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Krath Inmortos

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  1. The journey to the Nespis system passed without incident, more so, it passed in silence. The frozen interior of the ship surpassed even the temperatures of the void of space that hung about the Eternus. The coordinates were easy enough to find, even as Inmortos had to take control of the lifeless body that had ferried his chariot thus far. There was only so much a dead man could do without any spark of eternity. Flying in low over the treetops, the yacht had hopefully avoided any unwanted attentions. Landing, Inmortos was surprised to see another craft setting amongst the trees. As the landing ramp silently lowered, Inmortos was struck by the warmth, the life, of the planet. Even without a living and thriving civilization the place stank of life. Wrinkling his elongated scales face in disgust, the necromancer slowly descended the ramp. Plumes of frigid air rolled out from beneath the charred and tattered Jedi robes that hung over Inmortos’ Vurk body, the body of the Jedi who had fallen Calypso thousands of years ago and had been gifted to the god-king by the reawakened Sith Lord. At the bottom of the ramp, they started again. The whispers of the dead; millennia old ensnared in the lost histories of this world. The necromancer grimaced. This newfound doorway into death’s deepest reservoirs torn open to never be shut again. It was not the face he intended as @Mavanger came into view. Pushing the frustrations of the damned from the forefront of his mind even as they whispered to him, Inmortos regarded the Sith Warmaster with his burning red reptilian eyes. “Well met Lord Mavanger,” he called aloud, his voice deep, rhaspy and booming, a byproduct of still coming to grips with the new body that he possessed. “The spirits spoke of your presence and I will admit I am pleased to see you. It is my hope that Lord Akheron and his apprentice will be joining us. Together, we will free my wayward apprentice.”
  2. The Eternus trailed in the wake of the Fangs of Darkness. The dead pilot’s head lolled to the left at an unnatural angle, his hands locked rigidity to the yoke of the yacht. Aside from him, who did not count as a dead man, the only entity aboard the hollow vessel. The Sith had spent the journey sitting in silence, bathed in the washing whispers of the souls of the dead he carried contained on his person, contained within his person. Jedi, Sith, soldiers, artisans and commoners mixed their voices along those of priests and necromancers and rulers. Each spoke with an individuality that Inmortos had not known to carry so well beyond the ethereal plane of death; at least not without special care. These souls presented new opportunities and fearsome truths. Inmortos barely conversed, his eyes sunken back in unblinking fear as his deepest secrets were laid bare before him. Even as he sought to be remembered in this world, the name of Inmortos was known and whispered of by the spirits of the next, of the eternal silence. Ah, yes, the eternal silence; it was not as silent as Inmortos had believed. This changed everything. No longer could he pry the last vestiges of secrets from the mind of a dead with a sacrificial dagger and the force, nor more mist he just induce the freshly fallen to babble that which brought about their untimely ends. No, now he, Inmortos, could have the histories he so fervently studied lived out before him. He would no longer study dying moans and dusty tomes. Now, he would watch as the greatest dramas of the galaxy were reenacted before him at his very will, all he would need do is subject these specters. ”ENOUGH!!” The necromancer bellowed into the empty blackness that filled his ship like ink. His hands snapped up cover the holes that made up his reptilian ears as if that would stop the babbling of the damned. It did not; nor did his command. They only surged harder sensing the Sith’s frustration at their very existence. Slamming his thick three-fingered appendages onto the edges of the stone coffin he sat in, his blunted claws cracked as they ground against the ancient stone of the kingly burial box. With each crack, ice began to lace outward from the Vurk’s body. His breath exhaled in plumes of crystalized steam. The temperature within the ship rapidly began to descend to that outside. The fact that Ziost even existed was lost on the necromancer as he battled the demons that he now was privy to, a world within the world, a galaxy within the galaxy, a cosmos inside a cosmos. With a crescendoing by snarl, Inmortos pushed himself to his feet, his breath snorting in plumes of steam from his nose like an angry bull; and with his voice’s rise the temperatures of both realities plummeted until ice and frost coated the inner surfaces of the Eternus . The view screen grew opaque with frozen condensation until it was as solid as a whitewashed wall. Finally Inmortos’ ears were assaulted by silence, pure, sweet, unending silence. The spirits, like the world around him were frozen, unable to talk, unable to move, unable to speak. Sinking back into his coffin, thr Vurk turned his seething embered eyes to the frozen corpse draped about the console. “The Nespis System. NOW!” He snarled as the body jerked to life, his actions guided by the shadows of life left at his passing and not by another chattering soul of the dead. With jerking unnatural movements the body righted itself, ligaments snapping against the cold as the pilot’s rotted frame animated and began the process to jump to hyperspace. In a matter minutes the sleek black yacht leapt towards the arcing blue white stars leaving Ziost and the future of the Sith Empire behind him.
  3. Aboard the Eternus, Inmortos stood regarding the almost seemingly frail woman that was to be the new dark lord, his new dark lord. In the heavy silence, he could feel the force churn, her presence carving a wake that rippled out to unknown means and ends. There was more. The eternal expanse of death that cradled this once civilized world torn by war and devastation was ever present. It pressed in from all corners; his touch heavy even on the ghostly echoes of the force. On that invisible fog, specters moved; wraiths bound beyond their own demise, souls lost to wander eternity, shackled just beyond the mortal coil. It was a fate worse than death, a fate that awaited any unclaimed by their god and carried to a place of rest or torment beyond the horizon. They whispered to Inmortos, their tongues a dozen languages if a thousand and yet he heard them, understood their desires. It was an entire spectrum of death unseen; an invisible door opened to the power of Inmortos, the necromancer, god and yet student of death. And as they whispered, one voice carried above the rest. It was a nameless form, crystalline in light as freshly fallen snow. The spirit of the Jedi body he now inhabited called out from beyond his prison of ebon steel. It echoed in the flesh that even now began to rot beneath the necromancer’s touch. It mingled itself with the very essence of the lord of the dead. So he stood, regarding @Darth Calypso with the eyes of both a Sith and something more, the echoes of a Jedi. It was not hate, but as it mingled with the vileness of the dead that was how it bloomed; a wicked flower of contempt and sorrow that bid Inmortos lash out, here, in this his own ship, with none to play witness. His red eyes shimmered wickedly. The necromancer’s hands were stayed. Even as a Sith was tied to his emotion, Inmortos knew better. He was not a mere warrior or apprentice tossed by his flaming desires of passion. There was more at stake, history, eternity, the new horizons of the damned that now presented themselves. This queen, prophesied about across the annals of history, had not yet grown into the blossom and thus was offered the armor of prophecy itself, the shield of fate. He would follow her, bend his knee to her will that his own might grow; even as the voices urged him to lash out, to kill her before her time. A slight smile twisted across the necromancer’s face as the twisted rotted remains of his pilot began to lift the sleek evil yacht from the ground. “Calypso,” he ket the name hang in the air. “Surely that would prophecy guide your hand as sure as your will is bound to it’s writings. I am but a servant of the force, of death itself, manifest upon the nightmares of those who stand in our way ne’er to be forgotten.” The ship rumbled silently, leaving @Karys Narat iv-Adas and @Solus to find their own landing craft to ferry them upwards. After all, he had complete his end of the bargain; to see to the logistics was below his station, assigned to the lord of wrath. As the ship broke the atmosphere, the last remaining longship of Clan Brasganu stood in the distance, a floating specter against the debris-clouded stars. “Death; however, offers mercy to those that might accept my embrace Lord Calypso. To that end, my apprentice, the sniveling Nok Morliss, transformed beneath my hand into the fearsome and gluttonous @Krath Apothos was captured by the forces of light as they sought to overcome the walls of despair and corruption by which he ruled the blue pearl of Dac. He was taken by them and lost beyond my view. Lost beyond death I had believed; but even now, the voices of the damned whisper to me, their blood spilled into sacred geometries that need but interpretation. They speak of his tortured existence, imprisoned within a void of the force itself. If we, the might of the Sith, are to fall into shadows, it would not do to abandon one whose loyalty is indebted to me even yet. For someday, he might become a foe worthy of laying waste to worlds commanded by the Jedi. With your permission, I will leave you aboard the ship of Brasganu, their fear of their masters to keep them bayed. I will then venture to the prison of Apothos and with those Sith who do not fear the forces of light, liberate a brother whose name may yet be spoken of in whispers of fear by the damned.” Once aboard the clan’s massive remaining ship, joined by Akheron and Solus, Inmortos laid out his visions, the whispers of the dead and dying carried across the cosmos. Nok Morliss was alive and he, Krath Inmortos, god-king of death, would be sallying forth to return him to the fold. He had but one offer, “Join me. Leave your ship in the command of our new lord, for servant and steel will be of little use to us where we go. Purge the cages of our enemies, show them that even as our brethren are beaten back, we will not falter, will not fall.” Without the distraction of baubles and acolytes, Inmortos hoped for a chance to use the Shard’s seemingly unique skills. If he lived, he would gain, if he died, Inmortos would enshrine his soul in eternity within a new blade. If all else failed, the brute strength of Akheron might yet carry the day. Regardless of their decision, Inmortos would soon alight aboard his solitary vessel, the Eternus; his quest set.
  4. After sitting for what seemed like hours, offering bits of information no mortal man ought to to complete the tales wove by @Karys Narat iv-Adas, Inmortos smiled. It was not a pleasant smile, as he grew accustomed to his new monstrous form. Still, the prophesied @Darth Calypso witch’s words hummed like a piercing note that bypassed sinews, flesh, and mental defense. She had acknowledged his skill, his godhood in even a way that Akheron and Solus could not, were too blind to see. He was a master of the Sith, a master of death itself. Yet still, her words of empowerment came with a challenge, a caveat, a chink in his proverbial armor. Hidden within his soul beyond the grasp of his body, chains that still clawed at his mind holding it back from true unrestrained greatness. A deep bow of his head to the dark witch was all he offered in return. Words would cheapen such a moment and by now all too many words had been offered. Gather an army, nearly 10,000 souls cleaved from their bodies given a half-life in a Sith magick-filled ritual of death and blasphemy; forced into unnatural spectral bodies to serve yet again. To gather such a force, a fraction of the tide of devastation that could be wrought, would be challenging amongst the flames and even moreso the enemy patrols. To march their army from this place would bring attention to their existence. To land the final remaining flagship of the Clan would be to invite certain hellfire the likes of which escape would be folly. Yet he had been given a task, one that the prophesied one had bestowed, another chain to be broken. As he considered the monumental task before him, the Shard @Solus was already scurrying from the scene like a stone tumbling down a hill. Inmortos sighed heavily, his eyes rolling unnaturally far back into his triangular head. Summoning a mangled piece of bent metal, the necromancer leaned heavily on the makeshift cane. He moved to follow the skittering stone, his presence on the force a vast cloud of icy spikes that lanced into the superheated air of the temple indentation. He moved after the others, a slow creeping methodical pace. Ever step an echo of the past into eternity. His mind churned with his task as he processed it, a wicked smile lighting his undead eyes. He was to gather the army. It was up to Akheron to board it aboard his ship; the necromancer’s having been destroyed by the unchecked greed of Sith left to their own devices. Once beyond the devastated crater, Inmortos would summon an army of mangled dead from across the history of the world, fallen Taung and forgotten slaves, none that remained hidden within the graves of Coruscant would be left untouched; but first… the flames and hell-scared lava fields before them radiated with fingernail curling destruction. Already he could feel scales warming to blistering on his new body. The void that was the force stretched across the cosmos to the lifeless fields of Aaris III, chilled to absolute solidification by the vastness of space and despair. It was enough. A frigid wind whipped the charred robes about the undead lizard. They erupted from the very air about them ripping past the gathered Sith feeding the flames even as they extinguished the heat that radiated outward. The winds curled the flames like elongated reaching fingers that clawed at the air. The red-orange flames morphed beneath the touch of the dark side, paling as they turned blue, glowing with unnatural power. The lava fields began to solidify, the very heat of Coruscant unable to stand against the onslaught of the necromancer’s power. From there, they could traverse easily until they climbed from the crevasse into the slums that surrounded the morphed and mangled destruction.
  5. In the silence that followed his pledge, Inmortos held the talisman, waiting. It was but a moment before it was broken, not by accolades or challenge from this dark enchantress, no, but by words that tumbled from the mouth of Lord Akheron with limnal blade in hand. And oh how he drolled on. Inmortos’ elongated teeth ground together as the Sith Warrior openly contradicted him even as he openly questioned his own moral high ground. When he finally stopped his monologue, Inmortos turned, calmly, his presence that of a glassy lake surface, a lake of untold depths, depths that contained secrets and monsters untold. ”Lord Akheron,” he spoke, the iciness of his reptilian voice doing little to camouflage the soul contained within this new hulking form or the disdain he felt for the one who would dishonor him so openly before another. “As an acolyte of the Fanged God, priest of The Father of Dust, and fellow lord-captain, you dishonor me.” Taking a single thunderous booted step forward, Inmortos stared into Akheron’s eyes, his pulsating red orbs glowing like soulless hellscapes from within his triangular Vurk head. “Have you read the prophecies?” His voice burned with disdain, a side effect of the new mind and body he now possessed. Emotions that now reared their heads under the freedom of the broken chains of the Jedi. “Studied the teachings of the ancients, the musings of the enlightened, the lost manuscripts of our forefathers? Have you translated the works of forgotten religions, the scrolls of the damned? Where were you when I, by the lamplight, poured over the accursed tomes of the abyss? Have you probed the minds of the dead, or merely rendered them so, to see the secrets of lifetimes laid bare before your eyes” The more he spoke, the more the revile in his voice coalesced back into pure icy nothingness, the emotionless pit of the void untouched by mortal emotions “Where are your libraries of forbidden knowledges and profane words unheard by mortal ears since before the galaxy was tamed? Are you a scholar of the profane mystery or are you a warrior to lead our remaining people in holy battle? Sheath your tongue then. Sheath that worthless blade and loose your true weapon of war that you were bestowed by the Fanged God.” “I am that scholar; and do you know what I have found? Prophesies from a thousand cultures, tales of a million peoples, whispered secrets of countless loose-lipped and love-lorn beings long dead, that point to this place, this world, this manifestation of the true Fanged God!” He pointed to Calypso behind him as he stated matter-of-factly, “She is the culmination of them all.” Inmortos leaned back from his looming step forward, his cold voice continuing to cool from the fire that had touched it. “The spark has left the Sith. The avatar of the Fanged God, defiled. In our own wisdom, the Sith chose a leader, thinking ourselves greater than The Golden Slave. In that choice, the Fanged God saw fit to favor us in our disobedience, a reward to sate it’s hunger, in our punishment. The wastes of Nar Shadaa even now are laid bare, the Sith destroyed alongside the forces of the Rebellion; and yet, our foes, our oppressors, the Jedi, stand tall. We grew too haughty and defiled the dark and have paid. The prophecies foretold of this day, but did any listen? I say we did not. And we were cut down for it, the weak left to die in the dust of a Hutt’s latrine, where you and the crystal would have met your end, had it been not for me. My ship is gone. My crew, awaiting my touch for life everlasting, wantonly cut down by Sith vain pride. And yet, you dare to question the ancients who foretold of this day. I, a Lord-Captain of Clan Brasganu, and holy priest of The Father have seen it. Let us bow low before the Fanged God, defile ourselves in dust that we might regain favor in it’s eyes, regaining our rightful place as the House of Dragons at the head of the Sith war machine.
  6. Cold, dark, stillness, eternal nothingness confined within the tapered span of a dagger’s razored edge; it was nearly peaceful if it was not suffocating. Time spanned eternal and eternity seemed bit a moment. Within, a single soul existed, completely and totally alone, hanging in the balance of a prison that spanned forever and yet imprisoned him within it’s crushing walls. It was a void that threatened to collapse one into itself, into utter nothingness, at a moment’s notice. It was here that the frozen soul, all that remained, of Inmortos existed, tortured in a purgatory of eternal despair. That was, until, it wasn’t. With a sickeningly wet thud the dagger rocketed into the chest of the legion-possessed Jedi, dead yet alive, preserved by sick machinations of the force both good and bad. In an instant, the prison walls of Inmortos’ penitentiary of despair were washed away, replaced by howls of agony and the cacophony of chaos bound souls that screamed. Oh how they screamed. Ten thousand tortured existences fighting for control of a single body, a single mind. The soul of the ten thousand slain howled, sacrifices to the god-king of Aaris III; plus another, that of the ancient Jedi buried deep, the only beacon of peace in the ravaged mindscape they know fought in. Ibto the fray of ten thousand and one plunged one other, the god-king himself, the flayer of Aaris III, the master of death. Inmortos was pounced upon by the spirits he had freed; but even in their undead state, torn from their lives prematurely and held from completing their transitory journey upon the mists, they knew him. They recognized his scent, the scent of death, the master of death. They recognized their former god and recoiled in fear. Priests, acolytes, peasants, soldiers, and kings alike shrank back in fear at the overwhelming presence of their god. Their howls of pain that escaped from the writhing body of the Jedi ceased replaced by fearful whimpers and yelps of pain. The body of the Jedi stood, clawing at the air as if it was trying to climb an invisible ladder, a coordination of fear by the spirits as they tried to grab onto anything, nothing, to escape the wrath of he who had imprisoned them. And with each clawing grasp the body rose into the air on icy winds that seemed to manifest from nowhere, on the force. Each contraction of muscle slowed until the body froze solid, encapsulated in ice hundreds of feet in the air. Within, the soul of Inmortos moved. Without mortal form to slow him, he coursed through the ancient Jedi’s frigid body. He gave chase to the spirits, ferreting them from the shadows, the shadows of a Jedi, where they cowered in fear. Most were cut down in a icy blast of raw void-filled force power. Each one contributing to the freezing of their host’s body. Each one sapping the life from the very thing they craved, driven back towards the gagger from whence they had come. The few who stood when cornered were seized and shaken, cast out of the corpse’s maw, frigidnicy shadows that plummeted to the ground below where they righted themselves, shadows of their former selves. They charged at any who lived, @Darth Calypso @Karys Narat iv-Adas @Solus. It did not matter, all were equal to them, their souls tortured and fractured. They screamed an ethereal scream that penetrated bones and steel with reverberations of destruction as they charged. High up in the air, the unfettered fractured frozen soul of Inmortos poured forth soulfrost, excess from his ragged soul until not just the body of the Jedi, but the souls within were frozen. The incorporeal made corporeal. All but one, the tattered soul of the nameless Jedi instructor. It radiated a soft warmth that rejected the blasts of soul-binding eternally frozen servitude that Inmortos spewed. Inmortos could not bear it. He heard the words of the unknown Sith they had discovered, the ancient sorceress he had read of in long forgotten tomes. She had cast his eternal damnation into the heart of he who had felled her and bid him rise. To prove he was a Sith, to ravage the beast that had fallen she who had been spoken of in the prophesies of a thousand tribes and tongues, a dark witch who heralded a new age of shadow against the sunrise. He had to prove his worth to her. He had to earn his place in her new order. His task beneath the master of the Krath, the great jostling Sheog, had been set. He had destroyed his own legacy, brought a world low, and for what? He had not gained the power to inhale the life from a planet and render it lifeless. He still needed his minions, his acolytes and worshipers. To accomplish the task to become as great as the circus master, to surpass him, Inmortos had but one trial left, to claim the soul of a foe greater than he. This dark witch, she who would become the master of the remnants of the Sith, those strong enough to survive the onslaught, had fallen to this, this thing. This beast that had slain her with his mastery of the force so many years ago would serve as his final sacrifice. “prove it” she said. and so he would. Charging forward, the spirit of Inmortos tore through the ice-encased frozen body. Line a jagged blade his essence cut from deep within, veins bursting and freezing in explosions of solidified droplets of blood that rained down from the heavens. The spirit of the Jedi sat there, peacefully pulsating. It did not rise, it did not taunt or challenge him. Inmortos screamed as he neared the spirit. His otherworldly cry pierced the ice like rice paper. Just before they collided, the spirit of the Jedi reacted, throwing up a shield of purified peace drawn from the echoed of life, the same echoes of death that fed Inmortos. They slammed together and the frozen body in the air began to shudder, great blocks of ice breaking off with chunks of frozen flesh and robe caught up in them. They too plummeted downward. Sparks of light seemed to flash through the frozen body as two souls locked in combat eternal. Souls lived eternal and their battle could be, would be, timeless. It could not be. To do so would condemn the god of death to a fate worse than that he commanded. Inmortos knew it. He would not accept it. Grappling soul to soul high in the sky above his devastated home world, Inmortos felt it growing within his bodiless soul. It was not fear, that was always there; it fueled his every step. No, it was a cold fire, a cold indignant anger that bubbled up from beneath the ice. Anger that this prophesied priestess would dare to question his abilities. Rage that she would dare submit him to a test that she had failed. Ire that the Sith would fall so willingly in a pointless crusade, to give up a galaxy ripe for the plucking. Outrage that this vain-filled Jedi spirit thought it could stand up to him. Wrath that anyone would threaten his legacy. Fueled by his own bone-chilling firey passion. Inmortos slammed himself into the soul of the Jedi Sage with enough force that the body itself rocked in the air, the winds of cryogenic cold falling still. And they began to tumble, two disembodied cries echoing from the same twisted open maw as the body of the Jedi plummeted to the exposed warehouse and land below. The struggle was immortal, relentless. Time meant nothing when trapped between life and death. Life was but a fleeting moment and death was a destination, the journey to which could last eons. And so the spirit of the Jedi and that of Inmortos traded blows for centuries, millennia, even more; and in a matter of seconds, they slammed into the ground. Plumes of blue white flames erupted from the impact obscuring the form from view. The screams of burning flesh, of ten thousand thousand burning corpses erupted from the flames. From those flames rose a solitary figure draped in burnt and blackened robes, the body of the Jedi, his eyes lifeless, glowing a blood- red radiation of hatred and pain from beneath the deep cowl. ”I am Inmortos.” the form cried out from within the freezing blue flames that licked about him but did not touch him. His voice was different, mutated, deep, alien, powerful, alive. Withdrawing a three-fingered reptilian hand from his robes, the form clutched the dagger that had contained the ten thousand, that had contained Inmortos, that now contained . . . ”Your Jedi foe.” He spat, throwing the dagger to the earth with a clatter against the compacted soil and steel at the feet of Calypso. Turning his head first to the left and then to the right, Inmortos saw his brothers, Akheron and Solus. He gestured to them. “My brothers,” he said turning his attention back to the dark witch. “We have come to serve you mistress.” Slowly, the new form of Inmortos bowed low, holding the pose as he continued. “But your armies have been depleted. Lost by the wastefulness of youth. Allow me to bestow upon you your first gifts worthy of claiming the title of prophecy.” Slowly rising, Inmortos began to chant. It was an ancient tongue, as profane as it was forgotten. It predated the Sith, the Jedaii, it even predated star travel itself. The frost spewing flames began to expand out from the necromancer’s epicenter of power. Blue-white embers erupted upwards in a plume of flame that drifted downward to the ground beyond the sinkhole. Each contained a frozen soul, those of the ten thousand that had not been slain in the battle. As they touched the parched thirsty ground, each ember erupted in flames leaving a ghostly kobold-esque being standing there; rotted undead beings of flesh, called up from the nether regions of the force to grotesque mutated monstrous shadows of their former selfes . Each bore claws, spears, blades, weapons that could pierce flesh and bone to destroy the souls, the energized life forces of every single thing that stood in their way. Nearly ten thousand souls stood bound to this plane, their pain consuming, their fear intoxicating, their rage boiling. They surrounded them all, circling the sinkhole in ranks. ”An army,” he hissed. With a wave of his hand the bodies fell, the rotted stench of their true forms rising freely. A solitary flicker of fire kindled upwards from Inmortos’ massive paw. “For you.” The flame went out, leaving a deep blue crystal that seemed to shift in shade, like it contained a magical blue flame, the longer one looked at it. He extended his hand, his thick reptilian forearm jutting forth from the robes. He tilted his hand and the totem fell, catching on the silvery chain that held it. The power to command this army of the dead, called from beyond the grave, across the cosmos, bound to this galactic plane by their chained souls within the totem.
  7. Inmortos’ bones shook as he was lambasted by the unfettered power of the apparitions made real. He felt the heat of the hellfire as it erupted all around him replacing the tomb within which they were confronted. The chill that had come to inhabit the necromancer’s bones was replaced as heat and fire licked at his form, igniting his robes into a blistering inferno all about him. His rotting flesh crackled and sparked as globules of fat burst and boiled over. His flesh began to cook and sizzle beneath the assault. In it all, through the pain and flame, the dark magician recoiled in fear. The apparitions swarmed him with the echoes of a thousand of his own memories and a million memories of those condemned to this place. He could not resist as the dark power sought to overwhelm him. He saw the faces of all who had fallen by his hand and deed, faces he did not even know or had forgotten, the countless worshipers of Aaris III, those who had stood against him in futility; they were all there and the echoes of their lives and deaths clawed at the flaming Lich’s very soul seeking to drag it into the depths. And then the voices came. From every direction they came. Their voices assaulted what remained of his devastated ears, their messages reverberating not just within his ears to hear but within his heart, his mind, his soul. They screamed and tormented him beyond the touch of the flames and visages of destruction. They tapped his very core in a different way playing off his deepest fears. He would be forgotten. He would be destroyed. He would die, an eternal death consumed by flames. He was too weak. He would not survive. The voices declared it and in the darkest most twisted aspects of evil, they spoke the truth, a cruelty far worse than any lie. Destroy the dagger, the voices commanded it. Inmortos saw the blade in his hand, felt it clutched within his heat-seared bones. The dagger. The force. One was before him. The other all around him burning in chaotic despair. His body was rapidly failing him, an undead husk unable to heal, baked to a crisp in this illusionary field of wickedness. Inmortos felt the pain, the suffering, as his own demise crested the horizon. The dagger. He felt it, cool in his hand. A vestigial connection to beyond the all consuming destruction that was overtaking him. Aaris III. The Baptism of Blood. The souls of @Karys Narat iv-Adas and @Solus . He felt them all, bound in some form to the dagger. The dagger the voices screeched to destroy. The 10,000 souls of sacrificial innocents lying within craving release, hopeless in their imprisonment. It was enough. Inmortos knew he would die, his mortal form already being consumed by the dark side energies that manifested about him. The cool abyss of Aaris III, the still darkness of the force torn asunder by the trio of dark practitioners, absolute in it’s destruction, absolute in it’s deathly calm. It was enough. The dagger. Inmortos screamed in pain. His voice was drowned out by the roar of the flames and screams of the shadows of the damned. In agony, he clasped the hilt of the blade in both hands before his melting face wreathed in flame. Summoning his last stores of strength, the strength of the undead, untapped by mortal hands, Inmortos plunged the dagger into his own chest. Ribs snapped and baked flesh parted as the piercing accursed weapon pierced his heart, his very soul. Blood and ichor poured forth freely, ignited by the dark fired. It was a final act of defiance as the souls within the blade found a conduit of escape. Like a charging horde they were loosed unto the mortal world, the illusionary bindings of the force broken by their charge. Thundering forth they pierced the flames and entered the darkness beyond seeking out 10,000 crushed bodies of Coruscant’s damned to overcome, to possess, to bring back unto a pained half-life unbridled by the shackles of life and unhindered by the barrier of death; for they had transcended it. In the vacuum that these souls left, Inmortos stood in the gap, his very soul the siphon which they shred upon their escape. The howling ethereal winds of the blade allowed for no escape. A soul must be contained, a life for a life, a soul for a soul. Inmortos tattered form vanished in an instant; his body erupting into a final burst of flames before he dissipated entirely into the dark. In that moment, the illusions were gone, the ravaged assault of the force ceased on the now vacant form lf the necromancer. The scorched cloak fell to the floor amidst the clatter of Inmortos’ fire seared possessions. The smoke that wafted upwards from the heat all that remained to the testament of destruction. Stabbed through the robe, into the stoney walkway beneath it, the dagger that had once contained the souls of 10,000 innocents stood straight, quivering as an icy chill exuded from it, daring anyone to touch it’s cold-welding hilt. Elsewhere, throughout the catacombs of destruction, the horde of souls raced, ravaging whatever might be in their path, seeking suitable bodies which to inhabit. They found none. So their anger grew, becoming more and more palpable as they sought the living, to destroy them, to take their bodies as their own.
  8. “Eligreen” the voice called out from the unnatural, giving the necromancer pause. As the Lich squinted his rotted features, his failing eyes strained to see as the gloom itself seemed to coalesce into a form. It was still dark all around them, but not quite as unnaturally so this far below ground with only the fissures of distant flames to illuminate the darkness in yawning shadows. Inmortos stopped in his tracks. “Eligreen,” it was a name he had not heard for years, a name he had left destined to a past life, but yet one that was his own. For was it not the name, bestowed upon him by his parents, that had brought him to where he was today. Here upon this very world they had toiled away in obscurity, even their deaths lost to the bustling chaos of the cosmos. And so, Inmortos stood, regarding the visage of a man before him. One who felt so familiar and yet so foreign. ”Father?” The Sith’s voice wavered slightly as he dared to question what he once thought impossible. Did this place, this darkness, too possess a power Inmortos craved, to bring from the dead true life reborn, not the half-existence he bound himself and those he commanded to? Of course, it was an admission Inmortos would not even utter to himself or dare dwell upon in any but his deepest depressions. No one need know that his power over death, life, existence, was naught but absolute. For he was the god-king, master of death, defiler of the grave, from he life was granted, and by his word it was snuffed out. Here, in this moment, standing a stone’s throw from this apparition, this being so far from himself that the devil within could not recognize it. And yet, for all his accomplishments, it chastised him. With but mere words it laid bare the necromancer’s soul. He was nothing. For all he had done, he had become less than what he was; and if this solitary wanderer of the hellscape of Coruscant was to be believed, he would amount to even less. It was the greatest fear of the dark lord. To be struck down, to die for all eternity, forgotten. The people of Aaris III were no more. They would not remember him. To the Sith, he was but a pawn, cast aside as easily as Akheron or his apprentice. To the galaxy, those that knew who and what he was, he was a monster, faceless and shapeless, whispered about in bedtime stories, but hardly believed by those who did not know. To the Jedi? He was just another foe to he felled in their crusade. All for nothing… Inmortos strained through his weak eyes, the cold air turning still and crystal about him. “I did this for you! For us!” He shouted. “For mother! So that we would not be forgotten!” He felt them then, their very essence, putrid, vile. They crept from the clefts and crevices clamoring all about him, surrounding him, tasting the air for the scent of his rotted flesh. Inmortos eyes flashed a pale wicked green in the shadows, a necromancer’s skill, a power to see beyond. Even as this mortal form decayed about his soul and his mortal vision obscured behind the opaqueness of age and degradation, his mind’s eye held true. In an instant, Inmortos no longer gazed upon a mortal world of flesh and blood, but upon a spiritual ethereal landscape. Obscured by shadows, the souls of the fell beasts who encircled him within their hunter’s snare came into sharp contrast. Worthless beyond but the most basic of uses the lot of them. He had little time to dwell on it; however, as his attention was harnessed by that which he had not expected. The visage of firereo power and beauty that was an unrecognizable alternate form of himself, he thst Inmortos could only see the disappointment of a father within, exploded in sharpest of contrasts. Not was such a being real, truthful flesh and blood, no. It was an amalgamation of dark side deceptions; powers wrapped in a burial shroud of deceit. Such a power Inmortos had never seen before, only read about in the most obscure forbidden tomes ferreted from the libraries of Korriban, Ossus, and private collections the galaxy over. Even he, the Lich god-king of Aaris thought such a fear but legend and yet… He had felt fear, it drove him. He would not be forgotten. This apparition of had cut him to the quick and pulled it into the open and still the necromancer stood in defiance. Now, but now, how could he, a demon, a legion of legions of those struck down, their pains carried beyond the grave amassed before him. To call forth a legion of undead from this place, scarred and tattered would be for nothing. They would be struck down by such a creation, bound to this palpable wraith, in an instant. Stepping back, Inmortos foot was clasped by a clasping icy hand and he fell to the ground a quivering mass. Before the might of such a guardian of hell how might he, a mere mortal, stand. Even if he might control the bridge that stretched beyond the grave, he was but a gatekeeper, privileged only to see into the mists beyond. He had delved deeper than most, but even he knew that beyond his trespasses lay greater and darker beings than he might possibly imagine. And here one had come. And for what purpose? To claim his soul for eternity? To snuff him out before he could fulfill his desires? To doom him to being forgotten? To punish him for delving too deep? Had the rift they carved in the force at Aaris III awoken a fallen hellspawn the likes of which these three Sith could not hope to stand? Inmortos’ quivered, his bones rattling beneath his robes as the cold about him, his own shroud of power, a frost he was immune to, sank into his very soul and chilled him bone, mind, and soul. To know true fear. Gone were the hollow words of the Sith creed. Gone were any allegiances to armies, allies, and gods. Here, in this moment, Inmortos was laid bare and he had not the strength to stand. He did not have the strength to kneel. To beg for forgiveness. He was sapped, the dead drawn back towards the grave itself. With the last reserves of his strength, Inmortos raised a skeletal hand as if to try and shield his eyes, his face from the horrific power before him. It did nothing. He was a master of the physically arcane, not the mystic. To stand against it was foregone to end in his destruction. Falling to his back, Inmortos felt the hot fetid breath of the unevolved beasts as their tongues and claws raked his body. He grasped for his waist, one last hope at staving off his final destiny. A sacrifice or a weapon, it would be as the fury before him perceived; Inmortos drew the blade that had been harvested from the pool of Aaris III. It was bound to him, it’s master, bound to the ritual of blood and the souls of @Karys Narat iv-Adas and @Solus through their baptism. 10,000 ensnared souls bent to his own will to appease or battle the demon-lord before him. Shivering, Inmortos thrust the blade forward, a feeble attack or a sacrifice. He knew, this would be the end.
  9. The Shard apprentice had set off in a rush on his own. Soon he was gone, quite literally swallowed up by the very ground itself, the dark side flurrying in a haze of assaultive emotions and foreign thoughts. Wherever the stone had gone, he was on his own, a victim for the force to do with as it willed. Akheron was next, even as Inmortos followed along in his wake. The deadly warrior swung his blade at unseen apparitions, battling the shadows of his own mind. Slowly, the shuffling necromancer fell further and further behind until Akheron too was lost to his blurred vision, the force fogging the very dark air within the heat-gutted lava tubes they moved through. Inmortos felt the force. It heaved as if the cataclysm that had stilled the galactic capitol still roiled within the unseen depths of pain and suffering. His eyes squinted in the darkness, their mortal existence next to worthless. His mind’s eye sought to stare through the force only to be rebuffed at every angle. Whatever was here clouded the very mind even as it sought to assail his consciousness. The force was a subtle riptide beneath the surface. It seemed to tear at anything it could grasp. Wether this was the effect of the necromancer’s heavy robes billowing before him as he moved or the icy stillness that oozed from the core of the Lich was unknown. The tunnels were hot, but with each step, an icy cold radiated on the shifting air currents about the undead walker of the precipice. Inmortos bore no weapon in his rotted hands. He needn’t one, for even here, clouded by the vortices of unknown power, his connection to the distant Aaris III, to the rift torn there, cut through the chaos like a molecularly bladed knife. From one cataclysm to the other, the Lich bound them together, their distinct shadows mixing as one. The absolute cold of his solitary tower within the wasteland across the cosmos crept from his bones. Death was present all around Inmortos, but moreso, death was present within; so as the hallucinations played havoc upon the living, the walking dead was assailed with blackness; the blackness of his own soul; the blackness of absolute nothingness, still, unrelenting, and eternal. He moved through it slowly, cautiously, a solitary predatory cat, hunting for a kill. A haunting smile played across the shrouded face of the skeletal form. “The dead do not lie.” His hissed joyfully even as he heard the scurrying of unknown living somewhere in the chasmed grotto he now walked.
  10. Wax man . . . Inmortos left the words to hang in the heavy air without retort. They were words of a tortured soul, one uniformed of the ways of the galaxy. And why should he not be tortured? Did he not throw his life needlessly in the funeral pyre of the self-proclaimed dark lord on Nar Shaddaa alongside his master? And for what? Fortune and glory? A brief moment of recognition? Such a waste of good substance. Such ignorance, if only the saber crystal might kowtow before the god-king himself, perhaps he could receive truth and knowledge unfettered. Meanwhile, the stone’s master, his handler, found joy in sending fool hearty adventurers to their death. For what reason? To exude one’s sense of power over those weaker and unworthy? Such a worthless sacrifice to none but one’s own vain glory. Such a death wasted the power of the life. Retrieving a crystalline vail from his belt, Inmortos held it aloft to view the contents, a half white milky substance that crystallized within against the heat outside. He canted it towards the burning sacrifices of Akheron and unstoppered the flask, dark deep words rumbling from his parched frozen lips to call the souls of those worthlessly thrown away to him; to ensnare that of them which was eternal for his own devices. Regarding the new as it mingled with the spilled of Nar Shaddaa and Aaris III, a smile teisted across the morphing features of the necro-shade. Satisfied, he stoppered the vial and replaced it. ”Very fascinating.” He finally responded to the droid-Sith’s musing. “But nothing like the devastations we wrought upon Aaris III. Sacrifices for a cause, to harness absolute power from beyond. Not this, the mere machinations of chaos and destruction for temporary enjoyment. Remember this young crystal; waste not. Want not.” Scanning the devastated crater with its noxious gases and fissured pathways, the necromancer gestured his fellow Sith Lord. They had already wasted enough time on the surface. To dally further would result in more unneeded deaths, including their own. “Lord Akheron, that which we seek is beyond the surface. A dark presence beckons us onwards. Unleash your blade and lead the decent into the abyss, the tenth layer of the Corellian Hells. The blood of the damned cries out to me from beyond the grave.” The words the necromancer spoke were true, mostly. It was not the damned of Coruscant that spoke to him, their blood long since boiled to ash. It was the whispers of the dead from dozens of worlds giving up their grave-held secrets. Somewhere here, unearthed by the cataclysmic chaos of a fellow Sith, was a presence barely whispered about in shadowy crevices of society. Beasts that preyed upon the weak and foolhearty, guarding a prize that could survive even the collapse of a world civilization sandwiched by a exploding moon. And so, he bid Lord Akheron to proceed first, his linnorms a worthy sacrifice for whatever dark beast lay below. A chance to attain that violent glory all warriors seemed to crave. The prize that lay beyond drew the necromancer like the pooling blood of a freshly slain battlefield. Whatever sacrifices were made upon the way, so they too might be welcomed into the god-king’s harem of dark purgatory.
  11. A small fleet of shuttles broke away from the singular surviving pirating Sith cultists’ massive gun-bristling warship as it hung high up in the noxious thin atmosphere of the devastated once-galactic capital. At their lead, the Eternus cut a sharp shadow against the sky. aboard, the undead form of Inmortos sat at the helm, an unusual spot for the god-king to take; but these were unusual times. Crowded aboard his usually desolate craft, were a strike team of linworms, alive . . . . . . and breathing. It was a courtesy to Lord Akheron. These were his men, for now, and the Sith Lord had been most accommodating to the Necromancer’s mysterious ways; even if both he and his apprentice had been struck down against their opponents upon the surface of Nar Shaddaa. It was only the Baptism of Blood that had kept them from being destroyed outright. The fact that Inmortos had to himself descend to the planet to pull his two comrades to safety was a sickening sacrifice to these mortal inadequacies. Yet, now, here they were, descending into the most dangerous area of the devastated planet. Whispers from beyond the grave, dark messages spoken about in hushed tones to those with the knowledge and power to listen. From Naboo to Falleen, Lehon to Coruscant itself, lost secrets taken to the grave were given new life in Inmortos’ ear. It was only fitting that the brain-oozing body sent to him by Solus contained just enough to tie things together, to carry them here. It was unfortunate that their fleet had to pay the price for a shadowy ruse. Maybe some day, Inmortos would return to reclaim what remained of his fallen crew. In the dark shadows of the crater, the fleet of shuttles touched down. Plumes of cracked and compacted dust billowed into the air only to be engulfed in a fireball as flames shot forth from a variety of fissures in the rubble-strewn ground. Sensors were red-lined, heat and toxins were at lethal levels. Only time would tell if the heat would drop to a more acceptable level before flames erupted again roasting anyone too close. With the press of a button, the landing ramp descended to the baked battered earth. Heat rushed up to meet him like a foul wind, tearing at robes and melting the flesh that still hung from his skeletal form. Inmortos paused, extending his arms wide as he was washed over by not just the destructive power that still radiated from this place, but by the sheer amounts of death that hung in the burnt air. Elsewhere, the planet might be slowly rebuilding, ruled in fear by Mandalorian warlords; but not here. Here, death and destruction still reigned as gods. Inhaling deeply, Inmortos allowed the fiery air to crisp his lungs in painful glory. The voices and secrets of the dead coalescing into one, somewhere near this place.
  12. Gliding through the earth-rippling explosions of the world, Inmortos moved. He seemed completely unaffected and unphased, nearly drunk upon the rapidly rising tide of death. Even a world that was mostly evacuated had millions of lives left to claim. Their deaths in ones, tens, hundreds, and thousands filled the air with thick power, as thick as the blood that ran and sizzled beneath the fiery orbital onslaught. Seeing the stumbling Akheron materialize before him down the shifting and shattering block, Inmortos raised an intrigued eyebrow. He had hoped that the warrior would have faired better. He could smell the life-leaking wounds through the bacta. As they closed, Inmortos paused, his robes swirling about his skeletal form as the soldier of war spoke and closed the distance. He listened as Akheron spoke, his hands vanishing into his heavy robes just as his cowl obscured his rotted face. Once the Sith warlord stopped talking, Inmortos nodded forward, bidding the warrior fall into step with him, the canine Tear tailing along behind. He let the Sith’s words mull about his mind before he finally responded a block later as a skyscraper collapsed in on itself with a tungsten rod thread through it’s core. ”A soul,” he spoke, considering his words carefully as he gingerly removed the shattered true body of Solus and held it aloft in front of them as they walked. “Is of little use to me unclaimed. I had hoped to gather more than the refuse of the Rebellion.” The necromancer’s words were heavy with disappointment at the losses suffered by both of his fellow formulating Sith triad. “To be plucked from the grasp of death, by death itself is” . . . . . . “Distasteful.” The group approached the open ramp of the Eternus, the ornate vessel a dark void of stillness devoid of anything except the raised dias containing his ancient stone coffin. Inmortos rolled the fractured crystal from his hand into the air, allowing gravity to take it as it fell towards Akheron’s hand. He did not watch it fall as he swept upwards into the craft, his voice carrying over his shoulder. “Our fleet is suffering delightful losses in the skies above. Already my newest vessel has been erased from existence. Their lost lives empowering my soul. Come and we shall leave this place. Perhaps maybe then, you might repay me with a worthy soul in exchange.” At the entrance to his ship, Inmortos turned and gestured, bidding Akheron, Solus, and Tear aboard. Once aboard, the ramp retracted and doors closed with a deathly finality. Lying down within his coffin, Inmortos allowed his body to fall slack, his soul exiting ghostly with a final breath as it inhabited the dead mangled body of the Falleen prison Solus had sent him. The body sat up erect, angled and unnatural with rotting bodily fluid still dripping from it’s battered skull. ”Tell your ship to meet us at these rendezvous coordinates,” the undead body garbled as it tried, and failed, to look back over it’s shoulder at Akheron. He offered a bloodied slip of paper with coordinates scrawled in an unsteady hand. His onr eye rolled back in his head as the body turned and stared at the controls, the craft lifting off from the ground and rocketing upwards through the atmosphere.
  13. The Eternus shuddered as it dropped through the chaotic atmosphere. The yacht was a decidedly out of place craft in the swirling dogfights taking place the world over. And yet, it remained unoppressed by both Sith and Alliance craft alike. A nonthreatening craft with no life signs aboard. The taste of death hung heavy in the air. Unreaped souls ripe for the taking. The atmosphere was practically dripping with them to the point that Inmortos sat straight up from his death-lime trance, called back to life with the raw power washing over the planet. As the ship settled amongst the burned out rubble of a crater that had refently been a hospital, Inmortos could not exit his vessel fast enough. As his feet touched the soul, a dark sigh of contentment escaped his lipless mouth. The blood was still fresh in the parched earth. With empty vials held in each skeletal hand, Inmortos moved from his ship and through the bombed out medical ward. Not a soul lived here amongst the dead. Ancient words of power rained from the necromancer’s skin-draped skull summoning the recently released souls from their trajectories for afterlives to himself, capturing them for eternity within his vortex of will. Each bottle filled with multiple faceless unidentified souls. It did not matter whose they were, what the stories of their lives were, they were his to do with as he pleased now; bound to his desires. One bottle filled and was stoppered and replaced by another withdrawn from the cavernous robes of the Krath. Down the shattered street, Inmortos glode like a wraith, the specter of death on the battlefield. Where he found a survivor, their life was snuffed out and soul claimed. He did not stop until the pet of Akheron’s apprentice ran into view slowing to whimper as he looked at the necromancer. The muttering stream of words falling from Inmortos ceased. ”The crystal.” He whispered sensing the trouble that the young Shard had fallen into. He chuckled menacingly. He did not know what had befallen the Sithling, but he would be there to witness it. “Lead.” He growled to the canine as he approached the saddened wardog. The canine scurried away and Inmortos followed. He did not hurry. Keyed in to the apprentice’s pain, Inmortos telished it, following the trail of suffering, disgrace, and pain through this forest kf death as easy as the hunting dog could follow the dripping wounds of a wounded ronto. As he moved, pieces of metal, of droid, fell from the sky. Pieces of Solus. Clattering at his feet, the Shard’s lightsaber landing in the dust with a plume. It was enough to stop the god-king. In a world filled with death, here was an item that hungered for it. It disgusted the lord of death that any self-proclaimed Sith would not sate such a desire. Stooping, the Sith plucked the hilt from the dust and pocketed it knowing such a weapon meant something to many. He would not allow such a thing to fall into the hands of the Jedi. Moving onward, the necromancer did not stop until he stood over the shattered Shard. His shadow fell over the cracked crystal. He regarded the damage to the apprentice, not just his exposed form, but to his soul as well. He felt the turmoil of emotions that radiated from it. His rotted tongue flicked over his jagged teeth hungrily, his own deep deathly stillness eating them up like a black hole. He could feel the would-be-assassin’s fear, his cries for mercy from his master; a master who was not here. Slowly, Inmortos reached down and clasped the broken Sith’s crystalline body amongst his bony fingertips. He held Solus up to the sky, allowing the violence of the sunlight to refract crazily through the swirling vortex of emotions that poured from the stone. “Your master cannot save you now.” Pulling the Shard’s saber from his robes, he held it gingerly beside the crystal, clanking the two together. He did not need to say a word. He had made his intentions for the stone made well enough before. To carve down the imperfections of the Sith’s shattered body and hone him into an actual weapon of the Sith, to bind his soul within a saber, his eternal damnation the power by which he could claim worlds. He smiled as his glee washed over them both before his attention was called beyond the horizon of the devastated world. Explosions rocked the world around them. Turning his lidless eyes back to Solus he hissed, “I sense your master is in trouble as well. It is good that I have come to carry you both, lest your souls be lost to the Jedi forever.” Inmortos pocketed the Shard and his saber, one on each side of his skeletal form. The deep powers of death clawed at the Shard’s soul, unable to lay claim to his fractured form. Solus’ soul belonged to Inmortos now and death would not take the fallen until the god-king loosed it from it’s bounds. “Come. Your life may yet be of use to your master.”
  14. Krath Inmortos

    Naboo

    Krath Inmortos stood within sight of his viewfinder, a chilling visage presented in the video comms of the other Clan vessels. A skeletal head swarthed in black with unblinking lifeless eyes. He did not say a word as discussions were had. His men would do their job either in this life or the next. Those who carried the day would live on in service to their dark captain, those who died would be bound for eternity, servants of the god-king himself. Even now his magics had begun to seep into the very souls of his crew and the ship itself. Death had come to live in their midst. Just before ending the comms, Inmortos’ voice rasped gratingly across the speakers, “Drive your ship into the maelstrom. Leave none alive.” His eyes then seemed to focus squarely Solus with exclusion to all others, “next time, leave their mind intact. It hastens the process by which truth is laid bare.” And with that, his comms deactivated and the ship of the dead began to angle itself for immediate hyperspace departure
  15. Incling his head to the offered chalice, Inmortos lifless eyes gazed up at the master-of-hides. It was a cold gaze that seemed to sap the strength from the officiant of the ceremony. Reqching up, Inmortos’ skeletal hands grasped the silvered ornate goblet. Drinking deeply, the sorcerer could taste the lost lives within the liquid, their accursed deaths as sacrifices to the Fanged God. They were now sacrifices to him. The vileness of the act, the dark side of the force, touched the nevromancer deeply, pricking his connection to his ziggarauted throne swirled in desolation on Aaris III. The depravity of the Fanged God mixed abd mingled with the hideousness of the God-King as the blood ran down his chin and leaked from a variety of holes in his body until it soaked his black robes and dripped unto the icy floor beneath Inmortos’ feet. The darkside swirled through the room, slowing only as it pssed the frozen aura of the cryomancer. Voices of the dead, voices of the Fanged God’s aspects, whispered in cursed tongues to any ear that was attuned to the force. Inmortos knew the power of the blood, the power of blood spilled during profane force-imbdued ritual, the power of life forces freed from their mortal bounds, the power of desth itself. “Death. Remembers all.” the Lich hissed on a cloud of frozen breath into the cold air as he turned to regard Solus. His eyes bulged from his head where white patches of skull and peeling bits of flesh mingled with the blood about his mouth. “And Death,” his vlice lowered to barely a whisper, “is my friend.” As the ritual came to an end, Inmortos slowly rose to his feet, his joints cracking and popping as he leaned on his cane. The sacrifices one endured for ultimate power. Descending the stairs, Inmortos tegained his sarcophagus. A great wind rattled the temple hall lifting the heavy lid and set it back atop the coffin, sealing the necromancer inside. The crumpled body of Inmortos’ servant rose from where it had collapsed on the floor, it’s body and bones twisted in painful and unnatural angles. Flopping his head forward, the servant’s eyes rolled forward again, possessed by the spirit of the necromancer. “To my ship.” The body lumbered along guiding the repulsor-carried coffin back to the luxury craft of the god-king. A small troop of linnorms from the EMBRACE OF DARKNESS following along. As the stone coffin slowly ascended the ramp of the ETERNUS. “Tell the crew to prepare for the arrival of their new commander, the god-king Inmortos.” The dead servant garggled before he too turned and lumbered up the ascending ramp of the ETERNUS, disappearing into the cold black maw within. The linnorms returned to their own transport and escorted the ETERNUS towards the looming Sion Heavy Escort Carrier EMBRACE OF DARKNESS. The shadowy ship blackened out the stars behind it, her red lights blinking a constellation all their own, a constellation that signaled certain doom. Into the shadows of the cruiser, the linnorm escort and the Eternus moved; docking within the main hangar, surrounded by aggressive Acklay Interceptors. An icy presence filled the hangar causing the soldiers and engineers within to recoil. It seemed to draw the energy from the room as if the vacuum of the cosmos beyond the barrier was hungering. The hiss of the boarding ramp lowering let loose plumes of icy fog, respunding with a loud gong as it touched the deck. Out of thenrolling clouds of icy air, a dark apparation materialized, the visage of death itself. Inmortos, lord-captain, god-king, lich, necromancer, cryomancer, Sith now laid claim to this vessel as his own. His robes rippled on an unseen icy wind as he glode through the halls of the ship. Frost climbed the walls and coated the floors in his passing, sealing doors and dimming lights. Entering the bridge, all eyes turned to the dark being. He was not like those who had come before him. These were a band of pirates, had been for generations, dedicated to a dark and violent religion. It was a religion that this black-robes thing now embodied, a vision of it that they rarely spoke of. No longer were they led by a warrior. No, now they were born upon the tide of mystic energies and invisible prophecies. Work ground to a halt ad the warriors and crewmen of the EMBRACE cast judgement upon their new leader. Inmortos felt it too. He might have undergone the ritual and been inducted into their ranks; but he was not a warrior with holos of his triumphs to glory over, nor did his body exude power and fear beneath bristling arms, armor, and muscle. To gaze on Inmortos was uninpressive save for the aura of cold death that spawned from beneath his robes. Word of Aaris III had made it’s way amongst the ranks, but to the pirating linnorms, even those who had walked the surface and engaged in the slaughter, the power of Inmortos seemed unbelievable. Without proof, confirmation of what they had heard in whispers, they would never respect Inmortos. These were men of action and action was what they required. A sorcerer might be useful in a quandary; but in battle these crewmen desired a warrior. The Master of Iron, he who had overseen the ship up until this point approached the doorway where Inmortos stood. It was tradition amongst the Clan that anyone could make a challenge for leadership. He would not stnad to take orders from such a weak-looking bag of bones, no matter his unsettling aura. Letting a spiked chain fall from his armored arm, it drug along the deck of the bridge sending up a shower of sparks in the dimly lit room. “A challenge,” he growled, raising his arm, confident that this would be an easy kill and he would retain his position of leadership. The massive chain erupted into the air as the Master of Iron began to spin it about over his head. With each pass it seemed to vibrate the air with a dull low ‘whum. whum. whum.’ Inmortos eyes surveyed the crew. It was clear they had no doubt that their newly appointed lord-captain would be short-lived and quickly forgotten. Raising a single twisted skeletal hand, Inmortos pointed a single bony finger at the approachibg muscle-bound armored linnorm. The diadem within the inky shadows of his cowl sparked blue for an instant as a great wind came up within the bridge. It tossed datapads and toppled chairs. Anything that was not secured or belted down was at risk of beibg ripped from it’s place. Consoles sparked at the changes in pressure. Pointing his finger to the approaching warrior, the winds grasped the massive chain and brought it down. In an instant, the momentum of the weapon was turned against it’s owner. Hurled at superhuman speeds the chain wrapped itself about the man, it’s spiked tendrils embedding in his flesh as it choked the life outnof him, his blood spilling to the deck plating. Grasping at the chain, the Master of Iron stumbled backwards trying to free himself from his own tool as he fell back with a clang against the floor. The winds died in an instant. The stillness in the room was filled with sparking showers of energy thst poured from damaged lines and consoles and the anguished growls of the Master of Iron as he struggled in front of everyone. Inmortos stood still, his eyes hidden in shadow watching the former leader. “I am Krath Inmortos.” he spoke, his cold voice resounding with power about the bridge. “Scourge of Aaris III. God-king. Immortal. Master of death. Sith Lord. And now, Lord-Captain of this ship. Serve me and know that unlimited power is at your fingertips.” The glare of his eyes sapped the power from the linnorm on the ground until he lay there, gasping for air. Icy frost encrusted the downed linnorm until he was encased within a cocoon of life-ending ice, smothering the man to death. Stepping forward, Inmortos sat in the now vacated command chair. “Prepare for out jump to hyperspace. He who proves himself in battle against our enemies by bringing me the most souls shall be made my new Master of Iron.” In an instant, the bridge burst back to life. Crewmen, sailors, soldiers, and linnorms aline leapt into action. Soon the bridge was returned to 100% efficiency and the dead warrior removed, his soul drawn from his body by Inmortos in front of all; a testament to his power over life and death. And with that, Inmortos ruled the ship.
  16. Upon being summoned, the singular mobile corpse, possessed by the spirit of Inmortos himself, rose to greet the emissary. His empty soulless eyes stared blanky as he nodded to the summons to the great temple. From within the ship the great stone sarcophagus rose carried by repulsors. It lumbered down the ramp where it was met by the singular possessed undead. Placing his hand atop the sealed funerary box they followed the emissary towards and into the temple, a trail of frozen ground and frigid air in it’s wake. Inside the towered temple the drums resounded off everything. At the steps before the altar, the undead servant and mineral crate came to a halt. Raising his hunched head, the undead vessel brought his cold empty gaze unto the Master of Hides. “The unholy Father’s will be done upon us all.” he hissed through broken teeth. The beastly being’s eyes rolled back in his head as a look of pain and anguish came over his face. Slumping onto the stairs, the lifeless body gave way to the spirit of the necromancer. It burst from the undead’s mouth into the air, only a quasi-visible wraith that shrieked as it swirled about the temple sapping energy in it’s wake before it dove into the massive stone cover and into the dead body of the Lich-King. Exploding upwards, the lid scraped against the crate and slammed into the floor with a sickening crack. In an icy plume of fog, the skeletal master of Aaris III rose, his boney hands grasping the edges of his coffin. Pulling himself upwards, Inmortos’ booted feet touched the smooth floor of the temple, splays of ice arcing across the floor where they contacted. Raising himself up from his hunched swarthed form, Inmortos stood straight as darkness and the force-torn veil of Aaris III’s desolation rolled from his form in icy plumes of fog, connected by the icy diadem that glistened from beneath the inky black mawed hood of Inmortos’ cowl. “The Father of Dust awaits each of us. Even the great dragon will be consumed in the end.” Calling his heavy cane to himself, Inmortos leaned upon it, a heavy weight that seemed to contrast the man’s slim robed form. The weight of what they had done on Aaris III connected to where they stood now across the cosmos. Inmortos stood as the font of the devastation, cold and lifeless. Slowly, the necromancer moved up the stairs, one step at a time. Each tap of his cane resounded with ripples in the force, the touch of doom. At the top of the dias, with creaking bones and popping joints, the god-king knelt before the different visages of The Fanged God. He was not a dragon. No, he was in kinship with a different aspect of the darkness, an eternal aspect, the inevitable entropy and decay of the entire cosmos.
  17. The Eternus was quickly flanked by a Falleen fighter escort as it broke hyperspace trailing after the Linworm-laden craft of the other Sith. There was little to fear, as a bastion of Lord Akheron, some level of display was expected and on my civilized worlds port authority escorts of some manner were standard procedure. The spirit of Inmortos was tied to the body contained in the stone sarcophagus. Even so, it inhabited the undead pilot who silently followed the directions relayed over the radio as the yacht began it’s gentle descent to the planet. Coming to a landing, the craft sat, sealed and devoid of movement and motion. The only detectable lifeform aboard wad that of the terrified lizardling.
  18. As the other Sith departed his tower, the cold darkness of Inmortos’ inner soul radiated on the force as it heaved and strained beneath the unrelenting onslaught of death until it, death, was all that was left. In the distance, Inmortos felt the dakr beast’s birth. Formed from his own machinations and magicks, mingled with the dark powers of the warrior and mentalities of the Shard, the beast was drawn to the evil font within the force. Any survivor was hunted down, bound in durasteel-strong strands of web and their soul and life were sucked from their bodies. Nothing but a husk was left; a husk that quickly dissolved into dust that was carried on the ever present winds that tore over the destroyed surface of the world. So too was the world left behind in the wake of the Sith. The world was devastated. The jungled burned and the seas boiled. Cities had been torn down. The humid sun-filled skies were replaced by a force-fueled maelstrom that coated the planet in a gray blizzard that would not weaken for years. Fire and ice, cold death, destruction and stillness, the world was a message to the galaxy to any who might defy the will of the Sith. Rising from his throne, his tower the only remaining structure that was not devastated on the world, protected by the force and power of Inmortos’ magic, Inmortos moved through the darkness. He grasped the shoulder of the young lizard. She withdrew at his frigid touch with a gasp. “Feel it,” the Lich whispered, his voice rattling the bones within his head. “Take it all in. These were your people. You are the last. You are my herald to bring the truth to the galaxy. Soon you will be among friends.” The girl began to sob. Clenching his fist, Inmortos seized the girl in an icy telekinetic grip and ripped her from her bonds where she had been secured. Walking to the edge of his tower, the ETERNUS rose to level itself with the balcony. The only occupant an undead body of a Mon Cal plucked from the watery world during Inmortos’ rule there. Stepping off the balcony, Inmortos stepped onto the extended gangplank drawing the girl in with him. The door closed behind them. Depositing the girl in the corner, she was given free reign of the sparse interior of the ship. Inmortos moved to the main chamber where he gently lay down in the stone coffin raised upon a blackened dias. The 2 ton stone cover slid shut atop, sealing the beast within. Inmortos soul left his body swirling about the cabin before coming to possess the undead decaying fish-being. Keying the comms, Inmortos’ slave activated the holo screen projecting images of the Linworm fleet commanders now under Inmortos’ command. “Fall in with the fleet until you receive orders from your new Master. We will accompany Lord Akheron and the fleet.”
  19. The onslaught of Linworm forces added to the sheer chaos that had taken ahold of Aaris III. Death was present everywhere. No prisoners were taken. None left alive as the magics of Inmortos spread like a frozen silent stain across the world, radiating from the Lich as an epicenter. The decent of warships into the atmosphere, spilling their loads of death in waves of energy and craft levelled who sections of the world, sending flames and greasy ink-comored smoke into the sky where it melded with the dull overcast of death. It was here, one could taste death on the air. It was here that the force itself rolled and churned and was then extinguished as it was drawn into the cracks the Sith carved within the very realities of life. Solus, Lord Akheron, Krath Inmortos, where they went, the silence of the grave trailed behind as a cape fit a king. High in the tower, the young girl watched in absolute horror. The ability to speak striped from her in absolute fear. The demon-droid that had bound her only added to her fright as he spoke now in tongues she could understand. No reassurances of life were enough as she was forced to behold the carnage of the only home, the only people she had ever known. Over the rising tide of icy soulfrost-bound liquid, Inmortos moved as a spectre. He carried no weapon in his malformed hands. His robe and infused crown of ice his only markings of grandeur. None stood in his way; for all that might were touched by the cool hand of crystalized eternity well before they beheld him. He moved as if through a garden of statues, each one perfectly capturing the pain and anguish of the frozen body within’s last surge of emotion. There was fear. There was agony. There was rage. There was defeat. Each one a twisted display of what would become those who sinned against the Sith with their pride and ungratefulness. Their souls bound forever beyond the horizon, unable to live and yet unable to die. Useless to the necromancer and untouchable by the healer. They were truly gone. Whatever heavens or hells awaited them left gaping forevermore. As the city was laid waste about him, Inmortos moved towards his tower. It was a pinnacle, shrouded by ancient spells and entrapments, shielded from the onslaught within an eternal grasp of Inmortos’ icy power. Gone were the walls and labyrinths. No more guards or mazes stood to keep the tower from the people. The people were no more; their lives extinguished across the world. Snuffed out as if they never were. The crumbling foundations that remained would be turned to dust in a short time as the storms of the world unleashed themselves with pure intensity. There was nothing to stop them as the world itself grieved the loss of it’s facade, born back to a primordial time before life came to exist on the rock. Ascending the tower, Inmortos found Somus and his charge. “You have done well Apprentice. I will see to it that you are rewarded in kind.” He hissed, a mixture of pleasure and pain permeating his voice as utter coldness filled the throne room and spilled forth from the balcony in hazy waves of destruction. “I would ask but one more thing. Turn the fiery breath of The Dragon unto the seas. Boil them. See to it that nothing of life remains hidden from your sight. Once this world is purged, we will take all that we have learned to a galaxy that opposes the Sith.” Reaching into his robes, Inmortos removed a heavy skeleton key of polished brass. He handed it to the assassin. “This will grant you access to the subterranean levels of my tower. There within my libraries lies a laboratory. In it are potions and elixirs. Use them. Pour them Into the sea. Destroy all life there and perhaps, if you are strong enough, a Sithspawn demon might emerge to complete the rending of my world.” ”But be warned.” He added with earnest. “To touch my library, invites death beyond that your crystalline shell could imagine or behold.” With a skeletal hand, Inmortos caressed the girl’s face. Even as she was bound, her flesh recoiled in terror at the cold evil that exuded from the cryomancer. Without a word, Inmortos turned. He plunged himself into the darkness of his throne room and made his way ro his throne. Turning he sat, his hands finding their natural places along the great armrests. For one last time, Inmortos the god-king of Aaris III would sit enthroned over his people. He would lead them to the end; for he was their king. Outside overhead and across the world, loud cracks shattered the sky as all heat began to be drawn from the world, consumed by the vortex of power that was a god enthroned. In it’s last, the world would know it’s place, at the feet of the Sith.
  20. The frigid soulfrost soaked into the hard packed tunnels and catacombs beneath the ancient mechanized city. Their icy tendrils a death of cold fear that sapped the lifeblood and soul-stuff from the victims caught within it’s grasp. As Inmortos moved, so did the icy touch of death spread until it became a self-powered force of death that spread outwards, soaking into the soils and sapping the life from the jungles beyond with it’s deathly touch. Trees withered and fell, the green lush life that shrouded Inmortos’ death cult city and distant villages dying as if winter came upon them in an instant. The snapping of limbs echoed through the stillness of the jungles as it contained everything in an eternal tomb of cold stillness. Animals, plants, even the force slowed into silence at it’s touch. When it reached the outlying villages, it was as if a curse of old had been cast upon them. Cries of anguish and pain pierced the air in hot steamy breathes only to be choked out of existence. And it continued to spread, growing as it fed on the eternal entropy of nothingness; a cold wake of emptiness in it’s shadow. And as Inmortos moved, so too did the levels of freezing liquid rise until they began to bubble forth through sewers and toilets and basement entrances. Screams filled the city as the people, his people, were driven into the streets or consumed in icy pallor, their bodies twisted and broken in grotesque forms, statues to showcase the absolute power of darkness. Their very souls consumed and obliterated; condemned to eternity between worlds, neither existing or passed on, useless to the necromancer, useless beyond their pain and anguish stilled in the freezing wet air. Such was a world that would serve as a testament to those who defied the Sith; to those who would refuse to embrace the gifts granted to them by the rule of the Dark Lord. Such a world had been plucked by Inmortos, a chosen jewel, to complete his own crown; but now in icy eternal stillness, would stand as a testament to the zeal by which those who served darkness would go in the service of their lord. Emerging from the catacombs, a flush of soul-snaring ice water crashing behind and about him; Inmortos entered the panic-stricken streets. Not one of those who had worshipped at his feet clung to him for salvation. They did bot beg for forgiveness, for that he would have granted. Instead they raced about in fear as their ways of escape were cut off by tendrils of ice and soulfrost, and frigid damnation. Raising his hands the waters crashed about him, freezing all they touched. Inmortos own breath clouded on the air, mingling with the last breaths of those he had sought to save. Their cries fell silent about them. Overhead, the gray clouds churned as the vortexes of temperatures and humidity mixed and mingled. Thunderclaps rolled like heavenly invisible beasts across the sky. I. The distance, jagged fingers of lightning leapt downward to ignite the dried and dead jungles, an inferno that clashed and contrasted with the stillness. It was two sides of the same coin, icy death and raging destruction, a symbol of the Sith that carved their place on this world. It would all end the same, in ash and dust, eternal stillness across a world devoid of all bit the barest of life. In the distance, billows of smoke poured upwards, the blacks and grays mingling with the sky. It was impossible to tell where one began and the other ended. The winds of the storms w the tower and the world, uncontrolled by the Sith, a byproduct of the devastation as it tore outwards across the world. And through it all, Inmortos moved, a specter, Dust, a god-king, the herald of damnation to the unworthy, a servant to the dark lord Nyrys, kin to the Fanged God himself. Cold was his crown and ice his mantle, his scepter a dagger of undead, and his cloak death itself. Raising the communicator, Inmortos rasped. “Lord Akheron. Crystal of The Blade of Darkness. Bring the ships in closer. Reduce this world to rubble. Unleash your servants. Kill the rest. Stack the unfrozen bodies as cordwood, a gift the Empress from our unholy triad. Leave those bound to the ice.”
  21. Inmortos watched as Akheron dressed. He did not watch the Sith warrior, his gaze remained outward down the steps unto the gathering of shadowy clad agents of death. As the Tsis covered his face to step up beside the Lich-king, Inmortos spoke, having considered the man’s lengthy offer. “Let it be so. We shall feast together on blood and souls.” Looking out to the amassed crowd of sorcerers, he spoke again. The necromancer’s voice was a low hiss between his exposed cracked teeth. “Your gifts are most welcome. The limnal blade can be used to sap their souls” he spoke referencing the gift he had given Akheron. “But be warned. These apprentices of mine have been trained in the arts of death and dying.” Raising his hands, Inmortos’ melted boney fingers flicked up and down manipulating the deep stillness of the force that pooled beneath the waves kf fear that were beginning to cascade about the city. Inmortos’ dry raspy tongue flicked across the fronts of his teeth. He could taste it. They knew something was going on. The air cracked as icy spikes materialized from the street up. They angled inwards forming a crisscrossed palisade of razored spears preventing any escape. ”My gift for the Clan.” He hissed to Akheron as he turned to disappear into the temple _________________________ At the base of the tower, more necromancers began to gather. Their chants rose through the air up towards the top of the tower, their ancient words calling forth ancient powers from beyond the graves buried and forgotten beneath the surface of the world. All of it. It all needed to be purged. Death beyond the powers of even the greatest necromancer to return. _________________________ Back into his burial chamber. Back down into the catacombs. Inmortos was carried by the winds of his own cryomancic power; a fast-moving wraith of icy death. In the depths of the catacombs, through the walls of stacked bodies, he moved. He could feel the lingering power of death. Extending his hands as he walked, the god-king of Aaris III raked his boney fingers against the exposed bones. A scratchey ratcheting sound followed in the winds that carried him. The very power of souls leeched from the bones, pooling as icy waters in the floors of the catacombs. Drawing from the bones throughout the underground, warrens froze, cementing families in place, settling an eerie stillness, a stillness even absent in death, within the graves. The icy waters began to pool until they coated the floors in slick frigid liqiud. To touch it invited death and over it, the Lich-king flowed like a nightmare. The cleanse of Aaris III had begun.
  22. Slowly the necromancer picked himself off of the hallowed floor, standing as tall as he could face to face with the warrior. His robes were tattered revealing a mixture of rotted peeling flesh and bleached skeletonized bones; the truth of being an accursed Lich. Neither dead, nor fully living, bound in the gray shadows of twilight. Reaching forward, he places a withered skeletal hand on the muscled shoulder of Akheron’s mutant arm. Before he could speak, Somus clanked into view, babbling unintelligibly as he jerked and heaved towards the door. “Your apprentice. He has been filled with the power of the Baptism.” Clearing his throat, Inmortos called to the apprentice. “Find a youth. Bind him in my tower. It will be a witness to our sacrifice.” Turning back to Akheron his voice lowered, “that is if you will allow it? The dark side does not bequeath these gifts without goal or gain. A power like this demands sacrifice. These people are ungrateful, more so they seek to usurp my power. They do not understand the gifts they have been given or the sacrifices such a gift entails. You and I, perhaps even your follower, know this. Our service to the Dark Lord comes with sacrifice. Take your gifts. Join me in one final great sacrifice. Together, we will burn this world. Have your servants gather what treasures you may desire as payment.” Inmortos turned, his skeletal form gliding ghost-like towards the doorway of his temple. Stopping he looked out over the city as it splayed outward, the horizon captivated by the towering swirled blue ziggurat. Staring out over the world he had been given godship over, Inmortos regarded it for a long moment. The words of Sheog hovered in his mind. He knew what he had to do. Did he have the strength? Suddenly, a flash, deep within the god-king’s mind’s eye. A world of ash, blown on the wind, clouding the sky. Sulfur and brimstone, death, seared the nostrils. All that remained was one spiraling tower. A world destroyed. The force heaving in grief. And then just as suddenly, he was back. A vision. It had been a vision. Letting go of the mantle he had instinctively gripped to remain standing, long boney indentations left in the soft gold, Inmortos turned back to the interior where Akheron stood. Raising his hand, ripples of then force swirled. The sacrificial dagger that lay within the empty pool careened through the air. It landed heavily in the undead Sith’s outstretched hand. His arm dropped several inches as the weight settled in. It was heavier than before. Laden with the deaths it had inflicted, the razored blade vibrated with the number of lives held within the void. All it would take was a death wrought by the blade to unleash a life within transforming foe to friend; crushing one life and soul to make room for one bound unnaturally to this plane. “Solus.” He called out after the mechanized monster, “death here is a different matter. These lizards are primitive and vicious. They carry the power of the necromancer. Bodies must be vanquished and souls crushed. On Aaris, the dead do not remain so for long.” ”Akheron. These ships you brought me. How might I command them? Bend them to my will and together we will turn this vibrant world into a cursed graveyard. Even the force will be dead here, a testament to those who defy the will of the Sith, a message to those who might defy the Lord of Darkness.”Inmortos turned, gliding back into the temple. He whirled by the Sith Warrior carried on an aura of icy breath back towards his burial chamber. Within he cast off his tattered robes, his elixirs and weapons clattering to the floor. From a skeletal mannequin, Inmortos withdrew a splendid cloak of refined denebrillan star silk and wrapped it about himself calling his tools and blades uoward, concealing them in his robes. Clasping his blackened saber hilt in his morphed hand, Inmortos activated his accursed weapon. A blackened void erupted from the hilt. It drew in the light, casting long shadows as steam rolled off the weapon bathing the area about the necromancer in fog. “COME.” the voice of Inmortos carried on the force itself as it spread across his citadel, broadcasting from his throne in the sky. ”I am calling my necromancers to me. They will assemble here, at my temple, or outside my throne room. They are the key to the eternal resurrection and damnation of these people. Kill them. Destroy their souls, a sacrifice of my power to the force and the Dark Lord. Then kill the rest, casting their souls beyond the void to to the nether regions of the force.”
  23. Inmortos stood silently, the hateful chanting of his minions a backdrop to the impromptu training offered by Master to Apprentice. This was not his place and he would allow it uncontested for it furthered his own agenda. As the warrior disrobed, Inmortos watched with keen fascination, taking in the old wounds and tattoos. The mechanized limbs almost caused the necromancer to lurch forward, to grab the hulking Sith; but he refrained. He was a warrior; if he chose to take these limbs into the pool, he would need to be strong enough to weather what was to come. If he could not, he was unworthy the titles he carried. As the Tsis slid into the hot volatile blood, Inmortos’ eyes were called to the mechanical chassis of Solus. In the warping vortex of the force, he could feel the shard reaching out to touch the sea of churned icy power. Slowly he exposed his true self, a crystal, and wavering in the air currents plunked into the boil of blood, quickly vanishing from sight. Inmortos knew what must come next, as did his followers. To toss a stitched amalgamation of corpses into the pool would birth a Sithspawn powered by the lives of countless other tormented lives and souls. To do so to the living, the willing, changed the formula. Ancient magics were often best left untrifled with. Raising his skeletal hands into the air, Inmortos seemed to direct the howling symphony of the cabal’s chants as they dissolved into vicious screams of forgotten tongues and forbidden spells. The air itself, cold and dead, pulsated with an otherworldly life, like that of a heartbeat of a massive monster held just beyond the veil. The candelabras along the walls seemed to dim before they were snuffed out by the vortex’s cold icy breath. The room was bathed in inky black for but a moment until arcing spears of ice traced invisible lines through the air, crackibg and arcing like a solidified extension of force lightning. The ice glowed, a spiderweb of eerie blue that caused the blood to appear black. It raced forward and in a moment struck each necromancer acolyte in the chest with an explosion of fiery dark side power. Their bodies tumbled forward into the pool, each landing with a splatter before it was violently expelled outward and upward in a gout of blood red flame. Tossed to the edges and corners of the chamber the bodies fizzled and burned melting the icy tendrils as they were turned to vapor in the swirling air. Blood flowed from open wounds and gaping mouths, winding towards the chaotic pool. The wind howled in the temple. The temperatures began to solidify everything it touched and in the din, the banshee wails of madness erupted from each fallen servant of the god-king mixing with the tempest of dark side power and wind. In it, Inmortos stood at the head of the pool, his hands raised upwards, bathed in the flickering red light of the burning bodies. He looked like a demon called forth from the deepest pits, hewn from the chamber floors of hell itself. Gone were the chants, gone were the hateful acolytes. What remained was Inmortos, the manifestation of the dark side itself, and the two Sith in the blood. The blood would burn acidic and hungry against the unnatural extensions of Akheron, seeking to dissolve them and not stopping there as they sought to eat away at the body they were sewn to. Bathing the Shard entirely, the blood seemed to search and prod for any cleft or crack upon which it could slither towards the center of the stone, to touch and intermingle with it’s soul. Inmortos stepped forward, his rotted feet submerging into the blood on the first step as he looked above into the vortex calling the spirits of the hateful dead necromancers, bidding them towards his outstretched undead hands. They screamed; their ethereal voices driven to madness by their darkness fueled deaths; unable to leave the chamber and commanded by he that was neither alive nor dead. They continued to scream until they coalesced into one shimmering unstable vortex between Inmortos’s hands. The bone of the Lich-king began to smoke as the raw spirits dissolved bot just flesh but any semblance of life. Holding them there in the dark side maelstrom Inmortos screamed. “ODAKLE SI DOŚAO, VEZAN VEČOM ZA MOIU VOLIU. BUDINSLOBODAN NIKAD VIŠE JER SI MOJ U SMRTI KAO U ŽIVOTU. TVOJA MOĆ VIŠE NIJE TVOJA; VEZANI GRIJESIMA VAŠIM ZA DRUGOGA. IDI!!!” His voice howled into the vortex seeming to both draw from the presence and feed into it, fueling the necromancer’s power as he heaved the sphere of burning souls downwards slamming it into the blood. Upon touch the sphere shattered the final eternal death screams erupting as the souls spread across the pool and were enveloped by the blood in fiery columns of eternal destruction. The bodies were quick to follow as they turned to ash whipped by the wind and clasped by the darkness until they seemed to cease to be or ever existed save for the fires that burned where the bodies once had laid. Inmortos, still smoking as pain radiated from his melted hands, reached into the deep sleeves of his heavy robe. Gingerly he removed the sacrificial dagger he had been presented. He felt it’s weight, the weight of deaths innumerable. Using it, he slashed himself, tearing his robes to ribbons and raking deep grooves across the rotted flesh that still covered some of his body. Blood and ichor flowed freely down the bleached exposed bone and tattered robes until it reached the pool he stood in. “KREV Z KRVE, ŽIVOT SE ZNOVU ROZIL. VŠECHNY SILNICE MEANDEUJÍ, ALE MAKONEC VESOU K POŠETILOSTI.” He chanted as he set about mutulating his flesh, strips of rotted meat abd flesh splashing into the ever increasingly tumultuous bloody pool. The heavy liquid lapped at the god-king’s With each surging wave within the pool, the pulsating presence’s power was bound to the blood until it grew even heavier, as liquified steel. It clung to the bodies of Akheron and Solus and pulled at them, seeking to burn away any impurity of life, of the mind, to wash them anew and to fill their voids with life. For in these two presented a dark hope, a folly once given up eternally begotten. In every man there was life, and where life ended, death. The lives of those slain, ensnared within the pool fought one another, clashing against one another like saber against saber. The strongest life forces would bind themselves to the shadows of death found within those in the pool and be carried unto the promise of new life upon their backs. The blood at Inmortos’ feet retreated from the cold stench of death that carried upon his aura. For he was an enigma, one who might give the gift of the life of another, but unable to partake himself. He stood alone. Casting the Sith blade into the blood, a plume of smoke and fire erupted as if lava spewed forth from a fissure. The blood pulled the heavy weapon downwards into the abyss, the same abyss that sought to drown the lives of Akheron and Solus; to snuff them out and fill them anew, vessels of escape from the torments of undying back to the world of the living. The blade, saturated with death itself, was quickly consumed, it’s power leeched and replenished into an unholy weapon of might and ritual deep within the pit. The very seams of reality seemed to strain above the pool, a monstrous presence straining against the binding shackles of reality and time. A deep and wicked voice bellowed in a strange tongue rarely heard by those of mortal ears; and one that when heard would drive those who heard it beyond the brink into utter madness. “PUB RAWS LI TUS PLIGIS TXHUA LUB NEEJ POOB UBDOS KUV SAW HLUA TXHUA TUS TUAG NPLIG TAU KUV TCOM NYEM UA TXHUA YARN RAU KUV YUAV THIAB PUB RAWS LI LUB TEEB” Even Inmortos shuddered at the words, tumbling backwards to fall upon the stairs in a pile of his own bones and robes. He looked up just as a searing bolt of red lightning arced from the void and struck the blood filled pool. With a thunderclap the room erupted in a blinding flash of red. In that moment, all life ceased within the confines of the temple. Death, souls, they mattered not as the beast that was the netherside of the force itself consumed all. A black hole void of insatiable hunger; and then it was gone. For what could have been minutes or days, but in truth was hours. The temple lay a desolate and barren waste until the force retreated, bound once again by the shackles of the living force. The blood was gone. At the bottom of the stone pool lay the Shard, the Tsis or what remained of him, and the dagger. Esch swelled with unholy energy, life that was not their own that cried out for vengeance. Beside the pool, Inmortos lay, a mass of bone and blood and ichor. And as the unnatural life that he possessed returned to him, Inmortos had but the strength to right himself, to feel a clarity wrought by the purge of the darkness. He knew what must be done and he looked towards the coming battle to complete it. He needed more. With a dry rattled cough, he wheezed. “No soul must be left unsundered. Take what you can. Destroy them all. This world will serve as a catalyst to the power of the dark side; to the dark lord.”
  24. The chanting continued into a crescendo of long lost languages and words, spells that wove the very fabrics of the force and bound it with unnatural intricacies to the blood itself. The surface of the pool began to gurgle and sway. The thick concoction stirred to to life, the life of the lost contained within it’s very earthen grasp. And as the voices rose, so too did the blood until it danced atop the pool like it was being pelted by vicious drops of invisible rain. It was the force bound to the life. Inmortos turned back to Solus, reaching his free hand up to drop back his deep cowl revealing a skeletonized face, a liplessly framed maw of ragged teeth, lidless eyes, and rotted flesh peeling from the bleached bone beneath. “The spirit may be willing, but the body is but a vessel, weak . . . and replaceable, unable to contain the power of the dark side.” Stepping to the edge of the pool, Inmortos gestured again bidding them enter. “No sacrifice is without cost Lord Akheron. You know that to defile a fellow Sith invites retribution by the Dark Lord. This gift is for me as much as it is you. It is my contribution to the fall of the Rebellion. What you do with this power afterwards will be to the glory of the Sith Empire, to the praise of our Empress, and the rending of the force itself. ” Steam rose from the writhing blood. The temperatures of the air within the Temple plummeting to below freezing in mere moments until the only source of heat within the hall was the viciously churning blood itself. Focusing his unblinking eyes on the Sith Warrior he spoke, his voice low. “Your servant speaks of things he does not know Lord Akheron.” He smiled, his skulled face twisted in evil delight as he extebded his hands in gracious explanation. ”The secrets of the Father of Dust are not to be trifled with. You know this. Enter the blood. Receive the gifts offered by the shedding of innocence. Taste true darkness. Become invigorated with the powers of a true Sith. Powers of life that transcend death. Powers of death that envelope life. Be consumed by the lifeblood of eternity and transformed into servants of The Maimed Beast made whole.” Yes, Inmortos knew of these servants of the Fanged God. Their religion as ancient as the spells he himself controlled. They both extended beyond the meager origins of the Sith people. Inmortos had studied their manuscripts in his quest to control death itself. In them he found a fanatic zeal that rivaled his own. He would enable these servants of the Fanged God to serve their deity, to serve the Sith, to fulfill Inmortos’ oath. In return, they would be filled with the lives of countless beings not their own, with souls shackled to the blood seeking release; unleashed upon a galaxy unknowing and deserving of destruction. In their path, Inmortos would call forth the legions of the dead. Their lives and deaths serving to advance his own agenda of immortality. Stepping backwards, the chanting of Inmortos’ acolytes hung in the frigid air as the temperatures continued to plummet. The lizards’ green-hued skin paled and turned blue, their bodies shaking as their very life was drawn from their cold-blooded bodies, lost to the cold bottomless hunger of stillness. And yet they chanted onward, knowing the punishments that would await them should their magics fail. The necromancer-king looked at the Sith Warrior and his Apprentice. His voice grated lowly and with power. “Enter the blood. Be unshackled from that which holds you back.” His words were cold and commanding. He would not offer such a gift again. To rebuff him would be to insult the god-king’s hospitality, to insult Inmortos himself.
  25. A wicked smile crept across Inmortos’ face. “To kill. It seems so simple to the uniformed. When one is a master over the gateways of life and death, things become . . . complex young saber stone.” He addressed Solus as he stood. Inclining his head to Akheron he offered a bow. “Your gifts are of great kindness; but we both serve under the Dark Lord. We are brothers in the Sith. No gift is necessary from an equal.” Not that he would not take them. Reaching forward, Inmortos grasped the sacrificial blade in his hand. He felt the weight it bore, a dark soul-pulling weight; bearing the weight of the countless lives. It was heavy in his hand. “This blade,” he spoke reverently, “has spilled immeasurable blood. A fitting gift my friend. Come.” He gestured to the duo as he walked, slowly and purposely towards the inner stairwell, a much safer, albeit dark and cold, descent than the narrow windswept stairs outside. “We should test out this new tool. Did you not come for a Baptism?”He tucked the gift into his swirling black robes. It was a lonely descent bare of the pomp, circumstance, and servants usually afforded a god or a king. It was more like a decrepit miser alone in his castle; yet the palace seemed to yield to the dark shadow of a man, the Lich. Leaning heavily on his staff, Inmortos led the way through the dripping stairs and halls. “Soulfrost.” He said of the drips, pointing out a pool of it on the floor. “Avoid it lest you wish to be frozen in time. Nasty way to lose a foot. The sword I gifted you Akheron, is bonded with it. It will draw energy, even from souls, and dissipate it.” Moving through the winding inner channels of the necropolis, Inmortos followed a map only imprinted on his mind. In truth, the tunnels moved with the will of the dark side, bound to his crystalline throne, bound to Inmortos by way of the icy soulfrost diadem fused to his skull. He continued to speak as they moved. “Look at my body saber stone. You thought you destroyed me on Naboo. In truth, you released me from the forces that sought my indentured servitude, from my weak form. Now, I rule here as a god. To punish such a people who controlled this power, to destroy them takes more than snuffing their lives like candles.” It was an admission, Inmortos had willed his death at the hands of Solus. An orchestrated plan to return to his own world, this world, a world that seemed revolted by his mere presence. And they continued, into the underground of the city, the crypts and catacombs of an ancient people long forgotten. Here Inmortos fell silent. The ancient pale of death reverently held in the air. Hundreds of thousands, if not millions, were buried here. Their lives and even their deaths forgotten; but in those deaths they served a greater purpose. Such was the way of Inmortos’ own undead legions, only . . . only these had died willingly for the greater good. He could taste it. Such devotion made him feel sick now. Their descendants so fallen from their honorary lineage. Through undisturbed dust and heavy cobwebs they moved until they found a stair. Upwards, finally, into a holy sepulcher full of splendid jewels and precious metal laden furniture. It was a burial chamber fit for a king, containing all that was needed in the afterlife. The treasures of systems and worlds. Even some of the treasures of Apothos’ storehouses of artifacts on Mon Cal. “Behold. My crypt. Touch not the cursed treasure. It will bring death” Central to the room, a gold covered sarcophagi bearing the visage of Inmortos, but in his prime, sat open. It’s silken lining showing impressions of having been used. Walking to the only wall that was not gilded in depictions of Inmortos’ life abd power, the Lich king ran a skeletal finger along the ruins carved into the stone. He muttered and mumbled the words as he read. It was an ancient forgotten tongue that predated even the Sith; a language from before the galaxies had been explored. Ancient spells that secured the tomb. The walls began to shake and the great rune-inscribed stone rolled back from the mouth of the crypt exposing a glistening temple on the other side. It was the Temple of Inmortos. The chanting was apparent as soon as the stone was moved away. Nearly one-hundred shrouded necromancers raised their voices, their spells caused the ornate statues and decorations to swirl in the heavy force-laden air. It was unnatural and evil. It was worshipful, ancients chants of unforeseen power. Inmortos had raised the best and brightest of the force-sensitive children of the lizardfolk up as necromancers in his own image. They ruled the people in his place. His power, was their own. As the dark master came into the sight of his acolytes, their disdain was palpable, as was their fear. Before, Inmortos had not cared. The words of Sheog still played at the back of his mind. What was the good of it all. None of this was what drew the eye of any who were brought into this inner sanctum. A full-sized pool of churning blood, deep and long. One could easily submerge within. “Blood.” Inmortos spat the word. “Sacrifices to the god-king gleaned by ad from the warriors of the Sith, of The Spider-King himself. Gifts to a loyal servant.” Inmortos stepped up the golden gilded steps that descended into the pool. His eyes surveilled his acolytes. Their chanting continued uninterrupted, but their eyes; their eyes darted too and fro, glancing at the Sith who had entered the room from the sealed burial chamber. ”Do you feel it my brothers? Step into the pool, wade into it’s warm embrace. Feel the taste of life on your tongues, knowing it is mine to command. This is the Baptism of Blood and I, Inmortos, the god-king of Death, will induct you into the grasp of the death and will bathe you in the life of the lost.” Before the Sith could enter however, Inmortos’ hand shot outwards to catch Solus in the chest. He stared at Akheron. With a furor in his bulging lidless eyes he whispered, “No machine. No technology. Just the naked body and soul; lest the blood boil and the initiate become a sacrifice!” The voices of the necromancer cabal rose with fervor all about them. They knew what was about to come and they hungered for another life to add to the pool.
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