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Qaela

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About Qaela

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  1. Qaela

    Kuat

    Qaela looked over the more basic, almost crude armor that her daughter was fidgeting with and considered more than the words that reached her ears. There was a lot of underlying history and struggles all but written in the younger girl-woman's voice and aura. It was interesting that Telperien had embraced the culture that had rejected her rather than the strength that the Sith under Exodus offered. She had heard of things happening on that cursed planet and wondered how accurate the rumors were. Still, it wasn't her place to dictate where her daughter's heart lay as long as that path didn't force them to be on opposite sides. "Korriban is a wretched place," she answered, "but within that harshness is a purity that can be found in few other places. I choose to go into the rancor's den and molded it to my own needs for the better of the Order. There was plenty of blood shed, but now a very large portion of the new Sith share my views on the necessity of balance and the benefits of serving the Order rather than just the self. I have allies and power, though that is insignificant next to the possibilities that are open to me. The Galaxy is sick and needs a curing fire to sweep away the dead weight and replace it with strength. The Sith of old burned too brightly and greedily, destroying everything without leaving anything to regrow, but I believe that the Emperor understands the need for balance and restraint. Until he tips the scales away from that balance, I will serve his Order." One of her Four approached and gently touched Qaela's shoulder. The former Nightsister paused a moment, then nodded with resignation. She reached within her black silky robes and pulled out a large coin made of bluish black metal. On it was engraved a series of runes on one side and the symbol of the Sith Empire on the other. Qaela placed the coin on the table and slowly slid it over to her daughter, wondering if the girl would recognize the ancient Dathomiri runes of black magic on its face. "Should you ever find yourself in trouble or needing an ally you can actually trust, show this to any Sith or soldier who has gone through the Korriban academy in the last two years. They will serve you and, should the situation warrant it, alert me of your need so I may come. If any present such a coin to you, trust them and do as they say." Standing up, she said, "Duty calls. Know that I am proud of you, Telperien, blood of mine. Stay strong and true to the Dark Side, and do not cross the Dark Lord. Do not burn too brightly or you will draw unwanted attention. If you ever tire of the blood and new bodies, go to the Bastion of Pelko and seek out Master Strae." With one last look down at the body that held her daughter's soul, Qaela turned and, followed by her Four, she left the grand hall and went about her duties.
  2. Qaela

    Kuat

    The body before her was unknown, but the spirit was part of her. Qaela knew there was a great deal of change in her daughter, but she was slightly surprised at the profoundness of that evolution. Qaela's violet eyes ran up and down, but they did not behold the shell her daughter possessed. Rather, they searched the soul and sought insight into the path that brought the girl to her. Telperien was no longer a naive girl struggling to learn the basics of how to protect herself and use the Force. She was not a master, but she was a power in her own right. After many long moments, she said quietly, "You have changed, Telperien. Changed and grown strong." Qaela gestured for her quartet of escorts to remain and pointed to a slightly more private area. The four acolytes took up positions around to ward off unwanted intruders and watch for any threats or spies. As soon as they were seated at a table still strewn with remnants of a feast, Qaela asked with genuine curiosity, "Tell me, what path have you taken since we left?"
  3. Qaela

    Kuat

    A smile graced Qaela's lips at the mention of her daughter. She had been aware of Telperien's growing strength, but she was pleased that even the Emperor had acknowledged it. That bode well for the girl, though she was always worried that Telperien would try to gain too much too quickly and burn out as many Sith did. A slow and steady rise was best: make sure you had a solid foundation before climbing higher else you would topple and join the sea of bones of those who made the same mistake. "All must grow older," she replied. "I only hope that with her strength comes the wisdom of how to use it. Before I attained that wisdom, I made a great many mistakes that cost me far more than I ever wish her to have to pay. I shall indeed receive her and show her the respect she deserves before the night is over." She bowed once more and withdrew from the Imperial presence, not wishing to take further of his time than needed. She had her orders and tasks, she wouldn't simply linger in hopes of showing off the Emperor's attention or of hoping that he would shower her with some undeserved benefit. She had a few tasks to accomplish before leaving, some to speak to and some to observe. Her eyes did not light upon her daughter, but her Force sense confirmed that the girl was here. She figured that Telperien's spirit had migrated to a new shell. If the girl was ready and willing, perhaps she would see about remedying some of the weakness that necessitates such transformation. Since she didn't have too much direct contact, Qaela wasn't entirely sure what went wrong in her daughter's connections with the Force. It would be an intriguing puzzle if the girl wished to have it solved. As she began carefully stretching out her Force senses to locate her daughter, Qaela's purple eyes fell upon another. She knew that what had happened to Ca'Aran had to have cut him to the core. Losing Black Sun must have shaken him more than anything she had done to him because, while she had wounded his heart, Black Sun and the purpose it gave him was his soul. He was a man left without that purpose now, without anything to fill the void of his broken and shattered heart from what happened in decades past. She felt a bit of sorrow as she saw him sitting alone, but she would not approach to console him. He had made it clear he was no longer interested in her and she was no longer the possessive type. He might not even wish to have her near, and she would never press the issue. Reluctantly turning her back on her love, Qaela began narrowing down the hunt for Telperien, quite intrigued to find what waited her at the end of this search.
  4. Qaela

    Kuat

    "My respect is not a formality, it is something earned," she replied to his initial statement. Then, a small smile cracked her lips as she continued, "Still, this is your celebration and thus, it would be a pleasure to enjoy the fruits of your labor." She graciously accepted the offered drinks, but didn't recklessly consume them. Rather, she sipped the exquisite and likely costly alcohol, savoring the multiple layers of flavor from the initial burn of contact to the flowing tendrils of smoky aftertaste. She didn't drink much, but she knew quality like this was not to be hastily imbibed. Her body language did relax and she removed the thin leather gloves that shielded her bare hands from direct physical contact. She listened to his instructions with a growing sense of excitement at the challenge ahead. Contacting the enemy would require a good bit of self control to both maintain a proper representation of the power she was speaking for all the while restraining herself and those with her from scaring their targets off. She didn't hold any illusions that their enemy would be exactly eager to talk after losing so many planets and battles, but desperation would drive them to it. They may also believe themselves equal to the Dark Lord and the Empire he created which could cause some problems as she faced their hollow pride. She didn't fear for her safety, though rumors had come that the Imperial Knights weren't quite like the weak and easily manipulated Jedi. Those, she had heard, just might attack her on sight rather than allowing her to toy with them as she had other Jedi. As for what he wanted to ask or accomplish, that was not for her to say or know unless he wished her to know it. She understood what it meant to follow orders without knowing all the details and would not try to play outside the bounds of her role. Plus, what she didn't know was one less thing she could divulge either by accident or through torture. She would carry out her role as directed and allow the Emperor to do what he desired. "Those who are weak always grasp at the chance to save themselves through words," she said before setting down the empty glass back on the tray that had been its previous home. "I do not believe it will be difficult to get into contact with them for they do not practice deception as an art, but rather see it as a vice. I have been among them many years ago, though this time I am not going as Qaela Darksong, but rather as a representative of the glory of the Sith Empire. Have your servants provide me with more details at an appropriate time and I will make haste to get you the answers you seek." Now that the initial trepidation of coming to this place had faded, she found herself enjoying the show of force and of revelry. She had never been one to truly let loose and allow her guard to fall, but she could relax herself as much as was possible. She doubted anyone was going to attempt to cause trouble while she spoke with the Supremely Powerful One.
  5. Qaela

    Kuat

    Throughout the Black Scarab, a sense of dark power undulated in waves over all of the mortals tucked within its blackened belly. Qaela, while preferring to keep herself separate from the often violent court intrigue, was not immune to the sentiment and felt herself drawn in with the rest. Keeping watch over the training academy on Korriban had suited her as it kept her from the limelight: safe and as secure as one could be in the Sith Order. When summoned to war along with the rest of the Empire's forces, she had heeded the call without reservations. She had seen what had happened to those who refused to answer Dark Lord Exodus' commands and didn't wish that for herself. Unfortunately, there had been no need for large numbers of ground forces in this battle, so she had not been needed to fight, but she had been ready. She, as well as a quartet of her more trusted acolytes, arrived in the banquet hall as it was entering its second life of fervent celebrations. There were crowds of half drunk individuals blissfully enjoying themselves mingling with hunters stalking the room like birds of prey waiting for weakness to show itself. She saw many familiar faces among the powerful elite, as well as some that she had known far longer. Ca'Aran was here, though she had heard he had been severely humbled at Dark Sun Station. She had not felt any joy at receiving that news and wished there was a way to help him despite how things had turned out, but she would not interfere unless he asked it of her. The dark and slightly confusing presence of her daughter was also here. She had heard some rather intriguing and disturbing things about Telperien's journey, but again, she wouldn't interfere unless her daughter came to her. Qaela would never follow her mother's controlling path, but would allow her daughter to walk the path that she choose. Above all present, the Dark Lord Emperor was present, basking in the power of his darkness and of the empire he built. Qaela didn't begrudge him of that power nor did she desire it herself. One had to be supremely powerful to take that role or one wouldn't hold it for long. As of yet, the Spider had managed to play the game of power expertly, both keeping his rivals focused on each other while extruding power himself that made none wish to challenge his position. She was content to wait in the shadows now, biding her time while others jostled for influence, rising and falling at the whims of the Dark One and at the machinations of their peers. As it was always with those in power, a small crowd had formed wishing to siphon some of the crumbs of power that fell from the plate of the ascended. Qaela was never a sycophant, but it would not be wise to ignore their leader and risk offense. When it was her turn to present herself before the Emperor, she did so bowing her head and displaying her genuine respect at his authority. "My Emperor, I pay homage to your victories and power. Command me and see your will done."
  6. Qaela stared out through the viewport of the shuttle carrying her and some of her more trusted allies and beheld the Sith fleet. She had seen it once before, but it had been far too long. With so many ships arriving, it took time for her to receive clearance even in a ship as large as the Black Scarab, but when they finally did land, she departed and took a deep breath. The atmosphere in the hangar bay was positively charged, full of energy and anticipation. Nobody knew where they were going, but it didn't much matter: there would be a fight and conquest. She sent a text based message to Dark Lord Exodus informing him of her arrival and decided to wait until he had need of her. There was no need to try to interfere with him or start vying for position among the other Sith leadership. Influence among the Sith didn't matter to her, most of it would only lead to rivalries and potential death. She would happily bide her time in the shadows, fulfilling whatever needs the Dark Lord needed of her and waiting until the correct opportunity to take action presented itself. Despite the large number of Force users here, she did sense the presence of her daughter and made it a goal to meet with her when the time was right. Until then, she waited for the dockmaster to assign her and her four allies quarters on the massive ship and would patiently prepare for what was to come.
  7. Qaela

    Korriban

    As months passed, Qaela immersed herself in the daily maintenance of running the Bastion of Pelko at the commands of the Dark Lord. The success of his mighty campaign had created a massive flow of new recruits eager to seize the power offered by the Dark Side. Many hadn't managed to survive the training and constant power struggles within the Sith, but there were substantial numbers of competent and dedicated Sith Lords. Some of those under her had challenged her authority, but she had dealt with them in sufficiently brutal fashions as to discourage too much ambition for her position. She also had developed a small but effective and loyal following to protect her position and increase her power. When word arrived that Exodus was summoning the armed forces of his Empire, Qaela knew that it was time for her to leave this dusty, desolate planet. Despite her role and the love she had developed in instilling whatever sense of clan and unity into the normally fractious Sith philosophy, she yearned for the green lands she had grown up in. The desert was too dry and barren for her tastes. Working with the various Sith military commanders and fellow Sith Masters, she did her part in assembling and loading up those within the Bastion that were ready to fight. When all was ready, she joined them. It had been a long time since she had gone to war, and when she had, it hadn't always turned out well for her. Scars on her body and soul attested to that fact. Despite that, she believed it was time to keep her word to Exodus to serve him. He had summoned the Sith and she was now Sith so she would fight as he needed.
  8. Qaela

    Korriban

    Qaela nodded, "There are those who are more religious who believe such as you said, though I am more secular. Even then, I have personal beliefs that the Laws of Nature are imperative to keep and when we fail to do so, the entire Galaxy can tilt into destruction and chaos. As far as the ability to preserve our culture, well, there is little left of the Nightsisters or the Witches. Several unfortunate purges by Sith and infighting amongst ourselves left us weak, and then Vigo Ca'Aran slaughtered and burned large portions of our territory. I do not know if there are survivors, but there aren't many if there are." She spoke matter of factly, not with any emotion one way or another. In truth, she didn't care if any of her kind survived, not after what had happened in her life. "But yes, there is a belief that the spiritual realm is pervasive and in all things. You mentioned necromancy earlier, and that is a dangerous and very risky art to practice, as is any contact with the spirit realm. Many of those spirits are not kind and wish to do nothing but harm the living. Extreme caution is needed in dealing with them which is why the idea of students attempting such a thing is alarming to me and will be investigated later for the safety of all. That doesn't mean that all interactions with the spiritual are dangerous, quite the contrary. There are many things that tapping into or consuming the souls of living things can help accomplish, but that is for the future when you are far more developed in your ability to use the Force. Continue to show promise and perhaps I will teach you these things." "Onto the task at hand, though." She walked to a stone cabinet and picked up a hammer and chisel. She gestured at the three stone spheres on her desk. "Observe." Placing the chisel against one sphere, she quickly hammered it causing the sphere to shatter in half with a few smaller pieces flaking off onto her desk. "These may be stone, but they are not very sturdy stone, easily breakable and of little use in anything normal individuals would seek." She laid down the tools and picked up another sphere and walked in front of her desk. "Sit with me, open yourself up as much as you can to the Force and what I am doing. It will take time to teach you fully how to use spellcraft such as this, but today will serve as a good start. You don't have to use spellcraft to actually accomplish this task: the Krath have been doing it without such for as long or longer than we have. Two paths may be different, but they can lead to the same place. I will use spellcraft as that is what I am most familiar with, though in time, you may be able to observe what I do and come to the same result via your own path." Qaela sat cross legged down on the stone floor and placed the stone in front of her. She began slowly chanting, drawing upon the Force and focusing it into the sphere. Her hands began moving around the sphere in intricate patterns as though she were lacing an invisible spider web. As the minutes passed, her spell grew more fervent and the sphere began twitching with the layers of the Force being placed into it. Soon, the twitching became constant vibrations as the spell reached its climax. At the end, Qaela stopped chanting and froze her hands for three seconds, then reached down and touched the sphere with a single finger. A sound like a glass cup being gently struck by a metal spoon rang out and it was finished. In all, the spell took only fifteen minutes or so. Qaela kept her head down for a few seconds, breathing heavily. When she lifted her head, she said quietly, "It is finished. With something as small as this, the spells are not too difficult. More complex items will take more energy, especially if you wish to layer them with other aspects of the Force." She stood up and retrieved her hammer and chisel. Placing it upon the sphere, she once again struck it with all of her might. This time, the sphere shot to the side before being grabbed by a simple telekinetic thought from Qaela and returned to its original position, completely unharmed. She showed Zirtani the chisel which now bore a very small curved indentation where it had struck the sphere. "The sphere is not invincible, it can be broken, but not by any mere chisel. I could bat this with a lightsaber or blast it with a disruptor and it would remain unscathed. Now, imagine what such a skill could do to your armor. . ."
  9. Qaela

    Korriban

    Qaela nodded and said, "Bring some of your work, it doesn't much matter which, and follow me." She turned and exited the forge. Outside, the Forgemaster and other students were waiting, the former with a studied disinterested expression and the latter curious why the Headmistress was here. "You may return to your work. Your understanding and obedience is appreciated and shall be rewarded," she told the Forgemaster, then turned to leave with her escort and Zirtani. Along the way, she punched in orders to have the Cathar's claims investigated. Even if the young woman believed in what she said, there had to be proof of the claims before she would completely dismiss the teacher's death. It could, after all, be part of a greater plot of some sorts and she wanted to be aware of it. When they arrived at her office, the guards remained at the door leaving the two women alone. "The Force can be accessed in many ways," she began. "The Sith and Jedi use it through sheer will, in a way, through their mind and thoughts. They consciously focus their mind to manipulating and bending the Force to their will. At first, it takes conscious effort, but over time, it becomes reflexive much in the way the muscles in your arm can instinctively catch something thrown at you. This method has many advantages, especially in situations where speed is needed such as combat. "There is a second way, one that you are familiar with even if you don't know it. Many who are untrained in the Force, and even some semi-intelligent creatures, can use the force intuitively, or even subconsciously. They simply do something and the Force works through them and bleeds into their work. This method doesn't really have much direct use in combat as it is usually not going to do something spectacular like move an object or unleash energy. However, it does bespeak of certain innate talents that not all possess. It gives a hint that someone may be inclined to a particular part of the Force. I do believe you possess some of this intuitive skill through how you forge and create objects." She walked over to her desk and pulled out three small deep blue spheres of stone from a drawer and set them upon the surface of the desk. "There is, however, a third way of using the Force, one that has both advantages and disadvantages. My people, the Nightsisters of Dathomir, utilize a ritualistic way of channeling the Force. Instead of using the mind, we utilize the mind, body, and alchemy through a series of spoken spells, gestures, and chemicals that can produce different results altogether than the other methods. Yes, with a spoken word or gesture, I can utilize telekinesis or read minds, but I can also enter myself into a trance that enables me to contact the spirits, create potions and poisons, or imbue objects with the Force in a way most Sith Lords or Jedi Knights would never think to do. The Sith don't typically dabble in this form of using the Force, but those that do usually identify themselves as Krath. In using spells, gestures, and even chemicals, I direct the Force and my mind to my own will and utilize skills and things few in this Temple are capable of. "I can show you how to do this, but you will need to open your mind to new ways of connecting to the Force that you may not have seen before and that none of your peers will use. Be careful, though, some may see this and desire to take it by force, so be cautious whom you reveal your abilities to until you are strong enough to defend yourself."
  10. Qaela

    Korriban

    Qaela had encountered a great many lies and deceptions in her life. The Nightsisters weren't paragons of truth, neither were the Sith. Through her life, she had become adept at sensing deception from others and knew how to recognize it. In this case, she didn't pick up any trace of lies from the Cathar. That didn't mean what was said was true or real, but Zirtani believed it to be true. She would have to investigate, especially because the fact that there were students dabbling in necromancy could cause minor issues. Necromancy wasn't something to be trifled with and those turning to it needed to be monitored by experienced Lords or Masters or things could lead to chaos and some nasty effects on the unprepared students. Still, it wasn't something Zirtani seemed to be a part of, so it wasn't an issue with her. "Those are serious accusations, ones that will be looked into," she replied calmly. "There are many who abuse power among any in authority. If what you were told is in fact the truth, then the Order is better off without him. In the future, should you come across issues such as this, come to my office. I am not a typical Sith: there is order and justice under my rule here. I will not see the Sith Order fall to corruption from within or to the waste that comes from it." She reached out and ran the tips of her fingers over some of the pieces Zirtani had produced over the last few weeks and noted their work. Earlier works were simplistic but functional. They wouldn't amount to much, but what caught Qaela's eye more was the later works and what she was working on now. It wasn't that these were masterpieces, not at all. What was of note was the level of improvement in craftsmanship, the more pure metals and the touch of the Force energy from its maker that lingered in each one. No Force user could put such focus and effort into crafting things and not leave their mark. The Forgemaster knew how to coax that out of each of his students, even if they didn't know it themselves. Qaela had never been a master crafter or dedicated her life to it, but she did know some things about it, enough to recognize that, if properly guided, this Cathar could produce some work that could rival the mighty Sheog. "Your record here is unremarkable in most ways," she said. "You do not fight, you do not engage in the petty politics to elevate yourself. You have not even caught the eye of any of the Lords seeking an apprentice. Normally, the Sith would relegate you in their minds to one of the seemingly ubiquitous Acolytes that tend to the menial tasks around the Temple." With a gesture to the work laying about throughout the Forge room. "Most Sith view power in terms of martial prowess. I am, however, not most Sith. I understand that there is power in many ways including the ability to craft. Even in that, you are not unique. Many here are as good or better than you. No, what catches my eye and that of the Forgemaster in his reports is your willingness to learn. You came here thinking you knew what to do, but when disabused of that notion, you did not do what most Sith do and rebel or plot to undermine those above you. Instead, you learned and improved yourself." She pulled out the simple looking wooden knife from her belt and placed it on the anvil. "This is precisely what it looks like: a simple wooden knife carved from a branch on my home planet. There is nothing special about the wood, but if you were to pound on this with your hammer for days or slash at it with a lightsaber, it would not break or splinter. Long ago, using the crafts of my foremothers, I imbued it with the Force to alter its molecular composition and make it almost impervious to any physical harm. In that way, you can make your work far more powerful and useful. "If you wish, I can show you this skill. This ability is known to the Sith Order, but to most of them, it is generally a worthless skill they ignore in favor of dueling ability or more destructive abilities. Defense is rarely a thought in their heads, but I found that defense is the best way to survive long enough to utilize offense."
  11. Qaela

    Korriban

    Though she had plenty to do keeping the Temple in order, Qaela began to grow restless. Constantly having to watch your back was wearying and she yearned to be somewhere safe where she could relax. She also was wondering how her daughter was doing. The sporadic reports she could find on the girl were quite confusing, as were the occasional flashes she got from the Force. Something was going on with her girl and Qaela wasn't sure she liked it. Still, she wouldn't be her overbearing and controlling mother: she would give Telperien her space and let the girl grow as she needed. She was observing one of the classes of experienced Apprentices demonstrating some advanced Force techniques when one of the non-Force sensitive aides approached her with a datapad. "M'lady, there has been an incident," he said, before retreating. She looked over the quick report and sighed. It seemed that, in one of the sparring rooms, a group of students had turned on their teacher and killed him. The death of one of the teachers here was not going to go unnoticed for long through the Force and one of the Masters had sensed at least the end of the fight. Bodies had been found and a few of the survivors hadn't even been able to leave the room. The Sith never learned, no matter how much she worked on them. There were occasionally legitimate reasons to fight, but she had established rules and places to do that. Mass brawls and murder in classrooms were not part of that. "Round them up," she said to her ever present entourage of acolytes and Sith Troopers. "Kill any who resist, bring the rest to me for judgment." The Sith Troopers, aided by a cadre of full fledged Sith Lords were a presence to be feared, and one she had culled repeatedly to ensure loyalty. Any not loyal were sent to Onderon or Lord Exodus on the front. She had no need of rebellious or undisciplined teachers and enforcers here. Her program was working: fewer pointless or petty deaths meant more were able to graduate and fight, all without actually sacrificing quality or skill. Those who didn't make it were used in other ways, even if it was as cannon fodder for training their betters. It didn't take long to create a list of those who were there. There were holocams everywhere and those who came and went were recorded. Even as others were being rounded up, names came to her datapad. One of them caused a frown to form on her lips. Ailbasí Zirtani. She recognized that as the name of the Cathar woman who had so taken to the forge. She had seen promise there, but was disappointed to see the feline's name on the list. She had a suspicion of where to find Zirtani. Setting out to the forges, followed by a quartet of Sith Troopers, Qaela marched with measured haste, her black hair trailing behind her. When she arrived at the forges, she saw that she was right. Her quarry was busy working at her normal station. She soundlessly entered the room, gesturing for the Troopers to stay near the door. With a measured look and a subtle hint through the Force directed at the forgemaster, he began directing all the other students out of the forges. When they were all out except the Cathar, Qaela approached and observed the scene. Clearly, based on the pieces adorning the station, the feline had improved her skills. It was a shame that she had been a part of this. Murder of a teacher without a proper cause or challenge was unacceptable. The punishment was most severe, usually ending with them in the testing arena, fighting to the death against experienced apprentices looking to become Lords. "The days of the Sith slaughtering each other mindlessly are past," she said quietly at last. She kept alert and ready just in case the young acolyte decided to fight once confronted. It wouldn't be the first time one did, though none had yet been successful. "You were part of a cadre of students who decided to turn upon their teacher and slaughter him. Tell me, what made someone with such promise do something so foolish?"
  12. Qaela

    Korriban

    One of the things Qaela enjoyed doing was stealing through the various hallways and rooms of the Bastion, observing and sensing what was going on within its stone walls. She usually did this incognito, concealing her identity or even her very presence from those around her so that she may better observe what was truly happening. Often, she made good notes of people whom she needed to watch to better determine if they needed promotion or demotion, teachers who were stepping out of bounds or were outright corrupt, or treachery against her or other Sith members that needed to be addressed. Not all who came here were worthy of the Sith. Many were killed or seriously maimed in legitimate training exercises, others were culled by the trainers. Still, a few managed to make it through through dumb luck or skillful manipulation. These sub-par candidates were generally deluded to thinking themselves worthy of the Sith, but in truth were disgraces and unworthy of it. Worse, in her opinion, were those who merely preyed on other Sith, not working to self improvement or for the greater good of the Sith Order and Empire. Those beings were often strong enough to survive, but would do the Empire more damage than good were they to graduate. For those, and any who were too unruly and undisciplined, she tended to cull them herself by giving them a meaningful and useful death. There was no point in outright executing or slaughtering these unworthy beings: they were far better suited for prey to those who were more worthy. She, and a small number of trusted Masters, would throw the weak or unfit into the Gher Muahal. The Gher Muahal was where she threw those that would never succeed and needed to be killed, but also still fit within her philosophy of not wasting things. Given a simple weapon and released either into special training grounds or into the Korriban wilds, the Gher Muahal were hunted by aspiring Sith as part of their final tests before becoming lords. If a Sith could kill their prey in a genuinely life or death struggle against the Gher Muahal, it was a good indication they had what it took to become a Sith Lord. Most of the time, these unworthy were killed, but in their death, they provided a valuable service to the Sith Order. In this, Qaela maintained the quality of the Sith graduating the Bastion without wasting those who might still contribute something worthwhile. On rare occasion, there were those Gher Muahal who overcame their attackers and killed them. In light of this, Qaela offered them one more chance to prove they were worthy of being a Sith. For those who were simply not skilled enough, they were given extra time to improve their skills under the watchful eyes of the Masters and senior Lords. Those that were Gher Muahal due to their attitude or inability to accept the Sith beliefs, she herself monitored them. These beings were usually plenty skilled, but needed to seriously change their attitude in order to ever be useful to the Empire. Those that continued to refuse her direct education were killed by her in direct combat in the Grand Hall before the entire Bastion. She had killed three of them that way in the last months, all to prove the superiority of her philosophy to those who might question it. She couldn't say it was entirely effective, but there were plenty on the fence about her that were swayed as she defeated the unruly challengers. The Gher Muahal who did manage to conform were allowed to become Lords, Lords who often were more loyal to her and her philosophy than not. In her opinion, that was only a good thing, and she was able to send those new Lords to the great Lord Exodus to serve in his war confident that they would be far more useful to the Empire than the self centered, arrogant, and conniving Lords that the old guard Masters often sent. * * * * * As Qaela was stalking the Bastion grounds when her path took her to the smithy, where Sith weapons and armor were made. This area, generally loved by those studying to be Krath, was one of her favorite places because it reminded her of more simple times from her childhood. As a primitive society, the blacksmith was an important part of her Clan village. Enchantments and other spells were often put on armor and weapons giving them some semblance of an edge in combat against the Witches. Though she herself hadn't remained in her village long enough to receive her first full set of armor, she was familiar with them and enjoyed seeing the glowing metal being worked into useful things. There, she witnessed the aspiring smiths: both Force gifted and not. The Sith proper couldn't be expected to maintain all of the features of the Bastion, so many of the beings that provided the armor and weapons weren't Force sensitive at all, just skilled at working metal and materials. Still, it was those with the ability to use the Force who showed the proper aptitude in working metal and other magicks that were highly prized. Having some minor skills in enchantments and spellscraft herself, Qaela often took an interest in these beings, subtly or directly nudging them into more productive paths. While watching these, she noticed a newcomer, one she hadn't observed before. Of a feline race, the female seemed eager to contribute, capable of learning, and willing to accept correction without arrogance. All three were of interest to her, so she accessed her datapad and pulled up what little information was available on this Ailbasi Zirtani. Qaela watched for some time while the Cathar worked on a helmet until finally allowing her presence to be noticed. The forgemaster, knowing who she was, gave a quick nod of respect before returning to work, as did many of the others, but Qaela wasn't here to interfere just yet. She wanted to watch and observe the newcomer.
  13. Qaela

    Korriban

    Qaela nodded in acknowledge of Angelica's acceptance of her potions. It would indeed do as promised in linking the woman to the spirit realm, and provide some quite interesting experiences. With time, she might even be able to master that realm enough to command the spirits to do her bidding and provide her great wisdom. Still, the potion wasn't eternal, but rather something that would fade in time. To receive more, Angelica would need to come back and obtain it: something Qaela was more than willing to do without expectations....for a time. Power among the Sith came at a cost, but rather than brutality, Qaela preferred rewards and promises of more rewards in exchange for loyalty. Her warnings were true: if continually consumed, it would draw the person's spirit closer to that realm, to the point that they would be consumed by it and cease to truly be living, or even sane. She had spent many nights in the spirit realm when younger and during her long exile in the underbelly of Coruscant. Some of the things she learned to repair her body was from her own ancestors, though she was smart enough not to become overly dependent on it. Let the Twi-lek take her potion back to study and learn about it. Perhaps her own training would enable her to discover how to improve it, and then both women could benefit. "Continue on," she replied. "Keep an eye and ear out for treachery and divisiveness that wouldn't benefit the Sith as a whole, and report them to me. It does no good for the Empire to win on the battlefield and conquer planets if we have no means to train new members of our Order. The Bastion must remain intact and whole, as free from treachery as possible." Qaela had work to do, and wouldn't keep the other woman from her own tasks.
  14. Qaela

    Korriban

    Bastion of Pelko Sith Academy While still facing the durasteel window, Qaela smiled slightly. It was slightly refreshing to hear a Sith speak as such, but there was an innocence about her that she herself once lived in. To claim no master was indeed strength, but to presume she lacked nothing bordered on danger. It was very much the spitting image of her when she was younger and less tested by the Galaxy, and she liked it. "Males often think they are the stronger and thus worthy of being called 'master,' yet they more often fall short," she said as she turned to face the Twi'lek. "You are correct: to pursue approval is weakness. Rather, pursue respect tempered by fear of your displeasure and you will find your true power. The Sith here are too often focused on approval through petty acts of brutalism and wasteful treachery. I know that for a fact when the group of Sith and Black Sun calling themselves the Scorpions attacked and drove away Haphaestus from the position of Dark Lord. Pointless rivalry, pointless waste. There are many things the Sith do better than any in the Galaxy, and brute strength is one of them. However, brute power isn't the only kind of power. Sometimes, there are more subtle forms of power that can be just as devastating that the Sith do not yet know or use." Qaela walked around her desk and to a small cabinet of dark wood. Whispering a quick spell and waving her hand over it to release the lock, she opened it to reveal a collection of potions, totems, and amulets. Carefully selecting a vial with vibrant purple liquid in it, she held it in her hands and began chanting another spell softly. This particular spell was not harsh or grandiose like some were, but was melodic, extruding a soothing and calming aura that flowed through the room. The words flowed as a song, a song Qaela knew well and had sung many times. As the spell began to work its effect, the liquid in the vial began to bubble and fizz as though carbonated and glowed ever so slightly. In but a couple of minutes, the spell was complete and the potion was ready. "If you were unaware, I am a Nightsister of Dathomir, trained in both the ways of my ancestors and of the Sith. One of the things my people were skilled at was alchemy and the use of sorcery and other magicks similar to, but separate from what the Sith Krath developed. This particular use of our alchemy is often given to our most promising young girls in very small, diluted amounts as they finish puberty. It helps attune them to the true power of the Darkness, opening their minds to the underworld and the spirit realm as well as enhancing their connections to what the Sith call the Force. As you are a skilled and trained practitioner of the Darkness, you can take a far more concentrated potion." She offered the vial to Angelia, but before releasing it, added, "I caution you, though, nothing in Nature comes without balance and a cost. Consume this and you will be given great strength and power, something very few Sith could even dream of, but you will forever be partially connected to the spirit world. Its hunger for new spirits to join them in the spirit world will forever gnaw at you and haunt your footsteps. The strong can resist its call, but without extreme diligence, you will feel the need to kill growing great within you. I offer this to you, for strength and power are of great use to any woman who wishes to navigate this Galaxy."
  15. Qaela

    Korriban

    Bastion of Pelko Sith Academy There was always a slight tension when meeting new Sith. It was not unlike the tension between Nightsisters, something Qaela had grown used to. Among those who embraced the Darkness, there was always that tension. It was a good thing, in her opinion, because it kept both parties sharp. In nature, all creatures had to be wary, even the most mighty, lest an ambush or even mere accident cause their downfall. Since coming here, tension was all she had known and she came to savor it. All of her life, she survived by allying with others or staying in the shadows, but now she was in the open and, for practical intents and purposes, alone to stand or fall on her own. "I did indeed send for you," she said calmly as she sat behind the polished onyx desk that was her own. Cursed with the black arts, it was cold to the touch, but cold in a way those who followed the Darkness found comforting. "It is my duty to know those who are here, and so I shall. You were taught by and made a Lady by Haphaestus, were you not?" It wasn't a question, for even if it was not universal knowledge, the Dark Lord knew much and had intelligence that she had some small access to. "He was the first Sith to accept and instruct me when I arrived on Coruscant. Though not all among the Sith view him favorably, he never did me wrong." She stood up and faced the durasteel window behind her desk, looking out over the Bastion grounds and deliberately exposing her back to the Twi'lek. "Your master possessed wisdom and tolerance that I wish more Sith shared. He understood the value of having one trained through different methods among the Sith. He understood the value of the tribal unit, of serving the greater Sith over the foolish rivalries that so often divide us. He understood that differences often build strength and did not take part in pointless indulgences of wasteful slaughter or self destruction. "Tell me, Lady Angelia: does he still believe that and did he pass that opinion on to you?"
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