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Lehon - Jedi Temple


Kakuto Ryu
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"Who the kraff would I have murdered!? I JUST GOT HERE!" Darren let a far more colorful string of expletives out under his breath, but did as the twi'lek instructed, fastening the cuffs on his wrists with only a bit of difficulty.

 

He was momentarily amazed at how much easier it was to put cuffs on yourself than it was to get out of them, but his growing annoyance at the situation washed the thought away fairly quickly. All he wanted was to finish the job he had been hired for, and get as far away from the Jedi as possible. Once he had the cuffs on, he raised his wrists up to the hatch and waved his hands around.

 

"There, happy now? The big scary accused murderer of a delivery pilot is effectively restrained by your superior technology and effective security measures. Now can I come in without getting disintegrated? Or would you like to shackle my legs and arms too? Hey how about you throw in a gag too, just in case I talk someone to death!"

 

If Darren's sarcasm and annoyance was made into a liquid, the entire temple would be drowning right then and there. He waited a moment longer and rattled his cuffs again for effect.

 

 

------------------------

 

Gretchen continued to watch the Jedi that were barring the gate, but had almost no clue what was going on from so far back. They seemed to just be standing there, waiting behind the door. Only the twi'lek, an apprentice that Gretchen was familiar with, seemed to be actually doing anything as she stood on this side of the small hatch that was built into the massive door, apparently talking to someone on the other side. But she couldn't hear anything specific, just that whoever the twi'lek was talking to, he wasn't happy judging by the yelling.

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I ate a hippo. It was delicious.

May the Forth therve you well...

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  • 2 weeks later...

As the young man was placed in stuncuffs and secured by the force and two jedi knights, two more Jedi knights and their apprentices approached the crime scene. Extending their presence to cover the area their unlit sabers up and ready for traps. They walked towards the shuttle and extended their presence towards it, sensing the danger.

 

One of the Jedi at the gate motioned for the nearby civillians to find cover and clear the area. If there was more to this man, then it wouldn’t due to have a civilian die in the process.

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  • 3 years later...

Master Windu had become reclusive after returning from Haruun Kal. I could not begrudge him that. The ordeal he had faced on that planet would have tested any Jedi--ending a genocidal war, trying to save one of his former students from falling to the Dark Side, all while recovering from serious wounds and disease--so I was hesitant to approach him. Then, like every other Jedi, he was then deployed to more worlds than I care to name: Dantooine, Anaxes, Abregado-rae, Ryloth… an interview was quite impossible until our paths crossed when Grievous was repulsed from Coruscant.

 

To say that my request to train under him was denied is an understatement. It was a flat, uncompromising, categorical refusal.

 

“No. I do not expect that I will teach another student the techniques of Vaapad,” he had said. “Not while this war continues. Master Quol-Jing, your ability with the lightsaber is exceptional, but you lack a critical element necessary to learn it. You do not enjoy the fight. You will never be able to master Vaapad. It will master you.”

 

I’m embarrassed to admit that his refusal stung--my initial evaluation was that his denial was somehow an aspersion on my character, or at least on my discipline and capabilities. I spoke foolishly, rashly--no doubt confirming his ascertainment--and demanded what made Master Windu so exceptional.

 

“I created Vaapad as an answer to a grave weakness of mine. I have always felt a dangerous connection to the Dark Side, a love for aggressive action. Many of my people share the same tendency. Every time that I use Vaapad is a confrontation with myself. What inner darkness do you carry with you, Master Quol-Jing?”

 

His rhetorical question devastated me into silence. I confess that I find myself to be a rather ordinary person--rather boring, really, compared to Jedi like Skywalker or Nu. I never sought to become a great Holonet hero or renowned scholar, but merely to attempt to follow the will of the Force wherever the Jedi sent me. Certainly, I grieved when my own Master died. His death was an unenviable one. However, we had lived through extraordinary years together, and as I grew in my own powers, he became more than a teacher--a great friend, whose teachings and companionship that I was grateful to have enjoyed.

 

It is highly unlikely that Master Windu will change his mind. He is not known for being fickle in his judgment. But one question remains: his comment regarding the Korunnai. Can an entire people really be so malleable to their environment that they become bent to the Dark Side of the Force? I believe that this question merits further investigation. Hopefully, once this war is finally at an end, there will be some time that I can visit Haruun Kal, and see this jungle for myself. Perhaps I will understand then.

 

“Master Quol-Jing was killed within the first hour of Order 66,” Armiena murmured to herself, repeating the footnotes of this rare collection. “He was tasked with leading a reconnaissance expedition to Ord Mantell and was murdered by the Clone Troopers under his command.”

 

The swirling glow of hyperspace dancing on her space-pale face, Draygo shut the journal and sighed. It was unlikely that her research would yield further results--at least, not without visiting Haruun Kal and living amongst the Korunnai. That was an unrealistic proposition, with the value of every spare moment being measurable in lives and the Korunnai would likely find her presence somewhat patronizing. Perhaps there would be an opportunity as the years passed.

 

An alarm sounded and an indicator light blinked on the Jedi Ace’s control panels: in thirty seconds, the interceptor would return to realspace above Lehon. Draygo tucked the journal into its clamshell protective case, and the funnel of hyperspace withdrew to reveal the blue jewel of the panel. As the ship descended into the atmosphere, the fighter’s weak sensors began to register faint background signatures--radiation, most likely--and Armiena glanced upwards in the canopy to observe the engine nacelle of an ancient ship drift by. She nodded; the drives of those ancient dreadnoughts were notoriously filthy, often relying on toxic and radioactive isotopes. Many of them were so obsolete, so hazardous to handle, that only a desperate scavenger would bother salvaging them.

 

As she descended, the automated beacons began to guide her towards the Temple. Armiena began her descent glide, but a voice from air traffic control interrupted the familiar routine.

 

“Grandmaster, alter course to two-five mark one-six-two. We’ve got a bit of a storm system approaching. Meteorologist reports that it should pass us by, but make your approach from the north.

 

Indeed, there was a swirl of grey and white clouds beginning to approach the archipelago that housed the Jedi facilities, not dissimilar to the freak storms that had embattled Coruscant after its moon fell. These were likely a common occurance on this tropical planet. Adjusting her course, her final descent towards the landing pads was routine, if somewhat turbulent due to the growing winds.

 

By the time that she opened the canopy, however, it was beginning to rain. Draygo grumbled at the trickle of water that splashed her forehead through the seal of the canopy and pulled up her hood. A few hundred meters away, hovering in the muggy tropical air, was a small squadron of GR-75 transports, all tethered to the ground by refueling cables and magclamps.

 

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Alarms chimed as Major Kell Sorexon dropped out of hyperspace three light minutes away from Lehon's orbit. His stealth shuttle wasn't designed for combat, but rather for scouting enemy positions without being spotted. As he got his bearings, he plotted a course closer to the planet so he could get better readings from his passive sensors. Eyes and radiation detectors were often just as good as active scanning when trying to remain undetected, so for now, he sent no signals or scans out and remained observing as he was ordered. Commander Melforne had sent him ahead to scout out the enemy positions in this planet before their invasion. Since there was no civilian or commercial traffic to the practically uninhabited system, the Sith couldn't rely on general knowledge or slip in spies the old fashioned way, so they resorted to stealth ships like him.

 

He would make a careful orbit around the planet, gathering whatever information came his way and monitoring whatever transmissions or radiation waves came from the planet and its orbit, then jump away, never sending transmissions or doing anything that would cause undue suspicion. He wouldn't even fire his engines once in position for a slingshot orbit. Unless discovered, when he was finished, he would return to friendly space and transmit his findings there to do his part in expanding the glory of the Empire.

Qaela Sig

Send PM's to Travis.

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Draygo trotted over to the clamshell-hulled transports, boots splashing rivulets of standing water with every step. Even that modest exercise was enough to make her begin to sweat--and every breath of the saturated tropical air felt as though it were being imbibed through a straw. 

 

Hearing the approach of a Jedi, the Weequay commander of the six transports turned about and folded his arms impatiently. A pair of the hulking Sentinel droids, striding in carefully measures as they hauled pallets of medical supplies onto the transports, twisted to view the Jedi Grandmaster and acknowledged her arrival with a mechanical beep before returning to their task. That response was even more taciturn for the droids than typical, almost as though the droids had been irritated by the Sith attack on Felucia.

 

“Captain, you were given explicit orders to evacuate to Nar Shaddaa. We needed your medics closer to the front, not… here.

 

The Weequay was not of a temperament to accept even this mild beratement. His weathered face wrinkled in disgust and he spat on the ground. “Draygo, right? Look you Jedi and your little snubfighters might be able to navigate the eye of a needle, but when you’re at the helm of a big transport like this, you take whatever course you can get--you do not zip around and look for a better course, and you don’t kriff around with fancy evasive maneuvers--you--”

 

“You get refueled, you get up in the air and back to Nar Shaddaa.” Draygo held up a hand and somehow managed to loom over a sapient that was nearly half a meter taller than her.

 

“We can’t. Not with the storm. Air traffic has grounded all outbound traffic until it passes.”

 

As the Jedi Grandmaster began to jog towards the cliff face that obscured the Jedi Temple, her gaze traversed over the roiling waters of Lehon’s oceans and towards the inky stormfront that was beginning to approach this particular archipelago. Already, the winds were beginning to build and the lanky, banded trees were beginning to sway dangerously, their palms nearly shearing away from their trunks. Lightning flashed just within the black clouds, illuminating the waters below. She paused in her approach and frowned.

 

A persistent pressure was worrying on her shoulders. That was more than the stiffness of a long-distance hyperspace jump, Draygo decided--it was a warning from The Force. Something more threatening than a mindless act of nature was approaching.

 

The Jedi Grandmaster unclipped another spare comlink from her belt and dialed in a text transmission to the unit that she had loaned to one of the Knights on Felucia.

 

“Silan, redeploy to Lehon. Half our meds on Felucia evacd here. Just have a feeling that something is about to hit.”

 

The call for reinforcements having been sent but no clear threat having emerged, the Jedi Grandmaster withdrew into the cliffside Temple, in search of an air traffic controller whose priorities needed to be shifted.

 

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Kadi's transport arrived in orbit, with her sitting in her quarters as they exited hyperspace. It had only been a few days since she'd seen left the Jedi Temple on Felucia, since she'd seen Eisa, and yet already her heart ached. She didn't think anything of it more than missing a good friend, however. Such people were few and far between- these deployments were common for her, and it was rare for her to spend more than a week or two on a planet at a time past completing her objectives, so it was only natural to feel the way she did about one of those few connections she made disappearing into the black void of space as she hurtled through hyperspace.

 

It all but disappeared though when they arrived over the planet, maneuvering to the proper point of descent as she pulled out the communicator she'd been gifted. That made three that she kept on her person now. It was getting out of hand, but she supposed it was good to keep tabs on her, considering her inclination to set off into the wilderness at the drop of a pin. She sent a brief message to Eisa, though she knew it would be a few hours before she got a response. Their local time wasn't in sync- it was likely the middle of the night on Felucia right now.

 

She retrieved her second communicator, the one for the Grandmaster, sending a message ahead.

 

Arrived in orbit. En route to temple- too dangerous to land there, will disembark nearby and move on foot. Supplies in orbit, waiting for your order.

Edited by Mavanger

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𝖔𝖕𝖊𝖓𝖎𝖓𝖌 𝖌𝖊𝖘𝖙𝖚𝖗𝖊𝖘

 

A safe distance from the lush green planet below, the Sith fleet minus one very special shuttle emerged from hyperspace. As soon as they did, they began broadcasting signal and scanner jammers and a squadron of modified bombers fanned out to further expand that jamming field around the Jedi facilities. It wasn't known if all transmissions would be blocked, but it was hoped that the jamming would cause at least some confusion and make summoning reinforcements more difficult.

 

Troop transports began descending to the surface, careful to avoid the massive storm enveloping their target and landing several hundred kilometers from the Jedi Temple and behind its affects. While their intelligence on the Jedi facility was fairly limited, sensor readings made by a stealth shuttle had managed to pinpoint one area of the planet to within a kilometer or so. Scouts would soon brave the storm to gather further intel, but the main bulk of the Sith army would assemble in order where the weather was more stable.

 

Qaela stood behind the pilots of one of the transports as it descended. She had with her three of her daughter's Nightsisters. Her daughter was in another shuttle with three more while the rest of the Nightsisters were spread throughout the other shuttles. If a lucky enemy strike took out a shuttle, it wouldn't destroy all of their most powerful weapons in one blow.

 

The tropical jungle they landed in was damp from the recent storm and many of the trees were splintered or broken in half entirely. It wouldn't be the best ground to march in, but at least they weren't dealing with the winds of a hurricane.

 

Yet.

 

The Sith forces began deploying in good order, setting up defensive AA positions and making sure the artillery cannons were properly set up. AT-ST's escorted by a platoon of troopers began fanning out while the rest of the troops and their squad of sappers began digging emplacements as best as possible in the muddy terrain. Qaela didn't know if they would meet the enemy here, but if they did, they wanted to be ready. If they didn't, at least they would have a semi-safe fallback point to rally in should things go poorly.

 

She waited as the rest of the Sith force got situated, then, using the larger than normal commlink on her shoulder, gave an order. The commlink was specially created to track down the seemingly random modulations in the jamming field and find usable frequencies to allow her to communicate with the rest of the Sith forces both on land and in orbit. Her order went to another shuttle that had hung back from the initial drop, telling them to begin their own task, one that was all part of her opening gestures of this new battle.

Qaela Sig

Send PM's to Travis.

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The trip through hyperspace was uneventful. The ship functioned as designed and all went smoothly. Leena and Simka were able to install higher powered cells in Simka’s training saber, overriding the less-than-lethal setting. A bit of saber training and meditation with the other Jedi aboard saw them the remainder of the way to Lehon.

 

As the ship dropped from hyper, alarms began to blare. A Sith armada had shown up on scopes almost immediately. The captain of the craft, a more-than-skilled Jedi ace, immediately sprang into action. Flipping on the fasten seatbelts sign, he began immediate evasive maneuvers as a pack of versatile Sith craft broke off to pursue the Jedi-flagged vessel.

 

Geabbing Simka’s hand, Leena yanked the young, albeit yet to be formalized, apprentice into a seat. She knew how rough this might become. Better safely belted in than thrown about the cabin as the ship broke atmosphere. Jedi Ace’s were known for their flamboyantly effective maneuvers, spins and sudden changes in direction and speed the least amongst them. Leena looked over at Simka with bright eyes that echoed some level of concern. “It would appear we are just in time for the party. No doubt the captain has broadcast emergency signals to the planet below. This is where trust is a must. Trust your fellow Jedi. Trust the force.” All about them, the force hummed in the air. The majority of the Jedi aboard were pouring themselves into the light side of the force, channeling their energy and senses into that of the pilot’s and crew; endowing them with supernatural speed and senses. Leena smiled as she grabbed Simka’s hand and squeezed it. “Remember when we healed that soldier back on Felucia, when you touched the force and channeled it through yourself to another? Do that. Let the force flow through you, will it to hasten our brethren. Drive back the darkness. The others are already doing so.” Squeezing Sinka’s hand in her own, Leena turned to face forward. She closed her eyes and inhaled deeply, holding her breath for a moment, allowing the living force to flow over and through her. She felt the other Jedi, the crew, the passengers, the pilot and captain. She could feel the ship about them. She felt space and the closing Sith pilots and the malevolence they carried. Exhaling, Leena broadcast the force, exponentially expanding it and intertwining it with the glow of light that radiated from the ship in protective auras and battle meditation. Multifaceted as it was, Leena knew that her apprentice would naturally find some area of meditative rhythm to fall into with other Jedi, be it her as she sought to repel the darkness or others as they empowered those piloting the ship or others as they cocooned their craft within a protective envelope against the assault of missiles and laser fire. All were equally important and each Jedi contributed in their own way.

 

Leena felt the darkness of the approaching craft and the tingle of darkness that played at her own heart, and the heart of every living thing. So to did she feel the light that twinkled in the depths of the Sith pilot’s. No one was purely dark or light. Exhaling, Leena pushed the light outward, a glow of energy pulsating against the encroaching darkness to weaken it’s hold and empower that of the light. The darkness would contained and pushed back, protecting the occupants of the ship against the psychological and metaphysical attacks wrought by a Sith attack on a Jedi stronghold. Today, the darkness would not be allowed to win, to claim a servant of light prematurely by turning one against themself. 
 

Outside, the craft dipped and dodged as the captain radioed a mayday to the planet below, to the Jedi Temple and stronghold of the forces of good. Breaking atmosphere, the craft scurried supernaturally across the skies, dipping and dodging the pursuing Sith craft, absorbing strafing enemy attacks with it’s shields and the cocooning protection offered by a ship full of Jedi pouring themselves into the force.
 

 

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“Captain, set us down here.” 

 

The shuttle settled into the dense underbrush with the fine crackle of snapping branches. And when the ramp dropped down, Telperien led her sisters and apprentice into the deep cover of the overgrown planet. Finding a position of shelter near the rusting remains of a light cruiser from a thousand years before, the Nightsiser laid out their plan. 

 

“We will encircle the jedi temple from the north, then slowly tighten our noose.” She glanced to her apprentice and then at the three nightsisters that had accompanied him on Felucia. “Sisters, keep him in your midst, if we encounter heavy resistance, fade back to here. We are here to support our Sith Allies not die for them.” She looked her apprentice in the eyes. “Take that as my first lesson, the lesson of the hunter. Do not venture into suicide for no reason. Your life and the pack comes first. Do not let my sisters die. Do you understand this?” She placed a strong hand on his shoulder then gestured for him to follow the three nightsisters. 

 

She would not sacrifice her people for the Sith’s lust for power. For what did the sith care for the daughters of Dathomir? They were tools to be used and disposed of. And Telperien would not see her planet be annihilated again. 

 

The Sisters spread out through the underbrush until they could not see each other, relying instead on the power of the force to guide them. Telperien let the force move through her, letting it expand her senses, her hearing and her smell. But what was that? 

 

A predators mind. But controlled through love. She followed the tendrils of feeling from the predators mind and changed her course. Who was this that could so subdue a predator? A jedi surely, but a special one. She dropped low as she came to the edge of a clearing and saw the brief flash of red hair. Telperien let a smile creep across her face, this one was a worthy prey . 

 

She unstrung the longbow from her back and let it drop to the ground as she stepped into full view as she grinned widely. The woman was beautiful in the traditional beauty of the galactic core. Her Acklay was equally beautiful as only a dangerous predator could be. Which made Telperien wish for her own rancor which was still on Dathomir.

 

“Hail Jedi.” Her voice was low but welcoming. She let her mind be open in a gesture of respect to the Jedi Knight, showing herself to be one of the Nightsisters of Dathomir. As if her tomboyish looks and leather armours did not say it already. Through the flow of the hunt she informed her sisters to stay away. This was her fight should the Jedi wish to engage. 

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By the time they touched down, the storm had abated, leaving only a slight drizzle and cool breeze wafting through the battered terrain. In the wake of the storm, however, the bigger threat was revealed. The Sith had come to this world. Armenia had been right. She checked her communicators, concerned to see no response on either of them. Master Armenia certainly knew of the new development now- It was time for her to do her job. She glanced at the crew as Sith forces flew overhead, ducking low. They were military, but they weren't soldiers. They weren't trained to hold a position or to fight a guerilla fight.

 

"Alright. The Jedi Temple is about a dozen kilometers away, and the Sith have air superiority, at least until the Temple defenses come online. They'll catch us before we can make it, and they'll find us if we hide. So we'll do both. Make your way to the temple- don't stop unless absolutely necessary. I'll draw them away for as long as I can keep their attention. Now go fast- the more distance you can make from the shuttle the better. Try and stick to pathways and openings, it'll make it harder to track you."

 

The crew nodded, heading off into the forest. Good. This wasn't a suicide run or a heroic sacrifice- She could act to the best of her abilities on her own, and they could make it back to the Temple unharmed, or so she hoped. Juro approached her, and she rubbed his head affectionately. She could already sense the Sith approaching, but there was something different about this group. Whereas the usual cohorts of the Sith tromped through their zones with little to no care, a fact that made them incredibly easy to track, these ones moved with the dark grace of a predator. She shuddered- it reminded her of the untamed Acklay populace on Felucia, tainted by the darkness of their environment. Juro chittered, taking a defensive posture as she climbed atop. Most the group had broken away, moving in a different direction, but one was still drawing ever nearer. There was no doubt in her mind- this was a pack of Force Sensitives, though whether they were Sith or something else remained unknown.

 

Eisa had once told her that she resembled the knights of storybook tales atop Juro. Kadi had never understood that notion until now, as she patiently waited for her foe to reveal herself as she meditated, relying on her bond with Juro for comfort. She opened her eyes as the person drew closer, standing at the ready. When she revealed herself, her weapon seemingly abandoned, her mind open, Kadi readied her weapon, though she didn't ignite it yet.

 

Nightsisters.

 

She remembered the one she had fought on Felucia- A twisted creature, corrupting the world around her as she saw fit. Her face soured in a scowl. This one was younger, even younger than she was. There were subtle differences in attitude and dress as well- the one she'd encountered on Felucia acted like Sith and commanded Sith troops. She'd shown little care for the nature around her beyond how she could use it to her advantage. She was a cruel facsimile of what the Jedi had learned since then of nightsisters and their people, but it was still cause for concern.

 

"Hail, Nightsister. I have met your kind before, on Felucia. I am Kadi Silan, Jedi Naturalist. We may talk, or we may fight, but if you intend this world and its inhabitants harm, then it is my duty to stop you."

 

In truth, if this Nightsister was anything like the one on Felucia, then their conversation would likely be very short. The atrocities she had witnessed still haunted her dreams, and she had committed herself to preventing such a thing from happening again.

Edited by Mavanger

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Telperiën let out a laugh that was a mix of derision and fatigue. Of course the woman had met her mother. Of course her mind was already turned against her. She shook her head, the hard cut gems that were braided into her hair catching the light and making her hair into a multicoloured halo. 

 

“Of course you have met my Mother. You must have been one of the two that defeated her. For that I must congratulate you. Not many have seen the wroth of Qaela Darksong and lived. Even my father did not live long enough to see his spawn.” 

 

She narrowed her amethyst coloured eyes and looked the jedi in the eyes. 

 

“I do not intend you harm, in fact I would much rather you all leave this place and allow the Sith to take your place. A peaceful transition of power. But I doubt you will do that. Especially in light of the atrocities that my mother inflicted on your villages at Felucia.” 

 

She extended her hand and let the bag of arrows fall from her back, while the dark yew bow flipped back into her grip. 
 

“But I tell you I would much rather talk then kill you. But before you answer, let me say how lovely your horns and style are. If we were not opponents on the field of battle I would ask you to dinner and to learn more of your naturalism. But perhaps it is this body’s base desires.” 

 

She laughed at her own compliment, and bent the bow reflexively. Testing the tightness of the hemp cord. 

 

“So tell me, should I recant for my mothers actions and see you off as a friend. Or shall I fight you and your beast and hope that we leave with respect for one another?” Respect had to be earned, but her master had taught her well. And the Acklay was a magnificent creature,  she would hate to harm it. 

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Kadi grimaced. So then this was the child of that woman. She now had a name to match the Sith as well. Quela Darksong. She planted the butt of the spear into the dirt, showing the scarred skin that enveloped her calf and shin to the other woman. "I still bear the scars of that encounter. But they pale in comparison to the scars she left on the people and the worlds that she touches. She is a plague upon worlds, caring little for the natural order or for its inhabitants. If you are here, her daughter, does that mean she has returned?"

 

She glanced up at the sky, looking at the Sith fleet with sadness. If they did not win here, what would become of this place? Would it burn as the villages on Felucia did? Would they massacre the people in the streets like they had on Naboo?

 

"You're right that I have no reason to believe that you seek a peaceful transition of power. You've come to a world with a single Jedi Temple, with hardly a local garrison and a number of untrained padawans, bringing armies and bringing a fleet this large to gently usher us off world? If there was ever to be peace, why is it that the only time the Sith have ever extended a diplomatic hand, they assaulted our representative and her retinue? That, too, was your mother, if the woman is one and the same as the one I met on Felucia."

 

She watched the nightsister test her bow, and Kadi was reminded of their situation. A world on the eve of battle. In time, her position would be overwhelmed, or vice versa. She readied her spear once more, on guard at the other woman's movements.

 

"If the situation was reversed, how would you react? If the Sith had come to ravage your world, as they surely will if you don't already bow to them, would you trust the words you speak?"

 

She was unfazed by the woman's advances- She was a predator. The way she moved, the way she eyed Kadi. These things made it apparent. Letting her guard down would likely get her killed, like facing off against any wild beast. Maybe a few months ago, she'd have dropped her guard at such words. But now, she'd met someone she cared for, she'd seen what the Sith and their allies were capable of.

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With a shrug of her strong shoulders Telperiën dismissed the concerts of the Jedi Knight. There was little reason to debate, for the time would soon come that her sisters would reach the temple and the assault would begin. The sky would arc with lightning, the mountains would move, and caln Myrkengodi would show themselves to the galaxy once more. For good or ill, the nightsisters had attached themselves to this Sith Empire. And perhaps they had come too late, when the noontide had begun to fade into a bitter fall. If need be they would abandon the Sith to save their own. 

 

It was not cowardice. It was the way of the predator. It was the way of the jungle. You did not march into death with eyes up and willing. Not unless there was a greater purpose, to defend the tribe. 

 

“You do not trust me and my people. I do not discredit you for this. I may assure you I am not my mother, but what would I say to prove it? That I am my father’s daughter? Nay, for he was the Trickster. Ar-Pharazon the boundless. Ar-Pharazon the Golden.” 

 

She shrugged again, her right hand plucking one of the ash arrows from the open bag. It was long, made for the warbows of her people. White feathered, and its long arrowhead jutted from the tapered shaft. Three inches of case hardened durasteel. Designed to puncture the thick hide of a raging Rancor. Or the plastoid of a stormtrooper. 

 

“I am the lesser daughter of greater sires. And yes, I would be in your shoes and willing to die for my tribe. We are at an impasse. I am truly sorry. For we are all kriffing liars in the end.” 

 

She ran the sharpened bodkin down her forearm, opening the flesh and coating the head in dark red blood. The pain was delicious. She knocked the arrow and grinned, her face contorting into one of pure joy of the hunt. The dust around her stirred.

 

“I swear I will not kill your pet.” 

 

The force moved with the sudden speed of the hunter, the bow was bent and the great bodkin arrow sang as it launched towards the Jedi Knight. The very air cracking from the shot.

 

((1))

((Actions. Took a shot with her warbow after marking the arrow with her blood. Allowing her to project and speed the shot in the force))

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As Telperien drew her arrow, Kadi gave her a pained look. Conflict could be avoided here- this violence wasn't necessary. Her eye's met the Nightsister's for the briefest of moments, conveying her thoughts with clarity. She didn't want to fight here- She didn't seek this woman's blood. She held no ill will for her on account of her parents- She was of the belief that people were not the sum of their parents. That tension was broken as Telperien nocked her arrow, cutting herself open as she did. She let out a deflated sigh, moving away from Juro as she did. She could feel the tension in the air, the dark side dripping across the ground as the woman's blood splattered on the dirt in droplets of crimson. In an instant, it snapped. The nightsister spoke, offering a spoken promise that Kadi had no intent to believe before firing her shot, propelled forwards by the Force at a dizzying speed. Were she not a practitioner of Ataru, it would have impaled her in the heart. Instead, as she moved to the side, twisting her torso as it cut open her arm, leaving an angry red line in its wake.

 

Juro let out a loud roar, his shrieking cry echoing across the clearing as he charged. It was partly out of his own inherent instincts- She was a threat, and his fight or flight had deemed that she was a killable one. But a part of it was through the bond that Kadi shared with him as her pain was reflected. Kadi darted forward behind him and to his left, moving to flank the woman in melee combat. Juro reached first, two savage strikes from his front two claws, left then right. Kadi reached her next, skirting the edge of her spear's range as she gave a testing thrust towards the nightsister's shoulder, staying light on her feet and alert to her surroundings. The force flowed through her, and she breathed in and out in a steady rhythm as she engaged. Even here, in this marred landscape rife with the Dark Side, there was light. The sun beating down on the trees and grass. The cool breeze that carried with it the remnants of rain. There was light in almost all things dark. Even this woman. 

 

"You can stop this! There is no need to fight!"

 

The words were hollow and weak, the pain gnawing at her mind, but she was content. A nightsister was as dangerous as any sith, and steeped in mystery. She didn't know what to expect with this fight, but she knew one thing was certain.

 

She couldn't afford to lose. Even if her opponent refused to surrender.

((1, good luck!))

Edited by Mavanger

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Death. As the arrow found its mark Telperiën could feel it bite into the womans arm, tearing through flesh and mixing blood with blood. The woman was marked in her mind, trackable now, even as the woman bounded towards her behind her beast. Telperiën watched as the great Acklay came bounding towards her, and she lifted the yew bow even as she lept aside from the first of the creatures blows. 

 

A sacrifice for an escape. 

 

The yew bow fractured under the onslaught of the great beast, snapping in two as the spear like appendage crushed it into the dirt. The bag of arrows spilling into the bloody dirt. But the Nightsister was moving already, ducking between the spider like legs and running a bloody hand along its thick under-carapace. The lightsaber came next, the uniquely jedi weapon. This time in the form of a hussar’s lance, a long slender pole of durasteel with a short and effective blade of light. And for a sister of Dathomir it was perfect. She had trained with and against spears, they were a familiar thing of her childhood. Her old lightsaber appeared in her hand, still unlit, its edges carrying the weathered patena of Korriban. The golden house of her father. 

 

She lowered a shoulder and let the lightsaber burn into the light leather armour of her shoulder. Then she ducked away again, keeping herself light on the feet as moved around both the naturalist and her pet. Exodus had taught her how to fight the Jedi Knight's. The girl had fought her mother at Felucia. So she had seen the terror of the Sith. 

 

A word of power

 

The darkside moved, for the very world was impregnated by it. The star forge had been born and died here. Its ruins infested this place. And the Jedi had chosen to live in its shadow. There was no conversation to be had.

 

Terror

 

The sunny clearing became a ruin of a village. The dead piled in heaps where they had fallen. Children still clinging to blood soaked skirts. As the intentionally lit fires turned small hands to twisted claws of black carbon. This was the terror of the darkside. This was the terror of the blood. And in that terror the nightsister moved. Hunting her prey.

 

((2))

Actions: Lost the bow to the Acklay attack. Armour Burned. 

Marked the acklay with blood, then wove an illusion. 

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For a fraction of a second, it seemed as though they had already won. The Nightsister's bow was broken, disarmed and on the run. And then, as the Force warped around them to form the darkness, it became clear what her true plan was. Kadi's breath caught as she froze, gazing across the clearing. In her heart, she knew it wasn't real. She knew it was a false image, an illusion of some sort. That didn't matter though- she'd failed to handle her trauma from that day, and even just the images here were enough for her to seize up. Tears welled in her eyes. This was her fear. This was her horror. Juro shrieked as he glanced around- such images held so sway over him, but he could feel what she felt, and he could sense what this brought out in her. She gasped as her tears overflowed, streaming down her eyes.

 

The horror, the grief, it all came out. The world shuddered in darkness, and she once again felt its tendrils reaching out for her. She clung to her bond with Juro for support, taking comfort in merely his presence. Her weapon, still ignited was slack in her hand. But the Nightsister had made a grave error in what she had chosen to show Kadi. She'd grappled with this already, and it still broke her heart. There were things that she'd seen that still haunted her. But it was in the ashes of that village that she had stayed her course, had hardened her resolve. It was her failure, but it was also her motivation. She'd been too slow to stop this carnage from happening the first time. But not this time- this time she was here. She actively stood against those that would seek to commit acts like this. That would abscond the natural order with such senseless violence.

 

She clung to her bonds as a Jedi- Juro, of course, but Eisa as well. She had shown Kadi how good people could really be, that the stand against the Sith was not in vain. She wept openly, but she embraced the sorrow, letting it flow freely, letting herself be free of it. Here, and now, in this moment, at least for now, she could accept what happened, and accept that, even if she felt that it was her fault, she was in a position to not let it happen a second time. So many people relied on her. The crew that even now fled through the wilderness. The Jedi that were preparing for their battles at the Temple. Every second she stood was another padawan ushered to safety. Every minute that she fought, another defense came online. This Nightsister was their vanguard, but Kadi was the Jedi's.

 

She let her sorrow show on her face- trying to hide it was useless. But she planted her feet into the ground, readied her spear. Juro chittered nervously. She didn't know where the Nightsister hid- the attack had done that much of it's job. All she could do was rely on her own heightened senses. Beyond the burning flesh, the acrid smoke, the ruined huts, the truth of things lingered, ever so slightly. The rain. The wind. The sky. It was all there, just beneath this cruel façade. She readied her weapon for the attack that was sure to come. She didn't know where it would come, she didn't know how, but she knew it would. And she had faith in the Force that it would guide her. That it would show her the truth of things beyond these tormenting visions.

 

((2))

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So the Jedi had faced the terror. It was impressive really, she had seen much in her short life, and to be so strong it brought a smile to Telperiën’s face as she moved the last meter. This was the final moment, and with the woman’s spear up and ready there was only one way forward. Straight in, cutting the opponents in half as within close range with its master, the Acklay could not hope to provide anything but nominal support. And when the main threat was dealt with, the lesser would flee. 

 

With a bust of speed, the assassin trained nightsister dashed forward. She kept her body low, moving out of the billowing smoke, and shouting another word of power into the stern wind. She flung out her wounded arm, spraying the area with droplets of misted blood. The blood came with her, morphing and joining into an illusion of the daughter of Ar-Pharazon. 

 

To the Jedi, the Nightsister would emerge from the smoke as a trio of dark sisters. One going for each flank, while the true sister came along the point of the Jedi’s blade. Fluid like and lithe as  a gymnast. To duck up under the long spear. And when the blade was right, to ignite the pale red saber into the Jedi’s chest. 

 

The Jedi was strong. But she was still prey. And in the wilds, the predator always won. 

 

((3))

Actions: Dodged out of the acrid smoke, forming new illusions as she did so. Coming in fast to go under the spear. Where she would ignite the saber and end the fight. 

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Her eyes deceived her. Her ears echoed with the screams of the dead. Her skin baked with the heat of the false fire. She closed her eyes. The Force would guide her. She focused on it, feeling it. Feeling the way the energies ebbed and flowed- Even in a world as dark as this one, she could feel the currents as the Nightsister cast her foul magics. Her blood was the key. It didn't matter anymore. She could feel the movements, and while her illusions too played at her mind, it was enough. She sprang into action as she was charged by the doppelgangers. Juro roared once more- these small things had attacked what was essentially his mother. She had raised him from a hatchling. Cleansed him of Felucia's taint. Their bond was unshakeable. They had trained together for years. She trusted him not to strike her, and he trusted her to protect him. 

 

And so she leapt backwards, spinning her spearin a long arc. It moved to parry the first blade and whipped through empty air. A lie. She steeled her heart as she allowed the first illusion to close. The momentum of the spear haft carried it into the second, and it swished in it's long arc. Another miss. But as she fell on the backfoot, she was comfortable. Like a dancer, every movement built into the next, a whirling sentinel, determined to let none through her defense. This was Ataru, the way of the Hawk Bat. Juro rushed the trio from their flank. She knew the true threat now. Juro only saw the three Nightsisters as new combatants. Kadi opened her eyes, and felt the clearing for what it was. A wounded world, the Force sundered a millennia ago by an untold force. Even if it was beyond her ability to heal it, she could stop this battle now, and give other Jedi, more powerful than herself, the opportunity. Maybe a padawan that she helped save this day would come back here, years from now, and heal this world. Maybe someone on Felucia would remember her and seek to be a healer, a protector.

 

As the nightsister closed, Kadi leapt. The blade struck, scoring her unblemished chest and abdomen through her own armor. It would have been a lethal strike, and the pain that coursed through her body was the price she paid for survival. The scar would remind her of this fight, for all future fights. As she sailed through the air, she struck from above, using the spear the stab at the woman's spine- hopefully not a lethal blow, but a debilitating one. Juro rushed forward, striking first at the left illusion, and when he was met with nothing, he struck again with his razor sharp claws at the center as Kadi landed, tumbling along the dirt as she knelt, panting for breath. Each breath caused her pain, a lance across her nervous system, dulled only by the adrenaline coursing through her body and her channeling of the Force.

Even if she died here today, he only regret would be that she didn't buy more time. That she didn't save more. But she was prepared for the outcome, regardless.

 

((3))

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The hurricane blew across the surface of Lehon, buffeting the Warrior’s decent into the jungle that made up most of the planet’s landscape. Wind picked at his clothing and whipped his long hair free of its leather bindings as he leaned out of the shuttle’s gangway. They were still about three-hundred meters up, flying low to avoid any active or passive radar. Those that accompanied him had their orders, and had dispatched further into the jungle, pressing in a flanking maneuver towards the temple.

 

The shuttle was close now to the Temple, and Vorin could feel the tension in the Force caused by the stirrings of war. He could feel his blood rise as he touched the Force, letting his emotions flow free. A smile came across his pale face as the wave of power crested within him, joining his emotions to drive a frenzy in his blood.

 

Well… Jump. Get in there…

 

He glanced back at Bloodletter, his smile widening, and he leapt into the storm.

 

Yes, listen to the sword that lacks intelligence, what’s the worst that can happen?

 

The wind swept him, carried him, disoriented him, but he kept his sulpheric eyes to the ground, driving himself down towards the outskirts of the temple. He channeled the wind, letting the natural chaos of it meld his frenzied blood into a Force-bidden rush. He landed in a roll, sending a gout of soft loam and dirt into the storm, as if thrown by a meteor. Coming to his feet, he howled like the Tuk’atas he had grown up around in the Court of Madness.

 

Call to them, bring them to me so we might find glory…

 

Vorin reached out, rumbling with the storm in his veins, calling to any Jedi that dared defend the temple to come to him. His hands ran across the leather-bound pommel of the Zwiehander, preparing to drag it from its sheath. He would have his victory.

Death is No Escape

 

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𝖘𝖎𝖌𝖍𝖙 𝖚𝖓𝖘𝖊𝖊𝖓

 

 

She waited, ensuring that her forces were ready to attack or defend, and monitoring what information she could from the rest of the planet. Qaela looked at a holomap showing what intel the Sith forces in orbit possessed. Their visual sensors could penetrate the heavy cloud cover somewhat, but it was nowhere near as complete a picture as she would have liked. Sensors from the ships carrying Blackmorne were linked and provided a clearer picture of the Jedi Temple and its surrounding area.

 

If things went according to plan, Blackmorne's forces would strike quick, then fade away drawing the enemy back to Qaela's waiting forces. If. She would have to see how things evolved, but just in case, she ordered two shuttles loaded up with troopers and put on standby in case she needed to relocate to assist him. She didn't want to fight in a storm, but she would if needed. She could sense her daughter's presence had amplified as adrenaline and anticipation coursed through her. She had already found combat, hopefully it wasn't more than she could handle.

 

For now, she waited, her forces readied to hold or advance as the battlefield changed.

Qaela Sig

Send PM's to Travis.

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From the sodden landing pads that surrounded the Jedi Temple, Captain Okliy watched miserably from the boarding ramp of the GR-75 transport Andrevea as the rain began to pick up. In the distance, barely illuminated by the glow of the sensor consoles, he could see Grandmaster Draygo in the air traffic control tower, apparently engaged in a terrific shouting match with the two Zabraks manning the tower. Their words were drowned out by a centimeter of transparisteel, a hundred meters of distance, and the growing din of the winds, but he could observe the following: Draygo pointing angrily at the two Zabraks and then towards at the stranded transports--she was still dripping from the rain--and the air traffic control shouting back just as vigorously.

 

Then the three sapients simultaneously twisted to view a crimson glow that had just flooded the tower, and the croaking shriek of the security alert klaxons began to make their conclusive counterargument heard even over the storm.

 

Okliy shook his head. Rain dripped from the five braids that dangled from his scalp. No doubt his services would soon be needed at the helm of the transports.

 

_____

 

“There’s your launch authorization. Get the transports refueled. Send out the Sentinel droids if you need to. I’ll be prepping my fighter.”


 

When Draygo returned to the landing pads, the wind shear had caused the rain to come in at an almost horizontal angle. Their silhouettes barely visible through the downpour, a company of soldiers raced under the lines of starfighters and transports, hunched under the wind and rain that was battering their ponchos like a percussive weapon. Several of them--about two squadrons worth--were pilots who clambered up into their cockpits, but the remainder were foot soldiers who had the miserable duty of sitting in bunkers and firepits and protecting their arms and MANPADs from the rain.

 

Draygo herself clambered into her own Jedi Ace interceptor, fully prepared to enjoy the relative dryness of a climate-controlled cockpit. Even as she clambered up the ladder, fingers slipping on the slick rungs, there was an unwelcome sensation of coldness that trickled up her extremities. That wasn’t hypothermia setting in--the rain was torrential, but it was warm--but rather a warning from The Force. Someone with murderous intent was nearby.

 

There was a cry of alarm that jolted the Jedi Grandmaster out of her reverie. Draygo glanced up and instinctively ducked as a palm trunk, uprooted from the nearby plains, tumbled across the landing pads. It sideswiped an R3 unit, causing the squat droid to spin about and squall in fright as it attempted to regain control of itself--it bounced towards one of the GR-75 transports and slammed against its side, splintering into a cloud of wooden shrapnel.

 

The Jedi Grandmaster stepped back from the ladder. She paused at the tiny cargo compartment of the fighter, space-pale fingers considering whether to retrieve her carbine… but she thought better of the weapon. The weapon would just be an added burden and this engagement would almost certainly be face-to-face, fought with blades rather than blasters. Hunched against the winds, Draygo joined the company of soldiers that was scrambling towards the pits. The slick duracrete soon gave way to sodden plains and dunes, and every step splashed 

 

A challenging roar managed to make itself heard over the din. The barrel of a blaster rifle poked out of a nearby firepit and scattered unaimed bolts in its general direction.

 

Draygo sighed. Her life was going to be in the hands of a terrified, trigger-happy garrison that could barely see fifty meters beyond their noses. She withdrew Emily Zsahra’s lightsaber and ignited a glaring bronze torch upon the plain. Mist and flashes of light sparked off the blade as raindrops struck its core.

 

The Jedi Grandmaster advanced, eyes half closed and breath steady. A shrug caused her cloak to slip from her shoulders and the brown garment was instantly carried away by the winds. Her eyes would be almost useless until blades clashed together--and there was the ever present threat of a lightning strike while she was clutching a metal cylinder. It was a terrible environment to fight in.

 

She would need to rely on The Force to carry her through.

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Lehon, once known as Rakata Prime
Tempered Wastes, Unknown Regions

 

Simka had developed, during his time in the Temple growing up, a sort of unhealthy obsession with star-charts. He would often be engrossed in the hologalaxy in the library of the Felucia Jedi Temple during his childhood, wondering if he would ever be able to be to all the known regions. So, while this entire trip had, so far, been a surprise to the young Mirialan - from finding out the famous Master Leena Kil was interested in mentoring him to seeing hyperspace in all its azure glory for the very first time - nothing came close to the fact that his first trip was not towarda any of the known regions of the Galaxy but, in fact, the even cooler alternative: the Unknown Regions.

 

"But, why Lehon?" he wondered out loud as he wiped a bead of sweat off his forehead, heaved in a deep breath and relaxed his form, having practiced the Form I katas throughout their trip. He brought the durasteel cylinder that constituted his training lightsaber up and stared at it. Master Leena had basically helped him fry the blade power adjustment knob, and that meant his training saber had actually become quite a bit dangerous. He twirled the hilt around in his hand and ignited the saber, the blue plasma blade snap-hissing to life.

Blue was not really his colour, he thought.

 

Simka was attempting to resume training in the Form I katas as his Master had instructed when klaxons started blaring and a moment later, they had dropped out of hyperspace. Simka wobbled a bit for a second, this being his first time dropping out of hyperspace in an actual freighter outside of a flight simulator.

 

"Whoa," the Mirialan grinned, yet only a second later the expression of awed delight was wiped off of his face. Klaxons started blaring again, though this time, the entire crew suddenly shifted to emergency mode. Master Leena grabbed him and seated the stunned boy forcefully, and Simka quickly snapped out of his stupor once the situation started making sense to him. "Kriff. I'm actually up against Sith now?!" he exclaimed.

 

Que Epic Force Music

 

Finding himself panicking, the Mirialan boy quickly reached out into the Force. Waves of darkness, promising death and dripping with venom, assaulted his senses. The Sith... the Mirialan shook head, before beginning to focus through the darkness. Above it, beyond it, towards the Light. For a moment, the darkness was so suffocating that he felt his hope of reaching out to the Light ever an unreachable dream. Then, he felt it - near instead of far. Master Leena was the Light, he realized - she was his closest manifestation of it. Closing his eyes, Simka focused on his Master, finding himself being positively blinded by the intensity of her Light. Through Leena's Light, Simka connected himself to the pervading light of the Living Force.

 

His Master's voice was an ethereal echo that seemed to come from everywhere at once as Simka meditated upon his newly-forged bond with her. Following her voice, her instructions and her presence in the Light, Simka felt a surge of power - pure, beautiful and luminescent - flow through his every vein. His eyes took on a faraway look as he opened them again, connected, through Leena, to each and every single person Leena herself was connected to through the Force. The Padawan felt his Master as she squeezed his hand, and through her, he felt the captain, the other Jedi - every friendly and every hostile. In fact, Simka was quite surprised when he felt his Master's signature in the Force intertwined with those of the hostiles, and he quickly realized with a slightly agape jaw that she was drawing strength from the smothered light that emanated even from those ambassadors of the Dark Side.

 

Simka instinctively knew what Leena was doing, even though it was his first time actually doing it or even seeing someone do it. "Whoa..." he couldn't help but voice, but he quickly shook his head and returned to focusing again. He followed Leena's actions in the Force again, before beginning to copy her to the best of his ability. It took quite a lot out of him, he realized, as his stamina had not yet developed to employ the Force on such a vast scale. Nonetheless, through sheer focus, the Mirialan attempted to augment the morale and fighting spirit of his comrades through the Light, and attempt to boost the Light within the Sith as Leena was doing, which would have the effect of making them reconsider and feel guilty over what they were doing.

 

In truth, Simka's contribution - due to his inexperience and present insignificance in the presence of so many powerful foes and allies - was like that of a drop falling into an ocean.

Still; ultimately, it was drops that made up an ocean.


So, Simka focused, his immersion in the Force preventing him from worrying too much about the insane dives and drops their freighter and its ace of a captain was presently employing. He only truly registered that they had landed in the Jedi Temple after the fact had occurred, and he felt the onslaught of Light that a nexus such as the Temple emanated against the curtain wall of his senses.

 

Simka gasped as he disconnected himself from his attempt at joining in the Battlemind, placing a hand on his chest as he heaved in deep breaths, feeling he could finally rest for a few moments now that they were safely in the confines of the Temple. Panting, he turned towards Master Leena. "M-Master, were those... the Sith? Why are they attacking us everywhere?" the wet-behind-the-ears Padawan asked.

Edited by Simka Suume
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Duel Ruling: Kadi Silan vs. Telperiën Ar-Pharazon

 

Firstly, as someone who manages a much more limited rate of writing, I just want to say that I am thoroughly intimidated by two writers who managed to go through an entire three-post duel in a single caffeine-fueled evening. Congratulations to the two of you, this is an impressive and frightening achievement. The same goes for being cheerfully murderous in your out-of-character interactions on the Discord. Also, thanks to both of you for maintaining up-to-date character sheets.

 

Kadi Silan and Telperiën are a curious match-up. Both characters are, in a sense, of a naturalist bent; Kadi, as a Jedi, being of a decidedly more benevolent discipline and Telperiën, as a Dathomiri Nightsister and child of one of the more infamous Dark Lords in the RP… her background is somewhat complicated, to say the least. In my opinion, both characters played well to their strengths. The psychological state of both characters was consistent throughout the fight, with Telperiën favoring a cold, rationally calculating predatory mindset, making sacrificial plays to protect herself; Kadi, for her part, seemed reluctant to exercise lethal force, motivated more by defending the Jedi Temple’s noncombatants and solidarity with her acklay.

 

Kadi made skillful use of her acklay companion to force Telperiën into evasive maneuvers, as well mitigating much of the threat of that facing a trio of illusory attackers would pose. The use of a lightspear is similarly an excellent weapon for defensive situations, which, combined with the kinetic capabilities of Ataru, would make for a truly formidable defensive screen for any attacker to breach. Her response to Telperiën’s attempt to draw combatants into an illusory arena reminiscent of the recent massacres on Felucia  was similarly well-written--the character did just spend a significant amount of time helping with the clean-up after that battle. Additional sensory details would have strengthened the defense to this attack even further. That said, it consistently seemed as though Kadi was responding to threats throughout most of the fight, rather than driving it to its conclusion herself.

 

On Telperiën’s part, I really have to congratulate the writer for their ability to communicate the kinetic movements of the character, especially in the first two rounds of posting. I had a very easy time understanding exactly what she was doing at every stage of the fight and the appearance of her weapons. Her single shot from the bow is the best example of this. I similarly enjoyed the simultaneous attacks and set-ups for Nightsister sorcery with her own blood. However, I can’t help but feel as though the specific illusion that Telperiën cast was a misplay, as Kadi Silan was very recently at the site of a similar massacre (one inflicted by Telperiën’s mother, in fact), and spent some time dealing with the emotional aftermath of witnessing such an atrocity. Something more subtle--or viscerally distracting--would have been just as effective while exerting less effort. Similarly, while forcing an opponent to deal with multiple illusory combatants is a classic Assassin maneuver, it is made less effective by the fact that her opponent is wielding an excellent defensive weapon in the form of a lightspear and is accompanied by a beast capable of shish-kabobing at least one of the illusions unless an inordinate amount of effort was placed into maintaining it.


My ruling is thus: Kadi Silan is the victor of this duel, and gets the next post.

Edited by ObliviousKnight
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Kadi watched as the Nightsister fell, the pain in her heart at inflicting such injuries on the woman mirroring the pain across her front. The illusion fell, and she once more saw the forest for what it truly was. She stood, leaning on her spear as the woman laid immobile on the ground, approaching slowly as Juro stood over her, chittering dangerously. She called him over, asking him to stay back as she knelt over Telperien. She hadn't crippled the woman, she saw now upon getting closer. Instead, she shared a wound similar to Kadi's own, whatever evasive maneuver having occurred had throw off her strike. Still, it had been enough to end the fight. She sat, lifting the other woman's head into her lap, sorrow in her eyes. Such a young life, consumed by the dark side. Before the fight, she had expressed interest in naturalism. Maybe it wasn't too late for her.

 

"I am sorry, Lady Darksong. I wish this battle had never come to be. But know this- You are not the sum of your parents. Your father's trickery was not, and is not, yours. Your mother's actions are not your own. They don't get to decide who you are or what you do. Only you get to do that. I cannot force you to leave the dark, but I can offer you the path. Come with me, back to the Temple. We can heal your wounds, and I can teach you Naturalism.  Not as your master- you've had plenty of those, I think. As a friend, and as a peer."

 

Regardless of the Nightsister's response, this battle was over. There were other Sith, other Nightsisters moving towards the Temple, and they would need every last Jedi they could muster.

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It was not so much the scoring pain of the lightsaber scoring through her back and into her vitals that caused the sudden upwelling of tears in her eyes as she lay face down in the muddy grass. It was the failure, the knowledge that there was only failure and the scorn that came with it. Were they tears of frustration? Yes, but not the futile rage of a tantrum, they were tears at the uselessness of it all. Why had she come here, why had she brought her people to die on this forgotten rock. To hunt down a jedi temple of people that did not wish her harm? They were not the scouring inferno of the Imperial Knights, they were not even the cause of the desolation on Dathomir. That had been her fathers doing. The relentless pounding of a fleet’s turbolasers. 

 

She blinked the tears away as she was hauled up. She could feel the burned organs screeching in pain, but that pain was only a relief from her raging mind. She tried to speak for a moment and winced as a dark rivulet of blood weeped down the side of her mouth. 

 

“Don’t call me…” She wrinkled her nose and managed a blood filled smile. “Darksong.” She nodded and pain radiated down her spine from where muscles burned and fired synapses into voids of bubbled flesh. "My name is Telperiën." 

 

She reached up her hand and grasped the kyber crystal that dangled from a cord at her neck. It was a pale red, dug from the rusted ruins of Chu'unthor in the deep dathomiri wilds. It was the womans to take, should she desire it. A gift from a friend. 

 

She held it out to the jedi knight. “I am afraid it is far too late for me, I have not known another path since I was a child.” She opened her mind to the other woman, as the blood in her mouth turned black from necrosis. “I have been cursed by the force, a generational curse. And I am forced to live a vampiric existence, bounding from corpse to corpse.” She laughed, as the whites of her eyes became a stark red of broken blood vessels. 

 

“I am sorry I cannot be what you want me to be.” 

 

Her eyes became almost sightless. Staring into the other woman’s eyes. Beautiful eyes. Pure eyes. 

 

“Perhaps one day He will free me of this curse. But the Spider has disappeared and I cannot follow him.” 

 

Her tan skin became pale, the veins in her forehead standing out blue against freckled skin. A last glimpse of what she had once been, so many years ago. Before damnation. 

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Kadi took the amulet, shaking her head at Telperiën. The Sith had done this to her, then. They had done what they do best- Destroy and corrupt. They had taken a young child and turned her into a weapon. It broke her heart, but it also reminded her why she fought. Why she would always take up arms against them when they invaded. Why she wouldn't let Lehon fall.

 

"The Force does not curse people- The people using it do. If someone has cursed you to be this way, then I'm sure it's reversible. And even if it's not..." Kadi hesitated for only a moment before continuing. "Then do something good with what you have. You are a leader among your people- bring them out of the dark. Protect them from what the Sith bring to every world the lay their eyes upon- Death and destruction."

 

She grasped the other woman's hand, hoping to comfort the clearly dying nightsister. She wept, though she knew from the way Telperiën spoke that she would be back.

 

"You must think my expectations are great. I don't expect you to be anything- I just want you to be better. Your salvation does not lie in the Spider, whoever he is. It lies in your own heart, and in your will."

 

Kadi held her close, hoping to give comfort where she could. She had struck the final blow. She had taken this life, if only temporarily. It was the least she could do to make sure she was in comfort as she passed. She ran her hands through Telperiën's hair, as her mother used to do when she was young. Something that, judging by her rejection of the Darksong name, her own mother never did for her. Such senseless hatred and disdain for one's own daughter, and for what? So that she could climb the Sith ranks with naught but false promises of power, betrayal, and mayhem? She would never understand it.

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An amber glow woke the night, standing like a lighthouse in the storm, resolute, strong. The challenge had been answered. The Sith Warrior’s smile darkened as he reached out a tempted hand towards the light, feeling what stood behind it. There was a wash of femininity, strength, weariness of war. A veteran of combat then. A part of him cried out against following through with his challenge, for a predator sought out the sick and lame within the flock, but he quieted that whisper.

 

The Force has brought us first to the shepherd, so that we might then slaughter the flock…

 

Bloodletter’s whispers crystallized into its sardonic voice  

 

Mhm she’s tempting… Why don’t we… kill her?

 

Yellow eyes rolled narrowed as the Sith approached, passing the primitive nature of the predator into the depths of his mind. The howling ceased from around the Sith, the wind-whipped air stiffening into bitter chill, reflecting the crystallization of his purpose and his mind. The smile faded further into a grim painting of determination.

 

The water that beaded upon his skin began to crystalize, just as his conviction, flaking into shards of ice that ran in a pattern across his lamellar-plate. The warrior’s demeanor changed noticeably, drawing into itself, replacing the carefree lust and casual charm with the placid stare of a sociopath.

 

Ahhh… There’s my Vorin…. I was wondering if you were coming.

 

Ice crested footprints were carried away in the gale as the Sith began to run towards the amber light. When he saw the figure of the woman (Draygo), Bloodletter was unleashed from its bindings, falling into his hands. The Zwiehander was as dark as the heart of the Maw and seemed to drip with shadows. Frost formed on the darkness, giving the Flamberge twists of darkmetal a terrifying form.

 

My… she would look… Lovely dissected… and displayed…

 

Vorin pressed into his instincts, embracing the rush of his blood, passing it into his muscles. He breathed of it, feeling the coldness in his lungs. Wrath came to him then, his truest sin, his only friend. Ice began to form about his forearms and upon his belt, muttering and cracking like the great frost-lakes of Thyressa. Whispers became patterns of attack, hate into cold dispassion. The rain about him became frozen beads of hail, and the Sith leapt towards the Jedi in an arc.

 

A kinder, weaker Sith would have taken the time to fence his opponent, cross blades and discuss philosophy, but that was not Vorin of the Court of Madness. There was no reason to talk to such a creature. What were the words of a Jedi to a Lord of the Warriors? She was an obstacle to power, and as such she would pass into the afterlife, preferably screaming.

 

Vorin focused his wrath into the ground as he landed, shattering it towards the Jedi to break the roots of her defense, before drawing his power back into himself and rushing into the harsh momentum of war. He advanced in a flash with the shockwave of the shattered temple ground. Bloodletter whipped through the hurricane, cracking and whispering on the wind, shards of ice scattering about it. Yellow eyes, a grim smile, and long white hair would be all the Jedi would see of her killer. He would have far more time to study her after she was cold and bloodless.

 

The Sith Warrior brought the darkmetal Zwiehander to meet the Jedi, behind that amber glow. He leveraged his weight into the blow, bringing the strength of wrath through his shoulders and ice-crested forearms, to strike down in an arc that would drive the undulating edge through the woman’s shoulder and exit through her pelvis.

 

((1))

 

Actions: Shattered the ground in order to weaken the defense and disrupt stance, and then cut at Draygo with a force-strengthened chop of the Two-Handed Sith Sword 

Death is No Escape

 

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𝖗𝖊𝖘𝖙𝖗𝖆𝖎𝖓𝖊𝖉 𝖋𝖚𝖗𝖞

 

The part of her that was tied to her own flesh and blood howled in anguish telling Qaela that her daughter was in trouble. Her first instinct was to rush to her daughter's side with wrath and vengeance to crush whatever caused the pain, but that was her impulse, not her logic. She was not just a mother, nor was she a rabid animal: she was a commander of many and must take the larger picture into consideration no matter how much it burned her to do so. For now, she restrained her fury, but that would not last forever.

 

With a snarl, she made up her mind of a new strategy, one that she doubted would work, but that she would at least attempt. She went to the command console in the shuttle she was operating out of and arranged for a single comm length to be exempt from the jamming fields. When it was done, she sent out a message that all people with an open comm between her and the Jedi Temple would be able to hear.

 

"I am Qaela Darksong, commander of the Sith forces here, to the Jedi in the Temple. We are both on the verge of a great deal of death and slaughter, all for a planet that has no population to protect. Though it goes against my greater desire, I will make one short term offer to you. Stand down and I will allow you to peacefully withdraw from the planet unharassed and unharmed. This Temple holds little strategic value for you, but we desire this planet for its closeness to the Dark Side. If you depart, no more of us shall have to die. If you do not, even if you manage to repulse my invasion forces, I swear to you that many will die and the planet itself shall suffer for if the Sith Empire cannot claim this planet, I will make sure nobody can have it."

 

She would give them a short time to respond, then call in her wrath and bask in the death of hundreds or thousands.

Qaela Sig

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She shook her head, though the movement was an agony, as more black blood began to leak from her ears. Tracing down the soft white earlobes, to turn bright red hair an ugly congealed black. 

 

“You do not know us. Our suffering, It is all that we know.”

 

Her voice seemed to finally falter. 

 

“We tried everything. Even the Spider himself could not free me. He said he could harness the power of the maw...” 

 

But like everything that had been a lie. She blinked, and coughed back the sudden rush of bile. She shook her head again, and her face twitched into a soft smile. It was strangely comfortable,

 

“I have never had anyone cry for me…”

 

She closed her sightless eyes, and relaxed into the embrace of death. One breath, then two. One slower than the last, until it finally stopped.

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Leena remained locked in her trance-like state, a warm hand gripping that of her apprentice’s. She poured  herself into the force, giving herself over to it entirely; a conduit of it’s will and power. She felt Simka’s presence alongside her own mingling with the other Jedi and even the glowing power that was radiated by the light side practitioners and life from the planet. She felt the light in their pursuers and nurtured it, fanning it’s flame.

 

Their ship plummeted through the sky dancing as much at the hands of the masterful Jedi pilot and crew as it did against the gale outside. Slipping through the clouds the craft was buffeted on all sides; but it was made for deep space. There, a single breach of the hull, cosmic burst, or solar wind could spell disaster; and so it pressed i to the storm, a beacon of light in the force itself. They would make the temple.

 

Their pursuers were either picked off by responding defenses, lost to the storm, or opted to beat a hasty retreat at the power of the tempest, leaving the craft seemingly utterly alone amongst the forces of nature. And yet, the force was there too. In every surge of wind and drop of rain, in every thunder crack, it’s power could be felt. It was the natural power of the force on full display. 
 

Leena only opened her eyes, taking in the ship about them, as the captain called out over the loudspeakers warning of imminent rough impact. Flying through such a storm was a feat in itself. Landing was entirely another one. Still, they made it. The ship seemed to be blown sideways across the deck a time or two and the screech of strained metal (landing struts)was a bit disconcerting; but soon enough the ship settled to a stop.

 

Almost immediately there was a flurry of activity as Jedi and acolyte alike began to scurry from their seats intent on getting into the temple. Some wanted to find ot what was going on. Some wanted to help. Some had to find somewhere a bit more private to regurgitate their in flight snacks. Yet w the hustle and bustle a warmth seemed to pervade the scene, the awesome power of the temple and her inhabitants. Even against the closing dark tide, this was a place of safety.

 

The roar of the wind howled against the maw of the ship as the landing platform was lowered. The rain lashed the ship with such a drum that it produced a near static.

 

Releasing Simka’s hand, Leena turned to him as she stood. “It would seem those were the Sith. As to why they are attacking here, I am unsure. The Sith Empire seems bent on bending the universe to the will of it’s master.” She placed a reassuring hand on Simka’s shoulder to give it a squeeze, knowing that a more detailed answer could be needed; however, time would not allow it yet. Instead she offered this, “Trust the force my padawan. It has never let me down.” She smiled, a twinkle playing in her eye knowing she had referred to him by his new title for the first time. “Now. Let us get inside before we get too wet. There is much to do.”

 

Turning, Leena made to fall in with the throng making their way to the doorway  and then dashing towards the drier interior doorway of the temple itself. Outside, a crew worked feverishly to unload the craft against the elements. Fighting time and nature to ensure the cargo made it safely inside.

 

Just as she was about to head down the ramp herself, Leena felt a strong claw-like hand grab her upper arm. Turning, Leena locked eyes with the pilot, lookig down into the eyes of the shorter Pacithhip. His gaze was all business, reflecting an aura of concern that had little to do with their decent. He pressed a tiny recorder chip into Leena’s suctioned palm and whispered, barely audible above the storm, “Without delay. I’ll keep ‘er juiced.”

 

Leena nodded deeply, an acknowledgement of the urgency of whatever was on the chip and of the pilot’s skill in bringing them safely in. She then turned and, with a look to her apprentice, dashed out into the storm. The wind tore at her robes and she was drenched in an instant. At the temple, her white healer’s garb clung revealingly to her lithe fishy form.

 

Inside the temple hall, motion was a blur as Jedi and good guy alike made preparations for what might be to come. Stories of the Sith ferocity across the galaxy had them on edge; but the overwhelming defeat of the Sith at Felucia bellied it with a sense of hope.

 

Motioning to Simka, Leena ducked into a secluded alcove amongst the rocky outcroppings of the hall. Slipping her comm from her pocket, the Mon Cal shook what water she could from it before inserting the chip their ace pilot had given her. Once she did, the voice of Qaela played, her offer and threats filling the air against the backdrop of howling wind and pounding rain. Leena recognized the voice, her shoulders slumped and she sighed heavily. The same Sith she had spared at Felucia was back, her heart ensnared by evil once again. Her heart felt heavy as she turned the situation over in her mind. Slowly she looked to Simka, shaking her head to clear her thoughts. I have faced this monster before. I sought to free her from her chains. We drove her and her ilk from Felucia. You were there, in that temple. Now we are here and history seeks to repeat itself. This time though,” she smiled teasingly for a moment, “you will help. You have your blade. Use it only when necessary. You have your training. Rely on it. You have the force. Trust it. Go. Find the younglings, the hopefuls, and those in need. Protect them. Get them ready to evacuate at a moment’s notice.” She ran her hand down the smooth wall beside them. “This temple is not the Jedi. You,” she touched her finger to Simka’s chest before touching her own and the. Gesturing to the others moving through the hall, “me, them; we are the Jedi. The temple is where we gather, not simple stone and mortar. You are my apprentice now Simka. I was hoping to formalize it before the grandmaster, but that will have to wait.” Reaching into the pouch that hung wet and heavy at her hip beside her lightsaber, Leena withdrew a brownish pink multifaceted crystal. She pressed the healing crystal, saturated  with light and goodness, into Simka’s hand. It glowed faintly and was warm to the touch. “May the force be with you.”

Edited by Leena Kil
Changed that last line. Didn’t like the tone.

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