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Darth Calypso

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Darth Calypso last won the day on June 21

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  1. Calypso listened to the necromancer's words. "Very well. Rescue him, if you must. A weak tool still has use." She pondered for a moment. "But...you will take me to Ziost first. I can feel it. It burns with the Darkness. It will be suitable for my purposes." She sat back, and allowed herself to relax. She could feel it. The weight of the galaxy, of ages past...all coming to rest on a new fulcrum. It only waited for someone to take the lever.
  2. Calypso frowned, then closed her eyes and raised her hands. At first, nothing happened. Then, a small scattering of dust lifted from the debris to swirl around her. Then more, the dust thickening into a stream, then a torrent. It twisted and writhed around her like a snake, fattening and growing in her power. It grew and grew, reaching higher and higher until it completely obscured her, its faint whistle turning into a drowning roar of rushing air and detritus. A miniature funnel cloud, Calypso's body was hidden within its obscuring folds. She stepped forward, and it moved with her. Maintaining her concentration, she began walking into the destroyed landscape. As she entered the searing heat, the superheated air was sucked into her artificial twister, passing harmlessly around the Sith inside. She gestured with one hand, and a wave of dust and scrap from the cooler air behind her surged forward into her twister, cooling the air around her and protecting her further from the heat. And so, like this, she reached the transport. Once aboard, she considered for a moment. The army may need more ships than what Akheron had at his disposal. She closed her eyes. She did not speak with words, for the Cthon did not understand them. Over the time she had spent training and coercing the mutant things, she had learned to communicate with them through impressions on their emotions and baser instincts. It did not take her senses long to find the local alpha of the Cthon who had survived her awakening. She considered that she'd need to make her will known to the other Cthon communities on this world, but that was a task for another time. ____________________ Fivefang huddled in the dark, hissing and shrieking at his fellows. So many had died, and the Silent Place had...woken up! And then left! The entire shrine had simply left! It had been many, many generations since the figure in the Silent Place had moved among them, and Cthon did not keep histories, but it was by pure instinct that Fivefang knew he needed to serve this figure or die from her wrath, or so he believed. In truth, Darth Calypso had long ago learned how to present herself to such lowly creatures as to impress upon them the fear necessary to serve her, and being in the presence of the saturated power of the Dark Side for so long had only magnified Fivefang's and his fellows' sensitivity to the technique. He felt her will. He understood. The metal containers that came from above. The containers that brought new meat. She required more. She would have more. Or she would punish them all. And so, the Cthon spread out, seeking out spaceports, scavengers ships, and supply depots. They would emerge from the underground, and kill all who stood before them. And while they feasted, the Silent Lady would direct her other minions to take the prizes.
  3. Throughout the trip up the side of the sinkhole, Darth Calypso listened without comment or expression. As Akheron gave her an overview of the history she had missed, she sat back and absorbed it. The 1000 years of peace, the rise of the Galactic Empire and the near destruction of the Jedi. The rise of the Galactic Alliance, and the new Sith Empire. The moonfall of Coruscant and the rebirth of the Rebellion. When Akheron finally reached the present, Calypso sat back. "It's all the same," she said, an edge of disgust in her voice. "1000 years and the galaxy is still just another one of the endless variations of the same tired holovid that's been playing since the Unification Wars." Her eyes lowered, and a hint of profound tiredness entered her voice. "When the Sith finally won, things were supposed to change. The universe would change. The strong would rule and the weak would serve, the way it was always supposed to be. Not this...this," she said, at a loss how to sum up everything that didn't make sense about the galaxy. How the talented were pressured into using their gifts for the good of the incompetent. How weakness was celebrated and encouraged. How the ones who actually earned their lives through their own strength were pushed down, lest they upset the whining, fat nerfs sucking on their own filth. Her hands clenched. At that moment, the first rays of sunlight reached the crumbling edges of the warehouse walls and fell onto the ancient Sith. It bathed her in a golden-orange glow, and she looked up at the sudden warmth on her skin. "Strife would free us all," she continued. "The Sith were in charge, they should have won." A grimace crossed her face. "But they stopped at the finish line. They took the mantle of a stagnant galaxy as a victory prize...and then they lost it all. Our paradise, our truth, gone." The warehouse ground to a halt as it crested the edge of the sinkhole. Calypso stood as it did. "I have work to do." Her voice was matter-of-fact, the restrained passion vanished. "You are all still here, so I assume you'll be working for me until further notice." She held up a hand to forestall Akheron. "Yes, I know, you are only escorting me." She turned to give the Brasganu Sith her full attention. "Remember these words." She used the term as a statement, not an insult. "Belief is the brother of passion, and is a powerful tool. However, a true Sith lets nothing rule them but themselves. Explore the strengths of your faith, not its limits, and you will find power untapped." She smiled. "I foresee great things from you. Stay with me, and we'll tear the galaxy down to rock and ash." She turned to Inmortos. "You...you have taken a great step today. Thousands of souls and the spirit of a true Jedi stood in your way, and you still had victory. You are a Master of the Sith arts, for no one else could have survived that kind of trial." She smirked wryly. "You may even be able to teach me a thing or two about the more eclectic forms of our arts. However, I urge you to examine yourself. The most subtle chains that bind a Sith are the ones they forge themselves." She paused as she thought back to her own moments of enlightenment, her own glimpses of true freedom. "Find these chains, and be as ruthless with them as you are with your enemies. A god can have no part that is ungodly." Finally, she turned to the strange abomination. "As for you...you intrigue me. There's something off about you. Something twisted. Or perhaps..." she paused, then shook her head. "I have seen an age's worth of Sith, and I have never seen anything that even began to resemble what you are, or what you seem to be becoming." She smiled, something predatory gleaming in her expression. "I hope to see it come to fruit. And I sincerely hope you survive the process." She turned to address the three as a group once again. "Necromancer, gather my army. Whichever one of you has a ship, get us and my new troops aboard." Her tone was not curt, demeaning, or even arrogant. She spoke disarmingly casual, as if to old friends. The ease at which she slipped into the attitude might have been eerie to some, and indeed it had in her long ago past. She did not order. She did not demand. She just...talked. And she expected others to listen. Hidden underneath her informal attitude though, her power simmered. The Dark Side moved around her like the current of a whirlpool, and it was readily obvious to anyone with the senses to see why the Dark Side Nexus had formed around her in particular. Darth Calypso had achieved what many other Sith strived for all their lives. She had broken her chains She was free.
  4. "ENOUGH!" Calypso shouted. Her brief outburst of emotion rippled out like the clear sound of a bell in the fabric of the Force. The sinkhole shuddered, and debris knocked loose by the telekinetic pulse cascaded down the sides to crash into the walls of the dilapidated warehouse. She breathed in and out once, and moved to sit down. The shattered pieces of carbonite piled up underneath her to form a crude seat as she did so. "It is clear I am missing some...context." She considered all she had heard and seen. Kaan's army did not hold a necromancer of this level of skill last she had heard. The Fanged God hadn't been worshipped in any recorded memory, being relegated to old myths and fringe texts. And this...current Dark Lord...this Empress... Only one conclusion could come from all of that. "I have been asleep for a long time, haven't I? Lord Kaan, General Hoth, the Brotherhood of Darkness and the Army of Light...they're all gone. Even now, I know we are on Coruscant, but it is different. The Coruscant I knew was polished and filthy in turn depending on where you stood. This Coruscant...it's like a burn, blistered and raw, stripped down to its barest layers. And the Jedi...I can't sense them. Their temple has always stood on this world, shining like a beacon, and now I can't sense it." She smiled and laughed. "They were such a constant. This unchanging, immutable fixture that was simply how things were. And now they're gone. And you three. None of you are Kaan's followers. You're all real Sith, or at least closer than any fool he ruled." She turned her still sightless eyes to Akheron. "A fanatic." She shifted to Solus. "An abomination." And finally, she turned to Inmortos. "And a shade." "Quite the menagerie. Kaan could never have assembled such a collection. He thought it terms of armies, territory, and military might. He was an ex-Jedi better suited to being a politician than a Sith. He was blind, and saw the Dark Side as a weapon, and the Sith as warriors." Her smile widened. Her hatred for that fool blended seamlessly with her hatred for the galaxy at large, and with that old feeling came joy. In truth, joy and hatred and been joined seamlessly inside her a long time ago, to the point where they were indistinguishable. "But the Dark Side is more than just a tool, and Sith are more than just soldiers. The Dark Side is a part of the universe itself, and Sith...the Sith are the monsters that feed on it." The warehouse creaked, and she sighed again, as if annoyed to have to break her own line of thought. She gestured out with both arms. The warehouse shook, and the debris underneath it began to roil and roll. And then, slowly at first, then gaining speed...the warehouse began to climb the side of the sinkhole. Seated upon her makeshift stool, she addressed the three Sith. "My name is Darth Calypso. I don't know what prophecies you're talking about. I don't know what Dark Lord you speak of. I don't know your clan, I don't know your god, and I don't know what you expect of me. And in the end, it does not matter. If your master is stronger than me, she will prove it. If you are stronger than me, than strike me down now or prove that I should be the one serving you. If you do intend to fight me, than come. I'm weakened, but I am ready. If you intend to run from me and bide your time, than by all means," she said as she gestured, and one of the warehouse walls shattered under her telekinetic blast, revealing the slowly passing sheer side of the sinkhole just outside. "Take your leave." She leaned forward. "And if you would make use of my power for your own ends by serving me, than please..." She gestured politely, and three more seats arose behind each of the Sith. "Tell me everything you know." A pillar of carbonite rose behind her, and she leaned back against it. "And then I will make my final decision of what to do with anyone still here."
  5. The 10,000 souls unleashed by the necromancer screamed through the corridors, dragging the echoes that had haunted Inmortos along with them in their inexorable current. They sought life and bodies to inhabit, but found none. Slowly, like a comet caught in the gravity well of a black hole, they drew closer and closer to the epicenter of the nexus with each pass, where Cthon gathered to defend their profane sanctum. The touch of the eldritch entity that manifested through Solus fed its own foulness into the current, an otherwordly parasite that writhed with an essence all its own. And the sweetest and oldest meat of all was given by Akheron. Battle. Slaughter. Wrath. The weak perished before the strong, and the Dark Side swelled with power. The lightning dancing along the encased figure's fingertips exploded. The entire vaguely humanoid protrusion became a silhouette of crackling, pure light and power. Blue-white bolts of destructive energy shot out and carved long, smoking burn marks along the walls of the ancient warehouse. The Cthon too slow or unlucky were caught in their path and charred in an instant to blackened meat, their shrieks of agony only lasting an instant, but feeding the tumultuous, growing tempest. And yet, it wasn't enough. The air rippled, and the ground quavered, but the tiny, flickering spark of life inside the makeshift statue did not catch fire. Centuries upon centuries of cold, starving isolation had left it weak. Though it had held its grip, it could not bring itself back even with this torrent of power surrounding it. It was a miracle it held out at all. The souls unleashed from the dagger howled as they entered the chamber, drawn by the pull and gravity of the reaction taking place in the Cthon's crude temple. Bones left from thousands of victims, piled up around the center "statue" and outside the warehouse, jerked and leapt as the souls sought in vain for a viable host. Then they found one. With a single will and desperate need, the souls rushed into the mass of carbonite at the figure's feet. A moment of silence passed. Then the carbonite on the floor shattered, and a single figure stood up as if held aloft by puppet strings. It wore the simple brown robes of a Jedi. Its flesh was pale but preserved, both by the carbonite and as a side effect of the foul power that had been concentrated here. The souls had found a host. They had found the Jedi that had sacrificed his life to trap the darkness he had fought here so long ago. No single soul was in control. Only their overwhelming fear, anger, and hate made it to the surface, and the corpse revenant leapt at the cowering, utterly confused Cthon. Terrible, supernatural strength tore them limb from limb even as they scrambled to fight back or flee. Inside the corpse, 10,000 souls screamed and tore at one another for control. It was a brutal, mindless conflict, and it swelled the tempest of the Dark Side to an armageddon. The shaking became a true quake. Miles away, half-reconstructed skyscrapers quivered, dust cascading off their sides, followed by windows shattering all along their heights, raining shards down on the lower levels. Children cried as the adults panicked. And the Cthon tunnels collapsed. All throughout, the floors, ceilings, and walls gave way. Cthon cried out as they were crushed or sent tumbling into sudden widening chasms. Chambers, pipes, and girders that had held for millennia crumbled and buckled as the inexorable force of the Dark Side destroyed everything. Even as everything tumbled down on top of everything else, the crater itself deepened, and widened. Slowly, it changed from a crater to a sinkhole. And yet, the tomb that was the epicenter remained intact. Debris shifted mid fall to avoid crushing the shrine. Metal, cables, and permacrete compacted themselves against the sides of the massive sinkhole. Soon, where the crater had been , a massive hole stood in its place. And at the bottom, facing the sky for the first time in thousand years, the warehouse stood completely uncovered. And there, in the still aftermath of the collapse, a single, pale blue dot fell through the air. The dagger containing Inmortos' soul dropped towards the warehouse, drawn like a compass's needle to north. The roof of the warehouse crumbled away as if to admit it, and the dagger fell through. With a resounding TING, it struck the lightning wrapped figure at the center of the chamber. For the briefest instant, the two souls touched. And the spark caught fire. A hairline crack ran down the figure's form. Then more split off. Then more. A piece of carbonite fell away. Then another, and another. Then the carbonite exploded outward. In its place, a single, feminine figure stood tall. She was human, with only her pointed ears hinting at some alien heritage somewhere far back in her bloodline. Her skin was pale, and served to make the dark, Sith tattoos running down the sides of her face more prominent. Her hair was bone white. Her body was neither young nor old, but something in between and timeless. The long black silk of a dress, perfectly preserved by the carbonite, hung off her slender frame. For a moment, there was only silence. Then, the figure took a long, shaky breath. Her eyes opened. They shone catlike yellow with the stark evidence of Dark Side corruption. Her hibernation had left her temporarily blind to the mundane, but that didn't impede her in the slightest. She saw through the Force. She saw the Cthon, their squirming, half-animalistic souls cowering in the face of greater power. She saw the corpse of her Jedi enemy, somehow reanimated with the souls of 10,000 screaming victims fighting for control. And then she saw the dagger. It glowed pale blue to her Force Sight. She recognized instantly what she was looking at. It was a Sith. A true Sith. This soul bore the ambition and pride to stretch its hands towards the universe and demand it fall in line. Passion. It had the will and tenacity to hold itself together even in its imprisoned form. Strength. It radiated a cold, sapping energy that threatened death to any who touched it. Power. This was not one of Kaan's syncophants. In truth, the woman had doubted she'd ever find a kindred soul while that fool had called himself and his followers Sith. The woman walked towards the dagger. Bones skittered away from her, muck slid out from under her feet instead of touching her shoes, and a durasteel girder that had been lodged in the floor for centuries squealed in protest as it bent in half to remove itself from her path. She did not gesture or even glance at these small, telekinetic gestures. She was barely conscious of them, having become so attuned to her strength in the Force that it responded to her whims as she allowed it to. She stopped in front of the dagger, and it lifted into the air at her command. "You are Sith," she said in a smooth voice. Her eyes flicked to the corpse of the Jedi, the 10,000 souls inside still struggling even as the body stood stunned. "...Prove it." She made a tiny gesture with her right index finger, and the dagger shot like a slug from a rifle into the Jedi corpse's chest, knocking it to the ground. The soul of Inmortos was pushed into the fray of 10,000 souls fighting for dominance. If he was Sith, he would have Victory.
  6. Solus: The apparition's lightsaber did not move. Yet, when Solus' lightsaber descended, the specter's weapon was raised to block, as if the universe had blinked. The loud crackle of lightsabers striking each other echoed through the illusionary workshop, reverberating off the walls in a way that should have been impossible for the room they appeared to be standing in. The illusion of his creator laughed, and unleashed a flurry of blows at Solus. Her red lightsaber moved with the practiced grace of a Sith Lord even as she cackled, and the area around them flickered between the workshop, the sunlit battlefield of Ruusan, and the rubble-choked tunnels of Coruscant. She did not move with the intent to kill, but more as if she was testing Solus, toying with him and finding the Shard's limits "Lies," she taunted between strikes. "I feel your fear, your impotent anger." A slash to throw him off balance. "Look at you now. You couldn't change what you are!" Another blow aimed to drive Solus back onto the defensive. "Ascended?! You're a scrap heap and a broken rock wired together. You're a child! You're my design! Worse..." The illusion vanished, and was suddenly, impossibly, behind him, blade poised to strike a killing blow. "You're a failure!" She drove the blade towards the Shard itself. Inmortos: Over a thousand years, people had been sacrificed by the Cthon in this place. Those sacrifices had rippled out through the Dark Side, and for centuries they had whispered through these tunnels. Then the moon had fallen, and those whispers had fed and surged into roars and screams, a cacophony of malicious, spiteful echoes that now stood before the necromancer to torment him. To call them conscious might be misleading, but they had enough of a mind to understand what they wanted. They wanted to hurt. They wanted to kill. But more than anything, they wanted to be more. And so, when the necromancer thrust the blade at them and the Cthon swarming him in an act of final defiance, they screamed. They screamed in fear, and in delight. This blade didn't hold mere echoes. It held souls. Real, whole, true souls. A treasure trove filled with what these echoes were pale imitations of. And they wanted it. They would become more. With the knife, they would not be mere noise, but a THUNDERSTORM. The Cthon backed away, covering their ears. To them, the unearthly scream was the commanding shriek of Fivefang. It was the resounding emptiness of the Silent Place. It was the howling of a pack of corridor ghouls. It was the roar of a territorial taozin. The firrerreo apparition flew forward, and it seemed to split and fractal. It was his false, whole self. It was his father. It was his mother. It was the faces of victims his mind only barely remembered. It was his own face, disintegrating into ash. The screams of the dead and dying assaulted him from every direction, through his ears and into his mind, and the tunnel around him was replaced with the illusion of crackling, raging fire. Illusory heat pressed in on him from every side. "You are nothing!" "You will die!" "You will burn!" "Forgotten!" "Devoured!" "Weak!" "Break the dagger!" "Break the dagger!!" "BREAK THE DAGGER!!!" Akheron: Cthon dropped like sacks of wet meat cut from strings. Blood splattered as the shrapnel tore through their pale, dirty bodies. They shrieked and mewled in pain and surprise. This creature, its wrath and power, felt like the Silent Place, yet different. Fivefang howled in rage at the death of his kind, and then gave a quick series of coughing barks. Most of the surviving Cthon responded, and in seconds they, along with Fivefang, had squirmed their way back into the crevices. The remaining few, too bloodhungry to listen, threw themselves futilely at the Sith Warrior. Fivefang and the rest moved deeper into the tunnels, following tight and constricting passages like rats to get ahead of the warrior if he tried to pursue them through the winding, larger passageway it walked now. They had underestimated the warrior. For so many of their kind to die so quickly, this unwilling sacrifice was indeed powerful. But Fivefang was smart. Fivefang wouldn't give up so easily. Further down the tunnel, where the warrior's path would definitely cross, Fivefang hissed at several lurking Cthon. They uncurled themselves and pressed several switches embedded in the ceiling next to a large, hanging metal plate that looked like it had been peeled from the side of a cargo ship. The switches sparked, and crude batteries resting hidden on top of the plate hummed to life, electrifying the metal they sat on. The cables that suspended the plate from the ceiling shifted slightly as the Cthon took up position. When the warrior passed by, the hidden Cthon would release the cables and drop the heavy, electrified plate on their prey, hopefully pinning him and shocking him into unconsciousness. If it killed him...well, they were hungry. Fivefang continued deeper even as the other Cthon set the trap. He wasn't convinced that would be enough. He moved towards the Silent Place to prepare. Many Cthon would be waiting there, lurking around the sacred space. He would be sure they were ready, and that they would fight fiercely to defend the Silent Place. Calypso: Each of the Sith was unleashing their passion. Their fury, their fear, their hate, it all fed into the dark, swirling nexus of power that permeated this place. And at the center, the humanoid figure frozen in carbonite stood in silence. But something of their feelings made it through. Metal debris rattled on the floor, and piles of skulls collapsed as small vibrations pulsed through the ground. *spark* *spark* Pale blue lightning crackled to life and disappeared just as quickly along the outstretched fingers of the figure, the sudden light illuminating the chamber for the first time in over 1000 years. "...more..." The shaking grew stronger.
  7. Solus: The woman frowned, and turned back to her grisly project. "I am Shuburoth. A Sith. But...Roshan...no, Ruusan." The scene changed. The macabre workshop was replaced with a green forest, ancient trees lit by golden sunlight. Blue and green lightsabers crackled as they collided with their red counterparts, dozens of Jedi bedecked in white armor clashing with nightmarish Sith. A singular, middle aged human Jedi pushed the Sith back, radiating power and light like a sunrise cresting a ridge. The air resonated with the clashing wills manifesting in the Force. The woman, Darth Shuburoth, stood over a dying female Sith that lay in the lead Jedi's trail, hands outstretched where the body she'd been dissecting had been. The build was the same, but the face was obscured by burns and blood, and only the faintest, shallow breath gave testament to her double being alive. "I was the Dark Lord. We all were." She turned back to Solus, her eyes changed. The cold intellect was gone. Something else, something manic, something hollow, had replaced it. "I...I created you." The scene shifted back to the workshop. "Are you a servant..." she paused, eyes roaming the air, searching, "Solus? Or are you a master?" A gleeful grin spread over her face as her attitude shifted yet again with the whiplash of a starfighter pulling Gs. Her lightsaber flew into her hand and ignited. "Show me what you are." ___________________________________ Akheron: The illusions that swirled around the former massassi were ones of home, of family, and of loved ones. His parents, his tutor, his love...his past danced and spun before him, twisting into grotesque parodies of joy, pain, and despair. The place he walked through now had been soaked and refined in the essence of the dark side for a millennia by the savage sacrifices and violence of the native Cthon. The catastrophe of the moonfall, the countless deaths that it had caused, had surged that darkness into something potent and deep. Now it suffused itself into the perceptions of any who came close, much like any Force nexus. The only creatures unaffected were the Cthon themselves. They'd been born into this darkness, and their blind eyes saw nothing of the horror it now flung at the Sith who entered. Fivefang listened carefully from under the metal plating of the tunnel Akheron walked. It waited, and waited, and waited... Then he struck. He slammed the metal plating aside while Akheron was still over two dozen feet away, and shrieked. The answering chorus of howls and cries was deafening, as metal plating and debris shifted and fell away, and hundreds of limbs scrabbled and clamored out of the walls, floor, and ceiling like ants fleeing a flooded nest. The horde of Cthon flung itself at the Sith Lord. ___________________________________ Inmortos: "...Eligreen," a voice called out. It was Inmortos' voice, yet different. It was clear, vibrant, and full of life. "Eligreen, you've returned." The darkness ahead seemed to deepen, and then coalesce, slowly churning and reforming into a figure. Standing before Inmortos was...himself. But himself made whole. His body was unmarred, his hair gleamed with a dozen colors, his face was lined with the maturity of hard won wisdom and experience. He was dressed in simple coveralls, the kind you might find in any factory, and his hands were rough from work. His eyes, a beautiful gold, stared at the necromancer with an unreadable expression. "What are you supposed to be Eligreen?" The apparition cocked its head, gaze boring into Inmortos. "You're not anything anymore, are you? Just a cut up doll. A soul preserved in glass and wax and string. I've seen your future Eligreen. It won't be worth it." A slow, malicious grin spread across the thing's face. "You're going to die here. Forgotten. It will have all been for nothing." As if on cue, pale hands and faces began to slide out from crevices in the tunnel walls that seemed far too narrow for them. They gathered around the necromancer, tongues tasting the air and clawed hands scraping against the floor. Behind them, the apparition spread its hands wide. "Welcome home, Eligreen."
  8. The Dark Side of the Force, cultivated in this place by centuries of sacrifice and pain, was now bloated with the death brought by the moonfall. As the Shard descended, something in its spirit touched the Dark Side and resonated with it. And an echo answered... ____________________ The chamber that Solus entered was dark and indistinct, even to the precise and cold electronic sensors of its droid chassis. But slowly, it began to come into focus. Solus was in a cave. There had been no point where the metal scrap or the fetid gunk had changed to stone, but now the Shard was surrounded by natural stone, every square foot embedded with glowing crystals. Ahead, the stone of what had once been a cave wall had been cut away, revealing a morbid workshop. Shelves were lined with containers holding preserved creatures from across the galaxy, and some that would have been unrecognizable anywhere but a horror holovid. Desks piled with scrap and droid parts, arranged neatly side by side to the point where they threatened to topple onto the floor, were scattered to the corners of the room. And at the center, cables hung from the ceiling, suspending something large and humanoid. Solus was home. The thing hanging from the ceiling, however, was not his droid chassis. It was a man. Or rather, something like a man. Scarred and stitched in hundreds of places, cables piercing muscle and bone to hold him up, jagged spikes unevenly growing along its arms and legs, it was a grotesque caricature of a monster. Yellow teeth ran in multiple, asymmetrical rows along its jaw, and its wide, dead eyes were clouded sickly yellow with streaks of blood red. Standing over the corpse(?) was a humanoid. Their violet skin marked them out as umbaran, and the clinical way their hands dug through the innards of the thing's open torso spoke of medical skill. Their black robes marked them as something darker than any taxidermist or surgeon. The figure turned. It was a woman. Her features were impossible to grasp. Like a fuzzy memory in real time. But the feeling she evoked was real. A feeling of powerful familiarity. She smiled, something between a mother's warmth and a predator's snarl. "Hello son. Do you know who I am?"
  9. Fivefang listened. Fivefang was good at listening. Its why Fivefang had found prey before the others did when it was a whelp. That had made it strong. And now that Fivefang was strong, it could make others of its kind do what it wanted, like give Fivefang first pick at the food. That made it stronger. Now Fivefang could kill any other who challenged it. Now Fivefang could have territory, and only the biggest and the strongest of its kind had territory. Fivefang had the best territory. Fivefang had the Silent Place as territory. This made Fivefang best of all. But somewhere deep in its primordial, hungry, savage brain, Fivefang understood. Fivefang was strong...because Fivefang knew how to listen. Fivefang had listened to prey. It listened to them walk the tunnels. It listened to them scavenge on the surface. It listened to them scream "Cthon!" when they saw Fivefang and others of its kind. It listened to the sounds of their weapons, to the clicks and hisses that sent death through the air to kill Fivefang's kind. It listened to their screams as Fivefang and its kind ate the dead and their attackers alike. And it listened to the Silent Place. The Silent Place made it hungry. The Silent Place made it angry. The Silent Place made it kill. Fivefang wasn't in the Silent Place right now. It was in a pipe. Outside, everything was hot. Other Cthon had died, screaming and melting, when the hot metal dropped on them. But this pipe was safe. The heat couldn't get in. And by listening, Fivefang could hear the prey walking over a dozen meters above his head. They walked in the crater, where death had come from the sky. That death had shaken the world. Tunnels had fallen apart. Heat killed many. But the Silent Place was safe. The Silent Place had saved them. And now the Silent Place was protected by Fivefang, so that it would continue to protect the Cthon. But the Silent Place needed food. The Silent Place needed death. That's why Fivefang was listening. He heard the soft, barely audible scrabble of other Cthon creeping up behind him. Fivefang turned and hissed, and the smaller Cthon backed away from where they clung to the pipe's sides. Then Fivefang chittered, and they understood. New prey was above. It would come down. Set traps. Take prey. Feed the Silent Place. The others scuttled off into the darkness, chittering and tapping the metal as they did. The message would spread. Other Cthon would come. Fivefang would please the Silent Place today. ______________________________________________________________________ Hundreds of feet below, the remains of an ancient chemical warehouse groaned as the supports imperceptibly shifted. The nearby Cthon skittered away, frightened. The warehouse hadn't made a sound in their lifetimes. At the center, a vaguely humanoid shape covered in carbonite jutted up out of the wreckage and the carefully arranged piles of bones and skulls of a thousand species. Inside, a mind began to stir. Not fully awake, but lost in timeless dreams. Inside, she sensed something approach. She called out. "...Here..." The Dark Side rippled, like a pebble dropped in a pond.
  10. Darth Calypso Identity Real Name: Kelara Vesh A.K.A: Lady Calypso Homeworld: Coruscant Species: Human (Coruscanti) Physical Description Age: 36 (physically) Height: 5' 6" Weight:145 lbs Hair: White Eyes: Yellow Sex: Female Equipment Clothing or Armor: Black Gown Weapon: Red Lightsaber Common Inventory: Communicator, Rebreather Faction Information Force User, Force Sensitive or Non-Force User: Force Sensitive Alignment: Lawful Evil Current Faction Affiliation: Sith Current Faction Rank: Master Class: Sorcerer History: Force Side: Sith Trained by: Darth Vilius Trained who: N/A Known Skills: Survival skills, Sith History, Sith Alchemy, Form 1 Lightsaber Combat (often used in conjunction with telekinesis) Force Skills: Telekinesis, Force Sight, Force Blast, Bolt of Hatred, Force Lightning, Consume Essence Background: Kelara Vesh was born in the lower levels of Coruscant in 1072 BBY, back when the Brotherhood of Darkness and the Army of Light were preparing to fight the last Sith war the galaxy would see for a millenium. Homeless at the age of 8, she grew up scavenging the slum districts, one more skinny, ratty orphan among thousands like her. By the time she’d become a teenager, her life revolved around stealing, fighting, and running. Every now and then though, her latest hiding place would afford her a glimpse of the levels above and the people who lived there. Those brief peeks gave her curiosity, then hope, and eventually a deep-seated resentment. When Kelara was 17, a series of back-to-back gang wars flared up and turned the sublevel she was living in into a warzone. It eventually got to the point that the Coruscant Security Force came down and drove out the residents en masse. Running away with the rest, Kelara ended up darting down a passage she hadn’t explored before. When she eventually admitted she was lost, she realized she’d broken the one immutable rule of the sublevels: never go too deep. Before she could escape she was found by the cthon, the semi-sentient cannibal mutants living on Coruscant’s lowest levels. In a fit of anger, fear, and one incredibly lucky strike with a piece of rebar, she managed to brain and kill the cthon packleader, causing the rest to back off just long enough for her to bolt up a maintenance hatch and back towards the slums. When she emerged from the tunnels, she found a strange man waiting for her. A Sith, hiding in plain sight and covertly moving through Coruscant’s underground to avoid the attention of the Jedi, had felt the flicker of the Dark Side from the girl's rage in the tunnels below. Deciding to make use of a potential tool, he took her as an apprentice on the condition that she guide him through the bowels of the city. He was powerful enough to do it himself, but he wouldn’t be able to blend in and he'd likely leave a bloody trail. Having a local guide to avoid the contentious areas would be more subtle. Plus, he figured if he trained her enough, he could toss her behind him as a decoy “Sith” if the Jedi ever caught his trail. He introduced himself as Darth Vilius, and over the next four years he trained her in the ways of the Sith, as well as giving her the materials she needed to make up for her lack of basic education. She learned fast, devoting herself completely to the Code of the Sith and its promise of strength being rewarded with victory and freedom. Vilius was shocked to see how fast she progressed, her passion and aptitude driving her to advance in leaps and bounds. After only a few years, she started returning to the cthon tunnels to hone her skills fighting them. Eventually Darth Vilius’ work on Coruscant came to be done, and he was unsure what to do with his apprentice. The Code she zealously believed in meant she'd try to kill him eventually, and her raw talent terrified him in ways he refused to openly admit. He decided to kill her, but when he went to end her, he found her room empty. Realizing she'd gone to the tunnels to train again and unwilling to wait, he stalked her through the slums and eventually into the tunnels where they’d first met. Without warning, the entrances all around him slammed shut, and the cthon poured from the ceiling and out of the water to surround the Sith in the hundreds. When Kelara emerged as well, he realized the truth. She had not been killing the cthon. She'd been coercing them. Through intimidation and strength she'd compelled them to serve her. Yet, she didn't order them to attack. To beat her master in anything but a straight fight that proved her power would be a hollow victory. The fight commenced. Vilius was a skilled swordsman, and Kelara lacked even a training lightsaber. However, her strength in the Dark Side allowed her to take even the most basic lessons her master had taught her and use them to their fullest potential, telekinesis and lightning threatening to bring the tunnels down around them. Even so, she nearly lost, her master's skill pushing her to her limits. In the end it was Darth Vilius' fear that decided the contest. Afraid of a cave in as his reckless apprentice attacked in a frenzy, he broke away and tried to run for safer ground, only for Kelara to crush him by telekinetically ripping half the ceiling down on top of him, nearly killing herself. Once she’d managed to pull his corpse from the rubble, she took his saber and fed what was left of him to the surviving cthon. After that she took on her own Sith title, Darth Calypso, and continued her education. She saw the tombs of Korriban, the ancient Sith capital of Dromund Kaas, the temples of Yavin IV... But even though she left the planet many times, she always returned to Coruscant and to those tunnels. She dove deep into the Sith philosophy, growing to appreciate it more and more as she saw the stagnant, soft people of the galaxy and the complicated systems they kept in place to keep them from experiencing any true strife. Her powers grew as well, and while she appreciated the more complex arts of the sorcerer, she often found herself drawn to the more simplistic manifestations of the Force, wielding it as pure, destructive power through telekinesis, lightning, and blasts of Dark Side energy. When the Brotherhood of Darkness revealed itself and waged war on the Republic, Darth Calypso rejected them. She was disgusted with their lie of “equality” and their attempts to give up what made them Sith in favor of the Jedi’s weakness of unity. She decided to instead give in to her own passion, and overturn Coruscant itself while the Jedi were distracted. Over time, she manipulated the cthon to serve as her foot soldiers, sending them out to expand her territory among the lower levels in preparation for her plot, often personally leading the charge if she thought the enemy was worth fighting. Eventually, a Jedi teacher kept back from the war caught wind of her presence. A criminal displaced by Calypso’s conquests had managed to plead his case to the Knight while he was on assignment in the slums. Unwilling to risk leaving even a rumor of a Sith in the bowels of Coruscant, he investigated. Most of what he found were just urban legends, but unexpectedly he came face to face with Darth Calypso. The two fought, and the Jedi quickly realized he was outmatched. While he was a fine Jedi, the raw talent, hate, and dark joy of Calypso overwhelmed him as she telekinetically shook the very slums in her frenzied attack. She drove him back until he found himself trapped in a chemical warehouse. Realizing that he wasn’t going to be able to escape or inform the temple of the truth of the Sith under their feet, he turned and threw himself at her. Caught up in the emotion of the fight, Darth Calypso met him head on, pinning him to the ground with a shard of sheet metal through his chest. Mortally wounded, the Jedi sprung his trap. He used his lightsaber to rupture a large tank of pressurized subzero carbonite before telekinetically ripping out the already weakened supports under the warehouse and sending them both plummeting into Coruscant’s deepest underbelly. Calypso only had a moment to realize the trick the Jedi had sacrificed himself to play before the carbonite engulfed her, freezing her and sealing the warehouse. By fate or luck, the ruins of the warehouse were found by the cthon. Perhaps out of some preternatural instinct, the semi-sentient creatures came to think of the place as sacred. They erected crude totems around it, and performed a facsimile of religious worship. Eventually this moved on to sacrifices, both of their own kind and anyone they could snatch from the levels above. These blood offerings were what kept Calypso alive in her hibernation. She subconsciously drew from the pain and deaths, a bare trickle of power just enough to sustain her. Now, over 1000 years later, the destruction wrought by the Crusades have uncovered the cthon's crude temple.
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