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King Kheldar vos Correlli
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Her eyes narrowed in a mocking expression. 

 

“Did dear Awenyyd take that much from you that you are not sure of your sex? A pity. But Eunuchs have their uses.”

 

She flicked a knife from her waist across the tip of her finger, causing a single drop of blood to well up in the slight slash. Her mouth moved in a murmur and the crystals around her ears began to shimmer like they were in starlight. Then, with a deft movement, she brushed the drop of blood across his left temple, leaving a dark smudge that seemed to attach itself to his skin. More like a birthmark than a drop of blood. 

 

“Now we must pay our respects to the Spider. For war stirs again.” She looked to her mother and inclined her head. 

 

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𝖆𝖗𝖈𝖍𝖊𝖉 𝖊𝖞𝖊𝖇𝖗𝖔𝖜

 

It was with a great deal of amusement that Qaela watched as her daughter put what she strongly suspected was a blood trail on this one, claiming him for her own. It seemed that her daughter, in spending time with Nightsisters, had absorbed some of their attitudes towards males. It took Qaela quite some time to realize that the rest of the Galaxy didn't quite see things that way, but before then, those views caused her quite a bit of trouble. Hopefully, Telperien wouldn't have to learn those same harsh lessons, but it wasn't her place to interfere in this.

 

With an eyebrow arched in amusement, she said, "Take care, blood of mine, of the words I spoke. Know that the war will summon us again to its front lines and we must prove our mettle. Go before the Dark Lord and give him your genuine respect for to do otherwise or to offer false contriteness would only doom you. I have weighed him and found him worthy of my true respect and loyalty, not like the selfish and short sighted Dark Lords that came before. Do as you need, I am sure that our paths will cross soon and, if the Spider wills it, we will fight side by side."

 

She remained sitting, savoring her drink and waiting for her daughter to take her leave. There was something else here for her to attend to before she could depart.

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Exodus moved a few steps from his champion, now noticing the unfamiliar distance between himself and the weapon that had been by his side for a great many years. Truth was, the conception of such a vile tool of war was nearly lost to him, memories compartmentalized with routine bloodshed and visceral horror. Transcendence became something more then, but when exactly was impossible to know; a sentience that stirred as long as he's ever known with the hunger of his youth. Perhaps it would temper her in the way that it had with him, immortalizing a willpower far superior to those of his ilk, or maybe it would turn her blind with madness. Either way, it's affect was lost on the assassin turned King, he had to become something more than just a blade, and the last several years had shown what that was. 

 

In a rush, the Mandalorians pushed through the frame of the much larger chamber doors with their metal boots slapping loudly against the smooth surface of the hall. The measure of their footsteps spelled urgency, illustrating the passion with which Tros Ardell decided to carry himself in the presence of the ruling heirarchy. Then, as a measure of respect that escaped many of the recent power-players he had dealings with, they both removed what was a sacred shield of identity rooted in culture. Their helmets were peeled off without hesitation, expressing an interesting foundation of trust between the two. 

 

 

___ 

 

 

"Ambitious." Exodus pivoted from the knighting of another Sith Master, and drew his gaze over the confessing Mandalorian.


 

"Surviving Qat Chrystac is far from a simple thing for most. It will serve more efficiently if you maintain what measure of land you can, and introduce the construction of deep mining operations with the task forces assigned to you, and whatever brave you can spare. There is an abundance of rich mineral deposits buried beneath the surface, ripe for yield, and you'd be wise to lose no quarter.


The wheels turn swiftly within House Solus, a promising sign. Major General Bann Dul and his commissariat armada have been extended to your favor, accomplish this, and approval for immediate resettlement is yours if you think your people are ready. You and your comrade however, will accompany us on a little trip," Exodus imprinted the features of their face, deeply understanding the sub-communication of their actions. "Master Nyrys knows this better than most, that battle in blood is one of the best revealers of who we truly are at our core. I want to see what you're all capable of. You all will join me in this dance." 

 

Turning, moving now passed the recognized seat of power in Iziz, Exodus headed towards a passage that would lead him to his personal chambers, opposite of the Mandalorians and Master Nyrys. 

 

"Lady," Exodus swept his cloak with usual charisma. "...gentlemen. The next time we meet will be on the battlefield. Command will touch base shortly. The time for conversation is over. The hunt begins."

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"I am what the Darkness wills me to be." He replies with stone eyes. "Procreation is a necessity when it is necessary, nothing more. Until it seems me worthy of an heir, I am nothing more than a blade to be used, just as I will be after."

 

Stepping off to the side as she and her mother conversed, Shiro stood at the ready, his gloves hands coursing the mark she had embued onto him. His future would be a fruitious and interesting one.

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Tros paused for a moment after Exodus left the main chamber. The lone thought echoed within his mind; Will they still respect me as their Alor if I am not present for them during a key battle? The thought had to be pushed aside when Kot'dral gave a hard push nudge to his back right shoulder and upon him turning to face the man, he gave a head nod indicating that both should leave the main Sith palace, as it seemed more fitting to prepare for the battle before them more so than the one he was handing over to the rest of House Solus. 

 

Putting his buy'ce back on, he turned and followed Kot'dral out of the main Palace to await the new hunt. As they walked, Tros linked up to Vulios. ::Vulios. Almas is a go, although you will have to take the planet without me. Me and Kot'dral have been personally assigned to hunt with the Sith Emperor. I trust you to do the job that I would do.:: Without any other words given or even needed, Tros cut the link. As the two got out of the main chamber, his mind had already been focused back upon the new task at hand. "Perhaps some additional weapons might be in order. You think we'll have the time to shop, or maybe our new allies will let us borrow some of their own handiwork?" Tros looked at Kot'dral as the two moved. "If you're asking for a lightsaber, I doubt it. I doubt we have the luxury of time to shop either. What we brought will have to be enough."

Edited by saberforce

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Mishuk gotal'u meshuroke, pako kyore.

 

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Like apparitions in deep mist, the nightsisters formed ranks around Telperiën and Shiro. An honour guard of sorts, if honour guards carried bows and spears and wore patched leather armour. But the Sisters were strong, even as a lowly apprentice, Telperiën had helped the Dark Lord defeat the White Wolf of Onderon and his Jedi Mistress. The Sisters were survivors of the great purge of their planet, and now they were here to serve the master of all. The Emperor of the Stars.

 

When they reached his room, Telperiën looked sideways to Shiro and indicated that he should prostrate himself before the Dark Lord. She simply took a knee and bared her neck by lifting her chin. A sign of utter dedication to the Spider.

 

“We stand ready for your war my Lord.”

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As Shiro took his place next to his newest Master, the entralled wraiths snarling in disapproval as their forms got into line behind their own, he followed swiftly with his gaze adverted down. It wasn't out of fear, for he could never know such emotion ever again thanks to Hayley. But instead, this was to appease. Not just the women whom held his Master in such esteem, but his Master herself, to show his commitment to the Dark.

 

But as Shiro stood before the large doors that lead to a estranged chamber, the presence inside nearly suffocating even against his ironed lung, a hint of it strolled casually into his mind. Rage had always been an invaluable alley, as had both Pride and the more tangible form of Lust, Gluttony. But here, in this moment, as he found himself stricken in Fear, unable to move at first, he found none.

 

Cathar had been his birth, and Coruscant had been his creation. Both had formed him into a blade to be used by the strong in the art of war. But this presence in the Force, this being who wielded the Dark with such command, felt like a thousand suns imploding. A smirk reveled upon his face, his blackened eyes shimmering in the light. He had found the Master who would one day wield him properly.

 

Following Telperiën in suite, Shiro bent the knee and his head laid straight, exposing his neck should he be found unworthy. This was a Warrior's bow, one that exposed the greatest weakness, in servitude of another. As his Master spoke her words, he stayed silent, allowing her and this Lord of the Dark to acknowledge him when they were ready. Until then, he would remain exposed, at their mercy.

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"Our war, dear Telperiën." Exodus corrected with a show of his hands, sweeping towards the ominous display of fiendish warriors before him, slowly slipping from the yawning shadows that drowned the chambers thickly. “Our enemies long since declared a bold order for ethnic cleansing, becoming an immediate threat towards all who bathed in the power of the force. A galactic alliance that would have taken everything from us; burning our sacred texts, defiling long-standing temples of worship, and chasing our ancestral power into a thing of the past. Absolute extinction is what they wished upon us, never forget the face of such things, the Nightsisters understand this far better than most.”

 

She drew stronger now in her maturity, Exodus had much to reveal to her yet, nuances that would show itself in the form of his first holocron ever doctored towards a singular entity. The one that followed by her side— a student of the dark without a doubt, one that exuded a measure of enthusiasm in the emotions buried deep within him, such power unearthing by the second in tangible waves. Another warrior for the Sith Empire. Just behind the Emperor, the rear stone wall of the chamber jittered loose and began to descend into the floor to reveal an open-space landing zone. As soon as the wall separated, the eerie silence of the room, only previously echoing the words of the Anzati warlord and the golden Nightsister, now filled with a loud burning of thrusters. Several vessels in plain sight anchored themselves to the zone, with many other craft patrolling the skies, or departing for relayed coordinates.

 

"Come. We leave for Felucia. Telperiën, you and your student will assume command over the transports, the strength of our naval forces are to remain unrevealed until I give word. We move in with but a whisper, the storm will follow."

 

Exodus turned now for departure, with the wild orchestra of powerful savages at closing in on him.

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THE FELUCIAN HARVEST

 

 

GOJkFQD0CPTPEdpu_tVg-BQofS115CmuwTJa-BURtk4WH6A-PqPtGqHkJZhbz3-_AGGG467SIyQzwJeh0NyLUOEyYtgqWJLUrkZJ85D6yjTvveYlj9Ai2Ju03OuZvriaOl0SDknD

 


With the recent reclamation of Mon Calamari, the Sith Empire will redouble its efforts to the furthered expansion of its northern-western reach of the galaxy. In order to preserve quadrant-specific locations that efficiently streamline productivity between Korriban, Mon Calamari and Onderon, an effort has been forwarded to annex the wild reach of Felucia. The planet itself is an engineering of the Dark Side of the Force, graciously abundant in flora and fauna that make it desirable for the maturation of the Krath. With an enticing position on the Perlemian Trade Route leading to the Motherworld, and intelligence reports unearthing word of refugee colonies spun from the destruction of Coruscant, Felucia has been marked for harvest.

 

 

The Fall of the Free Alliance
The peoples of Felucia have not gone unnoticed in their treacheries. Although not all exist among the small cities, many of the wilds and jungles of Felucia are littered with the untamed who have long-since purchased their condemnation by aligning themselves with the Jedi Forces. Governing officials and shamans had brokered a deal with the Jedi Order under Grandmaster Darex Trevelian for protection and offered military aid against the Sith, which boldly persisted under Grandmaster Adenna in the form of infamous capital ship constructions that have assaulted Empire-protected worlds. 

 

“Discussions weren't long, and they were gratifying to all parties. The Free Alliance was a group of planets that had recently broken off from the Galactic Alliance, but hadn't wanted to become part of the Imperial Remnant. It was a small coalition of worlds who were simply hoping to keep their heads down if war erupted. But they nevertheless wanted to be under the protection of the Jedi Order. Darex explained that the Jedi weren't a defense force, but that he'd be completely open to allowing the Free Alliance to request Jedi aid and assistance. Jenteri agreed, and on top of that, told Darex that his people had sent a gift--a Maurader-class corvette and a Carrack-class frigate. He also promised Darex that if the Jedi ever needed further fleet support, the Free Alliance would help to the best of their ability by allowing them airspace or access to construction teams.”

 

Assassins & Bounty Hunters: Dace Jenteri is a high-valued target and will serve a handsome bounty reward for capture or kill

 


Remove the Jedi Imprint
Although the planet as a whole is largely covered in vast jungles and farms of a most majestic nature, the planet is not without the stamp of inorganic establishments and major positions of concern. There are city-ports run by political parties involved in the trade and survival of the struggling colonies (of which was pushed to the brink by recent plague), as well as major constructions erected for the enterprise of the Jedi. A rumored ‘abandoned’ Galactic Alliance-era Shipyard remains in geosynchronous orbit over a known Jedi Temple, one of which is protected by a planetary ion cannon and planetary shield, a decent ground force, and what was last reported as a small contingency of starfighter craft.

 

“The Jedi Temple on Felucia was the most publicly visible Jedi installations in the Galaxy. Despite the constant threats from the Sith, the Jedi refused to completely hide their presence, hoping to attract as many newcomers and recruits as possible. While there was definitely a Jedi affiliated military presence here, most of the defense strategy revolved around its planetary shields and ion cannons rather than brute strength. Even with the knowledge that a Sith fleet could appear above the vibrant colors of the fungal forests that made up most of the planet, recruits and possibly Force sensitive Aspirants continued to flood into the facility.”

 

Destroy, convert or capture:

Destruction of the Jedi Temple*

Planetary Ion Cannon

Planetary Shield,

All resistances and colonies associated with Jedi initiatives .

 


Resource Treasury

  • Nysillin, also known as sillum, or nysillim, is a healing herb grown as a common crop plant on the planet Felucia, and is harvested by a plethora of farming villages. 
  • The Yerdua Poison-Spitter blurred the distinction between animal, plant, and fungus. Its trunk is green and the flowering body is usually red and white. The "flower" consists of four thick "petals" with a poison-shooting organ in the center. Although its roots were firmly planted, the Yerdua could maneuver its vine-like trunk and flower with speeds usually associated with animals. It is considered semi-sentient. It could identify threats in its environment, aim, and release poison globules within seconds. If a predator got too close, the pedals would contract together, protecting the sensitive central organs. The Jungle Felucian natives are able to train the plants to guard their villages and trade routes from the native predators, and other enemies. In return, the Felucians feed the Yerdua meat, and keep the plants free of parasites. It is likely that the Yerdua's Poison is used by the Felucians for various purposes as well.

 

On this conquest, we will quickly realize the importance of the farming fields and the farmers that toll them. Most resources within this landscape can prove extremely valuable to the Sith efforts. We are not here to trade with the traitorous, we are here to command and conquer. This world belongs to our people, and all things that reside within. They will bow, or they will burn and be remade.


Affliction


“Damnation! Or at least that is what they say about our sorry planet. Some say it is the wrath of God, or perhaps the force itself, but the fact still remains. Death has become Felucia. 

It walks like an old woman through the streets, knocking on some doors, passing others by. In those houses in which she visits the children pass first. Great boils along their lymph nodes, then like a cancer, it spreads through their bodies. Ending in the lungs where it brings a frothy red sputum. It affects immigrants and Felucian the like. Humans die faster than us, but perhaps it is a blessing. 

 

May the force protect us.” 
-Writings of Doctor Kildarn, published in holonet livejournal. 

 

The Felucian people have made their bed, and have had their hands in the death of our kind for far too long. They now suffer, as Felucia has turned on them, and the Dark Side eats at their core. The atmosphere class is TYPE I, but we will operate as if it were TYPE II and higher. A plague runs deep within their roots, so we will move with wisdom and carve out any afflictions that we face. Instruct your teams to keep distance, and maintain rank. Any of our sick will be isolated and quarantined, and the excellence of our medical corps will evaluate just what has occurred here and weaponize it if need be. Live samples for our research teams will be generously rewarded. 
 

 

LONG LIVE THE 

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After Telperien and her new slave departed, Qaela waited, appearing merely to finish her drink. The deep red wine was of a very fine vintage, perhaps Chandrillian, though it could have been Bothan. She was never the expert on such things, though she had recently come to appreciate them. There was a lot of work for her to do to accomplish what the Emperor entrusted her with. She would need beings she could trust not to be overly ambitious and to place the Order over self. In a band of bloodthirsty, extremely narcissistic, power hungry beings such as the Sith, that wasn't always an easy task. There needed to be a fine balance between a spineless pushover and someone who understood that there was a greater purpose to existence than simply self aggrandizement.

 

As she had suspected, there was one here who she recognized and who just might fit the bill. Taves Bortillin, now stylized as Darth Capricious, had been one of those who had gone through training at the Bastion of Pelko while she ran it. Throughout her time there, she worked behind the scenes as much as possible to cultivate and grow those who showed the potential to see beyond themselves and to the greater good of the Sith Order, those who would be receptive to the concepts of the Balance of Nature. Bortillin had been one of those and thus received personal instructions from her and a few of her other hand selected and trusted instructors. When he had graduated and been christened as Darth Capricious—a peculiar misnomer considering his generally stable and reliable conduct—he had gone out into the Empire to bring order to the Galaxy.

 

Seeing him here was an unexpected bonus. He was cautious and circumspect enough to not approach while she was with her daughter, but seeing her remain gave him the opening to come to her table. He bowed respectfully and sat when she gestured for him to do so. They spoke for some time before he nodded, rose, and departed. Qaela waited a minute or two after he departed, then left herself. It was high time to get back to her ship and make sure preparations for their departure were going well.

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Tros and Kot'dral spent a few minutes, maybe around fifteen shuffling through the armory of the Sith before both decided that what they actually had on them was more than enough. The two made their way to the spaceport where their ship, Swift Justice awaited for them. Sitting down in the pilot's chair, Tros handed off his buy'ce to Kot'dral. "Can you clean this for me? We need everything to be ready for the arrival in system if we are to make an entrance worthy of our House." Kot'dral removed his own and carefully picked up his Alor's buy'ce. With a half smile at the man, he spoke with excitement within his voice. "The two of us can finally hunt again. And this time, we'll be together." Without any words, Tros only nodded at the younger Mandalorian and then returned to his liftoff procedures. 

 

As the ship lifted upon getting clearance from the main tower to leave, Tros took a quick look back at where Kot'dral was standing. He was slightly disappointed that the man was not there, but understood why he wasn't and even more so, why he couldn't. But the fact that he even held the disappointment told him that Kot'dral was even much more closer to becoming his riduur than what he had expected. Allowing for only a second more of his head turned, he returned focus to piloting the ship. The Swift Justice was launched into hyperspace within a matter of minutes after lifting off. 

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Mishuk gotal'u meshuroke, pako kyore.

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

𝖙𝖍𝖗𝖊𝖆𝖉 𝖈𝖚𝖙

 

 

The Herløv reverted from hyperspace in orbit above the Sith capital and took up orbit among the rest of the fleets that were gathered there. On board, Qaela remained within a bacta tank healing up from the injuries she received on Felucia, though it wasn't her body that concerned her. It would heal, and with barely a scar, but whatever happened to the Force on that planet was far more intriguing.

 

She had been aware of the ability to cut beings off from the Force as a punishment or even because they did it to themselves to hide from trauma, but she had not heard of something that would make an attempt to force upon the subject the Light side. It sounded similar to what rumors had existed around the Exorcists, but she dismissed many of those as rumor. One couldn't typically force the Light side into someone's being any more than they could force the Darkness within them. Oh sure, there could be situations created that encouraged one side or the other, especially the Darkness, but she wasn't aware of anyone who could force that upon someone unwittingly, especially in so quick a time. Nearly anything could be done if given time and forcing a subject to remain saturated in one side or the other, but what had happened to her had been quick, very quick.

 

Regardless to what she had previously believed on the subject, the fact of the matter was that it had happened. More interestingly was what all had actually happened. Qaela was self aware enough to understand that the Dark Side had a cost, and that once that path was trod, it had various connections and hooks into its subjects. That was the way of Nature: everything had a cost and offered a reward, desired or not. Lift heavy objects and you will be left in pain, but once that pain was over, your muscles were then stronger. Be lazy and you will avoid that pain, but you will forever grow weak. Qaela preferred to embrace the Darkness, accept the costs, and come out stronger for it than to wallow in the weak protection of the Light and grow weaker.

 

What happened to her on Felucia was extremely intriguing. She had had those chains and ties ripped from her along with the Force. Without the Force calling her one way or the other, and without those ties that the Dark Side fostered, she was left with a choice for the first time in a very, very long time. She had grown up with no choice but to embrace the Darkness and had accepted that. She understood its dangers, but also realized that its harsh rules were also the closest option to the similarly harsh rules of Nature and its Balance therefore she had been comfortable with that decision. Still, having had the Darkness blinded by the Light, it left her with the ability to consider a new, wider possibility regarding the Balance, one that she couldn't truly and fairly contemplate before now.

 

As she floated in bacta, she could feel her connections to the Force slowly returning, but that still left her with a choice. She was in a very unique place where she could leave the Darkness and escape the ties that normally bound one to it. On the other hand, she could choose it once more and replace her old ties with new ones freshly forged and ready. Instinct said to carefully consider this opportunity and choose after much thought. It was an instinct that she would listen to so that she could make the best choice.

 

Until she had made a full decision, she felt it safer to remain here on her Herløv with a crew that was mostly loyal to her. She would stay here for the time being, recovering physically and pondering the choice and path in front of her.

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𝖉𝖊𝖊𝖕 𝖗𝖊𝖒𝖊𝖒𝖇𝖗𝖆𝖓𝖈𝖊

 

Qaela woke to the darkness lit only by a dim pale light. An oddity since her time in bacta and the cloning tubes was that she felt most comfortable and able to sleep when her room shared the same pale blue lighting that had filled the medical wards from machinery and monitoring screens. Her body had been healed from Felucia allowing her to return to her own quarters, but her mind was still troubled.

 

She swung her legs off the bed and stood up, left behind Commander Melforne's sleeping body, threw on a robe, and walked into the small reception room she had been afforded on her flagship. There, she turned the lights on to half and sat at her desk. There were several objects of power and importance locked in the magnetically sealed safe on the right side of her desk. She pulled several out and laid them in front of her to contemplate each.

 

The first to catch her eye were the three small uncut black diamonds that glittered in the dim light, each the size of her thumbnail. These represented the three Sith allies she left Korriban with who had been killed in various ways. A new tradition she created while there was to cremate the bodies of the honored fallen, compress the ashes into diamonds, then place them in a monument on Korriban for all to see and respect. She had left with four other Sith: two pairs of Lord and apprentice. Two had fallen fighting the Imperial Knights escorting the false empress Zinthos on this very ship and one other had fallen on Corellia where she also fell. Staring at the dark beauty of these gemstones, she could appreciate the thin line between life and death and the ultimate fate of all regardless to what they hoped to attain in life. It was also a stark reminder of the duty and legacy that the Sith had.

 

Next was the wooden knife that, despite the material it was crafted in, was nearly impervious and sharp enough to give a lightsaber a run for its money. This was perhaps the oldest thing she owned, and one that was the most storied. She had crafted this weapon before leaving Dathomir the first time while under the direction of her mother. It was a seemingly crude thing, but it was very useful. Honed with and imbued by the Force, it was an extremely lethal weapon, but because it was made of wood, most unaware of its nature ignored it including weapons scanners and droids. The weapon of an assassin, she had used it to kill several throughout her early life. Though she didn't use it as a combat weapon any longer, she kept it to remind herself of her origins, of the fear and terror she experienced being the weakened outsider in a wild and hostile Galaxy. It was a time before she had mastered the Force and bridged the gap between Nightsister and Sith, between her primitive upbringing and the technologically advanced Galaxy.

 

She went through the rest of the objects one by one, contemplating each in turn. She had a vial of poison from the days when she still fancied herself an assassin before further delving into the arts of the Force. There was a shard of metal from the fighter she crashed into Coruscant during the fight against Faust. A particularly painful token was a small piece of cloth from the under armor Ca'Aran wore when she killed him in blind rage on Dathomir. A small glass bottle contained a lock of hair from the body of one of her sons: the only remaining piece of either of them that was left in this Galaxy. She had a black coin, made and distributed among those she trusted from the Bastion of Pelko as a way to repay favors and indicate those who could be trusted. Finally, there was a spent blaster power pack, gathered from a shuttle that returned to the Herløv after the Battle of Corellia where she had fallen.

 

Each of these held an importance to her, each reminded her of her past and the triumphs and costs. For hours, she sat staring at them, contemplating the path that led her to where she sat. As night turned to day, Melforne emerged from her sleeping quarters and walked over to her. He was wise enough not to say a word, but simply stood there beside her for a time in solidarity. Despite being blind to the Force, Qaela had found a great deal of wisdom and perception in the commander of the Herløv's fighter and bomber wings. He wasn't the most physically attractive men, but his mind was sharp and his dedication to both the Empire and to her were far more appealing than a muscular young body. Though they didn't advertise his time spent with her, most of the officers knew and turned a blind eye to it. One didn't question a Sith Master on her own ship.

 

At last, when his duty shift approached, Melforne left her side to get into his uniform and depart leaving her once again in contemplative silence, considering her future.

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Come on boy, we have much to do. Much to prepare for 

 

Her voice came crawling up her apprentice’s neck, more propelled by the force than any movement of her mouth. Their shuttle had made the transit from Felucia to the bastion planet of Onderon not two hours before, and the craft was on slow approach to the Herlov. A Kyber class star destroyer that predated the formation of the Sith Empire by only about a year. It had seen much combat since, and was still technically on drydock, but it was a livable ship. Even though it had taken hideous damage at Fondor.

 

Fondor. Another disaster for this Empire. 

 

Tel found it hard to think about what had just happened at Felucia. They had been soundly defeated, and the Wild Hunt had gone unfed. She reached again with her mind to find Him. But the Spider was gone, a wraith in the force .He had come and established the greatest empire the Sith had known for a century, then he had disappeared without a trace. Almost like he had known....

 

….They were doomed. 

 

 The daughter of Ar-Pharazon shook her head as she looked at the hulking star destroyer in front of the shuttle. There was still much to do, but this development spoke of the end that they all had feared. Even though Nyrys had stepped seamlessly into the throne, she did not have the vigor that Exodus had possessed. But time would tell, and there was much to prepare for. 

 

Gather yourself. We will form you into a vessel for the Empire to grow. 

 

She spoke again to her apprentice as their shuttle touched down in the expansive fighterbay.

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𝖘𝖓𝖆𝖕 𝖙𝖔 𝖗𝖊𝖆𝖑𝖎𝖙𝖞

 

A presence brought Qaela back into reality from her meditations and contemplations. Her flesh and blood was returning, and that gave her some comfort. So Telperien had survived Felucia, and maybe the other Nightsister would be able to shed some light on what happened there to the Spider. It was time to return back and put aside her own concerns. She would see what her daughter was bringing, then judge whether to confide in the girl turned woman, or if it was best to maintain an air of confidence.

 

She typed in some commands, replaced her mementos in their sealed safe, then waited for her daughter to arrive. She relied on years of experience to mask her emotions, then present the face she wished. Best not cause her daughter any doubts if it would prove to weaken her. Qaela would throw herself upon a lightsaber to prevent any harm to her only surviving child, even if that harm came from herself.

 

*   *                    *   *

 

Commander Melforne and a squad of black armorered naval troopers greeted the newly arrived shuttle. He gave a quick salute to the woman that arrived, introducing himself. "My Lady, I am Commander Melforne, leader of the Herløv's fighter and bomber wings. It is my pleasure to escort you to Master Darksong's quarters, unless you prefer to get settled in the VIP quarters that have been made ready."

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The caustic, burning stench of ozone filled the hanger-bay as the various ships ION-Engines burned away the breathable air. Vorin watched the comings and goings, slowly chewing a piece of dehydrated muja, savoring the taste even as it turned acrid in his mouth from the ozone. He could feel each life within The Force, the powerful ones like stars, and the weak whirling about them in their gravitational pull. Beyond the sourness on his tongue, he could almost taste them. Taste their power. Their Strengths. Their weaknesses.

 

There were several here that had exceptional strength, the Darksong and the Ar-Pharazon girl. They practically stank of the muddy earth from which they had formed. Blood of nightsisters was rank upon the tongue, but they had beauty, which fascinated him. Perhaps one day, he would get the Telperian girl into his bed, taste of her sweetness.

 

The Sith Lord took another bite of the tangy muja, savoring the crystallized sugar that coated it as he watched the world turn. He brought up a hand in casual salute to the daughter of Ar-Pharazon as she appeared down the landing ramp of one of the Sith Shuttles. He admired the longbow on her back, like most of the Dathomiri, she had a taste for weapons of the older days, which he respected.

 

Bloodletter rested against his own shoulder, slung on his armor casually, without a proper sheath or the typical stylizations of Sith weapons. Vorin turned the salute into a brush of his hand, pushing aside a few locks of white hair from his eyes. He pushed himself from the wall, and nodded to the woman.

 

“Cheers, Sister. Any news of deployment? Some of us are eager to turn the tide of Sith losses…”

Death is No Escape

 

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Krath Umbra watched the beaten and battered fleet return with distaste from the balcony of his home. Such a promising force had set out, only to be rebuffed by the Rebels and their silly games. he sighed, shaking his head. The Dark Lord was dead. He could no longer sense Lady Darksong. The newest Dark Lord, a young Darth Nyrys, had immediately left to support one of his colleagues' foolish campaigns. Conquest meant little if you could not preserve it. That was where he came in, he mused as he sipped his wine. The Sith were such an aggressive group that events like the Kuat raid a little over a year ago happened with impunity. Hundreds of rebel infiltrators had stowed away, mutinying entire star destroyers. It was his job among the Sith Intelligence to make sure such blunders did not happen again, and he cherished it. He cherished the Moffs' discomfort at his warped presence. He smirked with glee when the petty Sith Lords learned that he moved at the Sith Empire's behest, and that they held no authority over him. He would have to find time to introduce himself to the Dark Lord sometime soon, but that could wait. He was nothing if not uncharacteristically patient for a Sith.

 

His relationship with the spider was one of respect. He doubted the man knew of his existence, but Umbra admired the man's machinations, the way he slipped the galaxy out from under the Imperials and the Galactic Alliance.He looked down at the entrance to his home to see a young Sith officer waiting nervously outside. He laughed heartily, giving the man a gesture of cheer. 

 

"Ah, Captain Alexi! Please, come in, the door is always open. I shall meet you in the foyer." he said with a ghastly smile.

 

Hidden behind it was a sneer of contempt. This was one of the few officers that had yet to receive punishment for Kuat, and he would make sure that was rectified. He stood elegantly, his half-coat unfurling behind him as he turned inside. He loved to make an entrance- part of the Sith was first impressions, and it was important to him to always arrive with flair. He walked through the door, standing on the banister above the main foyer, leaning against it as he took another false sip. In truth, he had no need of such sustenance, but it helped add to the chilling atmosphere of the psuedo-gothic home, his unnatural pallor often misleading many to believe he was a vampire, sucking the life force from his victims. Oh how horrified they'd be to learn the truth.

 

The officer stuttered as Umbra watched, unblinking.

 

"A pleasure to meet you, my lord. I, uhm... Forgive me. I don't quite know why I was summoned here."

 

Umbra let out a sinister chuckle as he straightened himself, moving towards the staircase to meet the man as he watched, unblinking.

 

"Oh, I wouldn't be too worried. I'm not nearly as volatile as some of my compatriots." he said, flashing an unnatural pearly white grin

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Pale amethyst eyes found the sulphuric yellow of Lord Blackmornes and the young daughter of Ar-Pharazon and Darksong inclined her head in greeting. The harsh hanger lights reflected off the collection of crystal shards that decorated her braided hair, which gave her an almost beautiful appearance. But her people were never considered beautiful by galactic standards, so the Nightsister had not much tried to improve her odds. Instead keeping with the traditional garb of her people, the unflattering scale armour mixed with hides and rough spun fibre. Still it suited her, as it suited her people. 

 

They were of the jungle. Of the dirt and mire, of beast and famine. 

 

Their lack was their great virtue. 

 

She grinned a feral smirk at the Sith Lord, returning his salute with a fist across her chest. A warrior's salute.  

 

“We march on regardless of losses. We strike the Jedi again, and perhaps we can learn a lesson from our recent failures. Or….”

 

She smiled again, white teeth showing from behind pale lips. 

 

“We will die again.” 

 

She gestured for him to follow. 

 

“But come, my Mother is awaiting me, and I know she is in charge of this next great assault.”

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Shiro sat in silence within the rear of the shuttle, the rememberable echoes of the meek crying and screaming in his mind as his gaze peered at the metal above in ecstasy. So fragile, so unprotected, the gaze of hate and sorrow filling the children's eyes. The moment was one that he enjoyed and wanted to process, taking in the memory of the smell, the taste, the sights, everything. And in this, he smiled.

 

As his Master's voice entangled his mind, the memory was foreclosed and he sat upright, his blackened gaze wavering in the rush as he placed his helm in arm and rose to a stand. Her words were true, and Felucia had proved it. He was tired of relying on mere weapons and strategy. He wanted more strength in the Force. He wanted to explore more of himself. He wanted to be a weapon of mass destruction. Only then would he know his true path as a Warrior, and when he did, blossom like the blood flower.

 

The rumor mill had already been lit aflame with the disappearence of the Dark Lord, soldiers abound with conversations about who would take his place. And in truth, Shiro had been disappointed by this. But his place was not to engage in such trivial matters, but rather, hone his skills and elevate his own stature. And so, with the Spider falling and his web erased, Shiro paid little heed in the grand scheme of things. A King fallen only meant another would rise. Or perhaps a Queen. As long as they were willing to use his blade in the sights of peace through war. That's all that matters.

 

In Darkness, there is Chaos. In Chaos, there is destruction. And from destruction, Order is born. And from Order, there is peace. Only through Darkness, can Peace be attained, enforced and sustained by the Strong. This is why the Republic always falls. This is why Dictatorships fall. Warlords are those only capable. This is the truth Shiro found in the Darkened Abyss, and where he was truly born.

 

As he and his Master stepped foot aboard Herløv, his Master distracted by another Lord, Shiro simply stood to the side in uniform, awaiting his Master's call.

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Her eyes…

 

They were as the sunfalls of Bespin when the clouds took on the color of royalty. Vorin was taken in by more than their beauty, but by the defiant flame within that showed the strength of her soul. He pulled back his white hair as he stepped beside her, binding it with strip of black leather, a motion to disguise his unease with her presence. His own eyes opened wider as he realized she had been speaking, and he nodded sagely.

 

“…Learn from a lesson from our failures, or”

 

When she smiled, she reminded him of a coy predator, and she studied her teeth intensely. A memory rose unbidden to mind of his childhood, and of a mercenary that had been in the service of this Sith’s father. She had teeth of darkmetal, and bloody her smile had been scarred into his memory.

 

The Sith Warrior took to step beside her, adjusting the Zwiehander on his back. Bloodletter thrummed with hidden words, whispering chaos into the fringes of his mind. He matched her smaller stride with his, being very careful to stay a hands-breadth behind her, as respect to her superior rank.

 

“But, come

 

Vorin smirked, despite himself.

 

“My mother is awaiting me, and I know she is in charge of this next great assault.”

 

He nodded again in agreement, his voice taking on the Serrocoan accent of his youth as he responded. It held a lyrical inflection, with a clipped cadence which gave the words a poetic drift. Vorin’s tone always held the tone of Wrath, a common staple of those raised in the Court of Madness, and it reflected in his soul.

 

“I will do what I can to bring victory, and it would be an honor to fight alongside a sister.”

 

He spoke of the Nightsisters, but did so with caution. Awenydd had walked with this one, and had yet to return from her hunt. A joyous lilt played upon his tongue

 

“Any advice for interacting with your… Mother? I’ve heard she isn’t one to offend, accidentally or not.”

Death is No Escape

 

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The Sith officer was clearly shaken. Good. He deserved to be frightened. He stepped forwards, his shoes echoing across the hard floor as he walked closer, closer. Until he stood mere feet before the man. He glanced down at his glass, frowning unhappily to find it empty. Perhaps he liked the drink more than he cared to admit. He shrugged nonchalantly, placing the empty glass on a table. He would retrieve it later. On the surface, his home was immaculate, with no traces of dusk, dirt, or grime to be seen even in the darkest corners. Anyone who was attuned with the Force would see the grandiose building for what it really was- an accursed place, tainted by Krath Umbra's dark powers. He tilted his head as the man stood awkwardly in the center of the main room, the main door behind him left ajar.

 

"You're a very... interesting man, Captain Alexi. Born and raised on Kuat, you enlisted in the Sith Navy to protect it once we took the planet from the Rebels. And you did an admirable job of it too! Not a single rebel attack under your watch- a flawless record, and on such an important world! It's no wonder you rose through the ranks so quickly, keeping such an important part of our Empire safe."

 

The man seemed thrown off, mumbling his words. "Thank you, my lord."

 

Umbra gave a warm smile that hid his vitriol and disgust. "No, thank you! Without you, the Rebels could have infiltrated our shipyards, unchecked by our leadership, and made off with our precious star destroyers. It's a wonderful thing that such a thing never happened, yes?"

 

The man's eyes grew wide with fear. The mouse had realized the trap, but it was too late. "I-"

 

Umbra cut the man off, continuing the charade. There was a point to it, after all, and to have this man interrupt would ruin his fun.

 

"Those ships, in rebel hands, could be used to fight our forces on even footing. They could attack our shipyards, our people's worlds. Surely you understand why it's imperative that such a thing never happens?" He let out a sad sigh. "You had such a promising career. You had a wife, children! The Sith need men like that. But that's not what you are. In truth, your shipyards were infiltrated, the Rebels took your ships, and used them to steal our worlds at Fondor and Mon Cal. They almost took Kuat, too. Only the interference of the Spider and his Sith Lords saved your world."

 

The man tried to run, and Umbra rolled his eyes. He gestured with his hand, and the door slammed shut.

 

"You will die a coward then."

Edited by Mavanger
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𝖕𝖗𝖊𝖕𝖆𝖗𝖆𝖙𝖎𝖔𝖓𝖘

 

Melforne looked over the Sith Lord without visible emotion and with a careful calculation. He wasn't too sure about this one, or even of Lady Telperien, but at least the young woman had ties to Mistress Darksong through blood. Lord Blackmorne was an unknown quantity, one with no loyalty or ties to his mistress and, like all other Sith, needed to be viewed cautiously. He knew of the games those Sith often played and wanted no part in them, especially for his own mistress.

 

He was briefly distracted by the arrival of a squadron of TIE bombers and sighed slightly at their presence. Despite being in command of all of the Herløv's fighter compliment, Mistress Darksong had overridden him when it came to replacing an entire squadron of his bombers with one modified to carry jamming devices instead of actual bomb bays. He understood her intent, but still didn't like being handicapped as he was, especially after the losses incurred over Fondor. This was but one of many of the preparations she had been commanding since her return from Felucia, though he wasn't sure if it was because of the peculiar mood she was in or the cause of it. Still, one among the Imperial Navy didn't question a Sith, especially a Sith Master, so he accepted her plans.

 

Turning his attention back to the trio of Sith as they exited the hangar bay and began their journey to Mistress Darksong's modest reception room, he answered Lord Blackmorne's question, "Play no games with her and put the good of the Sith Order above all and you won't have problems with Mistress Darksong. She despises undeserved bravado, arrogance, and pointless machinations above all, in both Sith and Imperial officers alike. My predecessor was not wise enough to understand this and the Herløv unexpectedly found herself needing a new wing commander."

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She let her feral grin settle into a placid smile.

 

“My Mother’s servant tells the truth, be honest always. For tricksters earn nothing but what they deserve. Power and control are her bylaws, she is a calculating woman, and far prettier than I. Come, we should not keep her waiting. We have much to do.” 

 

She shouldered her bow and together the group went to where her mother awaited them. 

 

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Vorin turned sobering, yellow eyes upon the Sith Lord who had answered his question to the Nightsister. He despised those that spoke out of turn, it was something he had learned in the Court of Madness, to never answer for another Master, or to interject, as this one had. Bloodletter thrummed against his shoulders, the twisting blade’s scabbard almost electric in his touch. Its unremitting, incomprehensible whispers coalesced into dark feelings of cold hatred.

 

…Do we… Kill him?

 

The Sith Lord breathed out a harsh tone, letting the exhalation blur the voice back into disjointed feelings. He smiled raggedly at the Sith, and then to the Nightsister, placing both shaking hands behind his back, looping into the belt that secured Bloodletter.

 

“I’ll keep my false bravado to myself, and be as honest as a Sith can be, worry not.”

 

His mind passed across the realities of life, his eyes taking in the young Nightsister as he followed her towards her mother. Honesty was the death of empires. Small lies turned diplomacy from an orgy of innocent blood into the sterility of a Dejarik board. What good would it do for him to casually announce his intentions, or bloodlusts, or passions to the court? His concentration was broken for a moment by the sight of another Sith apprentice stepping behind the Nightsister, he gave the man a curt nod. 

 

"I hear you trained for a time with my sister, Awenydd... How is she, other than her normal... Mental instability?"

Edited by Sheog the Mad

Death is No Escape

 

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𝖘𝖕𝖎𝖓𝖓𝖎𝖓𝖌 𝖙𝖍𝖊 𝖜𝖊𝖇

 

Qaela sat at her desk waiting as the presence of her daughter grew closer. It wasn't long before the door to her small reception room opened admitting the quartet that had come for her. It amused her that Telperien had brought along the male that she had so callously abused down on the surface of the planet they were orbiting, but she didn't question her daughter's company so long as it didn't endanger either of them or this mission. The other Sith with them was a wild card she wasn't too sure about. She had never met this Blackmorne, but the inquiries she had made into him made hints and indications that he came from the court of Master Sheog whom was affectionally called "the Mad" by those who both admired and feared his work. That intrigued Qaela, but also meant she wasn't sure what camp he might fall into.

 

There were no chairs other than hers in this room, not that it was very large. Her sleeping quarters were larger, though this was more narrow so there was slightly more space between the entrance and her desk. Space on warships was always a premium and war was no place for lavish luxury.

 

She met the commander's eyes and slightly flicked her eyes to the side. He understood the gesture, bowed, and left as soon as the other three had entered the room. This was for Sith and wielders of the Force only: she would give Captain Geratos, Commander Melforne, and Colonel Barten their briefings when it was their time. She looked over the three Sith with her now naturally brown eyes and considered each for a moment before speaking.

 

"We have been tasked by our new Dark Lord with the reduction of Lehon's Jedi garrison and its annexation into the Empire. I have already began making preparations for this purpose and scouts are seeking further information about what we will be facing. You two," she said, looking at both Sith Lords and pointedly passing over Telperien's pet, "have been assigned to assist me in commanding our forces.

 

"Since there is a Jedi temple there, an additional dozen Sith warriors will be added to our number and will fall under the direct command of you, Lord Blackmorne. There will be six Lord and apprentice pairs who will join you in directly engaging whatever Jedi forces we can catch on the planet. We are not entirely sure of the numbers the Jedi possess, so I expect you to keep your wits about you and not allow yourself to be overwhelmed should their numbers be greater than can be handled."

 

She looked over at her daughter, "Lady Telperien and her Nightsisters will be working with me to unleash some darker abilities that our kind excel in. I wish to test the power of linking and merging some of the Sith's skills she and I have learned with some of the Nightsister's traditions. We will wield these powers against whatever support garrison the Jedi have on the planet as well as any foolhardy Jedi that Lord Blackmorne isn't able to attract. We will also offer his forces further support or directly engage if needed.

 

"We will have fleet support, but that is mostly to counter any reinforcements the Jedi send. To try to minimize those chances, I have ordered a squadron of modified TIE Bombers outfitted with communication jammers to be transferred to the Herløv. It is my intent to cut off all communications between the Jedi garrison and the rest of their forces until after we have dealt with them."

 

She paused and looked them over one more time with both eyes and the Force, seeking to get a sense of any reactions they may let on. "I am not arrogant enough to believe I know everything, so now, within this room, if either of you have specific input or suggestions, bring them forth and we can discuss them without ego or retaliation. However, once we depart and are among our lessers, there will be no disputing between us. I will not have the Imperial officers and underlings witness dissention between those who lead them: such things only cause harm to the Empire.

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Telperien bowed low, her braids touching the ships decking in front of her before she straightened. Her three dozen young women following suit. 

 

“No dissension shall you hear from us my Lady. We will serve and Lehon will fall.”

 

She glanced to her assigned apprentice. 

 

“Bow to the Dark Lady, then we will taste the blood of the Jedi Knights.” 

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It always amused the Warrior how different each court of the Sith Masters truly was. That of the Sith Master before him was self-centric, only one chair which forced the others to stand like peasants, awaiting the whims of the Master. The Court of Madness had emphasized the comfort of its patrons, and that of the Spider had been full of shadows. Vorin squared his shoulders, his fingers tapping on the soft leather loops of his belt.

 

So, this Sith was in Pride’s confidence.

 

The Sith Master before him was a woman in her mid-twenties, dressed in midnight blues, with eyes of a deep lavender. Vorin’s eyes glanced to the nightsister beside him and back at the Sith Master. They practically looked the same age, hard to imagine this Darksong woman bearing up such a child, had she been a child herself?

 

A darker thought passed unbidden through his wrathful mind, bearing mind to deeper passions. Perhaps with enough power, he could have both mother and daughter. A small smile crossed his face, bringing a mirthful spark to his yellow eyes. 

 

Oh how the mind worked, bearing up the taboo and wicked on the platter of tantalizing imaginations.

 

Bloodletter thrummed in encouragement across his shoulders, and he quieted his mind, listening to the Sith Master’s orders. The Sith Warriors that were to be under his command were known to him. He recognized Toth Quenervan, a Twi’lek who had joined the Court of Madness on many occasions during the Revels and Parties to honor Gluttony. A Berserker if he remembered the man’s skills.

 

Vorin nodded solemnly to them all and continued listening Darksong’s words. It would most likely be a mad rush when the hit the ground at Lehon. Sith Warriors were the linebreakers, a hopeless vanguard who drank of death until the belly soured. He shrugged, passing a hand through his long hair, checking the leather strap that kept it from his eyes. He spoke when all the long words of the Sith were spent.

 

“We kill as we always do. The Lords will head in first, followed by the apprentices…”

 

He gave the Sith a broad smile of white teeth, highlighted by his pale skin

 

“Vanguard deployment, as always. One of the apprentices will be in charge of communications, and stay apart from the bloodlust. There is a habit amongst my people of getting too deep into the Heart of the Revel, one free should keep lines of communication open. We will kill what we have to.”

 

He bowed briefly, and as he turned he spoke over his shoulder.

 

“I know this mission is for finding artifacts, so we will try and not destroy too many great archeological digs or something…”

 

He smiled again to Telperien and followed his words with a wink

 

“As the Jedi say, may the Force be with you, Sister. Or the songs of your people, or however you want to take that.”

Death is No Escape

 

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𝖙𝖍𝖊 𝖉𝖊𝖊𝖕 𝖇𝖗𝖊𝖆𝖙𝖍

 

Qaela eyed Blackmorne with contemplative eyes. He was either going to be an useful tool or a liability. She generally preferred to work with a slightly different breed of Sith, but there was a time and place for those who dipped into the berserker school of thought. She did chuckle slightly at his words. "I care little for any artifacts, Lord Blackmorne. I care more about taking this planet and driving the Jedi off it. Do what is needed to gain victory, just do not allow any foolish overzealousness to cost us."

 

She pulled out two blank command cylinders from a small stash of them in her desk and plugged them into the built in computer. Once they were programmed, she handed them to her daughter and Blackmorne. "These will give you access to the ship and avoid any confusion among the Imperial officers as to your rank. Go, there are quarters being established for you and your entourage. We will be departing within a day, but the trip will take several more to arrive."

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Shiro stood in silence for most of the conversation, his mind burying his thoughts and his body oblivious to reaction. He was but an Apprentice, and in the presence of Lords and Masters, he knew his place. He was but a tool to be used when the time came, and until then, he was a mere observer, taking in what he saw and witnessed to memory. Only the hiss of his prosthetic lung spoke of his presence amongst the group. That was, until they called upon him.

 

"Lady Awenyyd is forging her own path amongst the stars" Shiro replied to Sir Blackmorne, his blackened irides briefly meeting the man's to reveal the red pupils hidden within. "When we departed, she was in good health and in good spirits. I only hope her path bears her good fruit."

 

There was little more to say than that. Lady Awenyyd had forged a Warrior from Shiro and chose that their paths differed. This was why he now stood next to Lady Telperiën. Not to merely test the Warrior, but to strengthen his resolve. Awenyyd had made sure he understood that it takes many Masters to truly forge the worth of a Blade, and for Shiro, it would take the same. She left him with the design, and left the choice of those who would weild him up to him. This was his path.

 

When they entered Lady Qaela's reception, the young Sith stepped off to the side. This was this business of Masters, not his. He was but a witness to the moment. He could feel his heart beating the drums of war, but his expression stayed cold and slated. Only the words of his Master forced his stature to change, Shiro bowing to one knee just as he did during his approach to Telperiën during his last encounter with her Mother, his fist placed over his heart. For the first time since his arrival, Shiro spoke, his words echoing of his intent to both his Master and her creator.

 

"I am but a Blade." Shiro's voice came across blunt, but respectful, the hiss of the ironed lung inhaling between his words. "I will bath myself in your enemies."

 

With that said, he withdrew himself and returned to his previous position, idle and in silence as they continued.

Edited by Oculus
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