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Tarrian Skywalker

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Eyes of orange, feline fire stared unseeing into the forest. They were dark and filled with voices and songs unheard but to those corrupted by the Rhythm; that unchanging heartbeat of temptation. It flowed everbeating like the rivers of the Cocytus, that ancient rueful stream of lamentation. The Forest-song was but that, the wailing and mewing of prey falling in their tempo to predation. 


That was the Force. The slow, inevitable conquest of the hunter over the hunted. The meek dying to feed the strong. Shapash’s fangs sinking deep. 


Another song, more human than animal. 


The Sith blinked, staring into the darkness about her. She felt it again, the rhythm of her own heart. Slow, methodical, matching the Forest’s Song. A stifling touch came upon her skin, a thousand hairs brushing. Skittering. Awenydd watched as the spider crawled its way across her naked flesh consuming its prey with tearing mandibles. The skad-mouse turned from flesh and bone to grind and gristle. 


It’s never so simple, is it?


Her scarred hand reached out to caress the spined and victorious hunter, but her fingers only touched rippling water. The darkness retracted its veil revealing that she was laying in a stream fed by ice-chilled runoff from the mountain. Glaciers melting in their seasons to birth new life upon the dry plains below. 


The Sith’s other hand held the stem of a broken bottle, partially submerged in the creek. Beyond it, rising like a stinking mountain, the splayed corpse of a Roth-Kai, an old bull past its season. It seemed to wriggle in the mire, for the maggots made their tunnels beneath the hide and were rising to pupate in the morning dew. A cloud of their siblings dove and tangled in the cold air, mating to lay their new spawn within the fetid carcass. 


A few rotflies came near, trying to tangle in the mud that adorned her young face. They crawled at the corners of her mouth,  lapping at the tear-ducts of her eyes, exploring the edges of her nostrils, fighting to squirm and twitch within. It was difficult to breathe. Instinctively she bit down, feeling one burst upon her tongue, filling her senses with rancid blight and the taste of putrefactive mold and feculent sulfur. She let the bile dribble from her mouth, returning it to its brothers to feast upon. 


The Sith Huntress fell back into the chilling embrace of the river, letting her head sink below the current until it rested on moss-blanketed stone. She held her breath, letting the waters clean her as she emptied her stomach of her reverie, staining the clear water with partially digested rot and torn intestine. The feast had been another lie of her mind. 


In that moment, in the bosom of the river, she longed to perish, to be swallowed up and lost, devoid of sense and motion. And yet a new purpose came from that distant rhythm; Abandonment and victory. Lost happiness and lasting pain. The call of future torments mated with stubborn pride and steadfast hate. The promise of an Echo which would spin fate. 


Awenydd stood from the river, letting its current carry the corruption beyond the horizon. She dragged Shapash from the quivering mass, flicking the blackened maggots and coagulated blood onto the mats of sphagnum moss and mushrooms that grew upon the river’s banks. Leaning against the harsh bark of a Leylen-Tree, she dressed, covering up her nakedness and the innumerable scars, those from the struggles of war and those self-inflicted on bitter and dangerous nights. 

To that Dark Pyramid she walked, to the halls of her Master and the calls of a new song. 




With a scarred hand, the Sith Huntress gripped the hilt of her Falx, keeping the leather sheath against her side to avoid the tangling, grasping hands of bracken and briar. The leather of her boots made only a whisper over the miscast leaves and fallen branches. She was near enough now to sense him entirely, that new rhythm. 


An abandoned child of Calypso, mistought and fresh from misguided victory overflowing with insolence and pride. Much akin to the rest of the New Sith, barely instructed, bolstered with easy victories, only to pitifully fall screaming upon the blades of the more battle-hardened Sovereign Knights. Such had been the cycle of the Sith for a decade now, dilution and weakness, wrought only by misteaching in hatred, enmity and strife. 


She passed then from briared woodline, stepping into the smaller entropy of the temple grounds. He was a Sith, a species that had been genocided and destroyed a hundred times in recent memory. They were the same age, but he was built much as Blackmorne was, as tall as a Casperstam and nearly as broad. He smelled of the bestial Warriors, and was on the hunt for greater prey. 


Her voice babbled from her throat, sick-sweet and challenging. She spread her hands from her side, in a peaceful beckoning. The edge of her vision beheld the spider, sunning itself upon her hand, and yet she felt nothing of its weight


“What do you hunt, Fiochmar, now that you have conquered a lowly Terentatek?” 

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Feline eyes gazed unmoving from beneath twisted locks of unkempt brown hair. The Sith watched the man both in the physical and within the force. The forest floor drank deeply of the spilled blood, but the Huntress stood unmoving. Warriors, especially those of the Bersærkergang, were notoriously unstable. They raged like toddlers after a confiscated sweet. She let him rant, her eyes drifting to the spiders that clawed at the dripping blood, tumbling and tossing like spent leaves in the summer wind. 


The Sith Huntress took in the rage, its unusual and deep rhythm, melding herself to it. As he stepped, so did she. Calypso had spurned him, and it was easy to see why; Rage and pain were mindlessly boring. So easily manipulated. So easily removed. Blood dribbled down his chin like a tearfall. Her own rhythm desired to taste it, to take in his lifeblood like a portent of death and dispel it into the songs of entropy. To quiet his blood. She pressed into it, embracing and drinking of his pain. 


She let his ranting hang a moment upon the breeze, unanswered, savoring the complexity of the emotions. Shapash quivered thinking of grinding his sinew, tearing that vibroaxe and blade to atoms and scattering his viscera upon the steps of the Black Pyramid. The spiders began to prance, and Awenydd scooped one up to calm it, her nail-bitten fingers finding only air and delusion. She spoke through whispers that curled across the wind to find the Sith’s ear from a hundred directions; from the creaking of treebranch, the rustle of leaves, the babbling of fountains and from the bending of moss beneath his feet. 


“You find yourself alone, that is the reality of it, no matter your victories over paltry nonsentience.” 


There was a haunting and depressing finality to her words. 


“You say you desire power, and yet you’ve built a horrible dungeon about you on all sides, heated by only one anemic furnace.” 


Her hand passed before them, illuminating the spilled blood and the echoes of spent rage and pain.


“Rage and pain produce no light at all, but rather a vicious darkness that only serves to discover sights of failure." 


Awenydd stepped, leaning down to run a finger through the blood that now darkened the moss between them. She brought it to her lips, letting it pass over her tongue to bind it to herself. Smoke curled from her sanguine smile. Haematomancy; and into his blood she poured her own tales of wrath. The wounds that drove her to corruption. To power. She drove the pain and rage from him like a whirlwind. Her mind moved to Myrkr, and those bitter years of deprivation. 


 The first lesson would be in the basics. 


“How do you connect to your power, Fiochmar, when all your pain and rage is spent. How do you find the Living Force?”

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Awenydd felt it, tasted it. Consumed it. This sweet memory of the hunt. There was a primordial thrill to it, enough to harness a spark, yet inadequate for sustained fire. There needed to be deeper emotions, baser things which could never be turned aside. She drew her fingers to her lips, tasting the blood once more.


“There, your first true knowledge of the Dark Side. It acts through emotions, and bestial predation is one we both share.” 


The Sith bit deep, dragging the sharpness of her teeth through her pallid flesh. Iron and copper. She added the drips of her own blood to that which stained the forest floor, hers a darker and murkier reflection in the pale light. The rhythm of the hunt, that steady rush of heart-thrill beat within the roots beneath their feet. 


“Your victory was over a mindless creature, without the curse of sentience and will. It too will feel insignificant when you pass your blade through the throat of a Jedi. Only then you will walk as an equal to any Warrior.” 


From that bloodied, embittered ground came a new heartbeat, and a small skad-mouse, barely adolescent. Its small white body was stained from what grasped it; a claw of writhing blood, rushing spiders, and wriggling black maggots. Shapash danced beside her, its fingers caressing her flesh

“Now take that hunter’s thrill and channel it. Discover this heartbeat, so small and frail, sense its panic and let it feed your blood-lust, but restrain yourself…” 

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Awenydd stared at the Sithling with a steady gaze of blazing fire, watching the Force move within its veil. Rage, an unfaltering bloodlust. Yet it was ill-channeled. That did not surprise her, few beginners could channel their emotions efficiently. There was power in him, yet most of it dissipated without direction. 


The Skad-Mouse writhed, dancing in its fear, unable to find a way to escape the power of what held it there. Feeble cries whispered across the bloodstained moss to reverberate louder in the humid, stale wind. 


The Sith Huntress slipped Shapash from its scabbard, the crimson blade shimmering in the air. The Falx seemed to crawl through the air, twisting and writhing in a mimicry of its frightened prey. Within the Force, now freed from its containment, it held its own distinct, perverse presence. The bitter taste of sanguine pride and the predatory nature of a spider. 


She dipped the blade into the Skad-Mouse, its tip rending flesh and sinew to dig into the bones of its vertebrae. The formally feeble cries, bubbled into a panicked crescendo and paid blossomed into the Force.


“Emotions power us, but power is useless without proper application.” 


The Sith stooped, holding the intricate handle like a leash, not letting the blade drink its fill of the mouse’s lifeblood. 


“Channel it all, everything. Bind that power into muscle and heartbeat, nerve twitch and breath. Into one, fatal leap.” 


She flicked the blade out of the prey, feline eyes sparkling with glee as she watched the mouse struggle to escape with only its top half in working order. Its hind-legs splayed uselessly, nerveless. Torture had its uses, but the creature's purpose was now to die. 

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Shapash slipped through the air, whispering on the wind as spider-silk, the darkmetal blade unlinking itself, binding to the rhythm of its master; the bitter heartbeat of the revel. It despaired the loss of the kill, but understood the need of a lesson. The hunt was a feral thing, of baser instincts, unrefined of glory. Awenydd stepped back, watching the apprentice before her within the Force.


He was yet inefficient, but he could focus. 


The Skad-Mouse dissolved, falling back into the soured blood from which it has birthed. A pale reflection of a broken mind, painted into the physical realm itself. 


"You can channel emotions into power, even refine them into movement." 


The Sith Lord held out her pale, scarred hand, bloodied palm to the wind-swept sky. 


"Now, use them to hunt. Find another acolyte, it doesn't matter who they belong to. Bring them to me." 


Her face twisted into something of a smile. 


"You could use strength, but that isn't remotely interesting." 

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