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Coruscant - Galactic Throne


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Solus:

On 5/26/2022 at 9:55 PM, Solus said:

“You are neither a Shard…” Solus started, his right hand gripping the handle of his weapon tightly, readying himself, “...nor Roshan. Who are you?”

 

Who are you… 


 

The woman frowned, and turned back to her grisly project.

"I am Shuburoth. A Sith. But...Roshan...no, Ruusan."

The scene changed. The macabre workshop was replaced with a green forest, ancient trees lit by golden sunlight. Blue and green lightsabers crackled as they collided with their red counterparts, dozens of Jedi bedecked in white armor clashing with nightmarish Sith. A singular, middle aged human Jedi pushed the Sith back, radiating power and light like a sunrise cresting a ridge. The air resonated with the clashing wills manifesting in the Force.

The woman, Darth Shuburoth, stood over a dying female Sith that lay in the lead Jedi's trail, hands outstretched where the body she'd been dissecting had been. The build was the same, but the face was obscured by burns and blood, and only the faintest, shallow breath gave testament to her double being alive.

"I was the Dark Lord. We all were."

She turned back to Solus, her eyes changed. The cold intellect was gone. Something else, something manic, something hollow, had replaced it.

"I...I created you."

The scene shifted back to the workshop.

"Are you a servant..." she paused, eyes roaming the air, searching, "Solus? Or are you a master?"

A gleeful grin spread over her face as her attitude shifted yet again with the whiplash of a starfighter pulling Gs. Her lightsaber flew into her hand and ignited.

"Show me what you are."

 

___________________________________

 

Akheron:

The illusions that swirled around the former massassi were ones of home, of family, and of loved ones. His parents, his tutor, his love...his past danced and spun before him, twisting into grotesque parodies of joy, pain, and despair.

The place he walked through now had been soaked and refined in the essence of the dark side for a millennia by the savage sacrifices and violence of the native Cthon. The catastrophe of the moonfall, the countless deaths that it had caused, had surged that darkness into something potent and deep. Now it suffused itself into the perceptions of any who came close, much like any Force nexus.

The only creatures unaffected were the Cthon themselves. They'd been born into this darkness, and their blind eyes saw nothing of the horror it now flung at the Sith who entered.

Fivefang listened carefully from under the metal plating of the tunnel Akheron walked. It waited, and waited, and waited...

Then he struck.

He slammed the metal plating aside while Akheron was still over two dozen feet away, and shrieked. The answering chorus of howls and cries was deafening, as metal plating and debris shifted and fell away, and hundreds of limbs scrabbled and clamored out of the walls, floor, and ceiling like ants fleeing a flooded nest. The horde of Cthon flung itself at the Sith Lord.

 

___________________________________

Inmortos:

"...Eligreen," a voice called out. It was Inmortos' voice, yet different. It was clear, vibrant, and full of life. "Eligreen, you've returned."

The darkness ahead seemed to deepen, and then coalesce, slowly churning and reforming into a figure.

 

Standing before Inmortos was...himself. But himself made whole. His body was unmarred, his hair gleamed with a dozen colors, his face was lined with the maturity of hard won wisdom and experience. He was dressed in simple coveralls, the kind you might find in any factory, and his hands were rough from work. His eyes, a beautiful gold, stared at the necromancer with an unreadable expression.

"What are you supposed to be Eligreen?" The apparition cocked its head, gaze boring into Inmortos. "You're not anything anymore, are you? Just a cut up doll. A soul preserved in glass and wax and string.

I've seen your future Eligreen. It won't be worth it." A slow, malicious grin spread across the thing's face.

"You're going to die here. Forgotten. It will have all been for nothing."

As if on cue, pale hands and faces began to slide out from crevices in the tunnel walls that seemed far too narrow for them. They gathered around the necromancer, tongues tasting the air and clawed hands scraping against the floor.

Behind them, the apparition spread its hands wide.

"Welcome home, Eligreen."

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Posted (edited)

“Shuburoth…” Solus repeated the name slowly, its sound echoing over and over. It was like something from an old memory hidden inside of a dream. It was familiar but distant. Something from before. Even as Solus tried to put a finger on the name, unable to precisely place it, the feeling from the name alone rang true. 

 

And that made him nervous. 

 

Her drawing of her blade was met with his own. Instinct had kicked in. This Sith’s otherworldliness drew out his battle-lust, despite the dream-like state he felt himself in. Or was the battle-lust drawn because of it? 

 

“I am neither…” Solus started, reading himself into a battle position. He couldn’t draw himself away from this woman. This thing. This…what was this? It called to him and he was answering it in the only way he knew. 

 

“I am Solus. I am the Dragon. The… Ascended!”

 

Solus sensors flashed from yellow to red. Even as the scene had changed around him, he felt like he had changed with it. The idea of being a servant affected the Shard. The Force began to ripple. His body morphed and bent over itself and expanded with heat. It was no longer that chassis of the EV-series, nor was it that custom chassis made by the sorcerers of Bragsanu. It was that of the Hutt Security droid. It was the chassis of a slave and an infant. 

 

Somewhere, Solus could hear the music of Korriban beat out as he slithered and charged forward, blade ignited in hand and brought down. He was not a servant. He couldn’t be. But he wasn’t a master either. He had no planet to destroy like the necromancer. No apprentice like Akheron. He had no family like Roshan or his Shardmates. He had nothing but himself. 

 

“I am not a servant!” Solus roared, nothing more than a child’s cry of denial. With a desperate and scared fury, Solus began to bring his lightsaber down on this woman. 

Edited by Solus
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“Eligreen” the voice called out from the unnatural, giving the necromancer pause. As the Lich squinted his rotted features, his failing eyes strained to see as the gloom itself seemed to coalesce into a form. It was still dark all around them, but not quite as unnaturally so this far below ground with only the fissures of distant flames to illuminate the darkness in yawning shadows.


Inmortos stopped in his tracks. “Eligreen,” it was a name he had not heard for years, a name he had left destined to a past life, but yet one that was his own. For was it not the name, bestowed upon him by his parents, that had brought him to where he was today. Here upon this very world they had toiled away in obscurity, even their deaths lost to the bustling chaos of the cosmos. And so, Inmortos stood, regarding the visage of a man before him. One who felt so familiar and yet so foreign.

 

”Father?” The Sith’s voice wavered slightly as he dared to question what he once thought impossible.  Did this place, this darkness, too possess a power Inmortos craved, to bring from the dead true life reborn, not the half-existence he bound himself and those he commanded to?

 

Of course, it was an admission Inmortos would not even utter to himself or dare dwell upon in any but his deepest depressions. No one need know that his power over death, life, existence, was naught but absolute. For he was the god-king, master of death, defiler of the grave, from he life was granted, and by his word it was snuffed out.

 

Here, in this moment, standing a stone’s throw from this apparition, this being so far from himself that the devil within could not recognize it. And yet, for all his accomplishments, it chastised him. With but mere words it laid bare the necromancer’s soul. He was nothing. For all he had done, he had become less than what he was; and if this solitary wanderer of the hellscape of Coruscant was to be believed, he would amount to even less. It was the greatest fear of the dark lord. To be struck down, to die for all eternity, forgotten. The people of Aaris III were no more. They would not remember him. To the Sith, he was but a pawn, cast aside as easily as Akheron or his apprentice. To the galaxy, those that knew who and what he was, he was a monster, faceless and shapeless, whispered about in bedtime stories, but hardly believed by those who did not know. To the Jedi? He was just another foe to he felled in their crusade.

 

All for nothing…

 

Inmortos strained through his weak eyes, the cold air turning still and crystal about him. “I did this for you! For us!” He shouted. “For mother! So that we would not be forgotten!”

 

He felt them then, their very essence, putrid, vile. They crept from the clefts and crevices clamoring all about him, surrounding him, tasting the air for the scent of his rotted flesh. Inmortos eyes flashed a pale wicked green in the shadows, a necromancer’s skill, a power to see beyond. Even as this mortal form decayed about his soul and his mortal vision obscured behind the opaqueness of age and degradation, his mind’s eye held true. In an instant, Inmortos no longer gazed upon a mortal world of flesh and blood, but upon a spiritual ethereal landscape. Obscured by shadows, the souls of the fell beasts who encircled him within their hunter’s snare came into sharp contrast. Worthless beyond but the most basic of uses the lot of them. He had little time to dwell on it; however, as his attention was harnessed by that which he had not expected. The visage of firereo power and beauty that was an unrecognizable alternate form of himself, he thst Inmortos could only see the disappointment of a father within, exploded in sharpest of contrasts. Not was such a being real, truthful flesh and blood, no. It was an amalgamation of dark side deceptions; powers wrapped in a burial shroud of deceit. Such a power Inmortos had never seen before, only read about in the most obscure forbidden tomes ferreted from the libraries of Korriban, Ossus, and private collections the galaxy over. Even he, the Lich god-king of Aaris thought such a fear but legend and yet…

 

He had felt fear, it drove him. He would not be forgotten. This apparition of had cut him to the quick and pulled it into the open and still the necromancer stood in defiance. Now, but now, how could he, a demon, a legion of legions of those struck down, their pains carried beyond the grave amassed before him. To call forth a legion of undead from this place, scarred and tattered would be for nothing. They would be struck down by such a creation, bound to this palpable wraith, in an instant.

 

Stepping back, Inmortos foot was clasped by a clasping icy hand and he fell to the ground a quivering mass. Before the might of such a guardian of hell how might he, a mere mortal, stand. Even if he might control the bridge that stretched beyond the grave, he was but a gatekeeper, privileged only to see into the mists beyond. He had delved deeper than most, but even he knew that beyond his trespasses lay greater and darker beings than he might possibly imagine.

 

And here one had come. And for what purpose? To claim his soul for eternity? To snuff him out before he could fulfill his desires? To doom him to being forgotten? To punish him for delving too deep? Had the rift they carved in the force at Aaris III awoken a fallen hellspawn the likes of which these three Sith could not hope to stand?

 

Inmortos’ quivered, his bones rattling beneath his robes as the cold about him, his own shroud of power, a frost he was immune to, sank into his very soul and chilled him bone, mind, and soul. To know true fear.

 

Gone were the hollow words of the Sith creed. Gone were any allegiances to armies, allies, and gods. Here, in this moment, Inmortos was laid bare and he had not the strength to stand. He did not have the strength to kneel. To beg for forgiveness. He was sapped, the dead drawn back towards the grave itself.

 

With the last reserves of his strength, Inmortos raised a skeletal hand as if to try and shield his eyes, his face from the horrific power before him. It did nothing.  He was a master of the physically arcane, not the mystic. To stand against it was foregone to end in his destruction. Falling to his back, Inmortos felt the hot fetid breath of the unevolved beasts as their tongues and claws raked his body. He grasped for his waist, one last hope at staving off his final destiny. A sacrifice or a weapon, it would be as the fury before him perceived; Inmortos drew the blade that had been harvested from the pool of Aaris III. It was bound to him, it’s master, bound to the ritual of blood and the souls of @Karys Narat iv-Adas and @Solus through their baptism. 10,000 ensnared souls bent to his own will to appease or battle the demon-lord before him.

 

Shivering, Inmortos thrust the blade forward, a feeble attack or a sacrifice. He knew, this would be the end.

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Posted (edited)

As Akheron advanced the illusions and visions of the past became more potent. He found himself surrounded by visions of a life long gone, one from before he was the Sith Warrior he had since become. Visions of home, of family, and of loved ones long since dead and lost to the netherworld. His parents, his tutor, even his love...one who had died when Korriban had once been torn apart and destroyed during one of the many conflicts in years gone by. He looked on as his past danced and spun before him, twisting into grotesque parodies of joy, pain, and despair. Of twisted versions of themselves. 

 

This only served to awaken the beast within the Sith. His Rage, Wrath and Anger intensified as he fought against the illusions before him. Focusing his Hatred, he saw through the illusions just in time to see the horde of Cthon emerge and flinging itself at him like a tsunami of cannibalistic, bloodthirsty hounds straight from hell itself. But he had seen worse, experienced it. They would not find their meal so easy. No they would did at the hands of the Sith and be sacrificed, their souls more victims given to the Darkness...to the Fanged God. One who was testing them yet again before they gained their prize. He felt something tug at his soul, attempting to draw it towards Inmortos but resisted the temptation. Instead pulling it back and used the moment to truly be free of the illusions. It was just the jolt needed, as unexpected as it was.

 

Focusing his Wrath, Akheron held his lightsaber ignited. With his free hand he held it forward and unleashed a series of blasts of raw Force power. A wave meant to Shatter and obliterate any obstacle in front of it, walls would be smashed and doors crumbled like paper. Within the tight surroundings, Akheron was unsure how it would impact the environment, or those in front only that it was necessary. To create room to fight and send razor sharp shrapnel at his adversaries before he sliced and impaled any victim in front of him. 

 

 

Edited by Karys Narat iv-Adas
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"The universe started in darkness at a time when light didn't exist, and that is how it will end. Chaos and suffering is what brings us together. In chaos a man or woman will show who he or she really is and in suffering they will speak the truth. We are darkness incarnate, we are the evil. This cannot be denied, even by me. But without us there is no redemption, passion or order." - Darth Akheron

 

I survived the Great JNet Outage of 2012

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Posted (edited)

Solus:

On 5/31/2022 at 1:51 PM, Solus said:

“I am not a servant!” Solus roared, nothing more than a child’s cry of denial. With a desperate and scared fury, Solus began to bring his lightsaber down on this woman. 

 

The apparition's lightsaber did not move. Yet, when Solus' lightsaber descended, the specter's weapon was raised to block, as if the universe had blinked. The loud crackle of lightsabers striking each other echoed through the illusionary workshop, reverberating off the walls in a way that should have been impossible for the room they appeared to be standing in.

 

The illusion of his creator laughed, and unleashed a flurry of blows at Solus. Her red lightsaber moved with the practiced grace of a Sith Lord even as she cackled, and the area around them flickered between the workshop, the sunlit battlefield of Ruusan, and the rubble-choked tunnels of Coruscant. She did not move with the intent to kill, but more as if she was testing Solus, toying with him and finding the Shard's limits

 

"Lies," she taunted between strikes. "I feel your fear, your impotent anger." A slash to throw him off balance. "Look at you now. You couldn't change what you are!" Another blow aimed to drive Solus back onto the defensive. "Ascended?! You're a scrap heap and a broken rock wired together. You're a child! You're my design!

 

Worse..."

 

The illusion vanished, and

was suddenly, impossibly, behind him, blade poised to strike a killing blow.

 

"You're a failure!"

 

She drove the blade towards the Shard itself.

 

Inmortos:

On 5/31/2022 at 5:19 PM, Krath Inmortos said:

With the last reserves of his strength, Inmortos raised a skeletal hand as if to try and shield his eyes, his face from the horrific power before him. It did nothing.  He was a master of the physically arcane, not the mystic. To stand against it was foregone to end in his destruction. Falling to his back, Inmortos felt the hot fetid breath of the unevolved beasts as their tongues and claws raked his body. He grasped for his waist, one last hope at staving off his final destiny. A sacrifice or a weapon, it would be as the fury before him perceived; Inmortos drew the blade that had been harvested from the pool of Aaris III. It was bound to him, it’s master, bound to the ritual of blood and the souls of @Karys Narat iv-Adas and @Solus through their baptism. 10,000 ensnared souls bent to his own will to appease or battle the demon-lord before him.

 

Shivering, Inmortos thrust the blade forward, a feeble attack or a sacrifice. He knew, this would be the end.

 

Over a thousand years, people had been sacrificed by the Cthon in this place.

 

Those sacrifices had rippled out through the Dark Side, and for centuries they had whispered through these tunnels.

 

Then the moon had fallen, and those whispers had fed and surged into roars and screams, a cacophony of malicious, spiteful echoes that now stood before the necromancer to torment him.

 

To call them conscious might be misleading, but they had enough of a mind to understand what they wanted. They wanted to hurt. They wanted to kill. But more than anything, they wanted to be more.

 

And so, when the necromancer thrust the blade at them and the Cthon swarming him in an act of final defiance, they screamed. They screamed in fear, and in delight. This blade didn't hold mere echoes. It held souls. Real, whole, true souls. A treasure trove filled with what these echoes were pale imitations of.

 

And they wanted it. They would become more. With the knife, they would not be mere noise, but a THUNDERSTORM.

 

The Cthon backed away, covering their ears. To them, the unearthly scream was the commanding shriek of Fivefang. It was the resounding emptiness of the Silent Place. It was the howling of a pack of corridor ghouls. It was the roar of a territorial taozin.

 

The firrerreo apparition flew forward, and it seemed to split and fractal. It was his false, whole self. It was his father. It was his mother. It was the faces of victims his mind only barely remembered. It was his own face, disintegrating into ash. The screams of the dead and dying assaulted him from every direction, through his ears and into his mind, and the tunnel around him was replaced with the illusion of crackling, raging fire. Illusory heat pressed in on him from every side.

 

"You are nothing!"

"You will die!"

"You will burn!"

"Forgotten!"

"Devoured!"

"Weak!"

"Break the dagger!"

"Break the dagger!!"

"BREAK THE DAGGER!!!"

 

 

Akheron:

On 6/1/2022 at 6:34 PM, Karys Narat iv-Adas said:

Focusing his Wrath, Akheron held his lightsaber ignited. With his free hand he held it forward and unleashed a series of blasts of raw Force power. A wave meant to Shatter and obliterate any obstacle in front of it, walls would be smashed and doors crumbled like paper. Within the tight surroundings, Akheron was unsure how it would impact the environment, or those in front only that it was necessary. To create room to fight and send razor sharp shrapnel at his adversaries before he sliced and impaled any victim in front of him. 

 

Cthon dropped like sacks of wet meat cut from strings. Blood splattered as the shrapnel tore through their pale, dirty bodies. They shrieked and mewled in pain and surprise. This creature, its wrath and power, felt like the Silent Place, yet different. Fivefang howled in rage at the death of his kind, and then gave a quick series of coughing barks. Most of the surviving Cthon responded, and in seconds they, along with Fivefang, had squirmed their way back into the crevices. The remaining few, too bloodhungry to listen, threw themselves futilely at the Sith Warrior.

 

Fivefang and the rest moved deeper into the tunnels, following tight and constricting passages like rats to get ahead of the warrior if he tried to pursue them through the winding, larger passageway it walked now. They had underestimated the warrior. For so many of their kind to die so quickly, this unwilling sacrifice was indeed powerful. But Fivefang was smart. Fivefang wouldn't give up so easily.

 

Further down the tunnel, where the warrior's path would definitely cross, Fivefang hissed at several lurking Cthon. They uncurled themselves and pressed several switches embedded in the ceiling next to a large, hanging metal plate that looked like it had been peeled from the side of a cargo ship. The switches sparked, and crude batteries resting hidden on top of the plate hummed to life, electrifying the metal they sat on. The cables that suspended the plate from the ceiling shifted slightly as the Cthon took up position. When the warrior passed by, the hidden Cthon would release the cables and drop the heavy, electrified plate on their prey, hopefully pinning him and shocking him into unconsciousness. If it killed him...well, they were hungry.

 

Fivefang continued deeper even as the other Cthon set the trap. He wasn't convinced that would be enough. He moved towards the Silent Place to prepare. Many Cthon would be waiting there, lurking around the sacred space. He would be sure they were ready, and that they would fight fiercely to defend the Silent Place.

 

Calypso:

Each of the Sith was unleashing their passion. Their fury, their fear, their hate, it all fed into the dark, swirling nexus of power that permeated this place. And at the center, the humanoid figure frozen in carbonite stood in silence.

 

But something of their feelings made it through. Metal debris rattled on the floor, and piles of skulls collapsed as small vibrations pulsed through the ground.

 

*spark*

 

*spark*

 

Pale blue lightning crackled to life and disappeared just as quickly along the outstretched fingers of the figure, the sudden light illuminating the chamber for the first time in over 1000 years.

 

"...more..."

 

The shaking grew stronger.

Edited by Darth Calypso
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Posted (edited)

The battle, if you could call it that, turned sour faster than milk under Tattooine’s hot suns. The furious blows of Shard turned into frantic deflections and blockings. There was no style in the Shard’s form. No etiquette. No technique. Just instinct and emotion, and hardly anything of substance. 
 

Solus’ own emotions were palpable under the woman’s words. As strange as she was, her presence carried power over the Shard. He did not know her, but he knew of her. He did not recognise her, nor understand her being. But he knew her, in the only way that an abhorrent descendant knew their twisted ancestor. 


Finally, the woman’s words struck at the Shard’s inner fear. Failure. He had failed too many times to be anything more than what he was. He had failed over and over in his time since his ascension. He didn’t kill Tear. He tamed the demented hound, dooming it to a life of servitude. He had not navigated the Naboo Abyss properly. He had been swallowed by it’s passageways of darkness and danger. He had not killed a single Jedi on Nar Shaddaa, nor even a single foe. He had been slain by the enemy of his fearless deity. 


This life, he had so proudly declared, was nothing  more than failure, and this being knew it, even as she drove her blade in for the killing strike. 
  

 It was this moment, in cold realization and terror as the woman’s blade stabbed the robotic heart that held the chassis, that Immortos’ power from the Baptism of Blood touched the Shard once more. The moment of the Aaris III returned in full force. In that time on Aaris, Solus had become something else briefly. A beacon for something incomprehensible and foreign by all senses known to mortals and deities alike. For things that In the vast stretches of space dwelled. Things that were aeonian and exotic.
  

 It was these unnameable things and horrors, in this moment of madness and terror, that rushed into the Shard’s moment of weakness. 
    

The lightsaber that plunged into the Shard was shot back. Following it, an eruption of flesh blasted outwards. Fat, veiny, pulsating flesh of unknown monsters, churning with gristle and bone flooded at the apparition of the woman, and everything around the Shard. It mattered not where it came from. The Force, and all of its dark intricacies, did not care for the laws of physics or conservation in this world of the esoteric and the arcane. What mattered was the willpower of those who, as Lord Roshan had said, ‘were conduits of the Force’.

 

This flood of meat and gristle, did not slow as it consumed the dark apparition. It flooded the entire area. The entire area, nothing more then the dark side trying to consume something alive, was subjective to the devouring nature of this meaty storm. The dark side would feed on the dark side, like a hunting parasite would feed on a dying predator. 


Even if only in turn the nameless horror that consumed Solus’ soul would feed the darkness that dwelled in this place. 


It was fueled by the Shard’s rush of emotions, and its envy was still its strongest one yet. Envy desired what others had. It desired what it could not have, and would destroy it. This thing used a mask of flesh. And so, a flesh mask for the Shard would be fitting. 


In the flood, the meat returned to its source, coating and forming over the Shard’s chassis. Though nothing more than illusionary, it sought to give Solus something it lacked. Skin flayed itself, revealing blood and tissue, which in turn boiled and burned itself to a hardened, thin layer of scab-like skin. It was nothing more then an illusion at its crudest. It provided nothing more then a cosmetic change in appearance  But even the appearance of fat occasionally bubbling with invisible heat, and tendons throbbing with black blood, spoke levels of terror to those who saw it. 


Solus, back in his original form, but now with that illusionary covering of false meat, looked around in shock. The nameless horror he had just witnessed refused to cling to his soul completely. Much like a waking nightmare, it seemed to escape his memory. Only the feeling, and the knowledge that it had existed, still remained.  Having defeated the apparition, Solus moved forward through the dark tunnels. The sounds of battle were ringing out somewhere. Blade still in hand, Solus rushed forward. 

 

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Edited by Solus
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Inmortos’ bones shook as he was lambasted by the unfettered power of the apparitions made real. He felt the heat of the hellfire as it erupted all around him replacing the tomb within which they were confronted. The chill that had come to inhabit the necromancer’s bones was replaced as heat and fire licked at his form, igniting his robes into a blistering inferno all about him. His rotting flesh crackled and sparked as globules of fat burst and boiled over. His flesh began to cook  and sizzle beneath the assault.

 

In it all, through the pain and flame, the dark magician recoiled in fear. The apparitions swarmed him with the echoes of a thousand of his own memories and a million memories of those condemned to this place. He could not resist as the dark power sought to overwhelm him. He saw the faces of all who had fallen by his hand and deed, faces he did not even know or had forgotten, the countless worshipers of Aaris III, those who had stood against him in futility; they were all there and the echoes of their lives and deaths clawed at the flaming Lich’s very soul seeking to drag it into the depths.

 

And then the voices came. From every direction they came. Their voices assaulted what remained of his devastated ears, their messages reverberating not just within his ears to hear but within his heart, his mind, his soul. They screamed and tormented him beyond the touch of the flames and visages of destruction. They tapped his very core in a different way playing off his deepest fears.

 

He would be forgotten.

 

He would be destroyed.

 

He would die, an eternal death consumed by flames.

 

He was too weak.

 

He would not survive.

 

The voices declared it and in the darkest most twisted aspects of evil, they spoke the truth, a cruelty far worse than any lie.


Destroy the dagger, the voices commanded it. Inmortos saw the blade in his hand, felt it clutched within his heat-seared bones. The dagger. The force. One was before him. The other all around him burning in chaotic despair. His body was rapidly failing him, an undead husk unable to heal, baked to a crisp in this illusionary field of wickedness. Inmortos felt the pain, the suffering, as his own demise crested the horizon.
 

The dagger. He felt it, cool in his hand. A vestigial connection to beyond the all consuming destruction that was overtaking him. Aaris III. The Baptism of Blood. The souls of @Karys Narat iv-Adas and @Solus . He felt them all, bound in some form to the dagger. The dagger the voices screeched to destroy. The 10,000 souls of sacrificial innocents lying within craving release, hopeless in their imprisonment.

 

It was enough. Inmortos knew he would die, his mortal form already being consumed by the dark side energies that manifested about him. The cool abyss of Aaris III, the still darkness of the force torn asunder by the trio of dark practitioners, absolute in it’s destruction, absolute in it’s deathly calm. It was enough. The dagger.

 

Inmortos screamed in pain. His voice was drowned out by the roar of the flames and screams of the shadows of the damned. In agony, he clasped the hilt of the blade in both hands before his melting face wreathed in flame. Summoning his last stores of strength, the strength of the undead, untapped by mortal hands, Inmortos plunged the dagger into his own chest. Ribs snapped and baked flesh parted as the piercing accursed weapon pierced his heart, his very soul. Blood and ichor poured forth freely, ignited by the dark fired.
 

It was a final act of defiance as the souls within the blade found a conduit of escape. Like a charging horde they were loosed unto the mortal world, the illusionary bindings of the force broken by their charge. Thundering forth they pierced the flames and entered the darkness beyond seeking out 10,000 crushed bodies of Coruscant’s damned to overcome, to possess, to bring back unto a pained half-life unbridled by the shackles of life and unhindered by the barrier of death; for they had transcended it.

 

In the vacuum that these souls left, Inmortos stood in the gap, his very soul the siphon which they shred upon their escape. The howling ethereal winds of the blade allowed for no escape. A soul must be contained, a life for a life, a soul for a soul. Inmortos tattered form vanished in an instant; his body erupting into a final burst of flames before he dissipated entirely into the dark. 

 

In that moment, the illusions were gone, the ravaged assault of the force ceased on the now vacant form lf the necromancer. The scorched cloak fell to the floor amidst the clatter of Inmortos’ fire seared possessions. The smoke that wafted upwards from the heat all that remained to the testament of destruction. Stabbed through the robe, into the stoney walkway beneath it, the dagger that had once contained the souls of 10,000 innocents stood straight, quivering as an icy chill exuded from it, daring anyone to touch it’s cold-welding hilt.

 

Elsewhere, throughout the catacombs of destruction, the horde of souls raced, ravaging whatever might be in their path, seeking suitable bodies which to inhabit. They found none. So their anger grew, becoming more and more palpable as they sought the living, to destroy them, to take their bodies as their own.

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Akheron continued to press forwards, cutting through the remaining Cthon with ease. Those who acted in a futile effort to try and impede the path of the Sith Warrior who stood before them, Cthon who did not fully understand the magnitude of the threat they faced or simply acted on some primal instinct. Each was made a sacrifice to the Darkness and the Fanged God, souls claimed as Akheron sliced and impaled his way onwards. Determined to reach his goal, no matter the cost.

 

As he finished the last of the current threat, he marched forwards even further before stopping just short of the tunnel up ahead, his senses ringing out signalling danger was imminent. Sensing out in the Force, he felt several in wait up ahead lying in wait...those who thought they could hide from his gaze, the threat warned of, waiting for him he assumed, but he was not so easily fooled. Deciding to spring the trap, he switched techniques, focusing upon the very cables that suspended the plate and telekinetically forcing the plate to drop prematurely, along with several of the Cthon. Gripping them he swung the electrified cables into the Cthon, hoping to eletrify them instead of him as he quickly advanced after.

 

Any that were not fried outright, he would cut down with his lightsaber. Moving towards the Cthon, he gestured, taunting the foolish towards a early grave as he would end their lives, more victims who's souls would be claimed. It was then he felt the Darkness shift, as Inmortos presence seemed to disappear. And yet he was not worried, for he had seen the necromancer's abilities at work. His power was not to be underestimated, despite his disappearance. And yet despite not being too worried, he was angered that he had been taken. The Cthon would pay for it with many lives.

 

As his Rage, Anger and Wrath increased exponentially as a result, Akheron struck any too close or nearby with a ruthless determination, unrelenting and and seeking Vengeance. All would pay for the transgression, for as a Sith retribution was demanded. Soon and he came across a crossroads, a interconnecting path. It was here he felt a familiar presence, and saw him. Solus. Although he was surprised by how he looked, his presence could not be hidden from Akheron. He knew his apprentice in the Darkness. Akheron surmised perhaps this was how he was perceived in the Force, at least how his aura looked to others given physical form as a result of where they were. 

 

It was interesting and something to discuss after. For now he ran to his apprentice and spoke, even as those not dead tried following behind him. Cthon's that were soon to meet their fate. 

 

 "Ah there you are my apprentice. It appears this nexus of Darkness is stronger than any we have encountered thus far, so much so that it seems we may have lost Krath Inmortos...at least for now and done this..whatever illusion it is to you. As such stay on your guard, any of these critters get too close, add their souls to the Darkness and feed the Fanged God. We shall make them pay for what they have done and avenge our fallen ally. Let's show these useless scum what happens when they dare to test the Sith. I sense we are getting close to our objective."

Edited by Karys Narat iv-Adas
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"The universe started in darkness at a time when light didn't exist, and that is how it will end. Chaos and suffering is what brings us together. In chaos a man or woman will show who he or she really is and in suffering they will speak the truth. We are darkness incarnate, we are the evil. This cannot be denied, even by me. But without us there is no redemption, passion or order." - Darth Akheron

 

I survived the Great JNet Outage of 2012

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The 10,000 souls unleashed by the necromancer screamed through the corridors, dragging the echoes that had haunted Inmortos along with them in their inexorable current. They sought life and bodies to inhabit, but found none. Slowly, like a comet caught in the gravity well of a black hole, they drew closer and closer to the epicenter of the nexus with each pass, where Cthon gathered to defend their profane sanctum.

 

The touch of the eldritch entity that manifested through Solus fed its own foulness into the current, an otherwordly parasite that writhed with an essence all its own.

 

And the sweetest and oldest meat of all was given by Akheron. Battle. Slaughter. Wrath. The weak perished before the strong, and the Dark Side swelled with power.

 

The lightning dancing along the encased figure's fingertips exploded. The entire vaguely humanoid protrusion became a silhouette of crackling, pure light and power. Blue-white bolts of destructive energy shot out and carved long, smoking burn marks along the walls of the ancient warehouse. The Cthon too slow or unlucky were caught in their path and charred in an instant to blackened meat, their shrieks of agony only lasting an instant, but feeding the tumultuous, growing tempest.

 

And yet, it wasn't enough. The air rippled, and the ground quavered, but the tiny, flickering spark of life inside the makeshift statue did not catch fire. Centuries upon centuries of cold, starving isolation had left it weak. Though it had held its grip, it could not bring itself back even with this torrent of power surrounding it. It was a miracle it held out at all.

 

The souls unleashed from the dagger howled as they entered the chamber, drawn by the pull and gravity of the reaction taking place in the Cthon's crude temple. Bones left from thousands of victims, piled up around the center "statue" and outside the warehouse, jerked and leapt as the souls sought in vain for a viable host.

 

Then they found one.

 

With a single will and desperate need, the souls rushed into the mass of carbonite at the figure's feet.

 

A moment of silence passed.

 

Then the carbonite on the floor shattered, and a single figure stood up as if held aloft by puppet strings.

 

It wore the simple brown robes of a Jedi. Its flesh was pale but preserved, both by the carbonite and as a side effect of the foul power that had been concentrated here. The souls had found a host. They had found the Jedi that had sacrificed his life to trap the darkness he had fought here so long ago. No single soul was in control. Only their overwhelming fear, anger, and hate made it to the surface, and the corpse revenant leapt at the cowering, utterly confused Cthon. Terrible, supernatural strength tore them limb from limb even as they scrambled to fight back or flee. Inside the corpse, 10,000 souls screamed and tore at one another for control. It was a brutal, mindless conflict, and it swelled the tempest of the Dark Side to an armageddon.

 

The shaking became a true quake. Miles away, half-reconstructed skyscrapers quivered, dust cascading off their sides, followed by windows shattering all along their heights, raining shards down on the lower levels. Children cried as the adults panicked.

 

And the Cthon tunnels collapsed.

 

All throughout, the floors, ceilings, and walls gave way. Cthon cried out as they were crushed or sent tumbling into sudden widening chasms. Chambers, pipes, and girders that had held for millennia crumbled and buckled as the inexorable force of the Dark Side destroyed everything. Even as everything tumbled down on top of everything else, the crater itself deepened, and widened. Slowly, it changed from a crater to a sinkhole.

 

And yet, the tomb that was the epicenter remained intact. Debris shifted mid fall to avoid crushing the shrine. Metal, cables, and permacrete compacted themselves against the sides of the massive sinkhole.

 

Soon, where the crater had been , a massive hole stood in its place. And at the bottom, facing the sky for the first time in thousand years, the warehouse stood completely uncovered.

 

And there, in the still aftermath of the collapse, a single, pale blue dot fell through the air. The dagger containing Inmortos' soul dropped towards the warehouse, drawn like a compass's needle to north.

 

The roof of the warehouse crumbled away as if to admit it, and the dagger fell through. With a resounding TING, it struck the lightning wrapped figure at the center of the chamber. For the briefest instant, the two souls touched.

 

And the spark caught fire.

 

A hairline crack ran down the figure's form. Then more split off. Then more. A piece of carbonite fell away. Then another, and another.

 

Then the carbonite exploded outward. In its place, a single, feminine figure stood tall. She was human, with only her pointed ears hinting at some alien heritage somewhere far back in her bloodline. Her skin was pale, and served to make the dark, Sith tattoos running down the sides of her face more prominent. Her hair was bone white. Her body was neither young nor old, but something in between and timeless. The long black silk of a dress, perfectly preserved by the carbonite, hung off her slender frame.

 

For a moment, there was only silence. Then, the figure took a long, shaky breath.

 

Her eyes opened. They shone catlike yellow with the stark evidence of Dark Side corruption. Her hibernation had left her temporarily blind to the mundane, but that didn't impede her in the slightest. She saw through the Force.

 

She saw the Cthon, their squirming, half-animalistic souls cowering in the face of greater power.

 

She saw the corpse of her Jedi enemy, somehow reanimated with the souls of 10,000 screaming victims fighting for control.

 

And then she saw the dagger.

 

It glowed pale blue to her Force Sight. She recognized instantly what she was looking at. It was a Sith. A true Sith. This soul bore the ambition and pride to stretch its hands towards the universe and demand it fall in line. Passion. It had the will and tenacity to hold itself together even in its imprisoned form. Strength. It radiated a cold, sapping energy that threatened death to any who touched it. Power.

 

This was not one of Kaan's syncophants. In truth, the woman had doubted she'd ever find a kindred soul while that fool had called himself and his followers Sith.

 

The woman walked towards the dagger. Bones skittered away from her, muck slid out from under her feet instead of touching her shoes, and a durasteel girder that had been lodged in the floor for centuries squealed in protest as it bent in half to remove itself from her path. She did not gesture or even glance at these small, telekinetic gestures. She was barely conscious of them, having become so attuned to her strength in the Force that it responded to her whims as she allowed it to.

 

She stopped in front of the dagger, and it lifted into the air at her command.

 

"You are Sith," she said in a smooth voice. Her eyes flicked to the corpse of the Jedi, the 10,000 souls inside still struggling even as the body stood stunned.

 

"...Prove it." She made a tiny gesture with her right index finger, and the dagger shot like a slug from a rifle into the Jedi corpse's chest, knocking it to the ground.

 

The soul of Inmortos was pushed into the fray of 10,000 souls fighting for dominance.

 

If he was Sith, he would have Victory.

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Cold, dark, stillness, eternal nothingness confined within the tapered span of a dagger’s razored edge; it was nearly peaceful if it was not suffocating. Time spanned eternal and eternity seemed bit a moment. Within, a single soul existed, completely and totally alone, hanging in the balance of a prison that spanned forever and yet imprisoned him within it’s crushing walls. It was a void that threatened to collapse one into itself, into utter nothingness, at a moment’s notice. It was here that the frozen soul, all that remained, of Inmortos existed, tortured in a purgatory of eternal despair.

 

That was, until, it wasn’t.

 

With a sickeningly wet thud the dagger rocketed into the chest of the legion-possessed Jedi, dead yet alive, preserved by sick machinations of the force both good and bad. In an instant, the prison walls of Inmortos’ penitentiary of despair were washed away, replaced by howls of agony and the cacophony of  chaos bound souls that screamed. Oh how they screamed. Ten thousand tortured existences fighting for control of a single body, a single mind. The soul of the ten thousand slain howled, sacrifices to the god-king of Aaris III; plus another, that of the ancient Jedi buried deep, the only beacon of peace in the ravaged mindscape they know fought in. Ibto the fray of ten thousand and one plunged one other, the god-king himself, the flayer of Aaris III, the master of death.

 

Inmortos was pounced upon by the spirits he had freed; but even in their undead state, torn from their lives prematurely and held from completing their transitory journey upon the mists, they knew him. They recognized his scent, the scent of death, the master of death. They recognized their former god and recoiled in fear. Priests, acolytes, peasants, soldiers, and kings alike shrank back in fear at the overwhelming presence of their god. Their howls of pain that escaped from the writhing body of the Jedi ceased replaced by fearful whimpers and yelps of pain. 
 

The body of the Jedi stood, clawing at the air as if it was trying to climb an invisible ladder, a coordination of fear by the spirits as they tried to grab onto  anything, nothing, to escape the wrath of he who had imprisoned them. And with each clawing grasp the body rose into the air on icy winds that seemed to manifest from nowhere, on the force. Each contraction of muscle slowed until the body froze solid, encapsulated in ice hundreds of feet in the air.

 

Within, the soul of Inmortos moved. Without mortal form to slow him, he coursed through the ancient Jedi’s frigid body. He gave chase to the spirits, ferreting them from the shadows, the shadows of a Jedi, where they cowered in fear. Most were cut down in a icy blast of raw void-filled force power. Each one contributing to the freezing of their host’s body. Each one sapping the life from the very thing they craved, driven back towards the gagger from whence they had come. The few who stood when cornered were seized and shaken, cast out of the corpse’s maw, frigidnicy shadows that plummeted to the ground below where they righted themselves, shadows of their former selves. They charged at any who lived, @Darth Calypso @Karys Narat iv-Adas @Solus. It did not matter, all were equal to them, their souls tortured and fractured. They screamed an ethereal scream that penetrated bones and steel with reverberations of destruction as they charged.

 

High up in the air, the unfettered fractured frozen soul of Inmortos poured forth soulfrost, excess from his ragged soul until not just the body of the Jedi, but the souls within were frozen. The incorporeal made corporeal. All but one, the tattered soul of the nameless Jedi instructor. It radiated a soft warmth that rejected the blasts of soul-binding eternally frozen servitude that Inmortos spewed.
 

Inmortos could not bear it. He heard the words of the unknown Sith they had discovered, the ancient sorceress he had read of in long forgotten tomes.  She had cast his eternal damnation into the heart of he who had felled her and bid him rise. To prove he was a Sith, to ravage the beast that had fallen she who had been spoken of in the prophesies of a thousand tribes and tongues, a dark witch who heralded a new age of shadow against the sunrise. He had to prove his worth to her. He had to earn his place in her new order. His task beneath the master of the Krath, the great jostling Sheog, had been set. He had destroyed his own legacy, brought a world low, and for what? He had not gained the power to inhale the life from a planet and render it lifeless. He still needed his minions, his acolytes and worshipers. To accomplish the task to become as great as the circus master, to surpass him, Inmortos had but one trial left, to claim the soul of a foe greater than he. This dark witch, she who would become the master of the remnants of the Sith, those strong enough to survive the onslaught, had fallen to this, this thing. This beast that had slain her with his mastery of the force so many years ago would serve as his final sacrifice. 
 

“prove it” she said.

 

and so he would. 
 

Charging forward, the spirit of Inmortos tore through the ice-encased frozen body. Line a jagged blade his essence cut from deep within, veins bursting and freezing in explosions of solidified droplets of blood that rained down from the heavens. The spirit of the Jedi sat there, peacefully pulsating. It did not rise, it did not taunt or challenge him. Inmortos screamed as he neared the spirit. His otherworldly cry pierced the ice like rice paper. Just before they collided, the spirit of the Jedi reacted, throwing up a shield of purified peace drawn from the echoed of life, the same echoes of death that fed Inmortos. They slammed together and the frozen body in the air began to shudder, great blocks of ice breaking off with chunks of frozen flesh and robe caught up in them. They too plummeted downward.
 

Sparks of light seemed to flash through the frozen body as two souls locked in combat eternal. Souls lived eternal and their battle could be, would be, timeless.  It could not be. To do so would condemn the god of death to a fate worse than that he commanded. Inmortos knew it. He would not accept it. Grappling soul to soul high in the sky above his devastated home world, Inmortos felt it growing within his bodiless soul. It was not fear, that was always there; it fueled his every step. No, it was a cold fire, a cold indignant anger that bubbled up from beneath the ice. Anger that this prophesied priestess would dare to question his abilities. Rage that she would dare submit him to a test that she had failed. Ire that the Sith would fall so willingly in a pointless crusade, to give up a galaxy ripe for the plucking. Outrage that this vain-filled Jedi spirit thought it could stand up to him. Wrath that anyone would threaten his legacy.

 

Fueled by his own bone-chilling firey passion. Inmortos slammed himself into the soul of the Jedi Sage with enough force that the body itself rocked in the air, the winds of cryogenic cold falling still. And they began to tumble, two disembodied cries echoing from the same twisted open maw as the body of the Jedi plummeted to the exposed warehouse and land below.

 

The struggle was immortal, relentless. Time meant nothing when trapped between life and death. Life was but a fleeting moment and death was a destination, the journey to which could last eons. And so the spirit of the Jedi and that of Inmortos traded blows for centuries, millennia, even more; and in a matter of seconds, they slammed into the ground. Plumes of blue white flames erupted from the impact obscuring the form from view. The screams of burning flesh, of ten thousand thousand burning corpses erupted from the flames. From those flames rose a solitary figure draped in burnt and blackened robes, the body of the Jedi, his eyes lifeless, glowing a blood- red radiation of hatred and pain from beneath the deep cowl.

 

”I am Inmortos.” the form cried out from within the freezing blue flames that licked about him but did not touch him. His voice was different, mutated, deep, alien, powerful, alive. Withdrawing a three-fingered reptilian hand from his robes, the form clutched the dagger that had contained the ten thousand, that had contained Inmortos, that now contained . . .

 

”Your Jedi foe.” He spat, throwing the dagger to the earth with a clatter against the compacted soil and steel at the feet of Calypso.

 

Turning his head first to the left and then to the right, Inmortos saw his brothers, Akheron and Solus. He gestured to them. “My brothers,” he said turning his attention back to the dark witch. “We have come to serve you mistress.” Slowly, the new form of Inmortos bowed low, holding the pose as he continued. “But your armies have been depleted. Lost by the wastefulness of youth. Allow me to bestow upon you your first gifts worthy of claiming the title of prophecy.”

 

Slowly rising, Inmortos began to chant. It was an ancient tongue, as profane as it was forgotten. It predated the Sith, the Jedaii, it even predated star travel itself. The frost spewing flames began to expand out from the necromancer’s epicenter of power. Blue-white embers erupted upwards in a plume of flame that drifted downward to the ground beyond the sinkhole. Each contained a frozen soul, those of the ten thousand that had not been slain in the battle. As they touched the parched thirsty ground, each ember erupted in flames leaving a ghostly kobold-esque being standing there; rotted undead beings of flesh, called up from the nether regions of the force to grotesque mutated monstrous shadows of their former selfes . Each bore claws, spears, blades, weapons that could pierce flesh and bone to destroy the souls, the energized life forces of every single thing that stood in their way. Nearly ten thousand souls stood bound to this plane, their pain consuming, their fear intoxicating, their rage boiling. They surrounded them all, circling the sinkhole in ranks.

 

”An army,” he hissed. With a wave of his hand the bodies fell, the rotted stench of their true forms rising freely.

 

A solitary flicker of fire kindled upwards from Inmortos’ massive paw. “For you.” The flame went out, leaving a deep blue crystal that seemed to shift in shade, like it contained a magical blue flame, the longer one looked at it. 
 

He extended his hand, his thick reptilian forearm jutting forth from the robes. He tilted his hand and the totem fell, catching on the silvery chain that held it.

 

The power to command this army of the dead, called from beyond the grave, across the cosmos, bound to this galactic plane by their chained souls within the totem.

Edited by Krath Inmortos
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Finding his master was surprisingly easy. Enough training and spending time with his master had led the shard to an innate connection to the sith. One that, combined with Solus' natural sense of direction, made navigation magnitudes easier. 

 

There were also the sounds of slaughter  that Solus could follow. That alone was unmistakable. 

 

"My Master…" Solus greeted Akheron. With a slight bow, he saw his now fleshy covered chassis and realized how strange he probably looked. 

 

"I agree. This nexus is amazing to say the least. As for this…" 

 

Solus reached and pulled at a strand of illusionary flesh off his body. A long piece with bits of fat peeled off at the pull, squishing the entire way and oozing slightly with puss. Solus seemed to give a slight gasp as if somewhere  in between pain and pleasure

 

"It is wonderful, no?"

 

…Wonderful, no?

 

Solus stumbled when the ground shook. That was the only indication he could give before it gave way and he and his master tumbled downwards. Instincts took control of Solus like programming. The reflexes of metal and electricity, combined with the force-given talents of the Shard, enabled a magnificent feat of survivability. Hands had briefly caught grip of the outer wall, with fleshy bits torn off like scabs. Solus only used the wall a moment to slow his descent, as he placed his feet on the wall and push away, downwards and into an opposing wall. Again, Solus pushed and jumped further down. Faster and faster, the shard leapt wall to wall, a leaping pile of metal and flesh like some kind of mad insect. 

 

It wasn’t until the bottom of the pit did the Shard come to a rest and looked around for his master. 

 

“This place… it grows more hungry…” Solus commented, helping his master as needed. 

 

Solus’ body suddenly tensed and grew still. He felt it. Surely Akheron could feel it to. The power had been awoken. Whatever it was, the source that the group had come to find had been discovered. 

 

And, to the Shard’s amazement, it was a feminine figure. 

 

It was simultaneously surprising and unremarkable in Solus’ eyes. He had no idea what he had expected. He didn’t know if the source, or the epicenter, or whatever the dark side nexus was, was a being or an object or something less tangible. Perhaps it would have been more of a feeling, or an entrapment, much like what he himself had experienced earlier. 

 

But for him, who had just encountered something beyond imagination of mortal mind, a simple, feminine figure did not live up to what he had hoped to find. But with the hallucination from earlier still fresh, and the oozing pustules still growing on his illusionary body, his thoughts knew there was more then met the sensor. 

 

When Innmortos called upon his own army of the dead, now inhabiting a new, more reptilian body, Solus had to brace himself. Calling upon the Impossible Geometries was an easy task to do here, but even his abilities struggled slightly against the wailing spirits that sought to claim whatever they could find. 

 

After Innmortos had spoke, Solus had almost begun to speak up. The necromancer spoke words of blasphemy.  The Sith Empress, who had demanded the servitude of each Sith at her coronation, still lived. And yet, Innmortos, with his new body, had found new loyalties. 

 

But remembering who’s presence he was still in, Solus silenced himself. Instead, after looking the feminine figure over once more, glanced at Akheron. He was still his master, and Solus had made an oath to the Sith. But if the Lord of Rage so easily abandoned his oath to the current avatar of the Fanged God, then perhaps Solus needed to requisition where his own loyalties lied. 

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Wonderful. That was the word his apprentice used to describe his new temporary appearance, one that was grotesque, it almost reminded him of his former master, Sheog The Mad. He was pulled from his thoughts when the ground began to shame and the ceiling shook enough that it was caving in. It was them the two tumbled down, springing quickly to action, Akheron drew upon the Darkness to steady his descent and move chucks out of his way, any that nearly crushed him away from his path. 

 

Leaping and jumping, side to side, pushing from wall to wall like his apprentice until he too was below. Rushing for the warehouse at the centre, he was drawn to it. The epicentre...It was here he knew their prize awaited. He could feel it, no doubt his apprentice did too. Entering the door, cautiously, he headed through any debris to where the possessed body of the Jedi, and Inmortos soul and their prize awaited. Inside he saw her.

 

A solitary female, of a species he did not know. Yet he could feel her power, the Darkness was incredibly strong within her...perhaps enough to even challenge the current champion of the Fanged God, to challenge Nyrys. Witnessing the sight before him, avoiding ice wherever it fell as Inmortos battled within the revenant, Akheron was intrigued.

 

If she did that to him, she was indeed strong. Stronger than any other he had encountered before. It was then several wayward souls attempted to take his body. Akhero n responded in kind, unsheathing the Limnal Blade, Inmortos has once gifted to him. It weighed against his armor, slowing him...but he moved on undeterred. As the souls approached with deadly intent, he prepared and sliced at one, cleaving the soul in two as their screams filled the air. Another came about meeting a similar fate as the blade was brought to impale them. Sucking the life energy that kept what little remained of them into it. As the last fell, he turned to see the new form that was Inmortos.

 

He felt a new strength to his ally, one that spoke of mastery over the Darkness. A result of surviving his ordeal, his trial. And yet then things took a darker turn, as Inmortos shocked Akheron with his next words. And more, offering his service to this unknown woman before them. The one who appeared to be the prize they had sought. 

 

Before he spoke, Akheron focused within the Darkness, seeking guidance from the Fanged God. One thing was certain this meeting was no coincidence. Indeed, upon introspection he found perhaps it was the will of the Fanged God. Given the circumstances. For he now thought perhaps a mistake had been made...perhaps Nyrys had failed the tests of power that the Fanged God used to select new tools of his will. It certainly seemed so given their recent defeat, that and more. Thinking back, he remembered the circumstances of her rise. She had not been given the opportunity to challenge her predecessor Exodus. He had broken the ancient tradition of the Sith, of earning the title through combat. or he had simply given it to her. No doubt this had angered the Fanged God. Perhaps this was why they had failed, the current Dark Lord had lost the Fanged God's favor through weakness or disgrace brought on by not just herself but also her predecessor.

 

And as such was no longer his champion...his chosen avatar.  Perhaps this woman before them was. He would soon see.

 

Akheron finally spoke, bowing in respect but not outright offering his devotion. He had to be sure.

 

 "I am sorry brother, but I cannot offer my services outright to whoever this is. If she is the prize we sought so be it, but do not think for a moment I will willingly throw away an oath so easily. Not without just cause and the favour of the Fanged God. Especially when she is unproven and the current Dark Lord still lives. However that said, I do feel a change is coming and perhaps this woman we see before us might be at the centre of it. 

 

Perhaps I also made a mistake. Looking at the facts, perhaps Nyrys had failed the tests of power that the Fanged God used to select new tools of his will. It certainly seems so given this recent defeat of ours, how easily we were abandoned and more. Thinking back, the circumstances of her rise now make me question of I was right. She was not given the opportunity to challenge her predecessor Exodus. He broke the ancient tradition of the Sith, of allowing Nyrys a chance of earning the title through combat. He simply gave it to her. I now have no doubts...perhaps this had angered the Fanged God, resulting in the events that have transpired. Perhaps this was why we failed, the current Dark Lord has lost the Fanged God's favor through weakness or disgrace brought on by not just herself but also her predecessor.

 

Perhaps.

 

That said we can do nothing. Not yet. It is for the will of the Fanged God to decide. As is the way of Clan Brasganu, House Of Dragons. This woman before us, whoever she may be, may make a legitimate challenge for the title of Dark Lord, as a Sith that is her right, if that is her desire and as it appears might be the case here...and attempt to become the new avatar and champion, but we cannot interfere. For it is only through tests of power that the Fanged God selects his new tools of his will. In this regard, I will neither help nor hinder her cause. I shall take her where she will to conduct this challenge but beyond that until she is proven in the eyes of the Darkness, the Sith and the Fanged God, I will not help."

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"The universe started in darkness at a time when light didn't exist, and that is how it will end. Chaos and suffering is what brings us together. In chaos a man or woman will show who he or she really is and in suffering they will speak the truth. We are darkness incarnate, we are the evil. This cannot be denied, even by me. But without us there is no redemption, passion or order." - Darth Akheron

 

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In the silence that followed his pledge, Inmortos held the talisman, waiting. It was but a moment before it was broken, not by accolades or challenge from this dark enchantress, no, but by words that tumbled from the mouth of Lord Akheron with limnal blade in hand.

 

And oh how he drolled on. Inmortos’ elongated teeth ground together as the Sith Warrior openly contradicted him even as he openly questioned his own moral high ground. When he finally stopped his monologue, Inmortos turned, calmly, his presence that of a glassy lake surface, a lake of untold depths, depths that contained secrets and monsters untold.

 

”Lord Akheron,” he spoke, the iciness of his reptilian voice doing little to camouflage the soul contained within this new hulking form or the disdain he felt for the one who would dishonor him so openly before another. “As an acolyte of the Fanged God, priest of The Father of Dust, and fellow lord-captain, you dishonor me.”

 

Taking a single thunderous booted step forward, Inmortos stared into Akheron’s eyes, his pulsating red orbs glowing like soulless hellscapes from within his triangular Vurk head. “Have you read the prophecies?” His voice burned with disdain, a side effect of the new mind and body he now possessed. Emotions that now reared their heads under the freedom of the broken chains of the Jedi.  “Studied the teachings of the ancients, the musings of the enlightened, the lost manuscripts of our forefathers? Have you translated the works of forgotten religions, the scrolls of the damned? Where were you when I, by the lamplight, poured over the accursed tomes of the abyss? Have you probed the minds of the dead, or merely rendered them so, to see the secrets of lifetimes laid bare before your eyes”

The more he spoke, the more the revile in his voice coalesced back into pure icy nothingness, the emotionless pit of the void untouched by mortal emotions “Where are your libraries of forbidden knowledges and profane words unheard by mortal ears since before the galaxy was tamed? Are you a scholar of the profane mystery or are you a warrior to lead our remaining people in holy battle? Sheath your tongue then. Sheath that worthless blade and loose your true weapon of war that you were bestowed by the Fanged God.”

 

“I am that scholar; and do you know what I have found?  Prophesies from a thousand cultures, tales of a million peoples, whispered secrets of countless loose-lipped and love-lorn beings long dead, that point to this place, this world, this manifestation of the true Fanged God!”  He pointed to Calypso behind him as he stated matter-of-factly, “She is the culmination of them all.” 
 

Inmortos leaned back from his looming step forward, his cold voice continuing to cool from the fire that had touched it. “The spark has left the Sith. The avatar of the Fanged God, defiled. In our own wisdom, the Sith chose a leader, thinking ourselves greater than The Golden Slave. In that choice, the Fanged God saw fit to favor us in our disobedience, a reward to sate it’s hunger, in our punishment. The wastes of Nar Shadaa even now are laid bare, the Sith destroyed alongside the forces of the Rebellion; and yet, our foes, our oppressors, the Jedi, stand tall. We grew too haughty and defiled the dark and have paid. The prophecies foretold of this day, but did any listen? I say we did not. And we were cut down for it, the weak left to die in the dust of a Hutt’s latrine, where you and the crystal would have met your end, had it been not for me. My ship is gone. My crew, awaiting my touch for life everlasting, wantonly cut down by Sith vain pride. And yet, you dare to question the ancients who foretold of this day. I, a Lord-Captain of Clan Brasganu, and holy priest of The Father have seen it. Let us bow low before the Fanged God, defile ourselves in dust that we might regain favor in it’s eyes, regaining our rightful place as the House of Dragons at the head of the Sith war machine.

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His master’s response didn’t exactly disappoint the apprentice. Akheron’s words erred on the side of caution overall. He didn’t say that their current empress was undeserving of her title, nor did he say that this being was her successor. Just a potential candidate to back. 

 

Solus memorized this moment for later use. A good learning moment if there ever was one. 

 

However, the necromancer crossed a line. 

 

The Shard took a step forward between his own master and Innmortos. 

 

“I’d be a bit more respectful, wax-man” Solus started, hand still holding his lightsaber that desired to be activated. The pulsing envy it generated in the Impossible Geometries demanded death, and this necromancer had earned enough ire from the Shard to consider giving into its desires.

 

“It was my master who allowed you to join our clan and study our own texts. And it was my master who gave you a ship to lose. If he dishonors you, you don’t have to remain part of our clan. We could leave you here, and you can always call for help from home. After all, your planet of lizards will always take you back.”

 

Solus wished he had a workable face on all of the meat that covered his body, if only so he could sneer at the last comment. 

 

If Solus had known better, he may have stopped here. But as he spoke, he felt his own spirit rise. Perhaps it was because his blade was still in his hand, but his envy and jealousy  expanded in the Impossible Geometries. The shard saw an opportunity, and now he would seize it. 

 

“I may be young for years in the clan, but you are younger. The Fanged god demands death, and that's it. He would be with us even if the avatar wasn’t here.  If this…woman…is the avatar of the Fanged god, then let her prove it, as my master says. And she isn’t then she dies. And if she isn’t then you truly show your stupidity.”

 

Solus raised a fleshy claw, dripping with puss, to point at the necromancer. “If you support this…being…” Solus gestured towards Calypso, “Then maybe you know her name. Her desires for all of the Sith. Can you prophesize how she will succeed our empress? How will she avenge our losses from Nar Shaddaa? Or do you only know from what you have read and not from what you have personally discovered? Will you drop your loyalty to her as soon as another ‘worthy’ being comes along, like you are doing now?”

 

Solus turned his head, so his sensors focused entirely on the subject of everyone’s talking. Now it was time to let loose some of his envious feelings.  

 

“This thing is nothing more than a corpse-hopping ghost, and a disrespectful and stupid one at that. He killed his own world in service to our dark lord and wastes valuable resources that could have been used for our wars, and finally he drops his loyalty to her at the drop of a hat. Will you be so foolish to trust him so easily?”

 

Trust him so easily?  The words echoed, almost tauntingly so. 

 

Solus remained quiet after this. He had spoken his mind. He wasn’t sure if the others noticed it, but he knew his annoyance at the rise of rank for the necromancer had been obvious from the beginning. This necromancer, who the shard had killed once, had an entire planet to himself to destroy, had been given a ship and crew by the Shard’s master and not his own, had been shown that his talents at information interrogation were not unique at Falleen, and had not rushed into battle like the Shard had been. 

 

If this woman, as powerful as she felt, was truly to succeed the Empress, Solus the Dragon was sure to not let the necromancer hold a prestige position while the Shard and the Lord of Rage deserved so much more. 

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"ENOUGH!" Calypso shouted. Her brief outburst of emotion rippled out like the clear sound of a bell in the fabric of the Force. The sinkhole shuddered, and debris knocked loose by the telekinetic pulse cascaded down the sides to crash into the walls of the dilapidated warehouse.

 

She breathed in and out once, and moved to sit down. The shattered pieces of carbonite piled up underneath her to form a crude seat as she did so.

 

"It is clear I am missing some...context." She considered all she had heard and seen. Kaan's army did not hold a necromancer of this level of skill last she had heard. The Fanged God hadn't been worshipped in any recorded memory, being relegated to old myths and fringe texts. And this...current Dark Lord...this Empress...

 

Only one conclusion could come from all of that.

 

"I have been asleep for a long time, haven't I? Lord Kaan, General Hoth, the Brotherhood of Darkness and the Army of Light...they're all gone. Even now, I know we are on Coruscant, but it is different. The Coruscant I knew was polished and filthy in turn depending on where you stood. This Coruscant...it's like a burn, blistered and raw, stripped down to its barest layers.

 

And the Jedi...I can't sense them. Their temple has always stood on this world, shining like a beacon, and now I can't sense it." She smiled and laughed. "They were such a constant. This unchanging, immutable fixture that was simply how things were. And now they're gone.

 

And you three. None of you are Kaan's followers. You're all real Sith, or at least closer than any fool he ruled."

 

She turned her still sightless eyes to Akheron. "A fanatic."

 

She shifted to Solus. "An abomination."

 

And finally, she turned to Inmortos. "And a shade."

 

"Quite the menagerie. Kaan could never have assembled such a collection. He thought it terms of armies, territory, and military might. He was an ex-Jedi better suited to being a politician than a Sith. He was blind, and saw the Dark Side as a weapon, and the Sith as warriors." Her smile widened. Her hatred for that fool blended seamlessly with her hatred for the galaxy at large, and with that old feeling came joy. In truth, joy and hatred and been joined seamlessly inside her a long time ago, to the point where they were indistinguishable. "But the Dark Side is more than just a tool, and Sith are more than just soldiers. The Dark Side is a part of the universe itself, and Sith...the Sith are the monsters that feed on it."

 

The warehouse creaked, and she sighed again, as if annoyed to have to break her own line of thought. She gestured out with both arms. The warehouse shook, and the debris underneath it began to roil and roll. And then, slowly at first, then gaining speed...the warehouse began to climb the side of the sinkhole.

 

Seated upon her makeshift stool, she addressed the three Sith.

 

"My name is Darth Calypso.

 

I don't know what prophecies you're talking about.

 

I don't know what Dark Lord you speak of.

 

I don't know your clan, I don't know your god, and I don't know what you expect of me.

 

And in the end, it does not matter. If your master is stronger than me, she will prove it. If you are stronger than me, than strike me down now or prove that I should be the one serving you.

 

If you do intend to fight me, than come. I'm weakened, but I am ready. If you intend to run from me and bide your time, than by all means," she said as she gestured, and one of the warehouse walls shattered under her telekinetic blast, revealing the slowly passing sheer side of the sinkhole just outside. "Take your leave."

 

She leaned forward. "And if you would make use of my power for your own ends by serving me, than please..." She gestured politely, and three more seats arose behind each of the Sith. "Tell me everything you know." A pillar of carbonite rose behind her, and she leaned back against it. "And then I will make my final decision of what to do with anyone still here."

 

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Akheron listened as Inmortos droned on, accusing him of dishonor. How little he knew...for it was never his intention, it was a dangerous game of chess they were playing and it was a dangerous gambit that the necromancer now sought to inact. And yet he was wrong in thinking that the Sith Warrior was no scholar of the arcane, that he had not heard of such a prophecy.

 

He had heard of it, but unlike the necromancer he did not put total faith into it, not without more tangible proof. Proof that seemed to be becoming more apparent as they continued. For many a prophecy had been misinterpreted before, he had to be certain that no mistake was made, there was too much at stake to misinterpret even a single word. He spoke, serious and yet calm, not intimidated by the necromancers posing and choice of words. It would take far more to get to him.

 

 "To dishonor is not my intention Krath Inmortos, I just need to be certain. Too many times has a prophecy been misinterpreted and we have paid the price, I cannot and will not allow such a thing to happen again, I have read the prophecy or at least something sounding like that which stands before us but nothing is certain. Even with the Fanged God. You see I am more a scholar than you think, for I am both scholar and Warrior."

 

 It was then he heard her speak, and her name became known to him. Darth Calypso. A powerful name indeed, that belonged to a equally powerful being connected to the Darkness. Perhaps it was pre-ordained, another test by the Fanged God, to test his devotion. He came to a decision as he heard her speak, her words making sense and appealing to his very nature as a Sith. Maybe Inmortos was right, maybe she could being the Sith back from the brink. They would soon see.

 

He spoke, facing her as he took a offered seat.

 

 "Darth Calypso you say, a powerful name. One that speaks of your ability as does your power over the Darkness. I am Darth Akheron, Sith Warrior and Lord Of Wrath and Rage. The Shard is Solus my apprentice and the sorcerer and necromancer, Krath Inmortos. We and our Linnorms are what remain of Clan Brasganu, for we have recently escaped battle...the Sith suffered greatly. You make a valid point, one I cannot deny, perhaps my ally here is correct...perhaps you are one of prophecy, whichever the case may be it is clear the Fanged God brought us before you for a reason. As such I shall give you the benefit of the doubt, I will not challenge you and shall follow you unless given reason to doubt. If you wish to challenge the current Dark Lord, to ascend once more, I can assist with that. 

 

In this challenge we shall see if you are indeed worthy and the Fanged God's new chosen avatar, our champion of Darkness. For now, I shall do my best to update you as to the history you have missed for the past 1,000 years you have been sleeping."

 

 It was then he begun to explain the history of the galaxy, events as far as he knew them to update Darth Calypso on what she might have missed for the last 1,000 years she had been sleeping. It took a few hours but he managed as best he could, allowing Inmortos to fill any gaps he may have missed. 

 

 

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"The universe started in darkness at a time when light didn't exist, and that is how it will end. Chaos and suffering is what brings us together. In chaos a man or woman will show who he or she really is and in suffering they will speak the truth. We are darkness incarnate, we are the evil. This cannot be denied, even by me. But without us there is no redemption, passion or order." - Darth Akheron

 

I survived the Great JNet Outage of 2012

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Throughout the trip up the side of the sinkhole, Darth Calypso listened without comment or expression. As Akheron gave her an overview of the history she had missed, she sat back and absorbed it. The 1000 years of peace, the rise of the Galactic Empire and the near destruction of the Jedi. The rise of the Galactic Alliance, and the new Sith Empire. The moonfall of Coruscant and the rebirth of the Rebellion. When Akheron finally reached the present, Calypso sat back.

 

"It's all the same," she said, an edge of disgust in her voice. "1000 years and the galaxy is still just another one of the endless variations of the same tired holovid that's been playing since the Unification Wars." Her eyes lowered, and a hint of profound tiredness entered her voice. "When the Sith finally won, things were supposed to change. The universe would change. The strong would rule and the weak would serve, the way it was always supposed to be. Not this...this," she said, at a loss how to sum up everything that didn't make sense about the galaxy. How the talented were pressured into using their gifts for the good of the incompetent. How weakness was celebrated and encouraged. How the ones who actually earned their lives through their own strength were pushed down, lest they upset the whining, fat nerfs sucking on their own filth.

 

Her hands clenched.

 

At that moment, the first rays of sunlight reached the crumbling edges of the warehouse walls and fell onto the ancient Sith. It bathed her in a golden-orange glow, and she looked up at the sudden warmth on her skin.

 

"Strife would free us all," she continued. "The Sith were in charge, they should have won." A grimace crossed her face. "But they stopped at the finish line. They took the mantle of a stagnant galaxy as a victory prize...and then they lost it all. Our paradise, our truth, gone."

 

The warehouse ground to a halt as it crested the edge of the sinkhole. Calypso stood as it did.

 

"I have work to do." Her voice was matter-of-fact, the restrained passion vanished. "You are all still here, so I assume you'll be working for me until further notice." She held up a hand to forestall Akheron. "Yes, I know, you are only escorting me."

 

She turned to give the Brasganu Sith her full attention. "Remember these words." She used the term as a statement, not an insult. "Belief is the brother of passion, and is a powerful tool. However, a true Sith lets nothing rule them but themselves. Explore the strengths of your faith, not its limits, and you will find power untapped." She smiled. "I foresee great things from you. Stay with me, and we'll tear the galaxy down to rock and ash."

 

She turned to Inmortos. "You...you have taken a great step today. Thousands of souls and the spirit of a true Jedi stood in your way, and you still had victory. You are a Master of the Sith arts, for no one else could have survived that kind of trial." She smirked wryly. "You may even be able to teach me a thing or two about the more eclectic forms of our arts. However, I urge you to examine yourself. The most subtle chains that bind a Sith are the ones they forge themselves." She paused as she thought back to her own moments of enlightenment, her own glimpses of true freedom. "Find these chains, and be as ruthless with them as you are with your enemies. A god can have no part that is ungodly."

 

Finally, she turned to the strange abomination. "As for you...you intrigue me. There's something off about you. Something twisted. Or perhaps..." she paused, then shook her head. "I have seen an age's worth of Sith, and I have never seen anything that even began to resemble what you are, or what you seem to be becoming." She smiled, something predatory gleaming in her expression. "I hope to see it come to fruit. And I sincerely hope you survive the process."

 

She turned to address the three as a group once again. "Necromancer, gather my army. Whichever one of you has a ship, get us and my new troops aboard." Her tone was not curt, demeaning, or even arrogant. She spoke disarmingly casual, as if to old friends. The ease at which she slipped into the attitude might have been eerie to some, and indeed it had in her long ago past.

 

She did not order. She did not demand. She just...talked. And she expected others to listen.

 

Hidden underneath her informal attitude though, her power simmered. The Dark Side moved around her like the current of a whirlpool, and it was readily obvious to anyone with the senses to see why the Dark Side Nexus had formed around her in particular.

 

Darth Calypso had achieved what many other Sith strived for all their lives.

 

She had broken her chains

 

She was free.

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"Necromancer, gather my army. Whichever one of you has a ship, get us and my new troops aboard."

 

“If you and my master both allow it…” Solus spoke up quickly, eager to prove himself again. “Allow me to lead the way. I have a natural sense of direction and memorization. You will not fail in trusting me.”

 

…trusting me

 

With that Solus quickly rose and began to lead the way. Every word he said was true, and he was eager to prove it to this newfound ‘ally’. As he had discovered in the Naboo abyss, and as he stated earlier to his master, Shard physiology seemed to have a natural sense of which direction was north, and in turn, a decent ability at navigation. 

 

But there was more to what Solus wanted when he lead the way. Part of it was to show he was useful to this female, despite not knowing if she was an ally or not. The rest was that he wanted some time to think to himself.

 

The conversation the group had, with the history of the state of the galaxy, had revealed much to the Shard. Most of his learning had been military and spiritual, not historical. Most of everything Solus had seen so far was through those kinds of lenses, with a perception focused on the Fanged God himself. But having received a crash course in galactic history, Solus had to process the fact that life had just kept going. 

 

And more so, some galactic events he had known about beforehand without realizing it. The death of a previous sith emperor by his own apprentice. The crashing of the moon into a populated planet. Exterminations and rebirths. Deities fighting deities with blades of fire. So many events, all witnessed at one point or another by the shard. 

 

What did this mean? Even as Solus led the way, he couldn’t find an answer. 

 

The Shard stopped, surrounded by piles of debris and trash. The shard only stopped because he realized he had made a deal of progress ahead of the others and needed to allow them to catch up. 

 

As he waited, Solus glanced down at his own chassis and almost gasped in surprise. The flesh, the meat…it was all gone. Having journeyed far enough from the epicenter of the dark side nexus, the thing that had clung to his body so easily no longer carried the fuel to maintain itself. It had faded away into nothing, revealing the old, rusted and practically useless metal beneath. 

 

“I guess part of the reason we came here included salvage for new parts…” Solus commented and began to sift through the metal. One group of parts stood out. A humanoid metallic shape, with a short stature and large eye sensors. Plucking it from the debris and holding it by a breaking leg, Solus studied it and nodded approvingly. While partially broken in places, the parts from his current chassis would serve to fix it. 

 

Plus, its height actually suited Solus. In his time with the chassis given by the sorcerers, he had grown accustomed  to being short and agile. This larger, more oddly shaped chassis was bothersome. 

 

“Yes, yes, this will do…” Solus commented. He turned his head at the approaching footsteps. The party had finally caught up.

 

“Just past this way, the heat becomes unbearable” Solus warned the others, carrying the droid chassis with one arm. “I suggest you find a way to protect your skin, wouldn’t you agree wax-man?

 

But beyond here, the transports await us. Come! The galaxy awaits us!” 

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After sitting for what seemed like hours, offering bits of information no mortal man ought to to complete the tales wove by @Karys Narat iv-Adas, Inmortos smiled. It was not a pleasant smile, as he grew accustomed to his new monstrous form. Still, the prophesied @Darth Calypso witch’s words hummed like a piercing note that bypassed sinews, flesh, and mental defense. She had acknowledged his skill, his godhood in even a way that Akheron and Solus could not, were too blind to see. He was a master of the Sith, a master of death itself. Yet still, her words of empowerment came with a challenge, a caveat, a chink in his proverbial armor. Hidden within his soul beyond the grasp of his body, chains that still clawed at his mind holding it back from true unrestrained greatness. A deep bow of his head to the dark witch was all he offered in return. Words would cheapen such a moment and by now all too many words had been offered.

 

Gather an army, nearly 10,000 souls cleaved from their bodies given a half-life in a Sith magick-filled ritual of death and blasphemy; forced into unnatural spectral bodies to serve yet again. To gather such a force, a fraction of the tide of devastation that could be wrought, would be challenging amongst the flames and even moreso the enemy patrols. To march their army from this place would bring attention to their existence. To land the final remaining flagship of the Clan would be to invite certain hellfire the likes of which escape would be folly. Yet he had been given a task, one that the prophesied one had bestowed, another chain to be broken.

 

As he considered the monumental task before him, the Shard @Solus was already scurrying from the scene like a stone tumbling down a hill. Inmortos sighed heavily, his eyes rolling unnaturally far back into his triangular head. Summoning a mangled piece of bent metal, the necromancer leaned heavily on the makeshift cane. He moved to follow the skittering stone, his presence on the force a vast cloud of icy spikes that lanced into the superheated air of the temple indentation. 
 

He moved after the others, a slow creeping methodical pace. Ever step an echo of the past into eternity. His mind churned with his task as he processed it, a wicked smile lighting his undead eyes. He was to gather the army. It was up to Akheron to board it aboard his ship; the necromancer’s having been destroyed by the unchecked greed of Sith left to their own devices.

 

Once beyond the devastated crater, Inmortos would summon an army of mangled dead from across the history of the world, fallen Taung and forgotten slaves, none that remained hidden within the graves of Coruscant would be left untouched; but first…

 

the flames and hell-scared lava fields before them radiated with fingernail curling destruction. Already he could feel scales warming to blistering on his new body. The void that was the force stretched across the cosmos to the lifeless fields of Aaris III, chilled to absolute solidification by the vastness of space and despair. It was enough. A frigid wind whipped the charred robes about the undead lizard. They erupted  from the very air about them ripping past the gathered Sith feeding the flames even as they extinguished the heat that radiated outward. The winds curled the flames like elongated reaching fingers that clawed at the air. The red-orange flames morphed beneath the touch of the dark side, paling as they turned blue, glowing with unnatural power. The lava fields began to solidify, the very heat of Coruscant unable to stand against the onslaught of the necromancer’s power.

 

From there, they could traverse easily until they climbed from the crevasse into the slums that surrounded the morphed and mangled destruction.

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Akheron listened as Darth Calypso finally spoke once he was done explaining the history of the galaxy of the last 1,000 years. He nodded agreeing as she made several valid points, at least from his perspective, many things she stated he also knew to be true. It was then a thought crossed his mind, perhaps this was why they failed.

 

It was the Sith's punishment...for diverging from the will of the Fanged God not allowing strife and chaos to reign and taking advantage of the victory they had. As was the purpose of the Sith. To ferment chaos and ignite passion. To break the galaxies chains. As they continued to walk, Akheron considered, and conceded perhaps the necromancer was correct in his assessment. So far what she said resonated within the Sith Warrior, and for the first time in several years he found some clarity. 

 

Perhaps she was the Fanged God's new avatar, their chosen champion of Darkness. To become the new Dark Lord as fate demanded.

 

A purpose, both in serving the Fanged God, the Darkness and the Clan. Through this mysterious woman, one who seemed very wise beyond the apparent youth she possessed...indeed there was something about her that spoke to his core. As she clenched a fist, so did he in turn at least state of things.

 

His decision was made, despite the risks. He would follow her and help return the truth of the Sith. As the Fanged God 's will seemed to demand of him, as would be his newfound purpose. To serve the Sith and follow her lead, he would be her weapon of Wrath and Rage. Her destroyer of worlds, and he would break the galaxy into only the ashes remained and Darkness clouded all. 

 

He spoke in reply.

 

 "It appears I misjudged you. You are wise beyond your apparent youth, your chains are broken. I see now Master Krath Inmortos was correct in his assessment, and hope he doesn't hold it against me for initially disbelieving. You speak several truths, ones I had forgotten or lost in my crusade across the stars...you have opened my eyes once more. For that I thank you, I would be honoured to serve you and return the truth of the Sith to the galaxy, as is the will of the Fanged God, of the Darkness. For I see the truth as Inmortos see's it, you are out new chosen champion. I also see great things for you, but first let us get you off this rock, my flagship shall suffice.

 

We shall fill it to capacity, everyone else...will have to raid the local populace, and unburden the starports and towns of any spare combat capable ships. Come, let us begin your ascent my Dark Lady, our new Empress." 

 

He turned allowing Solus to advance ahead, following behind, close to his new dark champion. Stepping just ahead, he would perform his role well and serve as a iron fist. As Inmortos froze the lava fields, Akheron added to it in his own way, entering the Sith Warrior state, the Cold Mind as he shifted the temperature, lowering it until ice formed under his boots, freezing the ground solid. He continued to walk, following the footsteps laid towards the slums above. Seeing the first of the damaged buildings over a crest, he continued the press the advance as he exited the warehouse. Above the sinkhole, several Linnorms waited having been sent to investigate if the three Sith were still alive. 

 

Turning to Inmortos he spoke.

 

 "I never got the chance below but...I believe congratulations are in order. For you have ascended to Masterhood I overheard and passed your trial, perhaps some day soon I too will achieve such a feat. I am sorry I did not initially listen, it is one of my flaws, I can be stubborn, perhaps too much sometimes. I believe you were right, she has thus far exceeded expectations. She is our new dark champion."

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"The universe started in darkness at a time when light didn't exist, and that is how it will end. Chaos and suffering is what brings us together. In chaos a man or woman will show who he or she really is and in suffering they will speak the truth. We are darkness incarnate, we are the evil. This cannot be denied, even by me. But without us there is no redemption, passion or order." - Darth Akheron

 

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On 6/21/2022 at 4:39 PM, Solus said:

“Just past this way, the heat becomes unbearable” Solus warned the others, carrying the droid chassis with one arm. “I suggest you find a way to protect your skin, wouldn’t you agree wax-man?

 

But beyond here, the transports await us. Come! The galaxy awaits us!” 

 

Calypso frowned, then closed her eyes and raised her hands. At first, nothing happened. Then, a small scattering of dust lifted from the debris to swirl around her. Then more, the dust thickening into a stream, then a torrent. It twisted and writhed around her like a snake, fattening and growing in her power. It grew and grew, reaching higher and higher until it completely obscured her, its faint whistle turning into a drowning roar of rushing air and detritus. A miniature funnel cloud, Calypso's body was hidden within its obscuring folds. She stepped forward, and it moved with her. Maintaining her concentration, she began walking into the destroyed landscape. As she entered the searing heat, the superheated air was sucked into her artificial twister, passing harmlessly around the Sith inside. She gestured with one hand, and a wave of dust and scrap from the cooler air behind her surged forward into her twister, cooling the air around her and protecting her further from the heat.

 

And so, like this, she reached the transport.

 

Once aboard, she considered for a moment. The army may need more ships than what Akheron had at his disposal. She closed her eyes.

 

She did not speak with words, for the Cthon did not understand them. Over the time she had spent training and coercing the mutant things, she had learned to communicate with them through impressions on their emotions and baser instincts. It did not take her senses long to find the local alpha of the Cthon who had survived her awakening. She considered that she'd need to make her will known to the other Cthon communities on this world, but that was a task for another time.

 

____________________

 

Fivefang huddled in the dark, hissing and shrieking at his fellows. So many had died, and the Silent Place had...woken up! And then left! The entire shrine had simply left!

 

It had been many, many generations since the figure in the Silent Place had moved among them, and Cthon did not keep histories, but it was by pure instinct that Fivefang knew he needed to serve this figure or die from her wrath, or so he believed. In truth, Darth Calypso had long ago learned how to present herself to such lowly creatures as to impress upon them the fear necessary to serve her, and being in the presence of the saturated power of the Dark Side for so long had only magnified Fivefang's and his fellows' sensitivity to the technique.

 

He felt her will. He understood.

 

The metal containers that came from above. The containers that brought new meat. She required more.

 

She would have more. Or she would punish them all.

 

And so, the Cthon spread out, seeking out spaceports, scavengers ships, and supply depots. They would emerge from the underground, and kill all who stood before them. And while they feasted, the Silent Lady would direct her other minions to take the prizes.

Edited by Darth Calypso
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Aboard the Eternus, Inmortos stood regarding the almost seemingly frail woman that was to be the new dark lord, his new dark lord. In the heavy silence, he could feel the force churn, her presence carving a wake that rippled out to unknown means and ends. There was more. The eternal expanse of death that cradled this once civilized world torn by war and devastation was ever present. It pressed in from all corners; his touch heavy even on the ghostly echoes of the force. On that invisible fog, specters moved; wraiths bound beyond their own demise, souls lost to wander eternity, shackled just beyond the mortal coil. It was a fate worse than death, a fate that awaited any unclaimed by their god and carried to a place of rest or torment beyond the horizon. They whispered to Inmortos, their tongues a dozen languages if a thousand and yet he heard them, understood their desires. It was an entire spectrum of death unseen; an invisible door opened to the power of Inmortos, the necromancer, god and yet student of death.

 

And as they whispered, one voice carried above the rest. It was a nameless form, crystalline in light as freshly fallen snow. The spirit of the Jedi body he now inhabited called out from beyond his prison of ebon steel. It echoed in the flesh that even now began to rot beneath the necromancer’s touch. It mingled itself with the very essence of the lord of the dead. So he stood, regarding @Darth Calypso with the eyes of both a Sith and something more, the echoes of a Jedi. It was not hate, but as it mingled with the vileness of the dead that was how it bloomed; a wicked flower of contempt and sorrow that bid Inmortos lash out, here, in this his own ship, with none to play witness.

 

His red eyes shimmered wickedly. The necromancer’s hands were stayed. Even as a Sith was tied to his emotion, Inmortos knew better. He was not a mere warrior or apprentice tossed by his  flaming desires of passion. There was more at stake, history, eternity, the new horizons of the damned that now presented themselves. This queen, prophesied about across the annals of history, had not yet grown into the blossom and thus was offered the armor   of prophecy itself, the shield of fate. He would follow her, bend his knee to her will that his own might grow; even as the voices urged him to lash out, to kill her before her time. 
 

A slight smile twisted across the necromancer’s face as the twisted rotted remains of his pilot began to lift the sleek evil yacht from the ground. “Calypso,” he ket the name hang in the air. “Surely that would prophecy guide your hand as sure as your will is bound to it’s writings. I am but a servant of the force, of death itself, manifest upon the nightmares of those who stand in our way ne’er to be forgotten.”

 

The ship rumbled silently, leaving @Karys Narat iv-Adas and @Solus to find their own landing craft to ferry them upwards. After all, he had complete his end of the bargain; to see to the logistics was below his station, assigned to the lord of wrath. As the ship broke the atmosphere, the last remaining longship of Clan Brasganu stood in the distance, a floating specter against the debris-clouded stars. “Death; however, offers mercy to those that might accept my embrace Lord Calypso. To that end, my apprentice, the sniveling Nok Morliss, transformed beneath my hand into the fearsome and gluttonous @Krath Apothos was captured by the forces of light as they sought to overcome the walls of despair and corruption by which he ruled the blue pearl of Dac. He was taken by them and lost beyond my view. Lost beyond death I had believed; but even now, the voices of the damned whisper to me, their blood spilled into sacred geometries that need but interpretation. They speak of his tortured existence, imprisoned within a void of the force itself. If we, the might of the Sith, are to fall into shadows, it would not do to abandon one whose loyalty is indebted to me even yet. For someday, he might become a foe worthy of laying waste to worlds commanded by the Jedi. With your permission, I will leave you aboard the ship of Brasganu, their fear of their masters to keep them bayed. I will then venture to the prison of Apothos and with those Sith who do not fear the forces of light, liberate a brother whose name may yet be spoken of in whispers of fear by the damned.” 
 

Once aboard the clan’s massive remaining ship, joined by Akheron and Solus, Inmortos laid out his visions, the whispers of the dead and dying carried across the cosmos. Nok Morliss was alive and he, Krath Inmortos, god-king of death, would be sallying forth to return him to the fold. He had but one offer, “Join me. Leave your ship in the command of our new lord, for servant and steel will be of little use to us where we go. Purge the cages of our enemies, show them that even as our brethren are beaten back, we will not falter, will not fall.” Without the distraction of baubles and acolytes, Inmortos hoped for a chance to use the Shard’s seemingly unique skills. If he lived, he would gain, if he died, Inmortos would enshrine his soul in eternity within a new blade. If all else failed, the brute strength of Akheron might yet carry the day.

 

Regardless of their decision, Inmortos would soon alight aboard his solitary vessel, the Eternus; his quest set.

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Calypso listened to the necromancer's words.

 

"Very well. Rescue him, if you must. A weak tool still has use." She pondered for a moment. "But...you will take me to Ziost first. I can feel it. It burns with the Darkness. It will be suitable for my purposes."

 

She sat back, and allowed herself to relax. She could feel it. The weight of the galaxy, of ages past...all coming to rest on a new fulcrum.

 

It only waited for someone to take the lever.

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As they stood aboard the mighty flagship, Fangs Of Darkness the one remaining ship of Clan Brasganu, House Of Dragons, Akheron listened upon the command deck bridge. He wondered why she would want to visit those ruins. The ruins of a long dead world, one where only asteroids and remnants of battle and death remained. Ziost. He still despised the Jedi for it's destruction. 

 

A brief flair of Rage made it's way to the surface at the thought of it before subsiding. Calm was restored again, as Akheron arose from his chair, motioning and allowing his Dark Empress and champion to take command as she wished once he let the Linnorms and crew know the change of command and setting a course for Ziost. At least temporarily. He would leave the ship to Darth Calypso and depart into a shuttle. For he decided to assist Krath Inmortos, to free his old apprentice, one who Inmortos had taken after him and trained to a sorcerer. A Sith Krath. A Technomancer. Krath Apothos as he was now known. 

 

Despite how the two had a distrust of one another, he would not yet abandon him to his fate. For it seemed the Fanged God had deemed him useful once more. To help replenish the Sith. And perhaps the Clan. If not him then at least those around him might be of use. Prisoners who could be converted...convinced to join the House Of Dragons, Clan Brasganu. And help it thrive once more. They would soon see.

 

"As you command my Empress. The Fangs Of Darkness is yours to command on a temporary basis, for if it pleases you I shall assist Master Krath Inmortos in rescuing Krath Apophos from his fate. He was once also my apprentice before he dedicated his study to the more mystical aspects of the Darkness and became a sorcerer. As snivelling and cowardly as he was, he as you said still has uses. As does the prison in which he resides, no doubt there are many with him who would be willing recruits to our cause. I have set a course for Ziost although if I might enquire and wonder...if I may, why Ziost? It was destroyed some years ago in a great battle, only ruins remain of what it once was. I don't doubt you feel something...only I am curious as to why the Darkness and Fanged God would chose there of all places. Of all the Dark Nexus. Regardless we shall soon see my Empress, I shall prepare with my apprentice to depart with a raiding party to inact this rescue as soon as we are there.

 

May the Fanged God and the Darkness watch over you."

 

With that he departed motioning Solus to follow leaving Darth Calypso and the Linnorms on the bridge, as the flagship entered hyperspace. A course set for Ziost, while he would go into battle once more. 

 

((Onwards to Ziost.))

Edited by Karys Narat iv-Adas
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"The universe started in darkness at a time when light didn't exist, and that is how it will end. Chaos and suffering is what brings us together. In chaos a man or woman will show who he or she really is and in suffering they will speak the truth. We are darkness incarnate, we are the evil. This cannot be denied, even by me. But without us there is no redemption, passion or order." - Darth Akheron

 

I survived the Great JNet Outage of 2012

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