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Felucia - Jedi Temple


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The villagers watched carefully as a ship landed at their outskirts. Before this any aid had been caravanned through the jungles, mostly by animal or wagon, some by cautious speeder. The mechanized being gave them pause, sending a ripple of fear through the village. Such an automaton-abomination was all too clear a reminder of the faceless war machines and creations of the Sith that had sought to suppress them and drive them as slaves before them.


Members of the Jungle Felucian warrior castes, this village had been hard pressed in the Sith onslaught, it was why Leena was there helping to tend to their wounded. Even after the battle, it was these skullblade wielding warriors who were the first to venture into the devastating mists looking for their people and tending to those they came across.


So now, even as the one that looked to be a Sith dream come to fruition strode into their village, they met her with an envoy of regailed and painted combatants while from the trees and shadows a dozen plus more watched, their bows held to the ready. They sniffed at the air, sniffing the woman’s presence within the force itself; cautious to believe she meant them no harm. They had seen deceit masqueraded before them all too often.


One particularly brave fellow stepped forward, a spear held guardedly in his hands, colorful feathers adorning the shaft where the poke met the razored edges of jagged durasteel salvaged from the jungle’ depths.




“No no no.” Cane a voice from out of sight as a slight fishy Mon Cal in brown robes caked in blood and mud rounded the corner, carving a path through the even shorter native Jungle Felucians. “She is here for me.”


A growl escaped the gathered warriors as their glinting eyes and blades shifted towards Zeris. Animalistic and predatory, it signaled an immediate dislike for the nee arrival. It was a reason. That was all they needed.


”No!” Leena’s voice carried over the cacophony with alarm. “With me! She is here WITH me, not, oh nevermind.”  The Healer offered Zeris an exasperated smile as she rolled her eyes. “Welcome to the jungle,” she shrugged her shoulders making her way through the rest and brushing away the leader’s poison-tipped spear.


“Miss Zeris Mons I presume? You made excellent time in getting here. We are still waiting for the others. I suspect they will be along any time. As you can see,” she held up her hands, “Things are busy around here. These warriors have been out helping other villages and areas that have been hard hit. Their village is still in pretty big disarray and they have several sick and wounded. If you wanted to stick around, you’d be most welcome. I’d be happy to take a look at those,” she gestured to Zeris’ cybernetic limbs as she began to walk back deeper into the devastated village. It was apparent that there was still a lot of cleaning up to do and that the locals were making the best of the situation. “Make sure they’re synced right or even see about growing you some skin or new arms and legs. When time allows of course. Is there any chance you would want to go and heft a few fallen beams from some collapsed huts on the east side of the village? They haven’t had the time what with going out every day and nursing their own. Besides,” she lowered her voice to a whisper, leaning in towards the mercenary, “they are wirey and strong, but it will take a half dozen of them with pulleys and winches working all day to clean up those firebombed community buildings”



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Zeris' eyes narrowed by a fraction of an inch as she watched the native Felucian approach. Tough, determined, disciplined...a fine example of a warrior upbringing characterized by a harsh environment. People like this were dangerous to fight, and even more dangerous to underestimate. Anyone who lived their life fighting against the odds knew how to even them. But it was his stance that caught her eye.


Rear foot held further back than normal. Grip on spear wider, and angled upward several degrees more than necessary.


This warrior is used to hunting large game. Very large.


When the Mon Cal that Zeris presumed was Jedi Master Kil emerged, her attention broke away from the Felucian warrior and to her new prospective client. This one was...different from the other Jedi she'd already seen. Zeris couldn't put a word to the feeling, but for a moment she remembered living in the halls of the Echani colonists, walking with her adopted siblings, being given her first meal by her adoptive mother. She remembered living on the cargo freighter she'd stowed away on, grinning like a stunned idiot when the crew threw her an impromptu birthday party, or standing in disbelieving silence as the captain handed over her first pay.


Then she remembered further back. She remembered a long bunkhouse on the edge of a mineshaft surrounded by thick snow and glaring sunlight. She remembered her first bed, carved up with a little girl's doodles. Her mother, cradling her. Her father, hugging her.


Zeris blinked, and the memories faded, and she immediately understood why Jedi were so dangerous.


Goodwill. This woman radiates goodwill.


Keeping her composure, her mood already lapsing back into ennui, Zeris listened to what the Jedi had to say.


2 hours ago, Leena Kil said:

“Make sure they’re synced right or even see about growing you some skin or new arms and legs. When time allows of course. Is there any chance you would want to go and heft a few fallen beams from some collapsed huts on the east side of the village? They haven’t had the time what with going out every day and nursing their own. Besides,” she lowered her voice to a whisper, leaning in towards the mercenary, “they are wirey and strong, but it will take a half dozen of them with pulleys and winches working all day to clean up those firebombed community buildings”


She held up her arms, giving them a once over before flexing at the elbows.


"I'm fine. And sure, I'll help. Come get me when you're ready." She started walking away, calling back, "Ship won't take off without me."




Zeris found the burnt out huts easily enough. They were black, ashen blots in what had once been a community that would have disappeared into the jungle if you looked at it from the wrong angle. Wooden beams, cracked and dark from fire, lay scattered across the burnt out frames of huts. Zeris considered the problem with the same care she'd examine a difficult bounty or dangerous opponent.


The problem was he body wasn't *fully* upgraded. With her torso still flesh, bone, and blood, she had to be careful what she lifted or she could wrench her own spine or worse. Some of the lighter beams might be safely within her capabilities, but the larger ones would need a more careful approach.


In the end, Zeris decided to go about it with a different (albeit just as direct) approach. Saying only "Master Kil sent me," as explanation to any curious onlookers, she approached the first large beam until she stood at its base. She checked where it was resting, what was resting on it, and rechecked three more times until she was sure she understood what she was looking at. Then, she drew back on fist and punched.


The beam shuddered, as a crack shot up the center of the beam where she'd struck, following an existing grain that the fire had already forced to separate. The next punch struck the same spot, and several more cracks formed and lengthened. Then the next punch came. Then the next.


Within seconds, a sound not unlike industrial equipment rang out through the jungle as Zeris' jackhammer fists took apart the beam, and it was soon followed by a splintering sound as the beam gave away and crumbled into the ash. Zeris moved along its length, and with several more sessions of rapid-fire strikes, reduced the whole beam to several smaller sections of splintered wood.


She moved to the next beam, barely winded and her arms still at full capacity.


Day was just getting started, and she had work to do.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Leena smiled as the cybernetic mercenary made her way into the destroyed village followed by a gaggle of villagers. It warmed her heart; this hardened warrior, her heart still held a warmth for others. Why else would she go to help they that she had no other connection to? “That Reaper Joe, always full of surprises,” she chuckled softly shaking her head as she turned and made her way back towards the makeshift medical ward in one of the few yet standing longhouses. Soon enough the sound of Zeris’ jackhammering blows rang through the heavy jungle air.


Back in the ward, Leena pushed up her sleeves. The hot dense humid air was still here, making it even stickier as it mingled with the distinct odors of injury and illness. Grabbing a pot of clean water mixed with sanitizer and what passed for a stack of sterile rags, the Jedi Healer moved towards a fevered villager with a gapping wound that ran down his broken leg. With an expert eye, Leena eyed the poor workman, took in his pain and felt it pressing against her heart.

Leena inhaled, reaching for the force. It was all about her as thick as the hot heavy humidity that hung in the air. She drew the man’s pain, coating it in protective healing energies. She extinguished the pain with a touch of the man’s forehead, using the rag to mop away his fevered sweat. Dipping it in the cool water, she set the cloth atop the man’s forehead before moving towards the source of the bodily devastation; the torn and broken leg. He had been crushed by the very pillar Zeris was even now addressing.


With the skills of a surgeon, her hands led by the force, Leena began to gingerly purge the infection from the man’s elongated wound. She hummed softly as she worked, her voice crossing between the natural and supernatural, calling forth the pain and sickness, fostering tissue growth and healing at an exponential rate. Puss oozed forth at her calling. She wiped it away as her fingers chased the trails of deadened flesh cauterizing it away with a touch. Her presence filled the room, her very works aiding the healing of others that she was not even attending. Healing and life poured forth as she drew on the living force, connecting each wounded and sick patient to the healers and medics at work and to those in the village beyond. Attitudes were bolstered and footsteps quickened. Muscles strengthened and  exhaustion dissipated like course sand beneath the tide. Life itself seemed to flourish in the village-encompassing aura of the Mon Cal. The smell of salted sea water seemed to settle across the village bringing with it a gentle cool mist against the heat of the day.


As she worked, Leena’s warm joyful song, gently hummed between concentrated lips, a second natured act as the woman focused on her task at hand, seemed to waft across the village, a faint tune in the ear of anyone that stopped to hear it. It told a wordless story of regeneration and life, of the conquering of death and darkness. It spoke of a love of life and passionate compassion for the least of these. All who heard it would be encouraged, empowered deep in their soul, to embrace their lightest and most pure traits and to act upon them in selfless acts for the greater good.

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The landing of the transport in the Felucian jungle was uneventful. The two droids exited the ship quietly, taking on a brunt of last minute stares before the ship closed itself up and left for other parts of the galaxy. Ruin glanced at the leaving ship once then turned his attention to the jungles around him. 

“Lots of guts. No guns.” Ruin commented. Fera seemed to nod at this. The people here were still repairing and rebuilding from the Sith attack. People were dismantling wrecked buildings. Soldiers were carrying wounded. Despite the time that had passed, healing for the planet was still needed. But contrary to the pain and destruction that could be seen, the planet was still very alive. 

“I suggest we find the healer named Kil and carry on with the…”

Ruin didn’t listen. A sound had gotten his attention. The pounding of metal fists into wood and debris. Ruin stepped towards where the sound was coming from. Despite all of his weapons holstered, the people who could see the droid couldn’t help but imagine he was ready to attack something. 

Fera gave what sounded like a sigh and followed, crawling up to his usual shoulder mount. As part of allowing Ruin to become autonomous, he had to be allowed to choose his own path towards his own goals. All Fera could do was advise and guide, and hopefully protect. 

Ruin came to a stop. A short distance away, the source of the noise was visible. A young humanoid female, with cybernetic arms, was making short work of the debris before her with said arms. 

After a brief look, Ruin approached. A nearby soldier saw Ruin and went off to notify the people in charge, including the Jedi healer who was busy with the wounded. 
Ruin came to a stop before the female. Fera gave a few chirps and buzzings, in a cheap imitation of a cough. 

“Attention undisclosed female. This semi-independent droid is designation B5-87, codename: RUIN.  My designation is F5-18-1. Codename: FERA. We are searching for…” 

“Killer healer. We are looking for a killer healer. And Sith. Got to kill Sith. You got good arms. Good to kill Sith.” At this, Ruin gave a nod towards the female’s arms." 

“Yes…” Fera continued. “We are looking for Healer Kill. Would you be able to assist us?”

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Felucia... It was a world that Lok hadn't been to since he left the Jedi Order and followed Master Kyrie into what was now known as the Imperial Knights. To step out of the transport behind Ruin and Fera upon his soil once again only antagonized his mixed feelings about working with the Jedi Order, and as he felt the pain of the world flow through him, he could only grimace at the Jedi's failings.


In silence he wandered about, not straying too far from the two he was meant to watch over, but far enough that he could gather a feel for the world he last stepped upon as a Jedi Knight. He could see the world's pain as much as he could feel it. The injured wailed, the broken sat stagnant, and everything laid in ruin. In his heart sat sadness, for this world would take generations to recover even with their aid.


But Felucia was not why he was here. Nor were it's citizens and misplaced refugees. No. It was the Jedi Healer they had came to support, and upon opening his mind and soul to the Force, he was quickly able to locate @Leena Kil. Her presence was subtle, yet powerful, a Master of her craft. But she was a Jedi, and he still held a disdained belief in their weakness. Not personally toward the Healer, for each had their own role to play, but in their reluctance to fight. In their inability to react, worlds like this one suffer. This was why he walked away from the Order with Kyrie and the others. And he didn't attempt to hide this fact in his emotional presence.


"Ruin...Fera..." Lok spoke as he stepped beside the two droids, offering the young girl a brief nod in his arrival as he pointed out the fleeing guard. "I don't believe we will be requiring her assistance. Our ward shall know of our arrival momentarily."

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I heard the visitors before I saw them. The crunching of underbrush signaled them as foreign to this world as I was, but it was the natives that gave me my real warning. Each of them tensed a full second before I'd even picked up the sounds of the approaching pair, and I watched one warrior adjust his grip on his spear while "casually" leaning against a wall. These people had been through a lot, and I certainly wasn't about to blame them for being jumpy.


When the two emerged, my eyes immediately locked onto the droid. I'd like to say it was threat assessment or something impressive sound like that, but honestly it was just a lot of droid. Definitely Baktoid design, but not a model I recognized. I racked my brain, calling up fuzzy images from old history books, but I couldn't remember any Trade Federation droid that had looked like it had been built around the skeleton of an abyssin bodybuilder. I briefly glanced and then did a double take at the very recognizable frame of the buzz droid with the big guy, and my breath caught for a second. You go through one bad job with a couple of those little chittering monsters crawling all over you with their saws whining will make anyone nervous. I've punched people who tell me they're "harmless".


Or worse, "cute".


The other one was a warrior. I could tell before his face even registered. The armor, the stride, the posture, all of it screamed veteran. Then I recognized the armor, and took a closer look. An Imperial Knight out here, working with the Jedi. Mix in the droid duo and myself, and this was turning into a pretty eclectic group.


I stayed silent but kept my eyes steady as they approached.


On 11/20/2021 at 10:14 AM, TerrorBot said:

“Attention undisclosed female. This semi-independent droid is designation B5-87, codename: RUIN.  My designation is F5-18-1. Codename: FERA. We are searching for…” 

“Killer healer. We are looking for a killer healer. And Sith. Got to kill Sith. You got good arms. Good to kill Sith.” At this, Ruin gave a nod towards the female’s arms." 

“Yes…” Fera continued. “We are looking for Healer Kill. Would you be able to assist us?”


On 11/20/2021 at 11:36 AM, Skyshatter said:

"Ruin...Fera..." Lok spoke as he stepped beside the two droids, offering the young girl a brief nod in his arrival as he pointed out the fleeing guard. "I don't believe we will be requiring her assistance. Our ward shall know of our arrival momentarily."


An accountant I'd once hunted who'd had a very impressive vocabulary (but not the common sense to not get caught embezzling company funds from his personal computer) had called me "phlegmatic", "laconic", and "taciturn". At the time I hadn't understood what those words meant. Echani don't talk much as a principle, and impromptu freighter crew families tend to teach a whole different kind of vocabulary. After I'd looked them up, I'd learned they were all just fancy ways of saying I don't talk much. And...I don't. Maybe Lady Tajara and the Echani way of life rubbed off on me more than I thought, but I always saw talking as kind of like fighting. You don't get points for fancy flourishes, or how fast you can flurry-punch the air before you get down to business. Its about getting the job done, and doing it right. If two words can do what 20 words can, then why waste your breath? Plus it helped sell the whole "stoic" thing, and branding is important in any commission business.


I pulled out a cigarra and lit it up, taking a few puffs to steady myself before responding to the pair.


"Leena's this way." I started walking away.


"Also, I'm your pilot."

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The Mon Cal worked tirelessly. The force rippled in the air with the power that radiated about the room. Wounds knitted themselves shut beneath her hands, purged of infection and disease. Throughout the ward and beyond, the tingle of life bloomed and grew. It best back the darkness of unwarranted suffering and death. Through it all, Leena’s light melodic hum carried as she and healers and medics worked with force-imbued vigor.


As the wooden door creaked on it’s hinges at the arrival of the eclectic group, Leena’s eyes were drawn to their arrival. Nodding to Zeris and company, Leena finished tying off the bandage she was working on before turning to  walk towards the others. Grabbing a clean rag, she wiped her hands clean, her white robes flecked with blood still. 

 A worn smile crossed Leena’s face. The constant work and plaguing dreams had taken their toll on her.  At last, they would be off looking for answers. Visages of darkness played at the back of her mind. Thoughts of the mysteriously shrouded dark world, monsters, Sith emblems, what did it all mean? Why was she being called to them? What was this world and what was the force summoning her there for?


”Captain Mons,” Leena bowed slightly in greeting to the cybernetic warrior, “You have already been of great service here, but I believe the time of our departure is upon us. Thank you.”


Turning to Lok Skyshatter and Ruin & Fera, Leena looked them over with a glance. One was an Imperial Knight; not what she had expected when she had reached out to her intelligence associate, but not a total surprise either. “Welcome Knight. I am glad to have your blade by my side.”


Turning her gaze to the duo of droids, she scratched her head. They were more what she had expected; but still, she was intrigued by them. “You are quit the cute little buzzdroid,” she complemented with a smile, knowing full well each droid probably possessed  the ability to destroy the entire village. “Tell me friend,  what is your primary designation?”


Gesturing for the group to step out of the ward into the village clearing, she pulled the door behind her. “I am glad you are all here. Too much time has elapsed already. There is much to discuss. I do not know what you have been told already. Even I do not have all the answers, all I know is that we are traveling to a world of darkness, unnatural evil wrought by the Sith in some way. If you have any pressing questions, ask them now; otherwise, let us gather what supplies we need and meet with Captain Mons and her ship.” Leena turned to Zeris with a gesture, allowing her to give details of her ship and where to go.

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My second meeting with the Jedi I'd be taking this journey with confirmed my initial impression, perhaps more so than the first time. This woman was Good, the capital kind. It was the kind of good you carve into the face of some hero's statue, the kind you put in a bedtime story because you don't believe it could really exist, the kind that doesn't feel like it should exist outside of a philosophy holobook. Which made it all the more wondrous when you realized it was the genuine article.


I took another look around at the group around me. The bizarre (and probably violent) droid duo, the fierce Imperial Knight, the noble and kind Jedi...if this group wasn't the kind to get into some strange shenanigans, then my instincts were dead and buried.


I could feel my lip twitch into a shadow of a smile. I liked shenanigans.


3 hours ago, Leena Kil said:

Gesturing for the group to step out of the ward into the village clearing, she pulled the door behind her. “I am glad you are all here. Too much time has elapsed already. There is much to discuss. I do not know what you have been told already. Even I do not have all the answers, all I know is that we are traveling to a world of darkness, unnatural evil wrought by the Sith in some way. If you have any pressing questions, ask them now; otherwise, let us gather what supplies we need and meet with Captain Mons and her ship.” Leena turned to Zeris with a gesture, allowing her to give details of her ship and where to go.


I nodded at her cue, and took a long draw on my cigarra before answering.


"Ship's 150 yards that way," I said, jerking my metal thumb over my shoulder and out the door. "Old Nu-class attack shuttle, but she's got new parts, so don't worry how she looks." I took another draw on the cigarra, finishing it off. Not wanting to leave burn marks in the hut (I'm not a total boor), I put it out between my prosthetic fingers, crumbling it into black soot that I flicked into one of my coat pockets.


I turned back to the Jedi. "I'll go prep the nav. Takeoff on your say boss."


I walked out of the hut and started hiking back towards the ship.


If I had to be honest, I'll admit I was a bit excited. This was exactly the strange kind of nonsense I'd needed.

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"Leena's this way. Also, I’m your pilot”


Ruin followed the female closely behind, glancing at Lok and giving him a scanning over, as if analyzing the man’s walk and facial expressions. 


“Tensions and Teeth? Or Exhaustions and Exceptions?” 


Fera didn’t seem to desire to translate the question that Ruin had placed forth, so it was up to the Jedi to draw his own conclusion at what Ruin meant. 


Finally, the group met the Jedi Healer. Ruin tilted his head when she introduced herself, as if a thousand questions were forming in the silicon brain of the terror droid. Fera even seemed intrigued as it moved from one of Ruin’s large shoulders to the other as if to get a better scan over the being in front of them. 


“You are quit the cute little buzz droid. Tell me friend,  what is your primary designation?”


Fera paused for a moment, then started into what seemed to be a memorized and recited introduction. 


“This semi-independent droid is designation B5-87, codename: RUIN.  My designation is F5-18-1. Codename: FERA. You must be Healer Kill?”


“Killer Healer.” Ruin stated plainly, head still slightly tilted.  “But no weapon? Odd Healer. Jedi Healer? Odd for a Jedi. Still, looks like a Jedi. Two Jedi is good. Better than one. I like. Good for dealing with Sith.”


After Leena talked, and the female named Mons mentioned her ship, Ruin’s attention turned towards Mons with pure intention.  When she left, Ruin followed, not stating a word for the entire trip. Fera seemed to show a genuine confused expression, as much as a buzz droid could show. Between the glancings back to where the Leena and Lok were left behind and forward towards their captain, Fera’s buzzings turned to a low growl, and jumped off to crawl back to the group to ask his own questions.


“Healer Kil, I must ask…” The Buzz droid started, its beepings and chirpings hopefully understood by someone in the area.  “Where is it that we are traveling to? Why is this task so unofficial? Are we dealing with something more illicit like our previous mission? Because I believe there is a 45% chance Ruin will go renegade if this mission has nothing to do with the Sith.”


Meanwhile, Ruin continued to follow Mons silently, not stealthing his footsteps at all but not stating a single word neither. His silence stopped however the ship became visible. Just as the Mons had said, the ship was a box-like looking vehicle with wings. A true Nu-class shuttle.  

“Fly and Fry” Ruin said as he stepped closer to the vehicle and placed a metal hand on a wing, creating a slight scratching noise as the palm slid over the metal slowly.  “Fly and Fry. Crash and bash. Guns and gas and guts. Smoke and smash.  Bad time, good ships.” 


Ruin looked at Captain Mons, and tilted his head. “Not white? Eh, still good. Fly good. Fly fast. You fly fast?  I fly fast. Crash fast too. Flash and crash, heheh. You ever flash and crash?”

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Lok watched the young lady before them, her posture and half met gaze speaking volumes about her where words mattered little. Her words were to the point and short, but her movements and actions lasting longer. She held experience, of this, Lok held no doubt. As she spoke and started her departure, Lok offered her the lead with an outstretched arm and quickly fell in line behind her. It seemed that fate had brought them to her and her part had yet played out.


"Tensions and exhaustions..." Lok responded to Ruin as he broke his silence amidst their casual stride, his gaze steadily forward as they traversed the distance to the Jedi. "Felucia... It is a world I haven't sat foot on in many years, not since I left the Order behind."


Lok briefly glances to Ruin and Fera. "Not exactly on good terms."


Turning his gaze back forward, Lok let it drift across the tents and fields. The pain here echoed the Jedi's usual inaction and it still pained him to see it despite their newly appointed and active roles in the war that claimed many worlds like Felucia. He couldn't help but ponder the course of actions and reactions that could have saved those worlds if the Jedi had acted sooner and not dealt with the schism that led to his leaving. Perhaps the Sith would not have grown so powerful and held such a grasp of command upon the Galaxy. Perhaps Onderon..


Lok shook the thought from his mind as the group entered a medical hut, the clanking of the wooden door and the squeaking of it's hinges shouldering the announcement of their arrival. Shifting his gaze to the Mon Calamari, a sight rarely visited outside that of the Rebellion or Mon Cal due to their reservations about space faring, Lok simply nodded. He could see the tiredness and exhaustion that wore its self upon both the skin of her face and in her eyes, and her presence within the Force regarded it highly even as the sun shown it physically once outside.


"A blade is only as good as the intentions of his wielder." Lok responded in course as she spoke to each and then in general. "Forgive my reservation, but we haven't been informed of much... only that we are to escort you. Can you elaborate slightly more? I don't want to walk into this blindly, especially if the Darkside is involved."


After the events of Mon Cal, Lok had remained guarded against even his own emotions, the Darkness he brushed upon while there still lingering upon his mind. And with Outer Heaven, he felt the call to take life without remorse, especially where the Shistavanien had been concerned. It seemed the intentions and emotional composure of those around him was affecting his own, and Lok had pulled  up a mental barrier to block such influences. With the missions as of late delving in the Dark Side, Lok had very little time to center himself against it's currents.


Lok watched as Captain Mons and Ruin departed, his question hanging upon the wind as he awaited her answer. And it seemed that Fera held her own reservations, her questions similar to his own as the Droid returned and poised them, and sparking his own reservations about Ruin. He was beginning to actually like a droid, and Ruin's personality was a good fit with his own. But just as Ruin and Fera's mission was to escort and watch over Healer Kil, Lok's was to escort and watch over Ruin and Fera. If Ruin was to go rogue, Lok was ordered to stop him. And in his silence, Lok's facial expression revealed this. Biting the nail of his thumb, Lok looked to Fera.

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Leena canted her head at the odd pair of droids. While she held no reservations towards them for being automated, she did not know nearly as much about how they functioned compared to standard organics. So the whirs and beeps of Fera’s communications would seem cute had not Leena realized the droid was trying to communicate . . . something. The larger automaton was not a slouch either. Clearly it carried some sort of combat programming beyond ‘bodyguard’.  Yet it clearly held some sort of resentment, be it developed or programmed, towards the Sith specifically. Time would tell if that would be help or hinderance where they were going.


Before she could respond Zeris and the bots had taken off towards the ship. For a brief moment, Leena wondered if the mechanized portions of them had some invisible draw towards other things of a mechanical nature? It was a thought she quickly bypassed, something for another time. There were more pressing matters at hand.


Leena turned her attention to the Imperial Knight. It was clear, beneath the surface, the man was perturbed to even be here. His guarded stance and mind betrayed a troublesome enigma beneath their protective barriers. What it was, remained to be seen. Offering a warm, albeit tired, smile, Leena turned so she stood side by side with the Knight. She slid an arm up to rest her hand on his shoulder in comfort, not control. A Knight did well to guard against the darkness, for their order strayed closer to it than the Jedi would dare. A warmth relayed from her fingertips, the cleansing soul purifying dignity that came with being renewed in body and mind.

Before she could speak, the buzz droid had returned, this time without her larger companion. Leena shook her head. “I do not understand you little friend. And in a place like this, I am not sure there are many that would” Looking from the brains of the droid duo to Lok and back, she nodded at Lok’s words. “I wish I had more answers myself. Sadly, any answer I have found only opens more questions. What I know is that our pilot was hired by my friends. So she is not Imperial is my guess. She knows where we are going, and presumably how to get us there in one piece. Before she arrived, I did not even know that. Byss is a world shrouded in mystery. The Sith held it once. Probably why my friends did not want to go there. Still, they were able to find where these visions seem to connect too.” She shrugged. “Maybe that is why I am having visions of the place. The Sith were there, some old sorceries or something, maybe something worse? Dark visions. Shadows just out of sight that crawl into my dreams. Ancient Sith writing. Spells? Scriptures? Instructions? I don’t know. And that is what we are going to find, answers; what this all means. I am not a Jedi of futures, of dreams and visions. I am a healer, called to mend the broken and destroyed. Maybe,” her voice took on an air of hope, “we can mend whatever rift this is too.”


And they began to turn, walking slowly in the direction of the ship. “So I imagine that is where you come in. I reached out to an old Imperial friend and asked for some help. No sense pulling Jedi away in a time like this and where we might be going, uniformed soldiers or anyone associated openly with either of our orders might draw unwanted attention. Like your bigger friend noted, I do not have a lightsaber. Mine was lost in the last great battle. I am not sure if I want to craft another one. In a galaxy plagued by violence,” she trailed off shaking her head. A moment later, she turned to look at Fera. she winked. “If violence is necessary, I hope you lot are up to the challenge. By the looks of it your friend would welcome a Sith entanglement. I hope it does not come to that. But given what we know, who knows. I am happy to have all of you along.”



Back at the ship, a small gaggle of native Felucians stood admiring the vessel. They had seen craft often enough, but this lot lived deep enough in the jungles that the opportunity to really examine one up close came rarely. Excitedly they ran their hands over the craft, examining the plating, guns, all of it with wonder. It was not their way, the ways of their people; but death had rained down in such craft. To study the enemy, to know their ways, exploit their weaknesses, it was the way of the warrior.

But like they that brought death, so did others come with other intentions; some to help, some with other ideations. Like she that had come in this craft, part being and part machine, like the Sith monstrosities that had devastated their homes.  Thankfully this one was different. She came and helped. Wether to make amends for her people’s actions or something else, who knew.


When Ruin and Zeris approached, the natives clambered off the craft. One, their leader, a sinewy and taut war-painted veteran hefted an intricately crafted spear of salvaged durasteel and held it up in two hands, parallel to the ground. The head was fused to the shaft and offered a wicked jagged point complete with spines that seemed to be intent on inflicting as much fleshy damage as possible. “For you.” He proffered the weapon. “To kill those that did this. Avenge us.” Another warrior hefted two sealed containers. One was a sealed container of acidic metal-dissolving goo derived by unspoken ritual by their people. The second, a fast-hardening resin to recoat the spear  to make sure the acid did not eat it away. The warrior that pressed the ornate containers into Zeris’ hands hissed with a chuckle as he eyed Ruin. “Works on those brutes too.” 






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On 11/24/2021 at 12:59 AM, TerrorBot said:

“Fly and Fry” Ruin said as he stepped closer to the vehicle and placed a metal hand on a wing, creating a slight scratching noise as the palm slid over the metal slowly.  “Fly and Fry. Crash and bash. Guns and gas and guts. Smoke and smash.  Bad time, good ships.” 


Ruin looked at Captain Mons, and tilted his head. “Not white? Eh, still good. Fly good. Fly fast. You fly fast?  I fly fast. Crash fast too. Flash and crash, heheh. You ever flash and crash?”


I keyed in the access code, and the gangway of The Crate lowered as the large droid talked. I started to wonder about him. Most droids either talk less than even I do or they love the sounds of their own vocabulators so much they wear them out in a week. This droid was different. It almost sounded like he was experimenting, like a kid who'd never held a sword suddenly taking one for a few swings.


"You're fun," I said around what was left of my last cigarra. I really needed to slow down on these. "Don't break anything." I grinned then, a genuine grin, and that surprised me. It wasn't just the excitement of the mission. Something about this droid was...I wasn't sure...charming? "Yes. I fly fast."


In truth, a long time ago I'd disabled a few of the inertial dampeners on The Crate and never repaired them. Just enough to cut the compensation a few percentile of course, not enough to be dangerous. But enough to feel some of those Gs.


My smile got a little wider.


On 11/25/2021 at 9:56 PM, Leena Kil said:

When Ruin and Zeris approached, the natives clambered off the craft. One, their leader, a sinewy and taut war-painted veteran hefted an intricately crafted spear of salvaged durasteel and held it up in two hands, parallel to the ground. The head was fused to the shaft and offered a wicked jagged point complete with spines that seemed to be intent on inflicting as much fleshy damage as possible. “For you.” He proffered the weapon. “To kill those that did this. Avenge us.” Another warrior hefted two sealed containers. One was a sealed container of acidic metal-dissolving goo derived by unspoken ritual by their people. The second, a fast-hardening resin to recoat the spear  to make sure the acid did not eat it away. The warrior that pressed the ornate containers into Zeris’ hands hissed with a chuckle as he eyed Ruin. “Works on those brutes too.”


I blinked at the unexpected gift. To be given a weapon in thanks by strangers...that said more of the quality of these people than it did of me or what I'd done.


I accepted the spear with all the solemn gravitas I would have given an Echani master bestowing a title. Taking the spear in both hands, I bowed to the native.


"I will be worthy of it."

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Lok lowered the nail of his thumb from his mouth as Leena's energy transferred into his own, a sense of tranquility coming over him briefly before he recoiled and pulled his shoulder away with a disdained look upon his face. He held nothing of note against the Jedi Healer, at least, other than her being a member of his former Order, the Jedi. But in some circles of the Order, he was among the opinion of being considered fallen, a Revanchist. And he held no knowledge of where her opinion in this matter laid. In this, he was reserved and cautious, even if they happened be allies at the moment.


"I can translate Fera well enough. Her questions were similar to my own." Lok responded to Leena's own concerning the small Buzz Droid before turning his own concerns of this mission back to the Mon Cal Jedi. "In essence, we're going into this mission blindly, with no real reason to pursue it other than the visions plaguing you and upon the advice of friends outside both of our Orders? I must confess Master Jedi. The reasoning alludes me and I am uncomfortable in this task. Could these friends of yours be behind this with the information they have readily available to give?"


In all honesty, what Leena revealed to Lok and Fera made the Knight question her sanity. Everything was too vague, half truths, and barely made sense. But given the effects upon her mind and body as the Force flowed through her, Lok questioned her narrative. Perhaps she had misspoken, or intentionally left something out. At this moment, he couldn't tell. For sleep deprivation could easily mess with the mind as much as the sanity of someone, triggering such ailments. But so could the Dark Side. And given her reluctance to keep the Jedi Order out of this situation, he could easily see both sides. Still... An Order was an Order and he was a Solider through and through.


Briefly, his gaze turned to Fera as the trio walked along the path set out before them.


"I suppose that Byss is worth checking out, simply to put both our minds at ease or to get to the truth of this matter." Lok spoke, having turned his gaze back to the Jedi and his stern eyes focused upon her own. "In this, I am greatful for the small group we have amassed. But, and I say this with all due respect Jedi, I am a Knight of her Imperial Majesty's and my days as a former Jedi are over. I will keep this mission and those under my care professional at all costs. I have a duty to them as much as I do my Empress and at the first sign of things going south, I will pull the plug on it. I hope you can respect this."


Lok couldn't help but feel he was being overly harsh by this moment as the ship began to distantly come into view. But whether this turned out to be dire or not, he was openly blunt about his mission directive. He wore the Crimson Armor of an Imperial Knight and as long as he adorn his armor, he had to keep appearences tight. Plus, if this truly was the work of the Dark Side or a Practitioner, he had to keep his guard up. Especially with Ruin's affinity to slash and bash.

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While the others spoke and walked, Fera’s little legs struggled to keep up, at first skittering across the forested floor, and when that proved to be occasionally a little slow, resorted to jumping from overturned log to pieces of ruined debris.

“While I am not one to believe in matters of faith…” Fera beeped and chatterred while crawling over a piece of metal. “I do know that Ruin has great faith in the Jedi and their insights. No matter their blade color. 

At this, Fera stopped and gave a glancing look towards Lok’s blade. Whether this was an indication that the buzz droid had noticed Lok was not like most Jedi or something else, she didn’t say. However, she continued her beepings and buzzings as she attempted to keep up with the other two.

“If you insinuate there are ‘sith writings’ at play here, I believe that this will satisfy my ward. And if Byss was once held by Sith, then it is appropriate to believe that they are still at work there. Back when I was manufactured, there was only one Sith of note, and now there are considerably more. Sith do not die. They only go to sleep. Ruin understands this to a degree and will go to Byss with enthusiasm”



 “Don't break anything. Yes I fly very fast”

Ruin seemed to nod at this and gave a thumbs up towards the pilot. 

While Zeris talked with the natives, Ruin seemed to ignore them and continued his inspection of the ship, muttering the entire time. Words about battle, flying, and death flowed from the droid like sludge from a pipe: Intermittently and in bursts. 

Eventually, Ruin stepped out of the ship, and upon seeing the spear in the pilot’s hands, nodded. 

“Stabs and skewers. Acids and burns. Good good. But flames and fires better.” 

At this, Ruin pulled out his X-Pyre grenade and tossed it up and down, almost as if to taunt the natives slightly. 

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Leena walked along beside the Knight, ignoring his recoil at her touch. Whatever plagued the man was deeper than a surface revulsion if she, her position, or her order. She regarded the man for a moment before falling back into step with him as they walked. She listened as he spoke. A smile tugged at the corners of her weary face. She did not understand the bleeping droid, unsure if it was angry or joyful as it careened through the underbrush. She took that it could not be too bad. The bot was following them after all.


After Lok finished speaking, Leena turned his words over in her mind. It was true, they were going in blind as it were; as blind as one might be, “In the force, one is never truly blind my brother. These friends of mine have saved my life a thousand times over. They have never steered me wrong before. Just as I am a Jedi and you a Knight of the Empress, there are many paths of life. One is not better than the other so long as they follow the truth and do not seek to edify selfish ambitions. We do not know how those paths will journey; but we all put our trust in something greater.” As they rounded a bend in the path, the gunship came into view as a band of Felucian warriors turned and scurried into the brush, vanishing as if they never were. Even in the force their presence was clouded by the living world, the force around them.

Pausing, Leena turned to face Lok. She looked him in the eye.  “I know your Empress. She and I trained together when I was but a Padawan. She is a good woman. I would trust that anyone who followed her had a purity of heart worthy of such an appointment. I also know the Admiral that sent you to me. He comes from yet another path; raised among the Mandalorians, dedicated to spy craft and war. He carries a goodness of will and steel character that carries his spirit towards the light of truth.”

“You seem troubled though, Sir Knight. Where we are going, I sense a strange rippling darkness that consumes all it touches. What it is, I do not know. I do not even know how to get there. For that, I am trusting our pilot, one who is not in the orders of you or I; but who is here under my invitation. I am trusting the force to guide us. What happens will happen. We will find what it is that we are seeking, be it Sith atrocities, Dark Side malevolence, or peoples in need. If you do not desire to accompany us, I will respect that.”


Leena knew that the droids and cyborg were a protective layer against the manipulations the dark side especially where force users might be concerned. She had poured over whatever bits of information she could find on Byss. It was not much and what she could find was unnerving at best.


Grabbing Lok by the shoulder, Leena nodded knowingly to the Knight before dropping her arm to her side. Turning she made her way towards the others at the ship. She offered a smile and a nod to Zeris. “Captain. Lovely spear.” She paused giving the primitive weapon a once over. “My gear should be along momentarily. Then we are in your capable hands and . . .  (¿) ship (?). We can depart when you give the word.” Her eyes ran over the worn vessel. She inhaled, calming her internal turmoil. Surely such a craft, kept by such a being, had it where it counted.


Looking to Ruin, “If you could avoid turning people into flambé, that would be appreciated. That being said, if the Sith monsters get out of hand,” she gestured to the flamethrower encouragingly. 


A few minutes later a wheeled droid rolled down the bumpy path, chirping angrily at each dip and divot. “I am a medical droid. I am meant to be left indoors!” It carried a case of medical equipment and spare robes. Rolling up to Ruin, the fine-appendaged bot addressed the hulking war machine his tone straying from pure annoyance to one tinged with shades of respect. “These are for Jedi Council Master Kil for her journey. Where should I deposit them?”

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"Strap in everyone," I called out as I powered The Crate up. The Imperial Knight, the Jedi, and the droids had boarded, along with their respective supplies, which I'd double checked to make sure it was secured properly. The last thing any pilot wants during a rough landing or a weave through an asteroid field is a loose crate plowing into the controls.


I keyed up the nav computer, and the screen was immediately drowned in a series of overlapping fields and crisscrossing, color coded lines. I'd been struggling to find a safe path to these coordinates since I'd gotten them, and what was on screen was my best attempt. The problem was that this world was in the Deep Core, and therefor surrounded by uncharted gravity fields, unpredictable stellar phenomena, and stars packed more densely than anywhere else in the galaxy. It was like a second Unknown Regions, only this one was home to old Empire outposts and secret bases that no one knew how to reach anymore. And this particular planet was DEEP inside, almost halfway to the galactic center. Anything even resembling a straight path would be suicide.


Empress Teta (or Cinnagar if you were an Imperial revisionist) was the obvious starting point. True, it was on the far side of the the Deep Core from the destination, but it was the "Gateway to the Deep Core" for a reason. Old Mining Guild hyperspace routes were still good, so long as you stayed away from the old Imperial astrogation charts, back when they tried to restrict access to the Deep Core by feeding non-essential ships errors. Honestly, half of the Deep Core "never seen again" expeditions nowadays probably died because they were using those charts.


After that, it got iffy. I knew explorations had been made into the Deep Core, but charts were next to impossible to find and even harder to verify. So, this would have to be done manually. I'd already plotted in every visible star along dozens of different paths, but that only accounted for a fraction of the potential problems we might face along the way. And if we strayed too close to any one of them...poof...we were space dust.


In the end, the partial solution I'd found had less to do with looking for a safe path, and more with looking for the most dangerous spots. I nearly burned up the nav computer on calculations, but I pinpointed several areas with incredibly strong gravitational fields and dense star clusters, denser than usual for the Deep Core. I then double checked the stars' relative position against the oldest records I could find, back from around 20,000 BBY, and noted which clusters were coalescing the fastest. These were dangerous areas, of that I was sure. Going through them was as suicidal as diving headfirst into an active starship thruster. Buuuut...if I skirted the edges...most of the dangerous stellar phenomena should have been pulled deeper into their respective star clusters thousands of years ago.




It was the best shot we had. Half of the star clusters I picked was more out of instinct than rationale. Our route was all educated guesses, acceptable risks, and a collection of tidbits and rumors on the Deep Core that I'd collected over the years.


I felt a smile tug at the corners of my mouth.


This definitely wouldn't be boring.




"Takeoff," I called back.


The Crate lifted off from the planet's surface, the thrust pushing me back in my seat, and soon enough we were breaking atmosphere and rocketing out into the void.


Here goes nothing, I thought to myself.


The hyperdrive whined to life, the stars stretched, and the cold black of space was replaced with the glowing blue of hyperspace.




All in all, the trip took 17 hours, and I wasn't away from the pilot's seat for more than 5 minutes of that time. 17 hours of tense, white-knuckled (so to speak), hellish uncertainty. And I'll be honest, I loved every second of it.


I know it makes me sound suicidal, and maybe I am. Or maybe I have an unhealthy belief in my own immortality. Whatever. I'm not going to apologize. We were going into the Deep Core. The Deep Core! We were delving into a region of space so dangerous people had been telling stories about it since before the Republic was even a thing. And I was doing it with a Jedi, an Imperial Knight, and a couple of crazy droids at my back, and only my astrogation skill and luck between us and instant death. This was what I lived for, and that was something I'd realized about myself a long time ago.


This was going to be fun.


In the end...we didn't die, though it came close more than once. Granted, to anyone not in the pilot seat, it was only a couple moments of the ship shuddering and a little red light blinking on The Crate's control panel. but to me those moments were the brief indications I got that we'd skirted something that would have shredded us into our respective particles.


Finally...we dropped out of hyperspace, the blue resolving back into the starry, infinite sky.


I sat back in my chair, suddenly exhausted. The planet lay below us...an utter mystery.


I fumbled in one of my pockets until my metal fingers emerged with a small bottle that clicked and clacked as I shook it. About 6 left.


I opened it and dumped one of the caf pills inside into my palm, and promptly swallowed it. I'd need rest soon, but this would keep me wired for a little while at least.


I walked back to the transport bay, where the old seats clone troopers would have ridden in had been left mostly intact, with a few sporting new leather covers while others had withered and flaked away until just their metal frames were left.


"We're here."


*Story continues on Byss*

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  • 1 year later...

Calypso fell within herself.


On the outside, she seemed mundane, not at all an ancient Sith reborn. Her tattered clothes were gone, replaced by a simple brown worker's frock that wouldn't be out of place on an assembly line. Her yellow eyes had dulled to a sickly ochre, and her pale skin and white hair now looked more the result of a lack of sun and early aging respectively than of any connection to the Dark Side. Perhaps the one thing her master had been talented at was hiding in plain sight, and she'd picked up the knack herself during her time building her strength underneath the Jedi's notice a thousand years ago.


Inside, however, a black torrent of emotions swelled and waned to her will. Fury and disgust at the universe mingled with her ever present hatred, and the Dark Side responded as it always did. She let it flow through her, an icy burning that scoured her and left her painfully cleansed. It was only in moments like this that she ever felt truly whole, and she took a moment to savor the exhilaration, before turning her will to the task at hand.


She directed the power out into the world, willing the Dark Side itself to manifest in the physical plane, a perfect blasphemy. The power left her, and she opened her eyes.




Frustration curdled her cultivated reservoir of emotions, and she briefly considered letting them out in a display of power. She quickly decided against it. The ship was coming up on Felucia, and she would not risk being discovered by the Jedi now, not over a reckless release of emotions. Better to wait until they'd landed, and the planet's own life energy would act as camouflage.


Speaking of which...


She got up from her unassuming quarters and exited out into the hall. The other colonists on The Ottega Dawn milled about, excited to be landing and starting their new lives in Har Gau. None of them gave the thin, meek Sith Master a second look, and she shuffled her way towards the bridge. As she walked further away from the living quarters, the crowds thinned. When she reached the final door that led to the ship's command center, she did not pause, but gestured with her hand, and the door whooshed open.


Where the crew should have been, only a single Ithorian remained at his station. By the symbols on his drab uniform, he was the captain of the ship. The rest of the crew lay piled into a single corner, charred to the point of their various species being unrecognizable.


The captain's response to her presence was immediate and visceral. Letting out a high-pitched whine that would have been more fitting coming from an animal, he cowered, tucking his head down in a futile attempt to look as small as possible. Calypso strode over to him, and the man began quaking in fear.


"Are we landing soon?"


The Ithorian could only nod. Up close, scorch marks and burns became apparent, a testament to the hours and hours of "meticulous" attention Calypso had bestowed upon him after she'd disposed of the unnecessary bridge staff. She did not have any long term plans for the ship, and so she would only need the captain for now.


"Good, land as planned. Then await my instructions." She did not need to threaten. The two of them perfectly understood each other.


The utterly broken, wreck of a captain could only nod again, shaking so badly Calypso was mildly surprised he could stand.


If her time among the Cthon had taught her anything, it was how to break a beast to her will.




The Ottega Dawn touched down outside of the city of Har Gau. Colonists, eager to make a new start for themselves in the city trickled out.


No one noticed the single woman disappear deeper into the jungle.

Edited by Darth Calypso
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NPC post separate from Hagark. 


Deep in the wilds, five Felucians stumbled forward. Unlike their brethren of the global tribe, these Felucians did not walk with caution nor with subtlety of a hunter or a gatherer. Instead, they marched forward, their hands grabbing at the mushrooms that grew around them, ripping off pieces of the cap to fill their rotting mouths. Several bent to the ground and scooped up handfuls of dirt into their maws, with worms and insects wriggling under their teeth. Behind each Felucian trailed strands of mycelia, which clutched at the pieces the hosts dropped. 


Behind the group, three Felucians followed. Elderly beings, each one having tendrils that drooped in dark energies intermixed with mycelia and growing spores. Each Elder seemed to walk differently from each other. The tallest of them, a giant compared to the others, made strides through the undergrowth, pushing aside foliage and debris like it was nothing. The smallest of the three crawled on all fours, sniffing the ground and running ahead randomly, only to run back and giggle madly. And the final one, with a large brewing pot around her neck, limped ahead slowly behind the rest, barely able to keep up.


“Make your gait slower all…”  the Shaman complained. “Lest your sister behind dost fall”


The two stopped and looked at their companion. The Virago snorted. 


“Does your strength finally wane?” 


“Does your power grow weak?” The Pariah giggled. “Fall behind, leg muscles juices drain, like the meek?  


The one with the pot snarled. But contrary to their jokings, the two did slow. The shambling Felucians however, did not. Their mouths continued to drool even as they stuffed their mouths full of plant and dirt and worms. 


Ahead, a young Gelegrub larva broke through the foliage, intent as eating as much as the Felucian drones ate. Unlike the Felucians, it did not intend to eat meat, and so when it saw the planet’s natives, it did not charge nor flee. The Felucians, however, broke their shambles and descended on the beast in a frenzy, quickly tearing it apart with teeth and hands. 


“Stop! Stop!” The large Shaman cried, as it charged the group and shoved the devouring Felucians aside. The Grub shrieked as it was devoured, until the large shaman ripped its head off with a few tugs, spewing jelly like fat everywhere. 


“This treasure ours!” The large one continued taking the head to the others. 


The Pariah clapped his hands wildly as the Virago passed, stealing some jelly and licking its contents. 


“Yes, ours, ours! These juices our connection empowers” 


The shaman dropped her pot on the ground and gestured to it. 


“Drain its mind, and let me cast...” 


“Ah, but what spell to cast? A spell for strength, or a spell to fast?” The Virago asked.


The Pariah giggled. “Strength would help, should some Jedi find”


Virago nodded. “Indeed, and might help break their mighty minds”


The Shaman shook her head. 


“Nay, not strength nor fortitude, nor enlightening rage, but rather, escape from this planet’s cage. Do you not forget our plight?”


Virago growled at the Shaman wild holding the grub’s head over the pot. “You insult me, for i wish to fight”


Pariah crawled closer to the pot, and reached into the pack at his side. Producing several handfuls of spores, he carefully tossed them in with the juices that drained from the grub. 


“No no, our sister right. Escape Felucia, escape our plight and turn our focus to future fights”


Shaman nodded at her brothers. “Come, add water, fire, and grass. To commune and see it like tempered glass. “


The two obeyed and added the ingredients. While they threw in several mushroom caps, water, and pieces of cider from a previous fire, The Shaman held her hands on the side of the pot. Slowly, she began to chant, channeling the dark energies inside of her into the mixture. As she did, the large mushrooms growing from her back seemed to wriggle with newfound energy. The Shaman began to communicate with the Great Spore . 


“Darkness, darkness, clear away
Let us see more of today. 
With these juices of prey devoured
Show us our predicting hour
Help us flee and make new blight
Across stars, across night.
How shall we flee this dangerous place  
Where shall we go, whom shall we face?”


The mixture bubbled violently with the dark energies coursing into the mixture, the rest of the shambling Felucians broke from their meal and stumbled to the three. With the Shaman’s chanting, they began to encircle and sway with the words. 


The mixture suddenly exploded upwards, smoke billowing into the air. However, the Shaman did not react, but instead released her hands from the pot. Now, she plunged her hands into the pot the scalding mixture burning her hands. Shaman raised her head and sang several  piercing pitches. 


As Shaman completed her spell, the drones opened their mouths and began to speak. 




Virago nodded. Pariah giggled. 


“North we go, but how far?” Pariah asked.  “Do we march until there are stars?”


Shaman and the drones ended their long singing and moans and took a breath. With their next notes from Shaman, the Great Spore answered again.




At this, Pariah and Virago looked surprised. 


“Vesh? What is Vesh? Is Vesh a building, a place?


“Or is Vesh something that bears a face?” 


Barely able to hold onto the spell much longer, Shaman took one more breath to get one more answer. 


“Fiiiind heeerrrrrr” The drones answered. 


With that, Shaman drew her hands from the scalding mixture. The mixture instantly evaporated into the air, leaving behind nothing but a greasy coat over the pot’s insides. Shaman took several deep breaths before looking her hands over. The burned skin had completely split open revealing muscles, bones, and mycelia trying to knit itself back together

Still, her hunger triumphed and she quickly grabbed the remaining pieces of the Grub’s head and devoured it hungrily. With each gulp, it seemed her hands healed a little faster. 


“Come sister, I'll carry you far!” Virago stated, scoping the hobbled being into his arms. Shaman didn’t even react, but continued eating.


“Yes, North, for Vesh is our guiding star! Let us go, brother and sister, and find this Vesh!”   


As if sensing Pariahs words, the drones turned and began to shamble northward. 


“And maybe we will find some delicious flesh!” Pariah laughed. The three turned and followed the shambling Felucians. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

The towering plants of Felucia rustled as a dark blur loped through its depths.


Calypso had been running for hours, the Force both guiding her and propelling her along with every step. Even though the jungle was quiet to her ears, to her sense of the Force, it was like moving through a thunderstorm. All around her, life clamored and howled into the Force, a riot of silent cries sent up by the overpowering flora. In time, she knew she would acclimate, but until then she enjoyed the sensation. She had felt something like this before, in the depths of Coruscant in its heyday where the deluge of sentient lives and emotions drowned out anything that the Jedi might sense. Here it would be the same, so long as she didn't draw attention to herself. The jungle would only hide so much.


As if thinking about it conjured it up, she sensed a presence. A dark power, not foreign like her own but something else. If she was a blade cutting through the weave of the Force, then this was...an infection. Yes, something insidious and subtle, but present. 


And it was moving towards her.


She abruptly stopped her rapid trek, pausing only long enough to gauge the direction this subtle feeling was coming from.


Then she took off again, this time to meet what was coming for her.




There was little warning of her approach. Calypso had spent much of her life living in the depths of Coruscant, under the Jedi's noses, and if there was one thing her Master Darth Vilius had been good at, it had been hiding. As such, her presence in the Dark Side was muted, a dull ember of power where a star should have been.


Even so, as she leapt out of the foliage and dropped in front of the native Felucians and their warped procession, she showed no fear or surprise. She could sense their darkness clearly now. It was unusual. Erratic. Something similar to the Dathomiri, but also something else.


"You seek me," she said, no question in her voice. Her hand flexed briefly, and she allowed the suppressed channel of power to open a fraction. All around her, trees and other plants shuddered. The light filtering from above dimmed, shadows lengthening as the light seemed to withdraw. It was a simple display of power. "...Why?"


She did not ask what they were. That would come later. Right now she simply had to determine if they were better off dead, alive and free, or in her service.

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When Calypso dropped, the drones turned their non-sentient gaze on her and began to reach for her. The fresh meat before them would be consumed. It would be devoured and added to their mass. And the remains, if any, would be consumed by the Great Spore, and serve as fuel for…


“Stop!” Pariah shouted, raising a hand. He quickly used the suckers on his appendage to make several pucker sounds, to which the drones became still, unmoving but eyeing Calypso hungrily. 


“Is this what we seek?” Virago asked, laying Shaman onto the dirt covered floor. “Is this, the Vesh, the thing unique that the Spore has us meet?” 


“Perhaps, perhaps brother…” Pariah commented, crawling closer to Calypso. Even as she demonstrated her power, the two didn’t seem to hesitate to get closer. Pariah even began to circle Calypso, darting forward and back like a dog uncertain about a thing. 


“Or perhaps, this thing be an other, a false cover over a lonely mother?” 


“Ah but her power, little Pariah, do you see?” Virago commented, striding closer, his height more apparent with each step. “See how the force reacts to her a degree? That be power, yes it is…”


“Power, or anger, ugly siz?" Pariah interrupted. “Anger is temporary, power forever. Can she call upon the Force whenever?”


As the two spoke, not really acknowledging Calypso, Shaman finally held her head up from the ground, a pile of mud with worms in her mouth. 


“Silence you two, listen good. Listen to my words, as you should.” She blurted, slop spilling everywhere. 


The two quickly became quiet and backed off from Calypso. Shaman pulled herself up and swallowed the last gulp of worms in her mouth, and hobbled over to Calypso, her cooking pot dangling around her neck. The drones gaze turned to Shaman and slowly began to break off, turning their attention to the environment. It was clear Calypso  was not their next meal. 


“If she who the Spore desires, then we help. And should she prove false, well, then we eat the whelp.” 


Shaman stood a few feet from Calypso. Her hunched body forced her to look up and the woman, and yet she seemed to not mind. 


“Tell us, Vesh, why you breathe our air. Why Felucia, the Jedi’s lair? You sought us, and we sought you.  If you were a Jedi, we’d already eaten you. Did Hagark find you, maid of murk? Did you come to perform some gruesome work?“

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 5/17/2023 at 8:42 PM, Hagark said:

Shaman stood a few feet from Calypso. Her hunched body forced her to look up and the woman, and yet she seemed to not mind. 


“Tell us, Vesh, why you breathe our air. Why Felucia, the Jedi’s lair? You sought us, and we sought you.  If you were a Jedi, we’d already eaten you. Did Hagark find you, maid of murk? Did you come to perform some gruesome work?“


Calypso's face remained passive as she looked down at the warped Felucian standing in front of her. Her nose wrinkled as the sickeningly sweet stench of rot wafted past her nose. The air around this foul procession hung heavy and unnatural, saturated in the wrongness that had rooted in their very core. They reminded Calypso of something...


Then she laughed as it came to her. They reminded her of the Cthon. A different breed of aberration perhaps, but aberrations nonetheless.


They were monsters, and Calypso was kin to monsters.


"What twisted little things you are," she said, still laughing. "I like you. I won't kill you." A sweet, almost maternal smile spread across her face, though it didn't dim the dangerous glimmer in her eyes. "You want to know why I'm here? I'm afraid it has nothing to do with the Jedi. Indeed, I'd prefer to avoid them for now. No, I'm here for seeds." She gestured around her at the jungle. "This garden of yours will give me seeds from which I will grow pandemonium and fear." Her smile widened. "And as for gruesome work, oh yes, rest assured there will be the blood of off-worlders spilled before I am done. Come with me if you wish. Indulge in your appetites. After that...we'll see."


Calypso did not wait for a response. Instead, like a beast suddenly catching a scent, she was tearing off through the jungle again.


In her head, she did not know if the strange creatures would follow. In her soul, she was certain they would.


The Dark Side walked along its own path, and this chance little intersection was important. Of that Calypso was sure.




The Sionver Research Outpost stood out starkly from the colorful backdrop of the jungle. A silvery dome with a communications dish set at the apex, it was an island of technology in a sea of wilderness. While there were only several dozen technicians and scientists stationed there, the dome was large and well-equipped for an outpost of its type. A sizable door on side, set halfway up the dome, held what Calypso suspected was the outpost's hangar, where the staff's shuttle would be kept for when trips to one of the cities was necessary. A second door, this one on the ground level, would be the one to lead into the base proper and act as an embarking point for the staff's skiffs when they wanted to venture out to take samples.


Calypso waited outside the research station, first to look for any potential security measures, and then to give the corrupted Felucians time to catch up, if they had chosen to trail her.


Finally, she made her move.


She allowed a trickle of the Dark Side to flow through her, calling on her bottomless hatred with the ease of reflex. Her body shivered in anticipation, but she kept herself in check. It wouldn't do to let her full power out here, and draw the Jedi down on her.


Instead, she made a small gesture with her hand, and a brief squeal of metal cut through the sounds of the jungle as the communications dish shifted on its base, sparking briefly as its connection was cut.


Calypso did not have to wait long. The main door opened a minute later, and a technician stepped out and started moving towards a set of rungs running up the side of the dome, wearing a belt festooned with tools. He started up the side, and Calypso waited until he was halfway up before she held out her hand again.


The technician stopped, and while clinging to the rungs he began feeling at his throat with his free hand, first slowly and then more frantically. Faint gagging noises could be heard as he futilely tried to suck in air. Then his strength failed him, and he tumbled down the side of the dome like a toy.


Calypso caught a brief glimpse of the man's terrified face, and a thrill shot through her. Her breath quickened, and her eyes widened. She was going to enjoy this.


She shot out of the jungle, and as she entered the opened door the technician had come out of, she gestured, and a large spanner jerked out of the now dead technician's utility belt and floated next to her as she raced inside. She couldn't use her lightsaber here, not if she wanted to keep the Sith's presence minimal. But that didn't mean she couldn't kill them in other ways.


A scientist was in the entry chamber when Calypso came in. The woman only had time to open her mouth in confusion before the spanner caved in her skull. And then Calypso was past her and moving through the outpost.

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At Calypso’s words, the three Felucian’s looked at each other. Wherever they were expecting, it wasn’t this. They had not expected laughter and prideful boasting. When she left, the three spoke quietly to each other. 


“What you think? Is she wise? We follow, we chase, to our demise?” Pariah asked, crouched on the ground rubbing his face tendrils curiously.  “Perhaps the Spore was wrong…”


“Silence!” Virago boomed at the comment. “Or you won’t live long! Never deny the Great Spore’s works. No matter who the Spore does choose…”


“Besides, what have we to lose?” Shaman added as she hobbled closer to Virago. She tapped on the large Felucian, who quietly bent down to scoop her back into a fetal position in his arms. “Follow, follow, let us follow. The Hunters come. Follow, follow, and let the drones have their fun!” 


Nodding, the two other Felucians took off after Calypso. The drones they left behind began to wonder in different directions. No longer guided, they would attempt to consume whatever they found. Eventually, other Felucians, trying to find the cult of the Spore, would find them and put them down. But by then, the trio would be far from the scene. 


The trio arrived at the station just as Calypso disabled the communication dish. Silently, the three observed the dark lady’s works. When she rushed into the station, Shaman made a motion to be let down. 


“Follow, follow, find her plans. The Great Spore will need and army to command…” 


The two nodded and gave pursuit into the station. As they did, Shaman wondered closer to the building, towards the technician that Calypso had already killed. 


“The Great Spore will enjoy this delicious man” Shaman commented. Wordlessly, she shoved what looked like a small green pod inside the man’s nose, before pinching the nose together, breaking the pod open. Immediately, the spores attached and began to spread, rooting themselves into the man’s blood vessels, and, more importantly, the nerve cells that connected directly to the brain. 


Shaman stepped back. The corpse began to move on its own. The Great Spore had taken root and had created a new drone. One that was hungry. Shaman smiled as she began to follow the others. 


Virago and Pariah who followed, ignored the bodies and pursued. While Virago had to bend over to fit through some of the more tighter doorways, Pariah kept up with ease, giggling slightly. 


“Seeds, thats what you seek? Seeds,so soft yet sleek?” Pariah asked as he followed, bounding like a Kowakian Monkey Lizard. A Klaxon alarm went off. Someone monitoring a camera had noticed the intruders and sent out the small security team the research station could afford. Three guards popped around a corner, wielding blaster rifles. 


Without missing a beat, Pariah stopped and all of his face tendrils pointed towards the guards.  A stream of thick green smoke-like gas shot out. As the stream struck the lead guard, the gas suddenly exploded outwards, clogging the hallway ahead. The guards began to cough violently as breathable air began to vanish, replaced by choking spores enhanced by mineral rich foods that Pariah had stored up in his body. 


Pariah drooled as he started to approach the guards, but Virago responded first. While the large Felucian had to slow down due to the small hallways, the smell of meat made him go berserk. With a roar, he shoved both Calypso and Pariah aside and into the choking gas. Moments later, a body was thrown outwards towards Pariah and Calypso, as screams continued, followed by chomping noises. 


“Oh, so sweet, always remembers…” Pariah commented as he jumped on the body that crashed before him. Pariah placed both sucked hands on the guards head and twisted, killing the man instantly. Following this, Pariah pulled upwards and ripped the skull right off, a trail of vertebrae following. 


 “Even when starving, he cares for his members.” Pariah continued as he licked the newly acquired spinal cord. The guards' screams ended, and the only noise was Virago comping on something juicy “So seeds, that’s what we find? These seeds, exactly what kind?”

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 5/31/2023 at 12:55 AM, Hagark said:

“Oh, so sweet, always remembers…” Pariah commented as he jumped on the body that crashed before him. Pariah placed both sucked hands on the guards head and twisted, killing the man instantly. Following this, Pariah pulled upwards and ripped the skull right off, a trail of vertebrae following. 


 “Even when starving, he cares for his members.” Pariah continued as he licked the newly acquired spinal cord. The guards' screams ended, and the only noise was Virago comping on something juicy “So seeds, that’s what we find? These seeds, exactly what kind?”


Calypso smiled, her mild expression not something that would be out of place on the face of a coruscanti lady appreciating an opera. Behind her eyes though burned the cruelty that reveled in the carnage these fascinating creatures were wreaking. She enjoyed this. Strip away all the philosophy and rhetoric, the talk of lies and strength, and that simple truth remained. She enjoyed this violence.


She enjoyed hurting people.


"All of them," she said, her voice again poised and refined. She wore the elegance of a cultured woman, a subtle mockery of those who used it to hide their weakness, even if no one here who wasn't currently panicking, fighting, or dying would appreciate it. In her own way she supposed, that was her petty vengeance, proving that even a once ignorant gutter rat could play the part they were so proud of. That was her little cut at her "betters." A bit of leftover spite inherited from an angry child, but what was the point in achieving true power if you couldn't indulge yourself now and again?


"Follow me," she said, moving down the hall. Any remaining gas or spores wafted away from her, a subtle pressure in the Force protecting her. As she did, another technician ran across the intersection, seemingly headed for the hangar bay. He didn't make it two steps once he came into view. With a sickening pop followed by a bloodcurdling scream, the man dropped to the ground, clutching at his now twisted and maimed legs. On closer inspection, it looked like they had been rotated at the knee almost 180 degrees. Calypso had considered killing him but...well, the Felucians seemed to be enjoying themselves, and she wouldn't want to rob them.


She continued through the facility, first using her power to seal the door leading into the hangar (couldn't have the shuttle leaving early), and maiming anyone who crossed her path. She'd need to be more thorough and kill everyone eventually, but first she wanted to find her target.


It did not take long, a benefit of the small size of the outpost. She soon entered into a room that was filled wall to wall with glass boxes, most the size of a hand, and some as large as a human. Perfectly preserved inside each box were cuttings. Slices of fungal growths, exotic leaves, bioluminescent flowers, Felucia's floral diversity was on full display.




Calypso extended her hands, and with a control that would have shamed many Jedi, the various clear boxes began to lift up and form up into a procession, which slowly made its way down the hall and towards the hangar bay. With a simple gesture and the sound of wrenching durasteel, the door that she'd bent in place to seal it suddenly became straight again, and opened up to admit her little plant parade.

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The Technician the Sith Empress left for the Felucians was quickly devoured. Unhinging his jaw, Virago opened wide and began to swallow as much of the technician as possible. When the poor soul began to get caught, Virago began to growl and snarl. The darkness radiated off the large Felucian as it’s upper torso began to grow suddenly. Skin ripped, revealing a mass of chartreuse yellow mycelia underneath encasing the revealed muscles like another layer of skin. Already pushed against the ceiling of the building, Virago had to stretch out on the floor just to make more room for his newfound size. Slowly, the human, still screaming, slid further and further in, until Virago could close his mouth.


 Just as quickly as he grew, he suddenly began to shrink back down to his normal, albeit still large, size. Inside his belly, bones and body parts snapped as they were pushed on top of each other, rapidly devoured by the fungus inside. Now with a literal full belly, Virago seemed to calm down. 


“Delicious meat…” Virago said. 


“Aye, always an amazing feat!” Pariah chuckled as he raced past on all fours. “Come, let's follow our sweet.” 


When the two caught up with Calypso, Virago looked confused at the specimens. 


“For us to eat? Nay, not as sweet…”


“Nay!” Pariah corrected his larger cultist member. “That is her own treat!” 


 Pariah looked at the ship ahead and, laughing under his mask, began to dance. 


“Ah, the spore was right! A way to leave! To think, to think, I almost didn’t believe! Do you, wicked lady, know flight? Shall we leave to great skies tonight?” 


Outside, however, was a different story. Taking care of her new found creation, giving the drone plenty of small pieces of dried meat from her satchel, the shaman heard a crashing in the jungle foliage. Looking up, she witnessed several beings step into the clearing. 


There was no words amongst anyone. Everyone knew what was going to happen. The last of the cultists had been tracked and found by these warriors, would  be eradicated. To the natives of the planet, the cult was a darkness that, left unchecked, would spread and consume the world, and possibly the rest of the galaxy if outsiders got involved. The only answer to this cancerous problem was complete destruction. 


The first warrior charged first, blade drawn. Shaman however reacted by calling on her new servant, who rushed in the way. Despite losing a limb, the humanoid drone did not stop. Its hunger drove it past all sense of pain and bit into the warrior’s exposed arm. The two went down wrestling each other. Some of the other warriors joined in to help their comrade.


Shaman smiled and reached into the Force. Calling on the Darkness through the Great Spore, she twisted her arm. Immediately, the drone’s head exploded, releasing a cloud of spores to the hunters, dooming them to becoming a drone after their death. 

While the warriors were still stunned and reeling from the attack, Shaman tapped her cooking pot on the ground with her knife and then sliced her left hand. Dripping blood into the pot, she began to chant. 


“Double double, toil and trouble. Fire burn and cauldron bubble!” 


Suddenly, the pot began to hiss as moisture evaporated off its sides from some invisible heat source. Inside, the blood began to boil and multiply, creating a broth of sickening rusty red. Shaman held her hand above the liquid, drawing further on the darkness. The boiling substance rose into the the air and, with a flick of her hand, was thrown out at the nearest Felucian.  

The warrior screamed as the stuff burned through armor and skin alike. Shaman began to cackle madly as she pulled her arm back and moved the liquid to another target, burning their face to the bone underneath. 


However, the ground still continued to shake. Shaman gritted her teeth and continued her gruesome work. She only had to stall until her other members could return to help. There was no way she could fight off one of the Rancor Riders. Even her spores would take time to convert such a beast to her side, and time was not a luxury she had.


The only benefit was this was a small war party, and no doubt hadn’t signaled the Great tribe yet. They were young warriors, too eager on glory and zealotry.  Still, even now, she could see the painted marks of the Felucian Rancor breaking through the foliage.  


Felucian Rancor



Edited by Hagark


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  • 3 weeks later...

Calypso felt the war party approach before she heard them. They glimmered and glowed like little beacons of light, their energy blending and flowing through the vast network of life that was Felucia without resistance. Unlike the twisted, murderous collection of creatures that had followed her here, these Felucians truly belonged to this world and embraced it, as much a part of it as it was of them.


Such unity, such affinity, such rapport...


A wordless urge filled her, a desire to rip these young warriors away from their mother world that they so loved. She appreciated agony of any kind, but to tear apart something so harmonious was a treat. It had been so long since she had truly taken her time with a foe, taken the time to fully communicate the depth of what she was to another living thing before she snuffed it out. And here that hurt would echo outward into the very roots and soil of the planet itself, as it felt the pain of its dying children.


But...this was not the time. She had work to do. So she was equally pleased and regretful when she felt the creatures outside fight back and begin to slay the enemies who'd found them. She would continue to monitor the situation, and if they required her assistance...well then she might not have a choice but to indulge.


A smile crossed her lips as she turned her full attention back to her task.


Many of the crates had already been moved, and more than half the shelves were empty. While she could take some credit, the researchers had truly been efficient in how they packed their samples. As the last sets of boxes began to lift, she walked out, following them into the hangar bay. There stood the shuttle, a model that had been old even in her time. Likely a donation no one had a use for, refitted to suit the researcher's needs.


Ministry-class shuttle


Near its ramp were piled the crates Calypso had been moving. With another gesture, the ramp lowered, and she began to move the crates aboard. The irony of the Dark Lord using the Force to load a shuttle like a common dockworker was not lost on her, but pride had always been the one vice Calypso had been wary of. So many Sith died to it, and she did not intend to be another.


She felt the Rancor rider, and though her procession of crates did not stop, her attention was drawn outside.


Would her new allies survive?

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Shaman collapsed after a few more throws of her boiling liquid. On all fours, she screeched and groaned at the pains that shot through her body. Her little body shook in weakness, her bones barely holding her up. 


A noise caught her attention. Giving fully into the darkness, she leapt forward as newfound power surged. The hunter was not expecting such energy from one so old and hunched. The two rolled over onto the ground, grunting and roaring at each other. But where the hunter fought with strength, Shaman fought with the hunter. Her jaw snapped over and over as she attempted to take bites out of the hunter. 


“Flesh! Flesh! I will have fresh flesh!” The Shaman screeched before finally getting a full bite from the hunters throat. 


Shaman swallowed the meat hungrily as the hunter clutched his bleeding neck. Not satisfied, she continued to feed, unable to restrain herself any more. 


The rancor roared. Shaman looked up. The beast loomed over like the titan it was. Still, Shaman screeched back at it, her face tendrils extended fully towards it. Even as it began to reach for her, she continued to screech. If she was to be eaten, she would at least try to eat its flesh as well…


A burst of thick green gas exploded in the rancor’s face. The beast turned away as the spores created by Pariah stung its eyes and nose. 


“Oooh, such a nasty beast!” Pariah laughed as he landed near Shaman. Shaman growled at Pariah, reaching for her fellow cultist for another bite of flesh.


“Not yet, not yet, he’s not the feast.” Virago stated as he landed near Shaman and began to restrain the Shaman. “Handle the beast. To safety I will take…”


Pariah nodded to the two cultists and ran towards the Rancor. “If I must, then the Spore shall unmake! Let this be their last mistake!”


The rancor’s rider had finally regained control and began to guide the beast towards the three. From atop, the rider pointed a singular sword at the group. 


“Hehe, come come, fight me! Or perhaps, fight what you see?” Pariah laughed. As the beast brought a fist down, Pariah jumped to the side and began to spray again. However, instead of the thick green plumb of spores, a thin pod came from his mouth and hit the Rancor in the face. Immediately, a pink gas erupted. 


At first, the Rancor stumbled, but no worse for wear, roared again and lurched forward. However, it stopped before it could take a swipe at Pariah. It began to sniff and look around confused. The rider tried to get the animal to focus, but instead of listening, the rancor began to swing its arms around wildly at unseen foes.


“Haha! Fight what you see!” Pariah giggled as he ducked beneath a wild swing that knocked over several mushroom trees. 


“Will you stop fighting me?” Virago growled as he landed back into the open hangar bay. Over his shoulder, Shaman continued to kick and flail wildly. 


“Flesh! Meat! I must eat flesh and meat!” Shaman screeched. She attempted to scratch at Virago’s skin, but even when she tore the flesh apart, she found it was mostly mycelia and very little flesh.


“Not the spore! I must feed the Great Spore!” Shaman griped. 


Virago looked at Calypso and the ship. “I’ll restrain her, for Shaman must survive this war.” With that, Virago made steps towards the vessel. 


Outside, the beast roared again as more trees were knocked down. Now, it was using one of the mushroom trees like a club, swinging wildly in the air at something only it could see.  Pariah could be heard laughing over the commotion. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 7/13/2023 at 3:10 AM, Hagark said:

Virago looked at Calypso and the ship. “I’ll restrain her, for Shaman must survive this war.” With that, Virago made steps towards the vessel. 


Outside, the beast roared again as more trees were knocked down. Now, it was using one of the mushroom trees like a club, swinging wildly in the air at something only it could see.  Pariah could be heard laughing over the commotion. 


Calypso stopped as the roar of the rancor grew closer, a crate settling itself on the ramp as she sighed. Perhaps she should deal with this before it got any more out of hand.


She swept across the hangar bay, striding with the assuredness of someone who assumes they belong anywhere they choose to walk. She looked out on the scene taking place around the outpost. It seemed the others had handled most of the other warriors of this little expedition, and even the rancor was being distracted by the third of the trio. She considered the scene, then stretched her arms out. This would need to be done subtly. Utilizing her full power here would simply call the Jedi, and that she could not afford at the moment.


"Apologies," she said to the Felucian dodging the rancor's blows, her voice polite, "but we can't delay any longer."


Her focus shifted to the creature's rider, another Felucian. This one clung to the top of the rancor, and did not move with the experience or grace she might expect if this Felucian had been doing this all his life. A young warrior then, proving himself on a mount as raw and eager as he was. That made a degee of sense. Rancors, despite popular depictions, were creatures of deep emotional connection. They cared, they formed friendships, they mourned. It followed that a young rancor and a young rider should be paired up together, and allowed to connect on an emotional level. That bond would serve them over the course of their lives. Unfortunately for the rider, right now it meant his mount was far more temperamental than an older one might be, and he was simply along for the ride at this point.


Well then. Rider first.


"Mrias." The arcane word reverberated slightly, a thrum of power at the edge of hearing. A flicker of her deep-seated hatred, focused now on this rancor riding fool who had crossed her path, flared to life in her hand. A searing white hot ball of energy, a Bolt of Hatred, swelled in her hand before flying off directly for the rider. He only had a split second to see it coming, and no more time after that to dodge. The bolt took him square in the chest, and began its work. The rider screamed, pain unimaginable twisting his voice like hands wringing a towel. Steam rose from his chest as it seared and boiled under the power of the Dark Side. Then, abruptly, the scream ended, and the rider slipped off the back of the rancor, either dead or in shock. Either way it didn't matter.


The rancor's confusion only seemed to grow, the limited input from its rider suddenly missing. Calypso capitalized on this with another hand gesture, and a blast like wind struck the rancor at the knees, driving it to the ground.


"Would you like the honors?" she asked the dark Felucian who'd been dancing around the beast, laughing. She was genuinely curious if it could finish off the beast. 

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Pariah had to stop to admire the Sith Lord’s work. When the beast fell, his laughter stopped and turned to silent awe. 


“My my my, how does the calypso cause punies to die?” 


Calypso turned to Pariah and gestured for him to finish the beast off. 


“What sweet gift the lady gives!” Pariah exclaimed and giggled, jumping up and down on all four limbs. “To allow us to choose if the beast lives!” 


Pariah charged the Rancor. Jumping onto its arm and crawling along its body, Pariah found himself directly on the Rancor’s head.  Pariah drew a small knife from his side. But instead of attacking the Rancor, he did something different. He reached around to his backside, and grabbed one of the large budding mushroom stalks sprouting there. With a quick slice and a cut, he pulled the mushroom from his back. 


“With commands from the spore, I spread its curse evermore.” Pariah chanted to the mushroom in hand. It moved unnaturally alive in his hands, a gas of spore dust beginning to fall from it like a leaking coolant pipe. 


“Now take this gift, fellow thing, and hear the spore’s voice sing!” 


With its chant finished, Pariah forcefully slammed the mushroom into the Rancor’s left nostril hole. The thing inhaled it easily enough, and began to cough and choke in surprise. Pariah wasted no more time and jumped off from the beast and ran back to Calypso. 


Battered, beaten, confused, scared and riderless, the painted rancor followed the one rule all life followed. It attempted to survive. And this time, it did so by running away. As it got to its feet again, instead of attacking, it turned and began to lurch away, roaring the entire time in hope to scare off these predators that might kill it. 


“The Great Spore whispers…” Pariah said to Calypso as he watched it run. “That it will die. And once it does, its rage will fly.” 


Virago landed behind the two with a thud. His giant stature compared to the two made an interesting sight. 


“Our shaman rests, but hungers still. Come, grab some bodies, for her fill.”


Pariah held up a hand. “Wait wait! Calypso will fly us away?” 


Virago nodded. 


Pariah held his hands up. “Then Calypso, listen to what i say! The Spore advised you, and we followed. Its words have never rang hollow! Your great power, I do now see. Get us off world, and we serve with you eternally!”


Virago snorted at Pariah’s proclamation and went on his way to collect the Felucian bodies that could be salvaged. The rations they would provide after restoring Shaman would allow the three to make a long journey in space theoretically . 


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Kadi stepped off the shuttle from Falleen, taking a deep breath. The hot, humid air of Felucia was a welcome change to the stale, recycled bite of the shuttle's. Around her, Jedi and civilians alike scurried around. In the two years since she was last on the planet, so much had happened. She'd been to planets that she'd only read about, and witnessed war on a planetary scale. She'd met new friends, and new enemies as well. It was comforting, being home, but also strange to see how much life had been breathed into the temple with the fall of the Sith. Her communicator beeped,and she glanced at it.




She couldn't stop the grin on her face as she saw the message. Her friend was only a day or so away from her own arrival on Felucia. Between Kadi's work on ruined ecosystems, and Eisa's work on ruined infrastructure, there was virtually no overlap on their taskings. It would be the first time they'd seen each other since the end of the war. But she wasn't the only one Kadi was excited to see- She could feel the bond with Juro, her acklay companion that she'd left behind when she left. He was always near the temple, hunting dangerous prey and keeping them away. She always wondered if it was because that was what he preferred to hunt, or if it was because he understood that the temple was to be protected.


She moved with a small crowd carrying supplies to the Temple's exit, helping them move their goods where she could. She didn't want to waste time while everyone around her was so clearly hard at work, even if she was here for some time to herself. It was the least she could do before she headed into the wilderness for the night. When they were finished, she gave them a polite wave, making her exit into the wilds of Felucia.


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