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  1. Today
  2. Welcome back Fynn!! Good to see you again.
  3. I-Nine left the living area, returning after a few minutes with a green tea for Skye and a glass of water for Jackson. The droid also placed a water jug and second glass on a small table off to the side of the lounge chairs. Flitter hovered between the two Jedi, running the scans on each of them and bringing up the results on a smaller monitor. When Skye glanced at it she noticed that while their life signals were showing alright, some of the other results from the brain scans were showing signs of the stress both had undergone. "I recommend not doing anything Force related tonight. In the morning you can attempt a light meditation though only do what feels right. What we will do tomorrow is some old fashioned hunting. There are some game animals in this forest that we can go after. This exercise will give you something new to experience. I'll show you how to prepare meat from it's source, then how to cook it. Skills that you will find helpful if you ever get stranded somewhere where you might need to hunt for food. I'll also teach you how to fish. I'll give you a choice of which we can do first - fishing or hunting. I'll also teach you how to test your 'catch' to make sure it is edible." The Jedi Master paused. What she hoped would happen during this 'exercise' - besides teaching him how to hunt for food - is that being surrounded by nature he might reconnect with the Force in a more natural environment. "Any questions?"
  4. Yesterday
  5. Aidan gave her a weird look, but quickly brushed it off. "What do I want? I want my Empress reclaimed. I want people to just get along. I want to not have to harm. But the galaxy doesn't work like that. To some people, violence is the only thing they understand. So they send people like us to take care of problems so everything doesn't go straight to hell in a handbasket. And even still, with the state of the galaxy being as it has been, it looks like we're headed there anyways." Aidan sighed, turning back to the viewport. He wasn't really irritated, but the way that some were so close to these continual events that they trivialized them as normal was aggravating. He didn't blame Sandy, really, it was just a reminder of where he was, what he was doing. If anything, he valued the perspective and reminder. He didn't want to become someone who trivialized these battles as normal, like his parents had. "They didn't even call me up on orders. I'm thinking some of the top brass either doesn't trust the Imperial Knights, or maybe they want to keep us on reserve for something else. All I know is I swore fealty to this Empress. I think I maybe saw her once in passing, but it's what I swore to do. Nobody can keep me off the front lines for this one. I don't particularly look forward to it, but I'm a man of my word. She's done so much to try and help the galaxy become a better place, and I truly believe she's worth fighting for. So...I guess I will." There was a silence that hung between them for a long moment, before Aidan realized how all that probably came off. Sliding closer to her, he looked her up and down, worry still in his eyes, but subdued behind a confidence that was simply in his blood. "I appreciate your support though. It...it means a lot."
  6. Knight Gupta Fazon was a calm and calculating man, not one to overreact or let emotions sway him. Still, he was slightly surprised to find that the new Knight he was meeting was of a species he had only read about. There had long been records that there was an ethnic Sith among the Sith Order, but he had only recently heard rumors that one had joined the Jedi. Apparently those rumors were true, because there was no sense of darkness coming from this young man, and his authorization code as well as that of his ship checked out. It was theoretically possible that he was a Sith infiltrator, but the Jedi didn't operate on racial suspicion alone. There were plenty of Duros among the Sith Empire, he wouldn't want himself always questioned. "Lieutenant Sadow," Fazon said clinically, "It is not for one such as myself to question your status or place in the Order. Whether you are a Knight or not is more up to yourself than any other. If you feel yourself worthy of such a title and honor, then you likely are. If not, then that is something that you must determine on your own. "Until then, I can only validate your military title and confirm that you are indeed a naval lieutenant. You clearly can fly a fighter so you may elect to attach yourself to a squadron and fly in battle. As a Jedi, you could also join with whatever assault force that will be attacking the station to rescue the Empress. Commodore Neldis is a wise man: did not give me a preference of where you are to be assigned because he knows Jedi go where they are best rather than into a mold." * * * * * * * With the last stragglers boarding their assigned ships, the ships comprising of Jedi Fleet Group Two formed up and made the jump into hyperspace. ((anyone who wishes to be part of the fleet has until battle commences at Black Sun Station to show up there and will be assumed as part of this jump))
  7. Last week
  8. “Well look at you, my dear apprentice, you’ve filled out quite nicely with the proper care and sustenance. I’m thrilled to see you finding your health again despite the state that you were in when you first were sent to me. Not everyone could bounce back from that like you did. I’m proud of you.” Just like parents would affect how children would raise their own offspring, Darth Nyrys’s training was affecting how she would train her own apprentices. She certainly knew the value of harsh treatment, but she felt like there was little she could do to top what he had been through. Better to take the pieces and reassemble them into what best suited her needs. And if kindness and support bolstered his loyalty to her even better. “Goodness” could be pragmatic, and faithful allies were priceless in the world of the Sith. Lately 03 had seemed reserved but polite, mindful of the servants that tended to him. You never knew with slaves, sometimes their pasts would grant them great empathy towards others, and other times they would transform into the monsters they once served to prove to themselves that they had finally gotten out from under. But the softness with which 03 moved and acted could not wipe away the rage she had seen when he fought. He was like a pressurized inferno inside a teddy bear. “I will be working with you next on exploring the properties of transference and energy, in particular, life force and thermodynamics. I think it will compliment your style well, and it’s something I have a great deal of experience in. Drago, I have some scrolls and tomes for you to begin studying biomancy from. It should be a smoother transition from scientific perspective than some of the more esoteric sorceries. Not to mention less likely to cause an untimely death.” Drago was a quick study and rapacious reader, the kind of student that studied for the sake of knowledge rather than to achieve a specific purpose. He had less of a raw connection to the Dark Side than 03, but his mind could leverage that connection to his own form of greatness with the right education. With how much the initial training had drained him, laboratory work would allow him time to build up his core reservoir without allowing his intake of knowledge to stall out. It was said that the Dark Lord had an affinity for the Dark Side monstrosities that roamed Onderon, cultivating a sorcerer that could create new dark wonders for him was a political investment. Furthermore, a skilled biomancer could turn even the most meek into a serious combat asset, and the Dark Lord would need troops for the coming campaign. “Often we speak of the Force as a distinct entity that exists as its own form of energy, but I think that is inaccurate to some degree. I think that the Force is more like a spiritual neuronet and medium that allows us to interact with and manipulate all of the energies and physical laws of existence. In all of my studies, I’ve never seen the Force exist in a vacuum as a power source, it’s always facilitating the transfer or consumption of other energies. For us Sith, most commonly that is emotion and sensation, along with the echoes of past wrongs. The Jedi seem to draw on whatever surplus energy exists naturally. They would be comical in choosing to be janitors over being gods if not for their penchant for the genocide of anyone that disagrees with them. Anyway, manipulating energy. Once you realize this basic truth, you can begin to explore ways to transfer, disperse, or excite energies of various types through the Force. I was brought into the galaxy through Sith alchemy, my parents were incompatible species but they wanted a child together, so one of them made it happen through alchemy and genetic science. I was often sick growing up, and myself and others always just assumed it was because I was a hybrid and that came with medical issues. Upon joining the Sith, it became apparent that my body needed to take the life force of others to correct an internal deficit. My first “feedings” were chaotic and brutal, and I remember very little of them, but they led to the first time in my life that I felt truly healthy. The process should be less uncontrolled for you to learn, since you aren’t going off of instinct and desperation. Also, since we’re on foreign soil as diplomatic representatives, I want you to start with practicing the manipulation of thermodynamics, we can use that as a lead in to vital energies later. Remember that thermodynamics isn’t heat and cold, rather movement and stillness of particles. Once we have better access to living subjects we can work on the transfer of living energy through strikes. Striking an enemy is a display of force, and force is the root of which all other authorities are derived. The Force acknowledges this most primal form of conquest, and allows a trained warrior to use it to lay claim to the life energies of others. With practice and discipline, you will be able to sustain your fighting style with the vitality of those that would oppose you. I have one of the valets out and about to retrieve a cut of rail meat for you to practice on. It will be similar to punching a person and also react comparably to any heat changes. In between practice sessions we will work together on crafting your first set of armor. I will provide the materials but whatever you complete will belong to you. Drago, I want you to read through the teachings of Morth Senizen, Kos Vellator’s saga of Korlioth, this surgical case file from the records of Darth Visector during his Alabaster Church period of work, and this treatise by Darth Mellisidae on a theoretical Sithspawn biome that could sustain itself through parasitic interactions with neighboring areas. Then I want you to decide if you want to pursue viral, alchemical, surgical, or parasitic methods of Sithspawn creation, and speculate on three morphologies you think would be of value to create. Once you have a theoretical foundation to work off of, we can move to laboratory experiments, although if you choose virals as your preferred vector we’ll need to have access to a proper clean room. I’ve read some particularly gruesome horror stories about biological agents that weren’t properly contained and got out."
  9. Sandy left the conversation about Adan’s dad where it lay. If he wanted to talk about it she was there, but she had a feeling that such a conversation was best left for after a battle and not before. She tried to hide her blush at the questions but failed. She hated that it sounded like she was bragging, but she plunged ahead. “Yeah I fought her onboard their Dreadnaught, in a circle of ash branches, in one of their ceremonial honour duels for the planet and the fleet. The fleet got away with the kids and the government so its worth it I think. Hurt a lot. I was scared to death the whole time, though.” She grinned sheepishly, “Thank you for being there to help rescue the orphanage. It meant a lot to have those people I look up to there with me.” She coughed and nodded at her apprentice as he walked towards Sanderson. “So what do you want out of this battle Aidan? You are totally welcome to stay here with me and help with the healing stuff, but I think you may want to go clash swords with the Black Sun instead.” She stuck out her tongue and laughed. “Either way I’m rooting for you.”
  10. The attempt at manipulating the force left him drained for a span of roughly 36 hrs. As his strength returned, he decided that studying while traveling would be his best option, as it so often was on his journeys. As the days passed Three began to look more and more like a man and proved a quiet and devoted companion in the pursuit of the knowledge offered by the sith, no not “the sith” any longer. Lady Nyrys, that was the appropriate title. As this person had provide him with an entire new world of knowledge, she most assuredly deserved the title. During the journey his life was simple, study the texts provided, practice drawing into himself and controlling small amounts of the force, and of course his standard physical meditation and training. While he was unsure how much his martial skills would be called on initially, he saw no reason to slack off in maintaining them. He was especially interested in the use of the force to effect living things. He managed a few times to enhance his own physical strength though not immensely. His studies began to lend themselves to the use of the force to manipulate not only his body but the bodies of others. Would it be possible he wondered to create artificial vessels, perhaps even sentient creatures? He wondered of such things and decided to throw his intellectual strength behind the pursuit of such things. He was unsure what he would uncover but the manipulation of life and physical aspects intrigued him. And his studies seemed to be bearing small fruit but fruit none the less. “Apprentices your favorite teacher is back!” Releasing the small thread of force, he had practiced maintaining while studying the texts he was interested in he rose to his feet. Seeing also stand and bow to the lady as she entered the room brought a small smirk to his face. That man was still an enigma to him but was proving a devout seeker of knowledge, which of course made him an ideal associate. Turning then to the Dark Lady he bowed deeply, “It is an honor to see you again Darth Nyrys.”
  11. Exodus

    Kuat

    ORBITAL KEYS. In the aftermath of that dismal triumph on Kuat, seasoned workforces within the Sith-Imperial operation rallied their numbers in order to promote a sense of structure and discipline, and moved to rid the installments of the previous proprietor. Hundreds if not thousands were outsourced from planetary establishments possessed by the outstretched hands of the Sith Empire, each of them heeding the call of service. The illustrious Kuat Drive Yards had a new master. The narcissistic Galactic Alliance, for all of their posturing, had proven fallible and quite unsound in their rule of the Core Worlds. The planets and their holds were falling, faster than any of their co-conspirators could flee. Rule would not remain in the grasp of the unworthy, which was demonstrated by the weak who had fallen without grace on both sides. Barren husks of breached destroyers hung in high orbit, advertising the woes of war to the shell-shocked populace below. The garish screech of TIE-modeled fighters could be heard as they proceeded their sweeps planet-wide. Enormous outfits of Sith Troopers marched the wide corridors of the ringed shipyards, accompanied by what appeared to be the notorious white-armored Stormtroopers, all platoons carrying high vermilion banners as a clear statement. With the Sith Empire evolving, Kuat now settled in as one of the first of many worlds to be secured under Imperial dominance, ushering in a smooth transition of rule under a new governing body. The Dark Council would soon convene to delegate new leadership to monitor the Kuat system, immediately ensuring a restriction of access to these prominent orbital shipyards. All of the Kuati shipyards would fall under military jurisdiction and become operated with varying degrees of supervision and regulation, but first, the purging of the remnants of battle would be prioritized.
  12. "I would like to join the strike team Master Sandy. I believe it's time for me to prove myself in the field. Although I will leave my droid R5 should you need any assistance. Now if you'll excuse me I'll report to Commander Sanderson." Kel gave a small nod to Aleria when his master introduced them before walking off and leaving Sandy to her alone time with Aidan. Kel shortly followed after Aleria and awaited further instruction.
  13. MOLDINGS OF A GOD. The abstracts of information that he devoured from the time of his release of one slave-master to another, was extraordinary. Somehow, his disconnected consciousness endured the importance of each word and each lesson. The temptation of power was a dire motivation that underlined how incapable he appeared in front of the others, and the impression that true freedom lay on the other side, was more than fuel for this shell of a man to push forward. Three had rested at last, his own quarters were tended to with the hands of servants who moved as he once did, who labored at the expense of another's whim. The idea was rich, but tempered with an unfamiliar remorse. He would ask little of them, food and slumber was all he wished for, and the expedition to another planet offered him that in abundance. The mirror was what he found himself in front of when a plate became empty, or rest was too much. Glass so reflective showed him the skin of what he was, a face chiseled and filled to health, a man with features unlike the others that surrounded him, but someone who still felt unacquainted. While he trained, and read in silence, the blue man would keep pace and offer hospitable fellowship— the two fell in sync quietly, as if each of them shared an equal determination. Three looked considerably different now, as if what he was now and what he had arrived as, was night and day. Signs of malnutrition had been washed out almost completely, with the darkness under his eyes revitalized and the shape of his physique looking more remarkable by the day. His thick snow-white hair had achieved quite some length, and was styled to fall just over his shoulders. His skin was as smooth as oil, still marred by the tracks of torture, but the bronze-kissed complexion of it spelled fair health. He could feel the tender draw of power between his fingers now, treated by an enigmatic fury inside of him that he had no answer for. He did not just look different, he was on all accounts. The quiet about him remained, and was as unflinching as steel. There was a measure of confidence when he walked now, rehabilitating the horrid posture he had stumbled onto the scene with, but he was humbled before Master Nyrys. This one was mercurial, her motives and actions untraceable as she lived them. Three found fascination in her dauntless command of people and things, and wondered most times if she had always been that way. There was an alarming danger that filled her face when she colluded with that man back on Cathar, but here and now she presented a quirkiness that could not be tamed. “Apprentices, your favorite teacher is back!” He stood from his seated studies, a book with no title and perhaps no end, paper that illustrated the magnitude of emotions in ways normally unimaginable. The secrets of these Sith were incredible. Three pulled himself from his distraction immediately as her voice fell on his attentive ears, he could never guess when she would appear from the shadows as she did. He stood tall with the comfort of his black robes. and shot a glance to his blue accomplice before staring towards the feet of Lady Nyrys and bowing deeply.
  14. A small prick sent the hairs on the back of Aleria's neck to standing. She instinctively tightened the grip of her left hand, but her face was stone - If there was one thing the Jedi taught her more than anything else, it was how to properly show indifference with nothing but a facial expression. The way that Sanderson said the word 'teenage' made her think that the older officer chafed at having to work alongside a young woman regardless of her level of experience. Which Aleria considered ironic given the current Imperial Head of State. Sandy was polite, forward, and incredibly experienced given the myriad of stories hidden beneath her young exterior. It was a rash judgment to be sure, but Aleria took a mental note of it for later. For now, she needed him. The Commander's gaze combed over her, focusing on her bearing and the scars she wore; she could see it in the imperious glint of his eyes. It was misleading given her lack of field work. But her prosthetics often provided leverage with people that thought fighting and manual labor were too rough for a woman. Ignoring the muscles and the physique, it takes a hefty-looking metal arm and a mechanical eye for people like that to take you seriously. "I would like to be a part of the boarding parties, yes. I was told you were the one to contact. Do I need to report to some place in specific or do I follow you when the time comes?"
  15. Aidan stiffened slightly at the mention of his father. "Yeah...he was a good man, I suppose. Just not galaxy's greatest dad, you know? He tried, though. In his own way." There was a beat of silence before he decided to latch onto what she'd said about her wound. "You fought Mandalore? As in, the Mandalore? The leader of the Mandalorians? How was that?" It was half a hail Mary to get off the topic of Aryian, and half genuine interest at her story. Mandalore, whoever held the current title, was never someone to relish fighting. Jedi skills aside, Mandalorians were known for not messing around in combat. Everyone knew that. Half a second later, he caught his obvious faux pas. "Aside from the wound, obviously."
  16. Sandy let her smile break into a soft chuckle of laughter at his joke. She didn’t press at whatever was behind his eyes, but she could tell that there was something bothering him. The laughter didn’t feel genuine, but it could have been simply nerves, so Sandy let the warmth of her smile speak for her. It was nice to be with him, even under the circumstances of whatever fate awaited them at the end of this hyperdrive jump. She extended a hand to touch the lightsaber that he produced and marveled at its construction. This was no imperial issue bland sabre, there had been a lot of effort put into its creation. Cobbled from a myriad of parts and peices, it was surely functional if not comfortable to the eyes. She plunged forward with the conversation, happy to be able to talk and shed her nervousness. “You mom seemed nice at Kashyyyk, I never knew your Dad, but if he was anything like you…” Her eyes looked at his again. Sincerity punctuated her words. “Then he must have been a good man.” She glanced away and pulled out her own lightsabre extending it to show off.Its long silver handle matched its blade. Though it may have been awkward, she meant it, even though she did not his father’s history. If Aidan’s experiences had been anything like her own traumas he would need someone to talk with. She thought back to her own tendencies she had faced only a few years prior. The conversation turned to another topic so she answered in turn. She smiled again and gestured to the left side of her chest. “I fought Mandalore to the standstill over Chandrila and got shot pretty bad. Though I am in the process, I don’t know how good I’d be on the front lines, so I am here to help in this way instead.” She winced. Not at any kind of pain, but because the statement had seemed like a brag.
  17. Rescuing the Empress? Why hadn't they already assigned him to this mission? Was he being protected because of who he was? Aidan sighed, staring out the viewport at the starlines racing past. It was rather hypnotic, and right now it helped him calm his own mind. "No...no, I guess we don't. It's always out of the skillet and into the frying pan lately. I don't suppose it has anything to do with aggressive Sith expansionism, hm?" He chuckled briefly at his own joke. The truth was his thoughts were gnawing at him. It was weird meeting Sandy when Aidan was first introduced to her on Kashyyyk, but honestly she was the only person who had shown him true compassion over the last several years. Sure, there were people who cared for him like Kyrie, but there was always a warm undertone of affection with Sandy, and in the moment, it was rather...nice. He leaned on that feeling, chasing the doubt from his mind. "I finally made a lightsaber. It's weird, you know. After all this time I swore I wouldn't walk in the footsteps of my parents, and here I am. I don't think people like us really get a choice." He unclipped the long hilt from his belt, hefting the handle. It felt good in his hand, balanced, ready. He knew this engagement was likely to be hairy, but his lightsaber was likely the one thing that would help him get out of it alive. "So, the medical frigate, huh? Are you with the healers, now?"
  18. Beth cocked her head to the side and triggered the line cable comm to Slaughter’s console. Being piped along the fuel lines from the communications and munitions hookup at the bottom of the TIE Defender, it could not be intercepted. At least until the fighter broke from its docking location and ejected the fuel and power transmission line. “Acknowledged Steadfast Actual. Templars beginning flight pattern.” She flipped the communications to shortband with a flick of a switch and nodded to the flight deck controller who waved his glowrod. Deck crew got behind cover stations, and the TIE fighter squadron shot from the hanger into the cold depths of space. They would be flying recon until the engagement. Beth smiled as she watched the black painted Star Destroyer Misericordia emerge from hyperspace alongside the Galactic Alliance fleet. Standing in stark contrast to the rest of the fleet. The last imperial capital ship that had survived Kuat. This would be a fight to remember.
  19. Commander Sanderson’s eyes flickered to the approaching Jedi and he raised his hand to silence his subordinates. He appraised her swiftly, deeming that she might be of some use since she had obviously had quite significant military experience from the scars and prothstetics she had all over her body. “Jedi Knight, are you here to take part in the hand to hand fighting of the boarding parties or are you here to get a report for our gracious teenage commander Knight Sarna?” He treated her respectfully but with an air of imperial supremacy, that put any question of subservience far out of mind.
  20. Sith Assassin Guide What are Sith assassins? Assassins practice a blend of stealth, social, and mental powers to further the goals of the Sith from the shadows. Whether an assassin focuses on being an invisible killer, masterminding great political schemes, or driving their enemies mad through mental manipulation is up to the player. Assassins are also not limited to those archetypes, and this guide is more of a tool for inspiration and establishing themes than creating hard and fast rules or immutable character templates. In more tactical/gamified terms, assassins tend to be lightly armored strikers and debuffers that kill through precision and exploiting vulnerabilities, and survive through speed and misdirection. Veteran players will be available and willing to mentor new writers that want to improve their craft, but assassins are generally recommended for experienced writers. Our current lead assassin is the Dark Lord Exodus. Key concepts: Fluidity, misdirection, agility, adaptation, stealth, speed, power of perception, poison, mind games, multiple approaches, illusions, unexpected movement, invasive Assassins and recurring themes Politicking: While warriors and sorcerers incidentally gain political power as they pursue their endeavors, assassins often actively seek political power. This unfortunately makes other Sith quick to question whether an assassin deserves the position they occupy, especially when it comes to Sith lords, but by the time an assassin reaches master rank they are generally regarded as proven. While there absolutely are assassins whose ambitions exceed their capabilities, it is worth noting that assassins also have the most training and natural aptitude for leadership roles. From an assassin’s perspective, they are the best suited to leadership, focusing on the larger picture, and are simply doing what is best for the Sith. Alternatively, an assassin may find a skilled warrior or sorcerer that lacks political savvy and offer to serve as council and emissary. In this way an assassin can advance themself through the rise of their ally while largely remaining in the shadows. These situations can be mutually beneficial as long as both Sith understand and respect the power dynamics and roles involved. Mortal ties and fake lives: Assassins are more likely than any other type of Sith to keep or develop ties with people and organizations outside of the order, both to accrue power and to keep their social skills sharp. Pretending to be able to relate to lesser beings is a skillset that requires practice and upkeep. Some assassins also develop ties to serve as emotional fuel for their powers, or because the Dark Side makes using people for pleasure and personal gain so easy. Rarely, Sith will seek out lovers, family, or friends from their lives before the Sith order, but that often ends in tragedy. Some Sith will maintain a family mimicking the motions others go through in advancing politically and professionally. Spouses in these arrangements are almost always either highly independent and occupied with their own lives, or so susceptible to mind tricks that their daily lives are almost like waking dreams of whatever patchwork false reality the Sith wishes to give them. Often these marriages and their offspring are treated as afterthoughts, unless any children possess Force potential, but some Sith cultivate them like gardens and compare them with other Sith in friendly competitions and wagers. Such games can quickly turn torturous or even deadly for the people caught in them. Mind games and control issues: Sith assassins have a penchant for (or some might say obsession with) mind games, controlling the information available to and perspectives of people around them. As self titled masters of manipulation, assassins always want to feel in control, even if that control is not direct. They want to feel like everyone is a piece on a board that they can move when the time comes, and when they can do so, they want people to know who is in charge. On their more benevolent days assassins want to be considered solution finders and match makers, but that’s just the opposite side of the same coin. When an assassin finds themself not in control of a situation, they tend to react in one of three ways, leaving the situation, hiding until they can understand the situation better, or doubling down on their skills of mind control and manipulation to force control over those around them, or at least the most susceptible person. Showmanship: Assassins don’t just focus on results, they focus on how they can multiply the effect of those results through performance. They make difficult feats look trivial, and mundane actions look flashy. There is music in their steps and poetry in their plans. For many, they embody power, desire, intrigue, and temptation. The assassins have a reputation to maintain, and they expend a great deal of energy doing so. Patience: More than the warriors or even the sorcerers, the assassins practice patience. Their games can play out over years or even mortal lifetimes. There is no bigger picture than the one that assassins focus on. This may make them seem indifferent to more immediate concerns and setbacks, but that’s only because they are. Powers Duelist’s cloak: An illusion power that focuses on concealing rather than deceiving, the duelist’s cloak let’s the assassin conceal his or her footwork and core stance behind a flowing illusionary robe that leaves them their full range of movement. Phantom step: When the assassin dodges or disengages, for a split second multiple illusionary instances diverge in probable directions and maneuvers to foil attempts to predict the assassin, lead shots, or score attacks of opportunity. OOC( I want to emphasize again the brevity of the illusion here to specify that this is not to create a mid duel shell game, rather just to increase survivability while disengaging an enemy.) Painful truths: The assassin uses illusionry to adopt the persona of someone known to the opponent, and speak with their voice. The goal of the power is not to deceive the opponent by adopting a false appearance (in fact the target often can intuitively detect the deception almost immediately), but rather to damage the enemy’s composure with uncomfortable truths and unspoken doubts. This power works best when the assassin either has been surveilling the target or has performed some sort of invasive mind reading attack. Mind pick: This power lets the assassin project the victim’s mindscape onto reality. While in use, reality, memory, and imagination bleed together to make an amalgam scenario where the assassin can attempt to call upon painful memories or hunt for information by trying to prompt the target to think about it. (Originally this was going to be an opposed romp through the target’s mind with both parties oblivious to real world events, but there was too much potential for other participants in battles to gank one person or the other mid mindscape duel, either trolling or as part of an underhanded one two punch combo. Instead it’s a blend of mindscape and reality to allow both participants the ability to react to events nearby.) Dreadful Morpheus: The assassin can deep dive into the mind of a sleeping or unconscious victim, devoting their full energies to exploring the depths of the dreamscape. While mind pick allows the user to peruse the surface of a target’s mind, dreadful morpheus allows the Assassin to actively dig for memories through neural pathways that connect thoughts and ideas, or to implant dreams into the victim’s psyche. Think of the connection between thoughts as like navigating wikipedia through links. The assassin must start somewhere unprotected, and outmaneuver the victim by approaching the information they need through an unexpected angle. With this power the assassin has a great deal of control over the dreamscape elements, similar to the monster from Stephen King’s It.(Since only the aggressor is making a gamble here with the other party already unconscious or asleep, I felt more comfortable with a deep dive here, rather than giving a player incap on demand.) Gale Blade: Less a distinct power and more a refined aspect of telekinesis, this skill lets the assassin affect the arc that a blade or other weapon travels in when thrown. This should not be treated as a homing attack, but rather the ability to throw around cover or in a manner that returns the blade to the hand without sacrificing lethal momentum. The assassin should already be visualizing the arc before the blade leaves his hand. Gale blade also preserves the momentum of a throw even after impact. Grasping Fetters: This simple ritual allows the assassin to treat a throwing weapon as the point of origin for telekinetic throws, holds, and pulls, allowing them to apply resistance from unexpected angles. Alternatively, the assassin can treat the weapon as sort of telekinetic grapple point to swing or redirect their movement with. Shadow Lash: The assassin relies on distraction and controlling the battlefield, and this application of illusion exemplifies their ability to strike unexpectedly at range. The lash that the Sith appears to conjure allows them to deliver painful strikes with considerable reach. While the pain is illusionary, that makes it no less vicious to the senses of anyone struck. A Sith Lord can create more complex illusions where the lash touches, especially if it entangles a limb or weapon. Flesh might bubble or become covered in cancerous lesions, or weapons may rust and crack, it’s all a matter of personal preference. Cloak of Lies: This illusion power allows the assassin to appear as someone that belongs in an area. It doesn’t replicate an existing person’s appearance, but rather just extrapolates an appearance of an appropriate look of a low key identity. For example, the Sith may look like a janitor, secretary, security guard, or office worker. The power doesn’t force people to believe that the Sith does in fact belong in the area (that’s the realm of a straight up mind trick), but it does lower the chances of people noticing them to begin with. This power works best in locations where staff or security are too numerous for everyone to know each other. Sudden Reversal: The assassin uses the Force to form an invisible barrier momentarily for them to springboard off of, allowing rapid changes in direction, aerial course correction, and otherwise impossible maneuvers like double jumps. This power can also be used to reduce falling impact by breaking the descent into multiple segments rather than a long fall. Sinister Brand: The assassin can mark a victim’s soul like ranchers brand cattle. The power is not a direct link, but rather an affliction of the spirit designed to be readily recognizable by the Sith that embedded it. Once a Sith has branded a person, it becomes significantly easier to pick them out in the Force. The more insight the assassin has into the person, the stronger the brand becomes, not only making them easier to track, but also metastasizing the darkness within. The weak willed find themselves becoming more ruled by their passions and less able to function with a clear and calm mind, eventually becoming slaves to impulse and their own dark desires. The iron willed (read PCs) won’t be dominated by the mark, but must wrestle with their own inner darkness more as the brand grows in power. It’s important to note that Sinister Brand does not appear as foreign or alien to non Sith that observe it, instead it appears to be someone losing control of their own demons. Empathic Delirium: The assassin unleashes a deluge of emotional energy onto the mind of a target, attempting to overwhelm the victim and throw them off balance in a fight or make irrational decisions while suffering from a state of severe emotional imbalance. The power can only project Dark Side related emotions like fear, jealousy, lust, and anger, and the more tone appropriate the emotion is, the more effective the power is. As with many other mental powers, understanding your target is key to getting the most out of this application. Toxic chemistry: This power allows the assassin to manipulate a victim’s response to fear and excitement. The neurochemistry of a sentient brain has the same trigger response for both, and the brain tries to file it afterwards according to various parameters. By adjusting those parameters, the assassin can seduce with terror and make the victim fear healthy attraction to others. OOC(This power is meant more for use on NPCs to recruit cultists and PCs that have consented for the purpose of storylines, as always, ship responsibly and remember to respect other players’ boundaries.) Lingering Doubts: A more subtle tool in the assassin’s mental arsenal, Lingering doubts allows the Sith to implant a thought, mental image, or short scenario into the victim’s mind, or tag a memory that the assassin knows of. Whichever route the assassin chooses, the power creates a small but nearly indelible mark in the victim’s psyche, causing the mental payload to be repeatedly brought to the surface of the mind. This is not a brute force mental attack, but rather the means to slowly make people question themselves or others, what they want, and who they are. Shadow Step: The assassin is adept at manipulating their weight and center of balance, allowing them to move silently and traverse over loose material like snow instead of through it. Particularly skilled practitioners can use this power to walk on the surface of fluid bodies. Storm Dash: With a powerful burst of TK energy, the assassin flings themself in a direction of their choosing. This power allows the assassin to change direction or misdirect opponents easily, but is more draining than sudden reversal. Death by Inches and Degrees: Originally a warrior’s application of the Force, Assassins who favored piercing weapons adapted this power with a more subtle approach. This power prevents a Sith from thrusting too deep into a target, using telekinetic control to stop the blade the moment a killing strike has been delivered. When engaging multiple targets, this is crucial in making sure the assassin is not hindered by having their blade too deep into the enemy. Nightmare Lurch: Through illusion and focused muscle control the assassin moves in disconcertingly unnatural and erratic ways. This can be used to both intimidate and to confuse opponents. Blood Echo: The assassin can cut themself and use the blood to broadcast a false ping of their presence in the Force. The range of this power is roughly twenty meters, and it pairs well with throwing knives. A Truth Amidst Ten Thousand Lies: The assassin floods the Force with thousands of potential strikes to conceal one attack that lacks any kind of Force guidance, making the attack both less accurate and less likely to be deflected by Force users. Punish the Weak: By probing through the Force, the assassin determines which opponent is most vulnerable to being overwhelmed quickly. This should not be treated as a variation of Shatterpoints, as it does not reveal how to strike or guide the attack, it’s simply sizing up opponents through preternatural abilities. ------------------------- A discussion on stealth and invisibility: I remember a while back watching a video on Force use that used the example that a Jedi could fly, but the strain of using that much Force for an extended amount of time made it impractical, especially when other forms of conveyance were readily available. I think a similar argument could be made for invisibility in that it is feasible but not practical for an assassin of any worth as they have powers and skills that let them operate at a lower baseline of Force use. During downtime a Sith may choose to indulge in invisibility in a place with enough supplemental Dark Side energy, such as a Sith temple or personal lair. Should the Sith decide to do this outside of their lair, they will forgo their Force senses and quickly become fatigued from extended use. Passing out while invisible means passing out without the aura of self that traditionally protects Force users, leaving the Sith vulnerable to Dark Side spirits. ------------------------- Poisons: Sith Poison is an oft mentioned aspect of the Sith arsenal, but its applications have been glossed over or used more as a justification for bringing Jedi to the Dark Side. Here are some alternative interpretations of side effects from poison as it spreads. Breathstealer: Swelling in the throat makes it difficult for the enemy to catch their breath, and impossible to do so quietly. Blinding Hypocrisy: This poison dilates the eyes to an extreme degree, making bright lights unbearable and even normal light sources difficult to look at. Trembling Doom: Micro spasms and muscle twitches course through the victim’s body, making fine motor control difficult. -------------------------- Forms of Control Political Office: Excepting times of overt Sith rule, assassins who hold power through politics are the most at risk for having their identities compromised, but the rewards for maintaining a public persona of power can be monumental. While we’re all familiar with the heights that Palpatine rose to through politics, even on a smaller scale the Sith can be afforded opportunities and tools of great value. I assume we’ve all seen the movies so this entry is more of an acknowledgement of the method than a complete overview. Cults: There are several avenues that Sith can use to establish cults and secure recruits, and while cults may not have the direct power of some of the other entries in this section, the inherent secrecy and zealous nature of cult members provide their own advantages. The recruitment process is made easier by the fact that Sith actually do have access to mystical powers, instead of just relying on charisma, subverted faith, and drugs. Furthermore, assassins can use the Force to erase memories and manipulate perceptions, allowing them to control the experiences that members have completely. The vast majority of Sith cults are cons to gain power and influence, but on rare occasions the cult leader might actually be a true believer. The Sith are indifferent to this as long as the cult serves its purpose, but players should keep rule 6 of the universal Force guide in mind if they go this route. It’s also a good idea to avoid the “everyone was a cultist the whole time!” trope. Some Sith dispense with pretense and simply form cults around their Sith personas, but these groups are used more to attend to ego than accomplish any secret objectives. The exception to this is power players who don’t want to admit that they’re in a cult and think that because they have lunch with Darth so and so they’re totally in the inner social circle of that Sith. They are not. But they are still useful. In terms of writing, it’s better to portray cultists as people that came from somewhere and were consumed by this hidden life rather than just faceless bodies that do whatever they’re told. Cultists should have their own internal logic for doing what they do, whether it’s seeking power of their own, wanting a sense of belonging to something larger, or even because they’ve been brainwashed by the Sith, but relaying that information gives depth. Celebrity: A Sith who uses celebrity wields an indirect and difficult to anticipate power. Celebrities have access to places and people that might otherwise be unreachable, and while they can’t directly control their fans, they can have a disproportionate effect on public opinion. Managing stardom’s never ending demands can be hellish for a Sith, but the money and fame can be intoxicating. Some Sith cheat and use mental control to attach themselves to a celebrity as part of their entourage or as a lover or agent, controlling a star from the shadows. This is a far more viable method for active Sith to utilize celebrity over the long term. The Devourers of Stars are a group of Sith assassins and body hoppers who offer a third option, abducting celebrities, taking over their lives, and then publicly burning out when their usefulness expires or a new celebrity catches their eye. Media: There are two different ways that assassins can exploit the media. The form most commonly associated with the Sith is the use of propaganda, whether in the form of defamation of enemies, propagating anti-xeno sentiment, glorifying Sith accomplishments, and vilifying enemy factions. Propaganda is rarely one hundred percent successful, but it doesn’t need to be as long as it convinces a suitable percentage of the masses. A more subtle approach involves Sith masquerading as investigative journalists to perform character assassinations with surgical precision. Even pillars of virtue can be twisted under the corrupting touch of an assassin, or at least convincingly made to look like a monster. Amusingly, if an assassin ever decides to take the role seriously, they’re actually quite capable Crime: Criminal organizations allow Sith to achieve their objectives through unexpected avenues, provide excellent financial resources, and generally don’t mind that they are working with evil space wizards should the subject arise. Many Sith cultivate ties with smaller criminal organizations or even local street gangs to act as muscle or perform simple but less than legal tasks. Some Sith even form their own criminal syndicates, after all, Sith powers are especially suited for crime. While such endeavors are more time intensive than a simple business relationship, the profits are notably sizeable. Alternatively, some crime lords have built significant empires before discovering that they were instinctively using the Dark Side to enhance their command. Business: Corporate and Sith psychology tend to go hand in hand, and the perception of Sith seemingly having limitless resources is fed largely by their mastery of the corporate sector. A Sith Lord can use the Force to manipulate deals, force acquisitions and mergers, and cause untimely deaths for rivals. Assassins that have mastered the Sith hive mind power can create soul crushing never ending crunch periods, causing mental breakdowns and collapses from physical exhaustion. -------------------------------- Lairs: A lair is many things to an assassin. It’s a temple to the self, where they go to recenter after a deep infiltration mission. It’s a walk in multi story closet where they perfect disguises and hand craft their looks. It’s a theater and a funhouse where the assassin can torment unassuming guests or impress their fellow Sith with displays of grandiose illusion. It’s a trophy room of their favorite kills and deceptions. It’s a workshop for designing concealed weapons and mixing deadly poisons. It’s a study for planning future missions and reviewing intel. It’s a powerful conductor attuned to the assassin’s soul. Lairs are meant for plot and not PvP (luring the enemy to your super secret nerve center is not a sustainable strategy). It’s a chance to explore the psyche of the character outside of their on mission personas and look at what matters to them. Lairs are too personal to be part of locations like major Sith temples or other areas with major through traffic. Sample Lairs A forgotten tenement in a rundown part of the city serves as a lair to an assassin who grew up in poverty and favors targets of wealth and hedonism. After he kills them, he binds them to one of the crumbling and rotten apartments to exist in squalor for eternity. An abandoned theater serves as a shared home for a close knit troupe of assassins who reenact their favorite kills on stage for friends and potential clients. Occasional squabbles between members turn the theater into a nightmarish phantasmal killing ground, but amends are made in time. A manor home that has outlived its foundations. Reluctant to lose such an important memory, the assassin has allowed a family to move in and renovate, completely unaware of the Sith’s presence. The family is now the Sith’s new chew toy. -------------------------------- Sith Assassin Fighting Styles (These are sample styles and by no means the end all be all of Sith assassin combat styles.) Treacherous Blade: This fighting style focuses on baiting, redirection, and punishing enemy attacks. To the untrained eye it may seem like a reactive style, but in truth the Sith is controlling the flow of the duel by feigning vulnerability and drawing out strikes. The style lends itself to parrying weapons and off hand strikes, along with limited special armor use on the hands and feet. While many techniques of the style can be used in full armor, true mastery requires freedom of movement, speed, and maximum awareness. Hidden Path: With so many Sith assassins using concealed weapons it was inevitable that a style would develop that catered to their usage. Hidden Path is a precision fighting style that achieves victory by systematically crippling the opponent. Depending on the weapon, Hidden Path will target joints, arteries, and pressure points until the enemy is unable to effectively retaliate and a killing blow can be struck. Poisonous Little Death: As the name suggests, this style focuses on poison usage, almost always as the opener. Rather than endeavor to deliver a killing blow, the intent is to distract the victim from getting help or otherwise neutralizing the poison, while also pushing the heart to beat faster and therefore spread the poison more quickly. The style is acrobatic and ostentatious, relying both on physical theatrics and illusion to harry and startle the victim into a state of reactionary panic. Spiral Ghost Dance: An evasive style that has the assassin perpetually engaging and disengaging to capitalize on advantageous moments and prevent the enemy from pressing any sort of attack. If the enemy is skilled in close quarters combat, the assassin keeps distance and distracts or throws off the the enemy’s balance with throwing knives or lanvarok disks, only closing when the enemy is overwhelmed. If the enemy is a ranged combatant then they are given no room to breathe as the assassin dogs them relentlessly. ------------------------------- Rituals and other diversions Rituals of youth and beauty: There are many variations that have been developed by the Sith over the years, but ultimately the general metaphysical mechanics are the same. The young and beautiful are sacrificed, or at least have their youth and beauty drained out of them to a crippling degree, and the vital energies are imbued to some medium that the Sith can apply or imbibe to absorb them. In terms of results, many consider it the most effective and undetectable. Sith who rely on it must be prepared to routinely invest time in performing the ritual, and increasing the number of sacrifices as they age. The greatest issue with this method however is the eventual development of a mental condition that makes the Sith begin to perceive flaws and imperfections in their appearance, despite no observable change to anyone around them. If pressed to explain what they think is wrong, they tend to be at a loss for words, desperately trying to grasp a way to communicate what they are seeing but usually falling back on words like “blight” and “rot”. This condition tends to manifest three to five years into using the ritual, and slowly worsens over time, although no actual perceivable deterioration occurs. Ritual of Tainted Perfection: An attempt to provide a solution to the creeping madness of the sacrificial rituals, this one concentrates Dark Side corruption into a single feature that becomes undeniably warped. The rest of the body ceases to change or age, other than to grow more fit and attractive with the accumulation of Dark Side energies, however the corrupted feature proportionately continues to worsen. Clawed fingertips may metastasize into arms covered in scales, black eyes might start weeping blood continuously, a serpentine tongue that constantly tastes the air might start imbuing words with an otherworldly tone. While many Sith consider it a worthy tradeoff or even relish in the reactions they get to their mutated appearances, their warped visages undeniably out them as Sith, which can be problematic for infiltrators. Sith who work wholly within the Sith Empire such as government officials benefit from propaganda portraying the mutations as noble sacrifices made in service to the Empire. Black Rite of Apoteras: If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, is not any quest for supreme beauty flawed? Is it not better to sculpt perceptions than the body? Apoteras is about embracing one’s own monstrous nature and forcing people to love it, rather than trying to sculpt a perfect body through sorcery and lifestyle. Upon performing the rite, the Sith’s body rapidly transforms into a corrupted state of “otherness” that is alien and monstrous. Each transformation is unique, and unsettling to look at. Or it should be. The horrific underlying power of Apoteras makes its disturbing form inexplicably desirable to those that behold it. Witnesses are acutely aware of their revulsion for the Sith, but are overwhelmingly compelled to also desire it, as if driven by some sense of morbid curiosity turned unhealthy fixation. -------------------------------- Sith Assassin places of power The Broken Halls: A locus of Dark Side energy in a dilapidated castle overrun with phantoms and dessicated Undying who have outlived their usefulness. An intricately woven veil of illusion covers the grounds to make the denizens fair and delightful to look upon, and the decor and structure well maintained, but this illusion varies from most in that it is only visible to those skilled in the art. To the uninitiated, the Broken Halls is a desolate place of nightmares, wandered aimlessly by shriveled and gangly monstrosities. That is why the assassins come here to train in intrigue. A novice must learn to hide their reactions behind a pale mask of lies, to convincingly profess love to unspeakable horrors, to smile and make small talk with feculent courtiers who smell of offal and rot. The Theater of the Gods: An ancient fane located in a partially submerged cave network where primitives used to go to seek the wisdom of their divinities, researchers would later discover that the stories of mythical encounters were tied to a mixture of hallucinogenic mold spores, plants with mind altering effects in the water, and natural gases that bewilder the senses and steal away focus. While no mechanical lighting is installed in the fane, the molds and algaes in the caves are bioluminescent with a wide array of colors. The Sith have begun using the caves to practice mental warfare, learning how to cope with an uncooperative and deceitful mind of their own and also how to effectively alter the minds of others. There are a number of cenotes that connect to the cave system, and masters are known to toss apprentices down them to see if they can make it out from the deepest parts of the caves. Not all do, many dying due to starvation or the paranoid delusions of their peers. Some become the madness that they have consumed, learning to live in the caves in a state of permanent delirium, and becoming a serious hazard in their own right. The Impossible Labyrinth: Built to test the skill and determination of assassins through massive free for all brawls, this structure is a grand maze with overwhelming verticality set within a massive gyrosphere, allowing the whole structure to spin, tilt, or even invert itself at its master’s whim. Furthermore, the entire interior is kept pitch black. Its creator shares the video feeds with a select few, who watch its bloody proceedings for entertainment. Still Lake Manor: A strangely placid manor adjacent to a calm fog shrouded lake, the peaceful location certainly does not strike one as a Sith holding. Inside the manor the furniture is dated but of high quality and appears barely used. The servants are obedient and attentive, and the head butler will readily hand over keys to new guests that open any door in the manor save for a wing on permanent reserve for Luxia Ravelle. Still Lake Manor is largely seen as a token of favor given out by the Dark Lord to Sith that have earned his attention, and sometimes, it is exactly that. Other times, however, when a rival Sith’s star starts burning too brightly the Dark Lord sends a very special invitation to the would be challenger. At first glance, their treatment seems the same as any other guest’s. Over time however, they may start to notice holes in their recent memories, and that they drift off more easily than normal, but it’s easily explained by the sedated atmosphere and copious amounts of food and wine. Things unravel however as the periods of missed time grow from minutes to hours to days to months to years, until suddenly it’s decades that are unaccounted for. Time has passed, because if the Sith struggles they can remember random details from what otherwise seem like gaping holes in their memories, and they can be prompted to remember certain events, but what they can recall is limited. Eventually they fade away entirely, lost to old age and a catatonic mind. But it has only been a week or two. The Time Drinkers are a secret (even by Sith standards) group of assassins that report directly to the Dark Lord and possess a very specialized skill set focused on numbing and circumventing a Force user’s ability to detect threats and external manipulation. The initial blackouts are caused by sedatives delivered through whatever means are most likely to be consistent with the current Sith. Sometimes it’s food or drink, sometimes it’s skin contact. Sometimes it’s in the bed sheets or the freshly laundered clothes. During the blackouts false memories are implanted but buried deeply to make them seem distant and the incompleteness implies memory loss, and the Time Drinkers use illusion to appropriately age all of the staff for bouts of wakefulness. The staff seems familiar with the daily habits of the Sith because they put them there. Throughout the process, the dosage sizes increase until finally the Sith fades away. A perfect murder through stagnancy. Worldbuilding The Charybdian Hollows: Imagine beings so filled with vain self loathing and envy for the lives of others that they became singularities among a sea of stars. Drawing in light and sound, joy and warmth, the Charybdian Hollows spend most of their existence as featureless shades, faces distorted by reality’s inability to handle their non identity. While in this state, the hollow feeds on the world and the people around them, creating an aura of disquiet and suffocating ennui. Upon reaching a satisfactory level of satiation the hollow devours it all en masse, transforming from a desolate singularity to a brilliant star. Exuding powerful charisma and raw force of personality, the hollow explodes into the public eye, burning through their energy stores at breakneck speed. The high may only last a night, or at most a few days, but during that time the hollow is the life of the party, the center of attention, and the object of desire in the minds of everyone around them. The Godbeasts of Onderon: While the implications of Exodus’s seeding of Onderon with the Dark Side will be seen to some degree planetwide, none were more deeply affected than the Beast Lords. Some tribes feared the changes brought on by eating corrupted beast flesh, and other tribes simply tried to endure it as a new facet of survival. A handful however sought mastery over this newfound power. Considered mad by the other tribes, they had their greatest hunters, shamans, and chieftains gorge themselves upon the meat of Sithspawn. Most were driven mad and heavily mutated by the Dark Side taint, but a select few of profound spiritual strength mastered the power that they had consumed and became monsters with insight ascendant. The hunters became quadrupedal beasts with fangs that could tear through durasteel and hardened skin that was as resilient as heavy armor, their bodies growing to the size of a landspeeder. The shamans and shamanesses, trained in the path of walking between two worlds, became bestial hybrids, able to evolve their own bodies to adopt the traits of the beasts they had eaten. The chieftains found a higher truth and became as dragons. While many understandably mistake the Godbeasts as warriors, their animal cunning and preference for stalking prey makes the assassin arts of highest appeal to them. The Godbeasts that spiritually guide their tribes also use the illusive powers to craft powerful internal journeys of the mind and to walk among their tribe unseen. The Procurers: While assassins are largely assumed to use their skill sets for murder for obvious reasons, there are other very lucrative outlets that they can be put to. The Procurers are Sith specialized in providing for the special needs and rarefied tastes of their fellow Sith. Alchemical components, ancient texts, rare ores, people of a specific type, whatever the Sith need, the Procurers can provide for a price. While some requests can be obtained easily through legitimate means, the majority involve theft or kidnapping. Procurers love solving puzzles and beating challenges, and security systems and guards are like high stakes puzzles and challenges that try to shoot you. The harder the heist, the more Procurers are into it. The Procurers routinely confound museum and private collection security teams, and have absconded with an astounding number of members of planetary royalty. For these mystical thieves, wealth is almost an absurd abstract of which they have an overabundance of and yet little use for. Even the most high tech thieving gear does little to put a dent in their carefully hidden bank accounts. As such, Procurers have something of a reputation for frivolous and nonsensical spending. Some of it could be considered vaguely charitable (sometimes they tip service industry people so obscenely that they never have to work again, or they might build a school or a hospital to impress a romantic interest), but to them it’s just finding amusement in their fortunes. The Kennel Masters and the Friends of Luxia Ravelle: Two groups of Sith assassins that enjoy a symbiotic relationship occupying the galactic party scene. The name Luxia Ravelle is a myth spoken of in reverent tones by bon vivants and hardcore party goers alike, an urban legend synonymous with extravagant bacchanals and wild excess that sounds too grandiose to be true. There are people you know, people that claim they know Luxia and can get you in. They don’t look exceptionally beautiful, well connected, or even the partying type, and yet there they are, insisting on being able to accomplish an absurdly impossible thing. They’re coworkers, book club members, friends from sabacc night, and shy college students. But you humor them, you say yes, and then that weekend they deliver you into paradise. The drinks are the best and worst kind, the kind where you don’t realize how much you’re drinking, and drugs are on the house upon request. Maybe you hesitate at first, you’ve never done anything like this before, but your friend dives in headfirst. A transformation takes place and they’re no longer a quietly average wallflower, even though they look the same now they’re an eleven and everyone wants to be around them and you want that too, even just a piece of that. That’s how they get you to swallow the hook. There are two types of predators working this hunting ground, Trainers and the Friends. Trainers are Sith who use access to the party as a carrot that quickly leads into a cycle of blackmail and increasingly severe tasks. The ones who stop trying to fight back are called hounds, and that is where the group gets the sobriquet of the Kennel Masters. The services of their hounds can be purchased for the right price by other Sith… The Friends are the actual party runners, using illusion where necessary to create the grandiose extravagances of the party until it can reach its own critical mass with bodies. They use that same talent with illusionry to kidnap and impersonate people that nobody pays attention to. The Friends have less of an interest in making people do bad things for them and more of an interest in making people want to do bad things. These assassins use an umbramantic ritual with the bacchanals as a focal point to infect people with darkness, nurture that darkness, and then feed on it. When the party bloats to sufficient size, the Friends consume all of the guests not claimed by the Kennel Masters in a cannibalistic bloodbath that rejuvenates their flesh and makes their power swell. When the Friends emerge from the cocoonlike mound of half eaten bodies, they now wear the features of their former guests, and the legend of Luxia Ravelle continues. It is unknown if there even is a Luxia Ravelle, or if it’s just another part of the theatrics... The Kind Ones: A peculiar breed of Sith Assassin that has an unusual path to power. A Kind One will enter the service of a household appearing as a member of the staff through illusionry. In larger households they will often go unnoticed, but in smaller or more perceptive families a great deal of confusion may arise over an unknown but helpful individual that no one can recall hiring, or even seeing beyond a brief moment of passing. Superstitious people may even whisper of ghosts or otherworldly beings. But over time, the family and the staff come to accept the mysterious entity as being benign, both through its actions and a general sense of kindness surrounding any passing encounters. Furthermore, a sense that the being’s presence is a secret of utmost importance to keep from outsiders infiltrates the minds of everyone. After some time of enjoying the quiet industriousness of the Sith, either the matriarch or patriarch of the family (Or sometimes both, if the Sith has their eye on an heir of age) will begin to suffer a wasting disease that burns through them quickly. Exploiting the grief of the survivors, The Kind One will assert more and more influence into the lives of the household, replacing the lost parent as a romantic partner and cementing their place until they become the head of the household. If the children are well behaved and useful, The Kind One will allow them to persist, but if they rebel against its presence it will kill or otherwise remove them from the board of the game that it is playing. While the goal may seem like a crass desire for material wealth and possessions, and sometimes that is exactly what it is, more often The Kind One has a more sinister purpose for its manipulations. It was not just wealth and privilege that attracted The Kind One to the family, but some nascent spark of Force potential. While rarely do any of the members have enough talent to be Sith in their own right, they carry enough power to virtually ensure Force sensitive offspring and also have proven that they can function in a family unit, and that is the true prize that the Kind Ones seek, future soldiers for the Dark Lord’s forces raised in secrecy. The assassin does its best to both protect and grow the family, dealing with threats both without and within. It is harder on its own children than the original heirs, in a calculated move that both makes the original children more sympathetic to the half outsider, and inures the Sith child at a young age to hardship. In fact The Kind One often appears to spoil its stepchildren, fattening the lambs for a coming slaughter. If the Sith children appear to be lacking in Force ability by the time they come of age, The Kind One shows them how slaughter their step siblings and steal their power for their own. The Kind One does not aid the Sith children in this, that is not the way of the Sith, and if the originally family overcomes their murderous stepkin, the Sith will instead channel the power of their failed offspring into the survivors, ensuring that either way a crop of new recruits is harvested. The Kind Ones represent the usurpation of family and the desire to twist a loving place of sanctuary into a means to an end. While The Kind Ones are probably better as NPCs due to what actual play for them would be like, I’m adding them here because they also make for great character background fodder, if the player chooses to be one of The Kind One’s descendants or surviving stepchildren.
  21. Sandy grinned sheepishly, with so much on her mind, she had forgotten even to tell the Imperial where they were even going. She tucked a lock of bright blonde hair behind her ear trying to bid away her flush of embarrassment. Her words were fast as she gave the briefing. “Aidan, the Jedi Relief flotilla is to rendezvous with the joint task force rescuing the Empress from her imprisonment at the Black Sun station thing. I do not know what we will be facing, but I know I have been assigned to lead the medical forces from the medical frigate." She controlled the blush, letting her cheeks fall back into their normal pale, freckled, hue and she glanced back up. Emerald eyes meeting the emerald eyes of the older imperial Knight. "We never seem to catch a break do we?” She grinned wryly
  22. Kota felt a slight shiver run down his spine unexpectedly at hearing his name spoken. He couldn't really figure out why, but decided that it must have been nothing. So he instead looked back down between his legs at the durasteel he was sitting on with his legs crossed. He reached back out into the Force to see where exactly he felt like these emotions and thoughts echoed from. He then found them. "I could be mistaken, but I believe that they are coming from the dock security office..." It was right then that Kota remembered why the feelings and thoughts felt so familiar to him. He had felt them before he used the Force to kill three dock officers to help him and sister escape.
  23. "Ash! We-" Ash whirled at Aurion's shout. Something felt distinctly off. Unfortunately, he didn't have much time to follow through on that thought as the shock wave from something hitting the ship sent him careening face-first into a nearby wall. The one small mercy he had was being knocked unconscious quickly, though it really only meant that the headache when he woke would be that much worse. Meanwhile in the cockpit the pilot fought the ship controls as the ship hurtled away from the encampment. For a while, the ship gained altitude until another subsystem failed, making escape to space impossible. As they hurtled back towards the planet, there was one simple thought on the pilot's mind: he was a leaf on the wind...
  24. Aidan managed to find the bridge just as Sandy was meeting someone he'd never met before, but Aidan could tell the other was also a trained Force practitioner. Mostly, this was apparent just from the hilts that hung at her waist, but she also had a presence to her that Aidan had learned to recognize, the kind only a powerful person in the Force exuded. The same kind Sandy had exhibited for some time. He smiled and nodded as he was introduced, hearing that she was also a Jedi. By the look of her, she'd been through some bad times, having a lot of droid prosthetics attached to her right side, but Aidan had seen worse and knew better than to stare. If the time came later, he might ask, but only if it was appropriate to do so. As Aleria moved away, Aidan moved forward, looking over the bridge crew. Truth be told, he didn't know what half the stations did, but he trusted the men and women to do their job, just like he had a job to do. Still, he proudly wore his new staff saber at his hip, and made no effort to hide it. Pride might come before the fall, but by his estimates the fall was still a ways off. Eventually he turned, having remembered Sandy saying something about the front lines. Were they headed to yet another battle? "Hey Sandy...where, uhh...where exactly are we headed?"
  25. ((Backposting as authorized)) Aidan felt Sandy's response, clear as day. Of course, she was probably still on the main ship the Jedi had in orbit. It wasn't long until Aidan was at the nearest hangar, confirming this, then securing passage in one of the last supply shuttles servicing the Ara-Lai before it departed the system. ((Rest of the post in space))
  26. His words, vile at best were but bile upon her ears as Eve choked down her urges, her temptations to act. No, not yet. It wasn't time. First she needed this girl to forge the weapon within that she promised. Then, and only then, would its taste bare sweet fruition from its labor. So she swallowed her craving for vengeance, even as this being before her turned his back to her. The best dishes were always best served cold. But a warm sensation would be what she tasted and felt next as the blade slid so cleanly across her throat, the gurgling of warm iron rising upon her taste buds as her face felt the cold steel of the floor below. It was in that moment that Eve felt a flood of emotions flow forth as the warm blood poured from her flesh and encased her pressured flesh. First was that of shock, of fear, that these beings could have possibly knew her intent. But no, that wasn't it. They viewed her too weakly, underestimating the truth within her as this Spider suggested to the girl that had just silenced her without thought. So what was it? Then the voice came, words left unspoken echoing through her head as her form recieved yet another blow, the pain only numbed by the thoughts of her imminent death lingering on the horizon as she grasped at an attempt to make sense of what was transpiring. These two were more than she anticipated, their actions and words saying one thing while they did another. And this girl, the one who promised to forge her into a weapon, unknowingly a weapon forged to kill the vile creature before them, slicing her throat, and yet expecting her to live? Her mind was manic, unsure and confused, even as her body laid silently in a pooling of her own blood, her gaze silent and still as if death had already taken her before her mind and soul caught up to it. Her gaze finally shifted, first toward the two as they walked away before settling upon what the girl had tossed to her side, the gauze filling with the red of her blood and the small pin like instrument that laid beside it. Once again her eyes flickered in the flames of the darkened room and she went to voice herself even as the blood gargled in the place of her voice. "Noooooo!" No. She would not die here. Her purpose was and will always be clear. She would end this being known as the Spider. She would have her vengeance, and now, it would only be that much more sweeter. Her face now covered in her own blood, Eve grasped at the floor and managed to grip it, her gaze staring intently at the two as she pushed her chest from upon the floor. Grabbing the instrument and the gauze, she acted. Even as her flesh stung with the burning of it to close the wound, her gaze remained upon them. Even if she could not speak, they would hear her. Her determination was strong, just as her will, and will would be done. And as she went to stand, her form swaying to the loss of her blood that now covered her and dripped from her, she laid the gauze across her neck and stumbled after them. The girl had a promise to keep, and the Spider had a fate to meet, both intertwined with her own web of deceit. Now that the chips had been placed, it was time to shuffle the deck and begin. Let the melody of the Melodie whisper its sweet song. "I will not die so easily."
  27. The voyage to Dark Sun was not easy. Located deep in the sectors previously controlled by the Corporate Sector Authority, the star charts that the Galactic Alliance possessed for this region had not been updated for some time. It was an already difficult transition through a region of space so dense with stars that some of the fleet’s older tenders could not even properly plot out routes through the quagmire of competing gravity wells. What made it an arduous journey, however, was the unnerving sensation that the fleet must have tripped a proximity sensor or a surveillance probe or some other early-warning system that Black Sun had left to alert them to unwanted visitors. With the crime syndicate having found themselves in possession of the single most valuable head in the galaxy, they must have anticipated a rescue attempt and laid a trap. But as the armada popped in and out of hyperspace to confirm their position and reroute around stellar hazards, no fleet was lying in ambush. No battery of orbital turbolasers opened fire upon the fleet. None of their re-entry points were even mined. “Andromina, you’re first out the hangar.” Slaughter had briefed the commando just prior to the last jump. The Admiral had considered leaving her TIE Defenders in reserve as a surprise for the Black Sunners, but the possibility that the fleet was about to revert into a free-fire zone could not be discounted. Finally, the jump to the rendezvous point. The veteran soldier remained on the bridge during this final hour, waiting for a barrage of turbolaser fire to greet their re-entry from hyperspace… but instead the formation found itself in the middle of a formation of allied vessels from the Jedi Order. About them was an unexceptional star orbited by unexceptional planets and unexceptional moons--many light-years from civilization, this system would have held little value to any but a mining corporation or a criminal gang. The moment fleet arrived out of hyperspace, its recon A-Wings were dispersed throughout the fleet in search of any emplacements that might await their approach on Dark Sun Station. Speedy little interceptors equipped with sensor jammers, they would be well-equipped to flee if any opposition was encountered. At the nucleus of this squadron was the Steadfast and Fidelity, two MC90 Star Cruisers that had so recently been battle-damaged by the disaster at Coruscant that the repair crews hadn’t even had the opportunity to paint over the repaired armor plating. The Phalanx, a worn Dreadnaught-class Heavy Cruiser held one flank, and the Kalidor, a more modern Majestic-class Heavy Cruiser at the other. Within this formation prowled and twisted a trio of corvettes, ready to break off to support a starfighter attack. On the bridge of the Steadfast, Slaughter regarded the incoming sensor data from the coalition’s scouts with apprehension. In a star system like this, there would be little opportunity for clever maneuvers or gambits--it was going to be a slugging match, each side dealing out tremendous blows and suffering tremendous casualties. He hailed the flagship of the Jedi formation in a text communique, confirming their position and transmitting planned maneuvers. They were not subtle. Jedi fleet, Steadfast Actual. Good to see you. Will focus efforts on enemy Star Destroyers and Golan. Surviving forces will blockade and demand release of target.
  28. Aurora was intrigued by his explaination as she sat there in silence, listening with attentiveness as he described each. These Sith reminded her so much of the Rakata and their Infinite Empire, so it surprised her when he mentioned that he had once been a part of them until Adenna. But the Mother's Breath had always amazed her even before awakening within this new era. It had a way of moving life about in it's current no matter how many times others tried to move against it. Only the Masters held that kind of control. She smiled. "So these different colors and its followings are all part of the same two extremes?" She questioned after he had finished speaking, her tone inquisitive, yet humbled by a realization. "And even Jedi, followers of the light, fit into different spectrums? Interesting." Inside her mind, Aurora silently processed his views and the understanding that she was gaining from it, the Force or what she knew as the Mother's Breath covering every individual in their own spectrum or following no matter which of the extremes they chose to follow, much like the many walks of life people chose whether it was for the greater good or for the twisted nature of evil. It made perfect sense to her. But she wondered... what spectrum would represent her in the grand scheme of it all?
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