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Star Wars A Star Wars Story: Between Epitaphs

Discussion in 'Role Playing Forum' started by Sinrebirth , Apr 2, 2019.

  1. Mitth_Fisto

    Mitth_Fisto Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Sep 29, 2005
    IC: Dunkeel
    Clock-Temple, Nouane

    As Dunkeel finalized adding his double pyramid or Tho shaped Holocron out, which floated lightly both in palm and above the table top, the Master wheeled on Joren. "It is all fine and dandy sitting in our safe Clock-Tower, pontificating on the future, or, perhaps, overthinking, but at some point we need to practically maintain what is to come. Unless the Apocalypse is to be a relief from the world that we allowed to be created?" His voice was a little teasing. "My teachings are for us to focus on what is to be, to keep the balance, to protect the Light; not to neglect our wider and smaller responsibilities." His finger nearly jabbed forward.

    It was, unsettling. Standing there awkwardly looking anywhere, somewhere else then The Master and the one he was supposed to soon see as his leader squabble. It was also undermining as well to see it happen. To see a divide not just between each other but between them and their leader. Protectors? At the moment it felt as though they needed the protecting, from each other.

    Instead The Master clapped his hands, a little discharge of electricity bursting out. He writhed his fingers as he spread his hands, lightning rippling from finger to finger. It crawled up his arms, and the Master dispersed it, causing a flash. He gestured, sharply. "There!" He was pointing at their feet. "Darkness is attached to the very soles of our feet. We all cast shadows, and our light, our few lights, will cast an incredible shadow."

    The Master spoke to the holocrons, channeling the Force into them.

    Blue, red, white, and red again, all four of them glowed. As the divide was relegated to forgetfulness or something pushed aside in the final rush. He could not help feel like he was standing in the presence of an elder not long for the world.

    "Show me the entry about the Chosen One." Four little versions of The Master appeared. They spoke in unison, sounding like some kind of multi-voiced creature.

    "There are three Chosen Ones prophecies. The first prophecy comes from the Ones.

    In the time of greatest despair, there shall come a savior, and he shall be known as the Son of the Suns, and in the ages beyond, the worlds will be remade, as in the splendor of its earliest days, and they will never again feel sorrow or harm.

    This prophecy resulted in the Father, when the Force was knocked out of balance by the rise of the Sith, pursuing Jedi to discover the Chosen One. His three recorded moments of intervention were with Xendor, Phanius and Anakin Skywalker, the latter attempt which resulted in the death of the Ones. Xendor and Phanius both became Dark Ones, the latter rechristened as Darth Ruin. Both enacted Great Schisms in the Jedi Order, plunging the galaxy into war. Anakin Skywalker refused to become a One at Mortis and due to his injuries at Mustafar at the hands of Obi-Wan Kenobi he was unable to become a Dark Man.

    The last known Holocron of Prophecy, held by the Jedi Order, referred to the following individual lines, said to be obtained by a Jedi mystic in tune with the Force."

    An image appeared of a blue cube shaped Holocron. The selfsame one Vale had placed on the table, it created an odd view to see it displaying itself now. It recounted a handful of lines.

    "She who will be born to darkness will give birth to darkness.
    When the kyber that is not kyber shines forth, the time of prophecy will be at hand.
    One will ascend to the highest of the Jedi despite the foreboding of those who would serve him.
    One through sacrifice of many Jedi will the Order cleanse the sin done to the nameless.
    The danger of the past is not past, but sleeps in an egg. When the eggs crack, it will threaten the galaxy entire.
    When the Force itself sickens, past and future must split and combine.
    A Chosen One shall come, born of no father, and through him will ultimate balance in the Force be restored.
    He who learns to conquer death will through his greatest student live again.


    "There are many theories about who the words of the prophecy relate to. The most well known and traditional expression of the Chosen One is Anakin Skywalker, who became Darth Vader. However, theories abound that Revan, the Outlander, and other historic figures were Chosen Ones, let alone Anakin's descendants or antecedents. Finally, the Sith had their own prophecy about the Chosen One, known as the Sith'ari, a perfect being."

    The Master's hologram, in typical Master fashion, adopted a creeping voice before

    [​IMG]

    "Many Sith claimed this title, but Sith who most theorists suggest that Adas, Revan, Bane, Sidious, Vader or indeed Wredd may take the title. Ultimately the Sith were destroyed at the End of Time, so there is potential for the title to pass to the so-called Sith God - Typhojem himself."

    The Master shook his head. "This is what we contend with. Impossibilities, improbabilities, and Prophecy within Prophecy."

    Lots of convoluted coil talk. It was easier to figure out a technical diagram of the new drive and locking systems of a Lords speeder that had been in service for a hundred years without an overhaul. But here The Master urged for more of the matters. "Holocrons, show the entry about the Apocalypse, and then the End of Time."

    "The balance of the Force was restored by the death of The Apocalypse began in 40 ABY, shortly after the rise of the Sixth Dark Man, who in-fact caused the current prophesied Dark One to become the Seventh and final one. Darth Caedus foresaw the future and intervened to change it, becoming the Dark Man by murdering his aunt Mara Jade Skywalker. In doing so, he began the process to release the Old Ones from their seals. It caused an inevitable progression that saw the release of first Abeloth, then the reinvigoration of Mnngal-Mnngal, the Gods of Chaos and Rot respectively, who colluded to reassemble the Key to the Light to release Typhojem from under the Well of the Dark Side. Typhojem, save for a fraction of his essence that was destroyed with the Kaiburr Crystal, was thought dead for a hundred millennia. Typhojem's escape signifies the End of Time, and reality is subsequently warped and destroyed; the Twilight Wars begin anew, and be lost as soon as they begin."

    Names, content, concepts, future words and futures lost. The Master pressed on; a great need drove this lesson. A greater sorrow kept his gaze as he listened to it all.

    "We need to focus on what comes after all of this. As you all asked me, last lesson, about why we have the Light - the World Between Worlds - to defend, if we are not to use it. If this is all to happen, what are we to do?" The Master was walking around them, hands in the air, wondering aloud. "It's about after. When the Twilight Wars are fought, we lose. It can't be avoided. We have things that we need to do, and to make sure that there is an after."

    "Is that what we must learn now? Is this the lesson, prepare the end for the failures of beginning and the middle? Alter the future where we at least know we have nothing to loose from it?" Dunkeel growled out. It smacked his muzzle and sense of order to think of it this way. He was supposed to let door get so worn that it falls apart just so he prepare the wall for a new door afterwards? What was wrong with fixing the door ahead of time, of removing those old ones that would otherwise be the granters of doom?

    It felt wrong. Glorious, good, and wrong. Something was wrong.

    TAG: @Sinrebirth , @HanSolo29, @QueenSabe7, @Jerjerrod-Lennox, @Kev_Mas-Colcha
     
  2. Jerjerrod-Lennox

    Jerjerrod-Lennox Jedi Grand Master star 7

    Registered:
    Mar 9, 2005
    IC: Vydra Delomeux
    Location: The Clock Temple, Nouane


    The past.

    The present.

    The future.

    It all needed Protecting. The trouble was that it was only the future that mattered now. What will happen eventually would create a new era and yet destroy so much. Everything that they held dear would be for naught if this mission did not succeed.

    He wanted to tell them everything. He wanted to scream at them what he had found out what he was going to do, what the future would hold.

    But he couldn't. And it was breaking him apart piece by piece.

    But he couldn't show it.

    He had learnt through the lessons of what was going to happen in the future, places, names, duels, battles, loss, people fighting for both the light and the dark. But it would not happen if he failed. The Light would be consumed by the dark and a darksider could wreak havoc and destroy everything. The others had to be ready, but they had been told their own secrets, whether they were linked to him was another question.

    Secrets that could bring them together...or tear them apart. What was the Master’s plan here?

    More questions than answers, questions that may eventually be answered or not a all. Questions that could only be answered by one person, and that person had a mission of his own it seemed. Leaving Vydra to do this all alone. Was this his plan all along? The responsibility of it all, all the questions, all the secrets everything was crushing him inside, it made him want to rant, rave, to scream to the rafters perhaps even bawl his eyes out.

    But he had to remain calm on the inside even though his emotions were whizzing around.

    Anyway, back to reality.

    There was an eclectic mix of Holocrons out. The red one caught his eyes, but the rest, a blue cube, a double pyramid his weird Holocron and Joren’s red pyramid. They all contained different things, perhaps even different teachings than the Master. He had not read his Holocron after the time he had touched it and to be honest he didn't know if he wanted to touch it again. Only if he needed to, perhaps to gain some guidance in emergencies.

    "It is all fine and dandy sitting in our safe Clock-Tower, pontificating on the future, or, perhaps, overthinking, but at some point we need to practically maintain what is to come. Unless the Apocalypse is to be a relief from the world that we allowed to be created?" His voice was a little teasing. "My teachings are for us to focus on what is to be, to keep the balance, to protect the Light; not to neglect our wider and smaller responsibilities." His finger nearly jabbed forward.

    Joren seemed to be getting the Master’s ire at the moment, and it was distressing to see this. The new leader was getting a thrashing at the moment from the Master and it seemed a divide was opening between his friend and his mentor. More and more it seemed that divides were opening up more than they were working together as a team. Were they not meant to work together?Their guard duties dictated that they not work together, to not intermingle and yet they had been brought together to protect the Light.

    What the hell was going on?. Vydra was beginning to feel distress creeping in and he was trying to keep his emotions in check. But he was now clenching and unclenching his hands wanting to step in. But he couldn't and he was blinking back the emotion in his eyes.

    And it was the first time the Apocalypse was mentioned.

    The Master clapped his hands, electricity dancing from finger to finger before traveling up his arms and dispersed it causing a flash and Vydra to flinch. He gestured, sharply. "There!" He was pointing at their feet. "Darkness is attached to the very soles of our feet. We all cast shadows, and our light, our few lights, will cast an incredible shadow."

    He was prognosticating again about shadows and Vydra still had the feeling that the shadow was about somewhere, perhaps this was more related to him than the others.

    The Master spoke to the Holocrons gathered on the table "Show me the entry about the Chosen One."

    Four little versions of the Master appeared. They spoke in unison, sounding like some kind of multi-voiced creature.

    "There are three Chosen Ones prophecies. The first prophecy comes from the Ones.

    In the time of greatest despair, there shall come a savior, and he shall be known as the Son of the Suns, and in the ages beyond, the worlds will be remade, as in the splendor of its earliest days, and they will never again feel sorrow or harm.


    Was this what the Force was holding its breath for?. That it would reveal the future and that included this Chosen One? Was he the saviour of the Light or was he a soldier of darkness?. Was this saviour able to access the Light too?.Worlds remade? Would people be destroyed in order for them to feel more sorrow or harm?

    “This prophecy resulted in the Father, when the Force was knocked out of balance by the rise of the Sith, pursuing Jedi to discover the Chosen One. His three recorded moments of intervention were with Xendor, Phanius and Anakin Skywalker, the latter attempt which resulted in the death of the Ones. Xendor and Phanius both became Dark Ones, the latter rechristened as Darth Ruin. Both enacted Great Schisms in the Jedi Order, plunging the galaxy into war. Anakin Skywalker refused to become a One at Mortis and due to his injuries at Mustafar at the hands of Obi-Wan Kenobi he was unable to become a Dark Man.”

    “The last known Holocron of Prophecy, held by the Jedi Order, referred to the following individual lines, said to be obtained by a Jedi mystic in tune with the Force."


    This was all going over his head with a meter to spare. What was the point? They had to get through what was about to happen first let alone learn about this “Chosen One” and perhaps make sure this person comes into being. Dark Men? Were they Protecting the Light so these Dark Men could come into being?. They had seen that war was going to happen but Vydra thought that if he succeeded then future wars could be stopped before they began. Now likely though if the images he had seen were going to come true. He was clenching and unclenching his fists again trying to keep his mind on the lesson and not his own churning emotions.

    It was getting bloody difficult now. His inexperience with the Force was probably showing again now.

    An image appeared of a Holocron that looked just like Vale’s/ Another few lines were spouted out.

    She who will be born to darkness will give birth to darkness.
    When the kyber that is not kyber shines forth, the time of prophecy will be at hand.
    One will ascend to the highest of the Jedi despite the foreboding of those who would serve him.
    One through sacrifice of many Jedi will the Order cleanse the sin done to the nameless.
    The danger of the past is not past, but sleeps in an egg. When the eggs crack, it will threaten the galaxy entire.
    When the Force itself sickens, past and future must split and combine.
    A Chosen One shall come, born of no father, and through him will ultimate balance in the Force be restored.
    He who learns to conquer death will through his greatest student live again.

    "There are many theories about who the words of the prophecy relate to. The most well known and traditional expression of the Chosen One is Anakin Skywalker, who became Darth Vader. However, theories abound that Revan, the Outlander, and other historic figures were Chosen Ones, let alone Anakin's descendants or antecedents. Finally, the Sith had their own prophecy about the Chosen One, known as the Sith'ari, a perfect being."


    Vydra’s head was about to explode. All this information, it was too much to take all at once. He didn't know what the others were thinking about all this or if anyone was having as much trouble as him processing this. He wanted to bang his head against the wall to get rid of this headache he was getting. This Prophecy sounded like it was being spouted in riddles, riddles of course that meant what was to happen in the future and probably was up to them to decipher. But to Vydra it was all sounding like gobbledygook. Like someone had written this down and thought it sounded poetic. If this was in a book Vydra would not have recommended it to anyone.

    The Master's hologram, in typical Master fashion, adopted a creeping voice before

    [​IMG]

    "Many Sith claimed this title, but Sith who most theorists suggest that Adas, Revan, Bane, Sidious, Vader or indeed Wredd may take the title. Ultimately the Sith were destroyed at the End of Time, so there is potential for the title to pass to the so-called Sith God - Typhojem himself."

    The Master shook his head. "This is what we contend with. Impossibilities, improbabilities, and Prophecy within Prophecy."


    Vydra was taking deep breaths to calm himself and was trying to concentrate on a point on the wall to steady himself. He wanted to tell the Master, rather bluntly to get to the bloody point. A Sith God? That sounds ominous, the Sith themselves seemed dangerous and if there was a future of darkness perhaps these Sith had to be stopped. But if the images they had seen were true then he Sith did indeed rule the galaxy for a time and wanted to extinguish any light that was left.

    "Holocrons, show the entry about the Apocalypse, and then the End of Time."

    "The balance of the Force was restored by the death of The Apocalypse began in 40 ABY, shortly after the rise of the Sixth Dark Man, who in-fact caused the current prophesied Dark One to become the Seventh and final one. Darth Caedus foresaw the future and intervened to change it, becoming the Dark Man by murdering his aunt Mara Jade Skywalker. In doing so, he began the process to release the Old Ones from their seals. It caused an inevitable progression that saw the release of first Abeloth, then the reinvigoration of Mnngal-Mnngal, the Gods of Chaos and Rot respectively, who colluded to reassemble the Key to the Light to release Typhojem from under the Well of the Dark Side. Typhojem, save for a fraction of his essence that was destroyed with the Kaiburr Crystal, was thought dead for a hundred millennia. Typhojem's escape signifies the End of Time, and reality is subsequently warped and destroyed; the Twilight Wars begin anew, and be lost as soon as they begin."

    Oh no….


    It seemed something had been revealed, was it too early for this? Probably not. But if it made the others understand what was about to happen then so be it. His heart was now somewhere in the vicinity of his shoes. All he could see was darkness, darkness and even more darkness. Was all he was about to do all for naught? Was his quest fruitless if all of this was basically going to happen anyway? That the Apocalypse would happen and everything would die anyway?. Dark Men, Dark Ones?. What was the point in doing all of this if everything was going to come crashing down?. He had made his choice yes, but it seemed his choice may unleash hell.

    He was seriously feeling sick now and he was still staring at the wall and taking deep breaths to try and not throw up.

    "We need to focus on what comes after all of this. As you all asked me, last lesson, about why we have the Light - the World Between Worlds - to defend, if we are not to use it. If this is all to happen, what are we to do?" The Master was walking around them, hands in the air, wondering aloud. "It's about after. When the Twilight Wars are fought, we lose. It can't be avoided. We have things that we need to do, and to make sure that there is an after."

    STOP IT, JUST STOP IT PLEASE.


    He’d had enough, Vydra had finally been broken.

    His secret was about to be revealed, and he didn't know if the others would be ready for this. They would feel betrayed, hurt, disgusted maybe that he had been given this task without the others consent. He knew this time would come eventually but they had to be prepared first, this felt like it was just going to be shoved at them and the team could be devastated by this. He was blinking back the moisture that was gathering in his eyes, his hands now clenched into fists and not releasing.

    And what would the others think about the Master’s belief that the end could not be stopped? That everything they knew and loved, they were about to kiss goodbye?. That they may have to use the Light even though it was expressly forbidden?. That they were all about to be changed forever?.

    He had to get out of here, he had to have a break and calm himself down. Vydra had to meditate and calm his mind, prepare his mind and body for the journey ahead.

    "Is that what we must learn now? Is this the lesson, prepare the end for the failures of the beginning and the middle? Alter the future where we at least know we have nothing to lose from it?" said Dunkeel sounding like he knew something was wrong and that what the Master had said rankled with him.

    He could smell something was up. But even he had secrets, they all did, probably just as devastating as Vydra’s. Maybe when they were revealed Vydra would be betrayed too, that even his friend Joren would break him, destroy their friendship just so he could go ahead and play leader.

    He was bursting to tell them all now, get it out of the way and it would make him feel better, at least take all the weight of it off his shoulders.

    But he couldn't because if he did, they would all die.

    THEY WOULD ALL DIE.

    He couldn't go home and tell anyone either. His father would blow a fuse, his mother and Venezia would just keep asking him questions and digging him into a bigger hole.

    He needed to find somewhere quiet, a cave somewhere or a place where no-one could find him. No-one could help him now, not Joren, not the others, not even the Master. He had been broken, and it wasn't going to be the first time his heart would shatter into a million pieces.

    All he could splutter out was “I need a break...I need to go. I can’t…” he swallowed hard still blinking back moisture. He didn't care if everyone saw this, he didn't care if he was seen as weak, the runt of the litter, the novice that was untrained and unreliable. If he was going to survive the future and what he had to do then this was the right thing to do.

    He grabbed his Holocron, stuffed it back in his bag smartly turned and strode up to his room grabbing what he could, clothes, his favorite book and the photo of his family. He would be back, but not for a bit not while he was feeling like this.

    He strode out of the Clock Temple thinking of where he could go and meditate until he was ready to return.

    Vydra Delomeux was a broken man.

    And he had to suffer the consequences.

    Alone.

    TAG: @Sinrebirth , @HanSolo29 , @QueenSabe7 , @Mitth_Fisto , @Kev-Mas_Colcha
     
  3. QueenSabe7

    QueenSabe7 Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Mar 23, 2001
    IC: Vale Sera
    Clock-Temple, Nouane

    Vale’s vision began to blur – haziness creeping in at the edges of her sight to consume the entire view as if she were staring out of a window pane that was coated in water from heavy rains.

    There was a dull throb at the base of her skull, seconds before it seemed as if her entire equilibrium gave way, her head listing slightly to one side as she could’ve sworn the room began to tilt.

    She hadn’t moved an inch, save for the steady rise and fall of her chest to which she absently realized hadn’t changed. Where she would expect an uptick in her pulse, there wasn’t.

    Odd, she thought from a distance. But her eyes suddenly saw their clarity returned, and they fell upon Vydra first.

    The Master was telling them so much, too much, and it was… heavy. And real. The certain truth of every word he spoke aloud dipped into the Force and Vale felt them. Prophecies, the Apocalypse, Old Ones, Chosen Ones, Sith, a future that could be terrible, but never changed, and many more – they churned in the rising tide of energies she could sense within and around her, and concentrated in the man close to her.

    Straining against his building distress, she looked to Vydra to see him outwardly reacting to the Master’s teachings. Heavy breathing and… tears? She flinched as he grabbed his holocron and abruptly fled the room. She stood to follow, her chair scraping back loudly as she moved to help him, provide comfort with her own confusion, a feeling she couldn’t even formulate into a sentence. Surely, he needed to see that he was not the only one here who-

    “Vydra, wait!” she called, having taken a few steps around the side of the table, but stopped once he vanished. Vale glanced down at her hands. They were trembling.

    She turned back to those remaining, her expression tensed. One of them had broke, and another – Dunkeel – had kept his head about him to ask questions and learn more. Joren… well, she couldn’t really tell how he was handling all of this and recalling bits and pieces of a personal comment or two that the Master had thrown out in his direction, maybe he would be preoccupied enough with that not to snap like his friend. And she…

    How was she?

    Her head turned back to the doorway Vydra had run through, leaving them in their most significant and dire lesson as Protectors. And as a group.

    Vale… was failing.

    “He has to be here,” she whispered with concern, grabbing the back of an empty chair and clinging to it tightly. Her eyes grew wide and she looked around at her companions again, though her next words were for the Master. "I... still do not understand this concept of 'letting things happen,' especially when they could be devastating events we could prevent." She was referencing a small part of a previous conversation they had, but did not elaborate further. "A Twilight War? That we know we lose, but it hasn't even come to pass yet... no, you know what? Nevermind."

    You've been here before, it's pointless.

    There was nothing to add that would matter. She was speaking just to speak, she knew, and it was to feel as if she still had some control, but it didn't feel that way at all. 'It can't be avoided,' he had said, and the sooner she made herself see it that way, maybe the sooner this would all begin to make some sense. Maybe.

    A brief shake of her head and she groaned, emotions running so high that she was in some state of shock - too emotional to be emotional. Vale called her blue cube to an outstretched hand, levitating it lightly above her open palm. The holocron looked different to her - less 'calming knowledge' and more 'frightening omens' - making a connection though not necessarily sure she was right.

    "It's all in here, isn't it?"


    TAGS: @Jerjerrod-Lennox @HanSolo29 @Mitth_Fisto @Kev-Mas_Colcha @Sinrebirth
     
  4. HanSolo29

    HanSolo29 Manager Emeritus + Official Star Wars Artist star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Apr 13, 2001
    IC: Dr. Joren Graal
    The Clock Temple, Nouane

    Once everyone had gathered around the table with their Holocrons – aside from the Shadow – the Master did not hold back; he immediately set the mood for the lesson to come by whirling on Joren and berating him for his brash behavior. Apparently his snide comment about the guard duty assignment had not gone unnoticed. Good. He had wanted to speak with the Master on the subject, anyway.

    The only problem was that he had not expected an audience. The fact that the old man had been so open with his criticism and demonstrated a total disregard for decorum in front of the other Protectors rubbed Joren the wrong way. He was their leader, after all. It was about maintaining appearances, even if there was an issue with the way he had conducted himself. The Master could’ve easily raised his concerns in private. All of this played into his insecurities and helped to justify his suspicions when it came to the Master’s motivations.

    Pursing his lips, Joren shifted his gaze away from the spread of Holocrons to glare at the dark hollow of the Master’s cowl. Despite the scorn he felt in this moment, he could not fully ignore the implications behind his last statement. Did the old man presume to accuse him of neglecting his responsibilities? While it was true that he was willfully trying to evade his patrol duties, and for good reason, was there something more he was missing? Something...or someone closer to home who he had overlooked in the midst of all of this turmoil?

    The Force shifted perceptively, allowing Tera’s face to ripple and come into focus within his mind’s eye. Along with her presence, Joren could also detect the living being growing inside of her, even across the distance that separated them. He gasped slightly at the striking clarity of the vision, suddenly feeling an intense longing to return to his wife’s side. How dare the Master bring her into this debate. He hadn’t forgotten her, nor his unborn child...how could he? It was the Master’s fault that he was here, obsessing over matters that seemed so far out of reach.

    Meaningless.

    Again, he had to ask himself – had he made the right choice?

    Shutting his eyes against these troubling thoughts, Joren breathed in deeply to clear his mind, but found that it was a fruitless gesture. His concentration had truly lapsed. He could not focus on the remainder of the lesson, the Master’s words as heard through the Holocrons becoming nothing more than white noise that shifted aimlessly with the ambient sounds coming from the city below. The only thing he could glean from this latest tirade was the old man’s admission that The End could not be avoided...and that was yet another lie.

    During their private meeting on the hilltop a week ago, the Master had revealed to Joren that he had the power to change the future if he so wished; he had even encouraged it. Had something changed since then, or was this another show of deception? What did the Master hope to gain by continuously misleading them?

    Joren felt an intense pressure building up within his chest, a sign of his mounting resentment with both the Master and this whole situation. If this carried on, he knew that he would need a release…

    Fortunately, there was no opportunity for things to escalate. Even as the thought entered Joren’s mind, a small needling caused a momentary distraction; it materialized as a faint whisper at the edge of his awareness, like an elusive lover eager to share an intimate secret. It took him a moment to realize that it was coming from the Holocron…his Holocron:

    will come to the Protectors, and fracture they will. The future will be damned by the best intentions of

    By the best intentions of what...or who?

    The words faded away before disclosing the most important part of the message.

    Joren clenched his fist at his side and visibly tensed, his distress no doubt serving as a beacon through the Force. He instinctively clamped down on these emotions and cut himself off from the others to avoid detection; he could not afford to arouse suspicion, not when his own purpose here was in question. At this critical juncture, he needed as many allies as he could get.

    But what did it all mean? Was it a subtle warning through the Force of a very bleak future – of their own destruction? Or had the Master himself planted an illicit message within the confines of the Holocron he had crafted to carry them on a very different path?

    Was it meant to deceive or to aid in their journey?

    Any further analysis would have to wait, however; a distinct stirring in the Force drew his attention back to his companions as things came to a climax. Vale had rallied around a point of commotion at the center of the room, which soon revealed itself as Vydra scrambling to gather his belongings. He appeared distraught...distant, as if something had frightened him into submission.

    Joren frowned at the outward display of weakness in his old friend; it was so unlike his usual flamboyant self. Something was very wrong.

    And then, he fled.

    For a moment, Joren could only stare after him, his lips parted in surprise as he reached up to rub his hand along his jawline. He was vaguely aware of Vale uttering something in the stunned silence that followed, but he wasn’t sure if it was even important at this point. One thought consumed his mind – the Master had pressured Vydra into running away from it all.

    What did that mean for the rest of them?

    Despite his best efforts, Joren suddenly felt responsible for everything that had just transpired. After stumbling upon the Protectors a year ago in his quest to find suitable material for his HoloNet show, the doctor had introduced Vydra to the Master and had drafted him to take part in this spiritual odyssey. His friend had always been seeking a higher purpose, and it seemed like such a perfect fit, especially once he discovered his natural affinity for the Force. But now he wasn’t so sure. Had he unwittingly led Vydra right into a dangerous snare?

    Joren felt compelled to join him, to make his choice and flee with his Holocron and Forcesaber in hand. Combined with his newfound knowledge, they would most certainly serve as a fine basis for another series of books. Perhaps he could even use them as bargaining chips for the Board of Directors to extend his contract and procure the funds to start production on the next season of Divine Encounters.

    So many thoughts and possibilities were going through Joren’s mind in that moment, yet he could not will himself to move from where he stood. He continued to stare at the chaos unfolding around him, five simple words escaping his lips. They were quiet, nearly indiscernible.

    Maybe they were only muttered within his own mind:

    “You intend to...divide us.”

    TAG: @Sinrebirth; @Jerjerrod-Lennox; @QueenSabe7; @Mitth_Fisto; @Kev-Mas_Colcha
     
  5. Kev-Mas_Colcha

    Kev-Mas_Colcha Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Dec 15, 2002
    IC: Zas'tel
    Clock Temple, Nouane

    Zas'tel was there, but he had taken what the Master told him earlier seriously. Maybe a little too seriously as he was becoming hard for even him to detect, but he took it to heart nonetheless.

    He had a holocron of sorts, yes, but the Master told him not to open it, so he kept it secret.

    The Master also told Zas'tel that his role was to observe, so he observed. Nothing more, nothing less. Even down to ignoring the light and dark metaphors that he so despised. By now he realized that the Master didn't mean them literally, so it didn't peeve him as much anymore anyways.

    But regardless, he observed.

    When they spoke of the chosen one, he observed.

    When they detailed about the history of it, or rather the events that would unfold surrounding it, he observed.

    When they described all the different cultural interpretations of the prophecy that would come into being as Galactic events unfolded, he observed.

    When words were seemingly whispered to Zas'tel, however, he was distracted and confused, and whispered back telepathically to make heads or tails of it.

    The key? You mean the one you told me not to open?

    Tag: @Sinrebirth
     
  6. Sinrebirth

    Sinrebirth Immortal Mod-King of the EUC, Lit, RPF and SWC star 8 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Nov 15, 2004
    IC: The Master
    Grand Lesson Four

    They responded; reacted; replied.

    The first three, anyway.

    ”Is this what we must learn now? Is this the lesson, prepare for the end for the failures of the beginning and middle? Alter the future where we at least know we have nothing to lose from it?”

    There was Dunkeel, always looking for the fix. The Big Fix. The Small Fix. He clapped his hands. “You speak of attachment, that tricky concept for a Protector. Doing the best good right now, rather than looking to the wider responsibility. But that’s good! Because if you abandon what makes you flesh and blood now - if you neglect the gears of today for the problems of tomorrow; who is to say whether tomorrow will arrive.” He gave the Chistori a thumbs up. “Well done -“

    ”I need a break... I need to go. I can’t...

    Vydra fled. Vale whispered after him, but did not follow. The Master had to add, because Vydra needed to not be here. He had some precisely what was needed of him; but what that would do of the group -

    ”I... still do not understand this concept of ‘letting things happen,’ especially when they could be devastating events we could prevent. A Twilight War? That we know we lose, but it hasn’t even come to pass yet... no, you know what? Nevermind. It’s all in here, isn’t it?

    Vale never lot go of her target; she was ticking away through the options, but she came to the right point unerringly so. “Yes, it is,” he said, gesturing to her Holocron. “The Jedi Holocron of Prophecy, it will become known as. In time.”

    The Master was about to continue, when Joren cut to the issue beneath the issue. There was a concept in writing of concealing another piece of work within another - of overlaying something over the next - a palimpsest. Much of the Master’s teachings were focused on training his apprentices to not just accept what he said as fact; but the challenge them to come to their own conclusions.

    He had given them specific roles, yes, but that was for other reasons. Ones Vale and Dunkeel would be quite aware of. One Vydra could probably intuit. One Joren was grinding his way towards.

    ”You intend to... divide us.”

    “Whoaaaa!” The Master said. “You got it!” He pointed a finger on each hand at Joren. “Yes! Exactly. Can you hazard a guess why?” He looked to Vale and Dunkeel, even to Zas’tel in the corner, who was trying to tease out a thought about what he had heard - about a key.

    The Master didn’t reply aloud; the Master would, if he had the time, reply to Zas’tel. About whatever he had heard that he had forgotten... when the Master whispered in his ear, all those weeks ago.

    Never to open.

    But aloud he pressed on.

    “Try me! Tell me! Come on!” He was so animated now as to be excitable. The Master was ready to engage with his apprentices full on; to allow them to become Masters in their own right at last.

    They could accuse him; argue with him; demand his honest reply.

    They would get nothing more or less than all that he had left to give.

    TAG: @HanSolo29, @QueenSabe7, @Mitth_Fisto (combo, please. Whomever replies first, open the PM, if you would.)

    @Kev-Mas_Colcha, @Jerjerrod-Lennox (latter tagged even though away)
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2019
  7. QueenSabe7

    QueenSabe7 Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Mar 23, 2001
    Super Combo with Sinre, HS29, & Mitth!

    IC: The Master, Dunkeel, Dr. Joren Graal, & Vale Sera

    Clock-Temple, Nouane

    Vale remained standing, her holocron dropping lightly into her hand as she released it from her invisible hold. Placing it back down on the table with a hard 'thud', she couldn’t resist flashing a glare at Joren, his statement too crass for her taste. Since their meeting the other week, she couldn’t help feeding a nagging feeling that for all his pontificating at the Master’s intentions and supposed plotting, that he was the one intentionally sowing the discord here. Of course it did not help her suspicions that she had to be increasingly observant of her companions, and not for the first time she wondered if she was looking too hard for things that weren’t really there just so she would find her answers.

    A gut instinct shouldn’t be ignored, though, so she wasn’t willing to let this hunch go.

    And then came the Master’s response to his accusation, and it pushed her so far as to blame Joren for leading their mentor into replying this way. There was no chance in hell that the Master would want his students divided. Not especially after he insisted, several times over to her face, that they needed to be the opposite… united, bound, and together. Her head grew heavy as they were urged to speak up, the shock of the lecture wearing off and allowing her to be properly overwhelmed.

    “I can only imagine you mean division as in, retaining our own individuality and ideas. Because it couldn’t possibly mean you want to purposefully cause rifts, or that we should distance ourselves from one another.” Vale’s tone was dripping with sarcasm, heavily emphasized on the second part. She huffed, shooting daggers again at Joren.

    “Why would you say such a thing?”

    Joren pursed his lips and angled his chin to study her under a hooded gaze. He remained a blank slate in the Force, his expression and emotions carefully guarded against the inner turmoil that swept over him. In truth, he couldn’t believe that he had actually uttered those words out loud, and he inwardly cursed himself for being so irresponsible.

    He couldn’t deny it now; he had no choice but to spin this to his favor. And he knew that it wouldn’t be an easy task, especially since he suspected the Master of playing him. The man's reply had been biting and sarcastic, hardly the response that would benefit anyof them in this situation. Vale had only taken the bait.

    And really, could he blame her?

    “That’s not…” Joren began carefully, frowning a bit as he tried to find the right words. “I mean, I was only trying to--”

    “Precisely,” the Master said, satisfaction evident. “That’s what I’m saying. I don’t want you to be mini-versions of me. You need take into account what you know, but you need to be your own individual. A true student is one which teaches the Master too; I don’t want you to just nod like a politicians ‘yes man’.”

    “We’re about Truth, not lie.” He wagged a finger. “But that’s what I’m saying.” He gestured to the former actor. “Is that what Joren is saying, I would ask,” his gloved hand continued on to Dunkeel. “And does this trusty Protector agree with him, if he is suggesting something all the more malevolent?”

    The Master looked to Vale. “That’s what we’re really asking, aren’t we?”

    Dunkeel was still somewhat nonplussed at the whole thing. They were guessing with truths as one might guess the number of beans in a jar at a shop stall gimmick. Guess correct and you won a free whatever.

    One had left, the pain flowing like blood from a wounded animal and Joren and Vale and seemed to break down with poison in their tongues. The Master was the continued carnival vendor the whole time and now it was bonus round. "I have been encouraged to bind together, in secret and publically by The Master. Joren has not come to me of this, nor Vale. Only Vydra and I had . . .have had occasion to talk." Tilting his head sideways he looked at the two obvious Protectors that remained. "Ambush is not a method unless you wish to break the pack. . .Leader." he finished gazing sidelong at Joren.

    Exhaling deeply, Joren nodded his head slowly at the reptilian being. Was it...Dunkeel? It was a shame that he still had not found the opportunity to formally introduce himself to this man...and yet he called him leader. It was unexpected, but it spoke so much about his willingness to follow him...to trust. That was the kind of morale booster they needed amid so much strife.

    “That is not my intention, no,” the doctor replied evenly, his eyes shifting from Dunkeel, to Vale, and finally to the Master. He had decided that now was not the time to delve into his concerns. The others were too adamant in their views, particularly in their beliefs that the Master did not intend to alienate them. Regardless of any evidence he presented to them – of what his Holocron recently revealed to him about the Protectors eventually fracturing – it would be a useless gesture to try to convince them otherwise…

    At least, not while they remained in the old man’s presence.

    He would bide his time, and as their leader, he would continue to lift them up; to support them while he resumed his investigation into these strange happenings. He needed to find answers.

    And so, he would play along...for now.

    “I’m--uh, I actually agree,” Joren conveyed with a faint smile, nodding to the Master, and then to Vale. “I didn’t mean to insult anyone. My words weren’t very clear. It was a lot to take in, and I guess I...well, I got ahead of myself.” He sighed and spread his hands in a congenial gesture. “Sorry.”

    The Master grinned, the emotion enveloping them more than not. Before Vale or Dunkeel could counter with any disbelief of Joren’s words, he stepped forward, patting the Doctor on the shoulder. “Exactly! Now you get it!”

    “There’s just so much damn content!” The Master’s relief drained into the Force, happiness evident. “I get carried away and then I’m suddenly overwhelming you all. For that, I am sorry, but,” he seemed abashed. “You’ll all know what to do when the time comes. I’ve utter faith in you as Protectors.”

    “You’re all following your hearts, and the Force flows through you.” His gaze took in them all, and the absence of Vydra caused a real pang in his own heart.

    “You’ve taught me so much, as students, about myself, and about what is to come. I know that between the Forcesabers, the Holocrons, the ensured isolation of the World Between Worlds and of course now your Orders, Nouane City is in safe hands.” He exuded his pride into the Force, before dampening it down.

    He squeezed Joren’s shoulder in affection, and went to shake Dunkeel’s hand, in his role of mechanic. “Just look after the clock, would you? When old Crepusculum falls behind it drives me mad.”

    “In many ways she’s the seventh member of our little posse,” he said lightly, his hands gesturing upward to the tower above them. “Time herself.”

    Vale just watched the interactions play out before her, mostly because she suddenly felt as if she shouldn't be there. The Master, Joren, and Dunkeel had moved in on one another and unexpectedly formed a trio that she seemed closed off to. While her teacher spoke broadly, it seemed like there was a special connection there between him and those two students in particular that made her shift warily, stifling the urge to wave her hands and state 'hey, I'm still here'.

    Come to think of it, it was odd how dismissive and... accepting they had been with the absence of Vydra. She'd been the only one to even try and get him to stay.

    "Anyways..." she started with narrowed eyes darting between the three males, noticing paranoia rearing its ugly head but for once, letting it linger. "Not to interrupt," definitely to interrupt... "But could we could go back for a minute, because all we know is because of you, Master." Vale stopped her roving eyes to center in on the being with the shadowed cowl. "It's as if you're saying to trust you wholly, which I and certainly the others, have been, means that's how we forfeit our individuality. We've all always been so different from one another, never the same. Why is this an issue now."

    When the Twilight slows and time stands still, upon the crux of that stillness and lonely plane there waits insanity . Quietly in that stillness are all the questions and uncertainties that are pushed aside and dismissed waiting, are all the issues ignored growing. Dunkeel wanted to accept the simple assuaged moment of solidarity, let it fly with a snort of the held air in his lungs and the handshake. It would have been so easy, so clean, so pleasant.

    Then Vale had to speak to that still small disquiet that was fostered in this momentous day. “Perhaps a moment of philosophy Master? I feel we might all need this.” He simply asked into the stillness of the moment after Vale’s question.

    The Master looked from Vale to Dunkeel. “Well, there’s a few philosophical thoughts I could have, and a few practical. I could supply you with examples from the future,” he paused, and then enveloped them in a chuckle before they could groan. “But I think we’ve used the Holocron’s enough today.”

    He sat himself on the table, crossing his leg over the other, and opening the discussion up. “The fact is that we’re not a personality cult; I’m not looking to create half a dozen copies of myself. If I do that, I’ve failed as a teacher because it’s not sustainable. I’d just be overlaying part of myself upon you all, and it won’t be giving you the tools to function individually with that information. Trust is great, and all fine and dandy, but it’s more important to understand why I’m telling you something rather than you just learn it by rote.” A shrug. “Sure, you’ll listen to me, I’m the teacher, but you’ll absorb it all the better, and indeed follow my teachings, if you understand the reason it is that way.”

    “That’s my philosophy, anyway.” He held out palms, gloved as ever. “That makes sense, doesn’t it?” He peered at Vale, and then Dunkeel, before settling on Joren.

    The doctor blinked and turned to regard the Master with a raised brow, feeling somewhat annoyed that the old man would scrutinize him under these circumstances, particularly when he had no idea how to respond to such an overzealous rant.

    Things have certainly diverted onto a very strange path; from the Master’s exaggerated show of affection, to his sudden turn as the distinguished philosopher, Joren wasn’t sure what to make of it. It all came across as unnecessary fluff, and if he had to wonder if this was yet another ploy to mislead them. Perhaps he intended to draw attention away from what was truly important?

    Inhaling deeply, Joren shrugged slightly before folding his arms over his chest. “Uh, no,” he hesitated, his eyes shifting to study Vale and Dunkeel from afar, almost as if he expected their support in this instance. “It’s not exactly--well, it’s…not the way I would handle my own classes. I think that maybe you should stick with practical terms. You don’t want to overload your students with too much tripe; they tend to zone you out, and they don’t retain anything. And that defeats the purpose, doesn’t it?”

    He sent encouragement through the Force, and offered a knowing smile.

    “Oh yes,” the Master said sagely, as if he had seen a thousand such moments, “but when we’re in the cramming phase of term, its somewhat unavoidable. Especially when the board of governors changes the syllabus mid-way through the year, there’s not the funds to order new books, the stationary has ran out, and then you’re so stressed and the class is -“

    “Ahem,” the Master coughed, getting his rant under control. “But that brings me to the practical, no? I’ve told you all separately the fact of the matter; if one day I have to go...” a sigh, and the temptation to have Vale speak more about that, about what he had shown her, swallowed him whole, but the Master passed through it.

    “... you need to know.” He stood from the table, feet clapping to the floor. “And I can’t really say when that is going to happen, or how. I mean, I’m trying not to do it, y’know, but at some point, and all that.”

    He began this saunter back to his workbench, hands tucked behind his back. “Then you’ll be the Masters, and I’ll just be the guy who put you out the path, and you’ll get all the glory. The ones who began it all.”

    “The first class.”


    TAGS: @Sinrebirth @Mitth_Fisto @HanSolo29 @Jerjerrod-Lennox @Kev-Mas_Colcha
     
  8. Sinrebirth

    Sinrebirth Immortal Mod-King of the EUC, Lit, RPF and SWC star 8 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Nov 15, 2004
    IC: The Master
    Grand Lesson Four; aftermath

    They were dismissed with a nonchalant wave and an noncommittal May the Force be with you, but the Master did not give them any homework, nor request one of them stay behind. If anything, he gave the impression that he needed to be alone with his thoughts; which was true. After he was sure they were out of earshot, he drew a cloak of the Force around the room, fiddling with the Holocron on the workbench. He checked the mechanisms and in short order the Holocron was finished. He absently prodded the workbench and was satisfied that all was placed.

    The illusion was intact, and the Protectors would be unable to sense nor hear what was going on, unless of course they had left a listening device or returned to the room. Neither seemed likely after today. The Master spoke aloud to Zas'tel, in the rooms corner. "You really need to practice hiding more. Some of them sensed you."

    This would be the last meeting between the black-cloaked Protectors in the clock-Tower; Master and apprentice.

    There were always two.

    "Your final mission is to reconnect with my Eye at the end of it all - after you have found a worthy apprentice from their successors. But otherwise, keep out of sight and watch, as I say. Everything I have done is for you to complete your destiny. You are the most obvious connection between me and the others; don't be surprised if at some point they come looking for you." The Master already knew which one of them would do so, because it was pretty obvious, even if it was not in the Holocrons of Prophecy.

    Nor the Holocron's of Heresy, for that matter. He dismissed the thought; there was no need to risk Zas'tel picking up a rogue thought. The Master checked with his Eye, spacing out for a moment - no, he had not changed anything more with that thought.

    Good.

    --


    The other three would spill out of the clock-Temple and for a brief moment they would all be together in the immediate vicinity of the entrance. Whether they chose to leave, or not, was another question. The sun was going down, and nagging at them to head out for food, or head home, or finish off whatever jobs they had left to do. As ever, they were later than expected, because chatting with the Master would always seem to cause time to pass.

    They had a moment where the three of them could interact, could leave, could argue, could seek solace, could seek affirmation.

    Then they would be free to go.

    However, Vale's stomach would rumble and tiredness would feel on her heavier than the others; Tera would have left a message a few minutes ago for Joren to pick up, asking for him to come home as soon as she could as she was having, she thought, fake contractions - she had only had two in the space of a day and everyone knew that the body did practice contractions in the weeks beforehand, long before the baby was ready and her waters broke - but of course, she wanted him home; Dunkeel had a message from a contractor, chasing him up to fix something or other before the day was done.

    There was no sight of Vydra.

    TAG: @Mitth_Fisto, @QueenSabe7, @HanSolo29 (the three of you may combo), @Jerjerrod-Lennox (no update yet, as you do have a bit to catch-up on but your next TAG will be one we've discussed before), @Kev-Mas_Colcha (COMBO)
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019
  9. QueenSabe7

    QueenSabe7 Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Mar 23, 2001
    IC: Vale Sera
    Clock-Temple, Nouane

    Vale was done.

    She was thoroughly and completely done with all of it. For now.

    This lesson, the fourth and supposed final lesson had been so utterly draining that she could feel her knees trembling as she prepared to leave. The Master had signaled the end had come as he waved them away, after nearly drowning them in prophecy and knowledge. A ‘shoo’ of his hand as if they were no more than school children being sent home after the last class. She felt cold and afraid, and had no energy left to plead for more answers so she did not protest. Though initially she didn’t move at his dismissal, for a minute or two simply looking around with a pained expression spreading over her face. A warning in the Force, a telltale prickling along the skin at the nape of her neck made her stay just long enough to take in all she could about this precise time and place, instinct telling her to remember this moment.

    The way the air smelled and the energy being with her fellow Protectors created; the Master and his ever-hidden face, the shadowy cowl that hid any physical appearance though she sometimes could tell how he was feeling by the way he stood or moved; the table they gathered around for lessons and conversation; the whole of the Clock-Temple and how it had always made her feel like she was home. She drew on every piece of it, committing sounds and images to memory.

    The rush of emotions that resulted nearly made her break down and cry, preying on her vulnerably raw state of mind. But Vale did not, knowing exhaustion was preparing to consume her and the here and now would not be appropriate. Swallowing once, which was difficult considering the lump that had formed in her throat, she recalled her holocron to a hand and quickly turned away from the scene, aiming to retreat to the solitude of her quarters to rest. Or try to.

    However, as if she had been in a brief daze she suddenly found herself stepping outside into the chilly late afternoon breeze. She nearly ran over the threshold of the main entry, her feet padding down the stone pathway a short distance before she stopped, taking no interest in if Dunkeel or Joren had gone the same route. She had felt it coming on and thought the outdoors would be best to stave off the inevitable, but it made no difference.

    Her surroundings began to close in on her like invisible walls, pressure building from every direction and even reaching inside her to wrap around her lungs and heart. Like a vice it squeezed, her breath catching and she gasped for air as a weight crushed down upon her chest. And it was loud all of a sudden, a buzzing noise rising in her ears that in a matter of seconds had taken over any other sounds in the vicinity. Vale clasped her hands on either side of her head as if that would help, shuffling backwards up the walkway to flee back to the safety of the temple, though being inside only made things worse.

    She stumbled to her room, the floor tilting and blurring, and she collapsed onto the wood floor just outside her door, crawling the rest of the way inside to be able to lock herself in and work through this episode without an audience. She curled in on herself in an effort to make it all stop. Everything – Zinara, the lessons, conversations with the Master, holocrons, truths and names and secrets – crashed down on her at once and it felt as though her heart might actually burst.

    She clamped her eyes shut, half crying-half groaning in pain, slowly rocking back and forth and seeking the Force to bring her back from the edge.

    This had happened once before, the night after Zinara had abandoned her. And now, Vale was experiencing this same flood of panic on the cusp of the Master’s departure. The Protectors were all she had left, and there wasn’t much solid ground to stand on there anymore either. Vydra was gone, Joren couldn’t let go of his foolish suspicions, and she knew so little of Dunkeel and the Shadow that they might as well be strangers to her.

    He had told her that change was inevitable in life, had warned her that she must let it happen. That she couldn’t stop what was coming, and that her heart was the most important aspect of her as a person. That her love would get her through, but how many times had she been here before? Telling herself to calm down, get a grip, work through the uncertainty. Trust the Force. And each time she’d roll backwards to where she started – second-guessing and worrying. Seeming calm when her mind was screaming. Saying she understood when she did not. Keeping her faith in the Master when she couldn’t fathom what he was about to do to them.

    Why couldn’t she just accept what she could not control?

    This had definitely become a cycle now, and it was one she had to break or she would not survive. And she needed help to do so, but she could not ask it of anyone here.

    After some time, Vale’s panic abated enough for her to uncoil her body and fall limp to her side. She was drenched in sweat and still panting, though her pulse had slowed significantly. With the last dredges of her strength, she brought herself to her bed and climbed in, reaching for her datapad at the same time.

    Yet another message was typed and sent into the void, though she knew it would appear more desperate than the others. Because that’s how she felt underneath, in the end.

    ‘I need you. Please.’

    And then she submitted to sleep, and did not stir for some time.

    TAGS: @Sinrebirth @Jerjerrod-Lennox @HanSolo29 @Mitth_Fisto
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2019
  10. HanSolo29

    HanSolo29 Manager Emeritus + Official Star Wars Artist star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Apr 13, 2001
    IC: Dr. Joren Graal
    Capital City, Nouane

    The personal message from his wife couldn’t have come at a better time. Despite the overwhelming need to speak with the others in private about his concerns, Joren found that he needed a respite from the Master’s philosophical ramblings. That necessity had turned into a desperate longing that far outweighed any benefits that may result from a one-on-one discussion with his fellow Protectors. He needed time to think, to clear his head of so many turbulent thoughts, and to get away from it all.

    Unfortunately, he didn’t even know what was happening anymore – Vydra had fled, Vale had become distant and troubled in the Force, and the Shadow remained forever elusive...wherever he had drifted off to. Joren remained uncertain whether his absence was at the Master’s urging, or if he had willfully chosen that path. It was one of several questions that continued to assault his mind incessantly...and continued to raise his suspicions.

    The only one who seemed to have his support was Dunkeel, but the doctor hardly knew him beyond the brief exchanges they had shared during the various lessons. What did that say about him? Of the others?

    Whatever the case, Joren desired an escape. He was hoping that going home to spend time with Tera would help to restore some semblance of normalcy to his life. If that was even possible now that he had become a Protector…

    Issuing a heavy sigh, Joren tightened the strap of his duffel upon his shoulder and made his way down the steep stairs that served as the Temple’s entrance. Twilight had already cast its pale shadow across the vast city, turning the air cool and crisp with the coming evening. The doctor paused momentarily to savor this moment, breathing in the invigorating atmosphere and using it as motivation to carry on with his task.

    He did not acknowledge the others as he passed, except for offering a small nod, before he stepped off and disappeared into the ebb and flow of traffic on the streets.

    With his current state of mind, Joren opted to forego public transportation, which was his usual method of getting to and from the Temple. He wanted to avoid the crowds and the risk of being recognized by some overzealous fan; he was not in the mood to deal with that tonight. That in itself spoke of his inner turmoil. He was usually very cordial and appreciative of his fans, often going out of his way to engage with them and to answer all of their questions. Instead, he walked with his chin down and his eyes focused on the permacrete under his feet. He did not speak to anyone until he reached the small community near the river and the house he shared with Tera at the end of a picturesque street.

    As he entered the brick and mortar structure, Joren could immediately sense the comforting presence of his wife, strong and vibrant in the Force. She served as his guiding light, a luminous beacon in a world that had suddenly become tainted with so much darkness. He latched onto that presence hungrily, and announced that he was home by returning his own affection with love and heartfelt conviction. He knew that she was not capable of doing the same with her limited abilities, but he still perceived the spike in the Force all the same. She had felt him.

    That brought a goofy grin to Joren’s lips as he allowed the duffel to slide to the crook of his arm and moved to stash it away properly. It contained the Holocron and his Forcesaber, and while he did not think that Tera would come snooping around or tamper with them in any way, he still had developed a habit of hiding it away in a small nook at the back of his personal study. Perhaps it was just for his own peace of mind. If she ever asked, he would likely share what information he could.

    The keyword being 'likely'; he wouldn’t know how he would react unless directly confronted with that scenario.

    For now, he didn’t want to think about it. He simply tucked it away and removed his jacket before moving along to the bedroom. The shades were already drawn for the evening when he entered, but he could tell by her breathing that she was still awake.

    “Hey,” Joren called evenly as he crossed over to the bedside with that goofy smile reappearing over his features. He leaned down to kiss her on the cheek, and then shifted down to her massive stomach and placed his hands atop her nightgown to feel the child growing inside of her.

    “Is everything alright? You sounded worried in your message.”
    He frowned slightly, trying to recall the right term. “What was it, uh...fake contractions?”

    TAG: @Sinrebirth
     
  11. Mitth_Fisto

    Mitth_Fisto Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Sep 29, 2005
    IC: Dunkeel
    Clock-Temple, Nouane

    Walking out with the others had been like walking out in a storm. The contrasting emotions were turbulence to his very soul, buffeted by anger, thirst, want, frustration, only unifying in one desire to flee. To get away. One ran for home pressing everything away, and the other did the same, only in a more broken manner when she seemed to realize she had stepped outside of not just the lesson, but her home as well now before heading back in.

    Dunkeel had stopped at the steps and watched as they left, seeking their solace alone. Did they see how similar they were acting to Vydra? Did they feel it at all? Did they realize how united they already were in this, these feelings of being overwhelmed, as much if not more than anything else they had shared in the lessons themselves. Sighing he turned his face up to the sky and simply breathed. Letting his sense in the Force tapped out a simple rhythm into the ether and listening to whatever tapped back.

    Listening to the sky. It was a personal diversion when he was alone and now, he truly felt it. Alone.

    Checking his after several pad he saw the message, an angry contractor that wanted something done now! Probably because whomever had hired the contractor had finally put their foot down after too many delays and now he was in risk of loosing the client unless he got something done stat, super stat. He snorted at that and nearly had left it at that. He rarely worked slow, but he rarely responded well to time demands. Things would take what they took, he didn't make them take longer but he didn't rush them either.

    Still, with a shrug as he listened for a second more to the sky he turned back into his home, the Clock-Temple, and head to his room. He was just in time to see the retreating legs of what he was sure was his fellow Protector before the door closed. Heading into his own room he quickly gathered his tools and things for the job, making sure to damp down his own Force presence so as to not press upon his Temple-cohabitator that seemed to merely want to be alone as he grabbed various things and then quietly walked back down the hallway and down the stairs.

    When he reached the bottom he turned, still dampened and still moving like one that stalked prey. He noticed it as he reached the door to the room they had all just left but mentally noted and dismissed it. It felt right to stay in this manner until he was back outside and could freely tap the sky as he made his way to the work site. First he had to, no, first he wanted to let The Master know he was heading out. Let him know, that he still cared. So with laden arms and a gentle nudge with his nose walked back into the lecture hall, as soon as he would spy the black cloak he planned to call out, "The Master, can we talk when I get back? Not about lessons. . .?"

    Only when he stuck his head in. . .he saw two dark robes. Transfixed he simply stopped and stared, smelling the air, listening, and then slowly pulling his head back out again. Quickly he rushed to his job, plans for another stop after instead of The Master filled his head. Perhaps Vale. Or Vydra?

    TAG: @ Everyone
     
  12. Sinrebirth

    Sinrebirth Immortal Mod-King of the EUC, Lit, RPF and SWC star 8 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Nov 15, 2004
    IC: The Master
    Clock Tower

    "You really need to practice hiding more. Some of them sensed you."

    "There's a first time for everything," Zas'tel replied, "As well as a last time."

    "Your final mission is to reconnect with my Eye at the end of it all," continued the Master, changing the subject, "after you have found a worthy apprentice from their successors. But otherwise, keep out of sight and watch, as I say. Everything I have done is for you to complete your destiny. You are the most obvious connection between me and the others; don't be surprised if at some point they come looking for you."

    "So I'll know who this worthy apprentice is somehow? Or is it entirely up to me?"

    "First and last," the Master said, chuckling. "Quite so."

    He shrugged, arms outward. "I don't know. But someone needs to take on my Forcesaber so that I can see the future of events. There is some... interference... in my sight between here and then, but events are definitely going to progress thereafter. But you'll just need to find someone you'll click with, no doubt."

    "But after the 35,000 years are up, you'll be welcome to prepare." The Master hmmmed. "At some point the final apprentice will arise which will tip the scales. The cycle of light, dark, chaos, and balance... it'll be broken. When it is, the End follows. For now, you just need to keep an eye on whoever you pass my blade to."

    "I have faith in you, Sistros," the Master said, smiling and speaking his secret name. "You're the one they'll remember, after all. Pass the blade down, after the others have done what they need to do."

    It was then that Dunkeel poked his head in. The Master saw, but the Chistori pulled back so quickly that he would not have recognised Zas'tel under the hood, though the Defel was shorter than the Master, so perhaps Dunkeel would put the two together. Perhaps not. But the man would only manage to catch the name; the Master felt him do so.

    Just the name.

    The name was enough.

    It was plenty.

    The Master felt himself begin to feel... lighter. There wasn't another way to describe it. He peered down at this hands, which were becoming translucent. "Oh," the Master said. "It's now, then." He had told Vydra that he might vanish. He had told Vale that he might disappear. He had told Dunkeel that he might fade away. Because this precise process was quite vague, he wasn't entirely sure what had happened.

    "I am either merging with the Force, or erasing myself from the future, or returning to that which I came."

    It turned out that he had actually told the truth to each of them. How refreshing.

    He reached out to them all; all five of his apprentices. Time had shifted, and it was dark outside now. Some of them would be asleep, some of them would be awake; one was beside himself, devastated. But when they came to, they would feel his soft, soft, soft departure. It was not a goodbye, he had merely vanished. He reached into a pocket for his datapad and dutifully notified the four Lords of Nouane City of his passing, and of Joren Graal's elevation.

    And the last person to see him would be Zas'tel, was it? The Master nodded. "Well, it's my time, it seems. The Twilight War is coming. I have done all I can."

    May the Force be with you.

    He vanished from sight, from sense, from the Force, if not from the present itself.

    TAG: @Kev-Mas_Colcha (I finished up)
    ---
    IC: Unknown

    After the Fourth Great Lesson

    It was the black of night.

    The hooded figure swept across the room. She was asleep. It was monstrous, what he proposed, but he had no choice. There could be no half-measures. Not here and not now.

    An uncertain fate could be the doom of the future. Were a Protector to fall now, and become a Destructor...? All might be lost. There was but one thing to do.

    A gesture with the Force froze the rooms occupants - a paralysis that would wake Vale if done incorrectly. He succeeded, and her form was kept in that state of sleep.

    When one slept, one did not feel pain. Merely the pain of nightmares.

    He drew her to him, floating her above the room. A gesture, and the hilt of her Forcesaber slapped into his gloved hand, and he regarded it. The Crystal remained divided.

    He nodded, slightly. Time to draw it out. He rose her higher and pointed the hilt, igniting the Forcesaber. The back of her head rested just above the tip, and he drew an imaginary line beneath her. He threw aside the hilt, reaching for that line, which to some was mere flash burns on the retina, and he reached his fingers into the line. He drew it apart, and pulled at her form with the Force.

    A second form fell into his open arms, and he stumbled. He placed Vale carefully upon the bed, and took the other half of her spiritual self in one arm, gestured across it with the other hand, and watched it grow solid. Become real, as all disjointed parts of oneself wanted to be.

    He had merely given her the push.

    With an eye, he glanced to where he had thrown the Forcesaber. It was deactivated. It had also, split. Two Forcesabers of exact design. He would have to remedy that. It would be too telling.

    He allowed his mind to drift through the duplicate, and it connected with one of the Forcesaber’s, which smacked into her hand. Her fingers squeezed around it.

    It was tempting to push the mind the ignite the Forcesaber, and see if the duplicate had the crimson blade, or the sky blue. But Vale stirred - and so did the duplicate. The ritual had broken the paralysis spell.

    He gestured the Forcesaber on the floor back to where it had been on the mantelpiece, and vanished into his cloak, into which he drew the duplicate, and, once he was sure he was unseen with all eyes, he left the room.

    Soon the duplicate would awaken. He had to rebuild the Forcesaber to appear like it had been when he gave it to Vale, but retain the Crystal. The new owner would need to decide how it fit them.

    All he had time to do was regard the duplicate, and regard Vale, his mind’s eye correcting and collating what they would become. They would take different names in the future, certainly. More than once, as well. Time would not be kind to them.

    That was his fear.

    With a grimace, he turned aside.

    Her comlink had chimed with a message from her wife, and he rushed from the room.

    It’s time we talked.

    TAG: @QueenSabe7 (combo, I know, that seems very unlikely, but combo because we will need to look into how... you feel.)
    ---
    IC: Zinara Sera
    After the Fourth Great Lesson, later in the day, after him travelling

    It was another job for Dunkeel, who had been called out for a boiler fix in the eastern City. The government district did include some residential properties and complexes, usually the tall towers that were still to this day shorter than than the Clock-Tower. But on the fringes of the district you had cheaper rentals, ordinarily owned by one of the four Lords, even if circuitously.

    It was thus nothing terribly special about the call, save for the lateness in the day, right until the point when he arrived to a cordon of police skimmers surrounded the property that he had just been called to visit. Standing to the rear of the cordon, looking inward as medics moved a covered body to a hospital van, was Zinara. She was hardly on point on such a case - her job was to be a desk-jockey, after all. But the forces were stretched with a handful of incidents outside the southern boundary of the City, and so even a desk didn’t prevent you being called out.

    Zinara was fine with it; it kept her busy. Casually she flicked through her comlink, absently bored, and before she realised it she was listening to a message from Vale. Her expression tightened and what with her emotions in the Force Dunkeel would be drawn to notice her. That attention would result in her in turn noticing Dunkeel, and so she quickly wrote back to Vale without thinking. It’s time we talked.

    Closing her comlink before Dunkeel could step aside, if he had so intended, Zinara pulled up the yellow-tape cordon and, checking her sword was affixed to her belt unconsciously, stepped over. “Protector Dunkeel - so you’re the Protector who caused all of this.”

    She vaguely gestured towards the murder scene. It was a blatantly antagonistic comment to start off with, but Zinara took pleasure in causing discomfort in the haughty cultists. “First Zas’tel, and now you? How long until your new mighty leader visits us?”

    It was crass to say, when she knew that the Master was gone; since she had read the announcement through official channels to the officers of the corps in the time it had taken Dunkeel to walk from here to there. But she wanted to see if there were any issues between Dunkeel and Joren...

    Worst yet, the special something in Dunkeel’s possession grew warm...

    TAG: @Mitth_Fisto (combo), @QueenSabe7 (so you can see where she is)
    ---
    IC: Tera Moor

    After the Fourth Great Lesson

    Braxton Hicks contractions, is what they were called. She did not want to cause Joren unnecessary stress but felt she needed to tell him. Home he came, and their ordinary routine commenced, settling in and down for the night.

    She was mere weeks from the birth of their child, but Tera Moor knew that her partner, Joren Graal, was deeply troubled. Much was on his mind, and she had given him space, even as they were on the cusp of their lives together changing forever.

    She has blossomed in the last trimester, and eventually she had taken over this bed. Joren was such a sweetheart though, sleeping on the floor beside her, catering to her every need - albeit when she prompted him. But it was perhaps too much to ask of him to intuit her needs, though she was sure that there was a point where they had been all but psychically connected, which was missing in their shortened kisses, in her attempts to catch his eye, in her efforts to draw him to discuss mundane matters about the nursery or the baby.

    He was devoted, and completely able to focus on her and their child when he abandoned what was shadowing his thoughts, but they were shadows, and they were thus attached to the very soles of his feet. Perhaps even the souls of them.

    Tera had allowed him to head to the meeting with Vale, another quirky request at the behest of the Master. The Master who Tera had yet to meet, even when he attended their home, the night after the Third Great Lesson, as it would become known - the one which had taken Joren back to the hilltop where he and the Master had first spoken alone. Even in that downpour, the Master had not stayed - and Sera he merely listened from the bed, pretending sleep.

    She wondered what a secret name was for, and whether he would share it with her, or not. For the deeper Joren wandered into occultism, the more she worried. She had read his first works; helped him edit it, after all - all these asides about eldritch abominations, ruled by a double-trinity of six Old Ones, and the War of the Temporal Planes of sixty five millennia ago. It was all very compelling, but Tera, all but days away from childbirth, was trying to keep herself calm and collected and not worried about it all. It was enough to share him with his classes, but with a masked man? Even more maddening.

    But to avoid worry was hard when Joren was laying on the floor even now, muttering his panic. He was dreaming, to her, but, to him, it was a vision. In his heart he knew that it was true - or would be - the Force demanded he acknowledge it so.

    Standing in the World Between Worlds, his Forcesaber was to band, burning blue. Fear gripped him, but he fought for calm. He knew that fear was that weapon of the Dark, and the red blades, under whatever name they took, would use that fear to undo him. But he was here because he knew what had occurred.

    He had foreseen it, and it had been forced to see. But when he had seen it, he had been able to dismiss it as a particularly pushy dream, yet, perhaps if he had not, this would not have happened. But the Holocron, when he had asked it about visions, it was littered with tales of those who would act too swiftly and the result was the vision occurring exactly as foretold.

    The Light had been called, and accessed; his evidence stood before him - there were five portals open now; a number equal to each of the Master’s apprentices - but whereas one was dimmed before, now the remaining two were open, and it was clear that one of them was the new, and one, potentially, had been dimmed before but now was not.

    Or had his access of the Light caused the fifth one to appear? Or the fourth to light up?

    He looked, and he saw, and he knew the faces from the Holocron itself.

    [​IMG]

    The Son

    [​IMG]


    Young Palpatine

    One of those Portals from his vision was new; one was not. The Master had not shown them the fourth Portal, and now they had no way to ask him which was the one had been accessed against his explicit wishes. Joren knew not when the act of treason would occur, but he knew that it would, and soon... he heard a babies wail, and the vision ended, but the baby was not here, it was merely a vision of the future.

    His Holocron blazed, and it replayed the portion of the entry that he did not have in full.

    The Force told him that there was a hidden entry, that had been hidden from him.

    Then it silenced itself.

    TAG: @HanSolo29
    ---
    IC: Venezia Delomeux

    In the night that all the above happens

    It wasn't like her to be out this late. Technically she was past curfew, but her parents must not have noticed if they had not chased her by comlink. But she was being... well, drawn, for lack of a better word. Her brother would be at the clock-Temple right now, as if clockwork. The weekly lesson always ended later. Vydra did not stay home all too often, but he had and his last visits had softened their fathers heart.

    Vydra did not know that their father always spoke of him, but Venezia did not mind. Their mother was happy that Vydra standing before him as a certain adult, and not a hoodwinked zealot, articulately and passionately stating his case; it had melted much of that resistance within the family to the idea of the Protectors, personified by their father.

    Venezia often headed to the clock-Temple around this time, in-case she caught a glimpse of her big brother. But today she was wandering much later, and to differing parts of the City. It was almost as if she was following a trail from the clock-Temple and she could not bare to abandon it. To abandon him. She found herself not far from the library, because where else would he be, even at this late night. She saw him from behind, but even from here his posture looked... wrong. Smaller, somehow, and not just for the distance.

    A hand seemed to be upon her back, urging her forward. Venezia began to hurry towards him. "Vydra! It's me!"

    Tears began to well in her eyes and she had no idea why.

    TAG: @Jerjerrod-Lennox (combo)
     
  13. Jerjerrod-Lennox

    Jerjerrod-Lennox Jedi Grand Master star 7

    Registered:
    Mar 9, 2005
    OOC: A combo with the mighty @Sinrebirth :D

    IC: Vydra Delomeux & Venezia Deleomux
    Location:Somewhere, then outside the Clock Temple, Nouane


    It seemed weird to be alone.

    He had always had company all of his life, whether it was family, his fellow Protectors, the Master or even the times when he was with a woman.

    His mind was a whirlwind of emotions: fear, loathing, sadness, anxiousness anger even fear.

    Vale had been the only one to reach out and try to get him to turn around and come back but he had ignored her. It would be too much for her to bear as well, he could feel that she had a spin dryer full of emotions just as he did, except she had been slightly stronger and not run away like he did.

    Was it a sign of weakness? Probably and since he had been given his mission it was nowhere near any emotions you would associate with leadership qualities. To be a Protector was to be a leader because you would have to lead apprentices into battle one day, and running away was not going to help matters.

    He had found somewhere quiet to meditate and think on things and it seemed to him that he was meditating a lot recently. It was a lot to think about with more questions than answers and more secrets and lies than anything else. He hated not telling anyone anything but he knew that if he did all would be lost. He also wondered what Dunkeel and Joren would think of his, the shadow still nagged on his mind that something was still not quite right.

    As he took deep breaths and began to meditate a thought did stray across his mind. What if it was he that did those bad things, what if it was he that destroyed it all? He hated the thought of himself becoming a monster in fact he would die before he became one. But if he were to become bad why would Dunkeel collaborate with him? Wouldn't Joren basically dump him as a friend? Maybe they didn't know it all but hopefully it would be revealed and the others would understand when the time came that he would do what he had to do. For the good of the galaxy.

    Perhaps the Master had it in his mind to divide them all, maybe perhaps play them off against each other to see who came out on top. Vydra knew he should maybe not be thinking such thoughts, but with all that was going on it was not difficult to see things in different perspectives.

    Hours passed with him beginning to realise that his mission was more important than anything else, and if the other Protectors resented him or hated him then he would have to live with it, but in order to save the galaxy, to protect the future you had to do things that you hated, for the greater good. Him and Joren could be torn apart, and his budding friendship with Dunkeel could end up in tatters. Vale he wasn't too sure about and the shadow was an unknown. He became more resolved and more confident as time went on he WOULD complete his mission and he would not disappoint his Master.

    The novice would show everyone that he was no weakling. But his emotions were still a jumble and it would take time for him to sort them out. Everything was weighing on his mind.

    Just as he thought that he may be turning the corner he felt the Master disappear. And felt the devastation again wash over him. He had been told by him that he would vanish it was just a shame that it was now, when Vydra was still recovering. Now more than ever it brought his mission into focus that he would have to be strong for everyone even if he didn't feel like that at the moment.

    He bowed his head and at least let one tear fall for his Master. Farewell Master he thought into the void, may the Force be with you.

    He felt it was time to return to the Temple and perhaps meet back with the others if they were still there after his self imposed exile. Maybe perhaps talk with Joren, the newly crowned leader. Would that still make them friends? Joren had to take his responsibilities seriously so their friendship would understandably take a back seat, a shame really.

    He gathered his bag which he had luckily not unpacked and made his way to the Clock Temple he supposed to face the music and pay his respects to the Master. It was dark now to Vydra it had seemed only a few minutes since he had started his meditation. His steps felt heavy as he walked there he was dreading what he was going to find there if he found anything at all. And as he waited outside and no-one came out he felt sadness creep in. It seemed the others had possibly left leaving him and the Temple to themselves.

    Vydra then felt a familiar presence approach, his sister had come to see him, and after curfew no less. Dad would have a fit if he knew that she was out at this time of night. He forced a smile on his face and turned around to face her opening his arm out for one of her famous big hugs.

    “Hey Venezia, what are you doing here?. You should be home before Mum and Dad worry about you being out. Or Dad blows a gasket” he could see tears in her eyes and he wondered why.

    She fell into the hug, drawing him tight. "Don't lie to me, Vydra. Not when you're hurting. Never when you're hurting." Venezia looked back up at him, tears in her eyes. "Even if I didn't know you, big brother, your ears are so puffy that I would have noticed anyway. Even Dad would have noticed."

    "Tell me what has happened, please," she said, begging. "Whatever has hurt you so, I need to know how to fix it, and you need to come home right now and let us help you through it together - even if you won't tell Mum and Dad."

    She might as well have been Force sensitive the way she had read him so well.

    He sighed, pushing her back a little resting her hands on her shoulders. He looked really upset because he was upset she could probably feel his feelings and thoughts a mile away. What could he tell her? If he told her all then it could mean she and his family died too. They may all die anyway when it all happened anyway. He knew he was going to end up broken at some point, it was never going to be an easy ride.

    “The Master has gone” he said simply looking into her eyes the sadness back on his face “He did tell me he would go, just not this soon. I don’t know if I felt a final farewell or whether he would be back again. But to lose my teacher at such a time when I suppose we Protectors need him most is ...devastating”

    He shook his head as well “You and I both know I can’t come home Ven” he said “I may have patched up things slightly with Dad and Mum but I have an important mission to do, I have been chosen to do something big, and I need to do this before something happens that could change us all”

    Venezia could only stare at her brother. She didn't understand half of what he had just said, so she zoned in on what she had. "Your teacher is gone? At a key part of your teaching? That's awful, Vy," she said, slipping into an old name from their youth, as she didn't understand what was going on that was big, and could change us all. "I'm sorry, I really am."

    She did pour into the Force her upset; but she was genuine at all times. "Was he sick? At least he prepared you for him going, Vy. That's all we can really ask for, sometimes." She sniffed, wiping her eyes. "Sorry, you don't need to be worrying about me."

    "Not now."

    He laughed then some of his old self returning a little bit. Whatever was going on, whatever all the secrets and lies, questions and not so many answers he could trust his sister to lighten the mood.

    “You know I always worry about you, even during my more flamboyant days when all I was interested in was women, parties and getting so smashed and coming home late. And Mum and Dad giving me an earful about it”

    He frowned then “Unless I should be worried about you because something has happened, but I would have known it” unless of course he was so attuned to what was going on in the Clock Tower that he had missed something.

    He shrugged then “We all knew at some point we would have to move on, become Masters ourselves and teach a new class, move on to become Protectors of the galaxy, what we were trained to do. But sadly it seems the Master knew something we did not, that his time was ending, that he had only a short time to train us all before he left. Time to tell us all secrets and what they would all mean in the long run” he sighed “We will all have difficult decisions to make in the time ahead. Decisions that could tear us apart or make us the team we were supposed to be”

    “A team?” Ven seemed to frown, and squeezed him again. “Vy, it seems like you need a family more than a team. These other Protectors; if they feel anything like you, then you’ll need family...”

    She pressed the point. “Please. For the one night; come home. You don’t need to only come back when you’re smashed...” she smiled slightly. “I will worry if you don’t, and it is the middle of the night, Vy.”

    Her eyes shone with her request, but it was so much more intense than ever. He would feel his resolve weakened, and not just through tiredness and emotional exhaustion.

    This was his sister, and she had his best interests at heart, after all.

    His sister knew how to hit his weak spots. And she had played a blinder since he was emotionally and physically shot.

    And she was right. The Protectors of course were his new family of sorts but perhaps it would not hurt to return to his old family. And one night wouldn't hurt, the mission could wait until tomorrow.

    His mother and father couldn't understand what he had to do next. Venezisa might but she would just tell him not to go. But perhaps for one last time he could be with them, and enjoy their company.

    A genuine smile bloomed on his face "You do know how to make me cave in don't you" he said "I'll come back and stay, but I cannot be back too long. I'm due to start my patrol duties in the North soon." He squeezed her back "And how could I not come back and not eat some of Mum's home cooking?. That's another thing I miss".

    “Yes!” She took his hand, and began to lead him back home. Ven glanced at her comlink; she had missed calls from Mum and Dad.

    She winced. “You’ll have to cover for me, though! I was following a hunch when I found you and that’s not gonna fly with Mum!”

    Ven smiled, nonetheless. Her brother was coming home.

    He shook his head still smiling “Well I could say that I caught YOU at a party for once….” he remembered his partying days when he was out to the early hours of the morning, getting rather drunk and sometimes even heading to a woman’s place for more festivities…

    Venezia however would not be caught dead at a party unless it was hosted by none other than her idol Joren Graal. She would rather have her nose in a book which he usually did at weekends when he fancied a break from the nightlife.

    Vydra took her hand and let her lead the familiar way home. He had thought that he may not be coming home after his lessons as he would have to do Protector business, however his sister had presented him with an offer he could not refuse and perhaps some rest could make him feel a little better in himself. It would be nice to put the mission to one side for just a few hours.

    He decided to comm them himself, taking Ven comlink and springing the surprise on them once again that he was coming home.

    “Mum, Dad it’s Vydra. I’m on my way home, decided to take a little break from my duties so stick the kettle on. Oh and you’ll never guess who I found on my patrol ...”

    TAG: @Sinrebirth
     
    QueenSabe7 and HanSolo29 like this.
  14. Mitth_Fisto

    Mitth_Fisto Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Sep 29, 2005
    IC: Dunkeel & The Shadow of The Master (Combo with Sinre)
    After the Fourth Great Lesson

    The contractor ended up merely needing a handyman as it were. Come fix a boiler quick! It was something simple to occupy his mind at least, a kind of working meditation to let his mind sort what he had seen, what he had heard, and what he knew. His greatest suspicions had been allayed but also compounded. Then. . .then on that fateful walk he had felt it. The Master's simple touch, a lingering farewell. A soft caress that faded into Force. It was maddening! He was going on about potentialities and banal pursuits as The Master passed away, but then on the same hand he felt almost as if it is what the man would of wanted. Still it was enough to make him turn away from the public transportation stop he was headed to, and proceed on foot, he needed the time to think, to feel. Not to mention if he met confrontation with a contractor now he wasn't sure he could manage his. . .baser instincts. After all he wanted to roar at the moons and make blood flow, to hold a feast for the departed esteemed and honored.

    ***** Nearly 2 Hours Later ******

    Finally having made his way to his destination in the Eastern district, his district. How fitting. He deeply breathed the air, knowing in the months to come that this would become his common ground, his hunting range, and his area of protection banal. He smelled blood on the air and hissed softly in pleasure, perhaps there was a local butchers shop or multi-species shop nearby. If so he would have to make it one of his regular stops, whenever it was he supposed to start.

    It was as he took a last turn in the road he saw how misguided his thoughts had been. It was human blood after all. The Police seemed out in Force and so too a small woman. One who seemed to know him and had acid or poison drippings for a tongue. If she had not said 'New' in front of the word Leader he wasn't sure what he would have done. "He shall not." He simply stated as he realized he had been prevented from turning away and taking a more circuitous route to his destination. "You have me at a disadvantage. What is your name morsel?" Of course it was with that brief exchange that his eyes began to dart every which way as he felt the heat. He scanned the crowd, noting faces, sensing through the Force all around him like a dark hole into which all light is drawn and consumed so as to know. To find the responsibility.

    "Oh," she said, a little piqued. But of course the other Protectors would not have noticed the lives they upturned. "I'm Zinara. I am Vale's wife. Estranged, at present, thanks to Leader Graal's interference in our marriage."

    Dunkeel's eyes seemed to rove across the crowd, and Zinara stepped in front of him, arms on her hips. "But don't distract from the point, sir - the victim called you to do some work for them, some hours ago now? And you took your sweet time coming, no?"

    She gestured to the white tarp. "They're dead now."

    Snorting slightly he kept looking at the crowd, feeling in the Force. "I'm sorry. Neither Vale nor Graal has shared about what transpired with you, and as she has not asked I have respected her wishes and not sought you out nor hunted you down." his jaw reflexively snapped at the last. This was becoming taxing, to his raw emotional state.

    "My Leader, my Master just passed away tonight. So yes I took my time getting here. The employer merely stated it had to be fixed before the morning. A couple hour job, maybe a few hours longer if bad off, there was no rush beside that." Now his eyes fixed on her and fixed with fire and intensity as he felt his raw emotions grate. "I would refer you to perform to your duty Zinara, specifically when questioning a Chistori, Southern Manual subsection D, Article 13, subsection 3f, paragraph 1 thru 3. You already antagonize me, your scent alone is an invitation to a fight and your demeanor is backing that notion. Either resign your commission and follow through with the challenge or stick to the script." he growled out with a lingering hiss.

    Zinara actually froze. He was quoting procedures for interaction to her? Flabbergasted was not the word, but at the same time, she wanted to laugh. This Protector was relying upon the letter of the law? Really? To prevent a misunderstanding?

    She held up her hands, palms outward, in the accepted act of contrition under said Southern Manual. "I find it more than trite that you are throwing the book at me, but fine." She produced a datapad, keeping a saber on her hand.

    "May I cite your comments about the delay for your arrival? Did you communicate with anybody else while en route?" She gestured to the corpse. "He certainly did - he apparently reached out to a local to do the job, who, on discovering that Mr..." Zinara checked. "Gilo had originally wanted to use Protector Plumber, he became so enraged that he killed Mr Gilo and fled into the night..."

    Zinara smiled acidly. "I have several witnesses who overheard the perps angry ranting, unfortunately."

    Another officer was heading over, a taller man, with a variety of bells and whistles to his attire. Zinara didn't notice, and carried on. "So now we have a murder of an Aqualish to handle -"

    A heavy hand landed on her shoulder. "Enough, Sera," the officer said, firmly. "You are relieved from the investigation due to your... conflict of interest." Zinara's eyes became saucers of surprise, and he stared at her, blue eyes narrowing. Zinara relented, conscious that she really had lost all objectivity now.

    "I am sorry, Captain Erwen, I, I," Zinara's face grew red as she realised what she really needed to do. She swung to Dunkeel. "I am sorry." At that, she excused herself and left, or, rather fled.

    The Captain turned back stonily. "I do apologise, Master Dunkeel." He removed his cap and ran his white gloved hand through his blond hair. "I appreciate that you have only earlier today been appointed to oversee certain parts of the constabulary, and you have my condolences about the passing of the Master of Masters, of course." He gestured vaguely at the scene.

    "Do your... sensibilities and special skills have anything to add?"

    The artifact began to burn in his pocket.

    It was an odd sense of pleasure. . .no, relief when she was removed. "Thank you Captain. On both accounts, that woman was getting my Chistori up." He stated with a soft head waggle. Breathing deeply a cleansing breath as he opened himself to the Force and to whatever guiding notion he might have with the object. Feeling it begin to burn he reached in and pulled it out. Holding it clutched in his hand he was struck in that moment how he didn't know how to use it or where, but he had to think of a reason, a way. Especially when things were not obvious.

    "Honestly Captain I have a parting gift from The Master. I, I just haven't tried to use it before. In theory it should amplify my connection to the Force, so I might be able to get a clear sense through the Force and perhaps feel everything that has happened with open meditation. I haven't had time to try it and I would not want to make a spectacle of myself here." Opening his hand he left the ring plainly visible. "I will try it tonight in my quarters." Perhaps temptation?

    Erwen looked down at the ring; at the black crystal; at the sigils in the gold. When it came to the Force, the Lords and Ladies of Nouane had instructed him to be particularly cautious and respectful. But, just as much, he was happy for the help, and Erwen was not opposed to looking outside the box.

    "Of course, Master Dunkeel. I look forward to hearing from you with the results of your investigation; I shall forward the relevant data to you at the clock-Temple, to assist." He nodded, a small bow of respect, and then turned back to the cleanup.

    Hopefully he will see something that I do not.

    Before inter-species antagonism overtakes the City.


    There was an idea there, but Erwen was unsure whether it would save them, or curse them. The Protectors would have to decide, no doubt; them and their Force.

    "Captain?" he lightly called as he pocketed the ring. "Might I be able to fix the boiler before I retire?"

    Erwen looked back, amused. “Of course, Protector Dunkeel. The boiler is nowhere near the crime scene. I’ll instruct you to be let in.”

    TAG: @Sinrebirth
     
  15. Sinrebirth

    Sinrebirth Immortal Mod-King of the EUC, Lit, RPF and SWC star 8 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Nov 15, 2004
    IC: Crepusculum
    Clock-tower, Nouane City, the following morning

    Were the clock sentient, it would have watched events unfold so.

    Vale
    retired to her room, and events occurred there. Joren had gone home, as, after some persuasion, had Vydra. That left Dunkeel, returning on his own some hours later, having fixed a boiler and crossed paths with Zinara and Erwen. It was what it was.

    When Dunkeel rested, and meditated, and focused upon the ring in his possession, it would provide him no succor, and no information. It was utterly silent, though the Master had suggested it would be entirely different. Had it reacted last night to something nearby, or generally to the murder that had occurred? It was an artefact, but there was only so much one could say about it.

    Though when he dreamed... well, he would merely see a world made of lava, and black rock, and a terrible emptiness - a Darkness. He instinctively knew the black rock had originated from that world, and he would recognise the script on the ring from the writings of the Master... writings which he knew would one day be associated with the Sages of Dwartii, as it were. The Holocron of Prophecy was similarly silent, though it could be bidden to speak to him as and when, of course.

    But yes, the Chistori would awaken with those lava-filled thoughts in his mind.

    The clock, old Crepusculum, it would merely watch.

    For a long moment, Mitth would have run of his room, of the clock-tower itself, and of course the central area and raised dais with the Master's workshop present.

    TAG: @Mitth_Fisto (open TAG for you to dwell, to think, to wander, to poke around)
    ---
    IC: Venezia

    Deleomux Household, the next morning

    It was a typical morning at home. His parents were happy to see him, and the evening and then morning flowed seamlessly. They were convinced that Vydra and Venenzia had simply lost track of time together. Their mother ignored the puffiness to their eyes, and their father ignored any clamminess to Vydra. They trusted their children, and had faith that the best thing for the two of them was each other.

    But the morning came and routine won out.

    Their mother had groceries to get while their father was at his monthly Head Librarian meets, though the latter had no idea that the sole topic of discussion was the passing of the greatest librarian in the City - the Master himself. Ven had also made plans with her friends to collect presents for a Life Day party later that day, so in a positive and happy manner, Vydra was left to his own devices, for however many hours he sought merely a son living at home, no matter his age, his trials, his traumas; he had space to recharge and be reborn, and sleep would help settle much of his mind...

    ... for now.

    But the Force was being whimsical, and it suggested a stroll to the market, before heading to the clock-tower.

    They Protectors had a great deal to discuss, after all.

    The Master was dead; long live the Master.

    TAG: @Jerjerrod-Lennox (please see your PM)

    TAG: @QueenSabe7 (morning combo pending)

    TAG: @HanSolo29 (overnight combo pending)



     
    Jerjerrod-Lennox and QueenSabe7 like this.
  16. Jerjerrod-Lennox

    Jerjerrod-Lennox Jedi Grand Master star 7

    Registered:
    Mar 9, 2005
    OOC: Acombo with @Sinrebirth , always a pleasure :D

    IC: Rath Sek’nos, Vydra Delomeux
    Location: City centre, after the Fourth Great Lesson


    It was a great communion of people’s, and Rath loved it. The energy of a hundred different species all in the heat of their daily routine. Human, Rodian, Wookiee, Chistori, Gungan, Twi’lek, Devaronian, Arkanian, Janguine, Sluissi, Herglic, Taung, Ho’Din, Killik - he even spied a Gree, of all things.

    He was the only red skinned Sith here, but that didn’t bother him. Usually this made him feel isolated, for there was a very small Sith community on Nouane, but now, in the weeks since he had met the Master, he felt special, as if part of a greater whole. It’s because of the Force, which has been opened to him and he’d been able to sense so much because of it.

    The Master had made him feel that.

    But now the Master was gone... but someone else, he could now feel. The first secret student of Vydra was revealed along a finely tuned Force bond, designed to reveal him to the librarian and only him. Rath filled that part of him with his gratitude, and his anticipation for teaching.

    It had been good to be home.

    Sophie and Pierre Delomeux had been happy to see their son home and luckily he had avoided a telling of from from the both of them for not coming home sooner. And also thankfully no arguments either. Luckily Venezia had escaped an ear bashing as well which Vydra was glad about.

    It was strange being back in his own bed again but it didn't take him long to drop off. The passing of the Master was still a sad moment but he had to move on and do his job properly, not just for the Protectors but for the wider galaxy as a whole.

    His mother’s cooking was still as delicious as ever and better than the food he got at the Clock Temple sometimes, a veritable feast of the senses. This time there was no chat about what he was doing as a Protector, it was more focused on the rest of the family, what they were doing, what had been happening and so forth. Vydra made no mention of the Masters passing, they would hear about it sooner or later and it was something he did not really want to be discussed at this present time.

    Routine however took over, his mother going grocery shopping, his father heading to his important meeting and Venezia off to get presents for a Life Day party with some helpful tips provided by Vydra. well he thought so anyway. He was left to his own devices at home, so he decided to help out by doing some cleaning around the house and seeing if he needed anything from his room to take back with him to the Clock Temple. Other than that he spent most of the time meditating. He felt better than he had before, his thoughts now in less of a spin. He knew that what would come next would shape the future and that if he was not ready emotionally for the task he might as well pack up and stay home.

    The others however would have no clue of what had happened, that he had come home to be with his family. They had their own problems to sort out. What mattered now was that they work together to cary on the Master’s work. He didn't know if he was still good enough to do it, but he would have to be. He would have to make sure his concentration was on the job at hand, nothing else could enter his mind until the job was done and the future was secure.

    He had said goodbye to his family once again as he explained that his patrol duties would be starting. Venezia gave him a big hug once again and his mother and father both wished him luck. Vydra hoped it was not the last time he would see them. They could not understand what was about to happen but he hoped at least he would get to say one last goodbye. It was time to get back to business at hand.

    It was a tug in the Force that sent him on his way…..

    As Vydra had some free time as it were from his patrol duties he had decided to enjoy a stroll around towards the city centre where the weekly market happened and the fountain, the centerpiece of Nouane City brought people together to admire it and meet up.

    Since the Master had accepted Vydra as the new leader and teacher of these apprentices Vydra had been on the lookout and keeping his Force senses attuned as to whether they would come to them or vice versa. And one day, the Force sang to him with the call of his first student.

    Well, here goes nothing….

    Gratitude and anticipation greeted Vydra through the bond and now the pressure was really on. He had to hope thanks to the guidance from the Holocron that he would live up to expectations and be able to teach these five students. Not just in the ways of the Force but to prepare them for what was to come and to prepare for after the End.

    For a new future, perhaps with the other Protectors too. But these five would become the new Protectors, to carry on the legacy and teach their own apprentices someday.

    But first things first, time to reveal himself and begin the journey.

    He spotted the red skinned man and approached with a little bit of caution and apprehension but he also projected confidence as well. To show a student any weak sign when you first met them was not a good idea.

    “My name is Vydra Delomeux” he said his face remaining serious even though he wanted to crack a little bit of a smile “And I shall be your Master. As you well know, the Master has left and he has entrusted me to teach you and others the ways of the Force and to prepare you for the journey ahead. It will not be easy, but hopefully it will be rewarding in the end”

    “Are you up for the challenge?”

    Rath blinked. After the black cloaked mystery of the Master, this man was positively ordinary looking - but he felt like an ocean of power in the Force, and Rath was awed. “You’re my... new...”

    A surge of emotion filled the young Sith, and he was overjoyed.

    “Master?” He went down on one knee before the man, head dropped. “Master Delomeux. I pledge myself to your teachings.”

    Members of the milking crowd noticed the scene, and frowned, tittered, wondered, and, it course. A handsome, strapping man, bowing to... a tawdry librarian? There were whispers, and a Gree eyed the pair with some absent curiosity.

    Well this is rather embarrassing…

    Vydra had to give a smile to the crowd as if to say “Nothing to see here, just ignore us” and stretched out in the Force to try and nudge the crowd along as if this a normal conversation here. He hadn't expected the red skinned male to actually drop down on one knee before him his excitement clear to see and in the Force it felt like he was positively jumping up and down.

    He might not be feeling like that later on.

    He waved the young man up “Rise young apprentice” his smile he had on had faded into seriousness again “Thank you for accepting my offer. You may feel excitement now but what will come will be a serious test of your mind and body and whether you will be ready both in body and spirit for what is to come. For something is coming that will change the very fate of the galaxy at large, and you must be ready to accept the new future”

    He nodded and relaxed a little “So what is your name young apprentice, and why do you wish to join the Protectors?”

    “Rath Sek’nos,” he said, standing, his hue even redder than usual out of sudden embarrassment. He had entirely forgotten where he was.

    “I want to serve, and Protect, Master.” He squeezed his palms into fists. “More than anything, that’s what I want.”

    Well that is short and to the point.

    "You sound just like me" Vydra said with a chuckle and a slight smile "That was always my mantra to protect and to serve. And so you shall. You are the first of the five students I have to find and no doubt you will all be different in philosophies, levels of your Force abilities and personalities"

    He turned serious again and worry entered his thoughts. This was the important bit, if any of this was revealed or a student dissented to anything it would all be shot. And the legacy of the Protectors would fall. He pulled one of the five pyramidal Holocron of Heresies out of his bag and presented it to Rath.

    "Apprentice Rath this is called the Holocron of Heresies. This will give you information about what is to come in the future and to prepare you for the time when you will all need to come together and create something new, to protect the future. When the time is right you will be summoned to the Clock Temple to meet with the rest and to collect your lightsbaer, a symbol that you are a Protector"

    He narrowed his eyes " You must not seek others out not reveal yourself as an apprentice. If you do I will consider your apprenticeship null and void. That Holocron is yours to keep and you must not reveal what it holds to any one. You will continue on your normal life until you are summoned"

    That was one of the hard parts done, time to see what Rath thought.

    Rath looked both excited and baffled. A Holocron of Heresies. That didn’t really sound safe. “The Master gave you this to give to me? But in secret?”

    He was struggling to get through his emotions but it was inevitable he would settle on suspicion, and then shame, for being concerned about Vydra,. “I don’t understand, sir. Why can I not seek out the other Protectors? Masters Graal or Sera? Or Dunkeel?”

    The four of them had been announced as publicly assigned to the quarters. So, Rath knew their names, and had been looking forward to meeting them all. “And shouldn’t it be... a Holocron of Prophecy? The Master mentioned one...”

    And it was now going to hell in a handbasket. Were they all going to be like this?.

    Anxiety gnawed at him and he tried not to show it on his face. Had the Master set him up?. Was he about to be ensnared in a trap?But if he was, why would the Master think of such a thing?. Perhaps because Vydra was the novice. Take out the runt of the litter. But then again why would the Master entrust him with this important task only to then throw him to the wolves?

    Stay calm Vydra, tell him the truth. Well not all of it…

    "Indeed he asked me to give you this Holocron in secret. He felt that it was important for me to pass it on to you as it contains all the knowledge you need to know"

    "As to the Holocron of Prophecies I have heard of it too. But that Holocron only pertains to what must happen, it does not reveal what happens after. Perhaps you may receive a Holocron of Prophecies too, who knows. But the most important thing is to prepare yourself for what happens after the Prophecy, when you and the others will be called upon to protect and serve"

    He smiled slightly "As to the other Protectors you won't meet them yet, someday you may do if all goes well" and Vydra hoped so too.

    Rath nodded. He understood that, and the Force did not suggest he worry. Vydra was clearly an honest sort, but he needed to ask. At the end of the day, some mysterious cloaked guy convinces you of your fate, shows you the wonder of the Force, and then warns you that he has to leave and you must trust someone else.

    As much as the Masters took what the Master said and trusted it, trusting someone else after that fact was likely to raise some alarm bells. But Rath had something any other person didn’t; the Force, and it didn’t warn him about Vydra.

    So he took his faith in the Master and handed it to Vydra. “Thank you for humouring me Master - this is so... so overwhelming.”

    In some ways, what was occurring now was a microcosm for every single time the Master had told Vydra and the others something seemingly impossible. Vydra would have to learn to handle the curiosity verging on suspicion of his motives. Rath was young, and relatively innocent in-spite of the censure he received from society for being a Sith.

    But Atreus, or Sheel, who were harder to life? Let alone the others? Who knew how that would go.

    Vydra released the internal breath he was holding, so Rath had chosen wisely and had put his faith in him. It seemed stupid to question the Masters motives but sometimes situations like this made Vydra question everything. It seemed his destiny in life to always ask question but you didn't expect any less from a librarian.

    Vydra nodded to Rath’s response “It is overwhelming but trust me it will all be worth it in the end. Sadly I cannot tell you what will happen as this is a rather public place so it will be best if you study your Holocron in private because no doubt what you will see and hear will be overwhelming to you. When I first started out everything was overwhelming but I have learned to accept my duties and teachings and do my duty. I have been given a mission, a mission that you five students will continue and you must be resolved and ready to do your duty as I do mine”

    He smiled a broader one this time, the smile he had for people who ever needed help in the library the one that said “trust me, i’ll find what you are looking for.''

    “I hope you will trust me to guide you and to make sure you all are safe and hopefully not stray too far. But I will trust you all to stay safe and not reveal anything to anyone, to do so could jeopardize not just the future, but the galaxy as a whole”

    He could feel another connection being made, it looked like another link was being made to the second person and future apprentice.

    He bowed his head in respect to his first apprentice “I have told you what I can and given you what you need to start off. It will be goodbye for now, but when the time comes you will find me again and I shall lead you all on to a brighter future, to Protect what is most important”

    Rath could feel his uncertainty, but that didn’t my stop him from nodding, resolute in his determination. “Thank you, Master.”

    He accepted the Holocron from Vydra. “I promise that I will honour the trust that you and the Master have placed in me. When the time is right, I shall be ready to Protect, and step up to defend what must be.”

    The Sith then remembered what he has been told to say. “But before I forget, sir.” He placed a hand to his chest.

    “May the Force be with you.”

    Vydra remembered the Master saying the exact same thing to him many moons ago. A phrase that would echo through the ages. A phrase that was the Masters way of giving his students a hug.

    And he would keep that going to his students.

    "May the Force be with you apprentice Rath. Stay safe and well and I shall see you again soon"

    He gave his first apprentice a bow of respect before turning to leave. That was hard but he knew it was just the beginning.

    One down, four more to go.

    TAG: @Sinrebirth
     
  17. Mitth_Fisto

    Mitth_Fisto Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Sep 29, 2005
    IC: Dunkeel
    Nouane, Clock-Temple - Early Morning

    Late to bed, early to rise. It was like a solid mantra the troubled soul. The sleep had been restless, invigorating the flesh and frustrating the mind, it was more fulfilling to meditate, or so he had thought. Then he had turned from the Force and himself to the ring. The infernal ring that now gave nothing. It floated, it bobbed, and it spun in his minds eyes but it gave nothing, not even warmth like before. Perhaps it was situational, if it was then all he saw was a warning, and none he saw above suspicion. So the rest and fulfillment of meditation was marred, blemished by this his prize and entrusted artifact. So sleep was chosen, only sleep was hollow.

    Dreams of lava, black rock landscape, hollow deep and dark. Dark so dark. The home of the ring he had no doubt, and in this he wondered how a piece of this desolation could do anything? The writing was writing, and he had been guided to and through that before. Uncurling from his nesting place on the floor he found himself seeing a ghostly after image, an unending field of rock and lava and darkness consumed in fire.

    He blinked and the scene receded, back to wood, to things, to home. He listened with ears and the Force to the freshly tuned Crepusculum. The even march of time, the one companion that they were vouched to safe guard. The natural order of events following each other in a predictable turning like the myriad gears above. Then there was the stillness. Performing his morning ablutions before grabbing a large chunk of dried meat he took in chunks cut with his lightsaber and the Force holding it aloft. It might not be what they were meant for, but there inlaid the problem of anything he ever used. It never was ever only good for one thing.

    Heading downstairs he meandered through the tower, down the hall passed the sealed door of his only fellow dweller, down the stairs. The central area saw him walk among the things. Brushing tools and items in a way of tender reflection. Noting items he whispered to the silent tower clicking away as he took the last measures and steps to the raised dais and workshop. "The Master has left us Crepusculum. I wonder if he remembered to say goodbye to you as well?" Taking his time before others could disturb even the dust, he studied and remembered the things as they were, as they are on this the first morning without The Master.

    TAG: @Sinrebirth
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2019
  18. QueenSabe7

    QueenSabe7 Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Mar 23, 2001
    With an assist from Sinre. [face_sigh]

    IC: Vale Sera w/Zinara Carrick

    Clock-Temple/Southern Region, Nouane

    There was an odd ringing noise that started to softly echo into the void that Vale currently inhabited. It starting as if from far off, creeping higher in volume though she wasn't sure how it came to be or where it was coming from. It was a soothing tone, she realized, pleasantly melodic wind chimes swaying in a light breeze. Until it became unbearably loud.

    The chime sounded again and this time it was crystal clear and placed - her comm. She began to stir slowly, very slowly, trudging upwards from her deep slumber like climbing a notably tall ladder. Awake but not fully present, she was aware enough to know she felt as though she had to force herself to break free of sleep, like rest had been chains rather than a welcoming cloud to float on. It was an odd sensation that registered the more her senses returned to her, and there was this pressure in her chest - not on - that she had never knowingly felt before.

    Her eyes finally fluttered open, the wooden ceiling of her room coming into focus and Vale moved to reach for the comm on her bedside table. She groaned lightly as she found her arm to be quite stiff and her fingers tingling with partial numbness, but she was able to grab the device regardless. Reading the message that awaited her, she nearly gasped.

    It’s time we talked.

    And it was from Zinara.

    Now ignoring any discomfort from her joints and the fact that she still felt rather... off, Vale sent out a quick response - When and where?

    The Force was mercurial today, but Zinara was not. She had replied in a hurry, and hadn’t truly expected to do so. For Vale to reply, it threw her neatly defined emotions aside, as Vale always did with Zinara.

    Logic dictated that Zinara see Vale at a neutral location where the hurt was isolated. But logic didn’t drive her right now. As she lay in bed, staring at her comlink, she knew that her best chance of saving their marriage was to step up now.

    Not so much now the Master was dead, but more that now Vale would need her more than ever. She had seen the update; had shamefully taunted Dunkeel with the news; had been shown up as a horrible person by Erwen. But... she wasn’t that.

    She’d allowed herself to become that by not speaking to Vale. Which is why she replied straight away.

    Later today? At home - after I finish work? I know you’ll have your hands full this morning.

    Vale didn't hesitate, her heart swelling at the very idea of seeing her home, their home again. Of seeing her wife again.

    I will be there.

    She paused after sending, adding another message right after. Thank you.

    With a sigh, she rolled onto her back and wiped away a single tear that had begun to creep down her cheek. While she could feel a modicum of happiness, she frowned as it was overcome by a set of emotions that were anything but. There was a dawning realization that how she was feeling was because something had happened - something monumental - and in its wake was a gaping hole that she could suddenly measure deep in her soul. That pressure in her chest, her heart, it was this manifesting as physical pain, a cold emptiness where there had once been a warmth and light that she had always assumed would remain... it was a reassurance that she knew now she had taken for granted.

    She reached for him in the Force, scared to know the truth of it but even though she was aware she'd not find him she did it anyway. Her senses only swam in nothingness now, where the Master's bright presence had once been. It was such a jarring difference that Vale pulled away from it immediately, curling into a ball on her side and bringing her arms up to cover her head. It was as if she were trying to shield herself from reality, but there would be no reprieve.

    He had been right. He had warned her and he had been right... the Master was gone. Truly and completely gone, not even leaving a ripple in the currents of the Force. He was gone.

    Vale's stomach ached for one more moment with him, even if just to say... goodbye.

    TAG: @Sinrebirth
     
  19. HanSolo29

    HanSolo29 Manager Emeritus + Official Star Wars Artist star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Apr 13, 2001
    The following is a combo with Sinrebirth – it's always a pleasure! :D

    IC: Dr. Joren Graal & Tera Graal
    Graal Household, Nouane City, Nouane

    With a sharp gasp, Joren sat upright in the makeshift bed, kicking the covers aside and running both hands through hair that had become damp from perspiration. The relentless pounding of his own heart resounded deeply in his ears, causing a dull roar that seemed to envelop the entire room. He found that he could not escape this terrible cacophony; it weighed heavily on his mind, body, and soul, wreaking havoc in the process. He heard himself moan against the onslaught, and he instinctively clenched at the sides of his head in an effort to ease his suffering.

    But he knew it wouldn’t be that simple. What he had seen...what he had experienced, it hadn’t been a dream. Not even a nightmare. It was a reality. He couldn’t just walk away from it with the coming of the dawn. No, this had been a warning; a Force-induced vision of an uncertain future.

    Someone was going to access the Light, to break the seal and send the galaxy tumbling into chaos. It was an act of treason of the highest degree, and yet he knew so little about the details surrounding this momentous event. He felt powerless to stop it. When and how would it occur?

    Joren had seen the four--no, five portals standing open, faces that he did not recognize peering out from their depths; himself standing amidst the carnage, his fists clamped tightly around the hilt of his burning, blue blade; his own unborn child screaming from somewhere in the distance; confusion, lawlessness…destruction.

    He groaned at the mental anguish that washed over him, the very essence of it appearing to drain the energy from his body. It didn’t really make sense, but the Holocron...how could he ignore it? It was trying to tell him something else, something important to connect the dots. Even now, he recalled the incomplete entry that served as the catalyst for his unease: ...will come to the Protectors, and fracture they will. The future will be damned by the best intentions of

    Inhaling deeply, Joren finally released the hold he had on his head and lowered his arms back to his sides. The Force demanded answers, and he knew that it rested within the confines of that single entry. Something or someone had concealed it from him, but he would find the means to crack the code and divulge its secrets. The fate of the galaxy depended on it.

    Without even bothering to check on his wife, Joren rose from the cot beside the bed and padded across the darkened bedroom in nothing but a pair of shorts. His goal was to reach his private study to commune with the Holocron. He would stay up for the rest of the night and forego sleep if he had to.

    Whatever it takes.

    The Holocron was there, a glow fading from it. It had been active and had spoken to him. The Force seemed to yaw around Joren, but it would take him some time to realise what was missing.

    Or, rather, who.

    Tera, however, knew what was absent almost immediately. With a slight huff of exertion, she decided that it was time to intervene. Her husband was in pain, and as much as she was oh so pregnant, and he really did need to be focused on her and their child right now, that didn’t mean he abandoned his needs and passions for the majority of the year.

    She certainly hasn’t; Tera had still been running until only a few weeks ago when her ankles ballooned and feet swelled up, in spite of Joren wanting her to slow down some months ago. Never. It was perfectly healthy to stay active even while pregnant; she had articles and proof and everything necessary to disarm his arguments.

    Tera was not a simple accessory to Joren, she had her own story and that it had not generally dovetailed with the one the Master was telling was hardly enough to warrant her being cut-out. She padded after Joren and followed him to the study.

    “Joren?”

    The Force roiled with a fever pitch as he approached the Holocron, the currents seeming to twist and stir in a maddening dance around an ever-expanding vacuum. This void had emerged suddenly, marking a very perceptible change that made Joren shiver. He couldn’t quite pinpoint its source, and he naturally frowned. His mind was so focused on this one singular task, that he only assumed that the disturbance and the Holocron were inherently linked.

    What else could it be?

    In fact, as distracted as he was, he even failed to sense Tera’s presence as she followed him into the study a short time later. It wasn’t until her voice broke through the profound silence that he visibly jumped and turned to regard her. Even in the dim light illuminating the room, she could likely see that his face appeared drawn and haggard with dark circles evading the space below his eyes. He had noticed it himself over the past few days, but he had chosen to ignore it.

    “Wha...what are you doing up?” he scoffed, his features registering shock as he subtly kicked the duffel that contained the Holocron back into its nook at the base of his desk. He then crossed over to her position, placing one hand on her shoulder while the other rested gently against her waist.

    “You know the doctor told you to limit your activity,” he chided lightly, once again making this about her and trying to deflect the attention away from himself. He was slipping back into the same routine, acting as if nothing was troubling him. “He doesn’t want you to strain yourself...it could hurt the baby. If you needed something, all you had to do was ask.”

    Joren offered a small smile and started to lead her back toward their bedroom.

    "I needed you, Joren," she said, goodnaturedly. "Something has happened, and now I need to be reassured that you are okay."

    She raised a finger before he spoke. "Don't lie to a pregnant woman. If you don't want to stress me out - stress the baby out - you need to be utterly honest with me. You've told me a lot of what is going on, but not everything, and while I was okay with you seeing Vale on your own, a lot of my friends and family were not, notwithstanding that she has - or had - a wife." Her voice was firm, but even. She managed not to raise it, not even a decibel, but she needed him to be a hundred percent with her right now.

    "Don't make me order you to reach out to your Master and bring him here."

    A frown crossed Joren’s features at her remark, his fingers instinctively flexing against her arm before loosening again. The Master still raised some serious doubts in his mind, but in this instance, that is not what had incited his unease. By mentioning the old man, Tera had inadvertently opened a direct conduit into the Force. He could see more clearly now, and he realized that the strange disturbance he had felt earlier was actually the Master; he had become the void, his presence seeming to fade until it ceased to exist.

    “That won’t be necessary,” he conveyed quietly, his eyes meandering to the floor as he slowed their forward progress. “He’s…gone.” Joren knew that this moment should have affected him more deeply, but he found that he could not muster the strength to show such emotion. It was more bittersweet, and he simply bowed his head and sighed.

    With the Master gone, where did he now stand?

    “I’m in charge,” Joren continued his musings aloud, his voice beginning to waver under the stress. “He left me as their leader, but…” He shook his head slowly, his brow creasing as he tried to formulate his thoughts into terms she could understand. “Something’s about to happen, and I--well, Vale...that’s why I had to see her--I don’t know who I can trust...if I can even do this.”

    The Master was gone? “Oh...”

    Tera stepped forward and took his hands in hers. Joren was birthing a monster in his heart, a terrible wound that had, without her noticing, consumed him whole.

    Fear was its name.

    She drew his hands to her swollen belly and met his eyes, her other hand softly on his cheek. “You need to focus on what’s important, Joren.”

    “You’re protecting us. I know the Force is real; you know at least part of whatever the Master’s been telling you has been true, but his teaching style invites paranoia and despair; he’s testing you to work out something that he’s hidden - we’ve seen it a hundred times back on campus together; the teacher who considers that you only graduate when you surpass them. Just because this is real life doesn’t make the principle any different - nor why you’re so desperate to solve whatever it is.”

    This was all gleaned from how her partner had been acting. The baby kicked, and Tera smiled warmly at Joren. “You’re afraid; but whatever’s going on - you’ve got this. You’ve never once let me down, and I know you won’t the baby. You used to always say that the principle never changes, it's just identifying the right one to the situation.”

    “Love, and life, honey, that’s the principle. I’m sorry that the Master is gone; I know how important he was to you and the others...” Tera met his eyes again, her own eyes glassy with the emotions surging within her hormone-addled body, and kissed him. “But you’re Joren Graal, Supernatural expert extraordinaire. Go be the goofy hero daring his way through traps on a dig and come back to us after you’ve saved the world.” She faintly grinned.

    Lowering his eyes from his wife’s expectant gaze, Joren studied his hands, calloused and marked by thin scars from years working out in the field, as they rested upon her bulging stomach. In many respects, they mirrored his own circumstances and what he was going through internally. He knew it would be a rough road ahead, and yet Tera was right – he had hope…right here. Even as that thought crossed his mind, he could feel the perceptible stirring of the tiny being growing within her, both physically and manifesting itself through the Force. Joren instinctively reached out and touched the baby’s mind to offer comfort and strength, eliciting another excited kick that made him smile.

    It was a tender moment that helped him to put everything into perspective. Despite the tribulations he faced, he now resolved to prevent this terrible future from occurring for the benefit of his unborn child. He...or she, deserved to grow up in a galaxy that was safe and flourishing, not to live in constant fear and conflict.

    With a sigh, Joren angled his chin to peer back into Tera’s ashen eyes. One hand came up to gently cup the contours of her face.

    “I don’t know if I can leave you after quite a rousing speech,” Joren drawled lazily, a hint of amusement returning to his voice. “How can you expect me to go off and...save the world without my rock and counselor? A leader…” he hesitated as a slight wince crossed his features, seemingly embarrassed, “is only as good as the people he surrounds himself with.”

    Pursing his lips, Joren took a moment to glance around their quaint little home, almost as if he wanted to commit it to memory. “I’m the only one still living solely outside of the Temple,” he continued in a hushed tone, slowly beginning to close the gap between them. “With the Master gone, we have no more limitations in that regard, at least not on my watch. Why don’t you join me there? We can get through this together.”

    There was a trace of desperation to his words, perhaps more than he wanted to let on.

    Tera seemed to consider that. She hadn't quite yet hit her nesting phase. So, she was pretty tempted to move and have a fresh start for the baby... and Joren seemed to need her closer to the clock-temple to remain balanced. That concerned her, but only because Joren still had the ability to manage all his responsibilities, but he wouldn't when the baby was born.

    The others would understand that he would have to step back when the baby was here. Tera had a responsibility to support him before he had to refocus. Especially if it was as serious as he suggested; if there was no world to live in, it would make no difference to the baby.

    She squeezed his hands. "If the others are agreeable to that, I am happy to come." Tera looked down at her stomach. "We both are. But," she said, looking to the window. "It's nearly morning; you need to get ready and head to the clock-temple earlier than not - they'll need you today."

    Tera kissed him. "I know you'll step up at home when the baby is here. I am sure of it."

    The baby kicked, and she decided to take that as agreement.

    He deflated a bit at the prospect of starting another new day without finding the answers he sought from the Holocron, particularly when he had to address the others for the first time as their leader, but he took solace in knowing that Tera had agreed to his suggestion. Having her at the Temple would provide encouragement and strength when he needed it the most.

    Joren expressed his elation with her last comment by returning the kiss, holding her there for several moments before pulling back from their embrace. When he spoke again, his lips brushed alluringly against hers. “Don’t worry, I’ll talk to the others,” he conveyed evenly, his blue eyes searching hers with confidence. “It should be a smooth transition once everything is set up. We’ll make this work.”

    As he started to step away, he hesitated for a second, his gaze straying once more to the small nook under his desk where he had stashed the knapsack. The Holocron called to him from there, threatening to shatter this intimate moment between husband and wife, but he held firm…for now.

    Turning back to Tera, Joren planted one last kiss on her lips and smiled. “I promise.”

    TAG: @Sinrebirth
     
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  20. Sinrebirth

    Sinrebirth Immortal Mod-King of the EUC, Lit, RPF and SWC star 8 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Nov 15, 2004
    And so the Master left the Protectors, the forebears of the Orders of the Jedi and the Sith, and he left them responsibility for the Light - The World Between Worlds.

    But whilst he gave access to four portals into the key moments of history, a fifth one was, shortly after he vanished, opened by someone else... and only the Masters had that ability.

    So whilst the Masters could traverse these realms with ease; observing; correcting; guiding - though were forbidden to do so - and so, in theory, everyone within those Five Portals was continuing their story. Events were what they were, and the story was Written.

    Apparently.



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2019
  21. Sinrebirth

    Sinrebirth Immortal Mod-King of the EUC, Lit, RPF and SWC star 8 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Nov 15, 2004
    IC: The Master
    Before, some days ago

    The Master was setting up five new Holocrons when he called for Zas'tel to attend him. Rather than the various shapes that the others were, they were simply pyramids. Five of them, in total, and all red. Rather than the cube, pyramid, double-pyramid and... crystal-shaped Holocron that the others had.

    "I want to introduce the Holocrons of Heresies. They run parallel to the Holocrons of Prophecy, which I passed to the others." He lazily shrugged a shoulder, gloved hand upward. "As pointed out, you need a successor to pass my Forcesaber to, the one with my essence within, so I can see the future."

    He returned his hand to working on the mechanisms of a sixth, larger, Holocron. "We know you succeed, because I managed to see thirty five thousand years into the future..." the Master looked back over his shoulder, black-gaze peering. "Not that you've seen any of that. Temporal paradoxes and all."

    "But as I made one of these Holocron’s, I saw that at least one of them will continue on, and become overwritten. It's a technique known as a palimpsest. You take one form of art and overlay another upon it." The Master sounded intrigued. "It can happen several times, and the gatekeeper of the Holocron in question sequestered or indeed supplanted. It becomes a habit, and some darksiders re-purpose several ancient tombs for each generation of their 'Sith Lords'."

    "I'm rambling; sorry," he waved his screwdriver around. "One of these Holocrons of Heresies will survive as the personal receptacle of a particularly fiendish villain - one Darth Andeddu. He discovers on Korriban the skill of essence transfer, to enable him to body-hop. This enabled him, in theory, to live a great deal longer."

    "Now you can flow-walk, you can go back and check on the others at any point you wish, so they can afford to miss you for a few days after I, well," he turned on the chain, holding his arms out wide. "After I go. So, what do you think? Fancy taking my Tho Yor Sphere for a spin and popping to Pesegam?"

    He was of course referencing the meditation sphere that was in-fact double-pyramid shaped. The Master had one of his own, and after he passed on, or whatever, Zas'tel would inherit it too.

    Now

    Chapter One


    The First Convocation of the Masters of the Protectors, one day after the passing of the Master of Masters


    The Masters essence passed, and in the following hours, the Protectors invariably departed, returned, or embraced rest. Vydra and Dunkeel discovered the truth first, while Joren and Vale slept. Vydra had opted to return home and had, en route to the clock-Temple, been diverted but was about to arrive.

    So, too, was Joren, who had spoken with Tera in the early hours of the morning, coming to realise the truth that the Master was gone. Similarly, Vale had both the joy of her estranged wife Zinara getting back in touch, but the knowledge that the Master was gone.

    Dunkeel just had himself, and the clock itself to speak to - and the clock did not reply.

    Their first meeting as the Masters of the Protectors would now begin, and Zas'tel had the choice to stay, and watch, or go. His role was just that, to watch, eternally so, until the End of Time...

    ... something which the four Protectors would have to face and repel.

    The Twilight Wars were indeed upon them, but they had many other things drawing upon them.

    Joren and his soon-to-be-born child; Joren and his vision; Joren and his secret; Joren and his name.

    Vydra and his family; Vydra and his task; Vydra and his secret; Vydra and his name.

    Dunkeel and his role; Dunkeel and his ring; Dunkeel and his secret; Dunkeel and his name.

    Vale and her wife; Vale and her task; Vale and her secret; Vale and her name.

    Zas'tel had merely to watch, and, of course... the other things.

    TAG: @HanSolo29, @Mitth_Fisto, @Jerjerrod-Lennox, @QueenSabe7 and introducing a re-casting of Zas'tel, otherwise known by the secret name, Sistros, with @Galactic_vagabond422
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2019
  22. Jerjerrod-Lennox

    Jerjerrod-Lennox Jedi Grand Master star 7

    Registered:
    Mar 9, 2005
    IC: Vydra Delomeux
    Location: The Clock Temple, Nouane


    He had arrived.

    It was strange to be back at the Clock Temple again, well he had been back per se but Venezia had managed to drag him home again to see his family and get some much needed rest after his self imposed exile. And now he would have to face the music with the others, face the fact that he had run away perhaps when he should have stayed. But if the others had been in the same position would they have done the same?.

    With the Masters passing it was now up to him and the others to continue his work but there was still the spectre of the Twilight Wars to deal with as well as all the secrets that they all had. Now was the time to slowly work out what was going on, what each person’s mission was and perhaps whether they could work together as a team finally or be broken apart forever.

    Of course they didn't know that he had found an apprentice, perhaps the others would find their own eventually or they would be paired with the ones he would find. But there was a good reason why he had to do this, it was unfortunate that he could not tell them all at present. But perhaps there could be a chance to explain himself once everything came out, well if it all came out.

    It was a shame that he had to leave his family, he hoped that he would get a chance to see them again before everything went down the drain, he had luckily not had an argument with his father again and that chapter seemed resolved for now. His sister was a driving force for him to come home and he was glad to at least get his thought’s straight. And have a proper sleep too.

    As he entered the Temple he could feel that Dunkeel was there and he broadcast in the Force that he was back. The others hadn't arrived yet so he quickly popped upstairs back to his room to put his stuff back. Favourite book and picture of the family back in place, his clothes hung up and stored away as neatly as could be and a quick check to see if his he looked presentable and his Forcesaber was still attached to his hip. Plus his Holocron was still in his bag, he decided not to bring that down with him just yet.

    He headed downstairs keeping his eyes open for the shadow who was probably hiding somewhere or simply disappeared. He hoped the shadow would not watch him as he completed his task, his was an important mission and he did not want some shadow interfering and spoiling the whole thing.

    Time to wait.

    TAG: @Sinrebirth , @HanSolo29 , @QueenSabe7 , @Mitth_Fisto
     
  23. QueenSabe7

    QueenSabe7 Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Mar 23, 2001
    IC: Vale Sera
    Clock-Temple, Nouane

    It had taken some time, but after a long while curled up in bed, Vale had mustered the will to fully wake. Sitting up atop the covers with her legs drawn up to her chest, she buried her face in her knees. Pressure filled every last ounce of space in her head and her eyes felt dry and raw – she had spent most of the morning switching back and forth between soft bouts of crying and long stretches of blank, empty stares. The kind where you’re so afraid that if you move, you’ll actually have to face the reality you are so desperately trying to forget is real.

    In all instances she had not been able to pick herself up, until now.

    The Master, the hole he had left in her churned her stomach and she flinched when she stepped to the edge of it, looking down into the neverending nothingness that would be a part of her for the rest of her life. It gave her little comfort to know that the pain of it may lessen over time, that after a while she would learn to forgive and honor him by continuing the path he had so carefully guided her along until this point.

    But, it did give her hope. Hope that in the wake of such a life-altering tragedy, it would give her the clarity and strength to move forward. With time. It was done now, so forward was the only direction left to go.

    With a groan against the ache of her joints, Vale began the journey of the day: preparing for the first meeting of the Protectors without their leader, their true and only leader. Joren was a figurehead and nothing more, she had to assume that the Master would have explained that to him as he had made clear to her privately. If not, she would be the first to step up and tell him herself because the last thing they needed right now was one of them thinking they held more power than the rest. That would be dangerous, as she had always been vocal about so it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone if it was repeated.

    Showering and cleaning herself up more thoroughly than she had in many weeks, her mind moved to Zinara as she began to dress. Her wife had agreed to see her later in the day, after the gathering that awaited her downstairs which she held a great deal of trepidation towards – maybe even more than her nerves over coming face to face with Zin for the first time since that fateful night in the city. Whether it went well, or it didn’t, she’d have the person she cared for most in this world to talk to about it. If she decided she wanted to listen…

    Fastening the waist of her fitted slacks and pulling on a nondescript shirt with flared sleeves, Vale brushed then began pulling her dark brown hair up in her usual low knot but she stopped about hallway through. Undoing what she had managed and letting her locks fall loose, they now hung well below her shoulders where for years she had kept it shorter, barely even brushing the top of them. Gazing into the mirror just beside her door, she found that she didn’t really mind the change. It was even liked it better this way.

    Change, as hard and inevitable as it was, was necessary. The Master had helped her to see that.

    Her Forcesaber hanging from the side of her belt, visible for all to see, she left her quarters and began her descent down the stairs that would lead to the common area. As she went, her eyes swept over every surface in a brand new light. It all seemed to carry a different weight now. Bleaker, without, dulled… lacking that aura of adventure and excitement in learning that her mentor had always imbued the tower with. Without him, it was a noticeable shift that made Vale swallow roughly.

    Her heart hammered in her chest but she did not cry.

    As her feet padded down the last few steps, her gaze settled in on a face that instantly flooded her with relief and in the absence of the other, she latched onto the feeling it gave her with fervor.

    “Vydra,”
    she said loudly with a warm smile. Genuine pleasure in seeing him returned here would precede her in the Force as she calmly crossed the floor to where he had been waiting. “I don’t think I could properly express how… comforting it is to see you again.” Her lip trembled slightly as she continued to show him just how much she meant that by the emotions she so openly conveyed in the currents that surrounded them. “We cannot be whole without you, especially now.”

    Unable to contain herself, Vale reached out and gently wrapped her arms around his and unabashedly hugged him. She had never shown Vydra this kind of closeness before, but somewhere in the back of her mind a memory nudged her to do so. A familiar voice telling her that the Protectors were her family, and she knew now that she should start treating them that way.

    With love.

    TAGS: @Jerjerrod-Lennox (directly) - @Sinrebirth @HanSolo29 @Mitth_Fisto @galactic-vagabond422
     
  24. HanSolo29

    HanSolo29 Manager Emeritus + Official Star Wars Artist star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Apr 13, 2001
    IC: Dr. Joren Graal
    Clock Temple, Nouane

    At Tera’s urging, Joren had returned to the temple to fulfill his duties. Despite the uncertainty and doubt that continued to radiate through the Force as a result of the prophetic vision, he still had an obligation to keep to his fellow Protectors. He was their leader; they would need comfort and guidance in the wake of the Master’s departure, and he saw himself as the one to provide that. Of course, he didn’t know how he would carry out this seemingly impossible task, especially since there had been no time to consult the Holocron, but he had to try.

    For Tera. For his child. For the galaxy and the unknown future they faced. If he could make a difference, he would do everything in his power to see it through.

    Passing into the common area, Joren noted the others shining brightly as he approached. As usual, he was the last to arrive, and while this caused some apprehension, perhaps it would work out to his benefit; he would not need to wait long to get started. He had already compiled a list of talking points and methods in his head – he planned to approach this like any of his classes at the university, with clear, decisive authority. Not too much to dissuade them, yet enough to gain their respect. He did not want them fighting back, particularly Vale. He had a feeling she would require more convincing than the others, but that was fine; he would work on her as he went along.

    The doctor also intended to inquire about Tera and the baby coming to live in the temple. This was a group effort, and he believed that she could bring some positive energy to the dynamic. At the very least, it would allow Joren to spend more time with the others, not split between home and work. A leader needed to make himself accessible if he wanted to gain the trust of his people. Hopefully, they would not find fault with his suggestion.

    And finally, there was the delicate issue surrounding the Shadow – was it, Zas’tel? – and his role with the Protectors. It came as no surprise to discover that he was absent once more. Joren suspected him of subterfuge, either of his own doing or more likely at the behest of the late Master. He could not permit that kind of behavior to carry on under his watch, not when their future was already at stake. It was crucial for them to remain united.

    Inhaling deeply, Joren lingered on that thought as he inclined his chin and observed the scene unfolding before him. Vydra and Vale were sharing an intimate moment, the latter coming together to give his friend a warm embrace. It was everything he could hope for; this is what would keep them together...keep them strong.

    With a genuine smile on his face, the doctor stepped forward to join them, placing a firm hand on Vydra’s shoulder to express his appreciation as he passed. “It’s good to see you,” he stated quietly, loud enough so that only Delomeux could hear.

    Joren then stepped back to address them all as a group. “Like everyone else in this room, I am saddened and deeply stunned by this tragedy,” he began evenly, his eyes shifting to study each of them in turn. “The Master was a well-liked and highly respected individual. And I am not attempting to step into his shoes…no one could. But as the one appointed as your leader by the man himself, it is my obligation to take over in his stead...to continue his work. All I ask of you is for your undivided loyalty and attention. We can get through this together.”

    TAG: @Jerjerrod-Lennox; @QueenSabe7; @Mitth_Fisto; @Sinrebirth; @galactic-vagabond422 (mentioned)
     
  25. Mitth_Fisto

    Mitth_Fisto Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Sep 29, 2005
    IC: Dunkeel
    Clock-Temple, Nouane

    Waiting as he had been in the main room, contemplating his existence, his mission, his ring, and the murder he had to help solve, all things that troubled him. He listened to Crepusculum, measuring the moments as a silent observer, and not be feared as the Shadow he no longer did distrust. An odd turn of events that.

    As Crepusculum never answered and neither did anything about the room, it was a quiet wait. Even more so when the others arrived. He had nodded his head in respect and welcome to each, but two seemed to spiral into each other in an embrace. He had no idea that woman would go that way with their dusty sheltered book keeper. An odd pairing that was. Joren arrived last and merely did a touch and then gave a speech.

    "I welcome you all, I welcome your words Joren. I sadly do not share them." he grunted out, it was hard to say, to speak these words. It felt like he was or should be saying or said or done something else, but yet this moment was upon him. "The Master shall be missed. It was no surprise, we were warned. Prepared if not for the hour, for the eventual and that it drew near." Reaching up he dragged his nails across his snout, "As for the last, speak softly that we may listen. You are Leader of Masters, not Master of Masters. Keeper of the Between absolute you are, yet each of us must choose our paths and bare our burdens as we choose. We would, should, speak all privately and together." he simply said with muddled heart and raw emotions barely bandaged in the nights reprieve and the Force's embrace.

    TAG: @HanSolo29 , @Jerjerrod-Lennox , @QueenSabe7 , @galactic-vagabond422 (If applicable.)