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Star Wars CLOSED A Star Wars Story: Between Epitaphs

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

  1. QueenSabe7

    QueenSabe7 RPF Awards Host star 6 VIP - Game Host

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

    Vale disengaged from Vydra after a final reassuring squeeze and stepped back. Seeing Dunkeel and Joren arrive she maintained her somberly optimistic attitude, even when Joren opted to greet only Vydra and skip over her entirely. She might have guessed it had to do with the fact that he was quite familiar with her views on what he perceived as his new position of authority.

    However, after his welcome speech that bordered on self-gratifying, she was again relieved to find at least one other Protector appeared to be aligned with her thoughts on the matter.

    She nodded respectfully to Dunkeel once the chistori finished speaking, clasping her hands in front of her before taking her turn to address the rancor in the room. She could no longer consult the Master as she always had before, so now it was up to her companions to either hear her out or disagree.

    “Joren,” she began lightly. “The Master named you Leader, for when he would leave us. And for the public face of the Protectors, I don’t believe there should be any argument that you are indeed a perfect choice. You have years of experience dealing with the public and speaking to them in a way that promotes calm and reason, skills the rest of us may not have. I know you are the best man for the job when it will come to the Lords of Nouane and as needed, its citizens.”

    Vale took a breath and approached him casually. “But here, in our home, I cannot speak for all of us but I feel that now is not a time to expect one of us to assume control of the rest. This,” she placed a hand upon the well-worn table that so many previous lessons had taken place around. “This is where we are all on equal footing, and no one of us should think themselves anything more than the next. Even in title.” She glanced again at Dunkeel, bolstered by his words and then her eyes passed by Vydra, wondering about his opinion before she returned to Dr Graal.

    “Asking for us to give you our loyalty and attention is not appropriate and, perhaps not the right request to begin with.” Vale added this last part gently because she was done being combative with Joren. And she truly hoped he was seeing her meaning and not searching for an accusation instead. “It’s been said several times before and you are saying it again now – that we can get through this together. I absolutely agree we can, but only if we all doing the same for each other, and speaking to each other as peers.”

    She offered him a lop-sided smile, looking for a way to keep the discussion even. “As Masters now, this should be a council rather than a hierarchy."

    TAGS: @HanSolo29 (most directly) - @Jerjerrod-Lennox @Mitth_Fisto @galactic-vagabond422 @Sinrebirth
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2019
  2. Jerjerrod-Lennox

    Jerjerrod-Lennox Jedi Grand Master star 7

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

    He was expecting at least a slap in the face from Vale, especially after he had run off.

    He didn't expect a hug.

    As she wrapped her arms around him, saying that how comfortable it was to see him and that they would not be whole without him he fet her genuine pleasure at seeing him return resonate through the Force. He gently wrapped his arms around her hugging back a smile on his face and his gratitude radiating back. She did look beautiful but he made sure not to do anything that would definitely earn him a slap on the face.

    As he was hugging her Vydra then felt a familiar and genuinely warm presence enter a firm hand landed on his shoulder and Joren spoke “It’s good to see you” his friend said so only he could hear.

    And you old friend Vydra broadcast back to him in the Force, happiness at hearing and seeing his old friend and now leader returning to the fold.

    Vale disengaged from him with a squeeze and he gave her a nod in return. Dunkeel had also arrived, no greeting from him but Vydra gave him a nod as well.

    Joren then gave a speech, the beginning of it was fine, as was the bit about getting through this together, unfortunately the bit about needing their undivided loyalty and attention was a bit off the mark. They had all shown their undivided loyalty and attention to the Master, well he wasn't so sure about the shadow. Would they not now show it to him? Was this another test?.

    A bit of a mixed speech there my friend.

    Then Dunkeel spoke. And it seemed he did not agree with Joren’s speech. Explaining that he would be the Leader of Masters, not the Master of Masters as presumably the Master had been and he would be Keeper of the Between. However it seemed Dunkeel had a valid point when he said that they must all choose their paths and bear those burdens. And that they should speak privately and together. They were a team first and foremost, one for all and all for one. Vydra knew that he had chosen his path and would have to bear the burden of his consequences, and those consequences would be huge.

    Vale was next and she started by accepting that he would be the perfect choice as the public face of the Protectors, that thanks to his experience with the public he would be adequately be able to handle dealings with them. However she felt that now was not the time to expect one of them to take control of the rest, that they were all on equal footing and that he should not think of himself as higher than the rest. That they should speak to each other as peers that it should be a council, not a hierarchy.

    Again good points and also valid. But it was a shame to see his friend simply bashed for being chosen as leader, that they thought he would treat them not as peers but as underlings. Would he be like that? Would he try to be controlling? His way or the highway? Vydra hoped not. The others for some unknown reason had their sights set on him. Vydra of course would be watching him just in case he was the one, and of course when all was said and done, after it had all happened, who would lead? They would need a leader and if it wasn't Vydra then it would have to be the one who had lead before.

    Perhaps they could co-lead….

    But he was getting ahead of himself, time to make his opinion known.

    “Dunkel and Vale make valid points. First and foremost, we are a team, we should work together or not at all. Perhaps the Master sought to test us, to divide us, give us each something that could devastate the rest. But the time has come to focus on the future, not what might have been, what could have been, but what is about to happen. No more secrets, no more lies, no more conniving or scheming or stabbing each other in the back. No more running away. We are all equal, all Masters, we have been given our duties, our missions, all that we need to concentrate on is working together to make sure the future is secure, that we work for the good of our citizens and the galaxy as a whole.”

    His eyes narrowed “However, what is the point of the Master electing a leader if he is not allowed to lead? Are we just going to simply take it in turns to lead?” he shook his head “The Master chose him for a reason, what reason we obviously do not know. But he chose him to lead use, and when the time comes we need that leadership to guide us, to steady us, to make sure we do not stray from the light into the dark. If he cannot lead then one of us will have to”

    He looked at the other two “We must speak to each other as peers yes, but after everything happens what then?. Would you follow Joren to the end of the galaxy and back to keep the galaxy safe? Or would you want someone else to lead? Because out of the four of us, he is the best one. And if he shirks from his duties, if he thinks of himself above others, if he puts the galaxy in peril then remove him. But until then perhaps give him a chance to show what he can do”

    Vydra looked at Joren to see what he thought of all of this.

    TAG: @HanSolo29 , @QueenSabe7 , @Mitth_Fisto , @galactic-vagabond422 , @Sinrebirth
  3. HanSolo29

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

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

    Things hadn’t exactly started out on a positive note. Joren had only just finished his opening remarks when he felt the Force surge in a tumultuous wave as dissension spread among his colleagues. It started with Dunkeel, the reptilian creature who he had previously deemed an ally, and his proclamation that he was only a ‘Leader of Masters.’ He remained adamant in his belief that they should have the freedom to pursue their own paths and carry their own burdens. It was a selfish thought that went against the very idea of working together as a team. What was the point if they could not consult and lift up each other in a time of need?

    Joren’s gaze hardened at that thought, though he did not interfere. He would allow them this time to have their say, share their thoughts, and vent; it was the appropriate action for any competent leader. Of course, it would come as no surprise that Vale did not agree with his assessment. This open forum served as a perfect opportunity for her to flaunt her misgivings, and she quickly rose up to the challenge.

    Fortunately, she managed to keep it fairly subdued, almost as if she was actually trying to cooperate and help him succeed by offering sound advice. It was certainly a welcome change from her usual brash attitude. It still irked him, and he didn’t exactly find himself rushing to endorse her ideas, but he appreciated the effort. It helped when it came to formulating a response. At the very least, he was able to look at things with an open mind.

    Vydra’s advice also proved beneficial in that regard.

    Angling his chin toward his chest, Joren narrowed his eyes and studied his friend as he provided his own line of feedback. He did not shy away from criticism and delivered a speech that impacted him on both a fundamental level through the brutal honesty of his words and a more personal one with his sincere praise. It generated a perfect balance, and it was exactly what Joren needed to hear to strengthen his resolve. This notion brought a smirk to the doctor’s features. He shouldn't expect anything less from a friend.

    Drawing in a deep breath, Joren crossed his arms over his chest and took up a more casual stance by leaning back against the table. “I appreciate the feedback,” he stated evenly, his blue eyes coming to rest on each of them in turn. “From all of you. I guess in a way it reflects the very thing we need to preserve the most – the idea of camaraderie, teamwork…unity. It’s like a system of checks and balances, and I’m open to hearing all of your points of view as we move forward to achieve our goals.”

    He leaned forward marginally, lifting a brow to look at both Vale and Dunkeel. “I also understand the desire to maintain your independence and to follow your own paths where relevant. The Master respected that, and I won’t make a move to interfere. As you said, it’s not my place.”

    The doctor paused, taking a moment to choose his words carefully. “We are peers,” he repeated Vale’s sentiments as if he was reciting them for his own benefit. “Yes, I absolutely agree, and the idea of a council can guarantee that we all have the opportunity to contribute; we each have a voice. However…even a council appoints a chairman, or a leader, to preside over the proceedings. Their role is to oversee the group and ensure that business is conducted in an orderly fashion – to offer advice and to mediate. They prevent anarchy from slipping into the ranks.”

    Joren exhaled heavily through his nose, the action causing the extreme fatigue to show through in his features for the first time. “It is a means to protect us, not to elevate myself over the rest of you, nor overstep my bounds. I would be foolish to try; I don’t intend to take away your influence. We are one group. And we will succeed.”

    TAG: @QueenSabe7; @Jerjerrod-Lennox; @Mitth_Fisto; @Sinrebirth; @galactic-vagabond422
  4. Mitth_Fisto

    Mitth_Fisto Force Ghost star 6

    Sep 29, 2005
    IC: Dunkeel
    Clock Temple, Nouane

    From Vale to Vydra his starting objection was given more voice and better elegance of words then he had to make his argument. Although in truth it was not an argument against Graal, just against his methods, a reigning in. He was support the leader or supplant them. A job he never wanted, nor wants.

    He was glad and comforted by their words. Words that bolstered as well as challenged, and then there had come the response to their responses. Graal accepted, amended, changed his stance just enough that it fell to what he agreed with was agreeable to Dunkeel.

    "Well spoken. Now that that is settled, what is the agenda for today Leader?"

    TAG: @HanSolo29 , @galactic-vagabond422 , @Jerjerrod-Lennox , @QueenSabe7 , @Sinrebirth
  5. Sinrebirth

    Sinrebirth Mod-Emperor of the EUC, Lit, RPF and SWC star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Nov 15, 2004
    IC: The Narrator
    Clock Temple, Nouane

    The meeting had began on uneven footing, with Joren pressing the advantage that the Master had granted him. His position, it changed sufficiently that Dunkeel was agreeable to it, when he had been in accord with Vale beforehand. Vydra had been steadfast in his support of the leader on the basis of the support of the Master's teachings, though one wondered if he agreed with Joren in earnest.

    Yet, Dunkeel had given his support to nonetheless.

    The meeting had an itinerary of sorts, of course. Joren could discuss the potential traitor he believed to exist, though he had yet to heavily consult the Holocron of Prophecy in his possession. Similarly, he had his own personal issue to bring up. But, business had to move forward.

    Was Vale sufficiently mollified?

    Was Vydra supporting Joren, or the Master?

    Why did Dunkeel object and, yet, persist?

    As ever, time in the meeting warped, and, very soon, it would be the evening and when it was...

    ... soon, the Force would call upon Vydra...

    ... Zinara would call upon Vale...

    ... Erwen would call upon Dunkeel...

    ... Tera would call upon Joren...

    But not quite yet.

    Did they have enough time to make progress, or would they leave an unspoken split?

    The question was not so much about their intentions...

    ... but about the Truths that they clung to.

    TAG: @Mitth_Fisto, @Jerjerrod-Lennox, @QueenSabe7, @HanSolo29

    OOC: Mitth_Fisto, please post your First Secret Combo (as bumped)
  6. Mitth_Fisto

    Mitth_Fisto Force Ghost star 6

    Sep 29, 2005
    Secret Combo

    IC: The Master & Dunkeel


    Later, after the ceremonial handing over of the Forcesabers

    The Master rushed over to them as they entered the room, taking them by the arm and tugging them along. “Come on, come on.”

    He produced the Holocron from a pocket, rushing it into their hands and sitting them in his chair, moved to the centre of the room, in one swift movement. It was a double pyramid, and it floated out of his hands.

    “It’s so very cool, isn’t it? All that history, in the palm of your hands. Some thirty thousand millennia of it.”

    Snorting with a raised eye to the Master he could not help but be partly transfixed by the thing floating as it was. "It is in grasp, but not palm." The fact of where he had been put was not lost on him as he realized the cherished seat that he was sitting in. Not that he knew wholly what to make of it.

    "What good is the future to me or the past in whole? Let alone parts? We are stuck to one world. One life. A few years barely a mote to the sum of the mere 30,000 you hand me. Cool? Perhaps, but meaningful? Useful? How?"

    “Well it includes some more immediate snippets, of course. Some relevances to you, even.” He sounded amused. He squatted in front of Dunkeel. “Now, we’ve got to discuss something important.”

    He settled into a crossed legged pose, the Master’s cowl making his expression unreadable but his body language tightly bound as he folded his arms too. “Your Truth.”

    He sniffed lightly at that. If the future began now that was helpful, although how that would safeguard a future that was already written was, well he would take it one thing at a time. Watching The Master sit on the floor made him shift and feel awkwardly uncomfortable, more so than any Truth.

    "The one you just confirmed with Fang? Or something else?" he asked, idly feeling unsettled as he waited for what was to be. As it did not feel like it would be something he was wholly prepared for after that display of grand power a short while before, coupled with the facts that his own future was apparently in this thing already before he had even lived it.

    The Master flicked his hands. “No, no, that was not your Truth. That was your test. You all passed, of course. Protectors one and all, and now you are qualified, you get to know everything I have been building before. But first, your Truth.”

    “What is your Truth, I wonder? Are you the leader...” he turned away. “Your blade was balance, completely and utterly, after all.”

    He tapped his chin, or, rather, he pretended to - his chin did not jut enough to be visible, not even to identify his species. “No, of course not. So, your Truth will be to support the leader, to be his right Hand Protector of the Light.”

    “Yes, that makes sense.”

    Head tilting as he tried to work through this he found himself butting his head, metaphorically, against the notion of the fact that his weapon was not a truth. Then The Master turned away and used what was not his truth to try and devine his truth. . .was it his truth or not?

    With a heavy sigh he made up his own mind on that matter. It was his Fang. Whether it tore true through sinew and cortical bone to reveal the marrow of truth or merely glistened with a reflection of it, it was Fang and not truly that other thing. Reveal it? Maybe. Be it? Definitely not.

    Still, some rebuttal seemed appropriate. "I'm a handy man, not a body guard. I will guard the nest and all you as well as the Force have chosen. I would give my body to any that need of it here, but I am not Right Hand Protector of the Light. A tool, a thing that is, an aspect, a symbiote."

    “No, you’re not,” the Master said, nodding wolfishly. “You’re the one that keeps everything running, the tinkerer who has the sense of when things are simply not right.”

    “The handyman, tweaking the machine.” He raised a finger. “But in this case, the machine is the Force itself, my friend. The components are your comrades in arms.”

    A shrug. “To me, you’re the steady one. The rock. You keep everyone pointed in the right direction. You’ll follow the manual.” The Master indicated the Holocron. “That’s what the Second is. Not the patsy. The soul.” He indicated Dunkeel’s Forcesaber. “The balance.”

    "That. . .that is a heavy order. Yet a simple one." Head waving as he focused on The Master, on his words. He could not really divine deeper. Dunkeel's mind was full and content on the muscle and marrow of these lessons and now this as well. He was like a hatchling that was too full to run, but too excited by the first kill, that first step forward to sleep.

    "If I am as you say the Soul. Who is the heart and Spirit? The head is obvious, those? Not so much to me. To be a good soul I will need to know all better than I do." Letting his head stop swaying he raised his holocron up and balanced it on his nose as he set Fang across his lap. So many things to think on, so much to absorb and know.

    The Master scoffed. “You’ll know. The Truths of others are not for me to tell, but you’re the compass.” He indicated the Forcesaber. “Your Crystal colour told me that, my friend.”

    “Unless of course you believe that you need to know now?” A pause. “Oh my, did you think you should be the new Master?” He leaned forward, standing while keeping his arms folded, now looming over them. “Don’t need my advice already?”

    His tone was lightly mocking. Teasing.

    Dunkeel hissed a small laugh at the admittal that he had drawn out from The Master, his saber Fang had revealed a truth. The whole situation was a bit funny in a way of the preposterous nature of things.

    "I could not be you. Too much coverings, maybe be the New Master? Open and evident." he stated as he took off his tunic exposing his upper torso, as he prefered to be in sparring or when it was hot about or just didn't want to get his cloths dirty such as when hunting. A point of view that sometimes crossed over into delving into the Force despite the chance of getting blood on his clothes being much more unlikely.

    The Master looked offended. “I like being mysterious and inscrutable. Adds to the effect.”

    “But, though you may joke about the ‘New Master.’ Well.” One arm remaining folded, he absently tapped the side of his head with the other, and he turned away. “There may be a point where you need to step in, you see. So, that’s why you need to be right there, being that compass.”

    “If you’re not...” he glanced back. “Chaos might ensue. We don’t want that, do we?”

    "No." he said with firm shake of his head, absentmindedly shaking the holocron from where it sat / floated above his nose to topple down. An easy catch, but still he was glad The Master wasn't facing him when it happened.

    "Except to whomever opposes us in your grey yeared absence." a soft rattle hiss of enjoyment and a bit of protectiveness shone through there. He didn't particularly like the thought of the days when The Master was not to be with them. He imagined that it was like how the mammals viewed losing a parent in a lot of ways.

    “Grey-yeared, yes.” The Master seemed to chew over that.

    “Excellent, though.” He went to turn, and go. “Oh yes, last thing. Each of you will have a secret name, you see. It’s attached to acceptance of that Forcesaber; what it can give it can take away. If someone uses your secret name against you... they can take away the Force.” His voice shifted to intone. “Protect you will no more!”

    “So, your name.” The Master nodded; the Force stirred, in time with the sway of his head, from right to left. “Faya.” He repeated both syllables. “Fay-A. Not Fa-Ya. Fay-A. Got it?”

    The words weighed heavy. A consequence he had never known came with Fang, of accepting it, of using it as a lens. The light cut both ways, his enemies, his obstacles, but also himself. Used properly it was a blazing light that opened the Force wide to him, so much he had not really taken time to feel just how far it had changed things. Used against him, the light could sear off what he had learned and known to be, by a simple name. Fay-A.

    "Fay-Ah, sounds like a fruit drink." he nodded as he repeated the Master's head motion with the Name that was him. Sortof.

    “It does, doesn’t it?” The Master shrugged yet again. “Names have power, my friend. A birth name, a bequeathed name. To name is to be named by that which you named.”

    “I gave up my birth name so long ago...” he gestured to the clock-tower. “To all this.”

    A smile, echoed and felt. “Perhaps our names will change again yet.”

    “May the Force be with you, Protector.” He clapped his hands together and shooed Dunkeel. “I’m sure you have some work to do.” That cheekiness returned - the seriousness vanished.

    TAG: No One & The Reader
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 15, 2019
  7. galactic-vagabond422

    galactic-vagabond422 Best Roleplayer Summer 2020 star 4 VIP - Game Winner

    Jul 11, 2009
    IC: Zas'tel
    Before, some days ago

    Zas'tel sat quietly as the Master spoke taking in all the information given to him. Six holocrons, only one of them surviving millenia later the defel gave a curious brow arch as he talked about palimpsest. Then the thrust came through, 'Essence transfer', a way to live past one's natural life. A way to keep watch for eternity, or until he can find the being that carries his master's essence. These things always take their own time, and lifetimes be damned. It would be of use. Though it was interesting to think about. He had already succeeded, his mission was already complete. So it felt as though no matter what he would always succeed. He supposed that was the way of things. Circular and vague until they made sense. For a moment he thought of where he would be storing these, keeping hold of them until the appointed time.

    Though it was made clear. Tho Yor Sphere, the master's it would fall to Zas'tel on the cloaked one's passing. Something that was inevitable and soon. Sooner than he thought.

    Sometime later.

    He was watching, he was always watching, even if it wasn't at the time the event occurred. Time after all had become something of a fluid and arbitrary concept. Though he was not there, he could still see what was transpiring. A slight contention for leadership, for how this group would lead itself in the future. One was selected by the Master, though the others seemed unwilling to simply give their allegiance. They had their own goals as well from his perch high above, temporally speaking, he could see all of it and could see where it led. This could be intriguing. Though there was soon some things needed to be done. He coughed into his hand blood flying into his palm. This would not do, he needed to live longer than this. He was tasked with watching over them, to always be watching and to give the Force Saber to the successor.

    Maybe it was time to learn something new, or something old.

    TAG: @Sinrebirth @Mitth_Fisto @QueenSabe7 @HanSolo29 @Jerjerrod-Lennox
  8. Jerjerrod-Lennox

    Jerjerrod-Lennox Jedi Grand Master star 7

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

    Listening to Joren it seemed he had taken all that they had said on board. His old friend seemed like he had suddenly realized there was dissension in the ranks, which was saddening and it was up to Joren to unit them all.

    Perhaps Vydra could lend a hand in healing the rifts. After all, within his mission, it would be up to him to heal any rifts and any disagreements that may arise. If Dunkeel was collaborate with Vydra then perhaps he would have to listen to him every once in a while. And if he had decided to side with Joren for now and in the future then so be it. It was Dunkeel’s choice as to whether he would continue to follow Vydra or nit.

    “I appreciate the feedback,” he stated evenly, his blue eyes coming to rest on each of them in turn. “From all of you. I guess in a way it reflects the very thing we need to preserve the most – the idea of camaraderie, teamwork…unity. It’s like a system of checks and balances, and I’m open to hearing all of your points of view as we move forward to achieve our goals.”

    Vale and Dunkeel from what Vydra had heard so far had probably their own ideas of how Joren should lead or even if he should lead at all. As Vydra had said before they needed to work as a team, otherwise what was the point of being brought together? And after what was destined to happen, they would need to be a team more than ever if they were to preserve the future, if they all survived. Hopefully with all of the secrets being revealed as Vydra wanted then they could clear the air and start over and support Joren in his leadership.

    Joren then spoke more to Vale and Dunkeel “I also understand the desire to maintain your independence and to follow your own paths where relevant. The Master respected that, and I won’t make a move to interfere. As you said, it’s not my place.”

    It was good that he was acknowledging Vale’s and Dunkeel’s points but the discord emanating from them two towards Joren was ...disconcerting. Perhaps it was merited, perhaps not, only the future would reveal the true motives of all three. But he hoped that his old friend’s motives were pure, it seemed that way for now. They were independent to work as they chose, however Joren of course would keep an eye on things as only a leader would. To make sure no-one strayed from their Protector duties or perhaps strayed towards the dark. Vydra of course had a job to do and he hoped that if he was found out, then he could explain as best he could.

    “We are peers, Yes, I absolutely agree, and the idea of a council can guarantee that we all have the opportunity to contribute; we each have a voice. However…even a council appoints a chairman, or a leader, to preside over the proceedings. Their role is to oversee the group and ensure that business is conducted in an orderly fashion – to offer advice and to mediate. They prevent anarchy from slipping into the ranks.”

    His friend was looking tired now and Vydra wanted to put an arm around him and comfort him or even as reassurance “It is a means to protect us, not to elevate myself over the rest of you, nor overstep my bounds. I would be foolish to try; I don’t intend to take away your influence. We are one group. And we will succeed.”

    Vydra nodded at the end of the speech in acceptance, and it seemed Dunkeel had accepted so far and had asked for the itinerary for the rest of the meeting. Vydra to be honest didn't have much to say to the end of that speech, Joren had covered all of his and the other’s points well, Vale so far had stayed silent, she had been Joren’s biggest critic so far out of Dunekeel and her and it would be interesting to see how she handled his speech and what he had said. Vale and Vydra may have shared an intimate moment but he hardly knew the woman and what she could be like, Joren however seemed to know more.

    Well spoken my friend he sent Joren’s way after he had finished and Dunkeel had spoken up. It seems you have one back on side, well hopefully. I wonder about the other….

    However would Joren have his own doubts about Vydra?. Would he be worried that Vydra was taking sides too, either their former Master or his?. Or whether Vydra was spouting what Joren wanted to hear so they could keep their friendship on track?. He needed to reaffirm his support and the only way to do that was to speak in private. But would they ever get the time? With all that had gone one and with all that was meant to come would he ever get the chance?

    He had to try, after all it could be too late. And if it was too late, maybe that would haunt him for the rest of his life. Perhaps Joren had things he wanted to tell Vydra but couldn't, his friend's mind was not an open book for him to read at will. He had accepted Joren’s speech now it was time for the leader to do what he was supposed to do: take the lead.

    Vydra did however send a thought Joren’s way.

    We need to talk. Soon.

    TAG: @Sinrebirth , @HanSolo29 , @Mitth_Fisto , @QueenSabe7 , @galactic-vagabond422
  9. QueenSabe7

    QueenSabe7 RPF Awards Host star 6 VIP - Game Host

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

    Vale was frowning as she listened to Vydra. Then Joren again. Then Dunkeel once more. She held that expression as she worked through disbelief and confusion, then the feeling of loss as the one who seemed to actually get what it was she was trying to convey suddenly switched his opinion. Too suddenly to be sincere but he had vocalized it, submitted to it, and that was all she needed to hear.

    The tension began to recede from her face and was replaced with the softness of acceptance. She looked away from them, realizing that she now stood alone amongst her family. What more can I do? she pleaded to herself, to that hollowness inside her that was created by the Master’s absence. In response, the void reached out for her with that understanding, spreading rapidly like a virus. It was her fear returning to seize control.

    She recognized it for the dangerous threat it posed; watching her, waiting for that perfect moment of weakness to strike and succeed. It wanted her to snap at Dunkeel, it begged her to show her anger and remind Joren of his place. Shout at Vydra until she lost her voice. But Vale knew they would never listen to her, actually listen like she wanted them to. Not with Dr. Graal around, and he was too busy listening solely to himself to see beyond his own arrogance.

    Agreeing to forming a council but then still naming himself the leader of said council? This man did not understand the meaning of being a "team".

    What pained her the most about that was acknowledging how their one true leader would never, ever behave in such a way. She felt ashamed for allowing it to happen.

    Looking at Joren again, her eyes heavy, she had many things to say though not a single word of it crossed her lips. An intriguing feeling began to gain momentum inside her, an idea she hadn’t really considered causing memorized words from an aging piece of parchment to dance through her thoughts like fire. A flame.

    Her eyes flashed. She saw it, and reasoned with it.

    But that also meant she had to go.

    There was nothing more she could do, and some part of her was grateful for that lack of responsibility. For once, she didn't want to be here with them.

    “I have some place else to be,” she said to no one in particular, radiating disappointment as she had already turned to head towards the door.

    Gladly switching her focus to her impending meeting with Zinara, Vale left the others to deal with their new “leader”, as he was not hers.

    TAGS: @Mitth_Fisto @Jerjerrod-Lennox @HanSolo29 @Sinrebirth
  10. HanSolo29

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

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

    The impact of his words slowly ebbed through the Force, bringing with it anticipation and worry. Joren was uncertain how they would react after dissension had already blinded their perceptions. Would they accept his proposal or would this meeting devolve into a critical debate over ethics and compliance? Inclining his chin, he studied them each in turn as he tried to gauge their thoughts and feelings.

    As before, Dunkeel was the first to speak, the big, reptilian creature giving his consent with no further inquiry. It was an abrupt change from his earlier stance, but Joren certainly wasn’t about to ask questions, at least not in front of the entire group. He would accept any support in this difficult time of transition. To show his appreciation, the doctor angled his gaze at the lumbering being and offered a small nod.

    Vydra, ever the loyalist, was next to express his approval, though it was not conveyed verbally. Joren felt a small needling at the back of his mind, a pleasant sensation that filled him with warmth and conviction. It then materialized into a single voice that only he could hear through the Force:

    Well spoken, my friend, it said in Vydra’s distinct inflection. It seems you have one back on your side, well hopefully. I wonder about the other….

    A small smirk pulled up one corner of Joren’s mouth as he canted his head to regard his friend. He appreciated the gesture, especially at this critical time. He needed someone close to him that he could always rely on, even when the task seemed it did today. But in truth, Vale did concern him. He viewed her as a wildcard and there was no predicting how she would ultimately respond. At this point, he could only hope for the best, though he feared even that would not be enough to appease her.

    Joren frowned at this thought, his anxiety undoubtedly pouring into the Force, for Vydra sent back another message:

    We need to talk. Soon.

    The doctor’s expression sobered slightly and he nodded. Yes, they certainly did. Not only to catch up on some old times, but to discuss more complicated matters...such as the course of the future. If there was anyone he could trust to help him decipher his vision and the elusive message hidden within his Holocron, it was Vydra.

    However, that would have to wait. Joren felt a distinct ripple pass through the Force before Vale finally delivered her verdict. He wasn’t surprised to learn of her dismay or the fact that she continued to resist his efforts. What galled him was the way she had crudely excused herself from the meeting. As far as he was concerned, they were not finished, and he instantly felt his anger surge at her defiance.

    And yet, he knew that he couldn’t say or do anything...not now. Not when it was crucial for him to earn their trust. This was an important step for Joren, and despite the urge to challenge her decision in front of the others, he had to hold his ground and allow her some space. If he played his cards right, she would return when she was ready to talk.

    For now, he simply issued a heavy sigh and turned away from her retreating form, almost as if he couldn’t stand the sight of her any longer. “I originally had a few more things to discuss,” Joren carried on after a moment, his gaze unfocused and weary, “such as asking your permission to bring my wife here.” He said it offhandedly, simply to get it out there so that he wouldn’t continue to dwell on it. The sooner he informed the others, the sooner she could settle in. “But I think we’re done for today.”

    Clapping his hands, Joren dismissed them before crossing the wide expanse of the sanctum to stand before the windows. He needed a moment to think and reflect on the outcome of the meeting. It hadn’t gone to plan, and of course, his first instinct was to curse the Master for choosing him for this role.

    Why me?

    Joren feared he would never know the answer.

    TAG: @Jerjerrod-Lennox; @QueenSabe7; @Mitth_Fisto; @Sinrebirth
  11. Sinrebirth

    Sinrebirth Mod-Emperor of the EUC, Lit, RPF and SWC star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Nov 15, 2004
    IC: Zinara Sera
    On patrol, north of the City

    Her day was interchangeably thinking about the message she had sent to Vale, and the rebuke she had received from Erwen, her superior officer, last night. Dunkeel hadn't deserved that, but she had done it nonetheless. Her issues with the Protectors were leaking into her work, and that was going to make her useless.

    The conspiracy group at the heart of the armed forces that loathed the Master now had to decide what they thought of Joren, though there was as much scrutiny on all the Protectors, let alone Vale. Before, Zinara had seen it as appropriate for such a dangerous group, but Erwen had woken her from her obsessions.

    This wasn't her.

    Of course, then her day had consumed her in full. A single hour to catch up her paperwork, her daily reminder that she was supposed to be surfing a desk, not trawling the streets, and Zinara was back out. Now the Lords and Ladies of Nouane had insisted upon these 'Protector Task Forces' roving each quadrant, the armed forces were even more stretched, though as of yet nobody had directly intervened in their tasks.

    It just meant that an inordinate amount of resources were focused on four high profile investigations at a time, rather than dealing with the eighty problems they could have done. Zinara shook her head. Vale would never have agreed to such a waste...

    ... and Zinara had a tickling thought that her crossing paths with Zas'tel had caused the issue in the first place.

    With a sigh, she suddenly found herself near the clock-Tower, having followed a suspicious looking pair from the market place. They had nearly stole something, and all but assaulted someone, and were on the line of disturbing the peace... but nothing illegal. The two Dug were trouble, as sure as could be, and then all of a sudden, she caught a glance of the military uniform and cape of Erwen.

    Blinking, she nearly walked into Vale, and then Zinara remembered how close she was to the clock-Tower, and how it was the day they usually met, no, wait, that was yesterday, but the Master's death would have meant -

    Awkwardness prevailed.

    "Um, hi, Vale," she said.

    Just as much, Dunkeel would sense the presence of Erwen, a stoic entity not far from the Temple, clearly attempting to catch his attention without broadcasting himself officially or unofficially. A watchfulness, nothing more or less, an intellect that stood out in the Force, but because Dunkeel was the only one of Vydra and Joren who had ever met the man, they would not recognise his feel.

    Erwen was close enough to turn and look at Vale and Zinara, his piercing blue eyes and blond hair significant enough, if not for how tall her was in military boots. He was an imposing but not intimidating man, and the natural crowd of back-and-forth individuals - some leaving flowers, small gifts and notes of thanks for the Master at the base of the clock-Temple, a memorial that Vale would have had to pass to leave, and indeed, a wave of bows from anyone who knew who she was, before she inadvertently bumped into Zinara.

    Vale had left early.

    Zinara was still on duty, but serendipity had intervened.

    If Dunkeel left, that would leave Vydra and Joren to discuss matters; something they had never really had the opportunity to do. Indeed, Dunkeel and Vale were not too far from being able to have a deep and meaningful discussion, notwithstanding Erwen and Zinara being all-but-present.

    Opportunities to be watched, or taken.

    TAG: @Mitth_Fisto (first), @QueenSabe7, @HanSolo29, @Jerjerrod-Lennox

    OOC: Mitth and Sabe7, separate tags this week, but each can turn into a combo. Jerjerrod and 29, combo, but please wait for Mitth to decide what he is doing, as it will not be a combo unless he leaves
    IC: Tho Yor

    Outskirts of the City

    Fetching up in the warehouse, the Tho Yor Sphere, roughly the size of a starfighter, though Nouane had few of such things, was exactly where the Master had said it would be when Zas'tel was told of it. Though now the Master was dead, the Sphere was expectant, waiting, watching, as the black-cloaked Defel strode towards it.

    It spoke, a firm, male voice.

    The Master is dead. You have his Forcesaber. You carry his Eye.

    It's words were in Zas'tel's mind, rolling around, seeking purchase. Were he to appraise the Sphere in the Force, Zas'tel would sense it as a droid-intelligence of sorts, but biocircuits lined its innards; it could and would respond to the Force, and it had a will, beyond its own intents and purpose.

    Command me.

    TAG: @galactic-vagabond422
  12. Mitth_Fisto

    Mitth_Fisto Force Ghost star 6

    Sep 29, 2005
    IC: Dunkeel
    Clock Tower, Heading out in the north of the City

    The end of the meeting, for that was what it had become was very sudden, very jarring. A clapping dismissal, a turned back now twice. He could not understand why Vale would leave as she had. Had not Joren showing compromise and change in respect their voiced concerns enough? Or was that his own desires blinding him to them not being enough, as the implications of that were far more frightening than anything else.

    He had let her go, although Joren's response to her leaving had likewise been. . .troubling. It was like the old saying, Where two make a mistake, death prepares against them. Sadly he felt he was seeing that here, and it was disheartening. Sensing the shift of moods and the brusque words of their leader he simply bowed his head. "Yes, it is late. Your wife is welcome to me here, let me know what accommodations you will need. I can always open a passage to the tunnels when you are ready to let the wife, and if you breed, children hunt."

    Turning he took his leave as well. Accepting that clapped dismissal, Master of Masters this one definitely was not, still he would leave. Not because he didn't have more to say, but because he felt that was a closed passage, and another open one seemed to beckon to him now as he mentally cast about in the Force. It was the presence of Erwen, a stoic entity not far from the Temple, clearly attempting to catch his attention without broadcasting himself officially or unofficially. A watchfulness, nothing more or less, an intellect that stood out in the Force, but because Dunkeel was the only one of Vydra and Joren who had ever met the man, they would not recognise his feel. At least he did not think they had met the man. Perhaps that was the path he was now destined to travel, for now. And so he accepted it.

    Heading out and down the steps away from the Clock Tower Temple he found Erwen, and saw Vale and Zinara. He could only hope it was a healing moment, to which end he sent a calm acceptance and openness to Vale in the Force. That was another situation he felt wiser to stay out of. If the two reconciled good, came to an accord good, or even if Vale decided to end Zinara and call Dunkeel to help with the body it was good. No matter the outcome, it had to happen and sooner was better for all than later.

    Turning to Erwen he took the man in as they came to be closer physically, weak eyes and savana grass hair atop a form that did not speak of being prey. The natural crowd of back-and-forth individuals - some leaving flowers, small gifts and notes of thanks for the Master at the base of the clock-Temple, a memorial Dunkeel skirted to make this meeting. "Erwen, I am sorry my meditations and mourning rituals have lent nothing to the case yet. Nothing but unease that it is but a beginning."

    TAG: @Sinrebirth , @All in mention, passing, and feeling
  13. QueenSabe7

    QueenSabe7 RPF Awards Host star 6 VIP - Game Host

    Mar 23, 2001
    Combo with Sinre

    IC: Zinara Carrick & Vale Sera
    Outside the Clock-Temple, Nouane

    Making her way down to the main doors of the Clock-Temple, Vale felt the weight upon her shoulders lessen significantly. While it was a welcome relief, empowering even, to have simply walked away from Joren, she did find it, well... strange that she was not more anxious to see Zinara. She had no clue whatsoever how her estranged wife would react towards her; confrontational, justifiably angry, or even worse - entirely indifferent.

    Even with that mystery at hand, the company of the woman she loved would be heavily favored to a holo actor on a power trip.

    Stepping outside and beginning to travel the path that lead to the outer gates, on that cue she saw her. The sun, bright on this mid-day, glinted off of a head full of stark-white hair and drew her eyes to a woman in uniform striding along the avenue that ran alongside the Temple grounds. Her feelings had been ahead of her, of course, the Force showing her exactly where to look to catch the light.

    Vale's chest tightened, her heart beginning to beat faster in her chest as she struggled against the urge to run to Zinara and pull her into her arms, crushing them into one another. It was that need that carried her the rest of the way to the street in a hurry, nearly colliding with the other in the process. She was clearly distracted, and it set her off balance from the start.

    "Um, hi, Vale."

    Before she could rein it in, her face twisted unpleasantly at the awkward greeting. Vale looked away, taking a beat to gather herself. She did not try and read her wife in the Force, knowing that at this point, it would be a clear violation of her privacy.

    "Hey, Zin," she muttered softly in reply, managing to turn back and face her but not trusting her voice at full volume. It would certainly crack with emotion. They were standing so far apart... "I-"

    She presumptuously cut the space between them by half, having to lean some in order to avoid a bystander who had bowed embarrassingly low in her direction. She wished he would vanish into thin air. "Thank you, for seeing me." Vale chewed her lip, frustrated at not knowing how to act. "How... have you been?"

    Zinara shuffled slightly, uneasy. “I’ve been a bit of a mess; focused on you and the others, but not in a good way.”

    She eyed the shrine over Vale’s shoulder to the Master and wrinkled her nose. She didn’t like that, but she was more wise to herself, and she didn’t want to react - she wanted to respond as herself, not this angry, jealous person she had become. “I’m so sorry about the Master. I know he was important to you.”

    More important than me, sometimes, Zinara couldn’t help but think, and she hoped that didn’t cross the space between them - Vale hadn’t needed to ever be Force sensitive to be Zinara sensitive.

    Suddenly fearful that Vale would intuit the darker end of her sentence and leave, she nearly stepped forward and grabbed her, wanting to draw her into an embrace.

    Tears welled suddenly in Vale's eyes. Zin's mention of the Master drove a spear of renewed sadness straight through the hole in her chest, widening the wound. It took her just then to realize that none of her fellow Protectors had offered their condolences to each other, they had not even acknowledged a time to mourn for the man that had created them... and here was her wife, conflicted for her own personal reasons, conveying her concern.

    "It's been... very hard," she allowed, her voice catching. "I've been... a mess... too."

    Blinking to clear the blurred edges from her vision, she wiped away a stray tear from her cheek and simply looked at the woman before her. Zinara's face was as familiar to her as her own; she knew every freckle, wrinkle, curve and crease. The way her lips moved when she talked and how every now and then a small dimple would appear in her chin when she laughed. It was a face she thought she would get to see every day for the rest of her life, and it was one she had taken for granted.

    As she had with the Master.

    "I'm sorry, Zin. I'm so, so sorry for lying to you. Betraying your trust, breaking a vow..." It all came out in a rush and just as suddenly she was crying, unable to contain the rush of emotions that she had not properly dealt with. "I was being torn apart, and I... I did not know how to handle myself... I was wrong. I'll never forgive myself for hurting you..."

    She stopped then, cutting her words of with a soft sob. Vale did not want to make a scene and she did not want to overwhelm Zin if she did not want to hear apologies and explanations. But, it all needed to be said aloud and whatever came of their relationship, she wouldn't regret that she had.

    Zin drew her close, into a hug, pulling her face to bury it into her shoulder; to hide her shame; to conceal those tears. "I don't want you to forgive me, either, Vale - I wronged you; I didn't listen to what you needed to be accepted. I encouraged you down a path and asked you to come back to me - I gave an ultimatum and stopped treating you like my equal."

    Her cheek brushed Zin's and Vale hungrily breathed in her smell - a combination of her favorite perfume and something else not explainable, a scent that she was certain only she knew - she wrapped her arms around her wife and submitted to the embrace with her body and mind. For all the times since their separation that she feared she'd never again be able to touch her, doing so now and so fully nearly broke her. A part of her thoughts even trying to tell her this wasn't real...

    She pulled back Vale's face, brushing her hair to conceal her eyes from everyone else, draping it across her shoulder as a private tent where only they lived; she had done this a thousand times before, and she resolved to do it a thousand times more. "I broke you, and I need you back."

    "If you'll take me," she said, her voice suddenly growing hoarse.

    Staring into Zin's eyes, Vale brought her hands up and cupped her wife's face. "I never let you go." And then she kissed her, bringing their lips together gently, softly, almost as if she worried everything would shatter into pieces if she allowed too much passion to leak into this moment.

    The kiss was returned and with not so much passion as longing; this is where they belonged together, and Zinara clutched Vale's arms as if she was about to fall to the ground too. Her eyes were wet, and she knew her commanding officer was not all that far away - and technically she was on duty!

    Damn them.

    This was important.

    Vale was important.

    She was all that really mattered, and Zinara needed to never, ever, ever, forget.

    They broke for air, and she stammered out what she truly needed to say. Once you cut down the sophistry; the reasoning; the despairing need for a rhyme; for closure; for a pattern; for an answer to the chaos of life itself.

    It boiled down to one thing.

    Three words.

    "I love you," she gasped, as if the words would split Nouane asunder.

    Smiling against Zin's lips, Vale basked in the moment, letting her words hang in the air. For that ever so brief stretch of time, there were no problems or concerns. No Protectors, no sadness for the Master, no dread for the future, no frustrations towards her peers.

    It was just the two of them in their own confined world where nothing would ever come between them again.

    Vale drew back far enough to take in Zin's face in full. "I love you," she repeated, this time radiating her intense feelings for the words in the Force. So strong were they that they bound the two women as they touched, and even though one of them was not sensitive to the energies that Vale was, she would certainly feel something.

    Zinara pulled back, and felt the... well, the rising tide of emotion, buoyed by Vale's happiness. It was indeed a brilliant moment of reconciliation, and her joy echoed out, loud enough for any Force sensitive in the area to pick up.

    They were back together, she thought, grinning. But rather than lose herself, she took a calming breath. "I do have an hour left of my shift? See you back at home?" Zinara handed a detail over that seemed belated, yet revealed. "I didn't actually change the locks."

    Sheepishness crept into her voice.


    The term caused a ripple in her excitement, in her renewed affection for her wife. Vale's home was here now, the Temple. Wasn't it? She had not even considered that this encounter would go so well and therefor the thought of returning to the villa had been the furthest thing from her mind. It wasn't even an option...

    "Yes..." she said with a little shake to break out of her momentary stupor. Not the time to think that far ahead. Now was the time to just enjoy the present, the rest can be sorted. After.

    She kissed Zin once more. "I'll meet you there."

    Zinara broke the kiss, and turned to see Erwen looking her way, himself finishing up a conversation with Dunkeel, the Chistori standing out to an extent, even though he was probably the most well-respected of the Protectors for how down-to-Nouane he was; a handyman, and a Force user?

    Such a curious combination.

    She felt a pang of guilt for having harassed the man, inclined her head apologetically, and turned to give another kiss to Vale, this one on the cheek. "I will see you soon, sweets."

    Erwen nodded to Erwen, and also to Vale, attempting to catch her eye, before stepping off with Zinara - who looked back one more time at her wife and smiled, the kind which touched her cheeks, but was one that she only ever showed to Vale.

    The commander glanced to the shorter woman. "Did that go well?"

    She blushed a little. "It did."

    He nodded. "Good."

    "Did your meeting with Master Dunkeel go well?" Zinara said banally, lost for words.

    "That," he said, turning back to pick up the trail of the youths that Zinara had been tracing. "Remains to be seen."

    "Yes, sir," Zinara said, absently, not really detecting the gravity of Erwen's words. She was in love again, and she had never expected to recapture it. Sure, they had work to do on their relationship, but at that precise moment? She couldn't care less about any of the sophistry and mechanics of 'her and Vale' anymore.

    She had back some of what they'd had, and Zinara was never letting go again. Steeling her resolve, she narrowed her eyes and focused on the task at hand.

    I will be home soon, my love.

    Vale watched Zinara as she returned to her duties with Erwen at her side, an officer she was familiar with though not beyond the basics. She offered a respectful nod back in his direction after he had sent one her way, idly wondering if more than just Zin had been prying into the Protectors. The idea left her as quickly as it had come on. She was too... lit up to worry about anything other than getting to see her spouse again in an hour's time, when they would be without the prying eyes of the city's citizens. They would be completely alone, in a space that they had built together upon their love, and the possibilities of what more they may talk about - or not talk at all - sent a thrill of anticipation down her spine.

    It felt so good to have these feelings again.

    Not removing her eyes from Zin until she and Erwen melted into the crowds and she lost sight of them, Vale shifted as if breaking a spell. Having every intent of heading straight to the villa, instead she found herself being drawn back up the pathway to where Erwen had come from. There she found the chistori, Dunkeel, and before she even gave it a thought, her feet were moving her in his direction.

    TAGS: @Sinrebirth @Mitth_Fisto
  14. Mitth_Fisto

    Mitth_Fisto Force Ghost star 6

    Sep 29, 2005
    IC: Erwen & Dunkeel - Combo with Sinre
    Outside the Clock-Tower

    The officious man clicked his heels and bowed to Dunkeel, apologetic. "I could only ask, Master Protector. I apologise for breaching your grief for my mundane matters."

    He paused, appraising whether anyone was in earshot, but it was all bowing believers, staying a respectful distance away from them, and disentangling themselves from the moment between Vale and Zinara. "I was only worried, for the Masters death seems set to polarise issues between the citizens of the City; the Master did a great deal to broker agreements and deal with discord directly at the source of the hurt that caused it."

    Erwen tried to keep his face neutral. "We are at overstretch, and we shall require direct input from the Protectors soon. Too soon. The Lords and Ladies appointed you all to lead task forces in separate Quarters, but you are unknown quantities, and that was as a result of an altercation that included Zas'tel, who I understand is now missing."

    The man's blue eyes narrowed. "Is he intending to assist with the unrest, do you know?"

    Bowing in return he did his best to listen, mouth slightly open as he breathed in the air. Feeling the tingling and intermingling of so many people who had come to show their respects for The Master. It was heartwarming and soothing, like salve to the wound. If only they could apply it for the whole of the city for even a brief time.

    "He is not assigned a sector. How he shall interfere or not is ultimately up to him, as it is to all of us without assigned duties." with a wave of a hand he dismissed the issue. "You did not come merely for insight and knowledge of one. How can I help?"

    Erwen let the point about Zas’tel go. “I need a report on your first meeting,” he said without any further preamble.

    “I am concerned that the five, ahem, the four of you, even,” he amended, “have not fully integrated with the City, and are simultaneously too caught up in your own domesticity to be truly effective.”

    He gestured to Zinara and Vale, who were currently kissing. “This is acceptable, of course, but the Master kept his assignations secret, his preferences to himself, and merely helped where appropriate. He was trusted, and you four have yet to make an impression beyond being an Officer, a Handyman, a C-List Celebrity and a Librarian...”

    Erwen‘ gaze grew piercing. “The Master was a key component of this City. His loss will reverberate; I cannot sit back if it is in my power to ensure that it is in good hands.” He softly thundered. “I need to know.”

    The Protectors needed to be galvanised; Erwen didn’t care who did it - they just needed to act; the signs were all around them of how tenuous matters were.

    He looked at the man, felt the rage or passion. It was hard to tell with mammals, but he felt it keenly and looked sadly upon the little man. Imposing he might be physically, but in the Force he was so small, they all were in a way. The last lessons had emphasized in a way that so strongly, just as the Clock Temple showed how the smallest piece can be the difference from time being true or falling away.

    With a glance at the clock he sighed heavily through his nose before looking at the man again. Speaking softly, privately with the Force to ensure it was for this man's ears only, "We are dreamers, shapers, singers, and makers. Down to the last. The moment they give up reason and responsibility merely to pander away responsibility the Lords and Ladies showed themselves wanting. Perhaps it is wrong of me to say but I care no more for the lot then and than the whole or the one. What I care for and I dare to say you as well is this city as a whole, but we have one part. Though the rest may burn around us we will give our best and utmost to make that quarter a quarter of tranquility and safety."

    Drawing himself up he let it drop, let whomever wanted to hear now. "Sadly all that we are was never trained properly for what has been thrust upon us by happenstance. So you and whomever my twenty shall be, I shall rely on you heavily to teach me, train me, and as is proper correct me so I do not fall too hard. When it comes to the Force I will likely give orders that seem wrong or odd and stick to them for no good reason you can see or even I can, but give the chance to see whether it is one or the other by correcting by soft guidance. I'll let you know which is which when I dig my talons in on something. I fear at the moment I am no more than hammer for your operation as peacekeeper, and a scalpel until you teach me."

    Erwen paused, meeting the man’s eyes. Because that is what he saw; not a Chistori, but a soul and spirit much like his. Dunkeel was right; but they could and would strike up an accord; a partnership, and Erwen believed he had found the best of the bunch, notwithstanding that Vale would speak his language as a military woman.

    “I appreciate your candid response, Master Protector.” Erwen held out a hand to shake. “We are in accord that this is not the best situation; but that we shall work together to make the best of it. Our quarter will flourish, but mistake me not when I say the truth; I will sacrifice whatever is necessary for the peace of this City, quadrant or not.”

    That was a promise, and a vow, and a solemnity took Erwen.

    "That is your right, go where I am not allowed. Where The Master had run of everything and got to choose we each are contained to our portion allotted." he replied with a bobbing of his head before an idea struck him. "Perhaps you and the team are not so constrained." shaking his head he tried to best dismiss the notion. "Tell me where we shall have our first meeting and perhaps I'll pick up a special communicator dedicated purely for the team unless I am issued one? Sadly I think I will have to distract a couple members of our group to help bring me up to speed with the rest of you."

    Scratching his left shoulder his gaze drifted to the impromptu monument of well wishes and gifts. An odd custom, but he respected and appreciated them for it.

    Erwen smiled. "We take what is given," words which caused a strange resonance within Dunkeel's Holocron, as if the man had paraphrased someone from within its volumes, no, more likely exactly what someone will say.

    He already had a palmed communicator in his proffered hand. "What is it you Protectors say? Oh yes."

    "May the Force be with you, Master Protector." His hand still out, he eyed Vale and Zinara. "I do need to go, and I suspect that you and your colleague will need to discuss matters." He noted, separate from the two women, a circle of men and women bowing to them.

    Raising his hand the small device lept the gap into Dunkeel's awaiting grasp. "Yes. I shall await the message when I shall start my training or be needed." Following the others gaze he looked at the circle of bowing people, Northern Quarter. Full of believers, only the what was always the question and often the unasked answer. It was odd how some could be so right and so wrong in the same simple action and belief.

    "May the Force be with you, and your prey have a limp." he simply replied in parting, adding a small bow of his own. It was the fashionable thing to do in the North after all.

    TAG: @QueenSabe7 , @Sinrebirth
  15. Sinrebirth

    Sinrebirth Mod-Emperor of the EUC, Lit, RPF and SWC star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Nov 15, 2004
    IC: Holocron Entry

    The parting of Erwen with Zinara left a void in which Vale and Dunkeel now stood. As much as they were Protectors each, there was a strange lull because the two had minimally interacted up to now; but they could not ignore the other.

    That of course left Joren and Vydra to talk more about their concerns, and worries. Giving voice to the fears would either give life to them, or put them to death once and for all.

    Only time would tell; but would it tell them what the Master had told them each; and what they were to do.

    TAG: @Mitth_Fisto, @QueenSabe7 (please combo), @HanSolo29, @Jerjerrod-Lennox (please continue to combo), @galactic-vagabond422 (tag outstanding)

    OOC: QueenSabe7, please post your first secret combo.
  16. galactic-vagabond422

    galactic-vagabond422 Best Roleplayer Summer 2020 star 4 VIP - Game Winner

    Jul 11, 2009
    IC: Zas'tel
    Outskirts of the city

    It wasn't hard to find, the master had given him very clear if confusing directions, finding the Tho Yor Sphere in a warehouse on the outskirts of the city. There was nothing but silence out here, no one came this far out. It was fine with him, the quiet the silence, he might want to get used to it. It would be a long time waiting for him. Opening the main door he found it, an odd little thing about the size of a starfighter.

    The Master is dead. You have his Forcesaber. You carry his Eye.

    The voice echoed in his head he snapped around looking for the voice, but it wasn't coming from someone it was coming from something. The Sphere. Reaching out with the force, he could feel some living or almost living material inside.

    Command me.

    Open… He thought, Take me to Pesegam.

    TAG: @Sinrebirth
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2019
  17. QueenSabe7

    QueenSabe7 RPF Awards Host star 6 VIP - Game Host

    Mar 23, 2001
    Vale Sera: Secret Combo #1 w/Sinre

    Later, after the ceremonial handing over of the Forcesabers in the First Great Lesson...

    IC: The Master & Vale Sera
    Clock-Temple, Nouane

    Vale had returned to the temple some time after the conclusion of their lesson, as she had been previously instructed to do. Curious... The others had already filed out after lingering for a bit, though she didn't mind - she understood entirely how hard it was to leave this place. Even when you knew you would be coming back only a short time later, it was like willingly walking away from a trough of fresh cool water when you hadn't had anything to drink in days. And she had gone over a year without so much as a sip.

    She shook off the discomfort her gap in her teachings caused and straightened, as she re-entered the top floor, realizing she and the Master were alone.

    The Master clapped his hands. “Alright!”

    “You already know why you are here, to receive your Holocron, which foretells the devastation to come when the Light is lost, and so forth, and ya da, ya da.”

    He revealed one; a cube, growing faintly blue; it was the one from earlier.

    “But! There’s something that I need to discuss with you, you see.” He leaned forward. “I need to bestow upon you your Truth. Cool - I know, right?”

    His cowl still up, he leaned forward. “Excited yet?”

    Vale smiled, a kind yet eager smile. "Incredibly," she admitted, though she assumed he would have already been able to tell. There was little that he probably did not know about her, and it didn't concern her in the least. She had nothing to hide, especially not from someone as special to her as the Master.

    Her eyes danced over the holocron, the one from the lesson and the one that had shown her an incredible array of images. And feelings. Her impatience nearly got the best of her. "So, my truth... as in my... purpose? My purpose here, with the Protectors?"

    Vale, bless her heart. She so desperately needed to find her place. But she wouldn’t, not without looking. Her recent visit was her actively seeking her place - which was good. He had held off the Forcesaber ceremony for her - had stalled destiny itself.

    He spun away, his robes flowing, and he returned, conspiratorially close, wrapping an arm around her shoulder and pulling Vale closer still. “You see, you need to keep an eye on things. Make sure that people know what’s really going on. Wander; seek; divine - seek the meaning behind the other Protectors and their actions.”

    “Can you do that for me?”

    Vale gave him a sidelong look, momentarily swept up in his comforting gesture - not entirely new, but somehow different still than before. His request caught her off guard though and kept her from becoming too... hopeful. Agreeable? Unquestioning.

    "You would like me to spy... on the others for you." Her tone relayed a statement but it was clear she was asking for clarification. Her eyes narrowed, attempting to peer into the shadows of his hooded visage. "Why?"

    The shadows of his cowl peered back.

    “I’m not suggesting that you spy on the other Protectors. Nothing of the sort. But you’ve an important Truth, and it will be to keep everyone talking.”

    His tone was pretty even considering what she had just said. His voice grew distant. “I worry that some of the others are closer to each other than not. That some of them may feel excluded. Some might even try to take charge.”

    A heaviness seemed to fill the Master, transmitted through his body to hers. Almost a sadness. “I need you to prevent that, by being involved.”

    The sting of embarrassed crept warmly over her cheeks and she looked away, her rash assumption seeming foolish now. But the fact remained that she was just as puzzled as she was a moment ago, if not more so considering his response.

    She closed her eyes for a beat to look deeper into the meaning of what he might be asking of her, sensing something close to sorrow brushing against her awareness. She understood it was an emotion that was not her own, passed along by another, the only other person in the room.

    "Involved... well, I already know one face from before," Vale started again, referring to the chistori. She was opting to reason aloud this time so that he may correct her along the way. "Another, the author with the questions, I've seen elsewhere, too. If you mean for me to get to know them and the rest better, well I aim to do so when the right times present themselves of course."

    She offered a light shrug here, turning her gaze back to him with confusion written across her face. "I've spent the better part of the last year trying, fighting to become 'involved' here again, Master. I apologize if I am completely missing the obvious of your request..."

    The Master broke away, but was still nearby. “I know. That’s what you want. But I know that your wife disapproves, and I know that cleaves you in two.”

    His words were not a question.

    “Which is why your Truth settles as the desire to involve yourself. Because that is your wish - to be part of the story - and to actively keep everyone together.”

    A pause.

    Vale deflated some at the mention of Zinara, a woman who would be home by now and patiently waiting for her wife to arrive, ready to ask her how her day had been... She began to softly fidget with the black ring on her left hand.

    "You're right," she acknowledged easily enough. "That is what I want, for all parts of myself to work as one... but is that reasonable?" She bristled suddenly, a knee-jerk reaction that at times seemed to come out of nowhere.

    "I've corrected my decision from before and it may be my 'Truth', but at what cost?" Vale sighed, dropping into an empty seat leftover from the lesson. "I feel... I feel as though I am being led back into having to make another sacrifice. And I don't think I can do it this time, Master. I don't know how to be one without the other, and... that scares me."

    This was perhaps not the time nor the place to emotionally unload on her mentor, but she had no one else who would understand. Besides, she knew him enough to expect that he'd either engage or politely move on.

    "How do I actively keep all the pieces together when they don't seem to fit?"

    “Ah, yes.” The Master seemed conciliatory. “I live by a handful of... concepts. Precepts, perhaps, you could say.”

    “One may be appropriate for you now - if you find yourself asking yourself a question again and again, your answer may have been the incorrect one.” A flutter of those fingers. “You’d seemingly made a decision of what the answer is, but you keep hitting upon the same issue - which is why you’re here again at all. Your decision to not come to classes was a decision you were continually revising and challenging.”

    A shrug. “Start with what you do know, my dear. Then you’ll reach the point of what you don’t know and that’s the question that you need to work on.”

    She raised a brow, lifting a corner of her mouth simultaneously. Soft amusement settled the rest of her. A puzzle to answer another - Vale relished a challenge, however, in this instance his words were clear. She must maintain focus on the parts of her that she knew were certain, that were without question, in order to sort out the rest that wasn't. Her faith in the Protectors and the Master, as well as her faith in her love for her wife, they were real. Not for the first time nor the last she considered how vastly different and yet strangely similar these two parts were...

    “But it will come down to something relatively simple, even after all that.” He paused. “Asking yourself what you want, and going for it. Because that’s the real issue - holding yourself back from what you want.”

    His voice was somewhat somber. The facade was gone, giving the sense that, if he had had a script, he had long deviated from it.

    He cupped his chin, and nodded as he walked away. “Maybe it would be best if you kept your Truth to yourself... but I appreciate that there may be circumstances that require it. Realities are what they are... and what is coming to pass is going to happen...” he gestured again at the Holocron.

    Nodding once in understanding, Vale was openly appreciative of his advice though she did not feel the need to say so aloud. She conveyed as much without speaking.

    She followed his hand, again drawn back to the device upon his desk. Somehow she had forgotten it was there while lost in the drawn out trials of her life, but now that her eyes were upon the holocron once more, her thoughts sorted themselves quickly. "The future is inevitable," she mused with a sigh, nothing nearly as wise and meaningful as the words of the Master, of course. "And this holocron contains that, the 'Light of the Future,' you said..."

    She slowly pushed back to standing and stepped closer, easily aware of the handheld pyramid's power and age just as she had been before. It was still pulsing a soft, mesmerizing blue, hypnotic in a peculiar way. "You also said you would show us how that is possible, so why not now? To better understand what may lie ahead would be a useful tool for me, after all... me and my Truth," she added, now standing directly in front of the desk.

    The mystical properties of the artifact seized her, and she reached out to grab it for a more personal examination.

    The Master gave the impression that he was giving her a toothy grin. “Because then I’d spoil Final Lesson Three, wouldn’t I?” He wagged a finger at her. “Once I’ve finished speaking to you all, with Joren last, that is. I’ll be speaking to him just before the half-term break is up.”

    Vale was perceptive. She’d work out that the others would have a Truth.

    She smiled freely, expecting that the Master wouldn't take the bait. While she hadn't been able to deny the spark of hope she had indulged, Vale understood she was no more important or deserving than the others of his time and knowledge. They would all be shown this secret together, and so she would remain patient for when that time came.

    So, she let go of that thread for now and turned the holocron over in her hands, tracing her fingers over its lines and grooves as if to commit the feel of every part to memory.

    “The last thing must be kept secret as an absolute - this rule is about as inviolable than the one about the Light I’ll be teaching you in the third lesson, you see.”

    He sat down, clapped his hands together and leaned back in his wooden chair, which creaked loudly. The Master ignored it as she handled her Holocron.

    “It’s your secret name. If someone utters your True Name, they will be able to strip you of the Force; it’s a kind of failsafe. You can give it to anyone you trust, of course. Just be careful with it.”

    “Are you ready for this?”

    Vale stilled her hands. Her head came up and her eyes narrowed, returning to bore into his shadowy cowl. He was entertaining and relaxed, flamboyant, too... but even though he spoke casually, the seriousness of what he was about to bestow upon her was not lost in translation. More than her Forcesaber and somehow still above learning her Truth, this felt beyond all of it - it felt dangerous. A risk... a necessary one.

    A new name? For what purpose? A title? One that never be uttered aloud? Again, how?

    Vale opened her mouth to begin asking new questions, sucked in a breath... but paused. Then, her mouth clamped shut.

    Wait. No. With this reveal, she realized she simply just wanted to know.

    "I am ready," she asserted, sending an expectant thrill up her spine.

    He nodded, appreciatively. “Don’t worry about it. I’m sure it won’t be relevant. Well,” the Master shrugged. “I hope it doesn’t, y’know?”

    “Oh yes,” the name. A pause. The Force seemed to undulate, as if a moment was occurring. “Braata.”

    An exhalation, and the Master sagged, his head dipping. “Alright?”

    "Braata," Vale repeated softly, tasting the name upon her tongue and sensing something... other along with it she couldn't discern. This moment was heavy, she could feel the weight of its importance pressing down in the Force and yet she had no desire left to pepper the Master with more inquiries.

    Inexplicably, she only wanted savor the gift she had been given - or the curse laid on her soul. Either way, once he had said it there had been a shift inside her and it suddenly became her own, like a brand that could not be seen nor touched. But she had certainly been marked.

    Braata was Vale, Vale became Braata... another part, discovered. Another path, uncovered.

    She came back from her thoughts to gaze upon her teacher and she straightened, accepting these new aspects of herself even if she had yet to decipher the meaning of it all. It was so very exciting, though, wasn't it? This journey and the knowledge she would surely gain along the way. It left her feeling satisfied... satisfyingly electric.

    "Yes, Master." She bowed once, cradling the holocron to her chest. "Alright."

    The Master chose not to elaborate; he gestured for her to leave after a moment of enjoying her excitement - the conspiracy - the plan - the scheme. “I’m tired. It’ll all make sense later, no doubt. Keep an eye on the Dark, and all will be well.”

    “Oh yes,” he said, sleepily. “May the Force be with you.”

    "May the Force be with you," Vale repeated back warmly, gathering herself and turning to leave for the second time that day.

    Now, it was time to go home.

    TAGS: @Sinrebirth @Jerjerrod-Lennox @HanSolo29 @Mitth_Fisto @galactic-vagabond422
  18. Jerjerrod-Lennox

    Jerjerrod-Lennox Jedi Grand Master star 7

    Mar 9, 2005
    OOC: A combo between myself and the always awesome @HanSolo29 , cheers!:D

    IC: Vydra Delomeux, Joren Graal
    Location: The Clock Temple, Nouane

    Vale’s exit concerned Vydra.

    One minute she was exchanging a hug with him, then she was doing a Vydra and exiting the building. And it seemed Joren was the reason why, or so Vydra guessed from the interactions during the meeting.He would have to broach the subject with them both, perhaps Joren during their conversation, Vale in private.

    Dunkeel at least had accepted Joren’s words, and if he was going to collaborate with the Chistori he would have to keep him on side. He would have to do that everyone it seemed.

    Joren closed the meeting and announced that his wife would come to the Temple with their permission. Vydra had no issue with that, it would hopefully keep Joren more grounded and having his family about would cheer Joren up no end. It was a shame that they could not all discuss things but Vale had put it on ice for now.

    Joren headed towards the windows effectively turning his back on Dunkeel and Vydra.

    "Yes, it is late. Your wife is welcome to me here, let me know what accommodations you will need. I can always open a passage to the tunnels when you are ready to let the wife, and if you breed, children hunt." said Dunkeel then turning to leave. Vydra sent good thoughts his way with an extra stay safe sent to him through the Force. Dunkeel and he had come to know each other a little more thanks to their spar and chat and Vydra hoped that good connection would continue.

    He headed over to Joren a smile on his face pouring good feelings through the Force to him as well “Well that went well” he said “I have no problem with the wife staying here, and once the little one id born I am sure I can find some good books in the library as bedtime stories. I could be the sort of eccentric Uncle if you like”

    He placed a hand on Joren’s shoulder his face turning serious “You look exhausted. I think you need to get some things off your chest I sense. So come on, spill, tell me why Vale has basically got you in her sights and why you look like you have the weight of the galaxy on your shoulders”.

    Having nodded his head appreciatively at Dunkeel’s consent to bring his wife to the temple, Joren issued a weary sigh and resumed his position before the window. As he stared down at the endless bustle of the city streets below, he couldn’t help but feel isolated from it all. There was no longer a tangible line between what he had formerly perceived as real and his new life with the Protectors; that line had blurred considerably through no fault of his own. It was like studying a single snapshot in time and realizing that this same reality was forever lost to this strange, new world.

    How was he to proceed with this group when animosity had already cut through their ranks? It made him question so many aspects about himself and his ability to successfully lead in the Master’s shadow. But worst of all was his own uncertainties over the old man’s underlying motivations and his decision to assign Joren to this role in the first place. He had never wanted this burden, so…why? This thought process may have even induced panic, if not for the placating hand that came to rest gently on his shoulder from behind.

    With a sharp intake of breath, Joren angled his chin and regarded Vydra carefully out of his peripheral vision. He realized with some regret that the man had been speaking for a short while, though he had failed to retain a single least, not until after the man had made physical contact. Perhaps it was yet another indication that the doctor was losing touch with the real world.

    But to have it happen under these circumstances? And to a good friend?

    It pained Joren to think that he had almost let this moment slip by, particularly when he had wanted so desperately to consult with his colleague on the issues that plagued them.

    Get a hold of yourself…

    “I...don’t know, exactly,” Joren stated quietly as he narrowed his eyes, finally recognizing that the man was asking after his own well-being and why Vale seemed so hellbent on foiling his efforts. “I keep thinking that she’s still sore about what happened…” He cringed, realizing that Vydra probably didn’t know about their altercation at the riverside terrace.

    He took another moment to collect his thoughts, and when he began again, his speech was more personable. It had turned into a simple conversation between old friends. “Well, Tera and I ran into her at the Bluewater Grill a few weeks back. She was with her partner...and I may have said a few things that set her off. Or rather, it was more of a misunderstanding. I didn’t know she was hiding the Protectors from her partner, and uh--gods, this is awkward.” He scoffed lightly and reached up to rub at the back of his neck. “I caused them to break up.”

    The doctor shook his head at how absurd it all sounded. “I mean, I’d like to think it’s that simple--not that breaking up is simple, but...I dunno. I have a feeling it’s something more. It’s practically screaming at me in the Force.”

    Vydra did get a little annoyed as he could sense as he was talking that Joren was ignoring him. He did wonder if it was because Joren was deep in his own thoughts or was deliberately ignoring him, Vydra hoped it was option number one.

    As Joren did speak however Vydra removed his hand from his shoulder, and he wondered why Joren was not looking at him either as he continued to speak. Perhaps he did want Vydra to see what he was thinking or feeling or his emotional responses on his face. Something was wrong here, Vydra didn't know what it was but his friend was not even facing him. He didn't know whether to be annoyed or just shake him to ask him what the hell was going on inside his brain. What was surprising though was the revelation that he had somehow contributed to Vale breaking up with her wife which raised Vydra’s eyebrows. Was that accidental or deliberate? Did he know something about Vale which caused him to say what he did? Did he want Vale away from her partner? Or did Vale herself have a vendetta against Joren from the beginning, no doubt perhaps linked to a mission she had or what the Master had told her?.

    More questions than answers again and this time coming from his old friend and the new leader. And he thought the Master would make his head explode.

    He moved to stand at Joren’s side and looked at him “And here I was thinking you were the one who grabbed all the ladies” he said bringing levity to theconversation, but then turned serious again “But you are correct, it does seem something more with Vale, it’s got to be something she has been told, something that she knows about you that we don’t.” he sighed “I did say no more secrets and lies but it seems my efforts have been in vain”

    A hint of a smile crossed Joren’s features at Vydra’s blatant attempt to lighten the mood,but it quickly faded when he continued on to provide his thoughts on the situation. His friend's suggestion that Vale was behaving a certain way due to something the Master had told her in secret troubled him. While it had been the man's right to share information as he saw fit, it was another matter entirely when that same information appeared pertinent to the future and threatened to tear them apart. It was impossible to function as a team when they could not trust each other.

    And what of the business about her possibly knowing something about him that even he was not privy to? If it pertained to him in a negative way, he wanted to know about it before he could make a fatal mistake.

    Again, he couldn’t help but wonder if the Master had done this on purpose to meet some nefarious goal...

    “Yes, it needs to stop,” Joren agreed solemnly, reaching up to scratch at the stubble along his jaw. He then turned to finally meet Vydra’s gaze. “We can't survive like this, not when so much is at stake. In fact, it makes me doubt…” Pursing his lips together, he hesitated for a moment. “What if we’re not all aiming to achieve the same objectives? It’s possible that this confusion is intentional, perhaps to serve as a distraction. I believe our loyalties are divided.”

    The doctor couldn’t bring himself to say it out loud, but it was clear from his tone what he was referring to. In case there was any doubt, he sent a subtle hint through the Force that materialized as a single word:traitor.

    He focused on Joren’s face “But I sense within you it’s not the only thing that has been troubling you,” he said, “I think all of us have had things which we have been keeping from the rest,things that could change us all, even change the galaxy. For the leader to have troubles also does not bode well for the group. Perhaps the Master meant for us to be individuals not work as a team and I thought we were brought together to do just that” he snorted “More fool me”

    “So come on, spill before I have to try and force it out of you”

    Angling his chin toward the floor, Joren exhaled heavily, the gesture serving as an admission to the burdens he was carrying. There was no point trying to avoid the issue any longer, particularly when he knew Vydra was more than capable of helping him find answers. That was why he wanted to consult with him, after all.

    “I’ve had a vision,” he murmured simply, his voice barely above a whisper and his eyes distant. “It...wasn’t a dream, it was too vivid, too…persuasive. I’m sure of that. Either way, I can’t ignore it. Otherwise, I run the risk of it coming true exactly as it was foretold.”

    Swallowing hard, Joren took a step closer to his friend, his blue eyes now shining with apparent urgency. “The gateways--the World Between Worlds,” he stammered, shaking his head slowly. “The portals...five of them were open, Vydra. Someone had accessed it, but how is that possible without…betrayal? It was an act of treason...I can’t...get it out of my head.” His shoulders heaved slightly in exasperation. “I tried to consult my Holocron to find answers, but it’s like the entry doesn’t exist, as if someone had wiped it clean.

    “The only thing I have is a single passage that keeps repeating itself: ‘...will come to the Protectors, and fracture they will. The future will be damned by the best intentions of…” Joren narrowed his eyes, his brow creasing in thought. “The best intentions of who? Does it make any sense to you?”

    And there it was. Joren had heard part of a prophecy, one that Vydra possibly had an inkling about. And if he was having visions about the World Between Worlds being open it was a bad sign. A sign that it could all come crashing down before everything was set and sorted. Before the darkness came. Before the end.

    Had the Master hinted any of theis to Joren? This was what Vydra was worried about, that eventually he and his friend would be pitted against each other eventually. That he could possibly be the one. But why would Dunkeel collaborate with him? Did Vale know something about it all, perhaps what Joren had seen or heard? Perhaps Joren would do something to try and stop it all.

    He wanted to shake Joren and scream at him, that it could not be stopped, tat the traitor would win, that the darkness was coming and the future needed to be protected.

    Instead, he kept his voice and face steady, his thoughts projecting calmness in the Force. “It could mean that something is going to happen to us, something that could divide and conquer us all, something that could change the very fabric of the future, time and space itself. Is it someone or something that will fracture us all? To destroy the future or maybe even change it? I’ve had the same passage from my Holocron and it has kept me up many a night on what it all means”

    He shook his head “You having visions is definitely not good. And someone accessing the World Between Worlds is not good either. The Master said it was expressly forbidden. But what if someone had no choice? What if that someone became a traitor to possibly save the future? I’m not saying it will happen, just playing devil's advocate” and Vydra was making sure he gave nothing away. “Perhaps it was the will of the Force, perhaps the traitor turned dark, perhaps there was no other way to save the galaxy who knows. I guess we will find out when it happens, and I hope by then, we will have figured out everything”

    He shrugged “The Force seems to be guiding me these days, it guided me back to my sister, back home during my self imposed exile. But it seems that it may be guiding me to other places, I'm not sure why” and in no way was Vydra going to reveal his mission yet.

    “There is always a choice,” Joren muttered under his breath, his face screwing up with disapproval. He was too troubled by Vydra’s comments about the future and the traitor's motivations to acknowledge what he had said about the Force serving as a guide. If anything, it made him angry. Why would one of their own intentionally harm them for their own selfish needs?

    “If it’s true that some catastrophic event will occur,”Joren began again, his tone now grim as he regarded his friend carefully. “Wouldn’t it be prudent for that person to consult with the rest of us? Why betrayal? We can prepare and tackle the problem as a team; we are Protectors, after all. But instead, by making this decision...this choice, it will inadvertently destroy us. What I was the end.” He pursed his lips in thought, his eyes hardening. “Unless that’s the goal…”

    Turning away from the other man, Joren started to pace along the length of the room. “I had planned to speak with you privately about this, but time was not on our side,” he lamented quietly. “I have certain reservations about the Master...about his intentions and expectations. I fear that he was trying to divide us, to cause whatever it is we’re about to face. That he was truly a malevolent spirit working toward an ulterior motive. And now, his plans are in full motion…”

    The doctor stopped his pacing and allowed himself a light scoff.“I never thought of this before, but maybe that’s why Vale is so defiant. She did not want to consider the possibility of the Master serving as a detriment, and yet...I can’t simply brush it aside. There was more to the vision.”

    Inclining his chin, Joren once more sought Vydra’s gaze. “I heard a baby wailing,” he revealed glumly, his posture slumping as if someone had punched him in the stomach. “I can’t say how I know, but it was my child, Vydra. I can’t allow anything to happen to them.”

    This was getting worse.

    Now Joren had explained what he had seen in his vision it was making Vydra feel sick. He wanted to tell him right now that his suspicions were that he might be the one now. But he couldn't, perhaps he would never tell him or wouldn't be able to tell him until it was too late. That his child may die, that Vydra could be the cause of it all.

    Perhaps it could all be stopped, perhaps it didn't all have to happen what both Vydra and Joren had been told. Perhaps the Master had an ulterior motive. Perhaps Joren was right and Vale was wrong or even vice versa?. Would they ever know what his true motives were?. And even if the Master was around it would not be a case of just asking him straight to his face or hood. He would have revealed nothing.

    And if it all turned out that he was malevolent then Vydra would have been protecting nothing. His job would have been for nothing. Perhaps though he was benevolent that he wanted only the best for them all, that Joren would lead them into a new age with the Master Protectors and apprentices by his side, and he and Vydra perhaps could salvage their relationship if not Vydra perhaps could find friendship with Dunkeel.

    But from what Joren was implying was that the Master had been leading them all on a string. That Vydra had been chosen to destroy it all. To become a traitor. He now wished that he had never taken this mission, that he had never joined the Protectors. That he perhaps should have stayed in exile, perhaps gone back to his family and died with them when the galaxy fell to ruin. That if the galaxy did end up being saved at least he would not be a traitor and run off. Perhaps his friendship could have been saved too.

    Vydra wished he did not have these thoughts. But they were bombarding him. And he hoped Joren was not sensing any of this as he had tried to put barriers up with the Force. He did not want Joren seeing or sensing any of this. His thoughts were in a tailspin. He would have to consider his position but in the end it all boiled down to the fact that the galaxy needed to be saved, that he alone could do it. That Joren and the others could be saved and the future assured. That Vydra would end up broken and alone, shunned and vilified. That the Master had given this to him because he was a good person the only person that could do it.

    Malevolent or benevolent, which one would it be?

    Vydra took a deep breath and took a minute or two to respond. "If indeed he is maleovant then he has doomed us all. He has been leading us along on a lie. That the lessons he has taught us is a lie. That we were meant to fall and not work together as a team that we turn on each other like rabid dogs over a piece of meat. That we are saving nothing that we are inciting nothing more than death or chaos. The Twilight Wars are coming, there is no doubt of that. But what was the Master's endgame? To save us all from certain doom or to perhaps save us all from certain death? Perhaps we will not know until the end. He is not here to ask and I am sure he would not have revealed anything" he shrugged "that was his way after all. To speak in riddles and never reveal too much"

    Joren inhaled deeply to alleviate the pressure that suddenly clenched at his chest with Vydra’s words. The Force seemed to reflect his somber mood as it reverberated with a slight permutation...almost as if it was struggling to maintain the delicate balance that had previously held them together as a team. He initially thought it was a warning of what was to come, but then he realized that it was more personal than that. This perception of uncertainty and fear emanated from Vydra himself. It was only a small needling, barely perceptible above the constant buzz of the city below, but it was there nonetheless.

    It pained him to know that he had inadvertently triggered this response from his friend, but he saw no other way around it. Someone had to know the truth. Even then, Joren did not pry or attempt to glean anymore than what he could easily perceive on the surface. Vydra was actively trying to conceal his emotions, and he would respect that decision. He likely needed some time to accept all he had just learned.

    After all, Joren was still struggling with it himself.

    “That’s what ultimately concerns me,” the doctor acknowledged earnestly, placing his hands on his hips and angling his gaze back to Vydra. “He never spoke in pragmatic terms, it was always a quandary...some kind of puzzle that we had to decipher on our own. If he cared that much about our wellbeing, if things were so dire, then why take the risk of us interpreting it wrong? Why put the galaxy in danger like that? I just don’t…get it. And then to have Vale look at me like I’m some kind of renegade…a heretic for even suggesting such a thing...”

    Joren scoffed and waved his hand with exasperation.

    "I am not like Vale, my faith in the Master has been shaken and like you have my suspicions about him. But why choose us five? Has he foreseen something that actually could not be stopped or could be saved? Could his decisions have been in the best intentions? Only he knows and it is up to us to find out. These secrets, visions, prophecies, they all lead to something. We need to find the key to this before it is too late. For your child's sake, for all of our sakes".

    Pressing his lips into a thin line, Joren nodded his agreement. He could not deny that something was leading him down this path – to find answers and prevent the unthinkable from happening. It was reassuring to know that he would not be alone in that search; Vydra understood perfectly, just as he knew he would. He had been foolish to doubt him otherwise. “It’s all we can do at this point,” he conveyed quietly, a wan smile touching the corner of his mouth. “I only want clarification and closure, to know that our work is not in vain. I trust that we can uncover the truth, Vydra.”

    Stepping closer to his friend, Joren’s expression turned grave once more. “I haven’t told you this to cause you harm, please know that,” he continued plainly, his voice unwavering. “It needed to be said...for all our benefit. I didn’t know where else to turn, and as a close friend, I knew I could count on you. I should also inform Dunkeel to gauge his response, but until then, I’d like to consult with you on this further. Just you, me, and the Holocron.”

    For the first time since their conversation began, Joren allowed himself a genuine smile. “It’ll be like old times.”

    Vydra had to chuckle at that last sentence from Joren. Perhaps Joren’s Holocron contained something that his did’nt although he didn't really want to bring his Holocron into play yet. But together they could find out what the Master had planned not just for them two but for the group as a whole. It would be a challenge with quite a few bumps along the way but hopefully at the end they may both emerge enlightened and with a clearer idea of what was to come in the future.

    That is unless it all turned out to be a futile attempt. Or if anyone tried to stop them…

    Zas’tel was still unaccounted for and Vydra’s suspicion about the shadow was still hanging around. The Master must have plans for him too and perhaps he had something to do with the future too. Would he be joining them all when it came to the Twilight Wars? Or would he be hiding in the shadows as he usually did. Only time would tell.

    “As they say, the truth is out there” Vydra said with a smile, “And it is up to us to try to decipher it. We are about to embark on a little bit of a magical mystery tour and perhaps by the end of it we will know more than we do now or we will just be as confused and troubled as we are at this point.” he chuckled again “It will be like old times my friend and Joren, I am glad to share this with you. The Master was always hard to decipher and let us hope we can perhaps reveal to Vale at least what the Master had in mind. Maybe Vale was right, maybe she was wrong, only we can tell her that. And would she believe us after all?” he shrugged.

    Vydra stepped forward and patted Joren on the shoulder when he had gotten close enough “ We have all been through a lot and Dunkeel would be a good person to tell as well, let’s see what he thinks. And we will all come through this a lot stronger, hopefully as the team we were meant to be, without secrets to hold us back anymore”

    He turned serious “We are about to commence on a journey that will twist and turn and perhaps test our friendship. But my hope is that we will pull through and become the Protectors we were meant to be.”

    Vydra nodded “You, me and the Holocron, let’s do this”

    TAG: @Sinrebirth, @HanSolo29 , (@QueenSabe7 , @Mitth_Fisto , @galactic-vagabond422 for the mentions)

    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 14, 2019
  19. Sinrebirth

    Sinrebirth Mod-Emperor of the EUC, Lit, RPF and SWC star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Nov 15, 2004
    IC: Sphere
    In orbit, then, gone

    It wasn't impossible to leave Nouane undetected for the Tho Yor, who seemed delighted at the prospect of space travel. It hummed to itself, reflecting upon the sixty thousand years that it had been waiting for someone to use it. The brief trips to the World Between Worlds had been barely satisfying.

    Heading to Pesegam as requested, Master Protector.

    The journey was brief enough, and the Tho Yor took the opportunity to offer Zas'tel refreshments, a kind of reprocessed ration bar and recycled liquid, or to allow the Defel to learn more about his functions; the window to the front of the ship was actually a hologram of the outside of the ship, and the circles on the hull were weapon portals. In theory the ship could fire from eight points at once, though the effectiveness of its weapon would be reduced. The hyperdrive was Force powered, and the ship drew from the sensitivity of the populations around them; not the Force users, but the life force of people. Passively drawing from it, though in a crunch Zas'tel could power the ship with his strength.

    Interesting, technical points, but in comparison to Pesegam?

    The sentience let Zas'tel know about how the Killiks created Pesegam out of the decapitated head of Typhojem, the skull floating space. Fresh from its epic battle with the Celestials, the God of the Sith had been shredded, and its matter had been formed into Pesegam, Kessel and other worlds as part of the reconstruction of the galaxy. The Tho Yor surmised that the dispossessed Sith, having lost their homeworld to the Neti, would have gathered there to worship their dead Lord.

    That didn't allow the Tho Yor to convey what arriving would mean.

    A wall of utter, writhing, terrible darkness.

    Sphere wobbled as it entered the system, just about managing to keep them hidden in the Force but unable to do anything more than merge with the wave of nausea that consumed where they were. Zas'tel would feel that sensation as a crushing tied, though the cloak seemed to attune itself to the dark and it was slowly drawing a barrier around them; protecting him, as the Master had said it would.

    The Tho Yor Sphere painted a picture of a variety of objects in orbit; it struggled to address them as ships, because they were a collection of asteroids, coral smooth shapes, oversized Droid faces, and writhing monstrosities... a shadow fleet, marshalling above the world.

    TAG: @Jerjerrod-Lennox
    IC: The Narrator

    The red and pyramidal Holocron laid before the two of them, but as much as they tried, it would not yield the entry, though it was fact that it had mentioned those magical words, at very least, for one of them in that moment last night, as the Master left.

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

    Those words would echo only from this Holocron for one, and it did not again. An error? A mistake?

    A glitch?

    As they traipsed, there was more of what was to come. The entries about the
    Twilight Wars, the Birth of the Republic, the Pius Dea Crusades, between humans and nonhumans, in a millennium of madness within the Republic, and the Sith Wars, and so forth. In essence, millennia of conflict between the Light and the Dark who fought through their proxies; the Jedi, the Republic, the Galactic Alliance, the Skywalkers against the Sith, the Empire, the Yuuzhan Vong, the First Order... names upon names of factions and violence, culminating in yes, as the Master had said, the End of Time with the renewal of the Twilight Wars following the Apocalypse.

    Names, personalities, planets.

    Marka Ragnos, Revan, Darth's Ruin, Bane and Sidious, the Rise and Fall of Anakin Skywalker, Darth's Caedus and Krayt, Luke, Ben, Kol, Cade...

    It was an endless sea of war and conflict, and to identify a key singular point was difficult at best.

    But the losses... eighteen billion on Duros; millions when Vitiate consumed Nathema and Ziost; two billion on Alderaan; three hundred and sixty five trillion to the Yuuzhan Vong, billions with Hosnian Prime, twenty seven billion on Mon Cala... that wasn't even counting the slavery, and worlds destroyed by superweapons such as the Dark Reaper, the Mass Shadow Generator at Malachor V, the Eternal Fleet, the Death Stars, Galaxy Guns, Starkiller Base...

    A tide of thirty five millennia of darkness, after sixty five thousand years of peace.

    The only noticeable divide between now and then, was at this point in time.

    But the Holocron had no entry about the World Between Worlds being accessed; about a traitor among the Protectors; indeed the entries in respect of the Protectors were sparse at best.

    The Protectors and Destructors

    The terms used to describe those who fought over Kesh, a world isolated by the atmospheric and cartographical disturbances from passing starships. The Keshiri deified the battle which was said to have split apart their continents, interchanging the Protectors with the Skyborn, and the Destructors with those Who Dwell Beneath. A group of Sith slaves crash-landed on Kesh and discovered the religion, and anointed themselves of the Protectors, taking advantage of the Keshiri to erect a Lost Tribe of the Sith; some ten thousand Sith which became tools of the Apocalypse. However, the Protectors are known to have fought beside the Killiks, Gree and Kwa in the War of the Temporal Planes, which saw the Old Ones defeated and the Architects, their creators, undone.

    But that was all they had to work with. Of course, their Secret Names might illuminate more.

    Might not, of course.

    But we all knew what their Secret Names do, don't we?

    Nonetheless, the 'Secret Entry' was not apparent when the Holocron was prodded.

    (Just to note, its nearly the end of the day, indeed, most would be finishing work shortly).

    TAG: @HanSolo29, @Jerjerrod-Lennox.

    OOC: Mitth_Fisto and QueenSabe7, please continue.
  20. Jerjerrod-Lennox

    Jerjerrod-Lennox Jedi Grand Master star 7

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


    That was Vydra’s thought and it was broadcast quite loudly in Joren’s direction as the Holocron finished speaking. It was like the Holocron was destined to foil them in their plan to find out the Master’s true motives.

    Once again they had had a history which was summed up in two words ...war and death. It seemed like just when the light was winning the dark came back and took over again. Devastation, destruction, worlds wiped out entirely. And there at the end was the apocalypse itself, but to be honest, by the looks of things Vydra would be well dead before it even happened. Was he leading the people he no doubt was about to meet on a mission that would lead them to a future where this didn't happen? Or would it happen again? Or would they come back again to it all?.

    And the whole Prophecy had not been revealed to Joren, which was surprising to Vydra. He had hoped that perhaps it may reveal all so at least Joren could share with Vydra what he thought and what Vydra had interpreted it as. However he could not reveal the whole bombshell, what he and the Master had discussed but perhaps it would not hurt to drop some hints in….

    So when the truth came out it wouldn't hurt as much. Joren may be a little understanding, Dunkeel would be blunt as always. And Vale could end up slicing him in half after betraying the Master’s trust. But as Vydra had said before, no more secrets, no more lies and it was time perhaps to try and see if he could perhaps tell them things without giving everything away. The mission could come sooner rather than later and it would help for the others to be prepared.

    And perhaps those who survived when it all came to an end would do so thanks to him. But perhaps the Master had more sinister plans for them as he had thought before. And Joren’s Holocron not revealing anything was not helping at all.

    He didn't know that if he brought his Holocron down (it was at present in his room) that it would do the same. That basically the Prophecy would not reveal itself to anyone and that Vydra had been the chosen one so to speak to hear it all and figure out it’s whole meaning while Joren got half and Vale and Dunkeel not at all.perhaps it could reveal to the rest what he was hiding, his mission, what it would entail and that it was a chance to save the galaxy and provide for the future.

    Well either that or he could be dead because they had found out that he was possibly the traitor.

    Vydra looked at Joren and snorted, narrowing his eyes “Wow, a history lesson. But it doesn't explain anything about the Master. Yes it shows the future, but in that future the apocalypse comes right at the end and to be honest I think we may be long gone before that happens. Unless we have to save everything before the first Twilight Wars happen. Yet again the Master was not specific on this one”

    He shook his head “All I can see from that is basically light and dark fighting each other in endless wars. Whole civilizations being eliminated either by sadistic tyrants or merciless religious fanatics. What in essence are we saving? If the light wins it looks like the darkness keeps coming back again and again and again until basically the whole galaxy gets snuffed out. What do we have to do to save it all? How can we protect the World Between Worlds if the darkness keeps coming back to test us?.” he narrowed his eyes “In the end do we actually have to access the portal, betray everything and jump to another universe, all so we can leave the galaxy to it’s fate? And if we do access it who knows what we will encounter on the other side or whether we will have consequences for our actions”.

    He focused his gaze on Joren “Would we become Destructors, not Protectors? Everything the Master has taught us has shown nothing about what he has planned and now the Holocron has gotten us no closer. The only other thing that could show anything is my Holocron although we could be disappointed and show us nothing again. We need to find a way to get through the mist and find our way to wht the endgame is. Because otherwise we could be going around and around in circles and end up nowhere.”

    He wondered what Joren thought of all this.

    TAG: @Sinrebirth , @HanSolo29
  21. galactic-vagabond422

    galactic-vagabond422 Best Roleplayer Summer 2020 star 4 VIP - Game Winner

    Jul 11, 2009
    IC: Zas'tel

    In the Tho Yor the Defel took in the curious craft. A holographic display rather than an actual transparasteel window. Rations and recycled water as supplies, weapons that could be activated and deactivated at will lessening the power of the shots depending on the number of weapons brought to bear. The hyperdrive that was fueled by the force drawing in power passively from nascent force potential of a population of a planet. It was interesting all the capabilities of the craft. It was so forgin yet it all felt so familiar, so intuitive. It wasn't long, but it was enough to close his eyes to center himself.

    The information poured into him The battle of the gods, the decapitation of the old sith god whose remains formed this planet and others in the galaxy. The sith that called it home after Neti a place to worship their god to show reverence to their fallen lord. While knowing this was one thing...experiencing it was another.

    A wash of darkness crashed over him sending his stomach into a bit of a somersault a bit of bile rising up in the back of his throat. Soon the cloak took over lifting the nearly overwhelming feeling for darkness. He was unprepared. And it took a moment for him to gather himself. He was here for a reason. He coughed again, a wet deadly cough.

    The sphere gave him more information though it was clouded. Something was in orbit, many somethings. Asteroids, coral, droids, it was all nonsense and perfect sense all at once. He could feel malevolence coming off in waves, darkness all around him and not just the empty space all around him. He could feel it in his very bones. He had to push through, he had to find a way past.

    Though he couldn't deny him wondering what all this was doing here? Was it all just for protection?

    He moved a little closer, his thoughts guiding the craft. Using what information he had he looked for a way down to the planet.

    TAG: @Sinrebirth
  22. QueenSabe7

    QueenSabe7 RPF Awards Host star 6 VIP - Game Host

    Mar 23, 2001
    Combo with Mitth :)

    IC: Dunkeel and Vale

    Outside the Clock-Temple, Nouane

    Switching gears so fast that Vale didn't immediately register she had done so, her personal life was shelved as her Protector concerns took over. After the disastrous first meeting without the Master, she knew she had to talk to the others at some point without Joren present, his influence seeming to somehow have Vydra and now Dunkeel blinded. Seeing the chistori alone, now, the opportunity was too great to not take.

    "Hey," Vale practically called to the tall creature as she took her last few strides to bring them face to face. "Why did you change your tune so quickly in there? With Joren?"

    Speaking with Zinara only a few minutes prior had opened the flood gates to her buried thoughts and ideas. Keeping problems bottled up had nearly destroyed her marriage, and they would surely do the same to her new family. And besides, why shouldn't she be forthcoming with her brothers? She expected the truth from them, so she'd give them the same in return.

    "You seemed to understand me, or at least I thought you did... so, why?"

    Watching her approach had been a moment. A quiet before the storm where he focused not on the crowds or the gifts, but the ticking of the clock. One. . .Two. . .Three. . .Steady. . .On. . .Forward. . .One. . .In. . .Front. . .Of. . .The. . .Last.

    Her words saddened his eyes, his mouth sagging open as his head dipped in acknowledgment. "Because we were all given tasks. Mine was to support the leader, Or." he stopped there. Letting that word hang in the balance. Giving himself a breath. "Supplant. And I have no desire for being a deciding vote if needed nor holding the keys as a final voice of temperance. All that position truly is is little, but it is more than I want." He sighed it out, heavily.

    Vale's face scrunched in frustration, folding her arms across her chest as she let Dunkeel's reveal ruminate. Another mystery of the Master uncovered, confusing her even more. Like he was still speaking to them from whatever realm he currently inhabited, in his eccentrically cryptic way.

    "I wasn't asking for you, or anyone, to take sides. I just wanted..." she paused, sighing deeply. The chistori's sadness mingled with her own. "I wish I wasn't alone in what I know." She raised her chin and tipped her head back slightly in order to look at him straight, appearing to be making a decision. She nodded once, committing.

    "The Master gave me a task as well." Her voice was low but loud enough for only Dunkeel to hear. "Part of that task was to keep any single one of us from being in control, from being in charge. He intended us to lead as one, not for one to lead. So why would he place Joren in a role that directly contradicts his orders to me? And by extension, his orders to you?"

    Shrugging he looked at her, feeling the way she was ensconced their conversation in the Force. Similar to how he had with Erwen earlier. Lending his aid he endeavored to keep his words and hers as she wished. Private. Sighing he took in the scent of her, the taste. Letting her flavor so recently mingled with her mate wash over him as he felt her own sadness in the Force.

    What she shared was a portion of what she had to do. "Then do it. I trust The Master that much. It is up to you whether you are the thorn or the sword. Perhaps that is the difference." He sighed with a snort through his nostrils as he remembered his long time living with The Master. "It is how we look at it, if you are the thorn then we are to be a gentle way to keep a leader from being a despot, if we are the sword we merely to rip it apart. If you rip us up then there is not the one in leader nor the one in group, perhaps he told you as he told Joren not so you can be an extreme, but to temper each other, to force us to find a balance somewhere between that we can work with."

    Vale scoffed then sucked in a breath, correcting her attitude. "That was exactly what I was doing in there," she stated plainly, pointing a finger back towards the Tower. "Working for balance, finding a compromise. Did you not see that he refused it?"

    Angling herself away just so to look down that path and back out into the busy street, her eyes finally caught the makeshift memorial that was laid out against the perimeter fence. She looked away from that, too, continuing in a more somber tone. "I will not blindly follow Joren because that would dishonor the Master and his legacy. You and I, having studied with him the longest, know he would never want us to fall in line without questions, challenges, without fighting for ourselves, even if he was the one who told us to do the opposite." Vale glanced sidelong at Dunkeel, wondering why they had not spoken more, being the senior Protectors and having the most time invested in this way of life - if you disregarded her year astray.

    "There's something going on, something none of us are seeing." Her stare bore into him, wishing he could read her thoughts because she could not say the words.

    Following her gaze and her words he could not bring much to himself right now, not much to say. "I will give him a chance. I will not blindly follow nor blindly walk away. Just as I have you, and as I have your mate."

    "As for the something, I see only one thing. We are a number more, and it is not the shadow that is odd. Which leaves you or one of the two inside to my mind. Only I may be speaking of things that mean nothing, or discrediting one that is nameless because they are dead." he shrugged. Leaving it at that as he stepped closer to her.

    Vale closed her eyes, reeling herself back from the edge. She couldn't tell him. She couldn't tell anyone.

    "Unfortunately, there are reasons why I cannot," she whispered sadly, in response to Dunkeel's statement in favor of Joren. "But I also cannot leave the Protectors, not now." Stepping in the rest of the way that would bring them as close as can be without touching, she moved a hand between them and reached up, placing it gently upon the front of the chistori's right shoulder. The gesture could take on several different meanings depending on the nature of the relationship that linked the two beings it was being shared with, but in this case it was simply meant as a reassurance between friends.

    "Seems I'm a bit stuck then." Vale gave a lopsided smile, pulling Zinara back into her thoughts and the prospect of alone time with her wife after so long. "You are stronger than I, Dunkeel, that's for sure."

    His eyes slowly blinked as she touched him, bridging that gap. Sealing the distance between them. Raising a hand he grasped her opposite shoulder firmly. "I was hatched that way. To be weaker was to die." Tilting his head he stared at her a moment before letting go. "You are stronger than you think, Vale. I am proud to call you Master, and friend."

    Vale followed his lead and dropped her hand after his. She was reassured by his returned gesture and nodded once before beginning to pull away, somewhat reluctantly. There was still so much to be sorted. "And I, you. Take care, my friend, and may the Force be with you."

    Raising her hand in parting, she turned and headed down the path and out onto the street, remembering her way home like she had never parted from it.

    TAGS: @Mitth_Fisto @Sinrebirth
  23. HanSolo29

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

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

    Again, Joren’s attempts to find a tangible link between the Master, the uncertain future, and the Holocron itself came up short. Or rather, it came up against a figurative brick wall as the Holocron refused to access the entry in question. Instead, it rambled on tirelessly about another tedious history lesson. It was as if the artifact had a mind of its own and was purposely being contrary because of his decision to consult with his peers. Was it opposed to Vydra’s presence? Or was it merely adamant about sharing information with anyone else except Joren?

    If it was the latter, he knew that would only continue to reflect badly on himself as a leader. As Vydra had already noted, the secrets were proving quite detrimental to the group as a whole – they were driving them apart.

    But who was truly at fault here? Surely, not them! After all, wasn’t it the Master who had shared this illicit information with them? What did he expect them to do with it? He had to recognize the consequences of such an action – that it would cause turmoil among them.

    Of course, he knew…

    Joren was also very observant, and it didn’t escape his attention that the Master touted himself as the ‘author’ of each Holocron. He should have seen it before; it was the most basic way for the old man to manipulate events to his satisfaction. It also introduced another interesting theory – perhaps the Master wasn’t truly gone. Was it possible for him to live on in each Holocron, always watching and waiting for that opportune moment?

    The doctor seemed to recoil from that thought, his eyes darting precariously toward the red pyramid sitting on the desk. He had a sudden urge to reach out with the Force and toss the forsaken thing from his presence – preferably out the window to meet its end on the permacrete below. It had caused him a lot of grief so far, but he refrained from acting so rashly; not here, not now. He had to maintain his calm and keep the group together.

    Once again, Joren sought Vydra’s opinion and turned to face the other man with a haunted expression. “Maybe that’s his plan,” he noted grimly, replying to his friend’s comment about their quest taking them around in circles. “It’s purposely vague because he doesn’t want us to ever figure out his endgame.”

    A sneer crossed his lips as he inclined his chin to glance out at the city’s skyline beyond the crystalline window frame. “What if we’re not looking in the right place? Or more specifically, what if we have been led astray? What if…” He canted his head to study his friend carefully. He knew this next part could come across as absurd. “...there is no Twilight War? What if the end never happens and this is all a ploy to get us to believe? The Master may have planted this future to essentially bring about our own destruction. And the traitor…” Joren offered a wry grin. “Well, maybe they aren’t really a traitor at all. What if they just become paranoid and fall right into the trap? It’s the spider calling to the fly…”

    Inhaling deeply, Joren propped himself up against the windowsill and ran a hand over his stubbled jaw. “You also mentioned how it may be inevitable for us to access the portals in the World Between Worlds,” he continued with more conviction, “well, that got me thinking about the Master’s warning. Why would he go out of his way to show us its mysteries, to allow us to fall into temptation, only to pull it away from us? I think he knows one of us will slip, and he was trying to expedite that process. It’s all a game. But who comes out on top and who stumbles?”

    TAG: @Jerjerrod-Lennox; @Sinrebirth
  24. Sinrebirth

    Sinrebirth Mod-Emperor of the EUC, Lit, RPF and SWC star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Nov 15, 2004
    IC: Sphere
    Above Pesegam

    The fleet was gathered above the Valley of the Golg, the Sphere notified him, but lesser settlements dotted the northern and southern hemispheres. The world was not lush, but it was living, and indeed it furnished the red-skinned Sith with all that they might need; the Killiks were simple, and had not intended the world to be a prison...

    ... though the world had been hidden away in the Stygian Caldera, a hyperspace sinkhole which had kept the dark remains of Typhojem isolated from the galaxy for millennia. But stars, fundamentally, they moved; they turned, they spun, and no prison based in cartography would last forever unless perpetually tweaked into place.

    There was only one such prison that did that.

    The Celestials, the Sphere told Zas'tel, had simply expected the dark cults to burn themselves out with their relentless internecine warfare, or to see the proverbial light. In most ways, they had been right; the Kashi Mer, Sither and Hutts would never answer a call to arms from the Old Ones again; but the Vagaari, ur-Yuuzhan Vong, Sith and Rakata - they had yet to fully destroy themselves before now.

    An intervention had occurred, and so they were now marshaling their strength.

    The Sphere had coordinates for some place on-world in the Valley, so it engaged all stealth mechanisms, even as the Force rippled with the roving eyes of... well, for lack of a technical definition, something Dark. Sphere cautioned Zas'tel to stay hidden.

    As it began to head downwards, a memory from within Zas'tel would spill out.

    Months ago

    The Master stood with Zas'tel, both of them cloaked. The Master had requested Zas'tel come to see him at the Clock-Temple, and he was fine-tuning that Holocron again. They had stood in silence for long enough for Zas'tel to see the Holocron showed parts of the City, as if attached to recording devices, though it was relatively unclear.

    Into the silence, the Master spoke up.

    "I was a child when the Twilight War began...."

    TAG: @galactic-vagabond422
    IC: Erwen


    The remainder hour of their route took them meandering, but no issues rose after their respective discussions with Vale and Dunkeel. In many ways, that was pleasing, but in others... less so. Erwen was on edge after the murder yesterday, and it had occurred in simultaneity to the passing of the Master.

    He didn't believe in coincidence.

    But, he was not a taskmaster, and he realised that Zinara's mind was on Vale, which was more than agreeable, of course; everyone needed someone. Erwen had his Quest, and that was more than enough. With ten minutes left, he checked his chrono and nodded.

    "You may go, Sera."

    Zinara looked up from her daze, blinking. "Sir?"

    "Off with you," he said, firmly. "Your wife is waiting, yes?"

    Surprised, Zinara saluted. "Thank you, sir!"

    He gestured for her to go, turning back to face the Clock-Tower, to which they had circled back towards. Did you leave us with what we needed, Master, or did you just leave us?

    The discussion between Vydra and Joren had petered out, if only because the sun was setting yet again - time had distorted as it tended to during these meetings and in a strange way, it felt as if hours had gone by for the two of them while accessing the Holocrons, while for the meeting with the four of them, time had moved even more quickly than seemed possible.

    Joren's irritating, annoying and frustrating Holocron of Prophecy, being it's typically unhelpful and indeed mysterious self.

    But what interrupted them were a pair of comlink beeps. One was a text message for Vydra from his sister.

    Come home; urgent. Need to speak to you before Mum and Dad are home.

    The other was a text to Joren.

    Hi Sweetie. Hope all went well today. I'm fine, just a bit worn out. Can we move in another day perhaps? I didn't manage to do any packing whatsoever. Should I put dinner on? Are we entertaining?

    The latter was his reminder that Tera had been at home alone all day, and she craved adult company.

    But with the variety of jobs that Dunkeel had on later in the evening, he was actually coming back inside the Clock-Tower, and Vydra was not... while Vale was not going to be an option for an evening chat anytime soon due to Joren's own actions.

    Dunkeel needed his tools for his late night visits after all.

    Home - well, a home

    Vale would be early back, indeed, she was in-fact a few minutes ahead of Zinara but to her she was fifteen minutes ahead of Zinara's projected finish-and-then-travel-time. Indeed, for all Vale knew, Zin would be delayed (without checking).

    But what that meant was the simplest and most terrifying of confrontations.

    She was faced with the door to home.

    It would indeed yield to her key, and open, but she had to decide whether to go through, or wait.

    Could she face her former home alone?

    TAG: @QueenSabe7 (combo), @Jerjerrod-Lennox (separate combo), @HanSolo29 and @Mitth_Fisto (please combo together, copying me in)

    OOC: Jerjerrod-Lennox, please put up your 1st Secret Combo this week.
  25. Jerjerrod-Lennox

    Jerjerrod-Lennox Jedi Grand Master star 7

    Mar 9, 2005
    OOC: A combo with @Sinrebirth :)

    IC: Vydra Delomeux, The Master
    Location: The Clock Temple, Nouane

    Later, after the ceremonial handing over of the Forcesabers

    When they arrived, the Master was standing in his typical garb, cowl up, but his hands were behind behind his back, giving the appearance that he wore a cape rather than a cloak. “I’ve an important Truth to tell you.”

    His voice was solemn, if not cold.

    Vydra was confused and more than a little worried.

    Why would the Master ask to speak to him privately away from the others? Was he in trouble? Was he being sidelined as he was not good enough? Was there something about one or all of the others he was about to reveal? Or even something about himself?

    These questions were spinning around in his head, the Master of course could possibly sense all of this from a kile away, he seemed to see, hear and know all.

    He faced the Master with trepidation and dread “I am at your service Master “ he said “I am sure you would only tell me this if it was absolutely necessary. I give you my word this truth will not leave this room”

    “It’s not that bad,” he said, more lightly. “But your Truth is probably one of the more important ones, let’s be fair.”

    “You must keep to your secret Truth, until the final moment, you see. I need you to understand this better than anyone.” The Master finally dropped his hands to his side, turning and levitating from his workbench a peculiarly shaped Holocron.


    Vydra relaxed a little at this news although the mention on his Truth being more important than most intrigued him and concerned him in equal measure.

    Hopefully he would know when the moment was to reveal all, perhaps the Force would reveal the time or perhaps give him a nudge.

    “As you command my Master” he said with confidence. He was pretty sure he could keep this a secret until the time came. He was hoping that the others would not detect anything at all, he would have to mask as much as he could. He did not want to deceive them, especially Joren, but needs must.

    Seeing the Holocron though piqued his interest it looked like a clear crystal shoved into some red spiky matter. He wanted to give it a “poke” with the Force, but decided against it.

    “So this will reveal my secret Truth I presume” he said tipping his head to the side and studying the Holocron he didn't call it to him yet as he was still unsure about touching it yet.

    “Why is this Holocron more important than the others?”

    The Master inclined his head. The apprentice was intuiting a lot more than he had expected. The Holocron was different, after all. Good, goooood, he thought, stretching out the syllable mentally. Very good.

    The Master chuckled softly, into the question. “Oh, you’re too serious!” He stepped over, clapping him across the back. “Lighten up!”

    How can I lighten up when the situation is so serious?

    This was when Vydra wished that the Masters teaching style was not so quirky. Although he did manage one of his smiles that was considered charming. He had become more serious compared to what he was before but he could still turn on the charm.

    “And you haven't answered my question” he said simply, he still wasn't touching that Holocron yet, at the moment he had a sense of trepidation about touching it. Even though his thirst for knowledge was slightly taking over.

    But something before, what the Master said and the images that came up. Could the Master be hiding his true agenda? Or theirs?

    Being a librarian you analysed information as to what was useful and what was not so it could help customers in which book they needed. It was the same for his knowledge of the Force even though he wanted to learn everything, he knew it would take time and not all of it would be his to learn.

    It could come in useful now.

    His eyes narrowed his smile fading “The images that were shown were images of darkness. You also mentioned that we were protecting the light of the future. I was afraid that the responsibility would be too great,

    How could I fight as one light against all that darkness. But then it occured to me just now, what if it isn't the light we are protecting?”

    “What if it’s the darkness?”

    “Is Darkness not attached to the Light?” The Master said, shrugging fluidly. “Do we not need to have a wider view?” He pointed at the Holocron. “A longer view, so that we might better Protect?”

    “But yes, I suppose it is easy to say.” He guided them to the chair, sitting them down and taking the centre of the area with a flourish. He exuded his pleasure into the Force - Vydra was thinking. That was what he needed. He rambled a bit. “Your Holocron is part of your Truth. While the others have one secret, their Truth, or, as you’ll see, one has no secret to their Truth - long story. But you -“

    The Master spread his hands out at them, his voice full of bravado. “You’ve the best one!”

    “Because you’re the trustworthy one, I’ve included something in your Holocron that is not in either of the others. Whilst their Holocrons will catalogue all manner of events from now until...” the Master gestured vaguely. “Whenever it is, yours will include a secret entry.”

    The question Why me? kept on going around his head.

    The Master obviously had his reasons for trusting hi which he may not reveal as h was still dodging questions especially regarding the Holocron and his Truth. But he had to trust that the Master knew what he was doing in entrusting this to him and only him. There must be something about the others that meant that Vydra could be the only choice.

    Sitting in his chair he looked the Master where he thought his eyes were “Perhaps you are correct Master, perhaps the light and the dark are connected, perhaps we can walk that fine line between both” but he was worried that if they did and they end up falling into the dark that it would destroy all they had built and what the Protectors stood for, he didn't voice this bit out loud.

    It was intriguing him as to what this secret was in the Holocron and how it was connected to his Truth. Since he had committed to the Master's plan he might as well dive in. After all, knowledge was power, he just hoped he could balance it out without becoming a monster.

    “I am still wondering why you have chosen me as I have been here the least amount of time compared to the others and my training is somewhat in the beginning stages” he called the Holocron over to him with the Force “I thank you for trusting me with this, but it still worries me what is inside here and my Truth. We have been taught to follow the Light but if we stray into the dark we could end up losing ourselves. And this secret, it both intrigues and concerns me especially if it concerns the future and if it relates to me in any way”

    The Master looked sympathetic. “I know that,” he moved, crouching down in front of Vydra. “That's the reason why. You’re more rooted in the real world than the Force. You’re learning. Some of the others hide from reality. Some hide from the Force. Some want to own their reality.And some want to own the Force.” His voice was soft, appealing. It was hard to convey that properly when, no matter how hard you peered into his hood, it was black. It was impossible to penetrate with your eyes.

    He gently brought the Holocron over with a gesture of the Force. “This is important, to me, to you. You’re hesitant, and I understand that, but if you don’t do it, people will be doomed.”

    “I won’t force it upon you, but I think... When you see the secret entry, you’ll understand why I need you. Need someone who asks questions. Who is not yet too far into the Force, but not too entrenched in the present. You want to understand the past, not to own it like Joren,” he said a little tightly, “but to know it. You’re true to the past, and all I am asking you is to be true to the future.”

    He took Vydra’s hand, ready to lead it to touch the Holocron, but not making him. Just reassuring Vydra. The choice was his. The Holocron glowed softly, a slight rhythm to it,which was already in time to Vydra.

    It was calling to him.

    It was curious about him.

    It was an unanswered question, and the question was Vydra.

    It was soft, unspoken, and open to Vydra.

    The Master simply waited. The Force... stilled.

    Vydra was feeling it’s call in the Force and now it was still as if awaiting his decision.

    Vydra knew that the Master was making good points all around, but the fear and trepidation were still clinging on to him like a shroud. Remembering what the Master had said about protecting the light of the future Vydra knew he would also be protecting the past, protecting those he loved and perhaps even the group themselves. He knew also that after this he would have to study the Holocron further as well as sorting out the hilt for his Forcesaber which he had no idea how to modify yet.

    The responsibility was crushing him again but resolve once again took over. He resolved that he would be ready and the moment had come to test that resolve. He had to know what was inside to save perhaps the galaxy and not just Nouane. This is what he had trained for what they had to be prepared for.

    Light and dark.

    Good and evil.

    To protect and to serve.

    Take the plunge….

    There were still questions to be answered but he wouldn't know unless he touched it.

    He reached and touched the Holocron closing his eyes as he did, preparing himself.

    “Let’s have a gander now.”

    He touched his hand to Vydra’s, and the Force flowed through them each. The Holocron played their immediate future to them.

    Once it was done, the Master folded his arms. He nodded. “So you can see what you need to do; keep an eye out for that. I’ll help however I can before.”

    It was positively ...shocking.

    Vydra couldn't believe it. It was like something that he could never have prepared himself for even in his wildest dreams or nightmares.

    He didn't know how the Master could help or even if he could spot what was happening. But he had to trust himself, trust in the Force and watch closely. Very, very closely.

    “I do Master” he responded “ and I will make sure that whatever is predicted to happen, does not happen. To be a Protector is to protect all and to prevent the darkness from prevailing” he was pouring resolve into the Force, there was still a hint of sadness and worry underneath but he had to push those feelings aside.

    Because the Master was right, if this came to pass, the galaxy would fall.

    “Your wisdom and knowledge have been a great help Master. And I am sure you provide as much as you can. Perhaps together we can stop this from coming to pass but I know I must be ready for when the time comes”

    This was a big job, even for a librarian. Well former librarian.

    The Master nodded. “Which is why we must work together, and why I needed a confidant, you see. Because we need to keep that secret. From everyone, until we figure this out.”

    “Yes, I know, I know, and it’ll put a tension on a good thing,” he said, “but I’m relying upon you to work it out, alright?” He forestalled a further comment.

    “There’s one, very last thing; your secret name. Should you, y’know,” he stood and leaned over the seated Protector. “Need to - your secret name can be used to strip you of the Force...” he let that hang for a moment and then pressed on. “So if you do feel like your place is in danger, whatsoever, you have the option to let someone else know your True Name. Alright?”

    This was getting scarier by the minute.

    To be stripped of the Force?. It was beyond belief that anybody could do it, to lose the thing that had guided him that he had worked so hard to master even a small amount.

    But he supposed that the Master should have a contingency plan in place should anything go wrong. He smiled inwardly to himself so he does think ahead.

    But it was sad that his potential friendship with Joren may not even happen. But now that he knew what could potentially happen he had to keep it ‘on the side’ as it were. But it didn't mean they could not be friends.

    He looked up at the Master into the dark cavern of his cowl.

    “Once again I thank you for trusting me with this” he said his eyes staring into the cowl “And as always, I will do as you command. And I will endeavor to work this all out, what it means for me, for us and what I can do to stop the destruction”

    “We will do this….or fall with the rest”.

    He tipped his head to the side “So what is my True name should it become so dire?”.

    The Master appreciated that Vydra had to work through his emotions. It was a lot to absorb in one sitting.

    “Like I say, it’s a just-in-case, Yanjon. It’s not a silent J, alright?”

    His shoulders sagged, as if he’d been navigating a horribly balanced moment that could have gone either way; that he’d reached the end of a trial of sorts.

    The Master released a breath he had not realised he had been holding. Or had he?

    Vydra nodded as the name was announced. The Force seemed to give an inkling as to the meaning, it sounded like a philosophers name something with wisdom attached.

    He looked at the Master as his shoulders sagged. It seemed that the Master had gone through something himself, Vydra though could not read what was coming off him and the moment and didn't dare poke.

    It seemed that he had been told what he needed to know, now it was up to him and the Master to do the rest. During the break he would make sure everything in his life and emotion wise was sorted out. Because if it wasn't it would affect him in the future.

    “Understood Master” he responded “Let us hope I don’t have to use it. Will that be all?”

    “I trust you,” The Masters head turned slightly, as if hearing something, or a thought occurred to him. “Just keep in mind that you might not be able to trust their Truths... oops, I mean, Truth, singular, of course, of course,” he fluttered a hand at that accident. “But you have responsibility for the Light.”

    It lowered the tone back to the original point of the discussion. “May the Force be with you, my friend.”

    TAG: @Sinrebirth , @HanSolo29 , @Mitth_Fisto , @QueenSabe7 , @galactic-vagabond422