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Darth Calypso

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  1. Calypso smiled. It would seem she had an apprentice. Her first apprentice, and he was as hungry and passionate as she could ask for. She laid her hand on his shoulder, saying nothing, but letting her pleased expression show him her approval. She turned to Dictum. "...and you have my attention, Lord Dictum. I look forward to seeing what you will become." And she meant it. Her eyes swept over the group that had begun to gather. Some had clustered together, while others spread out, some close and some far enough that they were nothing more than silhouettes against the white of the snow. The Force itself subtly shuddered and twisted. Many wills drew upon it, and the silent conflict of such strength quickened the Dark Side. Calypso imagined it as a beast, straining at the leash, yearning to turn this silent congregation into a chorus of passion and death. All these powerful individuals who had been drawn here, by her call or by fate, were now waiting. It is enough, she thought. She walked to the base of her crude pyramid, the cold wind and the rapidly diminishing snowfall whipping her torn clothes about her thin frame. Her mundane, vulnerable appearance contrasted with her calm and assured posture. Only the glow in her yellow eyes betrayed the anticipation that was growing inside of her. This was the moment. This was the start of everything. When she reached the base of the pyramid, she leapt. With the Force buoying her up, she effortlessly cleared the 25 feet to the top of the lowest layer. From there, she pivoted to face the gathering figures in the snowy wasteland. She raised her hands. "SITH!" she called, her voice echoing through the air and through the Force both. All here would know what she had to say. "I have called you here! Your challenger stands before you!" She swept her gaze across the crowd, gray shapes in the cloudy twilight. "I am Darth Calypso. I was born from the depths of the Old Republic's decrepitude, over 1000 years ago. I have awoken again, and I emerge to see the Sith truly returned. In the time since the fool Kaan and his Brotherhood of Darkness, the Sith have clawed their way back to the blood and iron they were founded on." She paused. "...And yet, once again the Sith Empire...has fallen!" Her words echoed out across the landscape like the crack of thunder. "How many times has our order been beaten back? How many times have the weak, the ignorant, and the cowardly united to smother a truth they know they cannot hope to control? And yet we always return, as perpetual as the spinning of the galaxy!" The slate gray clouds above her began to spiral, centered over the pale woman in ragged clothes. "So why have we failed again?" She fell silent for a moment. "...Because we have ignored what we are. We are not generals or admirals. We are not kings, queens, or emperors. We are not politicians slinging words to fool the masses, or knights fighting loyally in the service of a lord. We are gods! We ARE power! There will be no great conquest. There will be no empire. We will not unite the galaxy under our rule, as the Sith have attempted so many times before. We will SHATTER IT!" As she shouted these last words, arms upraised, her passion escaped her control, and the ground vibrated almost imperceptibly. "This new Alliance will fall before us. Always the Sith have come as a conquering army, but this time we will come as the monsters we truly are. We will not ape our enemies. We will not try to bring about peace under our rule. We will plunge the galaxy into fire and death! The time of republics, alliances, and empires will come crashing down! The lies of the Jedi will be torn away, and the truth that the Sith have always known will finally be made evident to all! Everyone, Sith or Jedi, soldier or civilian, weak or powerful, will finally understand that a being is only entitled to what it has the will to take and the strength to hold! When we are finished, the idea of a unified galaxy will be laughed at by the survivors digging through the ashes, and the hypocrisy of the Jedi will be seen for what it is. It will be a new Age of the Sith. And in this age...the strong will finally receive their due. They will carve out their realms by their own hand. They will defend what they have, while taking what they wish from those weaker than them. All beings, not just the Sith, will follow our Code! All will fight for victory and freedom, because there will be no other way!" She gestured at the crowd. "Is this not what you want? Do you truly wish to serve under some distant ruler, content with what you've been given? Don't you want the opportunity to prove your worth to a galaxy that has denied you what you deserve? I will give that chance to you. I will give that chance to everyone." Then, Calypso lowered her arms, the animating passion of her speech dwindling. "But these are only words. Sith are not ruled by words." She took a breath. "I declare myself Dark Lord of the Sith!" The words rang out, echoing across the wasteland without softening, as if they had a life of their own. And then Calypso stopped holding herself back. The ground shook. A deep, grinding rumble drowned out every other sound as the stone trembled beneath the snow. With a deafening CRACK, a dozen crevices as wide as a man spiderwebbed out from under the block where Calypso stood. The air crackled with electricity. Wind that had nothing to do with the weather howled and screamed across the snow. The Force itself seemed to writhe and boil. Calypso's power had never come from arcane rituals and ancient secrets. Her master had never afforded her that opportunity. No, she had spent her time perfecting herself as a channel for the Dark Side, refining what strength her master had thought safe to give his tool. She had studied Sith philosophy, and put herself through every trial and strife imaginable to purge any hesitation, weakness, or self-delusion from her. What was left was the passion she drew on, and it was endless. Her master had once called her a misanthrope. The clinical sounding word had never seemed to capture the reality of what the coruscanti street urchin had felt. Her hatred was a consuming, burning thing that ate away at her. It was something she'd learned to lock away until it was needed, but always hovering below the surface. She hated the people of the galaxy. They were self-deluded idiots who spent their whole lives fighting not to think, serving anyone or anything that promised them even the illusion of control. She hated the Jedi. They preached compassion, but had never come to save those like her starving right below their feet. They preached justice, yet stood by as the rulers and officials they defended openly enslaved others. They preached peace, but had been at the forefront of major galactic wars time and time again. She even hated the Sith. She hated the figures gathered before her, either arrogantly thinking themselves superior while they fretted at their mundane or pointless ambitions, or willing to fall to their knees in humiliating subservience and cast away their very thoughts. And she hated herself. Even now, she knew what she really was. The child who had never left Coruscant. The orphan ruling a kingdom of blind, animalistic cannibals. In her new galaxy, there would be endless war. Endless strife. Endless destruction. It was no more than what they all deserved. She leapt down from the block, the quake created from her telekinetic power fading as she gathered her will. Her lightsaber leapt into her hand, and with a hssss its red blade flared to life. "So...who's first?"
  2. The terentatek's arm came up and batted away the axe, its strength monstrous even as a juvenile. It trumpeted in victory, lunging foward. Then it stopped short. Blood filled its mouth. Its tiny eyes flared wide in confusion. It willed itself forward, willed itself to finish off its prey right in front of it, but its legs wouldn't move. Its arms dropped to its sides, limp. Blackness crept in at the edges of its vision, rage bleeding away like water through a sieve. Fiochmar's sword had gone straight into the beast's mouth, and pierced its spine. Its body collapsed nervelessly to the ground, its eyes staring up, a look of disbelief apparent in its brutal features. Then it was dead. Calypso's eyes narrowed as she took in the dark aura of the man. This man had given himself to the Dark Side, but there was more potential that might be drawn out. She paused before answering. "...I'm afraid I'm not one for titles Darth Dictum. There is only one title I respect, and it is only earned, not given." She turned to fully face him. Her words were not harsh, but they were not kind either. "There will be no titles in the galaxy I create but what you carve for yourself. You have strength Dictum, but if you bind yourself to my will then you only cripple it. The end goal of all Sith is freedom, not service. If you are truly set upon being my greatest weapon, then I offer you the chance to prove worthy of it." She stopped for a moment as she considered. "Perhaps it will help you to kill me."
  3. Calypso gestured dismissively. "Leave him. He will follow or he won't." A memory touched her mind, slipping in through the cracks. Blood on the permacrete. Sweat and stink in her nose. Burning in her throat. That's right, she remembered why. She'd thrown up after killing the man. He hadn't been doing anything but sleeping next to a heat exhaust, wrapped up in blankets. But she'd been cold, and she'd found a pipe. Her face didn't change as the memory played out. "Struggle makes us strong. He will earn this victory. If he's smart, he'll learn something from it." Calypso smiled, and her eyes glittered at some private joke. "We shall see, Darth Akheron. You may find yourself wishing to retract one of those statements before long." She turned her head to the sky, and stared through the blowing snow and into the currents of the Force itself. The twisting coils of darkness, aftershocks of the planet's rebirth, told her nothing. Right now, the future was uncertain. The Dark Side had a will, of that Calypso was sure. If her time delving and molding herself to be its vessel had taught her anything, it was that the Dark Side was as much master as servant. She understood why the Jedi felt such peace at the thought of giving in to that power, that plan, that will. They never realized their own contradictions. But right now, that dark will was clouded. It was waiting. Waiting to see what was about to happen. Its will would be done regardless, but by who? Calypso? Or someone else... She breathed in, letting the cold air burn straight down to her lungs. It was almost time. Her hatred had waited for a thousand years for this chance. It would not wait much longer. As her control slipped for that split second, her eyes flashed, and the air around her sparked blue-white with barely perceptible bolts of power. No, she would not wait much longer. And then the galaxy would scream. Try as he might, the Terentatek's mind and hide were too resistant to direct application of the Force to be subject to domination. Now fully enraged, the power pressing against its mind only roused the monster's hunger even further. It was built to kill Force users. It was built to eat Force users. It would eat this one. However, Fiochmar's vibrosword had better luck. With a sound like a handsaw tearing through old leather, the blade found just enough purchase in the armpit of the one of the creature's upraised arms. A gout of dark blood spattered across the snow before thickening into a miniature waterfall down its side. Perhaps the creature understood its situation. Or perhaps it was just really karking mad. It screamed, louder than ever before. Then, with the ferocity of a cornered beast in its death throes, it threw itself at Fiochmar, talons sweeping through the snow, tusks swinging, teeth gnashing in a frenzy. There was no hesitation, no attempt at defense, just pure, hateful violence. It wanted Fiochmar dead, and it didn't care what cost it paid.
  4. ///Sensor perimeter breached/// >>Analysis... >>Lifeform==00 >>Droid==01 >>92.55% : (dsg)Combatant >>Protocol;[defend001v], A;{/} A;{X} >>Deploying Darth Xervatus had not been idle in his stay at the Praxeum. Being such a avid scholar of history, he had taken the opportunity to reinvent some tools of the Sith of the past. The automated defenses for this particular turbolaser, along with a few others, were one of them. A trio of mechanical forms unfolded and detached themselves from the side of the turbolaser battery. In deep, rumbling binary, they spoke as their photoreceptors caught sight of the approaching Ruin. "TARGET ACQUIRED" As one, they raised their arms, and let loose a volley of blaster fire. Captain Bryce's prediction became reality as Sith troopers poured out of the battery near where she'd landed, red blaster bolts zipping across the battlefield even before they had time to line up their shots. These soldiers were not the elite, but the zealous. These were the broken, the mad, and the glory hungry who had refused to admit the Sith Empire's end. Even as their own ranks dropped to enemy fire, they continued to charge forward. Some screamed battlecries. Others wept or cackled, lost in their own warped sense of reality. Barking commands, a warrior in gleaming black and gold plastoid armor strode out of the battery behind them. This was one of the elite, and at his command, a portion of the troops broke off their mad charge and took cover, some behind the bodies of those they'd trampled a second ago. A ragged firing line opened up on the approaching enemy, but their position was tenuous. The elite spotted Æquitas, and trained his repeating blaster rifle on him from the rear line, sending a scything line of blaster fire towards the Jedi. The Home Guard Commander snarled as the automated voice of the computer recited in clipped words the data it simultaneously displayed on the screen. "Lost contact with turbolaser battery two and four. 12% of point defense cannons failing to respond. Ion cannon 3 has suffered critical damage and will not rotate." The Commander's clawed hands touched the holographic interface, redirecting point defense cannon targeting priorities manually in an attempt to anticipate enemy moves. As each bomber and fighter moved across the display, his mind catalogued them. Slowly, he was sorting which held the most talented pilots, the hotheads, and the textbook flyers. It wasn't enough though, and he knew it. There were too many of them, and they were too good. Without air support of their own, this was just a matter of time. I must provide time. "Home Guard squads 1 thru 7, form up and fortify in the main entryway. Prepare for contact. All entries are either deserters or the enemy. Kill on sight." Just inside the large, thick stone and metal doors of the primary pyramid, more black and gold troops swarmed out of side passages and hallways. Taking cover behind pillars and temporary durasteel barricades, the elite of the Praxeum set up and trained their weapons on the doors. Not for a second did they lose focus. These soldiers were the successes of the Sith's "training." They would not break. They couldn't.
  5. As Fiochmar passed beneath the creature, it swung its venomous tusks towards him, inches away from goring the Tsis. However, it missed as Fiochmar succeeded in his maneuver, vibroweapons biting into the creatures legs. Long cuts welled dark blood from its trunk-like legs, and the beast roared in pain now. However, the cuts were shallower than might be expected, and it wasn't hamstrung or crippled. Its hide was comparable to that of a rancor, and wouldn't cut easily. But it did distract it long enough for Fiochmar to climb on its back, weaving between its spines. The terentatek halted as Fiochmar reached out and through his mind against its own. Its head shook back and forth, jaws snapping at the air as the power of the Force buffeted its thoughts and sought to overwhelm its aggression. For a moment, it seemed as if the creature might back down. In truth, it was an adolescent of its species, and not yet full size or as ferocious as its adult counterpart that had earned the nickname of "The Jedi Killer" However, even young the creature would not be cowed so simply. A terentatek's corrupted hide and Dark Side infused mind were almost immune to the direct effects of the Force. Fiochmar's efforts, though fierce, found no solid purchase on the warped, unnatural beast. They did accomplish one thing however. Like a hound catching a scent, the terentatek sensed the power emanating from Fiochmar. The power of a Force-sensitive, its preferred prey. Where the beast had been enraged before, now that anger mixed with the instinctual need to kill and devour. With another ear splitting scream, the beast displayed its own brutal cunning and fell backward, rolling on the snowy ground, trying to crush its potential meal beneath its bulk or skewer it with its spines. Calypso looked at the thing that approached her. Its outer form was one she recognized from Coruscant, but in the sight of the Force it had changed. Its power still radiated outwards, but strands of something else clung to it like...cobwebs? She stopped walking. The ground for hundreds of feet vibrated almost imperceptibly as the Force shifted to her rising emotions like tides to a moon. It had been some time since something had presented such an alluring threat to her. This was not raw, simple power, but something far more insidious. It was new to her, and the place in her mind where instinct blended with the unknowable depths of the Dark Side told her that this clinging essence posed an actual danger. That alone kindled her excitement, and she was tempted to tear Solus apart piece-by-piece and see what would happen. Hairline cracks radiated through the stone around her, hidden from view by the snow. A knot of whirling Force currents coiled around her as her instinct to fight was stirred. She wanted to see if this power could challenge her. She wanted to see if it could hurt her. Then she exhaled, and let the emotions die. This was not the time. "Yes," she finally replied, no hint of her brief contemplation of the shard's death in her tone. "I do remember. It would seem you have grown since I last saw you." She resumed walking. "So what are you now?" The innocent question hinted at a deeper meaning, but she added nothing else.
  6. The lightning stopped as Calypso closed her hand. Her yellow eyes bore into the Tsis in front of her, considering him as a cat considered a beetle. Then she stood. "You have strength Fiochmar." She dropped from the low pillar, standing in the gathering snow. "Pride as well. Be careful of that. Still, excellent job." She turned, and stared off into the whirling snow. Her eyes narrowed, as if she had spotted something in the curtain of white. Without looking away, she continued speaking. "Passion. Strength. We are nearly ready for your final test. I suspect you've already guessed that it will be one of power, and you'd be right. But not in the way you might think." She broke her gaze away from whatever in the blowing snow had caught her attention, and looked back to Fiochmar. "The true measure of a Sith is not power. I can understand why you might think otherwise, but I'll explain." She gestured with a hand, and the pillar she'd been sitting on began to rise once more. After a moment, it broke free from the ground with a resounding crack, and hovered in the air. It was almost of a height with Calypso, and just as wide, a solid piece of stone. "A Sith is not mere tricks. Their greatness doesn't come from how skilled they are with a lightsaber, or what spells they know, or the armies and fleets assembled under their command." She flicked her finger, and the levitating pillar began a slow orbit around the pair of Sith. "When I fought and killed my master, he was more skilled than me. Truth be told, it was not even close. He had greater command of the Force, and his skills with a lightsaber far eclipsed mine. And yet I was the one who walked away alive. How?" She gestured with her hand again, and the pillar stopped its slow trek around the pair, hovering once more in the air, this time in the direction Calypso had been looking earlier. "The true measure of a Sith, Fiochmar, is not our power. It is our potential." She emphasized the word, giving it more weight than anything she'd said up till now. "The Code of the Sith is a simple concept in the end. It's nothing more than a formula. And yet it has terrified the galaxy for thousands of years, because it proves a truth that the Jedi, the Republic, the Alliance, and all the others like them don't want to believe. The truth that we, the Sith, have no limits. Through passion, strength. Through strength, power. Through power, victory. And through victory, freedom. From this simple mantra, we find infinite potential. There is no rival we cannot surpass, no height we cannot reach, and no obstacle we cannot overcome. The only thing that can hold us back are ourselves, and the lies we choose to believe. You want to know how I beat my master? He was a coward who was content with the power he had already attained. I defeated him because I grew to surpass him during the fight itself. A true Sith is one with the ability to seize their potential and grow. So, that will be your test." She gestured with her hand again, and the stone pillar shot out into the swirling snow. Then, a dull thud was heard, barely audible above the hissing wind. It was followed a moment later by a roar, guttural and full of rage. A soft thump...thump...thump, could barely be heard, but steadily grew louder. "If you think your current skills are enough to pass this test, I'm afraid you may not survive it." She smiled, a wicked glint in her eyes. "Seize your potential Fiochmar, and you will prove yourself worthy." She turned away, and began walking back towards the pyramid, leaving her would-be apprentice behind. "Find me if you don't die." As she disappeared behind a fresh gust of snow, a dark, looming shape emerged from the direction of the roar. https://starwars.fandom.com/wiki/Terentatek/Legends The side of the terentatek's head was bleeding slightly, where the stone pillar had struck it as it wandered through the snow. Now its rage was well and truly up, and its beady eyes landed on Fiochmar. With a screeching howl, the monster charged.
  7. She arched an eyebrow before turning away, facing back out into the wastes they were walking deeper into. "You speak with conviction. That is commendable, else I would have no use for you. That would be a waste" Her tone, while light, betrayed a cold, callous quality. "Your words are those of a servant. You talk about honor, about the past glories, and about being worthy to bear your ancestors' legacy. You humble yourself before corpses, Fiochmar." She held up a hand to forestall any response. "I'm not criticizing you." She still did not look back. "Passion must begin somewhere. When I first began, I dreamt of bringing justice to those who denied it and to those who deserved it, like a child would. That passion empowered me, and drove me to the very edge of my limits." She shook her head, a flicker of amusement crawling into her voice, before becoming serious again. "But time, suffering, and power all conspired to strip away those lies, no matter how gratifying I found them. And as that chain broke, my limits did as well. If you pursue this path Apprentice, you will find yourself changed as well. Your humility will snap like a rusted chain under the weight of your growing power. If you truly wish to take my place one day, and claim title of strongest, then your legacy will need to outstrip that of your ancestors'." Now she did turn to look back at the Sith apprentice. "You are a god ascending Fiochmar, never forget that. If you wish to stand above all others, then you will need to cast all others beneath your feet, even those who helped you rise in the first place." The pale lady in the tattered dress smiled then. "Just remember to respect me to my face until you are ready to kill me. Or I may find you to be a waste yet." "Ah, we are here." Here was just more wasteland. Nothing stood out to distinguish it. They could not have gone far from the pyramid in the short time they walked, but the structure they had come from was now completely obscured by the blowing snow that surrounded them. "We have discussed your passion then. Next is your strength. As it appears we still have some time before the main test, we can do this properly." She made a small gesture, and the ground shook as a crude pillar of stone rose out of the ground 4 meters away, called up by Calypso's power. The rock cracked and shrieked in protest as it scraped its way free, but it came up all the same. When it was almost of a height with Calypso's waist, it stopped. She walked over to it, lifted herself up, and sat down on top of it. She held up a hand, palm down, fingers splayed and pointed towards Fiochmar. "Do you have the strength to touch my hand apprentice?" Without another warning, lightning lanced out of her outstretched hand. It was not a quick burst, but a constant stream made possible by Calypso's seemingly infinite wellspring of power. It was not powerful enough to kill though. Well, at least not right away. The pain however would be absolutely exquisite, and the muscle spasms would not do the Tsis any favors in his task.
  8. The Home Guard Commander watched the screen with the stoicism of a droid. A tall, burly example of a Trandoshan, his face was made conspicuous by his black ritualistic tattoos and a deformed snout that had been broken and not set correctly more than once. He'd had a name once too. In his rest time, when he was forced to stop training and allow his body to recover, he liked to occupy his thoughts by trying to remember it as a sort of mental exercise. He never could, which made it the perfect way to pass the time. It didn't matter. He was the Commander. He served the Sith. Anything beyond that fact was just context. The scanners picked up an object dropping through atmosphere. No discernable lifeforms... Darth Xervatus wants more time. He ordered that anything that descended be shot. With the speed the object was approaching at, the Commander was unsure if the Praxeum's defenses would get a solid hit. Still, a demonstration of firepower might make the enemy back off and reconsider their approach. And that would buy time. A few quick keystrokes and a crisp series of orders on the command frequency, and the turbolaser batteries and point-defense cannons rotated on their positions and trained onto the descending object. The turbolasers were the first to open fire, their incredible range easily encompassing the descending object. The point-defense cannons slowly adjusted as they tracked the object, waiting for it to come into range. Only the ion cannons were held back. After all, it didn't appear that this object was powered. The Commander's tail twitched as the bombardment commenced, an echoing boom accompanying each blast. A lucky shot struck one of the missile launch tubes before it could close, followed by a geyser of fire and a quick series of status reports leaping onto the Commander's display. Only a few casualties among the technical staff stationed in the area, but the losses were irrelevant compared to the damage done. The other tubes in that battery would have to be checked and cleared before firing again, or risk premature detonation. The enemy's gunners were good. The remaining blasts scorched the Sith Steel of the pyramids, but for the moment the structures held. Perhaps with enough time the enemy might burn their way through, but given the time it would take "Shift fire to the next set of batteries. Continue randomized rotation as planned." They didn't need to win. They needed to stall. So said Darth Xervatus. So it would be. Darth Xervatus stopped as he descended the stone steps into the depths of the Praxeum. He'd...felt something. Panic? No, nothing so uncontrolled. Fear had many complexities to it to the truly enlightened, and the perception of such had always been one of Darth Xervatus' true strengths. That and the exploitation of said fear. This felt...restrained. Familiar. Like the one feeling it had felt it before, and wore it like a old leather glove. Ah, a soldier, of course. Closing his eyes, let himself draw in that fear, make it a part of himself. It wove through him, around him, and suddenly he knew. Raising his communicator, he keyed up the Commander. "Commander, you have an enemy approaching from the northeast, moving towards the canyon. I advise you prepare a welcome for them." ________________________________________________________ The Commander did not question. Still, he wondered how they had done it. A cloaking device seemed unlikely. A dead drop then? That might work, but you'd have to be extremely good or extremely reckless to try. In the end it did not matter. Even if they had missed the enemy on their descent, they'd catch them once they entered the canyon. Within moments, the ion cannons that had been idle repositioned, preparing to lay down a hail of fire along the canyon the moment an enemy target appeared. The Commander allowed himself a brief smile, lips peeling back from reptilian fangs. These attackers were good. But the Sith were inevitable and absolute. He felt that certainty more than anything, more than the need to breathe itself. How could these fools possibly hope to win?
  9. (Opfor) Darth Xervatus sighed, the sound calling to mind the faint hiss of an old engine slowing to a halt for the last time. They were here earlier than expected. In a way, it was as much relieving as it was concerning. Now, Xervatus and what was left of the Home Guard were committed. No running. Still, for them to arrive this quickly, and in this kind of force...there was a unity here that marked the change in the galaxy. A new dawn was rising, and the Praxeum was one of the last shadows to be banished under its glare. "Commander," he spoke into his comm, "patch me through on an open channel." There was silence, and then a soft beep that signaled the Home Guard commander had followed orders. "My apologies officer, but if you've come here for the surrender of the Lords of Korriban, I'm afraid you're too late." Xervatus smiled humorlessly. "They are either dead or fled. But if you'll indulge an old man, allow me to give you what welcome we can." Xervatus switched the comm back to a private channel with the Home Guard commander. "Commander, commence the bombardment. Hit anything that starts to descend. Otherwise, focus on the biggest ship they have. Keep our firing intervals random. We're not trying to destroy them, just make them think twice about sending down troop transports for a while. We need more time." It was a testament to the fanatic loyalty of the Home Guard that their commander did not question Darth Xervatus' orders. Then again, if a Sith like Exodus was going to instill loyalty in someone, he wasn't going to take half-measures. Xervatus wondered if the Home Guard would blow his own head off if he asked him to. An idle curiousity to test when the battle was lost. "Excavation team," he said, switching to another channel as he went inside, "give me an update on your progress." ________________________________ A cluster of concussion missiles arced out of the firing emplacements set into the cliffs around the pyramids. This first salvo soared up into the sky, through the clouds, and into orbit, each warhead rocketing towards the Fidelity. The battle had begun.
  10. Calypso was silent for a moment, then she stood. "As you wish, Fiochmar." She turned, and started walking, not towards the pyramid or Fiochmar's ship, but out into the trackless wilderness. "Follow. There's something I need to show you." As she began to move off, the wind hissing and whistling past the pair, she continued with a conversational tone. "We'll start with the key fundamentals then, evaluate, and work our way out from there. Strength is born from passion, this is the first lesson of any Sith. So tell me Fiochmar...what is your passion?" She turned to look at him. "What is it the source of your strength?"
  11. Calypso sat in a small, bare circle of stone. All around, snow drifted down as the blizzard spent the last of its strength. And yet, nothing touched her or the circle of stone, her invisible will repelling the tumbling flakes like a barrier. Despite the freezing temperatures, the Sith lady looked almost comfortable in her tattered and torn black rags. Her hands were a crosshatch of pink and red scrapes, her knees were scabbed a rusty brown, and her feet were bare to the elements after her shoes had fallen apart in her climb up the pyramid. Yet, she sat as poised and at ease as a diplomat in the Senate lobby. The pyramid itself stood behind her, a titanic construction of rough stone blocks coated in a thick blanket of snow. Her tracks up the side had long been covered. Calypso looked up, yellow eyes fixing on the young Tsis. She smiled, a predatory gleam flickering across her eyes. "I'm afraid you may have come to the wrong person. I'm a bit out of date. But...you heard me. You are the first. You are certainly not the last. If you like, you are welcome to stay." She gestured at the bare ground beside her. "Or, if you prefer, you are welcome to learn." Her smile widened. "I hate to see potential stagnate."
  12. As a woman on Ziost raised her hand to the sky, a pulse rippled out through the Force. To the living energy field that bound the universe together, physical limitations were meaningless. Distance, speed, matter, nothing held back the burst of power that raced along those connections between all living things. It was a clarion call, an echo of endless hate and savage triumph. To the few mundane perceptive enough to notice, the ripple would feel like a brief moment of unease, the sense of something moving just out of the corner of their eye. To the Force-sensitive able to observe that ephemeral energy, but unattuned to the idiosyncrasies of the Dark Side, it would seem like a wordless cry, faint but fierce. But to those who allowed the Dark Side to flow through them, the call had meaning. Its message was not in words but in concepts and impressions, universal in understanding. Darkness gathers Ziost stands A challenger waits
  13. (Posting OpFor for Sith defending forces) Darth Xervatus looked out from the balcony over the Valley of the Dark Lords. Built into the valley itself, the Praxeum of the Unholy Dominion appeared to the casual glance to be an immortal part of the ancient landscape, a fixture as old as the world itself, and as timeless as the setting sun that cast shadows through the desolate valley. But appearances were deceiving. The Praxeum was a far more recent construction, the ambition of Dark Lord Exodus, and one of the jewels of his ascendant Sith Empire. The three pyramids might look as ancient as the tombs around them, but each was constructed with the best modern materials that could be bought with the riches of the Spider's conquests. That Empire was crumbling around them. The Praxeum, once alive with new students, personnel, and Sith Lords, now boasted only a skeleton crew. The Home Guard, loyal as they were, remained, but even their elite forces were paltry compared to the legions the planet had once commanded. The Sith Empire was at an end. Some Sith denied it. Most of those were dead now. Many more accepted it, and abandoned the stronghold rather than face the rebuke the new Galactic Alliance was no doubt preparing for the rapacious warlords. And Darth Xervatus? Xervatus remained. Xervatus understood. He was not a powerful Sith. The Force had never flowed strongly for him. In many ways that had been a blessing. The old human had been left out of the powerplays and scheming of the more ambitious upstarts, left to his own devices and free to study the wealth of knowledge and lore that made its way to the Praxeum. If someone looked at him, they'd seen a withered, emaciated creature, maybe in his ninetieth year of life. In truth, Xervatus was only 47. Dark Side corruption visited its practioners in different ways, and in differing intensities. It had seemingly crippled Xervatus, while giving him little power in return. It was why so many Sith underestimated how dangerous the old man really was. Yes, appearance were deceiving. Unfortunately, it was his appearance that held him back, kept him from joining the flight. He was weak, a shell so dependent on the dark energies of Korriban that to leave would surely spell his death, as certain as a blaster bolt or the thrust of a lightsaber. And so he remained. But he had not given up. He would fight. He would press on. He would survive. The Praxeum was the true stronghold of Korriban now. Other settlements and cities existed, but it was the Praxeum that would mark the planet's fall. Even with a skeleton crew, it was solid and defensible position. The Sith Steel reinforced pyramids were only the surface level of a the larger construction that stretched over a hundred feet beneath the surface. And then there was the valley itself. The cliff faces to either side limited the angles of orbital bombardment, and the point-defense cannons, turbolasers, and ion cannon batteries positioned around the pyramids ensured that any fightercraft that got too close would be in for a rough flight to drop any troops or payloads. But the real threat was the missile batteries. Loaded with surface-to-space proton torpedoes and concussion missiles. the Praxeum could fire on orbiting ships and ensure anyone who occupied the skies above it did so at a heavy price. Unfortunately, the ammunition to do so was limited, as several enterprising Sith had looted the armory before disappearing to parts unknown. But the real threat to the Praxeum was a ground assault. The place had been built with the understanding that it would maintain a large standing force, both drawn from its Home Guard and from garrisons around the planet. Only the most loyal or fanatical troops remained, and while they were among the best Korriban had to offer they were still far too few to mount an indefinite defense. No, no matter what happened, the Praxeum was doomed to fall. The only question was when...and how much could be saved and hidden away for future use. While other Sith saw the fall of the Sith Empire and ran, Xervatus knew history. The Sith always rose again.
  14. 1 day later: With a faint grind, the last block settled into place. Calypso opened her eyes. Around her, the volcanic landscape had been transformed white by snow. She didn't know when the snow had started, or when the chill had replaced the heat of the planet's molten rebirth, but now fat, wet flakes drifted down to settle on the flat landscape, and blanketed her construction. Before her was a pyramid. A simple, solid structure, it was composed of the great, rough hewn cubes of rock she'd pulled from the earth and set into place with her power, like the creation a child might make with toy blocks. Each black stone cube bore a thick coat of snow at its top, but the snow didnt hide the structure's immensity. It towered over her, blotting out the glare of the rising sun. She felt hollowed out, scraped clean. Even she had limits, and the focus, precision, and grueling nature of the construction had taxed her mind and willpower to their ragged edges. It wasn't simply the power to tear the blocks free and set them into place. It was the control the exercise demanded, the sheer will necessary to restrain that same strength. You had to make each block identical to its mates, or risk the entire building tilting, sagging, and collapsing. Each had to be set precisely into place, or risk forcing yourself to undo your work to make adjustments when the error was discovered later. It was a trial that proved the difference between wielding power, and mastering it. In a way though, Calypso was pleased at her exhaustion. To find her limits was to find her center. She never knew herself more thoroughly then when she was at the edge, looking back. Stranded as she was in this new era, she needed that surity. "Now...for the hard part." She approached her crude pyramid. Her body ached at the motions, muscles complaining as they stretched for the first time since she'd begun. Her legs and arms were leaden from lack of sleep. Her stomach gnawed at her, empty since yesterday. Her stomach was the easiest to ignore. Hunger was nothing, when you were familiar with starvation. Each stone block was approximately 25 feet tall to a side. The first level of the pyramid towered over her. But while the blocks were as precise as she could make them, they were not smooth. Each side was pocked, coarse, and threaded with crevices where it had broken away from the surrounding stone. She reached up and swept her hands across the rough surface until she found a protrusion just wide enough to firmly grip. Then she began to climb. __________________________ Hours passed. Her already tired body protested every motion, every exhausting pull to raise her body another foot. With agonizing slowness, she conquered the first level of the pyramid, hoisting herself up onto the snow covered ledge that marked the boundary between the first and second layers. She didnt slow, but began the next leg of the climb. This was slower still, as both her exhaustion and her near numb, wet fingers struggled to cling to the rough exterior of the pyramid. She fell partway up, her fingers slipping from a shallow crevice and letting gravity have its say. Back at the ledge, she lay, her wind knocked out of her, her back awash in pain. The pain flowed through her, matching her burst of frustration, and some of her power reinvigorated itself. Temptation slithered through the back of her mind. Use your power. She denied it. She did not stop the pain or tamp down her frustration, but neither did she let it invigorate her. She knew that if she chose, she could use the Force to leap up the side of the pyramid, skipping from level to level, and be at the summit in moments. But getting to the top wasn't the point, not on its own. Unconciousness took her for a while then, though she didn't know how long. When she woke, recovered if not revitalized, she tore the ragged remains of the hem of her dress into rags, wrapped them around her hands, and began the climb again. The sun set again by the time she reached the fourth level. She'd collapsed from exhaustion twice more by the time she reached the eighth. Unconsciousness hovered at the edge of every thought, threatening to swallow her. Cold ate at her, whatever supernatural endurance Force users subconsciously drew on barely keeping her from freezing in the chill wind that rose and swelled sometime around the fifth level. Hunger itself had passed from pangs to gnawing, and from gnawing to all consuming. She'd allowed herself a brief smile at the return of her old friend. But she kept climbing. The blizzard came near the end. It swept down and smothered the pyramid in a white out. The wind tore and ripped at Calypso, each gust threatening to tear her from her precarious perch and send her plummeting to her death. Death. It circled her now. She could feel it, like a blind man feeling the emptiness over the edge of a cliff. It wanted her, wanted to take her, wanted to punish the arrogance of this puny creature that thought to stand against the turning of the galaxy. She was so small, so fragile, so insignificant. Even with all her power, she was nothing. But she knew a lie when she heard it. She was not just a human. She was not just a Force user. She was a creature of the Dark Side of the Force, something infinitely greater than death. The Dark Side was truth. When all the pretenses, ideals, and lies of life were stripped away, the Dark Side remained. Passion. Strength. Power. Victory. That was Truth. And what was a little thing like death in the face of Truth? She was the master and vessel of the Dark Side. Indeed, there had never been a difference between the two. It surprised her when she crested the final level. In the howling wind of the blizzard, what should have been a magnificent view was hidden behind the rage of the planet venting itself through the storm. Calypso collapsed into the snow-covered summit. Her breath came shallow, and darkness crept at the edges of her eyes, but one thing buoyed her and kept her awake. She had won. She had victory. She opened herself to the Dark Side. Her own strength was gone, but the Force was everywhere, and here on this world the Darkness swelled and boiled with fresh power. It tore through her, eagerly answering her call and surrender to it. Her head jerked back, her face frozen in the silent rictus of a scream. A coldness deeper than the blizzard writhed through her, cutting and slicing as it looked for any imperfection, any flaw, any weakness. It found none. Like a channel ground smooth and scoured clean, the Dark Side found nothing to hinder its flow. Calypso's climb had broken her down and swept away everything but what she'd needed to survive. Right at that moment, she wasn't human. She wasn't even an animal. She was will, and she was strength. The tide of power went deeper. It plunged into the depths of her soul, past the veneer of her conscious mind. And what it found there pleased it. Hatred. At Calypso's core was a bottomless well of hatred. It had once had purpose and direction. The hatred of a girl suffering for no good reason, while others lived happy, content lives. The hatred of an orphan listening to the hypocrisy of the "charitable" who couldn't bring themselves to reach down and help her up. The hatred of a woman, strong from her ordeals, condemned by the weak, stupid, and ignorant. But now? The hate was everything. It had no form, no direction, no purpose. Only channels that it could flow through. A vision of the galaxy ablaze and crumbling flashed through Calypso's mind, and she smiled, joy and hatred intertwining in perverse union. Her will bore down on the power flowing through her as it suckled and swelled at the bottomless pool of her hatred, and she twisted it into the shape she needed. She raised her hand, and released her message to the universe.
  15. Calypso stared down at Ziost from the bridge of Darth Akheron's ship. What they had said during the trip had been true. Ziost had been destroyed. But what she had felt...it had also been true. Ziost had returned. It had been remade, a living wound in the Force. A casual onlooker might have called it a place of death. But this wasn't death. Death was natural. Death was of the light. This was a place of slaughter. Destruction. Madness. Hunger. Calypso smiled. This was the place. ________________________________ Dust billowed into the air as the shuttle landed. Slowly, as if hesitant, the ramp lowered. As Calypso descended from the ship, her eyes scanned the horizon. She had chosen this place specifically. The volcanic activity had receded here, leaving behind a desolate, igneous wasteland in its wake. The raw, destructive power of the planet's rebirth was here, frozen in the stone on full display. Crevices and rivulets ran across brown and black rock. Fissures belched steam and sulfur into the air. Above, sooty black and yellow clouds swirled and wove like fat worms, promising acidic rain. She only hesitated for a second. Than her foot, the first, stepped onto the dark world. She breathed in the air, tasting the faint foulness left behind by the volcanic gases. Around her, other shuttles landed. The bays opened, and the corpses of Inmortos' gifted army shambled out. Their dead faces turned to the sky, as if tasting the air. Calypso gave a faint smile. It wasn't something in the air they sensed. It was this place. This was place, that was as monstrous as them. A place as twisted, and as dark. She gestured with her hand, and the undead fanned out to form a perimeter. She had no need of them right now. "My lady?" crackled her comm. Grimacing at the distraction, she lifted it to her face. "Yes?" she responded, only a little testy. "The ship will remain in orbit unless you need us. Is there-" "No. Just alert me of any new arrivals." "New arri-" She cut off the comm before he finished. She had work to do. She stepped away from the shuttle, her eyes closed as she took in the presence of the place. This planet...a great, dark work had been done here. It was perfect. So many assumed that destruction was the only aspect to the Sith and their power. Like they were some dark reflection of the Jedi and their preservation. But that wasn't true, and this place was the proof. The Sith weren't a dark reflection of the Jedi. They weren't their shadow, or their enemy, or even their equal. The Sith were the Jedi made complete. Destruction. Creation. Evolution. Truth. The Sith, and the Dark Side, were all things. The Jedi were just the fools who couldn't bring themselves to admit it. And this planet...this planet would be the anvil the Sith were forged anew on. She sat down, cross-legged on the warm, dusty stone. Her eyes stayed closed, and her head sank forward. Around her, the ground began to quiver. Then it broke. In huge, jagged pieces, each the size of a combat walker, the rocks lifted away from the planet's surface, and slowly began to set themselves in a line before Calypso. Slowly, a crude wall of massive, black stones began to form in front of her, while the dead army and the reborn planet watched in silence. It was a start. The full temple complex would of course be much, much larger than this single structure she was building. But it was a start.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. "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."
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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."
  23. 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?"
  24. 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.
  25. 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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