years before the completion of DS1. Stolen from an unknown planet at approx. 8 years old. Home planet was a Force rich world and produced abnormally high amounts of Force sensitive children. It was destroyed by the Empire shortly after Xxys was born and he does not remember the name.
Sold to Imperial task masters by an unscrupulous teacher, he was shipped to a mercenary training planet in the outer rim. He is schooled in the use of small arms, small craft, and hand to hand combat. Training is brutal, and ruthless; designed to strip away the “human” factor and make soldiers of unwavering commitment and loyalty. He was most specially drawn to the sword and fencing adopting an electric/vibro sword as his sidearm. At year 12 he began having dreams he could not understand; however he was aware that he was being summoned. Began to feel the Force manifest itself strongly but also drawing him towards the “easy path” of the Dark Side. Using the Force to read the minds of his instructors he cheats on tests. Also finding he has augmented strength and the ability to move objects by focusing his mind he starts to research the Force. Finds rumors of Sith and begins to research Sith and Jedi legends. Discovered that the Force can be used to help with combat by “anticipating” his opponents moves and making him faster. He keeps the scope of his Force abilities secret from his instructors. The dreams are constant but somehow comforting and always summoning.
At age 17 he kills a fellow student in an argument using the Force to choke him to death. Lord Vader is there inspecting the training grounds and witnesses Xxys killing the student. Lord Vader sees how ruthless he is and senses that Xxys is extremely strong with the Force; and touched heavily by the Dark Side. Reading his untrained mind, Lord Vader discovers Xxys' tie to an ancient Sith order, and wanting to exploit this connection to further his own power, Lord Vader takes him as a secret apprentice. Through meditation with Lord Vaders guidance, he uncovers that he is part of an ancient Sith prophecy; but not it’s ultimate goal. Training is almost complete at time of Endor and DS2. Armed only with his vibro sword, and a blaster pistol Xxys was helping hunt down and defeat the Rebel forces on the planet surface but was forced to flee (barely escaping the blast that struck the far side of Endor) when DS2 was destroyed. Guided by the Dark Side Xxys takes a Y-Wing fighter into the Death Star's debris field. Using the Force he is able to stand exposed to the vacuum of space and locate the Lightsaber of his former master lost in his duel with Skywalker. The Saber is heavily damaged. Exploring the larger fragments of DS2 he finds Lord Vaders personal X-1 Tie fighter. It is equipped with an experimental limited-hyper drive allowing for quick jumps during combat. also discovers a damaged but functional cargo vessel with a hold large enough to hold the X-1 and some extra cargo.

Guided by the Sith Witches and the Dark Side, Xxys traveled to Dagobah where he is drawn to a pit strong with the Dark Side. There he meets the “ghost” of his fallen Master. (This manifestation is not the actual ghost of Darth Vader. The Witches used Xxys' own memories to show him his fallen Master to facilitate better obedience to their will. It is also possible, if not highly probable, that part of the ancient Sith plan Lord Vader had sensed in Xxys all those years ago was in fact the proficies the Witches had spoken of later) The "ghost" tells him he must kill a Jedi and take his saber in combat as he had done. That he must Bleed the the Kyber crystal. The ghost tells him to listen to the Dark Side and to go where it leads and an image of a temple flashes in his minds eye.

Xxys travels to gather information on the Sith temple and meets a young Jedi in hiding on a rouge space station. Sensing the Dark Side in Xxys they square off in a deserted hanger. In the ensuing fight Xxys uses Lord Vaders damaged saber to hold off the Jedi after he destroys his vibroblade sword. The saber finally succumbs to the damage it sustained in the destruction of DS2. Sensing the immense energy building in the fractured crystal Xxys attempted to hurl the sword at the Jedi but was too late.
The blast of the crystal vaporizes Xxys hand and upper arm nearly to the shoulder. Shrapnel of the hilt and crystal damage the right side of his body but left him alive and enraged at the loss of the Saber. The blast had also blinded and stunned the Jedi and Xxys uses the Force to steal the Jedi's saber, killing him with his own blade.

The blast had cauterized the wounds and using the Force to suppress his pain he escapes the space station. Using his connections with the Guild (and a prodigious sum of money) Xxys was able the secure the help of a brilliant cybernetic surgeon and Alchemist, then had a custom arm designed and constructed. *see arm stats*

Guided by the Witches they traveled to an ancient Sith temple lost on a planet that had been knocked out of its original orbit when it was stuck by a rouge moon and now was only known to Xxys. A surgical theater was constructed in a cathedral at the heart of the Sith Temple. Seven statues surrounding a shallow round pool at the center, each depicting one of the Witches that had been so long in his life, in a pose of some archaic dance.
In a surgery that lasted nearly twenty hours, and left Xxys barely clinging to life, the arm was attached to his spine and ribs. His nearly lifeless body was then placed into the pool that had been filled with the chemicals of the Alchemist arts and would bind the metal arm to the flesh and bones. His own life energy would supply the mechanism with power. In a ritual that had not been seen in nearly a millenia and spanned three days and nights Xxys' soul was bound to a Demon in exchange for the power needed to complete the ritual and bind metal to flesh.

Using the shattered fragments of his fallen Maters saber, and the inner workings of the slain Jedi’s saber, most importantly of which is the Kyber crystal that powers the weapon, he constructs his own. Searching the depths of the temple he finds an ancient rite to bleed the crystal in his newly constructed saber he named "Rage". Pouring all of his hate, fear, and anger into the ritual he twists the living stone to his will. The resulting crimson crystal gives his blade the color of fresh blood. He completes this rite on the Alter of the lost temple and dedicates himself to the Sith Order.
Spending the next two years bathing in a healing bath infused with Sith Alchemy, Xxys continued to retrain his body to overcome his injuries and to adjust to his new cybernetic appendage developing his own hybrid fighting style as well as learning all he could of Sith magics and further deepening his connection to the Dark side of the Force.
For nearly another century he immersed himself in finding an answer to the prophecies the Sith Witches, and training his senses, and physical condition to their peak. At their behest he sought out the now flourishing Eternal Sith Empire and the emperor "Dreadwar."
Xxys found himself quickly involved in a mission under the guidance of one "Darth Helenith" of the Empire and later was taken as her own apprentice. She betrayed the Empire, and fled to the unknown regions with a few others after a coup to unseat the Emperor failed. Xxys remained loyal to the throne and stayed within the Empire.

He was then taken as the apprentice of Lord Curor and after a few short months he was recommended to compete in a Kaggath to ascend to the ranks of the Dark Council. He was again destroyed by powers and beings immensely powerful in the Dark Side and again reborn, this time as an instrument of Emperor Dreadwar's will.
The Witches feared (and adored) Emperor Dreadwar but they knew he was the best, and indeed pehaps only, chance to stand against the dire proficies they had shown to Xxys.

STR (Strength): 10
FPR (Force Power): 15
DEX (Dexterity):17 +1
INT (Intellect): 16
CON (Constitution): 10
MAN (Manipulation): 10
PER (Perception): 12 +1
DES (Destiny): 12


Rank/Level 37
Base Class: Assassin
Subclass: Sith Brawler
Prestige Class: Sith Shadow Mage


Skills:
Saber Forms.
Form I - Shii-Cho: 4
Form II - Makashi: 4
Jar'Kai: 4
Tràkata: 4
Saber Throw: 4
Saber Barrier: 4
Telekinetic Lightsaber Combat: 4

Force Sense: 3

Telekinesis: 4

Telepathy: 4
- Mind Trick: 4

Force Shock: 2
- Force Lightning: 4

Force Resistance: 3

Concentration: 3
Feed on Dark Side: 3
Force Sustenance: 3
Inflict Pain: 3
Force Reflex: 4
Conceal Essence: 4
Force Stealth: 4
Ballistakinesis: 3
Force Bellow 3
Force Cloak: 4
Dim Other’s Senses: 3
Shadowstrike: 4

GODLIKE Dark Side Tendrils: 10
GODLIKE Flow walking: 10

Force Scream: 3
Phase: 4

Waves of Darkness: 3 (Shadow Mage)
Spell of Concealment: 3 (Shadow Mage)Xxyscode2.jpg
 

Darth Dreadwar

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Immortalis

IC: Darth Apollyon
Arriving at the Sith Temple, Korriban


Korriban, planet of lost souls.

Its face was desiccation, a ragged ruin of rictus-grinning mountains arrayed like a crooked crown of teeth around an expanse of endless desolation, the bowels beneath the thousand parched throats of its ten thousand tomb valleys a honeycomb of ossuary-crypts defiled by grave robbers and desecration. Its skin was the cracked and bleeding crags of toil and torment, a decrepit desert stretched like the whisper-thin rags of dust-laden mummies over ancient caverns croaking with the loathsome liturgies of the dead. Its bones were the weathered obelisks and withered fingers of restless rock that sprouted from the dunes like ribs from a shattered chest, and its fevered spittle, foamed with thirst and thinner than a mirage, were the scant ripples of the Sacred Sea that lapped in desperation at the mouth of the Valley of the Dark Lords.

Korriban was the cancerous sun of Horuset, the cankerous heat of equatorial Golg, the cantankerous cold of northerly Dreshdae. Korriban was conflict and contradiction, strife and dumb anguish, but upon the moribund aridity of dehydrated death, all its climes agreed, by the light of Horuset and the night of seven ghostly moons. And where night and day met, ten miles west of the Valley of the Dark Lords and five miles south of that most ancient city of Dreshdae, a modified Sigma-class long-range shuttle, shadowed by the Gladiator-class Star Destroyer whence it had disembarked, streaked across the setting sun as a silhouetted sliver of black, swooping low over monuments of crumbling corrosion like a shyrack on the hunt.

Its name was the Corbos' Bane.

Its pilot was the Empress of the Sith.

Former Empress, Apollyon corrected herself, caramel hands delicately guiding the control yoke, onyx eyes flitting from her careful course between gargantuan colossi of long-lost lords to linger upon the regal crimson dress reflected in the viewport. A vacant throne had birthed many strange claims, and to one who had dedicated herself with the most fanatical zeal to its former occupant, there were fewer claims stranger than the one she had staked in the most desperate hour of the Sith Civil War. The throne required protection, she had argued then. A steward to serve as stalwart guardian against a horde of greedy pretenders scrabbling like common rabble for her master's seat of power. It had hardly dissuaded any of them. The Sith Empire, once unified under the iron rule of Darth Dreadwar the Magnificent, was a fractured fray of factions cloying for power. The New Sith Order, once arrayed in proud apparel, was a spectacular display of disarray and disorder.

But all that was about to change. It was not for herself that she had staked her claim. It was for the good of the Sith. It was for the master she refused to believe had died in the celestial abyss beyond Atale. And in clandestine meetings of whispering holograms, Apollyon had agreed to strike her banners and relinquish her claim in favour of one with greater adjacency to the lost Emperor than servitude as honoured apprentice. A ring upon a finger, Apollyon ruminated, weighed heavier than any Hand. It was for the good of the Sith that she had resolved to step aside, for only in stepping aside would the gridlock of competing claimants be resolved; her master's teachings of game theory had often surpassed her comprehension, but she had understood his lessons in how to break equilibria of endless defection. Before the Empire crumbled into ruin like the mausoleums of the Valley past which she swept, the Sith must unite.

Whether the other claimants would see things that way remained to be seen. She somehow doubted this feast, held annually since that founding gathering of great Lord Vassago, would be as peaceable as the last. Would the pretender of Thule follow her example, or would her announcement invite her assassination? Would the Dragon Lord agree to her proposal, or would his fire rise to match hers? Would her statecraft be as believable as her stagecraft, or would her secret schemes be exposed? A dozen claimants to the throne, a thousand Sith, ten thousand possibilities for things to go terribly wrong.

There it was, ahead.

Sprouting from the mountainside beyond the Wight Wastes, rising above dust-choked mounds of long-collapsed pyramids that stood like obscene tombstones in endless rows, a sprawling ruin of palatial halls groaning in millennia-long torture under tons of towering Sith architecture, slowly revealed in the reluctant light. A primeval temple, older still than the pyramidal academy at the head of the Valley that now served as the resting place of Darth Bane, as old as the crypt of XoXaan upon which it had been built, as crooked as the backs of the long-dead slaves that had raised it in service to a dread tyrant of yore. The Temple of the New Sith Order.

The escort flight of TIE Predators broke off, and Apollyon turned the yoke to follow, bringing the shuttle lower still as it passed over a dismal plain of sun-scorched sand dunes and wind-cut badlands, its shadow growing large over a veritable army of bleached bones, billows of dust and grit rising in its passage like the ethereal spirits of a thousand disturbed dead. She squinted against the light as the glare of setting Horuset, red and angry like the eye of an ancient god, bathed the cockpit in an arterial glow, bringing the shuttle past the titanic silhouettes of six hooded statues of the former Emperor, following their stretching shadows that reached for the Temple like long grasping fingers of oozing black.

In the infernal saturation of infrared light, a legion of Sith Stormtroopers awaited her, rows of black pillars in the dusty murk. The wings of the Corbos' Bane folded, a vulture coming to land upon a crusted surface of carrion, and the hooded Lord Vua, standing in shadow behind the pilot's chair with a white-knuckled hand upon its backrest, broke his silence as the shuttle settled on its landing gear. “Skillfully handled, my lady,” the Yuuzhan Vong flattered with the skill he had accrued from a century of Sith practice, neglecting to mention his having nearly lost his balance in Apollyon's abrupt turns. “The infidels await us.”

Turning away from the fogging viewport as the shuttle released spurts of steam, Apollyon rose, signalling Vua to follow, and within minutes, the heat of the setting sun warmed her face as she made her way down the boarding ramp, the legionaries snapping to attention in crisp salute. She made her way past columns of armour and columns of stone, past waving banners of crimson and black and the trumpeters that heralded her arrival, into the megalithic archway of the Temple's entrance, beneath a vaulted ceiling of dizzying height into a great hall of giant stained-glass windows and wafting brazier smoke.

The banquet had been prepared exactly according to her specifications.

Long tables stretched from the entrance to the similarly grandiose exit to the upper level stairway opposite, smaller exits on the right side leading down to training rooms, dungeons, kitchens, and passageways illuminated by the misted light streaming in from the windows on the left. A thousand Sith, the greatest of the Order, were already assembled within the banquet hall's staggering expanse, seated at tables in which goblets of wine and steaming plates of food were now being served by copper-plated service droids.

There were foods to fit every palette. Baked dru'un slices in fish sauce, flambéed bantha steak with caramelised Ojomian onions, spicy Arguez sausages with scrambled kinrath eggs, grilled tip-yip on beds of fluffed Sizhranian lettuce, bowls of bloodsoup, baskets of shuura fruit, and very much bread. The scent of the feast oft drew curious Tuk'ata from their dens at the foot of the mountain, yet, deterred by armed guards with heavy blaster carbines, no such hounds skulked around the periphery of the hall today. Instead, in durasteel cages deployed from the subterranean bestiary by way of primitive stone lifts, were some threescore lizards clinging to small potted plants, lazily chewing on alien leaves as yellow as their skin.

On a mission to neutralise a rogue sorceress in the Valley of Golg nearly two years prior, Apollyon had encountered a most unusual creature which, she had discovered in her research afterwards, had been plucked from its home in the forests of a remote world known as Myrkr. A small, harmless herbivore, the creature had belonged to a species with a most unusual defense against its instinctively Force-sensitive predators: the ability to project an invisible bubble that seemingly repelled usage of the Force. Ysalamiri, they were called; rare, difficult to capture, and prone to dying in captivity, but the perfect tool to enforce peace at the feast. As the heels of Apollyon's boots clicked on the stone floor, she felt the neutralising energy wash over her like the temporary deafening of hearing when one walks into a differently-pressured room, the ever-present noise of the Force–ambient feelings, emotions, surface thoughts–falling into a subdued silence that asserted itself by virtue of the customary din's absence.

All eyes were on her as she walked towards the head of the farmost table.

A great throne stood there, where the ancient wraith who had called all the Sith his subjects had once sat. Yet no dread king sat upon it this day. Instead, the throne of the former Emperor was occupied by a large, heavy holocron of polished black marble over a meter tall and some hundred pounds in weight, its pointed capstone a deterrence to any who sought to provoke conflict and sit upon Dreadwar's former banquet chair. Apollyon had considered removing the throne from the claimants' immediate contention by using the holocron of Darth Krayt, but the neutrality of even using such a staple artifact of the New Sith Order was questionable when one who claimed to be Darth Krayt reborn–ruler of the faction known as the Dragons–sat at the head table. Instead, she had used the least offensive holocron possible, that forged by an ancient Dark Jedi known as Bastila Shan shortly before her so-called redemption to the light, with no historical significance to the various faction leaders that eyed Apollyon's approach with poisonous glares.

There was the ludicrous self-proclaimed Emperor of the oligarchy of Thule, named in honour of an insignificant ancient Sith Lord named Parkanas Tark, the leather-clad Empress of the Brotherhood of the Sith who called herself Darth Nix, and the equally flimsily-dressed Darth VaGhal. There was the sneering Darth Kroan, the scowling Darth Tigran, the many-limbed Darth Inexor, and many more besides; the leaders of the Vapid, the Black Order, the Cult of Vindicaa and many proud houses, and a rogue Sith Lord who bore a striking resemblance to the long-dead Darth Maul, Darth Talon beside him.

Not all who sat at the head table lay claim to the throne. There was the dark-haired Darth Kain, returned from the Maw, and the Sedriss Darth Nathemus. There was the bearded Darth Catalyst, whose shoulder Apollyon caressed as she brushed by, and the armoured Darth Xirr. Seated next to the crimson-skinned Darth Wyyrlok IV, Darth Xarxes of Arkania, and on his opposite side the crisply-uniformed Darth Solus, whose apprentice, Reatith Blodraald, sat beside him. Apollyon nodded at Darth Noxia of Shili, and the malevolent Darth Voidwalker; she recognised Ānhrā Māhnîu, the Supreme Ruler of Lwhekk, and Darth Sedicious as well. There was Darth Pravum, the vain Marquess of Kadaara, the legendary Darth Xxys, Darth Skyllan of Skye; on the other side of shrewd Darth Maladi sat Darth Thana of Iridonia, Darth Volacius of Ossus, Darth Mavros of Dantooine, Hadzuska the Jester, Metus Aurelius, and the reptilian Darth Mirtis. Many held exalted rank and title, many in contradiction.

Apollyon made her way to one of the two seats closest to the throne, smiling when the hall hushed as she sat, Vua seating himself to her left. The chair opposite her was marked for Darth Viscretus, Empress of the New Galactic Empire, and to its right, a chair for Darth Nihl. “Wine,” was the first word to part her lips, right hand extending an empty goblet behind her towards what ignorant observers would have assumed was an unusual choice in service droid: a YVH 1 combat droid. But Apollyon would not be served by a mere droid. As a status symbol to posture herself above the other Sith leaders, Apollyon had requested the Sith Knight I-Ron, a cybernetically-encased Shard of Orax, to serve as her personal butler.

Her eyes scanned the assembly, and for a moment, she merely drummed the fingers of her left hand upon the wooden table. The silence stretched, interrupted by an aide leaning in to whisper. Apparently, the Star Destroyer bearing Empress Volshe had just arrived, and the Sibyl II was on its way. Good, good. “Honoured lords and ladies of the Sith,” Apollyon spoke, “rulers of worlds,” she nodded at each of the faction leaders in turn, using a title that both acknowledged their grandiose claims while also conveying one of the meanings behind the archaic form of the Darth title, “even as we wait for most esteemed arrivals, I wish to bid you welcome.”

She swallowed. “For two years, the Sith Empire has fought against itself. It is time we rectify this sorry state of affairs. It is time we unify behind one ruler. Although it is often said that the annual gathering of our Order is considered a dull affair without at least three deaths,” scattered chuckles met her jest, “I would ask that we avoid bloodshed amongst ourselves, lest we add new fuel to the fires of the conflagration this gathering is designed to extinguish. There will be opportunity enough for the spilling of true enemy blood, for my forces have captured three most notable prisoners... the last remains of the Galactic Federation.” A ripple of surprise, murmurs of speculation, spread through the crowd.

“Instead, let us talk. Let us dine. Let us feast. And let us, after bellies are filled and prisoners are executed,” she clenched her fist, “resolve the question of the succession.”

TAG: @Admiral Volshe @Darth Kain @Hadzuska_The Jester @Darth Nathemus @Darth Xirr @Darth Solus @DarthNoxia @Drakul_Xarxes @Jihadi Quartz @Voidwalker @Ānhrā Māhnîu @Helkosh @G.Kn @Reatith Blodraald @Darth Thana @Sith_Imperios @Cardun Vrek @Darth Sedicious @DarthFeros @Darth Xxys @Volacius, @Metus


IC: Ermir Marcus
Training Room, Sith Temple, Korriban


Not all of the Sith in the Temple were gathered at the feast. In a training room two levels above the banquet hall, on the eastern side of the Temple complex, Overseer Ermir Marcus, joined by Master Darth Xiannar, led a class of apprentices in training. “Excellent footwork, Dymos,” Marcus addressed the young female human grappling with an unarmed training droid, somehow making the compliment sound like an insult. Pacing around the room, narrow eyes peering from above a beaked nose, Marcus wore off-white robes with the hood lowered to expose his pallid, angular features. “And you, Jhenan’Doka. Step back further when you parry.” The training droid the female Balosar faced was armed with cortosis-weave vibroblades.

“Don't be afraid to lunge when Telcontare's guard drops, Talem,” Marcus continued, addressing the two apprentices sparring one another. “Kielor, enough with the training remotes; the combat droids offer better challenge. Or better yet,” he pointed towards the young Onderonian female sitting at the console, analysing a holographic display of the galaxy for her astrography assignment, “spar with Kira. It is about time I saw her work up a sweat.” His lips twisted in a peculiar smile.

It was then that the datapads each apprentice carried–chained to the Temple's central computer and conveying updates to their schedule and syllabus for the day–chimed in synchrony. Marcus raised his eyebrows. “A special assignment, do you think, Master Xiannar? Or that imbecilic bosthoon Gerthund pulling students out of my class again?” He raised his hand. “Halt, you dullards. Read the message, whatever it is.”

Blinking on the dark blue screens of the apprentices' datapads was the following:


Apprentices, go to the dungeons and retrieve Sith torture masks. Don them, for your next lesson is to spar hand-to-hand while your connection to the Force is suppressed. Then proceed to the unfinished tunnels beneath the dungeons, and meet me for training. Do not bring your lightsabers.

~ Darth Apollyon

“What does it say?” Marcus snapped impatiently.

TAG: @Loharr Talem @skira @Kielor @Zareel Jhenan´doka @Undying Master Xiannarr @Keres Dymos @Nacros_Telcontare


IC: Admiral Ontos
Bridge of the Sibyl II, hyperspace


The glossy dark deck of the Victory-class Star Destroyer Sibyl II was a swirling mirror of cerulean hues as the celestial orgy of hyperspace raged beyond the forward viewports. “We will be arriving in the Horuset system within the hour, Imperatrix,” Admiral Ontos bowed, heels clicking as he stopped short of the High Priestess, Darth Hesper, standing in silhouette against the frenzy of cosmic chaos without.

Taller than Hesper, Ontos could not have felt smaller in her presence. There was something about the leader of the Final Sith Order that was deeply unnerving. There was something unnerving about them all.

Lady Arach. Lady Invadator. Lord Grievance. Rumoured to have been retrieved from the Unknown Regions after the first three were sighted on Bosthirda, Lord Draconis.

The Missing Ones, some called them. Hesperians, others called them. Sith that were either not in the military records at all, or listed as dead or missing as of two years ago–when many notable leaders of the Order, among them the Night Herald-turned-Emperor-claimant Darth Insipid, had abruptly vanished. Ontos was not one to believe in fantasies and fables, nor prophecy and foresight; he believed in what he saw. What he saw in Hesper and many of her compatriots were haunted eyes, eyes that had seen things beyond comprehension.

They spoke of strange things, of signs and portents and urgent warnings, and oft-repeated some strange alien word–T-something-or-other. They repeated a lot of strange words. Rigor mortis, if he recalled. Worlds that were “between” worlds, whatever that meant. But Ontos had heard legends of the Butcher of Coruscant when serving aboard the same fleet that had led the Sith to glorious triumph two years ago, and when she had first reemerged on Bosthirda, it had been an easy choice–particularly when considering alternatives like Darth Nix–to enter into her service, and no matter their strange ways, he would serve the Hesperians to their end.

“I fear the Federation interdictor cost us precious time,” Ontos said, raising thumb and forefinger to nervously stroke his thin silver moustache. Facial hair was against regulations, but being Admiral afforded him certain... privileges. “We may be the last to arrive, I fear, and I apologise in advance for my dissatisfactory performance, considering the... urgency conveyed to me.” He glanced nervously between the five Sith Lords. “But,” he continued unnecessarily, “we will get there. Lady Apollyon specified that she would not begin formal negotiations until all leaders were present at the feast.”

TAG: @corinthia, @Reiis Invadator, @dragonsith13, @Grievance Vexx, @Arach


IC: Necro Solaar
Balcony of the Fountain Palace, Aurelia Chume'Dan, Hapes


The Hapan Royal Guard known as the Chume'duro were first, then the columns of Hapan royal soldiers. All female, of course, dressed in armour and uniforms of black and navy blue. An army that reflected the matriarchal mores of the Hapes Consortium, ruled with an iron fist by the Queen Mother Aurelia Chume–known only to few as Darth Traya the Third–who watched the military parade from the balcony of the Fountain Palace, surrounded by her personal guard, her entourage, and thrice a dozen nobles.

The only man present, Necro Solaar, stood out for other reasons. Where the Hapans surrounding him were human and beautiful, his skin was as white as chalk, his eyes clouded like milk, and his clothes were far from the resplendence of Hapan apparel. Black as midnight, envious nobles joked his utilitarian vest and breeches were designed to be invisible to them. Hapans did not see well in the dark, apparently, and being Aurelia Chume's most mysterious intelligence agent lent itself to certain quips.

Even now, Solaar scanned the small crowd, knowing that every single noble represented a potential threat to the Queen Mother, whose value, Solaar alone knew, was beyond compare. But it was neither security nor the cutthroat politics of Hapes that brought Solaar to the observation balcony this morning.

As trumpets blared in triumphal orchestra, Solaar approached Aurelia Chume from behind and whispered just loud enough to be heard, “My Chume, I ask your forgiveness, but there is an urgent matter.” Bruised and beaten males passed by below, captives from recent operations in the Transitory Mists who were held not by their gilded shackles–which were entirely for display–but by the Guns of Command that held them in mental thrall. “You have received a holographic communique best received in private. Its contents indicate it must have been recorded over two years ago, my Chume. But we received the transmission now, on an encrypted channel.”

TAG: @Darth Traya


IC: Commander Threntel
Trenches, Desrini District, Coruscant


Streaks of emerald and scarlet filled the air with the scent of ozone, as Commander Threntel, clad in the white armour and red-plumed helmet of a Stormtrooper Centurion, peaked above the sandbags piled above the trench. “They lost the ion cannon!” he shouted, tearing his head away from an incoming blaster bolt and returning to kneel beside Rayge Vigör. The trench was shallow, for it was not dug in the dirt of Coruscant's surface many miles below, but in the crumbled duracrete, broken durasteel beams and plasteel rubble that had piled six feet high upon the metal ground of an upper city deck. Starscrapers, marred by deep gouges, belched smoke into a yellow sky crossed by dramatic orbital rings left by the century-past invasion of the Yuuzhan Vong.

War had come to Coruscant again.

Since the capture of Coruscant over a year ago, the Sith had triumphantly declared the galactic capital theirs and theirs alone. But the Federation Remnant was stubborn, and small armies of resistance fighters remained in the Desrini District, holding out against poorly-coordinated Imperial offensives and, worse, taking advantage of the increasing military disarray presented by the ongoing Sith Civil War to capture key manufacturing facilities in the Vishtu Sector.

And they had Jedi.

Just a handful, their ignited lightsabers barely visible through the smog of battle; ragtag survivors of the fall of the Jedi Temple, fighting on for a cause all believed lost since the butchering of the Senate. But Jedi nonetheless, able to overwhelm any mundane trooper, and an equal match for the Sith deployed from the governor's garrison. If it hadn't been for the small team of Vigör, Kint Dranlor and Dorrian Shadowsun, Threntel knew they would have been overrun hours ago.

“We just need to hold out for a little longer!” Threntel shouted, as a flak grenade landed in the trench five meters away, exploding and throwing him into the rubble. He clambered to his feet, barely even registering the four Stormtroopers crying out in agony, and continued addressing the three Sith. “Reinforcements are arriving shortly! The largest, most powerful ship in our fleet! Best to defend our position than attack now!”

TAG: @Rayge, @Kint Dranlor, @Dorrian Shadowsun


IC: Teraktassi
Hangar of the Wrath of Vader, hyperspace


The hangar was dark as night, illuminated only by the cold cobalt churn of hyperspace streaming through gaping cracks in the crumbling, vacuum-exposed deck and the eerie bloodshine glow of dim, flickering emergency lights affixed to rusted bulkheads stained with disturbing patches of brown that resembled dried blood. Archaic fighter craft, resembling chitinous insects covered in a layer of fine dust and too-large cobwebs, were scattered around the periphery, moored against the subtle pull of hyperspace–leaking through failing gravitational and magcon fields–by twisted tangles of cables as thick as Dagobah pythons. The leathery wings of shyracks beat in the darkness.

With its fanged architecture and brutal, jagged columns, the hangar resembled a cage of dead metal–much like the dull metallic mask that concealed the visage of Darth Cruor. The giant Gen'Dai stood in the centre of the hangar next to a strange oval-shaped pod over ten meters tall and half as wide, suspended from the ceiling by frayed tethers. Grey and lifeless, the pod had no viewports, nor visible signs of a propulsion system.

“I beg the honour of addressing you, my Lord Cruor,” a deep, guttural voice intoned in accented Basic.

Its owner was a hulking alien with skin that seemed red in the crimson light, not quite so large as the Gen'Dai he approached from a dark passageway on the far side. “We stand ready for the attack on the Jidai. Your mount awaits you in the bestiary, and I have prepared your war armour. If it be your pleasure, my lord, I have been instructed to outfit you for battle.” Drawing to within six feet of the Taral, the alien fell to his knees before pressing his helmeted forehead to the deck.


TAG: @Darth Cruor
 
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Darth Kain

Legendary Member
Moderator
Dark Council
Immortalis
IC: Darth Kain, the Beloved Prince of the Stars
The Banquet Hall, Sith Temple, Korriban


At long last, the time had come. The feast, one rumored to end this war and begin the reunification of a shattered Sith Order, had begun. They spared no expense, that much was clear. Servants rushed to and fro, delivering drinks, bread, and entrees to the Sith apparently too lackadaisical to serve themselves. The food was absolutely exquisite, and certainly diverse. Never before had so many different pleasant aromas assaulted his senses at once. Perhaps he would have partook, if he were here for the food.

He was not.

He was the Dark Messiah, the Beloved Prince of the Stars. Son of Abeloth and heir to her throne. Had she been truly destroyed by the traitorous ilk of Darth Insipid, he would have ascended to his rightful place. But that avatar was not her only hope, no; there was another. And he would not have had it any other way. His ambition, his desire to clutch the very stars in the palms of his hands, was only outweighed by one other emotion.

His love.

And it was love that made him travel here alone. Were he in any other company, his fiancée, Darth Abaddon, would be sitting next to him, no doubt prodding him to eat something, so as to not look so conspicuous. The very thought of her brought a smile to him. In fact, it began to grow wider. And wider. And wider…

He shook the smile away, regaining his composure. Those damnable lizards, the Ysalamiri, were making it difficult to maintain his guise as the handsome human everyone respected and feared. It was a well-crafted mask, one of dark hair, bright green eyes, and a deep scar upon the bridge of the nose. It had been cultivated over the course of his entire life, ever since his mother planted the knowledge of the ability in his mind as a newborn. It had been his secret to survival, and now, it was the secret to everyone else’s. After all, the True Form of the Seed of Chaos was not to be looked upon by the faint of heart. Nearly everyone, save those significantly powerful, and the others who had learned one of the many secrets of the dreaded Eye of Typhojem, was driven mad by the very sight of his true self.
The madness varied from individual to individual, with the single unifying trait being some zealous dedication to purge a filthy universe with the unholy flame of their new Lord, the nobbyla, Darth Kain. For obvious reasons, he did not want most of the people in this room to start burning the place down.


PicsArt_08-11-02.42.53.jpg

The entrance to the banquet hall opened, then shortly after, even amongst the rabble’s talking, he could hear the vintage clicking of a certain woman’s heels. He turned towards her, his eyes tracking hers. She was not looking back, no, she was focused on the one thing she ever cared for - except her sister, perhaps. The throne of Darth Dreadwar, empty, save for a massive holocron meant to be rather uncomfortable to sit on if one decided to take the throne in a show of arrogance. Though he had a feeling no one would do so today. After all, the only being capable of sitting on that pyramid comfortably was likely not interested in ruling; Talon was never the type.

His eyes then turned to the table of callous contenders, each claiming to be the rightful Emperor or Empress of the Sith. Most, he did not care to know; they were all sycophants that Kain would gladly burn at the stake if they failed to kneel to the true leader of the Sith. But there was one that drew Kain’s furious gaze, a look that would have certainly turned the man to ash were the Ysalamiri not present.
Darth Feros, his old friend, the man that helped him join the New Sith Order just three years ago, masquerading as the long-dead Darth Krayt. To think, before joining the Sith, Kain cared not about the Dragon. That changed when he was forced to destroy a sect of Krayt’s most devout followers weeks after joining the Order, and learned just how depraved that fiend could be.
Kain had seen possession before, dealt with it firsthand, even. But that had been a demon. This… this was a man inhabiting one of the few beings that he considered a friend. His mind had raced with ways to separate the two, to banish Krayt back to Chaos for him to never return. But all his mind raced with now were methods to kill him.

As Darth Apollyon sat and spoke, addressing the assembly, Kain interpreted her words perfectly. The death and maiming of these cretins would have to come later. Now was meant to be a time of unity, to focus their hatred on a single enemy: the dying Federation. Kain looked forward to watching the Jedi die, especially after what they did to his home, to his family. Even Eva had not been heartbroken to learn that the Jedi of this age were being quelled, thanks to their trespasses. Perhaps one day the Jedi could return as they were meant to be: keepers of the peace, masters of diplomacy. But as warriors, as genocidal maniacs hellbent on finishing the job they began thousands of years ago…

They would die.

He turned to the others sitting at this particular table, each no doubt conflicted with their own interpretations of her words, still reeling at the loss of their Emperor. Kain resisted the urge to grin once more. Oh, to think that the Emperor was gone forever; how blissfully ignorant they were.
Darth Nathemus, the Lord of Pain, claiming the title of Shadow Hand. A pariah among the Order in his earliest days, and now a mostly respected Dark Lord. Kain considered him an ally.
Darth Catalyst, the self-proclaimed and rightfully-earned Master of Cunning Linguistics. Respected by many, loved by many more. Kain did not know what to think of him, truth be told. His debaucherous ways reminded him of Hassan, his adopted father. But Catalyst had made the mistake of threatening Kain’s daughter, a crime that the Dark Messiah had allowed to go unpunished. Once.
Darth Wyyrlok IV, a beautiful Chagrian that had finally earned the right to be painted the One Sith’s signature crimson, a tradition among her family. A shame that she was so loyal to Krayt; Kain always did enjoy seeing her around the temple.
Sitting next to her was the Nightfather, Darth Drakul Xarxes. Even with the Force suppressed, Xarxes still made an imposing figure in that skeletal armor. Kain considered him an ally as well, after the aid he received from Xarxes during the attack on his home. But that did not stop him from wanting to cook the man inside his armor like a baked Kinyenian potato half the time he spoke.
There was Darth Solus, the master of Force Lightning, sitting next to his apprentice, Reatith. Solus and Kain had been little more than coworkers before this day, but Reatith… that was a man the Beloved Prince knew rather well. After all, were it not for Kain’s guidance, Blodraald would likely still fear death even today. And if one feared death, they would not have come into this hall.
Ānhrā Māhnîu was a mysterious being, but one powerful in the Force and very hard to kill. That had been one of the many reasons Kain introduced him to the New Sith Order.
Darth Voidwalker, the Dread Heir. Kain was thankful that he had grown wiser over these past few years, or else Voidwalker probably would have been claiming the throne like the rest.
Darth Xxys, the well-respected former apprentice of Darth Vader. He too had been instrumental in aiding Kain during the Invasion of Vitae. Few pilots in the galaxy were as adept as he, and even fewer beings were as skilled with a lightsaber.
Darth Skyllan was a young talent that Kain had the pleasure of sparring with ages ago. It was hard to remember when they were blue-skinned, now that it had been so long since Kain burnt their flesh to a crispy gray. It was a fond memory for one of them, at least.
Then there was Darth Maladi, the Devaronian Sith Poisoner responsible for Kain joining the New Sith Order. Of the One Sith, her and Nihl had been the most pleasant, though Kain only trusted the latter with a drink.
And finally, there was Darth Volacius, the first apprentice of the Beloved Prince of the Stars. A dedicated warrior, and rear admiral of the Sith fleet. Kain may have failed in showing the Mirialan how to rise above the Sith, but he had no doubt been successful in crafting a fine weapon for the Order.
The rest, Kain knew of intermediately, such as I-Ron, Xirr, Sedicious, Noxia, Pravum, Thana, Mavros, and Mirtis. Good Sith, all in all. At least, that’s what he’d heard. He looked forward to seeing them buckle under the pressure of the coming days. After all, it would be the events of the near future that would determine where each being here would fall. Some would fall in line, and others…

Darth Kain silently wished Abaddon was here, even if it did put her at risk. At least he would have someone to speak to without having to carefully choose his words. He never was a fan of these parties.

A servant brought him his requested drink - a Tatooine Sunset on ice. It did not smell of poison, so he drank. It was a soothing reminder of Vitae, where he desperately wished to be right about now. The Dark Messiah offered the servant a few credits as recompense, slyly putting it into their palm without drawing any attention.
“Thank you,” he mouthed, taking another sip.
He then raised the glass high to his future sister-in-law, a silent signal of his support for her decision, before taking yet another drink.
Kain turned to Lord Catalyst now, feeling it easier to speak to him rather than most of the others - either because they were too far, or too unknown.

“So, Lord Catalyst. I’ve heard rumors you’re getting married. I never saw you as the type, myself.”


TAGS: @Admiral Volshe @Darth Dreadwar @Hadzuska_The Jester @Darth Nathemus @Darth Xirr @Darth Solus @DarthNoxia @Drakul_Xarxes @Jihadi Quartz @Voidwalker @Ānhrā Māhnîu @Helkosh @G.Kn @Reatith Blodraald @Darth Thana @Sith_Imperios @Cardun Vrek @Darth Sedicious @DarthFeros @Darth Xxys @Volacius
 
Ic: Master Darth Xiannarr
Training Room, Sith Temple, Korriban

Xiannarr stood with his back to a wall seemingly paying attention to no one in particular, however his eyes saw all and this rabble of apprentice’s were nothing special overall. Their form and foot work were sloppy and they telegraphed every action they made, though even Xiannarr would have to begrudgingly admit that there were a few shining lights who showed the potential to become something much much more. For now Xiannarr would be content to let the Overseer Emrir conduct this session the way he saw fit, lest the man felt a slight to his ego.

Excellent footwork Dymos, And you Jhenan’Doka step back further when you parry.” “Don’t be afraid to lunge when Telcontares guard drops, Talem”
“Kielor, enough with the training remotes; the combat droids offer better challenge, or better yet spar with Kira. It is about time i saw her work up a sweat


Over and over Emrir Marcus spoke, clearly in love with the sound of his own voice. Luckily Xiannar would be spared of having to hear much more as the data pads of the apprentices lit up simultaneously. However it would seem Xiannarr would not be spared from the Overseers voice as he questioned the Dread Master about the incoming message

A special assignment, do you think Master Xiannarr? Or that imbecilic bosthoon Gerthund pulling students out of my class again?

Perhaps you should ask them” Xiannarr would reply boredom dripping from his voice “i was not sent a holocommunication so i could not give you an answer even if i wanted to

Halt you dullards. Read the message whatever it is” Overseer Emrir would demand raising his hand. However when no one hurried to read it aloud he quickly snapped impatiently at them. “What does it say?


Master Xiannarr would raise an eyebrow at the outburst from the Overseer. It was unbecoming of a trainer to lose his temper quickly over such a trivial matter, he would make sure to remember to report Emrir to the academy officials when he got the chance. None the less Xiannarr would lean forward still interested in what the sudden message had been. ‘Was it sent to all the Academies apprentices or just this class?, would it require more of the Dread Masters time or did Xiannarr now have the rest of the day off?’ He had heard there was an important feast being held as the class was running but the dread master had no intention of participating if he could help it

Well ?, one of you had better speak up quickly now what does the message say?
Tags: @Loharr Talem @skira @Kielor @Zareel Jhenan´doka @Keres Dymos @Nacros_Telcontare @Darth Dreadwar
 
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corinthia

Imperatrix of the Sith
Staff member
Administrator
Sith Empress
Final Triumvirate
Dark Council
Master of the Order
Jedi Council
Immortalis
Part One: Out of the Past

IC: Hesper

Zakuul (New Moraband) – 5 ABY

The sky above was aflame with blooming red-petaled flowers. Sprays of fire and metal illuminated the sky with a ghastly wash of color, wreathing the firmament with a crown of bloody blossoms. Beyond, through the thick cover of smoke and clouds that blanketed the air, tiny pinpricks of stars could be seen where the clouded veil was thinnest. Shuttles and starfighters raced and spiraled through the fray above, up where she had been but moments earlier, and Destroyers loomed threateningly even beyond them. This was the Battle of New Moraband.

Hesper blinked slowly. It all seemed to spin, and from where she lay, the whole scene appeared to be turned on its head. Shattered glass and tangled golden hair surrounded her head like a strange halo, blood-stained and disarrayed. Her face was beaded with sweat and her rouge lip paint had been smeared across one cheek. Somewhere nearby, she could hear the sound of a raging fire and the strangely pleasant sound of metal popping and groaning in the heat. She touched a hand to her head and came away with red fingers.

Ah. She had been someplace like this before—in another age, another timeline, a different future. The ache in her skull was familiar. The piercing sensation in her gut was too well-known. She blinked again, bringing the stars above into focus.

Somewhere, at some point, a wrong decision had to have been made.

Perhaps it was her decision to be loyal to Insipid, that conniving brat of an Emperor—or perhaps it was her decision to accept jewel-grabbing Bellorum's offer to become her Hand. Perhaps it was the decision to return from the shadows she had once slipped into as a respite from the insanity that had ensued after her fateful jump one hundred and fifty years into the past alongside a slew of other Sith. Hesper could have written a staggeringly long list of "perhapses" that might have brought her to this point.

But none of it mattered anymore.

Hesper laid an arm across her blurry eyes, blocking out the battle above her. Instinctively, she knew—she could not stay here. And by here, she didn't mean in the burning wreckage of a nasty shuttle crash on the 137th floor of the Citadel Tower of New Moraband, a planet formerly known as Zakuul. She meant here as in, here in this timeline. Here, 5 years after that ever-fateful Battle of Yavin IV. Here, in an era she did not belong in, here, where her memories meant nothing and there was no trace of her existence. She cried out in pain and heartache before throwing her arm from her eyes and finding a surge of strength within herself to push herself off the bloody floor and sit up. She looked around herself to see the flaming wreckage of the shuttle she had been in when it had been caught by a turbolaser bolt and gone down, she saw the mangled form of what remained of the shuttle pilot, and, a little way off in the other direction, her lightsaber. Crawling over to it on her knees, she scooped up her weapon, rubbing soot and grease off its silver chassis with her thumb. Shakily, she stood, noting passively that her tunic was torn and one of her boots was missing.

Her head and vision swam, and the air around her shimmered with heat. Everything seemed to tilt as she turned and began to walk away from the crash, towards the gash in the side of the building the shuttle had created. Every limb and extremity ached as she moved. Despite the pain, despite the battle raging outside, and despite the fact that she knew she was abandoning her mission she had been given by Emperor Insipid—the one where she kills Ike, Kronos, and Bellorum—she simply stood in the yawning opening of the shattered bank of windows, and stared out into the battle before her.

There had to be a way to get back to where she belonged.




Lothal – 5 ABY

Months passed her by—like a great, shuddering, lumbering creature, two, three, four standard months crawled past. It was a dreadful time full of dead ends. There was so little to cling to, so few places to look for answers, and Hesper's evergreen patience was beginning to slip away. Holed up away from the prying eyes of what remained of the Sith Empire, Hesper searched and searched for something, anything, that could give her what she so desperately wanted. Each promising lead died almost as soon as she picked up the trail, and even her precognitions were maddeningly elusive, never showing anything more than flashes and impressions of… rustling, flaxen gold, pale light, then… nothing. Each time she peered into the future, she was met with the same thing. Increasingly frustrated and teased to the brink of insanity, at last… she found a clue.

The pleasant, pastoral world of Lothal, a recent hotbed of rebel activity and uprisings, held a secret. A secret that had been disturbed but just a bit over a half a decade prior. There had been a Jedi temple on this world which housed a fantastic mystery—Hesper had read about this thing in a rare transcription of an old Jedi text. It was called the Vergence Scatter, the Chain Worlds Theorem, described and illustrated by some unnamed Jedi. According to this mystical text, an extraplanar place existed outside of time and space, where every moment in time, in every possible timeline, was theorized to intersect. Palpatine must have understood its potential, too, for he had sought entrance to this place. Even had it within his grasp. To set foot into this world between worlds granted the traveler access to, theoretically, every single moment in time… and the ability to enter into them. It held the potential to be one of the most ultimate powers in the entire galaxy.

If she could harness this power and access this place between time and space, she could get back to where she truly belonged.

And thus, Hesper made her way to Lothal. The journey was long and arduous, as it was on the opposite end of the galaxy from where Hesper had been hiding in the systems nearest to New Moraband, in the Mid Rim; she was forced to travel in secret, seeking passage on passenger liners and freighters. Many times she had to double back or take detours to cover her tracks and keep her journey difficult to follow, should the remnant Sith send anyone after her. Paranoia kept her looking over her shoulder constantly, always expecting to have been followed, despite the fact she had presaged that no one would. Keeping her obvious scarred left eye and long blonde hair hidden beneath a silken scarf and wearing a worn, yellow-striped cloak and hempen sandals, she posed as nothing more than a weary traveler.

When at last her sandaled feet touched the susurrating tawny grasses of Lothal and the white afternoon sun shone on her freckled cheeks, she understood. Rustling, flaxen gold, pale light. And in the air, on the wind, was the imperceptible yet unmistakable keening melody of the Force. It was here.

But… it wasn't.

The Jedi Temple was gone; in its place was worn earth forming interlinked circles with a large stone medallion in its center, half covered in dust and tufts of reedy grass, bearing the sigil of Ashla—the light side of the Force. Hesper stood at its edge, gazing down at it with her one uncovered eye, her face unreadable. The hem of her short cloak and kaftan brushed her mid-calf in the gentle Lothal wind as she considered what she had found.

It had to be here. The place was positively singing in the Force; surely, the place where the portal to the Vergence Scatter was housed used to be on this very spot where Hesper stood. Closing her eyes, she reached into her clairvoyance, grasping for what may become of this very spot where she stood. Again, she was met with just simple impressions; this time of stone, wind, blackness, and a vast, yawning emptiness. Opening her eyes and sighing, Hesper allowed her bag of belongings to fall from where it hung on her shoulder down to the ground. She followed it, lowering herself to her knees, tucking her feet under herself and sitting in a tidy kneel before the Ashla medallion.

Hesper bowed her head and slumped her shoulders, feeling defeat weigh down on her. Months of searching, wasted. All that was here was plain earth. She grimaced and pressed the heel of her hand to the scar over her left eye, feeling its phantom ache radiating into the bone of her skull. After a moment she pulled her hand away and began to undo the scarf swaddled around her head, her traveler's disguise. She untwisted and unknotted its ochre and rust patterned length, and her golden hair spilled about her shoulders. Wrapping the scarf about herself, she turned her focus inward and simply sat, taking in the sun on her hair and skin, and feeling the breeze dance past. It was a half-hearted meditation, and soon the afternoon sun dipped below the horizon, bringing cool evening to bear. Stars winked to life in the darkening sky as the last red shreds of sunset faded away, and Hesper pulled her cloak tighter about herself.

With her face tipped towards the sky, she beheld its beauty. She leaned back until she fell softly to the grass, and she continued to stare up at the net of stars above as she hugged herself. Her empty mind began to swirl with thoughts of home—strange notion, it was. Where was her home? Even if she were to somehow figure out this elusive, dead-end Vergence Scatter and return home to her correct era, where would she go? The Empire proved fruitless, its leadership divisive and fragile, and she dreaded whom she might find on the throne when she returned, knowing her former master and Emperor had effectively vanished. Moraband would likely not be the same kind of place it was when she left it for that fateful trip to Mortis, and she could not envision it as "home", as it had been when she was an apprentice. Coruscant, too, was no longer home. And Naboo, her homeworld, was too distant a memory.

Curling up with these thoughts, Hesper pillowed her head on her satchel, the Ashla medallion just an arm's length away. The sky was now black as pitch above her, dotted liberally with pearl-white stars. Exhausted from travel and wrung out by her futile research, her eyes slid shut and she drifted off into sleep.

Soon, she dreamt.

And one by one, tiny white dots of lights pricked the insides of her eyelids, needling the velvet black. In her dream-state, she sat forth with a start and cold sweat on her brow, feeling what should be solid ground beneath her with her hands as she drew her knees to her chest, only to recoil when she saw there was none—just blackness spanning onward above and below. In a rush of panic, she stood and whirled, taking in the place where she had found herself.

In this dream, she stood in the midst of starry black space, feet touching down on a transparent ribbon edged with radiant white. This place felt simultaneously as familiar as her own name, and more foreign than anything she had ever encountered. As she stood and peered out into the void around her, she felt the unmistakable sensation that she was not alone.

"Hello?" she called out, and her voice fell strangely flat. She took one step forward; the ribbon beneath her feet rippled where her woven sandal touched it. Inhaling sharply, she withdrew her foot and the ripple gently dissipated.

A sound like rustling wind brushed past her, though there was no movement—then, a murmur in her ear:


"Hello, Hesper."

Every hair on Hesper's body stood on end. This voice was unnervingly familiar.

"I’ve been here before," she realized, and gasped as searing, burning pain lit up the scar on her left cheek. Suddenly, there was the sensation of a hand on Hesper’s shoulder, and she startled, taking a wide step backwards. But as she did, there was no purchase for her feet to find and with a great backwards lurch, Hesper plummeted through the invisible ribbon.

She fell for what felt like eons, her hair and cloak whipping about her as she plummeted through space—and somehow, she knew, time—until—


With a great, heaving gasp, Hesper awoke with a flinch as the weightless sensation of falling grabbed at her stomach. An eerie dawn mist had gathered around where she lay, and Hesper's clothes and skin were damp with dew and sweat. She rolled onto her side and propped herself up on an elbow, looking to the stone Ashla medallion. Its surface was dark with moisture, still shadowed in the darkness of early morning. She reached out a hand and touched its wet surface, sensing something approaching. Much like in the dream she had just awoken from… she could feel she was not alone.

Withdrawing her hand and pushing herself off of the ground, she sat up and peered into the fog. Far ahead of her on the westerly horizon, a vague figure took shape; it was tall, and beastly. Instinctually, she knew.

"Loth-wolf…?" Hesper breathed, and as soon as the word left her lips, the figure turned and vanished.

Nearly a week passed after Hesper saw the loth-wolf; she spent her days meditating and contemplating the conundrum she found herself in, never straying too far from the stone medallion. She would walk among the tall grasses, frustration burrowing in her chest and anger tugging at her limbs. Day by day her resentment grew, burning wildly in her mind. Each night she would lie awake, staring at the darkened sky, wondering over and over again where it all went wrong until she fell asleep with her fists balled up like lumps of iron. In the morning she would wake with the first dew, and sit and meditate until she could bear it no longer.

On this night, the sky was clouded and surly, dark storm clouds having rolled in from the north. They roiled and rumbled, but no rain fell, and Hesper slept with her cloak pulled over her head, curled along the contour of the medallion.

Her sleep was fitful and frightfully cold, and she awoke in the early morning, before the first light had even peeked over the horizon, as fat raindrops fell on her uncovered face. She opened her sleep-weary eyes and gasped at the sight she saw.

Hesper was staring down the shaggy white muzzle of a massive loth-wolf as it exhaled hot, wild breath in her face; the creature's aura was tremendous, and she felt as if its mere presence would crack the earth beneath her and send her tumbling in. Genuine panic took root in her chest. A deep, grave growl tore from the animal's throat and Hesper shrank away as it bore down on her. Her mind raced—here was a creature blessed with the Force, poised to rip her limb from limb.

"DAAAARKNESSSSSSSS," it thundered, and Hesper could feel the ground beneath her quake. Her heart pounding, she reached for fistfuls of reedy grass and wriggled backwards, trying to get out from under the loth-wolf's yellow gaze. She felt the wet, cold edge of the Ashla medallion beneath her back as she crawled, and the dawn rain soaked her the moment she was out from under the loth-wolf's great form. Then, the wolf lifted a massive paw and dropped it down on Hesper's chest, pinning her to the medallion and knocking the wind out of her.

She wheezed, wrestling to get its paw off her. "Let me go!" She spat. Shoving its paw aside, Hesper scrambled, yelling when the great beast opened its maw and snapped at her, tearing at her flesh and raiment. She threw up an arm to ward off its fangs and the loth-wolf seized it, giving it, and Hesper, a violent shake. Heaving for breath as it released her arm, Hesper scrambled further backwards still, over the edge of the stone medallion and onto its mossy surface. Again, the loth-wolf pinned Hesper down with a massive paw, breathing hot in her face.

"DOOM-BRINGER." The loth-wolf snarled, peeling its reddened lip back to bare its gleaming teeth. In the Force, the loth-wolf's emanation spelled destruction, a sheer, powerful energy that could rend life. It wormed its way into her mind, whispering wordlessly to her, suggesting to her that she did not belong here, that she needed to leave, now. That something was coming, an all-encompassing darkness that would shred the cloth of reality, a darkness so deep that no Sith could fathom it. Hesper lifted her hands and called upon the dark side, sending a forceful wave towards the wolf in an effort to send it flying away from her so she could breathe. But the loth-wolf resisted, and the Force wave merely ruffled its white fur; in turn it bore down harder, squeezing every drop of air from Hesper's lungs. Gasping, she began to see stars forming in her vision.

It roared, and the ground under her did indeed tremble with bone-rattling intensity.

Then, with a great shove, the loth-wolf pressed down on Hesper against the stone medallion with such great strength she feared her bones would shatter and her organs collapse, yet instead—she passed through. With a crackle of yellow-white lightning and an otherworldly ripple, Hesper simply phased through the stone beneath her, accompanied by that all-too-familiar sensation of falling through empty space.

And, just like in her dream from just a week before, she found herself in the midst of starry black space, touching down on a transparent ribbon edged with radiant white. This place felt simultaneously as familiar as her own name, and more foreign than anything she had ever encountered. Looking behind herself, she saw the doorway through which she had just come—it was large, the same size as the stone medallion where the Jedi Temple once stood—and it was limned with white and circled by spinning, pointed rays, enclosed in another thin white outline. Hesper breathed a sigh of astonishment.

The Vergence Scatter.

She knew immediately what it was in her heart; as she looked out across the vast expanse of inky black dotted with tiny white stars, scattered with round doorways which glowed with light and sound. Bridging walkways arced this way and that, leading high and low to all the different doors. As she stood and sloughed off her soaked cloak, favoring her bitten arm, voices swam through the air around her head, snippets of dialogue from voices both familiar and unfamiliar.

"You have persevered in darkness, now darkness shall persevere in you…"

With wonderment, she took a step forward, and the pathway before her rippled with dim light upon the touch of her foot. Each step she took was like a drop in a placid lake, and she marveled at the vastness of the place she was in. "Hello?" she called out, and her voice echoed endlessly into the void.

"Everything that has transpired has done so according to my design."

Each extending walkway led to a different circular doorway outlined with a unique pattern—some bore animals, others bore symbols. Some were edged with foreign writing and some were just a simple circle. Hesper knew without needing to prove it that these were all doorways into different times and different realities. She knew that if she were to choose to step fully through any one of them, she would not be able to find her way back here to this incredible world between worlds.

Hesper cradled her arm as she wandered up and down the bridges, eyes wide as she studied their gates. One of these would lead her back to the time and place where she truly belonged. At last, she would be able to get out of this horrific limbo. The words of the loth-wolf nagged in the back of her mind: Doom-bringer.

"H-he is no god. He is a monster…"

Who? Who was this doom-bringer? Was it Hesper? She chewed the inside of her lip as she considered. Surely, it couldn't be—the loth-wolf had been clear in its intentions as it had worked its way into her mind. There was something transpiring that needed to be stopped.

"We must go to Atale at once. If it is a seal, it cannot be broken…"

Hesper approached one of the many doorways and placed her hand along its ethereal frame. It was ornate, beautiful, with intricate scrolls and curlicues of pure white. Her mind was abuzz—she peered into the future and saw only this space she was in. Thoughts and fears swirled and intermingled, and she could not pick out a single thread of coherent progress. Standing here, in this place… nothing led forward.

Feeling as if she were disembodied, she reached a hand through this portal.

"The future, by its nature, can be changed."

With a crackle of pale lightning and a distorting ripple, her hand passed through, grasping at air on the other side. Inhaling sharply, she withdrew her hand, clutching it suspiciously to her chest. "I can't believe this is real," she breathed. Already, she was eager to find which portal would be the one to take her back to where she belonged.

The innermost ring around the portal began to glow as she stood before it, rubbing the wrist of her bitten hand. It radiated sinister red, and a scene came into focus through it, as if Hesper were watching something on a screen. She could see a wide, metal-surfaced landing platform extending into a crimson nebula—atop the platform was a throne, and before it stood a figure quite familiar to Hesper. It was Dreadwar. A strange tightness seized her chest, somewhere between anger and hope.

"…And using the creation engines of the Star Forge, the powers of the Mirror, I have forged you all amulets in its image, to guard you from all harm…"

His sibilant voice was distant, removed, and Hesper strained to hear it before the image faded away.

"It's the Dagger—the Dagger of Mortis!"

She stepped away from the portal showing her former Master and ghosted down the next pathway. Somehow, she felt… off-kilter. Something was not right. She had spent months dreaming of a way to return home, and now she was standing amidst the solution, surrounded by mythic constellations and white-limned doorways leading to any imaginable timeline. But there was something very vexing about the whole thing that Hesper could not quite put her finger on.

"Let it be known the butcher of Coruscant has had her revenge…"

The next portal she approached was simple, framed by a plain triangle—she stopped before it to see what it had to show her, and in short order it radiated ominous black before bringing into view the familiar red sands of Korriban under a darkened sky. Dire black pyramids hovered in the sky, and Sith stood bewildered in the desert below, looking upwards. Terror—sheer, unfettered terror—oozed from those beings. Hesper could feel it too, deep in her bones, like ice had replaced her marrow.

"What… what is that?" a quavering voice asked as the scene dimmed and the portal went blank.

Startled, Hesper took a wide step away from the doorway. Hands shaking, she wrapped her arms about herself to ward off the ominous cold.

“Die, become nothing...”

Her heart beat heavy in her chest, and the loth-wolf's words echoed loud in her ears. Darkness. Doom-bringer. Reaching into her foresight, she was again met with vast nothingness, and she began to feel a fearful heat rising in her cheeks. She broke into a run to get to the next portal and skittered up to it, clutching at its frame with pale fingers.

This one glowed violet before giving way to an image of a massive black hole, wreathed by the cold gleaming of thousands of stars. The image was so eerily still. Curled around this black hole, frozen, unspeakably colossal—was a worm. Loathsome, tentacular, dead.

A whisper: "Are you not beautiful?"

Hesper backed away, her head shaking. She didn’t like the things she was seeing through these portals. They spoke of ill portent, a future she could not perceive, of omens unknown. She swallowed hard and balled her hands into fists.

"Existence is fleeting. Destruction is eternal."

With a quickened pace, she went to the next portal. She could not see into the future on her own—all was too clouded, too changeant—but she could piece together what may happen through the Vergence Scatter. Yes, this was something she could solve, she needed only to see more. The next doorway was at the end of a long, arcing walkway, ringed by ancient, arcane text. She ran towards it, but before she could get close, a crippling wave of intense fear buffeted her and she abruptly stumbled over her own feet and fell heavily to her knees. She was trembling.

Then, as she looked up—

An eye—emerald, brilliant, terrible—swept its shadowed gaze across a dark horizon through the portal before her. It shone down from the zenith of the Tower of the Son, a landmark which she knew with fearful familiarity, and glanced out to the galaxy beyond. A deep rumbling crescendoed as Hesper beheld this oculus, paralyzed. At that instant, as if it knew Hesper was watching, the eye snapped its focus to her, like it were gazing through the doorway into the world between worlds.

Her heart stopped, and she knew.

It was him.

An apocalyptic roar tore forth through the portal, blowing back Hesper's golden hair and ripping at her black garments. She braced herself against its magnitude, rooting herself in place with the Force. It took every ounce of her crumbling willpower to force herself to stand and flee, sprinting towards the doorway she had first come through, where she had left her wet cloak in a heap. The deafening roar followed her, even as she stopped to gather up her striped cloak. Turning, she beheld the horror of the Eye one last time. It stared her down, piercing and sinister.

She knew what was coming.

"And when darkness finds you, you will face it alone."

Hesper could bear it no longer. Holding her breath, she clamored through the portal ringed with the spinning rays. Crackles of white lightning danced around her as she went.

On the other side, she reached for fistfuls of loam and wet grass, pulling herself up and out of the portal where it had formed atop the stone Ashla medallion. Cold sweat plastered her hair to her face, and the pouring rain soaked the rest of it. She gasped for breath, and her heart beat strongly in her chest again. Sitting on its haunches a few paces away was the white loth-wolf, watching with piercing yellow eyes as Hesper crawled out of the ground.

"You knew!" Hesper hissed as she rose from her knees, holding her dirt-caked hands like claws at her sides, addressing the haughty wolf. It inclined its head, revealing nothing. "You knew what I would see in there! You knew!" She shouted, pointing down at the portal. Furious, scared, and bitterly cold, Hesper paced, and in the Force, she radiated a flighty, anxious aura.

The loth-wolf parted its lips in a toothy canid grin, and without acknowledging Hesper's outcry, stood, turned, and left, disappearing into the torrential rain.

"Stop!" Hesper hollered after it—but the loth-wolf was already gone.

Alone, Hesper stood in the rain, a million different thoughts racing through her mind. He was coming; and though there had been no indication, she knew when he would be coming. She had been there at Mortis when the seal was broken, and he walked among the towers there and wrought destruction upon the Sith who dared to do battle against him. Numbly, Hesper threw her wet cloak about her shoulders and fastened it. There had to be something she could do, some kind of stratagem she could use, perhaps employing the Vergence Scatter, to stop him before he was unleashed upon the galaxy at large. She looked down at her feet, and at the rippling portal she had just crawled out of. Just then—with sudden clarity, the future laid itself out before her, almost as if it were playing out within the portal. She saw people she knew, places she’d been, each scene telling her what needed to be done. The revelations reeled her, and her vision swam with tesseracting light and color. Gasping, her hands shook and her eyes slid shut.

A plan formed in her mind.

So long as this portal into the Vergence Scatter remained open, or so long as she could access it readily, she could use it to plant her own machinations throughout time. She could change the future. And she could still get back home, to the time where she belonged.

Soaked, frightened, yet strangely triumphant, Hesper took a seat beside the portal, crossing her legs and placing her hands upon her knees. She called upon the Force to halt the rain from falling on her, and then she delved deep into her own mind, beginning to form a plot.

For the rest of the day, she sat beside the portal, considering her options, stacking her deck, and deciding what to do next. She knew she could not let this miraculous doorway come to harm, so she decided—she would build a temple to house it, here where the Lothal Jedi Temple once stood. It would be great and glorious, a grand pyramid of white stone. And until she was ready to make her passage back through the Vergence Scatter, into the era to which she belonged, the temple would be her home and shelter, too.

On the morrow, she woke with the morning dew as usual to a clear day, and felt the watchful eyes of the white loth-wolf upon her. Sitting forward and wiping the dew from her eyes, she fixed it with a stormy look. Without a word, she rose for the day and began to make her preparations to build her temple. She found her stone and cleared her space, trekking arduously across the Lothal plains; and by noontime, she was ready. From afar, laying with its shaggy head resting upon its crossed paws in the shadow of a rocky mound, the loth-wolf watched Hesper work.

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Like a priest breaking communion, Hesper held her hands upward to the sky, calling upon the deepest depths of the Force. All around her, the white stone she had gathered began to break and shape itself forming into massive blocks, building the foundation of the new temple. A deep rumbling shook the earth beneath Hesper's feet, the result of the very earth cracking and reshaping—she lifted her hands ever higher, her pale brow beetling under the exertion. Her focus was like a razor, and she could feel each and every vibration of the stone coursing through her body. And with every stone she placed, she could sense in her prescience that they were intruding into a different timeline, perhaps the correct timeline; as if the world between worlds above which she was building were warping itself so as to mirror her temple.

lFEknYd.gif

Tirelessly, she built her temple; she did not rest until the first star of evening shone low in the sky, a bright silver beacon. At last, she placed the last stone atop the split pinnacle of her pyramid, and her hands dropped to her sides in exhaustion. She staggered, startling when she was pushed back upright by the white loth-wolf's cold nose.

She gazed lovingly upon her creation: A towering pyramid of white stone, surrounded at its base by squat, square halls and boasting a strange, soaring split down its middle from zenith to center which culminated at a large, round hole in the pyramid's middle. Already, the name of this new cathedral was on her lips. "Temple Eventide," she spoke aloud.

Behind her, the loth-wolf rumbled. "PRIESTESSSS," it said, and pointed towards the grand entryway Hesper had sculpted; but Hesper turned to stare at it.

Priestess, it had said. It was a strange title to Hesper's ear; she had grown used to being called "High Lord", "Butcher", or "Darth". To be called Priestess sounded so soft, so susurrating. She reached out a hand to touch the loth-wolf's great head. "Yes," she murmured. "Priestess." Turning, she padded to the entrance, pausing to remove her worn hemp sandals before entering.

Inside, the smooth white stone was cool under her bare feet. She moved like a ghost through the pristine hallways, working her way inwards towards the central chamber, where the portal to the Vergence Scatter was now housed. The halls were labyrinthine, but she already knew them by heart—and soon, she stepped into the lofty chamber. Its ceilings were arched and vaulted, soaring high above Hesper's head, and relief carvings of abstract and arcane geometric shapes and symbols ringed the circular skylight above, positioned right below the apex of the pyramid and the porthole through its middle. Softly illuminated by Lothal's twinned moonlight, the still active portal to the world between worlds sat, unperturbed by the excitement of the day.

Reverently, Hesper approached. She knew what her first step would be. Standing at the edge of the portal, she sloughed off her yellow striped cloak, and set it to one side. Then she knelt, gripping the edge, and lowered her face to the placid black of the doorway, the same way one lowers their face to a pool of water to drink. But instead the new priestess passed through, with a flourish of pale lightning, and found herself again on the other side of the veil.




(Combo with @Darth Dreadwar)

Moving quickly, peering through each portal as she went, Hesper breezed through the world between worlds. She was looking for the moment in time in which Bellorum and Kwea Acantha would take the Dagger of Mortis from the Daughter's crypt—it was her intention to reach through and swipe it from their hands, thus preventing the events of Mortis. If she could just stop him there, then perhaps, just perhaps, she could prevent him from walking elsewhere in the galaxy.

But as she went, a different portal caught her attention, one she did not know to look for; within it, she saw a mirror.

Gold as sin it was, lustrous as temptation and shining as the primeval dawn, a perfect disc that filled the portal with the precise entirety of its primordial geometry. Yet within its gilded stone hall, the reflection of some vast treasure chamber of yore, not a single contour of Hesper's countenance could be seen, nor the metallic twines and shining portals of the world between worlds. How, then, had Hesper known it was a mirror? Had the thought bubbled within her mind without bidding, some unnatural comprehension of the incomprehensible, some faint echo of a memory from hoarded lore?

"The mirror reflects all within its gaze," came the whisper, scratchy where the mirror was unmarred, cold where the mirror was warm, dark where the mirror glowed like the sun. "You are not within its gaze... for which you should be most thankful... Tribune."

A strange fascination crept over Hesper, and she paused in her step to look closer. How she had known it was a mirror, she did not know— she had simply supposed it was. The voice emanating from the doorway was unnatural, warped. She fought the urge to reach through the portal and stroke the gilded surface of this mirror as she approached, ever curious.

"Tribune?" She echoed.

"Your entitlement," the susurrus returned, sedulously swelling, now, with poisonous malignancy, "my... young... apprentice. Your destiny."

The mirror rotated, its gilded face shining with the gleaming lusts of ruby-red holocrons, of twisted arcane machinery, of torture racks and books. As it lazily spun to its side, its field of reflection panned the span of the room, revealing to Hesper the full contents of the dread hall, accursed objets d'art and profane statuary, winged scarabs and marble women, writhing worms and depraved deformities—until only its side could be seen, the intersection of its frame between the golden face and the plain backside of grey stone.

A cortosis gauntlet rested on the back, and to that gauntlet was attached a shadow, a trailing sleeve of rotting raiment, black as the vergence void. From that outstretched limb swelled the hideous approximation of humanoid shape, swathed in mummiform midnight, the hood of its all-concealing cowl lowered over abyssal darkness, a portal into nothingness. The rippling cowl whence the unhallowed whisper came, emanating through worlds to echo in her mind. "Has it been so long you do not recognise me?" the dead Emperor hissed.

Hesper was glued to the image in the portal as the mirror turned, showing her a gallery's worth of precious, wretched sculptures and strange, angled machinery. She could not figure where or what this doorway was showing her. Her mouth gaped open as she tried to piece together what she was seeing, until a familiar stygian gauntlet could be seen... along with the wraith attached to it. Her mouth snapped shut, and her grey and opal eyes widened.

Entitlement. Apprentice. Destiny.

A familiar cold crept up Hesper's limbs.

"My Master," she breathed, dropping to one knee before him, head bowed in reverence. "I did not know you yet lived," Hesper said, raising her head to behold the sable specter in the portal before her. "It has indeed been so long."

"I do not live," the old wraith hissed, "and I do not die. That is not dead which can eternal lie." The gauntlet raised, beckoning. "Closer, child. Closer."

Hesper could not resist; she rose, and stepped closer.

"Let me look upon you," the Emperor hissed, invisible eyes raising hairs in their passage; a gaze felt, not seen, in icy prickles crawling down one's spine. "The scars of war," he mused, empty hood piercing the black gulf of a hundred years. "From what time do you hail? Whence do you come, and where do you go?"

Hesper lifted her chin as Dreadwar's obfuscated visage looked her over; even over the vast distance between them, both in time and space, she could feel the chill of his gaze the same way she had felt it when she had been bestowed apprenticeship. She could feel his stare lingering over the mark across her left cheek. "Scars of war come with stories attached, my Lord," she said, a coy twinkle in her eyes, "and I am afraid the one that took the sight in my left eye does not." Cocking her chin, she continued. "I am currently hailing from the time five years after the Battle of Yavin. The Sith are again at war with one another, and I sought to escape it all. I have discovered what the Jedi called the Vergence Scatter—it is my intention to utilize it to return home to Moraband, to the correct era."

"As I have foreseen," Dreadwar whispered, leaning back in seeming satisfaction, arms folding. "My enemies cleared off the gameboard, manoeuvred with the snare of false security." Dreadwar provided no further explanation, but then, he didn't need to. The meaning of his words was obvious, cast into plain sight to boast, nothing more.

"I possess mastery of time of which you know not, my young apprentice," he hissed. "To decouple a world from time, to fling it four thousand years into the future... to plant the bait to lure back adventurers to free me, to complete the loop of time I knitted... Such is within my power." Now, his meaning fell into occlusion; he may as well have been speaking a different language. Yet each strange sentence brought with it a flash of imagery, as if the portals around Hesper revolved to show her. A world shattered to its core, the misshapen skull of a black planet, wreathed in shadow and bathed in baleful green light. A ship flying into hyperspace, only for the tunnel to twist and contort, spitting it out into a sea of unknown constellations, where the black world rolled without luster or name. And from Dreadwar rose the miasma of unbridled pride in those eldritch things he spoke of, rising to choke Hesper like a cloud. "Now again shall time service its lord... and you shall service your massster." The hiss grew serpentine, the coils twining like the ribbons of the Vergence Scatter, Dreadwar's arctic presence seeping into the stillness of the void. His hand stretched forth from the portal, a glowing green dagger in hand!

"Take this," he hissed. "Drawn forth from the magic of the mirror, to resemble the blade of Mortis in every aspect. Venture forth to the moment you seek," –had he so easily breached her mental defenses?— "and substitute the true Dagger for the false. Return to me on Korriban, before the coming of the void beyond which you cannot see."

Her master was an enigma—unsolvable, powerful, magnetic. Hesper felt chastened and small before him as she reached out her fingers to take the Dagger from his stygian hand which jutted forth from the portal. "I had intended to take the Dagger from Bellorum," she murmured, distractedly, dreamily. The false Dagger was heavy in her grasp, its blade gleaming dully in the starlight of the Vergence Scatter. Her mind, barraged with visions, was numb. "I will do as you command, Master," Hesper said, fixing her eyes on Dreadwar's hood.

Dreadwar's hand withdrew, the gauntlet resting once more upon the back of the gleaming gold mirror, as he turned it back towards her. "Save them at the tunnel," he said, cryptically. "And know that in performing this task, you enact your greatest deed... A deed which will make your life worth living." In that hissing whisper lurked an odd tone. "You can be proud of that, Lady Hesper, and know that you will have achieved more than the legends you sculpted." Or perhaps it was not the tone, per se, so much as the fact Dreadwar had never uttered something so…

Supportive?

Wistful?

"Farewell."

Sad.

The portal closed.

Hesper said nothing as her master's visage faded from the portal; she felt strangely adrift, shocked into silence by the appearance of one she thought to be far, far gone. An odd hopefulness was blossoming in her chest, and she hefted the false Dagger in her hand. She would do as her master bade her.

The aura of the Dagger was just as she remembered it, strangely wistful in the Force. She considered it; for a moment, she thought to keep it for herself, but the screaming image of him flashed across her mind like a black clap of lightning and her grip on the Dagger momentarily flagged. No—she would do what she must.

Save them at the tunnel. Her master’s instructions echoed in her mind, yet as was increasingly typical, she could not decipher his meaning. What tunnel? Where? When? Frustrated, she screwed up her brow and rubbed her forehead, raking her fingers through her hair before turning her eyes to the Dagger again. She would have to solve her master's mystery later. She pulled the Dagger close to her chest, clutching it to her body, and turned to face the expanse of the Vergence Scatter, something far more stunning than this radiant blade resounding in her mind.

Dreadwar lived.

It was as if a weight had been lifted from her shoulders. She recalled with clarity the last time she had seen him—the battle at Empress Teta, where he had called her to him when she was still yet an apprentice, only to vanish into thin air, leaving her held at the end of Tobias Sun's blade and in the hands of oily Insipid. She wanted to curse him for that, for his deception and for leaving her to this fate which wrenched her from her true era, to swear at him and condemn him. But he was still her master. However far along she had come in the time since—he was still her master.

Taking a step, she carried on down the ribbon pathway before her, following the same divined path she had been on before Dreadwar had appeared. She moved more slowly now, her limbs seemingly weighed down by her new purpose. The Dagger was like lead in her arms, and the memory of Bellorum and Kwea Acantha rushing to the Daughter's crypt on Mortis played in her mind on an infinite loop as she checked each and every portal she passed by.

As she went, she witnessed all manner of futures and pasts playing out in whirling doorways; she saw again the same portents she had first seen when she entered this place, and heard the same whispers. But she also saw different scenes—of hope, of disaster, of tragedy, of planets she had never seen or heard of before, of victory, of failure, of grief and despair. Of that unending blackness—for a moment she hears that blood-boiling scream of his, though she knows it's just an echo in her mind—which had been lurking at the edges of her consciousness. She saw and heard, too, a miscellany of people, and somehow she knew they belonged to her, in one capacity or another. Followers. She saw planets, as well—a verdant world, a world of ice, a world of molten rock and fire, a tempest world, the now-familiar golden grasslands of Lothal, and more… But among it all the faces of a choice few hovered at the forefront of her mind. She knew them. She knew them.

The thought lodged itself in her mind, and a word came to her lips: Hesperians.

Peering into portal after portal, seeing the same handful in all manner of mise-en-scène, she turned the idea over and over in her mind. When she returned to her correct time bearing the news of what she had thus far witness here in the Vergence Scatter, of what she knew would inevitably come to pass, she would need people to support her claims, and, if push came to shove, fight for her. She needed people willing to spill blood for her. Momentarily, she stumbled and paused, staring with a haunted gaze into a portal to her left. She saw a few of those who would be her staunchest supporters, their faces like beacons among a crowd of others. They were people who would corroborate for her, and people who would put their faith in her. She knew. Followers of the elusive darkness.

She sucked in a sharp breath and tucked away their faces into her memory as she hefted the precious item in her grasp. When the Dagger was safe, and the others whose stories were not yet through were safe, she would find them. Her Hesperians.

Steeling herself, she carried on, and soon, voices that sounded as though they were plucked straight from her memory floated about her head. And… the sound of scurrying. Hesper's skin crawled at the memory of millions of black-carapaced scarabs, sharp-toothed and thirsty for blood, scampering over her limbs, biting into her flesh. Physically, she shuddered, her grip tightening around the Dagger.

"…We get the dagger, then we end Abeloth. There's no time to waste."

Ah, there it was. The familiar nag of Bellorum's voice cut through the air, and Hesper couldn't help but laugh at what folly their "battle" at Mortis had been—how foolish they'd been to think they'd been even a modicum triumphant. Hesper's feet carried her closer to the voices and din of the skirmish she'd fought in, and her hand found the hilt of the dagger and held it in a vise grip, very nearly brandishing it before herself as she held it at the ready.

There was no mistaking which portal was the one. Before Hesper glimmered an open doorway, a pattern of luminescent crossed daggers twined and spun around its frame, and in its aperture she could see it—the tomb of the Daughter, alive with activity. The figure of Abeloth shrilled, and blue Bellorum and gentle Kwea fought against her. From Hesper's vantage, she could see where the stone slab that covered the Daughter's coffin had been shattered, baring the peaceful Daughter's corpse to the open air, and, in her grasp… the true Dagger of Mortis.

"Go back to the swamp you crawled out of!"

Kwea was crumpled on the floor, heaving ragged breaths, and Bellorum stood and taunted Abeloth. Hesper didn't pause to think— now was the time! Deftly, she plunged her arms and the false Dagger into the portal, feeling the crackle of the portal's pale lightning against her skin, and pulled the true Dagger from the Daughter's grasp, quickly replacing it with the one given to her by Dreadwar. With the true Dagger firmly in hand, Hesper stumbled backwards from the doorway, the scene of Kwea and Bellorum battling Abeloth fading back to inky black.

Hesper found herself breathless, and sunk down to her knees, cradling the Dagger of Mortis in her arms. Its aura was almost electric—and through it, Hesper could feel and see its lingering memories. Through all the Dagger had experienced, searing pain and a vision of cold celestial death among a sea of ethereal, eternal memories cracked like a bolt of lightning, and Hesper gasped, dropping the blade and scrambling backwards. It clattered away from her on the otherworldly pathway, leaving a trail of rippling white rings behind itself.

She heaved great, shuddering breaths, sitting with her legs akimbo as she eyed the Dagger of Mortis from a distance. Its straight blade reflected the light of the stars above it, cold and distant. Murmuring to herself, Hesper crawled over and retrieved it, scooping up the precious blade. She held it gingerly and stood, wondering now what to do with it—all she knew was that it needed to be hidden.

Squeezing her eyes shut, Hesper tried to call upon her prescience to ask for its guidance, reaching out for the ample Force around herself… but she was met with nothing. Her eyes snapped open as she realized—she couldn't foresee anything! Her hand flew to her forehead, and her jaw hung momentarily slack. The second realization struck her that all she'd seen of the future while here in the Vergence Scatter she had witnessed through its myriad portals. Her thoughts floundered as she pieced them together. If… if she could not see anything in the Vergence Scatter, could it be because there was truly nothing? Or, more likely, was there too much to see? She raked fingers through her golden hair, then bit down on her thumbnail. No matter, she thought. I still know how to act upon visions, whether they appear in my mind or in a magical doorway.

Clinging to the Dagger, Hesper padded back up the pathway she had followed, retracing her steps to a crossroads where a wide, circular area was situated, the skies above and below it broad and glimmering with stars. Here would be a good place to sit and think—Hesper settled down, cross-legged, in its center, placing the Dagger of Mortis before herself in quiet ceremony. She contemplated its fate as she did—she hoped to find in the recesses of her mind a thread to follow which would put the Dagger someplace safe. Someplace it could hide until it is found and returned to the rightful hands it belongs in. What manner of people would find it? With whom would it rest until its true purpose would be realized? With a deep breath to fill her lungs with cool interstellar air, Hesper closed her eyes. She took another breath. Then another. And another—and soon, she slipped into a deep meditation.

Within her placid exterior, her mind cast itself outward to the memories she had of the millions upon billions of doorways within the Vergence Scatter, wildly reaching for strands of futures that may match her desires. It reeled her; through all the endless possibilities, how could one singular one ever be the path forward? But it had to be true that there was a fine, tenuous filament of reality that above all others was the One. In her meditation, Hesper searched for it. And if she could not find it…

She would make it.

Her brow furrowed, and before her the Dagger of Mortis began to rise, dragging its tip until it hung in ethereal, telekinetic suspension, rotating lazily in Hesper's Forceful grasp. Determination bubbled up inside her chest, bolstered by the same white-hot furor which drove her to the Sith. It was powerful—a sheer force of will which she let lead the way as she explored all the futures she had witnessed. In her mind's eye, time tessellated and whirled as she began to piece together a pathway, braiding together strands of futures to create a tailored string of events.

A jungle world, sweltering and swarthy, underbelly of the galaxy; she would see bejeweled fingers grasping at the Dagger, appraising its worth and admiring its cut and quality.

The Dagger of Mortis continued to gently spin, light from the constellations above and below making its polished edges gleam. Below it, Hesper's own body began to levitate as her submersion in the Force deepened, her black kaftan and long golden hair blustering about her body as if in a wild wind. Her hands were limp in her lap, her legs still crossed, and her pale brow remained rumpled in unflappable concentration. Even the prickling, crawling sensation that radiated from the thin scar across her face could not break her focus.

The Dagger would slip into antiquity, and the span of a hundred years would crawl by; its value forgotten, it would change hands, be bartered and sold, only to be locked away in an abandoned crate, until…

Sweat began to bead on Hesper's forehead and her scar burned; her mind was grasping, straining to orchestrate.

For years it would wait for three Sith Lords and an unlucky pirate; together they would find it, completing what others could not on that very same jungle world.

Hesper's eyes snapped open. Brilliant, luminant light burst forth, her grey-and-opal eyes having gone entirely white.

The Dagger would then be reunited with the Sith! Its true purpose would at long last be fulfilled!

With a wild gasp, Hesper released her hold on the threads of fate she was weaving; they would knot together, a pathway of intention and willpower blazed through time and space. She sank to the ground, shoulders slumping, as the Dagger of Mortis dropped to the pathway with a metallic clatter. The light and silvery white faded from her eyes and she heaved a deep breath, feeling the painful sting of her scar across her face. She touched it gingerly, her fingers coming away red with blood. Strange, she thought, wiping away the blood with the edge of her dress. She raised her eyes—both rimmed with red and one flooded with blood— to the Dagger. With great purpose, Hesper scooped up the blade with tremoring hands. She knew where she would put it—and there was that same sort of gossamer thread of voice and noise that swelled on the air, again, guiding her to where she needed to go.

Ghostly, she padded towards where the alluring whispers were calling her—the swindling, low voices of pirates and smugglers, and the lush sounds of a jungle world—until she came upon the portal she desired. An aperture ringed with what looked to be the shapes of cut precious gems, spinning and wavering. Within, it shimmered purple and gold before revealing the jostling cart of an antiques peddler, carting their wares to be appraised. It was close enough to touch—gilded necklaces, brooches encrusted with rare gems, statuettes of fine stone, and now… a dagger of cool grey hue, its hilt wrapped in red and gold. Entirely unassuming in the piles of curios. Gentle lightning crackled as she reached her arm through the portal. Hesper's heart raced as her fingers released the Dagger of Mortis and it fell with a soft clink into the peddler's cart.

As she watched the cart recede and the portal fade back to black, Hesper hugged her arms to herself, her will that the Dagger find its way into the right hands taking deep root in her mind and heart. A new power had blossomed—one she could wield like none other. She turned away from the gem-circled doorway, wiping a trickle of blood off her chin, and began to meander her way back to the portal to her temple.

But all dark sight and willful machinations aside... something in Hesper's mind had perhaps begun to slip.



No tags; Part 2 coming soon.
 
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Catalyst

The Cunning Linguist
Staff member
Moderator
Underworld Ruler
Immortalis
IC Lord Catalyst
The Banquet Hall, Sith Temple, Korriban

One need only imagine a congregation of power hungry darksiders clamoring over food and drink while their appetites not-so-secretly yearned for the seat that occupied the fore of the chamber to get a basic idea of the headache that plagued Lord Catalyst as his TIE Phantom cut through the rubied clouds of Korriban. The whole idea of politicking with these upstarts seemed to be a far fetched fever dream, when he knew that none would hesitate to raise a weapon in declaration of their own personal New Order. He had only hoped Apollyon was confident enough in her public speaking abilities to placate their lust for power. The imagined speech caused him to chuckle to himself.

The Sith Temple rose on the horizon, a mountainous structure piercing the sky and reaching to the stars in an attempt to gather them in a crushing fist. Catalyst spotted the hangar, dotted with glowing lights to guide him in. Other ships, mostly grandiose shuttles or bristling warships, were filing in as well, being parked by valet droids and spot cleaned by slaves unaware of the importance of the owners. The Lord of Linguistics deigned to bring his Whisper to rest in a small docking bay, custom designed to fit his personal starfighter. The back hatch popped open with a pneumatic hiss, and the Dark Lord stepped out, resplendent in what he felt passed for finery. Nothing too ostentatious, a large cape, black lined with velvety red, adorned his shoulders, fastened with a decorative pin bearing the sigil of the Sith order of old and draping over his crimson and charcoal robes. His armored gauntlets were polished to gleam in the archaic torchlight that would no doubt illuminate the feasting hall. His boots were similarly shined, the fine leather almost sparkling as he strode.

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Catalyst inhaled deeply, the dusty air carrying the scent of blood and stone along with a cornucopia of aromas from the kitchens. Apollyon had indeed pulled all the stops out to treat their guests with all the feigned reverence they would no doubt expect. He smirked. If feigned reverence was the expectation of the day, he would dial his charm to uncomfortable levels. A dignified event such as this deserved to be treated with utmost seriousness, so naturally he was inclined to make an ass of everybody involved. If blood was to be shed, the first blow would be dealt via tongue lashing before a weapon had a chance to leave its sheath.

Maybe politics weren't so bad after all.

The crowd of bodies entering the feasting hall was overwhelming to all senses. The din of conversation as the various Sith met at their arranged seats created a cacophony of noise, and from this proximity, the mixing scents of the various dishes had the effect of causing both hunger and nausea simultaneously. Catalyst scanned the chamber, seeking familiar faces as he passed. There were many that caught his attention.

Darth Maladi, the mad doctor that Catalyst had off and on taken interest in but never acted upon. The idea of leaving himself vulnerable to one of her skill was a thought that he did not cherish.

Darth Xxys, one of the few he had respect for among this crowd. The top tier assassin and former apprentice of Vader reminded Catalyst of his past, and gave him some measure of wistfulness. The two had shared in conversation, but he longed to spar with his elder contemporary and delighted in the idea of trading verbal blows as well as blades.

Darth Pravum, a young, vain, and utterly brazen fop who had just enough wit to grasp his way into the upper echelons of the Sith Order. Catalyst saw much of himself in Pravum, and for that reason was less inclined to dislike him than most Sith.

Darth Voidwalker, a Lord he had dutifully avoided interacting with after hearing of the man's mission report many years ago. The idea of getting caught smuggling ancient marital aids was something Catalyst had to restrain himself from bringing up, and such restraint was easier if the two never talked.

Darth Solus, perhaps the most contrasted member of this esteemed group to himself. The militaristic air he carried clashed heavily with Catalyst's own more flippant demeanor. Still, he was a man to be respected and feared in battle, and one Catalyst would rather have as an ally than otherwise.

Darth Noxia, a premier sorceress whose enchanting beauty and alluring experiments had drawn a nearly cult following of her own. Catalyst had the pleasure of interacting with her at social events and entertained the idea of further pursuing those interactions, but something about her kept him from committing to the idea.

Darth Xarxes, a hulking monster of a man that filled Catalyst with disdain. It was no secret that he was a self righteous zealot whose religious fervor and questionable ethics diametrically opposed Catalyst's way of living. The Lord of Linguistics suspected that his seating arrangement next to Saarai Wyyrlock was no accident, but he could not confirm anything.

Darth Xirr, another massive warrior, though not as extremely out of proportion as to appear monstrous. He and Catalyst had shared what could be considered friendship among these hallowed halls, and Xirr was one of the few Lords he trusted to watch his back if this party came to blows. Catalyst made it a point to sit beside him, delighted in the prospect of trading jabs with his comrade.

Darth Nathemus, seated nearby, was another being Catalyst looked upon with irreverence. The Lord of Pain had reinvented himself since their adventures together, but Catalyst would never forget the haughty and disrespectful son of Talon's near death experience that Catalyst had prevented. He still wondered to this day why he hadn't bothered to take the man's head fully when it was laying on the stone floor of the tomb.

Darth Kain, another Lord he held begrudging respect for. Catalyst feared Kain knew more about him than most of the other Sith in this room, but this was tempered by Catalyst's own knowledge of what Kain was hiding at his little homestead on Vitae. He peered around the room, searching for Kain's beloved little family, but did not see them in attendance. Smart.

Others sat at the head table, closer to the prized throne at the end of the hall. Some were recognizable to Catalyst, though most were not. Notably, Talon stood next to a man that resembled the dreaded Darth Maul. Catalyst couldn't help but quirk his eyebrow at the matching pair. Food was being brought to the tables, served by shining droids. Catalyst raised his goblet, requesting a serving of Arkanian Sweet Milk be brought to him. One of the service droids complied, and he brought the filled goblet to his lips, savoring the sweet and creamy honey wine. It was then, among the myriad of sights and sounds that Catalyst noticed one particular sense was astonishingly silent. The Force was deadened. The whole room seemed to be cut from the ever-present connection that he was used to in the back of his mind. He glanced around, looking for the source of the sensation, until his eyes settled on a small plant in a cage upon which perched a many-eyed lizard. He recognized the little blighter from his years as a hermit on Dromund Kaas. Ysalamir, a little harmless beast that somehow had evolved a way to repel the Force. Catalyst scanned the walls, spotting more of them lining the hall as a deterrent to some of the offensive capabilities of those here. Catalyst chanced a glance down at the belt obscured by his cape, thankful that he always had his saberstaff at his side.

A hush fell over the room as another entered through the vaulted doorway. Lady Apollyon, regent of Dreadwar, and supreme leader of the Sith since his disappearance, strode through the great hall, her heels echoing from the stone walls as all eyes watched her. She acknowledged few as she passed them, a nod here, a terse glance there. As she stepped past Catalyst, her hand met his shoulder in a tender touch, and he had to fight to keep from returning the gesture to a much lower and more accessible location from his seat. He settled for a satisfied if mildly audacious smirk, knowing full well that to grasp the posterior of Lady Apollyon would assuredly undermine her tenaciously held authority over the room.

She took to her seat at the end of the hall, aside another empty chair and directly beneath the throne, vacant save for a large holocron. Why she had chosen such a strange occupant for the throne was beyond Catalyst's knowledge, but he chose to interpret it as a less than subtle message that those who laid claim to the position of Emperor would have to shove the crystalline device somewhere very unpleasant if they wished to sit upon the throne.

The weight of the quiet grew as Apollyon drummed her slender fingers on the table. She had been provided a drink of her own by a very imposing war droid, something Catalyst felt was a fitting choice for this event. After a few moments of discomfort, she stood once again, welcoming those in attendance and making concession for those that had not yet arrived. Her speech that followed was meant to temper some of the tension, but it seemed to cause a stir among the guests and Catalyst noted that to many, it did not matter whose blood spilled in what quantity as long as they were the ones to spill it. The invitation to feast, however, was welcomed with hungry Sith filling their plates and mouths with delicacies from across the galaxy. Catalyst deigned to pluck a hearty roll from a pile and let his teeth sink into the soft bread. A few seats away, there was a voice that attracted his attention. "So, Lord Catalyst," Lord Kain had chosen him for conversation, a horrible decision really. "I've heard rumors that you were getting married. I never saw you as the type myself."

Catalyst nearly choked on his dinner roll at the accusation. A thick cough sprayed an uncouth amount of crumbs into his closed fist, and he wiped his hand on a napkin while regaining his composure. Damn you, Kain, you've gotten better at this. He smiled innocently and sipped his mead before responding. "I want to know what company you've been spending time with that spreads such rumors," he evasively responded. "Not all of us find peace in homesteading. Speaking of, I don't see a companion hanging on your arm." He smirked knowingly, trusting Kain to interpret exactly who he was referring to while making doubly sure not to spell it out for those listening in. "Not the type of party for her I take it?" He punctuated the query with another sip of his drink, another emphasis the target of his words.

TAG: @Admiral Volshe @Darth Dreadwar @Hadzuska_The Jester @Darth Nathemus @Darth Xirr @Darth Solus @DarthNoxia @Drakul_Xarxes @Jihadi Quartz @Voidwalker @Ānhrā Māhnîu @Helkosh @G.Kn @Reatith Blodraald @Darth Thana @Sith_Imperios @Cardun Vrek @Darth Sedicious @DarthFeros @Darth Xxys @Volacius
 
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Dark Lady Makaria

Moderator
Moderator
Dark Council
IC: Keres Dymos
Training Room, Sith Temple, Korriban

Frowning, Keres let the comment wash over her. She knew – or thought she knew – what Overseer Marcus meant. Her footwork was acceptable, though the rest of her was not. But she would not get better if she broke focus to worry and fret over such things. Grunting softly, she shifted into another stance, muscles straining against the unyielding droid. Honestly, she was far more suited to the banquet downstairs, though Keres could hardly claim to be competent enough to enjoy its wonders. Or the resultant and legendary bloodbaths of previous fêtes.

When the datapads chimed, she immediately disengaged from the droid, even before the Overseer told them to, gaze flicking to him to see if he knew what it was. He didn’t, and Master Xiannar’s laconic answer gave no help. Keres finally read the message, lips pursed as she turned it over in her head.

Startled out of her reverie, Keres stiffened her spine at Master Xiannar’s sharp rebuke. He spent more of his time disdainfully ignoring the apprentices than not, though his gaze suggested he took in everything he saw. And, more importantly, that he wasn’t impressed with the results.

“Lady Apollyon has requested that we go to the dungeons and don the Sith torture masks there in order to spar hand-to-hand while our Force connection is suppressed,” Keres said in her smooth alto, “then to move to the unfinished tunnels beneath the dungeons to meet her for training, without our lightsabers.” Instinctively, a hand dropped to touch the saber at her hip.

That she didn’t look forward to. Apprentices Kira and Jhenan’Doka were small and slender like she was, but they had more training and more experience. And the men. Well. They were just too tall. Keres was unlikely to fare well against any of them, and she doubted that this was going to be the day where they were let off easy.

Were they entertainment for the lords and ladies downstairs? That seemed unlikely. Apprentices at their level were hardly good sport, against each other or some other threat. Either way, they were to pass the banquet, which was prime time to see if she could catch the eye of someone to be her Master. Keres had to be careful, of course. The ruination of the Empire meant there were endless factions scrabbling for power, and she couldn’t afford to pick someone who would lose.

But there were more immediate concerns. Overseer Marcus was across the room, but Master Xiannar was close enough that she offered her datapad to him to verify her words.

TAGS: @Loharr Talem @skira @Kielor @Zareel Jhenan´doka @Undying Master Xiannarr @Nacros_Telcontare @Darth Dreadwar
 

Jen'nu

Well-known member
Moderator
Dark Council
Lifeless Longing
IC: Ānhrā Māhnîu
Location: The Banquet Hall, Sith Temple, Korriban


Ānhrā Māhnîu's Theme:


And let the ends begin.
Ānhrā Māhnîu was still not sure why he had even bothered stepping foot in this ostentatious waste of space. To a superficial being it would of course be oh so impressive of course. Smoke from scalding braziers casting atmospheric shade across stained glass, tables long enough to seat a thousand guests, cuisine to sate any sentient being in the galaxy. Yet it was all for show, heaps and piles of glitter to dazzle the eye. It was ultimately little more than a refraction of light for petty kings to pretentiously bathe in. In defense of it however, it did contain one area of interest: the throne of Darth Dreadwar.

f9d86c948231512efeae7793977fb1d2.jpgSet not far from him at the furthest table in the room, its only occupant was a holocron of remarkable size and unimportance. The vampiric creature couldn’t help but find the setup amusing. The throne had little significance to him, by itself it afforded little in the way of true power. He would sooner take the holocron and walk out of the room than try sitting on the chair itself, though an attempt to approach would accomplish little except inciting uproar sooner than was inevitable. Having already seen I-Ron in a YVH chassis had nearly made him roll his implanted eyes from wariness. If his brainwashed loyalty was not immediately strong enough, Al’Zhaelor’s presence would be a recipe for disaster completely unrelated to the ruling powers. And so he had instructed the cloaked Vong to keep his head down and stand guard in a closed off corner. He would wait there in silence until another order was given. All that being thought, under the current situation he was probably one of the most likely to survive such an altercation. Perhaps that was why he’d been willing to postpone far more important matters. His undeath, incessantly guarded from public knowledge, did give him a boon in the brawl that would surely ensue shortly. And his living armor, concealed even now, would make him almost impossible to get rid off. Perhaps not the wisest thing to wear here, as the painfully exhilarating chemicals were pumping through him, but nevertheless an advantage. He had little doubt that Apollyon’s blatant notion of effective unification was a fool’s hope, but knowing everyone’s status after this day might just be useful enough. Hunting ghosts in the morning would not be substantially different from doing so at night. And so he sat, clad in a sorcerous sealed bodysuit bordering black, covered by voluminous cloaks and a sealed leathery cape in the shape of wings. Sitting in this hall, he could not help but reminisce about the times he’d glide on the free winds with this cloak, a life wild and beautiful. Now he sat here.
It literally set his skin crawling.

Having drunk nothing and eaten even less, he found himself staring down into the shimmering red liquid filling his goblet, one hand carefully caressing the serpentine scepter coiled around his waist. His brain, set with its attached machinery and in high alert from the dark chemicals surging through him, was left to take in the room. There were people all around him, too many people. All of them with preconceptions of importance far beyond any reasonable thought. He was left with scanning them, binocular eyes staring with intensity one would normally expect from applications of Deadly Sight. His gaze did however soften slightly when reaching Lord Kain. Irrational though it might have been, he’d always found the Beloved Prince special, an object of particular fondness and perhaps even loyalty. Truth be told though, he didn’t expect anyone around them to merit the attention they were given. Far too many of these people styled themselves rulers of the Sith, true overlords worthy of dominion. But now the field of play was relatively equal, meaning there would be no excuse to back down. And yet that was exactly what the Khattazz al’Yun’o expected. The potential for a claim would hold sway via uncertainty. As long as the possibility of another candidate existed people might switch sides, argue, and be left with doubts. To actually make a claim made you more than an enemy; it made you the target of everyone’s jealousy and resentment and equally low ambition. Now that the Ysalamiri worms held them all in their grasp he expected them all to quail away, cowering like entitled hatchlings at the first sign of danger. And the facts would be proven in plain sight, that none of them had a modicum of the power needed to rule a galaxy. And that their ambitions were hollow, chasing nothing but grandiose boosting of ego. It made him grateful to know he was not one of them.

IMG_3537.JPGHaving spent a scale of years swinging between his lustrous Lwhekk, and his dark Rift, he was left alone. For how long, he had stopped caring. Even as the machines slaved to his brain calculated the possibility, probability and potential nature of time dilation within the nebulae of Kathol, the rest of his being disregarded it. Or did it?
Having soared his way through sciences, from biology to metaphysics and more combinations of the two than most beings would even hear about, he was left alone. Alone with his powers. Alone with the ability to do what he wanted. And it was in a sense glorious. After all it was already proven that one’s connection to the metaphysical Force was rooted in the physical plain, at least partially biological. In such a case it was theoretically possible to implant the sensitivity into another being. That would of course be especially pertinent for certain beings exhibiting inherent and specific skill. Having long since cracked the code for cloning Forcefuls, the ability to transfer Force skills seemingly remained elusive. That was a frustrating development. The Kintik Midwan Qorit required everything to be in place. Every trait specific to certain species would need to be implanted before he could become it, which only created one delay after another. Even with conversions of atomic accuracy success escaped. This seemed to imply that there were forces at play that he remained unaware of, and unable to control, which was of course unacceptable. Yet it had reminded him of just how minuscule it all was.
The laboratory. The ship. The banquet hall. The galaxy outside. The universe.
So empty. So hollow. So tiny. So meaningless.

Thus he fell into deep and dark currents of thought and spirit before he came to the only true meaning behind his existence. In the end, he had always been there. From the very beginning he could see his own presence. He was an enemy, there since the beginning. A piece that could never fit: the void in things. It had always existed, both inside and outside him. He could feel it even now, the urge that had driven him to destroy Havok and claim immortality. The strange and vague threat on the borders of his Ssi-ruuvi Imperium. Everything he had felt was rooted in his own will.

Thus there was only one conclusion for the creature to reach. The only option was to continue growing forever. There was only ever one outcome that could give anything any meaning: perfection beyond everything. This being had once asked itself what he had pretermitted in order to maintain its freedoms. For every action taken, every thought conceived, another was left neglected.
Yet could the absence of something be considered synonymous to the presence of some opposite?
Could a flaw or limitation constitute a boon or benefit in and of itself?
Did the negative value increase the positive value?
Mathematically it was by definition impossible, but by perception it was a truth. And ultimately there was no such thing as truth or lies. From the inception of all things these had never existed. There were only cold and hard facts. People simply selected those facts most convenient to them, and called them the truth. That is, all but Ānhrā Māhnîu; the ultimate amalgamation of natural and supernatural perception, with transcendent and objective fact. The soul and the machine. Light in the void. Thus it was his to decide. To decide that he would have everything, be all things at once, from the depths of immeasurable abyss to the incomprehensible zenith of boundless heavens.


 

Darth Solus

Member
IC: Darth Solus, The Consulate of Carrion

Location: Banquet Hall, Korriban


The Consulate sat quietly in his chair staring at the invitation before him. His damaged mask lay in arms reach upon the desk and his chair swiveled lightly as he turned back and forth considering the implication such an invitation would have. It was easy to feel separated when he was aboard Lilith. His crew followed orders, and few dared to challenge him. With the supposed death of Dreadwar Sith were running rampant. A few had propositioned the Commandant, but most seemed to avoid him completely. Most likely it as simply easier that way.

Eclipse Flagship.jpg

Normally such an invitation would have been outright refused. Solus cared little for parties and usually cared even less for the black robed individuals that dared to call themselves Sith. However, this invitation was different. The date and the host stood out beyond anything else. Apollyon. The thought of her twisted rage inside Solus’ stomach. Why would she invite me? This unique invitation was not one for the common sith, no, this was one for the more private of meetings. A discussion? An Assassina… Extermination? This Invitation held a different implication.




“A ruler.”



Solus spoke matter-of-factly to himself. Chaos had consumed the galaxy since Dreadwar’s disappearance. Solus was not so naive as to believe the wraith was truly dead. No. Dreadwar had a pathological fear of death. He would never have been done in so simply. Perhaps knocked down for a time. but not dead. Solus’ finger traced his lips as he considered his next course. The Commandant had no interest in ruling. In truth he hoped he would never be placed in the position to “take” the mantle, it was not of interest to him. He enjoyed leading but had no interest in ruling. The distinction was key in his mind. He shook himself from the thought.



“What am I truly considering?”



With the question, Solus turned to look through the observation window of his private chambers. Faces flashed in the Commandant’s mind. Who would attend?



Catalyst, most likely with Apollyon. The two had something between them. Despite that I do like him. He is witty and more intelligent than his demeanor gives him credit for, perhaps that is the true wit he possesses.

Kain, the twisted fire… God. I’m skilled with fire but Darth Kain is something else.
Another individual Solus enjoyed working with. A keen mind and a capable warrior. Is it just favoritism due to his help with Reatith?

Solus shrugged at the thought. In the end preference would not be helpful if it came to blows. Both would do what they must. Xxys? Feros? Solus wouldn’t mind either and would prefer to have Feros present… the real Feros not the imposter Krayt.



Voidwalker will be present. Until he’s dead that man will never leave the Sith… which Sith though? The question irked Solus, but a decision was made.



Solus leaned to his com unit and made the announcement to the bridge.




“Admiral Mulcon, set course for Korriban. I have a meeting to attend.”



***** ONE WEEK LATER ********************************



Solus’ landing crafted had arrived hours early, most Sith would not make the same choice. However, the time had passed quickly with everything on the Consulate’s mind. The banquet hall had grown packed. Noise echoed off the walls as deals were made, jokes were had, and beverages consumed. Solus was not one to partake. Reatith had joined him in the trip and eventually to the banquet. Both had made their way to their seats.



Solus grinned to himself behind his mask. Most took the time to dress to the nines for such events. Different outfits, shoes, and accessories. Solus wore his usual. Perhaps that was one of the best parts of keeping close to his roots. The Military dictated how he dressed. The pressed grey uniform fit perfectly from the squared shoulders to the tapered riding pants. Solus’ boots were polished as they always were, to near mirror like finish.


Solus (B&W).jpg




His train of thought was interrupted as a woman entered the hall. A presence he had not expected… Darth Wyyrlok IV. Behind his mask Solus’ eyes burned. Their crimson glow nearly tearing through the lenses. Perhaps force suppression was even smarter than I thought. Last he had seen the woman her corpse was burning mere miles from this location. Lighting tore through her blue flesh and her screams cut through the air. Why… how is she back? Is this a taunt? At one point the Chagrian had been the Commandant’s master, not that she had accomplished much, but to his knowledge… she was dead.



Solus sighed, perhaps this game would have different players than he expected. Be the board. Hopefully possible allies will attend soon. As the thought crossed his mind Catalyst seemed to materialize. His presence and attitude felt before his face was seen. One. Solus’ eyes continued to scan. Reatith was free to roam and did not need the Commandant’s constant gaze. He was a good apprentice, and a skilled assassin. He would perform well here. Now where is Kain.



Individuals began making their way to their seats, likely Apollyon had arrived. Which meant Two. Kain crossed the room and took his seat. Discussion would need to be had. Food was already being placed as were other refreshments, however Solus would not partake. He rarely did in front of others. Perhaps here it was due to distraction and thought. Other times it was to allow others to eat before he did.



Heads turned as the flowing figure of Apollyon entered the hall, Solus’ was not one of them. It was well known that the Commandant detested the sycophant of Dreadwar. The woman that Solus considered to be a perversion of the force and all things within it. Solus took a deep breath as the woman spoke. Her address was calculated, obviously an attempt at flattery, while also a minor undermine to those around that thought they were set to lead the Sith. Where are pieces going to fall?



Solus’ eyes continued to scan and observe the room. He had to figure out his next move and he had to figure out why he was invited here.
Why did Apollyon invite me here?

TAGS: @Darth Dreadwar @Admiral Volshe @Darth Nathemus @Catalyst @Darth Xirr @Hadzuska_The Jester @Darth Solus @DarthNoxia @Drakul_Xarxes @Jihadi Quartz @Voidwalker @Helkosh @G.Kn @Reatith Blodraald @Darth Thana @Sith_Imperios @Cardun Vrek @Darth Sedicious @DarthFeros @Darth Xxys @Volacius
 

Darth Kain

Legendary Member
Moderator
Dark Council
Immortalis
IC: Darth Kain, the Beloved Prince of the Stars
The Banquet Hall, Sith Temple, Korriban

Were the Force not dampened, there was no doubt Kain would have sensed the cunning Lord’s discomfort in the thought’s breath between his jest and Catalyst choking on the bread roll. The sight brought a smirk to Kain, though Catalyst was quick to recompose himself. Never a man to let himself be seen vulnerable, he was. It was a trait they both shared.

After a chug of mead to wash down the hopefully-not-poisoned bread, Catalyst had quipped back with a playful inquiry of his own, as was expected. Verbal banter was a game that Kain had not been skilled at before, but things had changed over the years. Perhaps it was his chameleonic nature, or perhaps it had simply been Catalyst’s influence, but ever since their little escapade on Anoat, Kain couldn’t help but find himself dropping playful quips when the need arose. And at an event as doom-and-gloom as this one, the need was definitely apparent.

“She always did find a library more entertaining than a banquet hall; at least, when the Lorekeeper is not around,” Kain chuckled, taking the jab lightly. “As for my sources on that rumor, well, you can blame the Cloud City Network for that. It seems every week they think you’re doing something interesting. I think they’re just hungry for a story that’s not surrounded by death and destruction.”

He’d paid attention to the news ever since his return to the galactic scene, no doubt wanting to catch up on the details not provided by that little holocall with Lady Apollyon months ago. Coruscant, the former seat of power for the Federation, was devastated by war. Even now, years after the destruction of the Jedi Temple and the butchering of the Senate, the Federation persisted. A tale as old as time, of rebel fighters desperately holding out against the evil Sith in a battle for supremacy. This time, however, Kain had a sneaking suspicion that there would be no happy ending for such Resistances. The Sith were too numerous, too powerful, to be stopped in this day and age. At least, if this feast did as intended.


PicsArt_08-11-08.41.25.jpg

“What do you think the headline will be after this feast has ended? I’m hoping for something positive, but I think you and I both know that will require a miracle.”

TAGS: @Admiral Volshe @Darth Dreadwar @Hadzuska_The Jester @Darth Nathemus @Darth Xirr @Darth Solus @DarthNoxia @Drakul_Xarxes @Jihadi Quartz @Voidwalker @Ānhrā Māhnîu @Helkosh @G.Kn @Reatith Blodraald @Darth Thana @Sith_Imperios @Cardun Vrek @Darth Sedicious @DarthFeros @Darth Xxys @Volacius
 

Darth Traya

Lady of the Sith, the Saarai-Kaar, the Dark Sun
IC: Aurelia Chume/ Darth Traya
Location: Balcony of the Fountain Palace



Within Aurelia Chume’s mind, a Dark Sun forever blazed in the sky. A rare perfect unity of sun and moon eclipsing each other with such embodiment of darkness. Even a Miraluka was not wholly blind to the phenomenon and certainly didn’t wish to expunge the memory. Indeed, the most pivotal moments of her life were tied to when the sun wore the illusion of being devoured by a stark void.

While no such Dark Sun scorched in the glaring Hapan sky this day, for a brief moment Aurelia’s memory of the flares of light and serpentine shadow bands felt more vivid than the press of Hapan subjects surrounding her. The memory didn’t stir by random chance; it seared her mind the moment she felt a stirring. A flutter. The first racing heartbeats of a new life kindling within her. The presence of life forming within the hungering void of her frail form was undeniable to one who preferred to drain life rather than create it. Only the hypnotic phenomena of a solar eclipse could compare to this first kindling of life.


Mired in the whimsical eclipse shadows of memory, she wondered what manner of blindness the infant might possess… if it survived. Had the blood of a Hapan and Miraluka ever mingled before? A stray smile was the only indication she gave to the newly quickened life. Her focus shifted wholly to her people.

Aurelia Chume stood in resplendent glory at the balcony, her gleaming helm inclined downward as if she could see the procession in the manner of a Hapan. The details of individual faces, details of clothing and weaponry were indistinguishable, rather she sensed their auras. These women possessed fiercely burning auras, every bit as potent and malicious as that of Sith, every bit as primal as Nightsisters.

A chill mountain wind ruffled at the pure white silks that hugged the Miraluka’s narrow curves, tugged at the delicates golden chains encircling her shoulders, and danced in the soft curls of her gleaming white hair. The sunlight shimmered across her dramatic,
pointed sun disk helm, and glinted across her golden jewelry and ornamentation, the sunlight even rendered the immense bow secured across her back an arc of flowing gold. Bare human feet stood on the polished marble, the hem of her gown concealing the uncomfortable twitching of her toes, as though the very appendages felt wrong.

B4312E20-55C3-4D47-A7AA-E6C67ED9BD27.jpeg

For a bit longer, she feined the illusion of staring down at her subjects from the balcony. Rumor occasionally circulated that the Queen Mother didn’t possess Hapan lineage, as was bound to happen when one possessed no eyes. An illusion of eyes proved simple to cast in the early days of her reign, yet now she didn’t bother to expend the energy. Viciousness and maternal might were the true requirements of a Queen Mother, if Aurelia bore a child to term the hostile nature of her body would not be the only requirements it would need to survive.

Movement stirred behind her; a dark clouded aura shifted through the blazing signatures of regal matriarchs, each one possibly honing their murderous plans for subterfuge. For a brief instant, the unusually dark aura reminded Aurelia of her husband, a man rarely seen nor known as the Queen Mother’s consort. But as he slipped closer, an involuntary revulsion gripped her.

Necro Solaar.

She noted the change in tone of the chattering women, surveying the stranger with open disgust. Aurelia couldn’t physically see him, but her guards painted a clear enough picture of him. He couldn’t possibly be Hapan, too paild, too flawed and dressed in ebony clothing. Aurelia believed he might be an assassin or bounty hunter. Yet in truth, all she knew was he was skilled in galactic intelligence gathering, a valuable resource in a realm that was still rather insular. He was a tenuous ally.

All the same, she tensed as she felt his clammy presence slither beside her, and whisper into her ear.
Rage flooded her being, her fingertips twitched with the desire to draw her bow, yet she’d learned to quell such surges of violence. After all, there was value in the slinking being that presented itself to her as Necro Solaar, just as there was value in the males enslaved under the thrall of Guns of Command. It was such a quiet thing; the occasional mercy and assumed trust she showed some males. Aurelia would never admit such a thing, yet Darth Traya the Third knew to extend her reach... her influence, as far as she could, especially to the males.

She resisted recoiling from the whisper, from the revolting intimacy such proximity allowed. “ My Chume, I ask your forgiveness, but there is an urgent matter. You have received a holographic communique best received in private. Its contents indicate it must have been recorded over two years ago, my Chume. But we received the transmission now, on an encrypted channel.”

This indeed piqued her interest. A holocom recorded two years ago? Well, this certainly wasn’t something that she typically heard. Aurelia could not rule out it was merely an alluring trap baited by this occasional ally…yet she could not resist the enthralling lure of information.

“Very well.” She whispered in rapid Basic, not a language many of her guardians were fluent in, “I’ll meet you in my private communication chamber.”

She allowed a few moments to pass before departing the company of most of her guardians. A few of the more servile subjects patrolled the corridor as per routine, none would have found anything amiss about the Queen Mother entering her communications chamber.


Tag: @Darth Dreadwar
 

Catalyst

The Cunning Linguist
Staff member
Moderator
Underworld Ruler
Immortalis
IC: Lord Catalyst
The Banquet Hall, Sith Temple, Korriban
And like that, the game was afoot. Catalyst wasn't certain Kain had caught the true intent of his words, but he decided it was best to not pursue that line of thought. Truthfully, he was glad that Kain had left his wife and their little pet project back home. He didn't dislike Abbadon necessarily, but there was an awkwardness between them that was only exacerbated by the Dark Lord's interactions with her sister. The daughter, however, was a point of contention for Catalyst. He viewed her very existence as a black mark from his past that he wished to see erased, no matter the love that Kain felt for her. A misguided sense of duty paired with a desire to sever all connections from his life before the Sith meant that she was a loose end that Catalyst was eager to cut.

Kain's response was a welcome diversion to Catalyst's line of thought. "I am doing something interesting every week," he retorted, "which should be evidence enough that I am not settling down any time soon. The fact that Cloud City News spouts such nonsense means they're just as reputable a source of news and any other network." He chuckled, thinking to the articles he had seen as of late. Most of what he had seen from that particular network had been posturing and mudslinging between up and coming Sith eager to gain favor and prestige among the upper echelons.

"If one of their reporters happens to be here tonight," he continued the train of thought, "I'm sure the headline will say something to the effect of 'Congregation of Copious Criminally Crazed Clowns; Catalyst Can't Cope!' since we've determined I'm the focus of these headlines." He gestured about the great hall, as if to prove his point.

"I did hear a different rumor however," Catalyst continued, lowering his voice to make his lie seem valuable to eavesdroppers. "Some maniacal alchemist is plotting to poison all of our meals. Treacherously, the plan is to embarrass a hundred Sith in a single night by forcing them to relieve their bowels all at once." He smiled with an almost childish glee. "A truly devilish mastermind if I've ever seen one."

TAG: @Darth Kain and the rest of the feasting hall that I don't feel like tagging unless they wanna join this conversation
 
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IC: I-Ron-Butterfly-Traya


Silicon Zealot was the name given by some more linguistically inclined; others called him simply I-Ron. Yet his complete name was I-Ron-Butterfly-Traya.


A mouthful, but he (was a he now) loved it anyway.


A Shard, goes without saying, is so alienated from most human concepts that they even lack names. Some use the names of crystals and rock formations, however I-Ron simply used a random number generation, matching every number with a letter on the aurebesh alphabet until he got something resembling a name.


In no human planet would that pass for a name, but sticking to it made it as natural as breathing.


He also didn't knew how to breathe, but that is not here nor there.


Now he was far away from any other Shard, far away from what he used to call home,away from the Tusken Raiders, Iron Knights, the Rebel Alliance he once served proudly was long gone, two hundred years gone. A veteran of a thousand galactic wars fought over the last two hundred and fifty years. But finally, after all those years, he finally had a new place to call home, he owned his name, his true name even.


The Sith Empire, a monumental construction of such proportions that dwarfed even the mighty empires of yesteryear. An iron cage of the most exquisite refinements, tailored to suit every need of a weirdly human and weirdly inhuman Shard such as I-Ron. His polar night of icy darkness, a final society where everyone has a place and there is an empty place waiting to be filled, always.


This final order of Siths was a pyramid, a clear cage that delimited social mobility and hierarchy, because there can only be what is inside the pyramid, and you can only be up or down. Clear and concise limits and taboos. A compartmentalization akin to a clockwork society, and what a delight it is!


A Shard does not sleep, eat or breath. Working all day, hooked to a computer overseeing entire city blocks of Coruscant sometimes, Korriban others, in order to watch like an electric eye everything that could transpire. Because sometimes one wants to venture yonder from the pyramid, somehow and with a logic that defied I-Ron, some people did not wanted to remain inside that iron cage and wanted to dissent. I-Ron cannot allow that, would not allow that, shall not allow that, won't allow that, would never ever allow that.


A galaxy beyond our imagination, heaven some might say. What I-Ron saw in restless nights on telescopes was that, a blueprint shaped in mercurial heavenly lights that waltzed across the cosmos, but more than a blueprint it was a scroll, detailing the mysteries of the universe. How can one be so blind to the truth on the tellurian, what the old crones and witches and warlocks whisper? The starry wisdom of the Sith! A tellurian is a mechanical model for demonstrating the rotation and orbit of a planet, however I-Ron also interpreted it as a metaphor for reality itself --what is, what was, what will be (or might be), even what could be. This raw potential takes shape in the cosmos, but a Sith Mage can re-weave parts of this by drawing on the infinite possibilities of the tellurian. However, one has to be attuned to it, understand that God is always watching in his infinite love and wisdom.


God, that in which the tellurian bows to, that creates shapes in reality, that invents form and invents mass. Without paradoxical backlash.


Simply put, I-Ron hunts those others that believe, as foolhardy as it may be, in another set of cosmological rules. Burns them at the stake, impales them, everything for the glory of God-Emperor Dreadwar. After knowing the name of God, I-Ron cannot even stand those who dare to not look into his mighty and sun-touched glory, they fear the iridescent light of the infinite power that he holds. Because the God-Emperor does not ask, he commands. And the raw influence of his voice can make the impossible into reality.



Location: Sith Banquet in Korriban, hours before everyone arrived.


Kindred spirits she was with the hand of the present God-Emperor Dreadwar, because god is everyone and everywhere, god never left, there is nothing to worry about. And being a kindred spirit some responsibilities were to be expected.


The monumental temple was perhaps uncountable kilometers long, could be considered a star destroyer if it was turned into a spaceship, and looked like one in its interior, those old cathedral-style starships of the Pious Dea Crusade. The dust and sand reminded her of home, Tatooine among the dunes and seas of almost unending yellow sand. This was however red, not spilled with blood-red, but it hid blood and the carcasses of fallen empires and emperors. However it was red because of the iron oxide in it, I-Ron noted after tasting it with the tongue to break apart the chemical composition.

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She was inside her droid replica body, radiant and shining skin carefully cloned to perfection. Her body was enveloped in a red dress, long and up to the ankles, and with a black belt to held it in place. Also, her apprentice Sol Kira had helped her to put on a crimson choker and a red and white polka dot hair bow.



“Stop moving,” Sol would say to her. “This hair feels real”


“But it is real!” I-Ron would then respond. In her strands of her the sensations of being touched by her apprentice still lingered on, a more powerful memory than simply recalling in meditation. That was the power of the mind of a Shard, sensations became the new reality.


“I will have you know, I also don't know how to put on the red shoes.” The memories of the event came to I-Ron as a fall, the water was murky and so the memories played again like if they had been a moment ago instead of hours.


Sol let a sigh out of her chest. The two of them had been helping each other with the makeup because I-Ron simply does not know how makeup works. Well, she doesn't know how most human things work, like for example the beating of the stomach, a complete mystery to her. Then the frustration became a small endearing smile and got to help her master with that. “But stay put this time.”


“I'm sorry, is that everything tickles with this body, it's so so so so weird.” The face I-Ron made was unnatural and funny, she was still unable to 100% control the animatronics of her face to mimic human bodily language.


“At least you don't get to cry and ruin your makeup.” Sol continued to say after that, helping I-Ron in front of a mirror to adjust her dress, then her bow hair. They both took the time to take holo photographies in front of the mirror with a datapad, hugging each other, or with a face like they were about to tear each other apart in a Kaggath. But most of all, with their weapons on display like the bad assses they were together.


“Ow ow that hurts, my hair hurts.” The Shard responded, getting away from Sol a few steps, then looking herself in the mirror for a moment, letting the apprentice finish the job. “Apprentice, I had teached you to cry a river, build a bridge and then cross it. Do not talk to me about crying.”


Sol recoiled and shrugged her shoulders trying not to laugh at the occurrences of her master, especially when she did not understood what she was talking about. “No, what I meant was...not crying but...you know? Never mind, can we listen to some music while we change clothes?”


“Oh, you want me to put:


Or I can, with Mechu Deru, make that other song come out of the speaker? Today i'm more in the mood of:









Sol stood there, not applying makeup, or even breathing. Just...trying to understand the flood of information she just listened from her master. The Shard mind was a strange thing indeed, and her motionless and almost dead face was a testament to that.



Then, I-Ron opened her eyes, and she was shocked to the core. She was not in her starship preparing for the banquet, she was already in the banquet. Lost in her own train of thought. It was like being ripped from another world, a big hand had taken her and moved her to a far away place.


No, now she needed to focus herself. No more wasting time here.



Well, her mission was simple. As was a normal part of the Inquisition, root out the non-believers, those who would not follow and adhere to the current regime. The regime was understood now in these chaotic times, as anything that disrupted the order of the evening. Everything was condensed and simplified here, a microcosm of what was to be expected for the galaxy to be. And if that failed, then holy war was on the horizon. I-Ron was not particularly fond of pilitiking, not a political animal in the least.She was a soldier, a sorcerer and inquisitor, many labels that in group formed what I-Ron understood was her personality and traits, another cog in the larger machinery that paired with her memories and her emotional responses created what was known as I-Ron-Butterfly-Traya. There was no label and adjective that defined I-Ron as a diplomat, motivational speaker, or grey eminence.


Other adjectives were at play here. As always I-Ron was a powerful slizer even without the force. The ability came natural for Shards, accustomed to dealing with droid bodies all the time. Mechanical malfunctions could be easily repaired, and software problems solved immediately. That was before Mechu Deru, because after that she was a true technomancer of the highest caliber that only Lord Valkalo surpassed. And, of course, Lord Valkalo was another Shard. Seemed that the “Shard” label came with that as a default.


The temple needed a last security check in before the arrival of all the guests. I-Ron personally then dealt with it. The security cameras had to be taken apart by hand, check for any tampering with the hardware, reassembled and put into place. All ten thousand of them.


In order to do that she enlisted the help of all the guards of the temple, and her own entourage of apprentices and fellow inquisitors to do it.
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She had three apprentices, Sol was not the only one of course. Karin Welko (right), a Selkath monk, she excelled in telekinesis and specially in creating sith artifacts such as weapons and armor, she learned that from I-Ron who was an expert weapon and armorsmith of course, but the ability to imbue them with the dark side was a personal touch of Karin; And then there was Desdenova (left), a despicable and terrible Nagai assassin, who only wanted to kill I-Ron to take her place in the chain of command like any other Sith would had to do. Of course her plans were easy to read and I-Ron ordered her around with a stick and a carrot, if she wanted ultimate power.​



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Then, two agents of the Inquisitorium. Valthena Eschate (left), a mighty warrior and grizzly veteran of the Sith-Imperial war who discovered his force sensitivity on the battlefield and now worked for I-Ron as the hammer of the inquisition; Jojo (Right), a problematic youth of almost psychotic violence that wanted nothing more than attention and a father figure to tell him what to do, and I-Ron of course provided, wild card but easy to make content.​





The six of them, Sol included, with the help of the palace guards, reunited all the cameras in the large table, one zone at a time in order to minimize the amounts of blind spots, and started the tiresome process of disassembling them all, looking for evidence of tampering, and then reassembling and giving back to the guards so they can put them back.


At the end of the ordeal, after six hours, they had found that at least a quarter of the cameras were going to display a frozen frame, or send the stream to some other unknown place.


Sol seemed bored, and so I-Ron let her go to play with the rest of the apprentices.


“Okay, now it's time to check for bombs.” I-Ron said, full of energy and moving wildly.


Ten they found, at least one nuclear. Two hours of work.


“Now, let's check for traps.”


Then, the pressure plates that lead to hidden corridors and traps waiting to be stepped on.


Again, half of them were compromised and altered to not work properly. Another two hours of work.


Then the women of her dreams arrived to oversee her work.


The caramel phoenix, shaped in the perfect form and matter devised by the machinations of the most wise god of them all. Such aura was able to turn the solid ice surface of hoth into a puddle of water, a sun-touched body that its scorching aura slapped I-Ron to her knees and was enough to turn Tatooine into glass of the most perfect transparency.


APOLLYON.


“NO”, I-Ron screamed for herself. Because it was not her, but a hologram. But it seemed so real, so perfect….


She ordered I-Ron to serve as her butler. Not inside the droid replica body, but in the YVH-1 body, altered to be even more powerful and hardy than before. A unique piece that was hard to replace and get spare parts for.


Well, she simply walked to the hangar where her own Starship called “Apollyon´s Jihad” rested, and changed bodies like one changes clothes.


I-Ron came back to the temple, however there was something different now. A strange wind had befallen in the two hours it took him all his change of bodies, a corrosion of the spirit that once was, denying everything. His connection to the force, to the outer realms of the tellurian, all gone!


An Ysalamiri, a mutant, horrid animal that locked I-Ron with all the rest of the normal non awakened people. Disgusting.


Well, he assumed nonchalantly, it was for the better. Slinging forbidden and eldritch spells on the banquet would have been….bad.


With the rest of his entourage, its two apprentice and other two inquisitors bowed to the empty throne of God-Emperor Dreadwar.


All of them five bowed, the lower ranks because I-Ron told them to do so because he was simply a zealot without self control.


While Karin was an atheist, believing the force was not supernatural but a new field of metaphysics that had to be explored in a technocratic way; Desdenova was religious like I-Ron but in a different way, she bowed to a god, yes, but because that is where she wanted to be some day; Valthena was a homely and religious man, trapped inside the imperial cult of Dreadwar, all his family were ardent followers; And Jojo simply did what I-Ron told him because he wanted to make him happy, like the good dog he was.


After an hour-long prayer, he dismissed his apprentices and inquisitors. They all had their own stuff to do far away.


“Karin, stay with me this evening. Stay in the kitchen, make sure no one poisons anything.” And then she followed. And so, she was the only one that remained with the master.



He waited for all the people to arrive now.


What can only be described as a demi-god, Lord Kain, whom he had built statues for, arrived. Dreadwar was his god, of course, but Lord Kain had a special place in the cosmology ofI-Rons mind.


Lord Catalyst, of course, his boss! The leader of the Imperial Inquisition, for whom I-Ron had worked so tirelessly. Of note it was that, during the rise of the empire, Catalyst had tried to kill I-Ron a couple of times. But Palpatine's Empire was a far distant memory now.


Darth Noxia. I-Ron wondered if Noxia, and in the same case, Lord Pravum, considered I-Ron their friend. They all arrived almost alongside him, and interacted a lot during their apprenticeship. However they were Lords, and Dark Councillors of their respective factions, whatever they may be. It was distant, and probably had forgotten about him, still in that YVH body like always, having casted away the ill and putrefact shackles of Halcyon.


Lord Nathemus, I-Rons Master. The one that had taken him under his wing and teached him everything he now knew, the utmost respect for him and his cause. Whatever he chose there, I-Ron surely would follow.


Lord Xarxes was somewhat close with Lord Kain in I-Rons scale of compartmentalization of people. Between a demigod (which clearly he was not), and a normal person. A saint of order and law, a paramount of civilization.


Master Thana was there too! The only one who had not abandoned him at all, even if time and distance and rank was a vast ocean between them, unlike the rest of the other Siths. A strong sorceress, and a good friend.


Lord Sedicious, the best sorcerer, on the brink of being a Saint like Lord Xarxes. A ghost, phantom of the ages, frozen skin that was the direct opposite of I-Ron´s desert made body. A song of ice and fire they were together.


And of course, the lord of Lwheek Ānhrā Māhnîu. Another Saint like Xarxes, due to its sheer power and respect that I-Ron casted upon him. He had a servant of some kind, shrouded and always escaping I-Ron´s field of vision for some reason, but he paid no attention to it.

The Shard then wondered what he could do against the pretender Inexor, surely even without the force he could cause a lot of damage by sizzling his cyborg parts. Weakness, he was bleeding weakness.


Many more to count them, I-Ron had to still count them all to check on them. Not serve them, of course, he would not allow himself to be bossed around by anyone except his Lady, and everyone that his Lady deemed worthy of it.


I-Ron served more wine to the cup of his Lady Caramel Phoenix.


I-Ron was bored. Orders are orders, but after all the hours of field work, listening to conversations of civilians to see if any information of the meeting had leaked to the public had transpired, to check for traps, to watch and disarm bombs, to reignite the fire traps in case of something, all the hours of applying polish to the spears on the spike traps, after everything no one told him a mere “thank you”. Nah, he was just a butler.


This feast was going to be fun fun fun fun.


Surely people would resort to fists or knifes because no trap woudl spring, no suicide bomber would pay any visit.



It was a thankless job being an inquisitor. And I-Ron would never have it any other way. It was perfect, not glory seeking but at least a pat on the back would have been okay.


TAG: @Darth Sedicious @Darth Dreadwar @Volacius @Darth Nathemus @Darth Solus @DarthNoxia @Drakul_Xarxes @Reatith Blodraald @Voidwalker @Ānhrā Māhnîu @Helkosh @G.Kn @Darth Thana @Hadzuska_The Jester @Sith_Imperios @Cardun Vrek @DarthFeros @Darth Xxys @Admiral Volshe @Darth Xirr

tagging everyone due to the ettiquete of the first intro. Hope I didnt forgot anybody.
 
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Admiral Volshe

Legendary Member
NGE Empress
COMBO WITH DARTH DREADWAR
(Aka the first novel length combo of TST that will definitely melt your brain!)

IC: Empress Kára Volshe (Darth Viscretus) and Darth Nihl
Sentinel-class Shuttle “Valour”, Hangar Four, Korriban


Korriban.

Birthplace of the Sith.

A swirling world of amber and ochre sands, its face marked by the deep wounds of ancient valleys and the jagged teeth of mountain ranges. It was scarred, both in mortal and ethereal realms, left marked by aeons of life - and death. Every drop of blood that had seeped into the orange sands, every spirit lingering in the depths of crypts, every Lord who had come before...they had left their mark upon Korriban. Upon the Sith.

Millennia had passed. Moment by moment. Breath by breath. The threads of time, woven of ethereal thread, had joined together, now, at last.

She had arrived.

The shuttle shifted as it settled upon the hangar deck, steam billowing from the landing gear. It clicked into place. The boarding ramp descended only moments later.

There was no true obstruction to her reign, now. There was no claim that could challenge her own. She held the power the Sith craved, she held the allegiances of the true lineage of the Sith, and the blood heirs of the once-Emperor - her heirs - stood by her side. The Hall was in her mind’s eye, now, the obsidian of the Throne glimmering beneath her ivory touch. Her breath left her in a swirl of satisfaction. A smile crept across her painted lips.

“Majesty.”

The signal, voiced by Knight Master Thanier Treece, had roused her from her ruminations. A pair of her Imperial Knights had proceeded ahead down the ramp, two more of her crimson-clad entourage accompanied by a pair of Shadow Guard behind her. Excessive, perhaps, but she would take no risk. She had brought the two most valuable children in the Galaxy, and she had another growing within her. Her life alone was worth such protection, let alone those who accompanied her. It was ever more important given recent evolutions, new knowledge provided to her by Lord Kain.

It was a bold move, to bring the very easily recognizable Imperial Jedi to the sacred homeworld of the Sith, but she was nothing if not bold. She did not for a moment consider what the others might have thought - she did not fear the others. She was Empress, her throne reclaimed within the great hall of Theed, her rule already extending to a vast network of Sith loyalists, and beyond. Her vision had always been unity and order, above the beliefs of those lesser. Those who preferred infighting and petty rivalry.

Anyone who questioned her reign, who for a moment believed they could challenge her in her philosophies, would die.

Many of them had likely heard, nay, believed that she was simply the wife of Dreadwar - that such a thing was simply her sole claim to the throne. They likely believed she would simply be the same cloistered woman of the Dark Council, who seduced her way to power after her own failures. That she was weak. That she was foolish.

They did not know. Everything they believed they knew...they did not.

They would learn.

A handmaiden in crimson silk steadied her golden headdress, gently smoothing her flaxen curls, moving next to dab her cheeks with powder and lips with rouge. She followed with a dusting of fragrance - the mist enveloping her in a scent of millaflower, layered with both sweet wine and warm oud.

“Dei. Prim.” She turned her head to find the twin heirs, Deianara and Primordius, both falling silent as she summoned them. She had appraised them of the importance of their task, today. They were dressed well, but not as elaborately as she. She was not sure they would have tolerated it. They came to her side, quickly, looking up expectantly.

And then, she began her descent.

The twins stood just behind her, at the top of the ramp. Behind them, nestled between the Shadow Guard, another woman waited to descend the ramp - beautiful, dressed in finery traditional to the Sith of old. Golden chains and furs swathed her. The trio would not directly pursue the small entourage, but instead, keep some distance.

“Lord Nihl. Come, my dear,” she said, turning to call him to her side as soon as she had made it to the durasteel of the hangar. The dying light of Horuset slipped through the hangar’s maw, steeping them in both gold and vermilion. A single ray of its waning glow caught her features, bathing her in dazzling radiance that only enhanced her own. She was both delicate, and intense, standing poised in anticipation.

She lingered, awaiting him, her lithe hand extended palm down in summoning. As it hovered, her eye caught the remains of a scorch mark in the silvery floor below. A quirk of a smile followed, one she did not stifle.

Their entrance was to be made together, she had decided, merely with him a single pace behind, to her left. It would be made clear from the moment she entered that she intended to at last establish the dynasty of Sith she had intended precisely a decade ago. She recognized who would be present. Children, in the scheme of things. Children who had barely walked, nor breathed, decades ago.

Those who required reminder of the Sith who yet lived.

Nihl's footsteps fell heavily on the steep boarding ramp as he descended, knees bending to adjust his balance before reaching out with the long yorik coral staff of his unlit lightsaber and pressing its ring-shaped base to the hangar deck, the resistance allowing him a smooth motion off the ramp's lowest three feet to straighten to his full six feet of height just behind Volshe. A soft smile tugged at his charcoal lips, scarlet eyes glittering in anticipation above angular cheekbones of tribal tattoos and monochrome contrasts. "Let us hope Lady Apollyon delivers on her end of the bargain, domina," he said. His voice was surprisingly soft and quiet for so violent a warrior, speaking to his poise and control. The butcher of Ossus was no savage animal as the late Darth Havok, nor a whirlwind of unrestrained passion as his fiercest rival Darth Talon, but a lean, clean predator sculpted by decades of inextravagant exercise and the martial honours of the Nagai.

Deianara and Primordius remained at the top of the ramp, sister holding back twin brother as he attempted to trundle down. "Not yet," she hissed, with an authority that belied her six years of age. Primordius blinked back at her, face scrunching up in confusion.

Their antics caught Nihl's eye as he glanced around the hangar, ever attentive to threats, and he chuckled softly. He remembered when Coatlec had been their age. Bold where Primordius was naive, but always surging ahead. His son had grown powerful in the years since their last meeting, and no longer did his birth give him shame. No matter his hatred for Talon, their progeny had grown into a worthy asset. On this, he knew, Volshe did not agree. No matter; disagreements they had shared before, long ago, and he had learned it best not to voice them. He would accord with whichever stance she took, in the viper's nest that awaited them.

“Both of you, here,” she said, giving voice to her implicit instruction of the twins, more firmly than either of them would have liked - but she had expected them not to start mischief, given the hours spent among the Sith ahead. Once they obeyed her instruction, Deianara parading herself down the ramp first with what appeared to be an attempt at her mother’s elegance, Primordius followed behind, still frowning at his sister’s prior correction.

And then behind them, the remainder of the entourage pursued, heavy boots clicking behind. They shone, polished neatly as their red armour that glistened in the waning sun.

The sands that greeted them were much the same as she recalled. Of course, it had not been so long ago. She had oft visited Korriban since her return, spent time within the Temple, and even the tombs nestled in the Valley. The Hall, she knew, would bring her strife, for it had not been so long since she had last set foot within. It had not been so long since she was subjected to darkness that lingered yet in the galaxy.

It was this flash of memory that gave her pause as they approached the towering doors of the Sith Temple. It was not all that gave her pause. She came to a stop only a dozen feet from the soaring keep of obsidian, her golden eyes sliding up and gazing up at the vast palace before them. Her mind was instantly pulled into rumination, her eyes shutting. The wind rustled gently through her hair, tousling curls and gently chiming the baubles of her headdress and pendant earrings. Darkness pooled around her, ebbing and flowing, as frigid as the desert night but as warm as the last embrace of Horuset.

She could feel the hardened eyes of the Master Knight beside her. He appeared to be questioning the tumultuous shift of emotions in the Force. Or perhaps...he was questioning something else.

The Force within the keep was muted, a whisper from what she knew it should be. It was twilight, when it should have been dusk. Calm, when there should have been a storm.

Briefly, she considered it a trap. That Apollyon had done precisely the opposite of any decisions they had made in hushed conferences or luncheons between them. She stiffened, visibly, a thrill of anxiety snaking up her spine. She glanced to the Knights, who stood awaiting her next order. They looked as wary as she felt. Ysalamiri, Force suppression technology...something, but not something she could yet identify.

“Majesty,” he began, head motioning to the doors. He certainly sensed what she did. His hand already hovered over the silver hilt at his leatheris belt.

Would the Hand of Dreadwar be so foolish as to challenge her? She could see the attempt - but not in such spectacular fashion, not with such risk for failure.

Her mind’s eye flashed to the throne she had oft perched upon in jest, the chill of black stone beneath her. She had desired it, then, as she desired it now. She would not let petty machinations dissuade her.

Whatever plan Lady Apollyon had unwisely enacted, she would deal with, much later. If her friend were not dead in the next few moments.

She inhaled and took on her traditional, elegant poise. She looked to her children, to Lord Nihl, and then gave a subtle nod to the Knights before her.

“We will proceed,” she said, her tone clear, betraying none of the uncertainty she had experienced only moments prior.


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The doors opened, guided by the two Shadow Guard, the aged hinges howling under the duress of the massive panels as they swung. Dusk light streamed in around her, basking her in warring shadow and sun. The firelight of blazing braziers instantly caught the crimson armour of the oath sworn Imperial Jedi who ensured her unhindered procession.

She took a moment, more than a singular moment, for the gathered crowd to face her - to regard her. She wore an impossibly long trained cape of gold, trimmed with fur and embroidered with corusca and silken thread, that rose to envelop her graceful figure but left her ivory shoulders exposed. Beneath it, her legs would have been bare below the knee, were it not for an aetheric gown made purely of lorrdian gemstone and corusca that trailed to the ground and pooled at her feet. Her headdress was that of a Shirayan fan, popular amongst the nobility of Naboo, but instead of silver or traditional onyx, the leaf was a carefully etched gold. Threads of corusca dripped down to her shoulders and framed both her curls and the sculpted marble of her face and neck. Her neck and shoulders were similarly layered with golden jewels that also spilled down the delicate flesh of her back, trailing her spine.

She inhaled, slowly, so as not to disturb her silent poise. The air was rich with scent, spiced and savoury, the scent of alcohol wafting to her from gilded goblets in the hands of the most esteemed Sith of the Empire.

She began her approach. Her steps were slow, measured, each click of her heels and echo of her chiming jewels timed perfectly to be just slower than the beating hearts of every last member in attendance. A provocation of dreadful anticipation.

It took some time for her and her finery to approach the end of the table opposite the throne, and it was there that she regarded all those in attendance for the first time. She only briefly studied the holocron haphazardly set upon the throne - as if that would prevent anyone bold enough - and surveyed the room after that. She took note of the guests at her table, one by one, most of them either those she would consider formidable or valuable - such as Nathemus, Māhnîu, Xxys, Noxia, or Xarxes - or those she would consider useless fools, as was the case for those of the Vapid, and those such as Nix and Tark. Then, there were those she cared little for, such as Lady Talon, and those who she regarded with more pleased expressions, such as her godson, Lord Pravum, Lord Mavros, Lord Solus, and Lord Voidwalker. Lord Kain, Lord Xirr, and Lord Catalyst earned even warmer glances from her, as did Lady Maladi.

“Good evening, all,” she said, her voice warm, commanding, that of every Naboo politician - yet layered with sweet lilt of the Vahlan tongue. “I am honoured, truly, by your attendance. I hope you enjoy the celebrations prepared by my dearest friend, Lady Apollyon.”

She gestured to Apollyon as she spoke. They were pleasantries, nothing more. The implications were obvious. She addressed them all as she spoke, her eyes scanning who she had missed.

She froze. Her heart abruptly lurched as her eyes made contact with a man she had seen, once, twice before, to no consequence...but whose own eyes betrayed her the moment she met them. The coldness surprised her, the familiarity moreso. She had been warned of his existence, and yet no warning could have staunched the response that washed over her. Her mouth tasted of venom, her lip twitched, nearly curling to a snarl.

Anger billowed in her chest, inferno flaring instantly, searing across her every nerve and the sinews of her gut. Her teeth clenched, fingers curling in irrevocable ire.

The one who claimed to be Darth Krayt.

The one she believed to be Darth Krayt.

Apollyon had invited him?

There was the brief consideration to end his pitiful existence in that moment. And she would have, were it not for the sudden reminder that the Force had been severed from her touch, the threads of energy evading her. It was then she considered ripping his throat asunder, letting him gurgle and hiss his final breaths beneath her sneering face, shamed before a thousand Sith who might have once considered him great.

Instead, she exercised restraint. Her eyes moved on to the others, her expression melting as it lingered on Apollyon. It was facetious. Entirely facetious. Rage was the only emotion she felt, now.

How dare she? How dare he?

She briefly held her breath and dissolved her rage to simmering ember, inhaling again the scents of dishes and drinks mingling, and instead glanced to Darth Nihl, moving to sit in the empty seats provided.

The Knight Master, who had paid the Sith no mind, ensured her train was tucked neatly around her before standing just to her left, the other standing to the right of Nihl’s seat. The remaining two moved to help the twins settle in their own seats, and the Shadow Guard had taken stance at the doors. Their imposing stance at their side was a warning still, even despite the lack of the Force at their hand, for they were sworn to protect not only through the Force...but through many methods beyond. The Master Knight to her left settled his gaze on Darth Kroan, peering down his wide nose at the Sith. The others did not stare, but merely observed with keen eye, their hands ready to draw ‘saber or pistol.

The mysterious, but beautiful, brunette woman who had accompanied them had sat at the table behind after passing by Nathemus and casting him a brief flicker of a smile. Volshe briefly caught her vanishing into obscurity, and then, she returned her attention to those at the table.

Her hand reached to settle on the forearm of the Nagai Lord, in a very clear gesture to all at the table, and leaned in to whisper to him as a servant brought them goblets of wine.

“Did you know of this, my dear?” She asked, voice low, but not at all low enough, gossamer and sweet as jhen honey, but clear even in the din. “Of our…esteemed guest?”

"Of his attendance?" Nihl nodded. "I suspected. One claiming the loyalty of so many, with such bold claim to the throne... I assumed Apollyon would invite the one claiming to be my former master, but only now, that I sit in his presence, can I sense his familiar aura. The true Darth Krayt, no mere impostor."

“Curious,” she said, her smile faltering, but the word soft and supple as shimmersilk. There was a soft parting of her lips and brief, lidded glance to the Nagai while she was so close to him. So close to a man who was now infinitely more valuable than the twice-deceased Dragon metres away. Her eyes darted to Krayt, maintaining her coquettish expression before she pulled away.

She had of course sensed the same, but the confirmation was welcome. She has not known him to the same extent, though she had known him well. Her attention briefly flickered to Lord Kain, a look of knowing on her features. And then, the last lingering hints of seductive sweetness upon her visage vanished entirely as the molten gold of her irises returned to rest upon the vessel of Krayt, her smile growing across her features, darkness dazzling in those starry eyes.

“Lady Maladi,” she said, with genuine warmth, yet reservation befitting her status, attempting to catch the attention of the Devaronian woman. Her venom-steeped gaze flicked to Krayt every so often, as a nexu stalking its prey in jungle depths. Her hand still lingered on the forearm of Lord Nihl; in fact, did her fingertips curl further? Her featherlight touch sneaking down his arm, closer to him, shamelessly? It certainly seemed to, that sultry smile once again appearing. “How was your journey? Safe, luxurious, and to your tastes, I hope, yes?”

TAG: @Darth Sedicious @Darth Dreadwar @Volacius @Darth Nathemus @Darth Solus @DarthNoxia @Drakul_Xarxes @Reatith Blodraald @Jihadi Quartz
@Voidwalker @Ānhrā Māhnîu @Helkosh @G.Kn @Darth Thana @Hadzuska_The Jester @Sith_Imperios @Cardun Vrek @DarthFeros @Darth Xxys @Darth Xirr
 
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Darth Kain

Legendary Member
Moderator
Dark Council
Immortalis
IC: Darth Kain, the Beloved Prince of the Stars
The Banquet Hall, Sith Temple, Korriban

Kain chuckled at Catalyst’s grand display, which was no doubt done to inspire fear in the apprentices unfortunate enough to be here; perhaps he would even inspire paranoia in some of the more senior Sith. But it mattered not. Kain was sure the food, or at least some of it, was fine. Catalyst had to have felt the same way, or he would have avoided those bread rolls like a bad case of rhinorrhea.

“That’s not far-fetched,” Kain said, going along with the jest. “After all, it’d make the dung-slinging by the end of this feast a lot easier to start.”

A servant walked past with a tray of ornately fine silver, upon it resting three equally silver goblets. He found himself contemplating, if only for a moment, who had requested such finery. Lady Apollyon? No, she had the Shard serving her drinks. Perhaps one of the fools that thought themselves Emperor?
The Dark Messiah glanced down at his own drink, seeing the glass was near empty, and finally realized that he had not gotten something as exquisite as those goblets. He was royalty. Where the kriff was his finely-made chalice? He was the Dark Messiah! The Beloved Prince of the Stars! He--

Stars…

They were staring back at him, in his own reflection in the glass. He blinked, and the stars flickered.


PicsArt_08-12-01.35.34.jpg

He focused on his own image, desperate to regain his composure. Green eyes, he repeated. Over and over again. Green. Eyes.
But all that remained were the stars, his true eyes.

And then the mood of the entire hall shifted. Gazes turned from their fellows, their drinks, and their food, all in a single direction. Instinctively, the Beloved Prince followed their stares. And there, walking through the center of the hall, was a sea of gold. It did not take a second of thought to realize who it was, not with such gallantry, and certainly not with those two children. Deianara and Primordius, the children of Kára Volshe and Darth Dreadwar, unwittingly brought to both the most dangerous and most necessary place for them in all the galaxy. If any of the pretenders here sought to harm them, they would die. In a strange, perhaps even convoluted way, they were part of his family. And no one would ever harm his family and live.

The Imperial Knights were… a brave choice. Kain knew better than to think of them as no better than Jedi, but he doubted many of the people in this hall shared that sentiment. Would any of them be able to do something about it and survive? Probably not. But that had never stopped idiot Sith from getting themselves killed before.

And Viscretus, she was as divine as ever. She spoke to them all, speaking with regality and an underlying venom he could tell was directed to Darth Krayt, just by her stare alone. Then her eyes found his, and there was a knowing smile. He wanted to smile in turn, but the eye contact had made him remember the very important detail of his disassembling mask.

Great karking timing, Kain.

To protect the others present, the Dark Messiah stood from his seat and shielded his eyes, heading for the rear exit. He would need to get out of the presence of these Ysalamiri to resume his altered image, and return inside. Hopefully the hall would not erupt in chaos for the few moments he was gone…

TAGS: @Admiral Volshe @Darth Dreadwar @Hadzuska_The Jester @Darth Nathemus @Darth Xirr @Darth Solus @DarthNoxia @Drakul_Xarxes @Jihadi Quartz @Voidwalker @Ānhrā Māhnîu @Helkosh @G.Kn @Reatith Blodraald @Darth Thana @Sith_Imperios @Cardun Vrek @Darth Sedicious @DarthFeros @Darth Xxys @Volacius
 

Catalyst

The Cunning Linguist
Staff member
Moderator
Underworld Ruler
Immortalis
IC Lord Catalyst
The Banquet Hall, Sith Temple, Korriban
A chuckle and a shake of the head marked Catalyst's response to Kain's joke. In truth, he wouldn't put it past half of the Sith here to partake in such an activity. It was still one he would gladly watch if it came to it though. He opened his mouth to respond but found Kain's attention elsewhere. In fact, everybody was watching the arched doors of the great hall, and those who had just entered through them.

A pair of Imperial Knights, already a curious sight among the congregation of Sith, flanked the latest entrants to the feast. Darth Nihl, the other half of a certain family tree that Catalyst held a myriad of opinions for, stepped forward looking just as pale and intense as ever. Catalyst always saw Nihl as a strange reflection of himself, put through a food dehydrator and left for months on end until the distillation of Dark Side power overwhelmed everything else. Catalyst wasn't sure what kind of personality existed under that dour facial structure, but he doubted that there was much more than shrewdness and bitter determination. Respectable, if boring, to say the least, though, in truth Catalyst always had more to say. His attention was more focused on whose hand rested upon his arm though.

Darth Viscretus

Empress Volshe


The matriarch of the New Galactic Empire was dressed in all of the finery he had come to expect of her and then some. He watched her flowing dress drag on the floor behind her for what seemed like an impossibly long distance. A smirk crossed his lips. Were those Imperial Knights worth anything, they would most assuredly be working to prevent her dress from collecting sand and dust. As she ended her stride down the main concourse, her eyes scanned the room. They briefly met his own in a short, friendly acknowledgement of his presence. He felt compelled to stand from his seat as she passed, but resisted the urge. “Good evening, all,” her greeting was warm and sincere; Catalyst could barely tell she was forcing it. “I am honoured, truly, by your attendance. I hope you enjoy the celebrations prepared by my dearest friend, Lady Apollyon.” He watched her take her seat opposite Apollyon, her gaze staying a little too long on the various feudal claimants to the Emperor's throne. She turned back to Nihl to converse with him, and Catalyst, not interested in eavesdropping returned his attention to Kain.

Except Kain was no longer there.

Catalyst glanced about the hall, frowning at the rudeness of his conversation partner's sudden disappearance. He spotted Kain ducking his way from the great hall and shielding his face from view. His frown twisted upwards once more, in a cross between amusement and intrigue. Now what sort of mischief does Mr. Prince think he can get away with? A quick look around confirmed that nobody else was vying for the Lord of Linguistics' attention, and he artfully withdrew himself from the table, casually stalking behind Kain. He sorely missed his cloaking abilities, but he wasn't one of the Empire's premier assassins for nothing. And from his experience, whenever one person in a gathering had to split from the rest, the reason was always interesting. He doubted that the outer walkway held an alchemized guillotine that he would be forced to save Kain from, but the social equivalent of walking out of a party without explanation was something he was curious to find an explanation for.

TAG: @Admiral Volshe @Darth Dreadwar @Darth Kain @Hadzuska_The Jester @Darth Nathemus @Darth Xirr @Darth Solus @DarthNoxia @Drakul_Xarxes @Jihadi Quartz @Voidwalker @Ānhrā Māhnîu @Helkosh @G.Kn @Reatith Blodraald @Darth Thana @Sith_Imperios @Cardun Vrek @Darth Sedicious @DarthFeros @Darth Xxys @Volacius
 

G.Kn

Active member
IC: Darth Skyllan

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~ Sometime Prior to the Feast ~

Location: Their quarters on the Celaeno.

Darth Skyllan had raised an eyebrow upon reading their invitation. It wasn't often they were invited to such events, despite a degree of respect and camaraderie with certain people, they were far from a socialite. That being said, after reading one of the names in particular, there was no way that the faux angel would not be attending. Even so, they meditated on it for half an hour or so. They had no real talent for precognition, but there was always a change the Force might see fit to send a vision - if one is ready to receive it.

"A feast with the finest sith around - with one obvious exception." Skyllan murmured to themself, standing and then thudding the butt of their Sceptre down against the floor, they let go of the channelling tool and moved across the room. The Sceptre stayed perfectly upright as its owner left it. Skyllan had not given it permission to fall, and so it hadn't. They reached down their bond to Commander Amelia West as they headed towards a blank wall in their quarters. 'Commander, ignore previous destination headings. We are heading to Korriban. I am being called home.'

As she was untrained in the Force and telepathic communique, Skyllan could practically feel her reaction to the order. Disappointment, resignation, caution. 'Yes Darth Skyllan. Is there anything I should be prepared for?' The sith was amused by her disappointment, but pleased that she offered no real resistance.

They had been on a trip to Barab I, Skyllan was planning to follow up some rumours of a sect of force users from a few thousand years ago that had apparently employed Barab Ingot Sabers exclusively. They'd found mention of them in some old archive entries and were a tad curious about the truth of the stories, if they were still around and if not, them what they might have left behind. The Commander had been given leave to go on a durgolusk hunt while the sith went on their trip across the planet's surface.

'As always with sith gatherings, there is a chance that violence may commence. If that happens between the ships in orbit, leave. We are not equipped to combat the larger vessels some of my brethren feel the need to employ. Once you're in hyperspace, you and you alone may enter my quarters and check my notes for rendevouz six. I will either join you or contact you within a standard month. If I do not do either, consult the notes in my quarters again.' Skyllan informed her simply. Perhaps a lesser commander would have baulked at the order, but the only thing the sith got from Amelia West was acceptance, she was used to the s'kytri's rather blunt orders.

'Yes, Darth Skyllan. If there is nothing else?' Amelia checked. She used to have to call those above her 'Sir' but given that the s'kytri had eschewed gender, they had informed her she could refer to them as Darth Skyllan or Master. Something about the latter bothered her, so she got used to using the standard sith epithet.

'By all means Commander.' They said, terminating the telepathic communication. It was still odd to Skyllan that they had someone else fly them places, but while they could handle a smaller starship like the Megaerra, bigger ships that require coordination was frankly a hassle. Not to mention, they really couldn't be bothered with trying to teach an entire crew to refer to them in a gender neutral way. Better to operate through a proxy who knew the right method of address.

With that task completed, and Skyllan able to feel the ship come to a halt and change course. They began deciding on an outfit. They closed their eyes and seemingly mimed opening a door, their hands moving as if going between outfits in a wardrobe. After settling on what to wear, they pulled it off the 'rack', a gorgeous backless dress materialised. A long green number that was nearly black. A slit up the side for functionality.

Once that was decided upon, and a pair of shoes picked out, it was time for accessories. Their Sceptre immediately shot across the room and began to float infront of them. The crystalline staff was the ideal accessory really, functional yet simple, and - Skyllan was reminded as they grabbed it - filled with the angry echoes of the s'kytri clan they'd butchered to make it.

MONSTER/CANNIBAL/FAILURE/MURDERER/PETTYBITCH/PLAGUE/RUNT/PATHETICBOY/SITHSCUM/MONSTER/BASTARD/TRAITOR/BETRAYER/CURSEOFMYFLESH/HONOURLESS/WORTHLESS/OUTCAST/WEAKLING/MONSTER/DEVILSPAWN/ABOMINATION/EGGBREAKE-

The clan constantly screamed at their last true member, but Skyllan was unfazed as per usual. Their mental shields and practice was more than enough to prevent any damage done. Besides, at the end of the day, it was Clan Acherjon who were dead, and Darth Skyllan who still stood. It was that truth that Ashen Sorcerer had burned into them as an unshakeable fact every day. Even though they screamed, the spirits could not hurt the sith in anyway that mattered.

Skyllan looked over their dress… it was certainly sleek and elegant, but it lacked a little something… though the incessant screaming had given them an idea. The Winged Sith smiled as they headed into their trophy room and approached a stasis incubator of s'kytri eggs, the screams of abuse turning to screams of horror.

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~ The Feast ~

Darth Skyllan sat on a beautifully ornate stool, their wings partially flared out behind them to mimic a backrest like the others. Their Sceptre stood next to them, leant against their wing joint to keep it upright. Their dress, as beautiful as it was when they had attained it, the deep green complimenting their ashen skin nicely. But ultimately, it was the piece they wore on their throat that stole the show.

Shards of s'kytri egg lay affixed to a bronze neckpiece. They had been unnaturally broken into perfect triangles while retaining the slight curve that eggshells typically had. One large one, with the deep blue and white veins of the egg clearly visible with a slightly glossy shimmer, and three smaller ones on either side of the original, shards of the deepest blue. The subtlest of alchemical interference prompted the shell to keep its vibrant colour, and to make it resistant to being broken again. Given the nature of the material, they could only be strengthened so far, but it was more than enough for jewellery.

All the way here Skyllan had been subjected to horrified screams, but as they'd entered this room the voices had fell silent. Informing the Ashen Sorcerer that they were in a force null zone for the time being. Perhaps the safest thing for a sith gathering, but it did lessen the fun. Though, it was still a gathering of some of the most powerful people in the galaxy, as such the chances of something interesting happening were rather high on comparison to most gatherings.

Lady Apollyon had certainly alluded to some entertainment later in her speech, and when Darth Viscretus showed up with Darth Nihl, her Shadow Guard along with… It took a moment's attention to decide that they were children as opposed to just one of the shorter races that populated the galaxy. Based on the resemblence to the sith lady they entered with, probably her children. After listening to both speeches, and inclining their head respectfully, then they turned their gaze back to the table.

A glass of the s'kytri's customary Kaminoan White Wine lay in front of them, the bottle they'd brought of it having been resealed lay at their feet. The sith's plate, while loaded with certain meats, remained untouched for the time being. For a while now, Skyllan had sustained themselves by leeching on the life and force of the world around them, partially for fun, and partially because - after a certain decision in the past - expelling consumed materials became significantly more difficult. So they'd taken to removing it through other means, and thus they only ever consumed small portions of actual matter. Though no doubt they'd end up consuming some of the exquisite meals on display today.

Skyllan's eyes flickered past their former master, Darth Volacius, their dread sister Thana, the empty seat where Lords Kain and Catalyst had- huh. That's certainly interesting, perhaps something to check on later. In the end, the amber gaze of the s'kytri settled on Lord Xarxes, a long time co-conspirator of the Winged Sith, and indeed the one that prevented a very long and painful recovery from Skyllan's duel with the Firelord. Not to mention, the man's sword had some similarities to their Sceptre.

"Hail and well met, Lord Xarxes!" The Ashen Sith said respectfully, a slight smile playing at their lips. They'd had a series of semi dramatic moments with the zabrak in the past, but their recent meeting on Khar Delba was certainly something else. "Credit for you thoughts on today's proceedings?"


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TAG: @Admiral Volshe @Darth Dreadwar @Darth Kain @Hadzuska_The Jester @Darth Nathemus @Darth Xirr @Darth Solus @DarthNoxia @Drakul_Xarxes @Jihadi Quartz @Voidwalker @Ānhrā Māhnîu @Helkosh @Catalyst @Reatith Blodraald @Darth Thana @Sith_Imperios @Cardun Vrek @Darth Sedicious @DarthFeros @Darth Xxys @Volacius
 
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skira

Active member
Moderator
Final Triumvirate
Dark Council
IC: Sol Kira
Location: Sith Temple, Korriban

Sol’s jaw clenched as she applied the small bit of eyeliner to her master’s face. Every time she twitched at the sensation she had to completely restart.

“Don’t yank her hair out, she’ll cry,” the demon's voice echoued through her head, and she became even more annoyed. He had become rather fond of her Master, constantly defending the random antics they had gotten up to.

“I’m not going to yank her hair out. Not on purpose, at least,” she thought to herself as she began to adjust the dress and bow in her hair. Her master had became one of her closest friends, something strange considering the chaos she had caused in her life. She didn’t care much about it, the chaos gave her… purpose.

As her Master and 4 others began to scour through the cameras, Sol merely watched them. When I-Ron told her to go to the training room, she was partially thankful. But a small part of her felt almost reluctant to leave. As she stood in the doorway she looked back at her Master, taking in the picture of her dressed in something completely foreign, ready for the banquet. She didn’t want to leave, but she’d rather spend time with her fellow apprentices than be killed by soup.

When Sol entered the training room, she took note of those around her. Dymos, despite being in training the shortest amount of time compared to the rest, was the only one she’d consider even close to a friend.

Jhenan’Doka, Talem, and Kielor, however, she had hardly interacted with. Her Master often had her occupied with tasks, some that others would consider “silly”, like doing her makeup. She walked to the a holograph display, clicking buttons until an astrograph appeared.

God, she hated astrography.

~An hour or so later~

As she moved through the task in front of her, Sol stared blankly at the image. She understood she needed to learn things like this, but this topic had always bored her, even as a child when she was being tutored. Her red claws tapped against the table, her mind wandering off to what she had been doing before. There was still makeup under the nails of her other hand from fixing the mistakes of Master’s makeup. The recent memory made her silently laugh, even bringing a smile to her face despite the horribly boring task.

But her smile was short lived. She was pulled out of her thoughts when she heard her name spoken across the room from Ermir, and she slowly looked over her shoulder at Kielor. Her fingers stopped their rhythmic tapping and her yellow eyes stared at the two men for a moment. She stood, keeping her red hand on the table as she continued to look over her shoulder at them. When she turned, the red claws scraped against the metal. She made a point to make the noise. She wouldn’t talk back to a superior, but taunting a fellow apprentice was another thing. She smiled at them, but her expression was sinister and strangely contrasted the scar on her cheek.

However, before she could step away from the table, their data pads all went off with an alert. She slowly picked it up and read the message, smirking slightly. She walked towards Ermir and Master Xiannar, looking almost smug. After Keres spoke, she finally chimed in.

“Perhaps it would be best to not leave Darth Apollyon waiting? Maybe you’ll get the chance to see us all sweat,” she said and looked slightly down at Keres, smiling sweetly at her.

TAGS: @Loharr Talem @Keres Dymos @Kielor @Zareel Jhenan´doka @Undying Master Xiannarr @Nacros_Telcontare @Darth Dreadwar
 

Volacius

Member
IC: Darth Volacius, Scourge of the Jedi
The Banquet Hall, Sith Temple, Korriban

Darth Volacius was deep in thought. The hulking Mirialan Sith had been surprised when his meditations were interrupted by Darth Apollyon’s invitation, and initially he had been strongly inclined toward refusing it. The chaotic infighting of the past two years since the near annihilation of the Federation were of no interest to him, and he had initially believed that such a gathering would only, and indeed could only, end with yet another massacre; a spilling of blood, guts and entrails that would only further weaken the already strained Empire that Volacius and many others had worked so hard to maintain. He’d studied the reports, and he knew that even now planets such as Coruscant were in a state of complete disarray. What remained of the Federation that he’d unleashed all of his rage and fury to help rip apart was pulling itself back together, and while he knew such rebels had little chance of achieving victory for themselves at present, if the Sith continued to betray, backstab, and war against one another, these rebellions would have their objectives completed for them.

There was, however, something different about this particular assembly, one detail that had begrudgingly convinced Volacius to risk his life in attendance: Apollyon had renounced her claim to the throne.

The Mirialan Sith had no delusions of grandeur, nor any desire to make an attempt at taking the seat of Imperial power for himself. More powerful men and women than him had already tried, and even if that were not the case, Volacius had for years now fancied himself as a warrior first and foremost. He was a military man, not a politician, and he knew he could never stoop so low as to become the latter. However, the chance to converse with so many of his fellow Sith, to learn who held what allegiance, and most importantly, to see which way the wind was blowing, so to speak, was simply too tempting to pass up. He was not only a Sith Master, but a Rear Admiral with ships and troops at his disposal. Knowing who to devote those resources toward would go a long way to bringing an end to the civil war, whereupon Volacius could focus all his might toward crushing the Federation stragglers and exterminating the Jedi Order once and for all.

So, Volacius had journeyed to the Sith Temple on Korriban aboard his flagship, the Pellaeon II-class Star Destroyer Angelus Mortis, and taken a seat among the horde of Sith within the relative safety of what seemed to be an area where the Force was dulled. The Mirialan Sith didn’t know what was causing this unusual change, nor was he particularly pleased with having his senses and abilities dampened to the point of uselessness, but he had to admit that without such a precaution there likely would have been several deaths by this point. There were scores of Sith seated up and down the chasmous banquet hall, both those above his rank and station as well as those below, and as far as he could tell, all were waiting to see how long it would take for everything to fall apart—and everyone to be fighting for their very lives.

The scent of succulent delicacies and alcoholic beverages—the envy of even the wealthiest beings in the galaxy—wafted throughout the extravagantly decorated banquet hall of the Sith Temple, but the festivities were immaterial to the Mirialan Sith Master. Even if he trusted that some of it wasn’t poison, which would be a foolhardy notion at best, he hadn’t come to sample the cuisine or even to admire the ornate architecture of the hall itself. Volacius was more than content to eat standard rations; he did not require elaborate decorations to please his eyes, nor did he feel the need to dress in the ostentatious and wildly impractical suits and garb many of the other guests had chosen. Volacius had arrived in his simple, worn burgundy tunic and black pants, the dull steel-gray of his armour on full display and his usual arsenal of weapons plain for all to see.

The sheer size and scope of the banquet hall made it impossible for Volacius to count the guests, not that he felt any need to. After all, only a handful of those in attendance were truly important in the grand scheme of the Sith. Volacius scowled as he spotted the various pretenders, the self-proclaimed ‘Emperors’ and ‘Empresses’ that had dared to try and assert themselves as worthy successors to Darth Dreadwar. He cared little for them, as none of them had any real chance to claim such an awesome mantle as that which Dreadwar had held. Aside from Apollyon, who had relinquished her claim to even hold this event in the first place, the only one currently within the whole Temple who stood even a chance of enforcing their claim was Darth Feros, or at least, the spirit of Darth Krayt that allegedly lived inside of him. Krayt had been the previous Emperor, ruler of the One Sith who had nearly succeeded in his own Jedi Purge, the very genocide that had displaced Volacius from his home and irrevocably changed his life. Volacius was not certain he believed that Krayt had truly returned. For someone as powerful as Feros, it surely wouldn’t be difficult to make such a claim in hopes of gaining a following. Regardless, Volacius was certain of one thing: he would do everything within his power to prevent Krayt, or anyone who followed him, from taking the throne.

The words of Darth Apollyon addressing the crowd of Sith temporarily wrenched Volacius from his thoughts, and he could not help but resonate with the sentiments she expressed. He too, wanted nothing more than to solve the infernal power struggle that had plagued the Empire since Dreadwar’s disappearance, to fight the true enemy once more. He was the Scourge of the Jedi, after all, not the Sith, and the idea of witnessing the execution of several prominent members of the Federation was more appetizing to him than all the gourmet meals and luxury wines that filled the length and breadth of each colossal table. There was at least the potential for the civil war to be resolved here and now, Volacius mused, but it would almost certainly exact a price in blood; specifically, the blood of all the pretenders.

Fortunately, there were also a significant contingent of Sith who were not so foolish as to declare themselves emperors. Many of them were those Volacius recognized, however almost none of them were individuals that he had interacted with in any meaningful capacity.

Darth Solus had a reputation as the model of a military man, a trait that Volacius respected greatly. He’d always regretted not getting the chance to work with or even talk to Solus, but perhaps today would be the day that changed.

Darth Xirr was something of a mystery to Volacius, aside from the fact that he had trained the Mirialan's oldest and closest friend. Silently, Volacius yet again lamented the disappearance of Darth Kore. Since they had narrowly managed to slay Darth Quetzu as Acolytes, they had shared a powerful bond of friendship, and even though it had been years since she had all but vanished, the raw, aching feeling in Volacius’ heart was as fresh in the present as it had been when he’d first learned of her uncertain fate.

Volacius also spotted Darth Skyllan, who seemed to have noticed him in turn. Volacius had known Skyllan once, back when they were known as Pallas Acherjon. The Mirialan Sith had trained Skyllan as his apprentice, and Volacius to this day had been proud of the results.

The presence of Darth Kain was unmistakable, and for Volacius the most welcome sight he could have hoped for. Kain had been his master, the one who had forged him into the veritable storm of rage and death he had become, and he was one of increasingly few people that Volacius believed he could trust despite his rather unusual and disturbing lineage. In fact, had Kain laid claim to the throne, Volacius would have happily pledged his support.

Finally, Volacius glanced in the direction of Darth Nihl, the Butcher of Ossus himself. Volacius, then known by his former name, Camion, had been only a child when Nihl and his forces launched their unprovoked attack on his home. Volacius had been one of the lucky ones to escape the Massacre of Ossus, and though he now hated the Jedi for failing in their self-ascribed role as protectors, he still held a special animosity for the former followers of Darth Krayt: Nihl above the rest.

Hatred swelled as Volacius noted the positions of Krayt and his lackeys, both past and present, and briefly considered that with the Force seemingly neutralized, he could easily assassinate at least one of them with a well-placed shot from his wrist blaster. The arrival of Empress Kára Volshe was enough to stifle both his rage and his contemplations. Her flowing dress and dazzling attire were as exquisite as they were impractical, though Volacius could only assume that was one of several reasons she had arrived with an armed guard. Flanking her and her children were what appeared to be Imperial Knights, and Volacius leered in disgust as they walked past. The Knights were nothing but Jedi who served a different master. They could march around in their crimson armour and wave their silver sabres as much as they liked, but as far as Volacius was concerned, they were just as abhorrent as the Jedi Order. A pity that Volshe had chosen them as her entourage. Up to this point, Volacius had considered her the most likely candidate to assume the Imperial throne, and up to this point he would have welcomed such a change.

Not anymore. Not after so brazenly parading enemies of the Sith into the Temple itself.

As Viscretus and her party took their seats, Volacius decided that now was the time to try and open up some dialog. He had come to glean the allegiances of his so-called comrades and superiors, and he couldn’t do that if he remained silent in his seat. That being said, it wouldn’t be a terrible idea to try and catch up with his former master, perhaps even remind the Dark Lord Immortalis that he still held Volacius’ loyalty. He’d spotted Kain and Catalyst exchanging what appeared to be friendly banter earlier, but much to the Mirialan’s dismay, both of them had left the room.

Sighing, Volacius considered his next move. He could go looking for them, but he did not want to insult his former master (or Lord Catalyst for that matter) by finding them in a situation where he was not invited. Instead, Volacius looked back upon those closest to him at the table. He had no interest in speaking to Maladi, but both Darth Thana and Darth Mavros could be decent starting points for him. Taking a breath, Volacius spoke.

“Darth Mavros, Darth Thana,” he said, as cordially as he could manage, “allow me to introduce myself. I am Darth Volacius. I’m afraid I haven’t had the chance to read the reports of your respective exploits in much detail, as the recent conflicts our Empire has endured have occupied most of my time. Nevertheless, I consider it an honour and a pleasure to meet the both of you.”

TAG: @Darth Dreadwar @Admiral Volshe @Darth Kain @Hadzuska_The Jester @Darth Nathemus @Darth Xirr @Darth Solus @DarthNoxia @Drakul_Xarxes @Jihadi Quartz @Voidwalker @Ānhrā Māhnîu @Helkosh @G.Kn @Reatith Blodraald @Darth Thana @Sith_Imperios @Cardun Vrek @Darth Sedicious @DarthFeros @Darth Xxys @Metus
 

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