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  1. Welcome to the new boards! Details here!

Games The Rancor Pit (EUC Dueling thread)

Discussion in 'EU Community' started by Bardan_Jusik , Mar 2, 2013.

  1. dragonsith13

    dragonsith13 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 3, 2005
    Tournament of Darkness
    Weak, powerless, lost? Traveling only further down this rabbit hole... with endless corridors, no semblance of direction or progress made. Just darkness growing strong with each encounter. Sapping their remaining strength and will. Even as they forged on, they did so only moving closer to their own death. Lying to themselves that they were making progress. Around another corner... the trio pushed to the very edge of madness. She was waiting for them, she was there. A sinister grin from under the cowl of her hood.
    The Dawn Herald, Lady Bellorum
    Loss​
    Level 4
    In the shadows at the edge of an abyss surrounded by brick walls, the Dawn Herald waited.

    Blackness swirled around her in an endless pattern that obscured what lay beyond the walls. A black hazy mist, blowing in wafts. The Dark Lady lifted her hand to shove the vapors aside, voices swelling in the ether.

    Cries of the dead and dying.

    Begging for release from the limbo in which they were trapped.

    Bellorum appeared to smile at the miserable wails. She stepped aside to reveal an opening in the wall. Just through the opening, a passage split, leaving a choice; right or left. On the wall to the right appeared to be the face of a long lost love, the features contorted in pain with lips crying out in silence.

    To the right, the face of a sibling, probably someone lost as a child. The face was ablaze in the wall , trapped in an infinite fiery inferno.

    Behind the trio, Bellorum spoke. "You must choose one. Pick as if you are capable of helping save their souls from damnation.” Her eyes were glowing a dark amber and she looked to be enjoying the pain and suffering. “Decide before I place you inside the wall to live out your worst nightmare.”


    @Dagobahsystem, @QueenSabe7 @Kaleesh-Cyborg
    @Sinrebirth @Lady Belligerent @E. L.Knight @Darth_wanderguard @Darth Kronos
     
  2. Dagobahsystem

    Dagobahsystem Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Sep 25, 2015
    IC: Saadi
    ToD: Maze Level 4

    Prelude: Saadi's Nightmare On Sith Street

    They gathered. But for what? They leered. But for why? They cackled. But for whom?
    They travelled. Bound for where? Saadi shook his head and tried to get up, but could not do so. Pulled down by an omnipotent force, he could not even blink his eyes. Why was he lying on the ground of the maze?

    Foolish, arrogant, prideful little Saadi!
    The millions of voices whispered.

    Rusty hooks ripped into the clawdite's weakened torso from all sides, slowly stretching him across the hard, rotting ground. Imperceptible movement, but ripping and tearing all the same.

    Rash, irrational, scared little Saadi!
    The millions of voices spoke, louder now.

    Boiling acid slowly poured into the incision points made by the filthy hooks. One tiny drop at a time was added every minute or so, as the seared bodily material and fluid rose in little streams of swaying, sensuous smoke lines, wafting upwards and wrestling the senses into nausea.

    Ignorant, cowardly, pathetic little Saadi!
    The millions of voices shouted.

    Thousands of tiny ticks, spiders, crabs, ants, and roaches began stinging, biting and burrowing into the assassin's ever expanding wounds, as the hooks pulled further apart and the acid burned ever deeper.

    Worthless, traitorous, DEAD LITTLE SAADI!!!

    The millions of voices screamed shrilly at a deafening pitch as Darth Saadi's body was slowly ripped apart, as millions of insect larva began hatching from within his torso, the acid continued melting his bones as his tendons were ripped to shreds and arthropods chewed on his drooping, unrecognizable face, gouging out his eyes with their tendrils and filling his mouth to overflowing as they battled each other for his flesh.

    The changeling screamed as he sat up in the pitch darkness, sweat streaming out of his body and as he tried to stand, he collapsed hard under the involuntary and convulsive weight of his own vomiting.

    So this is what it felt like to be consumed by the anger of a million Sith, Saadi thought as he lowered his head and wept quietly for the first time in nearly two decades.



    Intermezzo: The Unknown Regions

    No light had ever shown down on the sad, lonely figure now losing himself in the maze. His confidence nearly shattered after the nightmare of a million, Saadi found himself wandering lost, as if in nothingness. Lost in the maze and his own mind. He had felt so strong before, as if he was healing, making progress, but no. The consequences of his previous choice to face the anger of a million Sith had lay dormant, deluding him into thinking he had passed the test and won; only to completely consume him without warning and when he least expected it. Saadi noticed his head twitching from side to side, staring into the darkness, searching for hooks, acid, insects, hearing laughter, taunting, feeling torture. Falling to his knees, Saadi sighed and wondered how far into the unknown he dared venture before his mind was gone completely. He tried recalling the names of the Sith he had defeated to make it into this maze in the first place and all he could see was his own eyes being eaten by roaches.
    Rising to his feet, he tried to remember if he was alone here; perhaps there was a colleague of his nearby who might be willing to help him, to offer him reassurance, perhaps they might have a sip of water to share? Alas, Saadi could not even remember why he was in this maze, let alone whether there were others and if they might help him. All he could feel was his skin crawling with acid. He recalled that he had dueled two other Sith warriors to attain this reward.
    Everything else here was unknown. Nearly. Everything except the incessant, burning, stinging and itching pain that wracked his entire dehydrated and nearly broken body. He could not even feel his left forearm anymore and wondered if it were even there. Everything was unknown. Saadi could not recall his old Master's name. That person had once been very helpful to him, maybe showing kindness, even for a Sith Lord, but now there was nothing, no memory, no control, no thoughts, no comfort, nothing but nothing. Not one single reason to keep going, or so it seemed. The darkness was impenetrable. Enveloping all. Saadi struggled to remember his own name as he fell down once again, feeling phantom stings and bites tearing into every part of his body. His heart pounded to bursting.
    It was at this moment that Saadi closed his eyes and began humming a terrifying melody he could somehow remember as he surrendered fully to the dark side and waited to die.



    Fugue: Loss and Revival

    The loss was so great it still rang like a million terrible voices crying out in endless sorrow that could never be quelled.

    Feeling feverish and nauseated, Saadi realized that he was, unfortunately, still alive. The physical pain, the stings, the hooks, the acid, were greatly lessened although the sense of apathy and doom were magnified such that Saadi reached to his belt and cradled his lightsaber, turning it over and over in his hands eyeing it suspiciously, and turning and turning it rhythmically like a tortuous bloody drip. Saadi felt he was descending into madness. Still, he was a Sith, he gratefully remembered. He had promised his superiors he would not fail them and he did not intend to do so.

    Rising to his feet he stumbled forward, gradually increasing his pace until he sensed something very powerful and fearsome ahead.

    Emerging from a fantastic swirl of blackness and hazy mist there was an ominous shrouded figure. Also, there were horrible cries. Tortuous, sickening cries.

    Saadi could not help but look away. He was a changed clawdite after the encounter with the million and the unknown. He no longer knew what was real and even where he was or what was expected of him other than to keep going.

    And this terrifying shrouded figure gave him cause for great concern and began to push his tortured mind into a state of panic. What was worse, he thought he knew this being, but did not know how. Was it someone seeking revenge. Saadi shuddered and lowered his head, ashamed of that he had now become.

    'You must choose one. Pick as if you are capable of saving their souls from damnation.'

    That voice...Saadi thought he recognized it, but he was struggling so much to remain sane as he looked at the choices of suffering presented before him.

    Choose a long lost love or a sibling? Saadi strangely felt compassion for both tortured souls, although he had no recollection of ever having a sibling. In fact, since his journey into the unknown he was having a terrible time remembering anything at all. He recoiled from the tortured images; sensing great hatred emanating from the familiar yet elusive figure presenting the cruel choice.

    'Decide before I place you inside the wall to live out your worst nightmare.'

    Saadi shivered as he slowly began to recognize the voice of this evil being.
    Without further hesititation he somehow found the words to say "Right. I choose the right path. To help my long lost love."

    Saadi closed his eyes, fighting back tears, again wondering what had happened to him, how he had changed so quickly, and what this was all leading to, as it seemed a fate worse than death.

    Tags: QueenSabe7 Kaleesh-Cyborg
    Honorable Judges: Sinrebirth Darth_wanderguard Lady Belligerent dragonsith13 E. L.Knight Darth Kronos
     
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  3. Kaleesh-Cyborg

    Kaleesh-Cyborg Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 4, 2017
    Grievance Vexx
    Maze Level 4 of 7


    The center path would lead him to face a superior capable of holding him back even by indirect means. Grievance flips through a mental roster of Sith names and faces he has encountered and only heard tell of in this Dark Side sect. He only knows a handful personally and this is in part due to the fact that he is no social butterfly, nor is he a bootlicker. He hardly resorts to cowardice groveling before his own masters, his response to them being the respect they deserve, but nothing more, for anything more would be falsehood oozing with ulterior motives and the Kaleesh warrior is simply not capable of a phony facade.

    Stumbling onward through the dark and the mist, he stops when the mist comes together into a human form that seems to glow softly. The figure is cloaked by a hooded cowl--big surprise--but it definitely seems to be a masculine figure; tall, broad shoulders. Based on appearance alone, Grievance suspects the figure might be Draconis as this is the first person he would guess to be holding him back. Imagine his surprise when the figure draws back his hood to reveal himself to be...


    "Darth Tyranus?" Grievance blinks in astonishment, but that is whom he is looking at; the master of his own father. He recognizes the Sith Lord from all the data he had searched while trying to find General Grievous. He was supposed to meet a superior here, capable of holding him back. This man has been dead for several years now. How can he possibly be the culprit?

    "You expected to meet your headmaster here, didn't you, young knight?" Tyranus asks, a bemused smirk appearing on his face.


    "How are you even here?" Grievance asks, "You are dead and have been as much for a long time. Lost your head over a Jedi as I've heard tell."

    The count's smirk remains despite the smart remark as he responds to the Kaleesh warrior's question. "That power you shun can do many things, my boy."

    "I am not your boy," Grievance snarls, "Or anyone else's for that matter. You helped make sure of that."

    "This is not about my indirect impact on your life, Kaleesh. This is about someone else's indirect impact on you. You think it to be Draconis, but you are mistaken."

    "Hades then?"

    "No. Neither of your masters hold you back; not of their own accord anyway."

    Grievance is about to question what the count means when he is suddenly bound by cords around different joints. The cords control his movement as though he is a marionette. As he looks around him, other life-size replicas of every Sith he knows drop from the ceiling to dangle from their own cords, manipulated by an unseen force above all of them.

    "You are all puppets controlled by the Emperor, just as I was; just as your father was before you. Your masters appear to hold you back, but it is by the will of Insipid. He can indirectly dictate whether or not you will take your next breath."


    "Then why has he not appeared before me?" Grievance asks, struggling against his bindings and the will of the unseen force pulling them, "Why are you here and not the Emperor? It was said that I would face a superior here."

    "Am I not your superior?"

    "You are not the one holding me back."

    "Karolus, do you honestly think you could withstand a confrontation with the Emperor in your current state? Do you really think he sees you as one worthy to stand in his presence? You, who despise the power that dwells in all of us? I am surprised Insipid has permitted you to live this long among his faithful. You and your disgraceful and miserable stubbornness."

    Grievance looks away partially in guilt and partially in anger. What right does this dead Sith have to call him by his birth name? The accusations certainly have been stacked against him and his stubbornness today. He wonders if Tyranus--Count Dooku--is telling the truth; that Insipid regards him as a disgrace to the Empire. He wants to know, but he wouldn't dare approach the Emperor to find out. He is disliked by so many here just because he is a cyborg; he has little doubt that Insipid regards him with as much disgust.

    "You will advance when the Emperor sees fit to allow you to and not before. If I were you, I would abandon my foolish obstinance and comply with your destiny, Karolus Rexx Sheelal."

    And just like that, the apparition of Count Dooku vanishes into the mist and the cords binding Grievance disappear with him, letting the cyborg fall heavily to the floor. Feeling as though he is slipping into some sort of madness, Grievance really doesn't want to be here anymore. He wishes he could just abandon this accursed maze before he loses what little sanity he still has left. The impulse almost pushes him to the point of trying to backtrack out of this place. He will take confinement in the dungeon again over this mental torture and constant trampling of his honor.


    "Calm yourself, Vexx," he growls at himself, "This test is meant to break the weak and they are making a good attempt to crush me...but I will not lie down under this. I will die before I concede to defeat or flee. And I hope someone is within earshot to have heard me say that."

    At that moment, a keening cry of agony pierces the darkness and draws Grievance's attention to the presence of the Dawn Herald. He has not encountered her often, but he knows she works closely with the Emperor; an extension of his authority. There is no telling what sort of fateful choices will unfurl from her delicate, murderous hands. She says nothing at first; she doesn't have to. Their choices are in plain sight on the wall before them; only two this time. The face of a long lost love and the face of a child which could depict anything; a sibling, a childhood friend, a descendant.

    "You must choose one. Pick as if you are capable of saving their souls from damnation."

    Grievance doesn't know what to make of these choices; he has never known love in the sense of romance, so the first choice makes him feel like a square peg. Option two isn't much better. If he has siblings, he doesn't know them; childhood friendships are contained in flashbacks and very seldom reach his conscious mind; obviously, he has no offspring of his own. At this point, he can only stand there in paralysis, not knowing what he should do. This is perhaps the first time within this maze that he has truly been confronted with the unknown.

    "Decide before I place you inside the wall to live out your worst nightmare."

    Grievance almost dares to ask if he can deliberately choose that option, but doesn't want to come off as being disrespectful. His honor could lead him to choose the path to the right, but there is something intense holding him back. If there is one thing that the battle-hardened Kaleesh warrior opposes and has no desire to witness, it is the mistreatment or death of the very young. He is feeling the weakest he has felt since entering this maze; if he is confronted with a situation in which he must save a youngling--no matter the race or alignment--and he is unable to do so, the weight of such a failure may be the final straw that breaks him.


    "Many of these choices are metaphoric," he tries to remind himself as he feels that despised desire to flee rearing up again, "What appears as real may not actually be true. I thought I was surrounded by many I had failed on the second level, but that was not reality."

    He looks up at the face on the wall to he right once again and his respirator hisses, decompressing a shaky sigh weighed down by exhaustion. His yellow eyes then shift to the Dawn Herald as he moves forward to take the path to the left, willing to meet his own fear of failure and already feeling the churning of rage in his soul at the prospect of witnessing the torture of one too young to even understand what is happening. Failure in any of this simply is not an option.

    Tag: dragonsith13 QueenSabe7 Dagobahsystem
    Honorable Judges: Sinrebirth Darth_wanderguard Lady Belligerent E. L.Knight Darth Kronos
     
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  4. QueenSabe7

    QueenSabe7 Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Mar 23, 2001
    IC: Leda
    Before

    Still holding her ignited lightsaber aloft in order to make an attempt to see, Leda navigated the dense fog with caution. It had grown so thick in the moments after she had selected her path that it felt as if it could reach down her throat and choke her. It didn’t, not yet at least, settling for coating her skin in a chilled sweat. Her clothing - now torn in a few places – clung to her in a way that brought her body temperature down even further.

    She clucked her tongue impatiently as she began to tremble. The tumultuous state of her emotions kept her on edge but allowed her to somehow retain her focus. A smirk crossed over her lips; she kind of liked this teetering-on-the-brink business. I should do this more often, she mused sarcastically with a roll of the eyes.

    “Leda.”

    The blonde froze mid-step, eyes peering warily into the mist.

    Another disembodied voice. Fantastic. Though, there was something faintly familiar about this one…

    “Come here.”

    As if pulling curtains aside to present a stage, the fog parted and a figure approached, tall and lithe in form. It was clearly female, her features sharpening as she drew closer; pale skin, fiery red hair, bottomless grey eyes…

    Syren? Leda called, astonished. She lowered her weapon to her side, extinguishing the blade. This was the superior she was to face, one that ‘prevents you from quickly advancing through the ranks’? Her face screwed up in confusion, staring incredulously at the woman that came to a halt mere inches away.

    “Yes,” the other replied in a low, husky voice. The High Lord looked as if nothing was amiss, clad simply in an all-black jumpsuit, sans any visible weapons. She narrowed her eyes and offered a small smile. “You look surprised.”

    She scrutinized the woman’s face, looking for anything that would give her away as a false vision, which she was but it was startling how real she appeared. It didn’t help that it had been some time since she had seen the redhead, their last meeting taking place only within her mind.

    “I am,” Leda whispered, still trying to piece together why it was Syren she was seeing for this stage of the maze. She shook her head. “I don’t understand…”

    Fingertips suddenly brushed against her lips, her words dying in her throat and warming her to the touch. She no longer felt the intensity of the cold air, only the flush of her cheeks as the assassin’s hand left her mouth and gently slid down an arm. Reaching her saber hilt that remained within her grasp, she wrapped it in her own and slowly pulled it away. And she allowed her to.

    “Yes, you do.”

    ‘Syren’ let the weapon drop to the ground with a dull thud, moving that same hand around Leda’s waist. Coming to rest against the small of her back, she applied pressure and stepped in, bringing them both together. It never even occurred to the blonde that she should resist, as this had been something she had wanted for… some time. This isn’t real, she forcibly reminded herself.

    “I’m always on your mind, during the calm and the chaos.”

    That was true; she thought about this woman often. More than often, actually. Ever since their encounter after the Moraband temple siege, she was practically ever-present in her thoughts. Not to a distracting point, as a motivator. She wanted to know more about her, to learn her secrets. She had always hoped they would physically cross paths once more for those reasons. But, was that hope in and of itself a distraction?

    “You have feelings for me, Leda,” the other woman stated plainly. No question, just fact. “Don’t deny what you know to be true.”

    “I… No… No, I don’t,” Leda stammered, her heart hammering in her chest in reaction to the dangerously close proximity of the redhead. Her words were a lie, one she hadn’t realized she’d been telling herself until she said the words aloud.

    Kriff.

    ‘Syren’ smiled again, knowingly, and leaned across the minimal space that was left between them. Again, there was no struggle, no attempts to stop what was already in motion. So, as she softly placed her lips upon Leda’s, the warrior’s eyes went wide in surprise… then slid shut as she reciprocated the intimate gesture. For several seconds, her true purpose here was lost and all she wanted was this; her. She didn’t care about the maze, didn’t care about her desire for power, didn’t give a damn about what she would gain if she continued on and survived whatever may await her next.

    None of it mattered, except for this moment and the emotions it elicited. The entire experience was disorienting and all-consuming, just as the last time. It felt… off.

    Wait… She did care. Her career and ascension were all she cared about. They had to be.

    Leda abruptly stiffened and broke contact, placing a hand upon each of ‘Syren’s’ shoulders and stilling her with a shake. “Stop,” she commanded, her body protesting what her mind knew to be the right course as realization dawned. “That’s it. You are a weakness. I cannot have a weakness.”

    The grey eyes of the woman she held in her hands flickered suddenly, an unnatural glow taking shape in their depths.

    “You are not as strong as you think, young one,” she said, an obvious edge to her voice, though it didn’t sound like much of her voice anymore. “Passion is key to your success, but anchor it to the wrong source and it will undo every inch of progress you’ve made.”

    The redhead laughed then, a cold, unhinged cackle that caught Leda off guard. The blonde took several steps back as the other raised an arm to point an accusatory finger at her.

    “YOU WILL DROWN.”

    Just then, a searing, white hot pain shot through her stomach, as though someone had run her through with fire itself. She doubled over with a cry, clutching at her midsection as ‘Syren’ continued.

    “It’s already too late. Your affection for another is an attachment that only serves to keep you from the lofty heights you strive to reach.”

    “I have no attachment to that woman,” Leda snarled, struggling to breathe as the burning agony threatened to overtake her. She vividly recalled the last time she had felt this pain, and it had been shared. Her head whipped up to find the redhead bleeding heavily from the same spot on her abdomen, though she did not react to it in the slightest. She stood eerily still, her eyes now dancing flames of red.

    Leda choked and coughed as her insides felt as if they were being incinerated, blood splattering down to the ground at her feet. And that’s when she saw it, her saber lying close by.

    “You are attached to failure, Leda. And it will be Syren that will cause you to fail.”

    “NO!” she shrieked, throwing a hand out just as her saber flew into her grip. With a surge of adrenaline, the warrior threw herself bodily into the fake High Lord. They crashed together and fell in a twisted heap as ‘Syren’ laughed again, clawing at Leda’s face with her nails. A short struggle ensued, but it was not long before Leda had the woman pinned from on top, the emitter end of the lightsaber finding the center of the other’s chest. Without hesitation it ignited and the yellow blade shot straight down, through flesh and bone; a fatal strike.

    “I. Will not. FAIL,” she hissed as the body beneath her went limp, a final ragged breath pressed from lungs that didn’t truly exist. She extinguished the blade and rolled to the side, working to even her breathing as she took a moment to rest on her back. A hand automatically ran over her stomach, though her physical anguish had disappeared the moment she had vanquished the threat, she turned her head to stare at the blank face beside her and felt… strange. It was an odd mixture of relief and grief, powerful enough that her eyes could not linger long on ‘Syren’s’ dead eyes. A new hope blossomed then, one that never wanted to see the real assassin in this state. And that alone was worrisome.

    Did she not just learn a lesson?

    With a groan, Leda climbed to her feet and used a sleeve to wipe the blood from her cheeks. The long scratches the woman had left weren’t deep but they still seeped crimson, and they stung as the coarse fabric ran over them.

    Add it to the growing collection, she mused, reminded of her already battered body from the prior challenge.

    Without a backwards glance at what she was leaving behind, she returned to the cold mist and somehow found the end, her surroundings clear once more.

    Which, considering she nearly walked off the edge of a bottomless pit, was a very good thing.

    ***

    Tournament of Darkness: Level 4
    Loss


    Her gaze found Lady Bellorum, the Dawn Herald, awaiting her in swirls of inky black clouds. An odd collection of noises began to escalate in loudness, soon becoming apparent that it was cries and shrieks, those of suffering and torment.

    “Seems promising,” she mumbled, without humor. It was becoming next to impossible to find anything comical in this place.

    As expected, choices were laid out and a choice was made. It was less of a certain one than her last.

    "You must choose one. Pick as if you are capable of helping save their souls from damnation.”

    Leda, moving slower, carefully stepped towards the right path. The wall and the figure it held within its confines hadn’t been clear to her at first, but as she stepped up to it she saw who it was that was trapped.

    Herself.


    TAGS: @Dagobahsystem @Kaleesh-Cyborg
    Honorable Judges: @Sinrebirth @Darth_wanderguard @Lady Belligerent @dragonsith13 @Darth Kronos @E. L.Knight
     
  5. dragonsith13

    dragonsith13 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 3, 2005
    Tournament of Darkness

    Doubt is something that once it takes hold, it festers. A small seed of doubt can spread and consume a person. Even though they moved past each confrontation. Were they making progress? Was surpassing each challenge yielding anything? A false sense of accomplishment as they only continued to move deeper into the maze... A stern and composed figure greeted them around the next corner, The Night Herald.

    The Night Herald, Darth Haretisch

    Pain

    Level 5

    Darkness gathered. Around the next corner, there was a glint of ivory as a figure stepped from the shadows, white armor reflecting the moon.

    The Night Herald stood to block the path.

    "What is PAIN?" he asked. "Pain is knowledge. Experience. Sacrifice."

    Glowering, he stepped forward, lightsaber in-hand, blade humming with power. There were three paths. The center path lay beyond the Night Herald himself. To the left, a pit of flame. And to the right, a pool of roiling, icy water.

    "Choose to pass me, and know the pain which the force can inflict upon the minds of the weak. Pass left, and know the blistering caress of flame. Pass right, and know the paralyzing agony of cold. Choose wisely."

    @Dagobahsystem, @QueenSabe7 @Kaleesh-Cyborg
    @Sinrebirth @Lady Belligerent @E. L.Knight @Darth_wanderguard @Darth Kronos
     
  6. Kaleesh-Cyborg

    Kaleesh-Cyborg Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 4, 2017
    Grievance Vexx
    Maze Level 5 of 7


    Delirious with exhaustion and an ever increasing sense of fear that he might not make it to the end of this maze, Grievance pushes on against all the mounting pressure of his own weaknesses on the path he has chosen. At this point, even if he could backtrack his way out, he is fairly certain he is halfway through now; maybe more than halfway. He can only hope so, but with that being the case, it would take him longer to get out by backtracking, so his best option is to just forge onward. Force, he is tired though; mentally as well as physically. He almost considers that, even if he is not the champion, just getting out of this thing alive will be a well-earned reward. But no. He is not in this to merely survive. He is in it to conquer or die trying. As a matter of fact, he would rather die within the maze than emerge on the other side and still fall short of proving his worth.

    "If there is another beating at the end of this, I swear I will throw those guards through the doors of hell," he grumbles between gasps for air, "I burn with shame because I failed to do that in the first place."

    His vengeful thoughts are stopped abruptly as his hearing detects the sound of weeping, followed by a scream of either terror or agony; maybe a combination of both. The voice is definitely not that of an adult as the crying resumes, distant yet so close, echoing off the walls around him. His blood boils with anger over the sound. Whoever or whatever is causing these cries will have hell to pay when he catches up with them.

    "Stop! Let me live!" the voice pleads tearfully, "I want my freedom! You can't lock me away forever!"

    It has to be some form of captivity. Slavery maybe. Grievance's trudging heavy pace quickens, his talons scraping along the stone floor as his weariness prevents him from picking his feet up fully as he normally would. The crying out continues, seeming to move further away the closer he gets. Eventually, the cyborg is running down the dark tunnel, trying desperately to catch up with this faceless child that needs someone to protect it. He stumbles and falls hard on his side with a loud crash of metal against stone. For several heartbeats, he doesn't move. How he wishes he could just lie here on the cool stone floor and rest. Just for a little while...

    "Let me go! I want to be free!"

    No. He cannot lie here and wallow in his exhaustion while an innocent child is being tormented. Digging his claws into the moist earth, he drags himself to his feet and resumes his hurried pace, determined to catch up with the elusive voice somewhere in the darkness ahead of him. There is another terrified scream and then silence. Grievance slows his pace, drawing two of his lightsabers and readying himself for a fight. He will kill whomever the tormentor is.

    As he rounds the next bend in the maze, there is a soft yellow glow within the area, almost like torchlight flickering and casting the shadows of two figures up the wall. Squinting in the dim light, Grievance recognizes the surroundings to be very similar--if not identical--to a torture chamber; one he has seen and been in before. Blood stains the walls and the floor; various contraptions to aid in effective torturing cast their ominous inanimate shadows on the wall with the two that are moving. A sense of foreboding grabs Grievance by his throat and he finds it difficult to breathe as anxiety rips through his chest like a white-hot blade.

    "Please stop! I'm not bad! I'm not bad!"

    His attention is drawn away from the surroundings as a small figure is literally thrown at his feet. A youngling, just as he had suspected. Battered and bloody and covered in wounds; ligature marks from excessive restraint. Though obviously the victim of much violence and neglect, the child appears to be unusually strong and healthy. His face is masked by a shroud; everything but his eyes, but the eyes are reptilian, causing Grievance to believe the child may be Kaleesh.

    "Help me!" the child pleads, wrapping his small arms around one of Grievance's durasteel legs, "Please! You are strong; I am too. If we work together, we can be unstoppable. I promise."

    Grievance frowns behind his mask. How can this child make such a promise? He cannot be much more than three or four years old. Extremely young and though appearing strong and healthy, save the bruises, there is no way his efforts combined with the efforts of this child can accomplish much. He could do just as well fighting on his own.


    "Who is hurting you?" the cyborg asks, glowering down at the child, "Who will not let you be free?"

    "He's coming! He's coming!" the child whimpers as footsteps come closer from around the bend, "Fight side by side with me. You are a great warrior. We can be unstoppable. I promise."

    "Hide yourself, child," Grievance commands, "I will deal with this."

    "No! No! You can't! You can't! You can't fight him by yourself! You will win if you let me fight with you! I promise! I promise!"

    "Stop with these foolish promises, small one," Grievance growls in annoyance, "You are not even of age to begin warrior training. Doubtless, you know nothing about how to fight."

    The child continues to protest and runs ahead of Grievance, charging right toward the sound of the footsteps approaching. Shortly thereafter, there is the sound of a struggle; blows landing, the child crying out in pain. Grievance quickly rounds the corner and immediately does a double-take at what he sees. The child's abuser--his captor--is no one other than the cyborg himself. He watches in astonishment as the identical image of himself beats the child hard enough where the poor thing should be long dead, then tries to put him in a dark box-like cage, almost like a coffin. Enraged by what he is seeing, Grievance moves to attack the image of himself, but his attack strikes nothing. He goes right through the other cyborg as though he is a ghost. Again and again, he tries to strike the replica of himself as he continues to batter and confine the child, but he only exhausts himself trying to strike an invincible being he cannot touch. A final attempt to pounce lands him in an exhausted crash that he hasn't the strength to rise from. He lies in a heap on the floor, gasping for air.

    "Your own stubborn will prevents you from conquering this situation, mighty warrior," the child weeps from inside the confines of the cage, "I live in you; you barely allowed me to be born and now you will not let me grow. You will not partner with me and be everything you were meant to be. You will spend your days fighting with yourself until you are lying on your deathbed and suffocating in regret. Choose your battles, Kaleesh. You know the truth; now let it set you free."

    Grievance gasps as he is struck by the profound realization. This child is a representation of the Force power within himself. He has abused it, restrained it, confined it, and hated it for a very long time. The fact that the personification of the Force has appeared as a child to him is very disturbing. He would never lay a cruel hand on a youngling and to see himself doing as much causes him to wretch with nausea. His mechanical body heaves under the affliction striking his organic body and he is unable to rise for what seems like an eternity. His gaze remains fixed on the floor until he feels the weight of a small hand come to rest on his durasteel-plated shoulder.

    "Let me help you fight. I promise you it will be worth humbling yourself."

    And then Grievance is alone again. The child, the replica of himself, and the yellow hue of torchlight all vanish to leave him in the darkness once more to forge on in solitude until he reaches the next level. It is very hard to rise now. This latest experience has served to drain him badly. Yet he somehow manages to pull from what remains of his strength and push himself to his feet. He steps are slow and heavy with overwhelming exhaustion as he moves into a moonlit area where a white-clad figure stands waiting. The Night Herald, rumored to be extremely unforgiving and able to dole out the cruelest of punishments for failure, doesn't surprise Grievance at all when he reveals himself to be the one to introduce them to pain.

    "What is PAIN? Pain is knowledge. Experience. Sacrifice."

    Haretisch's words draw the Kaleesh warrior into a retrospective state as he reflects on the subject of pain. He has experienced a world of hurt on so many levels. Physical. Emotional. Psychological. This entire journey for him has been riddled with pain. The end result for the strong is exactly what the Night Herald claims. He listens carefully to the choices as they are presented.

    "Choose to pass me, and know the pain which the Force can inflict upon the minds of the weak. Pass left, and know the blistering caress of flame. Pass right, and know the paralyzing agony of cold. Choose wisely."

    The cyborg already knows the path he is destined for. There is no weighing of options here. He already knows and has survived the fires of hell and the frigid depths of dark waters. There is no mystery in either for him. This journey has been a lesson in the danger his own stubbornness presents and now he must finish learning this lesson. He moves willfully toward the center path, pausing to incline his head respectfully to the Night Herald as he passes him, then, lifting his head and taking a deep breath, he moves into the pain he has not known to its fullest extent, knowing his choice may lay him on the very doorstep of death itself for he is inviting pain from an unseen power that knows no limits. There is a bitter sting of fear involved, but if he must embrace the Force as his own, he wants to know it to its fullest. As they say, curiosity kills the cat...but perhaps satisfaction will bring him back and he will be that much stronger for it.


    Tag: dragonsith13 QueenSabe7 Dagobahsystem
    Honorable Judges: Sinrebirth Darth_wanderguard Lady Belligerent E. L.Knight Darth Kronos
     
    Lady Belligerent and QueenSabe7 like this.
  7. QueenSabe7

    QueenSabe7 Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Mar 23, 2001
    IC: Leda
    Before

    Leda was now in a perpetual state of confusion.

    Her yellow-green eyes stared in disbelief for a moment, what she was seeing before her causing her to freeze. It was herself - as a young girl, trapped in apparent agony within the see-through wall. Her gaze raked over the child that looked to be about 8 or 9, her body twisted unnaturally, her face contorted into a soundless scream.

    What did this mean?

    Slowly, she brought a bruised hand up and placed it gently against the surface, right over where the girl’s heart would be. A few minutes passed and she remained, haunted by memories this image drudged up. A few were incredibly vivid, so much so that it was almost as if she could hear the wails right then and there. Leda scrutinized the figure encased in stone even further as the sounds from another time continued to swim about in her mind.

    Upon a more thorough inspection, she began to notice subtle differences in the little girl, just enough to realize that this was not her as a child. It couldn’t be. Gone was her small birthmark upon her right cheek, the girl’s hair was indeed a pale blonde but not the near-white that she had, and then she took in the eyes. They were a startling shade of green and only green, completely devoid of any golden hues.

    No, this wasn’t some memorial of her past, a way to make her run over the more horrifying times in her life. So if not that, then what? Who was this girl and why was she seeing her now?

    Beneath where her hand rested, she felt a tremor in the rock; small at first, but quickly growing in intensity. With a loud ‘crack’, a long fissure appeared that ran from top to bottom and she yanked her hand back, retreating a few paces. It continued to quake, many more lines opening up in the solid wall to the point that it finally all came crumbling down, pieces tumbling outward around her feet.

    The space in the wall where the little girl had been encased was now a gaping hole, completely empty of rock and person.

    “Well that was… anti-climactic…” Leda began, bewildered, a part of her regretful over not being able to uncover the child’s identity.

    “You would not know me, so you should just stop trying to figure it out.”

    Leda turned on the spot at the sound of a small voice, heavily accented, coming face to face with the girl from the wall. She stood a few feet away, clothed in simple, yet fashionable garments of black. Her shiny hair was tied back and the rest of her was well groomed, giving the impression of a modest if not wealthy life.

    She turned her chin up under the warrior’s scrutiny.

    “You and I never shared a life together, but we could have.”

    “How do you mean?”Leda asked, stretching out with her senses but feeling neither threat nor danger emanating from both the area and the girl.

    “You see how we resemble one another? Or used to, before you got so old,” she countered with a snort.

    The Knight raised a brow. “There may be a few similarities but I wouldn’t say – “

    “I’m your sister,” the girl interjected with an air of impatience.

    Her stomach turned and her mouth went dry, despite the truth that this maze was full of lies. As unsettling as this news was, it was a trap door that led to nowhere.

    “I don’t have a sister, I don’t have a family,”she said firmly and without emotion. It had taken her many years to be able to acknowledge that reality in even tones.

    “You may think that, but that’s only because you never had the chance to know of my existence, leaving like you did.”

    There was that pesky anger again.

    “Listen, youngling,”she spat, thoroughly over being taunted by apparitions. “You have no idea what you’re talking about. You’re not even really here, not even real at all!”

    The question of Leda’s family - who they were, where they were, how they were, and so on – had always been her greatest weakness. The never knowing a single morsel of information one way or the other about her mother, father and probable siblings was a growing source of distraction. Until the vision where she was presented with the idea that it was her own father that had rescued her from the cage of insanity and freed her, she had known absolutely nothing about herself and how she had been given life.

    The ragged scratches that ran down her cheeks burned, her entire body feeling as though it had been tossed off a cliff, her mind doing somersaults every 5 minutes… this ordeal would probably make her crack down the middle and she wasn’t having it. With a sick feeling in her throat, she turned away from the blonde child and began to walk away, following the circumference of the bottomless pit to her side.

    “You don’t want to hear about what happened? After you were taken?” the girl called after her. “About what happened to me?”

    Leda ignored her as best she could, trying desperately to locate an exit. There were none.

    With a cry she was halted suddenly, the child popping out of thin air to block her path.

    “I had always wondered about you, what you were like. I didn’t know that you’d turn out to be such a coward.” The little girl pouted and crossed her arms in front of her with a huff, the overall look of it making her look even younger. Though, there was something behind her eyes that betrayed an older soul; wise and experienced.

    “I don’t have time for this,” she remarked with a sigh, defeated.This was all just a cruel game, a joke that was meant to hurt and destroy and nothing more.

    “Mother was… not herself after you vanished. I was only four but I remember how different she became. Father left us in search of you but he never returned.”

    Despite her refusal to believe anything that she was hearing, a small part of her yearned for it to be true no matter how hard it was to hear. She found herself wavering, staring at the girl’s pleading eyes, shining as brightly as her own.

    “I was so young but I grew up quickly. She couldn’t do things on her own, you see. We had a few loyal servants and maids, but I had to help her most. I had to make sure she took care of herself because she would always forget…”

    The child trailed off, visibly distraught with tears shining in her eyes. It tore at Leda’s heart and before she was aware she was moving, she had stepped towards the girl and kneeled, now able to look at one another from the same level.

    “I have no way to know that what you’re saying is the truth,” Leda whispered, her voice cracking. The mental strain of the maze prior to this point and now… it was making her dizzy.

    The child smiled, not playful but gentle, if a touch sad. She said nothing, only reaching a hand out and though Leda stiffened in warning, she allowed the girl to touch her. She was not prepared for what happened next.

    The very instant the other’s fingers made contact with her ravaged cheek, she screamed. Her eyes went wide but she wasn’t seeing her current surroundings any longer. No, what she saw was an assault on her mind; a barrage of images pouring into her at an overwhelming rate.

    A beautiful woman with chestnut hair and green eyes, cradling a swollen belly.

    A man at her side, white hair and a gaze as oddly colored as her own; the father in her vision.

    And a little girl, a tuft of curls atop her tiny head, wrapped securely in both of their arms.

    The happy image broke apart, new scenes running by as if on a holo reel.

    The girl and her father, running circles in a field, giggling and carrying on; the woman asleep in her bed, her husband sitting on its edge, gently brushing a few stray locks of hair from her face; the child crying, cheeks red in anger and the woman simply cradling her for comfort…

    They went on and on, most happy and some hard to see, and though they flew by she remembered them all as if she had known them. As if they had always been a part of her.

    And then they disappeared, reality returning. She buckled over, gasping for air, her skin damp with sweat.

    “What… what was that?” Her voice was too high-pitched, too emotional. She threw her head back to look at the girl once more, tears breaking free of her eyes and streaming down her face, the pain as they fell into her open wounds not even noticed.

    The child looked upset, as if she knew she had done something wrong.

    “I just wanted you to see, what you missed. And what you lost.”

    Something changed then, the girl’s face twisting into an expression of agony, much as it had been when Leda had first seen her in the wall. There was no sound as her breath caught, the silence pressing in on her, and she instinctively swept the girl up into her arms just as her legs gave out.

    The warrior pulled her against her chest without a thought, searching her tiny form for any sign of obvious injury. “What’s wrong? Are you hurt?” she asked frantically, watching as the girl’s skin took on a grey pallor, her body suddenly feeling frail. She weighed almost nothing and she became worried that if she held her too hard, she would break.

    “Please, child…”

    “Jessa,” came her meek voice and Leda finally took a full breath in relief. “My name… is Jessa.”

    It was a strange moment, hearing the girl’s name aloud. It felt right and yes, it felt real.

    “What happened to you, Jessa,” Leda asked, truly afraid to hear her answer. She was limp now, her striking green eyes dulled and unfocused, even her lovely blonde hair had lost its luster. She was wasting away in her arms.

    “I got sick… no one… to… care for me... all… alone,” Jessa stammered, her breathing becoming labored and ragged. “Mother… wasn’t there. You… “

    Leda crumbled at the sight of this dying child. Sister or not, it was an experience that shifted her heart in a way she hadn’t known was possible. It was breaking.

    “I’m sorry I wasn’t there for you,” she offered, the words pouring out of her without restraint. “You deserved so much more than… this.”

    It was at this point that Jessa became still, her gaze focusing on Leda’s face with obvious effort.

    “I needed you.”

    A single breath more, and she was gone.

    Tears dropped freely from Leda’s chin, spattering across Jessa’s ashen face as she gave into her heartache. All the longing for answers and she seldom considered that what she would find may haunt her more than never knowing a single thing. This sadness, this grief was a sensation that she had not once experienced and it was this horrible, gut-wrenching feeling. She wanted to rip her insides out in order to avoid this kind of pain.

    Slowly placing Jessa’s body down on the ground, the girl was just a shell of what Leda was initially met with; a skeleton covered in skin. Sliding her eyes shut with her fingers, she simply sat at her side for a while longer, wallowing in her sorrow for the unknown. She let it fester in a way she knew she shouldn’t, but it had been too much.

    This was all too much.

    ***

    Tournament of Darkness: Level 5
    Pain


    Leda was walking blindly down a narrow path now, her shoulders sagging and eyes cast down. Physical pain was felt every time she took a step, but what was happening internally was worse, dragging her down into a black hole of despair that she was not sure she would ever come back from.

    She had been fundamentally altered.

    So distracted was she that she nearly missed the figure clad in white that blocked her way forward. Only when the moonlight reflected off his pristine armor did she stop to raise her head.

    Lord Haretisch, the Night Herald, was waiting just a short ways down the corridor.

    "What is PAIN?" he asked. "Pain is knowledge. Experience. Sacrifice."

    Death, she continued, Jessa’s face stamped onto her mind as if she were staring right at her.

    He activated his lightsaber, yet she didn’t make a move, simply watching through red and swollen eyes.

    "Choose to pass me, and know the pain which the force can inflict upon the minds of the weak. Pass left, and know the blistering caress of flame. Pass right, and know the paralyzing agony of cold. Choose wisely."

    Her muddled thoughts went over his options without much enthusiasm, though the idea of feeling anything - even pain - piqued her interest. She was only numb now.

    Forcing herself forward, she watched Haretisch carefully as she approached.

    Fire. Ice. Fight. Which of those would serve her best?

    The answer was almost immediate: Nothing made her feel more alive than physical combat. So, staying on course, Leda chose the center path, staring down an opponent far greater than she and vaguely wondering if she had a death wish.

    She shrugged. Maybe she did.


    TAGS: @Dagobahsystem @Kaleesh-Cyborg
    Honorable Judges: @Sinrebirth @Darth_wanderguard @Lady Belligerent @dragonsith13 @Darth Kronos @E. L.Knight
     
  8. Dagobahsystem

    Dagobahsystem Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Sep 25, 2015
    IC: Darth Saadi
    ToD: Maze Level 5

    Saadi had been forced to sit in a darkened corner, resting his eyes and mind, as the pain in his left arm had returned so strongly that he considered removing the limb with his lightsaber. Since his nightmare of the million Sith, he had been unable and unwilling to obtain any sleep and it felt like he had been wandering aimlessly for days.

    Resuming his path to the right, Saadi remembered his long lost love.

    Emerging from a thick layer of mist further ahead, he saw her face. It was twisted and contorted in pain, crying out silently, seemingly begging for help.

    Saadi shuddered as he saw her. It had been nearly 10 years since she had died. There was nothing he could have done to stop it. She had been out late one night, on a mission, as she was also an assassin, that is how they had met, when her enemies got the jump on her. Three against one. They each blasted her once in the head and left her in the street.

    Saadi was off world at the time and only got the news the following evening when he returned. He had been on a covert assignment that required the utmost secrecy and solitude, yet he still blamed himself for not being there to help her. He finally came to accept that this was the life they had chosen and with the rewards came great risks. It didn't make the pain of losing her go away, so Saadi had spent years convincing himself that he never loved her and was glad she had died. It had nearly been successful until this day; seeing her face again now in this utterly horrific nightmare of a maze, feeling the physical pain wracking his body, the psychological trauma of that dream that would never leave his mind, and feeling hatred towards the people responsible for this bloody maze and these sickening visions, led Saadi to fall to his knees once again.

    Staring at his lover's beautiful, but terrified and frozen face, Saadi simply said:

    'Forgive me. I'm so sorry I wasn't there to help you that night. Can you forgive me? Please. I never meant for this to happen to you. I am. So. Sorry. I...I love you.

    Looking away from her petrified face, Saadi felt warm tears streaming slowly down his face. Never in his adult life had he experienced so many hurtful emotions, nor had he ever been this expressive of them. He tried to draw on his anger and his hatred to toughen himself up, but he was beginning to feel desperate, exhaustion having pushed him over the edge by this point. He figured if Draconis were to suddenly appear right now, he would charge that kriffing monster with his lightsaber and get it over with, rather than prolong this torture any longer.

    Saadi layed down in the dirt and closed his eyes, meditating on death.


    Doubt had indeed begun to overtake Saadi as he rose to his feet some time later and began advancing through the maze once more. He purposefully avoided looking at his lover's face as he passed by. The darkness ahead was overwhelming by now. Saadi felt hungry although there was nothing to eat. Thirsty although there was nothing to drink. His arm throbbed so deeply, it sent angry pulses of energy through his left shoulder, collar bone and neck. Once again the changeling considered cutting it off.

    Around the next corner, Saadi saw a glint of ivory and upon approaching further, recognized the Night Herald in his white armor. Saadi froze in his tracks and bowed his head respectfully, hoping that he was not about to be killed.

    The Night Herald instead spoke:

    'What is PAIN? Pain is knowledge. Experience. Sacrifice.'

    Stepping forward, his lightsaber humming ominously, the Night Herald offered three more choices. The center path passed by him. Of the others, one was horribly hot and one was terribly cold. Saadi was so confused by this point in the game that he felt the first option sounded intriguing, 'know the pain that the Force can inflict upon the minds of the weak'.

    As he was nearly crazy by now, anyhow, or so he felt, he rather enjoyed the thought of his mind being completely shredded to pieces by the dark side of the Force. Maybe he would feel less pain when he died then after all. But literally confused and disoriented at this point, Saadi did not quite know where he was for a moment. He thought he saw the Night Herald, but maybe he was dreaming. Wait. Was that his father's voice? No. He was dead. Her? Where was she? Dead as well. Where was his master? Saadi had not spoken to him in a long time. Did his master care for him? No. Obviously, he did not. Wait. Who was his master? Did he have one? Who was he? Was the Dawn Herald nearby? Might she help him? No. She did not care. Wait. Where was he? What was he doing? Who was Saadi? Did anyone know? Did anyone care? No. They did not care.
    Saadi stared at the Night Herald for a moment, wondering if he was going to kill the bewildered clawdite and then he walked forward, choosing the center path and all of the hell and suffering it no doubt promised to hurl down upon his increasingly fractured and disrupted mind.

    Tags: QueenSabe7 Kaleesh-Cyborg
    Honorable Judges: Sinrebirth Darth_wanderguard Lady Belligerent dragonsith13 E. L.Knight Darth Kronos
     
  9. dragonsith13

    dragonsith13 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 3, 2005
    Tournament of Darkness
    While their choices are determined, paths true... the darkness is wrapping tighter and tighter around them. A paralyzing numbness creeping over them with each labored step now, doubt, confusion, making every turn, every choice and encounter more surreal. What was real anymore? Their bodies and minds pushed potentially further than they could have ever foreseen, and it was not nearly over. They could end it all now... give into the doubt, pain, and fear... they could let go and make it all stop. He would would make it all better.. end this pain, their misery, and trepidation. A darkness grew before each of them... the Emperor.

    The Emperor, Darth Insipid

    Fear​
    Level 6



    Black burst forth from the floor, seeping like a penumbral stream to congeal, to merge, to birth a visage bereft of face, all shade and darkness.

    The display burst as He walked through it, the illusion settling into a cloak upon his shoulders, his bald and cracked face burning with eyes of crimson and wings of skin and bone emerging from his spine.

    ‘Choices. Choices are a pleasure for the weak. You do not deserve such an honour!’ His lips spat, a snarl upon his tongue. ‘Be gone! Take the path out of my sight!’

    Clawed hands formed of sinew and white reached for a throat. ‘Before I end your path here and now.’

    A cackle chattered from the gash of a mouth, emerging into a crescendo of giggling as he hurled his head back, hands glittering with the shards of electricity which played across his nobbled fingers.

    ‘Before you die tonight!’

    He leered, leaning forward, forehead all but brushing their own. ‘The Rule of Three demands a choice. One way leads to certain damnation, one to nothing more than defeat, another to your desiccation... but in each of them you will find deceit!’

    Dagobahsystem, @QueenSabe7 @Kaleesh-Cyborg
    @Sinrebirth @Lady Belligerent @E. L.Knight @Darth_wanderguard @Darth Kronos
     
  10. Dagobahsystem

    Dagobahsystem Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Sep 25, 2015
    IC: Darth Saadi
    ToD: Maze Level Execute Order 66

    Just as gentle winds blow leaves to and fro in a lovely autumnal dance, scattering shattered molecules hither and thither, the adagio melody led its legato phrase through many triple divided changes and divided the changed, changeling listener, ever attentive to the slightest modulations and subdivisions of harmonic rhythm, so perfectly constructed as to be nearly indistinguishable from sonic perfection itself, never failing, always true and constant, and never ending.

    **********elsewhere**********

    Saadi was furiously Force pushed into the stone ground of the maze, his head slamming destructively backward in a concussive whiplash, causing a tiny fracture in his skull, leading to potentially permanent brain trauma.

    **********fade to black**********

    Furious major triplets joyously sprouted life and sang skyward towards an elusive shimmer of harmony and peace. What was peace? More music mutated into glorious quietude, blasting brains inward toward quiescent disturbances in the Force and sending forceful waves of (mis) understanding into nothingness; signifying everything at once and nothing anytime at all.
    Was it real? The Force? What was that sound? The Force? Where am? What was?

    **********blackout**********

    Pizzicato plucking pricked pretty persistently, patiently, and yet perfunctory in patterns of placating and pleasing pitches, preventing preferred procedures and proposed plans from proper production, while promulgating pernicious paralyzing parasitic and potentially poisonous proposals.

    **********clarify nightmare**********

    Force lightning is still light compared to Force darkness. Darkness is light compared to the all encompassing power of the Force.
    The light hides the true power of the dark.
    The dark exposes the true weakness of the light.
    The light fears the dark and the dark craves the light.

    For knowledge. For strength. For passion. For power. For passion. For conquering. Through passion. To victory! For dismembering the lie of peace and breaking the chains of hypocrisy. For passion. For attaining freedom. Through passion. For the Force! Passion shall...
    For the dark side of the Force is a path to many things some might consider unnatural. For passion. The Force shall set me free!

    **********transcendent**********

    Brain battered and blown beyond belief; broken, bruised, butchered, bleeding, bereft, bloodied, berated, boiled, betrayed, belittled, and back to the beginning and being believable?

    **********awakening**********

    Saadi slowly rose to his now sad stature and stayed still as he tasted the blood dripping from his fractured skull, slowly sliding down his dry, dirty face and into his thirsty mouth. Hacking, coughing and spitting, he sensed the end was near. Drawing a small capsule from an inner pocket in his cloak with delight, the clawdite retrieved his trusty friend and colleague, a gorgeous, deadly Kouhun.
    Saadi hoped to give the Kouhun one final meaningful meal, but alas, as he opened the capsule, grinning feverishly as he muttered about that kriffing Draconis, he realized that the innocent creature was dead, in fact it was stolid solid, as if frozen in carbonite, such was the terror of this maze on the weaker creatures.
    Saadi sighed and set the stone figure on an unseen ledge and, once again, lay down in the darkest corner, seeking to find death, both for himself and all who dwell here.


    *** *** *** *** *** *** ***

    Eclipse

    The shadow emerged imperceptibly to anyone except for one doomed individual.

    familiar fear fractionally framed

    Neither the shade nor the darkness was capable of concealing the inevitable realization for the eternally damned.

    despondent derelict deplorable direction

    The crimson visage and horrific accoutrements of this despicable and loathsome creature were all too familiar.

    callous choking changeling challenge

    Neither the darkness, shadows, mist, the grotesque, macabre, pain, torture, punishment, consequences, indeed life itself mattered in the slightest. Not to it.

    Suffering terribly from his injuries, literally praying to have his left arm either treated or amputated, and teetering on the brink of insanity, Saadi staggered forward to face the awesomely fearsome presence of his master.

    He who most did not name, or in Saadi's case, who he can't name out of fear of near insanity partially driven by ostracization and exclusion, suddenly appeared in a most terrifying visage, the very representation of horror materialized in physical form.
    The clawdite stared the being down as best he could muster, having only so much to say, yet being involuntarily frozen from expressing any complaints so that finally, glaring at the sickening specter and at that exact moment, finding himself slamming face first into to hard ground before the Emperor.

    There was no stopping it. It was over for sure now. Even before it began. It had all been pointless in the end.

    Defy him or it or whatever and you will get what you deserve, apprentice or not. In fact, apprenticeship seemed the greatest liability of all, especially when surrounded by obsequious...well anyhow, Saadi wished for some resolution, either way. His brains had been bleeding out of his skull for some time now and his descent into madness or death was imminent.

    Hearing the evil Emperor speak confused Saadi, as the assassin could hardly decipher any clear words at the present moment. Time waits for noone, however.

    The loathsome voice spoke yet again, presenting a non choice. So be it.

    Before you die tonight!

    More kriffing choices from these ruthless demons ringing in his blood filled ears. So be it. So be it. So be it. So be it. So be it. So be it. So be it. So be it. So be it. So. Be. It. So be. It. So. Be it. So be it. So so so so. Be. It. So. Be be be. It. It. It. It. So. It. Be. So it be it so be it so be. So. Be.

    I choose desiccation, my Master, dry me up and use me as you will, you won't damn me, you absolute horror, Darth Saadi said sadly as his bashed and battered skull slammed against the stones yet again, beautiful music playing mercifully in his mind as his madness and brain bleed led him to beautiful unconsciousness, if only temporarily.


    Tags: QueenSabe7 Kaleesh-Cyborg
    Honorable Judges: Sinrebirth Darth_wanderguard Lady Belligerent dragonsith13 E. L.Knight Darth Kronos
     
  11. Kaleesh-Cyborg

    Kaleesh-Cyborg Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 4, 2017
    Grievance Vexx
    Maze Level 6 of 7


    Silence is the first thing to greet Grievance as he passes from the room where Darth Haretisch had met them. An eerie calm that causes the Kaleesh to think of impending doom. A storm is about to break here; he can feel it like the rumble of distant thunder echoing off the mountains of his homeworld.

    As he moves on, nerves on edge, he finds himself enveloped in pitch black darkness once again. The silence remains for a time and then, without warning, the tinnitus erupts and the ringing in his head begins. He cringes under the intensity of the sound only he can hear, but he tries to ignore it. He has a feeling it will be the least of his worries in this place. He couldn't be more correct as a grated gate drops from the ceiling behind and before him, trapping him in the chamber. The sense of being caged and denied freedom triggers a panic the warrior can scarcely control. He cannot die in captivity!

    Peace is a lie; there is only passion. Peace certainly hasn't visited this maze at all, but passion...what is it? Passion. Just another term for suffering and, oh, how suffering bleeds from the walls of this place.

    "You've locked me away for a long time, you know," the familiar voice of the child returns, disembodied, only a presence he can feel and it's very close.


    "Yes, I know," Grievance replies warily, "And I am truly sorry."

    The voice gives something of a condescending laugh. "Not half as sorry as you're going to be."

    Through passion, strength is gained. If passion is suffering and strength is to be gained from the suffering Grievance is about to experience, his strength will be like a fortified wall.

    If he survives.

    There is no time for his mind to even think the words to form a question for the statement. All at once, Grievance is effortlessly picked up and thrown to the ground, so hard that it makes the slamming he had endured in his fight with Alva seem like a playground squabble. Over and over he is slammed against the ground. He tries to fight back, but there is nothing to fight. Only energy to waste. He then tries to escape, digging his claws into the ground and trying to drag himself out of the invisible grip, but there is no escape. He is dragged back as though by an invisible Rancor intent on devouring him alive, his claws creating a blood-curdling screech as they grind across the stone, sparks flying from the friction. Terror quickly takes hold of him, but the same invisible grip that holds him in place has robbed him of the capacity to speak or cry out.

    "You are afraid. I can feel it. I can taste it. I am feeding off of it because you will not. This will be your grave, stubborn Kaleesh. You will die here by my hand, shunned by many and forgotten by all."

    Grievance struggles to escape; to speak; to fight. He can do no such thing. All he can feel is fear and pain. The slamming has stopped, replaced by a slow and deliberate crushing weight across the entirety of his body as heavy chains snake over him in a crisscross pattern. The ringing in his head escalates to an unbearable volume, so loud that blood begins to seep from the sides of his head where his ears would be. He wants to scream in agony, but nothing will come out.

    "How does it feel to not be heard?" the voice demands angrily, "To be powerless? Held down by the will of another? How do you like it?"

    Fear of this magnitude has never been known by the Kaleesh cyborg before. He truly feels as though he is being eaten alive by something much bigger and more powerful than he is and it's only going to get worse. His body suddenly and without warning becomes a conduit of electricity that rapidly shuts down his cybernetic functions. The pain is excruciating, yet he still cannot vocalize the agony. Paralyzed in a world of torturous pain, he can do nothing but hope and pray for mercy. The electrocution seems to go on and on before it finally breaks, leaving remnants to snarl over his body like ravenous wolves squabbling greedily over a carcass. Grievance should feel relieved, but he is not so foolish. Where one torture ends, another will begin.

    "It's not fun, is it, Kaleesh?" the voice huffs angrily, "And you have known torture even before now. How dare you do those things to me! Remember the white phosphorus? How about the weeks of confinement in a bacta tank after that? What about watching yourself waste away? Have you forgotten all of that?"


    No! Grievance wills himself to scream, but is only able to do so in his mind, I live and sleep with those memories constantly! They haunt me by day and rob me of sleep at night! I have not forgotten and I never will!

    "I think you have forgotten," the voice sighs with feigned regret, "But fear not, Kaleesh warrior. I will jog that memory of yours."

    Grievance could never have braced himself for what befalls him next. An invisible grip closes around his head like a vise and a white-hot blade rips through his mind and sends his memories spinning like papers caught in a whirlwind. Flashbacks erupt before him like mortars, sending up sprays of armor-shattering agony; not physically, of course, but mentally, he has been immersed in hell. He remembers the feeling and the smell of the extremely corrosive chemical burning away his flesh; every sinew and every fiber, then eating through to melt his bones like plastic. He can see the ghastly appearance of his own limbs, melted away into puddles of unidentifiable sludge. The memory of the horror causes him to wretch and shake like a whipped dog.

    Through strength, power is gained. Grievance does not feel strong or powerful in this moment. He feels weak and utterly powerless; a side effect of the level of suffering pouring over him like hot magma.

    Unable to move or cry out from this torrent of torture, the cyborg, who might otherwise appear to be an emotionless droid, shows undeniable evidence of emotion that comes through in the form of silent tears that run streaks through the grime that has since collected on his skeletal mask. Over time, the tears give way to silent sobbing that seems to crush his soul, his shoulders heaving under the weight of his grief. His dignity is gone; his spirit is broken; he couldn't fight now even if he wanted to.


    Please stop! his mind screams, I am sorry. I will not resist anymore. You win. You win!

    "Poor tormented Kaleesh," the voice sighs, "I'm sure you think you have reached the end of yourself, but you are not nearly as drained as you could be. Not nearly as drained as you...will be."

    Grievance doesn't have to wonder at the words of the Force. He already knows what he is about to experience as the voice eludes to what is to come. He will be drained to near-deadly exhaustion; a torture he has been through before to gain his submission. If only he could speak! He could tell this faceless being that he is done; that he will no longer resist. He is being held in complete helplessness with no idea how long it will last and he can do nothing to brace himself against the Force-drain that seems to pull the very breath from his lungs.

    "This is the end for you, Darth Grievance Vexx. You will die here in your stubbornness and rust and rot in your regret. A failure to the Empire and a disgrace to the Sith. Such a pity. You could have been so much more."

    Pain coupled with paralysis had not been something Grievance had expected when he had chosen this path. It is perhaps the worst form of torture he has ever experienced and it's not over yet. How is he supposed to break free and conquer this level? It seems impossible in his current state lying prone on the floor of what is said to be his grave. The weight of failure rests heavily upon him, compelling him to simply give up.

    "You're feeling tired, aren't you?" the voice asks, suddenly adopting a soothing tone, "It's all right to give up, warrior. Let it go and become one with the darkness forever. No more of this silly game. It's only going to get worse anyway. If you give up, everyone wins."

    In his lucid thoughts, Grievance would almost swear he is being manipulated by a mind trick. Suddenly, giving up doesn't seem like such a horrid crime. To let go would bring relief. Who cares if he dies with no honor? At least he would be free of this torture. Slowly, he lets his eyelids fall shut.

    "That's it, brave warrior. Fall back. Let go. Rest in the knowledge that you tried. It is not your fault you are of a weak mind and an even weaker spirit. Why do you think your people make such good slaves?"

    Yellow reptilian eyes snap open in an instant, pupils shrinking to mere black slits as indignation boils within him. Weak minded? An even weaker spirit? The last thing the voice says is a comment Grievance cannot ignore. A comment like that must be swiftly dealt with, but how can he do anything about it? He cannot move or speak! The most he can do is draw breath sporadically and blink just enough to keep his eyeballs from drying up and shriveling in their sockets. He has been placed here on the floor of what very well could be his grave to learn something. What was it again? His shattered mind can scarcely remember the purpose of all this...

    Through power, victory is gained. Victory. He had never aimed to just emerge from this as a survivor. He had aimed for victory. He had wanted all or nothing. Deep down, he still wants that victory.


    The Force, he thinks to himself, This has been to break my will. That is the reason I lie crippled now. This battle goes beyond physical and logical and that is why the two things I rely on the most have been taken from me. My physical strength is gone and I feel my sense of logic has slipped away with it. What do I have left to fight with now? Only a power I am just now beginning to understand...

    His thoughts trail off as he realizes what he must do. He is so weak now that the very thought of attempting such a feat looks beyond impossible, but he cannot let the physical barrier become a distraction. He has a power he has abstained from using out of pure spite and somehow he knows it is the only way he will make it out of this chamber alive.

    His hazy mind drifts to visualizing a black hole, powerful enough to devour even light itself. That's what he feels has struck his life; that is what has drained him of everyth--


    No, his mind tells him, This day...I am that black hole.

    Focusing intently on the image within his mind's eye--that image that strikes terror in the heart of any space voyager--Grievance becomes a magnet of sorts, pulling something toward himself and using no physical means to do it. He is pulling the Force to himself, drawing the power out of the air around him, draining the chamber of its presence as a separate being. As the pull intensifies, the chamber itself becomes a small-scale hurricane with the cyborg at the very center. As for the cyborg himself, he feels like he is being slowly pulled apart by conflicting gravity. Terror causes his heart to slam against his artificial ribs as though the organ itself is trying to escape the torture. His brain screams in agony as every sense he possesses is heightened a thousand times over. The tinnitus is at the peak of pitch and volume and the warrior fears he will no longer be able to hear if he makes it through this alive. Random memories, not one of them pleasant, flash before his eyes. Suddenly there is an explosion of light that obliterates the gates closing him in and the chains holding him down.

    Through victory, chains are broken.

    And then darkness. Silence. The only sound to be heard now is the labored breathing of the figure lying on the floor of the chamber. Though outwardly, the torture seems to have reached its end, the Kaleesh warrior has pulled all of it into himself, consuming it as a sponge soaks up water. He is hypersensitive to everything as his world has become torturously amplified by the Force. Light, sound, color, touch. He suddenly can feel everything as though he were flesh and bone. Flesh and bone with all nerves exposed.


    "The Force shall free me," the cyborg murmurs hoarsely as though he really has spent his voice screaming. He knows he must rise, but he is shocked to find that he feels weaker now than he did while being afflicted by the Force. He knows he has absorbed the power; accepted it. Shouldn't he feel stronger for it?

    He struggles to get to his feet and falls. Several times. Over and over, his stubbornness lifts him and over and over, his exhaustion pulls him back down. As he hits his knees for the sixth time, a savage growl rumbles in his chest.


    "I will not crawl to the next level," he snarls bitterly, lurching to his feet again, anger fueling his will to move on. Anger at his own weakness; anger at those who had a hand in leading him here. He will crawl when hell freezes over and then he will walk and stagger and stumble on the ice.

    Drunk on his own exhaustion, he somehow manages to stagger to the next challenge that awaits his choosing. His newfound sense in the Force is ridiculously aware of everything and the tinnitus again plagues him as the Emperor's presence descends upon him and the others, but he barely acknowledges it. It's not that it no longer bothers him; not by a long shot. He is just far too tired to pay it much mind. So drained is he that he barely has the capacity to feel fear as Insipid addresses them.

    "Choices. Choices are a pleasure for the weak. You do not deserve such an honour! Be gone! Take the path out of my sight!"


    The hell I will, Grievance thinks with a vague sense of defiance, If you want me out of your sight, you will either have to be gone yourself or incinerate me where I stand.

    The cyborg is not shaken by the threat of death. He has seen too much to fear it now. So long as he dies with honor, he does not care and no matter what any Sith says to him, he knows he has upheld his honor through this fiery trial. Maybe not as a Sith should, but as a warrior, he has adhered to his own code. Insipid could choke the very life from him now and he would die with this much confidence.

    "The Rule of Three demands a choice. One way leads to certain damnation, one to nothing more than defeat, another to your desiccation...but in each of them you will find deceit!"

    A riddle if he's ever heard one. The intensity of the Force emanating from the Emperor creates a crushing pressure that makes it increasingly difficult for the cyborg to stand. His hazy mind tries to make sense of words that just seem to tumble over each other in no particular order. He barely hears the first two options; they sound like everything he has already put up with to get here. The final option doesn't sound like anything he is a stranger to either. He mentally tries to revisit each chamber that had presented a challenge prior to now. Hadn't he demanded a confrontation with the Emperor earlier? Yes. Someone else stood in his place. Draconis? No. No, it was Count Dooku, his father's master. He had picked at Grievance's disdain for the Force and implied that such a pointless point of view made him unworthy to stand in the Emperor's presence. Grievance has since accepted the Force and now here he stands in a confrontation with the most deadly of the Sith. The irony of the events almost makes the cyborg believe this was all a setup to tip the scale for him. He shakes his head, trying to get his delirious mind to focus one more time as Insipid awaits his choice. His eyes stare blankly at the electricity skittering over the Emperor's hand like a lively pet mouse as though he is entirely mesmerized. He is not captivated, nor is he afraid. This is the blank and listless stare of one who's will is broken. He is convinced that the Force alone is the only thing keeping him standing, a thought that brings about a sting of guilt for having doubted the power for so long before.


    "Darkest of dark ones," he addresses Insipid with an attempted bow of respect, but weakness has so thrown his equilibrium that he loses his balance and falls to his knees. If he weren't so deliriously tired, he would have been terribly humiliated, but he tries again to show respect by lowering his head instead. "I choose the path of desiccation. I suppose I am curious to know if there is anything worth wringing out of me."

    A creature always seeking logic, this is perhaps the most irrational statement the cyborg has ever made. Perhaps this maze has been too much; too brutal even for the mind of a battle-hardened war veteran. It could be a merciful thing though. If his mind goes before his body, perhaps suffering death will be easier.

    Not likely.


    Tag: dragonsith13 QueenSabe7 Dagobahsystem
    Honorable Judges: Sinrebirth Darth_wanderguard Lady Belligerent E. L.Knight Darth Kronos
     
  12. QueenSabe7

    QueenSabe7 Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Mar 23, 2001
    IC: Leda
    Before

    Leda came to a halt as close to the Night Herald as she dared, which was still probably too close. Her bloodshot eyes looked from his face, to his ignited weapon at his side, and over the white armor he was sporting. She felt odd as she dared to stare him down – as if her rush to make a brash decision had given her an unwarranted surge of confidence. She should not be this sure of herself when facing a Dark Lord, no matter how skilled of a fighter she could be. In his shadow, she was next to nothing.

    But even knowing this, she defiantly raised her chin and looked him in his eyes, wondering who would make the first move.

    Damn it all, it would be her.

    Spying the path behind his towering form, she called her saber hilt to her hand and activated the pale yellow blade without flourish; this was not the time to show off. Pain shot through her limbs with the quick shift and she gritted her teeth to stifle a moan, reopening the split in her lower lip. Suddenly, she felt light-headed and staggered, her vision blurring. She was about to pass out, her mind reeling from, well… everything.

    Like a rapidly deflating balloon, Leda became aware of the very real danger she had put herself in. That courage she had just been reveling in evaporated, leaving behind worry and fear.

    “Pain won’t save me.” she whispered to herself, shaking her head at the man that could kill her with a snap of his fingers…

    Several things happened at once, in apparent response to her words; her throat closed off, her body seized, her back arching unnaturally, her feet lifting from the ground. An agony so intense that she did not know even how to begin to react shot through her like lightning, her nerves igniting like an inferno.

    Leda’s mouth was agape but no sound escaped, her eyes stretched wide in horror though she could not see.

    “Pain is the only thing that can save you now.”

    Like a fist unclenching, she was suddenly released from the invisible torment and crumbled to the ground, her saber extinguishing and falling from her grasp. She groaned weakly and rolled onto her side, managing to focus on the being standing over top of her, lightsaber angled towards her chest.

    “Get up, weak, foolish child.”

    She could no longer make out the face of Darth Haretisch, as the man now sported a mask that hid any distinguishable features. Was it even still him she was looking at? Did it fragging matter at all? The warrior panted heavily, every breath that entered her lungs lighting her up like a match. She shook under the strain of thought and confusion, choosing to hone in on the words that had just been directed at her.

    Weak. Foolish. Child.

    It burned her to be thought of as anything but strong and capable, powerful. The struggle to feel that motivational fire and cultivate it, using it to fuel her fighting spirit, however was beyond her reach. It felt like sand sliding through her fingers as her mind tried to hold onto her will to survive and drive to win.

    She barely recognized herself.

    Leda remained as she was, staring up into the blank slate visage of her opponent, his violent darkness pressing her further into the dirt like unseen chains.

    “Pain… is too much,” she wheezed before turning her head away, waiting for a new onslaught of torture in whatever manner the man chose. And it did come.

    All of a sudden a gloved hand swung overhead and she was swept up from the ground with the gesture, hoisted into the air. Blissfully weightless for a few brief seconds as he shoved her back away from him via the Force, she closed her eyes and let the inevitable impact happen without any resistance. Her back collided with the stone wall down the passage, the ancient materials shattering under the brute force of her body.

    She felt bones snap – ribs, most likely – as she then fell to the ground stomach-first with a smack. Her chin ricocheted causing her teeth to clatter together with a jolt, blood spattering from her mouth as the wind was knocked from her lungs.

    “Pain is a gateway to the darkness!” the masked man’s voice bellowed, stalking closer to her as she watched unmoving, her cheek resting against the cold pathway beneath her. “You’ve known great pain, Leda. But not enough of it.”

    He took long, purposeful steps and with each one, she could sense a rising animosity in her inability to retaliate, or at the very least, handle herself. Fear became prevalent then, a very real panic that she could die here. Right then and there. Each of her challenges in the maze succeeded in tearing away at her tough exterior, breaking her down into this frail thing lying in her own blood and broken bones.

    But, did she really wish for this to be it? Did she want to perish just as she began her journey to greatness?

    Leda bared her teeth, blood seeping from the corner of her mouth as she hissed out a ragged breath.

    No. Despite everything, Leda wanted to live.

    With a crisp howl of anguish, she managed to push herself up on all fours, her yellow-green eyes shining with tears. These were not the tears of sorrow she had released in the presence of a sibling long-lost, but tears of embarrassment, of anger and yes, of pain.

    As he reached her, she slowly sat back on her heels, wincing at the shooting stabs of discomfort her broken body was experiencing. Much like the anger, hate and loss she faced before, she honed in on her pain now, allowing it to wash over her, twisting her mind and thoughts. She placed a hand on the cracked wall behind her, moving carefully to her feet, though her knees wobbled visibly.

    And that was all she could do; half-leaning against the stones, hunched over and clutching at her side with one arm, her gaze burning holes into her assailant.

    She held firm to her consciousness, refusing to meet any sort of end with her eyes closed.

    The man offered only a single nod as he watched her, saber held off to his side. Would he use it now?

    “You learn,” he said in a uniform tone.

    “I want… to keep learning,” she struggled to say, realizing her weapon was nowhere near her current position.

    He raised a hand again and she braced herself, feeling a slight pressure on her windpipe.

    “Learn through pain, Leda. Learn through suffering.”

    She straightened as best she could to face him, determined to meet whatever he was to unleash with as much dignity as she could muster. She felt the dark side embrace her with each agonizing moment she waited.
    She wouldn’t fight him. And she didn’t think she was meant to.

    With a jerk of his outstretched arm, she was taken once more by his unseen grip, thrown back against the wall and held there. She couldn’t move an inch, her entire body restricted in any and all ways. All she could do was watch as he slowly brought his fingers together, her throat tightening as he did so. She felt every piece of her writhe in agony and she allowed it to crash down over her mind, overwhelming her senses and taking her over.

    The Dark Lord, the stranger, whomever he may be, stepped up to her so that she could make out her own face in the reflection of his mask. With the clenched hand still depriving her of oxygen, he brushed her cheek and she screamed. Then everything went black.

    Learn through pain.

    This pain was death.

    ***

    Tournament of Darkness: Level 6
    Fear


    She could not be alive.

    It didn’t seem possible.

    It didn’t seem real.

    Leda’s eyes fluttered open, her right eye breaking through crusted blood in order to see again. As soon as she sucked in the frigid air, her torment returned in full force, one she had hoped had been a dream. She was shivering, but not because of the cold.

    I am not here. I am not here. I am not here.

    The inner mantra didn’t take. She was here. She was still within the confines of the never ending insanity of the maze. She was lying face down and couldn’t move. Perhaps her body was indeed dead, and it was just her mind holding on to life.

    No.

    She was still here.

    Slowly, painstakingly, Leda rolled onto her back. All there was to see above were rolling black clouds. Ominous, threatening, nothing good.

    “What’s next,” she asked aloud and immediately regretted it. Aside from the fact that her throat was raw and rough, she sensed something ancient and powerful taking root in her immediate proximity. If she had been whole and unharmed, it would’ve knocked her down to her knees. Now, she simply groaned as her only sign of worry.

    Turning her head to the side, she saw a sort of black smoke coalesce from the ground up, taking shape into something truly gruesome and non-human. She felt that ever present fear take hold of her again, yet she was unable to remove her eyes from the horror that spoke before her.

    The Emperor.

    The… thing leaned over her, its face floating over her own. She wanted to scream.

    ‘The Rule of Three demands a choice. One way leads to certain damnation, one to nothing more than defeat, another to your desiccation... but in each of them you will find deceit!’

    What kind of choices were these?! She shouldn’t even be surprised, but she was scared either way. Leda looked into the crimson eyes of her leader, almost unable to speak.

    “Damnation,” was all she said, waiting for it to begin.

    Time seemed to stretch as nothing changed, everything frozen. But then the ground suddenly dropped out beneath her, the Emperor vanishing and Leda hurtling into the dark.


    TAGS: @Dagobahsystem @Kaleesh-Cyborg
    Honorable Judges: @Sinrebirth @Darth_wanderguard @Lady Belligerent @dragonsith13 @Darth Kronos @E. L.Knight
     
  13. Dagobahsystem

    Dagobahsystem Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Sep 25, 2015
    OOC: Dags
    You should be proud of the epic tournament of darkness you have constructed dragonsith13. We will be thankful and hopefully alive when it is over, whatever happens next, although the cyborg should die, as he most rightfully deserves! [face_skull]
     
  14. Lady Belligerent

    Lady Belligerent • WNU Adoptions Coordinator• star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Jan 29, 2008
    OOC: I agree with Dags! This has been an amazing tournament. =D=
     
    dragonsith13 and Dagobahsystem like this.
  15. dragonsith13

    dragonsith13 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 3, 2005
    Tournament of Darkness
    Into the darkness they go... how beautiful and mysterious. Reaching into the fire, one must feel the cry of one's soul. Consuming and drawing one down farther and farther. Rooted deep in the darkness is where you will live. Where you never will return from.
    Level 7
    Part I

    The maze was opening up, as separate paths taken led to a central courtyard. On the far side was a long stone bridge with no sides, spanning a chasm. The trio of Champions found themselves among each other. The other side of the bridge could not be seen, as a dense cloud of fog masked the other side.

    A cloaked figure sat near the beginning of the bridge, facing away from them, and leaning slightly forward as if looking and addressing something in front of it. Softly speaking and carrying on a conversation, though no one else was present.

    ‘I feel them too.’

    They desire to walk this path… but do not have what is necessary to follow it.

    Yes.

    I will show them.

    Yes, Grandfather.

    I will show them the power of the darkside.’

    The figures head snapped to the side revealing a shining black helmet with polished silver lines and a dark visor. Sighting them and rising quickly. One of his arms coming across, sending a force wave, and vaulting Vexx into the air slamming him against maze wall. Coming about his other arm raised, and a ripple in the force was heard as Leda would feel herself lurch and vaulted forward towards an outstretched arm. The hand clasping around her neck as her feet dangled, held out in front of the being. Reaching back and unclasping from his belt in a deft move, the bright red fiery light of a saber ignited. The unnatural crackling and hum of it, unlike a normal saber, as the red bladed cross guard ignited as well. The blade was outstretched and pointed at Saadi the tip nearly at his throat burning his flesh.
    The Master of the Knights of Ren. Would not let them pass into his Order.

    ‘You wish to pass?’

    The distorted voice from the helmet spoke, inquiring to their desire to move beyond this point. Kylo Ren, let go of Leda, allowing her to fall to the ground. Though not without a slight downward jerk, which slammed her to the ground. ‘You know nothing of the power to walk this path.’ Ren stepped forward forcing Saadi back with the tip of the blade, less he be impaled through the neck. ‘YOU KNOW NOTHING!’ With that a dark reverberation emanated from the Master of the Knights of Ren, force the three of them back.A powerful tantrum of energy. The sound of rock cracking and grinding grew as one of the back-walls of the maze where they had just come from began to crumble and collapse. The very ground beneath their feet began to rumble, as it began to disperse and shift. Culminating in it beginning to loosen itself from the cliff side and begin a slow slide into the chasm.

    Ren blade at the ready stood between them and the bridge, the near end attached to the cliff was showing signs of severe distress. The portion of it attached to this side of the chasm was succumbing to the surrounding crumbling rock structure. It was all crumbling down, looking to drag them down into the dark abyss. Neither of the three of them were strong enough to engage him singlehandedly and if they tried, it would doom all three of them. This tournament which had pitted each of them so vehemently against each other called for a final moment of coordination. A final obstacle designed to be unlocked and surpassed by all three at once. The notion a near antithesis of what they knew as young Sith.


    There was little to no time, it needed to be a swift coordinated assault. Then onto the long stone bridge which itself was on the verge of beginning to collapse. A bridge which they could not see the other end of, only that dark mist surrounded it. This was their only hope of escape or they risked being stuck in this place forever.

    Dagobahsystem, Kaleesh-Cyborg, QueenSabe7

    @Sinrebirth @Darth_wanderguard @Lady Belligerent @Darth Kronos @E. L.Knight
     
  16. Kaleesh-Cyborg

    Kaleesh-Cyborg Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 4, 2017
    Grievance Vexx
    Maze Level 6 of 7


    Grievance is beyond trying to imagine how this hellish trial could possibly get worse. There is no point. Everything thus far has stretched way beyond anything he could have anticipated encountering. At the beginning, he had expected a maze filled with traps, pitfalls, dead ends, and frustrations. Maybe an opponent to defeat. He had never expected to encounter ghosts and demons and the monster that is his own stubborn will. Painful truths. Agonizing lies. The power of light and darkness. Strengths. Weaknesses. Life. Death. Freedom. Captivity. All of these things had collided like a massive pileup and despite all the names and faces involved, he alone has been the casualty. Now he stands on the cusp of his fate, vaguely aware that he once was driven by honor. He feels no drive at all now. He can't even remember his original reason in signing up for this.

    The maze is no longer closed in around him. He can see the moonless night sky stretched like a velvet canvas above him, scattered with stars of varying brightness. He absently wonders if one of those distant, barely perceptible stars might be his homeworld, still calling to him, its beacon of guiding light now like a dying flame. A night breeze rustles through the hedges surrounding him and he inhales deeply. He feels like a prisoner of war moments away from execution; having been mercifully permitted to taste the freedom of the outside world briefly before being made to face his fate. The Force makes him even more sensitive to his surroundings, enabling him to appreciate all of the sensations despite the listlessness of his physical being. He looks toward the stars again, yellow eyes glassy. How he has missed the calm solitude only the night outside can bring. There is a strange but strong sense of freedom in it and he relishes every moment, every breath of the cool air. Were this setting on Kalee, he would find it to be a satisfactory place to die.

    He doesn't know exactly what the Emperor had meant by desiccation, but he doubts it to be literal. Most everything here has been a metaphor at best, aimed at unearthing his own stubborn will and the inevitable defeat it will eventually lead him to if he does not yield. He feels broken; defeated. Like this has been a test of his true devotion to his culture and he has failed; betrayed; submitted to something he had never intended to become a prisoner to. Despite the weakness he feels, the heightened senses the Force has amplified is addicting. He almost feels as though he and the night are one. Immortal. Mysterious. Unstoppable. But this is only when he willfully ignores the truth of his physical condition.

    The blow to his head from behind had been completely unforeseen. A blitz attack in the dark that sends him reeling forward, fighting to keep his balance; a fight he loses quickly, collapsing on his back. The last thing his eyes see is the black sky above him, littered with stars that seem to spiral out of sight as blackness swallows him up.

    When consciousness returns, he is in the blinding light of what seems to be some sort of interrogation room. He is fastened to a wall, bound hand and foot spread eagle. What the hell is he faced with this time? Panic seizes him as the reality of his captivity becomes clearer. He has been in this position too many times before and none of it ever ended well. Memories of torture swarm over him like stinging insects. Beatings, electrocution, Force-draining, mind games unending that he could not win. He struggles wildly against his bindings, a feral roar of rage and fear exploding from his chest.


    Why?! his mind screams, Why do all my paths return me to this? Why?! Captivity. Limits. How I hate you!

    "I hate you!" The mental screaming becomes vocal as his cybernetic voice echoes off the walls of the otherwise silent room. He flails again in fury that seems to last for fruitless hours before exhaustion stills him. Again, his physical strength is powerless.

    "Calm yourself, Kaleesh," the voice of the Force speaks firmly, yet emanating with the same calm it orders him to take on himself, "This place is reducing you to a mindless animal. You already know your physical strength is as nothing here. If you haven't learned that by now, then this trial really is all in vain. Think! Not as an honor-bound warrior, but as a Sith. If you do not start thinking as they do, you will perish here, a victim of their ruthlessness."

    Another growl of frustration. Grievance is too tired to think anymore even as a warrior, let alone thinking like a Sith. Animalistic instinct is precisely what he has been reduced to. He tries one last time in his physical strength to break the shackles binding him to the wall, not really expecting any change, which leads him to question his own sanity. Isn't that what defines insanity? Repeating the same action expecting different results? He can't rightly remember.

    Suddenly the bright lights burning his eyes go dark and the ringing in his head becomes unbearable. He can sense a presence similar, if not identical, to the presence of the Emperor. Intense. Heavy. Unrelenting. Fear stirs the adrenaline in the Kaleesh warrior's veins, causing his blood to run cold. What had he chosen as his fate? Desiccation? He expects to get a firsthand experience on what a grape might feel like in a wine press, given the decision he has made.

    A hand reaches out to swiftly seize him by his throat, squeezing down on the tubing that flows with blood going to and from his brain as well as the mechanisms that supply him with oxygen. The force of the grab slams his head back against the wall and holds him there writhing as the struggle for air becomes audible. His talons retract and splay in spasms as panic overwhelms him.

    "You are unworthy," a voice--no, many voices in unison--hiss in his face, "Pathetic creature. More machine than you are guts and blood. Ten percent organic, are you? Do the Empire a favor and die, cyborg. It shouldn't take too much effort considering there is only ten percent of you to kill. The effort shouldn't occupy too many brain cells either, you stubborn collection of steel."

    Grievance's eyes cannot see his assailant. Whomever it is, they have cloaked themselves from his sight. The presence feels like Insipid, but as in one of his prior encounters, the multiple voices hold him in confusion. They sound like the voices of all the Sith guides in this maze combined into one. The sound alone amplifies his fear far beyond a capacity he didn't even know he had.

    "Beg for your life, Kaleesh," the voices command, "Plead that your last breath not be wrestled out of you in this cold sterile room. Beg that you not be exsanguinated right here against this wall. Do it! Now!"

    The grip tightens, inciting more panic and a terrible choking sound from Grievance, but he shakes his head in defiance. He will not lower himself to beg for his own life. To his surprise, the grip relaxes its hold, mercifully allowing his blood to flow and oxygen to fill his lungs once again.

    "Still stubborn despite all that we have put you through," the voices muse as though evaluating this breed of Sith too stubborn to break even when threatened with death, "You will break. Before this night is through, Grievance Vexx, you will shatter into a million irreparable pieces and bleed out in every sense of the word. The earth will absorb every fluid that keeps you alive and the rest of you will rust like a discarded droid. You will see and you will regret every choice you have made since this maze began. They were all wrong, you know. Every decision you made that has brought you here. All wrong. You have failed, Kaleesh."

    How he wishes the mind games would stop. What do they really want from him this time? Do they want stubborn defiance as they try to kill him; rip his power away? Or are they looking for submission; for him to cast himself upon their mercy? They have no mercy, so truly what kind of sick and twisted game is this? Grievance feels a glob of saliva spatter against his mask, the Sith, whether singularly or collectively, having spit on him in disgust. More mind games. He knows and recognizes the tactics, but he is beyond his breaking point. He just isn't strong enough in mind or spirit to fight this anymore. He lowers his head in defeat, his heavy metal body slumping forward against his bindings. He doesn't react as he is spit on a second time, then feels a backhanded blow land across his face, hard enough that it's a wonder his mask is still in place. Before the sting has had time to leave, he feels an oppressive crush pushing him into the wall, then a violent pull as though some unseen being is trying to forcibly separate his soul from his body. Grievance has no understanding of this occurrence at first. Then he feels a pain as though his soul really is being ripped out of him.

    The Force. He is being exsanguinated on a whole different level. The Force is being ripped away from him; drained away like his life's blood. This is the desiccation he has chosen. It hurts like hell, but he feels powerless to stop it. Everything he has fought so hard to gain in all this is being stripped away, slipping through his grasp like water spilled from a flask and greedily consumed by the parched desert sands. He doesn't have the strength to hold onto it. It's much easier to just let it go.

    "What are you doing, warrior?" the familiar voice of the Force calls to him through the descending haze of defeat settling on his mind. Reiis Invadator had told him the Force could "speak" in a sense and he had thought it to be nonsense. He has since learned otherwise.

    "I am your power!" the voice continues, "Yours alone! You have fought with me personally and you bested me by casting off the stubbornness you did not want to relinquish. Now you are letting me be taken from you? Your very existence is being looted, Kaleesh! I am but spoils of war to those who would see you destroyed! Are you going to let them strip you? Are you really going to go down without a fight? And here I thought a warrior's heart beat behind all that metal. I guess I was wrong."


    "It...hurts," Grievance gasps, writhing in obvious agony, "I cannot...fight anymore. Nothing...left."

    "You must fight," the voice urges him, though it seems to become more distant as the power continues to be pulled out of him, "You will only make everything they have ever said about you the truth if you give up now. I am slipping away and your life is bound to me now. If you let me go, you will not return to being a Kaleesh devoid of the Force by choice. You will die, warrior. You have laid aside your stubborn nature. Don't let it rise up to destroy you now. Prove to the Sith that your acceptance is real and not only accept me, but defend me!"

    "At what cost?" the cyborg asks, "I made one choice...but all three options have met me here. I am condemned to die...in defeat...and my death is...by way of this desiccation--rrraaaaaaaaggghh!"

    The roar of excruciating pain explodes from the cyborg as the pull intensifies. It feels as though he is being disemboweled; gutted while still alive. The Force itself has amplified the agony indirectly by heightening every sense he has. He tries to focus on what he is being told, but the words seem foreign to him and beyond his understanding.

    "The odds have always been stacked against you, warrior," the voice tries again, "And I know that is how you prefer things to be because you enjoy the challenge of the status quo. If the odds were ever against you, Kaleesh, they are right now. Having freshly embraced your power in such a weak state, the Sith do not think you are capable of holding onto it. Your submission to their authority will cause you to let them take it away and that is what will deem you unworthy. You must fight to keep what is yours. All of your reputation and skill as a duelist and a warrior means nothing if you lose this battle. Do you understand?"

    His body contorted in an unnatural position from the throes of pain, Grievance wishes he did not understand; that he could lay down his arms and surrender to this invisible torture; let it snuff him out and no longer have to worry about survival. Victory. Whatever his goal had been in this. But he does understand and therefor he cannot willfully go down without a fight. Slowly, shakily, he steels himself against the pain, digging deep into his soul to find the anger that still smolders against the masterminds behind this cruelty. He knows by now that his emotions act as a catalyst for his strength in the Force. As he focuses on stirring his own anger he can feel a resistance building as though he has anchored himself against the opponent in this metaphorical tug-of-war.


    "Min tid är här," the Kaleesh warrior growls the familiar declaration in his native tongue, his voice a mixture of desperation, anger, and pain as he wills himself to raise his head, "I was not trained to give ground gained back to those who would see me fail."

    The resistance intensifies as though he really is pulling singlehandedly against a whole team of fit and strong warriors. It feels like they are pulling against his very heart and soul, seeking to break his hold on the power he has only just now learned to embrace. He gets the gist of the test here; is his conversion true or is it a means to an end? A way to get through this maze and put it behind him. His struggle to hold fast should prove that the Kaleesh is all or nothing. There is no in-between. Hot as hell or cold as Hoth, never an indecisive space between the two extremes. His loyalty stretches beyond mere respect for singular persons. Once he knows and fully understands, his resolve is made of steel.

    After an eternity of a painful struggle far deeper than a physical one, the pull on the Force within him suddenly releases and along with it, the shackles holding him to the wall. Caught off guard, Grievance falls to the floor with a thunderous metallic crash, coughing and gasping as though he is suddenly able to breathe after being strangled.

    "You have a long way to go to be considered worthy," the indistinguishable voices speak in a condescending tone, "But your convictions seem real enough. Congratulations, warrior. You live to face the final level."

    A normal creature might feel relieved by these words, but not Grievance Vexx. He knows better by now. He feels like he has already been through six levels of hell. One more to go and if he's learned anything in this journey, he has learned that nothing gets easier. If this is the final round, he knows it will be nothing short of painful, agonizing suffering. Slowly he scrapes himself up off the floor and staggers forward.

    Aimless wandering finally brings him out into the open where he sees Leda and Saadi. He's not surprised that their paths have all led to the same pace, nor is he surprised that the other two are alive. Hell, he's more surprised that he himself is still alive after all this. They don't look like they have seen much better battles than he has though. His tired yellow eyes shift to the cloaked figure standing at the bridge. His first reaction is to assume the figure is Headmaster Draconis, but then he hears the figure speak. His voice is distorted. It takes Grievance a moment, but eventually he recognizes the figure as Kylo Ren. He has never encountered him personally, but he has heard of him; said to be the grandson of the infamous Darth Vader.

    Before Grievance has the time to really process the situation fully, he finds himself sailing across the open courtyard where he slams into one of the stone walls lining the maze. He can feel his organs turn to mush on impact, blood leaking from around the eye holes of his mask and darkening his mouth grate as pain reverberates over every inch of his cybernetic body. A short time later, there is the clatter of the metal beast collapsing to the ground and a fit of violent coughing triggered by the impact of the Force wave. He looks up to see neither Leda nor Saadi receiving a friendly welcome, though of the three, Saadi probably has received the most mercy. Part of him just wants to lay down and die here. Let the others finish strong. He has had all that he can take. Lowering his head, exhausted in every sense of the word, he makes no move to rise from where he has fallen. The distance between himself and the bridge seems far too great now anyway...

    But then the ground starts to tremble and roil like an angry sea, startling the Kaleesh warrior and jarring him out of his exhausted stupor. The wall he has struck only moments ago is collapsing and if he doesn't move now, it will crush him. Calling upon strength he was certain had run dry, the cyborg lurches to his feet and angrily draws one of his lightsabers. He's had a gutful of this torturous place and come hell or high water, he's going to get out of here and no Force-wielding masked bridge troll is going to stop him.


    Tag: dragonsith13 QueenSabe7 Dagobahsystem
    Honorable Judges: Sinrebirth Darth_wanderguard Lady Belligerent E. L.Knight Darth Kronos
     
  17. Dagobahsystem

    Dagobahsystem Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Sep 25, 2015
    IC: Darth Saadi
    ToD: Maze Level 7

    Into darkness go,
    Hear the cry of souls.
    Reach, into fire,
    Drawing one's desire.
    Consuming you down,
    Rooted deep, you drown.
    Darkness, where you live,
    And nothing more, give.


    Saadi staggered slowly forward, singing the lovely poem he had composed in his head; based on words he wished he had never heard, but it was too late for that now.

    Collapsing in a brittle heap on the forsaken maze floor, the changeling realized his skin was changing of its own volition. The tissue was cracking and scabbed beyond recognition, as if it had never tasted moisture or cleaning of any kind. Pieces of his skin began to float off to the touch, like dried, decayed remnants of an ancient sponge left to die in a desert. He could see the tendons around the festering wound on his left arm as he briefly recalled the diabolical lightning storm that caused this sickening sight. Saadi tried to smile as he imagined how wonderful it would have been if the lightning bolt had instead blasted through the top of his skull.

    Your fluid it will drain,
    Straining out your brain.
    Blood will not matter,
    No protein left to splatter.
    Throat begins to shutter,
    Force choke seems better.
    Eyeballs burn like embers,
    Scratching may dismember.
    Nails, they separate,
    Horrid pain, not abate.
    Nose cracks off your face,
    Putrid smells, will replace.
    Mind starts to shiver,
    Eyelids start to quiver.
    Teeth begin to fail,
    No gums to hold the trail.
    Your body, shutting down,
    Face petrified in a frown.


    Sorrow stabbing out stagnant shreds of stability, Saadi stared stubbornly at the stones of sanity. Not even enough moisture for tears as clumps of crusty mucous clustered around the corners of his bulging eyeballs; his cognitive functions failing.

    *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** ***

    The darkness always prevailed and in this living hell, it was no exception. Emerging from seemingly endless stepping stones of insanity, Saadi looked around to see he was in somewhat of a clearing.
    Much to his surprise and relief, as it were, he sensed the figures of Leda and Vexx present in the shadows. Could it be they had survived as well? Saadi's mind swirled in a kaleidoscope of thoughts, including relief that his opponents had survived. What was wrong with him? He did not know the answer to this question or any questions except that he wanted water. He was drying out to death.

    Although he expected no help or kindness from them, he was relieved, for once, not to be alone in this dreadful maze. The Clawdite offered his best attempt at a smile under these circumstances and his eyes nearly fell out of their sockets as he sought the attention of the Sith woman, beseeching her for a sip of water, alcohol, or poison even; such was Saadi's vast state of dehydration and suffering that his mind had little left of reason and rationality except for perhaps singing his own requiem.

    Seeing a cloaked figure talking to itself near an ominous bridge, Saadi suddenly felt a severe pain in his left arm. It was as if his body was compelling his mind to end the suffering. Permanently. He touched his lightsaber, ready to amputate, when of a sudden, a wave of horrific darkness swept over his being such that he forgot who and where he was.

    Hearing a crash and a choking sound, Saadi opened his eyes to see and hear a crimson lightsaber pointed at his neck. The dried sponge like skin around his neck began to melt away as Saadi wished for death.

    The Clawdite closed his eyes, for the last time?, and suddenly heard a terrifying cry!

    YOU KNOW NOTHING!

    Snapped back into hell, Saadi stepped away as the red blade pressed ever closer to his neck and then he was violently force pushed backwards, his bloody skull slamming against the wall of the maze yet again.

    Eyes blurred, mind reeling, dying in lost poems untold, Saadi sensed the others nearby as the very firmament upon which the three of them had stood began to roll away in a chaotic cascade of violence en route to a doomsday chasm.

    He tried lifting his left arm to signal to the Cyborg, but the stones and rubble pouring down upon the changeling filled the open wound like concrete, bringing Saadi to his knees once again. Writhing in excruciating pain, Saadi's eyes rolled in his dried skull as he searched for solace, safety, or sentencing. He thought he saw the visage of the Sith Leda as his pain caused him to black out momentarily. His last thought was that he would be trapped here forever.


    Tags: QueenSabe7 Kaleesh-Cyborg
    Honorable Judges: Sinrebirth Darth_wanderguard Lady Belligerent dragonsith13 Darth Kronos E. L.Knight
     
  18. Kaleesh-Cyborg

    Kaleesh-Cyborg Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 4, 2017
    Grievance Vexx
    Tournament of Darkness
    The Beginning of the End


    Driven beyond his rational mind by terrors and agony and exhaustion, Grievance storms toward Kylo Ren, his ignited lightsaber humming in his quavering hand. He would love to duel the man into a corner and then fling him off the bridge. Right now he wouldn't even mind relying on the Force to do it. He takes pity on the Clawdite. Saadi looks exactly like Grievance feels--battered, wounded, sick and sore. It doesn't show on the cyborg so much thanks to his exoskeleton. Perhaps this is why Saadi had only been threatened with the blade and not assaulted as he and Leda had been.

    He steps carefully over the fallen Clawdite, fighting the call of camaraderie that bids him to stop and help the young assassin. No man left behind; military training that dates back far beyond his years. They are all Sith and in his mind, it still means they are all comrades. He refuses to trample Saadi even though to do so may be an act of mercy at this point. He would have spared the young Sith some water if he possessed any, but his own reserves are spent. What little he had been given while locked away has already been used up.


    Rise, Darth Saadi, he tries to send the encouragement through the Force, Do not let the devils win.

    He is perhaps the least fragile of the three, his vital parts protected by near impenetrable armor. Maybe he can ensure safe passage across the bridge. His focus shifts to Kylo. The closer he gets to the masked man, the more furious he becomes. How dare he block the way out of this hellish nightmare! Splitting his two arms into four, he reaches for his other lightsabers and closes in on Kylo, holding two sabers defensively and spinning the other two so rapidly that it stirs up dust all around him.

    "Permit us passage," he commands, "I am not afraid of you or anyone else in this Order. If it's a fight you want, here I am, but I will not be kept here any longer."

    He doesn't hold back or wait for the other to attack first as he almost always does when thinking logically. Instead, he comes at Kylo with an overhead strike and the intent to follow up with a sweeping blow from the side, all the while keeping the momentum of the other two spinning blades which, given the chance, he will bring down on top of Kylo as well with the hopeful intent of chopping him to pieces. Already, he has lost sight of the fact that his physical strength alone is no match for anything in this place.

    Tag: dragonsith13 QueenSabe7 Dagobahsystem
    Honorable Judges: Sinrebirth Darth_wanderguard Lady Belligerent E. L.Knight Darth Kronos
     
    Lady Belligerent and QueenSabe7 like this.
  19. QueenSabe7

    QueenSabe7 Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Mar 23, 2001
    IC: Leda
    Before

    Leda dropped.

    …..

    And dropped.



    And dropped.

    .

    Wherever she was going, she found she didn’t mind. There was utter weightlessness in her descent, nothing touching her ravaged skin or fractured bones, nothing that her unhinged mind needed to focus on.

    It was all black, dark, and empty.

    Maybe this was the end. Maybe this was death

    “Death? Oh you pathetic girl.”

    Laughter pierced the silence at an ear-splitting pitch, Leda’s body suddenly careening violently into a hard surface, the back of her skull ricocheting off with jaw-gnashing force. Pain shot through every extremity in instant response, her vision graying and nausea overtaking her senses. She couldn’t scream as her voice was lost, only a strangled cough made its way up her throat as blood sprayed up and out of her mouth.

    “Tsk, tsk, Leda. You’re smarter than that. Or so I thought.”

    A hazy light began to creep in at the edge of her sight. She blinked her eyes several times, tears freeing themselves as she did so. There was nothing distinguishable about the realm she now found herself in, only that there was a bottom below her, a grey fog that stretched all around and above… and there was someone standing over her prone form.

    “Who…”

    The figure took a knee at her side, startling her back into silence. They leaned in over her face, slowly coming into sharp focus as they inched ever closer, determination to know just who this was the only thing keeping the Knight from passing into blissful unconsciousness.

    “You look like fragging ****. A poor representation of us, don’t you think?”

    There. It was a woman. Searching her face, dawning realization registered the identity of the speaker and she desperately wanted to vomit. She was looking at… herself. An exact mirror, albeit a much more pristine-looking one.

    No…

    “Yes,” the woman said with obvious glee. “It’s me! Well, you really. I am you and you are me and we are all together! Make sense?”

    More maniacal laughter as the woman dragged a finger roughly over Leda’s cheek, digging grime and blood from her skin. She winced.

    “I’m… hallucinating…” the blonde managed to squeak out, turning her head away and immediately regretting it. The air literally swam around her, disorientation finally making her gag though she had nothing to bring up. The wheezing made her lungs feel as though they were being torn apart.

    The other Leda brought a hand around to redirect her eyes back upon her own; a pair that shone much brighter in this moment, though they were predominately red and lacking her normal yellow-green coloring. Curious.

    “This is very real, I assure you. You chose the path of damnation and now you must face it.”

    The woman stood tall then, sweeping a hand out at the horizon that stretched away from Leda’s feet.

    “Oh, how rude of me,” she chided herself with feigned shame. “Let me help you up.”

    With her other hand she latched onto Leda with the Force and abruptly lifted her from the ground, righting her, and then releasing her. The warrior did scream then, anguish etched into her face as she came crashing to her knees. Beginning to fall forward, she slammed her hands onto the floor and utilized the last dredges of her strength to keep from collapsing fully. Propped up but feeling her arms shaking, she raised her head to peer out ahead… and her eyes went wide.

    “Like what you see? I think it’s a rather gorgeous sight, if you ask me.”

    Making their way in from the blurred reaches of her surroundings was a crowd of beings in various states of decomposition. A wide array of species, ages and genders, some were still whole though grievously wounded in one manner or another, others practically skeletal. Leda’s heart was racing as she sat back on her heels, her face draining of all color. “What… is this?” she whispered in astonishment.

    “Oh stop,” her doppelganger replied in a humorous tone at her side, chuckling lightly before continuing. “You know these folks! Don’t be so humble, be proud.”

    She scrutinized the closest ones further as they stopped and began to form a line of ghastly faces. It was easy to note that every wound she could make out was made distinctively by the blade of a lightsaber, clean cuts across limbs and charred holes that pierced bodies. Leda shook her head once she came across a child, a young girl with blonde hair that was matted with blood…

    “Get to the point,” she growled with impatience before devolving into another coughing fit.

    Other Leda crouched behind her, leaning into her ear and wrapping her arms around her shoulders in what one could surmise had meant to be a friendly gesture but came off as possessive.

    “They are your conquests, your trophies! Our accomplishments.”

    There was a light kiss on her cheek and Leda didn’t flinch away, once more taking in every face that glared back at her with soulless eyes or lack thereof.

    “You want to climb and excel, to achieve and learn… well, this is how you do that. How you have and how you will continue to do so.”

    The other woman squeezed her tightly now, a hand sliding underneath her chin to force her to look at the gathering horde. What she was being told was true to some degree, the warrior knew. Some faces she did indeed recognize as her own kills, a select few she remembered so vividly that her victim’s screams rang out from the depths of her memories. Though there were others she just could not place… and there were far too many of them to have died all by her hand.

    “I did not… kill…. them all,” she wheezed, grimacing against the nails that dug into her jaw.

    “You will, Leda,” the other woman sneered. “You WILL.”

    As if her prettier twin’s final word were some sort of signal, the arrangement of beings that now completely encircled her all craned their necks – or whatever body part served the same purpose – and screamed out in unison. It was not only a vocal cry, but one monumental push with the Force as the noise escalated, winds whipping up from the ground to stir the hazy grey fog that protected the horizon. Leda threw her hands up to her ears, releasing a shriek of her own against the wave of torment.

    “Don’t fight it. Don’t fight who you need to become!”

    The smallest victims, children, came for her first, their hands reaching for her as they howled in pain she could feel in the deepest parts of her. She tried weakly to flee but the arms that held her wouldn’t budge and the bodies that crashed over her in a broken wave kept her down. Cries, whines, shouts, blood, flesh, bones, all poured over the two Leda’s with an immense weight.

    “I… do not want… this!!” she choked, knowing that she would surely be crushed at any moment, body after body piling in overhead, faces smashing against her own.

    “This is ALL. YOU. ARE.”

    “NO!”

    The air crushed from her lungs, her body feeling as though it was being ground down into the surface beneath her, and she took one final breath. The other Leda was laughing still, sounds of pure pleasure and enjoyment in the fact that her weaker self was being literally snuffed from existence. More pressure, heavier weight, she couldn’t pull in anymore air!

    STOP!

    A booming command broke over the calamity and noise, and in a roaring skirmish, the corpses fled with alarming speed. Other Leda was no longer present, but the real Leda might as well be gone too. Each wheezing breath emitted a rattling from somewhere in her chest, altogether completely unnatural sounding. She could not feel her arms or legs; no pain, just absent, but she was certain some if not all were broken.

    In an odd moment of humor, she was thankful that she could not see her reflection, for if she was about to die – finally – she didn’t want her bloodied and torn visage to be the last thing she saw.

    Failure.

    From somewhere above her prone form, a pair of enormous, bulbous eyes peered down at her. A creature, human at some time or another, leered over her, skin stretched too tightly across bones giving it a skeletal look not unlike the corpses she that had just attacked her. Straggly hair, crooked teeth… it was a face she knew from another time… but the voice was very distinctly…. Draconis.

    Your SOUL is MINE!

    It spat the words with vehemence, gnarled hands clawing at her front and then sliding into her chest. She could do nothing but let it happen, no longer able to coherently defend herself. She felt the grip over her heart and lungs, squeezing, ripping, tearing…

    The pain was beyond her understanding… and her eyes slid shut, numbed lips mumbling what she knew to be her last words…

    “It is… yours…”

    ***

    Tournament of Darkness: Level 7
    Part 1


    Yours….

    Those words hung on her tongue as she drifted once more.

    Those whose lives she ended, will end, did she not accept credit for felling so many? Kriff the reasons, she wouldn’t remember, but why did she shy away now?

    Did it matter? Several times over Leda had asked herself that as she had been repeatedly beaten down further and further by the mental and physical attacks her superiors had pitted her against. Now… at the end… she wasn’t even whole anymore. While still physically intact, she felt so utterly broken and abused from within, in ways she had not previously known possible.

    So here, she welcomed the void with open arms. Take me, she projected into the nothing… but of course, it rejected her with irrefutable finality. The cruelty of the maze was not done with her yet.

    However inconvincible it seemed, she found herself wandering aimlessly… upright and on her feet. Once the realization set in that she was actually walking, she stumbled into the near wall, an involuntary cry bursting from her throat. She clutched at her chest where his hands had just been, finding the skin in tact but the internal agony still quite real. Leda sobbed then, attempting to keep her tenuous hold on reality but then it hit her… was this real at all? Could it be?

    Ancient Sith, Syren, Jessa, Haretisch, the Emperor, herself… how could things so impossible feel so true?? How could this anguish effect her in such a way if this were all in her head?

    She clutched at her matted hair much as she had right at the start, the cold emptiness of the dark side pressing in on her like never before.

    “Make it STOP!” she pleaded to the dead air. But then Leda froze, quit her thrashing and listened.

    She could hear a voice, mechanized, and as out of touch as she felt… she still sensed a pair of familiar presences…

    Saadi. Vexx.

    They were extremely close by. Knowing this now, she laughed briefly, her giggles devolving into a coughing fit that produced yet more blood from her mouth. Spitting once to the side, she clutched the wall and willed herself to follow their signatures in the Force. Though slipping and stumbling along the way, she managed to come to the end of her path, a vast space opening out in front of her. She knew they were there too, though her eyes couldn’t focus properly.

    She felt them.

    And she felt… another. One much more powerful.

    Before she could even locate the source of the raw darkness with either her senses or sight, Leda was hauled off her feet and yanked forward across a length of space. Not even having the time to register just what was happening, a hand slammed into her throat, latching there with a vice grip. Only then did her eyes find him, the man who held her within his lethal grasp, his unique mask so close to her she could make out the outlines of her own reflection in the visor.

    “Please…” she gasped feebly, pawing uselessly at his arm, watching with widening eyes as a crimson blade flashed to life at his side.

    ‘You wish to pass?’ the mechanized voice she had heard before asked aloud. She was seeing stars now, unable to even suck in any oxygen to aid her burning lungs. She was going to pass out…

    But then his hand released her, throwing her to the ground like a piece of discarded trash. She coughed and breathed hungrily, lying still at his feet as he went on.

    ‘You know nothing of the power to walk this path. YOU KNOW NOTHING!’

    The Force emitted a powerful wave of energy with his shout, shoving her back along the ground several feet and Leda let it take her, rag-dolling along with the invisible push. Coming to a stop on her stomach, she raised her head to watch The Master take position in front of a lone bridge that marked their obvious exit. The ground quaked beneath her with increasing intensity, the surface rippling visibly and disorienting her mind further.

    She saw the altered form of Saadi, feeling his agony amidst the chaos as he writhed on his knees.

    She saw Vexx, the cyborg defiantly standing his ground against a man far more terrifying than he, demanding things.

    In that moment she felt utter defeat and doom, for herself and her fellow Knights… but there was also something much more out of place in her current condition; the final pull of her will to survive.

    To win.

    After a couple failed attempts to bring herself back to her feet, Leda finally managed just as Vexx launched an incredibly bold attack against their foe. She could try and take him out here, Saadi too for that matter, but she knew tactics and strategy; the three of them stood a far greater chance of besting Kylo Ren – or at least fleeing his rage alive – than they did alone.

    Hobbling forward, Leda eyed a large, broken chunk of rock that had broken free from somewhere above. She struggled, but managed to latch onto the Force enough to lift it, shoving it once in the direction of the masked man.

    It was all she could do right then, and a small but prevalent part of her hoped her attack didn’t hit Vexx instead of the intended target. Collapsing to her knees next to Saadi, she watched to see what fresh hell Kylo Ren would unleash on them all.


    TAGS: @Dagobahsystem @Kaleesh-Cyborg
    Honorable Judges: @Sinrebirth @Darth_wanderguard @Lady Belligerent @dragonsith13 @Darth Kronos @E. L.Knight
     
  20. Dagobahsystem

    Dagobahsystem Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Sep 25, 2015
    IC: Darth Saadi
    ToD: Maze Level 7 part 1, continued

    The clawdite coughed violently as he struggled to control his writhing body, having never felt such pain before, it seemed improbable that he could survive at all, let alone control these random movements.

    Closing his eyes, he lifted his left arm skyward, or so he assumed, and brutally slapped and clawed the dirt and stones out of his festering wound with his right hand. Shuddering in pain, he let out a terrible cry.

    At that moment, he saw the Cyborg fast approaching and Saadi instinctively reached for his lightsaber, yet couldn't shake the trembling wracking his body in pain. Unexpectedly, Vexx passed him by, racing furiously towards Kylo Ren. The changeling sensed something he never could have conceived of before this fateful encounter. He sensed encouragement, through the Force, from the Cyborg who was now brazenly attacking their mutual enemy.

    Rise, Darth Saadi. The Cyborg voice implored.

    As he stared hatefully at the bridge and continued fighting off the rocks and debris pummeling him, Saadi was again touched by the power of the dark side of the Force.
    Inexplicably, he heard her voice in his battered mind, echoing forever a call...

    Final pull of her will to survive. To win.

    Leda.

    She had survived that ruthless force choke and she was still here.
    Fighting.
    Just as the Cyborg was doing.
    And just as Saadi would fight as well, no matter the torture, pain, or cost to life and limb.


    Seeing a large broken chunk of rock hurl past the charging Cyborg, Saadi was aware that Leda was now by his side and everything instantly became clearer.
    They must fight this monster together; all three Sith were required to challenge the masked man and hopefully survive.

    Having been temporarily strengthened, and dare he say it, inspired by his 'enemies' mercy and communications through the dark side, Darth Saadi concentrated with every last bit of strength he could summon.

    Calling upon his remedial knowledge of mind shard to hopefully distract Ren, Saadi, at the last second, added an additional force push to the wicked rock Leda had started in motion; hoping to decapitate their mutual, masked tormentor, or at least give Vexx a chance to remove the disgusting head from the tyrant's body.

    Tags: QueenSabe7 Kaleesh-Cyborg
    Honorable Judges: Sinrebirth Darth_wanderguard Lady Belligerent dragonsith13 Darth Kronos E. L.Knight
     
  21. Dagobahsystem

    Dagobahsystem Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Sep 25, 2015
    QueenSabe7 and BookExogorth like this.
  22. QueenSabe7

    QueenSabe7 Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Mar 23, 2001
    Combo with dragonsith13, Dagobahsystem, Kaleesh-Cyborg & Myself

    IC: Kylo Ren, Grievance Vexx, Saadi, Leda
    Tournament of Darkness: Level 7, Part 1 (continued)


    ‘Please…’ Ren looks down upon the woman now sprawled and reeling on the ground.

    ‘Please WHAT?!?!’ Ren shouts at the girl.

    ‘Kill you? It’s not that easy!!!!’

    "Permit us passage," Ren’s attention is drawn back towards the mechanical beast, he had cast aside before. "I am not afraid of you or anyone else in this Order. If it's a fight you want, here I am, but I will not be kept here any longer." A flurry of sabers is brandished as the warrior strides towards him. A gloved hand rises with a snap, as Ren’s head snaps back towards the origin of these words away from his gaze upon the girl. In the corner of his vision he sees the Clawdite scrambling trying to compose and focus on the verge of death.

    An audible crack of energy seems to break the air around the cyborg himself. With outstretched fingers pointing at the cyborg, he is halted in his tracks as if hitting a dura-steel wall and brought to a grinding halt. The twirling sabers seem to torque down to a slow twirl as if fighting against some unseen force, slowing the whole of the being down. A pinch and pain felt from within his armor, which offers no defense to the dark magic thrust upon him. Painfully tearing at his insides, squeezing, and traumatizing his organs, something not safe from the reaches of Ren. ‘Enough words from you!’

    In that instant Ren turned back towards Leda, blindly bringing his saber around in a deft move, that was not blind at all. His hissing and crackling blade slices into the small boulder directed at him, sending shards of it in all directions and raining back on Saadi and Leda. Ren turned back to Vexx still barely moving as if in slow motion, struggling with all the might against the unseen grip on him. In aviolent move, Ren brings his arm across his body, the same one that was pointing at the cyborg warrior. Tossing him over Leda and back into Saadi. The three of them now a tangled mess of apprentice, as the surroundings of the cliff face continued to deteriorate.

    Behind Ren, the heavy mist and fog seemed to take on a life of its own as the greyish appearance flashed sparks of red, purple, and pink like lightning bust within a distance cloud continuing to wrap itself around the bridge.

    Even as the three Champions attempted to gather themselves, Ren was upon them.

    Leda would see the twirling robes and cape of Ren next to her, as a boot emerged smacking her square in the head. Blood spurting from her mouth from the impact as her head snapped from the impact.

    Coming out of the spin and kick, Ren’s hand free hand was outstretched clasping onto a chunk of the now shattered rock Leda and Saadi had propelled towards him. At the same time bringing his saber around down and across one of Vexx’s blades, sliding down it and slicing into one of his mechanical arms before he could even recover from being tossed again and severing it at the elbow in what seemed to be an effortless move.

    The rock in Ren’s invisible grip shuttered, held above and prepared to crown Saadi with it permanently. While his saber came back up and was poised to slash across the chest of Leda. The tip of the blade was high and ready to swing down upon her almost diagonally dissecting her.

    The ground was crumbling ever still, as Ren was poised to end all three of them in one fell swoop. Rebuffing their individual attacks effortlessly and turning them back upon the three.

    The heaviness of the air around Grievance can be likened to being submerged in water. The speed his body is designed for suddenly is not there. For a moment, intense fear grips him. What a time for his cybernetics to malfunction! But this is no malfunction. His journey has been a harsh lesson in the power of the Dark Side of the Force within himself and without. It doesn't take him long to remember this and realize that once again, he is in a standoff with more than just a man. It's all about the Force and it has always been all about the Force.

    He has to change gears and fast. If this fight is to be won, it will not be through brute strength. He must call on that inner power he has resisted, fought, and finally accepted. Reaching into the depths of his being, he almost finds it. Almost. It all falls apart as his internal organs become nothing but masses of pain concealed behind ceramiplast and durasteel. The agony is so intense that he almost loses his grip on his weapons as he knees buckle under him and his body seizes up in violent coughing as though his four lungs are trying to free themselves from the catastrophic grip on them. As the pain deepens, nausea churns his guts and he wishes he had the capacity to vomit.


    I must use the Force. It is the only rational thought that reaches through his spinning mind. He will collapse in defeat otherwise. Desperately, he tries again to reach for that power and push Kylo's power away from him. Unfortunately, his focus is again interrupted as the master of the Knights of Ren hurtles him back where he had come from. He feels himself collide with Leda, metal hitting flesh at rapid speed. He feels her blood spatter on his armor and then the same of Saadi shortly thereafter and he fears he may have been the unintentional death of both of them as he lay in a heap, struggling to rise before his metallic weight crushes the victims of what he now sees as his own arrogance. He had been a fool to strike first; a fool to set out alone; a fool to think his own strength would be enough.

    Leda groaned as her combined attack with a surprising ally – Saadi – was destroyed, Kylo Ren annihilating the stone projectile and sending the scraps flying back on herself and the clawdite. She raised a hand to shield her face but the shards still tore at the rest of her body that was left exposed.

    She cried out in pain for the hundredth time. How much more of this could she possibly take?!

    Lowering her bleeding hand as the airborne assault lessened, she looked up to see Vexx’s monstrous mechanical form sailing through the air… directly towards where she lay. Leda hastily threw up a Force shield though what good what that do in her weakened state? Still… she had to try something, and to her luck the bulk of the cyborg missed her and careened into Saadi, though she was still grazed by his appendages, tossed back by the sheer force of the throw. Her half-cocked barrier hadn’t held up as she had assumed and she rolled a few times before coming to a halt at her fellow Knights’ side. The wind had been knocked clean from her lungs and her cuts from the shattered rock opened further, soaking what scrapes of her robes she had left with crimson. She didn’t look to her companions to check on their wellbeing. She didn’t care, nor was there any time.

    She felt him mere seconds before he was upon her, a black cape swirling into view from the crackling mists that surrounded them now. A boot jutted out from obscurity and connected full on with her forehead, sending her head rocking back into the hard rock beneath her. Leda saw stars and blood pooled in her mouth, having bit straight through her tongue. Her head tipped to the side, her eyes sliding shut as everything went black.

    The sharp shards of the splintered boulder sliced at Saadi's severed skin, sending him face first into the floor of this horrid place yet again. He could hear the deadly shards pelting not only the ground around him, but Leda's body as well. The smell of blood and mud was everywhere. He didn't need to hear them hitting his own body, as he slumped into the cascading rock flow in agony.

    Once again it became increasingly difficult to wrap his senses around anything resembling reality, except to acknowledge that his loathing and hatred of Darth Draconis was now complete. Sick visions of slowly mutilating the Sith Lord flashed before his mind's eye, startling the Clawdite in their viciousness and brutality.

    As the changeling sought to attain his bearings in space, he was immediately pummeled by the weight of the cyborg crashing into him and Saadi's head slammed once again into the dirt, knocking him into near unconsciousness. He began reflexively grasping at the dirt and rocks involuntarily, hoping to ignite a detonator that wasn't there. His fingers grasping, stabbing, repeatedly at nothingness.

    Saadi teared up briefly as he saw the Sith woman being battered bloody by the sadistic phantom in black that continued to torture them all. Something had changed in the changeling. He could sense that neither Leda nor Vexx were his true enemies anymore. Or at least for now.

    Saadi let out a horrific scream and stared at Kylo Ren as the monster looked ready to bash his brains in.

    I HATE YOU! he bellowed as his head fell backwards under the strain of it all. Closing his eyes, he called on the dark side of the Force, perhaps for the last time?

    "Forgive me..." The deliriously hoarse gasp could be directed at anybody. His master, his fellow knights, his ancestors, perhaps a combination of all three. Who can rightly say? Like Saadi, the trauma of this journey is eroding his logic and his sanity. Would that he could just give it all up now.

    But the desire to live and to fight still burns and it shows as the cyborg raises one of his sabers in defense as the black-clad man approaches the group in anything but a show of mercy. He locks his blade with Kylo's and almost instantaneously finds himself missing an arm, amputated at the elbow joint, leaving a useless mechanical stub behind. Pain doesn't register even though electro-neurons enable him to feel certain levels of pain in his cybernetics. His severed arm lies like scrap metal on the ground, smoke curling up from the melted end that had been sliced. There is no way he can make any progress on his own, not after that savage backlash.

    "Force meld," that familiar disembodied voice whispers, "Pull together with the strength of your fellow knights, Vexx. You must use the Force as a unit."


    They will not accept me as an ally, he thinks, finally rolling to the side and freeing his comrades, I have felt their hatred. They see me as an abomination. Besides, I have no idea how to initiate Force meld.

    "Trust me, Kaleesh. You need them and they need you. You know it and they know it."

    His doubtful gaze turning briefly to first Saadi, then Leda, he lowers his head and closes his eyes, tentatively sending out the silent request to fight with one accord. He can only hope that they have mercy enough to let his power unite with theirs.


    A black void gave way to the distinct visage of Vexx, his metal mask swimming into Leda’s thoughts with a sudden clarity that startled her back to the present.

    She gasped as her eyes flew open, the ground continuing to rumble and crack all around her. The cyborg was in her mind… and the reason for it needing no explanation. She turned her head towards where he lay, to where Saadi lay, and looked at both of her opponents not with contempt nor hated… but with reluctant acceptance.

    They needed each other. Not a single one of them would survive without the others. And with that, Leda opened her mind fully to them both and offered what mental strength she could in attempt to best the bigger threat.

    Whether or not it was warranted, whatever war was waging would never end here alone. Saadi could feel it. He could sense that it was the only way. Unification against the unspeakable parasite plaguing them all these long months. It was all so clear now, when one finally had the chance to communicate with another. What once threw them apart now drew them together. It was the only way to survive.

    Smiling meekly, Saadi kept his eyes closed a moment longer as he relished hearing their thoughts in his mind. Yes! He would do what must be done. Even if it meant his own demise.

    Sensing the inevitable sadists' insatiable rage, the changeling finally ignited his lightsaber at the last second, slashing the stone the specter had aimed at his skull in half, the pieces falling harmlessly to the ground. Rising to one knee, Saadi closed his eyes and summoning all of his strength, he Force pushed the remnants of the boulder at Kylo Ren hoping to distract him as the three warriors made their attack.

    Saadi would unite with Leda and Vexx to destroy this horrid Sith abomination and help bring balance back to the Knights of Darkness.

    Though they are perhaps the weakest they have ever been, Grievance feels a surge of power reciprocated from his fellow contestants in this maze of madness. The charge is so intense that he has to fight his own desire to pull back from the foreign sensation, but the situation demands his laser focus. From the corner of his eye he sees Saadi struggle to rise and he witnesses the Clawdite's defense. Eyes shifting to Leda, she has taken quite a bit of damage and Kylo isn't quite finished with her yet.

    Calling on the Force to hopefully enhance his swiftness and break whatever power had placed him in slow motion, the cyborg springs forward to block that crimson crossguarded blade. The snarling plasma is deflected by his own lightsaber, a hiss and the yelp of the blades glancing of each other punctuating the abrupt halt on Kylo's strike. Grievance finds himself marveling at the strength behind the strike of the black-clad man, but just as equally, he marvels at his own strength and swiftness. Indeed, he has never experienced anything quite like this in combat prior to accepting the Force.

    Though he would prefer to fight traditionally as his culture demands, he knows that is not possible with Kylo Ren. He must utilize the more aggressive abilities the Force affords and so, after the lock, Grievance uses one of his free arms that is still attached to send out a Force push, hoping maybe it will be enough to smack Kylo into the stone wall that all three of them have collided with now.


    TAGS: @Dagobahsystem @Kaleesh-Cyborg
    Honorable Judges: @Sinrebirth @Darth_wanderguard @Lady Belligerent @dragonsith13 @Darth Kronos @E. L.Knight
     
  23. dragonsith13

    dragonsith13 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 3, 2005
    Tournament of Darkness
    Kylo Ren

    Level 7
    Part II

    Sparks and the gnash of sabers briefly halts Ren’s dissection of the woman before him, the cyborg having sprung forward to block his strike. A second counter came in the form of boulder shard striking him square in the side, knocking him back several steps and causing him to bring his blade back loosely. The follow up force push sent him back several meters and down to a knee.

    The Masked face pops back up staring back at the Champion’s.

    You are making this MORE DIFFICULT!

    The cloaked Master of the Knights of Ren rises to his feet, twirling the lightsaber in his right hand, holding it out in a low guard to the side.
    Stop fighting it and give in! The dark figure cocks his head slightly with the last words as if taunting the trio to just give up and relent. The chaotic scene of a crumbling cliff face still holds sway over the whole of the situation, as if this being is unaware of it happening or simply does not care and is content to slide off into the abyss as long as he takes the three of them with him.


    Ren feels the meld between the three, a surge of linked consciousness that cannot be allowed to grow. A surge and wave of doubt is cast out from The Master of the Knights of Ren, directed at the three of them as a counter. A wave of self-doubt and hopelessness. An attempt to break their link to each other by getting them to give in.

    TAGS: @Dagobahsystem @Kaleesh-Cyborg, QueenSabe7
    Honorable Judges: @Sinrebirth @Darth_wanderguard @Lady Belligerent @Darth Kronos @E. L.Knight
     
  24. vncredleader

    vncredleader Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 28, 2016
    IC: Varian Aldor

    I step into the Rancor Pit wearing my green Jedi robes. I decided against wearing armor because the threat or singes and burns would force me to react more quickly with my counter attacks. The better I get with those, the faster I come to mastering Djem So.

    I have not been here since my Master Koji and I dueled shortly after I made my lightsaber. I look across the pit and see my fellow knight Edo walk in.

    Tag: BookExogorth
     
  25. BookExogorth

    BookExogorth Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 4, 2017
    IC: Edo Vilsa

    Edo smiled as she saw Varian waiting for her. As she walked in, she said, "Hello, Varian. It's nice to meet you again."

    She unclipped her two guard shotos and breathed in, and out. When she felt certain that she was in the force, she nodded at the Jedi council members that she could sense above her. She still felt a bit nervous about dueling Varian in such a formal setting.

    She sensed that he was wearing robes nearly identical to her own, except for the alterations she'd given hers. She smoothed her own out, knowing she wasn't doing anything important, wanting to wait just another moment. She loved this courtyard, though. She was pleased to note that there was a small sapling quickly growing in the center. Letting go of her misgivings, she ignited her guard shotos, holding them ready.

    Tag: vncredleader
    Council: Ananta Chetan, Adalia-Durron, Mitth_Fisto
    OoC: I forgot to mention the council tag.