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Lehon - Jedi Temple


Kakuto Ryu
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It was nearly half an hour before Kadi moved, sitting silently as she wept. Such pain... What had she been taught that she believed her only chance at existing was this cursed life? What drove the Sith to make such audacious claims on others' lives, like they were but playthings? She felt Lehon's pain, impaled by thousands of dark artifacts, and she shared in it as she held the lifeless corpse in her arms, cradling it close. She didn't just grieve for the loss of life. She grieved that she had caused it. That she hadn't been able to save her. This is what it meant to take a life. To cut someone down in combat. She was entirely unprepared. Would she have the strength to do it again?

 

She planted her spear in the ground beside her, climbing to her feet as she did so. What she had planned wouldn't take long. She retrieved Telperiën's lightsaber and her shattered bow, placing them on the body as she did so. She lit a flame, starting at the dead woman's feet, watching as it quickly caught and spread. The waterlogged forest around her was in no danger from this, and it seemed wrong to just leave the body in the open. She didn't have the time to dig a grave, but she did have time for this. She stood silently, retrieving her spear as she watched the body burn with sorrow, silent the entire time.

 

This was her vigil. Any that would come to disturb this woman's rest, even if it was only a brief one, would do so at their own risk.

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Draygo approached the glints of steel and frost. Every millimeter of her body was dripping with rain; her black hair, previously bound in a neat ponytail, now hung about her face in sodden tassels; her robes were soaked through and clung damply to her form; water dripped from her fingers and struck sparks against the hilt of her low guard… but her feet were completely dry, despite her boots being caked in mud. The tip of the lightsaber traced lazy circles in a vague approximation of a defensive Ataru stance, but in the first few seconds of this encounter, Draygo was more concerned with studying her opponent. He was well-armored in unfamiliar alloys and of prodigious proportions, but of more concern was his companion.

 

Her eyebrows were furrowed in a pensive frow. The Jedi Grandmaster thought she detected the life-light of two sapient creatures. However, as the hilt of the Sith-steel greatsword fell into the hands of the warrior, she realized that the second being was not a living creature, but the enormous warrior’s weapon. 

 

The bronze lightsaber wandered in another sloppy semicircle. Something about that weapon jogged a memory of a dear friend from another life--

 

--No time to ponder. The warrior leaped forward and smashed the ground with a Force-empowered lurch of the spongy earth under her feet. Rather than attempt to resist the shift of the soil with a widening of her stance, Draygo embraced the chaos and neatly sidestepped onto her left foot, using the momentum from her pirouette to fuel a strike that was intended to swat away the cleaving blow towards her neck.

 

At least, that was the intention. Rather than parrying the enormous blade into the earth, the warrior’s brutish strength plowed cleanly through her defense. Only a shift of her faltering guard succeeded in redirecting the greatsword from its intended target and caused the edges of both blades to whirl angrily into the dirt--but with the physical Sith-steel crushing the tip of her lightsaber blade into a puddle of waterlogged savanna. Steam and mud splashed over her hands.This was a position of clear advantage to the enormous Sith, and one that he could have exploited to bisect Draygo in about half a second.

 

The Jedi Grandmaster acted without conscious thought. She allowed the hilt of her lightsaber to slip from her muddy grasp and leaped over the head of the Sith warrior. Sputtering and steaming in the sandy soil, the lightsaber was left abandoned--until a cylindrical grenade that was telekinetically plucked from her belt splashed into the puddle next to it. It would blink for a few seconds with a crimson menace until the mounting seconds and anticlimax would reveal that it was a dud, a dummy, a deliberate distraction. More dangerous was the Jedi who had ignited a second lightsaber midflight and taken an instinctive swat at the spine of the Sith warrior. Regardless of whether the green blade found its mark, Draygo would land in the mud barely more than a third of a meter from the Sith, ready to close the gap and re-engage.


((Round 1: The overhead chop nearly decapitates Draygo, but she redirects it into the ground. Rather than fight from a position of significant disadvantage, Draygo drops a dud grenade and leaps over Vorin’s head to take a quick swipe at his back.))

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𝖜𝖗𝖆𝖙𝖍

 

It wasn't until Qaela felt her daughter's presence wane and then vanish into nothingness that she lost her cool. A part of her knew this wasn't the first time that Telperien had switched bodies in this fashion, but something about falling in battle made it different and that infuriated the Nightsister Sith Master. The Jedi ignored her warning, so now she would carry through with her threats and many would die. That pleased her because right now, she didn't want to restrain herself and wanted to bring down wrath.

 

She shut off the open comms line to the Jedi and reinstated the jamming. Switching over to her synchronized comms, she ordered the one special shuttle summoned to play its part. The Jedi Temple needed to be humbled and that would play a part in it.

 

By this point, the remaining Nightsisters had withdrawn from their forward patrol and rejoined her. Looking out over them, she said, "Join with me, delve deeply into the Darkness, and lend me your strength so that we may wreck havoc upon those who felled Telperien." They weren't overly eager to fight and die without their leader, but this would not require that of them. The truth was that Qaela never did want to see the Nightsisters on the front lines and dying, she had meant for them to offer support and lend their own skills with Nightsister Spellcraft to her own Sith blended skills.

 

They fell in line quickly enough and, once she explained her intent, they began chanting the appropriate spells. Qaela reached out into the pool of Darkness that was the cause that brought her to this planet and began to command its strength. Using both the other Nightsisters and her own strength, she bent its power to her will and applied it out to the large storm that raged out over the Jedi Temple.

 

Originally, she had considered stilling the winds so that she could bring in her army, but that thought fled away when her daughter fell. Instead, she poured her wrath into the swirling hurricane increasing its winds and the torrential downpours. Nature had created a monster to ravage the coasts of this part of Lehon, but she would turn that monster into a true leviathan that would scour the Jedi's ships and Temple. Channeling the power that was being generated and built up by the Nightsisters, she molded and directed it to increase the winds to catastrophic levels and cause the rain to fall in sheets. It took far less power to manipulate a storm that already existed than to create one from nothing, but it still felt good to do.

 

When she was at last done, they could hear the rumbles of the lightning even as far back as they were. She smiled at nobody in particular and prepared her next move. She was one with Nature, and if she could create storms, she could become the storm. There was one within that cauldron of destruction that Qaela needed to face. She had been repulsed on Felucia and left polluted with the Light side and that had caused an uncertainty that shamed her. She needed to face the Mon Calamari Jedi and put the Dark Side to test once more so that when she emerged victorious, all of her doubts would be laid to rest.

 

"Hold this position until you hear from myself or Lord Blackbourne," she told the major commanding this battalion. "If both of us fall, leave this planet and return to Onderon."

 

She commandeered one of the shuttles and ordered its pilot into the massive storm, seeking her target. Taking a ship into this maelstrom was risky and she wouldn't risk her soldiers who would be highly ineffectual anyway. Despite the dangers, she had prey to seek and vengeance to achieve.

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Where he had expected to feel the slick rending of flesh, and the cracking and grinding of splintered bone, he felt only the jarring emptiness of a parry and the softness of the forest loam as his sword bit into the ground. Yellow eyes watched the bronze blade of the lightsaber fall useless, narrowing in disbelief as the Jedi gave up her weapon. Rain became frost as it ran down the formless darkness of Bloodletter’s blade. She didn’t deserve to possess a blade if she couldn’t hold onto it. He stamped down towards the lightsaber’s handle, intending to crush the offending light away.

 

Pity… She didn’t die. Maybe, try next time.

 

Rage sprang for a moment unbidden from the depths of his mind, fueled by Bloodletter's whispers, and Vorin channeled it into the cold, sociopathic determination that connected him to the Power of the Force. Perhaps it was for the best that the Jedi before him hadn’t died in his initial assault, such a quick death forbade him the study of his opponent, and the extraction of her terror. What use was a death if you didn’t see the hope fading to horror in their eyes?

 

A grenade landed beside him, and his momentum faltered. He leapt backwards, landing on the forest ground, forming a deep furrow as he slipped. The Jedi’s grenade had robbed him of a proper second strike, and frustration formed within him, but only for a moment as second blade whispered to life above him, the world awash now in green. He attempted to steady himself, but the blade ripped into his armored shoulder, not deep enough to disable, but enough to wound him.

 

Pain broiled up from beneath his armor, a roiling sickening thing. Such a feeling would have drawn a Sith Warrior towards the emptiness of berserker rage, but it was not so with Vorin. The rush of emotion became cold, hidden beneath that grim, determined smile. Frost licked at the trickle of blood that ran from beneath his armor, overrunning the pain, numbing it. The only sound that came from him was the groaning of teeth grinding together. It sounded like ice-sheets cracking and gasping as they ground against each other with the waves. On his belt, ice built up a second weapon, filling in the voids with the rain, built from his pain.

 

She landed then, beside him. Scant a few hands-breadths away. He had expected her to flee, to gain distance, but she was here. Close enough to taste. To smell. To kiss and devour. In a single heartbeat, he could see the strands of grey in her hair, soaking wet within the verdant glow of her blade. She was far older than him, not the whelping pup he had assumed, but age didn’t matter in an opponent. The frost-mist of her breath lingered in his cold. His right hand ran down the blade of his Zweihänder, leaving his left hand, encrusted with ice, upon the pommel.

 

The shine of her eyes was like the rainbow-gems of Gallinore, reflecting and mimicking the light of her lightsaber. But they were not nearly terrified enough.

 

He would keep her eyes.

 

This Jedi had closed into his realm, within the circle of the first and sword, the distance where strength and precision were most important. She would not escape it alive. The grim smile twitched with the dark glee of victory.

 

Wrath moved, and Vorin channeled all of his determination into rebuilding his momentum. The blade was not the only deadly part of a sword. His left foot came forward, shifting his weight as he poured Wrath’s cold chill into his left arm and the Force moved with him. He brought his left hand up in a strike towards the Jedi’s throat and jaw, pivoting Bloodletter’s pommel and handguard into the strike, steadying the blade with his right hand. He would hit with the strength of a mountain, dashing her throat and brains with shattering ice, striking through to decapitate her with the strength of the Force and Bloodletter’s pommel.

 

Don’t let her even breath. All we should hear is SCREAMING.

 

He followed through with a shift of momentum, striding forward then with his right foot to cut back through his opponent with a precise blow. He ran his right hand down the flat of the blade as he cut, guiding its intent true. Pain shot up his right arm as he struck, a grim reminder of the wound he had taken, and his fingers twitched along the blade’s edge. The Warrior’s blow was aimed to cut through the gap between her neck and left shoulder and to leave the Jedi lifeless on the Temple’s purportedly blessed ground. She would pay dearly for her deception and daring to continue to live.

 

((2))

 

(Vorin attempts to crush the fallen lightsaber, leaps away from dummy grenade and takes damage with the lightsaber strike to right shoulder. Force-fueled pommel strike across the close distance, followed through with a force-fueled bisecting cut.)

Death is No Escape

 

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Leena watched as her apprentice slipped away amongst the throngs of Jedi. Each had a role to play, a servant of the force, directed by it’s will; but still, he was her apprentice, and she hoped that he felt the sureness of that like she did, despite the newness of it all. She hoped she was not sending either of them to their deaths. She had to trust the force though and as soon as Simka disappeared, Leena began to move again, feeling the warmth of the force magnified and radiated all about her. It was a different army of sorts than she was used to being amongst. The vortex of differing emotions were still there, the different persons and dreams. All of them were mingled and knot together by the greater protective aura of the force itself, many, bound as one.

 

It did not feel like her place to dictate the entire evacuation of a Jedi Temple, not with the Grandmaster present; even as a member of the Council. Maybe, if circumstances were different. Still, she had tondo her best.Even though not all Jedi started along the monastic path shortly after birth, some did. Those young, uninitiated, and vulnerable needed protected and if need be, evacuated.

 

Moving deeper into the Temple, Leena located the control center deep within the bowels of the facility. Checking in, she quickly determined that the internal security sensors and defenses were operational. Jedi minds more skilled in the technical arts than she had the entirety of the temple humming at peak capacity. Sentinels stood watch as militant Jedi prepared an inevitable defense against a potential Sith onslaught. The storm provided a welcome pause to prepare. The stronger the tempest, the more prepared they became.

 

The storm had grounded all ship however. Unless there was an even more pressing emergency, nobody was willing to fly, not yet.

 

Leena next made her way to the healing ward. There, the healers were well prepared, their white robes shining beneath the bright lights, a stark contrast to the muted tones and elongated shadows throughout the rest of the temple.

 

Hours past and Leena made her way through the temple, boosting morale and encouraging her comrades where she might. A member of the Jedi Council was a welcome sight to many.


 

Just outside the entrance, the Jedi Master stood watching the rain drive down in sheets. Taking a moment away from the hustle, Leena paused to recenter herself. She felt the power of the storm, it was electrifying. She felt the power of nature and a level of peace and excitement played across her mind. If this was how the naturalist Jedi felt the force, then Leena envied them; such power and peace even amongst the chaos. Yet, something felt off. Something about the storm was unnatural, there was a darkness that surged through it’s peals of thunder.

 

Leena inhaled. She could not see more than a couple meters through the downpour. Here in her protective alcove she was protected from the howling winds mere feet in front of her. Still, amongst the storm, she felt the purity lf the living force even as the dark side sought to explode it. Letting the force wash over her as the winds and rain blew, Leena felt a presence on the force. Looking up into the maw of the storm, The Mon Cal grimaced. She had heard her voice; now, she almost felt like she could feel her, somewhere, out there, amongst the maelstrom. 
 

Turning, Leena willed the security door open, keyed to triggers by the light side of the force. It hissed open and she stepped inside, her white robes wet from the spray. The door slammed shit behind her. Even with long range communications jammed, local communications within the temple still functioned. She did not need them though, others, watchers and seers amongst the Order’s ranks had felt it too. The Sith were coming; but even they might not know what Leena did. Qaela was coming. The Jedi would be ready.

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𝖈𝖔𝖎𝖑𝖊𝖉 𝖘𝖊𝖗𝖕𝖊𝖓𝖙

 

Focusing in on the concentrated island of sickening Light that floated among the sea of darkness that was Lehon, Qaela had the nervous shuttle pilot fly closer and closer into the massive storm. She had been in battles that caused less turbulence than this trip afforded, but she didn't fault the pilot. Winds were reaching 140mph and could grow even harder as the natural cycle of heat, cold, and moisture mixed while being fueled by the Force. Once started, that process would build for some time until eventually fading away as did all storms.

 

Knowing better than to get too close to where she knew the Temple to be, she ordered the pilot to land a kilometer from the Temple roughly equidistant from the separate landing pad that was nearby. Though he didn't want to, fear of failing his duty compelled him to stay despite the shuttle's shaking and the constant impacts from uprooted trees and other debris.

 

Qaela took a deep breath, then punched the button that lowered the landing ramp. She created a small bubble around her that would deflect most of the wind and smaller debris. She would still have to be careful for larger objects, but at least this would allow her to stand properly without hunching over too much. It did nothing for the rain, though, and she was almost instantly soaked by rain that, if not warm, wasn't quite cold. They were in the tropics, but being wet was never extremely comfortable. She removed her sodden cloak and tossed it back into the shuttle since it wouldn't do to have it constrict her movement by clinging to her body. Now, she was clad only in her medium black armor with her lightsaber at her belt and grenade bandoleer crossing her chest.

 

She made no attempt to conceal her presence from the Mon Calamari that she was seeking. Instead, she focused her own presence into a beacon for the other as she stalked towards the Temple on foot, betting that the Jedi's own sense of caring and honor would draw it to her. Just in case, she kept her senses out and if the Jedi decided to bring others to the party, she would simply withdraw and resort to Plan C. She was looking forward to this confrontation and this chance to bury her own doubts once and for all, but she wasn't suicidal about it.

 

* * *                     * * *

 

A civilian medium transport emerged from hyperspace in the middle of the Sith blockade. It didn't take long for the Sith fighter screen to start chasing it, blasters lighting the space around it and impacting off the ships shields. As several ships that had come before, the shuttle made a mad dash down to the planet and the relative safety of the storm covered Jedi Temple. The panicked voice of its pilot declared her emergency situation, reporting that there were 119 souls on board, all desperately fleeing the chaos and devastation that the plague had brought to Felucia. Despite the comms jamming, sensors would be able to detect that the ship indeed had life signs on board, but also that its shields were beginning to fail.

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Lehon, or as it was known in days of the Old Republic, Rakata Prime, was a planet delved deeply in the Darkside of the Force from the millenia that it served as the Capital World of the Infinite Empire and Homeworld of the Rakata. Shiro, the Sith Warrior born from the pilgrimage of Revan under Lady Awenyyd on Cathar could taste its roots no matter how deep the Jedi tried to reinforce their Light into it. Since the moment he had stepped into its surface, smelt it's stench filled air, he could hear the echo of it's call. It pulsated through his veins and heart, and his sight saw it's tendrils trying to climb from the Chaos that ensued. It mattered little why the Sith chose to liberate this planet from the perverse filth that the Jedi had injected into its skin, the Darkness still clung to it's core. Shiro found his own reasons for being here.

 

As he and the Nightsisters' continued on after Telperiën departed, the four ran in a gorilla formation, separate but close, through the jungles that littered it's acapellagos surface. Sweat beaded down his masked brows, cheeks, and chin in the tropical climate and despite the weight he carried, the Force kept the Warrior's stamina filled. Their target was a simple task. Make for the Jedi Temple and cut off escape, essentially wrapping a noose around the Jedi stronghold and strangling it with its own natural defenses and seclusion. An idea that Shiro, as a former Lieutenant of the Imperial Marines, rather enjoyed and could get behind. Keeping up with the others locations, he kept his stride constant and consistent over the coarse terrain.

 

But a pain stabbed at his mind during his trek, the feeling of Telperiën passing from the world and into the next, causing his stride to come to a abrupt assault. Three paths immediately came to mind as he stood amidst the trees and foliage, the Sith Armor he wore delved in the Darkness of the canopy above. Part of him wanted to backtrack and avenge the Master he had chosen to continue his training. Another part wanted to chuckle at her weakness at underestimating the enemy. But the last part, the one that kept his gaze forward toward the Temple was that of the Soldier within, the one that wanted to complete his mission. And it would be that part of him that would inevitably win out.

 

"Shiro Seven of the Sith." A voice echoed across the foliage, his gaze shifting to his right. "Why have you stopped? The temple is still a few a ways ahead.

 

That's when Shiro noticed one of the Nightsisters standing behind a large bush, only her gaze visible through the rays of sunlight beaming down through the canopy. He shook his head and shifted his rifle. There was no reason to backtrack. He had been given his mission and he would stay on course. Telperiën and her mistake were her own, not his. 

 

"It's nothing. Let's continue." Shiro replied, resuming his stride.

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The storm outside could be heard even within the thick stones that made up the temple. Carved into the side of the planet itself, they were safe from the onslaught; although every Jedi there could feel the unnatural power of the storm. Instead of fear and anxiety, they allowed it to feed them, to draw on it’s power, cleansing it, and use it to hasten there own activities within. With sensors jammed, several stalwart Jedi had taken to sweeping the perimeters of the temple complex. Meanwhile, others dedicated themselves to feeling and seeing upon the force itself to monitor the situation, fed by the power of the force and one another. A calming sort of battle meditation fell over the entire temple as those within all directed their activities, a myriad as they were, towards one goal and outcome.

 

Leena too was a part of this. She felt alive, surrounded by so many Jedi, immersed in the flowing river of the force’s will. As she waited, she did what she did best. A dedicated healer and combatant of the darkness, the Mon Cal healer found herself amongst the sick and wounded lending aid where she may and taking a silent tally of the Jedi there. The Grandmaster was unaccounted for as was the naturalist and her telltale acklay the resident Jedi spoke of. Leena had to smile, knowing Kadi and Juro were somewhere out amongst the jungles. She hoped that they and the Grandmaster were alright in the storm and knew that Kadi, too, probably could sense the approach of the Sithly witch.

 

Pouring herself into the force, Leena joined the collective busyness of the Jedi and the peaceful power of their meditation, pouring herself into it, exponentially expanding the light and pushing back against the clouds of darkness. She could feel the storm, and the darkness that surged through it. She pushed back against it, contributing to the protective cocoon cradling  the temple and her residents. In the darkness’ press, Leena could feel her, the Sith Lady whom she had sought to save on Felucia. It was as if she was calling out to her, beckoning her to come and find her. There was a prt of the healer that desired to do just that, to see what might still be salvaged from the darkness that once again entwined the woman’s heart. She was a healer after all and was not Qaela her patient in a sense?

 

What held her back was the realization that Qaela had made her own choices and gone back to the dark cocoon by her own choice; that these patients here were now under her care where Qaela had left; that the Jedi here needed her; that she was a member of the Council and not free to galavant about the galaxy as she saw fit. she served a greater purpose, and so she stayed within the temple to protect those that needed her, enveloped by the protective destructive power of the storm. It was protection that the world had given them, strengthened by the power of the Sith. Such was the power of the true Living Force. Life would find a way and the corruption of darkness would bend to the will of the force.

 

Still, Leena thought about Kadi and Juro as she worked, bandaging wounds and warming rain-soaked bodies. She hoped they had found some matter of shelter from the storm. Looking up at the sound of the ward’s doors opening, the healer saw another Jedi, soaked to the bone coming in. Quickly she grabbed a towel from a warmer and hurried to drape it about the chiseled man’s shoulder. He looked tired.

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((For Vorin))

 

Even if the lightsaber was a vaunted weapon crafted with excruciating attention to detail and in awe of the woman who had last wielded it, its shell was nothing more than acid-etched steel. It cracked and splinted under the weight of the Sith warrior’s boot--and the electronics and batteries within were made of even more fragile stuff. The latter gave birth to a miniature explosion upon rupturing, momentarily illuminating the Sith’s feet in fire at the same moment that the blade was extinguished.

 

“She’s down! Open fire!” A cry came from an anxious soldier in the trenches.

 

No! Wait!”  Responded an older, more steady voice, but it was too late. Pockets of blaster issued from the trenches, focused on the position where Draygo’s lightsaber had just been extinguished. It was suppressive at best, aimed more in the general direction of where the soldiers thought that the Grandmaster had just fallen rather than the glints of steel and frost on the Sith’s gauntlets.

 

Draygo ignored the crimson bolts for the moment, being more focused on the armored Sith that was intent on bisecting her. Her green lightsaber whirled in a desperate parry, catching the crossguard of the greatsword and redirecting it upwards--

 

--and then stars.

 

The parry was not quite fast enough, the Sith’s prodigious strength too great for a conventional defense. The pommel, slowed by a fraction by the parry, caught the shorter woman just above her left eye. Blood spat out from a deep cut along her brow and something broke within--the Grandmaster eye suddenly saw double vision. Armiena staggered backwards and rolled with the momentum, simultaneously avoiding the slash towards her neck and threatening the Sith’s legs and groin with an unaimed slash after the lightsaber blade sliced through the ground and back upwards through the air.

 

Once the momentum had been spent, Armiena rose to her feet. The Jedi Grandmaster gave a bloodstained smile and licked her lips.

 

In the millisecond before the pommel made contact with her eye socket and dashed her to the ground, Draygo enjoyed an intimate study of the Sith’s greatsword. It was plain, unadorned steel, with no telltale welds or seams that suggested the addition of a boobytrap or some other surprise. It was an honest weapon, if a product of Sith thralls could be described with such a virtue. However, there was an ecstatic anticipation of the coming bloodshed--and an obscene release at having inflicted pain that bordered on sexual. Now Draygo had a greater understanding of the weapon: it was at least partially sapient, capable of understanding its surroundings and its purpose… and likely bound to its wielder through The Force almost like a friend or lover.

 

That knowledge was one final gift from an old friend and her sword, the decidedly more compassionate Sanare. The final question was the nature of their bond: were the Sith and his weapon partners, or was their relationship something more parasitic in nature? There was a way to find out...

 

“Utter kriffing shame,” Draygo spat out. Her lightsaber was held in a classic Djem So defensive stance, with the tip of the blade prepared to probe defenses or redirect attacks--but one-handed, as though contemptuous of her opponent. Even as she goaded her opponent, the Jedi carefully kept her senses trained on that oversized greatsword to measure its reactions “All that forging, and it gets wielded with all the grace of a hydrospanner. Would’ve been better to have smelted it down than to waste perfectly good steel.”

 

The Jedi Grandmaster extinguished her own blade and called to The Force, disappearing into the rain and wind with an empowered backwards leap.

 

((Round 2: The lightsaber gets crushed. A failed attempt at parrying the pommel strike breaks an eye socket and sends Draygo into a backwards roll, which she uses to simultaneously dodge the slash to her neck and threaten with an unaimed series of slashes to the legs and groin.

 

She then goads Vorin by dousing her lightsaber and leaps backwards into the storm to make use of the terrible visibility.))

 

 

 

____

 

((For Qaela.))

 

“Well, good thing that’s not a ruse.”

 

“What are you talking about? That’s obviously a ruse. How did a civilian transport get a transmission through all this jamming?” One of the three air traffic controllers was a Sullustan, a species not terribly fond of sarcasm. It wasn’t that the species had a mental block against the concept--however, having evolved on a planet as treacherous as the semi-habitable Sullust, many of his species tended to interpret sarcastic remarks and exaggerations in a literal fashion before remembering that most other sapients were somewhat given to these habits while under great stress.

 

“Oh--right--you guys don’t really--sorry, I’ll run a landline down to Mistral Squadron.” The Zabrak paused and considered the possibilities: one hundred twenty-nine sapients on board a transport that was running a gauntlet of Sith fighters. One possibility--the more likely one--was that it was stuffed full of heavily-armed Sith marines. Another was that it really was crowded with innocent sapients who had panicked and made the profoundly stupid mistake of attempting to land in the middle of a warzone, rather than make a hyperspace jump to any other system. Mechanical problems? Out of fuel? Medical emergencies? All of those possibilities seemed unlikely--but the Grandmaster was known to cast a baleful eye (and baleful fists on one occasion) on Jedi who chose to shoot first and ask questions never.

 

“Try to find them an opening in the storm. Any unit, even a flight. We’ll try and intercept that transport and get them to fly elsewhere.”

 

_____

 

Captain Tyrell of Mistral Squadron, unlike most of the Jedi Temple’s defenders, was warm and dry. A puddle of water had accumulated in the bottom of his X-Wing, but the astromech had cheerfully redirected some of the reactor’s power to warming the cockpit. If the Chandrilan had thought to bring a cup of caf and the planet was not under siege, this evening would have been just like home during the monsoon season. Another mitigating factor was the fact that his squadron had just been ordered to do something incredibly stupid: to take off while the Jedi Temple was being pummeled by the grazing edge of a hurricane and intercept Sith fighters without support.

 

“I’m sorry, you want us to do what?

 

“We’ll guide you through the storm. Sensors show a lighter patch opening in three minutes. Just follow our route and you’ll be fine. Unless you don’t feel up to--”

 

“Oh, I thought you were going to ask us to do something stupid. You know, like dive-bomb the Herlov or poach a summa-verminoth. Lads, start your timers and take off on my mark.”

 

Two minutes later, four X-Wings of Mistral Squadron hovered several meters from the deck, then oriented themselves at a nearly ninety degree angle from the permacrete to blast off in a vertical take-off. So close were they to the deck that the exhaust from their engines scoured the permacrete and pummeled miniature craters into its surface. The ascent through the storm was difficult, instrumentation-only flying in a tight formation with little visibility; lightning warped around their shields as they ascended, but after several thousand meters, the skies cleared to a tranquil afternoon grey with puffy clouds surrounding them.

 

Maintaining the tight formation to try to defeat the comms jamming, the four X-Wings vectored towards the descending transport and its harassers. Water vaporized from their wing surfaces as their strike-foils opened. “Alright lads, combat spread on my mark. Pick your targets and protect your wingman. Remember, try and get those pilots’ attention any way possible. Vape the transport only as a last resort. Lock your targets--mark.”

 

The four fighters broke into two wing-pairs, each orienting to engage the Sith fighters from long range with their missiles.

Edited by ObliviousKnight
Additions to respond to some of Qaela's NPC actions

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𝖙𝖍𝖊 𝖊𝖞𝖊 𝖆𝖕𝖕𝖗𝖔𝖆𝖈𝖍𝖊𝖘

 

Disappointment briefly brushed against Qaela when she realized her prey wouldn't take the bait and come against her. She couldn't truly blame the Jedi for not wanting to leave the shelter of her fortified Temple, but it was still frustrating because it meant she would need to directly assault the enemy's defenses. With a snarl, she returned to the shuttle to relay further orders without the howling of the wind drowning out her every word.

 

The shuttle was on its way and that was good because it would be her opening. Still, she needed more and it was time to summon it. She directed the squadron of bombers that the orbiting Victory class Star Destroyer Exultant Darkness carried and a fighter squadron escort to get into position to make a bombing run on the enemy landing pads. Intel showed minimal threat from there, but she wanted to have the option of causing maximum death and destruction if needed.

 

They wouldn't strike just yet: she had learned that an enemy fought twice as hard if backed into a corner and she wanted the Jedi to have the option of retreating. Still, if the Jedi elected to dig in and fight to the end instead of being flushed out, she wanted the ability to destroy the ships there and their valuable medics. Best not to let them escape if possible since each one of those medics could mean dozens of enemy troops recovered from wounds on the battlefield instead of dying as they deserved.

 

After ordering the fighters and bombers into position, she looked at the weather situation, linking in with their orbiting ships and seeing the storm from above. She smiled at the sight of the eye of the storm approaching. It would give her the opportunity she had wanted: clear skies.

 

She quickly ordered the half of her troops that had been put on standby to launch and, as soon as the eye reached the Temple, to join her in assaulting the Temple itself. She would force the Jedi to fight or retreat into the open where they would attempt to flee or be crushed by her fleet.

 

With the orders sent, she returned to the gloriousness of Nature's fury and began soaking it in. There was something truly awe inspiring about being in the center of a storm such as this. Even without her help, this storm was one of the largest examples of the raw power and strength that Nature possessed, and it was a power she would bask in and be strengthened by. This planet was so full of Darkness as it was, the addition of the storm made it almost intoxicating. Yes, the Jedi had been wise not to engage her while she was in her element. Wind and water whipped about her, tugging at her armor and causing her to sway about even with her using the Force to part the wind around her. It was glorious to the point that she almost regretted its coming to an end as the eye rapidly approached.

 

*  *  *                                      *  *  *

 

In the skies above the Temple and even the storm itself, the Sith fighters quickly detected the approaching Jedi interceptors and broke off their pursuit of the offending ship they had been harassing. They met the approaching missile volley with a hail of blaster fire, then dove straight towards the enemy, using gravity to assist their assault. One of the quartet was not able to avoid the Jedi attack and exploded into a briefly brilliant tribute to its pilot's all-too-short life.

 

The passenger liner itself continued its course for the Jedi Temple at maximum speed, seemingly eager to get away from the Sith fighters.

Qaela Sig

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Bloodletter’s pommel, wrapped in its dark leather, became warm and wet with the Jedi’s blood. The blood seeped into the handle and soaked into the darkmetal itself, warping its way into the patterns of shifting, frozen night. He could feel it on his fingers. Visceral. Steaming heat against the cold plating. He let it flow to his forming weapon and the crystals of ice took on a tinge of crimson.

 

Vorin let his momentum flow, and again there was disappointment. No catch of bone. No wretched gasp of lifeblood. Instead, emerald light slashed into the night. Bloodletter reversed momentum, catching the light against its wavy edge, but it was not enough to stop it fully. The first cut reflected off his armor around his waist, but he felt it still, for the armor of the Sith was an extension of their skin. It was a searing, tearing thing, but left nothing beyond melted plating. A distant screaming arose on the wind. The second cut drove deeper, tearing a line into his flesh on his left abdomen, searing its light into the skin and fascia beneath. His breath came in ragged and his momentum seemed to fade

 

The pain came in a rush, threatening to warm his blood, to drive away the edge he had in battle; to part him from his calculating mind and drive forth a frenzy. Beyond him though, there was another emotion, ripe with untapped potential. It was that fear that had come blazing into the night with the crimson flame of blaster shots. It was a palpable thing now, the fear of a garrison watching their Jedi die. Vorin pressed into it, taking in its power, letting it add its strength to Wrath’s. Strong emotions were the tinder for the fire that was the Dark Side of the Force, and though its expression within the Warrior was of a sociopathic cold, it raged with a strength more than that of the Hurricane around them.

 

His face did not change, but the sulphuric yellow of his eyes seemed to glow in the hurricane. The Jedi had begun to speak, and the Sith Warrior let Bloodletter’s frosted blade rest against his armored shoulder.

 

Oh is this the Jedi’s voice? I expected more squeak, for such a small mouse.

 

He watched her stance. The quiet mocking in her voice. It drove itself into him like a knife.

 

He would hear that voice shrieking in pain. She would be mewing for mercy as his blows shattered not only her body, but her soul. He would drink in her pain like he would her lifeblood. Bloodletter’s whispers crystallized in retaliation.

 

Well, I think you have magnificent grace.

 

He stared hard at the Jedi, unrestrained wrath bidding him to charge her head on, but instead he breathed, catching the wind within him. The storm was unyielding, just as was his wrath, just as the fear about him. But when she leapt, it was a surprise. Was she not guarding the temple and its feeble garrison?

 

Vorin widened his stance, drawing back his right foot. Ice followed with it, cracking and muttering. His shoulder screamed in protest as he moved Bloodletter onto his back, but he could only shrug off its pull. The pain was a barely heard now in the back of his head, a rushing of a river muted against the sounds of an ocean. He could sense her, a power presence, even against the back the background of the storm. The arc of her jump had been beautiful, parabolic even, against the unrelenting wind

 

He considered for only a heartbeat, letting Bloodletter be sheathed for a moment on his back. All the souls that were to his back were his to take, or would he follow a Jedi into a storm? A trap was the only logical solution, besides trying to give her men some time to escape, but they had not moved yet. A small smile played across his grim features, for he could not turn away now, and leave the Jedi to live. The garrison’s fear would be all the more palpable if he brought them the head of their supposed guardian.  Yellow eyes seemed to smile in the darkness. 

 

The Sith Warrior channeled his strength through his legs, letting the Force carry him to meet the Jedi. His side crackled with the electric fire of pain, but he pressed into the jump. He aimed into the storm, towards the height where she would be in her leap, that bitter end of a jump, where gravity begins to overwhelm momentum. He twisted with the wind and rain, hefting from his belt the formed weapon of ice, stained crimson with Jedi’s blood. It was a wicked, crude thing; a hardened mace of ice, imbued with his pain and malice. It was a quieter thing than a Sith Sword, but just as deadly for it was the living embodiment of his power. He held it low in both hands and when the Jedi loomed from the storm, he brought the mace cracking upwards towards her chest with all the momentum of his force-carried leap. He twisted into the blow, aiming to crush the voice from her, and all the air from her lungs, that they might never breath again. The ice would shatter away to nothing but pain-fueled shrapnel after it kissed her with death, churning the night with the cracking and grinding of a iceflood.

 

Never leave fate to chance.

 

His right arm spasmed from the pain, and the Warrior dragged Bloodletter from its sheath with his left, reversing the arc of his blow with the Sith steel. His own momentum had begun to falter against gravity, and so he used the force of nature to fuel the strike, hammering the Zweihander down onto her with his right forearm plating while his steadier left guided the pommel. He was relentless. He forced the movement through the pain, feeling the ice on his wound rip away. He no longer cared if she was still alive or had died from his first attempt. He would use gravity to drive her into the dirt, beneath the living blade she had so mocked. The Jedi would find herself the anvil beneath the sharpened hammer of the Sith.

 

((3))

 

((Takes damage to armor from one attack, and then a wound to the flesh of the side with the other. Follows Draygo in her leap to strike at her with his ice-forged mace he had created across the duel, and follows it through with a hammering blow with his Sith sword on their downwards arc. Thank you, a very enjoyable duel!))

Death is No Escape

 

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((For Qaela))

 

“Merged… splash one. Three, Four, keep the other three busy. Two, on me--two? Spast.” As Tyrell brought his X-Wing into a bone-crushingly tight loop to pursue the erstwhile transport, he caught a glimpse of his wingman’s X-Wing crashing from the skies with a trail of smoke and burning fragments in its wake. The pilot, however, had survived and was descending from the skies in her ejection seat--the scattered bursts of crimson that were trailing one of the TIE Interceptors revealed that she was defiantly firing upon the starfighter with her side arm.

 

The other two X-Wings of Mistral Squadron broke as one to engage the surviving TIE Interceptors. Though nominally more maneuverable and faster craft, the lighter mass of the TIEs, compounded with their lack of shields, gave them serious difficulties in cross winds and other extreme conditions… such as dogfighting at the edge of a hurricane. The venerable X-Wing, despite its comparative slowness, simply did not suffer nearly as much when pummeled by a sideways gust.

 

None of that was on the Chandrilan’s mind as he closed in on the transport and continued attempting to get a transmission through the storm. “Unidentified transport, divert to 300 mark 18. You’re flying into a combat; hostile triple-aurek is in the area. I repeat...” Seconds before the X-Wing swooped over the dorsal surface of the GR-75 Medium Transport, Tyrell triggered a burst of cannon fire that passed so closely over its hull that one of the bolts was intercepted by its shields. Upon racing over the transport’s hull, he veered towards that course to try and get the message across. However, not only had the transport failed to register the message, it had gone into a steep dive.

 

“Control, stand-by. Going to take a closer look. I have a bad feeling about this…” Tyrell grumbled as he sent the starfighter into a diving roll that would allow him to glide mere meters from the bridge of the transport. Glancing to his right and triggering another burst of cannon fire across the bow of the transport, the pilot did a double-take upon getting a close look at the bridge.

 

There was no one inside.

 

“Control--the transport is piloted by droids. Repeat--”

 

“Engage the transport.

 

“Say again Control?”

 

“Shoot it down. Repeat, shoot it down.”

 

Almost without thinking, Tyrell triggered the fighter’s retrothrusters, causing it to shoot behind the transport. Already, the clouds were starting to thin as the two ships broke through the storm--they were almost directly over the landing pads surrounding the cliffside Temple. He didn’t hesitate, nor did he wait for his targeting computer to return a firing solution. He just started pumping cannon fire and missiles into the engines of the transport, which quickly flickered and died. Under sustained fire, the transport began to break up and crash--

 

--almost directly over the landing pads of the Temple.

 

On the ground, ground crew and other support staff ran for the trenches. Mistral Squadron and the remainder of the starfighter garrison began to take off and retreat in every possible direction. The burning hulk of the transport plummeted towards the permacrete, a torch that refused to be doused by the slackening storm--and then a hundred meters above the deck, something within the transport triggered and it exploded from within with even greater ferocity than could have been expected from its reaction. Like a massive shotgun, the explosion caused an airburst of fragments all over the Temple grounds, rending several starfighters apart and damaging many others, cratering its landing pads, and puncturing a fuel tank and triggering a secondary explosion that leveled the air traffic control tower. One of the few surviving fragments of the transport that survived the initial explosion plowed through the main entrance of the transport, gouging a trench through its floor until it finally ground to a halt.

 

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This planet, it was like the world he began this path upon, the Darkness calling out like a warring spirit calling for release through the blackened veil, stretching the thin line even thinner. As Shiro trekked on, he could feel it. Even as the storm began to blow down upon them torrential and visual became a hindrance, it ached for bloodlust and conquer. Behind his helm, he smiled. Cathar, Lehon, the Path and Pilgrimage of Revan. It was as if it called at his existence. Almost as if Lady Awenyyd had forsaw.

 

His gaze shifted in the directions of the others through the thickened rain and felt the power of the Darkside amplify. It felt maternal, similar to Lady Telperiën but different. This was the power of the Nightsisters? Intriguing. He would have to further prove himself to his Master and their cause, if only to be seen as truly worthy. Not just a insubordinate welp. Or a means of prestige. No. He needed to prove his power and skill through their eyes before they would ever see him mutually beneficial. And not just for power's sake. But for respect. One could easily wave around power as a Warrior for the sake of the cause, to rule with an iron fist. But for someone like Shiro, someone who knew War and it's Art, such a foundation was minimal at best. For the Peace he sought, the Foundation he sought to build, the path he wished to walk, Respect was the Dominant Power.

 

Shiro snapped out of his thoughts when a hand pressed against his chest, his eyes tracing the face of the Nightsisters along her arm and toward the clearing up ahead where her finger extended. Through the lines of trees stood a beast of nearly nine feet in height with protruding horns and a stubbed maw, it's form muscular and scarred. He could hear the excitement in her breathing as she gazed upon it. "You don't see that every day."

 

"What's that?" He poised as he knelt down to get a better look through the under foliage, noticing the other two Nightsisters had stopped as well and gaze on in awe.

 

"An adolescent Bull Rancor" She responded, lost in her own mind and unaware of her casualness. "You can tell by it's limited height and lack of tusk length."

 

Shiro sat in silence, observing the Nightsisters' and their reverence for the creature. The Temple was only a few clicks past this spot, and there wasn't any real way around it. But in noticing the looks in their eyes and how they observed the creature, he quickly caught their admiration for it, which presented him an idea. If he could defeat and kill the creature, then perhaps he could take a step in the right direction of proving himself. But this would also mean going against the wishes of his Master. Or perhaps not, given the way the Nightsisters revere the beast. After a few seconds of debate, Shiro stood and began walking toward it. 

 

"I'm going to kill it."

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Background Music: The Force Theme - Epic Cinematic

 

Simka took in the Temple, soaking in the serenity that radiated from the place with closed, content eyes. He opened his aquamarine orbs to look at his Master, taking in her words and her instructions as they strolled from the landing pads towards the Temple interior. He had seen the offer of apprenticeship coming for a while now, even since Master Leena had taken an unusual amount of interest in him back on Felucia. Still, that didn't make it any less special when she actually called him 'Padawan' for the very first time. Allowing the rain to drench him, Simka smiled kindly and bowed formally before his Master in acknowledgement.

 

"Thank you, Master..."

 

Simka then followed Leena into the Temple, aquamarine eyes darting about as he took in its exquisite beauty, rain-drenched boots squelching with each step. Unlike most people, Simka adored the rain. For some inexplainable reason, it always brought peace to his heart. Perhaps it was because his homeworld, Mirial, was known to be dry and desolate, or perhaps there was some other reason that he had yet to unearth. In any case, the one thing about this entire precarious situation he suddenly found himself in that he actually was relieved about, was the climate.

Again, Simka adored rain.

 

As Leena motioned him into the alcove, Simka followed, but still a short distance outside, not truly entering the alcove so that the raindrops could still reach his skin. He let the rain pelt against his body, enjoying the feeling of the cool water against his jade skin. He nodded calmly to his Master she imparted him advise and instructions, before turning around and beginning to leave. His Master spoke again, and the rain-drenched Mirialan turned around, only to find a healing crystal pressed into his hand.

His eyes widened and, despite the absurd tension of the situation, he couldn't help but grin. "Wow. Whoa... Oh wow," he exclaimed, shaking his head. The gentle, loving and comforting aura of the healing crystal nuzzled against the palm of his hand, and he felt the pristine vivaciousness it contained within his heart. Simka looked at Master Leena with pure, unadultered gratitude and admiration. "T-Thanks, Master... I wasn't expecting this, it means a lot."

 

He nodded firmly at her, taking in her instructions to heart, before he took off across the open Temple Grounds, disappearing into the rain. He made sure to safety pocket the healing crystal given to him, and quickly stopped the first youngling he found. "Greetings, young one."

 

"H-Hello Master," the small Togruta, a clearly frightened one, looked up at him with huge green eyes. She couldn't have been older than four or five. Simka smiled warmly down at her, flinching a bit at a thunderstroke in the skies above. He gestured her towards another alcove, and for the first time, the rain-soaked Padawan stepped out of the storm with the youngling following. His robes felt like an anchor weighing down his own body as he did so, and he wiped the water out of his face and eyes. Love the weather...!


Simka then returned his focus to the confused youngling whose attention he had bought, crouching down on one knee so he was level with her. "First of all, little one, I'm not a Master. I just got one myself. You can call me," he paused, realizing it was his first time actually acknowledging his newly acquired rank. "Padawan Suume."


The Togruta nodded, giving a formal bow, exhibiting good Jedi etiquette that had obviously been drilled into her like they were into all those who grew up at the Temple. "Greetings, Padawan Suume. My name is Amyko Rani. W-What do you need me for?"

Simka gave the youngling a warm smile, and placed a comforting hand on her shoulder. "Are you afraid, young one? Do you sense it?" The Dark Side? he didn't say the last three words out aloud, but it was obvious what was being spoken of.

 

The little Togruta nodded rapidly, talking a couple steps forwards and leaning closer into Simka's much larger body for comfort. Simka's eyes grew softer, for he too felt what she felt, and he had needed his own Master's presence to anchor him. So, remembering a bit of the lessons he had recently learned, he allowed the Light to conduct through him into the little Togruta girl, bringing her warmth and comfort.

 

"The Dark Side is strong, but a small candle is enough to light up a whole chamber enshrouded in darkness," said the Padawan to the youngling, catching her amazed eyes. "Now, I need your help. We need to do something, something that is very important for all of us, to help us defeat the Dark Side you're sensing," he explained, and she nodded at him. "Point me in the direction of the Temple's crèche complex. Then, go around the place and round up as many of your friends as you can that aren't there right now. Tell them to join up with me by that alcove," he pointed in the direction of the alcove where Master Leena had given him the healing crystal and declared his apprenticeship moments prior. "Next to the landing pads. Tell them to spread the word, too. I want everybody there in fifteen minutes. You got that, Miss Rani?"

The orange-skinned Togruta nodded enthusiastically. "On it, Padawan Suume!" she exclaimed, earning a chuckle from the new-minted Padawan, before she took his hand and began dragging him towards the crèche complex.

In due time, younglings and hopefuls throughout the Temple began to move, gathering in a single place next to the landing pads from whence a hasty evacuation could be easily and safely accomplished...

Edited by Simka Suume
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There was at least a partnership between the weapon and its master, then. There was a muted vibration in The Force that emanated from the hulking warrior’s position--the greatsword and its wielder were definitely communicating. In more peaceful times, Draygo would have taken some time to study the weapon, attempt to ascertain the means of its forging, determine if there was something that could be learned or if the weapon needed to be disposed of. There was no time for that. The greatsword and its owner needed to be separated--and then it would be back to the battle.

 

Incapacitating that armored brute was going to be quite the challenge. He was younger than the veteran Jedi--not an insubstantial advantage, as he had fewer lingering injuries of the kind that persistently slowed his opponent. He was physically stronger--far more physically powerful, of greater mass, certainly more aggressive, and better equipped. However, Draygo had possessed a significant advantage that few Jedi were willing to deploy. She was willing to escalate, to wage her life on a gamble.

 

The Jedi Grandmaster drew her blaster pistol immediately began to spit azure stun blasts at the leaping Sith warrior, eclipsing his sides in their shadows. They were snap-shots, fired in a rush from her off-hand and rendered inaccurate by her double-vision, but even a graze might slow her opponent. Only a heartbeat before he and the barbed ice-mace struck home, she hopped to the side--nothing more injurious than mud and shards of ice assaulted her person. She allowed the pistol to fall from her hand--it was immediately buried into the mud by the stamp of the Sith’s darksteel boots.

 

Another minute application of The Force plucked Draygo’s remaining grenade from her belt. The cylinder fell just beside her boots and buried itself into the mud. A second later, the shell detonated into a blinding flash of light that rivalled the storm-bolts above them and a blast that would instantly deafen the two duelists.

 

Draygo, standing almost on top of the flashbang when it exploded, was instantly blinded and deafened, seeing nothing but a curtain of yellow-white and hearing nothing but a keening chime in her ears. Being robbed of two of her senses mattered little to a Jedi, however. The Force could see and hear for her, and instinct and decades of experience could guide her lightsaber. It was a terrible gamble, but Draygo could guess that the Sith brute lacked either of these advantages--that he would hesitate for a brief moment after having his senses stolen from him.

 

She felt her lips thin in a grim smile.

 

Draygo ignited her lightsaber in an unseen emerald torch and brought the blade in a sweeping arc around the blade of her opponent’s greatsword. Again, the undulating edge of his serpentine flamberge caused her own weapon to vibrate almost uncontrollably as it crested each curve of the greatsword, but she managed to wind her own emerald blade around the Sith’s and redirect it in an almost-perfectly executed parry. Almost--when she took a step forward to execute the disarm, the bind of the two blades slipped and the greatsword sliced her left forearm down to the bone.

 

Warmth immediately spilled from her arm--the pain would have been blinding, but Draygo had just inflicted that upon herself. She pressed forward in a pair of steps, the two blades sliding over each other until the two duelists were standing almost shoulder to shoulder. A second vibration rattled her faltering grip as the lightsaber caught on the greatsword’s crossguard...

 

...and came the Jedi Grandmaster’s last gamble. Unlike the Sith brute, Draygo had no intention of trying to kill her opponent. Her every blow had been an attempt to disarm, wound, or incapacitate the warrior--threats that were significantly more difficult to detect through warnings from The Force.

 

She extinguished her lightsaber for an instant, causing the hilt to pass through the crossguard. In the next, she reignited the blade and hacked upwards, attempting to deprive the warrior of his weapon--and both of his hands.

 

((Round 3: Draygo fires a few inaccurate stun blasts as Blackmorne leaps after her, dodges out of the way of the mace and drops a flashbang almost directly at her feet. She is blinded and deafened for the rest of the fight, relying only on The Force and instincts to guide her blade. She parries the overhead chp from the Sith warrior, gets badly sliced on her left arm, and attempts to hack through Blackmorne’s hands to disarm him.

 

Been a pleasure.))

 

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Leena’s comm blared to life, someone in the temple thought it was probably worthwhile enough for the Master Healer to know that a transport was breaking up over the temple. The temple itself was built into the ground and would remain relatively unhindered but all of the adjacent grounds and structures were in danger. If Leena knew one thing, transport crashes were usually full of casualties, if there were survivors.

 

Clearing her through, Leena caught the attention of medics and healers alike. “Anyone not busy with patients come with me. Grab a rain jacket. We may have more casualties inbound. The rest of you, keep treating patients and prepare for casualties.”

 

With a flourish Leena spun on her booted heel and left the medical ward, her steps hurried as they were smooth. A small contingent of Jedi Healers, Jedi that had been assisting the healers, and medics alike followed after. Pulling a ankle-length white slicker over her shoulders, Leena led the others out into the still vicious storm just as a fiery explosion rocked the landing platforms with a plume of flame and a halo of outward expanding force.

 

Out of self-defense more than anything, Leena threw a protective barrier up between her party and the carnage shielding them from the shockwave. Leena took in the scene. It did not look good. Other Jedi crews ran to assist as a second explosion rocked the area. Leena winced as she waved her entourage forward. There were people in need here. She could feel them on the force; pain mingled with fear, death and suffering. It was as bad as any battlefield.

 

Through the downpour and gusts Leena pressed forward, stopping only as  a Jedi Warchman drug a still smoldering body from the wreckage. Leena stopped and began to beat out the flames in the man’s clearly defined prison garb. She felt it, he was still alive. 
 

As soon as she and the Watchman had the flames out, Leena knelt by the man. He was burned and unconscious, his legs both twisted at unnatural angles. Still, he was breathing. Leena’s hands flew over her patient’s body, mere millimeters from touching him. The force radiated with a warm glow from her hands as she narrowed her focus to the man. She sought out his wounds internal and external, willing them to stabilize and seeking out the worst of the worst so that she could ensure he survived back to the ward for further treatment.

 

Across the platform, Jedi helped anyone was injured, Jedi, soldier, or unidentified transport prisoner. Chaos reigned; but here, this close to a temple full of agents of the light, there was an immediate pushback of peace and order.

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Ruling: (Main Mod Delta) (Mavenger Consulting)

A very well done duel to the both of you. A lord taking on a Grandmaster is an extreme challenge and one that you should be commended on trying. It was a great duel from the Grandmaster as well, and I felt that both played their characters well, with Vorin taking on the visceral Sith Warrior Approach, while Draygo took on the role of the wily defensively built sentinel. 

 

Draygo:

I feel that you may have bitten off too much, both taking on the role of the defender of the temple, playing NPCs, and this very intense duel. I do not know if you feel the same way, but I would recommend for the future delegating NPC defense to others in the Jedi order (Perhaps through the use of the shared Jedi Order Account) so that you can primarily concentrate on the duel at hand. 

 

I think you played the Sentinel very well, the escape in the second post was very effective at letting you pull distance and the use of the distractionary grenade was great at stalling his momentum. It was very nice to see someone utilize Tràkata again, and its place at the last post of the duel was perfect. It had good buildup. 

 

Blackmorne: 

I do not think you should try headshotting the Jedi Grandmaster again, especially as a Lord. This puts your opponent at a disadvantage no matter the outcome.  And while I am sure Draygo is fine with either result, it still seems odd that she would have to fight a Lord, while there are (was) Sith Masters on the field. 

 

The way you played the warrior was in my opinion one of the best i have seen on the site. The relationship between warrior and blade, mixed with how you took damage was ideal. I must also applaud you in using classical techniques of swordplay without having to name them as such. Your description of your actions kept me in the story the whole time without the sometimes jarring Latin that we have seen in the past. 

 

Points

 

Damage Taken: 

Both sides took realistic damage to their power levels. 

 

Class: 

Both played your class very well but there were a few mistakes and one that ventured into a rules violation: 

Draygo: at one point you landed “a third of a meter away” I do not know if this was a spelling/intention mistake but keeping a sentinel willfully within range of a warrior is a misstep. The use of the distractionary grenade was awesome, it took his momentum and would have allowed you an easier escape had you not decided to land within his grasp. Which is where we get into a potential minor rules violation with the new class system. Sentinels are allowed to use NFU tech, and it's one of their defining traits, however, it says to pick one. Not an entire minor armory of a blaster pistol, flashbang, and dud frag grenade. This is a minor thing and is part of the growing pains found when rolling out a new system but since it did affect the outcome I should mention it. 

 

Lastly we have a different error in the duel that I myself just recently made. Illusions. Or in this case hiding in the gale of a hurricane. This is an excellent move for a Sentinel to make. It breaks distance allowing them to engage at a distance that suits them. However, to disappear and not leave a trace of where you may be is abusive to the other writer. While one may hide behind an illusion or natural cover such as a hurricane no one should totally disappear from both the enemy character and the other writer

 

This was an incredibly close duel, decided by what feels the worst to rule on. Small technicalities and tactical errors. You both did well, but one did better in all aspects. 

 

Ruling

 

In an upset victory, Blackmorne takes the win.

 

However, this is a rare win, and Draygo’s last strikes should be respected. I do not see Blackmorne escaping unharmed

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Commander - Darkhand Brigade - Sith Empire

Blood Prince

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In an instant, it was over. There was a great change in the Force, a weary sigh, and the very hurricane lost its fury. It had transformed into tears unnumbered, mourning the loss of a great Jedi. Vorin landed on one knee, exhaustion threatening to overwhelm him and he stared at his opponent. She was there, bloodstained and peaceful for but a heartbeat until she faded and all that remained was her cloak and weapons.

 

Well that was unexpected… Must have been a powerful Jedi to disappear like that…

 

The Sith Warrior had heard it had been a thing of Jedi Masters, to unite themselves truly with the Force at death. It irritated him. What good was it to join the force? When you’re dead your impact stops, no more waves. No more echoes. He knew his own fate would end at the flash of a blade. No sorcerer had seen a future that had him dying of old age in his bed, surrounded by women. He would burn bright and die like a star in supernova.

 

He brought the sword his lips, forcing the frustration deep into himself, that it might not boil over. He had lost his trophies. Those eyes like gallinore gems. He had wanted to keep parts of that Jedi to stare at when days grew dark, but perhaps the taste of her lifeblood would stick with him. When it met his tongue there was a rush as if he were drinking a strong stimcaf on a cold morning. Copper. Warm.

 

Oh she does taste… Immaculate

 

Bloodletter changed perceptibly as it absorbed the Jedi’s lifeblood.  A sanguine crimson creeped into the dark metal; the shards of ice bound to the flame-formed blade appearing like burgundy crystals upon a wine-dark sea.  Vorin let it run from lips, wiping them upon the Jedi’s discarded clothing. He tore a dark strip of the cloth, soaking it in the blood before tying it to his belt like a tattered trophy. About it formed a few scarlet crystals, frozen tears from the sky. 

 

The pain came again, biting from his shoulder, his waist, and now his right arm. The Jedi’s blade had seared a bit of the flesh, but thankfully the armor had taken most of the beating. He ground his teeth, setting his jaw against the pain and let his mind open to the force. He needed to tell his masters of his victory.

 

But…

 

There was nothing now. Neither of the Nightsisters, not of that girl nor her mother. There was nothing but the growing fear and horror of a battleshocked garrison that had just seen their leader die. He fed upon that fear like he had upon the Jedi’s blood. Ice formed over his wounds, cracking and grinding like a frozen dam to hold back the pain and blood. Numbness took hold and in his veins the steely coldness grew again.

 

A few crimson bolts flew at him, but in a leap, the slaughter began in earnest. The garrison would die, and after they fell, so would the padawans and innocents of the Temple. The joy of such an orgy of blood became bright in his mind. The Jedi forces were caught now in a dark tide, one from which there was no escape but through death

Death is No Escape

 

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Kadi felt a shift in the force. A great beacon of light, snuffed out by the darkness. She shuddered. Who had died? Was it Kil, the newest member of the council? Or had it been Draygo? Either way, her vigil would need to come to an end. She whispered a quiet apology to the ashen pyre, though she knew that Telperiën likely wasn't there, nor would she care. It was more for Kadi's peace of mind than for Telperiën's sake. Her chest ached from the battle before, but she hadn't finished what she had set out to do. If one of them had died, then the Temple was either breached, or about to be. They would need to get the refugees out, and they'd need ground support to do that. She glanced at the sky, sighing softly. The hurricane had abided, and she could see the Sith ships in orbit. Their retreat would be hard. Hers would be easier. With this shuttle hidden in the forest, miles away from the temple, and her abilities as a a naturalist, even if she didn't make it out with the retreating shuttles she could survive alone until the Sith blockade cleared out.

 

She could certainly fly at least that well, right? She could only hope.

 

She leapt onto Juro, and with a gentle nudge, he took off, rain flicking across her face and Juro's carapace. Her hair clung to her head, her horns seeming larger with her hair plastered against her scalp from the rain. Juro tore through the forest with a speed that dwarfs what a speeder could safely do in the wooded landscape, and she could soon see the temple rising through the trees. Blaster fire, screams, and battlecries echoed through the air. The battle had started.  She could see a breach in the wall nearby, and a shuttle just beyond. A team of Sith troopers were pushing up to secure it. Juro sprinted forward, letting out a shrieking cry as he charged across the battlefield, a terrible sight to behold. She leapt off as he neared, her saberspear igniting in the air.

 

She landed with a soft roll, the end of her shaft connecting with the skull of one of the troopers. There was a sickening crack, and he was down. Juro made quick work of two others with his teeth and serrated legs, and she made a final thrust towards the last, spearing his thigh. He collapsed, and she kicked his weapon away.  Fighting on a battlefield without killing anyone was naive, she knew that. It was a war. But if she could, she would make sure as few died by her hand as possible. She glanced back at the transport. She recognized the crew- they were the ones from her own. They must have slipped in through the same breach. She nodded, and they nodded back appreciatively. She turned to the hole in the wall, now inside the Temple's grounds, and planted her feet as the refugees were loaded. No harm would come to them while she stood here.

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Her flagship was once again split off from the greater force, though in this instance she forgave the necessity. The Sith Home world was seeing action, and Kahla felt quite honoured to send the ship of her pride their way. While she'd wished she had accompanied them, she herself had a greater purpose. The Sith at Lehon were showing promise, but needed reinforcement, that was her purpose. Perhaps today she would earn in her own mind, the title bestowed upon her.

 

Shortly after being dragged from the lakes of Naboo, and once she could stand on her own again, she began putting the pieces in place to prepare for her next battle. Her first demand was an armor set with detailed specifications. Under a large hood she wore a helmet, the mask had a single eye slit, through which allowed no light. Though the visor didn't follow, the recognized T shape was present, through to a well defined chin. Over her left shoulder was a cape of sorts, typically seen in ceremonial uniforms. In place of the broach however was a thick shoulder pad. It was layered, and angular with its distinguished edges. Adjacent to it, the right shoulder pad was smaller and less pronounced, though it followed the same aesthetic. A diamond-shaped breastplate covered her chest and abdomen. Armored Faulds covered her hips, and held her lightsabers in place. From her hips hung a short, split tabard that cut just below the knees. Her left boot was plated in durrasteel, the shin guard protecting everything below the knee. On her right was a matching guard, and thickened armor, grafted and welded onto the prosthetic limb. She'd taken a liking to the dark crimson of her robes, and made sure the armor she wore followed in its expression.

 

She was sluggish at first, unfamiliar with the weight of the plates she wore. It tooks weeks of practice before she could even consider sparing with her droid. But in time her familiarity grew, she learned the strengths of wearing such cumbersome armor, the limitations in her movements, and resourceful means to work around them. She had become comfortable, to the extent of spending near every waking moment in her armor.

 

In the time that she trained and studied the interceptor she favored so much had seen much attention. Mechanics and dock hands worked day and night to bring the wreck back from the grave a second time. While seeing such a beautiful peace of history in such a state brought Kahla great sorrow, she came to understand that it was necessary to put everything on the line, play every card she had and push herself to the very edge. She'd learned this when she embraced the fires that seared her flesh. Everything, or nothing.

 

Over time she'd began to notice a fear in her crew, they always seemed shifty, uneasy in her presence. Even just in passing they'd make sure to give her a wide berth. While she tried to put it out of her mind it still gnawed at her. Of course, she knew exactly why they were all so hesitant around her, word had spread fast of what she did in the opening moments of Naboo. To an extant she'd regretted it. The thought that her "True Sith" ideology might be wrong had crossed her mind more than once. Perhaps soon she would try to understand the modern Sith, as apposed to those from a bygone era.

 

Kahla sat quietly in the chair that overlooked the bridge. Lehon laid before her, almost as if served on a platter. She drank in the suspense, knowing her fight was quickly approaching. Her heart began to pound with excitement. The failure that loomed over her now pushed her like a great oceanic wave, she stood from her chair, darkness seeping from her form, and began marching to the hangar. In place of her own ship, that was still undergoing repairs, an Imperial Assault Shuttle, another ship from the old Sith empire, waited for her.

 

Victory and Failure had blended their meanings, as regardless, Kahla knew that there was only progress ahead.

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Simka led the mass of younglings he had rounded up from the Crèche straight towards the designated alcove, letting Amyko gather all the others whom he could not reach. Amyko had, in turn, recruited a lot more younglings and hopefuls to the cause, including her friends Karra, a Kel Dor and Uzem, a Firrerreo, and soon enough, as the storm began to dwindle, the Seed of Lehon's Jedi had all been gathered at a single assembly point, near enough to their presumed extraction point: the Landing Pads.

Simka halted suddenly when he felt a fire in the Force suddenly snuff out. The feeling that followed was ominous and foreboding; a void, like a black hole borne out of the implosion of a giant star. Blinking, Simka took a few anxious steps out into the dwindling storm again, using his arms to shield his eyes but nonetheless facing the general direction of the void. Darkness unopposed, reaching out to him in waves. Beckoning, beguiling, seductive...

It came, suddenly, literally slamming into his face in the wind. Simka caught the fabric and pulled it off his face, bringing his hand up to observe what looked to be a Jedi cloak. As it flapped violently against the gusts, threatening to fly out of his hand should he so much as loosen his grip even slightly, Simka nonetheless felt a sort of comfort and warmth emanating from it. Traces of the very same Light that, he could tell, was no longer here to shield them all.


Explosions rocked his world not soon after, and Simka looked up to see the Sith ships, swarming down over the Temple like a swarm of star-locusts. The Padawan didn't need to know what needed to be done next. "Amyko, Karra, Uzem, everybody, follow me!"

 

Garbing himself in the Cloak he had just caught, the Padawan closed his eyes and focused. Simka reached out into the boundless ocean of light, unlocking its flood-gates and letting it fall into him and through him, thus enabling him to emanate as much of the Light as he could. While it would render him exposed to the Sith and anyone who could sense the Light, thus putting him at risk, his purpose in doing so was to give the younglings and hopefuls around him something to hold onto through the Consuming Darkness, lest its horrific iniquity overtake their still-underdeveloped psyches.

 

It was in thus manner that the Padawan led the swathe of younglings from the alcove down to the Temple Grounds and through them towards the Landing Pads, as he opened himself up to the Pervading Light and allowed it to direct him towards the safest route, farthest from the blaster fire, the screams and the stench of cauterized flesh.

Edited by Simka Suume
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Stabilizing what wounds she could and assisting those who could walk or hobble to a less chaotic triage zone, Leena let the force cascade around her. Here amongst the chaos and death and pain and destruction, Leena felt a sense of comforting familiarity. The force was her ally. She stood within it’s grasp, a lighthouse amongst the storm. The force expanded outwards from her in a wave of healing light side energies that sought out injuries and began to urge their healing.

 

The hurricane was lessening and even in the falling rain, even with the void the grandmaster left in the force, Leena pushed on. She felt it. Deep in her soul she knew, a crack of lightning illuminating the visage within her mind. Somewhere nearby, Grandmaster Draygo had become one with the force as she met the surging rush of Sith warriors. Leena did not know who slew the leader of her order, she did not know where it happened, but she knew. This chaos was only beginning. It would get worse before it got better.

 

she was a healer and Leena longed to treat the wounded; but she knew now what she needed to do. The Grandmaster was gone. The storm was lessening and the Sith were closing in on the ground and soon enough, by air.

 

Standing, Leena ducked and began to run through the rain, dodging through debris slowing only to shout out instructions and encouragement to begin loading the sick, wounded, young, and in need onto the transports. She encouraged other Jedi to aid those in need or to fall to the defenses, buying time for the refugees, injured, and innocent to get to safety. Jedi Aces rushed to their fighters, Guardians preparing to face the enemy in combat, and all others preparing to do their best against the worst.

 

Skiddering to a stop in the rain, Leena smiled warmly at the site of her padawan, “Simka! It warms my heart to see you alive. You are doing well. The Sith are coming. Make haste. Get your charges aboard a shuttle and then find me in the chaos. We need to strengthen the light against the darkness. I fear the sun is setting on our time at Lehon.” Reaching out as the rain ran down her hand, she squeezed Simka’s shoulder. “We will buy them time.”

 

Moving off, Leena continued through the chaos. The grandmaster was gone. She was a member of the council. Jedi looked to her now, but she was a healer too; a beacon of purity against the sins of the darkside.

 

Over the cacophony of the storm, Leena heard an animalistic cry that drew her eyes. She had heard it before. “Juro? But where is,” she mused aloud in surprise her eyes scanning the broken wall. “Kadi!”She shouted seeing the wounded Jedi nearby.

 

Running forward, Leena sensed her fellow Jedi’s pain. She continued to draw in the force, hastening her speed as her hands began to glow. 
 

Healing energies coursed about the Master Healer as she sought out the naturalist’s wounds. “What happened to you friend? I sensed that dreaded witch’s presence, but now . . . .” Leena began to stabilize Kadi’s wounds internal and external, stemming and loss of fluids, and using the light side of the force to hasten her natural healing. Drawing on the light within herself, Leena moved with speed. Drawing on the light she felt in Kadi and by way of she and Juro’s spiritual connection, the natural goodness and energy within the creature Leena grew it. Allowing the natural goodness of the Jedi to blossom into a flower of healing energies and power, Leena crafted the energy to revitalize the duo’s weary muscles, encourage healing of wounds, and sharpen their senses. Purity of light and soul surged about them, radiating against the pressing darkness and bathing the very ground about them in crackling purifying light.

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As Shiro began his approach, he pulled the Force that flowed around him into his being, letting the corruption of his will ensnare it within his grasp and forced it to bend to his reality as his skin became hide, his speed became a blur, and his strength tenfold. The very pressure of his presence within became tyranny as he approached the edge of the jungle and neared the clearing. Reaching to his hip, he pulled forth his BattleAxe, letting his will flow into its bleached ivory form. The Spirit of War was beginning to stir from it's slumber.

 

But to understand the Spirit of War, you must understand Shiro's belief. You must understand the truth of the Void. What he saw and witnessed on Cathar, a world that once knew peace and tranquility. A truth that Revan himself understood. War wasn't just aimless brutality. It was a culling of the weak and corrupted. Lehon held this truth too. For the Rakata and their Infinite Empire no longer existed. There was no Light nor Dark Sides to the Force, only Chaos. And through Chaos, Order. The Chaos of War where the strong survived and the rest eradicated. Utter Destruction created Prosperity. In this, the Mandalorians got it right. This was the truth of nature. And in this beast, he would test his worthiness.

 

As Shiro cleared the Jungle, the beast was quick to notice his arrival as it turned to welcome him. The ground shook with the beast's engagement and a large hand clubbed the ground toward Shiro as his speed increased, the young Sithling side stepping it's first attack with little more than general effort as he drew his ivory axe against leathered hide that barely drew a scratch. But what Shiro hadn't expected was the semi-sentience that the beast produced when it changed the direction of it's swing into a second attack, nearly catching Shiro off guard as he crossed his enhanced arms and took a bruising blow.

 

Despite this setback, Shiro grinned, finding the challenge more than he expected and even more fulfilling. This would not only mean a better testament to his worthiness, but also that the beast was worthy of its own. Gripping at the oversized fist of the Bull Rancor, Shiro used it's own momentum against its self and carried over into his own as he slung the creature over his prosthetic shoulder and onto it's back with a subtle grin of glee, empowering his augmented blade with more of his will in an attempt to split the head of the beast.

 

But it wouldn't be so as the beast took the blow with his thick forearm and returned the favor to Shiro, the Apprentice feeling the hardened embrace of a nearby rock to his backside and the brief daze of starry nights. And yet, as his gaze returned, he caught sight of a similar grin upon that of the beast's unbridled maw, as if two Warriors had met upon the field of battle to test their mettle against one another, and in that moment, a semblance of respect echoed in Shiro's own. Rising from his position, he readied himself for his next attack. If he could not kill the creature, he would have it as his own.

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The shuttle shook and rocked as it burned through the atmosphere. The uneasy tension brought by the dark enclosed bay twisted around Kahla. Being unable to see and experience the outside world, pulling away her control over it, had set her in an anxiety almost unfamiliar to her. Her armour clattered as she steadied herself against the violent shake of the craft. They must have been flying through flak, it had to be, The soft blue of the dim interior light gave Kahla a cold and damp chill down her spine. The waiting drove at her mind as she stared at the indicator light. She allowed her heart to race, for the uncomfortable tightness of the hull to close her in. With pain as her ally, comfort would be unattainable in the time of battle.

 

The light flickered as the craft slammed down, the door hissed open and sith troopers stormed to pull security. The shuttle had taken small arms fire from the ground, the rebel holdout was dedicated, it seemed. With her shoulders rolled back and her chin high, Kahla marched forth from the darkened shuttle, the loose cloth over her shoulder and hips bellowed as the shuttle took off. Her saber hissed to life in her right hand. As she stretched out her arm she growled "Wipe the filth from this planet." Without another word the troopers stormed towards a possible breach in the defenses, outlined by ISR. There was no doubt the Jedi present would try to secure it, and so Kahla would once again play the huntress.

 

As soon as she laid eyes on the entrenched forces surrounding the temple grounds she came under fire. There was no easy way to mask her silhouette, and so she started sprinting at the enemy. Her hatred of their resistance fueled her body like a great war machine. She made the Force submit to her will, guiding her blade as she deflected blaster bolts. Those that made it through her own defenses ricocheted uselessly off her thick armour. There was a group of maybe twelve in the 'breach', their fortifications partially destroyed in an explosion of some sort. In her left hand she pulled her offhand saber, infighting its luminous red glow. She swung a wide underhand arc before releasing the hilt into the air.

 

With the force bent before her, she guided the blade as it sang an unholy screech, spinning through the air. It caught the abdomen of the first, and then the chest of a second before plunging into the center of a third. As she pulled the saber back towards herself she could hear the shouting of the rebels. There was surprisingly little fear in their ranks, and it was only a moment before she understood why. Not far behind their ranks stood tall a massive beast.

 

Attention was turned away from her and towards the troops she brought with her. leaving a perfect line for a greater engagement. Her head shook as her heart sank at the realization. She let out an irritated grunt as she spoke to herself. "Oh, you have got to be kidding me." 

 

Perhaps she really was here for a hunt.

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Kadi shook her head as Leena spoke. The assumption was reasonable, but not what happened. "I fought her daughter. The leader of the Nightsisters is dead, and they have been routed- I can only assume that Darksong has fled the battlefield once again. I was outside the Temple, but I was far- I sensed Draygo's passing, and I came to help the battle. I'm far from out of the fight. I fear we've lost this world, but I will fight to buy you as much time as you need to get these people to safety."

 

She glanced back. The shooting had ramped up- the attack had been renewed. She sensed a presence in the Force, racing towards the breach. Her fight would begin soon. She looked back at the other Jedi, placing her hand on Leena's shoulder.

 

"Don't wait for me. These people's safety is the priority. Once they're out, I'll make my way off-world. I won't let this be another Felucia."

 

She turned, letting out a sharp whistle to Juro. Her wounds still ached, but she could fight through them now. She moved away, towards the breach. She could here the shouting and the shooting, and the Sith drawing closer in the Force. She closed her eyes, centering herself before she looked back at Leena with a smile. She would be fine. She would do her job- she had no intent of martyring herself here, though. She would deal with this Sith, and then the next, and then the next until the Sith were routed or Leena could get their people to safety. She twirled her spear for a moment before jogging back through the breach, Juro moving behind her. it was carnage- The Sith and rebel troops traded fire from fortified positions. In the distance, a large explosion rocked the area. And in front of her, a Sith warrior. Another child. Were the Sith conscripting these people so early? Brainwashing them to do their bidding? She stood her ground, and Juro let out another screech behind her.

 

"Turn back Sith. You will not harm these people."

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As the crustacean let out its deafening roar Kahla's attention shifted to the Jedi that stood before it. She let out a deep breath, stalking forward in protest to the Jedi's request. "How about No." She grinned beneath the mask of her helm. The girl was only a little taller than the Sith, though the mountain of armour Kahla wore brought them more or less eye to eye. From the distance she couldn't make out most of the woman's features, though she was decently good looking, despite being warn from battle.

 

There was no use in waiting any longer, her body ached for it's chance to purge these people from this planet. Both of her lightsabers were lit and ready, the crimson blades humming in anticipation.

 

With a tight flick of her right wrist she let loose her saber, guiding it with sinister intent towards the Acklay's face. In that moment Kahla lunged, dipping to the left as her metal boots kicked the dirt free from the ground in her wake. As she approached the Jedi she guided the saber she'd thrown back around, pulling it in behind the girl as she raised her left saber up, bringing it down with practiced efficiency at her shoulder.

 

She pulled the flung blade into her grasp and swung from low to high, conserving what momentum the hilt still had upon reaching her as she continued her charge. Kahla's speed and aggression stayed true to her training, her heart pounded with the adrenal rush of breaking her anticipation.

 

((1))

Edited by Zendrin

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She sighed in sorrow. First Telperiën, and now this hulking woman. Why did the Sith always choose to fight? What was on this backwater planet they wanted so badly that not even their most level headed fighters were willing to waver? It was in there nature, she supposed. As it was in hers to oppose them. She broke into a run with Juro to meet the Sith- She would need to end this fight fast. Ataru wasn't known for it's ability to fight long battles, and while Leena's healing and her vigil had helped her recover her stamina, it wouldn't be long she felt before she was too tired to fight on. For now, at least, she was able to perform. The Sith's saber flew by, Kadi's heightened senses catching the movement as it flew towards Juro. He moved his head as the saber cut a score across his armor and he shrieked in pain. She felt it too, through her bond, and held it tight, though not like a Sith would. She didn't hold onto it for power or for prestige- she clutched to it to protect Juro, to ease his suffering. He let out an enraged roar, following her lead as the hairs on the back of her neck prickled.

 

She spun, igniting her spear and knocking the returning blade off it's lethal course, her blade meeting it, letting her momentum carry her as she continued her spin into the next blow, the second saber slicing through her armor and leaving a shallow slice against her back. A calculated risk, as her proximity and her spin propelled her to the Sith's left, past the aggressive follow up and left the Sith swinging at empty air. She swung the hilt of her spear towards the back of the Sith's head, followed by a completion of her spin as she gripped close to the base of the spear, sacrificing power for reach as she slashed at the back of the Sith's knees. Meanwhile, Juro took the opportunity to fight as well, a pair of carapaced claws, covered in serrated spikes, came down towards the Sith, who was now caught between a Jedi and her Acklay. The battle would be far from over, Kadi felt, as unless the Sith took the full brunt of Juro's attacks, no blow administered had been lethal.

 

((1))

Edited by Mavanger

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Kahla’s boot slammed into the ground, cratering into the soil to kill her momentum when the Jedi slipped past. Her upper body lurched forward as it tried to comply with the command. Quickly she turned the momentum into a duck, barely avoiding the hilt of the knight’s spear, which glanced off the back of her helmet. Kahla pivoted, planting her right foot behind her to brace, while her left stayed cemented in the dirt. In that instant an all too familiar scorch slashed through the armour on her knee, while the blade didn’t contact the skin directly, her flesh seared and boiled under the blade’s path. As the pain shot across her body Kahla grinned under her helm, embracing the burn once again. Just as the pain brought adrenaline into her veins, so too it brought strength in the force.

 

As she delved into her connection in the force the insect-like creature reared, it’s carapace claws rose. Knowing the pain in her knee, Kahla snapped her left arm out, once again releasing her saber at the creature. The pain the Jedi inflicted on her, she would reflect on the Acklay as she guided the carmine blade through the force towards the middle left leg’s joint. Again, she charged the woman as the sharpened claws came down toward her. They clamped down on the cloth of her shoulder, anchoring it to the ground. Kahla's shoulder snapped back, halting for only a second. She forced herself through the snag, and the cloth tore loudly as she was released into an empowered lunge. Each step was supplemented with the force, she'd lost momentum, which meant more time for the Jedi to prepare. Her knee ached with each step, begging Kahla to stop, but no halt would come as she thrusted her saber in an aimed stab towards the right side of the Jedi’s chest. As she did so her offhand saber whirred back to her. She twisted left from her stab to charge behind her and brought a wide slash across the back and shoulders of the self-righteous woman, the blade steered from upper left shoulder to lower shoulder blade of her right side.

 

It was a pity that the Jedi would bring this creature to fight for her; to subject it to the horrors of the battlefield like this. Leave it to the mercy, or lack thereof, of any Sith that crossed their path. To blind it with attachment the way she likely had, Kahla knew that should the Jedi fall, the creature would stop at nothing to destroy her killer. And so, it too would have to fall.

 

 

((Defensive Actions/Damage Taken)) ((Attacks made)) ((2))

Edited by Zendrin

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Sure enough, the fight wasn't over. But there was a difference between this fight and the fight with Telperiën. The nature in which they enjoyed the fight had shifted- This woman was vengeful and filled with hatred, something that was made apparent when she yet again threw her blade at Juro, this time aiming for his own knee. Juro was not an inept beast as he must have appeared to the Sith, however, as he let out a shriek and dodged to the right, the saber missing him entirely as he skittered back into position. Kadi, for her part, was no slouch either, and as a practitioner of Ataru, speed and agility were her forte. She bent backwards, as though playing a lethal game of limbo, taking advantage of the moments bought by Juro, allowing the thrust to pass harmlessly over her. Rather than try to correct her center of gravity, however, she used the Force to augment her athleticism, and turned the dodge into a short backflip, preventing the Sith from circling behind her. The strain on her arm reopened the wound that Telperien inflicted, and her chest ached as the burnt flesh was forced to stretch. She landed crouched as the Sith's final blow went wide, though it was a wide cleave and bit deep against her other shoulder.

 

Whereas her previous fight had tested her mentally, it was clear this test before her would be purely martial. There was no psychology here, nothing she could do to convince this Sith to divert her course. And so, she would have to defeat her. She gave a trio of thrusts towards the Sith as Juro continued his advance. The first was aimed towards the neck of the Sith, aiming for the soft spot between her helmet and her breastplate. The next was similarly aimed at the Sith's shoulder, followed by a blow towards her hip, where her plate met her belt. The situation wasn't ideal- this Sith was much more martially focused than her previous opponents had been, but her strategy remained the same. She leapt backwards, hoping to further split the Sith's attention between herself and Juro. If she could do that, they could make an opening, and they could exploit it. Juro, for his part, continued his advance, looking to drive the one who had harmed him into his companion's spear, placing her squarely between them, as though she were metal caught between hammer and anvil. He pushed forward still, continuing his assault as he once more drove his serrated claws towards the Sith.

 

((2))

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Leena had time to look up at the advancing Sith, in the eaves were their armies. She looked to Kadi and Juro before scrambling to her feet with a nod. She had seen the naturalist in battle before and hoped she could handle this ravaged soul. They each had their part to do. Kadi would buy them time. Leena would make sure they used it.

 

Across the chaotic walled landing platform and Temple grounds, Jedi and allied troops made for the walls. Others rushed to get the weakest to the ships, aces escorting the craft on an escape trajectory that would take them off planet opposite the hovering Sith fleet above. The force was their guide and as Jedi and Sith alike touched it, the force tossed like a tempestuous sea. It empowered the Jedi for even amongst the chaos there was order, the natural order of the world about them; the will of the force cradling the entire battlefield in it’s omnipotent will.

 

Leena hurried off, reaching out to mingle her own mind with those of the others, to add her own cleansing soul to the cacophony of the force. She felt it wrap about her heart and soul, empowering her steps with speed and vigor, heightening her senses, and urging her along an unforseen path.

 

All about them, troves of younglings were being hurried aboard a nondescript freighter alongside a wide variety of artifacts, lightsabers, holocrons, and more. Nothing but an empty stone structure with a few bits and baubles, unmovable pieces of machinery, furniture, and the like, would be left; nothing bit the memories of this place and the bodies of those who fell in the defense of innocence, of life. 
 

Leena’s eyes scanned the walls. The soldiers there had long since opened fire creating a backdrop of gunfire and explosions. It was a telltale timer against which they raced. Scooping up a young child as he stumbled and fell, Leena pressed the boy into a Jedi caretakers arms helping to hurry the children aboard as another explosion erupted. This one was close enough Leena felt it in her chest. Glancing down the gangplank, Leena saw a gaping hole in the Jedi defensive wall as the some cleared. Fallen defenders were blown in every direction and no sooner had the explosion vanished armor-clad Sith soldiers began to surge through the opening only to met by the masterful blades of Jedi Guardians rushing to defend the breach.

 

Leena leapt from the ship shouting to the crew, “Get them out of here! We’ll hold the line!” Running towards the chaos that was starting to flow into the Temple like molten lava, Leena unclipped her saber hilt from her belt. The weapon felt heavy in her hand as it weighed against her heart what she was once again being forced to do. She was a Jedi; more than that, she was a leader amongst the Jedi, a beacon of light and hope, righteousness and goodness. The Sith like a cancerous plague were threatening those under her protection. She, like the others here, would do what they had to to protect those under their watch. Like patients under her care, they within the temple were her sworn protectorates. 
 

With a deep breath as she slowed taking in the battle as it unfolded, Leena centered herself in the crashing waves of the force. Forcing herself deeper into the force, beneath the tumult, Leena found the awe inspiring calm that was the force. She allowed it to flow through her. Activating her saber, Leena charges into the fray.

 

She had barely taken a dozen steps before she heard the cry of a Jedi as he was knocked from his feet by a hulking armored brute of a Sith soldier. She almost felt the wind leave the Guardian’s lungs as his blade clattered to the ground where the abomination crushed it with a shower of sparks beneath his feet.

 

Turning, Leena extended her hand, a protective aura erupting over the fallen Jedi as he tried to scramble away from the next crushing footfall of the Soldier or Abomination’s deathly intent. She winced as the creature ground his armored limb against the energized barrier, beating at it with his weapons and limbs. With her arm extended, Leena yanked her hand upwards causing the shield to follow her extended guidance, flipping the Sith soldier through the air to where he landed with a crash on the cobblestone court.

 

The Jedi Guardian looked gratefully at Leena before scanning for his lost weapon. Leena saw his shoulders slump when he noted his weapon broken into countless pieces on the ground.

 

A shrill whistle carried across the battlefield from Leena’s fishy lips. Catching the Guardian’s attention, Leena tossed her saber through the air towards him. He caught it with a startled look. Leena gave him a solemn nod; one that he retuned. No words needed to be exchanged.

 

Turning Leena slid like a fish swimming against the current through the battlefield towards the breach. She juked and flipped her way around defenders, her hands extending to touch attackers, sparking bouts of healing energy that stunned or blinded the advancing soldiers jumping forth.

 

As she entered the breach, the fighting became the thickest with blaster bolts flying indiscriminately and the flash and crash of swirling sabers creating a near constant buzz of energy. It was here, in the midst of it all, fueled by the ever present living force, that Leena slid to a halt, her white healer’s robes cakes in mud and blood. Looking out beyond the  Temple, she could see the advance of countless more soldiers, corrupted to the point of destruction by their Sith puppeteers.

 

She felt the force around her twisted by the darkness and sustained by the light, she continued to let it flow through her, radiating it outward in crashing tides of life-giving energy. Allowing the energy to build for a moment, Leena focused her thoughts to all those behind her that she had a duty to protect and to those all around her that also sought to fulfill that duty, to Kadi and Juro as they defended yet another breech from a dark onslaught. Her mind dwelt on them and knowing what was right, she threw her hands out before her once again, pushing the force outwards in a semi-solid stasis barrier that reached from one end of the broken wall to the other.

 

She immediately felt the energy drawn from her. No, through her, as she became a conduit of the force’s power into a physical display of it’s power. The shield took withering fire from the enemy forces now hindered outside. Leena poured herself into the shield wall, willing it to stand, to hold fast until the transports were away. Within, the Jedi and their allies began to rally, cutting down enemies they could not disarm, disable or capture, and rendering useless those they could by ways of binders, the force, or other sometimes not all together pleasant means.

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