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Star Wars CLOSED Epitaph Between Prologue

Discussion in 'Role Playing Forum' started by Sinrebirth , Jun 16, 2019.

  1. darthbernael

    darthbernael EU Community Mod, House was on fire, not my fault star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Apr 15, 2019
    OOC: Combo with @Sinrebirth as he plays the, ummmm, arrogant City Kwa Elders

    IC N’Tael
    Decisions, Decisions


    N’tael lounged under an awning in the market, as the authorities cleared up the scene. He could feel the awe, almost reverence from a sizable fraction of the crowd that had gathered, once it was revealed they were new Protectors and that almost made their new status harder as it was simpler and easier when the city barely knew they existed. But one could not cry over soiled meat.

    And then his commlink chimed. He read the initial message, sighing as the coloration of his striping returned to it’s new normal color. This too was something he’d avoided and had planned on avoiding as long as possible, the city Kwa thought they were better than their cousins who still maintained their ancient charge, ancient duty. In this case it wasn’t just that one side or the other thought the other group had those prejudices. Since the Kwa had racial memories, each group could feel, know, the beliefs of the other.

    He checked the second, sighing again, his tail saying back and forth with multiple annoyances now occurring. If it wasn’t bad enough that his cousins here wished to question his appearance here, the Lords and Ladies of the City wished to meet them all. They’d barely arrived here, had just met, had not even fully gotten past the first lesson and now they were being called upon to fulfill duties, at least social ones, of full Protectors.

    Ignoring that one for now, he first moved to as private an area as he could find at the moment, then touched back on the first, sending a ping to the original sender and waiting for the other side to answer. When they did, ”Ccccity cccousssinsss, I wassss, not called by you. I wassss called by the Protectorsssss, sssso I would appreccciate not having your demandsss upon my head. Politenessssss, getssss you further, essspecially amongsssst our kind.”

    The Kwa became visible as holograms, a quadrangle of them. As he spoke, they glanced at each other. "You speak with the uncivilised lisp," said the leader, somewhat amused. "At least we know that you came from the southern hinterlands, beyond the City limits. Presumably before the City Watch imposed the restrictions on travel from the south."

    They were being arrogant, but feeding him answers to inevitable questions. They, similarly, did not identify themselves, merely assuming seniority by proxy. Again, more arrogance. "Politeness begets honesty," spoke another, firmly. "You felt no need to associate yourself with your fellows when you came to the City?"

    "Do you simply not know the traditions of the Kwa, or do you walk among the Kwoth?" That was a serious accusation, and intended to rile N'Tael. They may as well have accused a Jedi of being a Sith, in the days to come.

    N’Tael’s tail twitched back and forth at the prejudice and then the outright accusation. His thin lips drew back, revealing rows of sharp teeth. ”You mean the traditionsss of thosssse Kwa that have lossst their way, trying to be Human.” he retorted, knowing that the counter accusation of having run from the Kwa races promise to protect the galaxy from the use of their Gates was even more telling than their’s of him acting as a Kwoth.

    ”Again, I sssay, you did not call me here, I had no need to appeassse your sssocial nicccceties. I have been called for a higher reasssson. And sssuch meant, in all the honessty you claim to appeassse, I had no reassson to ssseek out the enclave here. Asss politenessss isss apparently not in your repetoire, I ssshall reccciprocate. Who are you, that givesss no rank or identity of your perceived rank, to asssssume that you have any sssstanding over me?”

    He may have been from the south as the City Kwa assumed but that did not mean he was not well versed in the ranks of his kind, whether here or there.

    There was a rustle of disapproval.

    "We are the Kwa Elders within the City. We represent some ten thousand registered Kwa," the leader emphasised. "Your higher reason has seen you become embroiled in a violent brawl that has wrecked market square. We are obligated to see that you set a good example to all Kwa."

    A finger was thrust forward at N'Tael. "Regardless of your opinions of the niceties and the traditions of the City, the role of Protector has been a political one for many years. If you intend to represent your species, then you must appease us; our concerns are those of the social fabric of this City."

    If N’Tael’s tail had been twitching before, it was more so now. These Kwa, these Elders, had spent too long among the people here and it was obvious to him that they, at least, had cleaved from the truth of the Kwa’s purpose. His predatory smile broadened even more. ”Politicianssss.” he almost spat on the paving of the market where he was.

    ”You and thossssse like you may have made a possssition that isss sssuposssed to protect the galaxxxy into a political one for your own endssss but that doesss not mean we all mussst bow to your wisssshesss. When there issss time from my dutiessss, I will contact you to dissscussss what you believe issss what a Kwa Protector ssshould do for you. But, until then, if you try to sssquasssh my role or interfere, I will place you with thossssse on the sssside of the Dessstructorsss.”

    The Kwa stirred, but there was a softness from the sole one who had not spoken before; the eldest among them. "You speak of the ancient ways, of the Ones?"

    The other three began to grumble. "Not this." One of them groaned.

    "Shush," he said. "This Kwa remembers our true role as one of the three chosen species; chosen to act on behalf of the Celestials - of the Father of Balance."

    "Fairytales; the Father, Son and Daughter - the Angel God, the Fanged God, the Winged Goddess - have not been active on Nouane for sixty five millennia, at very least - if they ever were. Yes, Nouane has a gathering of species which is impossible naturally, but that doesn't mean Gods and Devils did everything!"

    The leader jabbed a finger at N'Tael. "Or Protectors and Destructors?"

    N’tael’s tail slowed in it’s twitching at the words of the second elder. But his grin remained as the leader of the group continued. ”You know the sssssenssssitivity of our kind, yet you do not acknowledge that what wassss fought today wassss sssomething that could only have been posssssible without higher intervention. Not to mention the tear in the Forcccce ssssome time ago. You were here, but you don’t know ssssssomething, ssssomeone, came through?”

    He was glad that the Elders here did not seem unified in their arrogance toward their distant cousins but the leader seemed determined to undermine the one Kwa in all this time that had been chosen. ”I have ssssated my posssition and you now have the choiccce how to act. Ssssome among you know or ssssensssse the truth, get it from them if you refusssse to do ssso with me.”

    He looked out on the market, seeing the others, mostly, still engaged in their own comm calls, and knew he had only a short time more before they would have to gather again and determine what must be done, how things must proceed, especially with the one who came to aid them. And then the decision on how to handle the Lords of the City.

    ”Direct threatsss will not endear thisss current crop of Protectorssss to the caussse of the City, but ponder what I have ssssaid and perhapsss agreementssss made be made with thosssse who underssstand. Otherwissssse, I have busssinesssss to attend.”

    The elder looked to the leader, and nodded. The leader allowed his nose to flare, and then tapped the holographic table with a crystal. "It is decided. You will have our support, but you will apprise us of matters that impact the Kwa image in the City."

    With that, they signed off, not allowing N'Tael any opportunity to argue over, merely an empty room and whatever words and thoughts he chose to leave within it.

    N’Tael snorted, closing the channel from his end as well, ’The leader will be one to keep an eye on but at leassst one other underssstandsss.’ he thought.

    Coming out of the little area of privacy he moved toward the hole in the wall toward the Clock Tower, skirting the others, not wanting to interrupt, before they got some privacy inside the Tower to be able to compare notes.

    TAGS: @Sinrebirth, @QueenSabe7, @greyjedi125, @TheAdmiral
     
  2. Corellian_Outrider

    Corellian_Outrider Admin FF | Curator: Art&RPF | Oceania RSA | CR NSW star 6 Staff Member Administrator

    Registered:
    Mar 9, 2002
    ~OOC~ Special thanks to @Sinrebirth for this joint post! It was a pleasure :)

    Sheel Ix
    Location: Nouane City Docks - Nouane City


    The docks of Nouane City, the walls and the city beyond were even larger than what Sheel Ix could imagine...

    There was something wonderful about it, despite the nagging sense... the warning.

    “You’re not gonna put your hood and veil up?”
    Captain Andreas asked as the Tartesso berthed.

    “Is there a need to do so?” Sheel Ix touched the clasp to her cloak to make sure it was still secure. She glanced about and noticed some of the looks from the dock workers. The uneasiness... felt somewhat unwelcoming. “You told me this place was a cultural hub...”

    Andreas chuckled and nodded his head. “That I did. And it’s true, depending on your interpretation of cultural. You’ll be alright.”

    Sheel Ix narrowed her eyes and glared at him. Did he mislead to make a joke at her expense?

    Andreas was already off with the manifest and she followed behind. It was too late already to shroud her appearance.

    A man greeted them as they disembarked.
    "I am Captain Erwen. To what does Nouane City owe the pleasure?"

    “Good day, Capt’n Erwen,” Andreas started to introduce himself, his ship, the Tartesso, and cargo to trade or sell at the markets.

    Sheel Ix found her gaze lift upward to look at the walls and the distant tower, with a funny face on it, beyond.

    There was an opening for her to speak. “Good day, Capitan Erwen...” She greeted the man, matching his intense blue eyes. “I am Sheel Ix, I am from south and travelling? A visitor... passing through?” She looked to Andreas who grimaced at her broken sentence structure.

    The officer arched an eyebrow at the sentence, but didn't say much else. There was very little that fazed him in terms of language; he was used to seeing all manner of species at these docks, and in the southern quarter of the City. "Passing through?" At this, he did question, looking up from his datapad.

    "On the other side of the City is the northern highlands... the tribes up there do not brook visitors..."
    Erwen paused. "That seems like an unlikely story, Sheel Ix." Andreas grimaced again, at this point.

    But Erwen's eyes shone with curiosity, not censure. While yes the City had a fair share of black market commerce, he found that nonhuman's more often than not were secretive for its own sake to humans... or simply embarrassed by the personal nature of their family structure. Especially Sullustans. They never wanted to admit that they had been summoned by their Den-Mother due to a perceived affront They wanted to keep it as quiet as possible.

    As such Erwen was more than capable of giving the woman the benefit of the doubt.

    Especially when it gave his datapad time to complete a rudimentary scan of the boat and the two of them.

    “The Northern Highlands?” Sheel Ix blinked and gave a quizzical look. Was that where the source of this disturbance? It was hard to pinpoint exactly where this... calling was leading her. “I am still learning, Capitan.” She smiled gently. “My destination is still unclear to me and I hope to spend some time to gather my bearings and provisions before I set out again.” That much was true. “Is there a place you can recommend for I to do so?”

    Erwen smiled back, evenly, and he produced a datapad from a pocket. "City map. Four quarters. The southern will have lodgings for you at the edges, or near the centre. The Togrutan Slums are in the middle, between the Chadra-Fan and the Zygerrians. The latter are a bit feisty when newcomers joins the Togruta, so try not to make waves..."

    The man paused. "You'll need a permit to go to the other parts of the City, and I can't issue that without calling it in to the Protectors."

    Andreas made a strangled noise of panic. Erwen looked to the man, and then back to Sheel Ix.

    Sheel Ix ignored Andreas’ reaction as she inspected the contraption with curiosity. She followed the explanation of the layout of the city and felt conflicted thoughts. It was not to do with ‘what is a Chandra-fan? A Zygerrian?’

    There was her duty... To find the source of this disturbance and in turn find if there is some connection to the ‘poison’ afflicting her lands... However, there are others in this city that are like her, what can they teach her? Would they know her family?

    Her lips pouted a fraction. The ‘Protectors’. Would she see one in their natural habitat? Best not tempt fate and fire when so much to do. According to her instructions, they are not meant to be aware of her just yet.

    She looked back to Erwen and bowed her head. The twin beaded feathers at the bottom edge of her headdress swayed along with her lekku. “Thank you for your advice and assistance, I appreciate you showing me. I should keep to the South and avoid these... Zygerrians?”

    "Yes," Erwen said, with a shrug. "There is an investigation on-going as to whether they have been, well, kidnapping and selling members of other species in the Southern Quarter."

    His eyes turned to Andreas. "And smuggling them out the City in boats."

    Andreas blinked innocently. "I don't know anything about that." The Force would tell Sheel that was a lie.

    "Which is the reason there are officers on all the public and indeed private ways into the City by the river." Erwen kept his eyes on the ship captain. "Indeed, the Zygerrians have a particular fondness for taking Togruta."

    A heartbeat pause.

    "Allegedly, of course."

    Sheel Ix frowned at the wave of emotions she was picking up from Andreas. This felt like she was being played along like Ymir had always done, but there was something else, something other. This place is different and she did not know the full extent of what is expected of visitors and citizens. “I see... then if I find anything is out of the ordinary, who shall I go to?”

    Erwen found the Togruta's focus to be intriguing, though it was open, without an ounce of deception evident. Merely caution, and a sense of worldiness that those who came from the hinterlands possessed. "You can call and request my assistance, of course, or appeal to the Protector in charge of your region. Protector Vale Sera has care of the south."

    The man looked back to Andreas. "Similarly, if your find yourself forced to cooperate with any party with untoward intentions towards the City, please do let me know." The ship captain sketched a salute.

    "Of course, sir."

    Erwen stepped back, looking to go. "If that is all, I leave you to your visit, Sheel Ix."

    Sheel Ix bowed her head. “Thank you again... May bright skies shine upon your day, Capitan Erwen.”

    She gave one last glance to Erwen before she started to the gates to the city, glancing up at the walls. She took a deep breath, curiosity and trepidation about what to expect. She gave a sideways glance to Andreas. “Is there something you wish to discuss before I go in?”

    Andreas held up his hands innocently as Erwen departed. "Don't look at me, Sheel. I didn't know about the Zygerrian rumours... nor has my boat been used for that business." There wasn't a modicum of truth to that statement, but there was a lie somewhere in there.

    Sheel Ix eyed Andreas carefully. His words and behaviour felt at odds with each other. He had not lead her astray so far but then again, she did not know him that well. He could turn into another Ymir and she would find herself as some scapegoat for others to pin the cause of their calamities on.
    “I see...” she said cautiously. “And these “Protectors”... what are they exactly?” It won’t hurt to see how others view the group. “Have you seen one before?” She pursed her lips as she looked back to the Tartesso and shook her head and looked back to its Captain. “Forgive me. I am probably delaying you from unloading your shipment and schedule. If...I... how would I seek passage home from here?”

    "Oh, they're the unofficial but official religion of the City, though they'd deny it. The Master of the Protectors, some guy that nobody has ever seen under the cloak of, he's in-charge though apparently he recruited some apprentices a while back - a holostar historian, a librarian, a police officer and a handyman, I heard."

    A shrug. "I've never met them. You're welcome to try, though - they live at the Clock-Tower. The Lords and Ladies recently gave each of the new Protectors responsibility for a quarter of the City."

    Hearing the call of another boat, Andreas looked at her. "I'll let my colleagues know; if you put my name out there, someone will volunteer, and pay me a referral fee too." He grinned like a pirate. "But it's the City. People who go in here, they never seem to want to leave. We're so uncivilised on the outside, y'know?"

    He shooed her off his boat, goodnaturedly.

    “If so, then I am an ‘uncivilised savage’ to them.” Sheel Ix shook her head and gave a wiry smile. “Thank again for your services.” She checked her gear were securely attached to herself. Satisfied, she gesturing a farewell. “Until we meet again.”

    Sheel Ix mulled over the other details as she disembarked and headed for the gates. So there was the Master and four other... the librarian was recruiting five to the cause... were the other three doing the same or were they handling other tasks?

    Were the issues with these Zygerrians and missing Togruta related to the ‘disturbance’ she felt?

    Maybe there be some clue to unearth along the way...

    TAG: @Sinrebirth
     
  3. TheAdmiral

    TheAdmiral Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 28, 2004
    OOC: This is a combo post between me and @Sinrebirth ! Thank you for that!

    IC: Lagertha Atreus
    Location: Clock-Tower Temple


    The battle ended suddenly, their enemy disappearing. Lagertha's ego was bruised. She was supposed to pummel the enemy with her saber and shield. She had trained for such a moment, but to be honest that was her first combat with another Force User. A very experienced Force User. Maybe it was a win of sorts as they all survived and there were no civilian casualties.

    She received word that a girl was there to see her. It must be Praer, she had not gone back to the village it seems. Lagertha went to the place where she was supposed to meet her. "You should have gone back home, Praer." she said as she saw the child. "This is not a good place for you."

    Praer grinned her face off. She was slightly older than that time she had nearly intruded on Lagertha's meeting with the Master, all those months ago. "Well, the village elder had a vision of you and some Dark Lord so she sent me with a message..." She shrugged. "Seems I was a bit late, but she expected that, so she told me to say this to you when you said that."

    She cleared her throat and took a tone.

    "Well you should have made it a good place for Praer to come."

    Lagertha frowned, what did that mean? Did she fail? Or... or what? She remained silent for a few moments, pacing about. "Was that the whole message? Or is there anything more?"

    Praer shook her head. "Here is the note," she produced an envelope, still shut with the wax seal of the elders. "I wasn't allowed to read it; apparently it's for the eyes of the Protectors only."

    Lagertha was wondering what was all of that. It made sense to not include the girl in this. She took the envelope and broke the seal. The warrior took the letter out and unfolded it.

    The envelope actually contained two pieces of flimsi, the first which was opened in the pen of the Elder, handwritten, as was their tradition.

    Dear Lagertha,

    This letter was originally wrote in ancient times by our forefathers, when they settled Nouane and turned their backs on the Lords and Ladies. Or, rather, they turned their backs on us, and came to believe that what we had fought was gone. It has been duplicated with reverence, in the hand of the current Elder, at their ascension.

    This tradition has continued for sixty-five thousand years, if the Histories are true, which they can only be, for you have been summoned by the Master of the Protectors to fulfil the role our tribe separated from the City for all those years ago. I would enclose the original text, which has been rewritten by me, I so swear, in the exact form I found it. To alter the Word would be to alter the Intent of the Father, and we dare not.

    The next letter was a short one, and had an ancient cadence to it.

    There is no ignorance, there is knowledge.
    There is no fear, there is power.
    I am the heart of the Force.
    I am the revealing fire of light.
    I am the mystery of darkness.
    In balance with chaos and harmony,
    Immortal in the Force.


    Lagertha was not sure what to make of that message, maybe it will be revealed to her in time? Oh how she hated these kinds of things. Ancient cryptic messages, she liked things to be clear cut. To have an enemy to strike down or innocents to protect. Maybe she could find that Vydra person, he could give her some advice?

    "Praer, your task is done, go back to the village." she turned to the girl.

    Praer whined. "Can't I stay with you and the Protectors? The bald one is dreamy. You must have noticed, Lagertha!"

    Lagertha shot her a chilly gaze "Now you definitely need to go, and no, I have not noticed." she said at last "This is not a place for a child, not right now, until we deal with the current problem, we will see afterwards."

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

    Lagertha sent Praer home, at least she hoped the girl would listen to her and head right back towards the village. A thought gnawed on her, where had Praer seen the bald guy? Things did not add up, but it was late for such inquiries. She walked slowly to her room, preoccupied by the message that she was given. Lagertha could feel the Force coursing through her. She needed to find balance.

    Once inside of her Spartan room she took a small mat and placed it on the floor. A small luxury, but she did not want her feet to freeze on the cold floor. The warrior woman had decided to do something she rarely did... meditate. She sat cross-legged on the floor and tried to clear her mind. She took the piece of flimsi and opened it, then put it in front of her so that she could see the words scribbled on it.

    Lagertha was focused now, allowing the Force to take over. Her eyes upturned revealing their whites, the material world slowly disappearing. The floating sensation... images started flashing... voices could be heard. Lagertha strained but felt sluggish as if in a dream. She pushed with all her will... the image started clearing, what was being said could be understood.



    Lagertha saw an impossibly large city and a temple in the midst of it. Was that Nouane's future? There was a female voice saying that everyone could feel the pull of the Dark Side and that it was part of the Force. Lagertha mentally frowned at that, but focused on what could be seen. She saw a handsome young man making what seemed to be an important decision. The woman continued rambling that the Dark Side can't control you if you don't let it. That were the words of a delusional person. The images shifted showing different people, a small gremlin like creature, a Togruta, an evil looking Temple. Meanwhile the woman continued saying that she was strong because she was fighting for others and that the Force was in all living things and that you can't master it if only you were focusing on yourself. The last image she saw was of an elderly person holding the dying body of a red and black tattooed alien, closing his eyes. What was that all about, they looked so different? They can't be friends? But doing that to an enemy?

    The image flashed again showing the Togruta and other Protectors, a great conflict, was that the one the Master was warning them about? An evil sounding voice mocking them for being crippled by empathy and shackled by obedience to the Master or was it Masters? A Council? Maybe the ones that came before them? Like Vydra and the others? A myth of equality? Was that the same person who attacked them earlier? The voice sounded older though. Serving the Force was not a belief system... Jedi Order? Republic? Why do they need to be destroyed?

    An impossible spaceship appeared. It was enormous and triangular. It looked evil, as if a machine could have such a trait. But behind it... behind it was an almost Eldritch horror... a dead moon... a space station. That was surely impossible. The voice kept rambling on about the democratisation of fear.

    Then another dark shift... a stormy sky, thousands of ships. Soldiers in crimson armor running around. Ways of the Sith? There was a Sith among them, could he betray the Master and the Protectors? She needed to keep an eye on him. To plant terror and hatred in their hearts... But he did not seem to be exhibiting such traits, yes he seemed reckless but this?

    More conflict, armored warriors, shattered worlds. A wiser female voice telling the truth that violence can only destroy and can't inspire others to greatness. The power of the Dark Side is a lie! More Protectors fighting dark figures. My ally is the Force and a powerful ally it is... So the gremlin was a great warrior and a philosopher. If it wasn't serious she would have thought it amusing. There was a hooded figure... an evil hooded figure that somehow reminded her of the Master. Could he be the tuk'ata in nerf's hide?

    A deep and strong voice saying that success was not coming from summoning of the Force, meanwhile a troubled young man with a damaged lightsaber was mauling through some aliens. One thing she noticed that all the evil figures had red sabers. There was that woman among them with one. Another person who will need to be observed. Taking control of the Force, as if such thing was possible.

    An elderly woman started talking. To have fallen so far and learnt nothing!? Was that directed at her? No, she had not fallen anywhere. There was that hooded figure sending lightning in the sky bringing thousands of ships down. How can they face such power? What hope was there for them? This is what you have wrought! No, that can't be true. Their training has only just begun... Countless murders! NO! Lagertha screamed at what she was seeing, that is not their fault! Slaves, assassins, born of wars... More protectors fighting on different worlds, a dimly lit corridor, alarms blaring... a red saber... a towering dark figure... people screaming... dying... the terror... And instead showing them truth, power, all you have shown them is how the Galaxy may die... The dark figure was replaced by the elderly woman holding a holocron.

    Lagertha opened her eyes with a scream. Her heart was pounding, her clothes soaking wet from the sweat. She needed to talk to the Master or someone who knows of such things, who could explain to her what she had seen. Does it mean that they had doomed the Galaxy?

    TAG: @Sinrebirth @darthbernael @greyjedi125 @QueenSabe7
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2020
  4. greyjedi125

    greyjedi125 Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Apr 29, 2002
    A serene combo with @Sinrebirth


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



    ***************************************
    IC: Jin Long
    Aftermath


    Though the Clock Tower was damaged in their confrontation against the proclaimed Dark Lord of the Sith, in the end, the Protectors had prevailed.

    True, Darth Caedus managed to escape them, but his plan to kill and destroy had been foiled, thanks to their ability to trust each other and coordinate. Many lives were saved due to this, yet Jin Long did not seek or relish effusive demonstrations of gratitude. Adulation is not why the Protectors did as the Force bid them.

    The monk humbly accepted the many thanks that were offered, understanding that doing so was helpful for those doing so, but made little of it. Jin Long had no desire to feed base vanities whatsoever.

    Aside from that, the Protectors had also gained a ‘Friend’. One who was strong in the Force and seemed to have formed a bond with No Name.

    Jin Long himself thanked his fellow Protectors and sought to deepen their collective bond. He now understood that their synergy was a key factor in their battles against darkness, both present and future.

    Despite wishing to learn more about their new ‘friend’, it seemed news had traveled fast concerning their first ‘Victory’ and each Protector was being summoned by their respective ‘Leader’ or ‘Elder’. This, upon reflection, could not be a coincidence. Jin Long himself received news that the Abbot from his Temple sought an audience with him, one that was deemed important, if not urgent. Thankfully, he didn’t have to travel too far for it.

    “I am being summoned.” The monk announced to his fellow Protectors. “I will return as soon as I am able. Contact me for anything you need. Peace be with you.”

    After offering a respectful bow, the monk gathered his travel satchel and made his way to the appointed location.


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

    IC: The Abbot

    The Temple


    [​IMG]


    The Abbot sat, cross-legged, as Jin was accepted at the edge of the Temple grounds. He was bare foot, his eyes closed, the softest meditation filling him and the room. He had the Force, but in the smallest way possible, a mere candle to that of their greatest student.

    The attendants made to wash Jin of the external impurities of the outside world, paying little heed to the intimacies of such matters as was their way, before returning to him duplicates of his attire while the others were washed and cleansed.

    They did not attend to his soul, and the Abbot would not speak to him until Jin had performed the necessary cleansing of his internal balance, with his external symbolically purified by the process that the attendants had completed.

    As tradition demanded, Jin Long closed his eyes as he sat himself in Lotus Position at the appointed distance from the Abbot, then began reciting the mantra of Inner Purification for the pre-determined count and time. His conductive tattoos began to pulse softly and rhythmically in accordance to his inner flow of prana.

    Jin Long was a patient, disciplined and dedicated man with a profound respect of tradition. He would wait until the Abbot deemed him ready to receive his wisdom.

    As Jin spoke, the eddies and whorls of today's events swirled around him, allowing Jin to replay the dark mans surprise at the loss of his blade, and his reckless abandonment of all conscience in his pursuit of victory. A few of the words he growled out were retained, but made very little sense without the proper context. But the panic of the bystanders, the strain of the Force, and the violence that had been performed was plied away from his body, pushed free by the calm he had filled himself with.

    Time passed, though how much could not yet be said without inspection of ones chrono.

    But the Abbot knew that Jin would not do that in his presence, for to invite technology and other arbitrary matters would be a breach of the sacredness of the moment.

    The Abbot made sure to give himself a final examination as he too completed the mantra of Inner Purification, and he opened his eyes, satisfied, though never overconfident, that he was free of any of the darkness that had just been poured into the Force.

    "As expected, the Force summoned you to the Clock-Temple."

    It was a statement, not a question.

    "Share with me what happened, Jin."

    A solemn nod of honesty and understanding was offered before he began.

    “I do believe I was the last one called to arrive at the Clock-Temple, for there were others already there communing.” Jin stated in serene recollection of that incident. He went on to describe the other Protectors he had encountered. Jin found himself inwardly surprised as to how clearly and vividly their names and descriptions came to him now that things were far calmer.

    A human female warrior of steely demeanor: Lagertha Atreus, A male sith pureblood: Sek’nos Rath, A male Kwa; M’tael, and a mysterious human female, simply known as No-Name.

    “We revisited the Master’s last lesson regarding the Old Ones and the Holocron of Heresies, that we needed to prepare for the advent of the Destroyers. He spoke of Seven who would emerge and of The Twilight War.”

    Jin regarded the Abbot, his expression still serene.

    “The Master spoke of mysteries at length, which I continue to meditate on.” He confessed.

    With a smooth and graceful motion, Jin caused the holocron he had in his possession to float to his waiting palm, then caused it to simply hover between them.

    “Soon after, we communed with our Lightsabers, which in turn revealed their colors to us as we formed a bond with the crystal within.”

    The monk called the silver and gold cylinder as he had the holocron and also caused it to float before him and the Abbot, however, he did not ignite it. Without only a small pause for inspection, he went on to list the colors as they had been revealed. Atreus blade was Silver,Sek’nos and N’tael both had Purple colored blades, and his own had been White. She who was No Name was awarded a Red colored Blade.

    “We had little time to reflect on their meaning as we were suddenly set upon by one Darth Caedus, Dark Lord of the Sith, who had caused the Clock-Temple to shake and destroyed the ‘clock’ in the process.”

    Jin tilted his head in a moment of reflection.

    “It’s worth mentioning that Sek’nos did not seem to know this ‘Dark Lord of the Sith’, as it were.”

    “However, Darth Caedus was indeed full of the Dark Side and proclaimed to be our ‘Destruction’.”

    “We tried to engage him peaceably, but he would have none of it, as it made it clear that he would destroy the city. He did speak strangely however, as this are his words: To undo what has been done before it is done.”

    “A paradox of some kind?” Jin wondered aloud.

    “The Dark Lord was able to stand his ground against us, but we Protectors managed to route him with the help of a ‘Friend’, who’s mere presence seemed to tip the ‘Balance of Power’ in our favor.”

    Jin frowned slightly, trying to recall a name he realized had not been given him.

    “Our new ‘Friend’ was already wounded, so medical droids were dispatched to attend him, along with No Name. It was then that we all received word of our respective leaders wishing to meet with us, and why I am now here before you.”

    The detailed summation was appreciated, as a great deal seemed to have occurred in the time since they headed to the Clock-Tower. The Abbott paused, listening slowly, and nodding when Jin spoke of the lack of a connection between Sek'nos - a Sith by species - and Darth Caedus - a Sith by religion, it would seem. An apt deduction.

    He froze as Jin described their colours, and seemed to muse more heavily on that point. Silver, purple, white, and red. The Abbott continued listening until Jin finished, and he dwelt for a moment.

    "The steeled one has a colour which matches metal..." the Abbott said. "There is significance to the colours, clearly." His eyes were closed. "If so, then your colour reflects well upon you - of a purity or even balance to you... and the blades of purple would reflect an amalgamation of two paths - as two colours so mixed."

    The Abbott was curious as to this.

    "The prior Protectors had colours of purple, white, green, blue and... I am unsure as to the last one." His brow beetled. "He vanished, I gather. It is not well know that the Master had five apprentices at all, as a matter of fact."

    "The woman of purple was a military one with, I was told, a complicated personal life, while the Chistori of white was a handyman of sorts, before the Master called. The man of green was a librarian, an odd choice in the circumstances for an order as martial as the Protectors... meanwhile the man of blue was an actor-scholar, yet the leader, for a time."

    The Abbott paused, again. "Purple being a militant colour... or perhaps a conflicted one." His hands lifted, weighing them both. "It implies a negative and a positive aspect, to the blue and to the red.... and of course your red wielder is one with no identity to speak of? How odd."

    He hadn't asked a question, but was instead verbalising his thoughts aloud, inviting a response, or even reaction, from Jin. He hadn't even reached upon the comments of this Dark Lord, nor the other, injured, visitor.

    Jin smiled lightly as he listened to the Abbot speak, feeling very much as if he were back at the monastery, a mere student eager to learn. Those were good and simple days, a solid foundation he was grateful to have had. Presently, he was not surprised at the Abbot’s pool of knowledge. As far as he was concerned, the Abbot was the wisest and most knowledgeable man he ever knew.

    “When we engaged the Dark Lord, we Protectors reacted with unrehearsed synergy, trusting and enhancing each other’s actions almost instinctively. It is my belief that the Force was leading us, despite our subtle differences. The Dark Lord did attempt to wrest control of No Name’s Red Blade, but she resisted him successfully. We all have very different origins, but we were all summoned to the Clock Temple. I do believe that what is in our heart is what matters most, and our numbers are as they need to be at this moment, for the Force has deemed it so.”

    Jin offered a respectful nod at the end of his declaration, both thanking the Abbot for his insight, and wishing not to be misunderstood as he spoke.

    “Abbot, there are still mysteries that need come to light. I shall continue to share what I learn, of myself, our mission and my fellow Protectors.”

    Jin felt the Abbot’s concern regarding some of the colors, but was at the moment unable to address that concern directly. This was something he would need to look into. Why were there no blue or green blades? And how was this significant?

    “But, indeed. The Dark Lord disappeared in a flash. It seemed he was acting alone, yet, he knew where to find us, and I wonder if that shall always be so. Conversely, how do we find him?”

    A curious thought blossoms in the back of the monk’s mind.

    “I must speak with my fellow Protectors to agree on a course of action.”

    To undo what has been done before it is done.

    The Abbot paused, intrigued by Jin's view, but caught on that saying. He paused, an uncertainty filling him which was most unlike the monk. "It is best that you return. I shall unravel the mystery of the Sith... once you have more information." He nodded.

    "May the Force be with you, Jin Long."

    "And you Abbot, always."

    With a smooth gesture, Jin Long recalled his floating Holocron and Lighstaber, then deposited them within his satchel. Rising with seemingly no effort, he bowed deeply, speaking the words of departure and promise to return, before moving on, in order to return to his fellow Protectors.




    Tag: @Sinrebirth, @TheAdmiral, @darthbernael, @QueenSabe7
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2020
  5. Sinrebirth

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

    Registered:
    Nov 15, 2004
    IC: Sek'nos Rath
    The Sith Quarter

    The young man trotted off, relatively annoyed at being called for, but at the same time conscious that the entire City had seen the Protectors in action against this Dark Lord. It was likely to cause a consequence of some kind, if not a concern, then an irritating intervention from the current authorities. All the Protectors save for No Name had been recalled, but of course that was because she had no tribe to do so.

    Sek'nos had the Sith, and, as the Abbot had deduced with his student, his was the species, not the religion.

    The two guards, adorned in their ceremonial armour and wearing a lanvarok each, ignored Sek'nos; he was known to the Matriarch. In the dimly lit room he was allowed, the light hidden from her weakening eyes. A wise woman, she was simply the oldest of the Sith, and thus the leader.

    [​IMG]

    "Sek'nos Rath?" She said, absently, almost, not even looking up.

    He knelt. "Yes, Matriarch."

    "Our name has been attached to a threat, I have been told. A Dark Lord, claiming to rule the Sith."

    The young man bristled. "Yes, a human - his name is Darth Caedus."

    A snuffle. "Not a name; a title, Rath. Legends say we were once ruled by those elevated in rank to Daritha. They served in the great ancient conflicts as our enslavers, mutilating many species, perhaps even our own, in service to wickedness."

    "So his name is Caedus?"

    Another snuffle, and Rath realised she was half snort, half laughing, as her mirth fell into the Force. "Not at all; a Caedus is a battle in darkness in the ancient tongue, but it also has roots in caedo, caedere, cecidi, casurus, caedes..." She tapped a chin, while Rath looked at her blankly. "To cut - to sacrifice - to kill - to slaughter. Perhaps in that order, depending how methodical the man is."

    "He is not Sith."

    "No, not like us," she said, again, not looking at him but instead her palms, as if reading them. "I once had a vision of our species giving way to shadows in black, our red-flame skin remembered only as a fire blade in the hands of all manner of species like here, on Nouane... but we faded from view while our namesake continued to strangle the galaxy." A sigh, soft. "I understand the flames have happened, yes?"

    Sek'nos held out his lightsaber, understanding what she meant. He ignited it, the purple blade burning. "But it is not red, Matriarch."

    "Ah, but there is a red one, yes?" At this she did look at him, a side eyed inquisition. "And is that not a portent?"

    "I couldn't say... she - the person who has the red blade - she has no memory. Just a Holocron, like me, and the others."

    "I am sure, and I am sure that you will watch her closely," the Matriarch said, and she sat back, eyes closing. "I shall be ordering all other Sith to return to our space in the City."

    The young man blinked. "But why?"

    "Fear, my child," she said, sadly. "This 'Darth Caedus' will make the people of this City fear the Sith. With that fear will come suffering, and, then, anger, and pain - violence. So I shall give the order." An eye opened, briefly "Whether it is obeyed, of course, is to be seen."

    Sek'nos stood. "But surely you will make more fear by taking this action?" He deactivated the blade, staring at it. "You will cause that suffering, and that anger, and that desire for violence - within the Sith here!"

    "Fear has already been released, my child."

    "But the Sith have done nothing wrong!"

    "Not yet," she said, and the Matriarch eased into her slouch, body sagging. "Not yet..." She fell asleep, clearly exhausted by the discussion. The guards peered in, and grunted at him to leave her to rest.

    "I won't obey the order," Sek'nos said, as much to himself, as the others.

    The guards looked to each other. "We have no orders to enforce her instructions, Protector Rath."

    He looked at them. "Good." With that, the young man left for the Clock-Tower.
    ---
    Later

    Sek'nos would return as the others did. N'Tael was already back as the first to finish up, and would be in the tower when Lagertha reached him. While he was undoubtedly surrounded by the confidence of his decision and interaction with the Council, clinging to Lagertha would be the after-effects of the vision she had received; the stress and trauma of what she had seen permeated the Force. As much as she tried, she would be unable to hide it; as much N'Tael tried not to notice it; he would.

    They would both know as much, and both would know the other knew; for the moment, it was something they had to confront, or, of course, make small-talk. N'Tael had only just arrived before Lagertha, of course, and he would notice that the table where their lightsabers now held a hand-written note, sealed with the waxen symbol of the Lords and Lady of Nouane City; requesting their audience.

    The young Sith arrived just behind Jin, noticing the man in the entrance - and the general wide berth all manner of citizen gave him on his way back - and he waved at the man before he arrived. Stepped up his pace, he wanted to speak to the man before they went upstairs, and see if the Matriarch was right; if fear was the inevitable response he would now face. Jin was a warrior, as much as Lagertha was too, but Sek'nos sought the bond of a brother-in-arms.

    "Jin! I just had a very unfortunate discussion with the Matriarch of the Sith - she has decided to order all the Sith in the City into our quarter, to keep them safe from citizens who might act against them because of Caedus. I think she's overreacting, and I am going to need help getting it reversed - to convince the Circle of Sith that its a bad idea."

    That left Ben and No Name to continue their discussion. Not a tryst, no, but a bonding that, with her crimson blade, was a portent unto itself.

    TAG: @darthbernael, @TheAdmiral (combo), @greyjedi125 (combo), @QueenSabe7 (continue our combo)
    ---
    IC: Darth Caedus

    Elsewhere

    As the shadow floated there, Caedus stared for a time, waiting for it to clarify its statement.

    He continued to wait, and eventually grimaced with arrogance.

    "How could someone have anticipated my coming back? I had to die to free myself from my form and come back."

    Ah yes. Flow-walking at the time of your death. There is no form for you to be tethered to, so you can travel backwards.

    A scowl. "I imagine that you shouldn't know that," Caedus said, staring.

    For himself, it had been a slow and careful realisation that it was possible to give yourself solid form even without a body. As long as you were powerful enough, you didn't need an anchor or power source, like Lumiya had used in her asteroid home - his old Sith Master had tapped into the dark side locus there to send projections of herself throughout the entire galaxy, but she had always needed to return home when exhausted - back to her own body.

    Combining the flow-walking technique the Aing-Tii had taught him, and the Heartshadow the Nightsisters had bequeathed upon him to see further into the Force than many visions allowed, and then the rudimentary knowledge of Force phantom... Caedus had succeeded in travelling back, having stared into the Pool of Knowledge and seen the Dark Man who would cause his daughter to fall to the dark side...

    I don't know it. But it is spoken of in the Holocron of Prophecy.

    "You appear to have all the answers, so perhaps you should introduce yourself."

    "Darkness."

    Caedus snorted. "I am sure."

    TAG: No One
    ---
    IC: Narrator

    Months upon months ago, Nouane City

    Suffice to say, Nouane City was an incredibly complex and convoluted place.

    As Sheel Ix advanced, she would be confronted by all manner of creature. The little datapad told her of them all. Talids, humans, Selkath, Twi'leks, Sith, Cathar, Wookiees, Zabrak, Noghri, Devaronians, Sullustans, Iktotchi, Krevaaki... so many different species and backgrounds. She didn't see any Togruta, not yet. They were doing all the mundane things you would expect of people; retail, working, ferrying children to and from school, socialising, and so forth.

    If the Force gave a sensation of inter-connectivity, the City was alive and vibrant with life.

    There was a tug upon her, and in the shadows of an alley the Force warned her of something... but it wasn't what was drawing her deeper into the City. That was still evident, even through the noise and tumult of the area by the port, pulling her closer to the centre, towards a tall building she would be able to spy in the distance.

    No, this tug was one of danger.

    It was targeted upon her, standing on a pavement by the street, the hustle and bustle of speeders and wheeled vehicles lugging cargo from the City edge to the industrious regions to the west. No, wait, the danger shifted as another entered Sheel's peripheral visions; a young Togruta child had just stepped out from a school with a gaggle of children and parents, and as she stood by the road edge, she was clearly peering around for her parents.

    [​IMG]

    The sensation in the Force grew carnivorous in nature.

    TAG: @Corellian_Outrider
     
  6. darthbernael

    darthbernael EU Community Mod, House was on fire, not my fault star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Apr 15, 2019
    OOC: An enjoyable combo with @TheAdmiral

    IC N’Tael and Lagertha
    Waiting to decide the response to the Lords and Ladies

    N’tael walked through the Tower, considering the conversation he had just had with the Kwa Council of the City. The leader was one who seemed to have lost his path but the elder of the trio understood his position. He did not desire to destroy the Kwa here but if pushed he would use whatever leverage points to ensure he was left alone and allowed to continue his tasks.

    Entering the space they had recently vacated he saw that the table was clear, save an embossed note. He had just enough time to notice that the symbol upon it meant it had to be from the Lords and Ladies of the City before he felt a very troubled mind enter the room. He settled back, allowing his tail to support his weight, as he turned. His mouth dropped open as to begin a greeting when he saw the seriousness of the woman warrior’s face. ”Sssomething troublesss you, warrior woman. What hasss happened?”

    Lagertha almost jumped, she was still startled and preoccupied with the vision that she just had. If it was true they might have set events in motion that would lead to countless lives lost and misery brought to a myriad of worlds. It was the lizard man, but before she could answer to him she saw the enveloped with the seal. Lagertha frowned at that, but turned her attention to the Kwa "Oh, it is nothing, just got some news from home, that is all..." that was the lamest lie, but it was all she could manage to muster.

    ”We’ve all had news from home or our represssentativvvesss. Thisss feelsss deeper but if you don’t want to talk about it then I won’t presss. Disssapointed in my own people here, overall.” N’tael could tell what she said wasn’t what was bothering her but it was up to her whether she talked about it or not. But he kept the thought of how she’d felt when she entered in his mind, in case such came up again, strife between the Protectors, especially due to outside influences was harmful, even more so as they'd just begun as such.

    To change the subject, so that she could feel more comfortable, ”Ssseemsss not only our peoplesss want to sssee us. Not sssure what it sssaysss, yet, but that’s cccertainly from the rulersss of the Cccity. Ssso we’ll have to figure out how to ressspond.”

    Lagertha was not that interested in the letter at the moment. This was unlike her, but the vision was still bothering her. "How much do you know about visions?" she asked suddenly "Do you know whether or not they can be changed?" she eyed the Kwa.

    N’tael turned his snout toward Lagertha, his serpentine tongue flicking out for a moment tasting the emotions in the air as he was feeling them in the Force. His snout then split into a toothy grin, ”Yesss, I know visssionsss. They portend much to the Kwa. But sssuch are usssually warningsss of what the Forccce sssaysss the future could be, not what isss ssset in sssstone.”

    He tilted his reptilian head toward the side, as though he were listening to something before it returned to vertical, ”Our job asss Protectorssss isss to enssssure the bessst posssssible future occursss. I’d sssay any visssion you mave have had sssshowssss what could happen if we fail, not if we sssucccceed.”

    She considered what he was telling her. It made sense, but still there was a feeling of foreboding. "I just had one which was very disturbing. It showed a lot of things that I did not understand but there were some familiar themes within..."

    N’Tael’s head tilted again and a small smile creased one side of his snout, ”Familiar themesss you sssay? Familiar to you ssspecccifically or to all of usss new Protectorsss?”

    He rocked back on his tail a bit more as he reached into the racial memories of the Kwa to bring up the memories of visions and how they could be interpreted. There were many from over the eons but it would depend on what the warrior woman described and what fit with what he now remembered, thanks to his ancestors.

    Lagertha sighed and closed her eyes for a second. When she did so sudden flashes, echoes from her vision appeared. "Alright then... I will tell you what I saw, but please keep it to yourself for now... I don't want to upset the others until I can speak to the Master." she pleaded and then proceeded to recount the vision, trying to give him all the details she could remember or even comprehend.

    N’Tael listened as she described her vision. As he did, fleeting images ran through his mind, bringing a visualization to her words.

    An impossibly large city and a temple in the midst of it. Was that Nouane's future?

    Everyone could feel the pull of the Dark Side and that it was part of the Force.

    She saw a handsome young man making what seemed to be an important decision.

    The Dark Side can't control you if you don't let it.

    A small gremlin like creature, a Togruta, an evil looking Temple.

    Strong because she was fighting for others and that the Force was in all living things and that you can't master it if only you were focusing on yourself.

    An elderly person holding the dying body of a red and black tattooed alien, closing his eyes.

    The Togruta and other Protectors, a great conflict,

    An evil sounding voice mocking them for being crippled by empathy and shackled by obedience to the Master

    A myth of equality?

    Serving the Force was not a belief system... Jedi Order? Republic? Why do they need to be destroyed?

    An impossible spaceship appeared, enormous and triangular, behind it was an almost Eldritch horror a space station.

    The democratisation of fear.

    A stormy sky, thousands of ships. Soldiers in crimson armor running around. Ways of the Sith?

    There was a Sith among them,

    More conflict, armored warriors, shattered worlds.

    The truth that violence can only destroy and can't inspire others to greatness.

    The power of the Dark Side is a lie!

    My ally is the Force and a powerful ally it is... So the gremlin was a great warrior and a philosopher.

    An evil hooded figure that somehow reminded her of the Master.

    A deep and strong voice saying that success was not coming from summoning of the Force,

    A troubled young man with a damaged lightsaber was mauling through some aliens.

    That woman among them with one.

    To have fallen so far and learnt nothing!?

    That hooded figure sending lightning in the sky bringing thousands of ships down.

    This is what you have wrought!

    Slaves, assassins, born of wars... More protectors fighting on different worlds, a dimly lit corridor, alarms blaring... a red saber... a towering dark figure... people screaming... dying... the terror...

    Instead showing them truth, power, all you have shown them is how the Galaxy may die... The dark figure was replaced by the elderly woman holding a holocron.


    The ghosts of Kwa past roiled as the visions popped up as bubbles of thought, ’Futuressss possible...Echoesss of ghossstssss passst….Tasssstesss of Celesssstialsss and Architectssss...Dark and Light….Polarizzzzation of the Forccce by the young racesss…' The words seemed to breathe their way across the racial memories he could access.

    His snout dipped as he thought, the words and images roiling around in his mind, as well as the words of the ancients. When he finally looked up he saw Lagertha waiting for him to respond. He hissed a sigh, ”Ssssso much trouble, ssso much pain. The vissssion isss true in one asssspect, the Dark Ssside is just as much a part of the Force asss the Light Ssside. Or there would not have been the ancient war that diminissshed my race. Horrible ssssightsss your visssion ssshowsss and I will think upon it too, but asss you asssked, will not ssspeak to the othersss about it.”

    Lagertha nodded, the Kwa understood how distressing those images were "I am concerned by the fact that the Sith were considered evil and that the servants of the Dark Side had red sabers." she hoped he would understand the hint "And that hooded figure..."

    N’Tael’s head cocked to the side again at her last, ”The Masssster did ssssay that ssssabersss reflect the owner but that vissssion sssseemed to sssay that Dark Ssssidersss only ussse red in the future, so red isss tied to the Dark. Which begssss the quesssstion what a purple sssaber meansss. But yessss, sssomeone ssseemsss to dessssire to imitate the Massster in hisss dress.”

    Lagertha nodded again "We have one person with a red saber..." she stated flatly "But that was from the future, or a possible future as you say." she said thoughtfully "But all those worlds and people... all of them gone... or will be gone. Are we on the right path?"

    N’Tael’s snout dipped in acknowledgement, ”We do have one with a red sssaber but I believe that no matter the color of sssaber basssed on your inner thoughtsss, intent of usssse isss what mattersss and our Sssith hassss yet to ssshow any reassson to dissstrussst him, none of ussss hasss ssshown any reasssonsss to that effect.”

    His snout split in a humourless smile ”I feel that no matter how we protect innocccentsss will ssssuffer, whether becaussse it took time to reach the sssscene or becausssse whoever causssed it hid it sssso well. Call my attitude that of a carnivore or what have you but I know we will not be able to ssssave all, that our missssssion isss to prevent the End of Time, which meanssss ssstopping thossse who abusssse power whether on the ssside of Light or of the Dark.”

    Lagertha pursed her lips, he had a point, but that did not mean that she liked it "Either way it will be good to keep our eyes open." she paused for a second "As for the second thing, it is our duty to do our best to prevent those deaths..."

    N’Tael’s eyes flashed as his snout dropped open in a grin, ”Yesss, we mussst keep our eyesss open. Asss to the sssecond, we all have our own viewpointsss asss to how to Protect the future, nothing wrong with that, but we will have to find our common ground to work together, asss we did with that intruder. Sssometimess there are no good choicess but you ssstill mussst make a choice.”

    He heard others moving in the corridors and his snout turned toward the door, his snake-like tongue licked out, catching the scents of who was coming, ”I will keep what we ssspoke of to myssself until you decide to ssshare it with otherssss, but it doessss sssseem we will have their company ssssoon.”

    "Besides I don't want to upset the others and plant suspicions in them." she gave a small smile "Especially if it turns out that these are just the ravings of a mad woman..."

    TAGS: @Sinrebirth, @QueenSabe7, @greyjedi125, @TheAdmiral
     
  7. greyjedi125

    greyjedi125 Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Apr 29, 2002
    A very enjoyable combo with THE Master GM, @Sinrebirth

    ******************************************************
    IC: Jin Long

    The Monk and the Sith

    It was as it always was, after sharing in conversation with the venerable Abbot. He always felt refreshed and inspired, reassured that he was on the right path. The Abbot didn’t so much as answer his questions, but rather, caused him to think with greater understanding; after all, naivety was charming only on children.

    Jin Long’s mind was on reconvening with his fellow Protectors and learning more about the recent events surrounding the attack on the Clock Temple, as well as their meetings with their respective elders. One did not have to be an investigator to suspect an overall connection between these matters.

    Traveling through the city streets, Jin Long allowed himself to take in a ’sense of the city’, to better understand the current state of affairs regarding the citizens and recent events. It would be remiss for a Protector not to concern himself with those he was Protecting.

    Citizens of Nouane were a hardy and resilient folk, but not impervious to the causalities of reality as it were. Every action had a reaction, after all. Therefore, it was always better to be vigilant than to be caught by surprise.

    Jin Long’s vigilance was one ingrained in him from his days as a young monk and they’d served him well. That’s how he came to sense an ‘air of unrest’, even before he stepped inside the Clock Tower proper. The feeling was coming from inside, then suddenly and far closer - from behind as well. The monk began to turn just as his name was being called.

    “Jin!” Sek’nos Rath exclaimed, getting his attention and holding him in place by simply speaking his name.

    The monk only managed a nod in response, as Sek’nos began speaking, preventing him from issuing a proper greeting. Jin Long calmly listened, as this seemed important.

    “I just had a very unfortunate discussion with the Matriarch of the Sith - she has decided to order all the Sith in the City into our quarter, to keep them safe from citizens who might act against them because of Caedus. I think she's overreacting, and I am going to need help getting it reversed - to convince the Circle of Sith that its a bad idea.”

    “A bad idea?” Jin echoed and grew silent for a moment, absently stroking his chin. His conductive tattoos continued to pulse softly and calmly.

    “As you said, it is for the safety of all sith citizens. How is this a bad idea? What would you have her do instead?”

    It was always best to hear both sides of any issue before offering any counsel on the matter.

    Sek'nos was surprised by Jin's comment. "It speaks of fear! Of our kind being worried about the ramifications of a human wearing the cloth of Sith as if a vile and terrible thing."

    He hammered his chest. "We are a great and prideful species. For someone to appear a Dark Lord of our kind, it is unacceptable. Darth or Daritha, I care not for either; if we withdraw to the shadows - more will worry what we are doing in them."

    The young Sith took half a step closer. "Can you not see that we cannot defeat fear by allowing it to change what makes us who we are? That these... terror tactics are merely the heavy handed acts of a radical human, not a herald for the Sith themselves?"

    Jin found that the could not entirely disagree with Sek'nos, for the sith wasn't inherently wrong in his reasoning; but there was more to merely being right about a matter.

    "I am not disagreeing with you my friend, but let's examine the issue further. Would opposing your Matriarch not cause a rift among your people? Especially during a time when they should come under a single banner? And what happens if an innocent, Force forbid, is injured by the fruits of irrational impulse? What then? There is a time to be Proud and there is a time to be Cautious. Expose this False Lord of the Sith for the sham that he is, but not at the risk of innocents. If need be, I will help you hunt this pretender, but I ask you to consider the wishes of your Matriarch as well. Nothing more."

    Sek'nos was passionate, and his distaste for misrepresentation was well justified. However, cool heads did always prevail. Jin remained where he was, hoping that his words had the desired effect. The Protectors business was inherent in their name, anything else would likely lead to folly.

    The Sith teen slammed a fist into his chest, as a salute. "I would be honoured to hunt with you, my friend. The sooner we discover the location of this False Lord, the better." He was pleased to be doing something. "We should ask the others to allow us to hunt together, while they deal with the Lords and Ladies, and indeed the other traveller - he appears to have a familial resemblance to Caedus, which is another mystery for us to unravel..."

    "Does he? I find it difficult to distinguish between humans, or, um, similar species." Of course, Jin was not entirely human, so it was on the borderline of offensive, though Sek'nos didn't intend it so.

    "Then we hunt together.The Force will lead us." Jin offered genially, then looked towards the stairs.

    The monk was not sure if Sek'nos had understood his point, but he was pleased that his fellow Protector no longer seemed to pursue a course of action that would cause a rift amongst his people. Of course, that was probably due to an unspoken compromise when he agreed to hunt for the False Lord alongside him. Jin understood how Sek'nos felt, but as Protectors, they needed to be Masters of their passions, not the other way around. Still, he would also have the unique opportunity to look after Sek'nos while unravelling the mystery of the sith. However, doing so would keep him from fully learning what was occurring at the Clock Temple. It would seem this could not be helped.

    "Let's go speak with the others." Jin said, agreeing to proceed, and finding no offense in Sek'nos' choice of words. Especially because he had a point.




    Tag: @Sinrebirth
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2020
  8. QueenSabe7

    QueenSabe7 Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Mar 23, 2001
    Combo with Sinre

    IC: Ben Solo and No-Name

    The Clock-Tower, Nouane

    One minute she was looking expectantly off into the distance, sensing him coming closer and closer and her desperation for aid only growing as the space between them dwindled. The next minute she was screaming, some place in her mind triggering a reaction to the violence the strange Sith Lord released.

    The ground cracked and buckled, chunks peeling from the earth to become airborne, flying dangerously close to the four Protectors that were in much more immediate danger. Regardless, she was forced to collapse to her knees to avoid being pulverized by the ensuing cloud of debris that was swept into the Force-tornado that enveloped their attacker. Hunched over and keeping low, she peered into the blackening smoke, her thoughts drawn further into what she couldn’t see but only feel. An instant flickered by in which the Sith’s face manifested in her mind's eye as clear as day - she could tell the look upon his features and their intrusive meaning, somehow she knew he had briefly wondered about her the same as she wondered about herself every minute of every day.

    Who is she?
    Who am I?


    And then he was gone.

    She could no longer sense him. He vanished from her thoughts and from the Force.

    Did he die?

    The winds abruptly stopped then, everything they carried hanging in midair as if the entire scene had been frozen. She looked up in awe, climbing back to her feet just as everything came crashing down in a thunderous roar before her. Covered head to toe in soot and dirt, the dust settled quickly to reveal that the man at the epicenter of the storm was indeed physically not here anymore. He had escaped.

    The girl with no name merely stood staring, stock still, eyes wide as saucers. Casually giving a glance to the form of the mysterious man who appeared from thin air to race across the plains of Nouane to their rescue, arriving too late and crumpling to the ground nearby, she was expressionless to it.

    What a day to finally walk up through that cellar door…

    --

    Because of all the excitement that she felt incredibly ill-equipped to handle, it was no surprise that the events that followed went by in a feverish blur. The next clear thing she would remember was being in a room within the Clock-Tower – one of its many nondescript and sparsely furnished spaces. There was only a bed against one wall with a chair beside it, and recovering upon that bed was the tall, dark-haired man from the hillside. The one who had offered his help without hesitation.

    As it if were there was no other place she'd rather be, her heavy feet carried her towards him and her body fell into the hard seat with an audible thud. A servant droid buzzed softly beside her, tending to a wound of his that she didn’t focus on. She didn’t want to pry. In fact, she didn't even look at him, gaze staying put upon the hands she wrung on her lap.

    “Thank you for trying,” she whispered, not checking to see if he was awake enough to hear her, keeping her senses appropriately restrained. However, just sitting here next to him, she picked up on his strength more potently. She could at least surmise he was very powerful and also in a significant amount of turmoil, which she recoiled from.

    I hope I didn’t cause this.

    Ben started, blinking his surprise and sitting up-right. "Rey?"

    "No, you're not Rey,"
    he said, frowning. He looked haggard; battered, even. "You feel similar to her..." his eyes searched her face, softly, not quite pining but also not a surface gaze; he sought to eye her very soul, but not with the obtrusiveness of a mind-probe, but the seeking of a connection, as if heart to heart.

    "You're hurting," Ben said, turning to take her hand in his. "I'm Ben Solo - the last Skywalker."

    He said those names as if they had significance to someone.

    She blanched, hunching away slightly as he reached for her with a name that was not her own wet on his lips. It stung for reasons that didn't make sense. Rey did not belong to her.

    "Skywalker," she blurted rather loudly, not intending to. She chewed on the name yet could conjure nothing from memory that held weight. Her mind was in tightening knots. "Whatever you're the last of, Ben Solo, where did you come from?" It had been her most pressing concern since their whirlwind connection was created. Where? And -

    "Why are you here? At the Clock-Tower?"

    Her hollowed-out eyes finally drew a slow line upwards to look into his darker pair, shadowed by much more than strain and physical ailments. They were bottomless, full of curiosities that already began to lure her in.

    Their eyes met, and Ben felt a bond none too dissimilar to that he had with Rey... but she wasn't Rey... was she like them? He didn't understand, but empathy made him reach out to her, and touch -

    Ben paused... thinking of events, and the nameless woman, child-like in her disposition, perhaps, felt the moment swirl between them - through the touch of their skin.

    Rey and Ben lay collapsed on the floor as Emperor Palpatine released himself from the Ommin harness and drifted down. He stood straight and strong now. Invincible.

    The Emperor raised his voice to the throng. "Look what you have made," he said. Their chanted response was thunderous, and he stood, hands slightly raised, as if absorbing worship as power.

    Ben forced his near-lifeless body over to his hands and knees. Rey remained limp beside him as he struggled to his feet and faced his enemy.

    The Emperor was not impressed. "As once I fell, so falls the last Skywalker."

    He lifted Ben with no more than a thought, thrust him away with such force that he tumbled end over end through the length of the cathedral, then disappeared into a flashing abyss.

    Rey would have screamed, but she could barely draw breath.


    Then he fell into the grass overlooking the City, and had felt her call. "Not where, but when, I suspect," he breathed in, and out. "Who are you? Am I on the Clock-Tower you speak of?"

    She gasped as the torrent of images was shared between them, the scene so vivid and clear it was as if she had actually been there with him and remembered the event as if it had happened to her, not him.

    Ben Solo.

    The chair she occupied scraped backwards with a wood-on-stone grinding as she pushed away with her feet, shooting up straight to standing at the same time. "What was that?" she whined, tears rimming her eyes. The man, the creature with glowing yellow eyes that had attacked Ben was so terrifying to her even in thought, she felt as though she could even sense his massive strength in the darkness just through memories that were not her own. It made her shudder and recoil. It frightened her.

    "His name is Palpatine, his Sith name Darth Sidious," Ben said, breathing in and out. "He enslaved the galaxy before I was born... we thought he was dead, but he survived, somehow."

    Crossing her arms in front of her chest, squeezing herself tight for comfort, she began to slowly pace at his bedside and belatedly realized he had asked her questions.

    "I am..." an awkward pause as she thought of just how to explain who she was, then decided against it. "Yes, you are within the Clock-Tower now, on Nouane. Home of the Protectors." She stopped and stared away from Ben. "I suppose I am one of them now," she whispered, turning back to him then. "Judging by what happened to you, did you bring that... Sith Lord... with you? Are you the reason he came here? We are a peaceful people- well, I mean I think...."

    She trailed off then, biting her lip and looking at him again with open intrigue. She shrugged, feeling as though she were rambling nonsensically. "I feel like you do, probably... dropped into this world so suddenly it feels like you need to relearn to walk."

    Ben was finally getting a grip of himself. "The other darkness, I don't know who he is. He feels like me, when I... a long time ago, it feels like now." A sadness permeated him. "Yes, I do. I have no idea where I am, but know that I need to get back."

    "Rey needs me."


    He stood, wavering, and stepped towards her, his height such that he seemed a gentle giant of a man, notwithstanding the cuts across his face. He was so fresh, so new, but, of course, he had been healed by Rey not a few hours ago for him - back on Kef Bir. "I need to get back to Exegol - to help Rey stop Palpatine - he has a fleet, of superweapons - a Sith armada -."

    Ben's face wet with his tears. "Will you help me?" His expression pleaded, connecting with her in a surprisingly deep manner, his hands held out to her. "Can I help you?"

    Ben came closer and she had to look up to meet his gaze, initially intimidated by his presence and not only in the physical sense. He was someone extraordinary and she had no proof as to why, but in her gut she just knew. Ben Solo meant something of great importance somewhere, perhaps in another time. To another person.

    Chewing her lip anxiously, she hurriedly nodded in affirmation to his plea. "Yes." It was strong and true, and he would feel her conviction in the word. "I will help you as best I can, I'm just not sure how?"

    Looking down at his outstretched hands, she raised her own and placed them on top of his. It was strange in a way she couldn't begin to explain, but for the first time in her life - the life she could remember - this seemed to be her purpose, however temporary it was. To help this man.

    "I, well I don't think there is any helping me, but thank you for the kind offer." Blushing slightly in embarrassment and fear, there was no way to properly describe her situation without seeming like a silly girl who needed to be kept locked in the basements as she had been. She shook away the idea and returned her determined gaze back to his darkened one. "Maybe to start, tell me about this Rey?"

    Ben looked agonised for a long moment, prevented from focusing on the mystery before him. “She’s the other half of me; we’re conjoined in the Force - a Dyad. I just wish I’d worked out this feeling earlier.”

    “It feels like you, actually - like you’re half a person; that there is more to find and reconnect.” Ben’s eyes drew her in again, and he sighed. “I left her facing the ultimate evil - the Emperor of the Sith - he tried to tempt Rey to fall... she’s his granddaughter, and if she kills him in anger, he will take her as his own.”

    He murmured the rest. “I helped her with her anger - but now I’m gone?” Ben squeezes his hands into fists. “I fell though a crack on Exegol; and landed here. At that grassy knoll, overlooking the City. I need to head back.”

    A fatigue seemed to grip him and his last word, which trailed off. “Ask the others... if they’ll help.” He suddenly fell back, rebounding slightly on the cot bed.

    She hadn't realized she had been leaning in until Ben had fallen back, causing her to lose her balance slightly and stumble a step forward into the space he had been occupying. She was enraptured now, by Ben Solo and his stories. Such adventure, and there was no denying his deep feelings for the girl he was bonded with; his other half of the dyad, Rey. It was like watching a particularly animated lesson from her Holo, most of which were admittedly dry and strictly for knowledge. Some, however, had read like a thrilling tale of a journey full of risk and peril.

    Just like Ben's journey.

    His exhaustion rippled in the Force and she assisted him the rest of the way into his bed, helping to position him comfortably so that he may sleep well and recover. Looking down on him once she had drawn up the bed sheet and tucked him in, she followed the impulse to reach down and gently brush away his dark locks from his eyes. The same eyes that desired to look upon his Rey once more, to save her. A feeling she had not known before surged into her chest as she watched him, squeezing tightly about her heart.

    Longing - in the sense of wanting to know just how it felt to desire someone else so strongly, that you would cross the very fabric of time to return to their side. She of course, had no idea, but she would do everything she could to get Ben back to where - and with whom - he belonged. And that meant she needed to speak to the other Protectors, strangers as they may be.

    TAGS: @Sinrebirth, @greyjedi125 @darthbernael @TheAdmiral
     
  9. Sinrebirth

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

    Registered:
    Nov 15, 2004
    IC: Darth Caedus
    Elsewhere, wandering

    The Darkness told him a tale.

    Of a Master, and five apprentices.

    Each was given a task, a Forcesaber, a secret name, and a Holocron of Prophecy, which foretold the events from today through the Sith Wars, the Apocalypse, right to the End of Time.

    Then there were successors named.

    Five of them, secretly, and bestowed each a Holocron of Heresies, until they were to be called to have their Forcesabers passed to them - which just so happened to be earlier today.

    "This is a lovely story, but I don't see what it has to do with me," Caedus said, his words grating.

    There was not quite a smile in the Force, but the floating Darkness seemed certain.

    "I'm getting to that."

    TAG: No-One
    ---
    IC: Sek'nos Rath
    Clock-Tower, meeting anew

    With their invitation from the Lords and Lady of Nouane outstanding, they had a moment to regroup. Ben remained unconscious, recovering from his ordeal on Exegol. They would each have an opportunity to regale them with what they had discovered, and been told, and Sek'nos wasted no time telling N'Tael, No Name and Lagertha his views that they had to make locating Caedus a priority before the Sith here in the City were victimised and radicalised.

    He and Jin agreed on that much, he asserted. "Maybe we need to lean harder on this 'Ben Solo', and find out what he knows. It can't be a coincidence that he and Caedus arrived at the same time, surely."

    Sek'nos folded his heavy-set arms, seething with anger into the Force.

    He was frustrated, and entirely out of balance right now.

    "I reckon we should comb the City in paired groups, and one of us can do the meeting with the Lords and Ladies." He paused, because he felt he had to make this abundantly clear. "I volunteer to not do the political thing."

    There was a tickle of a thought, and Sek'nos let the rest of his words tumble free. "Though that would make it look like we have a leader... um, do we need a leader?" He felt a contradiction; he'd love to be the leader, but he had no desire to meet with politicians.

    Did they really need a leader?

    TAG: @QueenSabe7, @darthbernael, @greyjedi125, @TheAdmiral
     
  10. darthbernael

    darthbernael EU Community Mod, House was on fire, not my fault star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Apr 15, 2019
    IC Sek’nos, N’Tael, Nameless, Lagertha, and Jin Long
    Decisions

    N’Tael could feel the tension radiating from the Sith, that and the determination to ensure that his people were not victimized because of the association the recent Dark Lord may have created with his claim to be a Sith. He nodded at the man’s words, thinking through what may be options. “It may be more complicated than that. Now that citizzzensss know there are Protectorsss here again, it may also be prudent to leave one of our number here, in cassse people come calling for assssissstanccce. And to keep an eye on our newessst guessst.” He looked over at Nameless at the last, since she had already taken the role of healer for the man who had come to their aid.

    His snout shook from side to side, for a moment, ”A team does not need a leader to function effectively, joint decissssionssss are more healthy for usss to function asss a team than if one takesss charge. But, given the climate I can sssenssse in the Ccccity it may be bessst that it not be a nonhuman who visssitsss the Lordssss and Ladiesss on our behalf.”

    N’Tael knew there were many diverse species that called the City home, the fact there was a Quarter his kind called home spoke to that, but he was also sure that, as in many places outside such quarters the humans would have risen to the top of the social hierarchy. And, sadly, they often found more comfort in dealing with one of their own kind than in doing so with a Kwa or a Sith, in this case.

    Which reminded him, once again, about his conversation with the Kwa Elders of the City. If they were any sort of standard to compare the Lords and Ladies too whoever was chosen to visit them would have their hands full. He had known that the City considered itself as the ‘true’ Nouane, and everything else as barbarians who happened to live around the city.

    That too made him think. Possibly the monk and the Sith had spent a good deal of time in and around the City but it felt as though Nameless just existed here at the Clock-Temple and he could tell the warrior woman was no city dweller, as he was not of the City. However, the Sith had made clear that he did not wish to deal with the rulers. Which left the monk as the only one nominally of the City, except he got the feeling that the monk was planning on assisting the Sith in the hunt.

    So...who would it be?

    TAGS: @Sinrebirth, @QueenSabe7, @greyjedi125, @TheAdmiral
     
  11. greyjedi125

    greyjedi125 Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Apr 29, 2002
    IC: Jin Long
    Clock-Tower

    Listening to everything that was being said and weighing it all internally, the monk took a centering breath. Nothing worthwhile was ever easy, that much he’d learned quite well; being a Protector was no exception.

    Jin Long found he could not formulate a rebuttal for N’Tael’s conclusion as to who should appear before the Lords and Ladies of the city. As a monk, Jin Long always avoided even the idea of ‘political involvement’ anywhere. It seemed as a Protector, such a thing was unavoidable.

    Sek’nos had taken himself out of the equation, with good reason. N’Tael, though the most qualified for the meeting, pointed out that sending a non-human might not be the best choice or decision. Jin Long could not argue with that.

    The monk also agreed with the Kwa regarding Protector ‘leadership’. Everyone had roles to play. Besides, the FORCE would lead them all. No Name, from what he understood, had lived within the Clock Tower all her life? Was that right? And the Warrior Woman, Lagertha…well, admirable as she was, when was the last time a fierce warrior was sent on a ‘diplomatic’ mission?

    Jin Long took another breath before speaking.

    “I’ll go.” He said finally. “I’ll do it. I’ll speak to the Lords and Ladies of the City.”

    Half turning his head, he glanced at Sek’nos. “Forgive me brother, I will join you on the hunt as soon as I’m able. Meetings with the Lords and Ladies of the City is also High Priority and the responsibility has fallen to me.”

    The monk looked to his fellow Protectors and waited to see if there were any objections.




    Tag: @Sinrebirth, @darthbernael, @TheAdmiral ,@QueenSabe7
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2020
  12. Sinrebirth

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

    Registered:
    Nov 15, 2004
    OOC: Little mid-week update because conversation can flow nicely.

    IC: Sek'nos Rath
    Phew, Clock-Temple

    N'Tael had a good point about the species of their representative, which cut out him and a Sith... but the others... the monk, the warrior and the... well, No Name?

    “I’ll do it. I’ll speak to the Lords and Ladies of the City.”


    Jin
    volunteered, and Sek'nos released a breath of fresh air.

    The monk then turned his head to look at the Sith. “Forgive me brother, I will join you on the hunt as soon as I’m able. Meetings with the Lords and Ladies of the City is also High Priority and the responsibility has fallen to me.”

    "Ah," said Sek'nos. "It's alright. I mean, if the others are okay with you going, I could go be paired to hunt Caedus with someone else...?"

    He eyed Lagertha and the others. "But no leader, agreed?"

    Sek'nos didn't really want any political aspect to things. Having any Leader would be a recipe for disaster.

    TAG: @QueenSabe7, @darthbernael, @TheAdmiral, @greyjedi125
     
  13. TheAdmiral

    TheAdmiral Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 28, 2004
    IC: Lagertha Atreus
    Location: Clock-Tower Temple


    Lagertha was wary of No-Name and this newcomer, Ben Solo. The thing was that he looked like one of the people in her vision. He was on a ash covered world tearing through some aliens, wielding an unstable forcesaber. The fact that he had spent time with the girl, who also had a red colored saber put her on edge. She needed to be ready to spring into action. The others seemed complacent enough and underestimating the threat. The Kwa seemed to understand it though… she eyed him for a second, hopefully he will connect the dots too.

    She did not want to meet the Lords and Ladies, she was a barbarian to them, a savage, so they will not listen to what she is going to say to them. The city folk always thought down on people like her. Good thing the monk volunteered, he seemed the most suitable for the task.

    “I can work with you, if you want.” she said casually to the Sith, she wanted to keep an eye on him as well, just in case.

    TAG: @Sinrebirth @darthbernael @greyjedi125 @QueenSabe7
     
  14. darthbernael

    darthbernael EU Community Mod, House was on fire, not my fault star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Apr 15, 2019
    IC N’Tael
    Location Clock Tower

    N’Tael nodded at the monk, his own assessment was that he would probably be the best to deal with the Lords and Ladies of the City. He felt that the man was not necessarily pleased with the assignment but also recognized that prejudice did exist and the Protectors had to work around it as best as possible.

    Looking over at the Sith, ”A team, no leaderssss, yesss.”

    He sensed something else, and his snout quested as he tried to determine where it came from, before his senses focused on the warrior woman. Such made him think, trying to decide why she was feeling, hmmm, anxious, upset, something in between. And then he remembered her vision as his thought of the newcomer. His snout lifted, as he remembered some of what he had seen and then her feelings made sense.

    She volunteered to go with the Sith and he knew it was not just out of a sense of comradeship. It also separated the no name woman and the Sith, but did leave the newcomer with noname. His forked tongue flicked out and tasted the nearby Force flowing through the Clock Tower, the man, whoever he was didn’t have the same feel as he did in the vision but it certainly was the same man.

    He nodded to the warrior woman in recognition of what she was doing and turned his head toward the no named woman. ”I will ssstay here, sssee if I can help, and be able to coordinate, if needed, once you are done meeting the Lordsss and Ladiess, so you can asssissst them in the hunt.” he nodded to the monk with the last as the man was leaving.

    ”For now I’ll go do jussst that, try to learn more about our guessst.”

    He turned to leave, heading for the door, behind the monk.

    TAGS: @Sinrebirth, @QueenSabe7, @greyjedi125, @TheAdmiral
     
  15. Sinrebirth

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

    Registered:
    Nov 15, 2004
    IC: Sek'nos Rath
    A nice and neat meeting

    The five apprentices came an accord without dispute or violence, without issue or concern. It was an almost pleasant discussion, with no weight upon them save for an earnest desire to do their bit. If one were to hearken back to the past Protectors, this discussion would have gone very differently... but through no fault of their own.

    Sek'nos nodded to Atreus, and the Sith began to lead them out. However, No Name had sat on the floor and her eyes were lidded, as if in meditation. N'Tael was left with her, for all intents and purposes, and of course Ben, their guest and curiosity.

    The emissary of the Lords and Lady was at the door, polite and prim but swaddled in robes and the attire of telbun, though he was a servant of High Office. Ordinarily his face would be concealed, but not in this case. Grand Vizier Thul was the adjunct and Hand of the Lords and Lady, as rarely seen in public as the others. "I seek the Representative of the Protectors."

    [​IMG]

    Grand Vizier Thul

    Meanwhile, Sek'nos led Atreus down to the edge of the market place. There was a gap around the cordoned off site, but an even wider one when the Sith stepped forward. He sighed, speaking to her. "I can't sense Caedus in the Force... nothing whatsoever." As he said that he scanned the crowd, but he was looking for other Sith... of which of course he saw none.

    "Can we track him in the ordinary way, do you think?"

    TAG: @greyjedi125 (combo), @TheAdmiral (combo), @darthbernael (combo)
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2020
  16. darthbernael

    darthbernael EU Community Mod, House was on fire, not my fault star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Apr 15, 2019
    OOC: Fun with @Sinrebirth as Ben

    IC N’Tael, No Name, Ben
    Time to learn more

    N’Tael observed as the others, minus their new guest and the woman with the jagged holes in her memories departed. They had come to a consensus and each had gone on to whatever task they had chosen. In his case that meant staying here and being ready to answer communications from any of the others, as well as assist with their guest.

    He looked over at the woman with no name and saw here on the floor, apparently deeply in thought or, perhaps, meditating. Which left their guest to speak with as he wouldn’t interrupt her. So he turned further and walked closer, letting the hood of his robe fall back revealing his distinctly reptilian features, the striping down his head and back muted for the moment as there was no sense of immediate danger. He squatted in front of the man, tail reaching out to act as a seat of sorts.

    ”Welcome to the Tower. I am ssssure ssshe,” he gestured to No Name, ”hassss already sssaid asss much but asss thissss isss the firssst we have formally met, I do sssso. I am N’Tael, a Kwa, obviousssly, and you are a man out of time assess issss thissss Dark Lord we faced.”

    His forked tongue flicked out, tasting emotion, scent, life signs, as he looked at the man. ”What worriesss me isss that you both appeared at roughly, if not exactly, the ssssame time.Which tellssss me you two are connected sssomehow, Light to Dark or Good to Evil. Balanccce issss important but thisss isss extreme.”

    Ben narrowed his eyes, while No Name seemed to drift. She was looking for something in the Force... it was almost as if she'd had an episode. Ben felt an empathy to her, but she didn't feel... whole. Incomplete, perhaps. Her 'saber was red, and you could only do that if the crystal bled.

    He looked back to the Kwa. "You say obviously, N'Tael, but - " He hesitated, there, conscious that this might be the past... "But there is nothing obvious about this. I am a man out of time, and this Darth Caedus is definitely too."

    "I fell... into a vergence in the Force. A way Between. The Sith of my time were digging on a world which was believed to be just that. They found ample resources and metal riches, enough to start an armada... but no clear proof that the elemental essence beneath the crush was indeed that vergence."


    Ben shrugged. "I was not sent, or arrived with any purpose... I was thrown by the most monstrous Sith in all of history... I cannot see how the Force put Caedus and I together."

    N’Tael let out a hissing, coughing, laugh, ”The galaxxxy doessss not allow for thingssss to happen by chancccce that often. There musssst be sssome reasssson you both were brought here jusssst after the Twilight Warssss sssstart and the original Protectorssss are away doing their jobsss, leaving usssss new apprenticesss assss all that protectssss Nouane.”

    He had noticed Ben’s feelings toward No Name but she was one of them, a fellow Protector, and he tried to keep the man’s focus on him for now. ”Unfortunately, or possssibly fortunately, there isss not Light without Darknesssss and no Darknessss without Light, sssso where one of great sssstrength on one sssside presssentssss themssselvess the galaxy cannot hold if sssomeone of similar ssstrength on the other sssside appearssss ssssoon after.”

    “If you sssaw much of the fight againssst thisss Darth Caedusss, you called him, you would have sssseen the wide variety of ssssaber colorssss, ssshowing the ssssstrength of all the assspectsss of the Force working in harmony to Protect.”
    That was a personal belief that he was sure others of the Protectors would have possibly argued against but he also wouldn’t have others, not Protectors, no matter how strong, show worry toward his companions, possibly because she did sport a blade of the same color as their newest foe.

    "Where are these original Protectors you speak of? And indeed, the Twilight Wars? I've never heard of them. Is this before the Scourging of Malachor? Or the Ghost Fleet?" Ben was speaking of events from his timeline, of course - similarities but not the same.

    "You speak philosophically but practically it seems unlikely," Ben added. "What task am I to achieve here? To kill Caedus? I may sense a connection by my family line ends with me; I am the last child on all sides of the family."

    "I'm pretty sure I'm dead, either way,"
    he said, deadpan.

    N’Tael rose slightly as his tail began to sway at the emotion rolling off of the man before him. He was right, to a degree, the emotional flavor of the Dark Lord and this Ben was very similar.

    ”All very good quesssstionsss. The Massster told ussss, before we arrived here, that those Protectorsss were away but that we were not to bother them if they came here. Yesss, the Twilight Warsss, the ssssecond of them I believe, ssssince the grand warssss between the Celessstialssss and the Architectssss.“

    He paced slightly, staying away from No Name so as not to interrupt, ”I maintain that you were brought here for a reassson, But ssssometimesss that reassson issss hard to figure out, at firsssst. Sssso find it we musssst, and get you home, if we can, afterward. Losss issss a thing, esssspecially among you humanssss, sssad you have no ssspeciessss memory.”

    Rey. The sentiment tugged at him desperate to return to her - to save her. But reason, and responsibility - two skills he had lacked as Kylo Ren - flooded him. His parents and uncle had not given their lives for him to throw it all away. He took a breath, and stilled his heart.

    "No, we need not rush. If I left a point in time, presumably I can rejoin it." Ben reasoned aloud. "So whatever needs to be done here, it will be. Darth Caedus is a truly terrible threat and clearly I have been brought to assist you in dealing with it."

    He eyed No Name, who was wilting. "She is not meditating, is she? She's something else, I sense."

    N’Tael nodded at Ben’s words then looked over at No Name. He could not entirely tell what was wrong but there was a confusion, it felt, surrounding her. He could not help her resolve it, not directly at least, but he could help slightly. He reached out in the Force to prop her up and a little energy to sustain her.

    ”What do you ssssensssse in her? Issss there anything you can do to asssssisssst her?”

    "She's not whole, is what I can sense." It was subtle, but Ben's bloodline and prodigy gave him an edge the others would not. "Her attention is elsewhere, and it shows." He scooped her up, and led her back to a room to settle her. He regarded the Holocron and her Forcesaber.

    "Tell me about her - she seems like a shut-in, at best."

    N’Tael observed as Ben picked up No Name and followed him to a room. The newcomer had the sense that he was there to help yet she was his compatriot and having another so close to her rubbed his senses the wrong way. He saw Ben’s interest in the Holocron and Forcesaber and opened a drawer, settling her belongings, those devices, in it before turning back to the newcomer.

    ”I call her No Name, and feel the othersss do too, asss we know little of her. To be honesssst we all met very recccently and thisss wassss the first time we worked to face a foe. All I truly know issss that when her Forccccessssaber melded with her it turned red. That and that her mind issss very confussssed, assess though there are many ssssectionssss walled off or erassssed, even from her.”

    He looked down on her and something inside him stirred, as though he should recognize her, her form at least, but the clues he needed to figure that mystery out still eluded him, in their entirety.

    "Red?" Ben twitched. "Her crystal bled, that means. Any Force user with darkness in their heart will cause their crystal to bleed. It is usually an imposition of will... but it may be the crystal reacting in horror - recoiling." He peered at No Name...

    "She does not appear to be like that... what of you, and the others...?" Ben Solo put her down on a bed in one of the empty rooms.

    N’Tael too looked at No Name, wondering what it could have meant for her blade to have turned the shade it did. Something severe must have happened to her or was still happening to her for it to give a color that made people recoil as this Ben had done.

    He looked back at the man at the question, ”Hmmmm, the ressst of usss. Well you know hersss is red, the Sssith’sss is purple asss isss mine, the monk, hisss is white, and the warrior woman, hersss is sssilver. I can feel your blade from here, but there ssseemsss to be a sssubtle differenccce between yoursss and oursss, is it a Forcccesssaber? Could that be why the differenccce could be asss they are and possibly not mean asss much as it ssseemsss to to you? Oursss bond to usss fully, to the depthsss of the esssssencccessss of usss, reflecting our own orientationsss.”

    "My lightsaber was red, for a time. But I discarded it," confirmed Ben, wincing slightly. "My latest lightsaber was blue - it belonged to a very great Jedi - my grandfather, and my uncle thereafter."

    Ben paused. "I must confess that for the last six years... I was a darksider by the name of Kylo Ren." He looked guilty. "As a child I was abused by voices, relentlessly talking to me. I thought I was speaking to my grandfather, and family friends of sorts..." Ben's brow beetled. "But in-fact the Emperor of the Sith was masking his voice and speaking to me, harassing me, undermining me... for decades... until I inevitably fell."

    "My mother died early today, in my world, to stop me on my path... my father..."
    His voice croaked. "Who I had killed a year before, he spoke to me, reminded me that I was Ben, not Kylo Ren." Ben was going off-point, but he needed to be honest.

    "I'm Darth Caedus if I'd had a second chance," he said with some finality.

    N’Tael’s forked tongue licked out, he could taste the pain, the loss, the anguish, the betrayal, the deep love, so many emotions swirled around the man now that he could distinguish each. ”No wonder you fear one who carriesss a red blade. Too many painful memoriessss or what might have beensss attached to such a blade. We will find her pain and releassse it, and, man out of time, we are all of us our choiccccesss in life. One may lead usss to Light, another to the Dark, and yet a third keepsss usss on the razzzor’sss edge of a balance between the two.”

    His tiger stripes lit up slightly in their purple coloration, ”Fret not, Ben, you made a very different sssset of choicccesss than this Darth Caedusss hasss, and that made you who you are. But the who of who you are isss, quite posssssibly, assss I ssssaid what issss needed to counter him. We sssshall ssson ssssee.”

    Ben cast a glance at N'Tael. "In my time, there was a Jedi who had a purple blade... Snoke - Palpatine - he told me that this Jedi was corrupted by the dark, though he professed he wasn't. His aggression undid him, when he crossed a moral line and became judge, jury and executioner."

    He paused. "A Jedi is a kind of Protector, I suppose."

    Ben belatedly realised he probably shouldn't have told him anything about that.

    A lizard grin crossed N’Tael’s face, his sharply pointed teeth showing for a moment, ”Possssibly you are correct, whatever thesssse Jedi are. Protection ssssometimesss meansss having to make the tough call. Ssssometimessss there are no good choicccesss. And ssssometimesss the only way to protect the flock isss either to policccce the flock or dessstroy the foe that threatenssss them.”

    His eyes narrowed as he thought, ”Narrow mindsss, no matter which sssside of the Forccce one ssservesss, alssso contribute to that need. The Forccce cannot be truly underssstood or allow one to Protect otherssss, without undersssstanding itssss entirety.”

    Ben looked at N'Tael, and felt more like a fish out of water than possible. Of course, he was isolated on an ancient world, and in the past at that... facing a Dark Lord of the Sith who had a familial resemblance. It was, for the most part, impossible enough as it was.

    "Narrow minds, perhaps," Ben conceded. "Yes, there is that."

    He looked around. "Could I take a room? I am exhausted." Ben paused again. "Are you to be my guard? Am I able to work on a new lightsaber, if at all possible?"

    N’Tael let his senses reach out to the man, he could feel the tiredness in his emotions. The last day had been a long one already. First gaining their Forcesabers, learning the beginning of their apprenticeship, then getting attacked by a Dark Lord, fending him off, having to deal with their own leaders, figuring out how to respond to the Lords and Ladies of the City, and then splitting up on their various tasks, and that was possibly nothing compared to being thrown out of their own time into a new one.

    A hissing, coughing laugh emerged, ”Guard, no. I have other tasssksss ahead. Sssshe,” one three fingered, clawed, hand gestured at No Name, ”trusssted you enough to bring you within the ssssanctuary of thessse wallssss sssso it makesss me cccertain that sssshe’d be able to sssenssse a falssssenesssss in you if it exisssted or if we needed to guard you.”

    A broad gesture took in the doorway, ”There are a few unusssed roomssss, sssso feel free to usssse one. Asss to a ssssaber, come morning that may be a better time to begin with sssuch.”

    TAGS: @Sinrebirth, @QueenSabe7, @greyjedi125, @TheAdmiral
     
  17. greyjedi125

    greyjedi125 Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Apr 29, 2002
    Another enjoyable combo with @Sinrebirth

    ****************************************************
    IC: Jin Long

    Representing the Protectors

    There was much deliberation between the Protectors themselves, as to their immediate missions and tasks. All were in agreement that he, Jin Long, would represent them before the Lords and Ladies of the City.

    It was then that he felt a presence by the Clock Tower door that he’d almost missed.

    ”I seek the Representative of the Protectors.”

    The monk turned at the sound of the voice.

    “I am he.” He said as he closed the gap with several steps and nodded in welcome.

    “I’m called Jin Long. It is I who shall represent the Protectors before the Lords and Ladies of the City this day.”

    With a smooth gesture, he invited the robed man to step inside.

    The adjunct led the Protector to the airspeeder hovering by the entrance, and it promptly conveyed him to the western quarter - where the government elements of the City existed, including its universities. The northern district was where the Clock-Tower was located, with other religious and educational institutions. To the south of course was the general population, and to the west, the agricultural and artistry aspects.

    The city was not a small affair, circled by walls, hemmed in to the east and west by the valley, with hills to the north, and a flat plain to the south which included the outer-city, split by the river which snaked into the western part of the City, and then the villages and jungle was more south than not.

    The City Hall was a relatively old design, one which would be favoured in the years to come.

    [​IMG]

    City Hall

    Each tower belonged to a Lord or Lady, with the central plinth for meetings. Each quarter had its own needs and concerns, and it was theorised that once upon a time four warring clans had came to this point and squared off. Some of the northern most tribes had fled for the hills, unwilling to abandon their ancient traditions - the places where Lagertha Atreus had came from - meanwhile the more industrious clans settled down.

    The air speeder settled Jin Long at the central tower, and at the entrance a man stood in tight-fitting outfit.

    It was the Herald, a gaunt man who had held the office for some years by the name of Eriadu Valorum.

    [​IMG]

    He sniffed slightly at the monk Protector, and pressed a button to open the doors to the chamber, technology shielding them both from any winds high-up. This part of the City had much more mechanical answers to nature than say the Chandrilan quarter, which eschewed much machinery in its production, though the northern and southern districts settled into a happier medium.

    "May I present to the Northern Lord, Chandrila Mothma, the Eastern Lord, Alsakan Kya, the Western Lord, Nubia Graul, and Lady Alderaan Organa, of the South."

    The names of the Lords and Ladies were named after Nouanese deities, with anyone selected for office required to abandon their first names and take on their names of office. Indeed, many of the positions within the government were ceremonial, including of course the adjunct, Eriadu.

    The four nobles were seated at the same level before them, but there were many other seats evident at differing heights - thirteen seats in total. It represented that there were those above and below the Lords and Ladies, with two seats above them, and seven below. In that, they took the third through sixth seats. The two higher seats represented the duality of existence, in some belief systems, but there was some argument about that as there was one seat higher than all seats within those two.

    All in all, there was more symbolism than governance here...

    As encapsulated in the four, who each had their faces obscured by masks.

    [​IMG]

    Alsakan, Chandrila, Alderaan, Nubia, left to right.

    They were archetypes, not politicians, and so they waited for him to show the appropriate respect, and they would discuss matters further.

    If nothing else, the Monk was honest with himself. That was a necessary first step to be honest with others; and in all honesty, nothing could have prepared Jin Long for this experience, for in these social matters, he was indeed inexperienced.

    At the very least, he hoped he kept himself from seeming that way to onlookers.

    The city was indeed a sight to behold, and truth be told, he’d never gazed upon her from an airspeeder. He never before felt the need to do so. Little did he realize what a grand view he had been missing.

    It was all so varied, so beautiful, all in near perfect balance: That at least, he could truly appreciate.

    City Hall was a structure he had never seen and it was awe-inspiring. It all seemed so grand. There was a lot of history here. History which he was vaguely aware of.

    Jin Long took a breath as he did his best to prepare his mind for what came next. He took a moment to meditate and center his mind for this challenge, as he could not possibly guess its depth.

    Needless to say, Jin Long was at his social best when meeting the Herald,Eriadu Valorum. Meaning, as best as he knew how.

    “A pleasure, sir.” He said, sounding overly formal.

    The technological wonders he experienced in his travels, were exactly that: wonders. But he could hardly allow himself opportunity to be amazed by them. It seemed he was the only one who found them fascinating, which stood to reason, as they were common place to everyone else.

    Upon being introduced to the Lords and Ladies, the Monk Protector, as he was being called, bowed to each single one of them. Jin Long memorized faces and names as the proceedings progressed. He noticed the seat placements, the different heights and the fact there were thirteen in total.

    If only N’Tael were here to see all this.

    Especially the four who wore masks. Jin Long found that to be very curious. Why wear masks during such a public meeting? Why hide their identities? If they did not wish to be seen, why attend?

    Questions for another time.

    Taking the place where he should address those present, Jin Long composed himself.

    “Lords and Ladies of Nouane, I am known as Representative Jin Long, monk Protector from the Clock-Tower. I have come to you in response to your summons.”

    Jin Long gave a long officious bow, then righted himself and waited to be addressed in turn.

    "Representative..." Chandrila said, latching upon the word.

    Nubia huffed. "Do the Protectors not answer to one Master?"

    "Missing, he has been, as with the other Masters..." finished Alderaan, sounding bemused.

    With a cross of his leg and a threading of his fingers, Alsakan replied. "What does a monk come with - what authority does he have to discuss with the Lords and Lady of Nouane?"

    There was an odd resonance to their voices, but it was an affectation, it seemed. There was no power in the Force behind their words. Indeed, their attire did nothing to conceal themselves from him; their disdain, their curiosity, their scheming and conniving natures.

    Jin Long let their words hang in the air for a moment and regarded them all. What pity he felt, he kept it from showing on his face. The City Hall architecture was indeed beautiful, neutral. It did not judge. It contrasted with the imbalance and in some of them, darkness, he now sensed.

    "You asked for me and I have answered."

    This he said plainly.

    Now he understood why N'Tael wished to skip the proceedings altogether. However, that was a luxury he presently did not have. Besides, if there were any legitimate questions here, he would be happy to answer those.

    "Were there concerns regarding the City that you wished to discuss?"

    "Excellent," said Chandrila. "Precisely what we wanted to here."

    "We call; you answer," Alsakan said with a chop of his caricature head.

    Alderaan scoffed. "You may not realise, but this is not often what occurred."

    "Indeed, we would call the Master of Masters, and he would never answer..."

    "But we take it that you and your Protectors intend to listen to reason, which is pleasing," Alsakan said, shrewdly.

    "Now, now," Alderaan chided. "The young man-monk doesn't need this character assassination of the Master of Masters."

    "Though it is nice to see the face of who we speak to..." Nubia added, drily, with a degree of irony.

    "Come on, come on," Chandrila said, authoritatively. "We are all busy."

    Alsakan spoke firmly. "Yes, the aforementioned Master of Masters... and, indeed, the other Lord Protectors..." He leaned forward, resolutely.

    "Where is he?"

    "The Master is no longer at the Clock-Tower, for he, has left us Protectors, in his place, even as he responds to a higher calling -which we at this time are not privy to."

    The monk spoke carefully now, as he could sense a trap. He understood he was being baited, and though that realization disappointed him, it also informed him to be cautious. A curious thought entered his mind, regarding one off the lessons given by the Master of Masters.

    The Great Darkness of the Seven.

    Jin did not believe in coincidence - and in a most subtle manner, studied all the seats and all the appointed Lords and Ladies that sat thereon. The Seven, the Four and the Pair.

    "I have leave to answer any questions." He said, further prompting conversation, as he opened himself in the Force.

    They canted their heads, looking at each other. Their jaws worked, and clearly they had a way to speak to each other without anyone else hearing. Technology, after all.

    Alderaan spoke first. "There was a commotion in the market square."

    "He called himself a Dark Lord of the Sith," said Nubia, "and we have seen an upswing in discussion targeting our Sith populace."

    Leaning forward, Alsakan appeared to be thinking. "Our population is divided amongst many nonhuman species. We cannot afford for one to be perceived as a threat."

    "So what are the Protectors doing about it?" Chandrila asked cautiously.

    Jin did not hesitate to respond, though he did choose his words carefully. He was beginning to get the sense of these 'Lords and Ladies of the City.'

    "Agreed. The nonhuman species are not a threat. The sith species is not a threat. Their position has remained the same, before the appearing of the so-called Dark Lord of the Sith, and after. Any who thinks otherwise only reveal their own prejudice." Jin Long allowed that to hang for a moment.

    "We Protectors are currently investigating this so called Dark Lord, who happens to be a human and is no sith at all. In fact, I was on the team tasked to pursue him, but it was decided that my appearance before you took precedence. Another has taken my place as not to delay said investigation. We will inform you as soon as we have any information, seeing how the attack just occurred."

    Alsakan, Nubia, Chandrilla, then Alderaan. Noted.

    Jin offered a small nod, indicating he was ready to continue.

    "In days gone past we offered special forces task forces to the Protectors - twenty officers from our police each, and made them Protectors of a Quarter each," said Chandrila.

    Alsakan coughed slightly. "Though we could not tell you what they did with them, as literally all but one of the officers involved also disappeared."

    "Suspicious, is it not?" Nubia said, bluntly.

    "Concerning, what with the disappearance of the Master, Protectors, their families and these officers..." Alderaan drawled. "We would request the new Protectors also investigate this occurrence."

    "I have no knowledge of these disappearances, as they are before my time." Jin Long confessed easily. "But I shall put the matter forth to my fellow Protectors and place your request before them. I don't foresee an issue with this investigation, thus, I shall keep you informed."

    This was a curious request, however, knowing the past history of the Protectors would help what base knowledge they had of their own 'organization'. The subtle accusation also did not escape the monk's attention. Politics. Though revolting, he vowed to endure through it for the sake of the greater good.

    Jin offered another nod, conveying his understanding and willingness to proceed.

    "Good, good," said Alsakan, who leaned back in the chair again.

    "Is there anything else?" Alderaan said lightly. She was looking at Jin, but her side was profiled to take in Alsakan, as if he had done something.

    Nubia snorted. "Isn't that enough? Absent parties, a Dark Lord, inter-species conflict? What else do you want?"

    Chandrila huffed. "Well this is what we have Protectors for."

    "Indeed." Jin Long agreed. "...And we are pleased to serve. Now, if there are no other pressing matters, I would like to return to my fellow Protectors and resume our ongoing investigations, Lords and Ladies."

    Eriadu stepped forward. "If I may take Protector Jin Long back, Lords and Ladies."

    The Lords and Ladies turned away, and dismissed him. Eriadu gestured to the balcony speeder, bowing slightly to the others.

    Jin Long bowed to the Lords and Ladies and waited for an opportune moment to speak to Lord Eriadu.

    "Please lead on, sir. I shall follow you."

    The meeting with the Lords and Ladies of the city had been most intriguing and revealing in many levels, including Protector history. Jin Long would have a lot of content in his report to the others. The level of intrigue in city politics was not to his liking, and so, he could appreciate why the Master had never responded to their summons, and more to the point, that the city carried on safely without his attending.


    Tag: @Sinrebirth, @darthbernael, @TheAdmiral, @QueenSabe7
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2020
  18. TheAdmiral

    TheAdmiral Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 28, 2004
    OOC: This is a combo between me and @Sinrebirth ! Thank you!

    IC: Lagertha Atreus, Sek’nos
    Location: Marketplace


    The marketplace was a busy place. There were a myriad of people going about their business. There were species she had never seen before, so Lagertha had to force herself to focus, there was no time for a little-girl's curiosity. Speaking of little girls, hopefully Praer had listened to her and went back to the village.

    She closed her eyes for a second, nothing, aside of the bustling life and swirling emotions of the people around them. The thing was that she did not trust herself with the Force right now. Her last experience had shaken her so profoundly that she feared that if she let the Force in it will fill her up with new visions. She turned her head towards her companion "Can you sense him?"

    Sek'nos shook his head. "Not at all. But it makes sense, if he's as powerful as it seems. He must be able to hide himself in the Force, and if he's stronger than each of us, he can hide from us individually."

    He scanned the crowd again; it peered back, gaze shifting from the Sith to Lagertha, almost as if judging her for the company she kept. Sek'nos scowled, but managed to instead say. "I suspect we need to stop using the Force if we're going to track Caedus down."

    Lagertha nodded, that could be a useful skill to learn. If only the man was not evil, she would have liked to learn from him. It did not hurt that he was handsome, but that was another matter. The Sith was right though, she was an excellent tracker, and the marketplace was just another type of hunting ground. The rules were almost the same, just some of the variables were different. "Look for anything that must not be here." she said as she started doing exactly that.

    Sek'nos frowned, peering across the penned-off area. There was not much to pick out, but there was something... the Sith pushed his mind away, and just used his eyes. The City's detectives had not combed the site yet, wanting to leave a Force-related issue to the Protectors.

    His impressions guided his eyes, but there were two he was drawn towards. He stepped by an overturned market stall, and saw it. "Lagertha," the Sith said, using her name. "Look."

    Under the upturned wood and metal frame was a patch of mud, clearly wet from the rain and then blocked from the sun to dry it. There was a clear boot print - but also, on the scaffold - a slice of fabric... part of Caedus's cape.

    "Pay-dirt."

    Sometimes you had to rely on such small things to uncover the bigger mysteries. It was a good start and she was an excellent tracker. Caedus would not stand a chance. Lagertha picked up the piece of cloth and looked forward. There were faint muddy tracks leading the way. "He must have been in a hurry. Follow the mud. We have to minimize our Force presence, rely on your other senses."
    The Sith used the Force to nudge the cape part free, and he carefully moved it into a pouch without touching it with his hands. He drew the Force close to him, minimizing it as much as possible. He stood to go, and then his senses caught something - in his distraction, a fruit splattered on his face, and Sek'nos winced.

    "Go back home!"

    It had been thrown from the milling crowd, but there were so many people in the busy central market space that it would be difficult to ascertain precisely who had thrown it.

    Lagertha frowned and reacted without thinking, drawing the hilt of her lightsaber. Then something stopped her as she realized that these were just ordinary people. "Go back to your business." she said not caring about their feelings of aggression towards them. "This does not concern you!"

    A piece of fruit sailed towards her, and Sek'nos reached out, catching it with the Force. "Enough," he snapped back. "We are Protectors. It is not us who invited the Dark Lord here, he came hunting war, when we are a world of peace. We must find him, if we are to keep that peace... unless you would prefer we did not, and went back to the Clock-Temple and let him wreck havoc unimpeded."

    There was a still moment, with a collection of eyes turning to the weapon in Lagertha's hand, and then the crowd dispersed, leaving a smattering of fruit on the floor; abandoned.

    Sek'nos released the fruit, dropping it also. "I am sorry," was all he could say, so ashamed was he.

    Lagertha glared at the people while they went back to their business. Those entitled city-folk. Without the Protectors they would have been murdered by this maniac. They can still do, unless they found the darksider.

    "You are sorry about what?" she asked sharply at first, then her features softened as it was not his fault "Those people live a pampered life, compared to the countryside. It all takes a small disturbance in their petty little lives to make them angry and blame the people who try to save them, because they can't see beyond the tips of their proverbial noses." she grunted. "Let us continue."

    Sek'nos grinned at Lagertha. "You're right." He took his hilt in hand, and advanced. "Let's go on."

    The crowd had entirely parted, and they could get on their way. Nouane City was big, but the path - the smidge of mud here and there, it headed south, to the more heavily populated parts of the City. "Most of the non humans live here," Sek'nos explained. "Have you ever came to the City before?"

    Lagertha was looking around, checking for any more clues "I try to stay away from the City." she stated simply "I prefer being out in the wild. It is more... honest, if I can put it that way." she focused on something, but that was a false lead "I lived up North, in the cold." she smirked "It does not allow people to get complacent and soft, also it keeps us honest." Lagertha eyed him still remembering her vision. "You? Have you grown here, or somewhere else?"

    "Here," Sek'nos said, thinking on her use of the word honest. He liked it. He pointed a direction, slightly away from the tracks into the streets. "The Sith Quarter is that way, actually. All the species here have their own streets and boulevards."

    Then the tracks deviated.

    "Uh-oh."

    Into the Sith quarter.

    It made sense, the species to have their own quarters. People tend to flock to the familiar, it gave them a sense of community and safety. That was the irony of the big cities. The more they tried to bring everyone in the same place the more people segregated into different quarters.

    She stopped next to him "What?" Lagertha asked and looked towards where he was looking "At least that will make him easy to find."

    "But if we do find him in the Sith Quarter? Surely that'll destroy any chance we have of them trusting my species again?" There was a darkness simmering in the shadows of this quarter, and Sek'nos blanched. It stank of a deep, unnatural, and horrible rot.

    He hesitated, and felt beneath his conflicted feelings his fear.

    This was the dark side.

    "Can you feel that?" Sek'nos released a breath he hadn't realised he had held.

    Lagertha could sympathize with his concerns. She would probably feel the same if that Darth Caedus was hiding among her people. The warrior woman could sense the darkness within the quarters. It was both seductive and repulsive at the same time. "Yes, I can, the problem is that he can sense us too." she stated flatly "We need a different approach."

    "I don't know how to hide from the Force like that..." Sek'nos paused. "Do you want to go on anyway, or should we report back to the others so we can make a decision together?" He hesitated a bit. "It seems a dangerous choice to make alone but you understand how best to track people..."

    Lagertha gave him a serious look "You run to get the others." she ordered "I will keep him occupied." the warrior woman gave him a feral grin "Don't worry I am not that easy to kill." she smirked.

    Sek'nos nodded. "May the Force be with you, Lagertha." At that, he turned and rushed back towards the Clock-Tower.

    Lagertha frowned and pursed her lips. Good thing she did not wear her cloak. The sabre handle was easily accessible. She took a deep breath and stepped in the Sith Quarters.

    TAG: @Sinrebirth @darthbernael @greyjedi125 @QueenSabe7
     
  19. Sinrebirth

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

    Registered:
    Nov 15, 2004
    IC: Sek'nos Rath
    The Clock-Temple

    The Sith made his way back as the dark embraced Nouane; the sun went down.

    He tried to move swiftly, but not so quickly that he alarmed those citizens that watched him. A few actively stared, some made clear that they considered the actions of others harassment, but more the former than the latter. But, to see those conscious the Sith were being victimized at all was pleasing enough. It was, as they say, a start. Perhaps Caedus had done nothing to the City, and it would pass.

    Sek'nos wished he could believe that.

    It began to rain, of course.

    As he reached the Clock-tower, he saw the skimmer with Grand Vizier Thul aboard deliver Jin Long back with the Protectors. Sek'nos jogged to get out of the torrent, regarding the open-topped vehicle with bemusement. As he closed, he saw that a force-field was shielding the two of them from the elements, and the milling and similarly rushing crowds of people made it so Sek'nos reached the front entrance rather than the speeder.

    He headed in to dry, looking for the other Protector. "N'Tael!" He called out, before hesitating to speak the other woman's name; he didn't know it - she hadn't offered it, after all. Indeed, little did he know but No Name was settling down, her breathing ceasing, as if she was out of time... but she was not dead. Ben settled down in the room with her, taking the other cot, watching her until is eyes lidded and he collapsed out of sheer exhaustion.

    For him, it had been a terribly, terribly long day.

    Thirty-five thousand years long, albeit reversed.

    He made it to the central area as the speeder, without a word from the Vizier, deposited Jin Long.

    "We managed to track down Caedus - he's in the Sith area! Lagertha," Sek'nos said, a little breathless, hoping to be loud enough for the warrior-monk to also here.

    "In the Sith district!"

    TAG: @greyjedi125, @darthbernael
    ---
    IC: Thok Rath

    The Sith Quarter

    The path that Lagertha followed would lead her into the under-levels of the City, and in short order she came across various Sith youths, watching her prowl. Their blue eyes sparkled in the fire-light, for less and less technology reached these less affluent slums. They kept their distance, letting her pass, even with weapon in hand. Some even bowed to the Protector, respecting her hunt.

    In short order, however, she crossed paths with a hobbling and man. He peered at the woman as she approached, joking slightly. "Do you intend to kill me, young lady?"

    [​IMG]

    Thok Rath (less the saber)

    "I am Thok Rath, and my grandson would have issue with that act, no doubt of that," he said with another chuckle.

    TAG: @TheAdmiral (combo)

    TAG: @Corellian_Outrider (updated TAG is ready for you as and when)
     
  20. darthbernael

    darthbernael EU Community Mod, House was on fire, not my fault star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Apr 15, 2019
    OOC: A combo with @Sinrebirth and @greyjedi125

    IC N’Tael, Sek’Nos, Jin Long
    Clock Tower

    N’Tael had just checked on No Name and had seen that Ben had collapsed in the same room when he heard his name being called out. He was beginning to recognize the voices of the others and that sounded like the Sith. Closing the door to block out most of the noise from whatever conversation was to come, he headed toward the common area. As he approached he heard Sek’nos call out again.

    "We managed to track down Caedus - he's in the Sith area! Lagertha," the voice was breathless, as though the Sith had run all the way back to the Tower to pass the news and gather whoever was here to assist in hunting down the intruder.

    "In the Sith district!"

    The news of where he was made N’Tael’s snout swing back and forth. ’Asss though thossse Sssith need another reassson right now for the ressst of the population to hate them.’ he thought.

    He entered the common area, tail swaying behind him, nodded to Sek’nos, ”No Name and our new guessst are both asssleep in her room. Ssshe’sss been trying to reach deep into her mind, I’m guessssing, and it wore her out. He’sss a visitor from the far future, asss isss our foe, and the travel hasss alssso worn him out. Ssso I am free to asssissst. And,” he sniffed and his olfactory receptors could still pick up the scent of the warrior woman, could follow it back to its source. ”follow her trail until we reach her.”

    Jin Long was pleased to be back at the Clock Tower and had intended to share news of his meeting with the Lords and Ladies of the City. What he hadn't anticipated was the level of development the investigation on the Dark Lord would be in. For the moment, it seemed his 'report' would have to wait. The issue of the Dark Lord was an imperative one, for the Protectors, for the City, for the native Sith and for Sek'nos.

    A smile tugged at the monk's lips when he heard Lagertha was in pursuit of the target. That's exactly how he imagined things should be, Protectors acting on their strengths.

    That the man with No Name was a most unsual traveller did peak his interest, but again, not the focus of the moment. That that fact might somehow relate to the Dark Lord was.

    Hmmm.

    "I'm also ready to assist." Jin Long put in as he stepped closer to his fellow protectors. With the other two presently sleeping, it would be best to maximize their chances of capturing their first adversary.

    Sek'nos slapped a fist to his chest enthusiastically, as the door to the room creaked open. It was the visitor, Ben Solo. He looked worn, but he had clearly sensed them and woke - if he had even managed to sleep with everything going on. "You're going after Darth Caedus?"

    The Sith lad narrowed his eyes. "What of it?"

    "He's a Sith Lord," Ben said, obtuse to Sek'nos before him; the Sith species was niche knowledge from his time, and they'd been extinct for millennia. "He's exceedingly dangerous. I need to be there; it's my destiny, clearly."

    Sek'nos Rath hesitated, loath to speak for the others. He very much felt their junior, in age at very least.

    N’Tael let loose a coughing laugh, rolling his snout. ”Isss thisss resssting, Ben? We ssspoke about your need to finisssh thisss but you were completely exhausssted.”

    He was unsure how much Ben would want him to share with the others, it was not his call to make so he turned to a different tack.

    ”Besssidesss, you are misssssing sssomething you may need if we are to facccce thisss Dark Lord, a Lightsssaber you ssssaid. Unless you can fix it in the nexxxt five minutessss, the trail could go cold and I doubt the warrior woman would be pleasssed.”

    "N'Tael, Sek'nos, please assist Lagertha."

    Jin Long moved so his fellow Protectors could go forth, even as he took a step towards 'Ben', effectively barring him from moving.

    "Tell me, why does the Sith Lord look like you?" The question wasn't an accusation, but it did require an honest answers.

    The monk had just come from a meeting with the Lord and Ladies of the City. The last thing he needed was for rumors to start that not one, but TWO Sith Lords were running around the city, or worse, that the Protectors were harboring one.

    N’Tael nodded to the monk, he was right, one must stay here and be the Protector’s representative at the Tower, should any other crisis occur, and to keep an eye on their guest, no matter his professed good intentions.

    Turning to Sek’nos, ”Shall we, before the trail gets colder?” He sniffed the air, catching the scent of the warrior woman once more, then turned and followed it out of the common area and toward the market.

    Ben sagged. "I don't know. I feel a familial bond, but I have no siblings." He squeezed his fists, open and closed, releasing his frustration with each breath, like Master Luke had taught him to. "But I've leapt time. Who is to say he hasn't leapt reality?"

    "Could he be my sibling from another world-line...?" Ben shook his head. "I know not how I came here, let alone anything else."

    Sek'nos turned away slightly. "Jin, are you not coming?"

    The moment reverberated within him like no other moment before. Their guest claimed fantastical things, while sounding truthful, yet his connection to the Sith Lord was increasingly become near undeniable. The City was watching their every move, the native sith were depending on them for assistance. Sek'nos asked a question that made him realized his mind was split on this decision.

    Jin Long desired to help with the capture of the Sith Lord, yet his duty would see him stay and guard the Clock Tower in these suddenly uncertain times.

    "Force guide me." The monk whispered aloud and closed his eyes for a moment, seeking the Force for direction.

    The Force was, unhelpfully, silent for that moment. It did not tug, and did not speculate. Indeed, it seemed to be holding it's breath. In many ways, Jin would realise that the Force had not spoken to him as it used to since the call to attend the Clock Tower.

    Ben peered at the monk, and he, too, closed his eyes. He too could find no guidance in the Force, and instead opened an eye and peered at N'Tael. Sek'nos grew pensive, clearly wanting to go.

    "Can I trust you?"

    Jin Long asked of Ben, now turning his Force senses to the dark haired man, opening himself fully to sift truth from lie.

    His eyes still closed.

    Ben's eyes opened both, for Jin had replied so swiftly, before even N'Tael could comment. He nodded to himself. "Yes, you can. I have cast my shadow aside - my old name, my old darkness - it has no hold over me. I just want to help, and get back to my...." He stumbled to express his connection to Rey. "Partner."

    Jin Long remained as he was, waiting to hear from N'Tael, but suspecting that Sek'nos would be the first to speak, and quite likely with an objection.

    N’Tael’s coughing laugh sounded once more, ”Ben, you are perssssisssstent, I musssst give you that. Sssstrong in the Force you may be, but you will be unarmed, our Forcccessssaberssss are intrinsssically bonded to usss and we have no othersss. But if you musssst I ssssay let you and the consssequencccesss be upon your head.”

    Consequences would also be upon the heads of the Protectors'

    Jin Long thought soberly, and as a result, made several contingent adjustments in his mind. N'Tael had spoken true. However, this 'Ben' could be either a much needed ally, as he did come to assist once he'd appeared, quite in a sudden manner, much like the Sith Lord- or a great hindrance, should he suddenly join with the Dark sider.

    Keeping him close was a good tactic, but not if he joined with the enemy. Leaving him in the Clock Tower would keep him from joining the enemy, but not from harming No Name - if that was his intent. Except, this man could have joined the enemy when he first appeared -and thus far had more than ample to time to harm No Name if he so wished. Perhaps, incredible as his circumstances seemed, he was just telling the truth.

    'Focus on what 'is' not what 'if', for the latter is not reality, but the power of doubt and uncertainty manifested.'

    Besides, not having a Forcesaber hardly made any of them defenseless. The monk was a living example of that.

    "I'm choosing to trust you, Ben." Jin Long stated simply.

    "Let's go. We've wasted too much time already."

    With that, the monk turned, intent on expediting their trek to the sith quarters.

    N’Tael stalked after the monk, tail swaying as he moved. His scent receptors quested for the trail of the warrior woman. He was sure he wouldn’t really need to use that skill until they reached where the Sith had left her but it was better to already have the trail in his mind, to follow, so he didn’t lose time when they arrived.

    He could feel the others around him and was pleased that they all were working together, although he was, as yet, uncertain what role Ben would have once they encountered the Sith Lord. He also kept an eye out for residents of the City, sure that they had a good chance of running into those who were already acting out against the native Sith, which would have to be quelled as gently as possible.

    TAGS: @Sinrebirth, @greyjedi125, @TheAdmiral, @QueenSabe7
     
  21. Corellian_Outrider

    Corellian_Outrider Admin FF | Curator: Art&RPF | Oceania RSA | CR NSW star 6 Staff Member Administrator

    Registered:
    Mar 9, 2002
    ~OOC~ Special thanks to @Sinrebirth for input regarding the child

    Sheel Ix
    Location: Months upon months ago, somewhere in Nouane City


    Nouveau city is a sensory overload for the uninitiated. So many beings, so many different threads of life, on their own paths and intermingling... from observation, these interactions go without awareness of the one another save for the immediate, fleeting contact they might share before disappearing.

    It could be comparable to a jungle... though more complex series of emotions emit from the creatures that call the city their home.

    At least the jungle allegory allowed Sheel Ix to feel a bit more at ease with her surroundings. The living... no matter how weird, wild or wonderful... she could find something that she could relate to and the presence they emit to the natural canvas. The mechanical beings on the other hand, these ‘droids’, as Vydra had named them... perplexed her. Do they have souls? Do they feel pain or emotion? Do they cry?

    To her, they are puzzling negative spaces amongst the living.

    The undertow that guided her was more ominous. A veiled danger, just outside of her sensory reach... no matter which direction she took, it felt both close and just out of reach. It was aware of her... that was starting to make sense. Who was the Wombara in this hunt?

    She stopped at a junction point to get her bearings. Her green-blue eyes surveyed the faces of the beings passing her. More mechanical gliding beasts and carts went about their business with cargo... though that did not hold her focus. The tall structure in the distance was looming closer than she had anticipated. She wondered how close were the boundaries of the ‘Protectors’ territory... that warning to avoid making her presence known to them just yet came rushing back to mind.

    She wondered about them though again, today was not the day nor time to do so. The tug of danger was similar to the sensation of being stalked by a panther. One that is preparing to pounce.

    Would it pounce? How tantalising to make the prey? Most predators strike while the prey is occupied and their defences lowered.

    She stepped to the side and opened the seal of her waterskin canteen to take a sip. As the cooling water touched her lips, her other hand gently rested over where she kept her dagger as her eyes and other senses remain alert.

    A shiver tingled down her lekku and back. Any moment now...

    Sheel Ix froze.

    Her eyes locked onto something she had not anticipated. There was a child...
    Not just any child, a Togruta child.

    It had separated itself from the ‘herd’ of others. It looked as Sheel Ix had when she was a child, except the pigmentations and marking were different... as were the development of the montrals and lekku. Is that normal? Am I an abnormally? Is there a purpose to the different markings? A swirl of questions entered her mind.

    A cold weight in her stomach as she sensed the focus of the elusive yet omnipresent danger shifted away from herself, honing in on a new prey.

    No!

    Sheel IX moved with purpose. Securing the waterskin to her sling, she kept her eyes on the child as she approached the position. Conflicting feelings. A small voice warned to not get involved with matters not her own. To observe and assess what the danger was before leaping in. Yet, how could she not? This was a child! Besides, was there not benefits to safety in numbers? She slowed her pace as she got within close proximity.

    Do I say something? Do I pretend she doesn’t exist? Where... and what was this hunter?

    The perception surrounding the child shifted, and it sought to ensnare Sheel Ix instead. She would feel, in the extended senses the Master had introduced her into, that she had been noticed. The sensation withdrew- but not far.

    Not far.

    The child looked at Sheel, tears in their eyes. “My mummy was here, but now she’s not. Can you help me, lady?”

    Sheel Ix double blinked as she processed the child’s words and picked up upon the emotions. Mummy? Madre?
    Faint memories surfacing for when she was a little... the tall trees and scary caws, suffocating weight of the humidity, lost in the jungle, her parents gone-

    Stop it! Not here, not now!

    Sheel Ix knelt down to be eye level with the child. She placed a hand on its shoulder and gave a comforting squeeze. Her tone as soothingly as she could muster.

    “It will be alright, little one. If you have seen your mama just a moment ago then she would not be far. I will help find her....”

    She opened up one of her pouches and produced a small carved wooden figure of an animal, a plump quadruped with comical large nose and eyes on its stocky head. She held it out to the child.

    “...if you promise to keep this safe for me...”


    The child, wide eyed, nodded and took the figure carefully. “What is it?”

    “This is a little wombara.... come on, I’ll carry you and we shall go and find your mama.”


    Sheel Ix lifted the child up, threaded the little legs about her sling and quiver strap as a makeshift harness and then wrapped her arms protectively about the child. She closed her eyes for a moment, reaching out through the sense in her training. There was something out of place... almost mocking her. Did it take the mother?

    Sheel Ix started moving, on the trail for the mother with the child snug to her chest, playing with the wombara toy.

    “My name is Sheel Ix, what is yours?”

    TAG: @Sinrebirth
     
  22. TheAdmiral

    TheAdmiral Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 28, 2004
    OOC: This is a combo between me and @Sinrebirth ! Thank you for your patience!



    IC: Lagertha Atreus, Thok Rath, Darth Caedus
    Location: Sith Quarters


    The Sith Quarters was rather depressing. It seems the leaders of Nouane were discriminating against them. Could that be the reason for them becoming Dark? It would certainly be an understandable one, maybe it could be averted with improving their living conditions... But for now it was not the moment for such considerations. She was on the hunt, that Darth Caedus must be brought to justice.

    She almost struck the old man who appeared so suddenly. That would have been tragic and she took a mental note to be more careful, sometimes single-minded determination could have disastrous consequences. "Your grandson?" she asked, the man looked familiar "Are you talking about Sek'nos?"

    "I am, of course," he said, softly chuckling. "He's always rushing around, chasing whatever self-proclaimed mystery he can find." He tapped along, approaching Lagertha. "He was eternally chasing that Protector Master of his, until of course he wasn't." A dry chuckle. "I gather you were not supposed to do that before your time was to begin?"

    There was a sudden thud of metal meeting wood, but the wood was the lean-to that the old man was walking by, the metal was a twisted and sharpened weapon, and the old man was run through. Urk was the noise that emerged from the Sith, and the cloaked bundle that was Caedus emerged from an alleyway between two wooden constructs, lashing out with his crimson lightsaber in a loud snap-hiss.

    The blow was lightning quick, angled downwards for Lagertha's neck -

    Lagertha was about to reply to the old man when things started moving very fast. "NO!" she managed to scream upon seeing him being run through. Her role was reversed, from hunter she became the hunted. Her instincts and training kicked in and she managed to parry the attack feeling the heat of the energy weapons. Its hum was deafening, so close, "AAARGH" she screamed again as she pushed the weapon back. Even though Caedus was not physically impressive he was a very tough opponent.

    She managed to jump back, her saber lit, the lights of the two weapons colouring the dark alleyway. Lagertha studied his posture, looking for a potential opening where to strike. "You will be brought to justice." she hissed to him, though she knew that it would have no effect.
    The Sith man sagged, clearly impaled and dead, but Caedus didn't respond to her comment, standing loose and ready.

    Before, he hadn't had a lightsaber to match her blade, but he allowed her to push him back.

    A snort and smirk appeared, before the expression had even fully flitted across his face he gestured his off-hand off to the left, using the Force to grab at her sword-arm and pulling it out of line - and stepped forward and brutally chopping for her with a single-handed and swift blow.

    Lagertha's eyes widened as the man was using the Force to move her hand. She resisted of course, but what chance do you have against such tight grip and power. She gritted her teeth, her mind racing with possible ways as to how to deal with the situation. An idea came, using her free hand Lagertha decided to use the Force to push him back, hopefully that will break his concentration.

    Caedus slid back and his blade merely nicked her arm, but the moment the blade dipped, he stepped forward, bringing his off-hand back to the hilt and swinging up with vicious speed. He was expecting Lagertha to dodge back, but in these narrow confines she would be limited and so even as his blade swept up he was already launching his foot at her stomach - another lightning whip-kick, and in his mind's-eye she would fall over his boot and he would simply slash down across her exposed neck.

    Of course, he wasn't relying upon his boot connecting.

    Lagertha gritted her teeth at the wound that she received. Caedus was pretty fast, normally that would not have been a problem, but here in this limited space she barely had any options to maneuver. She saw him trying to kick her so she raised her hand and used the Force to stop it. There should be a way to get him off balance, then she could go on the offensive.

    Caedus was surprised by her raising a hand to stop his foot, and eyes widened as he imbalanced. He tugged himself back with the Force and rolled, holding his weapon arm out and as he came up to his feet - crouching for the moment - he hurled his hand forward and allowed a blaze of Force lightning to emerge at close range.

    It was the quickest and simplest response he could have, as his lightsaber was far out of line -

    Lagertha barely had enough time to raise her saber to block the bolt. For something so ethereal it surely was hard to hold off. It pushed her back a bit, she had to steel her muscles so as not to lose her balance. The Warrior Woman managed a small step forward. Her teeth were gritted, some sparks touched her face and stung her. Another step...

    Caedus took the opportunity to stand up, and reset his guard. He released the guard and lifted his hand, intending to bodily grab her and hurl her into the roof, but similarly he was ready to fight more traditionally if she nudged aside his Force grip and swung.

    He was, typically, smiling.

    This woman was good.

    And he was a Skywalker by blood.

    His next move almost caught her off-guard. Almost. But sometimes that was enough as she lost her balance then an invisible hand grabbed her and hurled her towards the roof. It was sleek and slippery from the rain that was pouring. Lagertha managed to get her bearings before she could crash so she managed to free herself and soften the landing. Though the impact cracked several tiles. That gave her an idea, Lagertha focused with the Force and sent some pieces of the roof cover towards her assailant.

    Caedus stepped back, deflecting with his blade as if the tiles were blaster bolts, but they exploded into gravel and dust. Similarly, he could not step back far in the narrow confines, and the debris agitated his eyes. Irritated, he flailed slightly, exposed for a moment and coiling the Force within him as he knew how exposed he was -

    Lagertha gave a feral grin, some progress at last. She had to change position soon, the roof was slippery and she could easily trip. "Had enough?" she asked, checking for an opening. She could sense him gathering the Force, she had to make him release some then strike. Lagertha decided to try something. A portion of the wall of the building opposite her was cracked, she focused on it and pulled a bit with the Force, there was a crack and masonry mixed with bricks rained down towards Caedus.

    Caedus had been building his power up for that moment, and as a man of the Skywalker bloodline it didn't take him long; a Force wave exploded outwards, ripping into the Sith complex, blowing apart flanks of buildings and hurling shacks and bodies and generally detonating with the force of a small bomb -

    It was not his destiny to die here!

    Lagertha's eyes widened from the shock, but it did not last too long as she was hurled back, crash landing through the window of a house, into the living room of a Sith family who were huddled in terror from what was going on outside. She managed to maintain her consciousness even though her whole body was screaming from the pain, small shards of glass were sticking from her body, cuts all over her were bleeding. She could see the ceiling crack so she managed to muster what remained of her strength to keep it from falling using the Force, thus protecting the family. Hopefully her comrades would arrive soon enough...

    TAG: @Sinrebirth @greyjedi125 @darthbernael @QueenSabe7
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2020
  23. Sinrebirth

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

    Registered:
    Nov 15, 2004
    IC: Darth Caedus
    Sith district, now

    The Dark Lord took a deep breath, wobbling on his feet, but he had managed to follow the woman's flight path, with his hands, he reached up for the building and ripped at it, the wall crumbling and revealing the Sith family and Lagertha. Grinning, Caedus lifted a hand, filled with lightning, and peered up at the arriving airspeeder that Sek'nos had commandeered to get N'Tael and Jin, as well as Ben, to the location.

    For a moment there was a rustle, as if someone had landed in the open-airspeeder beside them, no, in the rear seat between Jin and N'Tael, who were in the back. For a moment, they had five shadows, instead of four, and Jin would feel a slither perch upon his neck, interposing his head between the shadow and N'Tael -

    And although the violence had been telegraphed in the Force, but none of them would have expected a fork of lightning to root itself upon the speeders underside and for it to explode beneath them -

    Caedus swept out a hand, and Ben felt himself, grabbed, having barely managed to ensconce himself in a bubble of Force, and threw off to the side; he landed atop a market-stall, the leather tent only slightly cushioning him before he crashed through it -

    The Sith Lord was aware that Lagertha might try something, and turned back, negligently swatting a hand to rip at a roof and hurl the slates in her direction, as he watched to see who had survived the detonation.

    TAG: @TheAdmiral, @greyjedi125, @darthbernael
    ---
    IC: Shayla T'ano

    Before, almost a year before, in-fact

    The small Togruta introduced herself, and told Sheel where approximately she lived - the girl was young, after all, and the wombara was now quite distracting.

    In the otherworldly senses that Sheel had been introduced to by the Master, she could sense another sentient with a similar 'feel' to child in her care, which also seemed to be in the vague direction that Shayla had indicated.

    But those selfsame senses told him that one of their shadows was on the move, which would be something a human would not notice. It flittered between them and seemed to lean back, pausing to peer at Sheel, before it rushed off.

    The way it went was to follow two seemingly innocuous looking men in black coats... the taller one seemed to be the Master... the shorter one, though?

    They were acting like they were completely invisible to everyone, notwithstanding how clearly they stood out. But indeed, nobody noticed them; at all.

    “Sheel,” the little girl said, noticing they weren’t moving. “Are we gonna find Mummy?”

    The Master’s voice sounded out.

    “You really need to let go, y’know? You have come to your own answer and can’t possibly think outside the box?”

    He loudly tsked and rounded the corner.

    TAG: @Corellian_Outrider
     
  24. darthbernael

    darthbernael EU Community Mod, House was on fire, not my fault star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Apr 15, 2019
    IC N’Tael
    Arriving, attacked


    The commandeered speeder was comfortable and didn’t irritate N’Tael’s tail too much. The majority of the ride itself was uneventful and quiet. He was not sure of the others but he was lost in his thoughts to some degree. They had been lucky the first time against this Sith Lord, as he called himself. He’d felt the human’s power and without them all working in tandem they wouldn’t have been able to drive him off. Which caused him some concern for Lagertha, if she came upon him alone.

    They entered the Sith District and ahead the sounds of destruction seemed to confirm his fears. She had found the man and battle had already begun. And then they were upon the battle. He saw Lagertha fly and felt….something….in the back seat with him. As he began to turn his head the airspeeder began to come apart around him.

    His feet pushed off the floor and he tried to leap, his robes already scorching. Shrapnel rained around him and he growled and yipped as pieces sliced at his hide. He could feel his blood beginning to flow. Tucking himself into as much of a ball as possible he let the shockwave of whatever had destroyed the speeder carry him.

    The world went white for a moment as he hit a wall, limbs splaying out at the impact. He could feel at least one rib broken, or at least cracked as he rebounded, landing awkwardly on the ground. The wind knocked out of him all he could do was collapse to the ground and, spitting up blood, regain his breath.

    He staggered to his feet, tried to make his Forcesaber leap to his hand but his hand wouldn’t close right, at first and it fell to the ground. Trying again he looked up at the noise of flying tile and realized he was facing the wrong direction. Spinning around his blade flared to life as he found himself a dozen paces from the human Darksider. Pieces of the speeder rained down around him still and he grunted as several rebounded off of him.

    He had to shift position slightly, over and over as pieces of building were also flying and he didn’t want more damage done before he had a chance to strike back at the man. Tongue snaking into the air he tasted it for the scents of his companions.

    ”Monk?....Warrior Woman?.....Ben?.....Ssssith?....” he called out, hoping for a response before he had the full attention of the oh so destructive man before him on him.

    TAGS: @Sinrebirth, @greyjedi125, @TheAdmiral
     
  25. greyjedi125

    greyjedi125 Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Apr 29, 2002
    IC: Jin Long
    Sith district battle

    Events moved quickly, maybe faster than he had anticipated, but even so, he could sense it: Evil, Darkness and Death. It had suffused the Sith Distict already. Were the Protectors too late?

    Jin Long was reaching out with the Force as a means to glean a clearer and immediate understanding of the area of conflict, but something unseen had perched itself on his neck. His hand moved instinctively to swat away whatever had caused the sudden intrusion on his person, when a single flash of warning blared in his conscious mind.

    In that instant, the speeder he, Sek’nos, N’Tael and Ben traveled on, exploded as its underside was struck by sith lightning.

    Jin Long was caught by the beginnings of the explosion as fire and flying debris burned and slashed at his flesh, even as he erected a barrier to protect himself from the worse of it and rode the wave of the detonation.

    His form careened and bounced off several walls before he landed unceremoniously on the ground. However, the Warrior-Monk turned Protector had already called on both the Force and his Monk powers and rose immediately from the heap, his conductive tattoos glowing a bright fiery yellow. He tapped on the dual techniques of Force Body and Force Valor to help him face this dangerous Dark Lord.

    Aware that his fellow protectors would need a moment to recover ( and noting that they were, quite thankfully, still alive ), Jin Long rushed at the Dark Lord with such rapidity, that he seemed to be flying. The monk's intention was to ram into their dark opponent ( and through the slates he had flung ), tackle him to the ground and engage him in hand-to-hand combat, where he was confident he would have the advantage.

    Jin needed to ’tie-up’ Darth Caedus with a continuous flurry of attacks, force him into a defensive stance, until the others could assist him in subduing the Dark Lord and put an end to his rampage.



    Tag: @Sinrebirth, @darthbernael, @TheAdmiral
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2020